Friday, July 19, 2013

The Best Birthday Party Ever.

I have this weird friend who I met in Theatre II in high school. We were just mediocre friends at the time, but more importantly, we were brothers.

Cory is the one with the long hair and the look of hatred. I'm the one lying on the floor with the look of hatred.

His name was Leroy in "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" and I was his brother Ollie. See, boys weren't too keen on being in plays back in the day because obviously all males who act are homosexuals, so we used the few males we had sparingly on roles that legitimately needed to be boys. The rest of us were girls or weird hermaphrodite things. No girl ever understood if she was supposed to be playing a boy, or if the character were being revised to accommodate for her boobies.

My bro Cory helped me to look as grungy as our family of characters were intended by cutting holes in my jeans and sandpapering them to give them the appearance of falling apart. Because they were. I helped myself look grungy by chopping off my own hair an hour and a half before the second night of the show.

We didn't talk or see each other at all after our magnificent performances together, which was pretty much how all my high school friendships went.

Then the magic of Facebook happened approximately seven years later, and we discovered we were both unmedicated insomniacs who should therefore spend our sleepless hours talking about nonsense and insulting each other.

Me: My kitten is sooo cute. She's lying on my neck to sleep. :D

Cory: I'm going to feed your kitten to a shark next time I'm at the ocean.

Me: I'll feed your pet snake to a water buffalo, you jerk.

Cory: No you smell like cheese.

Obviously the perfect friendship.

Knowing that I was doing nothing with my life at any given time of the day, Cory would occasionally call me and ask me to come hang out and do nothing with my life in a different location. Sometimes this was harmless and normal, like when we went out to eat at dinnertime. Other times it was sketchy and weird, like when I had to meet his friend (whom I had never met) in the parking lot of a used bookstore at 2:30 a.m., let him get in the car with me, and allow him to show me the rest of the way to the house because the directions were too complicated to tell over the phone. Of course I obliged unquestioningly, because what is the name of my blog?

Actually nothing bad happened at all on that evening. We just played poker or something and listened to extremely loud music with lots of screaming. But I very easily could have been drugged and sold into a human trafficking network.

The time it actually got bad was at Cory's birthday party two years ago. He had a bonfire in his back yard, which is nice and cozy and festive. I was the hottest girl in the yard because I was the only girl invited. It looked to be a lovely evening.

It was in fact a lovely evening, despite some questionable decision-making involving illegal substances and the presence of a guy named Smoky who was friends with my ex-boyfriend.

I ignored all that stuff and drank a warm Dr. Pepper from the trunk of my car. And I'm not just saying that because my impressionable young mother will read this.

When these wholesome family-friendly activities wrapped up at around 4:30 in the morning, I was starving. There was a shockingly small amount of food at this soiree, which I did not appreciate. I needed to maintain my lovely lady lumps by devouring someone's entire kitchen.

Only Cory, myself, and one of his friends were remaining by this time. I forgot his friend's name so we'll call him Dan. I kindly asked Cory and Dan if they wanted to accompany me to IHOP so we could eat our weight in syrup. They declined, saying they had no money, so I generously offered to buy their food and therefore their undying affection.

With that problem easily solved, we went on our merry way to IHOP. Halfway there, trouble started brewing as the boys suddenly expressed their guilt about me getting their breakfast.

Cory: I just feel bad. You shouldn't have to pay for my food... I just won't eat.

Me: You're ridiculous. It'll be your birthday present. And, well, I'll just get Dan's food for the heck of it. No big deal.

Dan: I'm RIGHT HERE. Don't talk about me like I'm some charity case.

Me: I... wasn't?

Dan: I don't need to be talked to this way. I should just go back to New York if this is how they treat people in North Carolina.

Me: I don't... even... okay.

Cory: ........

We walked into the restaurant in uncomfortable silence after his unexpected outburst. I thought if we just didn't mention it, his rage would subside... mine always does.

Waitress: Okay here's your table, can I get your drink order?

Dan: *loudly* Check out that fatass marine over there.

Waitress: *frozen smile, glancing at Cory and me to help*

Me: Oh gosh. Golly. Tea please.

Cory: *hands over face* Water. Sorry.

With the waitress out of the way, I could see the two uniformed marines at their table nearby, glowering at us over their stuffed french toast. Dan was staring straight ahead at the wall, behaving as if he had not just offended and disrespected a man who could kill him with his big toe if he wanted to.

The waitress brought our drinks, ignored Dan, took my order, ignored Dan, and ignored Dan some more. Cory had decided not to eat so now me and my food were the only reasons we were slumped at the vulnerable little booth at IHOP, stuck being subliminally assaulted by a slightly overweight marine and his average-sized marine friend.

We said literally nothing for quite some time. Dan's rage filled the entire building; I could taste it in my hash browns. Why was he so angry? Why was he so suddenly offended by my offer to buy him breakfast when he was fine the whole night leading up to that moment? Why did he blatantly disrespect a man who fights for our country? Why did he not show any remorse for his unkind, not to mention unnecessary, remark? And why was he staring blankly into oblivion like a freaking sociopath?

I tired of asking myself these questions because it was ruining my appetite, so I attempted light-hearted banter with Cory to distract from the situation and to fill the enormous silence.

Me: Whoops, I put too much ketchup on my plate.

Cory: Well you can never have too much ketchup.

Me: I like cheese in my eggs.

Cory: That's why you always smell like cheese.

Dan quickly had enough of our strained laughter and culinary commentary. He slammed his fist down on the table, causing me to swallow my fork, and stalked outside muttering about moving back to New York where friends know how to treat each other.

I regurgitated my silverware in time to notice the "fat" marine and his buddy heading for the door. We desperately flagged down the waitress, threw some money at her, and sprinted outside so we could rescue Dan, or at least watch him squirm his way through a tussle.

Cory: Come on man, let's just go home, you don't know what you're doing.

Dan: I know exactly what I'm doing, and I'm going to keep doing it, they can't stop me.

"Fat" Marine: Learn some respect, boy, do you know what we've gone through to protect little jerks like you?

Dan: I don't need protecting, nobody's ever done anything for me!

Cory: Dude I'm letting you live in my house.

Dan: Oh now I'm a burden to my friends. Just leave, I'll walk home. Or I'll find a new home, maybe that would make you happy. Nobody in New York would ever make me feel guilty about staying in their house, eating all their food, and having them drive me everywhere.

"Fat" Marine: Maybe you should go back there then.

Dan: I don't need some DUMBASS MARINE telling me what to do with my life!

By this time there were quite a lot of people standing around the entrance, waiting to see some scrawny punk kid getting his face rearranged. They were also looking at Cory and me judgmentally, for being friends with this belligerent lunatic and bringing him out in public. I was horrified and painfully aware of how my tired eyes and sloppy hair could be easily mistaken for signs of drug use when combined with the evidence of my present company.

Dan and the "fat" marine were standing inches apart, screaming hatred and venom into each other's souls, when Cory turned to me and said, "let's leave."

I was behind the wheel before he was done with his sentence, and was halfway out of the parking lot before he even got his door closed. He apologized profusely for his ridiculous friend, and didn't seem at all afraid of what Dan would do when he realized we had taken him seriously on his threat to walk home.

I feared that Dan would be waiting for us at Cory's house because he could obviously walk faster than 55 mph, so I only stayed around for approximately two and a half minutes after dropping Cory off. Just long enough to meet his pet cat and subsequently get fur all over my entire being.

Dan called and cursed Cory out for leaving him at IHOP to get the poop beaten out of him "for no reason." I suffered through a mild panic attack while envisioning Dan hunting us through the woods with a machete for abandoning him. He said he was halfway to the house already and was ragingly pissed off, as if we didn't already know that part. Cory ordered me to drive home quickly, not look back, and not make eye contact with anyone walking down the road. I cried the whole way home.

All I'd wanted was to have a good time and meet some new people.

Dan is now living safely (I guess) in New York (I think) again where he can not bother me or anyone else I know (I hope).

Friday, May 3, 2013

Surprise! You're alone in life.

Does anybody enjoy seeing their exes by surprise?

I didn't think so. Even if you don't want them back and don't have any feelings for them, you don't want to see them, and you certainly don't want to see them without any warning.


A warning gives you time to prepare yourself emotionally, to make sure you've moved on, to get any crying out of the way, and most importantly: throw on some lipstick and run a brush through your hair, you've gotta make him hurt so bad that he gave up this gorgeous bombshell and let him see that you are so much above his level now.

That is not, as I'm sure you expected, how it ever works out for me.

Here is what I actually do upon the gross misfortune of seeing any of my ex-boyfriends, ever, in any setting:

Notice them nonchalantly, as I would any human being.

Realize who they are and have no ability to control the unappealing look of shock and resentment on my face.

Unintentionally do a double-take to make sure it is that unfortunate fellow and groan, "oh my gosh there's that douchebag loser moron I used to date." Even if I'm alone.

Start to wave, because I'm a classy broad like that.

Notice he is with his wife, or baby, or baby-mama.

Become suddenly and harshly aware that I don't have makeup on to cover my acne and I didn't have time to wash my hair that morning and there's probably spinach in my teeth from lunch and I've done nothing with my life.

Awkwardly finish waving and glance away busily like I have way too much going on in my dumb life, so please don't even try to slow me down to chat about your great happy successful fulfilling lives and ask me whats the hold up, how come you aren't married and pregnant yet?

Wonder why they would come to my workplace if not to ruin my day. Or to my wal-mart, my gas station, or my mexican restaurant. They should have known they would see me and make me awkward and conscious of how pointless and alone I am.

Vow to lose 30 pounds so I can stop being embarrassed of my existence.

Spend the rest of the week evaluating my life choices and consuming 4000 calories of ice cream every day to bury my inadequacy and shame under a new layer of cellulite.

Look them up on facebook to judge how ugly and unhappy they and their families are.

Never, ever get rewarded by that endeavor.

Notice all the proud announcements in my newsfeed for two new engagements, one new home, four new jobs, and eleven new pregnancies.

Delete my own Facebook status because all of a sudden bragging about my choice to eat yogurt instead of ice cream seems... sad. And I don't want anybody to pity me for not having anything real to think about and thus feel inclined to share with everyone I know on Facebook.

Question the fairness of the universe while listing all the terrible people I know who get to be married and make babies and do other fabulous and annoying things with their lives.

Write an idiotic blog complaining about it instead of going to college because it's easier to impact the world in a small-scale, boring way.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I have to go BACK?!

Whenever my parents made the brilliant decision to stop homeschooling my brothers and me, I was elated. I had this vision of public school based on my neighbor's exaggerated tales of her school, Harry Potter, and Nickelodeon shows where the characters spend about 4% of their time in a classroom because they're too busy solving mysteries or secretly being superheroes.

I was in for the biggest disappointment of my young life since the Christmas Eve I wandered into the living room to find my parents loading presents under the tree and my older brother carefully sprinkling baking soda around his shoes to create Santa's snowy footprints across the room. I always wondered why they never melted away like ours did. And where that snow came from. And why my parents didn't yell at him to take his darn boots off outside before walking all over the house for goodness sake.

We were moving from Asheboro to Lexington the summer I turned 13, to be closer to my dad's work. Don't ask what he does, I still don't really know. So when we started school, not only would it be a completely alien environment to us, but there was also a 0% chance we would see a single person we knew. But I didn't care - I was fabulous at making friends! I imagined myself passing notes in class, making everyone laugh at lunch, and effortlessly understanding everything taught in class.

First day of school. Also my birthday.

I wore highwater stretch jeans with tennis shoes and a shirt made of 97% glitter and 3% itchy elastic stuff. I know this because those were the only kinds of clothes I owned that magical year. Standing awkwardly next to a trashcan in the commons area before school started, holding the straps to my Powerpuff Girls backpack, I actually had the good fortune to be approached by a friendly girl who was also new. We talked about American Idol and her boyfriend. Of course she wasn't on my "team" of classes so the only time I would ever see her was before school. Her friendship was pointless but reassuring. Until she started hanging out with the cool children and pretending not to know me later that year... but that's a story for another time.

The bell rang and I easily found my homeroom class because I was one of the 3 students to attend orientation a couple weeks before. I found my seat and looked around expectantly through the cloud of glitter emitting from my stylish top. Everyone was talking and laughing and not wanting to make new friends since they had all known each other since elementary school and they didn't have time to get to know someone new. Especially if that someone had greasy hair and nervous pit stains.

Apparently there was a difference between homeschooled kids and public school kids that I hadn't counted on...

When the community of homeschool families got together, our objectives were:
1. Learn new things
2. Have fun
3. Love everybody
4. Make friends with other kids

Public school kids' objectives upon getting together seemed to be:
1. Avoid learning anything, ever
2. Have fun... at the expense of weird kids, teachers, defenseless animals, or parents
3. Hate everybody. We're teenagers now.
4. Alienate other kids

So I just looked around helplessly, smiling pleasantly so people would want to add me to their group of friends. Obviously that did not work on this particularly disturbed group of children.

I sat across from two "cool" girls at lunch. It was hard to differentiate who was supposed to be cool and who wasn't because nobody was particularly attractive or interesting. Even these alleged cool girls had braces, but one of them had not only cleavage, but shimmery lotion across that cleavage. It don't get no cooler than that. As it turns out, they were full of drama and gossip and STDs and anorexia.

I brought an off-brand lunchables pizza for lunch that day. When I eat lunchables pizzas now, which I do quite frequently, people think it's cute and nostalgic and I give them the Crunch bar that comes with it as a thank you for not spitting on me. However, bringing lunchables to eat on your first day of eighth grade does not get you respect or friends or anything but judgment. I made a mental note to request that my mom supply me with lunch money every day because yummy cafeteria hamburgers formed from crusty umbilical cords are more socially acceptable.

Here are some highlights from my day because I don't remember them in order.

I only got lost once, but when I realized my terrible mistake I turned around to go back the way I came and was nearly trampled by a mob of angry eighth grade ponytails.

I couldn't find my seat in social studies class and some genius said "duh" at me when the teacher showed me where it was. I snapped at him to shut up and everyone heard me and said "ooooooooh..." like I had just dropped an F bomb. Everyone should've told that kid to shut up, he was effing awful.

The social studies teacher scolded me in front of the whole class for bringing my backpack in, because it was supposed to stay in my locker. Which nobody bothered to tell me. That kid said "duh" at me again and I wondered if his parents would be angry or grateful if I stabbed a pencil down his throat.

A girl in gym class whose eyebrows had approximately 19 hairs each asked me if I'd ever waxed my eyebrows. Insecurity achieved. Then she was all, "you can stop staring at me now," when I said no and waited on her to say something else.

My English teacher told everybody I was homeschooled because she thought it was interesting. They did not share her interest but stared at me anyway and muttered to one another, probably glad they hadn't befriended me so I wouldn't have the chance to infect them with differentitis.

I put "reading" as a hobby on one of those "get to know me" information sheets classes always have on the first day. Apparently your answers aren't meant to be truthful, they're meant as an opportunity to promote your adolescent coolness. Nobody clued me in on that little secret. Everyone else's hobbies were things like, football, cheerleading, softball, dancing, partying, driving illegally, having sex, buying extravagently priced designer jeans... I can't even think of cool things middle school kids would do, but I know you were NOT supposed to list your nerdy hobbies or make yourself seem smart in any way. It seemed you could only keep from being a social outcast if you were a jock, stoner, or partier. What kinds of monsters were these 13-year-olds? Did they not watch Hey Arnold after school and read Babysitters Club books with a flashlight under their blankets at night?

When the longest day of my life finally ended at 3:00, I waited outside in a mob of strangers for my mom to pick me up. She had already been by the elementary school to get Thomas because I guess younger kids don't require as much torture time as us wicked teenagers. I pretended it hadn't been too bad and offered noncommital unenthusiastic responses to my mom's interrogation. It was my birthday and I just wanted to forget about my hugely undelightful middle school experience so I could be in a jolly-good-fellow sort of mood for my special dinner at Little Italy.

Thomas wasn't trying at all to conceal his contempt for school; he cried about being away from home for so long and other kids being smarter than him and not having time to finish his lunch. I didn't care because he was in the third grade and cried about everything that ever happened to him. It was my birthday so he needed to shut up and recognize.

We went to Little Italy when my dad got home from work. Apparently, earlier that summer he had told Thomas some reassuring lie about going back to homeschooling if he didn't like public school. So Thomas told him all the awful facts of elementary school life, since Daddy would obviously have to fix the situation by taking him out of school immediately. I stared sullenly around the restaurant, munching on my cheesestick and willing the conversation to turn to my brand new teenagerdom. Daddy listened sympathetically and slurped on his pizza so loudly we should have been asked to leave.

Poor Little Thomas: And then, we had to write our FULL NAMES down so everyone would know everyone's name. And plus also my crayon snapped so I had to use another color. I hated it.

Me: *Clearly not paying attention, won't even remember the exact reason he's so upset later*

Sympathetic Daddy: Well, son, it'll be better tomorrow, and as the year goes on and you get used to-

Poor Little Thomas: *Look of absolute horror, voicing my own dread* I have to go BACK?!

Several sidenotes:

**We did have to go back, and it did get slightly better. I even made a few friends, but I still shudder when I'm forced to think of middle school.

**Thanks to the few kids who didn't care about my humongous eyebrows and homeschooled background, especially Kelly, Carly, and Stephanie. You are all angels.

**Everyone else: screw you, you made an innocent friendly kid miserable for no reason.