I am quirky and I love it. It's taken me all year to own that...
I like returning things more than I like buying them. I just like the feeling of getting my money back. It is WBTS [way better than sauce.]
The other day I returned bagged lettuce. Why? Because. And I forgot I hate lettuce more than going to the gynecologist.
Aren't those good reasons? I thought so. The lady at customer service - not so much.
And I don't like crunches because I don't like lying on the floor in the gym. There are germs down there. If I am lying on the floor at the gym - it's because I fell - not because I am perfecting my 12-pack.
The only crunches I like are Nestle's [hermetically sealed in its wrapper, of course.]
Because I don't like throngs of strangers breathing on my food.
This is why you would have to sedate me or shoot me with a tranquilizer gun to get me to eat at a buffet.
However, I love giving speeches [and I think I read a survey that said people fear speeches more than actual death.]
I fear driving at night and driving in the snow and people putting their naked butts on my toilet seat and the parking lot at Target during Christmas - because I am pretty sure someone would run me over if they knew they could get away with it.
But speeches - eh. I am convinced people lose interest after 30 seconds. I do.
But it seems the more comfortable I become with who I am the more uncomfortable some "friends" [and I use that word looslely] become with me.
And the past several weeks, I was way past the hurt part and I got stuck in [insert pig Latin here] issed-pay part. I was angry everytime I saw a "friend" who said something crappy to me
About the boots, about the dresses, about the food, about everything - just freakin' shut up. I think I prefer the ones who become cold and distant, but that sucks too.
And then I lashed out at a D-bag [duffel bag] and she cried. [I know. Right? I'm gonna get coal in my stocking...] I felt chez crappy because duffel bags are people too - even if they're rude.
So I hit Introspection Road yet again. I am not really into the whole angry girl thing - like ever - plus it is bad for my skin.
And I ended up at this Christmas tale over and over again. I wasn't sure why and I didn't want to go... [sigh. Introspection sucks.]
It was dark outside. "Grab some stuff and let's go," she said urgently. I was sleeping.
Fleeing in the middle of the night was typical. I just threw as much as I could carry into a knap sack and off we went.
This part sucked though - I could never take all of my toys, but it was so close to Christmas and I was sure that I would get new ones.
While we were on the Greyhound bus, she said we were going to my aunt's house in New York. I didn't know how far New York was from California but the bus ride seemed like forever.
With each new state, it got colder and my flimsy jacket felt flimsier.
"Do you have it?" she implored at a rest stop.
She meant the change jar where we put quarters and extra money. We used it to buy food at rest stops.
It was my job to grab it. But I forgot.
Immediately I knew what she meant and immediately I felt a knot in my stomach. She knew from the look on my face that the answer was "no."
I knew that she would've beat the crap out of me if we weren't surrounded by people.
Instead my mother called me "stupid" and "useless" for the whole trip. Even so, I was happy to learn we would arrive in New York on Christmas day. That would surely make up for this horrible trip.
When my aunt drove us from the bus station to her house, opening her front door was like walking into Santa's work shop - mountains of presents were everywhere.
Sweet! And she had food. This was going to be great - I thought.
My cousin, her daughter, opened the first present. She dug and dug until she found a gift with her name, first she squealed with delight, and then ripped the paper off. She did this over and over again.
I kept wondering when was it my turn.
As the morning progressed, I realized there were less and less presents to open and I sank deeper and deeper into my chair in the corner - no one even acknowledged me.
My aunt finally said, "Oh," as if she remembered something and she reached behind a chair pulled out a paper shopping bag and gave it to me. There were 3 cans of peanuts [not 3 individual cans, a 3-pack with a red label.]
Yup. Peanuts. [Just for the record, I like cashews and almonds.]
But neither is a great gift for an ten-year-old.
I wish I could say this was my worst Christmas as a kid - but it wasn't. [I know. Right?]
The reason I keep ending up at this story is not to lament my childhood. I have triumphed many times over and I am one seriously lucky chick. I am alive. I am sane. And I have a freaking awesome life with many people who love me - for me.
But to realize I see friendships as sacred because I picked them. I couldn't pick my family.
And when friendships become indifferent or suddenly cold, it is hurtful.
I was angry because I want them to see me, love me and not simply change their mind in the middle of the night.
The seeming casual nature of the exclusion simply blows my mind.
And it is my weakness because my friends are my family. And I don't want to just toss them away or treat them like they can't be human or like they don't matter or like an afterthought
Like I was treated.
I want to be surrounded by my sassy, hot friends when I am old [like on that show - The Golden Girls. My cats are sassy, but it's not the same...]
I had to acknowledge this so I was no longer controlled by this obligation
To put my friends' feelings first
And I had to figure out how to identify negative "friends" in my life [this brilliant blog by Linda Benedict really helped me www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
Because I always view friends as precious gems - when they are just people.
Like I am people.
And this is the reality
Sometimes people can't give the love and support I need or want
And I had to learn to give it to myself
Some friends will not make it to the end of this journey with me
Some friends will get left behind as I grow past them
Some will not embrace my new life and body as I have
[And that is their problem.]
And the most loving thing I can do is say good-bye
Because everytime I do I feel so much lighter [I can't even explain how free I feel right now]
But I am free
Good-bye is not the end
It is the beginning of putting me first.