Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It is never too late to say 'I'm sorry'

My sisters wedding last weekend was a not so welcome stroll down memory lane. She is six years younger than me so we were never close. I did however get to spend a lot of time watching her and her friends through the years. I was in high school, they were in elementary school, I lost on the deal.

Needless to say being at her wedding and seeing all these girls that I used to baby sit running around with toddlers of their own tucked under their arms made me feel incredibly old. It also made me feel more than a little nostalgic. Not so much for the days of watching my bratty sister and her friends, but just for that time in general.

When I got home I started working on a post that was full of nostalgia. It heavily centered on high school and really ended up being mostly about my best friend and the relationship we had. It was a friendship that was so almost cliche that ended on a sour note. Still it was one of those friendships that was a defining moment in my young life.

I had intended to post it on Wednesday, but I woke up that morning sick. Instead of going to work I opted to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. When I finally managed to drag myself to the couch and turn on my laptop, I found a little flashing message waiting for me on Facebook. It was from the friend I had been writing about.

While our friendship ended poorly, we have made efforts over the years to at least stay in touch. I think at this point we are just lurkers in one anothers lives at best, which seems so odd since once I would have gladly called her sister. Now we are just passing status messages on our news feeds.

She had sent me a note to let me know she had been reading my blog of late. She had just reached my birthday post from last year where I had talked about the first concert I ever went to. She gave me happy encouraging feedback that made me really excited. I love knowing people like what I am writing.

And suddenly I couldn't post what I had written.

It is not that what I wrote about her was bad. It wasn't. It was not negative at all. It was just honest. It was honest in a way that I have never really been about that friendship and the part I played in it. It was honest in a way that I have never been able to be with her. It made me feel nervous and vulnerable suddenly. It also made it seem like I was only writing about her because she pinged me out of the blue.

You see the thing is, I don't believe that I was a very good friend back then. It is not that I was intentionally malicious or neglectful or anything like that. I am sure at the time if you had asked me then I would have said I was an excellent friend. It is just that I was a teenage girl. I was 14, 15, 16 years old, and I am not really sure girls of that age can always be good friends or even good people.

I am a firm believer that when girls hit puberty they start creating evil hormones. Seriously, if you have ever spent time around young teenage girls, or been one, you know that they can just be cold and cruel without much in the way of provocation. It is part being so scared of everything, especially who you are, and of being different. It is part being so raw and vulnerable. It is just a confusing time where you are doing good if being self involved and aloof are the worst things people can say about you.

That doesn't make for a good friend though. If you can't see beyond yourself it is hard to be there when others need you. It is hard to understand that they are going through things that are hard too. I mean you sort of know it, but at that time everything is sort of world shattering and it is hard to believe anyone else has it as bad as you think you do.

We had a good friendship. We talked on the phone constantly, we spent most of our free time together, we had classes together, we wrote notes, we had a ton of inside jokes, and we were each other salvation in the hell that we made high school out to be. We were probably more than a little delusional. In our own little world though, we were good.

I am not sure we knew then who we were, and I think that was the strongest bond we had. We were both confused teenagers who really weren't comfortable in the social structure and were happy to fit into that misfit role. We got along and had some sort of connection that was good.

Then things changed. We were both changing but not together. I think if we had paid attention we would have realized the people we were going to be were not really the people we thought we were. We were growing apart and didn't know how to be different people and still friends. Worst of all we didn't see each others struggles.

I should be more clear; I did not see her struggles. When she came back from her summer vacation after our junior year I was completely taken by surprise by the girl who showed up. She didn't even look like my friend. I didn't understand why she had changed and why she was so very very angry with me.

I was dumbfounded. I had never known there was anything wrong. I missed it all while caught up in my own drama. I couldn't see it then. I couldn't see it for a long time after either. I had just lost her and I didn't know what to do. So of course I did things that didn't help any. I separated myself from her as she did things that I found intentionally hurtful. I said awful hurtful things to her. It was the worst kind of hurt because we knew each other so well it was easy to do.

I was so hurt and at the same time so scared for her. She was making what seemed to me like these wild erratic leaps and changes. Her other friends and her mother would come to me off and on asking me for help and I didn't know what to say to them. I didn't know what to do for her. She wouldn't let me in and I didn't know how to fix that.

I remember she called me one day very upset. We had barely said two word to each other in weeks, maybe months, but she called me. She was upset and she was scared and she needed to tell me that. She didn't seem to want anything else from me, and at the time I wouldn't have known what to offer so all I did was listen. It felt like such an insignificant effort but it was all I had.

After we graduated we tried a few times to reconnect. There were letters and emails written, but nothing ever seemed to come of it. I thought she was still looking for some sort of apology and I was still looking for some sort of explanation. I still just didn't understand.

So that is how we ended up here; Facebook connecting us and just lurking in each others lives. Could we ever be friends again? Not the way we were back then. Of course that is a sort of friendship that I think exists only in that moment in our lives. It was what we needed it to be then.

Now though I think I know what went wrong. I think I understand now why it ended the way it did. I don't know if I am right or not, but I think now that I was unable to be the friend she needed. I just wasn't a good friend. I was too self absorbed to see that she was in pain and struggling. I didn't know enough then to know that sometimes you just have to be there and listen.

I wish I could go back and apologize to that 17 year old girl. I wish I could just be there for her. I can't though. I can't go back and make that right.

What I can do though is not be that person again. I can be here for my friends now. I hate that it took me this long to realize what I did wrong then, but I am thankful to know not to do it again. I can listen when needed and give as selflessly as I know how. I can look for when someone I love is hurting and be the friend they need me to be.

It is far too late, and it feels like far too little, but I can finally say that I am sorry and I was wrong. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Love is in bloom

There are certain constants in my world that make my little gypsy heart happy. While I like things that change and progress, I love things that make me feel solid and stable in the world. I like knowing I have the same place to go to at night, that my cats will eventually come back to sleep curled up against my back, and I have certain girlfriends that I can say nasty things to about other people and they will never think poorly of me for it. You know the normal stuff a girl likes.

There are other things too. This weekend while taking a nice long drive across Texas I could not help but to smile as I saw little shots of pink in the still dull landscape. The red buds have begun to bloom, and thus winter is over. In my world those trees blooming means there will be no more freezes and I don't know if it is a Texas thing, or a southern thing, or just a thing my grandmother always said. It is a thing. I don't need some shadowphobic vermin to tell me when my winter ends, I just need those pretty pink blossoms to start to appear.

I was also reminded this weekend of another constants that makes my heart happy. It is the constant of the grooms face. When a couple is getting married, if you take that moment when the bride comes down the aisle to look at the grooms face, that is where you can really tell that they are in love. It never fails that you will see love, joy, surprise, or happy tears in their eyes. She may be beautiful, but that look is the most amazing thing in the world.

My little sister got married this past weekend, and I was not disappointed in her grooms face at all. The doors opened, and she stepped out in her breathtaking lace couture dress, and everyone started ohhing and ahhing over her. My eyes were fixed firmly on the grooms face.

In the years I have known him he has never been a truly expressive person. In this moment that did not change. His face did not light up, there was no uncharacteristically big grin, or anything like that. Instead, as his eyes fell upon his blushing bride walking towards him, he took her in slowly with his lips pressed firmly together. After only a moment his eyes lowered and he nodded his head once. When he looked up again I could see that he had begun to cry.

In that moment, that briefest of moments, I knew that my sister was marrying a man who loved her very much. In that moment my heart was so happy for him.

While I can't say for certain that red buds blooming will truly be a sure sign winter is over, the saying has never failed me in the past so I am confident that it is a true constant. I am also confident in my other constants, and see so much love ahead for my sister and her loving new husband.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What is a girl to do?

I am stressed.

My eyelashes are falling out left and right, which is my sure sign of stress.

My life is very chaotic in an incredibly predictable and ordered sort of way.

I feel like I don't have room to breath yet no motivation to tackle the mountain in front of me even though there is a pack of ravenous wolves yipping at my heels.

What is a girl to do?

Well apparently a girl is to put on a brand new tangerine cotton sun dress and teal shrug, new peep toe shoes, and come to work to find her friend has brought her her favorite sort of donut to help make it through the day.

I am a lucky girl.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Breakfast victory

I am nearly 32 years old and I have just in the last month figured out how to properly make a bowl of cereal. Yea I know how absurd that sentence sounds. Cereal is pretty much a no-brainer. Pour desired amount of cereal in a bowl, cover in preferred variety of milk (we are a 2% household even though I would love to be in a whole milk household), and voila you have cereal.

Nothing is actually that easy. Ever.

You see I have always suffered from the problem of too much milk. You know what I am talking about. You pour in your milk and start eating and suddenly there is no cereal left in the bowl, but an entire bowls worth of milk. Now you have the option of throwing out the milk or drinking it. Not being one for waste and adoring milk I typically drink it.

I still always find it annoying though. I don't actually want to drink a full bowl of milk after eating a full bowl of cereal. It always has seemed excessive. I don't mind drinking a little of the milk after my cereal is gone, but not a lot. Milk is very filling after all.

So the solution should just be to pour less milk right? Have you ever ended up with a bowl or cereal that didn't have enough milk in it? That is almost worse than too much milk. I mean with too much milk sure your cereal is complete mush by the time you get to the bottom of the bowl, but it is a damn site better than the shredding your mouth takes with cereal that doesn't have enough milk in it.

I started eating cereal again recently for my breakfast. This was an issue considering that I eat my breakfast at work. I didn't want to bring an entire bottle of milk to the office. Our office is really bad about milk and creamer theft. Everyone thinks "ohh just a little in my coffee won't make a difference" and then you are left with nothing. I am so not doing that.

So I had to get creative. At first I was pouring my milk in a tupperware container with a screw on cap. I would just pour my cereal directly into the container of milk and eat. This was alright, but the container was large and bulky. It was more practical to get a much smaller container for the milk and keep a bow al the office.

The container I ended up with hold just a little more than half a cup of milk. I was skeptical. It seemed like not a lot of milk. I figured I would just adjust with less actual cereal. That probably would have worked if I weren't half asleep still when pouring the bowl.

The first day I tried this I was left looking at a full bowl of cereal and this tiny container of milk. See above where the cereal to milk ratio being cereal heavy leaves me with shredded gums. It was a moment of fail, but I was too tired and too hungry to fix it. I dumped the milk on and went to town.

It was perfect.

My cereal was neither too mushy at the end, nor like shards of glass while I was eating it. When the cereal was gone there was still a small amount of milk to drink, but no more than maybe two drinks worth. I had finally discovered the mythical milk to cereal ratio.

I know it is a ridiculous thing to be excited about, but I really am sort of stoked about this discovery. It makes my breakfast a little more enjoyable, and lets admit it, at that hour of the day you need all the little happy victories you can get.

Friday, March 8, 2013

No work here

Have you ever noticed that there is a magical point in your work day, especially on Fridays, where you simply realize you are not going to do any more work? It doesn't really matter that you actually have work to do, it simply is not getting done. Everything pressing has been finished, and you simply have reached a point of no longer giving a damn.

That is me most days. Today though is being particularly difficult. I finished everything pressing quite some time ago. Now I am just sitting around waiting for the day to end. It is even more frustrating considering the length of my to do list for this weekend.

It is times like these where I am thankful that I have a job where I can actually do nothing if I want. I can almost hear the husbeast grumbling because he has no such luxury. He doesn't even get lunch breaks at his job. That is the trouble with sales. Here I sit munching on a honeycrisp apple the size of my head and blogging between games of Ruzzle.

I may leave a little early since I worked through lunch the last two days. I can go to the grocery store and get a head start on my to do list. I may even go home and clean a little for our house guest. Not a lot of cleaning happens during faire season which is why there is a strict rule that all house guests have to be faire people as well. They understand why my house is a disaster because theirs is too.

I only have the urge to clean some because the house guest we have this weekend has never been to our house at all. I would like him to get a somewhat better impression of us that our slovenly faire state. I do like making good impressions on people. He may just have to pretend though.

Now to pass a little more time before I can escape. I can hear sudoku and Facebook calling to me now.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

No rest for the wicked

It is a Tuesday in March, which means I feel completely overwhelmed by the universe. This is the same way I feel at this time every single year, and yet it still seems like a shock to the system when it happens. I suppose I somehow think that after 11 years of doing faire I would have come up with a system that would allow me to not feel like I am completely in the weeds.

We are nearing the halfway point of workshops and I have completed exactly none of my sewing projects. I in fact just added a huge project to my list. It is all stuff I can easily accomplish, there is just a lot of it and nothing is started. It makes my list look daunting.

My house is already a mess. I didn't go into workshops with it all clean and shiny, but I managed to make things look cluttered and dirty pretty quickly. The boxes of faire stuff and costuming pieces strewn throughout the house really are not helping matters. It is bad though that it I already want to take a day off work to clean. This lasts through Memorial Day, I have to ration my time off wisely.

Then add into this the fact I am fighting this year and my time grows a little thinner. Now between housework and sewing I have to work in time to choreograph and practice fights. I mean we get time on the weekends, but lets be honest here, I need all the time I can get. There go a few more hours out of my week that I am not sure I have to spare.

Oh and did I mention my sister is getting married in two weeks? While I am thrilled for her, I now have one more thing on my plate. I have to now prep for the trip down to her wedding including all the packing and shopping that entails. I also will miss a weekend of workshops which means I will miss practice time for fights and sewing time which will have to be made up elsewhere.

I am not complaining. I love all of it. I have been doing this long enough that if this sort of chaos bothered me I would have quit by now. I actually think that I may enjoy the whole state of semi disaster that my life feels like during faire. Heavens knows that there is never a dull moment.

Still, I can't help but to long for June when a little boredom will seem like bliss.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Things I just don't understand

Can I talk to you real quick about things I just don't understand?

Ok first, can we talk about the weird fake mustache trend? I see this all over the place. There is jewelery with fake mustaches, people with tattoos of fake mustaches (not on their lips mind you, normally on fingers to hold up to their lip), there are meme's of fake mustaches, there are cards, and on and on and on. What is this? Where did it come from? Why is it popular?

I just don't understand. I mean I can kind of occasionally find it mildly amusing, but not as much as it apparently is. I mean I have seen giant pieces of wall art that are big fake mustaches. Why is that cool?

Next can we take a moment to examine Angry Cat? This actually should be extended to the entirety of pictures of animals with weird captions. The entire 'I can haz cheeseburger' thing has always eluded me. I mean I see maybe 1 in 500 of those things that is amusing. They normally aren't actually clever or funny but just, weird.

Angry Cat is just the latest in a long series of weird captioned animal pictures I don't understand. I have seen a couple that were amusing, I will give you that. The majority of them though are just dumb. It really makes me wonder if people have completely lost their imaginations and ability to create and appreciate new and clever things.

Does this make me old or out of touch? Maybe I have a very different sense of what is amusing than the vast majority of society. Maybe I am just completely uncool. Of course when I think about it, if not getting these things makes me uncool, I would have to say I am completely alright with that.