A Room of My Own

the inner ramblings of a self-declared geek

Party of One July 25, 2011

Filed under: me — aroomofmyown @ 7:02 pm

I had heard from one of my college roommates over a year ago that she was engaged.  I mean, this wasn’t exactly earth-shattering.  She and her fiance had been together since med school.  They’d suffered rotations, residencies, and worst of all (according to them) Dayton, OH together.  So, one could forgive me when I almost forgot about their wedding because they already seemed married in my mind.  That is, until about a week ago, when the invitation showed up in my mailbox.  And with it, a pit of dread began to form in my stomach.

This is one of those weddings that everyone comes across occasionally.  Other than the bride and groom, I wouldn’t know ANYONE at this wedding.  I mean, I remember her mom from visits in college, but it’s not like we were pals.  You don’t know the parents of your college friends in the same way that you know the parents of your high school friends.  Also, I highly doubt any of our other roommates would be attending the wedding…not that I’ve talked to them since college, either.  The only damn person I’ve kept in touch with is the one up on the alter, which does me no good whatsoever at a table for one.

Here is where the anxiety begins.  Being unmarried myself, I have no one who is obligated to go to this thing with me.  At least in that situation, you have someone to sit and drink free booze with whilst pretending you recognize people.  If I do that by myself, I just look sad.  Or like an alcoholic.

I’ve racked my brain trying to come up with a friend I can con/bribe into coming along so I don’t look completely pathetic.  But the added bonus of this wedding is not only is it out of town, but it is also on a Friday.  So anyone coming with me would feasibly have to take off of work.  I can’t ask Jeff to do that when he has no paid vacation time and a wife and kid he probably doesn’t see enough as it is.  Laura has to work the next day.  Besides, she already suffered through one of these with me last year.  I can’t ask her to go through that again.

I can get out on a technicality because I really don’t have any vacation time either.  So I would be perfectly justified in saying “no.” But I hate that I will miss her big day because I’m a loser who can’t get anyone to hang out with her for one night.  And I hate that I feel like I have to have someone with me in order to do this.  Alas, both of those things are true, whether I hate it or not.  I don’t have anyone to go with, and I don’t want to go alone.

I’m such a girl.  A pathetic, sad, party-of-one girl.

 

Keeping My Friends Close June 26, 2011

Filed under: me — aroomofmyown @ 7:42 pm

Surprisingly, the hardest thing about having a new job for me has been leaving behind my old co-workers.   I stayed so long in a job I didn’t really love because I had a large number of really good people around me.  Now, it feels strangely lonely at work to not have everyone know me.   This is not to say that my new co-workers are not friendly.  Nor is this to say that I loved everyone at my old job.  But my comfort level and support network have been drastically altered, and it’s really draining.

So, when the weekends come, I am really excited to slip into easier associations.  This manifests itself in some unusual ways.  I have become kind of a social butterfly, scheduling all kinds of things with my friends in my off time.  I also can be somewhat melodramatic and clingy, which must be pretty annoying for Laura, who has to live with me through all of this.  I also overcompensated the feeling of ease at my cousin’s wedding last week and drank entirely too much gin – effectively proving that while I may love gin, it does not always love me back.

This weekend, I managed to squeeze in a lot of socializing with people who know me best.   Nights out with some of the guys I used spend all my time with are few and far between now that everyone is married, with children.  But last night, I sat in the bar, laughing and talking and reminiscing and joking with Jeff & Jeffrey in a way that is precious for how rare it has become.

Then today, I had brunch with the girls, catching up and planning ahead.  I love how we can always pick up exactly where we left off, no matter if a couple days or a couple months have passed.   I’m not sure if I really believed in high school that these friendships would have been so important to me when I became an adult, but it has been a happy surprise of my life to be surrounded by people who knew me when, and who know me best.

Additionally, I have been receiving the nicest emails and texts from numerous friends checking in and curious about how things are going.  The bistro crew and Andy have been great.   Of course, my old co-workers have been interested and supportive as well.  Stopping in last Monday, Melissa’s shouting was as flattering as it was uncomfortably attention-drawing.

And each day at work is made slightly easier by the thought that I have someone amazingly patient (even in my dramatic moments) and unbelievably supportive back home.  Laura makes my work days so much less daunting.

So, a big Sunday-night thank you to all my friends that have stuck with me through the craziness, and love me anyway.

 

Road trip? Can I come? June 22, 2009

Filed under: me,my house — aroomofmyown @ 5:00 pm

I’ve been meaning to write about four different posts lately, so this is the uber-post, a sort of stream-of-consciousness, amalgam of all the random things in my life lately.

I went to Ohio about a month ago to visit some friends.  Can I just say that Indiana is the flattest, emptiest, boring-est state in the entire effing Union? (sorry Laura)  I might not have made it had it not been for the audio version of Harry Potter (book one) to keep me company.  Problem was, the pleasant British man reading the story had to compete with the bossy wench on the GPS, who kept cutting him off.  However, she did successfully navigate from one end of Chicago to the other, so I guess I owe her more than cheap laughs and name-calling.

Here’s a picture of me, staying at Ken’s and playing Rock Band on his giant-ass home theater.  He made me stand in the picture for perspective, but that is not my “rockstar” pose.  I’m not even doing the dramatic kick.

Ken's screen

A few weeks after that, I saw Fleetwood Mac in concert.  I was sort of ambivalent about the show beforehand, but now I feel rather lucky that I got to experience Stevie Nicks at least once.  She is still strange and twirly, even at 60-plus.  More incredibly, she sounds like she did 30 years ago.  Not knowing much about music, I can appreciate the longevity of a kick-ass voice.

And Lindsay Buckingham may be the hardest-guitar-player sexagenarian.  However, he has the most unfortunate “rock-out” face I’ve ever seen.  It’s like a cross between sex-face and constipated-face.  Perhaps he should practice with Rock Band.

I also realized I haven’t posted any pictures of the kitties lately, so I’ll end with a couple of those.

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Richard Parker wants to be just like Ella.  He even sleeps like her.

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Summer might be Ella’s favorite time of year.  She chases bugs, watches birds out the window and is endlessly fascinated by the longer daylight hours, using the time to watch for bits of light reflected of anything you can name.  A spare cd, a water glasses, my wristwatch.  She’s not choosy.

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Richard Parker spends his summer days patrolling from window to window.  When all is said and done, this is how we find him.



 

If you can’t say something nice… September 22, 2008

Filed under: me,politics — aroomofmyown @ 5:12 pm

For about at least a month now, I’ve been trying to sit down and write an entry about Obama.  Ideally, it would be a noncombative, from-the-heart kind of a thing that I could send to all my friends and family regardless of their political affliation.  It would be so heartfelt and eloquent, perhaps even dare I say, profound, that it would cause people to stop and really think about their choice.

Then I realized two things.  One, that’s a pretty arrogant goal on my part.  I mean, anyone who has read this blog knows I’m seldom eloquent and certainly almost never profound.  See all my movie lists and reviews for examples of this.

The second thing I realized even as I tried to write a semi-eloquent, not-profound-but-still-heartfelt plea is that every time I start writing I go on the defensive.  I can’t help but hear all the rebuttals that come from my more conservative friends and family, and I instantly try to speak to those claims.  And I don’t want this to be a negative thing.  I mean, I could do an entire entry on my views of Sarah Palin or the less-than-truthful claims I feel are made by the opposing side.

But I think it’s so much bigger than that kind of crap.  I don’t think Obama should be the choice because he’s the one that slings more mud.  I think he should win because he’s simply the better choice.  And I feel his campaign reflects that sentiment.  The idea that what unites us is far greater than what separates us.  The belief that even those on opposite sides of the aisle can find common ground to navigate.

And until I can find a way to write a post that reflects that idea, I’m going to keep trying.  I think Obama represents the best of us, and that’s the only thing I’m prepared to give on his behalf.

 

The fact that you’re fat makes you look fat. That sweater just makes you look purple. March 23, 2008

Filed under: me — aroomofmyown @ 6:14 pm

I always thought the lament always a bridesmaid, never a bride was a bunch of crap. But I’ve lately found a new respect for it. Not out of any sense of marital longing, but out of a sense of self-preservation. The past few weeks have been a battle between my fat ass and the bridesmaid dress I have to wear in 48 more days. Yet I can’t help but wonder how much worse it would be if I had to be in a wedding gown (and throwing a big ole wedding) in said 48 days. That seems infinitely more stressful.

That is not to underestimate my tale of woe that has been this dress. There have been tears, there has been swearing that would make sailors blush. There may have even been blood. Or perhaps that’s yet to come. Needless to say, it has not been pretty. I understand the honor and the joy that goes along with being a part of your best friend’s big day. However, I would honestly be just as honored and overjoyed to be a part of their day from the bar. I can work a vodka tonic like nobody’s business. A heather-colored, two-piece, beaded gown is another story.

Let’s just be frank about this. Even considering a bride with the best of intentions (and Renee has honestly been great), I’m never wearing this $225 effing thing again. That’s not counting the shoes or alterations. Speaking of alterations, there will be a lot of them. The fabulously bitchy women at the bridal store (seriously, is there some kind of Cruella de Ville personality test that these wenches must pass before they start working in the store?) measured me and suggested a dress that is at least a size and half too big. This is after they charged me more for ordering a size in the heifer zone.

After the trauma of dress-sizing and the ensuing tears, there’s still the shower, the bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner. Not to mention the joyous day itself, all the insanely strange rituals of a wedding. The whole church bit, where I have to pretend I know how to walk gracefully in a full-length skirt and heels. The picture taking extravaganza, with how much I normally love having my picture taken. Having to eat with everyone else in the room staring at you (although, you do get to eat first, so I guess that’s a plus). The bouquet tossing. The garter-belt retrieval (does anyone else find it mildly creepy that it’s suddenly perfectly acceptable for the groom to put his head under his bride’s dress in a room full of people, including all their families?).

And all along people are telling me what an honor it is to be a part of the special day. I’m just gonna say it for all bridesmaids everywhere. This is not an honor. It is a rite of passage you perform out of love for your friends. It is a favor. It is the ultimate wedding sacrifice.

I love my friends. I’m so, so happy for them and I want this day to be special for them. Even if it means a dress that makes me feel fat and a bunch of crazy, drunken relatives and weird wedding rituals. I love my friends and so I am doing this for them. But let’s just be clear about one thing. If I’m not married in ten years, I’m throwing myself a huge party called “Jessi’s still single, so you owe her a present,” after the scores of weddings, showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties. You will be required to wear something uncomfortable. You will have to dance the stupid chicken dance while I laugh. But I promise you there will be an open bar, which is mostly likely where you’ll find me.

 

I like the Christmas Jesus best January 17, 2008

Filed under: me — aroomofmyown @ 6:59 pm

buddyjesus.jpg

I recently learned something that rocked my world. Those of you that were privy to my email survey probably know where this is going. Jesus was Jewish. I don’t think I can convey the true depth of my wonderment upon this discovery. Looking back on it, there were some pretty big giveaways. For instance, “King of Jews” probably should have tipped me off. But, as it turns out, I am painfully obtuse. It’s sort of humbling, really.

The results of my survey were overwhelmingly solid. Everyone knows this. Everyone but me. At first, I wanted to blame it on the nuns who molded my young mind (just as I like to attribute many of my character flaws and quirks to their overbearing influence). I thought they were purposely leaving out this bit of information out of some sense of Catholic superiority. That theory was debunked when my friend Rachel, who suffered through the 8 years at St. Alexander’s Catholic School right alongside of me, answered without hesitation.

In fact, the only person who didn’t come up with Jewish right away was my father. I briefly considered blaming it on my parents, but I dismissed that notion pretty quickly. I no longer take any of my spiritual cues from my parents, so I suppose it would be unfair to curse them with my shortcomings on the subject.

It turns out I have no one to blame but myself. I am woefully ignorant in much of the inner workings of religion. But it is a problem I intend to remedy. There is currently a stack of world religion books sitting on my kitchen table that I plan to give some serious consideration. I think a general understanding of different beliefs would serve me well. Not because I’m searching for faith (I feel pretty comfortable with my own brand of spirituality), but because I am searching for knowledge.

But I definitely like Jewish Jesus the best.

PS – A big shout out to my friend Jodi, who is currently reading back in the mother country. It’s kind of cool that someone on a different continent is reading my blog.

 

Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids January 9, 2008

Filed under: me,waxing pseudo-philosophical — aroomofmyown @ 11:06 pm

I must say that in the past couple of years, I have shed much of my depressed, doomsday attitude about my life. I have discovered that I am not meant to be miserable and that I actually have things of substance to offer other people. As a result, I think 2007 was one of the better years of my life. It’s such a wonderful surprise to learn how to be happy.

All that being said, even when my life is full and bright, and I’m almost sleepy with content, I have my moments. Moments of doubt. Moments like now. Perhaps a blog is not the right choice at times like this. But seeing as the number of people who actually follow my web-ly trials and tribulations is minimal, I guess I can use it to do some quiet reflecting.

I sometimes feel as if I will always be the only one on my side. Does that make any sense? There is a comfort that is largely missing from my life, the reassurance of having someone always in your corner, who goes to bat for you and takes the lumps right along side of you (and who possibly stops you from using too many sports-related metaphors). Someone who believes in what you do and who you are.

It is somewhat disheartening that even when I think I may have found that comfort in my life, it’s never been real. And all hope that it may somehow miraculously become real is squandered fool-heartedly on those that never want the same from me. I can even hear it the voices of my friends when I talk about it. It’s always ‘be careful’ and ‘don’t do anything rash.’ They don’t think I’m going to find it any more than I do in moments like this.

I get by largely by telling myself, and the world, that I don’t need it. That I am strong enough and independent enough to take care of myself. And that is true. I can, and I do. I even take some pride in the fact. It’s just that sometimes, like tonight, I want someone who is on my side. Who I don’t have to prove anything to. Who accepts me exactly as I am.

Hope is a tricky thing. It can bring you through the storm; but just as often, it can break you down. Still, even when it hurts, I hope. I hope for the things I may never find. I hope for the things people think I’ll never get. I hope…