Friday, June 25, 2010

Letter to my 20 year old self

Dear 20 year old Leah,

I'm writing to you because you have a lot going on right now and could probably use the advice. I know, I know, too little too late. But better late than never, I guess, even if you can't use any of what I will tell you.

All of this stuff swirling around in your head right now, the stuff that keeps you thinking that this will never end well and that you will never know where to turn? The stuff that makes you feel scared and worthless and like you're just never gonna be ok? I promise you that soon enough, but not soon by any means, you will be stable. Your thoughts will make sense, you will think of yourself over them (those people that seem to be the only reason you breathe), and you will be able to say "yes, no, maybe, I don't know" as much as you feel inclined. Your feelings right now, though the lowest they will ever get (I promise, it won't ever be worse), the darkest days you will see in your life (at least til 30, I can guarantee), you need them. I know, call me fucking crazy (oh yeah, you won't stop swearing either), but they are there for a reason. Even though they make you feel like you can't/won't/shouldn't go on, you can/will/should. You will see the lessons in a little while, but for now, just push through. Please.

You are hot right now. You may not be this hot again, well, ever, so live it up. Wear what you want, prance around and be confident. You are not confident, and you think your butt is big now, but you are mistaken. Shake your tiny ass on a table-top and have fun.

The ones you think are your real friends really are. Also, the ones you think are your real friends really aren't. It is going to be hard to figure this all out, but just go with it. Don't hurt people, give them a chance, and be there for everyone you can. They may look back and thank you someday. Some of the people that you thought were gone for good will be some of your best friends for life, so be careful and treat each person as if they were fragile glass. Don't break anyone.

Ahhhh, but then we come to the part where you DO break some of them. You are going to do this, though I swear you didn't mean to. Always do what you think is right, what you feel in your heart, but know that this is not always going to bring a positive result, no matter what you do or how hard you try. You yourself will also be broken, but please know you can and will pick up the pieces and go on. No? You don't believe me? Just wait. Those you have hurt will come back, and you will make good with those you are supposed to. You will be surprised who is still in or back in your life in 10 years.

As you do now, remember your family is most important. You are very dependent on them, but you will eventually stand independent of them, instead of being lost among them. You need them, but you need them in a way you don't even realize yet. You will lose some of them, and this will crush you. Be there for the rest, as it will heal you in the process.
And when you think that it is over and that they will never love you again, wait it out. They will. We will be waiting a long time to see the outcome of such events, but we will never let go.

The things you think are lame will be your favorite things, and you will be a dork. Embrace it. You have so much insecurity and shame, but someday it will be lifted like a heavy wet blanket. It will feel amazing.

Try and be more confident in what you do and decisions you make. This is worthless to tell you because you won't do this, but in a few years you will realize you are an ADULT (augh!) and that there are so many more things that are important than what you think now. What you see as an end all is really just a tiny drop in the bucket. Forgetable.

Save your money, don't make me work two jobs forever! You will make good money soon and have the time of your fucking life. I look back and wish you didn't spend so much, but you know what, I can't blame you. Even now I tell the stories of the crazy fun times you had and smile with my friends about it. Good job.

Keep yourself safe. Mentally, emotionally (though these will be the hardest) and physically. We are still kicking now, so you did an ok job of that. Your metabolism rules, but try and be healthy. If not, I'll try to right the wrong you did.

You are going to think your life is going to go one way, that you are set, that your future is in stone. And then, BAM!, it is all going to fall to pieces. This will be tragic and devastating every time (yes, I said every), but you will pick up what you can salvage and keep going. You will find better every time, but you'll never know til you're there. It's ok, you will watch this go on all around you and you will feel less alone and lost. Everyone will end up better for it in the end. They just have to.

Don't burn bridges, learn patience (and practice it often) and always be open to new things. Treat others with compassion always, and let go of anger. This will be the only way you can go through this life with ease. I do all of these things still, and someday 40 year old us will write us and laugh at just how much we didn't know, even today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A for Effort

So you know how my gf is absolutely insane, right?

Actually, to say she is insane is to say she tries the same thing over and over and always expects a different result. This is kind of the opposite, as she needed to do something once, but didn't, and expected the problem to go away by itself, but THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN. So, this ensued.

Here is just a small example of the maniacal world Donia and I live in. Just a glimpse into our reality, one riddled with crazy thoughts, pointless problems, and booze. Lotsa booze.

Let me point out that though there is usually booze, she did this sober. ALL OF THIS CAME ABOUT SOBER. Especially the relentless complaining, which makes it harder to tune her out. She drives me to drink, I tell ya, and here is an example of why.

Donia is a pretty rational being, I would say, and she is very intelligent. She can debate the shit out of anything because she IS the devil's advocate. No, srsly, he actually, like, hired her and made her fill out a W-2 form and everything. She works for him and will argue any of the points he presents to her. Not a bad gig, 2nd job-wise.

She has this coworker who we will call "Mary", because honestly, every anonymous story has a Mary in it. Mary is overweight, which is fine, but her chair does not think so. Mary's chair squeaks and do you know how I know this? Because Donia has brought up the squeaky chair EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST 2 MONTHS. Not every other, not only business days, no. Every. day. Now I love my gf and I'm there for her and to listen and blah blah blah but really??!! Get over it, put your ipod in, do something to take your mind off the fact that you have never harmed a human but you want to SCRATCH MARY'S EYES OUT AND THROW HER ON THE FLOOR when she moves about and is sqeaking. And please, do it quick, cuz I can't be with you if she is going to be the topic of conversation over dinner dates EVERY TIME WE GO OUT.

So here is what my batshit crazy gf has done about this. She can't possibly tell Mary that she annoys the shit out of her because 1. she is too nice and 2. she has to work with her. She can't switch chairs because there are no extras, and besides, she is convinced nothing will stop the squeaking, it is the person-to-chair ratio working against her here. She can't move her desk because that would be too obvious, she says. "Hey yeah, no, love you to death, just can't stand to sit next to you anymore. No reason". To that I say fuck obvious, you need your sanity (and for the love of God, I need mine back as well).

About a month ago, I was in charge of doing the bi-monthly Walmart trip to grab all the toiletries and supplies we would need for the apt. On this list I see WD-40, and I immediately wonder what in the hell we need this for, and how does Donia know what this is? I know you would think she is the handy one, what with her baggy jeans and lack of femininity, but I'll tell you here and now that if it is broken, Leah fixes it. If it is too high to reach, Leah gets it down. And when something goes awry I work on instincts and experience, while she googles the hell out of "What to do when the microwave starts sparking and sets the kitchen on fire".

So I go to Walmart and I'm searching for this WD-40 that she insists she needs for reducing the noise the fan in the bathroom makes-- a loud rattling noise. Ah-ha, my assumptions were correct. SHE HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO USE THIS SHIT FOR. This particular rattling is not something that this product was made for, but that darling dear insists she needs it. "Just do it Leah. Remember all those hot pink towels you bought when I sent you for guest towels? Yeah, this is for that." Touche, my good sir, and good game.

I am all done at Walmart, I have gotten through the list in record time. I have coupons ready and I want to go, but what is left on this list? You got it, WD-40. I am going up and down the "man" aisles, as I like to call them, looking for this shit. And they are not "man aisles" because women can't use the things in these aisles, but because if you are seen in them in Walmart and you are not a man ALARMS GO OFF! They track you down, it's like they can smell your estrogen and within moments there is a man in a blue smock asking "Are you lost, little girl? Where is your husband/bf/brother/father/protector?" On this day, though, just my luck, my estrogen was non-existent apparently because NO ONE WAS AROUND. I searched every aisle, from camping to home improvement to automotive to paint. It was a crap shoot where this shit really was. I even mosied by the guns a few times just to look creepy so that someone would jump out and ask me "ARE YOU TRYING TO STEAL A WEAPON AND ROB US??" to which I would have replied "No, thank you for asking. But now that you are here..." and I'd use and abuse that toothless sales associate for all he was worth! I got nowhere, I started to give up, but I remembered all those times I came home with stupid shit that Donia detested, but let slide, and I knew I couldn't leave without this shit.

I looked another ten minutes, up and down the same aisles. I looked in the toy aisle hoping to find an empty plastic knock-off for little boys playing mechanic that I could bring back and then say "Oopsie, didn't know it was pretend", but I saw nothing. Finally, I heard a strange sound...angels singing?...trumpets sounding?...and there it was. WD-40 is kept between automotive and camping stuff ON THE TINIEST SHELF KNOWN TO MAN. It's in a corner by itself! There is no other product like it, its not tucked between the other greasy stuff and the oily stuff. No, it has its own zip code in Walmart, which is code for HAHAHA FUCK YOU THAT WAS A FUN GAME FOR US! Hide the WD-40 is awesome, let me tell you, and when I finally did grab a can I was tempted to go BACK to the guns and ammo and really let Walmart know how I feel. I'm sure all you need to have to get your hands on one of those rifles is a drivers license and some sort of knowledge of a Jeff Foxworthy redneck joke and you're in. Also, I have boobs, so knowing the men working back there, I'd have myself a whole arsenal AT A DISCOUNTED PRICE in no time.

I got home and put the WD-40 away, hoping that it has slipped Donia's mind that she needed it. It did not. That girl is an elephant, and I can say that because I am referring to her elephant brain that forgets nothing! She whips out the can that night and uses a screwdriver (oh shit!) to take off the cover to the bathroom fan. I am in the living room with 9-1-1 on speed dial as I am praying to God above that whatever comes of it, the disfigurement won't be that devastating. If she loses a limb in the explosion, please let it be her left arm, cuz the bitch is fast on the 10-key and that job is our livelihood.

It somehow (thank you, Jesus!) goes off without a hitch and she thinks she has fixed the fan. "Listen to that, Leah, silence! SILENCE!", until 3 hours later when she turns it on and it rumbles its harmonious rumble again. The girl is defeated. I assume she will throw the WD-40 that I ALMOST KILLED FOR in the trash, and that would be the end of "Donia: Miss Fixit."

Fast forward to last Thursday when her phone started going off in the living room and I needed to silence it. She was downstairs and I saw that her alarm was going off to alert her of a reminder she had set. We have no secrets, so I opened it to see what she needed to know at that moment. I figured if it said "call my other bitch" that she was already downstairs, and I would just deadbolt the door and be done with her for the night. Crackheads sleep under the building, so why can't she? At least, unlike them, she has body fat to keep her warm when the temp drops.

The alert said "WD-40" and I had horrifying thoughts of what this could mean. Did I have to go buy more because there was no way I was going throught that again. I had PTSD! Just the thought of going back to that battlefield would give me flashbacks like a Vietnam Vet. Then I thought, more worried, what does she need to grease up now?

Then it hit me. The whole past couple months flashed before my eyes and I realized what she was doing. She came upstairs to prove me right: when questioned, she indeed told me SHE WAS TAKING IT TO WORK. She methodically planned to have it on hand for the single opportunity to use it on Mary's chair! She WAITED for Mary to mention she was taking a day off, for a whole MONTH she waited, and now she was ready to jump in and grease the shit out of that chair! Part of me wanted to commit her for being so preoccupied and menacing about planning this crazy ruse, and the other part of me wanted to give her the pulitzer prize for brilliance. She said that Mary would be out the next day and she gets to work so early that no one would be in to walk to her area and smell the chemicals til they had already dispersed and ceased to smell anymore. This. girl. is. dangerous. I best watch my step as well as my back. If anything ever goes wrong and something happens to me: USE. FORENSICS.

Donia, indeed, got up the next morning, packed that shit in her bag, and went off to work. She, indeed, sprayed the shit out of that squeaky chair that was bringing her to a homicidal place, and she, indeed, sat back and smiled at herself for figuring out just how to make her life better. Proud as a peacock, she let me know "It is done", like some hitman who just got his target, and she washed her hands of the whole situation. Her life was complete again and she was at peace, or so she thought, until Monday morning when Mary came in, well-rested after her long weekend, sat down and


went her chair.
(You can't win em all, kid, but you put up a good fight.)