Weight: x+4. (That wraps up the good news. Moving on.)
To be fair, I attended a Ruby Wedding party this evening. It was equally as successful as Bridget's, meaning not successful at all. But as with all things in life (sans sobriety), Bridget has amply prepared me for disappointment. Her cure: eating and going to Paris with urban family, so long as she can find her pants. Surprisingly, I've got no appetite for food of any sort (and yes, that includes chocolate...even pretzels dipped in nutella - further proof, there is an uneaten Chickfila sandwich in my fridge). Traveling is a great cure for me as well, but I have a busy weekend, so it will just have to wait a bit. But I've got a different cure in mind, and the whole thing is really just about having A cure, not necessarily the same one as Bridge. After all, we're different people, I'm delighted to report.
My last known cure was church and a bar method class...and a trip to my favorite place on the planet Barnes & Noble. (My exact favorite place on the planet is the Barnes & Noble children's section at the Grove, but Burbank's can make do in a bind.) Since it's after midnight, those aren't going to work. But I have another idea. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, something I oppose at all costs, I'm going to think about all of the things I've done wrong to others in similar circumstances and hope to learn something from the experiences.
First of all, I must confess that no fewer than 2 and no more than 10 (this range should sound familiar to every guy who has ever asked me for a *number*) guys have stood in front of me - sans relationship, sans encouragement on my part, and sans, well, sanity I suppose - and told me that they loved me. Not one of these confessions ended with a kiss or much else on my part. I became flustered, I probably said unintentionally hurtful things (because after a statement like that, nothing ISN'T hurtful except for reciprocation). One of these occurrences very easily *could* have ended with a kiss, and he knows who he is, and I love to remind him to kick himself about it. Oy, I'm a mean one. (We're getting married when he turns 40, so the joke's on me!) So it's only fair that the same should happen to me when the tables are turned.
But let's dig even deeper than that to find out just how much bad love karma I have to deal with before I'm due for some good news:
Kindergarten: Adam was the hottest guy at Parrish Day School, and he was all mine for a glorious week. I'm pretty sure that I stole him from one of my friends, and I'm pretty sure one of my friends stole him from me afterwards. So that one is probably a wash. I believe he was my first kiss, but I never count it as I can't say for sure I knew what kissing was then.
First Grade: Poor Ned on the playground who would run around and try to kiss me. I believe my exact response was "ew, gross!"
Second Grade: Will flew a paper airplane into the back of my head in class. So naturally, I took the paper airplane up to the teacher to tattle on him. When she opened the piece of paper, he had written on the page that he liked me and asked me out. (To where, the swings? I have no idea. Just sayin'.) Given that info, I did nothing but pout about how embarrassed I was.
Third Grade: I think I'm in the clear on this one, but there's a chapter from elementary school that only my best friend Tonia holds the key to, and I may never know exactly what happened. It consisted of a group of boys liking me, and me not having any idea. Meanwhile, all the girls hated me for it. So more memorable moments from elementary school involve "the time that one girl hit me" and "that time another girl gave a class presentation on hating me." Oh, and one more thing, but let's save that for...
Fourth Grade: When I made it known that I didn't like Chuck, even though he was obsessed with me. He would even call me while watching Duck Tales, which in retrospect is really precious. Since he's probably in jail now, I'm going to give myself a pass on that one. But I think I was equally mean to a boy named Keith who surely didn't deserve it. He was quiet and nice enough. Oh well. In Fourth Grade, my teacher wanted me desperately to be in a class couple with Walt, whom I feel it should be noted is a distant cousin of mine. Oh, Georgia. She'd also lead the class in chanting "Blood" at me to see me squirm. She deserves the prize.
Fifth Grade: My crush (which was fake, by the way) was embarrassingly revealed after a game of slumber party truth or dare. After it was revealed, I dealt with my embarrassment by telling everyone the "real" truth: that I didn't like boys yet. Nope, not even New Kids on The Block really. Oops! (Is that also when the lesbian rumors started? Hmm.)
Sixth Grade: This was the year when I really did have a crush on my 5th grade supposed crush. It amounted to nothing. If I hurt others that year, I'm as equally unaware of it as I was the elementary secret crushes.
Seventh Grade: Boy did I fall for Chad. This was the year of the Rec Center party (where rich parents would rent out the local recreational center for parties with music and boys), and I was always turning down guys who weren't Chad who asked me to dance. Btw, Chad never asked me to dance. Maybe that's also a wash? Nope, whoops, I almost forgot about Derek, the guy who sat next to me every lunch period. I was stuck in one of those random gym classes for lunch, and we had to eat with our classes. I had no friends in this particular class. (I really didn't know anyone in there as they were older and not in the, um, same level classes I was in. Before you judge me, it was 7th grade, and one of the girls was pregnant. Often class would be disrupted by girls pulling each other's hair out. Wild times at HC Jr. High.) But despite having no friends, I would still read my Sweet Valley High mysteries over and over again rather than talk to Derek who literally drooled over me. Ashamedly so, I have to say I was sad when he would be out sick or something like that. Oh, Seventh grade, how horrible you were in every way.
Eighth Grade: I don't recall harming any poor boys, possibly because I got braces which made me equivalent with the Hunchback of Notre Dame in terms of attractiveness. Wait, I take that back. I most definitely remember refusing to dance with a sweet boy at a dance, and that karma bit me in the butt two years later when I liked him and had to watch him make out with another girl on the bus to cross country meets. I had a crush on a guy named Gil who, I believe, was dating a cheerleader. I really wanted to be a cheerleader that year, so...
Ninth Grade: I became a cheerleader, and those girls definitely helped the lesbian rumors float through school. Nice girls, they were. As is the stereotype, a football player decided he was in love with me. Note: I'm not sure he ever spoke directly TO me, but anyway. I was HORRIBLE to him. If I wrote down what I actually said about him, no one would ever forgive me for it. Bad, bad love karma source, right here. Meanwhile, I was crushing on Mr. Drama as well as Mr. Funny man who sat behind me in Geometry. (Geometry is the class where I was first nominated for Student of the Month, and everyone said it was because I wore short skirts and sat on the front row...and Coach Boyd was a perv. Right, I couldn't have been good at math, people. I only have a college degree in it. Suck it!) Oh, and around this time, I have another first hand story of how I was horrible to boys as the boy in question is my best friend's husband. WHOM I LIKED at the time, and yet STILL was apparently a bitch to him, or to actually quote him, "gave [him] an eat dirt face." I am good at flirting. (We all thank God for intervening here, so let's call that one a wash as well. It worked out for the best.) Then, there was the time that my best friend and I went on a science trip (nerds) where two boys flirted with us (double nerds), and we giggled and talked about how we had a crush on this guy whom everyone thought was gay. (And people don't understand the recent teen obsession with Twilight? PEOPLE! CALL ME!) Oh, and this was also the year that I told Mr. Drama I had a crush on him (wow, go me), and he turned me down with "let's stay friends." Maybe partially because I said the really mean thing about Football Player in front of him to "impress him." And partially because he was obsessed with another cheerleader who wouldn't give him the time of day (a thing I believe she will always regret, but I sincerely hope I'm wrong). So, in summary, I was a horrible, horrible, very bad girl, but at least that one time I was brave. I will be working off Ninth Grade karma for the rest of my life.
Tenth Grade: Remember those two nerds from the science trip? Yeah...I dated both of them....and dumped both of them. And they were friends, so that was nice of me. Nerd #1 Shaun- I really think I messed with his head because he would later ask to be moved out of a class I was in because he "didn't want to have to see me everyday." Nerd #2 John - I told him I wasn't ready to be in a relationship, which, by the way, was the truth. See next year. At the end of the year, they rejoined forces and forked my yard. I never really got what purpose it served. Just confused me and my grandfather. Of note, my best friend started dating her husband at the end of the year, a thing that never would have happened had I not given him an 'eat dirt' face. Because friends do not date their friends' exes. See how that's the theme for the year? So, I'm going to give myself some kind of karma gold star for helping their happy marriage exist. (Um, yes, I am that desperate for some good love karma. You are reading these atrocities, right?)
Eleventh Grade: Remember those nerds from before? Yeah, I got back together with John, and we were really happy. That's about all I'd like to say about that, at least for tonight. But before that happened, I earned some more bad love karma by asking out my guy friend Justin. He was into one of my friends, but I knew she wasn't into him...or at least I really did think I knew that. Anyway. It was such a waste because a lot of us drama folks were totally (yes, Clueless came out that year, so 'totally' is appropriate) into him. So, I was kinda sorta stabbing my one friend in the back while also kinda hurting another friend who'd been in love with him forever. And yet miraculously no one murdered me! Yeay, 10 Commandments! Perhaps it's because the so-called "date" we went on consisted of him blaring Phantom of the Opera music at me which he also sang along to. I'm not touching that one, so don't ask me to.
Twelfth Grade: Still with John. He dumped me once, TJ's now husband made him cry about that (thanks robi!), and I dumped him once for good measure, I guess. Around this time, one of the random declarations of love happened. That's a hilarious story for another time. It's really more of a character study. I don't know exactly how it factors in, but this was also the year where Michael whom I had known since 2nd grade decided to sing the Barbie jingle based on whatever I was wearing that day. Personal fave: Sharecropper Barbie (wearing overalls - they were all the rage). Least favorite: Flat Butt Barbie. I still obsess over that, sadly. I figure I probably did something mean to him in the preceding 10 years to justify his ridicule. The only thing that came to mind at the time was beating him out for math awards. Just a guess, that probably wasn't it.
Freshman Year: Still with John for the most part. I got some karma points back in the mix that year for sure as I tried my first non-committal relationship and watched him date someone else who lived in my dorm. Gosh did I hate her and TJ hate him for that one. (Yeah, I know. TJ's always been smarter.) I had a study buddy named Mitch that was kind of a stand-in for whatever I needed, and I think there were no karma points gained or lost there. Oh, and I flirted with a guy named Ben, which still cracks me up to no end. Maybe because his idea of flirting was sitting on the front row of Honors Calc with me and reading the newspaper and/or napping during class. He also liked to tell me what color underwear I was wearing. He lives out here now and did me a solid while I was in film school. So, thanks Ben! Even if you've turned into a jock-turned-actor-turned-musician.
Sophomore Year: Intro to the other RAs. Matt, Marc and Brian (yes, Brian, I saved the best for last). Matt I would date off and on for, oh, ever minus the last two years. Marc would declare his love for me the day after we met. (So we're at two now, but who's counting.) And Brian, whom I technically met the year before, would be my rock...see next year when he declares his love for me. There were too many others to list here, so let's sum up with "a bunch of guys I refused to go out with more than twice." (I will be using that abbreviation a lot in the coming years.) Matt gave me karma points, Marc took them back tenfold. Brian watched and listened. Well, Brian and Mr. Moose. I went to Oxford that summer and had a crush on someone who reminded me of Shaun from high school, but when push came to shove, nothing came from it. I realized my mistake before I really made it. Oh, I almost forgot about Rrrrick. We were both double majors in Math and English, and we made sure to have the same classes. I liked him, he had a girlfriend, we studied together locked away in our dorm rooms. He would tell me his dreams about me and about how his girlfriend was 'so far away.' Trying to steal another girl's man. That couldn't be good for my karma.
Junior Year: Oh, dear, junior year. I felt bad about myself and got together with Marc. Wait, let me be honest. I felt bad about myself, flirted with Marc who was in a relationship at the time - a relationship he ended immediately to get with me - and then I proceeded to be with him, mainly out of guilt and shame. MEANWHILE, Brian had fallen for me, told me so, SHOULD have kissed me and didn't, found out about me and Marc, graduated, and didn't talk to me for years. I had to track his ass down, and I did. Ain't no way I'm letting him run again. You hear that, Brian? Other than Ninth grade, I would say the worst love karma comes from this one. There might have been a proposal in there somewhere. Moving on.
That summer, again at Oxford. I discovered alcohol! I made a fool out of myself in front of old study buddy Mitch. But boy did I have fun dancing. And as a coda to the years of being an RA where I had some of the most rewarding male friendships of my life, Oxford served as the final precious time for that - that is until grad school.
Senior Year, which was really my Master's year: Matt came back in the picture, and the year ended with me moving to Boston where he was living. I gain some points here for being brave, and I lose some points for a pretty big lie I would apologize for the rest of my time with Matt. Oh, and I flirted with my professor. Not that anything came from it (even if I hadn't been with Matt), but it was worth noting for weirdness alone. He later gave me a nice letter of recommendation for grad school. Anyway...I think that goes in the bad karma file.
Post 1: Yeah, Matt and I didn't last too long. We have yet another string of "guys I refused to go out with more than twice." When referring to these strings of guys, I want to say that at the time I was refusing them, I really did think it was for the best for them as well. I don't know if that could factor into the Karma, oh gracious Karma dealer, but I would like it submitted into evidence. Not going out on a third date with a guy whom you don't see there being much hope for a relationship with seems like common sense. Ok, so perhaps when telling the guy you don't want to go out with him again, you should probably refrain from derogatory remarks or drunken slurs (I rarely did either, happy to report). Another incident I'd rather not discuss, but I'd still like to give myself 5 karma points for doing the best I could in a truly awkward situation.
This and the following 6 years would constitute my "being mean to random boys" years. You know, the years where you go to bars to have fun and act like guys are idiots if they flirt with you? No? You don't know? Oh, that's because I'm a bitch, and I've got the bad love karma to prove it. From this chapter, I'd like to highlight the following exchange:
In Destin FL, with friend Sara. A guy who worked at an LA Fitness (I remember because I thought that meant he lived in LA, and it didn't). He flirted with us; I was having none of it and no doubt said something mean that triggered him to call me overweight. (I was *maybe* 5 pounds overweight.) I said "yeah, well, it's your job to believe you can fix that problem. But there's no fix to making you smarter." That's right, I said that. I'm the worst.
Post 2: Matt some more, and one other guy whom I actually did see more than twice but was surprisingly not interested in anything but my body. I see this as the exception that proves the rule in terms of my being a good judge of character. This is when I took a screenwriting course with all guys. Gotta say, those were some fun times after class.
Post 3: Oh, did I forget to mention my massive crush on another gay guy (yeah, I said another, what of it)? That happens around here. Oh, and Matt of course.
2 years of Grad School: Lots of guy friends, no boyfriends. Welcome relief. I did crush on a guy in a relationship. Because clearly that was a good way to stay out of one, and I needed that.
Post Grad 1, 2, 3: And we're back to Matt already, are we? We can summarize the next three years with Matt and another string of guys I refused to see more than twice. And my mom died in there somewhere. Surely that's worth a karma point? Also, this is when I told Sara I wasn't going to be mean to guys anymore, so she made me talk to that guy in Puerto Rico. You know, the ex-con who may or may not have had the dead body of his girlfriend up in his room? Anyway, much to her amusement, I chatted with him and was nice to him, and I think I deserve some good karma for it. Ante up!
Post Grad 4: Matt's finally gone, for reals. And all of the munchkins rejoiced in Oz. Instantly went out with two guys I would refuse to see more than twice....that same week. Dumped both by saying I wasn't over my ex. Yeah, which was kinda the point of going out with them, right? One was super nice and wonderful, and I really regret the timing there. Oh well.
Post Grad 5: A date here or there, but pretty slow as I nursed my wounds and became the awesomely independent person I am today who would never fall back into the Venus Fly Trap that is Matt. There was the guy who told me he had a crush on me. I'm proud to say that I was really nice to him and respected his brave honesty...in front of a group of people no less. It even made me think - if I were in Georgia, would I date him? I pretty much think I would have. C'est la vie.
Post Grad 6: Well, here we are, my friends. You see how I got here. You see I deserved what has come to me. But the real question is: has the bad karma finally been repaid? Can it ever be repaid?
I'm an eternal optimist, so I say yes it can be indeed. Rain drops are going to clear up, put on a happy face. I don't know if it has been repaid or if I have a few more blows to come, but I know I will overcome this. Because after all, WWBJD.