Sunday, April 23, 2006

Letters to Liz: October 5, 1995: Part I

Dear Liz,

Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. Such a charming way to open a letter, don’t you think? It grabs the reader’s attention in an inviting manner, so they are eager to continue reading. You do feel eager, don’t you? This job is driving me crazy, and as you well know, I need no help at all with insanity; I generate it perfectly well without any outside assistance. All I do is sit here and panic. I’ve got to figure out a way to study for the GRE while at work, but sitting and reading a book is frowned upon. If ever in my life I am in a position to hire a temp, or even a full time employee for an excruciatingly boring job, I will encourage them to read or entertain themselves in whatever manner they choose as long as it doesn’t violate any laws or interfere with their responsibilities. I would be such an enlightened employer, though my lack of business acumen would inevitably result in bankruptcy and layoffs, so my employees would end up hating me anyway. You just can’t win.

Well, guess what I’m doing this weekend? I’m going to see Rich get married. But wait! I think I did mention that to you already. Well, you must have been able to guess pretty easily then. I’m really excited about seeing him. It’s kinda scary, though, he’s my first friend to get married. Pretty soon, you’ll all start getting married until I’m the only one left, doomed to be the perennial spinster. Excuse me, the perennial spinster-temp, who never got a PhD because she was a loser and failed the GRE. Egads. Egads. Egads. What’s a poor idiot to do?

Well, Debbie came into town. Last Saturday. Was supposed to call me Saturday or Sunday. Called last night (Wednesday). I was so pissed. Can you imagine if I’d pulled a stunt like that? I was vacillating all week between being worried and angry, and now I’m just angry. I did yell at her, though. She was babbling on as if everything was fine, and I interrupted her and told her if she ever pulled anything like that again, I’d kill her. I think she might have shit a brick, she was so shocked. I mean we all know what a milquetoast I am. My friends completely control me and walk all over me and it take strong people like Debbie to get me out of messes. Can you see how I’m rolling my eyes?

Don’t get me wrong. I definitely appreciate her wisdom and advice. Well, not always the advice - you know she seriously thinks I’ll be married to Matt within a year, and doesn’t at all understand how ludicrous that is. I’ve tried to explain otherwise, but she won’t listen and I’m getting sick of her assumptions about Matt and how I feel about him. Example: last night on the phone I was telling her that I got a T.V. and said something casually about wanting my own so as not to have to rely on Matt to see shows I liked, or assume that I’d always be welcome to show up at his place if something was on that I wanted to see. She says to me, in all seriousness, “that’s ridiculous. You’ll be married to him soon, of course you can go over there anytime you want and watch T.V.” It matters not if I talk til I’m blue in the face trying to convince her otherwise. I’ve noticed she simply does not register things she doesn’t agree with. I love and value her in so many ways, but Liz, she’s driving me fucking batty. I hope this doesn’t sound too whiny or pathetic, but I just want friends who accept me as I am and don’t try to mold me in their own image, or their image of how I should be.

You know, I am just dying to hear from you. I keep trying to imagine where you are. Let’s see, you’re probably still a day away, unless you have been keeping a truly grueling pace, in which case, you’re already there. What’s it like? How was the drive? You’d better call me soon. I’m still being pretty good in regards to Matt, but it’s all in vain, because I will be single again soon enough (which really puts a crimp in the wedding plans, eh?) Let me start a new paragraph.

Welcome to the new paragraph. Anyway, he’s having a bit of a nervous breakdown. Actually, that’s something of an understatement. He submitted his two-week notice on Monday and thinks if he quits his job he will jumpstart his life and get out of the lethargic rut he finds himself in (sound familiar yet???) Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; he’s really miserable with his job and what he’s doing with his life and I think it’s a good decision. But he wants to do something radically new with himself, find a new self, who knows. And, one way or the other, I think I’ll be out of the picture. He’s been so moody and withdrawn, and kind of cold the last few days. He’s only confiding a bare minimum to me, even though he’s obviously upset, and spends the majority of time talking all this over with Richard. I guess I’m kinda hurt he’s not turning to me. I feel shut-out and rejected (read the last sentence in an overly exaggerated operatic wail as I begin to make fun of myself and my penchant for dating guys with serious problems whether it be criminal psychosis, chronic asshole-ishness & immaturity, or a perpetual state of identity crisis.) It must be me. As I’m sure you remember, this was one of the primary reasons we broke up last time -- Matt was in the grips of another identity crisis that has too many creepy parallels to the current one. It’s just all too familiar, and what kills me is he’s been perfectly normal, satisfied with his lot in life for the last 4 or 5 years, basically since about the time we broke up. Re-enter moi into his life and suddenly he’s in a soul-searching crisis. Do the pheromones I exude cause men to go insane? Or is it some magical power over which I have no control? A karmic curse resulting from past lives filled with evil behavior towards men?

After this one reaches its inevitable messy and painful conclusion, I AM entering a convent. Really. I’m serious this time.

Overall, though, I’m still deliriously happy with my lot in life. (Well, maybe not deliriously happy, but at least generally content.) I wish you could see my apartment, it’s looking wonderful. Did I tell you about the bookcases I made? They’re the old standard: cinderblocks and pine boards, but I sanded and stained them, then painted the blocks a nice antique white. They really look good if I may be so immodest. I also have a bunch of plants and a cool new lamp and other stuff I won’t bore you with. I think I will be happy here, and hopefully I’ll be able to save up enough money to come see you. Get a job at an airline, will you?? I occasionally get awfully morose over how far away you are. How will I cope, now that you’re not a roadtrip away??? I need to win the lottery.

So, what was the drive like? God, it must have been so exciting, driving all the way west. And how did it go with Mark meeting your folks? Was he on his best behavior? How did Bob take the meeting? How are your nerves? Have you recovered yet? And I still haven’t heard about Mark’s family. This is driving me crazy! (Cue Patsy Cline… I’ve been listening to her a lot. I’m become a country music fan, aren’t I? I should probably kill myself on principle.)

Well, I’ll go for now, but perhaps I will write you more later today. It’s going to be a long, slow day.



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