Wednesday, May 31, 2006

home alone

My best friend roommate left today, off to sell her soul to some fancy schmancy accounting internship with a Big Four firm. While I’m really excited about getting to run around the apartment naked all the time, this means no more in-house therapist/ice cream buddy/partner in crime for at least two months. Sad day.

The fact is that sometime in the past eight years or so that we’ve been friends, Lauren has gotten to know me like no other. Through the horror that was junior high, surviving high school, moving off to the sprawling metropolis of Baton Rouge for college, getting our own place together, falling in love with boys, falling out of love with boys, getting our hearts broken, dating her older brother, and countless hours spent distracting her from her homework, we’ve developed a friendship that’s closer to sisterhood.

In high school I once punched a guy nearly three times my size because he fucked with my friend. I spent three days of hard time in in-house suspension for that, and never once thought I shouldn’t have done it.

She’s the one who “gets” me. She calls me on my bullshit, tells me why I should still be angry with people I’d be more likely to forgive, sustains date-threatening injuries in an effort to make me a bowl of soup, and understands things about me that I fear no one else ever will.

I have a lot of friends. I have several very close friends. I have one Best Friend. She’s my #1 pick.

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La di da di da di da di

I'm in such an oh-so-pleasant mood today.

Oh yes, apparently it's the week of mood swings, but that's cool with me. I'm not sure if it's the sunshine, or the fact that a new project I'm starting at work is kicking off today, or the abundance of male attention, or the still-good hair, but I'm not complaining. It's surprisingly easy to not fret over a particular boy I was beginning to like who has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.

I'm back to three jobs now, as of today, because I'm po' as fuck. On the one hand, I'm pissed that I've had to crawl right back to waitressing, for I am not a big fan of waitressing. I have worked at this particular restaurant before, and I quit because I didn't feel valued as a person. All they care about is how fast I can get their fucking food out. They don't give a shit whether I'm intelligent, or caring, or counsel suicidal callers at my other job. I am nothing but a piece of equipment to them, and I'm not okay with that.

On the other hand, I'm making fat cash, which can in turn be used to finance such necessities as cover charges, alcohol, cigarettes and eating out. To borrow from a fellow blogger, these are all essential contributions to the category of Things That Make Charlotte Happy.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

back on the wagon

I woke up yesterday having shed my funk. You just can't keep a good dog down.

There are more fish in the sea than I could ever date in a lifetime, sounds like a lot of free dinner to me. Someday I'll be put back together again, and I'll be ready to give somebody new all that I have inside of me. But I don't think that time has come yet, and apparently neither do my friends, as they've so kindly informed me. For the time being, dating every guy I'm moderately attracted to provides me with entertainment and helps keep me fed (I'm living below the poverty line here, people).

Women in the South have this complex about getting married young. They self-identify through the acquisition and maintenance of a husband. Well I got shit to do first, and I'm not in any hurry.

The sun's out, I'm having a good hair day, and I've got three dates this week. It's getting better all the time.

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

i feel like an alanis morissette song

I was hoping I'd awake today feeling less desolate, and instead found only a partial explanation (it's now obvious that some cyclical hormonal fluctuations are likely contributing to my languished demeanor). It's raining outside, to match my mood.

This is pathetic. Even a date for lunch didn't cheer me up. I ate my food, constantly wondering what time it was, how much longer it'd be before I could politely excuse myself. Dates and food are two of my favorite things, what the fuck is wrong with me? I hate feeling like this.

A friend of mine suggested the other night that perhaps I take a break from dating, he said it seems to be consuming my life. Is that true? And if so, do I see anything wrong with it?

My ex jumped into another relationship right after we broke up. I would give anything to not live right around the corner from him, to not see our old friends everwhere I go, to forget all about it. I feel almost as if I have to prove (to him, to our friends, to myself?) that I'm just as fabulous, desirable, and "over it" as he is despite the fact that he's got something shiny and new and I don't. This whole facade of being totally fine is so very exhausting, because I'm not. I'm okay, I'm moving on, and I'm generally very happy, but how can anyone expect me to be completely and totally over it six months later?

So I date all these guys, a slightly ridiculous amount of guys, in an effort to fill some void I'm not quite able to identify, and I tell myself that I'm living the good life. It's a precarious arrangement. Every time something starts to turn slightly more than casual, my balance is completely destroyed. I hold these guys at such a distance, and the moment I begin to let one get close, all of my nasty old habits begin rising to the surface.

Maybe I'm not ready for a new relationship, but what does ready really mean? Ready means I'm not fucked up over the last one anymore.

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Cruel Summer

This college town's gotten empty and I'm in a funk.

I suck when I get lonely. The independence and self-assurance I usually pride myself on vanishes and I regress to old habits of stagnation and vulnerability. Perhaps this is just a normal human reaction, or perhaps its evidence that everything I'm proud of changing about myself is nothing but a farce.

All my friends go home for the summer, and I start laying around all day and craving a man to make me happy. Not gonna happen. No man will ever make me happy. No no no. And the moment I start believing that that's a possibility is the moment I kiss any chance at true happiness good bye. Happiness is about making a decision to be happy, and it comes from within. No one and no thing can bring me out of a funk, I have to pull myself out.

So what do I do now? I am a social person by nature, but when I get like this I tend to withdraw, only finding satisfaction in mass media and sexual activity. Get up early tomorrow, do some laundry, walk the lakes, force myself to be social for lunch, then what? There's only one person I feel like spending time with right now, a charming young buck who's coming real close to warranting exclusivity, but I fear the whole dependence/vulnerability thing is turning me into a clinger.

I've fallen off the wagon, and I'm stumbling in the dark to find my way back up. I fear that this is the beginning of a long two months.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Go to hell, Congress. Go to hell.

Warrantless wiretapping of American citizens? A-okay.

But search a congressman's quarters with a warrant and they all throw a fit. wtf?

What do you have to hide, oh trusted lawmakers? If it's okay to listen in on my phone calls because I have friends in low places, why is it not okay to apply standard methods of investigation to the likes of you when there's evidence of corruption?

I don't understand why they all rally together when one of their own gets busted. It seems as though they would want to distance themselves as much as possible. I'm a Louisiana Democrat, just like Jefferson, and I think he's a piece of shit for taking bribes. If that's his idea of leadership, he's not helping me, my state, New Orleans, my country, anybody. He doesn't deserve my support or my sympathy.

Democrat or Republican, it's about honesty and integrity, and doing what's best for our nation. I'm sad to see that one of the only things able to bring the two parties together is fear that they might be next to have their dirty laundry aired.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

did I ever mention that I was in AmeriCorps?

What is AmeriCorps, you may ask? They explain it all here.

Anyway, the experience pretty much changed my life, in several ways. For one, the concept of service became so ingrained in my soul that I doubt I'll ever be the same. I had always wanted to go into a helping profession (when I was younger it was teaching, now it's social work), but my eleven months as a corps member changed my outlook. Now I see service as more of a way of living, rather than an activity to engage in. To live your life in a manner which lightens the burden of others is to do your part for the betterment of mankind. You must be the change you wish to see in the world--that's not going above and beyond, that's just pulling your own weight.

Another thing about my experience--for the first time in my life, I was an ethnic minority. I grew up in a town that was almost painfully homogeneous, crediting most of it's growth to the phenomenon of white flight from New Orleans. Everyone there works in New Orleans, but none of them want to live in the city, so they move across the lake. In my AmeriCorps experience, I experienced for the first time how it feels for someone to see your skin color before they see your face or hear your name. For the first time in my life, I was "white" before I was "Charlotte," and it was eye opening. I was immersed in black culture for eleven months, and gained a lot of perspective on plurality. My culture is not the only one worth knowing about, and my experience in life is by far not the only one worth consideration.

I could go on forever, but in short, AmeriCorps affected me deeply. It changed me forever, challenging who I thought I was and where I thought I came from. It forced me to give deeply of myself, to question my circumstances, and to be the change I wish to see in the world.

To quote Gloria Anzaldua, “In attempting to work out a synthesis, the self has added a third element which is greater than the sum of its severed parts." That experience took me apart, changed me around, and put me back together again, so that I will never be the same. I wrote a paper about it for a literary theory class, if any of you are into that kind of thing. It's available here.

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Ghandi

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Monday, May 22, 2006

hey everybody, come see how good i look!

I've been teaching myself a little bit of html (and learning to use a wysiwyg editor), and made myself a profile that doesnt suck quite as much as the one Blogger provides. You can view it here.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

what I really need, is to win the lottery

I just had 97 hits in under eight minutes from an IP address in my hometown. Who the fuck from Slidell knows about my blog??? Please reveal your identity.

I called my mom, ya know, just to see if she mentioned somehow stumbling upon it. She didn't. She did, however, ask how I was doing financially, to which I was responded, "Very poorly, but I really don't want to talk about it unless you want to give me money."

I'm really in the hole right now, and I was gonna just live on ramen noodles and water until the first of the month. I didn't want to ask my parents for money again. But she asked me how much I needed, then told me she'd pay my tuition and fees for the summer and put $300 in my checking account on Monday morning. God I love my mom. We don't always get along, but she totally just saved my ass out of pure generosity. I seriously hung up the phone and started dancing around my living room. I feel like I want to run outside and give somebody a hug now.

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addicted? perhaps.

So, my name is Charlotte, and I am a date-aholic.

There are a few basic reasons behind my affinity for frequent non-exclusive dating, mostly centering around the fact that I'm a)horny, b)hungry, and c)fabulously single.

I’ve mentioned my past relationship more times here than I care to admit. I worry often that the frequency of this topic's occurrence in my posts suggests that I'm less "over it" than I like to think, but I'm not in the mood to self-analyze.

I'm in no hurry to jump into another relationship--not to say that I don't want one. The idea of having one person who meets my social, emotional, and sexual needs, all in one, seems blissful. The tricky part is finding someone who actually meets my needs, not just someone who I can call my boyfriend. It's important to me to avoid arbitrarily slapping the label on the first willing candidate.

So yeah, I go on as many dates as possible, sometimes up to three in one week. I go out, I meet new people, I have fun. I get free food and the occasional sleepover if he’s lucky. What’s not to love?

Tease? No. Just classy.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

I'm Back!


I don't even really know what to say right now, I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. I've basically spent the last six days in a semi-utopian society. It was weird, it was fun, it was incredibly challenging at times, and I'm so glad that I went. They told me I'd gain ten pounds and fifty friends, and I most certainly did.

On a lighter note, inquiring minds would like to know what I mean by "date-aholic." I'd explain, but I have to go get ready for a date (seriously). I promise to expand upon that topic next post. Right now I gotta get all hottified for The Accountant.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Oh Crap!

JCMF -Will you be my guest blogger while I am away?
i don't have anything to write about, what would i say? Its such an honor i really can't turn her down
Me - Can I write about politics?
JCMF - You can write about anything you want.
Me - Can I write about guys?
JCMF - You can write about anything you want.
Me - Can I write about the time we went to get BOBs?
JCMF - HA HA! You can write about anything you want.
Me - OK.

Days go by and still can't think of anything.

Check voice mail, "hey just calling to see how the blogging thing is coming along"
oh crap!

Sorry Char. You really are Just too Fabulous compared to my blogging-challenged self.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

they're making me sleep in a cabin

At noon tomorrow (today now I suppose), I'll be hopping on a charter bus to a retreat center in the middle of nowhere, for six days of leadership camp.

SIX DAYS of leadership? That's a lot of feigned enthusiasm to maintain.

Anyway, a good friend of mine will be guest blogging. She's quite fabulous. I'll allow her to make her own introductions.

Y'all don't miss me too terribly. I'll be back Friday.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I've got to let it go, and leave it gone

My eyes are burning as I struggle to focus on the computer screen. I'm drunk and exhausted, but I just don't think I can sleep right now.

I exhibited incredible strength tonight. I went to the home of someone who ripped my heart out, because that's where the party was, and treated it like a party, not a fucking nightmare. I had fun dancing and seeing so many of my old friends from high school. And hopefully I managed to hide my discomfort appropriately.

And now I'm depressed and I dont know why, because I dont want this guy anymore. I dont know why it still hurts me. It's just hard to let go of the past.

I thought to myself as we walked in, "I can do this."

And I did, and I'm glad I did.

I realize I've been posting a lot about the ex lately. It happens.

I hope that that someday never comes again.

Props if you get the lyrics. Peace out.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

I finally figured out some things you'll never know

I don't know shit.

As much as I think I've got it all figured out every now and then, I'm still just a kid. A twenty-one year old without a fucking clue.

Maybe that's the point.

Maybe the reason I'm happier now is that I don't always try to have it all figured out. I just do my best, and do what I want.

And you know what my favorite part is?
I can't remember the last time I cried.

If you were me, you'd be amazed too.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

oh my god my skirt's on fire!

Tailgating before a football game last fall, I was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette when I felt a sharp pain on my thigh. I brushed at it absentmindedly, but the sensation increased and expanded. I looked down, and to my shock and amazement, my skirt was ON FIRE. I started hitting it, but that just pushed the fire against my skin, so I turned to my friend Taylor, exclaiming, "Oh my God my skirt's on fire!" and asked her to pour her beer on it, but fortunately she realized that ALCOHOL was probably not the best thing to pour over a flame, and started beating the hell out of my leg. It stopped burning with only an inch or so sacrificed from my skirt, and I continued my tailgating, showing off my singed apparel as a testament to my hardcoreness.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can

Ya know, it occurs to me often how drastically different my life is now than it was six months ago. I'm so much stronger, happier, social, and self-confident now. Life changes so quickly. Five years ago, I had just gotten my driver's license and first car and was struggling to have as much freedom and independence as I could wrangle from my parents. Three years ago, I was just about to graduate from high school, excited about going off to college and giddy about my new boyfriend. From that point on, it gets hard to define, but I know that my life has significantly changed from how it was a year or six months ago in ways that are difficult to describe here. The difference is that I'm happy now. Sometime in the past three years, I became bitter, dependent, and dissatisfied. And now I'm happier than I have been since high school.

I know that it was a combination of factors that contributed to this change, both intrinsic and extrinsic. Some changes came about from decisions I made myself, some decisions were made for me without my consent. But what it boils down to is that there's one person I desperately want to share my progress with, and I'm not able to.

I've had to accept that no matter how long we were together, no matter how much he said he loved me, no matter how many times he told me he wanted to still be friends, the fact is that he doesn't really give a fuck what's going on in my life now. It hurts, and I certainly still care about how he's doing. And whether I think he's right or fair is irrelevant.

I don't claim to be a Christian at all, but the Serenity Prayer seems appropriate here. And someday it won't matter to me whether he ever calls to see how I'm doing. But ya know, it's only been six months, and someone once told me it takes half the time you were together to really be over it. I think I'm doing extremely well for being six months out of a three year relationship. I'm happy now, on my own, and I'm proud of myself. I don't need him to acknowledge me to know that I'm an amazing person.

I cannot change him; I can change me.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Least Flattering Picture Ever Taken of Me

Coincidentally, I'm being groped (usually a pleasant activity for me).

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Always Up For a Project...

My logic is infallible...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

lunch with the sis

"So do you seriously just want to be a housewife?"

"Yup, a spoiled lazy housewife."

"What will you do for fun?"


"What will you do for personal growth and satisfaction?"

"Have sex."

We had drinks well before noon, caught up a bit, and tied cherry stems in knots with our tongues (She's got mad skills. She did like four in the time it took me to do one). We're so drastically different, but I love her so.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's a Beautiful Night

Surprise, spaghetti, peach champagne, birthday cake, family guy, aqua teen, pimps and ho's, hip hop, happy. Friends, fellowship, freedom.

It's five in the morning. I just got home.

I never would have allowed myself to have nights like this had I never gone through the pain of losing my everything.

Fuck it if it's dead week. Fuck my GPA. I'm making the memories now that I never knew I was missing out on.

And Lauren, you're still the captain of my A-Team. Thanks for feeding Harold.