Tuesday, October 31, 2006

surrogate sis

I consider myself a pretty damn good big sister. Some of you may protest that perhaps conning my sis into taking on a position as my Personal Assistant may not exactly be the nicest thing a sister could do, but that's one minor transgression in a sea of good deeds. Besides, she's poor, and I'm paying her.

My sister and I are only thirteen months apart. Our closeness in age caused no small amount of vicious fighting throughout our entire childhood and adolescence. Who stole whose clothes, who lost their virginity in the other one's bed, who hogs the phone and the internet, who ate all the ice cream, etc. There was screaming, things were thrown, we were often left with scratch marks and bruises after being pulled off of each other.

Even when I moved away to college, we still couldn't spend more than a weekend in the same house without screaming at each other. I didn't come home very often after my freshman year, and although she was still living at home she wasn't around much when I was there. We rarely talked and when we did it was for a practical purpose. I guess we didn't really think we had much in common.

Then Katrina hit. To make a long story short, she stayed with me for two months, living on an air mattress in my dining room. We had to learn to act like grown-ups, to be polite to each other, to support each other through a time that was stressful for all of us. I got her a job at the place where I was waitressing and shared my car with her until she could get a new one, she cleaned up after herself and tried her best to be polite and considerate in close quarters. We helped each other out and tried hard to get along, because it was the only thing to do.

We're so much closer now. She moved back to my parents' house for about six months, but is now living back in Baton Rouge, right down the street from me. We do stuff together and hang out with some of the same people. Her boyfriend and mine are friends. When she dropped by the Halloween party I went to on Saturday, I brought her around to everybody asking if they'd met "my beautiful sister." She calls me for my opinion on whether she should skip class because it's raining, or give away her shift to go hang out with her boyfriend. I call her to feed my rabbit or get my oil changed when I have way too much to do. We depend on each other. We're nice to each other. I like it.

So today, a good friend of mine's younger sibling needs her big sister. Her sis, unfortunately, lives in Alabama and isn't here to give her baby sister a hug to help her through her first big breakup. So I called her up, and I'm taking her to dinner tonight, just like I would for my own dear sister. Because that's what big sisters are for.

Monday, October 30, 2006

my favorite part was the red lipstick

What do you get when you mix a string of pearls, fancy stockings with a backseam, a white polka dot dress, forty-seven bobby pins, and a can of orange hair spray?

I Love Lucy!

Thanks to the most dedicated Personal Assistant ever, my wonderful sister (she finally accepted the position after the fact that I was willing to pay her really sunk in), I had a costume I loved. She guided me through the entire process, from the disaster of realizing another couple was already planning to go as referees, our original costume idea, to coming up with another idea only to have me whine (after she'd purchased all the materials) that a toga is not at all becoming to me after all, to finally coming up with a great idea and even loaning me some materials out of her personal collection. Yes, she maneuvered with grace and composure the delicate sensibilities of an overworked, underpaid, reluctant socialite, desperate to fake her way into the ranks of an elite group she deep down wants nothing to do with--The TKE Girlfriends' Club.

So we were Lucy and Ricky, and it was incredibly fun. If any pictures turn up on facebook I'll be sure to put one up here. I had a few too many shots and called him Ricky all night, begging him to say, "Luuucyyy, you got some 'splainin to do!!!" And don't you ever believe it was easy getting hair that's a good six inches past my shoulders and most certainly not red up into a mass of orangy curls atop my head. Don't worry, I didn't make my sister forgo her own costume preparations in order to treat me like a diva, I did my own hair.

She's been my official Personal Assistant for a total of five days now, and so far I owe her $38. It's a solid investment for the peace of mind I've gained. I should teach her to write papers on Oscar Wilde and John Milton, my life would be sweet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What I would have my Personal Assistant do for me:

  • Make my shirt for Halloween
  • Go to the bank
  • Pick up prescriptions
  • Get my brake tag and registration renewed
  • Bring me lunch at work
  • Clean out my car
  • Do my laundry
  • Feed my rabbit
  • Keep a calendar of my meetings and social obligations (I'm sorry, you'll have to speak with my Personal Assistant to see if I'm available)

And that's just the beginning. I'm sure I could come up with much more. Anyone know of any qualified applicants?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

my life is terribly unjust

I went to Houston this weekend and all I got was a bladder infection.

Well, that's not completely honest. I also got drunk. And I learned a lot. But me dancing in a hotel bar to "Born on the Bayou" is not one of my prouder moments of the weekend, so I'll move on to something much more interesting--my bladder.

The medicine for the "bacteria party" in my bladder (as the doctor so eloquently put it) makes my piss turn day-glo orange. It looks like tang, or orange food coloring, and it's rather creepy. I'm not used to associating the color of my urine with food products.

In other news, I've been considering hiring a personal assistant for some time now. Some of you may think this is a bit pretentious of me, but I consider it a vital need. I decided to recruit my sister, since she's poor and will do anything for money (give her a call sometime and see just how far she'll go--just kidding...mostly), but she was a bit reluctant.

I begged and begged until she agreed, then told her the first thing I needed her to do was make me a shirt for my Halloween costume. When she refused I fired her. She responded by saying, "Well, I'm sorry this didn't work out."

So I'm back to square one, with orange piss and still no personal assistant.

Friday, October 20, 2006

friday never felt so good

I've been completely stressed this week, with way too much to do and way too little time to do it. It seems that I'm rather enchanted at the moment, however, because everything seems to have fallen perfectly into place. Assignments got pushed back, my wonderful sister put herself aside for a moment to really help me out, and I've got a little extra time to get things done this afternoon before leaving town.

I'm going to Houston this weekend for National Conference for StandUp For Kids, and, now that I'm past the point of cursing it for being such an added stress, I'm really excited. I'll get to talk to Executive Directors of other programs that have been up and running for years, and hopefully come back with a better idea of how to make my own program a success. Besides, it'll be fun. Coming along with me are two of my favorite girls in the world, and generally the national staff of SUFK are a pretty fun bunch, if nothing else.

In other news, I schedule classes for my very last semester of undergrad this Sunday. I'm so freakin excited. I'm taking fifteen hours of the easiest classes I can manage. I really just want to fuck around and take a much-deserved break this last semester, and so that's what I'm going to do. It's going to be glorious.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

last November was a bitch

It occurs to me that we're quickly approaching that time of year in which the event which sparked the creation of this blog occured. I think often about how much myself and my life have changed in the past year, and I feel very proud about it. I spent three of the most formative years of my life in a relationship that I didn't anticipate an end to. I never would have guessed a year ago that I'd be where I am now, and yet I'm so very glad to be here.

Someone did me a favor by breaking my heart, essentially kicking me out of a dysfunctional behavioral pattern that I was desperately clinging to. I took a look around at my life and realized that the loss of the relationship had blown apart a tenuously constructed facade barely hiding a fairly miserable existence. I had a lot of work to do, and I was doing it alone. I made some changes, had some fun, and grew up a lot.

I dated no less than eleven guys in six months. I went out almost every night, blew way too much money on fun, and smoked perhaps a bit too much pot, but it was good for me. I lightened up a bit, opened my eyes, tried to stop living the way I had been.

And now? Now I'm fifteen hours away from graduating, I've got a better job than I did before, and a plan for my future that's not entirely dependent upon the presence of any male in particular, or whatsoever. I've got a hell of a lot more friends, a smile on my face that I actually mean, and a sense of myself as an adult. Last but not least, I've got a new relationship that, while not perfect, I'm extremely happy with and am able to view in more realistic terms than the last one. I've learned that projected happiness isn't what matters, it's happiness within.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and I most certainly did not let that kill me. Having a boy break my heart was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I was gonna go to class but I took a nap
I coulda studied and I coulda passed but I took a nap
I failed my fucking midterm and I said "Snap!"
Cause I took a nap, cause I took a nap, cause I took a nap.

At this very moment, I've got half a semester's worth of literary theory and Oscar Wilde to read, and instead I'm altering Afroman lyrics to describe the predicted outcome of my Brit Lit midterm. I seem to keep forgetting I haven't graduated yet...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

musings on my hood

My apartment community is comprised of various types of potheads.

Behind me and up a floor, with his balcony overlooking my back porch, is the Russian Kleptomaniac, as I so affectionately have dubbed him. He grew up in Moscow and moved to the States in high school, coincidentally landing in the same New Orleans suburb I spent my first eighteen years calling home. His father worked for the space program in Russia and got recruited to join the other team, now working at the oddly placed space center just over the state line in rural Mississippi. He went to the rich kid high school in my hometown, and in typical form is a misguided pill-popping genius. He got arrested recently for stealing various petty items out of cars in our parking lot in a drug-induced loss of self-control, but swears that he was just trying to do a good deed--teaching folks a lesson about locking their doors--and that he fully intended to return everything the next day, as soon as the drugs wore off. He's waiting now to see if that charge combined with a couple DUI's on his record will result in a deportment, which would put quite a damper on his pursuit of a nearly-finished physics degree from LSU.

Next door are the good ol' boys. With a rifle rack in the back window of his pickup and a complete inability to park in any manner conducive to fitting an appropriate amount of cars in an extremely small parking lot, he's solidified his standing with me as a redneck. He can often be found guzzling cheap beer out of cans on the front porch, but he keeps a good, steady job and turns the music down when we ask politely. He's got bumper stickers and yard signs for right-wing politicians on his truck and in his front window, but at least he votes. I'm much more pleased with votes against my party than with ignorant apathy.

Last but not least, are the upstairs neighbors. If they were next door, or in the next building, I might find them amusing, perhaps even likeable. But directly above my apartment they are an overwhelming nuisance. They're of a different breed of redneck--straight out the trailer park. And believe you me, I spent enough of my misguided youth in and around trailer parks to know the type. Broken beer bottles and dried up loogies litter the area below their balcony, right outside my front door. As none of them hold any kind of steady employment, they have a complete disregard for the peace vs. party schedules of normal folks, and frequently crank up a cacophonous combination of country and rap on random weeknights. Their very white friends often share with the neighborhood their freestylin' talents, rapping their little lungs out from the top of the stairs, and I have on more than one occassion had the pleasure of their admiring advances (years of experience has taught me that I am their type). I once came home to one of them sleeping on the sidewalk in front of our building. Nick and I offered to help him upstairs, reminding him that perhaps he would be more comfortable inside, and that his door had been left wide open, but he insisted that he wanted to sleep on the sidewalk, and anyone who was a real friend would understand that and leave him be. Nick went upstairs and peaked in the door to see if there was anybody we could notify of his unconventional sleeping arrangements, but found only a very large half-naked redneck passed out on the floor with a bottle still in his hand, so we let them be.

Cause the boys in the hood are always hard.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

because I tend to obsess about my future

Clearblue Easy tells me I'm not pregnant, so all is right in the world. Of course, everything in my body decided to get back on normal schedule about two hours after I took the test. I never thought I'd be so relieved to have cramps. I think it was just stress, thank you for your supportive comments. And Megan has a very good point about the immaculate conception thing. I'll have to ponder on that for a bit.

On a vaguely related note, I've been thinking a lot, again, about where I want to be next year. I go back and forth between going out of state or staying here. I'll make up my mind to go, and then a few weeks later, I start having doubts again. When I thought I could be pregnant, I figured I would just take a year off and then go to LSU for my master's, and the idea of sticking around didn't seem bad at all, with the whole baby thing. And this just gets me thinking, that sometime in the next five years or so, I probably will want to start a family, and the idea of doing it several states away from my mom, sister, aunts and cousins is terrifying, at the very least. I know that wherever I go to grad school is likely to be where I end up staying. If I don't leave now, I never will, and if I leave, I'll never come back.

Another point that my mother made, is that the social services industry is booming in Louisiana right now, thanks to Katrina, and my prospects for future employment here would be very good. I'm fairly close with my family, especially my sister, and I think I could be happy here. I think my kids would be happier having aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins all within a reasonable distance. And if I stay in Louisiana, it doesn't really matter if I got both of my degrees from the same school, because LSU is so trusted in the area.

I'm just not sure if I'm actually making the decision that's right for me, or if I'm rationalizing a decision to stay because I'm scared. Is it really the food, the culture, my family, that I want to stay for? Is it really Mardi Gras and crawfish boils and birthday parties at Grandma's, or is it just comfort, stagnation, fear of change? Am I staying because this is the place that's right for me, or because I've never been anywhere else?

“…because she is a New Orleans girl and New Orleans girls never live anywhere else and even if they do, they always come back…To hell with no house, no car, no job, no prospects. This is where she belonged. And her mama lives here. End of discussion.”
-Chris Rose, columnist, Times-Picayune

Sunday, October 08, 2006

highs and lows

It's been a crazy week.

It all almost fell apart on Wednesday, when I found out even more hurtful truths about my boyfriend's actions over the last several weeks. I didn't know what to think, I was a mess. I'm lucky in that I work in mental health, and so I have the luxury of impromptu counseling sessions if needed. So I went up to work and talked with someone I trust as a supervisor, a counselor, and a friend, and felt much calmer after that. I had three meetings scheduled for that afternoon, two of which I was running, so getting a grip as quickly as possible was absolutely necessary. I basically got through the day on caffeine and cigarettes, and when all the meetings were done a good friend was kind enough to treat me to some good mexican and a strong margarita. I'm very lucky to have such a good support network.

On a seemingly unrelated note, one of my boyfriend's fraternity brothers is an heir to the Ruth's Chris fortune, and consequently has at his disposal various rich-people luxuries, one of which is a condo on the beach. He invited us and some other friends down for the weekend, since we had Fall Break on Thursday and Friday. Our plans to go were tentative, varying based on how pissed I was at the moment, but when one of my favorite bloggers mentioned that she lived in the area and would love to get together, everything changed and I was most certainly going, philandering boyfriend or not.

This weekend was fabulous. I love few things more than the beach, my boyfriend, bloggers and beer, all rolled up into one-fabulous three-day extravaganza. Copasetic Fish is definitely just as cool in real-life as blog-life, and I had a great time. She's right. I really do consider y'all friends. Whether I've ever seen your face or not, I feel a connection with some of you that rivals many of my real-life acquaintances. Having full access to my blog grants you a level of insight into my thoughts and feelings that I'm not willing to share with many others, and even though going into that meeting I had no idea what she looks like, how old she actually is, what she does for a living, where she went to college, or even what her real name was up until a couple of days before, it wasn't weird at all. I knew much more important things, like how she reponds to heartbreak, and what kinds of things she thinks are funny, and it didn't feel awkward at all.

So all in all, the week ended well. I'm glad I'm still speaking to Nick, I'm glad I went to the beach, and I'm glad I met CF. What I'm not glad about, is that my period's late. That just cannot be good.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

damage control

There are a million roads I could take from here, but I'm handling it the best way I know how: I'm letting him fix it. I'm still angry, I'm still hurt, but making him stay away seems like it would be punishing myself as much as him.

I spent a lot of time talking to both of our mothers yesterday. I told my professors I was sick and took the day to cope with this. He's been bringing me flowers and chocolate, taking me to dinner at my favorite restaurant, dancing with me by candelight. He's saying things he was always scared to say before. I think he's more upset than I am. I don't know what else to do but stay angry, let him spoil me, and make sure it never happens again.

Maybe I'm being stupid, naive, a pushover. Maybe I'm asking for trouble. But ya know, I've been hurt before. I can handle it. He's too perfect in too many ways for me to end it over one mistake. If it turns out I'm wrong, so be it. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

Monday, October 02, 2006

i had it all wrong

A disturbing facebook message from a stranger, a few investigative phone calls...the accusation...the admission...tearful apologies, promises and excuses. It's all falling apart. It had to be too good to be true.

He cheated. The extent of which is as yet unknown. Doesn't matter. He cheated. So many excuses...we'd been fighting, he was drunk, he's been trying to figure out how to tell me...it doesn't fix the betrayal.

He cheated. We have no foundation of trust to lean upon. We have three months together. That's it. That's not enough.

He's crying now...He's making promises. He swears it'll never happen again. He'll go to AA to control his drinking. He'll make it up to me. He'll be devastated if I end it.

Perhaps he should have thought about that when she was sucking his dick.

I don't know what to do. My brain is telling me to run. My gut's a naive dumbass and says to stay. I'm too soft for this.