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An Autumn Lesson, or, learning how to not be such a spaz.

24 Aug

School starts back up on Thursday. Three classes. Nine credits. The heaviest course loaded I’ve ever attempted while being employed full-time. In the past week, I’ve felt myself get tense. I keep catching my shoulders inching up toward my ears and my foot tap-tapping away. I am jittery and jumpy.

I spent the summer joking about what an asshole I was going to be once fall rolled back around and school started back up. Throw in a few nervous laughs for good measure, and it’s pretty clear I’ve been worried about this semester since I signed up for it back in April. I’d scale back a class, except that I know I can do this. My nerves hit before starting last semester. And the semester before that. But everything was fine. My GPA continued to inch up and my head failed to explode. Plus, if I get through this semester, I’ll be just 21 credits away from my degree. That’s 7 classes. Spring, Summer, Fall. If I keep it up, this time next year I could be entering my final semester of undergraduate work.

In order to stay sane this Autumn, I’m setting out on an additional learning adventure:

I want to:

// learn to be still.
// relax.
// let the bulk of the stress and anxiety go.

I don’t want to:

// spend the next three months stressed out, throwing snippy remarks around and stomping around the house.

SO, I’m going to:

// try new things.
// remember to breathe.
// exercise more.
// be still for a few minutes each day.
// squeeze the things bothering me really tight and then just let them go.
// remind myself that I’m lucky to have something like college and a secure job to get stressed and anxious about.
// enjoy a few mini-vacations.

By the end of the season, I hope to:

// have found something that helps me let go and relax.
// be a few steps forward on the path toward being less of a high-strung asshole.

When life gets to be too much, what helps you unwind? Do you have a hard time letting things go, or are you more of a mellow mushroom? What keeps you grounded?

Smelly Boys, Memory Refreshments, & Hostility

25 Mar

Sometimes its neat when a song, or a smell, or a sight brings up an old memory of something long forgotten.  You get to marvel at the good ole days and sing along to the song you remember singing along to the first time you drove a car by yourself, or the first time you got ready for a high school dance.  It can be great, really.  And then, there are the other times.  The times when the smell of perfume or cologne takes you on a 15 minute memory joy ride through past relationships, or when a song comes on the radio that takes you back to the very worst, no-good, horrible time in your life.

There I was, sitting in class all unsuspecting like, minding my own business, praying for an early release from class when the smell of an ex hit me.  There’s not much I can do to avoid the smell of the cologne he used to wear (or still does wear, for all I know). It’s common. It’s everywhere.  It waits for me in empty elevators. It hits me when I visit gas stations, dressing rooms, and hallways. It’s fucking everywhere.

Being a full-blown nerd and a world-class kiss-ass, I always sit near the front of class. The smell of my ex was coming from behind me though, but I couldn’t turn around because class had started and I didn’t want to be an asshole and draw any unnecessary attention to myself and besides, I knew, in my little heart of hearts, that my ex was not behind me. 

Still though, the smell made me crazy. It invoked a host of things – good and bad and in between. My mind, being totally ignorant of my hostility toward resurfacing ex memories, thwarted all my attempts to focus on the lecture and instead spent the next 2 hour and 40 minute class skipping gleefully down memory lane in a full play-by-play of our nearly three-year anniversary.  It was all, Hey Terra, you remember that time that X happened and then X happened and you said X and blah blah blah ex ex ex blah blah? And I was all, shut up, shut up, shut up, I’m trying to learn about Judaism here! I have an exam next week! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!

My memory, that asshole, can conjure up a lot in 2 hours and 40 minutes.  I also think the ventilation system in that room was timed to circulate the air, and the smell of my ex, in perfect 10 minute intervals.  The smell of cologne would start to fade, only to come back 10 times as strong as before. For 2 hours and 40 minutes.

By the time class let out, I was exhausted. Annoyed. Irritated.  Sure, it’s great to remember, but I like to remember when I want to remember, not when some guy decides to smell like some other guy.

And that’s why boys shouldn’t wear cologne. Ever.  

The End.

The Great Un-Friending of 2009, or how Facebook has changed everything

11 Dec

If I was ever unsure that social media had changed the way we maintain our friendships and communicate with others, I’m sure as shit sure about it now.

Remember that girl we let live in our house? For free? For over two months? And remember how she ate all my food, was generally sexist, never once washed the sheets on the bed and who we helped support when no one else would?

She unfriended me on Facebook yesterday.

I’m caught between being so pissed off at her that I want to track her down, smack her across the face and force her do push-ups until she dies, and laughing at myself because really? It’s fucking Facebook. Who cares?

There is, of course, a reason why she unfriended me. (I think.)

See, the moment she left her husband she started a relationship with another one of our good friends. If she wasn’t at my house, eating my food and throwing her cigarette butts in the front yard, she was over at her boyfriend’s house. We had set a deadline for this friend to be out of our house by the first week in November because really, we just couldn’t handle it anymore. So the two friends, who had been in a relationship since approximately August, got an apartment  together. Because the love. They allegedly had it.

Fast forward a bit. Friend finally goes to see her husband to sign papers to be legally separated. It’s about damn time, right? Well, instead of signing the fucking papers, this girl goes out, gets drunk with her husband, drunk drives back to her apartment, and tells our friend she’s leaving him to go back to her husband. (Her husband who, in my opinion, has a serious anger-management issue, is frequently verbally abusive and manipulative. One time, when her car got towed, he broke a glass door at our apartment building. For reals. Dude’s a little crazy.)

Three days later, she un-friends me on Facebook. Because apparently, supporting your friend makes you a giant douche. Who knew?

This is a first for me in the un-friending department. I’ve said absolutely nothing to this friend since she made her decision to go back to Crazy McCrazerson. When she made her decision to leave him, way back when, I didn’t push her. I knew it was her decision to make and my opinions had no place in that decision.  So why the un-friending?

I am, if I haven’t made it clear yet, done with her, so that’s not what’s bothering me (although I do have some feminist guilt that keeps telling me it oftentimes takes women in unhealthy relationships at least three times to leave for good and so I should reach out to her and help her but I just can’t do that because she was never even a very good friend to us and the guy whose heart she just squashed has always, no matter what, been there for us).  I think it’s the sheer audacity. That she has no reason, NONE, to un-friend me. What the hell have I done? Or maybe I’m truly a child and it’s because I didn’t get to un-friend her first because I was too busy spying on her Facebook page waiting for her to mention something about…well, anything really.

A part of me knows this ridiculous, knows that it doesn’t matter, that I’m done with her anyway but still. It still feels like a kick in the face, especially after everything we’ve done for her.

On the bright side, when we signed her up for the Army, we made $2,000, so it’s not like we came out empty-handed.

An ethical dilemma (or, trusting the internets to give me answers)

17 Nov

I need some help.  I’m pretty sure I know what I want to do about this particular problem, but I’d like some input.

Here’s the deal: I am 90% sure I witnessed another student in my class cheating.

It was quiz time. I had finished and turned in my quiz. I was looking around the room to see how many people were still working on their quizzes. Right next to me, there’s this girl and she’s looking over at her friend and, with her hand in front of her mouth is asking her things. And the friend is responding with some words that sounded like “Yeah, I think she meant…” and “Well, that’s what I put…”

This pissed me off. But I couldn’t be sure she was asking her friend for help, so I let it go. I continued to try and listen to see if her friend was, indeed feeding her answers. I decide to give her the benefit of doubt and assume that no, she wasn’t cheating or asking her friend for help. I mean really, who would do that so blatantly?

Right about this time our guest speaker walks in and our teacher starts talking to her. The cheating girl gets up, and puts her quiz in the pile of completed quizzes. I watch as she goes back to her desk, sits down and opens up her notebook to look at her notes and at the essay we were just quizzed on. She says a curse word, looks over at the teacher and sees that she’s engaged with the guest speaker, gets up, goes over to the stack of completed quizzes, pulls out her quiz from the stack, and starts furiously writing something.

I can’t not watch, because HOLY SHIT, this girl is cheating right in front of the whole entire class. I spent the whole class debating what to do. I started to stay behind in class to talk to the teacher, but didn’t because the girl in question was hanging back as well.

So what do I do?

Do I turn this girl in? And if so, how? I don’t know her name, only that she sits near me each class. Plus, if I tell the teacher, and if the teacher decides to pursue the issue, this girl could very well get kicked out of the university. Do I really want to be responsible for that? Also, if I turn her in does that make me a huge tattle-tell or just someone full of integrity and who honors the Honor Code?

Or, do I turn a blind eye to something I know is wrong? Do I let well enough alone and assume that karma will eventually get the best of this girl? Do I wait and see if it happens again, or just ignore the whole issue? And if I do ignore it, doesn’t that mean that I’m violating the Honor Code as well?

Internets! HALP!

Lesson Learned: Sometimes it’s better to be an asshole

7 Nov

Way back in August I let a friend move in with us. Her marriage hit the rocks. She needed a place to stay. I opened my house to her. Apparently, I’m generous to a fault. I assumed though, way back in August, that this would be a temporary situation.

Lesson Learned #1: NEVER assume anything when you let a friend move in with you. ALL of your assumptions will be wrong. You might think you’re doing a nice thing for a friend, but chances are your friend is a deadbeat and will instead leave dirty dishes in the sink for you to clean and let piles upon piles of dog hair accumulate in what used to be your guest room. You might also assume a normal human being would wash their sheets once in 2 months, especially considering the very furry HuskyMutt who likes to nap on said sheets, but you would be wrong (you have no idea how grossed out I am by this).

Today was a good day, mostly. My “friend” moved out. Finally. Two and half months after she moved in.

Lesson Learned #2: You might think you like this person, but after living with them for a few months, you will come to hate them. You will, because you are trying VERY VERY WAY TOO HARD to be a good friend, not mention things that are driving you totally batshit insane (like how her work is paying her over $1000 for housing and yet you’re getting NOTHING AKA ZERO DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS FOR HER TO MAKE MESSES IN YOUR HOUSE) about your friend and instead those things that are making you so damn angry will fester and blister in your pysche until you can no longer even look at your friend without wanting to scream in her face about the mistakes she’s made and what a horrible bad no-good friend she’s been to you.

I should have listened to all the advice out there. That living with a friend is a very bad, no good idea. I should have heeded that warning and realized that I’m married and married people don’t need to have roommates.

Lesson Learned #3: If you try to have some special one on one time in the shower with your husband, your roommate will, without fail, come home and ruin your special time.WITHOUT FAIL.

Don’t think for a minute having a roommate if you’re a married couple used to living alone will totally screw your love live.  It will. WITHOUT FAIL.

Lesson Learned #4: Sometimes you just need to say “no.”