All My Friends Are Couples And I’m Not: The Worst Times

They say when you’re single, all you can see in the world are happy people in couples. It’s not actually true, but it’s human nature to pick up on things others have that you don’t. Which is why, conversely, when you’re a part of a couple, it feels like everyone around you is happy and single. The grass is always greener.

I firmly believe that your brain can trick you into perceiving that this is true.

Except in my case this is actually true. And it’s the worst.

Not a secret that I’ve been on my own since early June. Typically, I’m super okay with being single. While admittedly, this past breakup has been very hard on me, I’m doing okay by myself these days. My new job is going really, really well and it looks like there’s room for advancement and I’m just really excited that it seems I’ll be in an okay place when I graduate. Losing my grandparents, as difficult as it has been, has lifted enormous amounts of weight off me and my family and everyone, myself included, is just a lot less stressed and constantly intense. What would make my life almost literally as perfect  as it could realistically be at this time is if my best friends would stop constantly reminding me that I’m alone because, seriously, they’re [accidentally] making it seem like a much bigger deal than it is.

All of my friends are in at least semi-serious relationships. I could not be happier for them. Do not get me wrong. I am not jealous of them by any means. I’m happy they’re happy, regardless of my personal opinion on their choice of partners and I hope they feel similarly excited for the things I’m excited for in my own life. What I need them to stop doing is constantly talking to me about how great their boyfriends are and filling me in on every, single detail of their relationships.

I never, ever want my friends to feel like they can’t talk to me about anything, especially the things that they’re happy about. I truly want to hear about exciting things. I’m interested in their lives. That’s why we’re friends. What I need them to realize is, though, that there are other things going on in the world than their boyfriend thinking they’re the best. By constantly, and I mean constantly, talking about their relationships in vivid and unnecessary detail, it’s like the fact that I’m alone is slapping me in the face multiple times daily.

Logically, in my own head, I understand that I’m only 21 and I have plenty of time in my life to not be alone and to quote my cousin,”early 20s with a job is a great place to be. You have plenty of time ahead of you to get it together”. But, when all of the people in your social circle have nothing to talk about other than the fact that they’re super happy with their boyfriends, it makes it feel like it’s way more important than it actually is. so – STOP IT. This is the reason I’m around less and make less of an effort to keep in touch with you. Because talking to you depresses me. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong in my life, when actually, things are going remarkably well for me these days.

And, as guilty as I feel for feeling this way, I’m equally pissed off at all of you with very few exceptions.  We are supposed to be friends. You’re not supposed to never go out anymore and never have time  for us. We all promised a long time ago that would never happen. We obviously have a better grasp now on how difficult that is because life and school intervene, but you’re supposed to make time. That’s what friendship is supposed to be. Our extremely limited time together should not be consumed by your relationship. Additionally, as my best friend(s), you should be aware that the past few months have been indescribably difficult for me and you should have a little more sensitivity. Maybe talk to one of our other friends – one who’s in a relationship, there are a ton of them – about how great your relationship is. Maybe censor that from me for a little while longer. Maybe understand that I’m still a little hurt. I don’t know, just some suggestions.

I don’t know how to say all this without sounding bitter, and maybe I am a little, who knows. I know none of you are intentionally trying to hurt my feelings. I would never think you would do that. I just wish you would open your eyes and not make me write things like this because I’m too chicken to confront you in person. I do wish a little that I could participate in those conversations still, but I can’t anymore. I can, however, describe in detail how excited I am about my senior film shoots and that I’m in line for a really great internship at work that could lead to full time work. You could ask maybe, one time, how things are going for me. I would like to go to a bar with all of you, something I haven’t done in months, and just have a really good time. You can bring your boyfriends. I don’t care. As long as I don’t have to talk to you about them.

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Making Inconsequential Small Talk Is Slowly Killing Me

I’ve chosen a life and career firmly based on my ability to network and thus, my bullshitting skills are almost unparalleled. Despite my overwhelming awkwardness, I can chat somebody up as good as anyone. I can talk current events, pop culture, weather, sports, literature, movies, tv and never politics or religion (I know the rules). I’m good at what I do.

In a non-professional setting, I hate small talk. I hate approaching people almost as much as I hate when people feel the need to fill a silence that simply doesn’t need to be filled. This is probably part of why I don’t smoke; bumming a cigarette of a stranger is one less random social encounter I’ll ever have to deal with. I don’t want to talk to cab drivers. I wish the nail salon ladies never spoke to me and especially never asked me what the tattoo on my foot means. Unless you are a very cute dude or my genuine friend or you are paying me a brief compliment, I have no interest in speaking to you in any scenario including but not limited to at the gym, in an elevator, in any line of any sort, at a concert, if you’re my waiter, when I’m eating, when I’m with anyone who I know/like more than you, or on a train. The only exceptions to this rule are at any live sporting event, but only in relation to sports, when asking for directions and/or help, but really, you have google on your phone too, and sometimes at a bar after I’ve had a few drinks and even then, I’d still prefer only my friends and cute dudes spoke to me. But, DO NOT ever come up to me in a loud bar and expect to strike up a conversation.  I will not scream over a DJ for you, random stranger (unless you’re a cute dude). Silence is an ok thing. It’s alright for it to exist in the world. Try not saying anything. I promise. It’s not so bad.

Still, I am a very friendly and polite person. I will never, ever blatantly ignore someone because, despite all of these feelings, I still have the crippling desire to be well liked by strangers. I truly appreciate when people who work in customer service are friendly. I’ve been there. I know you’re only trying to do your job well by talking to me. For this reason, I’m a great tipper. If you speak to me, I will converse with you, but you should be aware that I’m dying on the inside.

My least favorite kind of small talk, though, even more so than talking to strangers, is when I have to talk to people who aren’t strangers but also aren’t friends or co-workers. The acquaintance small talk is the absolute worst.

If we haven’t seen each other in months, there’s probably a reason for it. I do a pretty good job of making time for people I actually want to see with very few exceptions. There are some people who my schedule just doesn’t allow me to make time for. My friend Deb, for example. She is an absolute doll and one of my favorite people at Hofstra but we’re both really busy and it just never seems to come together for us. But she is the exception, not the rule. For this reason, there’s absolutely no need for you to tell me that “we HAVE to get dinner soon!” when I run into you. No, we don’t and you don’t need to say that. A simple “how’s everything? good to see you!” would suffice just fine. You’re just forcing me to make an equally phony reply and then where are we? Awkwardsville, that’s where. Additionally, if you keep pressuring me to come out with you and I keep having a reason not to, I suggest you stop trying. I genuinely do have a lot on my plate these days so there’s the chance that I might have actual reasons not to come, but the chances are, and I’m being honest, I just don’t want to go. I value my free time more than almost anything and I already see a lot less of my actual friends than I would like to, so I don’t want to spend the evening fulfilling friendly obligations when I can instead be asleep or super drunk with the people I love most in the world.

The awkward run-in small talk is something that can’t really be avoided, though. I’ll admit that. The real absolute worst is getting a text from a person who seemingly has no reason to text you, but does anyway. We have not spoken in weeks. I’m pretty sure you have literally hundreds of other people you could bullshit last night’s hockey game with. I either need you to get to the point of why you’re texting me or stop. It’s confusing. We could be actual friends who like, watch hockey games together and then talk about them. That’d be okay. But this weird thing where we’re in some kind of friendship limbo where you just text me sporadically is not going to fly.

A random text, no matter what it says, sends the message of “hey, I was thinking of you and want to talk to you but I don’t have a real reason to cite so I’m inventing one” OR “I want/need something from you but I can’t just cut to the chase”. I KNOW THIS. Wanna know how? I’ve done this. More than once. Everyone has, whether they admit it or not. More often than I care to say, in my younger days, I would text my then ex-boyfriend-away-at-college about some RANDOM ASS THING just to make sure he didn’t forget I was alive. That would lead to a few hours, maybe days, of texting and probably an additional 2 years of us dragging out our bizarro love affair much, much longer than it needed to go on. Also, there is no comfortable way to ask someone for a favor. Easing into it seems like the natural course of action. I know. I have been there.

But ya know what? I don’t do that now! Because it’s awful and I hate when people do it to me. Either 1. Figure out why it is that you actually want to talk to me so badly and say that or 2. Get to the point. If you can do neither of those things, don’t bother. It should be a simple part of texting etiquette, much like how “ok” is very different from “ok.”. (Watch your period use, people!)

My rule of thumb is that if you’re not someone I will wish happy birthday to directly (by text or in person. I never make birthday phone calls except to children. I feel like I have to then sing and no one wants that), you’re not someone who needs to feel obligated to randomly text me and keep alive any form of relationship and the opposite should be true. You can send me a friendly email every few months if you’re simply trying not to burn bridges. The formality of email makes that a lot less awkward for me. Unless you actually have some secret motive for our communications, and then, for the love of all that is holy, figure your shit out and come clean.  We will all live happier lives because of it.

 

(If you felt like this rant had some weird, directed, subtext, you weren’t wrong)

An Open Letter to the Dude Who Broke My Heart

First, my disclaimer is that I wrote this a while ago – not long after I got back from Ireland, so everyone who cares can relax. I was in bad shape three months ago, but I’m doing much better now. I won’t pretend like it’s some secret who this is about. Everyone knows. But, I obviously have no shame. I really liked it originally and was pretty proud of myself for getting my feelings down accurately and just getting them out of my body, where they were certainly doing no good. And mostly I liked that I was able to write him as not an asshole, because he wasn’t when I wrote this. (I don’t know what he is now. We don’t really speak.) But since re-reading and editing, I’ve realized it’s directly parallel to a Taylor Swift song and so, it’s lost some credibility. Seriously. It’s still very scary for me to put this out there for the whole world, even after I’m basically all glued back together, but it’s doing me no good keeping it for myself.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing for school lately and am a little sick of my own voice so I thought I’d post something that required no extra work. If you don’t have the time to read this or don’t want to puke because it’s really just awful, just give this a good listen and you’ll be caught up:

If you’re brave enough to make the jump and read my post-breakup pity party and not just listen to it’s summery by the glorious T.Swiz above, here ya go:

When we first met, you came on too strong. You called too often (actually called, not even texted. Called.) and used scary words like “forever”. Our first date was pleasant and you were a gentleman. I’d find out later that after that date, you went directly back to your friends and bragged and bragged which, at the time, in the haze of your affection, made me grin like a genuine fool. But, while you were bragging, I was unsure if I’d even see you again. I hadn’t been swept off my feet, but I had a good enough time and you didn’t seem to judge me while I ate my fajitas like an animal (there is simply no way to eat fajitas with grace). You talked too much about your tattoos and spent too much time showing me pictures on your phone, but you seemed sweetly nervous. Not to mention, me being swept off my feet had never ended well for me in the past, so why not give you another shot? I wasted hours of my friends’ time begging their opinions. I’d had a wall up for so long, but there was a chance that maybe you were sweet enough and cared enough about me for me to consider taking it down. They agreed that you might be. But still, I was unsure.

The night I decided to kiss you for the first time, you held my hand in the bar the whole night. You didn’t know me very well at that point, but if you did, you would have known that PDA freaks me out more than virtually any other thing that couples do. We sat across from my two friends who, little did you know, were out on a secret mission to determine if you were worth my time. While you were in the bathroom, they told me that you definitely were. You had come to my favorite bar for wing night, alone, rather than go to your regular spot with your friends. You came directly from work, just because I was having a bad day and you wanted to be there for me. I got into that car accident that afternoon, remember? I was okay, but you still offered to come help, even if it made you late for work. We had only been on one date and you were willing to do that for me. That’s the kind of thing my dad does for my mom. I was both impressed and flattered by your compassion while simultaneously being terrified of this man who seemed to care so much about me after so little time. I was unsure if I could return those feelings to you at all, let alone after only a week. But, my friends told me you were worth it so I kissed you goodbye outside the bar and it was nice. It had been so long since I kissed anyone who cared about me back. It was new and sweet and maybe I could do this, after all.

Then, first gradually and then all at once, I convinced myself that I loved you. I suspected you loved me too until the day three weeks later when you told me you did and I said it back (but I knew it was coming because you were bad at keeping secrets). The way you asked me to be your girlfriend and the way you told me you loved me, so thoughtful and perfectly planned – in my favorite places, while I was happiest. I became your girlfriend during a hockey game and I found out you loved me at the beach. I was convinced. You knew me and loved me anyway and so, I relaxed and settled in and trusted that it was safe to take the remainder of my wall down. I got to know your friends and family and for the first time in my life, I did things for another person that I didn’t necessarily want to do just because it was you. Knowing you wanted me to be at that awkward-bbq-party-thing at your best friend’s house made me want to be there, despite how terrible it was for me. I told myself over and over again that this was what couples did for each other and sometimes in life, you have to do things you don’t want to do.

And then, just as quickly as I’d gotten comfortable with the idea of being responsible for another human’s feelings, you were distant, which scared me more than anything. The person who once made every effort to make me happy was effortlessly killing me. I could feel what was coming but I wasn’t sure why so I talked myself out of its inevitability. You were the one who had all these plans for us “forever” whereas I barely knew what I was planning to do next weekend. I never asked for any promises. In fact, of the two of us, I was clearly the one afraid of what was happening. None of this made any logical sense and you, more than anyone, know how fond I am of logic. But, you had convinced me that we were real and you weren’t going anywhere so I thought we’d be okay. I believed you because no one who talked about “our kids” and “our house” would so easily run away. But, you were going somewhere. The sweet things you did ended and you seemed to care less and less. But I told myself that you were just going through something and we’d be fine because you said we would be. But then you were gone and I was bruised. I was black and blue from the inside out and couldn’t sleep, even though it was the only thing in the universe I wanted to do. There was no escape. The two to three hours of rest I got each night were dedicated to your face and your smell and then when I was awake every fucking Foursquare check-in was a painful reminder that you were going about your life while I had been reduced to a pile of sobbing blubber that refused to leave the house. The pain was unfamiliar and fucking awful. You were all I had for the last four months and then you just simply weren’t mine anymore and I couldn’t remember how to live without you.

But, somehow, I did. And then somehow, we were “friends” and I was forgiving you and then I left. I left for my great European adventure that I had been talking about unendingly with you only weeks before. You were supposed to be at home missing me and I was supposed to be reassuring you that I’d be home before you realized it and it would go so fast. It was supposed to be an excruciatingly long month apart ended with an immeasurably sweet reunion at the airport upon my return. But instead, you were no longer mine to miss and it would be my parents waiting at the airport instead of you. I had to believe that you weren’t missing me. But then on Skype one night, you told me you were and I had renewed hope that maybe I was coming home to you after all. I bought you the best gift I had ever bought another person and counted the days until I could give it to you. I rushed away my last two weeks in Europe to come home to you.

And that’s, technically, where it ended. I’ve read and rewritten the end a million times a million different ways, but I can’t get it right. Probably because I still don’t like the way it ended in real life. You were never mine again and I know you told me not to say never, but it feels like you’ll never be again. Never the same way it was. You were just gone without any explanation that I could understand and I convince myself every day that it’s okay and I’m better off; that one day, there will be some other man who I won’t have to talk myself into loving. I won’t have to convince myself it’s right. I won’t be scared of how much I love him, how I think of him all day. How he’s the first person I want in the morning and the last person I think of at night. I won’t hate how lame that sounds or how true it is. I’ll just love him for real when I see him and that will be the end and I’ll laugh at how silly I was for crying over you for so long and for wasting so much of my time. Ha, youth. Hopefully there will be. And hopefully, I can talk myself out of you as easily as I talked myself into you. But, I have my doubts.

The First Thing I’ve Ever Cared About At Hofstra in 3 and A Half Years: We Want Our Graduation

Something indescribable and unexplainable happened to me sometime between leaving high school and arriving in my first college class. I generally just stopped caring about extracurricular things aside from taking naps and going to work. While I was still very concerned about my grades, you couldn’t begin to convince me that a potential employer was going to care if I was mildly involved in every club on campus the way my potential educators once cared about my high school activities. In high school, I had a hand in, literally, almost every academic club and honor society offered. That has not been the case at Hofstra.

While everyone made a real effort freshman year, I mostly watched a lot of TV in my dorm, took naps and attended 4 meetings of the Film Club. After I moved home sophomore year and started working off campus again, there was no hope to be had. Future generations, this was the wrong decision. Do as I say, not as I do. Get involved on campus. You will benefit enormous amounts. I’d love to go back three years, be in a sorority and involved heavily in student media and maybe student government. The most fun I’ve ever had on campus was my brief career as a Rugby player. Those girls are some of my only friends on campus despite the fact that I was only able to play one semester. Clubs are cool. Do them. It will all end too quickly.

ANWAY, my point: Hofstra has taken my lack of participation in student causes and decided to turn it on me at the only time it actually matters.

While I technically receive my degree in December, I made the decision to participate in the spring commencement ceremony.  It poured the day of my high school graduation and we had to rush through the presentation of diplomas, so I’ve never been able to enjoy a big outdoor ceremony with all of my friends. I have one picture of me with my friends in a cap and gown and we’re all trying to keep composure in the threat of the looming downpour. I was very excited to be able to have this experience, on a much grander scale, at college. Not to mention, because Hofstra’s schedule is always bizarre, all of my friends would be able to come and see me and my best friend – Cassie – graduate. Also, while I don’t have a ton of friends at school, I do have some and most of them are graduating in May so to be able to experience commencement with them rather than the assortment of strangers that will graduate in December would be preferable.

So, after making the arrangements to walk at graduation in May, I get the email: The new schedule for spring commencement. To account for weather, Hofstra has made the decision to move gradation from the outdoor [mostly unused,due to the cancellation of our varsity football program] football stadium as an un-ticketed and open event, to indoors in our basketball arena and each student will be provided five tickets. How will they fit everyone if each student has five people coming, you ask? Oh. It’s simple. They’ve broken up the ceremony by school. This means that my two best friends who are receiving degrees from the School of Education and School of Liberal Arts and Sciences will, in fact, not even be graduating with me because my graduation will be at a different time than theirs. This means I could not have only graduated in December with no actual consequence, but I could’ve not participated in graduation at all and saved some money on a cap and gown. I have friends in the school of comm and I love them a lot, but it means much more to me to graduate with Cassie and Jess and Amanda – non of whom are comm students.

So now, because I’ve spent so much time being uninvolved in school things, I have no idea the means by which I can do something about this. Thankfully, a group of kids a lot more involved in things than I am is doing something about it and I’m going to ride their coat tails. But, I dont understand how the powers that be at Hofstra are allowed to just slip an enormous announcement like that by in an email. I’ll be in debt for the rest of my life just to go there. They should probably ask me if it’s cool before they rearrange my plans like that. Don’t get me wrong, I understand their rationale – weather and things – but I’d really rather risk inclement weather than forfeit my graduation ceremony up front. We’re Americans. We don’t live in fear. Especially not fear of rain.

This is my plea, Hofstra. Please listen to us. I want a big, hot, sweaty, outdoor graduation that I can complain about for the rest of time. It’s in writing now so I can never curse you for not moving it indoors to the air conditioned arena. This is what we want!

My best friends and I braving the elements at Central High School’s 2009 graduation ceremony

I don’t like reblogging things because it makes me feel a little like tumblr, which I’m clearly superior to. But, this was great and just so awesome and applicable to my life from June until present and continuing on. Thank you, Stephane Georgopulos. Also, I’ve written two papers this week and my formal third person writing voice is making me kind of brain-nauseous. So, thanks for voicing my feelings for me, Stephanie.

Why My Family is to Blame for Everything That’s Wrong With My Life

The first time I knew my family would ultimately lead me to be a failure in the life I’d chosen was the summer before my junior year of high school. I was participating in a documentary film making program for high school students in which we had to interview the other students, none of whom I’d ever met before, and make a film about one of them. All the other kids came from low income families or were struggling with their sexual identity or had some intense religious practices that severely limited them from participating in every day, typical American life. One barely spoke english and one I’m very confident had a secret drug problem. More than half of these kids came from single parent homes.

When it came time for my partner to interview me to discover a pressing conflict in my life in order to structure her film around it, she found nothing. I was a white, middle class kid from the suburbs with two present, loving parents, a brother and a dog. I had actively involved grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins spilling out from the cracks in the walls. I did incredibly well in school, was poised for my college search in the upcoming school year but had no concerns about being accepted, was constantly surrounded by friends and loved basically everything about my life. I had one friend whose parents had recently been divorced. That, at the time, was the only example of a single parent family in my life. The biggest conflict in my life at the time was that my best friend had recently lost her brother in a very non-violent way. He died due to a heart problem, but nonetheless, my biggest life conflict technically wasn’t even mine; it was my best friend’s and these other kids had brother’s and friends shot in gang wars and stuff. (Not that any one way of dying is worse than the other, it’s just violent conflict makes for better films) I was dangerously well adjusted and as it seemed, that made for bad art. (This was a few months before AP Physics happened, which I will forever declare as the precipitating event to my full blown anxiety disorder.)

Even after my anxiety really came to fruition, it still seemed that I had the most productive of mental deficiencies. While it sometimes made me a complete basket case, it’s also taught me to organize my life and keep things in order. As a result, I’ve fostered an immense love for the arts on top of a love of structure and rules and control. In a lot of ways, I’m completely antithetical to your typical film student. Actually, it’s a miracle I haven’t grown into a producer. In fact, I actually hate producing. I do love post production, though. Where  I can sit at my computer and solve other people’s problems and not be bothered. All the chaos is my own and it’s quiet and orderly in it’s own way. My friend Jimmy once described editing as cathartic and I think that’s a pretty accurate description. Here’s the process, simply: seemingly endless frustration followed by inevitable success and then more frustration and eventual success. Getting an edit to work after hours of it not is top 10, definitely. So even my anxiety and crazy-ass work ethic, which was given to me by one of my aunts (either Aunt Chrissy or Aunt B, I’m not sure. It’s somewhere in my genetic makeup, though) has kept me from living a life full of chaos and conflict and good screenplays.

It is also my parents fault that I’m not a professional athlete or musician. As a kid, I was pretty much allowed to make my own decisions. I was encouraged to pick out my own clothes, choose my own friends and decide whether or not I wanted to quit any activity I was signed up for. Now, I had a busy social calendar for an elementary school student. Not compared to kids today, but for 1996, I had a pretty hectic life. But, every time I grew tired of something, it was okay for me to quit. This lead to the end of my dance career around age 14, softball: grade 7 and basketball in 10th grade. I stuck with the flute only as long as I did because I loved band class, but I often found myself zoned out on Grace Kim’s fingers as they flew through the notes and I just sat and faked my way through a piece. (Act shocked. I know most of you were guilty of the exact same thing. She was amazing.) If my parents had forced me to pick one thing as a child and stay with it, no matter how miserable I was, I’d for sure now be sickly talented and an olympic athlete. They never even pressured me in school. They trusted I’d always do my best and so, I made sure I did. I was never punished for bad grades (the only time I got bad grades: AP Physics) and never rewarded for good ones. In fact, I never understood why kids got gifts for a good report card. Wasn’t that simply what you were supposed to do? I didn’t get stuff for following the rules. That’d be like giving a kid candy for not biting another kid. (which is absurd and if you’re doing anything like that, you’re doing it wrong.)

Essentially, one person, aside from myself, is responsible for my academic success and I’m unsure if he even realizes it. I’ve mentioned before that all of my cousins are incredibly smart and that I’m the third oldest of all my first cousins. This means the role models closest to my age growing up were my two older, male cousins – Michael and Scott. My family never encouraged me to be competitive with my cousins, ever. We were all uniquely awesome, as far as I understood it. In fact, it probably would’ve been enough for me to just be around and be a girl for the first couple years. I didn’t even need to exert any effort to stand out. Simply being born a female did it for me. But, as I got older, I understood my cousin Scott was academically brilliant on top of being a hard worker. I had always, as a kid, identified better with Michael who was very laid back and funny and not nearly as intense as his younger brother. In this way, I still hope to be a lot like Michael who recently married the love of his life, Karen, who I’m thrilled to welcome to the family and finally have a female cousin older than age 10. However, my driving force through school was to be as good as Scott. Partly because of my decision to pursue Film in college and partly due to other things, after high school, our success was no longer comparable. I was never valedictorian and that’s okay, obviously, but it was his blind influence and my desire to live up to him that got me as far as it did -through all the AP exams and SAT prep and stress. It’s influenced my work ethic a tremendous amount and partly made me the student and person I am. He’ll probably always be more financially successful than me and as a result will always live in a baller apartment/house and hopefully will let me crash on his couch on weekends forever. (No pressure). But, I think what’s most important is that we’re both happy and secure in what we do, as is Michael, and that I’m going to attribute to the influence of our collective family.

So, to summarize, it’s my family’s fault that I’m a self-reliant, confident, hard working person with virtually no inner or outer conflict.

You sons of bitches gave me absolutely nothing to complain about and without any overarching problems or conflict in your life, it’s almost impossible to be a successful film maker. We are not a happy people, by nature. THANKS. Jeez. You all ruined my professional life. Hope you’re proud of yourselves.

I Won’t Ask my Boss Where the Bathroom is and Other Idiosyncrasies

So, in the emotional chaos that has been the last few weeks, it may have been lost in the shuffle that I’ve begun a new internship and a new job. Anything would’ve been an improvement from my old job so obviously I’m in the clouds over working on sports. Mostly it’s nights and weekends so it works with my school schedule really well and I’m totally used to not having a life anyway. I’ve spent two weeks at my internship and I really like it so far. But, on Mondays, I go straight from class to the office and I leave the office and go directly back to class. What this means practically is I no longer have the opportunity to go home to take care of business. Business, in this case, includes eating lunch and using the bathroom.

I arrived on Monday afternoon almost 20 minutes early. I’m conflicted whether it’s acceptable to be that early for an internship because what I do is dependent on what my boss assigns and explains to me and if I’m 20 minutes early, I could be cutting his lunch short or something equally awful. So, I sat in my car for five minutes and then, despite using the bathroom before I left campus, I realized I had to pee again. So did I do what a normal person would do and go inside and ask someone in the office where the bathroom is? No. Of course not. I wandered the hallways of the office building until I found a public bathroom, praying I didn’t run into anyone from my office because I know almost no one’s name. I’m still unsure if there is one in the actual vicinity of the office, but I’m leaning towards no. Had I not had to use the bathroom today, my strategy would’ve typically been to observe people in the office until I was confident enough that I knew where the bathroom was and then pretend as if I knew all along. Today, I noticed people going in and out of the office a lot for no apparent reason, so I surmise that the bathroom is, in fact, the bathroom in the hallway.

Does all this seem odd to you? That’s because it is. But, it’s only the beginning of weird things I do very differently than most normal people, I’ve come to realize.

I mentioned earlier that if I were more than fifteen minutes late for class, unless it was a three hour class, I just won’t go. To be clear, three hour classes at Hofstra are classes that occur only once a week. Most of them only allow one or two absences a semester since once class equates to a full week of learning time. Basically, I can’t really afford to miss a three hour class unless I’m bleeding from my eyeballs or something. Most upper level Film courses, especially of the practical nature, are three hour courses. But take, for example, a Psychology class – Psychology being my minor. They are typically 45 minutes to an hour and a half and occur two or three times a week. They are also typically huge classes, like, full lecture halls, because Psych is so popular. I will not EVER walk into one of those classes more than 15 minutes late.

1. If I am 15 minutes late to a 45 minute class, I’ve already missed a third of the class. Walking in now would just insult the professor.
2. Everyone is going to turn and look at me and presumably judge me. There is no valid reason to be that late for class and if there was, parking certainly wouldn’t be one of them.

I’m not kidding. I will not go to that class. My paralyzing fear of unwanted attention will justify me sitting in my car for the remaining hour and fifteen minutes of that class, or if it was my only class for the day, driving all the way home. Thanks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Super cool of you to waste my gas and time. It’s probably not a shock to any normal person that most people wouldn’t think twice about walking in and taking a seat, not for a second worrying about anyone staring at them. Well, I do. This extends to walking into crowded bars alone. Won’t happen ever. My friends went out earlier than I got out of work? Oh, ok. See ya next weekend guys – unless I can wrangle someone to escort me inside I will not be coming. But, I will gladly stand in front of a room and strangers and read something I’ve written with virtually no fear at all. How do I reconcile that? I can’t. Nothing I do makes sense.

In addition to not asking where the bathroom is, I generally just have trouble asking for help or for people to clarify things for me. Again, probably for fear of being judged. If I don’t know how to do something on an editing platform, I’ll click around and google help until I figure it out. Normally, this makes a lot more work for myself and I devise really backwards ways of doing things. If I just asked them how to do it, they’d be happy to show me and I’d really learn. But, then I’d also be inadequate.

I will not allow my boss to buy me lunch or coffee. He offers constantly, but because I feel awkward accepting, I eat alone in my car before I go to my internship and never eat with the other people in the office. This I know is probably detrimental to me, but I won’t change. Additionally, there is a small kitchen which I’ve never even been in that apparently has coffee and water and snacks but I will likely never take anything. If there is a bathroom in the office, this is where it is. But, I don’t think there is. Someone please explain to me why I’m so weird.

Between the buildings where my new job is and where my internship is, there is a deli. It will likely take me weeks to go in there for dinner between jobs or lunch before work out of fear of running into someone from the job I’m not at. Why? I don’t know. They’re all very nice people. There’s no reason for me to be afraid of them.

This is only the beginning. I’m truly an oddity.