Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eight Days A Week

One thing I love about being a college student is the fact that a week can either feel like two hours or six months. This was a long week, and you know how there were lots of peaks and valleys last year? Well, let's just hope this Grand Canyon of a week I just had is it for the rest of the semester.

Shelley hasn't told her parents yet that we are back together. Up until break I really didn't care. However, up came one of those unexpected game-changers: her brother Jared has met his own Miss Right, and some serious long-term plans have been made. As in, he's planning on proposing in March and marrying her in June. With that I told Shelley, "All right, party's over. You've got to tell them as soon as you feel comfortable. I know I have sat back and told you this is your thing, but this changes a lot of things."

Her plan of telling her parents in person with her mentor Ellen present has been scrapped. There were some key reasons as to why we reached this decision: her parents don't come up here often. They're both very busy with their jobs to take a whole weekend off and deal with air travel (to Indy), driving to Bloomington, etc. unless it's important. They have come up here for move-ins, move-outs, and last year they came up for her birthday. In all practicality, having your parents travel 900 miles for your birthday only to dump some mighty news on them is...well, shitty.

Never mind the whole home court advantage factor of Bloomington. They'll be here, out of their element...I know, it's weird that I'm exhibiting some consideration for people who are (I'll just go ahead and use the word) discriminant and prejudiced against me. Don't worry, if you haven't noticed I've been surprising myself lately with a lot of things for the better, like actually caring about my GPA and actually trying, thus earning A's where I might get B's normally.

In short, 1. Shelley will be telling her parents next weekend. It will be in the form of a letter - you can't interrupt a letter. You won't stumble over your words with a letter. You can say in three succinct pages what might have been a two hour debate/argument with a letter. I'm totally behind this idea. I'm also completely understanding of the fact that Shelley wants me to read it only after she's sent it. She wants it to be genuinely hers.

This brings me to my next point. Laura has become an increasingly frustrating person to deal with, starting back in April 2008 when she ditched us to go smoke pot - we didn't hear from her the rest of that night, by the way. Her mantra of being a conservative Christian who is "saving herself" for marriage was broken not soon after that when she had sex with a guy who gave her amphetamines. Then I overheard her telling a friend in Z201 that I "stole" her idea for the Rock History IMP. Out of respect for her and Shelley's friendship (and to save face), I said nothing of how I at least have aspirations for the future. She, by her own admission, hasn't the foggiest.

When I got in hot water, accused of stealing hours from the school, nothing happened to her for logging hours she spent not in class, not grading exams, and not consulting students. Near semester's end she got her long hair chopped off and got a perm, to make herself look like Bob Dylan circa 1966. Visually, I consider this symbolic of the new Laura, right on down to having the same sunglasses as him.

Being a woman and having a significantly rounder head means she looks less like Dylan and more like Tina Turner. Stupid. That would be like me growing Zappa's signature facial hair to express my fandom. Shelley officially declared to me she didn't like Laura when she realized she only made conversation when I was around.

Then I learned she's not smoking pot on a recreational basis - she's doing it three times a day. She told me she can't write a paper unless she smokes out first. But it gets better with the big teenage soap opera she found herself in before finals week: she was "in love" with her boyfriend's roommate (though admitted she had no idea how he felt about her - I'm telling you, "love" is more dangerous than any other four letter word), but only because he was the guy holding...hence the feelings of love. Much like how Phyllis loves us because we are the ones who feed her and shovel her shit into the garbage.

So she breaks up with this guy, hoping to get in with his roommate. That works like a charm, since the guy she was with is completely heartbroken, thus preventing his roommate from thinking of Laura as anything other than his friend's ex.

Finals week Andy asked me if I would proofread her essay for the IMP. Her final project is all of 12 pages long (the bare minimum length for a project), and it was pretty much the worst thing I've read written by anyone over the age of 10. At least kids have the excuses of poor vocabulary, syntax, and grammar for writing the way they do. It was definitely written by someone perpetually high...and it seems like she picked it at about once a week all semester long. Disjointed, was awful. I would have easily given it a D+ or C- if I'd been grading it.

Andy's reasons were twofold: 1.) in his words I'm "a great writer." 2.) As the instructor who will be grading her essay, it doesn't make any sense for him to be the one proofreading it. This isn't high school English, where you can turn in your paper early, get tips from the teacher, and turn it back in later. We're in college.

Oh, but it gets better. The night of one of our finals I hear her telling a classmate that I'm proofreading her paper because Andy is "lazy" and "doesn't feel like doing his job," before calling him an "asshole" who "doesn't care about his IMP students." Then I learn from her that her GPA is higher than mine, and that she herself can't believe it.

During break, she published a blog post on MySpace saying how she's content with everything in life and she's just a natural at everything, that everything comes easy to her (school, making friends, etc.). Everything except boys. *rolls eyes*

A random Facebook wall post reads: "ALEX! How r u? How's your break? Miss you!" I delete her post, right back, "Um, ok."

Three days later, I see a similar post on Shelley's wall. I write on Shelley's wall "My immediate response to the below post," adding a YouTube video:

I get a message asking "Are u mad at me?" from Laura...completely ignore it.

My first time seeing her after break, I update her on how everything has been going. When I tell her about Shelley writing a letter to her parents, she fucking laughed at it. I wasn't telling her this in a jocular manner, either. Nor was this a slight chuckle. This was a full-on laugh. I knew she was baked off her ass. I told I didn't quite see the humor in it and stopped talking. She later said she was sorry she hurt my feelings. I barely acknowledged her.

That did it for me. Had this been an isolated incident I still would have been mad about it. This is a very serious subject for me and Shelley. Especially for her. To have someone laugh at that is so inconceivably malicious and insensitive. With that, I thought to myself, 2. I am so fucking done with Laura at this point. We are not friends. I don't use this word often, but I hate her. I sent Andy an email saying that while I'm flattered that he would ask me to proofread and help Laura write an academic paper, I had to reject his offer. I kept it short and sweet, saying she had pissed me off with her insensitivity to something I said about Shelley and her parents. Because of that, I didn't think it would be fair for me to grade her paper with bad feelings toward her. She's just a junkie in the making, and I don't need to wish her the absolute worst, because I'm sure she'll do a fine job of that herself.

3. Then I had a major crisis with my recommendation letters for my grad school applications. They went missing in a departmental office's mail room. I freaked out - those forms had my Social Security Number, my address, my email, and my phone number on them. Props to Shelley for cooling me down - I got a hold of Andy, expressing in no small terms the urgency of the situation and asking if he'd write two recs for me. I gave him my CV and the forms. The next morning I met him at his office and filled out my part of the forms. He asked what was up with Laura, and I spilled everything, from what she said about him to why I'm so pissed at her...I told him if he decided to talk to her about it, I didn't care if he informed her where all this information came from. It's arguably one of the dirtiest things I've ever done, but given the circumstances I ask that I not be judged too harshly.

How clear do you have to make it to somebody that they are not a welcome presence in your life, nor are they your friend? It's like when a stray dog follows you - how mean do you have to be before it runs off?

The recommendation forms turned back up - they were in the wrong mailbox - so Case Western Reserve and the College of William & Mary will be getting 4 recommendations for me, not three. Hardly the worst thing in the world.

The list of Seymour people I've stayed in good touch with over the years is limited to Boxman and Forrest. Those guys are the real deal. It doesn't seem like every time we talk all we do is sit back and reminisce about "Hey, remember that one time?". It's also not a mental time warp for either of us, where we have to revert to the way we were at age 18. In their own ways, Boxman and Forrest have grown to an emotional maturity compatible to mine. They're smarter and more worldly wise. I can talk literature, movies, music (maybe to a lesser degree with Forrest, but he's still a remarkably open-minded individual) with these guys.

Maybe this is all happening at once so that the rest of the year can be a nice, smooth ride.

Wait a second - this is me we're talking about. It would make too much sense for me to have a nice, smooth ride this year. At least I've got a wedding to look forward to. (Mine.)

Oh, yeah, and there's three graduate school applications left. I've got two done. I hope that in applying to five I get in to one. At least this time around I know what I'm doing.

4. It seems that no matter what, my insomnia will always be there to greet me at the onset of stress.

How do I get past all this? I've lost some friends. One friendship was never all that strong, but we at least had enough in common to get along, no matter how shallow she was with everyone else. I've definitely lost one to drugs (I'm aware one cannot truly be addicted to pot, but if you're doing it three times a day forgive me if the phrase "dependency issue" gets brought up).

It's all kind of a blow. There's some songs in all this, but as I'm sure you can imagine with all this pretty much still going on that that's hardly the first thing on my mind: "Let's see, how can I turn this around for my own gain?"

That would make me just as bad as them.


1 comment:

Shelley said...

It goes down as this: You have matured over the years, and even more this last year. When one person matures and his/her friend doesn't, there will be distance and a falling out.

To lose friends sucks, a lot. But there will be new ones (I don't mean to sound cold, but we WILL make new friends).

Laura. I just don't like her. And it has everything to do with pot. I remember when we first met her. She was different, shy in a way, not insane. Now I just can't stand her. And the fact that she would flirt with you in front of me (and her boyfriend at the time) is ridiculous.

Gill. I know you guys were close. And both of you have changed since college. Unfortunately both of you changed in very different ways. Gill is a smart guy. I'm sure he has realized his mistakes and is feeling real bad about it. And I'm sure he has learned from it. If he hasn't, he'll learn eventually.

This last semester will be great. But you have to make it great. Shit will hit the fan, but its important to just breathe and know everything will turn out for the better.

Like I've said before, life hits us with the things we need to work on. There's a reason for everything that happens to us in our lives.