Category Archives: one time in college

I’m a loner, Dottie.

For years, I have had an inkling, in the back of my mind, that I might be a loner.

When I truly, TRULY think back, I’ve displayed “party of one” tendencies for most of my life.  In Kindergarten, my teacher remarked to my mother that I often sat on the carpet* alone, playing happily by myself.  Not to say I didn’t have friends, but I also didn’t wail and moan if I wasn’t constantly surrounded by them.

Then, second grade and the bullies hit. One, in particular, was named Ashley Butler. Ohhhhhhhh how I loathe that name, even all these years later. Actually, Miss BUTTler was the only real bully, but she made it feel like the world was against me.

I started to realize that people can and will hurt you, whether you’ve done anything to them or not.

For the next ten years of my life, I had a fairly typical childhood that one has when occasionally being harassed by bullies, but not being the class reject, either.  Having friends, but not  being voted class president (though I was almost always elected representative.)

In high school, I never could quite fit in with people. I had friends, sure, but I also had the Redneck Princesses of the school (rough redneck girls who didn’t realize they were rednecks, but who were also quite popular) who loathed the fact that i really didn’t care about them.   I didn’t think at night “I wonder what Brie or Amy will think of this outfit if I wear it tomorrow?”  I had a friend who wondered things like that, but I thought she was foolish.

My thoughts ran more to, “How can I avoid making eye contact with Angie if she passes me in the hallway?”

I began to develop strategies to cross over to the adjacent hallway if I were ever walking around between classes and encountered someone who made me uncomfortable.

I didn’t really care if I seemed like a standoffish bitch, I was just trying to survive high school.

In college, I thought the world would be different and I would make friends that would last a lifetime.

Wrong.

I joined a Christian group (maybe that word should be in quotations) and, my freshman year, I encountered a few people who were “like” me.  The punk listening, plaid pants wearing, funny and outrageous kids of the mid-nineties.

That year, I also encountered horrible acne and a prescription for large doses of Accutane.

Anyone in the know will tell you that using Accutane will quite possibly fuck up your emotions and your life.

These “Christian” friends I’d made, the ones who were more “normal” than I, were some of the meanest people I’ve ever met. Mostly the girls.  They would pick on me behind my back for having a crush on handsome boy in our group, then claim to be my best friends.

They would practically yell at me about piddly things and one in particular (who honest-to-God had hair on her chest) told me to “stop being so emotional” when the medication got the better of me and I ended up in tears.

These were people who were clearly not following the “love one another” rule.

The “friends” in my dorm were just as bad.  None of them realized I was saddled with crippling depression, made that much worse by my medication (I was naive to the side effects before being prescribed this horrid drug, because I blindly believed my dermatologist knew best. FALSE.)

My sophomore year of college, I lived with a true-to-life cokehead, whom I had actually met through the “Christian” group.  She decided that wasn’t the life for her, and I wasn’t about to judge her for it. I did, however, move out after she kept losing job after job, dropped out of school, and invited all her cokehead friends to dirty up our apartment.

During this time, my affinity for solo activities deepened.  Jaunts to go running on campus, for walks around town, etc became more common place. I sort of wished I had someone to share them with, but I was okay.

Then, I actually had a best friend after a while. We had a solid five year rollercoaster of a friendship that abruptly ended on my 25th birthday.  She’d begun dating a boy who was a previous patient in the rehab facility where she worked (recipe for disaster) and basically ditched me for this lowlife (who screamed at her, left bruises on her, etc).

I think it was at this point that I realized I didn’t need to devote that much of my life to any one person, because it ended up biting me in the ass.  This girl was quite unbalanced, and I didn’t take note of it before, even though people told me things like. “She’s insane,” and “You really need to break up with your best friend.”

I have always been the one people go to when they need advice, or someone to be seen out at a restaurant with, or an ear that will endure hours of venting and a mouth that will offer empathy.

This is most often not reciprocated (earlier this year, someone whinily lamented to me, “Why does nothing ever go right?” about some minor issues she was having, but when I later expressed my frustration at something in my life, I was met with dead air), but I have learned to deal with it.

I am now at the point in my life where I can go for weeks without talking to certain people, because I know if I attempt to make plans and the plans aren’t exactly what they want to be doing right at that second, I will most likely be turned down.

Unless they need me.

So now, I wait for others to reach out to me.

Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.

I have people who claim that I am their “favorite person” or “such a dear friend” that I haven’t heard from in over a month (unless, of course, they needed a piece of information that they knew I could obtain).

So what do I do with this?

I’ll tell you what I’m doing: I’m embracing my lone wolf status.  I am going where I want, when I want, and if where I want happens to be just sitting in my house, so be it.  If I want to take a drive out to the cemetery and walk around, even better.  Going to get tattooed? You’d better bet I’m not asking anyone to come with me.

Because now, these are my adventures, my experiences, and no one else’s.  No one will be there to slow me down, or make me hurry, or give their unwanted input.

I won’t have to listen to someone drone on about their work day, assuming I want to hear it, assuming I have nothing to say because I enjoy my job.  I won’t have to listen to someone talk harshly about their friends, only to have them sing the praises of the same people a week later.

I have started taking time to do more things for myself.  Yesterday, a facial, next weekend, another facial treatment AND a massage.

I mean, I’ve been single for a long time and it’s going quite well.  REALLY well.  I think I might be the one.

*It seems all throughout grades K through 3, each room had a large carpet and we spent a large amount of time on it. In 4th grade, though, no carpet, just desks.  Then, a resurgence in carpet-bearing classrooms in high school as a part of “learning styles.”

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Somebody’s watchin’ meeee! -or- Did I really just say that?

While I realize the internet is a public forum, it still skeeves me out a bit to know that someone in my town googled “the fresh cracker wordpress” and landed here.

I have to wonder: did someone from my office somehow find out the blog title and domain and come here to see if they could catch me saying anything bad about work? Too bad, I never mention the company or what we do. Or name names.  I’ve been spied on by coworkers before, had things I’ve said severely twisted to the point of them being given a whole new meaning. Suck it.

Could it be a friend of mine who just forgot to mention that they came here to get an eyeful of ridiculousness? Maybe.

I have one other suspect, but let’s not talk about that.

IN OTHER NEWS: today I was eating lunch with my friend Amanda and talking about baby names [our coworker’s wife is pregnant] and totally slipped and said, “I like the name Zelda for a girl….” Then proceeded to freak out because what I MEANT to say was “Stella”.

SHE IS STILL EVERYWHERE!!!!!

Have I ever told you…

that the house I grew up in was haunted? Now, you might be picturing a ramshackle, run down piece of crap house, but ours was nothing like that.  It was a cute brick ranch in a middle-class neighborhood with a very above-average yard (my parents have the greenest thumbs of anyone on the planet).  We had hair touching, and phantom tv noises, and “who the hell was I playing with?” moments and parents falling out of the attic but feeling pushed moments.

My parents have since moved to a larger house in a town about 10 miles away, and every time I visit I go by our old house.  It is apparently empty now, and I desperately want to find the woman who bought it to ask her if anything ever touched her hair or otherwise scared the crap out of her.

that sometimes I do lots and lots of random shit at odd hours? For example, it is now 3:03 am, Eastern time, and I am blogging. Two hours ago I was taking a camera phone photo of myself and my room as proof of the aftermath of ebaying.  I tore shit apart in my entire apartment looking for one USB cord that is seriously about 10 years old, all so I could sell my old digital camera.  I did a total super-cussin’ victory dance that included thanking Jesus [for real], fist pumping, jumping around and doing some weird cheerleader-type stunt with the help of my bed.

One night about a year ago, I decided to move my entire living room around, also at about 3am.  After thirty minutes of sweating and cussing, I realized I hated it and went to bed very angry.  I moved it back about a week later, completely crestfallen.

Cleaning the bathroom and driving also make this list.  Maybe those don’t necessarily qualify as “random shit” but most people I know do not take a two to three hour nap just so they can drive at 4am and avoid traffic, or decide that their bathtub HAS to be sparkling after a night out til 2.

that almost nothing grosses me out? (This does NOT count worms on the sidewalk) If you look closely, you’ll see I have the categories “farts” and “snot and boogers” in this blog.  My family has no qualms about discussing bowel movements and nasal output.  I’m lucky that many of my friends feel this way as well.  It isn’t uncommon for my friend Katie and I to email or text each other:  “Dude, I just took the greatest shit of my life.  It filled the bowl,” or “My butt just exploded.”  The latter is often after we hit up our favorite sushi joint.  Go figure.

My brother-in-law and I discuss farts on a regular basis and I have often been the victim of his crop dusting skills. And he is an EXPERT.

that my ideal house is one that may resemble a castle, will probably creep people out a little when they come over, and will also probably be dust-filled? Ok, so we can probably attribute the dustiness to my hatred of dusting. Seriously. I have not dusted my apartment in YEARS, except for the last time this guy I’m kind of seeing came over.  And that was just a dusting of the bookshelves around my Mexican money and skeleton key collection.  However, dust does lend a certain creep factor to things and although I am by no means some goth girl, I LOVE creepy.

I think antiques and dark wallpaper and damask fabric are beautiful things and I am all over trying to have a house that features this.  Bonuses would include: gargoyle statues, an atrium with tinted windows so it always seems gloomy out, and a library with large windows flanked by heavy, heavy drapery.

Boo!

MISS Pronunciation

I’ve recently discovered that I am the QUEEN of pronouncing things incorrectly.

Luckily, I’ve only said one for real [okay, maybe two] and all the others I’ve either mispronounced in my head, or wondered out loud to people what the actual pronunciation should be.

Aficionado. Proper pronunciation: “ah-fish-ee-uhn-AH-doe“. My pronunciation: “ah-fish-ee-AHN-doe“.
This is the one I said out loud. I was young and in college and a shame to English majors everywhere.

Egregious. Proper pronunciation: “e-GREE-jus“. My pronunciation: “e-GREG-ee-ous
This one comes from an Anne Rice book that I thoroughly enjoyed, save for her overuse of this word. I kept mentally mispronouncing it and second-guessing; then I resigned myself to the use of a dictionary and found out how wrong I was.

Prosciutto. Proper pronunciation: “pruh-SHOO-toe“. My pronunciation: “pruh-SCOO-tee-oh“. This came up when cool Amanda and I were eating Italian food and I was perusing the menu aloud. This prompted much laughter when she later realized I wasn’t kidding with my pronunciation. It also prompted much singing of Phil Collins’s “Susudio”.

Ciabatta. Proper pronunciation: “cha-BAH-tuh“. My pronunciation: “see-ya-BAH-tuh“. Luckily, I asked someone before pronouncing this out loud. Of course, I had to tell Amanda about it, which made the “pro-SCOO-tee-oh” thing even better.

and one final one that is a surprise for cool Amanda: Tiramisu.

All throughout college I mentally read it as “tier-ah-ME-soo“. It wasn’t until I met a girl who pronounced it “tier-ah-muh-SOO” that I knew the correct pronunciation. Even then, it took me a while, because I was convinced she was an idiot and was saying it wrong.

My bad.

The REM Sleep Diaries and The Theme Fiasco

Among a lot of other things in my life, one thing I do rather oddly is sleep.  Or, to be more specific, dream.

I first noticed that my dreaming patterns were something weird at age six.  I’d had a fever and ended up dreaming this:

Our family went on a trip to the beach [we’re beach people, in the David Sedaris school of thought] and Grover [from Sesame Street] went with us.  Upon returning home, I discovered that Grover had peed in his bathing suit and I threatened to tell on him.  Immediately, he turned into the Big Bad Wolf and trapped me behind my bed.

I woke up crying and my dad came and gave me baby aspirin and sat with me until I went back to sleep.

If only I’d known then how weird my dreams would get.

I often wake myself up by talking.  Also, by laughing.

I once dreamed that my sister and I were running through some building, when I slipped on a floor mat and started to fall.  Somehow, I slowed myself down and did a funny pose as I fell, with the intent of making her crack up.

It worked. REALLY well, because I started cracking up so loudly that I woke up, laughed a while, sighed, and went back to sleep.

True story.

I also once woke myself and my parents up by yelling for my mom in my sleep.  I was at that “everything is scary and I have to sleep on my parents’ bedroom floor” phase in my life, when I began dreaming that my brother was grabbing the back of my neck and tickling me [did you know tickling is a form of torture?].  In real, awake life when he did this, I used to yell for my mom to make him quit.  In my dream, asleep life, I also did this and woke up to myself saying “Moooooooooooooooooommmmmmmm!”

I immediately slurred, “Mom? Did I just call for you?”

“Uh huh. Yeah”

“Oh”

Then we all went back to sleep.

A lot of times, my dreams have recurring themes or settings.  The most popular dream setting? School.  And it’s usually my high school [vomit] and the dreams, more often than not, involve me either being VERY late to class, skipping class, or going to a class I’ve only attended once or twice and finding out that I have no idea what’s going on.

The second most-common setting is a grocery store.  One of my most memorable “WTF?” dreams involved me in soccer gear running down the aisle to get away from the ghost of the statue of liberty.

I know.

Usually, though, I’m searching for chocolate milk or orange juice. In EVERY grocery store dream.  Maybe this is a sign that I need more calcium and vitamin C?

Sometimes, my dreams completely escape my memory, but they make me wake up with a sense of urgency. 

For example, the other night I awoke with a start, sat upright, turned on my bedside lamp, and realized my heart was racing.

With absolutely no recollection of my dream, I grabbed my golf club [complete with head cut off; better for impaling intruders] and checked every nook and cranny of my apartment.

Even my washer/dryer closet where you’d have to be two-dimensional just to fit.

There was no one in my apartment but me. Thank God.

Since it’s taken me forever to write this entry, I’ve had another theme dream. AND IT SUCKED! (please refer to “Let me Borrow that Top” by Kelly in order to get the feel for that last phrase)

It was a school dream again.  This time, I had a World History exam and had missed the last few classes [par for the course so far] but, then, the dream carried over into real-life and I woke up like four times with a sense of panic thinking “Holy shit! I have to study for that exam!”

Good. Gah.

Things that bother me: a lesson in being unreasonable.

When people have super-thick Southern accents.

This is unreasonable because I was born, have been raised, and will probably always live in the South and I have a freaking Southern accent! Well, there IS a difference between being Southern, Country, or just plain Redneck, but still.

Different foods touching on my plate.
God forbid my cantaloupe touches one iota of my green beans, or that my fries get “steak juice” on them. I’m the girl at large meals who has huge spaces on her plate between each food item. Running juices make me cringe and, many times, I’ve used my napkin to sop up anything extra to avoid cross-food contamination.

Fake grape, apple, and orange flavors.
Even though I’m all about some candy and lollipops, it bothers me to no end that, one day, someone just came up with these flavors and named them after fruits even though they bear no resemblance to the actual fruit flavors. I mean, I will eat an assload of grape laffy taffy, but the whole time I’m eating it, I’m really bothered by the fact that it is touted as grape but doesn’t come close to tasting like that which grows on a vine.

Clicky-shoes on my pentagenarian coworker.
Does it bother me when my 37-year-old boss wears slides? Nooooo. But whenever my52-year-old, deeply tanned, overly sexual coworker wears them, flitting around our office, I see red. Seriously, I think my blood pressure goes up a few points every time she walks by me. Maybe it’s because the clicky-shoes are often accompanied by a miniskirt [at work. at age 52.] and pentagenarian’s weird, “sticking-my-ass-out with my head cocked to the right” walk. I just absolutely cannot stand it when this woman wears clicky-shoes. Which, incidentally, is EVERY DAMN DAY.

People over the age of seven who have lisps.
Ok, so I know these people can’t help it. But, SERIOUSLY, did they not have speech therapy classes at these peoples’ elementary schools? I know THREE grown adults with lisps. THREE. Sometimes, I catch myself watching their mouths to see if I can figure out the mechanics of their tongue movements. Why do they lisp? Are their tongues too big? Are their mouths too small? Do they have too many teeth? I’m pretty sure I’ll never have the nerve to ask them. It’s even worse than the girl from my poetry class in college who said “bird” like “bud”. She had the R problem.

People who really, really like classic rock.
Maybe I’m just being an asshole, but the only classic rock song I’ve ever remotely enjoyed is “Stairway to Heaven” and even then, it’s not that great.

Harry Potter mania.
Again, maybe I’m just being an asshole, but I can’t stand that shit.  Wizards and the like have always seemed über-ridiculous to me.

People who have ferrets as pets.
I’m convinced that ferrets are the evilest creatures alive.  Their wee, beady eyes and the way they sniff everything are just creepy.  Not to mention, those suckers are LONG.  Never trust an animal that just looks like a stretched-out version of another animal.  I’ve always equated ferret-ownership with being a huge redneck whose house smells like cat [and ferret].  This redneck also smokes inside, beats their kids in public, and goes to the grocery store barefoot.

I’m sure there are a shit-ton more things that bother me.  You can expect a volume two in the (somewhat) near future.