Tuesday, November 22, 2011

why it still really sucks to get pseudo-dumped by someone you were "sort of seeing"

(Giving credit where credit is due: I've been reading a lot of Thought Catalogue lately, so this post is largely inspired by them, though not as well written.)

Take this formula: girl meets boy in bar, thinks nothing of it. Ends up casually seeing this boy for several weeks. Refuses to decide if she think it's anything more than casual, even though it seems like he'd like it to be more than casual. Grows unwittingly (or wittingly but without admission) more attached while maintaining to herself the relationship's casual nature. Continues "casually" seeing this boy for several more weeks, verging into the multiple months territory. Suddenly becomes wittingly more attached/admittedly attached at the precise moment when the boy starts to ignore her. Decides to, as best as she (in a somewhat emotionally stunted about relationships way) can, put it out there that she'd like to make this less casual. Learn he did make it less casual. With someone else.

The argument could be put forth that, since while it seemed he was looking for something casual she was looking for something less casual, she sort of had it coming. On the other hand, the argument could be put forth that she misread the signs and had no real reason to be surprised when this abruptly blew up in her face. The argument could be put forth that at least she tried, and isn't that something? And all these arguments have their merit.

The thing about these arguments is they don't account for the part where the girl can't help but just not get it. What changed, and when. They don't account for the part where the girl always assumed that if and when this DID blow up in her face, it would be because he was bored or busy or not looking for anything serious. They don't account for the part where he was looking for something - just not with her. They don't account for the part where she can't stop asking why not her. They don't account for the part where it's about him, but it's more about the deflation of that scary but great feeling where she thought this could really be something.

But these are all feelings contingent upon a real relationship, she'll think. These are all feelings she doesn't necessarily deserve to have, so she'll stuff them down as best she can when talking to friends and pretending that she knows she's making it a bigger deal than it really is. These are all feelings she shouldn't have when being blown off by someone who very likely didn't care very much in the first place, or very likely wouldn't have mattered much in the long run.

The trouble is, the girl is me. The story is, the girl is me. And the trouble is it's not a story at all. So for the next few days, I won't send the passive aggressive text and I will continue pretending it's not a big deal. But it turns out? This still kind of blows.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

When we first moved to California and I was miserably, desperately homesick, my dad - no stranger to the relatively nomadic lifestyle already being bred in his then 8 year old child - would remind me that my friends may no longer have been physically close, but it was no reason for them to no longer be close friends. "How do you get mail? Send it" was the refrain, and it instilled in me a fairly important lesson at a young age - that friendships, no matter how close, take work. They take putting in the time and the effort.

I mentioned in my life recap that I recently reconnected with someone I was fairly certain I'd never speak to again. And it's funny, actually, because years and years ago when things first started to go south with this friend, I believe I said something to the effect of "I've never let somebody walk out of my life, and I'm not about to start with you." Only... I kind of did just that. Whoops. Now as is always the case, the falling out wasn't nearly that simple, but it's also not the point of this post.

Rather what's been floating around in my brain is the process of reconnecting - because I feel like it's supposed to be awesome, right? And it is nice, but you know what else? It's fucking WEIRD.

Because everything feels like it should be easier. Because somehow you're supposed to ignore that time where you weren't in one another's lives, but it's impossible to pretend time hasn't passed that you didn't know each other. Because there's a trust that has to be rebuilt, and yet it's supposed to already exist. Because everything seems the same, but nothing is.

To be honest, I never thought I'd be here - certainly not with this person, but really in general. I thought I had taken that lesson to heart when I was a child, thought I was a better "friend" (in the abstract) than this, extenuating circumstances in this case notwithstanding.

I realize now, a good deal older and a (only a little) more mature than I was at 8, that our California move had to have been harder on my parents than it was on me. Their friends too were all on the other side of the country (world, it might as well have been to me then), and they of course 1) didn't have the luxury of school and 2) had already left everything behind only six reasonably short years earlier. And yet they spoke to those friends almost everyday. Still do, and they are still across the country from those people. It's something I admire immensely, and something I often feel I should work harder at.

For a lot of reasons I'm glad the person that inspired this post has come back into my life, and as I said I was pretty positive that wouldn't ever happen. It took a lot to get to where I am now, to be glad instead of to be afraid it would all go to hell again. But that's the risk, I think. Of relationships, but of friendships too - those wounds can sting just as deeply as a relationship gone wrong, and often sticks for a lot longer.

The quote that titles this post is by Audrey Hepburn, and like the right quote does, rang very, very, almost painfully true to me the first time I heard it. It still does, but I haven't done quite as good a job with it in recent years. This situation is specific unto itself, but has in a larger way reminded me that that's true. To extrapolate from what my dad said those many years ago, how do you keep friends? Be one. 8 year old self with the silly email address and horrific long distance bill (sorry family!), you might have been onto something.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Epic. Audition. Fail.

This Thursday, I had the absolute worst audition of my life for Northern Stage's upcoming production of Annie.

Let me first preface this by saying that I'm not rock solid on why I submitted for this in the first place as 1) it's Annie and I didn't even really like the movie as a kid, 2) it's in Vermont in December and I'm cold enough in New York as it is, and 3) doing the show would mean not going home for Christmas following me already not going home for Thanksgiving. All the same I did, and they called me about auditioning, so I scheduled the appointment and in I went.

Now in my not-so-long and reasonably undistinguished career, there have already been a handful of auditions all ranging from so-so to downright awful, but nothing quiiiiite tops my experience from Thursday.

To begin, I should say the first problem was my own, namely that I was given music to learn and clearly did not do so to the best of my ability. I can blame work and the apartment hunt for taking up all my time and this is true, but frankly, I just should have known the song better. That, plus though it wasn't, say "Tomorrow" or "Little Girls," just about every aspiring musical theatre diva in her right mind knows "NYC" - or at least, every one but me. Nevertheless to be sure it created a not-to-stellar impression when I had to stop and restart not once, not twice, but a record three times. Strike one.

Then I finally actually start singing to discover that I have NO voice. And for no good reason, either! Not allergies, not drinking, not yelling, not sleep deprivation, nor ANY of the other usual culprits (aka really one of the first two but every once in a while a different one). The sounds I was producing in no way resembled good singing but in every way resembled the voice of a person who - to outsider ears - was far, far too sick to have bothered coming to audition that day. And I can't even justify that it was a good acting performance, because my only thought was "please god let me get through the song so this will be over." And we all know I can't keep anything off my face, so clearly that much was obvious as well.

To top it all off, I have (I would later learn) an ulcer on the surface of my right eye, thus making the eye in question at the time of the audition a frightening shade of Halloween costume red.

Not my finest hour. I quite literally apologized on my way out the door and bolted from the building like it was on fire. Humiliating on EVERY level.

But here's the thing - two years ago, if that had happened I would have gone home and cried to myself for an hour or two and then beaten up on myself for the next anywhere between two hours and weeks, convinced that this WOULD happen to me and it was a sign of my general talentlessness. (What can I say, I'm kind of hard on myself.) And I can't say that twinges of that didn't creep in as I called my parents and texted sympathetic actor friends to complain. But my overall reaction was "well fuck, that sucked, I'm fairly well humiliated, but I'll get over it." This is BIG, people. It means I might actually - finally - be learning something about the game I'm playing here. And so on to the next.