Casual F(riendship) Buddies

Jason told me I didn’t know how to be a casual friend. This after my long-winded self-indulgent diatribe, on why I feel like I’m the person that does all the planning and reaching out in my friendships and I still never get to see anybody, because everybody is too busy all the time!

Before you’re offended dearest friend that probably does try to make plans with me and I’m always busy or was always busy, trust me, I am and I was, I swear.

We’ve all felt like that at some point or another. We have. I know this to be true because I’ve read the countless status updates on Facebook regarding this exact theme.

The truth is, when I wasn’t married or a mother it was really easy to just hang out with friends. Drive anywhere to meet up, any hour of the day or night and still have time to work a job, sleep, eat, and be generally merry.

Now that everyone’s a bit older, it’s a GODDAM miracle to even plan a phone call.

When I was still going into an office it was a lot easier. I became friends with my officemates. We ate lunch together, gossiped on coffee breaks, met up outside for quick jaunts to stretch our cramped desk legs, planned post-work workout sessions, and sometimes there’d be a happy hour and then home. Don’t fool yourself, comrades, working for “The Man” can be amazing!

Now that I work from home, independently, I’m alone, but for my kid when he’s not at daycare, and my husband who’s doing the same thing I am. And while we adore each other’s company – hence we put a couple rings on it – it’s not the same as meeting up with girlfriends on the regular, and I miss that. I do.

I don’t have it anymore. People keep moving far away, growing in their professions, and meeting mates that take them away from friendships. And I’m happy that life is taking them on these paths. I am. I am happy for them. But where are they during those in-between moments and why aren’t we together?

Let’s be honest I’ve never been very good at being a girls’ girl who plans “Girls’ Night” and weekend “get-aways” for the crew. I’ve never even had a crew. I never even went away on spring break in college – I worked… as desktop support at the on-campus computer lab. So, I don’t have an awful-secret-I-know-what-you-did-last-summer blackmail to bind anyone to me in a relationship.

And my history of making and nurturing friendships is hazy. It took years of therapy and overcoming a confusing upbringing to understand why, how, and what to look for in a friendship, which boils down to two things:

1 – Stay away from people with BPD and

2 – Stop trying to fix people with BPD.

Then, once I had my baby, I found out that I really don’t have that many deep and personal friendships. Because when I could no longer be the one to reach out and continuously coddle, listen, and make my time in our friendship yours BECAUSE I have a baby that needs me and frankly with all the hormones that were driving through my body, and an ill mother, and no familial support, I needed you and you weren’t there.

That’s right, nobody called. Nobody showed up. No friends checked in, regardless of whether they’d been through it before or not. And let me be frank, you don’t notice that I’m not in your life anymore. If you did you’d call or text or try to make plans.

Then I needed someone, I needed someone very badly to come and tell me I was okay. I texted a lot of people (I called too, but you know – we push that shit to voicemail) and mostly got the same response:

“I’m so busy maybe we can meet up for a drink in the next few weeks.”

“Good to hear from you. I’m super busy right now.”

“Ohmygosh, I’m so happy to hear from you. I am SOOOOO busy right now.”

“I’m busy, but maybe like next week? I’ll let you know my schedule.”

“Do you want to go to yoga with me? Yeah? Great, I’ll let you know when I’m free.”

“Do you want to grab a drink, I’m free Thursday at 6pm.”

“I’m having drinks with people at 6, come if you can.”

“We’re having drinks, maybe 6/7ish, come if you want.”

“Drinks at 6, come by. Or don’t.”

I was a new mom, nursing and alone at 6 PM with an infant and frankly, I wasn’t ready to leave him with a babysitter. I just wanted someone to come over and be my friend.

Embarrassed, but also scared of being alone, I called my neighbor. She answered, no voicemail. And I hesitantly asked her if she could come over and hang out with me. She did, immediately, no questions asked, and she sat next to me on the couch and she told me all the gossip in her life and I laughed for the first time in what had seemed like a long time. And she held my baby and she didn’t dump a single problem on me. She was the best a friend could ever be, and incidentally, still is.

And I realized as our lives change we really do grow up and grow apart, just like couples in marriages. While there’s no divorce in friendships it sure does feel like the same alienation process, the same pain, the same dividing of mutual friend assets.

We move on and realize our needs have changed. I need my friends to be physically present in my life. I need the tangible. I need to feel your energy next to mine. I need hugs and non-verbal cues, things that can only come from being in each other’s personal space.

And I believe that some friendships, despite their current distance, physically or metaphorically, are worth the extra work and patience, because they are worth it in the long haul. But those are few and far between.

And while it often feels deeply personal, it’s not. It has nothing to do with me as a friend. It has everything to do with them and their life, and what they’re going through. I need to move on from that, them, and understand that being a casual friend is okay because in the long run my feelings will be far less hurt.

 P.S. Update: Girls’ Trip scheduled in May with my old crew.

P.P.S. Forgot I had a crew.

AirBnBeebers: from The Uncontrollable to The Downright Dirty

“Is that a condom wrapper?”

airbnbeeber-blog-pic

I think it was the deadpan expression on my face that made Jason question whether or not I was joking. “No, seriously, did they just leave their condom wrappers on the floor? There are two trash cans,” I couldn’t be more serious. There are two trashcans; one so close to the bed itself that with the flick of one’s wrist said wrapper would be sanitarily inside it.

“Uh, I don’t know, it looks like a condom wrapper… Pick it up,” Jason is far less squeamish about everything.

“No, I’m not picking up someone’s condom wrapper. I’m glad they used protection, but I wish they’d used the trashcan,” I wish I had one of those long poles with the prick at the end so I could stab the wrapper from a safe distance and toss it far away from me.

“Where are the disposable gloves?” Really my asking is a stall tactic so that Jason will just come over and pick it up for me.

“I’ll get it, it’s just a wrapper.” Stall tactic working.

 After a minute of staring at the barely visible gold ink against the red foil Jason deduced, “It’s a Korean candy wrapper.”

Not a condom wrapper?”

“No, just a candy wrapper.”

“Is it maybe a Korean-candy-flavoredcondom wrapper?”

“There’s a picture of something resembling candy. It’s fairly ambiguous and I don’t read Korean, but I’m basing my assumption on the Costco size bag of Gummy Worms they threw away in the dresser drawer and the stack of seven empty chocolate boxes next to the trash (again, not in the trash, but closer).”

Fair.

I wouldn’t say I’m judging our guests. I’m critically analyzing the crime scene post departure. Who are these people booking our guest home for a “comfortable get away?” And what are they getting away with? For all I know it could be some tawdry affair that we’ve unwittingly facilitated. Will I at some point have to sit for a deposition and expose the fact that upon cleaning the unit I found what appeared to be at first glance a Korean condom wrapper, but actually may have been just a candy wrapper? Should I put the wrapper in a Ziploc sandwich bag as evidence just in case?

I never even caught a glimpse of the couple when they arrived – stayed – or left! How were they so quiet on all that sugar? And I peeked. Every morning I popped a glance out the curtain, but dammit if we didn’t make the unit to be absolutely private, ugh! And at what point were they actually watching television outside? Because the television was turned to face the outside patio, which means at some point they indeed sat outside relaxing and what, watching a movie, or ‘This Is Us’ (because everybody should be watching ‘This Is Us,’ thank you Jackie). And why have my dogs not barked at them???? They bark at everything – just ask any of my neighbors or the UPS Man.

What I really want to know is, why haven’t they reviewed Us? Am I supposed to leave them a review after they dumped their trash everywhere, except a trash can, and wadded up used towels and left them – damp – inside a wood cupboard, versus on one of the multiple towel hooks we’ve recently installed (or on the floor of the bathroom?). I would like to review them (I’ve even written a rough draft), but I’m not going first. Not this time. This particular relationship is like that awful moment you want to say, “I love you” to the guy (even if you’re not sure you mean it), but you definitely want him to say it first so you’re not out there saying I love you while He doesn’t love you back.

I want to give them my review that says, “I love you… but I’m going to need you to change a couple things about you if we want to see where this thing can go…”

Or maybe I just say, “Very quiet, didn’t even know they were here until they left,” but I definitely need to know are they giving me 5 stars… and an “I love you.”

And in all fairness I am not picking on these guests, I’m trolling all our guests equally. It’s just we’re only at the end of our first month with five guests done and a new couple checking in tonight… TONIGHT!

After disinfecting the bathroom, polishing, dusting, changing sheets, fluffing towels, and bagging some hairs for evidence – I put out some fun snacks and beverages, turned on a light in case our new guests check-in late and set the heat to a comforting temperature for when they arrive.

I will manipulate these ones into saying, “I love you,” first, and then I’ll say it back. Maybe even if I don’t mean it, because we’ve all done that a few times in our life, amiright?

The saga will continue, no it actually really will because we’re booked up through February. February! Can you Beleeber it? (Thank you Justin Bieber.)

Stay tuned… more to come.


To stay up to date, follow me! New posts weekly!! And to all: a Happy New Year!!

 

I Am a Compulsive Non-quitter

I am a compulsive non-quitter.

When do you walk away? When it’s too hard? Maybe for some, but I’m not a quitter. Or maybe you’d quit when the two hours a week you’re supposed to be investing becomes forty hours a week of unpaid, no benefits bullshit that affects the sanctity of your home? Yup, right then, that’s when you quit… well, right after the additional six more months just in case something changes… and then one more week for good measure, and then BOOM. DONE. Out of nowhere, you quit.

And quitting those 2 hours a week – that actually turned into a full time stress-sesh and WERE actually, when all tallied, nearly 10x more than two hours a week – feels like THE. GREATEST. ACCOMPLISHMENT. OF. YOUR. LIFE. Versus all the actual work, time, and learning that you put into being able to accomplish those 2 hours a week. This is where I am. I am at peace, and I haven’t felt this languid peace in a year… Despite my toddler teething (insert lots of screaming), his obsession with the word “NO!” and the dogs barking in unison at every bird chirp, text-message DING and car door shutting up to a mile away. I AM AT PEACE because I quit. And I don’t fucking regret quitting.

I am a compulsive non-quitter. I persevere for the sake of perseverance. I would consider this the blight of all Midwesterners and it’s not something to be proud of. Lets learn to let go of the shit that holds us back, that doesn’t add value to our lives and that creates turmoil in our relationships! Let’s all just, “Cut-it-Out,” (thank you Dave Coulier, fellow Midwesterner).

What’s the end game? That’s the new question I ask myself – What is my end game? What is the result I want from this? If it’s going to better my career and the sacrifice is worth the gain in the end, then yes, I will survive, we as a family will push/trudge/get in there and keep going. But, if it’s just that I don’t want to be a quitter well, I’m done, from now on. Done.

I had a V.P. tell me once, when I was charged with interviewing candidates for an open position, and forgive me as I paraphrase:

“You want to know how I hire people for the worst jobs, Jaime? I like to hire women. I look for the one that has trouble keeping eye contact. A woman who’s quiet and doesn’t speak up. I hire the woman that looks like she’s in an abusive relationship, because I know she’ll never quit. She doesn’t know how to leave a bad situation.” 

I hired a man and then I quit. 

But that story isn’t even why I’m writing this blog entry. I quit my hobby. My escape. My healthy retreat that turned into a contentious “work” environment. The animosity I felt was not the person I’d spent years becoming. It was the person I left in Michigan when I moved far away and spent years in therapy, meditation groups, and exerting myself fully at physical activities like Muay Thai and Parkour.

I did not want to be the person I was becoming. And the amount of time I was spending fixated on it was dominating me like an addiction.

Those two hours a week plus the entire other 166 hours I was wrapped up in it I became dogged in my need to give 110% of myself. I began nitpicking every comment, every social media post, every group text and emoji. I carefully crafted every word I wrote back in response to emails and on social media posts to appear cool, casual, and a team player. I would spend an hour writing three words, then another hour changing those three words into a full sentence, then one more hour creating a picture montage and using filters in two different apps before posting anything to the limited number of eyes it would reach. And there was no pay for any of this no it was all to build false relationships. There was no hourly wage, just constant expectation. And when I didn’t conform to the pressure of this interaction I was dismissed, forgotten about, not included in private Facebook Groups that were accessed by invitation only.

So I finally composed, in one draft, the last email I’d ever send in regards to teaching a spin class:

I quit.

Thank you,

Jaime

I am at peace.

I am back to being productive. I am happy.

I FUCKING QUIT!

For more information on quitting, keep reading! Let’s be friends, I won’t quit you, I promise. Follow me!

Getting going is easy (she said 7 hours later)

It ain’t always easy to get going, but that shouldn’t stop us from just doing it.

It ain’t always easy to get going, but that shouldn’t stop us from just doing it.

cropped-13443294_10154978471479418_4052885329548710899_o.jpg

Sometimes we just need a little push. Or a day when small people and animals are in the care of the televis— no, no I don’t let my baby watch television…I let him watch Netflix. Anyway, here I am, finally getting the blog up and this is just a test to make sure I’m working. Bring on the scotch, we’ve got a lot to write about!