For the last two years I've had a good friend, Sarah. We were pursuing the same degree so we had lots of classes together. I lived closer to campus so she would frequently come over to my place when she had a break between classes and didn't want to hang out at school. Often we would meet up for a meal, coffee, tea, whatever. A couple of times we attended a "black church" and had fun standing out like sore thumbs in the congregation. We'd call and text each other frequently.
Now we're in different states doing different things, but we still have each other's phone numbers, email addresses, and we're facebook friends. I've contacted her multiple times this summer through each of those mediums - I've left a voicemail; I've texted a few times; I've emailed her; and I've written on her wall. Never once has she contacted me back.
I'm starting to feel discouraged by this. I'm not one of those people who gets mad at someone if I haven't heard from them in a while. I'd be a hypocrite if that was the case. I have a tendency to start fresh when I move, carrying over only one or two friendships from the last place that I actively participate in. It's not that I don't consider everyone else my friends, I just don't get in touch with them beyond a random facebook wall-post. However, as I've attempted to contact her multiple times in various ways, I'm kind of bummed that she hasn't responded to at least one of them!
To quote Disney's Mulan, men are "Mysterious as the dark side of the moon."
Everyone says guys are simple. That women are the ones who hide complex layer after complex layer and somehow expect men to know what we're thinking. Perhaps this is true in general. However, my situation begs to differ.
I met Mr. Mysterious the first weekend of July at a fireworks show. See that? We met and there was fireworks!
We went on a date the following weekend. It was simple, safe, and pleasant. We both had a good enough time we wanted to get back together.
We went on another date the next weekend. It was nice, awkward, unsure, good, better, romantic, and a little steamy.We both parted wanting more.
He wasn't available the next weekend, which was fine. He'd made plans with friends, I'm not going to deny him that! Then there was nothing. No communication. I stopped sending texts. I didn't want to be that girl. His facebook status informed the world he'd be spending a long weekend on the other side of the state. Okay, fine.
But is he still interested?
My thoughts are simple: Me Jane. Me want Tarzan.
But what's going on in his mind? Is he simply no longer interested? Did he decide we live too far away to be worth the effort? Does he need to sort out some confusion? He almost got married last fall before he and his fiancée broke up. Is he unsure about getting in another relationship? Or am I just being a major worrywart?
Maybe none of it has to anything to do with me. Maybe he just hasn't thought about the fact that I might be wandering around in dating limbo, unsure of what's going on. Maybe he just needs to make up his mind and either try or leave.
I hadn't dated in forever. He drew me back into that world and I discovered I LIKE IT. I guess I'll just do my own thing unless or until he comes back. If he comes back, I'll take him up in a heartbeat (after gently chastising him for stressing me out like this!) because Mr. Mysterious is, quite frankly, Mr. Awesome. Everything I've learned about him, so far, lines up with what I've been looking for in a man. I don't want to let him slip through my fingers. But I also don't want to be holding onto one of those water slipper squeeze toys. You know what I'm talking about?
They're fun but nearly impossible to hold on to.
If he doesn't want to be held on to, then I won't fight him. But danged if I don't want him!
My friend, Bowser, once said, "There is no better argument for higher education than a summer working at McDonald's." At the time I laughed and said, "You're probably right," then moved on and didn't think much of it for years.
I held part-time summer jobs while I went to college and grad school. Now, all I have left to do is write my Thesis to complete my Master's degree. It refuses to be written. My graduation date keeps getting pushed back because of it.
I took three weeks off to travel and visit family and witnessed the McDonald's argument with my own two eyes.
Aunt Southern Belle has three kids, three grandkids, no degree, and works at Walmart. She has to be there insanely early to stand on her feet all day, swiping items at a checkout and dealing with obnoxious people. She comes home and babysits her grandchildren.
Uncle No Hablo has a Bachelor's degree but was squished out of his job like Milton in Office Space. Now he's a custodian at a University. I don't think he burned down his old workplace. He babysits the grandkids in the morning.
Aunt Southern Hick is a manager at a fast food restaurant (not McD's) and runs a paper route. She works awful hours and hates her job.
Uncle Southern Hick has a degree, I think, but he's kind of a jerk and he said he hates reading. Thanks to him, his children have proudly proclaimed that they don't read. I thank God they actually know how.
Trucker Cousin has lost weight he couldn't afford to lose and all his teeth thanks to drugs. He has no degree and was dishonorably discharged from the Army. He has four kids he doesn't know the whereabouts of. I think his current wife might be keeping him under control. I hope.
Artistic Cousin has an Associates Degree, a husband and two children. She dumps her kids on her parents during the day (every day) while she and her husband are working.
Excellent Cook Cousin-in-Law is working his way up in the world. He has a Bachelor's degree and is currently the manager of a restaurant that's doing well. He plans to open his own soon. Good job, buddy!
Single Daddy Cousin had a wild teens and twenties. He's settled down, working at a hospital and trading his daughter with Psycho Ex every other day.
Techie Cousin is currently in college. He's a good guy and he's doing well. I'm really rooting for him.
Pothead Cousin isn't even twenty yet and has awful teeth thanks to cigarettes and weed, drinks like a fish, works at a head shop, is dating her boss, and watches cops closely as they pass by.
Uncle Ornery has no degree, a beer gut, a nicotine addiction, no job, no money, an ex-wife, a daughter who isn't on speaking terms with him, and a terrible sense of humor that pisses people off instead of making them laugh. He lives with his mother.
I have seen the light! I have found my motivation! I will NOT be sucked into a hell-hole of Job Market Excrement! I WILL write The Thesis! I WILL get The Degree. I WILL SUCCEED AT LIFE, DAMMIT!
A bamboo beach mat with pink piping strewn over the lumps and bumps of sandy terrain. The constant hiss and roar of ocean waves pulling back and crashing against the shore. Long blonde hair, wet against the skin; a salty breeze catching the dry flyaways. Damp sand clotted between wet toes and clumped along sun-bronzed ankles, shins, and forearms. Dry sand under fingernails, brushed from fingers. Homemade tuna salad sandwiches, crunched along with sand grit between the teeth. Tomato chunks next to boiled egg. Crisp lettuce. A pop of a plastic lid and the snick of peeled foil; Pringles, sour cream and onion. Click. Snick. Hiss. Foam bubbling over fingers. Laughter. Hurried slurps. Cool and sweet, fizzling in the mouth like a million microscopic explosions. Diet Coke loosening the sand grit between the teeth. Sand crushed between molars, spat out or swallowed. Seagulls crying, circling overhead. Aloha in a child's heart.