Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Buh-Bye

At 10:19 last night, I found myself driving away. My dog Andy slip sliding and skittering across essentials stuffed into whatever container I could find in the backseat in his typical jittery Jack Russell manner. My chest felt concave as I finally just drove away from it all - the name calling, the pain, the anger, the crying and sadness - the ABUSE. I dragged my stuff and Andy Boo to the front door of my parents' house and walked inside, my dad's face a little puzzled.
"I didn't know I was going to, but I'm staying here," I said.
"Oh, bad night huh?" My dad asked.
"More like bad year," I replied back.
******
It had been a dirty fight. The ones that start with me asking a legitimate question, "why do you do things to deliberately hurt my feelings?" And, him responding with a completely unnecessary tongue lashing, "Well if you weren't such a fucking cunt all the time, maybe I wouldn't act this way." I thought he said he was 28-years-old, but I've realized that some sort of demonized, inhuman 4-year-old has taken his place. The man does not know the meaning reasonably working out problems, compromising, fighting fairly - keeping the gloves up if you will. Without warning, he just goes straight for the figurative balls, but there's no referee there to disqualify him. He's just going to keep punching me until I'm lifeless. Fighting back is useless, however, crawling to safety is not.
All couples disagree and fight. It's just a part of relationships and life. His unwillingness or inability to fight fairly is why I broke up with him more than three months ago. Friends will also have mostly petty spats here and there, but his continued abuse is why I know we can never be friends.
I asked him how he would like it if we just didn't talk anymore after I moved out and he just said, "well fine, just as long as you split our 24-Hour Fitness account so I don't get screwed." Kind of like how he called the landlord, found a roommate then told this person she could move in the first weekend in May because it was convenient for her before I even had a chance to take a breath all so he wouldn't get "screwed." And he has the audacity to call me selfish...
I'm not sure why I hesitated to go to the gym on Monday and take care of the account, but of course I had to wait until Tuesday when he was home. Plus, he had to move his stupid giant ass precious truck out of my way before I could leave while adding, "see if you can take care of the account will you?" I practically handed the power he craves and feels he needs to have over me to him on a silver fucking platter.
Walking into the gym, I was promptly handed over to Mr. Fuckwadstein to deal with my account. Bad teeth, sort of greasy and terribly unsucessful at turning on the charm, Mr. Fuckwadstein told me that my rate would go up about $10 if I separated from the King of Hissy Fit's account.
"Will his rate go up?" I asked.
"No...blah, blah, blah..." He answered.
I heard nothing after the word "no" and blurted out, "That's fucking bullshit...blah, blah, blah." I went on, then stopped and focused on his face. His eyes widened as he leaned back in this chair as if taken aback that this sweet little lady had just thrown a cuss word or two out there. Oh, I'm sorry buddy, I wasn't aware we were sitting in church. Oh yeah, that's right, we're not. We're chilling in this sweaty ass gym where beefcakes, including your very own personal trainers, stare freely at my ass during my entire workout then turn to their steroid abusing, my-arms-are-so-ridiculously-huge-that-I-have-no-room-for-a-brain friends and make disgusting comments. Fuck your mom.
"Can't you guys just work this out amicably?" He said, smirking.
My eyes narrowed as I refrained from jumping over the desk at his throat like a wild animal.
"Oh you kids," he said, shaking his head.
Oh, Mr. Fuckwadstein, you really shouldn't have done that.
"Oh, really, and how old are you?" I asked.
"Uh..uh..I was just saying. Well, I'm 25." he said.
"Yeah, uh huh, and I am too (a lie, but a month until 25 just doesn't have the same effect), so really we're not kids." I said.
"Oh, well I didn't know you were going to..." (taken aback face again)
"Watch your mouth," I said, only half joking, smiling a bit so I didn't seem completely henious bitch, though I'm sure at that point I was already labeled customer of the day among the account managers.
I had this distinct feeling that I could kill this guy with my bare hands - morbid and psychotic right? Except the more I try to stay positive about this thing and the more people butt their fat asses into it without knowing a thing about the situation, the more superhuman strength I seem to gather. Pretty soon I'll be opening a door and I'll just completely rip it off the hinges. And, instead of struggling to retrieve Andy's lost toys from underneath the furniture, I'll just hoist the couch up over my head with one hand and give Andy his Kong toy with the other.
Right when I had bitched Mr. Fuckwadstein into giving me the same rate, but spliting the account and I was giving him my checking account information, Mr. F gets a phone message - the piece of paper had hissy fit's name and number on it. He knew I was taking care of it, but just had to let me know he was still in control by making his presence known and calling the gym when he knew I would be right in the middle of it all. He made me do all the dirty work, but took all the glory.
"Is he going to be cool when I call him back?" Mr. Fuckwadstein asked.
"I don't know, he's not cool, but I don't know..." I said.
I came home after my kickboxing class and asked him if he had a nice conversation with the guy at the gym as I was sure they had a heyday swapping "Lara is such a bitch stories." Why is it that when women are just trying to do what they need to do to survive, they're a bitch?
His automatic defense mode turned on saying that he needed to call and see what his new account balance was right then and there (another control freak issue) because I wasn't trustworthy enough to tell him myself. I severely, SEVERELY dislike this man...
More unnecessary and distasteful words fell out of his mouth as I got into the shower. And, as I prepared to blubber and sob in the shower for the bajillinith time, suddenly I just said, NO, I'M NOT FUCKING DOING IT ANYMORE and immediately began thinking about what I needed to pack.
It started quietly. I didn't want him to know I was leaving in an attempt to avoid any of his bullshit antics, but of course, he started following me around, criticizing my every move. Opening the garage door really set him off for some reason and he felt the need to follow me outside everytime I brought something to my car. I half expected him to start groveling at my feet, begging me not to go. Instead he would just slam the door in my face each time, then shut the large garage door each time I came back inside for another load. I'll never forget his angry, bitter words as I continued to pack up my things. I put them here in writing so I'll never forget it when he without a doubt tries to weasel his way back into my life. I stayed annoyingly calm the entire time, just telling myself that the only reason he was saying these things was because he's angry that he will never have what he wants from me:
"Shut the fucking garage door you dumbass!"
"Are you using the sponge I use to wash my dishes? Oh yeah, you don't know HOW to use it."
"When are you moving your shit out? Because I want to be here when you do so you don't steal anything." Me: "You have nothing that I want." Him: "You have nothing I want," he shot back in his demonic 4-year-old manner.
"Andy's back to living a miserable life."
I'm not even going to bring up the fact that he sent nasty messages about me to his ex girlfriend, solicited women for god knows what online and suddenly had this plethora of female friends that I didn't know of back home all while we were trying to "work it out." Oh wait, I just did.
The signs of an obsessive compulsive abusive control freak were all there: His perfectly pressed and folded shirts, pants, socks...etc., the fact that he had to wash his hair immediately before he styled it each time and would never leave the house unless it was perfectly gelled and spiked. The same cup, bowl and spoon were used and washed by hand each morning and if a pile of cotton balls were sitting on the counter, he would probably put a dish towel underneath them as to not scratch the surface they were laying on because apparently in his world, everything that is placed on a surface will scratch it and a perfectly folded dish towel must go underneath it. His perfectly manicured routine never changed in the slightest and if it ever did, fits of rage would ensue. I'm not sure how he ever coped with moving. And, the complete void of spontaneity, spunk or variety in his life. It's not meticulous, it's psychotic, like that movie, "Sleeping With the Enemy" expect he's not quite that bad...yet...which means it will only get worse. I didn't ignore the signs, I just didn't know what to look for. Now I do and I will never overlook them again.
I'm not sure what it was that finally made me go, but I feel like a fool for not doing it sooner. At first I thought there was still a chance for us in the future, so I kept holding onto that. I thought there was still a shred of reasonable left in him. Then, I thought I was holding strong, not letting the abuse get to me just because we weren't together anymore. But, just because somebody isn't your boyfriend doesn't mean you can't still be in an abusive relationship and nobody should have to deal with that shit. Part of it was I was worried about the money - paying the rent when I didn't even live there etc, but in the end, it's just money. That will come and go. But, you only get one mind, one body and one soul. If you let somebody fuck those up, you're really screwed and he had complete reckless disregard for such human things. I don't blame myself for not leaving sooner because everybody's "ah-ha" moment comes at a different time and only those that have been in the same situation know this. It's something that can't be planned, but rather done while flying by the seat of your pants, then never looking back. I'm glad I've reclaimed my life.
******
I left him a note on his bed asking him to kindly keep his hands off my things until I had a chance to get the rest of them out. Then, I saw him peer out the front door as I turned the key, backed out of the driveway and finally drove away. And, all I could say, in a tauntingly sarcastic voice was, "mmmmm BUH-BYE!"
I feel like I've just been freed from prison. Larapalooza anyone?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sign Here

The wind is blowing like a mofo tonight and I keep hearing my bamboo windchimes clank together outside the living room window - one more thing I have to remember to take with me when I leave this hell hole in a month. Yes, it's back to hell hole status in this house and actually it's technically still a little longer than a month before I move out.
Apartments are surprisingly scarce in the area I want to live in - apparently I'm not the only one that is so far from owning a house it's not even funny. Of course buying a house seems so...domesticated, grown up, final and therefore not my style at the moment. I've narrowed it down to three complexes with one winning me over more and more everyday. And, naturally, it's the most expensive. I mean, I'm talking, holy-fuck-what-am-I-even-thinking-moving-into-this-place kind of expensive. Living by yourself costs a lot of goddamn money. It's like the almighty apartment gods are shunning me for being single and not wanting to fear for my life while residing in the ghetto - the only place I can actually afford an apartment. Some of the places I went and looked turned me away because they didn't even have any one bedroom openings - another pissy sign from the apartment gods - which in turn sent me into a somewhat pitiful crying fit when I got home from hunting with my mom the other day. God, what a cry baby. I'm just fucking irritated with life right now. Fucking job, fucking asshole ex, fucking broke as hell, fucking apartment gods being bitches...But you'd never guess it if you saw me on the weekends. I smell debt and/or lots of groveling at my parents' feet coming on...
The places I'm looking at now only have a few open around May 1st, which makes me all the more anxious to sign away my soul. There's still one floorplan I want to peek at before making my descision, but the people at that complex keep diddledicking around saying it's not in "viewing shape." Like I give a shit. I just want to see if I can stand the way it's set up. If they think the last apartment they showed me there was in "viewing shape"...Maybe I don't want to see it afterall. If I don't get a phone call in the next two days, it may come down to me putting on my assertive face, marching my ass in there and demanding I see this shithole "not in viewing shape" apartment or else I'm scratching them off of my list. Yeah, I'm so intimidating - all 5 foot 2, 112 pounds of me - but I'm scrappy...kinda. Hey, all they really want is my money right? If I threaten not to give it to them maybe they'll listen...or they'll just wait until tomorrow when somebody else comes and leases the apartment with the crazy apartment demand boom the area is having unbeknownst to me. It wasn't supposed to be this difficult!
If I don't slap my signature and several hundred bucks down soon, I'll be forced to go with plan B - Rent a storage pod (holy hell - ASSLOADS of unnecessary money spent there) and...wait for it...move in with my parents until the June 1st apartments are ready (DUN DUN DUUUUUUNNN!). It's not about my parents, they're the best kind of parents to move back in with - it's the fact that I'll be 25 fucking years old and LIVING WITH MY PARENTS. God, like I need another blow to my ego right now. Why don't you just tie me up and strip me naked in the town square and have people throw trash at me? I'm such a princess sometimes I swear. At least I'm not going to be out on the street, but my life will still feel like it's on hold for another month. Except of course my parents don't usually tend to call me a stupid cunt bitch whore like my current "roommate." Yes, what a lovely "human being" he's turned out to be...
Some semi-fabulous news - my sister's friend works for one of the companies where I applied for a marketing job and she called me tonight saying she would "talk to a couple people." Hooray! Oh PLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEASE, please make this happen. Year three at my current job is looming terribly close and I've already started repeating myself for the third time - as in covering annual events for the third time. I know it's only March, but if I'm not careful, my third August will creep up on me along with my third experience covering the Leavenworth County Fair, which means my third year of slopping through pig, horse, chicken, cow and mongoose shit and thus surely my demise. Third time's a charm afterall. Damn, I never thought that would be the way I'd go - trampled facedown into a pit of excrement by 4-H children and their farm animals...and mongooses.
But, tomorrow in another day - another day closer to calming the shit storm that is my life. Bring it on.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Excuse me, your vag is showing.

Oh, little high schoolers - young, innocent, annoying as hell...
As a reporter and photographer in a small town, I find myself traipsing the halls of the high school more often than I would like. Only my badge, giant camera and lack of high pitched valley girl voice and leggings tucked into Ugg boots (when will this atrocity stop by the way?) distinguish me from the young female students. Even with this distinction, I have been mistaken for a high schooler by teachers and security officers more than once - until I open my mouth of course.
I'm a quote junky. I'm not sure if I've always had this addiction or if it comes with the career, but a good quote from a conversation or interview - whether it's out of character or classic - just rings in my ears and I remember it. They're the cornerstone of a newspaper article, so they're obviously important. A quotable person is every reporter's dream because it makes your job easier and your story better.
I do have to say that interviewing high school students, with only a few exceptions, has made me a better writer because I have to compensate for the one word sullen teenager answers or the same response to every question: "It was soooo awesome." Now there's a quotable quote. Too bad I can't actually publish the extra "Os" in the newspaper...
While I'm prepared for the attitudes and the shitty interview, I wasn't exactly ready for the sight I saw on Tuesday afternoon - although it was slightly entertaining.
It was a slow news day (in a town of 3,500 - NEVER!) and I was sort of scrambling last minute to get a photo, so I headed up to the high school to take a few pictures of the guy/girl cheerleader practice. I thought, this will be good...and hilarious because I remember the good old high school drill team days when the boys formed their own "cheerleading squad" and I taught them dances. I'm not sure what was more of a riot, them attempting to pirouette or the fact that they wore old girls cheerleading uniforms that were too small for them.
I was disappointed at the lack of boys running around in cheerleading skirts and botched choreography since the girls danced with them and the guys just sort of milled around between them or behind them. However, very scary things started to happen when they began practicing stunts.
I noticed it when they were marking the stunts in between practicing the dance, trying to figure out which count in the music to cradle and what not. I thought, if that girl raises her leg any higher in those tiny ass shortest-shorts-I've-ever-seen, made-for-an-infant shorts, something WILL fall out. Yes, boys, balls are not the only things that can come out of shorts.
It reminded me of a little story from college right when the mini jean skirts became the must haves. A few of my sorority sisters went to a nursing home to deliver philanthropy information with at least one of them wearing one of these short skirts. While I have several of them, it's not exactly something I would choose to wear to a nursing home, so I sort of understood when one of the old ladies screeched, "That girl's skirt is so short, I can see her asshole!" True story. No lie.
Well, I felt like that old lady on Tuesday. I mean, short shorts - cool, I wear them too, but where do you draw the line? I wasn't aware that 16-year-old cheerleaders prancing around in their underwear during practice, in front of their horny little male counterparts adhered to the school dress code. I mean, here I am, trying to take photos of these girls and everytime they go up into a stunt...mega ultron wedgie. This one girl in particular kept going up into the stunt and her teammates were forced to grab her bare ass to support her without even thinking a thing of it. At one point I said to myself, Oh JESUS! I'm pretty sure I just saw labia...and that was just from my angle. Those poor boys spotting the stunt, and I say poor because I'm not sure how they were hiding their boners, surely saw much more. Those obvious, but I'm-trying-to-act-like-I-don't-notice drooly smirks told me they were thinking, "uhhhhh...VAGINA!" Though I'm sure that's not exactly the word that was flashing in their little brains.
And, no, I'm not a pervy, lesbian paparazzi, nor is my camera that fabulous, so I was not zooming in trying to catch that nasty Britney Spears beaver shot. I was just sitting there, wincing, hoping the train wreck would end soon - for theirs and my sake. Didn't she feel a draft or something?
So, high school students, next time you encounter a reporter, try your hardest to speak with even the slightest conviction and intelligence and, most importantly, for god sakes, ladies, cover your vag!
And, from the quote junky, I have the perfect quote to go with this blog:
"...and for fuck's sake, keep your legs together. Nobody wants to see the bride's (or cheerleader's) beaver!"
- Anthony to Charlotte in an episode of Sex and the City.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Surprise!

I've been on hiatus trying and suceeding as a party planner. I might be the only person in the world that plans a surprise party for their sister's 30th birthday a month in advance, then waits until five days before the party to actually make things happen. Sure the guests had been invited, the food and theme had been brainstormed and the plan to get her out of the house was thought of, but nothing was purchased, printed, picked out or made until Sunday afternoon. And, the blown up childhood photos and giant poster boards full of embarassing pictures weren't constructed until the night before. The party was Friday.
But, of course, like most things in my life it all came together beautifully in my haphazard yet picky perfectionist of a procrastinator kind of way. I work well under pressure. Plus, I don't need much sleep. However, all I did last week was go to work then focus on party stuff. I'm not really sure if I even ate, though I feel like I'm starting to develop a bit of a beer belly since the only exercise I got was running in and out of stores and up and down the stairs of my parent's house from the computer to the living room.
It was all worth it after seeing the look of genuine surprise (and scared shitless-ness) on my sister's face when she walked in the door. The party horns were a good touch - loud and relentless. Lets just say the guest list was fairly large and mixed. Although I noticed that at least one person that RSVPed didn't show up even though about 90 percent of me knew he wouldn't show - my hot tub pal from Mexico. I'm sure he's found someone willing to rip their clothes off on the first date. It's his number one quality he looks for in a woman afterall. I'm officially done thinking about that.
We finished up the night with a trip to the new Power and Light District in downtown KC. After a 20 minute and 7 degree wait in line, we headed into Ragland Road, got a few drinks and then a few text messages from a guy I met in the area on Valentine's Day. After finding out we were in the same bar, I looked around a divider at the bar and found that we were standing all of 10 feet away from each other as well. For lack of a better word, he's nice. Nice and decent as far as I can tell, but so painfully vanilla. I can't help, but get the impression of "pansy ass" when talking to him, which is hideously mean because I'd much rather have a conversation with him than any of the select popped collar douchebags that seem to flourish wherever I go, but he lacks the confidence and humor I look for. While decent looking, there's nothing there. It's the equivalent to kissing my own hand. Plus, he owns a cat and drives a Buick. Yeah, I had to add in the little materialistic details that don't necessarily make or break, but just add in a red flag. We all have those and I'm just one of the ones that admits to it. I'm not sure how he feels, but perhaps a friendship will come out of it. Nothing more.
Here I am trying to fill this void in my life and I wonder how long it will go on. While distracted by the party planning this past week, the ex dropped a huge bomb on me - he's found somebody to take my place in the house. Then he offered to pay my last two months of rent as if he wanted me out of the house so bad that he was not only willing to live with a stranger, but pay more than $1,600. Then the best news of all came out. I asked who wanted to move in...long pause...someone, he says...who?...another long pause...a friend of a friend named Nicole. A woman? As if this wasn't shitastic enough, this just makes the wound even harder to heal. He says she's unattractive and fat - however his definition of such things are far off the "normal" scale. I voiced that I thought it was inappropriate to have another woman move in and that I couldn't understand why he would want to live with somebody he didn't know rather than me. I took it as a personal attack because he said she wanted to move in before our lease was up and I'm not prepared for that. I basically freaked out and cried the hideous cry the night he told me. Not because of the whole woman thing necessarily, but because it was actually happening. After threatening for so long and always having him protest, he was finally giving in and realizing that this living situation is completely dysfunctional and putting our lives on hold.
Though I've calmed down a bit now and he's explained that he's not doing this to be mean to me, it's still a blow to my happiness. My mom and I went apartment hunting yesterday. "A one bedroom" "just me and my little dog" I kept hearing myself say. Am I prepared for this? Do I honestly want to be doing this? God no, but I'm not sure what choice I have. It's horribly expensive and while my mom has offered to help me, there's another blow to my ego. My optimistic side is feeling excitement, a new start, but the rest of me is devastated. I thought this was it and now suddenly it's not. He asked me tonight, "are we doing the right thing?" And while I'm not completely sure, this might just be the key to knowing whether to salvage it or just let it go, by spending at least a year apart as friends or just dating maybe. "Whoever heard of that?" I'm sure most people are thinking, but if there's one thing I've gotten out of this relationship experience, it's that nobody else's opinion matters because they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.
Now that the party is over - my big distraction - I'm back to worrying about the sticky spot in life I'm in right now. The relationship or the lack there of, the living situation, mixed feelings about being back in the dating world, more mixed feelings, financial worries and insecurities about the apartment hunt and of course the looming employment concern. There are no jobs and while highly qualified for the jobs I have applied for, nobody is making my phone ring. Am I stuck at this tiny newspaper that pays me in pennies and dimes forever? (insert nail biting and ominous music).
I'm going to try to focus on getting some side writing jobs started. It might again give me a distraction from my silent phone and the flaky men. On top of that, it's time to finish my organization projects, such as cleaning out closets and preparing to move, that I started pre-party planning frenzy. But, most of all, I need to begin making regular appearances at the gym again. Not only is this developing "beer belly" not helping my mental situation, but endorphines are far less expensive, habit forming and stigmatic than Prozac...Although the idea of investing in some "happy pills" remains on the back burner...
 

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