Retreat

I’m sitting here, working the fringe benefits allocation and the FICA allocation, and it is taking all of my willpower not to just get up and walk out. I’m not talking about quitting. I’m talking about Just Not Being Here, and I’m not just talking about work. I’m talking about everything.

If I had a magic wand, I would move a week of my vacation time during the holidays to next week. I would spend the next ten days in complete and utter solitude. At home. With the dog.

The exhaustion that I’m suffering right now seems endless. I can’t hardly keep my eyes open, even after a full night’s sleep. I could sleep for a week, I think, before I felt better.

As someone who has stood on the very edge of sanity and looked over the ledge, I can tell you that while I’m okay in the sense that I’m not a danger to myself or other people, I am losing my mind.

There’s a paranoia welling inside me. I take things the worst way possible. When people speak to me, I question their motives. I question their loyalty and allegiance. When I don’t hear from someone, they’re ignoring me, they don’t care anymore, they don’t want me bothering them. When I do hear from someone, I feel pressured. I hate the constant stream of panic and frustration I’m dealing with right now, and I hate exposing people to it. I don’t want to spend all of my free time completely alone, but I fear companionship. I fear making a fool of myself, I fear being talked about behind my back, I’m afraid of becoming- no, I’m afraid that I’ve already become that person, that girl, the subject of irritation and pity and duty.

The slightest imposition, say, my boss expecting me to do my job, or a coworker needing some information, or a two minute chore for my second job- these things make me seethe with resentment and I’m overwhelmed by the pressure to perform and not let this ordeal affect my performance. I don’t want to go to school, and I don’t want to do my homework, and I don’t want to read my textbooks.

So the only thing that gives me comfort right now, that brings me a sense of calm and well-being, is retreating. Hiding from my life, its pressures and demands. Giving up on my social life in hopes that my attachment to people will fade, so that everything can end quietly and be easy for everyone and I can avoid the humiliation and drama that will come from figuring out that people are rolling their eyes at me and hoping I don’t show up to parties and not telling me about events on purpose.

If I have to calm my Mom down one more time, I’m going to quit taking her calls. I know she’s worried, and I know that she’s going to rightfully react with anger when she feels I’ve been wronged, but her energy is AWFUL, HORRIBLE and TOXIC (see, it runs in the family! i just have the sense to see and admit it), and I. CAN’T. HANDLE. IT.

People want to know what’s going on, and I want to tell them, but I get tired of relaying the same awful information over and over and over again, and I want them to want to know, but I find myself wishing that there was just some way to make them know without having to talk about it ALL THE TIME.

I’ve grown to hate talking on the phone. I wish that people would just come see me, come sit on the porch and have a drink and talk about what color I should paint the living room and whether or not we’ll have a lot of snow this winter and what are you doing for the long weekend. My house is pretty far out from town, though, and people don’t come out. A few people come out sometimes, but for the most part, I don’t have company.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to finish these entries and call my HR rep and see if I can’t plan a retreat, before I end up in a straitjacket in the psych ward.

Manpon

Recent events led me to list “men who act like girls” on a recent Facebook note, under pet peeves. I’m all for the evolution of the male gender into more expressive and emotional creatures, and don’t misunderstand- I love men. This is by no means a man-hating post. They know  stuff I’m clueless about, some of them are cute and smell good, they’re funny and entertaining in general. This post is a plea for more masculinity and maturity. My tolerance for moodiness, hand-wringing, and lack of confidence in men is nonexistent. Too much of this behavior destroys my respect and affection with a quickness.

Talk to Me.

I don’t expect men to communicate with the depth and frequency that women do. Perhaps a good rule for men to follow: if something is bothering you, and it’s affecting the way you deal with other people, you might make them aware of it. Have a problem with me? Have an opinion about me? Want something from me? Need something from me? Need or want less of something from me? Just let me know, already. No amount of mixed signals is going to convey your message. I’m a big girl- I can handle the truth, if I know what it is. Are you a big enough man to tell me? For fuck’s sake, when you do tell me, don’t apologize for it. Don’t simper and whine. Own it. It’s your thought/feeling/problem/opinion/need/request, and if it’s important enough to drive your behavior, it’s important enough to put out there in words, and it’s important enough to be heard and considered. You men should be well aware that fishing is best done in the water and nowhere else.

Make Up Your Mind

I am the Queen of Indecision. I understand the need to review your options, consider your circumstances, and try to predict outcomes. I’m a talker, so I understand gathering opinions and talking through your own thoughts and feelings. There comes a time, however, when you just have to make up your mind and lay your bets. Preferably, you’ll do this before I get tired of listening to you analyze it. God help you if I’m waiting for you to make a decision that affects me, because my patience with your hand-wringing just left town. That’s probably the quickest way to get me out of your hair. If you take too long to decide on something I’m involved with, I’m likely to make your decision for you, if you catch my drift.

Be Confident, or at least Fake It Till You Make It

I’m not referring to the occasional bout of self-doubt we all suffer or the fine line between confidence and arrogance. I will say that I have a higher tolerance for arrogance than self depreciation. Whether we’re family, friends, or otherwise involved, people want to be around people that have something to offer, that bring something to the table. So be proud of what you bring to the table. Also, when you talk yourself down to me, I feel your need to be dis proven or argued out of your self-doubt. Again, fishing is done in rivers. Not in conversation. I can’t convince you of your worth, and I’ll spend not another hot minute of my life trying to do that for anyone. When you tell me that you, your job, your house, your hobbies, your whatever is “nothing special”, you’ve just told me I’m wasting my time talking to you. At the very least, you’re wasting your life away working and doing and keeping “nothing special”. Don’t apologize for complimenting me. How simpering and weak. If you admire my writing, tell me. If you admire my figure, tell me. Then don’t apologize for telling me. I don’t know if other girls aren’t good at accepting compliments or what, but you may as well have not complimented me if you feel the need to apologize immediately afterward. If you’re behaving in this way because you’re intimidated by me somehow, then we’re both wasting our time. So go find someone you can talk to like a man.

You’re the Hunter, Not Me

I won’t chase men. I may get a little too direct, friendly or responsive when I’m attracted to someone, but in general, you need to do the pursuing or we will never get anywhere. I’ll look at you from across the room, catch your eye and smile. I’ll continue a conversation you start. You’ll know during that conversation whether or not I’d be willing to have another conversation with you, say, over dinner or coffee. I won’t give you my number, more than likely, unless I’ve accepted a date from you. Why? Because I don’t want to give you my number and then receive random half-hearted and grammatically horrific text messages. “wold like to cu sometimes” “ur hot” “ur beyond belief” “i has no girlfriend”. My response, whether you receive it or not, is: UR SUCH A NEUTERED IDIOT. Ask me if I’d like to something specific within a specific time frame if you’re going to ask me out. I’m worth the effort, and I need to know that you are willing and capable of making at least that much of an effort before I invest any time in you. Of course, you won’t do that if you’re just trying to get me into bed…..

Can You Handle It?

If you are just trying to get me into bed, you’ll have to be twice as confident and charming, because you’re trying to convince me to make a bigger investment with little to no return on investment after the deed is done. You’re not going to get anywhere unless I’m as sure as possible that you are respectful, discreet and mature enough to handle such an arrangement.  I’ve seen many men screw up a casual sex arrangement with a girl because they felt compelled to treat her like a leper or a piece of trash, lest she start hearing wedding bells. Some women actually mean what we say when we say we don’t want a relationship. When you pointedly treat us like stalkers or trash, you kill the chemistry that created the environment for the arrangement in the first place.

Men, please take these words to heart. Grow up, get smart, and be MEN. I thank you, my friends thank you, women everywhere thank you.

/rant

Alone

With all of my peeps at the beach, and the ex out of the house for the weekend, I’ve got a lot of alone time. I was running on a major deficit of alone time, so this is mostly a good thing. I notice the silence, the lack of drinking, dancing, laughing, and causing trouble, and it is just a little sad. Mostly, though, I’m thinking, dreaming, napping and planning. Soaking it up.

This is the calm before the storm, anyway, because school will be starting soon, and I will again be too busy to breathe or think.  I’m going a second round with Biology, if someone forgot to pay their tuition, and I’m also taking Intermediate Accounting (read: fourth ring of hell). I’m excited, though, to start classes again, and I think the Accounting class is on campus. Which is a double edged sword, but it will be good for me to be out and about.

This weekend? It’s lots of lists and reading, watching old movies, taking long, hot baths, and trying to figure out what my life will look like when the dust settles. When the lush green of summer fades to stunning fall color, and I am again the Queen of my castle.