Not in on the joke OR What I did thursday night,….

A coworker introduced me to a friend of hers last week. She seemed bright and cheerful, engaging smile, dark brown hair that came to a sort of swept forward bob cut, small wire frame glasses and a wardrobe to remind you that perhaps she was a little bit on the punk rocker side of life. So naturally, at my friends urging, started chatting with her. We emailed and texted for a couple days, talking on the phone briefly through the week and agreed to meet up for drinks at Margaritas on thursdays night.
As I pulled into Margaritas parking lot, I got a text message.
“Something came up, I can’t make it”.
I wasn’t surprised. My dating life has been one singular disaster after another and getting stood up again, well, I just had to laugh. I don’t know how I pick these people or how they find me, but I get fooled every single time. Somehow, I’m missing something.
I sat in the parking, staring at Margaritas. Those colors were too bright and cheerful for my mood. The bright yellow of the sign was like turning over on a lazy sunday morning and catching that single beam of the rising sun that has evaded the curtain and lands directly on your face, waking you and reminding you that you should be elsewhere, doing something, anything….I pulled out of the parking lot and headed over to downtown Portsmouth.
A cloud was forming over me, the kind that few things can dissipate. To weather the storm that was brewing, I took myself shopping. Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, BullMoose Music are all wonderful for distracting my troubled mind. I know this is weird for a guy, but going shopping, even window shopping (no, not literally shopping for windows) just seems to distract and calm my nerves.
I pulled up in front of BullMoose and got a parking spot right out front. Holy crap! That never happens. Usually, I have to park up near the square and hoof it to the music store. Suddenly in a good mood, I went inside. I love this store. One of my fantasies is when (yeah right) I win the lottery, my first stop would be here at Bull Moose so i could clean them out of all the other cds I want but don’t yet have. I just picture myself showing up with a shopping cart and just piling it up with cds until there was a leaning tower of Piza in the cart, precariously balanced cds tilting too and fro until I made it to the waiting limousine. Yup, its a mild fantasy, but it’s mine.
I went in through the doors. and my heart sank.
There she was.
In the check out line with three friends.
I felt this lump in my throat andย  my face flushed. I turned towards the new releases, barely able to see what was in front of me, my mind racing with lots of colorful expletives. She stood there at the checkout, chatting cheerfully with her friends and as they walked towards me to the exit, I pulled on my fake salesman’s smile, turned and said, “hey, how ya doin?”
Silence.
Not even a glance in my direction. The four of them just kept chatting like I wasn’t there. Like I was invisible and my voice nothing more than an annoying breeze.
They exited the store and thats when I saw the bag one of her friends was carrying: a take out bag from Margaritas.
I heard the four of them burst into muffled laughter outside the front door, obviously some great joke had been played successfully and they were enjoying a good laugh.
Mindlessly, i leafed through the cds in front of me. Finally, i pulled out my phone.
“have a good nite” I texted to her and then deleted her from my phone.
This morning, as I was coming into work, I called my friend and explained to her what had happened. There was a pause then she burst into laughter. Again, I felt like I was missing out on some fantastic prank.
“Thats so like her,” she said through her giggling.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh she always does that, thats just how she is” her laughter finally trailed off.
I could feel that stormcloud over my head again. This time it was worse, thunder cracking in my ears.
“If you friend was such a fucking cunt, then why did you introduce me to her?”
Silence again.
Then the unmistakable click of the phone being hung up.
I sat in my car outside work, waiting for the storm to pass a bit before I went inside. I very rarely get angry, very rarely do I let that emotion overtake me. When I was a teenager/early 20something, anger was something that I could not control sometimes and I lashed out at friends, family, anyone within earshot. It’s a base and ugly emotion that does nothing but worry and destroy. I like to think I have no time for anger anymore, no time for things that waste my time. But this was too much.
Slowly, I felt my bloodpressure comedown, the redness to my face slowly gave way to my usual paleness.
And then……
Thank whatever powers there may be for friends. When I get wrapped up in an emotion and lose all perspective, my friends are there to ground me. I had let myself go into a hopeless downward spiral of self hate and anger, but a single helping hand from a good friend pulled me out of that whirlpool. A few emails and text messages later, and the storm was gone, nothing more than a potent memory.ย  A good friend flattered and teased me, giving me something positive to latch onto and that made all the difference. We joked and laughed a bit back and forth on texts and emails. Finally, i felt like I was in on the joke, instead of being the butt of it. And the laughter I heard was my own…
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27 responses to “Not in on the joke OR What I did thursday night,….

  1. As soon as I read that you decided to go on a shopping spree, I thought, “He’s going to run into her.” But then I thought, “No, that kind of thing only happens in contrived movies.” Rats! Who does that? Worse yet, who cancels via text?

  2. “No, that kind of thing only happens in contrived movies”
    Yeah, I was thinking that too after the fact….
    The funny part of all of this, I was out with some good friends on saturday night and she texted me again, wanting to know if I wanted to meet up and hang out…I quickly deleted that message and never answered her…
    Getting cancellations via text is nothing: I’ve had breakups that were less than congenial conducted over emails…

  3. Dude, that sucks. I’ve been stood up more times than I can remember (as I look across the table to my wife and think how blessed I am).

    After she texted you Saturday night, would it have been childish to say, “Sure, how about at the Twisted Dragon around 10:30?” and then not show up? Yeah, probably. Predictable, too. Funny, but predictable.

  4. Yes, girls can be bitchy but I think she’s beyond that. She texted you AFTER she stood you up and asked if you wanted to meet up and hang out? She’s mental. While her behavior was rude and might possibly stunt your social abilities with women for the next little while, you clearly avoided a basket case.

  5. gecko – a friend suggested the very same thing…:) but I was too busy being a shutterbug for the evening to worry about calling her back

    Red – Oh I know, but my ‘dating’ history for the last year and half has been nothing but one royal mess after another…most of my closest friends are women, so I know fantastic, amazing, beautiful women are out there, I just don’t seem to get to ask them out…instead I get ones like this who stand me up and pull some sillyhigh school level nonsense….

    Pammy – yes, I avoided that basket case, but makes me wonder where the next one is because, trust me, I’ll probably find her….*sighs*

  6. What a FANTASIC post! Good golly, you are such a great writer! Like you seriously rock some excelllent imagery and descriptive powers in your writing, not to mention the ability to inject emotion into it as well…

    Where have you been hiding? I’m so glad I found your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t date punk rock girls anymore. The majority are nuts and usually have slept with someone in a band you love. Also, borrowing a line from an old comic buddy of mine,”Hallmark should make sorry I called you a cunt cards”

    ELVI!

  8. Glad you’re laughing now. I’m still pissed! The nerve of her! I’m glad I found your blog. Great writing! I would never have found yours if you hadn’t commented on mine. I’m adding you to my blogroll. Thanks!

  9. I love your blog! I agree with the crowd, the chick is certifiable. You dodged a bullet.

    I have problems with people who show blatant disregard for others feelings.

  10. Wow, I don’t pay attention for a day or so and I’m behind on answering…heehee…whoops

    ELVI – I’m an old punk rocker. I don’t dress in the halloween costume anymore and my hair is a sensible cut in ordinary brown and gray colors, but part of me still thinks its that young punk rocker kid from 17 years ago and that part is still in love with the punk rock chicks…:) so even though my rational brain may be saying no, the little pissy punk with the mohawk, combat boots and the nose ring still wants the punk girls….sometimes, my judgement is cloudy….

    ALLISON – ok, I’ll stay with this style for awhile…:)

    DONTDATETHATDUDE – I absolutely love your blog too….:)

    BETME – I’m not sure I was even in the path of said bullet….according to my co worker (who is speaking to me again) she never really had any intentions of actually going out….she just likes to f with people aparently
    I have problems with people like that too…I was brought up with something called manners: if I was rude to someone as a kid, I had the crap beat out of me, so from an early age, I minded my manners and now as an adult, I still get caught off guard by people who show such blatant disregard for those around them…it truly amazes me and makes me wonder how their parents raised them…..

  11. “I donโ€™t know how I pick these people or how they find me, but I get fooled every single time. Somehow, Iโ€™m missing something.”

    We are two peas in a pod. I recently got the “Oh it’s not you. I am working through some issues” BS. I said I understood – he said lets be friends, we’ll get together after the new year. Haven’t heard from him since. I am getting too old for this crap.

    I will never understand the head game crap.

  12. Lucky – exactly!!! You would think I could see these games coming a mile away by now…but no, I still fall for them. The hopeless romantic in me always thinks the best of everyone, and I think thats why I become victim to silliness

  13. I’m in your boat as well, I stopped wearing the leather jacket years ago but still go out to shows occasionally. Honestly, I have no clue what I want anymore even though I still have a certain song from The Queers (also from N.H.) always in my head. All I know is, if I start do a list like in High Fidelity, I’ll shoot myself.

    ELVI!

  14. Dude! I went to school with those guys!!! Joe King used to live down the street from me and the girl that song is about lives here on the seacoast still…not sure if shes still a dj at the college station, but I know she is around.
    And I go to shows all the time, but I’m either doing photography or standing at the bar with the other old punks going “Damn, remember when we could stage dive?” ah good times

  15. That’s what it comes down to…we are freakin’ hopeless romantics. Someone will appreciate it someday!

    ELVI! What is your site??? Your name doesn’t have a link attached to it!

  16. I’m at the bar like any punk over 21. I’ve learned that I’ll go see a band if it’s going to be either really good or really funny, kinda like the dead milkmen lyric,”we went to a shopping mall, to laugh at all the shoppers.” The only bad part is that I’ve realized at 25 I have to look for wedding rings when I talk to women. Life’s weird as you grow up.

  17. Crap! Was the chick 17 yrs. old?? Because that sounds like something a teenager would do. Seriously, just TOO frickin’ immature AND cuntish!! Sorry you had to experience that. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  18. ELVI – 25 is too young to give up bands my friend. I’m 35 and going to shows is one of the hi-lights of my week. Like tonite, good friends are coming up from NYC, They are called LOURDS (link on my main page) and I only recently was introduced to their music (2 years ago) and now I see them whenever and where ever I can…hmmm, I feel a musically themed blog coming on…and yeah, I’m always looking for wedding rings too,,story of my life ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lucky – I know what you mean by reflex…I almost obsess over it sometimes, trying to catch a glimpse of that ring finger…:)

    2LD – thanks…she was in her 20’s someplace…

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