Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tell Me Something Good

If you're like me, reading that title has you singing that song. You know the one - it's from... like... the 80's? Or the 70's? And it's all, "Tell me something good..." Google informs me that it's by Rufus and Chaka Khan. No? Nothing? Okay, then you are nothing like me.

My mom is a very positive sort of person (no, I have no idea how she produced me, the stormiest personality EVER), so she's always trying to keep an optimistic attitude and help others around her do the same. So she learned at some point to stop saying, "How are you?" or "What's up?" when she passes coworkers at the office. You've probably realized by this point in your life - the point at which you're capable of perusing the internet and reading blogs, which has got to be at least 7 or 8 years old, right? - that when you ask someone at work, "How are you?" the most common response is going to be complaining. So instead of inviting complaints and ranting with a generic question like "How are you?" my mom opens up with, "Tell me something good!" This way, the person you're talking to is immediately led to focus on the positive instead of the negative.

Unfortunately, I'm a grouch. I have trouble focusing on the positive when there is negative to be worried about. The positive in my life often lurks in the shadow of the negative. I am Charlie Brown, standing beneath the one solitary storm cloud that follows him around and rains wherever he goes.

Today, that was even more true than usual. Today was a shitty day. I don't usually describe days as shitty, because I honestly don't use swear words very often in my daily life. I would usually describe a bad day as 'crappy,' or, if I'm feeling slightly more hip and witty, maybe I'd call it 'craptastic.' Shitty is only used for really horrendously shitty days.

Last night, as those who follow me on Twitter already know, I found out that HTG is engaged. HTG - Hot Teacher Guy - the love of my life for over a year now. Now, I know, I only ever talked about HTG as a pseudo-joke here on the blog and over on Twitter. It probably seemed like no big deal. I wrote it that way on purpose, but it's not true. I could not, for more than a year, control how strongly I felt about him. Fully head over heels I was, not just for his looks - which are amazing, engaged or not - but for his sheer quirkiness. For more than a year I've been hoping that somehow it might work out.

And then I found out that he got engaged.

I'm not really surprised. I told Tpiglette numerous times that I fully expected he'd come back from summer break engaged. But thinking it will happen and knowing it DID happen are two different things. And I found out when I was with friends who had no idea I was so hung up on him, so I had to try to just pretend that it meant nothing to me, when really I just wanted to cry. (I did, much later, when I was alone.)

This morning I wasn't feeling any better. I had to fight with myself to get out of bed at all, and that two hours later than I should have. Eventually I got myself ready and headed to the DMV, which I think is really just a preview of Hell itself. I didn't get what I needed accomplished, and, in fact, I only got a new task for myself amidst a stack of others. Thank you SO MUCH, Mr. Helpful DMV Guy - I could really tell you cared about my dilemma the way you kept staring blankly and snapping your gum at me.

At school, the day only got worse. I picked up a preliminary set of class rosters, to see who would be in my various classes. I don't want to say too much here, but let's just say that while there were a few things about those rosters that were good, there were many things that made me EXTREMELY UNHAPPY. Like, "Great, now I'm crying again" unhappy. Like, "I want to shout out every curse word I know in a long string because only one or two won't do it" unhappy.

Days like today, when my mom says, "Tell me something good," these are the kinds of answers I have for her:

"At least I'm not cutting myself!"

"I don't have enough drugs on hand to overdose!"

"I'm not mean enough to actually murder anyone!"

"The last time I hit rock bottom I lost weight, so maybe this will help with my diet!"

And of course: "Someday I'll be dead and none of this will matter!"

Yeah, my "something good" responses suck. I know it, but I can't help it. Days like today, I just don't have it in me to find real, genuine good.

Tell me something good?


Rachel said...

Tomorrow is another day?

Still Jill B said...

Hey babe, you DO rock, your writing/posting has been great lately, and when you can find an improved perspective, you'll have blog fodder - whether good stories or thought-provokement.

tpiglette said...

That hat looks fantastic on you? :)

(The first one in your list is good for us to hear, btw, even if it's not much consolation for you.)

And...Isaiah 43:2-3.

unmitigated me said...

Tell me that you love me, YEAH!
Tell me, tell me, tell me...

And the hat is awesome.

Mrs. Higrens said...

Perseid Meteor Showers should be visible this week.

That's pretty cool.

dawn said...

Unrequited love is a fuel for inspiration-Shakespeare wrote close to 100 sonnets about it.

Maybe it can help give you the inspiration you need for that novel you've been wanting to write.

You are amazing and strong. This post proves that.

Natalie said...

You have friends who love you, and believe in you finding true love.

fjd said...

I'm definitely a positive person: I think if one has good health and is financially independent (i.e., can pay rent, buy groceries, pay for necessities without a problem), then happiness is simply a matter of finding fun things to do. To me, life is a bunch of adventures.

Here's a nerd's perspective on dating. People often toss around the phrase, "Nerds make the best lovers," but in my view, far too rarely heed it. And I think it's really true and worth thinking about. A typical swoon-worthy macho guy is bound to be a selfish lover because he's had it easy all his life; he's never learned to give, because he hasn't needed to. In contrast, a nerd -- smart, creative, intense, used to detailed, painstaking work, and socially inept -- has had to work for everything, has all sorts of fantasies, and so, given the chance, is likely to be a very giving lover. (There is a subtlety here: not all tech guys are nerds. In fact, the tech guys one might meet at a party are likely not. But only nerds know that, so you have to be careful. For example, startup types, at least the ones who do all the talking and whatnot, are not nerds: they're often handsome and smooth, and they don't do the detailed behind-the-scenes hard stuff that a true nerd does by nature.)

Now, here's the thing. A lot of nerds stay single simply because dating never works out for them, and it turns out that nerds have way more interesting things to do (nerds are really good at having interesting things to do) than get rejected or be made to feel awkward over and over. Nerds learn to be happy single guys. I gave up trying to date years ago for exactly that reason. Yet I know for a fact that I'd be an awesome boyfriend. As an example (yeah, I'm bragging), a couple of years ago a female friend was in town (alas, she lives across the country). She's really open minded and cool, and she stayed at my place for two nights. I gave her the bed and was going to sleep on the couch, but I fairly soon realized she had other ideas. I couldn't believe it. Anyway, I always had figured I'd be really good at going down on a girl if I just had the chance. And I was. She started counting her orgasms when she realized this was going to be kind of memorable. She got to eleven. Those were two lovely nights.

I write all of this for the following reason. Obviously it sucks that your love interest for the past year is definitely unavailable. But here's something good that is relevant: with a little effort (you pretty much have to give up Mr. Darcy-like fantasies), you can find a sweet nerd who would be devoted to you.

Anonymous said...

I often have a dark cloud following me (phrase stolen from Tom Peters) so I understand.

Distraction always works for me! Come by my blog and watch Swedish Chef videos. :)

Fourth Breakfast

Sandra said...

You are fantastic, amazing and resilient and he's engaged so that your attentions will be ready for an even hotter HTG that is about to magically appear.

And you have fabulous shoes.

And we love you.

bernthis said...

I too have trouble seeing the positive. It does get easier as you get older I will say that.

Tell you something good:

Today I can walk
I can swim
I can exercise and feel so wonderful afterwards I feel like I can accomplish anything
My kid is healthy
My parents are alive and healthy as are my friends

Trust me when I say, years ago this stuff wouldn't have mattered to me but as I said, with age comes perspective.

BetteJo said...

I didn't kill my cat when he peed on my bathroom rug today. That's as good as I get right now, sorry!