Good Company

I didn’t go running. Who’s surprised?

I walked outside with my gym bag, all jumped up and ready to run ten miles, with St. Elmo’s Fire playing on loop in my head—and it was 32 degrees, dark out, and raining. I can’t go running in weather like that, even if I do run on a track in the gym. It takes the mickey out of me just to walk to the bus in crappy cold weather, much less convince myself to get out of my warm pants and into shorts and a sports bra. So I went home and started cleaning up, took a sandwich break, then cleaned up some more. At about 7:30, I decided I would be a total loser if I didn’t work out at all that day, so I did Tae Bo. Halfway through the tape, my aunt came home and ate her Wendy’s and told me about her day while I finished the high kicks. We decided that after my shower, we would finish cleaning the house, including taking out the trash and recycling and mopping the bathroom floor. She was still cleaning when I passed out at 11:00. But my apartment is clutter-free and minty fresh, so all is right with the world.

I am still a little tired from all the driving today, although the airport pickup went fairly smoothly—it only took about 45 minutes, which is much less time than I remember. I took my mother and girlfriend to breakfast, because I felt bad that I wouldn’t be home to entertain her all day, since I have to work at Starbucks tonight. I was full of pancakes all morning, which is about the most soporific food in the world (next to turkey, of course; otherwise, we wouldn’t know the word ‘tryptophan’), so I am beat. Maybe I can slam a few shots before I start working tonight. Double espresso + soy milk = four more hours of Beedoo standing upright. Hey, if I have three, maybe I can work out later. Hooray for stimulants!

I remembered why I love this particular girlfriend when I brought her to my apartment this morning. I was showing her around, giving the tour, showing her the food I had bought and telling her what things were broken / tricky to operate, and I felt ridiculous even as I did it, but I couldn’t stop myself. She wasn’t raised in a cave; she’s been living in the modern age her entire life, and I’m explaining how a stove works. What is my problem? When we got to the bathroom, she immediately starts in with, “Now, is this your everyday ‘flush’ toilet, or is there some sort of lever / pulley system that you need to tell me about?” I smiled, and hung my head, and laughed at her laughing at me, and felt really good that people understand what a freak I am, and that they would want to fly 300 miles just to tell me so. I love that I have friends that will call me out on my shit, either good or bad, whether they’re teasing or not, and whether I want to hear it or not. Maybe that’s why I only have a few close friends; I attract people who act like my family.

Case in Point:

I have a problem with compliments. I don’t accept them well. People will tell me they like my hair, and I will babble about which products I put in it. If someone compliments my shoes, I tell them where I bought them, and occasionally, the price. I feel like it’s wrong to take credit for things like looking pretty or having a nice hair color, because I really didn’t have anything to do with it. Even when people call me smart, all I tell them is how much my college cost. It’s like I need to explain myself; I’m afraid they’ll think I’m snobby if I don’t tell them that, actually, anyone can have my hair color, it’s 6.99 at Target. My mother has remarked about this a number of times, but I’m such a dork I don’t know how to just say ‘thank you’ and move on; I’m afraid I’ll look pretentious.

So this morning, my houseguest and I are in my kitchen; she is looking at the pictures on my fridge, which happens to have my high school graduation photo on it. “Is that you?” she asks.

ME: “Oh, yeah,”

SHE: “That’s a really good picture of you.”

ME: “Uh, I guess. That’s when I weighed, like, 180.”

SHE: “You can’t tell though, it’s a headshot. I like the expression on your face, it’s casual. It’s a good picture.”

ME: “Yeah, it’s before I actually started doing my hair, you can tell, and my eyebrows are plucked all weird—“

SHE: (all sarcastic-like) “Oh, thank you, for liking my picture, that is just so nice of you…”

ME: “Yes. I know. Thank You. That is what I meant to say. I have a problem with that.”

SHE: “Yes, I know that, and that is why I must give you shit about it.”

ME: “Thank you for making me a better person.”

SHE: “You’re welcome

Friends are our subconscious in human form. Think about that.


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