Monday, September 19, 2005

Glory Days

The days are shorter, the evenings are getting chilly, and the leaves are beginning to turn. It's that time of year again. Summer is basically over and fall has arrived. And with fall comes the return of those extracurricular activities that have been on hiatus since June. Not only do the little kiddies get to spend 7 hours of the day in school, off the streets away from good tax paying citizens such as myself, they're also occupied until nightfall with a wide range of lessons, sports, and clubs. That means no more visits from the 6 year old camaflouged would-be assassin who lives next door to me. It also means I have a life again! Tap dancing and tae kwon do started again last week, YIPPEE!!!
When I moved to this place of boredom and brats I knew the only way to survive my indefinite stay would be to get out of town once a month and to find something or someone to keep me distracted while time sailed by. Getting out of town once a month was the easy part. Chicago is just a 3 hour drive away and credit cards cover plane tickets to NYC. That just left finding a suitable distraction. Initially I tried distracting myself with the men of Grand Rapids but quickly realized that I needed a distraction to keep my mind off the fact that Grand Rapids has no men. So I said to myself, "Self, we won't be getting any loving for a while, we need to find a hobby to keep ourself busy." I sat back and I pondered. A hobby. Well a hobby should be something I like to do. I like to shop! But I don't consider T-J Max and JC Penny suitable outlets for that pasttime. So I'd have to find something else. I enjoy a good club or lounge on the weekend. Unfortunately, all Grand Rapids had to offer was the Howlin Moon Saloon. The name alone says it all. With my options rapidly running out, I decided to think outside the box. I started looking back on my life to all the things that I've enjoyed over the years. Turns out I had to think all the way back to elementary school in order to find something that Grand Rapids couldn't totally fuck up for me. So I decided to relive the 4th grade and rekindle my passion for tap dancing and martial arts.
Hobbies were the perfect solution to my problem. Think about it. Not only do I live in West Bumblefuck, not knowing a soul out here, I also work from home. If I found hobbies, I'd find people and possibly even a social life, plus I'd get out of the house as well. So I went around the corner to the local dance studio and signed up for Monday night adult tap class. After that I signed up for Thursday night tae kwon do through the City Parks and Recreation Department. And you know something, the plan worked. Well sort of. Tapping and tae kwon do definitely filled up some time. But I didn't count on dancing with a bunch of retirement aged ladies with bladder issues. Nor did I expect tae kwon do class to be like this*:

But hey what can you do?
I may not have gained a single friend (well in a round about way tap classes brought the Curly Haired Stick Figure into my circle of friends) out of all this activity, but at least I have a reason to shower and leave the house two nights a week.
*Click on fuzzy picture

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

5 Simple Rules

Whoever said that it's possible to be friends with an ex obviously never tried being friends with an idiot who made them cry. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it damn sure isn't easy. When there is an ocean of bullshit so wide and so deep you can't build a bridge over it, friendship doesn't really seem like an option. However, after a few faulty attempts at being friends with The Idiot Who Made Me Cry, I think I have finally found a way to make it work. All we have to do is a follow a few simple rules and friends we are.
Rule #1: Steamroll his cell phone/blackberry/two way before you go anywhere.
All his cell phone does is give you insights into his personal life that you really do not need nor want to know. There are few things that are more annoying than watching your ex calling every chick in his phone book looking for a date for later on that evening. Almost as annoying is hearing the voice of the last chick he boned blaring through the receiver because that woman never learned how to use her "indoor voice."
Rule #2: Do NOT reminisce!
The relationship is over. Keep it that way. There is no need to talk about what once was, because it is no longer. There are only two things you can reminisce about. The good times and the bad ones. Taking a stroll down good time memory lane will bring back warm fuzzy feelings and makes all of the bullshit he put you through seem minimal. Inevitably, you'll want to relive the past and that's just something that can't be done. On the other hand, flashing back on the cess pool that your relationship turned into isn't a good idea either. Within minutes you'll want to make sure that steamroller runs over him as well as his cell phone. Not the makings of a healthy friendship.
Rule #3: Do NOT discuss any lingering issues.
What's the point? Will it really change anything? Trust me when I say NOPE! Knowing that you could've spent the night at his place instead of driving home in the middle of a winter storm 4 months ago changes nothing about the current situation. What he would've done, meant to say, and used to feel is irrelevant. Don't torture yourself with useless information.
Rule #4: Only spend time together one on one.
Whenever you hang out with the ex turned friend be sure that it's always just you and him. This is not to say that you can't go out in public, it just means that you won't be hanging out with his other friends and he won't be hanging out with yours (which is probably a good thing since most of them would probably like to burn is ass at the stake). Hanging out in groups of friends invites too much room for invasion into personal lives. Dangerous territory you must stay away from. Besides you two need to be alone because privacy is needed when practicing a policy of issue avoidance.
Rule #5: Do NOT spend more than 2 hours together.
Anything worth doing can be done in 2 hours. A movie takes 2 hours. Dinner takes an hour and a half. A game of bowling takes 2 hours. There is no reason to spend more than 2 hours together. After the 2 hour mark something interesting happens. You run out of things to say and do. Then you realize that there is something you could do and normally would be doing but can't do because you are no longer supposed to be doing it.