Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I often get carried away in dreams and “could have been”s and sometimes I mistake my made-up stories for how things actually are. On Thursday it happened again.
It’s not the kind of update I expected to see on Facebook—ever. For one, because the last I knew my friend had deleted his Facebook account, and two, they only started dating November 2017. Yet Facebook thought I needed to know they’re engaged.
Please excuse my terrible emoji drawings. They really are cute together! So cute that if they decide to have babies their kids would probably be the end of humanity as we know it because they’d be so beautiful that we’d be too distracted to accomplish anything of importance or we’d gladly become slaves to their bidding…Like. THAT. Cute. But anyway…
I’m so happy for him and her! Her and him!
Okay, I lied. I’m more of a “meh.” It’s not that I dislike ’em—he and I have been friends since 2008, and anyone he likes is usually awesome, which means she must be the most amazing girl ever. But I’m not jumping with joy. Instead, there’s this weird, sour taste that bubbles in my mouth when it’s obvious someone meant more to me than I did to them.
We were supposed to be good friends. But the only thing he said about her was she had brown hair and was kinda crazy. He obviously left out some stuff because now they’re getting hitched.
Another one of my friends is getting married. Another two people prove they are brave enough to tie the forever-knot.
Yet the real kicker to this story—and by kicker I mean “I wish my heart had a face so I could kick it”—is he was one of my closest and oldest friends, but we never met in real life. We “met” in the goodolddays of MySpace and thankfully neither of us turned out to be a 50 year old pervert. We were actually the people we said we were on our profiles. Still, I shouldn’t care as much as I do that my friend is getting married and didn’t bother to send a text that they were even dating. So why do I?
Well, if you guessed I had feelings for him long ago, you guessed right. He was my first big crush after my ex-finance became my ex. Maybe that’s why I’m sour? But that’s silly. My head fully understands that we could never have been a “we,” but my dumb, juvenile, ridiculous, inconsolable, foolish, injudicious (I pulled out my synonym finder for that good one) heart sees this as yet another slamming door/speeding train flying past me. (STUPID!——I know.)
Why is everyone ready to move forward with their lives, except me?
In high school I got to see my friends every day and I was confident life would work itself out for the better by the time I became an adult. Now that I’m older I realize I understand and control even less than I thought.
I used to “know” I would be happily married, and I knew I would have a successful career because I wanted it. According to all the posters and assembly speeches that was all that mattered. I didn’t worry about where to live or the neighborhood I’d live in because the world was one big neighborhood of happy people. Rent? Why rent when you can buy a house? Whenever clouds of doubt rumbled on the edges of my rose-colored glasses I reminded myself I’d know more when I got older.
I’m older now. My job is at risk because I work for a charity and we aren’t getting enough donations. Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in a slightly sketchy neighborhood is $850 and up. My student loans pile at my door—waiting to knock on the day I graduate. And my boyfriend, whom I will have dated for 8 years this July, thinks the engagement phase is silly and my constant whining only strengthens his resolve.
I’m 87% certain we could be happy in marriage, and I’m frustrated because it’s taking him forever to be willing to try.
I used to be Alice, but I was ripped out of Wonderland.
I might be slightly overreacting…but at this moment I’m stuck in an absurd battle of “silent treatments” with my roomie aka grandmother, which probably doesn’t help my declining mental health.
It wasn’t a big fight, but it was big enough to hurt. You see, my grandmother cleans out the fridge every Wednesday night because “Thursday is trash day and the food won’t stink up the kitchen.” That’s fine except my main food group is leftovers. I survive by stretching my meals into 4 or 6 mini-meals, but I also rescue food she throws away prematurely. This means the same containers stay in the fridge for a week, or maybe two.
Last night was the usual Wednesday-raid and I watched over her shoulder—bad call on my part—as she sorted through what to keep and what to toss. I watched because I wanted to make sure my stuff wasn’t thrown out like always, and partly because I was curious to see what I had in there. In particular, I wanted to protect my cheesy bread. In my grandmother’s defense, it was week-old cheesy bread. In my defense, it was only-a-week-old cheesy bread.
Naturally, because no one likes to have someone stand over them, she got mad, slammed the fridge shut, we had a mini-showdown, and now we’re not talking.
Which led me to google available apartments.
Which led me to weep over my financial-future.
Which led me to search for funny posts on Facebook.
Which led me here.
I suppose the meat of this story is, reality and fiction rarely tell the same story, but both affect our feelings. If I had met my friend in real life we might have gotten engaged, or we might have stayed friends forever. Both are fiction now. I’m learning to accept that we never met and when we talked every day we could only offer advice and consolement through crackling telephone wires.
In reality I am truly, deeply happy that he found someone he loves.
I also do NOT want to go back to high school, even though I miss seeing my friends daily. But I could also be happy if they just told me major life events, like when they get engaged. But in reality people forget. People mess up.
In reality I probably wouldn’t have missed the cheesy bread.
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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