Tag Archives: friendships

Oh Boys

Tonight I was hanging out with Justin (we decided Chick-fil-A pizza with nuggets, sauce, and waffle fries would be the greatest. thing. ever.) and I started thinking about the guys from home. I know we’re all grown up and stuff, but I sure do miss ’em. A lot.

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Iowasick

It’s fall break, and I’m killing my back and butt bones sitting on uncomfortable chairs, researching Anna Laetitia Barbauld and John Aikin’s Evenings at Home (6 vol., 1792-96) and trying to decide what degree of sexuality in nature I should write about for my Victorian paper (rape in a field and sexy cow milking in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, anyone?). It’s not so bad, at this point I’m used to spending all my time on homework. But there are some obscure things I really miss at home.

Eating at a restaurant. Sounds silly, right? But here I am in a city where everything is new and I really want to explore the eats. Who wants to go out and check out all the unknown restaurants alone? Not this girl.

Being in the know. My friends aren’t the kind of people who insist on spilling the details of their life unprovoked. Which I admire, and I am just like them in that sense. However, it makes keeping up with everyone hard. I’m busy, I’m stressed, and I have absolutely nothing to report back home to (Today you bought a tissue box cover? Oh my that is quite exciting. Tell me more.) It gets old and I feel annoying sending “what’s up?” “how’s life?” and “I heard from personx that yhappened…” text, email, facebook messages. I know the reverse is true, who actually likes starting those conversations? Generally just people who are procrastinating something. But everyone has a life, so except my grad student peers, no one wants to procrastinate anything. It’s hard, and I feel like a godawful friend most of the time.

Hugs. Seriously the stupidest thing ever, but I miss it a lot. I miss hugging DGs when I haven’t seen them in a while. I miss hugging MTK when I’m drunk and excited about something ridiculous. I miss hugging people when I’m drunk, period. I miss hugs on bad days. And thank you hugs. Just hugs in general. They don’t mean a whole lot when you encounter them on a fairly regular basis, but when you can’t hug anyone at all, you realize how much they mean.

Being useful. A shoulder to cry on? Someone to get a drink with so you don’t feel like an alcoholic on a Tuesday night? Someone to cover your shift at The Barn? A coffee buddy? Lunch date? Sober driver? A ride when you need one? Someone to vent to? All those things are pretty damn impossible to be at a distance, and hard to be to people you don’t really know.

Day trips. You know, easy places to go when you have time and feel like getting out of town for a bit. Yankton for Charlie’s Pizza? Le Mars for some Blue Bunny history and a bite at Bob’s Drive Inn? Ames for a night of debauchery with the boys? Sioux Falls for some fun in the sun at Wild Water West? Shopping in Omaha? I think Amarillo is the closest thing to Lubbock. Grrreat.

So tomorrow I’m going to go on my first baking adventure since moving to Texas. I really hope it makes me feel a little less Iowasick. Although tomorrow is gingersnaps, I bought some Halloween cookie cutters to encourage another baking binge.

 

Assortment of super scary Halloween cookie cutters.

 

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Sweet Surprise

Sometimes things happens that you’re totally not ready for, in the best way possible. Like today.

Tanner and I met at the Shoe Mart of Mr. Rudolph Pape (we debated how long we’ve known each other, but I’m not totally sure). It’s at least five, but probably closer to seven years. I’m not sure if we’re a lot alike or complete opposites. Tanner is a few years younger than me, and is one of the most open and compassionate people I’ve ever met. Like, it’s kind of nuts but in a totally cool way. Tanner just doesn’t give a fuck most of the time. He does what he wants and has gotten me to do things I never saw myself doing–like eating chicken nuggets from McDonald’s (not even joking), Goodwill and Thrift/Antique stores shopping, multiple trips to La Juanitas, and enjoying random board games (Domination) and movies (Princess Mononoke).

Today, I received a package in the mail from Tanner. It was a double-sided letter, typewritten, in stream-of-consciousness fashion, accompanied by a James Bond novel. It covered all topics from weed-eaters to his band, New Balance tennis shoes, and puking at Adventureland.

This letter was followed by a phone call. Those topics included furries, sex while tubing, dumpster diving, childhood, and the concept of “note to self.”

Love.

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Lubbock, A Retraction

I feel the need to reconcile Lubbock Day 1.

Going on this visit opened a few personal English daemons. I’ve had a rather untraditional literature experience at Drake. Because of that, I haven’t read ‘classics’ like Paradise Lost, Leaves of Grass… seriously I could go on for days but I don’t know WHAT I haven’t read. That’s also the problem. Not to mention I don’t know jack about theory or time periods. Basically, I took four classes that centered around British Lit, and I loved them so I decided to keep going with school. But that makes it really hard to feel up-to-par with students who’ve read poetry and know authors by names and periods. Edwardian period? Who even was Edward?

It was rough. Tough. Frustrating, but by the end of the trip I loved it. All of it. Sure, I’m not thrilled about Texas. I curse too much, drink too much, and glare too much to be there. But it’s not THAT bad. The campus is gorgeous, it has a lazy river, and the town isn’t hopeless. Besides, I’ll be studying.

As for the academic part, Texas Tech has some absofuckinglutelyamazing things in store for their English department. They are digitizing all of Dickens’ Household Words and All The Year Round. Do you know what this means? An entirely searchable database for people who are doing research in that period. Okay, if you still don’t get it–it’s awesome. A lifesaver. SO fucking cool (yes, this is where my geek shows). Plus, the university itself is hella supportive of the English department, and the program has professional development curriculum that is second-to-none.

And then there are the people. I interacted with people who turned me off, yes. But there were lots of people I really, truly enjoyed. They’re intelligent, nice, funny, and supportive of everyone’s interests and goals. We had a lot of fun together, and that helped make TTU real. I can see myself with these other MA applicants that I’ll be working side-by-side with. And I can see myself with the faculty who are amazingly supportive of us and all of their students.

The director of graduate studies, who specializes in my field, sat down with me for an hour to discuss my concerns and my ambitions. So, it doesn’t matter that I haven’t read Matthew Arnold. There’s plenty of time for me to brush up. He even told me what editions of books to buy (Norton Critical, Oxford World Classic, or Penguin. Yep, still a nerd). I got a reading list that goes on for months, and I even consulted with my peers about what theory books can help an uninformed girl crash-course before grad school. This is awesome.

I started with hate, and ended with love. I think that means I like it. About this time next month, I just might be a Raider.

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Word.

Background: The last person, when I asked why they were interested in me, said I was cute. The last compliment I received, was that I’m hot. So this post was born.

People toss physical compliments around when they’re attracted to someone. Everything from cute to pretty, damn fine, and smokin’ hot. Either they say it to the person, or use it to describe them to another person. A lot of it is just words. Just a way to show interest and give that person a bit of confidence. Which, is necessary if you want to pursue them, but they aren’t exactly meaningful. You don’t usually say to that girl you just noticed: “Hey. You seem intelligent, motivated, and fun to be around.” Well, at least not the girl you met at the bar. Maybe at a professional networking event. The bar is more like, “Hi. I’m insertboy’snamehere. You look good. I like the way your rack looks in that shirt.”

After getting to know someone, however, these physically complimentary words can actually mean something. It isn’t just fluff. They’re a couple that I think are important: sexy and beautiful.

These words have more power than cute or foxy. If you tell someone they are sexy, you are telling them they turn you on. You make them think of sex–with you, not (just) that hot actress on the cover of the men’s fashion magazine this month. Yes, I know the word gets tossed around a lot and maybe doesn’t mean as much. But it can if the person saying it means it that way. As for beautiful, that doesn’t get overused. At least not to my knowledge. Beautiful means you are a good person. You aren’t just attractive, but you’re fun, a great friend, and you make others feel good when you’re around them. If someone tells you you’re beautiful, I think it means a lot.

In a relationship, the balance is to have both. I don’t want to just be sex to someone, but I don’t want to just be a great companion, either. I want both. The excitement and the comfort. And I want to feel the same about the gentleman in question. It’s not impossible. It’s not even far-fetched. But it’s a lot to hope for.

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Fast Friends

I just watched the move I Love You, Man. I, in fact, love Paul Rudd, so I enjoyed the movie. But however ridiculous it was, the movie had a point. It seems that after college, making friends is awkward.

I feel like co-workers are the place to start turning acquaintances into friendships. But, uh, not having a real job and all kind of makes that impossible for me. Sure, I would definitely consider my freelance boss a friend. She’s only a couple years older than me, and she’s totally awesome. I actually kind of forget that she’s my boss.

But it’s work-in and work-out at The Barn. Everyone there already has an established life with children, friends, and real jobs. Even though I genuinely like a lot of the people, I wasn’t expecting to get anything from that place.

So I wasn’t ready when I did. I once saw Monique out at the bar (awesome). I grabbed a beer with Lloyd one night after work. Today I had a great time at dinner with Carey. I realize these are isolated instances, but I know it won’t stay that way.

It’s a nice reminder that people make life enjoyable. And friends are wonderful to have, wherever you are.

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