It's absolutely rigoddamndiculous how much can happen in one weekend.
"If life's so hard already, why do we bring so much trouble on ourselves? What's up with the need to hit the self-destruct button? Maybe we like the pain. Maybe we're wired that way because without it...I don't know. Maybe we just wouldn't feel real. What's that saying...why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop." - Meredith Grey
Uncle Fred walked into my house asking, "where's my girl?" and then he sees me and says, "there she is!" The Florio's are back in town! Friday night the Florio and Nigara clan went to dinner at Sofia's in Springfield, NJ with Tommy and Daniella. The food was spectacular, the vino was flowing, and my Aunt Michelle was signing Journey songs. Can you say N-e-w J-e-r-s-e-y? Lauren showed up awhile later to pick me up, in an outfit that probably gave Vinny-bag-o-donuts, Johnny Pizza, Mickey Marbles, and Nooch a near heart attack. These are not really their names but the round table of Italian men next to us hollering "eehhhh oohhhh" was what makes shows like Mob Wives possible. My uncle Fred didn't have his Frank Sinatra hat on but it didn't matter by the time my mother was pronouncing the word "spend' as "spRend"....it was one of those nights.
So Lauren grabbed my drunk ass and "Christie had left the building" (which I'm told the singer announced over the microphone). So now on to Sona. Never mind the incredibly long line to get in because my best friend is gorgeous and the bouncer who has had a thing for her since day one came outside and let us in. We got drinks from Rocky and headed downstairs to find Gabbie-dabbie-do. Down the front staircase and around the corner we went, into the downstairs bar and there he was, my old friend who I'll be calling "Roller Coaster" (so yeah you can only imagine the type of relationship I've had with this friend).
[A brief history: we've known each other forever, we started as friends but then lines were crossed and of course every thing changed, we were "boyfriend and girlfriend" for a whole 12 hours, then he bailed, we start talking again so I put myself out there and he declined, then I got hurt, then we started talking again, then he got a girlfriend so we stopped, then we started again and all signs pointed to this is going somewhere, then he didn't show up when he should have, then I got really mad, and now he wants to patch it up again. Sounds really fun and healthy, right?]
I say hello to Gab and then I turn to him, give him the usual head tilt to the side, half smile, and eye roll before I hug him and say hi. Leading into this weekend the roller coaster of my relationship with Roller Coaster was at a low point, obviously. As the night went on, his usual drunken babble started in my ear, "Christie, I love to see you smile. Your happiness is all that matters to me. Can we please be friends again?" Yada yada yada. "You know I'll always care about you. You know I'm always there for you. I want us to be in a good place again, don't you?" Yada yada yada.
- Forgetting Sarah MarshallAlright fine, Sarah Marshall, take it down a notch. It's not all bullshit but the drunk crap is exhausting. It's been our routine for years - every thing is great, he (or I'll admit that sometimes I) screw up, I cut him out of my life, and then we run into each other in an environment like this, and he feeds me exaggerated lines about his feelings for me. It's like when people say "the last thing I want to do is hurt you" but doesn't that mean it's still on the list? Give me the hammer, I'll just start hitting myself now.
Despite all of that drama the rest of the night was so much fun with Lauren. The next morning during our re-cap in bed she shared with me a story about a guy who asked her to get out of the Cluck-U line to come eat with him and his friends. She replied, "Nahh nahh" in this voice that makes me cry tears of laughter every time I hear it. She tells me this entire story only to finish up by saying, "Ya know, I don't actually think any of this happened but I do remember standing outside staring at him and pouting with my arms crossed." Typical Lauren.
Saturday I'm texting with Roller Coaster aka hitting myself with the g.d. hammer. He wants to take me out to lunch so we can talk and have a big pow wow about our status for the billionth time. I was making no effort this time - if he had something so important to say then he could come over and say it. I half expected him not to show up because that's just something he would do but to my surprise he showed.
In our little chat he told me he wants to "get off my shit list" but I just didn't get why. "You don't care enough to stay off the list so why do you care so much about getting off of it once you're on it?" He laughed and told me I made a good point but I really wanted an answer. At this point I was feeling like it would be easier to keep him on the shit list, in an attempt to stop hitting myself with a hammer, because as soon as I take him off he does something to get his ass back on there! I have to say though that it was one of the most honest conversations we've ever had and I'd argue it was the best "Roller Coaster and Christie pow wow" to date. He explained why he cared and I genuinely believed him. But of course I did.
So the conversation ended on a good note and now it was time to focus on Saturday night. Remember Butthead Friend? Well even he was scheduled to make an appearance but the jury was still out on whether he would actually show up or not. Hillary, Gab, and I got into Lauren's car and headed to where else? Sona. English, yes that's his name, let us in the back door and we were off! Sammy girl and Tara found us but I don't think ever actually uttered "hello." Instead they just screamed in drunken excitement for a good thirty seconds and that's why we love them. And then like a shadowy spirit from the past, Butthead Friend actually appeared. I patted him on the chest and shoulders to make sure it was really him, alive and in the flesh. I got him a beer and made slightly awkward conversation but was so happy to see him there I couldn't even stand it. It didn't last long though because about twenty minutes after his arrival he bolts. Text message: "I'm sorry. I'll explain everything. I miss our friendship but I'm sorry I had to go." Great. Awesome. Love you too.
The next morning he explains a little bit more about what happened and how he can't seem to have both his friends and a girlfriend at the same time. I told him, "Yes, actually you can, you just seem to be choosing not to." Why do I feel like this is a one-sided fight for this relationship? Why am I continuing to hit myself with a hammer? It'll feel so good when I stop but I just can't. Ugh, whatever.
So by now Roller Coaster knows that I always have 2 more cents to throw in after I have a night to sleep on the content of our pow wow (except by now I think he also knows that 2 cents usually means more like 8, 10, sometimes even 25 cents). Oh well. I saw him on Sunday night and it went totally fine but not quite like I planned. Ya know when you practice a speech in your head so many times you could say it backwards but then when it comes time to give it every thing gets jumbled and mixed up? And then you walk away remembering all of the great points you were practicing all damn day that you failed to mention? Yeah so I got that going for me.
I got nervous, which surprised me, because I don't usually get nervous with him. I guess I'm used to being so pissed off that it masks the nerves but anyway he was already in bed and it was dark. I was talking down to him which was weird but there was no way in hell I was going to sit down on the bed. I wanted to address the fact that we are "going to be friends" but before he left my house on Saturday he was looking at me like he was looking at me (ya know ya know?) and I swear he had to stop himself from kissing me goodbye. What I wanted to say was, "If you were looking at me like that in a purely physical and meaningless way just because you're attracted to me then STOP it because that's not how a friend looks at another friend. But if you were looking at me like that with some meaning behind it because after allllll of this you do like me....then either pretend like you don't and STOP looking at me like that......or, forget about every thing practical, every external pressure/factor/whatever that has held you back all these years and do something about it." Sounds good right? Except it came out as more "STOP looking at me like you wanna take my clothes off because when you look at me like that, I look at you like this, signals get mixed up, I get crazy, you get weird, and then I hate you again." I walked out saying, "So just stop looking at me like that.....and don't check me out as I walk away." I strutted a little and shook my booty as a joke, said goodnight, and closed his door.
So does anyone have a self-destruct button I can push? I walked away from Saturday's conversation feeling so unaffected, so immune, and when he told me he had to use a significant amount of self-control around me I was relieved that for once I felt fine. I didn't even need self-control because the urge wasn't there. But ya see, this is the thing about Roller Coaster, I keep accepting the apologies. I always go back on Sunday with something else to say. I get more hurt and more furious with him than I do with anyone else...I know, I wonder what that means too, and then just like that I'm completely comfortable, laughing, and joking around about booty shaking. I remember watching Sex and the City with my mom in high school and asking her about Carrie and Mr. Big. At the time I had a boyfriend who liked to break up with me once a month and then we'd get back together over and over, which is similar to what happens with Roller Coaster. I wondered if in real life it was possible to eventually be with someone and love someone who does jerky things to you all the time, like Mr. Big did to Carrie throughout the entire show. I just don't know but in the meantime, me and my hammer are just hitting away.
Remember the Newseum
Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Why do I keep wasting my time and shedding tears over my Butthead Friend who has done absolutely nothing to stand up for me? Why do I continue to text, call, reach out to you when you ditch after 20 minutes? You tell me, is it time to just put the hammer down?
Why is it that even though I almost expect him to let me down every chance he gets that if Roller Coaster called me up and said, "it took me a long time to get here but...", damnit I hate it, but I would talk about taking things up a notch. Pick a tool box, Roller Coaster, and stick to it. There's the Friendly Tool Box: talk every once in awhile, happy to see each other at events, bars, etc, but absolutely no looking at me, no talking about looking at me, and never ever acting upon looking at me. Or there's the Crap I've Been A Silly Fool All These Years and I'm Finally Ready to Make a Grown-Up Move Tool Box (think that will fit on the side of the box? lol): in that box is a few dates and a let's see how this goes. For years I've been up for either and I've tried to act accordingly but we get in trouble because he's always been a mish-mosh of both boxes, doing one thing but saying another or saying one thing and acting another. I mean we ended our pow wow with, "ok so we're good, the hating you phase is over" but then he looooooks at me like he always looks at me and we both say, "yeah ok it's not over but it's over for now"....throw me a bone here, pick a g.d. box, and stick with it for a little while.
And finally why is it that I keep having hope for people like Newseum
They say the best things come to those who wait and in my opinion, I've waited long enough. He (whoever he may be) needs to grab a friggen hammer of his own, use it to forcefully break down the wall in front of him screaming, "where's my girl?" and when he breaks through and sees me standing on the other side, he'll sigh a good sigh and say, "there she is." Cause that...that will feel so good.
And I'll finally be able to stop hitting myself with a hammer.