Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In Our Continuing Saga of "Chuck-it-in-the-Fuck-it-Bucket

Yesterday was my solo jaunt downtown to meet with the admissions counselor of the Adler School of Professional Psychology. It went hunky dory. Aces. All good.

Parking my car at the Cumberland stop was fairly easy, though I want know WHAT Illinoisan stole this genius license plate and,  for crissakes, why'd they put it on a Mercury Sable, one of the most benign, boring old-people cars out there. Steven guessed it was Jim DeRogatis. I said, "Nope. He drives a Range Rover."

First, I had to take the train downtown. Not the cushy, clean Metra rail system that everyone takes coming from the suburbs into the city. The El, the public transport from hell. But there's a station right down the street from me and the Adler School is literally steps away from the Washington stop on the train. Literally, you cross 2 streets and it's right there. Incredibly convenient, beautiful school. Anyway, I try to carry hand sanitizer w/me when I go downtown, because I'm a WASP and get acute germaphobia taking public transportation. Fortunately, I managed to meander my way through the stations and stairwells, not touching a single thing with my hands the whole way down from Park Ridge, until I could find a ladies' room or whip out the one hand sanitizing wipe I had.

Being neurotic as well, I arrived downtown (via the train) an hour early for my appointment. But it was a beautiful day and, exiting the El and landing in Daley Plaza (a big open plaza that is in front of a county/municipal building). I had a few smokes and listened to a classic rock cover band that zipped through some Who, CCR, Beatles, Cream and Elvis Costello. Once they started in with the ZZ Top, however, I had to bolt.  What would've been more appropriate, given the personnel in the interior of the Daley Center? "Lawyers, Guns & Money" by Warren Zevon.

I don't think I'd BEEN in Daley Plaza since my divorce hearing with Craig. Good memories. Parents were letting their kids slide down the Picasso. I'm not sure it was meant to be a slide, but hey, whatever works.

I love to people watch. Just an observation: A lot of people still smoke. And wear bad shoes. "Neon" doesn't begin to describe how neon this woman's pair of shoes appeared. She was a Polo-clad, huge-pursed, talking on her cell phone 60'something trying too hard to be a hipster. And with black socks!!!! I think I have book highlighters in this color:

Going upstairs to the 15th floor of Adler, where I'd meet my counselor, amused me SIGNIFICANTLY. I asked where the ladies' room was, as I had to go. You think your workplace is progressive and politically correct?  I betcha they didn't go this far in their restroom nomenclature, which cracked me the fuck up:

Feeling particularly feminine yesterday, I identified myself as such and used what normal places that are evidently politically incorrect, term the "Ladies' Room." I just couldn't help but laugh to myself at extent the Adler School has gone to be progressive. While there weren't any transgendered people in the bathroom at the time, I think they'd have about as much use as I did of the free sanitary feminine supplies provided, which they keep next to the hand lotion.

I wondered if the "IDENTIFIED" part of the sign lit up if sensors within the doorway realized you had girl parts, like a VAGINOMETER. "We have identified a female!" 

What's but one reason why I liked the Adler School so much? They don't do much, if any, standardized testing. It's all paper-writing. Sign me up! It would certainly alleviate me of Q&A challenges like this on my psych exams: 

The bottom line? If I get all my ducks in a row QUICKLY, like in 3 weeks, I could theoretically start the Adler School at the end of the month in August, concurrently take Statistics at Oakton (which everyone knows I'll probably fail but whatever), and do their masters program in 2 years, get licensed and THEN worry about getting a PsyD if that is what I choose to do. 

The alternative to statistics is taking something called "Research Methods," which have been hard to find in the local area without having to apply and attend a 4-year school. I need something quick, easy and that I can finish in a fall semester. The admissions counselor thought Research Methods would be far less math-oriented and I'd fare better. But if I can't find it, what can I do?

My seemingly paltry graduating GPA of 2.7 will be balanced out by my post-grad GPA of (I think this is right) 3.75. They're more concerned with my letters of recommendation, my personal essay and my interview. The admissions counselor didn't seem to think I'd have a gigantic problem being accepted into the masters program, and advised me against leaping head-first into a doctorate, when I can practice, licensed with a masters. I still want to be a doctor of psychology, though...even if I am pushing 50 by the time that happens. 

It's the financing it all that's fucked me up. I can and would qualify for federal loans for the program, but the government, being assholes, switched around the manner by which you now can loan yourself out a living stipend. I would desperately need the living stipend, $9k a semester, to keep my family afloat while I attend school, money already unbearably tight at Camp Miklasz, but my credit is in the toilet and my mom refuses to cosign the loan for me, having been saddled with my car payments 6 years ago when I drunkenly and bipolarly, not-medicatedly bought the Pacifica and couldn't pay for it anymore, blowing the family savings when I was really fucked up. She's understandably gun shy of cosigning another loan with me, which I understand, but I also NEED to go to school full time in order to GET a good job (unlike making $11.50/hr at a part-time job that had me insane and starving myself, that I only stayed at as long as I did because I was in love). Not trusting that I'm working really hard to rebuild my credit and start fresh, and that I can't get the loan without a cosigner, I'd think my mom would be more willing to weigh the risks vs the benefits, which would make life at Camp Miklasz much easier for all 3 of us, my unemployment running out by January and she living on Social Security. We're barely scraping by now. If I don't go into school this fall, I have to wait an entire YEAR before I would start, which is a disaster. 

No, I can't find a job and save up living expenses for grad school and quit said job next year, assuming it'd take me less than the 2 years it took me to find my last job. I'd lose my unemployment, we'd have to live on what I brought home, and I wouldn't be able to save jack for the future. The whole thing is about to get, as a recent blog said, "chucked in the fuck-it bucket." (No, while BMF loves me to eternity, he won't cosign a loan investing in my future.) The whole thing, as is the case with the rest of my life, is a colossal clusterfuck.

Alas, I'm putting it in the gloves of the Boxing Jesus:

One of my distant relatives in Poland must now be famous, because it would take a Miklasz to shoot this at Mitt Romney: 

This is what I really need right now, though my Chief Forehead Kisser's on his week of Controlled Boredom (which today includes a trip to the farmers' market and a bike ride, woot! and my plans with BMF, if I do go to Adler at the end of August will be impossible):

Keep in touch, ya'll. I have a separate shitstorm to discuss later.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Coming Home Again

I've never seen a preteen eat a dinner with such ferocity as I saw Luke last night. "Real food!" he exclaimed, as Grandma Nancy put on a big spread of chicken on the grill (BBQ-style), fresh tomatoes with basil, green beans w/garlic cooked on the grill, and corn on the cob, hard to come by at the Farmers' Market this year due to the drought.

If you want Luke to teach you how to paint the exterior of a house, what strokes to use, ask him to demonstrate it by painting melted butter on a corn cob with a tiny brush. It was a funny example, but true nonetheless.

Luke was blessed last week, as he and a crew of 5 other guys ( I think an 8th grader, 2 18-year olds and a 38-year old crew leader, none of whom he knew from our church) painted the exterior of the house and the soffit thereof (which he had to explain to me--I didn't know what one was) of a 95-year old woman with 38 grandchildren, who spoiled her workers rotten. She had an air conditioned house, and the boys were working in 107 degree heat. They were treated to homemade lemonade, iced tea, and a special dessert (one day was strawberry pie, one day, ice cream sandwiches, etc) every day after lunch. Luke thought the woman reminded him of Estelle Getty's character of "Sophia" on the "Golden Girls," which conjured hp hysterical smiles from me.

The kids took a few trips to the local Wal-Mart, Luke having $50 to spend for the week on snacks, keepsakes or necessities. He came home, actually, with $15 to spare, which I said he could keep. What did he buy apart from snacks? He accomplished a task I've suggested his father employ dozens of times when there's been a "sock shortage" at his house. Luke done gone bought hisself a fresh bag of socks, citing that he sweat through 3 pairs a day. "Did you shower?" I asked him. "Yep, 3 times a day!" he said. Dang! "Did you brush your teeth?" "Uh, not really." Oh Lordy lord lord. When I went off to camp for 2 weeks when I was 10, I didn't bathe for 10 days. I'm not going to criticize his lack of oral hygiene at this juncture.

There were these little pieces of paper called "Care Cards" that each of the kids received like 10-15 of from various members of the overall group (which consisted of almost 400 students and adult volunteers) received at the end of the trip. Luke read me his Care Cards, and I was almost moved to tears. His nickname all week was, naturally, "Walrus, so some of his cards were addressed as such, but it was what was on them that struck me. Categorically, they all praised Luke's unique sense of humor, his strength of character, down to his "pretty green eyes," and one girl left him a note with 4 hearts on the bottom and said "Call me maybe?" (Whoa!) His spirit grew up a bit last week, and he came home more appreciative than ever of the blessings he DOES have at home, and survived the week without his iPod, laptop or XBox. Happily, no less!

Not wanting to go to work camp to begin with, of course, now he's like "Can I do it again next summer?" and I'm telling him "Totally!" My over exuberant hugging did have Luke threatening to whack me with this giant piece of wood he dragged home.

He was so worn out last night that he fell asleep at 9:45 with his light on and his laptop on his lap in bed, so for once, it was I, instead of him, putting the other to bed. I'm letting him sleep in this morning, a well-deserved rest. 

I was hoping, and I'll certainly check out, if Luke can get the name/address of the woman he worked for, because Luke would like to send her a thank-you note for her kindness, and tell her how much he enjoyed working on her house. And perhaps best I didn't know he spent an extended amount of time on the roof of her house with a leaf blower, cleaning out her gutters. I wouldn't have necessarily freaked out, but I'd have Mom-worried. But I'm his Mom, after all.

I don't know what it is between moms and boys--I disagree with Freud's theory of an Oedipus complex--Luke never wanted Craig dead to marry me, but boys love their moms and are fiercely protective of them regardless, I think, especially if the mom is single. The freedom of the trip and everything he learned were opportunities I could never provide for him, but was nonetheless prayerfully grateful that he survived...and thrived! Too bad he dozed off before I could hug and kiss him goodnight. 

Tonight is dinner with SuperJuls for a belated birthday treat! Yay! And my meeting with the Adler School is this afternoon, for which I need to start getting ready soon. Taking the train downtown (always my favorite thing to do, not). Luke's leaving again to go spend the evening/night with Dad, who I'm sure can't wait to see him either, and I'll have him back tomorrow sometime. 

God's continued blessings on the campers as they grow in their faith! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chuck it In the Fuck-it-Bucket

Oh God.

Last night at band practice, I was attempting to be helpful in disassembling the equipment. See, we had to break down because there was a funeral this morning, and we're a little, er, short staffed this weekend with 2 singers at work camp* this week. We had to reassemble everything this afternoon for the church service tonight.

(*Extra special thanks to everyone who, in the last week, upon hearing that Luke was at "work camp," assumed that Craig and I shipped him off on a cattle train to do manual, brainless labor, that he's starving to death, under an oppressive dictatorship at the helm of a heartless psychopath in favor of the Aryan nation. Truth be told? He's on a church mission trip, assisting an impoverished community, Centralia IL, where he learned to paint houses, shared God's word, built character, made new friendships, sounded really happy on the phone yesterday and will be joyfully re-united with his Mom AND his electronics tomorrow.* Below: he's finished working, attended a wedding this morning, and will spend the rest of the weekend touring St. Louis. He's on the far right in a striped poloesque shirt. See, still alive!)

I received further evidence of my sprout's well-being late this afternoon, via a picture an adult on his trip texted me. While distorted, and I questioned if my son had a black eye at first, he appears to be smiling and no, he didn't get those big, green eyes from Craig. They're pure Mom. (You're welcome, Luke.)

I wasn't prepared for how much I'd miss Luke this week. (Ugh, especially when I sleepwalked into my mom's room at 1am looking for him last night.) Say what you will about him being a mama's boy, or whatever, but that young man is half of my soul. True enough, schedule maintenance, therapy, fixing him food, tending to his needs, reminding him to bathe, shifting him between my house and Craig's on the Grandmas schedule--all of that's tiresome. The freedom was nice and I had school to concentrate on this week to finish, but maybe by Day 3, I was getting choked up, not having heard from him. Not necessarily worried about his well-being, for he was in good hands, but missing the daily snippets of Us fiercely. Our vibe will ALWAYS be offbeat, non-traditional, and while I'm stern, I'm VERY flexible. Dad, take it easy on the poor kid.

His need for greater independence and all of what's part of turning him from a little boy into a young man is unchartered territory for me. It seems like all of my friends have teenage daughters, or grown daughters, young boys (like SuperJuls) or, like in Christa's case, a boy toddler. I don't identify and am not really friends with the other moms in Luke's class, except for a couple of them, though I stay on the perimeter of all of that and am the resident, I guess, self-proclaimed freak. (For example, at first it embarrassed Luke that I was inked and pierced more, and he was conservatively skittish about me appearing in front of his friends and their parents. He's way mellowed on all that since.) 

Tonight in church, we prayed for the work campers' safe return tomorrow, and I was choked up. Our church celebrated its 109th anniversary this week, Pastor Dave acknowledging how many of us were baptized, confirmed, married, or otherwise have volunteered at St. Paul, or sent our kids to the school. That choked me up, thinking back to my grandparents who were ALWAYS there volunteering for something. How my mom was raised to and continues to volunteer there. How I joined the band and volunteer in that way, which I generally love, and have for the last 6 years. How Luke is the 3rd generation to attend the school. But peril is threatening to tear apart my band right now, which I attribute to a significant maladaptive pattern of personality clashes and ego battles that I admitted to Pastor, I aided in egging on with one of the young singers recently, and for which I was heartily sorry.

Anyway, re: practice last night,  I tried to help with the PA system. There are large speakers mounted on tall thingys, and reportedly, they simply lift right off, no big shakes. Unfortunately, they're a little ungainly and heavy for THIS weakling, and as I lifted the speaker off, it tumbled out of my hands, crashed into the communion railing below, and while probably not damaged, the newly-refinished railing has a huge, deep scratch in it. Pastor Dave was short on time and patience, as he had an errand to run late last night, and while I apologized for my loud, booming utterance of "FUCK!" in the sanctuary, and one of the singers was off crying about key change nonsense, and the guitarist had it with our bullshit, suffice it to say, NO ONE was happy. I was trying my best to help keep the band in one piece last night, working on vocal parts with the alto (singing, as you know, NOT my strong suit), tried simpler intros, switched songs to the djembe from the kit, everything, and personalities kept clashing, divas were diva-ing, and, as I told Pastor tonight, the PA disaster was my breaking point in an atmosphere where I go to SEEK REFUGE from anxiety and stress, not  where I expect to endure it.

In six years, that was the first time I'd broken down at band practice, even when I was drinking!, as I'm largely unaffected by, let's call it, the "female drama" of the band betwixt the singers, and, as you know, frequently pull the Ringo and just do what I'm told. Being one of only 2 musicians left in the band, though, I have to take the initiative of a little bit of musical direction, and was helping sort out our closing song for tonight, which was a clusterfuck. Unhappy with my timing and fills on one of the songs, that's when I chucked it into the fuck it bucket and moved over to the djembe, because if there IS something I know how to do, it's improvise on hand drums.

It was getting the singers in-key that was the challenge, one an alto and one a soprano. Meanwhile, the guitarist was trying to start out the song by harmonizing, and he's either a tenor or a baritone, which threw everyone off. It was as if the devil incarnate had seeped into the sanctuary and helped fuck the whole shebang up. It took over half an hour of me sitting with Chloe, one of the singers, chain smoking and crying outside after practice to compose myself enough to drive home.  That shouldn't happen in a church band. Chloe's my bud, and very mature for 19 years old, unlike one of our other singers, said spewing, attitude-laden crier in the corner who refused to play nicely.

This is what practice is usually like, when all 4 female singers are present (I stay out of trouble):

And I'm the reigning and sole bipolar in the band!

Alas, today was a new day. 

Guy Friend is busily preparing for his week of Controlled Boredom, wifey picking up the grownup kiddos at their summer camp jobs today, though he found time to phone me yesterday, en route to the library. (No, at the time, I hadn't realized what Kate later pointed out about borrowing books from the library--the chances that previous readers pick their noses while they're reading books. She cited that Guy Friend, as a doctor, can afford to buy books, and own them, so now I'm, consequently, icked out about the idea of going to the library, and hoping Guy Friend doesn't secretly pick his nose while he's reading, though he's known to habitually scratch it, which might be allergy-related, but either that or he rubs his fingers down the bridge of his nose, past his nostrils, and then plays with his mustache.) 

Guy Friend and I talked about my utter disappointment in achieving a B in Abnormal Psych, as we were fist-pumping (or hand-grabbing, I don't remember what, it was right after the kiss) the idea of me getting an A the other night. I told him yesterday that if anything exciting or earth-shattering happened while he was away, that I'd leave him a voicemail or a text, though cell reception in the bowels (read: Land of Pleasantville) of where he's vacationing is spotty. I was supposed to meet with one of the grad schools yesterday, Adler, which got pushed to Monday, at which time I'll have to reveal that my undergrad graduating GPA was less than stellar, my post-grad studies thus far have been above-average, and that while I desperately want to get into this school, I'm still toying with ditching psych altogether and going for an advanced degree in writing (go ahead, open the "Um, you're really not a very good writer with delusions of grandeur" floodgates). 

In the course of our conversation, Guy Friend asked me to interpret Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" for him. "It's a typical Annie song," he remarked, in as much as it's multi-layered, complicated, could mean a variety of different things in separate contexts and has been known to tear up both the emotionally macho and sensitive male species. He guessed correctly that it was about living in and appreciating the NOW, to which I said, "Yes, because you don't know if there's a future." While we all hope to grow old and wretched together, nothing's set in stone, which, if you want to get technical, flows us right back to Best Male Friend correctly guessing that my PTSD was latent for decades (only to be activated by Chris' abuse) after losing my father when he was 42.  By the way, Chris:

Not having seen the official video for "This Woman's Work," obviously, while a beautiful illustration/depiction of the song in an overt way, it was a little hard to explain to Guy Friend over the phone. Eventually, though, I think he understood why I gave it to him, and while unfamiliar with Kate Bush completely, he appreciated my heart behind it.

I'm sorry that Best Male Friend thinks the kiss between Guy Friend and I was "yucky," and the Friend Collective, while expressing glee at me finally getting what I'd wanted (however lame that might be) for so long, is totally rooting for Best Male Friend in the Championship Smackdown of Winning Annie's Heart. Everyone seems to think it's an obvious given, though neither man is theoretically "available" and no one *gets* what remote passion I have for Guy Friend when compared to Best Male Friend, who is literally, like a male version of a Much More Gorgeous and Talented Me With All the Same Bad Habits.

You know how, sometimes, your empathy for a person extends such that you feel downright embarrassed FOR them? For example, when someone walks back to a restaurant table with toilet paper dragging from his shoe, or an open fly, stuff like that. Going back a blog or two, I said that Guy Friend was wearing the John Lennon "Peace and Harmony" tie I gave him last Christmas (while I told him in the car that I *really* should've given him the John/Yoko tiny naked caricatures tie, but sided on conservatism) the night we went out? THAT tie is tasteful. Hip. Very nice. (Do I still have doubts that Mrs. GF picked that out for him to go with his yellow shirt? "Here, honey, you're going out with your single, punky gal pal who's shitpickles for you. Why not wear the special tie she bought you, and here, put this CD on in the car of music she gave you for your birthday?" SOMEHOW I DON'T HEAR THAT CONVERSATION.) Anyway, in the hyper-unlikely, totally doubtful, fantasies-that-only-happen-in-movies-with-Richard-Gere-in-them world that would be "Guy Friend Enacts His Midlife Crisis, Commits a Cardinal Sin and Goes Single," while I already love him, and generally accept him as-is (most days), I think I'd have to have a pre-dating agreement similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, but leaving out the nuptials, since, as I've previously mentioned, I've turned vehemently anti-marriage. In the Lennon tie, he looked hawt. He chucked it into the back seat after allowing me to admire that he was wearing it, which turned out to be a good idea, since he'd go on to spritz hot sauce on his shirt over the course of dinner. Hey, chickie babies, at least it wasn't lipstick on his collar (not that I even *wear* lipstick.

In said agreement, while I'd promise fidelity (hey, first time for everything) and renounce sleeping in beds with  other (likewise unavailable) men, I would ask Guy Friend to cease-and-desist wearing ties that corresponded seasonally, e.g. jack-o-lanterns around Halloween, his team of turkey ties (which are the WORST and he's got like 5 different ones) around Thanksgiving, I'd allow ONE tie the WEEK of Christmas that was related to the birth of Christ, but he'd have to donate the rest of the holiday-centric ties to a warped charity. I brought up my disdain for Guy Friend's tie collection, and asked Best Male Friend today if I was being too superficial in my tie arrangement idea. He advised me to "just let it go." So I listened to him.

On my way HOME from church, I received a text from Guy Friend saying he'd heard "Do You Realize?" on HIS way TO church tonight and said "you two are soulmates." This was right after I'd texted him Luke's eyeball picture and reiterated that Luke got his eyes from me, not Craig. I am still unclear as to if Guy Friend meant that Best Male Friend and I are soulmates or if Luke and I were. In any event, I texted him back that we're ALL soulmates in one sense or another in this crazy world, that love was everywhere, and that that comes from God (which the Lips would dispute that much). If Guy Friend heard THAT song in the car, he had to have been listening to a CD I made for him, because the song's not part of any radio station's general playlist. I then texted a nonplussed Best Male Friend about it and haven't heard anything back yet, but he was traveling today.

I can safely say that last night was the first impulse I've had to drink in a long ass time. And I meant it. I handled it though, with Chloe, not calling my sponsor, who I'm sure would've likewise talked me through it as I chain-smoked. No, I didn't drink. But I really, really wanted to. That's how stressed out I was about my band:

I do sincerely hope Guy Friend enjoys his time with 2 of his daughters (wifey? Yeah, could care less.) this week, him leaving tomorrow. I advised him to listen to the new George Harrison rarities/outtakes CD I'd given him the other night, as it would be great traveling music. Plus, it'll remind him of me, which is always a good thing:

What's lacking on my blog lately, except for the inclusion in commentary by the woman whose pseudonym is "Monk," is the legions of minions, like I had at the medical practice.

Got to talk to Kate today, who, amid serious physical challenges as of late, and is back in NY to see doctor and have scans, was very upbeat and sounded great today. Then again,, any time spent with your best friend in the world is bound to put a smile on your sullen face.

We're also very much like this. I pee on the phone w/Kate frequently. Our conversations and laughter is more than my bladder can bear:

M'kay, ya'll, time for me to hit the hay. Early hair cut tomorrow. Luke is supposed to come between 1-2 pm. My arms will be outstretched, even if he finds if embarrassing. And band will get better once we all clear the air and have a sit-down about the negative attitudes that are tearing up our cohesion.. Pastor Dave's on it. Had a lengthy discussion via text w/him after church and we're on the same page. That's a very good thing.

Pastor Dave's taught me a lot in the least year. What has he learned from me? According to Chloe, his niece who lives with him, somehow he's picked up this bad habit of calling everything a "douchebag." But he uses it with regard to inanimate objects, like actual bags. I had to correct him via text that douchebags are people. He's not fond of the word "fuck," but I also told him that barring that, an interchangeable term would be "douchetarrd." His next plan is for the congregation to read the entire Bible in the next year. I told him if I can handle 700 pages of psych in 7 weeks, I can probably get through the Bible in a year. Bring it on, mofos.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jesus' Snatch (Amazingly Safe For Work, Until You Read Further)

I don't know what to do with this picture. And, having spent the last day and a half largely asleep and/or brain dead, bedraggled and attempting to pony up what's left of my smarts for meeting w/a grad school admissions counselor tomorrow, my intellectual output at the moment is sparse.

It was on Facebook, is totally meant to be innocent, but there's SO much that can be dirtily inferred and I'm totally going to hell, but I've never quite seen a picture of Jesus looking adoringly at a little lamb, with the word "SNATCH" attached to it. At least it's a lamb...

Foul and inappropriate comments are not only welcome, but encouraged.

Meanwhile, on Facebook today, some babe was, as the commentary to some picture my friend Heather and I liked (I don't even remember what the fucking picture depicted), saying that she was explaining "proper" anatomical nomenclature to her 5-year old daughter, and said that she told her daughter that "babies come from a woman's vulva." Wait a second. The last time I had a baby, albeit via c-section, my vulva wasn't remotely involved, nor is it to my best recollection that humans are expelled OUT of their mothers' vulva. I simply commented, "Um. Babies come from a woman's uterus, not her vulva." It could've been I was missing something really obvious, or jumped into the discussion late, or didn't read everything correctly, but while the vulva certainly can be involved in the act of making said baby, its involvement in the birthing process is really kind of process-inconsequential. Either all that, or I'm still pissed off that my vagina was cut open & sewn up during my hysterectomy, rendering me very-consequentially (though not put into practice since the operation, obviously, so no opinion has been offered) as floppy and worn out as any other woman who pushed a humanoid or 3 through her ditty bag.

The Offbeat Drummer is REALLY off her beat today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"I know you have a little life in you yet. I know you have a lot of strength left..."

Having had a wonderful time with Guy Friend tonight, and having him chuckle over (see last blog's) my apology note, he said we were friends and we loved each other as we parted company. I finally got my seemingly elusive real kiss. While not contextually romantic, per se, it was befittingly lovely and enjoyable.  Upon parting, he said I looked beautiful tonight. I don't think that was a placating comment to lift my spirits. I think he truly thinks I am beautiful, and yes, I do need to hear that from time to time (BMF and his BF were very open about that, noticing the beauty of me in any given moment and appreciating what we have while we have it.)

Guy Friend wants me to learn not be so dependent on other people's opinions and reactions to me, which I attribute much to having been abused in the past, and like BMF had been hypothesizing, the filling of a huge void in my life (both as a result of losing my dad as a little girl and being abused by Chris), whereupon I seek, in particular, male attention and affirmation. I tried to explain that it's not a matter of egotism. It's a product of mental illness. He wanted to know how I get "out of my own head" and what's happening to me, and I told him honestly, that was really difficult to do when you're rapid or ultradian cycling.

My bastard ex-boyfriend destroyed such crucial particles of my self-esteem, that leaves me with an almost insatiable need and expectations of men whom I actually believe I can *trust,* after trusting Chris with everything, only to end up punished or punitively emotionally, sexually or physically damaged. I reiterated that I *trusted* him, as I trusted Craig, BMF, my brother and my pastor, when it came to men getting remotely physically near me.

I wholeheartedly apologized for inundating him with texts, and explained the difficult concept of ultradian cycling in bipolar disorder, and he noted that the moods of my texts to him change direction and emotion interchangeably, frantically sometimes. In reading them over, that's certainly true.

I did actually make him a CD of but one song, which I explained to him was about regret and about living in the moment, Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work." He's not familiar with Bush, but I think it'll move him deeply. (I also gave him a copy of George Harrison's latest CD of demos and outtakes, which I think he'll really enjoy.)  Part of Guy Friend wishes he had the freedom of expression and the liberty of love that I share with a lot of my friends, though I have to honor his life and how he chooses to live it if I want to be a part of it. He accepts my insanity, and I accept his desire to go blueberry picking in Michigan with his family. What would bore me to tears clearly makes him happy, so I just can't fault him for it any longer. That's the most loving thing I can offer him. While our lifestyles and theories are, for the most part, opposite, I believe our hearts are both ultimately in their proper places.

When he picked me up, he was cranking Jonatha Brook's song, "Annie," which he quickly turned off when I got into the car.Perhaps preparing himself for the worst of my moods, it was the CD I gave him for his birthday during a depressive episode.

"Cuz I'm walking on eggshells, I'm walking on glass
Sing hallelujah each time that you pass
And Someday you'll pick yourself up off your ass and go
Cause you're gambling again and the stakes are too high
Your ante is fear, and my bet is desire
Took you far from the truth, and into the fire again

But Annie I hope things line up for you
All in a row, shiny and new
You can't keep living in one small room
When you never let anyone in, you never let anyone in, 
Never let anyone in"

I was surprisingly pleased that he was wearing the John Lennon artwork tie I gave him for Christmas last year, citing that his wife picked it out for him to go with his yellow shirt today. Happenstance? I sort of doubt it, but found it a thoughtful gesture. Why dummy me gave a colorblind guy a red tie as a gift is evidence of my dopiness. I told him I wished, in hindsight, I'd given him the naked John and Yoko embracing tie (in tiny caricatures) but had played it safely with Lennon's "Peace and Harmony" drawings.

Lots of things were covered tonight, though when he said "Do we still need to talk?" (I assume about our relationship), I said no, that we were cool and I understood, and promised to be less of a a pain in his ass, though my promises were contingent, largely upon the results of my previously blogged apology note. What drives certain people away from me entrances others, and Guy Friend certainly didn't know where he stood when he wrote that email that I took such offense to.

I told him, with regard to the Kate Bush song, that I wanted him to listen to it tonight, on his way home, and think about it. He may not be moved to tears, but I think he'll understand why I gave it to him, without me having to write a lengthy explanation as to why I did so. That is my hope, anyway. When Kate sings, "Give me these moments back...give them back to me. Give me that little kiss. Give me your hand," I reminisce about the multitude of positive, loving experiences he and I have shared together during our friendship. I have a photographic and sensory memory, which, while debilitating in the recollection of, for example, wrote fact from textbooks in the short term, I vividly recall senses, emotions, smiles and shared laughter with Guy Friend that I hope to sustain for the remainder of our lives.

While he remains guarded about his personal life, by his own choosing, and I don' feel right prodding, he knows I'm open and honest with him about my own feelings, and while I don't know how he interpreted the check-marked "I'm in love with you" on my apology form, as BMF often points out, I'm a little bit in love with just about everybody. While few understand my feelings for him, and compare him to BMF, with whom I'm definitely more closely matched, what cemented my love for Guy Friend was evident in my mind from the moment we met. That being said, I'm still conflicted, at times, as to whether or not, in the unlikely event I should ever remarry, if I want Guy Friend to walk me down the aisle and give me away, or if I want him waiting anxiously for me at the front of the proverbial altar. If I can't make sense of my feelings, I certainly can't expect him to. So many of the people who know me well say that it's an easy choice, (like I've said before) between GF and BMF. That's not true, for they each love and appreciate me for very different reasons. What is true? Without either of them, or the unfailing support of the rest of my family and friends, I would've most certainly died by now, given all the intense physical and mental drama I've endured.

If I were to choose a Kate Bush song for BMF, it'd be "The Man With the Child in His Eyes." Definitely. Both being idealistic dreamers whose fantasies are vivid and endlessly utopian, lack practicality, as does my relationship with Guy Friend. What Kate Bush song resonates with me ABOUT my own experiences? "Running Up that Hill," though I also relate to "Wuthering Heights," for I am, at heart, consumed with romanticism and the inherent drama of love that's been exemplary of my approach to life.

What's true of all Kate Bush songs? She's a hopeless romantic who unabashedly loves people with lyrical fervor, has read A LOT of literature, and her sentiments are a truism of any artist, musician and writer I've ever encountered. I have, conversely, met a number of people who are rational/logical/systematic thinkers who, while they may feel impulses of passion, deny themselves on acting on feelings alone, their motives unclear and confusing to me.

Right now, I need sleep. I have a test in the morning. I'll finish this blog entry and edit it tomorrow. Until then, listen to this Kate bush video. Try to understand where she's coming from. I've queued up my ambient music channel on Pandora and will flow my brain down to rest.

More to come. Stay tuned. All we'll ever have is NOW.


Last day of class. Last exam, during which I kinda dozed off, in my head thinking up fantasy questions that weren't even on the exam. Somehow, I gathered my wits together, though so charged and happy about my time with Guy Friend last night that I had a hard time getting to sleep, and reset my alarm to 6:00 this morning, instead of 5:30am. Yes, I went to Starcracks. Did I study this morning? Kind of, not really. As a result, the final grades are in , and I got a B in the course, which is still above-average. Being a perfectionist/fatalist, it had me a little disappointed but keeping thoughts in context, and my professor offering to write me a letter of recommendation, I felt slightly disappointed in myself but am grateful that taking the final tomorrow wouldn't have changed my overall grade and certainly won't preclude me from further graduate-level study.

Driving home from school, I was so tired that I literally had one eye open to try and focus on the road (which I don't recommend). I stayed awake as long as I could, but succumbed to a 3-hour nap from 2-5, missing a call from my sponsor but awakening just as BMF was texting me and my phone beeped.

Kate called and I was happy to hear from her, just as I arrived home from school. She was happy that I was happy with Guy Friend's kiss and beauty-noticing, Kate knowing it was what I'd wanted for so long. Guy Friend's just probably relieved to get that off his chest, and while certainly not the smooching that goes along with BMF, who is in love with me (obviously), it was exactly what I'd been waiting for.

While I doubt highly this quote is actually from Bob Marley, I liked the sentiment:

Last night's conversation with Guy Friend did reveal a bit more about his never-lurid life history, as I asked him what he liked to do in college, the random "Did you have your wisdom teeth out?" and he revealed that by senior year, he and all his friends had girlfriends. I felt like saying, "By SENIOR YEAR? Jesus, we were all on the sexual prowl the moment we arrived freshman year, though I wouldn't lose my virginity until sophomore year. In our conversation, I revealed the various online misadventures I'd had attempting to date, and he thought the entire concept of christianmingle.com very humorous. (Those guys just AREN'T my type, as a Christian-Hindu-w/Buddhist Tendencies. These are all megachurch Bibleholics.) I told him besides, I only date guys like BMF anyway. I got one of those "Oh, Annie" head shakes and a smile.

Like I said earlier, I tried my damndest to explain my rapid and hour-by-hour mood changes, and his empathy was admirable. We talked about the histories of my sponsor, some of my closest friend, and Pastor Dave's family. We also talked about Chris, and the inherent danger which I perceive he still poses and how that makes me feel. We talked about everyone he met at my birthday party, and what their life stories were. In essence, we covered a lot in 3 hours. Taking another 2 hours to delve into how and why and what to do about loving him so passionately didn't seem appropriate, which is why I said we were cool. While "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" perhaps ringing in my ears, my attitude is that of accepting Guy Friend for his own beauty, my immediate thirst quenched.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Feel Fine. Today.

Tasteless. Tacky. Sad. Tragic. But as a recovering alcoholic, I can jest about such things. Also, I'm a real bitch.

My sponsor wants to take me to Holy Name Cathedral next month for my 6-month AA sobriety coin. I think that's a great idea, though under my breathyzer I still feel like factoring in the 3.999 years of continuous sobriety I achieved before the NyQuil binge debacle. Hey, Guy Friend and I celebrated it anyway, the night of Tattoos Fundamentalist Christians Oppose & Piercings Snotty Gynecologists Remove While You're Asleep back in March.

As we will celebrate again tonight. What are Guy Friend and I celebrating tonight? Um, him not killing me in the course of the last several weeks for being a douchetard and me not slashing his tires over him not sending me a brief text message. (Which one of us is the fatalist in this relationship? What are you implying?) Our phone call last night to make plans for dinner tonight was chipper and cheerful, as he was driving into a beautiful sunset over Deerfield and I was batting down the hatches in Park Ridge for a storm that didn't ultimately hit until 6:00 am today. (Thank God my local meterologist, Mike Caplan, made up with me on Facebook after a feminism argument/unfriending/refriending, because he answered my question as to whether or not I'd need a sweater tonight and what the chances are that it'll rain. And he got a chortle out of my "umbrella accessorization query.")

"I think there's a restaurant on Milwaukee Avenue," Guy Friend said. "There are LOTS of restaurants on Milwaukee," I replied. "No, a vegan one, I mean," he said. Impressed with his thoughtfulness over dining choices, knowing vegan is my culinary preference, I honestly didn't know of one, but he said he'd "research it" (because doctors "research." Laypeople just Google.) prior to picking me up, and ideally, it wouldn't be boarded up and gone like the vegan restaurant we'd visited in March, where we'd previously eaten last summer. I'm sure wherever we end up, it'll be great. There was no hostility in his voice as we shared triumph in my getting an A on my presentation, no annoyed tone, and the noticeable absence of his trademark "exasperated sigh." (Though driving, with me on speakerphone, he very well could've been steering with one hand and flipping me the bird with the other into his Blackberry.)

I kept trying to interrupt him and interject yet another apology for the events of late, but the quick pace of jibbing and jabbing wasn't conducive to said topic, he's not a grudge holder, and I know when to leave well enough alone. I did prepare this, just in case:

Will I dress cutely but modestly? Of course. Is my small Louis Vuitton (the antithesis of punk, but I roll that way) located and ready? Naturally. Do I still fit into my size 4 brown pants? Lying on my bed, inhaling deeply, saying "motherfucker" over and over again, buttoning the interior button, yes. I also feel like my butt crack is suffocating. (He's not picking me up for about 2 1/2-3 hours. I'm trying to stretch out my pants a little.) Not having consulted with Kate yet, whose motto is "Beauty Hurts," I'm torn between my Cole Haan heeled boots or my brown combat-ish boots. (At the moment, I'm wearing Crocs. Call 911.) 

It never helps that Guy Friend walks at a cheetah's pace and I am always in seemingly impractical footwear, begging him to slow down, though like a gentleman, he at least holds my hand (read: drags me along, racing forward). Is my arsenal of benzodiazepines packed and loaded? Fuck yeah, what do you think takes up half of my handbag? Preemptive nicotine patch? Haven't found one yet. Test for tomorrow studied for? Here and there. To my own credit, I DO wake up at 5:30am and school starts at 9:45. Study crunch time? Plenty. 

Coffee for tomorrow prepared, timer set? No, for the cheap coffee I purchased the other day is SO unbearably gross that the last 2 days, drowsiness not a deciding factor, I've made emergent runs to Starbucks in my pajamas, where the baristas, when they see me approaching, by now know that I take a venti, half Pike Place/3 shots of espresso/steamed soy topper. Can I afford it? Not really. As beauty hurts, so does the pounding of a caffeine withdrawal headache and downright dangerous when driving with one eye barely open.

While we're on the subject of finances, Guy Friend is notoriously gentlemanly and historically pays for dinner. (He's a doctor. I'm a penniless student on unemployment.)  While I have enough cash on me to contribute to a tip, and he *was* the one who invited me to dinner, I cannot afford dinner. Quite literally, I have enough money until Thursday to feed my insatiable caffeinism*, my nicotine habit and...that's about it. (Hey, I pay for all those benzos out-of-pocket!) 

*Welcome to Annie's Psychological Couch. "Caffeinism" is a DSM-IV-TR recognized psychological disorder. If you can't rev up your morning without your cup o' joe or Earl Grey, or you're inclined to pound those vomitrotious "energy drinks," you, my dear ones, have a legitimate addiction. I don't know of any support group for you jittery fucks, but I'm right along there with you.

Am I ready to acknowledge my culpability in what's become an epic misunderstanding of tension-filled, insane proportions? Mostly. Is it Guy Friend's tendency to avoid matters of the heart? TOTALLY. How much either of us ends up on the defensive tonight about our behavior is anybody's guess. We both behaved NOT in the spirit of love or friendship, but I think do care enough for one another to, at the very least, civilly discuss my infantile overreactions and his aged-generation lack of electronic manners. 

Fucking Psychology Today. It's the retarded person's version of a layperson's clinical mental journal. (Or, as I like to coin it, the Cosmo of the Shrink World for Psychiatric Hypochondriacs.) Like any monthly magazine geared toward a specific demographic (Parents? For those of us with children over, say, 6, it's safe to say that statistically, they rehash the same fucking articles like 3 times a year. Know what I mean?) Anyway, on Twitter today, they shot out a link toward an article on the health benefits of kissing, which happens to be the bane-of-existence, hot-button, nerve-wracking, endlessly tension-producing issue between Guy Friend and I, which I've envelope-pushed and he's lamely attempted then denied relentlessly throughout our friendship for the better part of 3 years.

(BMF, like I, can't understand what the big deal is, as we're major smoochers, which goes back to a previous blog commentary in which I hypothesized that Guy Friend thinks we're a bunch of wild, free-loving hippies or something, while he probably packs emergency holy water with which to spritz himself at the onset of any remotely impure thought.) 

Amid the other chemical-bonding, spiritual-uplifting, seratonin-releasing benefits of kissing someone you, er, like, they felt compelled to interject the subject of GOING OUT TO DINNER, saying this:
"As if these health benefits aren’t enough, the researchers proposed that the stress-busting effects of kissing could even lower people’s cholesterol. A romantic dinner for two is likely to include some pretty high cholesterol food (think chocolate souffles). However, if the couple ends the night with a long enough kissing session, that cholesterol may not even damage their cardiovascular systems."

Well, shit. We're going vegan, which is low-cholesterol, any chocolate souffles would be made out of carob, and Guy Friend's sole interest in my cardiovascular health pertains to my chronic tachycardia and my impetus to get no exercise whatsoever. Guy Friend went on a long bike ride this weekend. Any energy I had was all in my hypomanic head, which does, however, contain my lips.

But speaking of my test tomorrow, and while a source of intellectual pride I shan't bring up over our low-cholesterol dinner, I found some congruous information via Facebook that pertains to the chapter for which I *don't* need to study: sexual disorders and dysfunctions. (Gee, Chris, who knew all that sadism would emerge to be so clinically handy?) NOT related to Guy Friend, who, while a guy, is not a guy I think of in this context, I came across this:

Speaking of people I have zero desire to kiss, but kissed enough with whom to procreate, Craig and I, in happier times (I kept the boots):

My ex-husband, while I was in class this morning, asked me a deep and urgent question via email, and to be honest, I wasn't paying attention to the professor at the time anyway: "How much does a pair of drumsticks cost?" he wanted to know. Not a simple answer. I told him it depended on the brand/style, but I said that mine (Vic Firth Hickory 7A's w/nylon tips) are about $8 a pair. I think he'd just read the story about a recent government agency meeting (the GSA) where the US spent $20,000 on accessory drumsticks for Fuck Knows What Reason, Which Doesn't Matter if Canadian Neil Peart Wasn't Involved.

Why *wasn't* I paying attention in class? Because psychosocial strategies in universal interventions are, surprisingly, NOT very compelling. I got an A on today's quiz on therapy disciplines and psychological ethics and law. I did not, however, get my highly-anticipated paper back. The professor finished grading and handed back all but 3 papers, mine included. And no, I kinda sorta doubt it was because mine was so riveting and hard-to-put-down that she needed an extra night to scribble upon it in red ink. See, had I known my paper grade, I'd know in advance if I was getting an A in the class, whereupon I could guesstimate my perceived time devoted to studying for tomorrow's exam, the last for the semester.

So we were expecting this HVAC company to come today to estimate putting a fan up in the attic that would  swoop up all the hot air upstairs and improve the efficiency of our central A/C, which is thrilling and intriguing, yes. In order to get to the attic, they had to go through my bedroom, which, while not messy, I neglected to anticipate a gaggle of burly guys barreling through in order to install said fan. Now they all know in what I sleep. Bravo! (My Keef t-shirt from BMF and a pair of shorts, you pervs.)

Ma, while I'm on my way outside with my laptop, my books, my phone, my smokes & a can of seltzer: "Can you make Luke's bed or clean Luke's room or..."

Me, hushing her, "No."

Ma: "Annie."

Me: "I'll shut his door. I'll worry about cleaning his room after my test tomorrow."

(Whereupon I exit, but later beg her to iron my blouse for tonight, and proceed to blog and check my Facebook with my book on my lap outside.)

Ok, Chickie Babies, I need my confab with Kate, to get ready for my non-date-date, and manage to pee while still re-buttoning my size 4 pants. Yes, I can put makeup on and talk to her at the same time. Yes, as per BMF's suggestion, I will take a chill pill.


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Caffeine is Wearing Off.

The Week in Pictures and Brief Thoughts

I'm totally tired (though I slept all day yesterday). Luke made it to Centralia, IL in one piece, thank God. I got an A on my Bipolar II, Mixed-Mood Episodes presentation, which was universally considered electrifying, being dinged by the professor for going overtime, but, you know, she *could've* cut the kids' Q&A period off ANYTIME SHE WANTED TO! (She dings me but wants a copy of Paul Weller's piano version of "My Ever-Changing Moods?" We'll see.)

Hence, all you can expect from me this morning is a collection of my favorite pics that went around this week:

I think I've inflicted enough of a shitstorm into poor Guy Friend's life this week and all I want to do is hug the living daylights out of him:

It's ALWAYS a good sign (read: never) when one of your therapists points out, "You're just like Charlie Brown!" (and she's not referring to your hair):

They forgot Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett (thanks, BMF, for pointing him out), but that's ok:

My faith in humanity, shaken once again:

Sometimes the word "twat" is the only appropriate term:

They indeed do call it "falling in love" for a reason:

Where do I begin, Guy Friend? I actually printed this out and filled it out for him:

Which was a lot nicer than this, which I'm saving for someone else:

It's all because of this:

What most don't understand:

So, so true:

So, so true Part II:

Why yes, I am:

With love, Madame Shitpickles

Sunday, July 22, 2012

If She's Amazing...

From Best Male Friend, for Guy Friend.: A Guest Essay

Dear Guy Friend and Other Interested Parties:

As I have broken my silence recently, this week on Annie’s blog, I am beginning an open dialog in the hope that some of Annie’s misguided friends would reconsider their approach to her as friends when she's sick. Just because she has an illness in her brain as opposed to a burst appendix doesn't make her any less worthy of compassion, sympathy and love and care. Remember when you had your hysterectomy, Annie? People prayed for you. They brought you food. Your friends checked in on you, people wanted to visit you. Why you're being shunned by some people when, like you said, your brain is sick, I don't fully understand.

 In the comments I was involved with, I indeed did bitch about Guy Friend and his treatment (or ignorance) of Annie recently, because SHE was trying to contact him and got absolutely no response. She jumps to conclusions a lot, true. She's impatient, true. She's accusatory, yes. But seriously, it would've taken you under a minute to text her some kind words of support, even if you didn't have time to call her like you said you would. THAT really disappointed her. Take, for example, when she's going to school and has a test that day that scares her. She expresses that to me in a text and sometimes, I'll say something as simple as "You'll be great." That's all she needs, really. A shot in the arm.

Yeah, in the art of the texting, Skype and emailing generation I'm just like Annie, and those are avenues we use to communicate regularly because I live so far away from her and travel a lot. We, who are her friends, I will speak about on her behalf.  Without electronic media, a lot of us would not  have developed the deep friendships we have, it’s the magic of the interwebs. I tried to keep a cool head as she read me Guy Friend's email back to her about her wanting to see him next week. I’m getting less and less inclined to tolerate Guy Friend in light of Guy Friend’s email, which Annie said she interpreted as "condescending, hostile and malicious", given they’d “made up” she said by text Thurs night and she said he wasn't upset with her and didn't want to see her upset. Instead, what does he do? Upset her further, though agreeing to make time for her next week.

She read the email Guy Friend sent her, sarcastically implying she was “demanding.” Knowing her better than most people, aside from her other close friends and family, on that I’ll agree. She’s hard to be friends with sometimes. The manic episodes? I kind of enjoy  her when she’s like that. She’s a lot of fun. Her intelligence peaks and she flows with creative ideas, while not all practical, are amazing. She goes on 2 hours of sleep and kicks the world's ass anyway. That level of energy and intensity would blow any average person away.  

When she’s depressed, it IS hard to be a good friend to her. (I suffer from depression myself and it's hard on my wife, my kids, friends, everybody.)  When depression kicks in to people like Annie or me, it’s a catastrophe TO US. To survive that with a “close friend” is exactly WHEN you want the support of ALL of your friends . Even if it’s a text or brief call or exchange. Friends make sure friends are doing alright. I understand a lot of this stemmed from Annie’s recollection of hearing her friend had died last year this past week, which Annie acknowledged to Guy Friend. 

There are still other times when Annie is totally balanced and doing fine. It's a bit of a crapshoot, especially when her moods switch in a Jekyll & Hyde every few hours. If WE think it's hard, how the fuck do you think it makes ANNIE feel? Think about it. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t totally love her and I make an effort to tell her that every day. But as I said in an early comment to her blog, “Here Comes Your 19th Nervous Breakdown," and maybe I phrased it incorrectly, the level of “demands” she imposes upon her friends are personality traits of Annie, who fucking adores people and wants their love and attention in return.  I know better than ANYONE what a hopeless romantic she is and that, even worse than me, and like she said of herself, is an idealist.  She's an artist like me, and most of her friends. I reminded her that our lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and she expects a lot from Guy Friend, who seems ultra-conservative.

She expects even MORE than that from me, seeking my attention, especially when she’s in crisis mode. I don’t have it in my heart or in her best interests just to ignore her.  I’ve lost a lot of people traumatically and suddenly in my life, and I understand Annie’s emotions about abandonment. And, having lacked male parental support growing up, just as her symptoms of PTSD (which I also have), her personality is to seek out men (especially) who make her feel safe and cared for. Apart from me, you were the first person she told that she was being abused by her ex-boyfriend. Because she trusted you. I think you lost sight somewhere, given everything that's wrong with her, that she HAS PTSD. Surrounding her with negativity is really bad for her and her fear of abandonment is very real to her.

I agree with the anonymous comment one person wrote, that she needs to accept people’s limitations and appreciate them for who they are. That’s a given  in humanity. That doesn’t give ANY of us an excuse to treat her like shit or to ignore her. She is inclined to seek you for help and guidance when one of your roles, Guy Friend, as it were, is that of one of her physicians . Part of that comment thread was that Annie had access to me even when I’m sleeping, jet-lagged and on another continent. Sometimes we fail to connect, but I’ll at least shoot her a text to check in on her, especially since school started. Guy Friend also implied, in his email, that he wasn’t sure Annie was ready to take on the fast pace of graduate school. Bullshit. She’s ready.

Guy Friend accused Annie of a “criteria” for friendship she “demands” of friends like Guy Friend.  In your email, Guy Friend, you said you don’t qualify or connect with her as a friend anymore, and want the love you’ve shared to be “demoted” against the label of “friendship.” Why would you want to downgrade her? To do that to a mentally ill sufferer when she’s sick is cruel.  She needs her friends, and loves her friends, looks forward to spending time with them (I’ll see her next month and later this summer, finally).  Go back to September 17th of last year, and see what she learned about friendship and what she said about her friend Mico.

She said:

"I learned a very important lesson this summer: When you have friends, friends you love dearly, you hold them in high regard. You keep your plans with them. You get together, even if it's in dribs and drabs. You keep promises. You stay in touch. You check on your friends' well-being. You take the time out of your own busy life. If you love someone, you tell them. Frequently. You give a lot of hugs and kisses. You help them help themselves. You insist on it."
--Annie,  September 17, 2011

She texted Guy Friend about it, and emailed him, and apologized to him that her mental health issues made her very ill the last several weeks. Having depression and knowing depression, I take her seriously.   Annie never did say she expects 24/7 access to her friends who’d "communicate and talk with her every day for extended periods of time." My schedule doesn't allow that, nor to the schedules of her other friends, even Kate. Guy Friend, she was only seeking and wishing for you to be supportive to her, not for you to enforce her already superstitious mind that you wanted out of the friendship.

I’m not a religious person. I’m an atheist. You’re Catholic, she said. In any case, your acts of kindness and compassion towards your fellow Christian have been iffy at best. Maybe all of definitions of “friends” are different, obviously. You laying down your life for her should be no more or less than you’d be inclined to jump the rails to help any of your other friends if they needed you to in order to save them, which doesn’t mean Annie needs saving. She’s shown dramatic strength of character through all of this, and I knew her before she was on her psychiatric medications. Now THAT was challenging, but, like her family and friends, we accommodate her and try to listen compassionately while not letting her get out of her own shit. I know she’s working diligently at finding a new mental health situation that suits her. Until then, we all need to HAVE PATIENCE with her. 

And I agree with your statement and  with my best friend, who said life’s too short or something NOT to see the happiness and beauty of any given moment. From what I know of you and Annie’s assumptions about you, this predicament is new to you and like her friend Kate said, while you see her life as a "soap opera," it's actually happening to her. I’d much rather help Annie and spend time with her than I would hooking up with the mobs of women at my shows. You just NEVER KNOW what might happen, to any of us.

You told Annie, on numerous occasions, that you loved her. Why, Guy Friend?  That question has been on my mind as well. I think I explained well enough in my blog comments why I love her.

IF you do want to be Annie’s friend, you have to let that develop, even though you’re busy and so is she. It is give and take. If you don’t want her in your life, please do everything in the Hippocratic Oath that you took and let her down very, very gently. She loves you so much (which I told her I don’t understand).  Like I said in my comments, I’m not JEALOUS of you. I’m sure my life’s 1000 times more electric than yours. But I ENVY you for being able to see her whenever you want and was wondering why you don’t spend more time with her than you do.

As her “best male friend,” I assume responsibility for exactly what Annie said in her blog about Mico dying and how she viewed “friendship.” With close friendship, there comes indeed, Annie, that facet of “helping friends help themselves.”  That’s something positive I get out of being friends with her, among so many other, wonderful qualities. I've endured her at her worst, as she has with me, but have also been blessed with and party to her moments of brilliance, of fun, of amazement. She's lucky she has us, but we're also lucky we have HER. She told me she texted you that she's a pain in the ass. I don't see her as such, but I can see why she'd say that to you. 

Guy Friend, she’s not a liability. She’s not a bad person. She’s a manic-depressive who wants and deserves love as much as you do, even more so when she's sick. Again, I fail to understand why you, as a doctor, don't understand that. 

It’s of mention that I’d do anything for Annie. Would you, to keep her healthy, sane, and encouraged? Don’t wipe her  from your memory.  The long-last side effects of being Annie’s friend are something I never take for granted when she’s either sick or well.  My friend was right—we’ve almost lost Annie on a number of occasions, but she’s still alive and like he said, should be someone with whom you make every moment count.

I’ve advised her not to make you a CD when you meet next week. She’s in too fragile a state right now to think cohesively and from what I know, you don’t listen to half the music anyway.

My happy ending? Annie and I spend the rest of our lives together. Also not going to happen for at least 16 years.  She accepts this about me and while it could be a negative trait in her, is a healthy one. (Annie, I actually read your blog about being anti-marriage and it makes perfect sense.)

Annie & Tim, please approach your meeting next week with your hearts full of love and open, not malice or annoyance. You’re lucky, man. There’s no reason for him to “eject you” from his life and I’m sure he gets more from your relationship  than arm candy; otherwise, he’d have dumped you as a friend before he fired you.  Just play nice, you two.

Annie, what makes you “clinically insane” is what also makes you an "artistic genius.” You are YOU, and there's nobody else on Earth like YOU. You're endlessly entertaining and fascinating, difficult and challenging, but always beautiful. I know you feel Guy Friend is rejecting you, but try not to look at it that way. He's not worth it. I agree with Kate in that he's scared and totally doesn't know what to do with a complex character like you. None of us do, but we all love you, fiercely.

Best of luck to you both,

Best Male Friend