Thursday, April 27, 2006

Here Are a Few of My Favorite Things


Not sure if it is because I only had one cup of coffee today, or because I broke a tooth, but I'm tired, irritable and nursing boredom with a side of bad-attitude. I'm wallowing in self pity. I'm lonely. I'm weighed down by a guilty conscious. Hungover from the myriad of negative behavior that sprang from last weeks boredom.

When you are bored, you tend to think too much. Life spent in the analysis of ones self, magnifies every flaw. Oh yes, and when you think too much, everything is about you.

Selfish, Bored, fatigued, sporting a broken tooth, a bad-attitude, self-pity, and loneliness. I am remarkably good company tonight.

So, rather than expose my friends to my own favorite brand of doom and gloom, I have made a concerted effort to isolate. At times like these, I turn to some of my favorite methods:

#1 SHOPPING: Spent Sunday and Monday burning up the Amex at Feilenes and Loehmanns. When shopping to quell pain and/or boredom, the focus is on quantity not quality. The more shopping bags, the more shoes, the more tiny Ziplocks holding spare buttons that you will find lying around on the counter tops the next morning, the better you feel.

But even when you have the money to burn, even when you can afford twenty Marc Jacobs tissue paper tee shirts, you know you are doing something destructive. Shopping still feels empty at the end of the day.

I was smarting from a family visit that dragged out my dirty laundry. I shopped to buy new things to make me look better on the outside.
Since the insides were not feeling very pretty.

And the amount of time spent mentally shuffling through my closet, preening at my image in the mirror, plotting the shoes I would buy to go with that skirt, kept me firmly rooted in my own head. And also kept me unable to be present in the moment to those around me.

The guilt of the wasted money. The pain of the lost connections. I turned to a second favorite to avoid feeling any of these emotions.

#2 DATING: I note a startling inverse relationship between a plethora of exciting and challenging things going on in my life and the number of times I check my Friendster profile. Considering the addictive-like quality of my Friendster stalking as of late, I think it is safe to say that I am bored.

Boredom sparks a mad scientist chase for human interaction. And since I was old enough to make-out in the back of a car, I've known that the easiest, quickest and most reliable form of human interaction is dating.

Ever since I located to Washington DC and updated my Friendster and Myspace, I have been getting twenty new messages a day. I had to disable my e-mail pop-ups so that the barrage of incoming messages would stop disturbing my evenings at home.

Boredom turns the fun and harmless act of internet dating into a callused mouse finger. Like a morphine addicted rat, I keep hitting the button for another fix. Anything done addictively or to excess, just does not feel as good the next morning. It is to the point where I dread opening my e-mail. The messages only serve to remind me that I am lonely for a little human interaction. A little one-on-one, human interaction.

Perhaps this is why I went out with Frenchy when he called me Monday night. Perhaps this is why I asked out that Alanon boy I've been crushing on since February. Perhaps that is why when I met a guy at the Gala last night, I came home, googled him and came up with a bogus reason to drop him an e-mail. We are talking serious stalker behavior here!

And after a while, the tolerance has been built up and it takes more and more to sustain the high. No matter how many flirtatious e-mails I've exchanged, I'm still antsy. It's not working. I can still feel. Thus I turned to the group.

#3 GROUP ISOLATION: I've got a host of new girl and guy friends in DC. On any given night, I can be out in a raucous group. The other night, I soaked up a hot spring evening with four old DC girlfriends in an outside cafe along 18th street. But as the sun slid behind the buildings the chill in the air made me long for the warmth of a real connection.

Fighting the control freak within, I observed as my women friends spent the first hour discussing politics, and the second, laughing over inside jokes into glasses of Happy Hour Syrah. By their third bottle of wine their eyes sparkled and they were gushing over one another, discussing how much they had missed each other in the month since they had last met up.

Politics, the drink, reliving the past, all ways of passing four hours without ever passing a level of superficial conversation. I was nowhere closer to finding out what was going on these womens hearts and nowhere closer to them. I walked away feeling lonely.

Saturday night I met up with friends at a house party. Determined to insert myself, within an hour I had taken over the grill, organized a game of charades and led the group in a witty exchange of political back and forth. My normally welcoming and warm personality morphed into Julie McCoy, cruise director.

Obsessed with controlling the groups interaction, I stopped relating to people on a deeper lever. The very thing I was craving, I let get away from me by giving in to the group dynamic.

Isolation. My best friend. My favorite thing to do when I move to a new places.
My first six months in NYC were spent shopping, dating and trying to make friends. I went to every sample sale. I went out with every man that asked. I went everywhere I was invited. I aquired an amazing wardrobe. I went out with some very hot men.

To further my social ambitions, I had parties at my house. I organized dinner parties, comedy nights, egg decorating brunches, cookie baking days, tree trimming afternoons, birthday parties, ladies retreats and girls-nights-out. I built a group of three into a group of twelve with a few phone calls. And once they arrived, I began my dance. Keeping everyone talking and laughing was meant to have the side effect of everyone loving me.
But at the end of the night, as my friends streamed out into the New York night, I was alone again, surrounded by piles of their dirty dishes.

Coming down here to DC for a few months kicks up old behavior. I am back in a new place and a new city, I am drawn to want to collect people and generate adventure. I am prone to my many favorite forms of isolation.

There is the kind of isolation spent at home with take-out Chinese and Netflix, and the kind spent hiding out under the mask of superficial group interaction, working the shoe aisle at Barneys CoOp and searching the files of Friendster.
I have only just recently discovered my penchant for the latter.

So here I am, sitting at the computer, wearing my new Prada dress, an in-box filled with messages from potential suitors, a host of unreturned phone calls in my voicemail begging me to come out for the night.
Yet here I sit. Disinterested in sitting still. Lonely, but reluctant to human interaction. Avoiding listening to my feelings. Bored. Tired. A broken tooth.

Isolating.

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posted by Pop Culture Casualty @ 4/27/2006 12:20:00 AM |

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