Things got kind of weird today.
It's Valentine's Day, in case you live under a rock and were unaware. My mom got me a card. In my family (the mom/brother part), the norm in card giving is to get the most sarcastic or crude card you can find. Instead it was all sweet and how she's proud of me. Because my mom and I are the way we are it was weird? And then I said, somewhat surprised, "It's not mean." And she said, "No, I got you a nice card...because you're sensitive."
I am a lot of things. Sensitive is not one of them. At least not in the way she meant it. What I *am* is grudge holding. Which is what she's mistaking for sensitive. The reason she making this mistake is because the whole Alabama game incident got brought up again the other night when I wanted to trounce my brother's girlfriend at a game of word's with friends. I had never played Words With Friends. I'd been trying to avoid it. It's not exactly intellectual, it's more strategy really and that doesn't appeal to me. But she sent me a request so I figured I would play and then I'd like to crush her at it. My family routinely dismisses my intelligence, or, more likely, belittles it, so I do what I can, when I can, even if absurd, to remind them that they are wrong. Winning a stupid online board game? Yeah, that's about right. (I'm currently losing to my brother who requested after I started playing his girlfriend. I'm down by ten points and hell bent on making sure I win the game. I should probably have better outlets for my rage, huh?) (Updated: I played a 70 point word to take the lead. He immediately accused me of cheating. Yep. I cherry picked the letters and figured out where to optimally play them by cheating. You're right, little brother. Can't win, y'all.)
My mom wanted to know why I was mad at my brother's girlfriend, and I explained in broad strokes but not very well and not completely, which is my fault, for why this remains an issue. What I do know is that in the intervening time period, I have avoided him, "his" bars, and being around his friends. Time also crystalizes, not eases, my feelings. My mother doesn't understand why I would still be a giant rage ball about doing anything with my brother or his girlfriend because of what transpired in November. To me it seems completely logical. Should I let it go? Maybe. Will I? Not a chance. Even as I work on not being a grudge holding asshole and letting things go as an actual part of my personal growth, this is an instance where that isn't going to happen.
He would actually text me for subsequent games wanting to know where I was watching. The first few times I didn't reply. It took all my willpower not to say, "Awww hell no! You don't get to ruin my football watching experience and then want to be IN on it. GFY." I would later reply with one word answers that were, after that November night, never at a bar. How could he be so clueless? (Easily.)
I am the kind of grudge holding jerk who doesn't forget what has been done to me. I won't take revenge right away either. I'd rather sit on the information that I have and use it to my advantage when I'm ready. I'd rather let the other party think it has been completely forgotten and all has been forgiven until they want something from me. That takes time. And apparently a request for Words with Friends.
So: A) don't cross me. B) It's not that I'm sensitive, it's that I'm a jerk with a long memory.
But thanks for the nice card.
(In pondering this further, the earth shattering irony of her not understanding why I'd be mad at my brother while she still refuses to make polite small talk when in the vicinity of my father who she has been divorced from for 20 years was made apparent. I should point out to her that maybe my grudge holding nature is a learned behavior? Additionally, if my mother is an example, I should also really let this go. Ugh. Stupid self analysis.)
After a quick breakfast this morning, I went to the gym. Where I inevitably ran into someone I didn't want to talk to, a former creepy co-worker of my parents, who I did have to talk to because I wasn't all guards up when I first walked in. (But: thanks, tall guy with incredible arms on the treadmill in front of me. That eased elliptical boredom.)
When I left the gym, I had a text message from my dad, whose house I was headed to in order to house sit for the next couple of days. "Had a great dinner at (restaurant) in Las Vegas last night. There is one in DC, we should go there!"
Now, on its face there is nothing odd about that text message. Except: He's supposed to be in Santa Rosa, not Las Vegas. He certainly hadn't told me, and to my knowledge no one I know, that he was in for a spur of the moment trip to Las Vegas. He also doesn't like Las Vegas. I didn't respond to the text message right away, instead figuring maybe when I got to his house there would be some explanation.
I found a card addressed to me. It's all genuinely sentimental me and my dad stuff. He also included something he clipped out of the paper about the Free Pony Initiative (a pony in every home!), something he knew I could completely get behind. We're very Keith and Veronica Mars around here.
But not a word about Las Vegas. I text him back, "Las Vegas?" He hasn't responded.
If he's there for the reasons I think he's there, and so weirdly without saying anything (he told me he'd be here 'til today which is why I didn't stop by to check on his dogs last night), I'm not sure how I'll feel about that. I'm using my logical reasoning skills here but: my stepmom is not actually my stepmom. I just call her that for the sake of simplicity. They've been engaged for over a year but were in no hurry. She also has never been married before and planning the big wedding she wants to do for her family would take some time. But she has also mentioned that for her doing it quietly would be ideal. So... I'm not sure that's what has happened at all. It might not be. If it is, I'll naturally be happy for them and they made their choice for what was best for them and all that fun stuff, but a little disappointed for being left out too, no? Is that an allowable feeling? For a grown ass adult?
Then my horoscope told me "Don't procrastinate" because apparently it knows my soul so I'm trying to focus, which I am the worst at. (Give me all your Adderral!)
I had been looking forward to a nice beach walk in the sun and watching surfers change but the wind kicked way up while I was at the gym so now that's out, though I may still go for a walk... (Um. No. I just looked out the window at people on the Upper Great getting wind burn as they walk by all bundled up so I think I'll pass. Which is a total bummer. Maybe it'll be better in the morning?)
As for my Valentine's Day plans? I'm curling up on the couch with the dogs, RomComs (a great read on Jezebel about them today), Dr Pepper and a burrito. And maybe some ice cream. Dating yourself, truly and with no sense of sarcasm, is the best.
And Romcoms get one thing wrong: we, at least I, don't lament being single today. I more miss my girl friends. Linds on the East Coast for a few more weeks before she joins the stepsis in L.A. I was gonna say, "They need to come back and drink and be silly with me!" but it's becoming more and more apparent I need to go where they are. (Also indicated in my horoscope. Yes, I read mine and find value in it. We all have our things.) Man I wish I didn't hate Southern California so completely. Might have to get over that...
Also, as per tradition (that I'm making up just now), I refer you to the story of the best Valentine's Day I ever had. It involves Mardi Gras. I was driving South on 280 yesterday, just to go to Target in Daly City, and I pondered for a moment, envisioning it as a movie montage, continuing south 'til I hit L.A., picking up the stepsis and then heading East on I-10 'til we hit New Orleans. Sigh. To dream...