A strange thing happened to me today at Max and Ermas. It’s a Saturday, and as such I knew they’d be busy. I showed up around 7, and the place was packed. I put my name in, and all that, then just headed to the bar. I was meeting Sven and Julie there, but they had some things to finish before they were gonna head over, so I was expecting a decent sized wait before they showed too, but I didn’t care much. I’m good with just kinda sitting around and people watching… especially when there’s a decent enough sized crowd to watch. There were a few seats open at the bar, so I grabbed a seat, got a beer, and started watching the news. After 5 minutes or so, the manager noticed me, and headed over, and we talked for a while, which was nice. I talked to the bartender for a while, too. So far so good. Then 2 ladies, both around 40 years old I’d guess, walked into the bar. There were at this time 2 seats open, one on either side of me. The 1st lady approached me, and asked if the seats were saved for anyone. Knowing that Sven and Julie wouldn’t be around for a while, I said that they were not, and offered to scoot down one for them. She said that I could sit between them if I’d like. I opted to scoot one down.
The ladies sat down, and the lady sitting nearest to me began talking about how cold it was. I assumed she was talking to her friend, so I paid little attention. She then said something like “but why bother going outside when there are cute guys like this in here.” I noticed she was looking at me. Let me repeat something I said previously: “2 ladies, both around 40 years old I’d guess, walked into the bar..” I smiled, said thank you, and returned to watching the news. The lady started talking to me. She asked if I was waiting for someone, so I said that I was. She then went on a fairly winding diatribe about something, I can’t remember what, though I recall it being slightly creepy. Then the lights dimmed (as they do at a certain times), and she said it was romantic, like candles. She then went on for a while about how girls like candles. It was fairly obvious by this point that simply trying to ignore the lady wasn’t going to do anything, so I figured I’d just talk to her til Sven and Julie showed up.. it couldn’t take that long, right? So we talked about candles for a while. (Apparently lavender candles soothe the soul, and the really expensive triple wick ones burn straight down, rather than just burn little holes.. but only if you burn them for 4+ hours at a time.) Slowly the conversation turned slightly less creepy, and I figured she was just one of those talkative people that inevitably sits next to or near you on an airplane all the time. She then asked what I did, and where I worked, and where I went to school, etc… and it started to get creepy again. She asked if I had a card. That snippet of conversation went something like this:
Woman : So, do you a business card? I could email you sometime.
Me : I don’t have a card, sorry.
Woman : But you have an email address, right?
Me : That I do.
Woman : But you’re not going to give it to me?
Me : Yeah… probably not.
Woman’s Friend : laughing hysterically
This conversation lasted for a little while longer. She talked about the beer she was drinking, and how it had the lowest carbohydrate and calorie content of any beer. She then wanted to know what kind of beers I liked (Planning ahead for our date, I’m assuming). Eventually, she and her friend were ready to order, and she suggested that I order too, and we could all eat together. Just then Sven and Julie showed up, and I said I’d be fine just eating with them. End tally: She called me cute 5 times, forced me (and I mean forced) to have a taste of her beer, and generally creeped me out for a solid half an hour. Bottom line, Once my standards drop a bit more, I’m all set.
I watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days today, and it was pretty good. Here’s the part that I found most funny. Basic concept: a girl does everything that women do wrong in relationships trying to drive the man away. Well one of the things she did was bring over a plant as “a symbol of [their] love”. Some will recall the “love plant” I was given by Julie early in our relationship. The speech given in the movie as to the importance and symbolism of said plant was almost word for word what Julie had said. I laughed very, very hard. (Incidentally, in my case, that damn plant refused to die no matter what I did to it. I took profound joy in watching it shrivel up and die after plummeting from my balcony.) So I have emotional problems, big deal..
While I was sitting at Max and Ermas (before the little adventure), I came to the realization that one of the reasons I liked the place so much is that it reminded me a bit of school. Not in the “I’m a kid going to classes, yada” kind of way, but the feeling that you were kind of known there. There were the people you knew well, and called by name. Then there are the people you recognize, and recognize you, but you aren’t really friends with them or anything. The kind of people you’ll give a smile to when you pass them in the hall, but you wouldn’t stop and talk to or anything. That’s something I don’t really have anymore. At work, pretty much everyone knows everyone, and outside of that, where, really, do I go? At Max and Ermas I’m actually among peers, for the most part, and it just feels nice to be recognized by most of them. I’m a big believer in the idea that Belonging is one of the main goals of a person’s life. Throughout life you’re just trying to find places where you feel like you belong. From your family, to your group of friends, to your career and co-workers, to eventually a family of your own, then the process begins anew. So for me, as sad as it may seem to some, Max and Ermas is just one of those places where I feel like I fit in. And the sad news: Tressa is taking a leave of absence, as her student teaching/full time teaching starts up soon. Next weekend is her last weekend for a while. The only constant is change.
I was talking to Tuuk the other day online, and asked me some pretty hard-hitting questions that got me thinking. I had mentioned that for the most part I was in a good mood, and that when I was out with other people I was generally happy, it was just when I was alone, and reflecting on things that I get down on myself and my situation. He asked if I was truly happy, or just good at masking the fact that I wasn’t. It’s something I’ve asked myself a number of times as well, never with a definitive answer. My take on it right now (which is destined for scrutiny or doubt, I’m sure) is that when I’m out and about, with people and generally having a good time, is a more accurate picture of how I really am on the inside than is my occasional rant or even more occasional period of self loathing. I think there’s a decent chunk of me that’s just so used to the self loathing and depression (almost all of High School, and much of college was spent stuck in this mood, after all), that I’m not exactly certain how I’m supposed to act when I’m alone. I’m actually fine with being by myself. I’ve spent significant portions of my time since moving to Michigan alone, and I’m not just talking about sleep. It’s when I’m alone and feel like I’m not supposed to be… like Friday nights or something, that I start to questions things, and then slide into what I’m most familiar with and comfortable with: “the funk” (The Funk -> The background music in most cheap porno movies. When in reference to my mood, that depressed/self pity/whiny mood that is often accompanied by much introspective pissed off rant writings, pacing, and the invention of many a Grandiose Experiment.). it may be that I’ve just been in a good mood lately (which is odd, given today’s near proximity to Valentine’s Day and all, but I just feel like for the most part I’m in a pretty good mood. I focus a lot on the negatives when I write, because I find it funnier. And when I talk or tell stories or joke about things it takes a negative spin often, but again, I find it funny. What’s funnier, a clever pun, or the misery of someone else? I think we both know the answer to that one.
I am writing this post on my laptop, which is now connected via a snazzy wireless router. Thus far I love it. No more ugly blue wire running across half of my room, and I can roam on into the living room and work by the fire for a few hours during the day. An aside: I refuse to live anywhere that lacks a fireplace. Possible exception: Living someplace where 50 degrees F is considered “very cold”. I hate cold.. I really do. So if the two girls living in the apartment below us happen to be advanced cryptographers, they can probably score a free Internet connection off of us now.
Now that wiring up my room is no longer as big an issue, I’d like to rearrange my room. I’m working on whipping up some sort of program that’ll let me layout my room, and move stuff around to see how things fit. Seems like a good misuse of my time. I figure if I add that too the fact that I’ve got 50+% of Metroid Prime to beat in 1 day, I should have no problem getting it all done. If I can figure it out, though, i might put something on the site. We’ll see.