Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why if older means wiser I'll soon be a sage

My sister's here visiting, and I am officially no longer a twenty-something blogger. It's the day after my birthday and I am living in central New York state and it is snowing. The world is a topsy-turvy place.

We celebrated last night, trivia-style, the regular crowd at the regular bar, plus my sister and my former roommate/now friend (I'll call her Y) as new additions to the team. Almost immediately upon entering I saw James, who let me know that he had run into Andrew and heard that we weren't seeing each other anymore, but not to worry about it because actually, the guy kind of did me a favor, you know? (Do you think I am sick to death yet of hearing about what a favor this guy did me? Do you think I was already sick of it the first time I heard it? Do you think I was ready to throw up when Andrew himself said it to me during our final let's-get-some-closure telephone call? All I am saying is the next time I hear that word it better be preceded by a "Hey, would you mind...?" or I will quite literally scream.) In any case I didn't have to put up with him long because he left only a few minutes after the game started. "You're leaving now because you have to go out of town on Thursday?" I repeated dumbly. "Umm, ok?"

But let's back up. Almost immediately after running into James, who incidentally did not buy me a drink, I ran into the bearded commitment-phobe himself. We said hello, and incidentally he did buy me a drink. (See, now that is a favor I can get behind.) We didn't chat for long, though, and soon the game began.

"What should our team name be?" I wondered aloud, back at the table.

"Oh, we already decided on one," my teammates said.

"No," I said, inspiration striking. "I need this one guys, please. I...I don't know what is yet but I almost have it..."

"Ok," they shrugged, because no one was going to say no to the birthday girl. Ok, so I had this. This was mine. Something something commitment-phobe, I thought. Something something commitment-phobe. But by the end of the round the heading on our answer sheet was still blank, and the answers had to be turned in.

"It's ok guys," I said. "I'll take it up; I'll think of something on the way. It'll come to me." And then, standing in front of the trivia guy's booth, it did. I scribbled furiously. "I don't know if you can read this," I said, handing the paper to him, "but it says I can't decide on a team name because I'm a commitment-phobe." He nodded. I beamed. We could come in dead last now, for all I cared. Victory was already mine.

Now I just had to wait for the scores to be announced after the first round. "I have to go to the bathroom!" I announced giddily to my team when the time came. I needed a good vantage point for this. I made sure I was "waiting in line" for the (empty) bathroom when the scores were read. Andrew's back was to me, though, and when our name was read, his head dipped down slightly, but I couldn't tell if he was just taking a drink. Coming back from the bathroom, though, I looked up to find him standing directly in my path.

"I think I heard your team name," he said, looking me straight in the eyes, a half smile playing on his lips.

"Oh yeah?" I said coyly, my hand on his arm. "Because I..." And suddenly the hand on his arm was pushing past him, propelling my body forward as I blew right on by with a laugh and a Mona Lisa smile.
In a weird way, it was sort of one of the best moments of my life.

So, in the end we didn't win, of course, but that was ok. I already had my birthday present. Afterward, Andrew found me again, and chatted a bit with me and my sister and Y. "Oh, I ran into your roommate a couple days ago," he mentioned. Yeah? I said. "Yeah. Don't trust that guy," he said ominously. Y and I looked at each other and raised our eyebrows.

"Umm, why?" I asked.

"Just...don't," he said, shaking his head.

"No, really," I said. "What did he say?"

"Nothing, I don't want to say. Just don't trust him."

"Umm, no, what did he say? The guy literally lives right next to me. You have to tell me."

"No," he said.

"Well fuck you then," I said, but before the words had finished leaving my mouth he had already turned on his heel and walked away.

"God," I said.

"So sensitive," Y said, eying his retreating form, her upper lip curling slightly in disgust. God I love that girl.

I'd like to be able to say that when we finally left he wasn't engaged in a cozy tete-a-tete with some girl at an otherwise empty table, closing down the bar just like we used to do, but that wouldn't be true. And not just any girl, but the volunteer coordinator at the theater where I volunteer. The girl that I myself introduced him to at this very bar a few weeks back. The girl that when I introduced him made me think, Is she flirting with him right in front of me? And is he flirting back? Right in front of me?

Well fuck you then, I repeated to myself. It was still a victory, but it was bittersweet.
Back at home, I poured myself a nightcap and my sister and I partook of her delicious cupcakes and shot grainy, low-quality videos.

Don't you think happy birthday ache sounds sort of like a Morrissey song?

And for anyone who doesn't have a sister, this next video pretty much sums it up. Not so much the drunken part as the hysterical giggling. Hysterical giggling is pretty much what sisters are all about.

"Wasn't it awesome," she said later, as we rehashed the night, "when Y yelled at James and then he left?"

"Wait, what?" I said. "I didn't hear that. What happened?"

"I don't know, he was saying something about how Andrew did you a favor, and she yelled at him, and I guess he felt uncomfortable because a few minutes later he left."

"Really? She did that?"

Best birthday present ever. God I love that girl.


  1. Happy birthday Rachel. Here's to a fabulous decade! And three cheers for girlfriends - where would we be without them? x

  2. Happy birthday Rachel! It sounds like you had a fantastic time (minus the weird comment about your roommate - keep us posted on that).

  3. Happy Birthday Rachel! I always used to wish I had a sister and apparently prayers were answered because my best friend and I do the whole sisterly thing (we met the first week of college 8 years ago holy shit!). Hysterical giggling and telling off pricks for one another really is what it's all about.

    Keep us posted on his crazy ass. Hopefully he'll look back one day and be embarrassed to have been such a douche (a muther f'ing douche at that).

  4. I have like a PHD in Morrissey and Happy Birthday Ache, i must admit, is a a brilliant title for one of his songs, now go listen to It's Not Your Birthday Anymore by Mozzer cuz it ain't but before you do that let me do you a favor and say Happy Birthday, welcome to your 30's Charlie Brown.

  5. Wait a minute - what's this fucking "favor" talk? I don't get it. Like he did you a favor by quitting before it got more serious? Or favor like picking you up when your car breaks down on the highway?

  6. No no, the first one. Like, he could have waited six months to have the commitment-phobe talk, so what a great guy he is for telling me now. So in other words, no actual favors were done.

  7. Wow. I hope that I'd have the presence of mind to tell him off you like did if some guy pulled that whole "I won't tell you why, but don't trust your roommate" crap with me. That must have felt awesome. I mean, what the hell is that? That's such an infuriating thing to do to someone. It's like saying "Don't drive your car tonight. I can't tell you why." But...why? Did you rid it to explode upon ignition? Did you have a bad dream that I'd get into a crash? Did someone tell you he's planning to carjack me? TELL ME!!! If he wants to be an actual friend, he would have been totally straightforward with you about whatever this mysterious thing is that would cause you not to trust your roomie. If he doesn't tell you, all he's doing is adding himself to the list of people you shouldn't trust. You're better off without him, and I'm psyched that you got to tell him how you feel about him.

  8. Well, I'd like to be able to take credit for "telling him off," but honestly I'm 99% sure I only said it because I was drunk. Like, when he stormed away indignantly my first reaction was, "What did I say? Ohhhh, right, that."

    But if there had to be last words between us, I guess I'm pretty glad it was that. :)

  9. Happy Birthday...glad you got some wins!