August 12, 2010

Boats & Friend Purgatory

Filed under: Deranged Denise,friends,Life — denise @ 4:43 pm

I look around and can’t help but try to inventory the people in my life.

I have a handful of people that are firmly in the boat with me…. a handful of people have jumped ship (or, if I’m being honest, in some cases I’ve shoved out of the ship)… and then this not small group of people that are just sort of floating in the water. 

They aren’t here. They aren’t gone. 

They aren’t my good friends anymore. They aren’t my mortal enemies.  

They are in Friendship Limbo…  the purgatory for the people whose email address is still in your contacts or whose number is still in your cell phone, even though you never talk or see them anymore.   But the deletion of them… off email, off cellphone, off Facebook is so final that you can’t quite bring yourself to do it.

We might hold on to them out of nostalgia or out of obligation.   So that if they DO call you some day, you won’t have to ask the dreaded question, “Who is this?”  So if they get married or have a baby or die, maybe you will be told… because you don’t really know them anymore but you loved them once.  You would care if they were hurt or gone. You would be happy for their joy if they found love or brought new lives into the world.   You would offer them comfort if they needed it.  You would help them if they asked for it. You would let bygones be bygones. You would.

Because maybe they post the occasional picture on Facebook and you can catch a glimpse of the person that you used to be close to and know that at least, they looked happy for that moment.  

Because maybe some day they will change.  Or you will change.  Some day we won’t care anymore about what drove us apart or we will find a new connection that brings us back together in a way that is not the same, but better than before.

As much as I hate to consider the possibility… maybe, I’m getting what I deserve… these people on land… these people floating in the water… and me, in the boat, with my handful of people that I can’t bear to let go of…  my handful of people that won’t LET me throw them from the boat, even when I try… and I do, sometimes… a fatal character flaw that makes me run and makes me shove.  Makes me act like such a jerk that if you stay, if you don’t leave then I really, really know you are there and not leaving… no matter what. I am, admittedly, a complete pain in the ass.


Have you ever tried to pull someone back into a boat, when they’ve fallen (or yes, dammit, been pushed) out?  Waterlogged, slippery, without a firm place to plant their feet and push.. they flail and splash and choke. Sometimes they just try to hold on to the side for as long as they can.   Sometimes, they give up and swim away to land.

But sometimes, you grab onto their hands and pull with all your might and somehow they flop over the side into the boat and you both just whoop and drip and try to catch your breath and grin at each other… 

Sometimes, that happens.

January 5, 2009

Alive & Kicking (well, the baby is anyway)

Filed under: friends — denise @ 5:12 pm

So, remember me? I feel off the planet in November and December.  Not in a my-crazy-neighbor-Roger-who-lives-off-the-grid sort of way. I mean, I still have electricity and I pee indoors and all.. but I did take a break from the blogosphere of life. I didn’t plan to.  I still thought each day that I would write an entry…and each day… I just didn’t.  Then, I stopped even reading other people’s blogs.  And then, goddamn it, I got sucked back into Facebook and there went the 47 seconds of free time I have every day… I don’t know what it was about my 3rd and 4th months of pregnancy, but I just began to feel very private.  Very insular.  Very contained. Not only was I completely disinterested in sharing my own life, I wasn’t particularly interested in anyone else’s life either.  (Ok, I still needed to know what was happening with Britney – but GOD, don’t we all need to know how Britney is doing?) So, I guess you say in the immortal words of Ross,  “We were on a break.” So…. I was kind of thinking that maybe we could start hanging out again? I mean, American Idol is about to start… and The Teen is back living with us… and The Toddler is talking now…  I’m pregnant and pissed off and we’re planning a trip to see my mom and grandma in Tucson — I mean, we are talking SERIOUS BLOG FODDER here, people. You don’t want to miss it. I swear I’m not smirking. Ok.. maybe a little.   Alive and smirking… It’s the best I can do.

August 26, 2008

Advice you don’t think you need, but someday might.

I have been asked for advice about a few things recently….

I am a DISCLAIMER ADVICE-GIVER. In other words, I think that giving advice is for assholes, but I do it anyway AND I add this disclaimer:

You should do what you think is right and I am no expert on this but this is what I would do………… [commence verbal advice barfing]

So, everyone take that little disclaimer snippet and shove it under your nose for the next few minutes while you read the following and remember that unless you are wearing a WWDD bracelet today, you should really just not ask my advice. Because I will give it, and also simultaneously refuse to take any responsibility for the resulting consequences of following said advice.

Dear Denise,

My son is getting married next October and since you had an October wedding, could you please give us some advise and or decorating tips?

Dear Tips,

1. October is the quintessential Minnesota month. For example, on my wedding day at the END of October it was 85 degrees at noon. It rained in the evening. I think it even snowed a bit. Also, frogs fell from the sky. If you buy a long-sleeved wedding dress, it will be hot. If you buy sleeveless, it will snow. If you wear your hair up it will rain, however, it will also rain if you wear it down. Your best bet is to wear snappy wind-suits and sombreros.

2. Decorating for an October wedding goes like this: Go to Michaels. Buy everything fall colored or remotely fall related. That is all.

3. If you decide to make favors for your wedding yourself, and think that making your own candles for each guest would be touching and personal, do not make more than one scent. You will spend your entire reception listening to this: “You got Pumpkin Spice! I wanted Pumpkin Spice!” “Why did YOU get Blackberry Sage?? I’ve known this family for 10 years and I get Spiced Apple?” Totally heartwarming, let me tell you.  It’s all about the love, yo.

Dear Denise,

You throw great parties!  Will you please plan and host my next party?

Dear Party,

Thank you!  No, jerkface.

General life lesson for everyone:  Just because someone is good at something and takes some personal pride in their ability to do something well, doesn’t mean they want to spend their RARE and VALUABLE spare time doing that thing for you.  For free.  Sheesh.

Dear Denise,

What do you do if you want to invite people to a party or event that do not get along with one another?

Dear Get Along,

People have been struggling from the beginning of time with this question… mostly because the people that do not get along are frequently family members.  Even at the beginning of time, someone thoughtfully considered, while pounding on a mammoth leg, whether or not they should invite Ogg because Ogg and Drek always end up beating the snot out of one another at every Mammoth Leg Party.

People generally address this situation in one of four ways:

1. Hope for the best. Invite them both and hope they have the sense to at least avoid one another, if they can not be civil.

Why this will not work: First of all, everyone you know already knows that they don’t like one another. When both of them arrive, the fact that they are both there will become the focus of everyone at the party.

Even if they CAN avoid each other, there will be lots of heated glares and rolling of eyes.  They will BOTH be mad at you for inviting the other person.  If you are serving alcohol, there is a 35% chance they will not only interact, but will end up rolling around in the gravel and pulling each other’s hair.  There is also a 35% chance they will end up hugging and apologizing and declaring their undying friendship for one another. If either of those things happen, there is a 98% chance they will deeply regret it the next morning.  And they will blame you.  Again.

2. Hedge your bets. Invite the one most likely to be mad at you for not inviting them.  Tell the more easy-going of the two that you didn’t invite her because you figured she wouldn’t come ANYWAY, if the other one was coming.

Why this won’t work: You’ve now officially picked a team. You’re going to have to stick to that.  When they reconcile their differences, guess who will look like the asshole, now?  You.

3.  Ignorance is bliss. Pretend you didn’t know they didn’t get along.  Swear dramatically that you thought they were friends.  Beg them, separately, to please try to enjoy themselves.

Why this won’t work: Now, you’ve not only invited their mortal enemy to a night that was SUPPOSED TO BE FUN for them… but you’ve also proven to be a terrible, uninterested friend that doesn’t pay attention to her friends and their problems.

4. Feed the gorilla in the corner.

Have your party.  Invite them both.  If asked, swear to them that the other one isn’t coming. In fact, tell them you’ve hired an off-duty officer to guard the door to your home to ensure the other person will not ruin the party for them.

When they arrive, strap those giant inflatable boxing gloves on them and lead them to a big ring in your backyard. Gather everyone around and get them to chant, “GRUDGE MATCH! GRUDGE MATCH!

Watch them either die of humiliation or knock the beans out of one another.

Why this WILL work: It will be the LAST time you will ever be asked to deal with picking which friend to invite to a party because if people have issues with one another, they certainly won’t burden you with that knowledge.  Also, entertainment-wise, it’s cheaper than a DJ.

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