Friday, August 2, 2013

Art Imitates Life

"And so then, she proceeds to turn her entire family against me because I'm friends with Andrew. She made it seem like me and Andrew had a thing, but like no!" I rattled off the conclusion to the tale of the last 'thing' I've had with a guy as Whitney and I made the trek back up campus to the site of the Girl's part of Girls and Guys night, "Which was a ridiculous accusation in general, Andrew's engaged and like seven years older than me, and the worst part was it was coming from the one in the family who was supposed to be my friend!"
My old friend Jen's deceit was fresh in my mind, as only a few weeks ago the truth had come out that she had somehow convinced her entire family that I was trying to steal her brother, and my best friend, Andrew from his fiancee Gabi. She had even forced our mutual friend Andrew Kang to essentially chose between being friends with me and being friends with her. It was kind of the biggest load of bullshit I had encountered in a long time.
"That's so dumb," Whitney agreed.
"Both Andrews told me they thought it was all stupid, and as far as Ian goes, it's been a while since I've talked to him, but that's totally ok with me," we wound our way up to the house where we could hear laughter mixing with the flurries of snow from the upstairs window. It was a chilly January night, but after tossing back a few quick shots, neither of us felt the stings of a Michigan winter. The entire story of my brief but juicy affair with Ian had spilled willingly from my lips after four shots of peach Ciroc.
"I can not believe that I'm underdressed," I said as I slipped off my Converse inside the door of the house. I had learned a crucial fact a few minutes too late: the entire ballroom team dresses up for parties. Skirts, dresses, heels, bling. My jeggings and tank weren't nearly on par. This was my kind of group. If people were out-dressing me (and I was chronically overdressed) I would fit right in. I was falling more and more in love with this team by the second.
And my the glass of wine. It was only a moment until there was a glass of white wine in my hands and I chatting with a new friend.
"Ok girls, lets practice one more time!"
I couldn't help but smile as I set my glass of wine down and found my place next to Whitney.
Guys and Girl's night was a deep-rooted tradition of the ballroom team: the girls and guys all split up to talk about ballroom things before getting together and letting the usual drunken dancing and general greatness that is a ballroom party ensue. It was tradition for the guys to crash girl's night, but this year, the girls were going for something new and crashing guys night. And together, we had planned a dramatic entrance:
Someone turned on the stereo and Aqua's "Barbie Girl" and the fifty girls launched into our hilarious, raunchy dance routine. The giggling was almost louder than the music as we practiced our dance.
As 10:00pm approached, the girls swapped their heels for snow boots and slipped bottles of wine into their bags. Our destination was on the complete opposite end of campus, but luckily for us, we only had to wait a few minutes before piling onto one of Michigan's iconic blue busses.
It was like a scene straight out of one of those teen cult movies: fifty tipsy, well-dressed girls taking over an empty bus in the early hours of the night. It wasn't long until we broke into a chant about being the girls of the ballroom team, much to the alarm of the bus driver and the maybe two people on the bus who weren't on the ballroom team.
"We're the ballroom dance team, the raiders of the night! We're dirty, slutty bitches who'd rather fuck than fight!" I shouted along with the rest of the bus. It was a strangely out of body experience: this was something so college-like, so cool, so normal. But to me, this was incredibly special. I was riding a bus to a party surrounded by glamorous, fun girls to join our male equivalents, "We'll take our rusty trophies and shove them up your ass. Highty, tight, Christ all-mighty, who the fuck are we? Dick! Suck! Cock! Fuck! WE'RE THE BALLROOM TEAM!"
When the bus reached its destination, we trooped off down the street, avoiding slippery patches of ice and the occasional snow bank, everyone giggling and talking until we reached an oddly familiar street corner.
We all fell silent as we creeped down John Street, the sight of the infamous ballroom house, and the site of my first ballroom party a few weeks back. Someone hooked up a pair of speakers, someone else knocked on the door, the girls shed their coats, and the guys piled out on the lawn.
'Barbie Girl' inturrupted the peaceful quiet on that cold Saturday night as we launched into our raunchy dance in the middle of the street.
Completely out of place, and hopefully not because of the copious amounts of Ciroc and wine I had already consumed, I felt like I was about to cry. Here I was, in the middle of Michigan's notoriously horrible winters, standing on a college town street, dancing suggestively in a tank top, surrounded by girls having as much fun as I was. It was like a scene out of a movie, and I felt a rare bit of moisture tickle my eyelashes. This was what college was all about, and I was no longer just hearing my friends' stories of their wild, picture-esq nights; I was living it and loving every single moment.

Monday, May 20, 2013

You're Nobody Until You're Talked About

  The small mirrored room was filled with people when I entered the ballroom lesson. I caught sight of a few familiar faces: there was Barath, the guy who had been the very first to ask me to dance at my first ballroom party a few weeks ago, there were several of the newcomers whom I had become friends with  in the few short weeks since I had decided to join the University of Michigan Ballroom Dance Team, and of course there was James.

I dropped the phone like it had burst into flames. I looked around me, vaguely wondering if someone was playing a prank on me. The tiny pizza place was buzzing as it typically would be on a Friday night. My tables were all fine, and it wasn't like my boss could fire me for being on my phone considering I had put in my two weeks less than a week ago. 
"Brandy," I caught my friends' arm as she started to type in an order, "Remember me telling you about that James guy I danced with at a party? He's like the captain of the ballroom team and all that?"
"Yes," Brandy answered, giving me one of those looks that a best friend gives you when she knows exactly what you're about to say.
"He just messaged me on Facebook, he asked me if I was doing anything tonight."
"Xaylia..." Brandy began.
"I've already got plans, but... Oh my Chanel," I squealed with excitement for a half-second before pulling myself together.
"Quick question," Brandy said with a smirk, "How old is he?"
I pursed my lips, "I don't know," I said tightly, "Don't judge me."
"You have a bit of a track record when it comes to older guys, Xaylia."
"There was just the one!" I hissed, not daring to say Ian's name considering everyone we were working with knew him. James was obviously older than me, but I clearly had no opposition to older guys. 
When the restaurant slowed down enough not to need all of the servers who were there for the height of the dinner rush, I was quick to do my cleaning before heading over to Ann Arbor to join Whitney and her friend Becky for a night of intoxication featuring illegal beverages. I had a fifth of my favorite peach Ciroc waiting for me at her dorm and it was calling my name. 
"So James messaged me on Facebook," I said with a flat tone when Whitney came down to let me into her dorm. 
"He did?" Whitney looked surprised, "What did he say?"
"He asked me what I was doing tonight."
"I told him I already had plans with you,"I smiled cheerily, as if this James thing meant absolutely nothing. 
"Seriously Xaylia, stay away from him. Carly told me that the upper-level girls make fun of all the newcomers that hook up with James."
"No worries," I waved my hand airily, "Now, where's my Ciroc?"

"So," James swept me up into the close hold of the tango, "How was last night?"
"Fun," I shot him a quick smirk, before looking over his shoulder. I knew it wouldn't be long into the lesson until he scouted me out to dance with him, "Didn't even end up leaving the dorm, one of those kind of nights."
"Well you could have been having an even better time with me," James said simply as we set off doing the basic step.
"I told you, should have asked me earlier," I said, my airy tone matching his, making it clear I wasn't buying it.
"You coming to Guys and Girls night?"
"Of course, I'm looking forward to it."
Guys and Girls night was a night at the start of the semester where all of the girls on the team got together and all of the guys got together to talk about dance-y things, and then got together as a full group and got wasted.
At least that's how I thought it was going to be.
I had on one of those outfits that was designed to take me through the entire day, from work, to dance, to a party: My A&F jeggings were stupidly comfortable, enough to be able to dance in, and a blue chiffon floral print tank was layered over a blue lace bralette from Victoria's Secret for added comfort for a day that wasn't about to end any time soon. The chiffon tank had a set of ruffles at the hem, which gave it added movement for dancing both at the lesson and at the party. It was a look that said, "I live such a busy jet-setting life, I can't even change my clothes," and the abundance of moose-logo-ed things said, "Look what a cool job I have."
When we went to go change partners, an unexpected pair of eyes caught mine across the room. It was Joey, and dancing with him was the slightest bit of torture: he was so nice, and he wasn't exactly bad at ballroom. He was funny, and we found our conversations running into the start of the next set of movements we were supposed to be practicing. And when we had to switch partners again, we promised to find each other at the party tonight. If I couldn't have him as a partner, we could at least be friends.

"I don't think we've met."
The lesson had ended and I was in the process of swapping my ballroom shoes for navy converse and I glanced at the guy standing to my right, "Probably not. I'm Xaylia," I held out my hand.
"Jonathan," he shook my hand, "So you're Xaylia?" He asked.
"Um, yeah," I glanced awkwardly at the floor. It wasn't like I was lying about my name...
"I've heard of you-" Jonathan began.
"It's probably the name," I shrugged, "Not exactly very common-"
"No, it's not that," he cut me off, "You just transferred, or something, right?"
I nodded.
"Where from?"
I rattled off the name of the local community college, "It's sort of surreal being here honestly."
"So what made you join ballroom?" he asked, genuinely interested.
"I did a bit of ballroom back in like, seventh grade, and had to stop because I couldn't find a partner. I did a semester of ballet at community college, so it just seemed like something I would like," I smiled.
"Yeah, being on the team is fantastic..." I tuned out whatever Jonathan was saying until he was pulled away by another team member, only really focusing on one thing.
He had heard of me. People were talking about me. I had no idea why, but I felt like a character in one of my favorite books: one of those girls people did talk about. A Blair Waldorf, a Skye Hamilton: an alpha.
I smiled. I had a good feeling about this school. I had a good feeling about the slightly reckless decision to join ballroom. I had a good feeling about whatever this night was going to bring.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Epic Fail

"Ok, we're both coming out of this with partners, agreed?" I said, and Whitney nodded before pushing open the door to the loft studio where the ballroom team practiced. It was a Tuesday night and we were on a mission: we needed partners.
Whitney and I were officially on the team. I had made up my mind probably before I stepped on to the dance floor a few Thursday nights ago. I think it was the moment I pulled my shoes out of my closet and when I had stepped on that dance floor and was able to pick up what was going on without any instruction, I knew this had to meant to be. Whitney decided with a bit more thought to join me (she was probably the more rational one). And here we were, in yoga pants and ballroom heels, scouting out partners.
We both had our eyes on someone: I had met this guy, Joey, at one of the first lessons and it turned out he was in marching band in high school just like me, and he seemed like a cool enough person. Whitney saw potential in this guy named Josh, and we just needed to see if their enthusiasm for ballroom matched ours. Girls outnumbered guys on the team, and we knew we had to move fast if we wanted partners. Tonight was our night to strike.
"Who is she?" I whispered to Whitney as some blonde chick accompanied Josh into the studio, "Have we seen her before?"
"No idea," Whitney's eyes narrowed, sizing up this unexpected competition.
When we first partnered up, the blonde moved right to Josh, and Whitney and I swapped a concerned glare. We switched partners every couple of repetitions, and it wasn't long until I ended up dancing with Joey.
Joey had a slightly rebellious look to him: a persistent scruff and a nose ring. It matched my own edgy style, which I was finding was perfectly suited to the world of ballroom dancing.
I had perfect dresses for dancing, cute little skirts, an endless array of tops to be paired with leggings, and far too many pairs of yoga pants for when I felt lazy. It was as if my closet was telling me this was meant to be.
And when your closet talks to you, you listen.
Today's outfit included my favorite Victoria's Secret leggings that had a black sequin stripe running down the side and a black lace trapeze tank. My hair was waved so it had more motion as I twirled.
There wasn't anything unusually special about Joey's dancing, he was simply a nice guy. He had a sense of humor, and for the ten minutes we danced, he seemed to have potential.
"I can't believe this," Whitney was glaring at blondie, who hadn't switched partners when it was called for. She had been dancing with Josh for the entire lesson so far.
"Go cut in," I urged her.
"Saw you dancing with Joey," Whitney whispered.
I gave her a thumbs-up as we received a last bit of instruction and set to partner up again.
But the guy who strode across the room and offered his hand to me next was someone who was becoming quite familiar to me: a certain captain of the team named James.
It was normal for James to help out at the newcomer lessons, but I happened to notice it was unusual for him to dance with any one girl as much as he danced with me. I had counted.
Dancing with James was actually amazing. He didn't stop when the music stopped, and would throw in an extra step, or spin, or dip, or something when everyone else stopped moving. I think I got exponentially better when I danced with James which was, luckily for me, decently frequent.
But then we didn't change partners, and I ended up dancing with James for the solid last hour of our lesson. Good for my personal development as a dancer, bad for finding a partner.
"So, I'm on a mission," I said to James, crossing my arms over my chest as we finished the part of the dance we were working on, "I've got to find a partner."
"Ahhh," said James, following my gaze across the room, "Do you have anyone in mind?"
"I was thinking about Joey, he seems pretty decent, and a nice guy," I mused.
"I'll put in a good word for you," James said encouragingly.
"Thanks," I said, genuinely surprised.
I saw James drift over to talk to Joey as the lesson drew to a close-
"Have you danced before?"
A high-pitched voice belonging to the girl Whitney and I had nicknamed "Minnie Mouse" cut into my reverie.
"Um, not really. I did a tiny bit back in seventh grade, but had to stop because I couldn't find a partner. I did a semester of "beginning ballet" at community college," I shrugged.
"Really?" said Minnie Mouse's friend who was standing next to her.
"You must be really good, you can keep up with James," Minnie Mouse said, her eyes flicking in an obvious once-over.
My eyes narrowed quizzically, "Is that not normal?"
Both girls shook their heads, staring at me.
"I mean, I just follow," I shrugged my shoulders, trying to appear modest but inside I was secretly about to jump out the open studio window and start flying in excitement.
Maybe I could be good at this...
"-Do you want to be partners?"
My head snapped around as I heard someone ask the infamous question, and it wasn't Whitney.
It was whoever Joey had been dancing with for the majority of the lesson while I had been dancing with James. She was asking Joey to be her partner.
And instead of flying out the window in excitement, I was a pile of bones and clothes smashed on the pavement below.

"Back to the drawing board," I sighed as Whitney and I left the studio together, "That was an epic fail."
"Josh brought that dumb bitch who isn't even that good, I was watching them-" Whitney hissed darkly.
"And I ended up dancing with James the entire time, which gets me no where in looking for a partner," I added with only a half-disheartened tone.
"You need to be careful of him," Whitney said suddenly.
"I've heard James tries to hook up with all of the newcomers," Whitney said, an edge of warning to her voice.
"Well I'm sure I'm not on his list," I said with a side-glance at Whitney as we walked back to her dorm before I would split for my car, "I'm short, have no boobs, and more self-confidence than most easy girls have," I said with a shrug.
Whitney glared, "Xaylia, everyone's talking about you."
"What are you talking about?"
"Carly and Alex told me; everyone's asking who you are. You're gorgeous."
I stared, "What the fuck is wrong with this world? There are like a million prettier newcomer girls-"
Whitney rolled her eyes at me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 9

My phone told me it was 7am when my eyes fluttered open. I felt like I had had a solid nights' rest in my comfy bed, when really I was waking up on a couch in my friend Whitney's dorm after 4 hours' sleep.
My stomach fluttered.
Not in that whoops, I-drank-too-much-last-night way; but in a way I hadn't felt in a while.
It was... happiness.
I cuddled under Whitney's University of Michigan tie blanket, I still had an hour until I had to get up to go to my 9am organic chemistry lecture. I was in a state of disbelief over the events of the previous night: I had gone to a ballroom lessons which I had loved every minute of, and then I had done even more ballroom dancing but this time with alcohol and dim lighting. What more could I want from life?
This would mark my 9th day as a student of the University of Michigan and I couldn't help but love every moment more than the last.
Just two days ago, I had picked up a free bagel that they have every Wednesday in one of the buildings, and was walking on one of Michigan's iconic diagonal sidewalks when the bell tower began to ring bohemian rhapsody. I almost started crying, and I never cry. This was unreal for me, being on an actual college campus , and such a beautiful one at that.
And now I was waking up happier than I had felt in a long time as far as my social life was concerned. I had been to my second Michigan party last night and it had to have been one of the best parties I've been to in my life. The ballroom team was an awesome group of people, I appreciated that they not only partied hard but they really danced! This had not been your typical college party where dancing was basically grinding, this had been legit dancing, with only the slightest bit of grinding strategically thrown in the context of the dance. Not to mention I spent half of the party dancing with probably the best dancer at the entire party! I smiled at my luck, my stomach fluttering just at the thought of the previous night. It had been my first ballroom party, and I ended up having the best time!
An hour and a half later, the brisk January breeze nipped at the few inches between the hem of my leggings and the start of my converse. It felt amazing: the fresh Ann Arbor air as I walked with my bagel from Panera Bread in hand to my first class. Thursday night parties might not be a problem with my 9am classes, because of my strange inability to sleep after consuming alcohol. Clearly I was doing something right with my life. The morning was perfectly overcast, it didn't need to be sunny because I was just so genuinely happy.
This feeling of unrequired and unexpected happiness was vaguely familiar, and it took the walk to the chemistry building to remember the last time I had felt this happy: it had been the last time Ian had kissed me. This unexpected joy had been absent for many months, not to say I hadn't enjoyed the months in between, but it had been many months since something so exciting had just come out of the blue.
This was what the college experience had to be: full of surprises.
I thought back to the moment at yesterday's lesson when James had lifted me. I would have liked to have described how he looked into my eyes and the ballroom melted away and the energy between us seemed to be on a different wavelength than the rest of the universe. But that would be predictable, I thought it was even better that I could describe the lift as a moment when I fell in love with my life. Suddenly I had such a great opportunity in front of me, to make the most of something unexpected. It was something I could have never anticipated and something that reminded me that great things can come when you're not looking for them.

My entire body felt permeated with pizza grease when I returned home from my job late in the evening. I had been working as a waitress at a small independent pizzaria for about a year and eight months. It was a job that had served me well during my time at community college and I had worked my way up to become one of the most respected employees in the place. I had spent my entire shift contemplating joining the ballroom team and I knew I would be prepared to quit the very next day. I did have the other job at Abercrombie and Fitch which was more convenient and easier work but wasn't as much money.
But for the sake of my bank account I didn't want to be hasty in quitting, and I knew I should sleep on joining the ballroom team without any alcohol in my system.
"So how was it?" My mom asked as I sat down at our kitchen table after I walked in the door.
"Awesome," I was smiling as I described the events of the night before, skipping the entire party because stories that included adult beverages were entirely off limits with my mom. What she didn't know about my illegal doings wouldn't hurt her, "but I think I'll sleep on it another night."
"Xaylia, you've already made up your mind," my moms smile matched mine.
She was right, of course, like moms often are. I think the moment I did my first cha cha with no instruction I decided this was for me.
I made plans to go in and talk to my boss and quit my job the very next day.
Maybe it seemed irrational: go to one lesson and one party and quit my well paying job two days later. But I knew this feeling: it was instinct. My heart was telling me that I needed to be in that ballroom, to wear those heels, and to dance. And I knew my heart would never lead me astray, listening to it could only lead to more wonderful surprises.

Walk The Line

I was racing up the stairs of the Michigan League at a lightning pace, leaving the scent of Abercrombie and Fitch's 'Fierce' cologne in my wake. Of course I had gotten called into work at the infamous clothing store the one day of the week that I not only had something going on, but had been looking forward to all week long.
In the white lace babydoll tank I had worn to work and my newest pair of VS leggings, I paused to swap my Converse for ballroom shoes before joining the maybe 45 couples on the ballroom floor. I hadn't worn these petite heels since seventh grade, when my brief ballroom dance career had ended with the impossibility to find a partner. There was a sort of magic to them, with my OPI 'Skyfall' polished toes peeking out from the thin nude straps, it felt like putting on my favorite pair of sweatpants after a night out in a miniskirt. They felt familiar and comfortable even after living in their bag in the back of my closet for the past seven years.
I scouted the floor for my friend Whitney, who had told me about this in the first place-
"Want to dance?"
I turned around to a smiling face.
"Sure," I said to the guy in a maroon Under Amour zip-up, and a moment later I was doing the familiar basic cha-cha steps. I actually remembered what I was doing from seven years previous: the rhythm, the steps, the cuban motion.
"Did you really just walk in the door?" my partner-for the moment asked me. He was good, obviously on the team.
"Yeah I did," I gave a nervous smile.
"You know what you're doing," he shot me a small smile.
"Eh, kinda," I admitted, "I have watched every single season of Dancing with the Stars."
He laughed, and when it came time for the next partner change, my friend Whitney came running up.
Turns out, my partner of the moment was one of her friends, and his partner is the friend of Whitney's who encouraged her to come out. Strange how people can just find each other like that.
As the lesson progressed, I think my smile kept stretching larger. With each cha-cha step that was a review for me, and each foxtrot move we learned, I realized how much I had missed this. I missed ballroom, I missed ballet, I missed performing, I missed being apart of something.
I was loving every minute in my ballroom shoes.
The evening was winding down, and we had put all of our foxtrot steps together when we swapped partners for the umteenth time, and a very unexpected pair of eyes caught mine.
I had met the captain of the University of Michigan ballroom dance team twice: at an event a few days ago where all of the organizations on campus came out to recruit new members, and earlier in the evening when he came and sat with me and Whitney during an exhibition performance and shared some gummy bears with us.
"Don't fuck up," I thought to myself as I took his outstretched hand. His name was James, he had to be a senior, maybe a grad student, I wasn't sure. He was tall, blonde, and built.
Not to mention he was a ridiculously amazing ballroom dancer.
We glided across the floor, completing our short sequence and I swear I saw him smile. I instantly liked him, he was a ballroom dancer to the core, I could tell by the simple way he didn't let go of my hand as we went back to the other end of the floor to start the sequence again, "Take a step back at the end," he whispered before we began again.
So I made the correction, and finished the final move with a flourish that had to have come from the semester of ballet I had taken at community college.
We set back to do the sequence a third time when I felt my feet leave the ground.
I felt myself fly, I was in the air, then I didn't exactly know where I was, but James had thrown me into this lift as easily as some people tie their shoes.
"Show off!" Someone shouted to a scattering of laugher as I felt myself rest on the ground again, slightly stunned that the captain of the ballroom dance team had just lifted me.
I smiled, and I laughed, and in that moment, I felt the most simple of happinesses.

"This is awkward," I declared in a low enough voice so only Whitney could hear.
"Drinks!" Whitney shouted and I laughed.
I would love to say the real reason we went to our ballroom lesson was so that we could go to the after-party, but both Whitney and I were in it for the free dance lesson, the drinks were simply a bonus. The ballroom dance team partied, and I think both of us appreciated that quite a lot. Except for the fact that we felt slightly out of place because everyone already knew each other and were friends and we were just the new girls who were on the fence about joining the team. Half of my mixed drink, and a shot later, my luck changed when one of the guys we had been talking to earlier asked me if I wanted learned the hustle. Of course I handed my drink to Whitney and took his hand without a second's hesitation.
This is not the black-person line dance, this is a ballroom dance, more of a party dance no doubt, but a ballroom dance all the same.
Soon enough, I was twirling around, being dipped, doing fun little steps, and smiling like an idiot. I was having way too much fun. This wasn't your typical college party, these people were tearing up the Kesha song that was playing in a way that would put any nightclub to shame. I was enjoying being one of them, if only for a few songs.

"So you're an Abercrombie model and you know how to make pizza?" the guy was staring me like he had never heard of anything that awesome as I described my two jobs.
"Um yeah, I mean model is just the name of the position-"
But I needed to say no more, because this guy was already down on one knee in front of me and I found myself cracking up alongside Whitney.
All of a sudden, I felt a hand in mine, and as I turned around, James took my drink from my other hand and not but a moment later, I found myself in the air and then in his arms and then back down on the ground and doing the hustle again. He threw me around like I was as light as a feather.
It was a good thing I could hold my liquor, or that mixed drink and three shots wouldn't be working for me as I did moves I had no clue I could have ever done, as I was spun around, thrown in the air, and dipped to the ground.
"Want to learn the bachata?" there was a glint in James' eye as the song we had been dancing to faded to its end.
"Yeah, sure!" I said, mirroring his smile.
He took my hand we wove through the crowd to the basement door. Even intoxicated, he held the door open for me, letting me go down first. The stairs descended into pure darkness and latin music and I think I took about two steps before James picked me up again, "I'm drunk," he whispered next to my ear, "Are you drunk?" his lips trailed the slightest bit south.
"Drunk enough for having a 9am tomorrow," I breathed. His lips were so close to mine, if we were doing anything but ballroom dancing, which is crazy sexy as is, I would have thought he was about to kiss me.
My feet were on the ground again, he whispered the steps in my ear, we moved together; we did some lifts, some spins, some dips, and mostly moves that reminded me never to underestimate how sexy ballroom can be.
But from mostly my own common sense and overly-imaginative brain, I knew that dance had the power to blur the lines between true emotion and true performance. And I was too green to know what side of line James and I were on as we danced.
In my unprofessional opinion, we were most likely doing an elegant Viennese waltz on that very line called being drunk.
And you know how much I saw wrong with that?
Nothing at all.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Knitting Problems

This was one of those times where I wished I was a cryer: one of those people who could just cry it all out and feel a little bit better about life. I haven't really truly cried since my Junior year of high school. There have been three occasions since where tears have come from my eyes, but it wasn't that my-soul-is-pouring-from-my-eyes cry. I'm not really good with emotions like that.
It was a chilly Saturday evening when I should have been studying, or out partying (if I had friends that lived less than an hour away), but instead I found myself curled up in my bed, aggressively knitting a striped scarf, and feeling a little bit down, which was an emotion I tended to avoid.
I was hitting another point where nothing seemed to be working out, or just a stroke of incredibly bad luck. 
I shouldn't be feeling this, considering at the beginning of this week I had gotten admitted to the University of Michigan, but maybe with the weight of that off my shoulders, everything else was coming into sharper perspective. 
I had lost a friend.
Jen, to be exact. 
She was back with her ex-boyfriend, she was going to Michigan State. She had her "dream" guy and was at her dream school, and she didn't have time for the one person who was there for her when she didn't have it all. When her boyfriend dumped her, and she found herself wait-listed at MSU; I was there. I held her hand. And every time I had tried to reach out to her after she left for school with her ex, she left my hand hanging. I would like to say she's really busy with school, and her sorority, and her boyfriend, and living the college life, but that's all one big excuse. You're never too busy for friends. If you're "too busy" to keep a relationship with someone, then you're not friends. People make time for their priorities. And my friendship is no longer one of Jen's priorities. 
I must not even matter any more, because she didn't bother to acknowledge in any way that I got into Michigan. She doesn't care. That's all I can guess is the reason for the radio silence on her end of our old friendship.
I value my friends more than anything, I really do. I'm the Queen of emotional detachment in most situations, but friendships were never one of them. Things dissolving with Jen made me feel like maybe I need to remove my emotions from that sector of my life as well, and I won't feel hurt like this. But If I was to do that, what else would I be holding onto?
And then there is my disaster of a love life. Need I elaborate on what else isn't working out for me, just like it always doesn't? My faith in the guys of the world had been momentarily restored, and it was basically gone again. Congrats Xaylia, you met a guy who actually met your standards. Oh sucks for you, he has a girlfriend now, and his girlfriend is basically you, but older and less pretty. 

She even fucking knits.