You know how there’s always one thing you have to over-explain about yourself when you start getting to know someone? Maybe you’re a military brat who’s lived in more cities than there are freckles on an Irish lass at the beach.* Maybe you’re deaf in one ear because of a childhood accident. Maybe you have an irrational fear of water.** My thing is my family tree.
Now, I’m not that person who sits at the bar and tells strangers all about her parents divorce or her estranged second cousin’s addiction to painkillers. I mean to say that the actual structure of my immediate family is one that not even my close friends can follow or remember, no matter how many times I’ve repeated it or how many of my family members I’ve introduced.
Here’s the breakdown:
It’s really a lot less intimidating when typed in bullet-point form. If only it were socially acceptable to carry around a binder of ones’ personal histories and anecdotes. Or maybe I need some sort of family tree app, so I can just “bump” an infographic to new acquaintances. Come to think of it, that’d be a really good way to avoid having sex with your cousin.*** Okay, now I’m ranting.
* Obligatory St. Patrick’s Day Joke!!
** If so, you have rabies. Get that checked out, friend.
*** Don’t laugh, it’s more common than you’d think…
I’ve had a lot of trouble keeping up with the ol’ blog lately, but this week, it seems like the universe has been telling me to write - slipping not so subtle hints into everyday exchanges like my mother does in her semi-annual attempt to get me to drink less. This week’s word revealed itself in a stand up act, a writing workshop, and an episode of one of my favorite shows, 30 Rock: “Nemesis.” I decided this was a sign and have dedicated myself to writing about nemeses, despite never having had one.
… it opened up my eyes.
The closest I got to having a nemesis was being escorted on my daily walk home from 7th grade by an older girl on her bike. The one thing I’ve learned about nemeses this week is that they have to be worthy opponents; that is, up to your level and worthy of your respect, despite mutual animosity. This girl was not a nemesis. She was more like a heckler, actually. Her insults mostly had to do with the fact that I had dyed pink hair… not exactly up to my creative standards, even as a pre-teen. Also, the animosity only lasted for a couple of days. I guess my roots were starting to show and the girl abandoned her afternoon ride-alongs before she could run out of material.
Will Arnett would come up with way better hair insults.
I could categorize my ex-roommate as a nemesis, as our relationship surely had the classic arch of a rivalry: a friendship turned sour. But nemeses should compete with eachother, shouldn’t they? And although she and I had overlapping hobbies, we weren’t at all in competition. We were both too passive-agressive for that - which was the main cause of our rift. That’s another reason I could never have a nemesis: I’m not at all assertive enough to have a confrontation, let alone to sustain an ongoing personal vendetta based on one.
I suppose my motto has always been “keep my friends close and my enemies on some sort of vague shit list that I barely look at.” Healthy? Maybe not. But, who has time or energy for the alternative?
How is this woman defending her career …
Super talented, charitable, and in a loving long-term union.
… while this assclown gets a Grammy?
Beating your partner should never be condoned or rewarded, no matter how many douchey chest tattoos you have.
I vow never to watch the Grammys,* unless the following happens:
* I want to add “again” to that statement, but that would require me being a regular viewer. I gave up on the Grammys preemptively, like a good faux-nostalgic, VH1-watching 90’s kid.
When I was little, I used to think that I was missing out on something when I went to bed. That once I shut my tiny eyes and made my world dim to black, the adults opened theirs and turned on the soft serve ice cream machines that I knew they all secretly had.
Now that’s an adult!
Not much has changed. I’m still convinced that I haven’t reached adulthood yet, based solely on the fact that I haven’t been eating chocolate-vanilla swirl cones for dinner. And I still don’t sleep. In the comedy world, no one can escape becoming nocturnal - hell, I just did an improv audition at sunset* and even a slightly light evening sky seemed strange.
But my youthful defiance of sleep has evolved into an unrequited love affair. Like the classic arc of a super sexist romance novel: I’m a resistant damsel whose defences Sleep tries to strip like so many heaving bodices. Except Sleep was never a scowling brute with a secretly soft heart. Sleep has always been kind and more or less transparent. It never tried to brood its way into my heart or tear me away from my family and essentially kidnap me until I got stockholm syndrome - as you might tell, I have some issues with Beauty and The Beast.
Sleep is not sitting in its pristine, velvet-draped quarters, waiting for me to realize what he’s been using to justify his Victorian lady-bashing: that I’ve secretly wanted it all along. No, Sleep is rubbing its altruism and purity in my face all the time, reminding me of how inherently healthy it is, how much better I feel about my self when I have it, how it will never give me up, how it will never let me down, how it will never run around or desert me.**
My relationship with Sleep is caught in a bipolar cycle of pursuit and denial - and not because it is a pirate or a beast that hides in the woods and scares my kin. I have no reason to fear it because it has never given me reason. And yet I scorn Sleep, turning to Redbull*** and coffee, and hoping that tonight I’ll have the courage to embrace it at last.
Last night all of that changed. This tale as old as time is actually about 20 years old and has finally reached its denouement. Thanks, Neocitran!
*Not on a cliff overlooking a romantic landscape, but at a bar in Parkdale. Just as scenic, really.
** Do you actually need a citation for this? Get off the internet.
*** Is Redbull Gastón at this point? 1991 was a while ago and I’ve lost track of my metaphors…