In the Rearview

So I've been thinking about this A LOT lately with the wedding getting closer and all the reflection I've been doing. I've been thinking about the worst thing someone has ever said to me.

Now, I know you're probably thinking it was that time that I was in the crapeteria with Jesse and Straight Arrow and Carrie walked by wearing the same outfit I was wearing. Straight Arrow looked right at me and said, "oh, jamie, that's how your outfit is SUPPOSED to look".


That is NOT in fact the worst thing someone has said to me. Nor is it any of the hilarious one-liners that can be pulled from my dating experiences.

No, the worst thing someone has ever said to me is a toss up between two things.

Thing The First: "You should know better than anyone that connection like that doesn't happen over night. These people you think you've connected with? They just want something. Everyone wants something from everyone else. That's all there is."  - OZ * Thing The Second: "Oh, Jamie, you're never going to get married."  - Sunshine *

*names changed to protect the guilty from themselves.

Now, each of these has A TON of context that is missing, and that context is what makes the decision difficult. Both of these things were said to me at a very transitional part of my life. I had decided to move from Indiana to Arizona based on one weekend in Phoenix with my Bee People. I had never met them before, had only spoken with 2 of them online/phone ...but within one weekend, I felt at peace and at home. So, after hearing that my audition for the Blue Man Group didn't pan out (no problem) I decided that it was time to hit the trail to the desert.

THING THE FIRST was said to me the week before I moved along with some other choice vittles. "You're just running away. Your problems will still be there." All sorts of sanctimonious blatherings about how he was right and I was wrong, just a kid, blah blah blah.

What really made those things hard to hear was the source. He was someone I respected, someone I thought understood me. Before that conversation I thought that of anyone he would be able to grok why I had to get the fuck out of Terre Haute, Indiana and get on with living life. Sadly, he proved to be stuck in the rut of age, caught up in all the trappings of living a life he wasn't pleased with. Thanks to that conversation, I saw that OZ was just a sad old man behind the curtain.

THING THE SECOND ... wow... Okay, so this requires a little backstory for you to get the full impact of the experience.

Sunshine and I had grown up together. We met in junior high and had at least one class with one another all the way up through our last years of college. From the time I met her she was really preoccupied with the whole idea that women's lives follow the path of "get married- have babies - live happily ever after- the end". I think Sunshine's engagements numbered 5 (counting the guy she married).

So, one day, we're sitting around having a talk... Sunshine and three of our male friends (two of whom are gay)... and after a lovely conversation where gays/bisexuals were repeatedly referred to as "those people" (bad form when there 75% of those involved in said conversation are "those people")... Sunshine asked me why I was moving to Phoenix. Did I really expect to find greener grass? Why Phoenix? (She was convinced I was moving for a man.)  So I explained, "I just need to be there. It feels right."

"But what if it's not?" she said. "What if what you're looking for isn't there, either?" "Then I keep looking for it," I said. (Simple enough, I think.) "Are you serious? You can just pick up and let the wind blow you where it will!" "Why not?" "Because! That kind of rootless existence is no way to live!" "I'm okay with rootless if I eventually find home." She just looked at me. And the look was pure pity, brow furrowed, eyes sparkling pity. "Oh, Jamie," she said, "you're never going to get married."

And it was as if that was the worst thing in the world she could fathom. "Maybe I won't," I said. "I'm okay with that, too. My point A and point Z don't equal yours, Sunshine."

Now, with the 20-20 hindsight of 5 1/2 years gone by since those conversations, I can stick out my tongue and say that I was right. My home is here and these people wanted nothing more than me. My life has flourished here.

And I'm getting married in less than 2 months. NYAH!


But seriously, what makes these two things the Worst Things Anyone Has Ever Said To Me is the underlying conditioning that lies beneath, the sentiment itself. Both are so negative! One of them reeks of distrust and bitterness while the other is perfumed with this fairy tale bullshit we've been told we want out of life. One of them expects the worst out of fellow human beings while the other believes that the worst thing that can befall a woman is spinsterhood.

Both of them are so sad.

Both of them are not how I want to live.


Just thinking.