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The Girl Who Cried “Change” July 25, 2009

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, meee, realizations.
1 comment so far

I have always wholeheartedly believed that if a person is defensive when insulted, a nerve has been struck.  If someone were to call me say, stupid, I wouldn’t pay any attention because I know I’m not stupid, and clearly the person saying it doesn’t know me very well.

But one word that has ALWAYS struck a nerve?  Hypocrite.

I’m annoyed by people who say one thing and do another.  People who rant at length about their problems and come to solutions they declare will become their new way of life and yet you and everyone else listening knows things will never change.

It wasn’t until this past week that I realized I am, 100%, one of those people.

I believe that actions speak louder than words.  Yet I constantly find myself trying to talk my way out of problems and situations I am unhappy with.  My father has always said I should be a lawyer because I can argue, rationalize and talk my way out of anything.  I can justify any action I take, just give me a few hours and a couple nods.

Example:  I got excited about remodeling things in our house, like the bathrooms and kitchen.  So excited that I looked for a cabinet refacing company online, and found one in my area that does free home estimates.  I sent them M’s email and phone number, (because I think men deal with men much more easily) and when they called, M scheduled an appointment but he was upset with me over it.  Shocked by his reaction, I asked what the problem was, and he said that this is a company with workers who are trying to make money and run a business, and I was wasting their time because we don’t have the money right now and likely won’t be able to start on the kitchen until next summer.  I stubbornly protested that they offer free estimates, they can’t expect every house they visit to immediately sign, and I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

A guy came over to do the estimate, and when I told him we were just beginning to check around and see what prices are like, he was angry.  He didn’t yell or say anthing, but it was pretty obvious.  And M had that “told you so” look on his face after the guy left.  And I truly felt guilty, had a knot in my stomach and wanted to rush after the guy and apologize for wasting his time.  So what did I do?  I spent a good ten minutes justifying it, giving M and his sister the reasons I listed above.  M’s sister agreed with me, which is actually what gave me pause.  I think she is extraordinarily selfish, so for her to think I did the right thing was stomach churning.

Another example?  Relates to yesterday’s post.  I told my sister everything about M’s confession and planned proposal and she immediately yelled at me for ruining what could have been a wonderful surprise for me and a special moment for him because I had to push.  She said I’m like our mother, that I nag and I’m selfish and always have to get my way, no matter what anyone else’s side is.  And then she told our father that I’m pressuring M into marriage and he is going to end up resenting me.  My dad asked me about is this morning, and warned me that men don’t like to be pushed and I should have waited for him to ask.

I feel a larger, more intricate knot over this predicament.  But overall, I think they’re right.  My problem is not that I NEEDED to know when M is going to propose, or that I NEEDED to know the price to remodel our kitchen.  My problem is that my execution for every whim I have is sloppy and the dismount is usually appallingly awful because I have no patience and find it difficult to have faith in others intentions.  I push because I want other people to want the same things I do.  And if they don’t, I try to convince them to see things my way.  And if they come over to my side out of sheer OH MY EFFING LORD, ANYTHING TO SHUT THIS WOMAN UP, I justify why I was right all along.  I love to plan, but I never manage to follow through on anything really.  And I just end up looking like an insincere, immature moron who has no idea what she wants.

I’m coming to the realization that if you are right about something, you won’t have to justify it.  Not to yourself, and not to anyone else.  And it’s better to change quietly and have your actions speak for you, than to rant at length and then have your actions come up short.


Tough Love July 29, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, family, I know life isn't supposed to be fair but jeez....

I told my sister that she and her boyfriend need to move out by the end of next month.

Granted, they already announced they were planning on leaving “in September, maybe?”, but after dealing with enough of their antics I’ve officially decided that an indefinite date is not good enough. The hard (and dumb) thing about it is that I truthfully feel really bad about it. I was selfishly excited when she moved in because it meant I would FINALLY have someone from my family living with me again, and I wouldn’t feel so alone, and there would be someone on my side, HURRAH! But almost from the get-go I began to feel like I was being taken advantaged of. I wasn’t seen as the owner of the house, or as the older sister who so generously provided a refuge, two things I was sure wouldn’t even be questioned. I honestly thought she would be so grateful that she would make a solid effort to actually oh I dunno, clean up after herself, or say…turn off the stove, or um, gee…not leave the front door open ALL. NIGHT. LONG. on two occasions. The biggest fight we got into was because she refused to clean the bathroom they share with M’s mom for the first four months they were living there, and when I repeatedly asked her when she would do it, she completely brushed me off. I finally reached my breaking point after a week of repeatedly harassing her to do it, and she actually got angry with me for yelling at her.

They have this whole “we can do whatever we want regardless of anyone else” mentality. I told them to please not cook past eleven because four of us need to wake up at 6 for work, and you can hear the going-ons in the kitchen from everywhere in the house. They would stumble home at 2 am, and sure enough, I’d hear the microwave or chopping sounds. The breaking point for that battle was when they did it at 4 am one night and had the nerve to try to tell me they were having “an early breakfast.” Like that makes any difference whatsoever. It was annoying as hell, and the most annoying part was being made to feel like I’m some random CRAZY person with a stick up her butt for constantly needing to practically parent the two of them.

He lost his key (which I bought) about a month in. Then she lost her key the other night. I get it, keys get lost, shit happens, yadda yadda. But! They were home all day Sunday (granted they were sleeping) and didn’t get another key made. They asked me to drive them to Outback for dinner at 8 pm, but didn’t ask anyone for a ride to Home Depot. So, they go out with their friends, and then come home at midnight and crawl through the front window. This was mind boggling mainly because they constantly did the same thing when they were living at my parents, and it was a HUGE bone of contention with my dad. Call me paranoid, but I mean, way to announce to the (admittedly not exactly pristine) neighborhood that we keep our windows unlocked. And they purposely left it unlocked before I gave them a ride. That’s what makes me really angry. The planning and the sneaking and the lying and the assumption that I’m a total idiot who will always be none the wiser.

I’ve had enough.

But, I am dealing with the nagging whisper “she’s your sister” that’s trying to plague me with guilt. So, my question to you: how do you deal with someone you like/love when they refuse to behave like a decent person?

Bleh Part…too many to count at this point. March 31, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, I know life isn't supposed to be fair but jeez..., work.

The weekend was basically a big onslaught of suck starting from just before I left work on Friday.  My boss handed me my paycheck and then informed me that I would no longer be able to come in before 8:30 am, and also, by-the-way style, he may need to cut hours again soon, but he’s “not sure yet.”


This made me angry for several reasons.  One, I do not have benefits at this job.  I don’t have any kind of insurance, I don’t have vacation time, sick time, and the pay is pretty mediocre considering I know the how this office runs like the back of my hand and KEEP IT RUNNING pretty thanklessly.  The only perk this job has offered is a flexible schedule, so for my boss to take it away and sort of shrug and obviously not really care one way or another that this will fuck with my schedule and paycheck really pissed me off.  Nonchalantly mentioning that he may need to cut hours after he JUST CUT THEM a few months back made me positively seethe with anger.

So, I am officially looking for a new job.  I found one this morning that could be awesome (double the pay, no traffic, 7:30-4, benefits) so I’m polishing up my resume tonight.  It’s going to be weird working somewhere else, but frankly I need a job that will be reliable, and considering the last time my boss pulled this I got basically a weekends notice, I can’t count on it not happening again.  I really hope I get this job.  Wish me luck!

I worked on Saturday then went to get my every-two-weeks-like-clock-work manicure.  I decided to go to a place that charges a little less than the place I usually go, and found out the hard way (which is apparently the only way I learn) why those places charge less.  I don’t know if the woman thought I would be impressed with how quickly (read: rushed) she worked, or how she barely glanced at my hands, but instead chose to talk to her coworkers or see who was coming in.  I don’t know if she cared for repeat customers, or if she just wanted to get to her lunch.  Because she filed my nails so hard that she made three of my cuticles bleed, and the proceeded to get ANNOYED that the BLOOD WOULDN’T STOP.  At one point I pulled my hands back, cocked my head, and very calmly said “can you please be a little more gentle?”  She gave me a terse “sorry” and continued to attack my hands.  After she was done she just got up and walked over to one of her coworkers and started eating.  Didn’t tell me where to go to dry my nails.  I figured it out after scanning the place and left shortly after.

I paid the cashier and started to walk away, and she actually had the nerve to say “no tip?”  I looked her right in the eye, held up my hand to show her the blood that was STILL working its way out of my poor fingers and said “um, here’s a tip: don’t make your customers bleed!” and flounced away.

I scrubbed the shit out of my hands with peroxide (which felt WONDERFUL, let me tell you) and put neosporin on after I got home, thought I will admit I briefly entertained how satisfying it would be to sue the bajeesus out of those people for their shoddy work resulting in an infection.  It’d be two birds with one stone; watch a shitty company go out of business and FINALLY get a perk from my job (free legal service.)

Hope you had a better weekend.

Back your stuff up. March 24, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, realizations.

Sometimes I’m convinced that my purpose in life is to serve as a bad example. Like, “Oh look, there’s Sparkel. Let’s all see what she does and then take rigorous notes titled ‘This is how NOT to live!'”

The Geek Squad called this morning to let me know that my hard drive is shot, so I’m going to need a new one. Not only will this rip a good $300 from my already-recently-depleted (thanks to hella expensive text books) bank account, but because I am a procrastinating idiot?

A good THOUSAND pictures (from the beginning of my relationship with M, of friends, of my (albeit few) trips) that don’t exist anywhere else? Gone.

Approximately 2,000 songs and videos that took three years to (both legally and illegally) download? Gone.

A couple dozen short stories that I just never found the time to print or save to a disc? Gone.

Tons…and TONS…of bookmarked sites and school papers and funny pictures or images I liked over the years? Gone.

I don’t know whether to weep or ram my head into a wall for being such an idiot. Everyone tells you to back up! It’s the most basic computer tip there is!

So, my beloved friends…do yourself a favor (if you don’t already. Apparently EVERYONE I KNOW does, and can only shake their head in awe that I haven’t done this at least once in the three years since I bought my computer) and back your stuff up.

Or, you know…don’t drop your computer. If you do either you’ll be ten times smarter than me. (You: “Um, yeah, like that’s HARD!” Me: *still just opening and closing my mouth to sputter every now and again.*)


Letting go. February 21, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, family, I know life isn't supposed to be fair but jeez..., to friend or not to friend.

I don’t write about this in detail for a few reasons. One, fear that the wrong people will see it. Two, once I get going it’s difficult to stop (aka this will be long, you’ve been warned.) Three, I keep hoping that if I pretend it doesn’t exist it will just go away.

But it fills my thoughts, conversations with friends, and sometimes keeps me up at night. It has filled my life, and I’m sick of it.

I hate M’s sister.

I’ve never hated anyone before. I’ve never wished anyone real harm, spent time plotting revenge, or just shuddered when someone’s name was mentioned. This girl…what can I say about her?

She’s a 13 year old trapped in a 30 year old body. She’s selfish, immature, malicious, sneaky, sadistic and pitiful. She pretends to be nice to your face but she will do whatever she can think of to make your life miserable in small ways. She’ll stab you in the back with a smile on her face and then look at you like “who, me??” She is the queen of doing little things that you wouldn’t notice if it didn’t directly effect you. She will poke you and poke you and poke you until you finally lose it and then she smiles, shrugs and is all “wow, she’s crazy huh?” Basically, she’s either insane or evil. Or both.

I have it ingrained in my brain that when someone does something wrong, they need to acknowledge it, to apologize. If someone hurts your feelings they should be sorry. They should admit wrongdoing. They should care. And I cannot be fake. I cannot pretend to be happy if I’m not. I cannot pretend to like you if I don’t. It is written all over my face, my tone, everything. I can be your best friend or your worst enemy, but I leave that choice to you. I believed I was right with every fiber of my being. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t turn on me so quickly. If it wasn’t so obvious that because I’m not blood I don’t matter the same way. That my feelings and the fact that in most situations I was the victim meant nothing.

I won’t go into detail about what has happened. I won’t list all the ways that she makes my life and M’s life miserable. I have wasted two years of my life on this girl…on wondering how anyone could be so malicious, feeling betrayed, and seething with anger.

I have gone from confusion to wishing she would disappear to relishing in this hate to planning little ways to get back at her to obsessing over the situation with anyone who would listen to crying to complaining to ranting to seriously considering therapy or anger management to reading inspirational quotations about dealing with difficult times to just wanting to put it all behind me. I just finished a book by Pema Chodron that I bought specifically for guidance on how to deal with all this anger in my heart.

I told a friend that I want to become more spiritual because I don’t want to be bitter or angry. That I got the Pema book, want to start meditating and learn how to push anger away and not let people effect me so much.

She said “honestly, I think this shows how much better of a person you already are. I mean, think about it. She’s just selfish and evil and genuinely pretends that she does nothing wrong when she must know that she does. And you feel so mean and guilty for disliking someone who is just not a good person at all. I mean you’ve talked about THERAPY for reacting the way any normal person would react to this girl. You need to just not like her and be fine with it.”

I seem to have this five year old mentality of just complete shock and incredulous awe that someone could purposely hurt someone or not like me when I’ve done nothing to deserve it. I remember visiting my cousin a few years ago and her three boys were playing, and the oldest one (kind of a bully) tripped the youngest one (who was four and adorable and the sweetest kid I’ve ever met to this day) and started laughing with the middle one. The four year old stood up, looked just so hurt and surprised that anyone could do such a mean thing on purpose and then laugh, and his face crumpled as he said, in the saddest little voice, “why would you do that??”

That’s basically been me for the past two years.

I had a talk with M the other night and very calmly told him how I feel and what I want. I want it to be okay for me to only  civil. I will say hi and bye and leave it at that. I don’t expect him to do the same. I will respect that she is his sister and that he has a right to have a relationship with her. But I do not think she is a good person, and every single time I give her the benefit of the doubt she makes me regret it. I won’t do what everyone else does and pretend that I don’t notice all of the shitty things she does. I accept that I have to live with her for another couple of years. You know that quote “if someone were to speak ill of you, live so no one would believe them”? That’s what I want to do.

His response? “I think that’s for the best. Just stop thinking about this. I mean, she’s not losing sleep over you.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

So for now, this is the where I stand:

I am grateful that M has stuck by me. I’m sticking by him too. I’m happy that I knew what it was like to be loved by my “inlaws,” even if it was only for a short period of time. I feel at peace, because I truly feel that I have done what I was supposed to. I do not like her. I do not have to. I can’t control her, but I can control me. I can choose how she affects me. And I say she stops affecting me at all now.

This will be the last time I talk about any of this. This post served as a way to get things out that were still on my mind. I’m over it, I’m done. I’m keeping her name out of my blog, mouth, mind and relationships.

I’m going to be happy again. I’m taking back control over my moods and thoughts and feelings. In short, I’m letting it go.

You know it’s bad when you roll your eyes at yourself February 13, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, meee.

Something really random? I admire the crap out of Oprah. I’m in awe of how much that woman seems to cram into one day. She has her show, her charities, makes time to watch movies, read books, travel AND sleep. Amazing.

My biggest girl-crush is Natalie Portman. She’s been in good movies, was nominated for an oscar, AND graduated from Harvard. With a 4.0 gpa. I mean…gawd.

I always feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day. And yet, when I look back on yesterday I constantly ask “self…what did you DO yesterday?” What do I have to show for yesterday? What have I set out to accomplish that completely got done?

I can’t quite explain my mentality. For instance, there are days when I don’t go to the gym because I debate when the best time of day to shower is. I’ll wake up and think “I should go now, get the day started right. Oh no, but then I’ll either have to shower at the gym and dry my hair there, which will take forever, and I’ll miss more work time.” So I go straight to work, thinking “tonight is so much better.” I leave work and think “I’ll go for an hour before I get M! Perfect! Oh no, but the gym is so crowded after work until like 9. I’ll go after dinner.” But with M’s school schedule he usually doesn’t get home until 10, then eats, so I try to make dinner around 9. The gym closes at 11. So I go to bed cursing myself, swearing that “tomorrow I will figure out a good time and just go!”

It’s been over a week.

And the saddest (and grossest) part? Some days I don’t even make it to the shower.

I have stacks of books I want to read. Our Netflix queue is more than 100 movies that have been sitting there for a year. My room is always a mess. My friendships are neglected. I don’t sleep enough. And yet I feel like I accomplish nothing.

Oprah and Natalie? Their days seem jam-packed. When they say “there are not enough hours in the day” they MEAN it.

Today I WILL finish the book I need to read for school and I WILL hang out with a friend and I WILL go to the gym!

And if I don’t? At least I’ve accomplished mastering the art of excuses.

Things I Will Never Like January 16, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances.

Damp towels.
Going to bed hungry.
The color orange.
Cold weather.
Public bathrooms.
Being told what to do.
One-sided conversations.
Rough patches on the bottom of my feet.
Paris Hilton.
Bill O’Reilly.
Ann Coulter.
Daytime TV.
Really late night TV (after 2 am).
Crumbs on a kitchen floor.
Cold showers.
Plain rice.
The gym being crowded.
People who talk loudly in the morning.
Bright rooms.

What about you?

The Things I Do and Don’t January 14, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, meee, realizations.

Sometimes I think about the things I know I should do that I don’t, or the things I know I shouldn’t do that I do, and I just…kinda loathe myself.

I know I should go to the gym.

I know I should eat healthier.

I know I should put my clothes in the hamper when I take them off instead of throw them on the floor.

I know I should get up earlier so I can get to work earlier so when I feel the urge to leave at 3 it will be no big deal and actually earned as I’ve already worked 8 hours.

I know I should study.

Even dumb stuff…I should drink more water.  I should wash my face every night no matter how tired I am.  I should call people back or email back in a more timely fashion.

I am jealous of people who have the discipline to do all of these things. I find myself not doing things I like doing out of sheer laziness or procrastination. WHYYY?

I kick myself in the butt on a daily basis. I’m full of tiny regrets that add up and eat away at me every day.

And yet I do. not. change.

I make no sense to my parents. My laziness bothers the bajeesus out of M. I’m completely annoyed with myself.

And not for the first time.

What the heck is it going to take?

I’m impatient. She’s just an idiot. January 10, 2008

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, M, meee, to friend or not to friend.

I just found out that one of my…I guess former friend now…got engaged five months ago. Two weeks into her relationship. She lives with her mom, and invited the guy to move in with her the day after they met. I’m all for spontaneity and romance, but come on! It’s ridiculous. And she knows it’s ridiculous, which is why she’s kept it a secret for four months. Her words: “don’t tell anyone cause I know how it looks.”

Truth? I’m not jealous of her relationship. I’m not jealous of anyone’s really because I’m happy with mine. But as more and more people I know get engaged and live together (just the two of them) and have babies, I feel a pang. I honestly feel that I and most of the people I know are still too young for this stuff. (She’s 24, so she’s not too young in my eyes. It’s just waaaay too soon.) But I can’t help but want it.

Last night M and I were talking about getting engaged. He said “finish school. That will be your motivation. I promise, I will propose to you the day you graduate.”

I protested that I want a romantic surprise. And then proceeded to grin like an idiot off and on for the rest of the night.

It’s the first time he’s said “I will propose to you.” I liked the sound of it.

I can wait. I know I should, and focus on making a good life for us when we are married by working hard now. Sometimes I pretend the promise ring he gave me for our first Christmas is an engagement ring. I’ve always worn it on my left ring finger, and have been asked more than once if I’m engaged. I’ve also said yes more than once, just to see how it feels. It feels good, I won’t lie.

*Just to clarify, I don’t think every person who gets married quickly is an idiot. I have a lot of bitterness toward her because when I told her I kinda wanted M to propose, she said it was too soon in our relationship. After we’d been together three years.*

The pros and cons of owning a home December 4, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, home improvements.
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Pro: The obvious; you can paint, nail things onto the wall, do pretty much whatever you feel like as long as you fix it when you try to sell.

Con: You are responsible for anything that goes wrong. And the things that go wrong are never. cheap.

Pro: More obvious: the tax benefits, the money you hopefully accrue, the pride that comes with owning something vs. blowing money on something that will never be yours.

Con: Yeah…the whole “you’re financially responsible for everything” is worth two mentions. It really sucks.

Ever since we moved into the house, we’ve been forced to take half hot/half cold showers. As in the water will be gloriously warm for approximately three minutes, and then turn freezing and stay freezing even as you weep and corner yourself to the opposing wall and gingerly stick your body parts under one by one to rinse off soap. I’ve tried speed-showering, tried shutting off the water after I shampoo and rinse to allow the water heater to heat a few more precious gallons, and yeah…no matter what I do I find myself standing under a waterfall of what feels like ice. M doesn’t mind too much because he likes his showers to be lukewarm as is. Me? I like practically scalding hot water. For a good 15-20 minutes. I like to be able to lather/rinse/repeat, leave conditioner in to soak while I shave and soap up, and it is impossible to do all that needs to be done in under 10 minutes.

So, this morning I finally break down and try to call service people to see if there is a quick solution. They all give me the same answer: “We can replace your tank for the low low price of (enter slightly varying estimates of more than a few hundred dollars, that frankly, with still recovering from my half job month, the enormous dentist bill, the trip to El Salvador and Christmas AND bills, I just don’t have.)”

And suddenly I’m wistfully looking back at the days of my parents glorious (working) water heater that provided all the scalding water I craved, or the apartment where even if I had this problem, it would be someone else’s financial problem. It will work out. But it will suck, and leave another (albiet relatively small, considering I don’t live alone) hole in my wallet.

Money? Sucks.