Saturday, May 31, 2008

In a Funny Place

I checked into my room here in Virginia, Minnesota yesterday and oh how I wish I had the cord to upload pictures to my laptop. We're staying in the "nice" hotel in town, yet my bed was constructed of two box springs and a mattress—stacked on the floor. There were stains on my carpet, mismatched plastic hangers in the closet and random furniture that looked like it was straight from the Goodwill. I immediately called my friends on the lower floor and said, "Is your room pretty ghetto?" They told me it wasn't so great, but not terrible. Hmmm...

When I called the front desk to ask for an iron, the concierge (a twenty-something with too much eyeliner) said, "Oh right, we don't have irons on that side. Let me see if I can find one somewhere for you." Odd, right?

I went downstairs to use my friends' steamer and upon seeing their room, I wanted to cry. It was nice! Ritzy, even, compared to my youth-hostel-down-the-creepy-closed-off-hallway! They had a hairdryer and wooden hangers and a mini-fridge! And real furniture!

I immediately rang the front desk again and asked if I could change my room. Nope. All booked. Sorry. Check back in the morning.

I told myself it would be like camping. And after two glasses of wine and a beer, it was fine. But first thing this morning I changed my room to the only other spot they had available...a smoking room. I didn't even know they made those anymore. I have the fan going and the window open, but it's still pretty smelly in here. However, there are real hangers and wallpaper and even a Guest Directory, so I'm not going to complain anymore.

On top of all the room nonsense, I'm feeling a little funny being here. Mr. Wonderful is at home, so I'm flying solo among many happy couples—which is fine—but I can't help but wonder if people are feeling sorry for me. Like, "Oh there's the ex-girlfriend. Poor thing, I bet she's heartbroken because she's still alone and he's getting married." It's totally not like that—I couldn't be happier for the bride and groom, and I wouldn't have missed the wedding for anything—but it does feel kinda weird to be all by myself.

It's also sort of sad to think about how much distance there is between The Boss and me now. I've experienced the same thing with other friends. That moment when you realize just how much you've drifted. And that the person you used to share secrets and dreams and laughter with just isn't very close to you anymore.

I know it's not possible to keep every friendship intact perfectly for eternity, but it always makes me a little blue when I see how different things have become. This is probably a byproduct of living near my hometown forever, hanging so easily onto the past. And maybe there are times when my friends feel it about me...while they're sitting in a smoke-infused room...wondering if the clouds are going to roll in off the lake again...looking forward to getting back home to the normalcy and security of their lives...with their own Mr. Wonderfuls.


geekhiker said...

I used to think that I'd have friends from my youth that lasted throughout my lifetime, but life didn't turn out that way. Instead, it seems that for the most part I've had good, interesting friends come and go as I pass through life. I'm okay with that.

Still, sometimes it would be nice, especially in a town like LA (where meeting friends or lovers is, at best, difficult) to have long-known friends here. On the other hand, it does make me that much more thankful for those that I do.

Jane Moneypenny said...

I firmly believe that people are in your lives when you need them. They come and go when they've served their purpose. Some last forever and some are in there just for a short time and you don't realize until later how the timing worked out. So yeah, you don't have Boss aren't so close anymore but he made way for Mr. Wonderful!

Dingo said...

I went through a period where I felt really bad that I didn't have friendships that extended all the way back to the crib like several of my friends. Then I realized that great friendships aren't about who you've known the longest. Some of my closest friends are people I've met in the last two years.

...and everything that Jane Moneypenny said.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with "hometown living" and lifelong friendships. I know many people who have left the area, met many new wonderful friends, but always say there is nothing like your "oldest" friends because you have history with them. Those are the friendships that no matter how much time has passed, when you are together - it picks up from where you left off. Making friends throughout life's journeys, is what fills our lives with richness.

jen tarara said...

I love this story about your room - so funny both in person and here on your blog! This story and your support at The Boss' wedding just goes to show what a great friend (and trooper) you are!! (But I still think your room the 1st night should have been free.)

Mel Heth said...

Geekhiker - I think part of my prob is that I DO have friends that I've known since I was 5. So I have a hard time letting go of ANYbody. You know, anytime you're ready to meet up with me and Alysha, we'd be happy to add ourselves to your list of LA friends. :)

Jane - You're SO right. It's funny because I can think of someone who came into my life whose sole purpose was to get me over The Boss!

Dingo - Well said. It's definitely not a numbers game - years don't win over chemistry. I'm just a big sap who wants to hang onto everyone forever. :)

Mom - You're back to anonymous, eh? I think The Boss would agree with you - I know he was extremely touched to have us all there even if there is distance between us now.

Jen - SO SO SO great to see you and the Mr. Thanks for the compliment...I was feeling like a trooper as I sat there being the 7th wheel at our table. :)