sad sack

I don't especially care about Valentine's Day. Being single on it is not a particular sore point for me - I figure it's just a holiday that doesn't pertain to me, like Yom Kippur or Easter. But until the last few weeks, I had thought this year was going to be different. Not that I was jazzed about Valentine's Day - but the 14th would have been the six-month anniversary of a relationship I was really, truly happy about.

And here's the "but": but it was long distance, and he has vanished, and I have no idea what happened. No communication from him, in any form, for three weeks; by no means am I a relationship expert, but I'm assuming this means that he's decided we're through. I'm not sure what else to do than take it very personally.

Okay. I can very easily understand not wanting to date me, or that the distance was just too hard, or any number of other situations - trapped under a bus, kidnapped by coyotes, hospitalized without cell phone - but what I don't understand is why I am apparently not worth even a perfunctory explanation. If he cared for me at all, why didn't he spend three minutes to write a text message saying something, anything, to let me know what's going on? And if I did something wrong - which I can hardly keep from assuming I did - surely telling me would be kinder, so at the very least I can work on it for next time? And if I am so awful that he had to flee, why did he take me on in the first place?

And here's a question: if someone seems to have changed their mind about you, does that undo, make false, all the lovely things they once said and felt about you? Does it mean the whole thing was imaginary? Does it mean you never mattered, were never loved, were never worth the thoughtful compliments and shared laughted and closeness? Because that's how it feels - it feels like everything is gone, not only the future but the past too, and while I know I shouldn't dwell on the past (even in the best of times), knowing that the past was real makes me know at least that there were some truly good things about us, about me, I guess, more selfishly, even if they aren't relevant any more. I can deal with that - but it's much harder to deal with the idea that it was all imaginary to begin with, that I was a fool for ever thinking it was otherwise.

This isn't the person I thought I knew. None of this seems like him. I never would have guessed this could happen, that he could be so hurtful, that I would hold so little significance to him that he could dismiss me with not a single word of explanation or anger or goodbye. The thing I liked about him most was his warmth and kidness. Very little about this adds up or makes any sense to me, which I think is what's hardest.

I often joke that I'm really a seventh-grader inside; maybe this silent treatment is a sign that I'm finally getting back what I've sewn (sown? no idea).

Vanishing without a trace is a lot more towards Bollywood than my life usually runs. And not in the good way.

That's why her hair is so big: it's full of secrets.

(from Mean Girls, 2004)

This whole thing has gotten me thinking about what a secret actually is. It's not just something that nobody knows, or something that you're not supposed to tell. The term implies that somebody wants to know the information because it's interesting or dangerous - or at least intriguing. There are all sorts of things about myself that I don't talk about and that probably nobody knows - sometimes I brush my teeth in the shower, for example - but that doesn't really seem like an actual secret. Certainly not a good one. So the following are probably more under the category of "little-known facts" rather than actual secrets.

1. In high school, I once cheated on a PE test by looking at someone else's paper (I think it was on football, or maybe badminton). As class valedictorian, this is a pretty shameful tidbit; the only thing I can say is that had I done the test in question entirely on my own, I don't think the score would have lowered my class grade enough to affect my GPA so that I was no longer valedictorian. I remember in English class one year, I had completely forgotten to do the reading - very unlike me - and when the pop quiz came, I faced my problem with dignity and just did the best I could and then wrote the teacher a note on my answer sheet that said I had forgotten to read the short story. Ms. Haworth forgave me.

2. In a similar vein - and no, of course I don't have issues equating academic performance with self-worth, why do you ask? - in 8th grade art class I got a D on a project. Me. Beth Watkins. In art. A D. I don't remember if I cried in class - I don't think so - and I don't even remember what the project was. I do remember that I worked it off and by the end of the term I had gotten a big shiny A for my marker drawing of a pink Eiffel Tower, my take on an assignment to take a know object and trasnform it in an unexpected way. Seems pretty trite to me now, but I guess it was okay for a 14-year-old.

3. The live rock/pop concert I have most enjoyed was Journey at the grandstand of the Illinois State 2002. Better late than never, I suppose. Other acts that year included Aaron Carter, the Gin Blossoms, and Engelbert Humperdinck.

4. Depending on the vehicle, I can get motion-sick at the drop of a hat. Ocean-going boats are iffy, sitting backwards in a train has proven complicated, and roller coasters are an absolute no-no.

5. I saved this one for last, because it's probably the most surprising of these if you know me well - it's just not the sort of thing you'd think I would ever do, especially because I was much more worried and timid when I was younger than I am now. In 9th grade, I got caught by a police officer making out with my boyfriend in his old VW beetle in a park after dark. That last bit of course was the actual offense - everything else was just tacky. The officer was actually very nice and just gave us a warning, and he asked multiple times if I was okay and if I wanted him to take me home. Said boyfriend turned out to be a short-term experiment and after I dumped him he started leaving pathetic notes in my locker, the combination to which he had furtively watched me enter and then stored in his calculator watch. I am so old. He was still annoying me two years later, so when he and I both got into all-state choir, as I was helping the choir teacher with the registration paperwork, I signed him up under a name that was not his actual name but one that he often got called by mistake and that he hated, as people who often get called the wrong name are prone to do. I knew this would drive him crazy, and the teacher laughed as I did it (who's the pet? yeah that's right). Sure enough, the boy was cranky about his "wrong" name tag and listing in the concert program for the whole festival.

I rambled about other stuff too. Wanna see?

April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 May 2006 June 2006 August 2006 October 2006 December 2006 February 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 September 2007 July 2008

projects, friends, etc.

  • I love Bollywood so much that I made a separate blog for it.
  • remember when I went to Australia?
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: literature
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: travels
  • The Trophy Wife
  • rock and roll lifestyle
  • Why God Why
  • Technically not a friend, as not a human, but still a place I love very much, so it counts: Massey College
  • credits

  • Blog design is based largely on Not That Ugly with some ideas from Firdamatic with some additional tweaking
  • Flickr rocks! Really.
  • Hurrah for Blogger
  • And for folks trying to library-ize blogs: Blogwise and Blogarama
  • Sorry this looks like poo in Firefox. I've no idea why.