Friday, January 27, 2006

I'm so glad I'm not single

This morning on my favorite radio station, they were talking about people who use those little tiny surveillance cameras in their homes. You know to monitor their sleeping babies, or the nanny who's watching their little bundle of joy to determine whether they are treating them as they should. Sometimes they use these cameras for not-so-innocent uses:

Caller: Hey, guys, it's John from Downey. (I don't know what this guy looks like, but he's got this deep, tough-guy voice, with a bit of the "how-you-doin'" accent made so popular on Friends.)
Radio DJs:Hey, John, what's your story?
John:Dude, I have one of those cameras on top of my stereo, linked to my VCR. When I bring girls home from the bar, I can videotape us having sex and they don't even know! Heh, heh, heh."
DJs: Your kidding! They don't know?
John: Not a bit. And these chicks are so f-ing hot, it's awesome! (What I want to know is how this guy with his guido voice gets hot girls.)
DJ:Well, girls, if you know a guy named John from Downey ...
John:DUDE, that's not my real name. I gave you guys a fake name, heh, heh, heh.
DJ:Thanks for the call.

I'm so glad I'm married.

Monday, January 23, 2006

It's all about the gold

This weekend, an old friend from Florida came to visit me. We had missed each other when I went out to Florida last August. So we haven’t talked in a long time.

She’s one of those friends, of whom I have just a few, who I truly consider a friend. One of those who doesn’t get upset that we don’t talk every week. One who can pick up the phone after six months or so, and just pick up where we left off (it amazed us how long it had been since we had talked last. When I mentioned my parents divorce, which happened back in March 2005, she was surprised). We both have our own lives, and realize that while we’re too busy to catch up all the time, we never really forget about the other one.

It wasn’t always like that. She and I were roommates about 15 years ago. We had met through my ex-husband, who she had gone to high school with. She and I hit it off and became good friends. At first.

I quickly found out that she was kind of a loner. She preferred to hang out in her room than in the living room with me. I learned to live with it, and got used to hanging out by myself when I wasn’t out drinking the night away, as I used to do in my youth. Every once in a while, I’d go out with her and her friends. But it was rare.

Then she started dating this big hulking guy that I couldn’t stand. He just took over the apartment as if it were his: making stuff in the kitchen, but using MY dishes; turning down the air-conditioning to 60 degrees because his big hulking body was always hot; carrying my cat around on his big hulking shoulders as if she were his (did I mention his was this big hulking thing?). None of that stuff would have bothered me if I liked him (well, except the air-conditioning part. Come on, I was a poor college student, and he wasn’t paying the electric bill). Because of him, she and I started growing farther apart.

She eventually realized the error of her ways and broke up with him. And started dating a guy I thought was great. But she and I continued to grow further apart. She wasn’t as clean as I would have liked, which became a sore spot that grew into an oozing wound. Every time I took out the garbage I’d curse her name for not doing it. I’d try to stand my ground and not wash the dishes, until I just couldn’t stand it anymore and would begrudgingly do them.

The final straw was a day that I came home one afternoon to the music blaring and loud laughter. The apartment was freezing (that damn air conditioner again!), and everyone was sitting outside on the balcony with the door open.

I, in a childish move that I cringe to think about now, went over to the open door, and snottily remarked, “The air conditioning works much better with the door closed!” and slammed the door. Nice, I know.

That pretty much marked the end of our living arrangement, and she soon moved in with her boyfriend, and I with mine. We eventually grew to like each other again, so much so that I was in her wedding. After the reception, several of us in the wedding party went out to a bar. I was talking with the groomsman I had been paired up with, and he asked how I knew my friend. I told him we’d been roommates.

He proceeded to tell me a story about a real bitch of a roommate he had met of hers, and about the time he and his friends had come over to a party, only to be yelled at by this roommate about the air-conditioning.

I looked at him and calmly replied, “Yeah, that bitch would be me.” He felt bad, but I explained that it was just the living situation. That I’m normally not so aggressive. Really, I’m not. Seriously.

My old roommate and I like each other much better now. She’s one of the strongest people I know. She’s been through so much, more than a single person should, more than I think I would have been able to handle. She’s a wonderful mother, and an even better friend. She’s definitely one of the things I miss about Florida.