scenes from a long weekend (or what i learned while my roommates were out of town)

i was on my own this weekend.

lest you think this is unusual, i lived by myself in this town for three years before i moved in with roommates (for many reasons, not the least of which was financial) this past august.

i guess i just didn’t realize how accustomed one gets to negotiating your activities based on the presence of other people. it was eerily quiet this weekend. i mean, i had the tv on for most of the weekend for ambient noise, as i am wont to do, but it was odd to not have to worry, in any sort of subconscious way, that somebody would be walking in/talking/commenting on what i was doing.

i was queen of the castle, man, and it was nice.

(hi roommates! i love you! this has nothing whatsoever to do with that!)

i needed to take control of my life this weekend and boy howdy did i.

here are the lessons i learned.

there is magical power in a properly constructed to-do list.

this is a little something i like to call my control-freak list. i make them every semester when things begin to get a little hairy and i feel like if i don’t make a list and start crossing things off, i will lose the will to remain a contributing member of society. you don’t get to see friday/saturday’s list, because it’s already balled up in the garbage, having rolled over into this week’s list. but it looks a little something like this:

i hung it up with masking tape and a prayer in my heart that i would be able to just rock this place out. would you call yourself successful if in one approximately 40 hour period, you cleaned the kitchen, baked muffins while watching last week’s episodes of lost (what the…?) and grey’s anatomy (oh, patrick dempsey…why can’t i quit you?), graded 12 or 13 papers and typed comments for them, dusted and vacuumed the living room, took back a dvd that you rented that was being all lame and “hey i don’t want to play sucka even though you really in fact DO want to watch the jane austen book club” and got a new one, went to publix, wrote a letter to the best friend, did laundry, swept the floor (why does that sound like a karate kid move?), and managed to come to a zen-like understanding of why you’ve been freaking out this week and last week and what you’re going to do about it?

yeah, me too.

it’s the to-do list. i’m telling you.

i like to cook–i just don’t really like doing it with other people looking over my shoulder.

chipotle marinated pork chops. fruit salad. loaded mashed potatoes (granted, from a mix). more banana chocolate chip muffins. possibly something else (maybe amish white bread?) later on?

i like to cook. but i like to cook when nobody else is going to interrupt or ask me what i’m doing or need to use the stuff i’m using. i don’t like dancing in the kitchen.

i don’t know if that makes any sense. but i’d like to get over it, because…i like to cook. and i don’t suck at it. plus, i don’t see how this model is going to work successfully in the family i’ll create, full of little rugrats who are sure to both interrupt me and ask me interminable questions about what i’m doing.

sigh.

you know it’s summer when, on nice nights, everybody goes to get the mail/walk the dog/wax their car after dark. in my apartment complex, they all look like thugs.

i would certainly get yelled at by my mom/worried roommate if they knew that i walked to the mailbox at 10 pm both nights when nobody knew where i was going or what i was doing (i took my cell phone! it’s okay!), but apparently i wasn’t the only one with this idea. i think i saw more people outside during those times than i think i have collectively the entire time i’ve lived here.

oh well.

they still all look like thugs in the dark, though, even if they are just three 20-something girls walking their black lab.

in a domestic showdown between the girl who wants her chihuahua back and the guy who’s trying to use the chihuahua as emotional blackmail collateral, always bet on the girl.

picture it: i’m minding my business on friday night, grading papers on the couch, certain to inspire all with the amazingness that is my social life. i start to hear yelling. in my neighborhood, this is not especially surprising or unusual. but then i hear what is being yelled.

“GIVE ME MY DOG!”

“No.”

“GIVE ME MY DOG!”

(repeat…about 15 times.)

as far as i could gather (by hanging out by the windows–i wanted to know what was going on and also if i needed to call somebody like the police or somebody with a baseball bat or something), girlfriend was breaking up with homeboy and he didn’t like it much.

so he took the dog.

which just confuses me on so many levels, but really begins to explain why girlfriend was breaking up with homeboy, who definitely looked as though he should know better being, you know, something like in his late 20s.

part of the reason i went to get the mail was to check on girlfriend, who got suspiciously quiet. i grew up in the age of cops and law and order. i know what could happen. but on the way back to my apartment, i saw her coming down the sidewalk with a tiny brown dog under her arm and from the deep recesses of my building, i heard someone pounding at least three or four times into a wall. (seriously. it might have been a door slamming, but it was loud and out of obnoxious, immature rage.)

never come between a girl and her dog.

when all else fails, go outside.

the sky was a blue that shouldn’t be real this weekend. the sun was brighter than i can remember it (i NEED new sunglasses. where? where do i go? i have NO money. forever 21? i look sort of stupid in those big sunglasses, but i also don’t want to look like an old woman…i’m young! i’m cute! help!) and just being out in it for like a half an hour as i was running errands on saturday.

so i am planning on being in the sun a lot in the next week. beach on thursday. possibly some pool time inbetween. because if i can grade and soak up some vitamin sunshine, i am doing it.

don’t underestimate the power of a fierce outfit.

if you read darling brookem, you know the power of a great outfit. remember that dress that i described? the one that makes me feel fiercely cute? i wore it today to church. it was my power outfit.

i got complimented–bonus!–and i felt more myself than i have in weeks.

this outfit, plus some sassy black heels, eyeliner, mascara, and philosophy lip gloss makes me look awesome.

there is POWER in a dress like that…and in a to-do list…and in a weekend full of me time.

i needed it.

4 Responses to “scenes from a long weekend (or what i learned while my roommates were out of town)”

  1. When I make my to-do lists, I make sure that I write things that have already been done so I can cross it off right away. It makes my list look less daunting.

    🙂

  2. Oh, I’ve had a to-do list that was at 10, but is now at 3 items. And I the power of going outside? Remarkable. I finished a paper in half the time I thought I would because I was on a porch, with dogs and sunshine and PEACE AND QUIET. It was beautiful. One paper, two finals to go…

  3. sounds like just the kind of weekend you needed!

    id go to kohls for sunglasses. they are on sale now and daisy fuentes has some really cute styles!

  4. Never come between a girl and her dog.

    Seriously. I will cut a bitch. haha

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