Sunday, November 30, 2008

NaBloPoMoPleaseNoMo, Day 30. Wouldn't it be funny if I simply forgot to post today?

Last day of NaBlo '08, to which I say, "Whoo!" and also "Whew." Actually, truth be told, I didn't find the post-every-day nonsense all that hard this year, but I did find it a bit uneventful. A comparatively smaller number of my blog friends participated this year than in prior years, so there was to some extent the opposite of that "we're all in this together" feeling--which I suppose would be, more simply, an "I'm in this all alone" feeling, except that saying that discounts the efforts of the good people who did play along all month (Courtney, Mickey, Aaron, etc., represent).

I can't say I'm particularly proud of my showing in NaBlo this year. I know that the point of the experiment is simply to write--to get oneself in the habit of writing more often, to flex those muscles, to self-edit less, to allow oneself the freedom to post something that is utter crap, with the knowledge that something else will takes its place in top position the following day. But while there were a few posts this month that I'm genuinely happy with, there were several more that I wish I hadn't knocked out by force racing against the clock--posts that either wouldn't have seen the light of day had it not been for the constraints of NaBlo or that I would have at least put off for a while until I found the time to reflect and rework. Am I going to tell you which posts I'm proud of and which ones I realize were utter crap? Obviously no. Just wanted to put a disclaimer out there anyway.

All that out of the way, I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend. Me, I spent essentially the whole four days with my family, and while I realize I should deem that lovely and meaningful and cherish every moment as a memory in the making, in reality, I can't help but feel a bit cheated. I mean, a four-day weekend? And not more than a few hours of it to do with as I please? It hardly seems fair. I demand another full weekend as reimbursement for the unintentionally squandered previous one. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Approximately four hours of this squandered long weekend was spent driving to and from my sister's condo, which, as usual, became our "home base" for the weekend. It's all good and fine; I'd rather have my parents on her turf than mine anyway, although the drive to and from her place on the other side of Minneapolis did get a bit tedious after a while. Not only that, but each time I made that trip, I had to drive past the cross street where a failed meMarmony match lives, which set me to thinking about him once again.

This particular match was the one I had a whopping eight dates with back in early aught-seven (and the one I eventually decided was for some reason less appealing to me than a night alone with a bottle of wine and an unopened printer/scanner was). I've thought about that one lots of times in the year and a half since. I wonder sometimes if I give up on things too quickly, if I expect some knock-over-the-head magic right from the start and therefore don't give men the time to grow on me. With that guy, however, I want to believe I really did give things a chance. He was perfect for me on paper, after all. He was the ideal mix of down-to-earth guy with small-town roots vs. modern, urban sophisticate. The right mix of responsible vs. fun-loving. Intelligent vs. charmingly clueless. He was an MPR member and a Guthrie season ticket holder. He was very tall and reasonably good looking. He liked live music and new restaurants. He had a good job and more money than he knew what to do with. And unfortunately, I could not have a comfortable and easy conversation with him.

On each of our dates, there would be brief moments of promise--moments when I would say something that would make him laugh or he'd say something that would make me think, "All right! There's something in there worth continuing to dig for!" But I firmly believe that after 30+ hours with someone, those moments should be less the exception and more the norm. I kept hoping I was knocking bricks out of this wall of shyness, when in fact, maybe those rare moments of promise were just cracks in an impenetrable wall of awkwardness that I'd happened upon by chance.

Eventually I called it off, and he claimed to agree it was the right move. We emailed once or twice about nothing in particular in the months following, but never made plans to get together again. I do wonder about him from time to time, however--wonder if I made the wrong choice. Last summer, at a concert with 8,000 attendees, I wedged past a line of strangers waiting for beer tickets and unexpectedly found myself face three inches away from his face. We were both friendly, of course, and both entirely caught off guard, so we both sputtered little more than nonsense and small-talk niceties.

After driving past his apartment so many times this weekend, I decided to do a Facebook search for him, and lo, he has a profile now. One that's set to Public, even, meaning I could freely spy to my heart's content. I thought maybe I'd look at his photos and feel some twinge of jealousy, but in fact, the exact opposite happened. I saw the caption a friend of a friend of his put on a candid, obviously surprised-by-the-camera shot, and I heard the exact inflection of the meek and vapid, "uh, heh, hi" in his voice. Also, I saw heavily mascaraed and lip-glossed girls in slightly trashy outfits with their arms around him, and I thought, "Those are not my people. In fact, they are probably 'Woo girls,' and I am glad I'm not obligated by relationship association to hang out with them." In one, the album owner went so far as to type a baby-talk version of his name, and it nearly made me hurl just reading it.

So. Facebook addiction (and the inevitable resultant spying)? Not all that harmful, really. Except for the part where I'm finding out that all my college friends have apparently gone conservative. (Facebook status I want to use but will not, for obvious reasons: "Stefanie is wondering when all of her college friends became Republicans.") Oh, and that the girl who was my best friend for a good portion of high school but disowned me in a loud, angry, and unwarranted bar rant at a mutual friend's bachelorette party several years ago sort of looks like hell now and inexplicably wants to link to me as friends despite our falling out. But both of those are stories for another day. Or stories for no day, more likely. Seventeen minutes and counting until the end of NaBloPoMo '08. It's been real, but I am out.


nancypearlwannabe said...

Yay, you made it! It seems like NaBlo took a real toll on people this year. I am proud of you for pushing through, but also happy I didn't participate. Once the initial guilt wore off I was FREE!

Jess said...

I'm glad the Facebook experience solidified your decision for you. It sounds like you really did make the right decision. Good on paper isn't good enough.

Congrats on NaBlo success! You are amazing.

flurrious said...

You did it! Woooooooo! (I'm not a woo girl, except for sometimes on the internet when I am.) You definitely deserve a prize this year.

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Woo hoo, we did it!

Courtney said...

Way to go! I have to say, Stefanie, you should win a NaBlo award for the fewest "mailing it in" posts. I had so many that were little more than a paragraph; all yours were full-fledged stories. Impressive!

Stefanie said...

NPW--That's the problem, though... I felt for much of it that that's all I was doing: "pushing through." Was it worth it if I was churning out crappy posts? I don't know. I'll have to remember this next year. Maybe doing NaBlo just for the sake of it isn't worth it.

Jess--Right. I want good on paper AND in person! Is that too much to ask? (Clearly, YES!)

Flurrious--I'm not a woo girl either, except I realized after I typed that that I actually included a "Whoo!" in the first paragraph. Whoops. I "whoo" only in text, rarely in person. I promise.

Dutchess--Indeed. That's worth another "whoo!" (at least in print).

Courtney--Well, not ALL of mine... And some of the stories were pointless enough that I probably SHOULD have just done a "mail it in" post instead. Thanks, though. :-)

lizgwiz said...

Clearly, your idea of a "crappy" post is much different than mine, as I would never consider any of yours "crappy." (Mine? Well...)

I think my favorite thing about facebook is seeing the pictures people post of each other. Except for that one time when BFF posted that one HORRIBLE picture of me. Heh.

Mickey said...

Well done, Stefanie. Mission accomplished with all those date stories. I hope it was in some way cathartic. If nothing else it makes me better understand why people settle, because it's hell out there.

But don't ever settle.