Monday, February 11, 2019

Sliding, and crashing, into the DMs

It's been quite a while since I last posted, but I've had quite a bit happening in my life. Firstly, I got a brand new job that I love! I've switched to working in supply chain Fintech, still specializing in email, and I honestly couldn't be happier. I'm finally accomplishing one of the dreams I've had for a while: work with less stress for more money and a lot more vacation.

But I digress. This post isn't about my lovely new job and the smart, intelligent people I work with. Nor is it about how my life is suddenly happier and more fulfilling than it's been in quite some time.

This is about a former friend who is now decidedly delusional. There is absolutely no way a sane, logical person would make this request of someone they barely ever talk to.

Brief backstory: in 2016, my friends and I went to an America Ninja Warrior competition to be in the on-screen audience. While we were there, I struck up a conversation with one of the athletes. He didn't do well in the competition, but he was nice, funny, and cute. The conversation was pleasant enough for us to find each other on Facebook and Instagram, and we'd occasionally comment friendly encouraging things like "Looks like fun!" or "Hope you're doing well!." But as he lives in Florida, that's all it was: a friendly encouraging Instagram comment every once in a while. No phone calls, no texting; just a small social media well-wish once in a blue moon.

Then about 2-3 months ago, he messaged me saying he was going to be in Atlanta for a competition and that we should meet up. I thought sure, why not see my friend; let's go out to one of my favorite restaurants and hang out (let me preface: there was absolutely no way I was inviting this guy back to my apartment). I thought I had made it clear that we were grabbing dinner as friends and having a nice catch-up-on-life time. However, he apparently thought that things were going to get involved anyway. Once I made it very clear that no, we weren't going to get involved, we were only going to get food, he decided that he always lost at everything and couldn't even get me (as if that was ever an option). Obviously that sentiment pissed me off and I told him to get lost and never contact me again, and I continued through my life job searching and spending time with my real friends without hearing a peep from him.

I honestly thought that was the end of it: we had a falling out, he never tried to reach out and get in touch with me, and he even unfriended me on Facebook and unfollowed me on Instagram. Worked for me, I don't need people like that in my life and never looked back.

Until last night.

When he had the incredibly bright idea

To slide into my DMs

With the most delusional request I've ever received in my life.

Here's what he wrote (with identifying details removed):

I actually starred at this for several minutes, there were so many questions racing through my brain:

  1. How dumb does he think I am? 
  2. Does he really think I'd ever let him crash at my apartment while he competes on a reality show? (I am not making that up). 
  3. How am I the only person he can turn to? Because I'm the only person in his entire network who lives in Atlanta? There's a million other people here, get an AirBnb or hostel if you don't have a budget. Both options exist. 
  4. Why would I ever reply back to him? He royally pissed me off before and while I try my best to forgive, I never forget. There are some bridges you just can't mend. 

There's only one thing you can do when something this unbelievable happens: text your best friend. I immediately got the screenshot and sent it off to my best friend and she said the exact phrase I'd been feeling: 

What. The. F***. 

Notice how I still haven't mentioned those dates in his message. That's because I was tired enough to read those dates as February 28th - March 6th; I thought he was asking to crash for a full week (still unacceptable). My BFF made a comment about that duration and after rereading I realized: 

He wasn't asking to crash for a week. 

He was asking to crash for a month. 

As in 30 full days. 

As in 730 hours. 

With someone who didn't want to see him again. 


How did this even sound like a plausible idea in his head? "Oh, she doesn't ever want to see me again but it's cool, she'll let me live with her for a month." Yeah, like that's going over well. And he'll pay me back if he wins the competition? Sorry but, you haven't won a single thing yet; my confidence in that regard is so low it's underground. 

So naturally, I decide I'm never responding to this inane proposal. He's not worth my time, this bizarre request of his is not worth my time or energy, and giving the situation any sort of acknowledgement would only open up the door to more drama and unnecessary stress. You know, inviting in the things I've been trying to cut from my life. No thanks, not happening, I'm leaving you on read dude. Have a nice life. 


I was curious.... 

While there was no way I was ever going to respond to him and encourage this situation further, I wanted to know: what would the internet think of this? My best friend and I chatted and thought the good people of reddit might appreciate a so-crazy-it's-true interaction and let me just say: reddit delivered. Keep in mind: I did jazz up the story on reddit just a tad (who wouldn't? Everyone eats up a scandal) but the comments have been making me laugh all day long

In a nutshell: when life serves you a side of insanity, ignore the source and use it to entertain the internet. I can say one small thing in his defense though: his crazy DM has made me laugh all day. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Illusion of Instagram

Like nearly everyone in my generation, I love Instagram. It's like having a beautiful little photo library in your pocket with available editing tools to make you feel like a Photoshop pro without shelling out the big bucks to become one. It allows me to post about my life and show my friends and family what I'm up to... at least, some of the time.

According to Instagram, my typical day involves hanging out in trendy, hipster-esque coffee shops around Atlanta by day and finding hideaway places or activities by night (anyone up for water ballet in the highlands?). It doesn't show what my real day is like: hipster coffee shop for about 2-3 hours in the morning or afternoon, with the rest of the day spent in my apartment either working on some small project (*cough* laundry or dishes) or scrolling through my Netflix queue.

According to Instagram, I take exciting, adventurous vacations; jet-setting on my own around the country and finding the coolest locals-only places to hang out and eat. In some ways, that's actually extremely true, like when I traveled cross-country by train last year and did some things I never expected, like sailing a catamaran on the San Francisco Bay or befriending a train conductor. But Instagram doesn't show that nearly all of those vacations are taken alone, that I struggle to go out and do those fun things because I have no one to enjoy them with, and that almost every picture of me taken during those adventures is a selfie because I don't have a partner to take photos of or with me.

According to Instagram, I eat a lot of cute and/or interesting food in local hotspots in various cities. It doesn't show the empty place across the table from me or the waitress' slightly raised eyebrow when I ask for a table for one.

According to Instagram, I take vacations whenever I like and run off on a fabulous adventure just for the hell of it. It doesn't show the weeks or months I plan out these trips and countless nights spent worrying about what I'll do, how I'll do it alone, and keeping myself safe; all while staying within my budget.

According to Instagram, my friends and I go out to cool events in the city whenever we get together. It doesn't show that my friends and I are all busy with our own lives and schedules and have to plan those events fairly far in advance to make sure they actually happen and that we never do anything spontaneous because our schedules can't accommodate that.

According to Instagram, my life is like a filter. Beautiful, ephemeral, fulfilling, and full of adrenaline.

It doesn't show that I currently have a sink full of dishes that trigger my anxiety or that I stress whenever I invite people over because I never think my apartment is clean enough.

It doesn't show that while I've been unemployed for the past few months that I've spent most of my time waking up at the crack of dawn, spending hours in front of a computer and on the phone trying to find any opportunities, obsessively checking my inbox, and never sleeping from worrying that what I was doing wasn't enough.

It doesn't show that when I go to comedy clubs, it's to not only indulge in one of my favorite hobbies but also to relieve an intense amount of stress for just a couple of hours. If I can go to a show and laugh a lot, maybe I'll be relaxed enough afterwards to actually get quality sleep.

But Instagram also doesn't show....

The fact that I've found a new church and love it. I feel accepted, I feel cared for, and I finally feel fulfilled in a way that's been missing for a long time.

It doesn't show the fact that I try to see at least one parent once a week and spend time with our dogs, even if all I'm doing is lying on a couch with a dog in my lap.

It doesn't show that even when my friends and I can't physically see each other, we still text encouragement, new information, and funny stories to each other all the time.

It doesn't show that I actually don't look half bad without makeup and usually go without any on a regular, uneventful day. But the bed head is a true disaster and always needs a filter.

It doesn't show that even though I'm alone, I actually like it at times. It's really nice not to worry about someone else's schedule, food preferences, or dislikes. If I want to do something on a whim (usually comedy), I just buy a ticket and go do it. It's also a lot cheaper to be alone than always buying things in twos.

In a slightly over-exposed, over-contrasted, somewhat saturated nutshell: my Instagram life is only a half-hearted representation of what my life is really like. It doesn't show my struggles but it doesn't show the little moments that mean the most either; it only shows the "pretty" things I do, see and eat. Life isn't filtered or perfectly captioned, and I'm really glad it's not that way, because I can value my undocumented moments in peace without worrying how "likable" my real life is.

Although if I had to put one filter on my actual life, it would be either Juno or Ludwig at 50%. Because why not? 😄