Sunday, July 16, 2006

Love and trauma... I mean drama

This weekend was Pku's wedding. She and Bama met two years ago, May, at a speed dating event. (Yes, it can work for some people.) During the first nine months, they went through a lot of ups and downs. They had many opposing points of view that didn't seem reconcilable. She wasn't sure he was the one but stuck it out. Somewhere in the following three months, she fell in love.

On Saturday, we gathered at a rose garden, in the shadows of a half circle of redwoods to witness their wedding. It was a very lovely summer day for the ceremony. I am happy for Pku. She's put in several years of meeting people through online dating, speed dating, and various clubs and activities in search of a man. Although she's never said it, I'm sure seeing her two younger sisters get married in the past two years put some pressure on her.

Weddings are full of mixed emotions for me. I do get caught up in the moment. How can you not feel happy at the idea of two people celebrating love. (sappy, sappy) As Pku passed my aisle, different thoughts went through my mind:

"What a beautiful train, now I see why she picked that dress even though she didn't want a strapless. A train would be nice..."

[silent sigh]"I'm never to going to get to this day."

"I hope a took a good picture."

"I wish I could shoot myself in the head."

Even now, writing this makes me want to pound my head against a wall or the desk. It's impossible to describe what drives that urge. It seems like a good distraction to avoid dealing with the emotional pain. Weddings are about the happy couple, but it's hard for me not to wonder about my own life in the middle of it.

She did a wonderful job planning her wedding. There was no detail left to chance whether it was the directions to the reception, the place card holders, or the first dance. They actually had a rather light-hearted set of vows. Instead of a cake, they had a chocolate fountain and fresh fruit.

Overall, everyone had a fun time. The seating was mixed, so I sat at a table where I knew only half the table. I took it as an opportunity to meet new people and worked on my conversational skills. If there was a grade attached to the socializing part, I'd give myself a "B." I got off to a slow start with SwissBos and NoTea. The conversations were polite but I wouldn't say they were engaging topics. It was a good thing SwissBos was not a local guy otherwise I might have been distracted with trying too hard to impress him. (My therapist always reminds me to think about why I've been unsuccessful with previous boyfriends like Ryan and how close a relationship I have developed with Tim. The explanation is simple - I'm not myself around men (particularly Chinese ones) to who I am attracted.)

Afterwards, I gave Tim a ride back to his car.

"So what did you think? Did you have fun tonight?"

[pause, remembering not to talk about myself] "Yeah, it was very nice."

"I thought it was the best wedding ever!"

"I can't wait to see how the pictures turned out."

Little did he know that I was thinking about how I wanted to crush my head at that moment. I didn't want to ruin his good day with my whining. It was fun. We all had a great time over dinner and the hour of dancing.

TJ is the original hub of all the friends in the group. In fact, you could say he's the reason many of us became friends in the first place. In the past few years, he and I have grown apart. It comes partly from changing priorities and from our history.

Everyone close to TJ knows his logic is unique when it comes to women. Part of that logic in his younger years was to spend time with women he found attractive but not technically date. It was more friends with benefits combined with pretend dating. Needless to say, he left many confused and hurt women in his wake, including myself.

While I still consider him a friend, his questionable practices with women and money (pyramid schemes) have strained the friendship. However, I don't think he realizes that some of us have issues with him. We don't mention it to him; we act as if everything is fine. It's old news and I suppose there's nothing to do about it.

What gets me is that Karma doesn't seem to affect him. Despite the handful of women he's used, he hasn't been burned. I know I shouldn't be concerned with or compare myself to other people, but TJ frustrates me. Within months of deciding he was ready to seriously date, he found someone. They've been together for a year and a half now. I just find it frustrating that someone who could treat women so badly could pay no consequences. Meanwhile, I have a field of battle scars to show for my years. What is Karma making me pay for?

Today was no help when he mentioned his older sister is expecting any day. TJ implied feeling somewhat behind in family development (he'll be 33 soon). Someone reminded him that he's fine since his sister is having the first grandchild. The unintended stab for me came when he observed, "yeah, but she's starting late and I'm not even married yet."

F*ck, your sister is two weeks older than me! Thanks. I really needed to hear that.

I'm just a wreck this weekend. Even watching an old episode of "Gilmore Girls" made me cry. I miss the days when I could simply enjoy partying with my friends and weddings were just fun.

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