Saturday, March 14, 2009

Confessions of a Cliché A$$hole

This past weekend, I spent lounging on the sands of South Beach with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world: my girlfriends. No worries, no drama, no internet, but most importantly… NO BOYS ALLOWED. That’s right.. we were on a “Mancation.” You see, even though its been months since Average Joe kicked up a shit storm in my life, I’m still picking up the pieces like FEMA. With boys, comes the inevitable drama: of ex girlfriends, new girlfriends, and just pesky girls with nothing better to do. So, to avoid all the nonsense and hoopla, we decided to stick to the boys we already know and love.. the Boys of Summer.
Er, uh… Spring Training.

Night before I left, I checked my emails and Facebook as I was about to do something I hadn't done in years: be without the internet. It wasn’t like South Beach didn’t have technology, but my girlfriends and I had made a pact to not log in to Facebook, MySpace, even our own personal email. It was the best way to avoid any exposure to any outside drama. Besides, a vacation is supposed to be an escape, and how the hell can you escape if you are updating your status messages. Rifling through all my unread messages on Facebook is quite a task. Most are just random “Please Add Me’s” and notes of encouragement, but every once in a while one note sticks out from the rest. This time it was the title that caught my eye. “Confessions of a Cliché A$$hole.” Intrigued, I opened the letter, and began to scroll through his opening paragraph. He first apologized for the length of his letter, as it seemed to scroll for days. Then, went on to tell me a little bit about himself. He was 20-some-odd years old, a New Yorker born and raised, now living in the south, and as he so eloquently described himself… a “cliché a$$hole.”

Though it bruised his former fist pumping ego to admit it, he told me reading my blogs had become his new secret guilty pleasure, but he personally related to one in particular… Average Joe. The reason he reached out to me… was Cliché a$$hole was a reformed cliché a$$hole. He pulled the same maneuvers, used the same lines, and did the same dirty deeds as Average Joe. At first I thought I was being punk’d. I mean, was this Joe himself, or one of his mutants, or maybe it really was just some random stranger. Turns out the kids in high school were right; the answer really always is “C.” The next few paragraphs that followed were nothing short of a serious case of déjà vu…

“This is going to be the closest thing to the truth you've ever heard about dudes: Every guy is born a nice guy that wants to meet a girl and fall in love. Somewhere along the way, one girl ( just one) who he thinks is perfect for him, that he opens up to, buys flowers for, pulls chairs out for -- all that good stuff guys do at age 21 - 29 to get a girl in the sack... only this time he wasn't trying to get in bed-- he was for real. That girl f@#$ed him up - cheated on him, dumped him for some dbag she hooked up with the next day, rejected him with no explanation---any of these plus hundreds of other possibilities. The only thing that matters is somehow she broke his heart and made it look like she didn't care because girls, as I'm sure you know, can be heartless bitches at times. I stress 'at times', because they aren't by nature but do it maybe once or twice. Guys have a hard time forgetting those one or two times, and girls just tend to be a hell of a lot more forgiving for the sake of a relationship. For a guy, it takes one girl to f@#$ it up. Once that one girl comes along, ‘home base’ is to be an a$$hole.”

He continued on with this National Geographic “Life Among the Gorillas”-esque look in to the inner workings of this Northeastern breed of the male species. Though parts may have been slightly varied, probably to protect his own reputation or ego, the main theme of “home base” continued through out the letter. Any time the damaged guy got close to something that might feel right, might feel effortless, it was his natural animalistic reaction to respond in a vicious recoil and return to “a$$hole.” It’s not like he really meant to hurt the girl, its just that he wasn’t prepared to let go of the damage done to himself just yet, and he knew it was only a matter of time this new girl would have the ability to hurt him. There it was. In black and white. The answers Joe never gave me. It was the most brutally honest piece of truth I have read in a long time. And with that, I closed my lap top, and began my journey to paradise.

Four and a half some-odd hours later, we arrived at Hotel Victor on Ocean Drive. And may I say.. it was nothing short of perfect. The five of us ran around the rooms like high school girls on their first Spring break, checking out all the amazing amenities my buddy Landy, and the hotel had set up for us. Amongst the many picture taking, the claiming of the beds, and bits of unpacking, I just fell on to the bed.. and listened to the ocean. I… was home.

Part of being from the great state of Florida is getting a sneak peak at the upcoming baseball season. Sure, it’s Spring Training.. so none of it really counts, and it has no real relevance to how the season itself will REALLLLY pan out… but it sure as hell beats sitting around waiting for March Madness to get going.

So, on Saturday afternoon my girlfriends and I loaded ourselves up into my Shelby, rolled down the windows, and blasted some Britney spears as loud as my speakers would allow.. And made our way to Jupiter. No, not the planet, but Jupiter, Florida where the Florida Marlins have their spring training. My buddy Dan had promised me a day in the sun, and a good game of baseball. And he didn't disappoint. It had been months since I had worn a pair of shorts, so long I had almost forgotten what my legs even looked like. The temperature wasn't too hot, or too cold, it was just right. When you’ve spent the greater majority of the past few months of your life holed up in your apartment, wavering in and out of moments of self pity. You forget those simple things that made you smile.. Kicking back in the stands at a baseball game, eating a ridiculously gross ballpark hotdog that you pray doesn't have too many crazy animal parts in it, laughing at your girlfriends as they drink beer from a straw... Or your one friend that despite her diminutive stature has the lung capacity to make her earnest attempts at heckling heard throughout the ballpark. I believe her exact words were... Knuckledragger?? I had forgotten that the sun does remember to show its face when its not cockblocked by 10 inches of falling snow, and like every year, spring did keep its promise and show up on time. I used to think fall was my favorite season of the year, because well, fall meant my other favorite season had arrived.. Football season. But when fall came and went over a single weekend in October, and left me with this awful freeze, I couldn't help but feel a tad bit shafted. All it took was a few days in the south Florida sun to realize... That like most things in fashion, fall suddenly seemed “so last season,” and spring, was in fact “the new fall.”

As I sat on the first base line, my mind couldn’t help but wander back to Cliché A$$hole’s words. Maybe he was right. Men didn’t mean to be bad; they weren’t even born that way. They simply evolved as a means of survival, as a means of getting past that one “Molly Connelly” in their life. It certainly didn’t make their behavior excusable, but it did shed some light on an otherwise dim situation. Maybe Joe was just returning to whatever was familiar, regardless of how it hurt him before and the damage it caused. We all know how that story will end, because rarely do people really change. But, if chasing that “what if” helped him sleep at night, and feel like he gave it a shot then.. so be it. Who was I to be the girl standing on the third base line blocking the plate?.. The answer was.. I wouldn’t. Sure, I could put up a fight in a “pickle” and throw the ball between home and third, home and third.. but all I would be doing is playing little league ball. And let’s face it, I’m just too old and too uncoordinated for that crap. If being an a$$hole was what kept him feeling “safe,” then so be it.. but I didn’t have to subject myself to it. I'd take my ball, and go home. I’d play my own game, one where you didn’t have to be an a$$hole to protect yourself… because you don’t get involved with people you have to protect yourself from in the first place.

The rest of the weekend was a blur. The kind of stuff legends are made of. I can’t divulge all the crazy details, but I can tell you that it was Legend.. wait for it.. DARY. As we sat around Sunday brunch reviving our livers, the conversation turned from giggles, to sentimental. It had been such a long time since we had all come together, that this weekend had come at the perfect time. We were all either over worked, overstressed, or overly heartbroken. Our time in the Miami sun had certainly lifted our spirits, but more than that… it had rebuilt our friendships. All the time I had spent in the miserable cold with no real friends to hang out with had left me feeling like Carrie Bradshaw with no girlfriends, and certainly no Mr. Big. I needed my voice of reason, my party girl enabler, my bodyguard, and my personal comedian. All of my friends have their different roles, and to me… it makes them an irreplaceable part of my life.

As I touched down in NYC on Thursday, I was greeted by a burst of bitter cold air on the jet way. Sigh. Home Swoot Home. A short cab ride later, I plopped my bags on the floor, and booted up my computer. There in my overloaded inbox… was a letter.

“Hope you had a great time on your trip… and you’re looking ahead to bigger and better things.
Cliché A$$hole.”

I guess Cliché A$$hole wasn’t such an a$$hole after all. The funny thing is… he was right.. I was looking ahead for once. And for the first time in a long time, I was happy about where I was heading.


Mr. Clean said...

"Legend.. wait for it.. DARY.

This made my day.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Another good read Jenn! Glad you got to spend some time back home!! It was a beautiful weekend here on the East Coast of FLA..Too bad you couldn't stay!!

And to you "Average Joe", a little message from us Florida Boyeez..." SUCK IT"

iwatchthenba said...

you make me miss the sun like a fat kid on a diet misses cupcakes.

Cliché A$$hole said...

Now that you've mentioned me in your article, any chance that we can hang out in sometime?

Worse case scenario I can get in your pants we can have wild, no strings attached sex !

Veritas said...

Well I have to reconize that it was brave of that guy to come clean like that.
And in many ways he is right, we men are strange in that way, once we get hurt by the one that we truly love, any other relationships that might come in the future, we will always be with our guard up.
Some women say that we guys are sometimes hard, cold, almost without feelings; but that is a wrong idea, we may look like that but in the buttom of our minds we really want to love and be loved.
Many times it's the wounds from the former relationship that ruins the next, we guys have a harder time letting go and forget.
I personally avoid to act like that but sometimes there's that voice inside us that drive us crazy and make us act like a$$holes.
It's a personal struggle, some win some lose, that's life.
You went with your girlfriends away to just relax and have did well.
I really believe that doing that sort of things really helps one focus on what's important or simply forget about the worries and the problems.
All the best to you Jenn.
Big hug......