Monday, August 01, 2005

"Big Baby"

I had been planning to go on a daytrip with my family this weekend, but my own laziness almost prevented it from happening, and then circumstances actually did prevent it. In the process I encountered the reactions that can occur when I fuck up and ask someone else to bail me out. And I don't like who I am or what others think of me when I do that. It's comical how immature I am sometimes, but it hurts badly when those I care about get mad at me for it and then make jokes about it. I feel like a big joke.

Here's what happened: My uncle and his wife were going on a one-day trip to Isle of Capri Casino in Bettendorf, IA, this past Saturday, a bus trip being set up by the church that they got married at almost twenty years ago. They asked me if I wanted to go, and I asked my friend Cassandra if she wanted to go. She said sure. So I had known about this trip for three or four weeks. I knew that the bus left early on the morning of Saturday, July 30, and to prevent exactly the kind of shit that wound up happening, I had planned the whole time to go to my uncle's house Friday and spend the night so that we could all get up and out at the same time Saturday morning. A couple of weeks ago my uncle invited Cassandra and me to a dinner the Friday evening before the casino trip. The day before that dinner, last Thursday, Cassandra informed me that she would not be able to make the dinner party, and because it was a couples-themed dinner (despite Cassandra and me not being a couple), I wasn't going to go if I didn't have a date. So my thoughts of getting up early Friday morning and packing my good clothes for Friday evening and my play clothes for Saturday were now reduced to just getting up sometime Friday evening, packing some jeans and a shirt, and going to my uncle's to spend the night. Well, I studied and did some laundry Friday afternoon, and because I'm so out of shape, apparently that sapped all of my energy, and as a result I didn't go to my uncle's Friday night. I stayed home. I knew that I had to get up very early to get over to my uncle's Saturday morning, because his wife told me that they were leaving to go to the church at 8:00A, where they would get on the bus, and that the bus was to leave at 8:30A sharp. I knew all of that when I woke up Saturday morning at a little past 5:30A. I knew I had to hustle and get my ass in gear because I live on the north side, and they live on the south side.

But I didn't get my ass in gear quickly enough, and as a result, I found myself at about 7:15A standing on the platform waiting for the "L" train to come. This was very very bad, because it is absolutely impossible to take the "L" from where I live to the street that my folks live on and then catch the bus to their house in time for me to be there by 8:00A. The train ride would be close to 45 minutes all by itself, and then the bus ride after is about another 20 to 30 minutes. So I called Cassandra, who lives on the south side, and asked her if she could pick me up when I got to the south side on her way to the church bus. At first she misunderstood me and thought that I was asking her to come to the north side and pick me up at home and then drive back to the south side to catch this bus, which not only would not have worked given the time constraints, but on top of that I would never ask someone on the south side to pick me up on the north side so we can drive back to the south side. I always come meet "Ronnie" on the train when we're going to go hang out somewhere in the south suburbs, and it's never a problem for me. Unfortunately, Cassandra was in full rant mode, and she wasn't listening to any request I was making for her to interrupt her plans to accommodate me. "You want me to do what?!? Come on now Dre!" she screamed. I tried to calmly tell her that it would work because the church isn't far from the train stop, but she just fussed and fumed and finally told me that she would call me back once she figured out what to do. At this point I was mad at her for yelling at me. If you don't feel like you can make it work, or even if you just want to say "Fuck you" and you don't want to do it, just say so. But I didn't think my request was unreasonable, especially considering the near $1,000 cash I loaned Cassandra a few months ago. I wanted to scream back, "So a little drive out of your way is inconvenient, but $1,000 isn't? What the fuck is the difference??" Instead, I called my uncle and asked him exactly where the church was, and told him that I would be coming directly there on the bus because I couldn't possibly make it to his house by 8:00A. Cassandra called back soon after that and gave me the suggestion that I ask my uncle to meet me at the last train stop because it's on the street that the church is on and he has to go past there to get to the church. She doesn't know my uncle very well, and the screaming and cursing from him would be worse than what she gave me earlier, so that was not an option.

So I stayed on the phone with Cassandra after I got to the last train stop, and she told me how to get to the church from there. When I stepped off the bus a half-block from the church, it was 8:31A. I figured I had fucked up yet again, but I was somewhat at peace with it. Instead of beating myself up the whole way there, I considered that it wasn't a big deal and that if I missed the church bus, I would just have to go back home and chill, no big deal. The church parking lot was full of people waiting for this bus that was leaving at 8:30A "sharp," and we would be waiting for an hour and a half while those in charge of the trip attempted to find out why the bus won't start before announcing at 10:00A that they can't fix it and they can't find a replacement bus, so the trip was canceled. So it wound up being academic in the end. But the talk between my uncle's wife and Cassandra was my stumbling and bumbling. "I'm already in a hurry rushing around..." says Cassandra to my uncle's wife, to which she continues with a laugh, "...and here comes Big Baby here calling you, 'Come pick me up!'", and Cassandra says, "Yeah! Exactly! I couldn't believe it!" This wasn't an aside that I happened to overhear. This was right in front of my face. I've known my uncle's wife ever since he started dating her in the mid-80s, and she's one of the sweetest, kindest women I have ever known, and she's always been compassionate to me and my many struggles with life. So for her to call me a big baby right in front of me hurt a lot, even though I know she didn't mean to hurt me by saying it. And as far as Cassandra is concerned, I really don't have a lot of good things to say about her right now. How many nights have I stayed up with her on the phone listening to her bitch and moan about her mother and her sister and all these people in her life using her and how sick of it she is and how comfortable she feels having me in her life because she knows that I'm not trying to use her for anything? And for her to yell at me like I'm one of those parasites in her life? Like any of them would loan her $5, much less $1,000?? She can go fuck herself. She had been taking me out and letting me practice driving in her car the last couple of weekends, and she wanted to take the now open Saturday and take me driving again, but I wanted nothing to do with her. She acted like she didn't understand why I didn't want to go, but I think she did. She even asked if I was going back home, which I was because Sunday morning I had to meet "Jacob" up north to drive to a meeting of the members of the big-money fantasy baseball league we're in. But she was offering to drive me home now that time wasn't a problem. And because I didn't want to tell her to her face that I would rather take the bus and train back home than be in the same car with her, I got in my uncle's car and went to their house with them, then hustled to the north side on the train Sunday morning to meet Jacob. I'd rather have done that than deal with Cassandra, because I was going to risk cursing her out if I had to sit in her car alone with her for two seconds, and as much as she pissed me off, I didn't want to do that.

I realize that my anger and hurt at Cassandra and my uncle's wife joking around at my expense is exactly the kind of reaction that one would expect from a "Big Baby." I know, I know. I can't change that sensitive part of me overnight, or maybe ever. I am what I am, and I've always been someone that gets hurt easily when someone scolds me for asking a favor. I already feel like I was a burden on my family when my mom died because they weren't ready to raise a ten-year-old. And ever since then, I've always tried to be independent and do things by myself and not have to ask anyone for help. But transportation is a thorny issue, because I don't have a car. So sometimes I do have to ask for favors from others. I guess I just didn't expect Cassandra to lose her head from this one small favor I was asking, considering what I've done for her and considering all the users she says she has in her life already. I thought I was one of the good guys, but she treated me like a typical horny nigga trying to get something out of her, which I've never done. I still haven't spoken to her about this, but I am not going to let it go and be submissive and let her run me down like I'm some bum. I'm going to tell her how I feel the next time we speak, and if she's upset by it, I don't care.

My plan is to also tell "Torrie" how I feel when I speak to her tonight, and yes, that means ending our relationship. Torrie spent last weekend telling me how she was going to try to get this past Saturday off work and drive to Bettendorf, IA, to see me at the casino. This despite her insisting to me that she doesn't have the time or money to come visit me here in Chicago after I've been to Minneapolis three times to see her, and I'm the unemployed one. Then for the last four days I haven't heard a word form her. She left me an e-mail Sunday saying that she had "lost her cell phone." Nice timing. I had a feeling she wouldn't show. This whole affair between us has been full of me visiting her and giving her what she wants, her promising to come see me and return the favor, then excuse after excuse why she can't do what she said she would. I'm sick of it. She gave me an avenue that I can use to break it off with her gently. She commented in her e-mail that she's afraid to fall in love with me because I have told her that if I get this postal service job that I'm testing for this coming Wednesday that I'm staying in Chicago, and that makes her feel like I've put her "on the back burner." And what the fuck did she expect me to do for her when she's done nothing for me??? So that's going to allow me to tell her that I don't want her to wait on the back burner for me because I may never come up to Minneapolis permanently, and that she was right when she tried to end it a few months ago because we don't have time for each other. It's very important for me to note that I don't have anything set up with any other women, except for "Laurie" still claiming that she's going to spend time with me when she's through with her business up in Detroit, but she says she's not promising me anything. I'm not dumping Torrie in order to get with someone else. I'm doing it because I don't respect her, I don't like her, and I was only with her because she can fuck. And I think I deserve better. If I'm alone for a long time waiting for something better, so be it. That's more time for me to improve some things about myself, like not being such a "Big Baby" and growing up a little. Okay, growing up a lot. I don't have a clue what the next few months are going to be like, but I'm approaching my 30th birthday in December, and dammit, I've got to start doing things differently if I expect my next 30 years to be of a higher quality than this first 30. Someway, somehow, I've got to start living life like a man, and not like a scared little baby looking for someone to protect him. I've got to protect myself.

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