The obligatory post on my 24-hour summer vacation

So I managed to get out of the house, into Chapel Thrill, and onto the campus of UNC without much trouble.

I even let Michael just about break his back picking me up and twirling me around in a hug.

We spent Sunday evening in a large group that included the usual and expected crew of Michael, Jenny, Hannah, Will-yum, and myself, as well as Bert (who’d I met the last time I visited and who seems to be a very cool and laid-back guy, although I had fun watching him be snappish at one point), Jenny’s roommate, Shun (sp?) (another who I’d met earlier in the summer), an interestingly annoying character named F., and another guy the majority of us went to high school with.

F. made the mistake of getting on Hannah’s bad side immediately. She proceeded to use him for target practice. There is nothing more beautiful than the silence that occurs at a table full of people when some jackass snidely says, “So, do you go to Duke or State?” and the answer is, “Neither. MIT.”

I [literally] whooped. I wish I went to a school where I could do that outside of Indiana.

I don’t know what his deal was, but he was careful not to repeat the same mistake with me. I don’t know if he expected me to be even bitchier, or if he just didn’t want two shrews chomping his nuts all evening, but he sat next to me on the way back from dinner and attempted to make pleasant talk. He didn’t ask what school I went to. Heh.

Now, Hannah and I are a dangerous duo, because we will be bitches, and we will be rude, and we will be damned insensitive. Sometimes this will even be deliberate. And we will tag-team. We didn’t leave the best impression on Jenny’s roommate, but since I hated that woman’s voice anyway and my commentary made her both shut up and get away from me, that’s quite alright. Unfortunately, this pissed Jenny off (trouble meshing high school friends with college friends and all that).

Which is an interesting dilemma, because I’ve never thought about how my high school friends would react to my college friends. I do know that Hannah would have to be kept away from Luke and Bob. Far away. I don’t enjoy spending time around Bob when the other GDI female Thorn staff member is around, and I can see Hannah hitting some of the same buttons. And the Mae-Hannah combination could go very badly or very well. But everyone else could get along well, I think. I have no idea what the hell we would talk about as a group, but since I don’t know what I talk about with them individually, really, I’m sure something would come up. The likelihood of them all coming out to Indiana, however, is slim to none. Speculation is fun, however.

But it was all kinds of awesome to get to hang out with the crew. We all went down to this Fall Festival that took up a street and some fields. We listened to entertaining music and watched a [crummy] step show by a chick frat sorority. It was all good and fun and I managed not to see anyone from high school I didn’t want to. There are distinct advantages to a school with thousands of people, even when it seems as though the entire upper third of your high school goes there.

We got back to the dorms in time to chill in Jenny’s room for a while before Michael had to be at work at 01:00 (!!!). Once I got back in Michael’s dorm, I hijacked a laptop and a Trillian profile and between tearful ranting at Luke, got an update on Thorn-ness (not good) and his state of being.

The only downside to my “vacation” was my state of mind. Of all the moods of Lissa Michael was wanting to spend time with, the one that included me choking back tears every time he asked me how I doing was probably damned low on his list. He gets to hear me laugh and have fun with me how often? Instead I stand in the middle of a restaurant and nearly burst into sobs when he offers to buy me dinner, because this money thing with my family is weighing so heavily with me.

After talking with Luke, Michael’s back from work, and I take a gloriously hot shower and head to bed. I don’t know how long the rest of them stayed up, but Michael’s bed is lofted, so I very, very carefully climbed up and went to sleep. I’m not a big fan of heights and climbing and not having my feet on the ground. And I’d like to not be able to kill two of my friends should I roll out of bed (Hannah and Will-yum were sleeping on the sofa bed under the loft).

I managed to get up exactly when I wanted to without an alarm clock. Michael had to work from 07:30 to 10:30, and I woke up at five minutes ’til ten. I hijacked his laptop again, only to find that three hundred (or more) very crucial dollars are missing from my account. I currently do not have enough money to make it back to Terre Haute this upcoming weekend, much less any more money to give the Old Man or to pay for books or to pay to have people help me get my stuff out of storage so that I can, you know, move in.

Why, good morning, sunshine. How’d you sleep last night?

I go outside to get out of the disgustingly refridgerated air and to wait for Michael to return so I can use his cell phone. Again, I’m almost in tears when he sees me, and I call home and leave a very caustic message on the answering machine, asking my mother to check and see if my father made use of my credit card when I left it out for her to use. I’m tired of dicking around about this, and have no problem making accusations and being insulting to get shit fixed at this point. While Hannah and Will-yum got ready to go out, I called again and endured my mother’s cheerful banter as she told me neither she nor the Old Man had used the card. Unless she can shit a gold egg and have it cashed in by Friday, it’d be awesome if she attempted to appreciate the severity of my situation.

One pleasant thing happened this morning. Hannah and Will-yum and had just returned from changing in the bathroom, and in a fit of Lissa-from-Rose (rather than Lissa-from-Harding), I burst out with, “Damn, Will-yum, I was hoping to see you naked this morning.” (Will-yum is a rather nicely built young man with beautiful eyes and long eyelashes, who will be attending Stanford (!!!) this fall. He’s also Hannah’s boyfriend, so I’m not really oogling, you see. Just sort of… glancing.)

I startled Hannah (and myself) the most, Michael slightly, and Will-yum not at all, based on facial expressions.

A subset of the group from the night before went on a campus tour, led by Michael. I’d already had the tour, but I certainly didn’t mind seeing it again because the campus is really beautiful, although I don’t like the “small city” feel of the campus caused by the sheer number of people around. So we walked for hours and saw about a quarter of the campus.

Rackrent, who managed to become a cripple overnight, accompanied us, despite what was probably excruciating pain. As always, it was good to see her. I realized, as I was carrying her purse and soda, that I haven’t carried a purse in a year. Since I last left for Rose. I just stopped carrying more than could fit in my pockets, and now I kind of marvel at those who carry more habitually.

We ran into two people from high school today, and while both saw and acknowledged Michael’s presence (albeit in a chilly manner, in the case of one), neither even seemed to recognize me. Hmm. Heh.

After the tour, Michael had to go do cool RA work, so Hannah, Will-yum and I left. We had just hit the road when Hannah’s father, artist (!!!) Terry Reitzel, called to tell us to stop in Greensboro to visit Hannah’s grandmother and eat dinner at his brother’s restaurant.

Hannah’s uncle is a trip. That’s all I can say. He gave all four of us (friends plus grandmother) free dinner and dessert and personal attention despite the fact that he undoubtedly has a life and wants to earn money.

And he was funny.

His restaurant is called Fishbones, and has really, really good food. All the art on the walls (and in the bathrooms) was done by Hannah’s father, and the atmosphere is nice and comfortable. And the food is really, really good, particularly the praline cheesecake. I had the cajun catfish sandwich, and shared some popcorn shrimp. They also got shrimp bruschetta, but fishiness on bruschetta just didn’t work for me, really.

The iced tea was just strong enough and just sweet enough for my tastes (which meant that on a more absolute scale it was really sweet, since my taste buds are rather dull on the sweet side). When I mentioned to Hannah’s grandmother that I habitually drop six or seven packets of Equal into an eight- to ten-ounce cup of coffee, I got quite the shocked look. Apparently my taste buds are really dull.

We dropped Hannah’s grandmother off at her condo, and headed back to Charlotte.

Good vacation? Yes. If I could ignore the work I need to do and the shit I need to fix, I would have seriously tried to stay longer.


  • rackrent

    The walk wasn’t that painful, really[8)]. I wish that all of you could’ve stayed longer too.

  • ej

    Fishbones!I’m with you on the Fishbone’s tip….and when I had their tea, I think I was seriously in heaven with how sweet it was. (Yeah I’m a southerner too!)

  • Hannah

    Whoever you are, thanks for going to Uncle Neil’s restaurant. Hey, Melissa, it sucks that I wouldn’t get on with ANY of your friends. You know, I’m not always a bitch, but that is how you guys know me. It actually makes me kind of sad that you have such a one-sided impression of me. Maybe you’re right and I wouldn’t get along with your guy buddies, and I don’t mean to say I’m insulted that you called me a bitch (yeah, right, I am self-proclaimed!). But it’s just odd the view you have of who I am.

  • Lissa

    Wow, Hannah, that’s *awesome*…

    … because I don’t see the word “bitch” in that paragraph at all. I don’t even see an implication of the word “bitch” in that paragraph. Nor are Luke, Bob, and Mae the complete list of my friends at Rose.

    Don’t jump all on the perceptions boat just because you don’t like what I said. Just like I’m going to do my best not to be insulted at the idea that I only see *anyone* as being one way and am incapable of changing that perception.

    If you want further explanation on what was lightly intended to be a joke, here it is:

    I’ve seen the way you treat people that don’t come across as being uber-smart, like Chris F. You *still* treat him like shit. I don’t know what y’all’s deal is, nor do I particularly care to know, but I do know that I’ve seen you attempt to intellectually intimidate people that don’t immediately start quoting literature at you or have an interest in your academic pursuits.

    Neither Bob nor Luke, in particular, would take well to that. Nor would I take well to having that done to them. Hence the staying away bit.

    Now, as for Mae… As I said, things could go very well, or things could go badly. It’d be a toss-up depending on what conversational topics were hit first, and what y’all’s moods were. More speculation than that, I honestly can’t say. I just thought the idea of you two meeting would be entertainingly tense for me.

  • Hannah

    Yeah, sorry Lissa. I don’t have italics so that comment sounds worse than it was meant to. I promise. You know how you get in those introspective moods? I was just doing the same thing, thinking about how people view me. I didn’t mean to say “and I quote Melissa called me a ‘bitch,'” what I meant was my bitchy side was being talked about. I really am not insulted, and I didn’t mean to sound like that. I didn’t mean to make you angry. What should’ve been an introspective “wow, it’s weird to see how people view me versus how I view myself” turned out to be said really really wrong. If you’re still mad at me, I understand, but I can only offer you this explanation and tell you that it is true. I didn’t make it up after the fact. As for your comments in the post sparked by all this, I am kind of hurt, but I guess you have the right since you feel like I shat on your doormat.

    Apologies, please accept.