Friday, February 27, 2015

Bye, Felicia!

I borrowed DJ’s car to go to the salon last Saturday and I found Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill CD playing as I drove away. I liked Alanis in the 90’s, but not enough to purposely listen to her music. Mostly, I remember going nuts with my friend Olivia and the rest of the girls on the dance floor at Bobby McGee’s whenever “You Oughta Know” came on. We’d sing at the top of our lungs and fling our hair around like rockers.

As I drove to and from the salon, I listened to “Hand In My Pocket” on repeat over and over and over again (and sang it like I was in concert). I had not paid attention 20 years ago to the meaning of the lyrics. I just knew she was always doing something different with the hand that wasn’t in her pocket. But that day, as I paid attention to what I was singing, it dawned on me how inspiring this song is! She says that no matter what, even if life is imperfect and upside down, everything is going to work out and be just fine. (I will post the lyrics at the end.)

I think the reason the lyrics resonate so much for me is that for as long as I can remember, I have found great comfort in hearing the words “Everything is going to be okay.” It’s one my “things” with DJ. We say it when the other is feeling upset , worried, scared, or anxious. When I hear DJ say “Everything is going to be ooooookkkkkkk.” (spoken in a high-pitched, sweet, girly voice) for some ridiculous reason, it actually brings me reassurance.  Sometimes it’s all he and I need to really believe that things will be alright.
I think, for the most part, whatever curve balls life throws; eventually you come out the other end as a survivor. In the moment, it may seem insurmountable, but I believe most of us pull through okay. We may get banged up, scratched, and bruised. We may have life-long scars from the explosions we encounter, but ultimately, life goes on and we learn to move forward.

I find it important to remember that tidbit. When we are feeling sad, depressed, lonely…we just need to remember that it’s only momentary and that everything is going to be okay.

**********
Summer 1992

Clarissa (my friend and co-worker)and I went apartment hunting and found a place we liked and we could afford. It was cute and not far from where we were living. We filled out the application and waited nervously to find out if we had been approved. A day or two later, Villa Margarita Apartments called to let me know we had been approved and we could move in on July 1! I excitedly called Clarissa to give her the news. However, she had news for me as well. She had changed her mind (again!) and wasn’t going to move out with me after all. My heart sank and my hopes of leaving Felicia’s Hell went out the window. She was my one and only chance at a roommate (that wasn’t a stranger).

At that point, I decided that I had no choice but to find an apartment for just myself. DJ went apartment hunting with me. I also realized that if I was going to live completely alone, I wanted to be in close proximity to him. So I began looking at places close to his parent’s house. Right away I found a decent complex just three blocks from his house. The apartment was 1-bedroom/1-bath with a balcony. I fell in love immediately as I began picturing myself living there. The rent was going to be $550/month. (I forget what the rule of thumb was but I think it was something like they wanted you to make two times or three times the amount of your rent. Something like that.) Well, I wasn’t making as much as they required but I knew I could afford it if I pinched my pennies (which I had become very good at after having been financially responsible for myself for so long). 

I asked DJ’s father (who owned his own business) if he would do me a favor and provide me with some check stubs to prove my supposed additional part-time employment and income in order to help me qualify for the apartment. He agreed! I was so relieved and happy to have a chance at this little place AND to have it be so close to DJ’s house! I pictured him coming over after work and having dinner with me and just living the life I dreamed of having with him someday. 

In the meantime, I started shopping for furniture. My first big purchase was a table and four chairs from the swap meet. Talk about feeling like a full-fledged adult! I also began to shop for kitchen towels, bath towels, and other basic necessities. Next, I went shopping for a couch and coffee table. I ordered a beautiful “art deco” gray, pink, and mint green floral pattern love seat and a matching “art deco” glass-top coffee table with a white stucco base. (It matched the look of my comforter.) I can’t explain how happy these trivial purchases made me. They represented hope and a future free from the drama I had lived with for so long with my dad and Felicia. The last bit of the freedom I was waiting for was when l learned that I had been officially approved for the apartment down the street from DJ!

In the meantime, my dad and Felicia returned from their extended trip and apparently the honeymoon was over. In fact, Felicia didn’t stay after they returned from their trip. She left for three weeks or more (according to my journal). (I had no idea where she went to stay and I didn’t care). I gave my dad the news that I had found an apartment. He asked how big it was. I told him it was 1-bedroom. I shared with him about buying a table and chairs for $140 and that I had also ordered a couch. He asked if the couch was a sofa-bed. I told him it wasn’t. He told me to call the furniture store to see if I could order it as a sleeper so that he could move in with me. WHAT THE WHAT???!!! Come again? A sphincter says what?  Are you freakin’ kidding me???!!!

But nope, he wasn’t kidding. He said things were headed for divorce with Felicia and that he would just move out with me since she had informed him that she wasn’t coming back home until he was gone. He told me we could split the rent 50/50 and he would take the bedroom and I could sleep out on the sofa-bed. Having been raised in a family that didn’t say “no” to him; a family who was scared of making waves with him, I just nodded and agreed to his proposition even though on the inside I was screaming bloody murder.  I wanted to cry and run away and make it all just be a big nightmare. How could this be happening to me?! I didn’t understand!

The other person who didn’t understand was DJ. He was NOT happy when I told him what my dad’s plans were and he took it out on me. We argued and fought a lot during what was supposed to be a happy time for me. Understandably, DJ saw it as my dad crossing the line and inserting himself into my plans and taking advantage of his position as my father. DJ wanted me to stand up to my dad and to tell him that he was not invited to move in with me, but I just couldn’t do it due to my immeasurable fear of rejection and abandonment and loss.

During the last week of July, I got the keys to my apartment and I began bringing boxes over. Despite my plans going awry, I was still excited to be a proud tenant of my very own apartment. On the last weekend of July, DJ and his brother and cousins helped my dad and me move. I don’t remember much (and surprisingly don’t have anything written about the day) but what I do remember is that the couch my dad brought with him from Felicia’s house was so long that the guys had to lift it up through the balcony.  The stairwell was too narrow to make the turn with the massive couch. I also remember my dad getting annoyed that the guys were laughing and turning our move into a big, fun circus act. All I cared about was being able to finally say "Bye, Felicia!"

I don’t remember anything at all about the first month living in my new apartment. I don’t remember being there with my dad. I only have fragmented memories of pulling the couch out to sleep and that’s it, which I think is so strange considering how much I am able to remember about that era of my life. I’d go to work; I’d visit DJ after work, and life was pretty much as it had been before I moved out “on my own”. My dreams of having dinners alone at my place with DJ and of cuddling on the couch to watch TV with him had died the day my dad told me he was moving in with me.

One of the highlights of that summer was that my Elementary/Jr. High class had a reunion at The Red Onion. I happily went to show myself off as someone who had drastically changed since they had last seen me in 1984. I wanted my bullies to see who I had become and to hopefully rub in their faces that I looked better than them. My plan worked. I wrote that I had a great time and that no one recognized me at all and that they all made a big fuss over me which made me feel good.
Sitting on my beautiful couch
before heading to my reunion
Please stare at this photo for the next
2 hours because that is how long
it took me to find it.


With my classmate Julie (who was not a bully) at
The Red Onion in Orange, CA


About five weeks after we moved in, in early September, my dad left for Argentina, which I was very pleased about.  He planned on being gone for two weeks. I was ecstatic to have my total and complete independence and to sleep IN MY BEDROOM that he had made his own. (I have a lot of choice words that run through my head when I think of that specific part of this story.) Again, I don’t remember much about any of this time, but I do remember a new show started that fall season and I would watch in bed before going to sleep. The show was called Melrose Place. 

Also during that summer, my sister and I reunited. According to my journal, we had gone a whole year without seeing one another. I don’t remember why we had stopped speaking, but it wasn’t unusual back then for my family members to behave that way. Multiple times in my lifetime, I’ve seen family members give other family members the cold shoulder for long periods of time. In any case, my sister called to let me know that my childhood dog Shancy had died. (After my mom died, my dad had given Shancy to my sister. It was one less responsibility for my dad to have to worry about.) I wept finding out about Shancy’s passing, but it also served as a blessing because it opened up the lines of communication back up with my sister and me. (Usually tragedy is what brings my family back together after extended grudges.)

On September 10, my sister invited me to lunch while I was at work. She brought her pug puppy for me to meet and that is officially the day that my passion for pugs began. I fell madly in love with that little peanut and I described her as adorable and irresistible in my journal.

On September 18, my sister called me at work again. She was frantic, crying hysterically. I could barely make out what she was saying. I heard something about an accident. Her husband, who had just left on a two-week bicycling trip through Canada just days before, had been struck by a semi-truck and was in critical condition. 

That summer I went on a trip
to the desert with DJ and his family
 **********
In my next life, I would like to request a drama-free life, please. Because I think, the amount of drama that I have lived through in this current life is surely enough to cover the next one.  At the time, I couldn’t possibly see how my life was ever going to turn out okay. I had to be brave whether I wanted to be or not. I had to grow up at lightning speed compared to how sheltered and obsessively taken care of I had been when my mom was still alive.

Another line in the Alanis song that really resonated with me was “I’m brave but I’m chicken-shit”. I can’t believe Alanis was talking about being brave and scared at the same time long before BrenĂ© Brown was! I’ve said it before on this blog and I’ll say it again…I am once again able to see that I had courage when I didn’t even know I had it. I was brave on the outside, dealing with all of life’s obstacles as they hit me, but on the inside I was so very scared. But just as Alanis sings, everything worked out to be fine, fine, fine.

Please remember these words next time you are faced with a hurdle or adversity. Think back to things you overcame that you never thought you would. And sing along with Alanis.

**********

Urban Dictionary: the meaning of Bye, Felicia
When someone says that they're leaving and you could really give two shits that they are. Their name then becomes "Felicia", a random bitch that nobody is sad to see go. Their real name becomes irrelevant because nobody cares who they are. Instead, they now are "Felicia". 
Example:

"Hey guys I'm gonna go"
"Bye Felicia"
"Who is Felicia?"
"Exactly bitch. buh bye."




I'm broke but I'm happy, I'm poor but I'm kind

I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded, I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful, baby

What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine, fine, fine
'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five


I feel drunk but I'm sober, I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless, I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby


What it all comes down to
Is that everything is going to be quite alright
'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette


What it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a peace sign


I'm free but I'm focused, I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly, baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing, I'm brave but I'm chicken shit
I'm sick but I'm pretty baby


And what it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano


And what it all comes down to, my friends, yeah
Is that everything is just fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab


8 comments:

  1. OMG. I'm totally going to use that "Bye, Felicia" line! mwahaha!

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    1. haha!! Apparently, it's been around a while, but I just learned of it a couple of years ago. It's from a movie. I think "Friday" which is from the 90's. haha, where have we been? :)

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  2. My favorite is chocolate chip...OR, oatmeal chocolate chip, or peanut butter! I just love, love, love your writing and your blog posts! I am always wanting to read MORE! Love!

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    1. Lisa! My birthday is officially in one hour and you just gave me one of the best gifts! THANK YOU!!! You're such a beautiful person and you always know what to say to make me feel good. XOXO

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  3. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I completely agree: we all bleed the same and I just love that sentence. If only everyone everywhere could remember that everyday! This post was just lovely! I was, and I guess still am, a huge Alanis fan. Get this: I had her Jagged Little Pill album on cassette tape! Yep, cassette tape! I will admit that "You Oughta Know" was my theme song for awhile, but "Hand in My Pocket" was right up there. I think my favourite song of hers is actually "Thank You" from her album "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" - if you haven't heard or haven't heard it in a long time, I highly recommend looking it up :) I also love the notion of "Bye, Felicia" except that my roommate's name is Felicia and she's not really a bitch so I'd have to come up with another name - ha!!

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    1. Lol, I still have all of my cassettes. I just can part with them even though I have nothing to play them on! I remember "Thank You" but I need to hear it again with "fresher, wiser" ears. Thanks! I meant to mention in my comment on your blog that your wedding dress is gorgeous! One of a kind for sure! Take care!

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  4. You are right of course. Those lyrics were (and are) golden. They remain relevant all this time later. Great blog. As usual. :-)

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  5. Thanks Shauntay. It was meant to be that I drove hubby's car that day and he had that CD in there. CD! ha!! We sound so outdated. I swear we use Spotify and ipods and what-nots. He IS a DJ afterall. haha!!

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Hello Dear Reader:

If you comment, I will buy you a cookie. Not really. But we can both pretend I gave you one. To get you started...what's your favorite kind of cookie? Mine is chocolate chip. I especially crave them when I'm PMS'ing.