Chaos Attraction

Problem Child

2021-12-06, 9:23 a.m.

Sunday recap: Collage club (disclaimer: every-other-week vision boarding group I've been doing since 2020) was...intense. Meg definitely wants to end "this iteration" (whatever that means) on December 19 and do some big final Goodbye Party thing. I'm not sure whether or not it will continue after that. Jade said she thought we lost momentum when we switched to every other week and wanted to do it weekly again (even though she does things other weeks) and suggested a 12-week run, Doreen said she spends 4-6 hours on Zoom on Sundays doing other things and only wants to do it every other week. I don't know if the group will continue or not.

Jade suggested doing the meditation before I arrived and I was fine with that, but Meg was all "I want EVERYONE to participate in the meditation" and it obviously REALLY REALLY REALLY BOTHERS HER that I'm not doing them any more (I turn off the camera and mope/feel sad/cry anyway) and frankly, I don't want to any more because I don't want to make up comforting lies to myself. I don't want insight from myself and my own brain because my own brain isn't helping me at all or advising me in any good and honest and realistic way. My therapist said that I'm hoping some outside advice will come in and I said yes, that's exactly it, and she said no, that's not how meditation works, you advise yourself. Well, that shit isn't working. I don't want to lie to myself that what I want is coming when it isn't and make up "gifts" that the universe is giving me.

Anyway, Meg has pointed out that I'm a downer and some others agreed--note, that's not the exact language but that is certainly the metamessage--and I seriously said I am willing to leave the group because if I'm bringing people down, I don't want to ruin it for everyone else, and I'm the only one who keeps on struggling and having problems here. Everyone else is fine and at least making progress on what they want, whereas what I wanted this year....didn't happen. Meg was all "you said you wanted to be more optimistic," and really, the truth I didn't say is that um, I don't really want to be an optimist, I want to be a realist. Trying to be an optimist is like wearing the wrong shoes on the wrong feet for me. I just wish manifesting was easier for me and they all say it's the optimism, but god knows I can't maintain it and being optimistic about romance so clearly didn't work, nor did telling myself comforting lies about how it was going to happen. I genuinely felt optimistic about the situation and I was so wrong to think that.

(Though really, isn't it also that I just want what I can't get? What you want has to want you back and frankly, no dude wants me back, nobody's off waiting for me. If there's a dude out there for me, he's in jail or Thailand or living in a bubble or married or god knows what, but he isn't here and available and wanting to be with me.)

Anyway, I ended up crying, people were nice to me, and whether or not I quit is in the air. I don't think of myself as a "black sheep" here or in general (it's not like I'm doing drugs or crime), but I am definitely a "problem child" off and on throughout my life (hello, work) and it's so tiring to be the only one with a problem all the time, and the only way to solve a problem like a Jennifer is to get rid of her from a situation.

After that, I went to campus while I had the time and the weather didn't suck (it's sunny today) and checked out this listening art exhibit. Well, 5/6 of it anyway, one was in a building that was locked. But I dutifully went to those locations and listened to the recordings at them for a few hours. Sometimes they were related to the location ("go walk here" sorts of things) and sometimes maybe not. I think the ducks one was the one I was the most into, followed by the benches one.

Mom unfortunately called me multiple times during this to complain vociferously about how I said I probably can't go meet all the relatives for lunch next Sunday. They want to do it in the Bay Area (why? They live around here?) and that means I'd be gone for 3-4 hours in the middle of the day and I am pretty sure I'm supposed to be doing set stuff for the show the next few weekends, and I already gave them my list of conflicts in mid-November, I don't think I can go "Oops, now my family wants me, my faaaaamily!" and bail out now for most of the effing work day (when I'm guessing they won't have too many of them thanks to The Holidays). Mom is very pissed off about it but can't actually force me to go, but really wants to make me, so THAT'S FUN.

"Well, if you REALLY WANTED TO YOU'D COME," she said, and I said "yeah, well, I'd go for an hour if lunch was in this area, but I already said I'd do this and I can't go change my mind at the last minute for people who haven't talked to me in two years." I note that I REALLY wanted to bail on collage club today to go craft fairing at fairs that were only open Sunday and you had to arrive early at them so I couldn't go in the afternoon...but did I? No. I also got asked out to lunch today, but did I do that either? No.

She's all "Well, I said I'd work at my theater and I'd bail out" and I said um, wouldn't that be an issue, and she said yes, if 20 people said they'd do it and she's down to six. Uh-huh. She mentioned stuff like "oh, Cassie's graduated and back in the state again," which nobody's mentioned to me for half a year, and if nobody cares enough to mention stuff like that.... Look, if for some reason I can be free to do it, then fine, but I'm not going to bail out for most of the day for a fairly last minute lunch invite far away under the circumstances. I REPEAT, THEY WILL NOT MISS ME (even if Mom would). Mom eventually admitted that she's mad about something else right now and taking it out on me and apologized about it, so there's that.

Why try to get love and care out of those who are incapable of giving it to you, amirite? Isn't that the lesson of 2021?

After that, I saw a craft fair in the park on the way home, but it was closing (feh), so I went to my favorite thrift store and bought a mask with Santas riding unicorns. Well, there's a better Christmas mask, hopefully. Also cheaper.

Scott actually texted me today-- a drawing of yarn balls as spaceships, "Yarn Wars." I laughed at this and told him this is a little more appropriate than he knows. (He said "Yep.") I've been considering making him a little Starship Enterprise ornament I found, so...guess I gotta do that.

Kelly also wrote to say she's probably getting out of the hospital in a few days and has still been working on show stuff, mostly rearranging the order of the shows since various people say they can't stay for everything. New rule: no dropping in and out :P

And Jackie's current (crap) job ends on December 24. That sounds absolutely fitting for the asshole boss she has. Downright Hallmarkian plotline there.

And now, for today's movie reviews.

Today's Lifetime movie: A Christmas Village Romance: Diana is a bestselling historical romance novelist (who seems....really young, like 24, I dunno) who's never been in love but has a thing for her cover model, Greg. Diana sacks up and tries to invite Greg to her hometown for Christmas, but he's already decided to go to some athletic competition instead. Greg seems nice, but obsessed with working out. He drives her to Maple Creek anyway before taking off. Upon arrival, Diana feelingsdumps to her "uncle" under a vehicle, but it's not him, it's the new blacksmith/history teacher Carter, who is a bit of a snot. They argue about how she "enhances" history with modern details, and how he's annoyed that his students get the wrong idea about history. They argue over making a historical Christmas celebration in 1870--accurate, or has a Pony Express just like her books? Anyway, he's a little annoyingly argumentative, but he has some knack of getting her to get out of her shell, which she clearly needs.

You know what, I actually kinda like Greg? He calls Diana from the Caribbean, offers to leave and come to her party and pose for pictures, actually shows that's a lot better than I expected from a musclely pretty boy model dude. And he kept thinking about her invite and feeling jealous of Carter and her agent said "all you want for Christmas is me," and "I didn't have the guts to do it myself" and "I didn't think I was good enough for you" and AWWWWW I WANT THIS TO WORK OUT!!!! Carter's argument for Diana's heart, by comparison, starts out with "YOU DON'T TAKE MY CRAP!" Okay, so it gets better from there, but still. Diana can't make up her mind and is "I won't choose anyone so feelings won't get hurt!" "Except yours," some lady says.

This kind of thing is why I hate disposable fiances/ romantic false leads/Baxter plot device dudes. In the end, Diana says to Greg, "I like us as friends! We're better that way!" and Greg is fine with it, and I sigh. Carter gives up on moving to Montana, Diana gets another book idea, they agree to argue and kiss.

Today's Hallmark:

Christmas in Tahoe: I love that we're actually having a California Christmas movie. I note that this movie brags that their hotel is doing well. Quite unlike real life Tahoe in pandemic and drought, I'm afraid.

Claire, who works for her dad's hotel and is also on the side managing the entertainment, is secretly getting another job offer doing more of what she loves in Vegas, but she doesn't want to mention it to dad until it's a sure thing, which depends on how their holiday variety show goes. Then she's got an ex in a band, Ryan, who's also back in the area. Awkwardness ensues. Then Claire's lead act for the variety show needs vocal cord surgery.... IMMEDIATELY EVERYONE ELSE BAILS OUT because they saw it on Instagram. Why don't you hit up your ex's band, a guy suggests. "They FIRED ME," Claire points out. But hey, they're not booked! Ryan says no, because he and Alastair aren't speaking at the moment. "I had to meditate to get Zen enough to ask!" Claire says. Ryan said they're not booked because they're all giving each other some space.

Claire tries a comedienne named Ricki who's in Tahoe now. Her manager says she's booked, but Ryan and some other guy Claire works with (Jackson) suggest breaking in with room service .Turns out Ricki just got Christmas dumped and Claire is all "let me share with you how I got dropped by Ryan's band." Ryan wants to defend himself and Claire is all "My side is the only side she needs to hear." Suffice it to say Ricki recognizes Ryan but is easily talked into joining the show. Huzzah! Ryan apologizes for the dumping back in the day and they make up. Ryan also had his agent hook her up with a Cirque-esque group.

Then they hear from the parents of "the world's best a cappella group" in Reno. The kids tag along while the parents are all "Are you both single?" His mom is all "Get their autograph, I didn't raise a rock star son for nothing!" Claire bypasses the manager and offers the group FREE FLYING OUT OF THEIR PARENTS TO STAY AT THE INN, which makes me think "How much money does this inn have, anyway?" Like I know they said they're doing well, but they aren't totally booked on rooms? How many relatives are they flying in?

Claire makes a personal appeal to Alastair, who also apologizes for her dumping. She also discovers that her employee Jackson can sing, so she books him. (I feel like this guy is famous and I can't place him...Okay, it's the guy from Train.) Guess what, the Cirque group are busy! I guess we'll have to get Ryan's band back together after all! Ryan and Claire admit they miss each other and Ryan wants to move back home. They kiss. Ryan makes an appeal to Alastair and his band will do the show! Ryan will "step back" from the band for awhile. Ryan expects she'll be happy and now she's all "But now I'd have to move if I get that job..." and he's all "I want you to have your dream." Ruh-roh, that guy with the job has just shown up and Dad walked by at the wrong time about it.

Jackson's singing at the show: Actual lyrics: "I was looking for love like I was looking for another hole in the head." Me: boggle Him "I'm your mittens, baby..." Me: "Did they let him write his own lyrics?" I don't want to diss Ricki, but her set wasn't particularly funny. The mom loses her mind at the three a cappelists. Then finally, the band, who books Jackson to play with them. Dad says that in the past, they never had any luck making the inn into a regular live entertainment operation (hence why Claire's been looking elsewhere), but offers to give it a go again if she wants. So she turns down the dream job. They make out.

I actually really liked this one, the plot's actually a bit different from most Hallmark and I like an exes reunite story.

A Very Merry Bridesmaid: it's Christmas Eve, her brother's wedding, and her birthday. Couldn't someone have moved one of those dates? It's the bride's dead mother's favorite day, apparently. Is Leah going to do anything for her birthday under the circumstances? Leah's used to having her birthday bumped aside and this is no different. We have a flashback in which some neighbor lady puts lots of pressure on age 30 to a 10-year-old Leah. Neighbor guy Drew is all "Didn't anyone ever NOTICE THE OVERLAP" on you r birthday and Leah is all "I don't know, I wasn't there," which is to say NO and the poor girl's feeling guilted enough over ONCE IN A LIFETIME taking over the day. Drew the neighbor is all "Nope, gonna make sure you get a birthday anyway." Good for him.

List of wedding insanity: (a) Bride's dress lost by airline and it could be in GOD KNOWS WHERE (seriously?!), (b) Groom secretly buys bride's childhood home when it went back on the market again, doesn't mention it to her, wants to SURPRISE MOVE THE WEDDING THERE.

I feel bad for the bride having lost her mother, but being super obsessed with having the childhood wedding of her dreams and everything having to be like her mother liked it is...just kinda sad? Like "It HAS to be THIS DESIGNER, I flew to London three times."

Gay alert: Leah's bestie is married to a lady, so that came up.

Leah always wanted to leave town and travel, but her dad keeps having heart incidents every time she tries. (How very George Bailey.) It broke up her and her last ex. So that's why she has a "store with foreign objects" and never goes, and her brother's against her dating his friends (like oh, Drew). Meanwhile, the dress gets to travel more than Leah does...

Much to everyone's relief, the groom tells the bride (Julia) about the house buying before the actual wedding. I think we were all nervous about that one.

"Let's get back to the world's only ugly Christmas sweater bachelor party."

Leah kisses Drew, then he's all "we can't," then she feels like shit. Later Drew tells her brother he has a crush too and Drew's all "I'm happy on wedding now, go right ahead." Leah books a ticket to Peru.

Awww, I like how the bride and groom take some time out during the wedding to acknowledge her birthday. AND THEY COLLECTED ALL OF THEIR AIR MILES FOR HER OMG!

Drew decides he's going to go back home again (and not sell the house) after one more semester. And y'know, hook up with her again. It was all right. I think they have more "friend chemistry" than sexual chemistry, but otherwise pretty good.

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