Tuesday, November 16, 2004

the four-day hell...

Well, I've got to admit it - I'm pretty pissed off. It started of as a weekend from hell, but, including Friday and Monday, I've extended it to four. Life, or at least, immediately experienced life, has been pretty shit. Or perhaps I'm just stressed out by the essay due to be handed in tomorrow that I haven't finished yet. How that relates to runny dog chocolate, the most boring wedding ever, a cancelled concert, the most awkward Saturday night/Sunday morning ever, and the absence of my Monday evening relaxation therapy, I don't know. I'm merely stipulating that I may not have taken the succession of these events as well as I could have, had I not had the weight of three essays, and my Careers assignment to contend with. Midwifery, at this moment in time, seems like heaven.

I guess what has really pushed me over the edge was missing The OC last night. Or rather, my stubborn refusal to watch it. However, a man has to have his morals. Even if they're a little misguided and, in the grand scheme of things, a little pathetic. On the other hand, having worked on my Literary Detectives essay non-stop for most of the afternoon, I think I'm a little entitled to this hissy fit. My evening started off fairly well. I had got a burger roll out of the freezer the night before to defrost so that I could have chicken burger and chips for my dinner that evening. I even went down to Tesco Express at 8pm to go get some lettuce for the occasion, along with some light vinaigrette as a dressing for the extra bit of side salad I was going to have with it - the lettuce being for inside the burger. Started cooking at about half eightish, meaning that my dinner would be ready just in time for The OC at nine. Now, I wouldn't be so particular about all this, if it wasn't for the fact that other the last six weeks or so, my housemates have all gone out on Monday nights, leaving me on my lonesome. Sure, I resent that. But then, if I can't go out because of Tuesday's 9am seminar, I can't go out. Besides, as consolation, no matter how much I resented being left out, I had new OC to cheer me up. Better than that, I had new OC without the annoyance of somebody talking over the experience about whatever crap decided to manifest itself in their thoughts, or, the even more frustrating act of chamming, which the less mannered of the housemates is really starting to bug me with - and at this point, I do realise that I'm becoming quite the snooty little bitch. Anyway, dinner was ready by 8.55pm, and I sat down in the lounge ready for a period of televisual delectation. Dunc was in control of the remote at this time, and although he had Red Dwarf on, I was kind of confident that I could trust in him to remember that OC was on, without me having to usurp the right to the television. He didn't, BUT not wanting to be a mould of mediocre fascist, I let it slide, figuring I could watch it 10pm on replay.

Luck would have it, however, that Dunc would point out at 9.15pm that OC was infact on. I suggested that we carry on watching something else for the time being, and then watch the episode in full at 10pm. Of course, being a less-respected member of the household -[I think it might just have something to do with the fact that I don't talk over or cham during television programmes or movies while somebody's trying to watch them, and that I, in general, did have some sort of moral guidance as a child. This might not be the reason, but I suspect it is]- my suggestion was ignored, and Laurence's was upheld. They would watch OC now, despite the fact that they had already missed fifteen minutes of it. I told them that since I would rather watch the episode in full, I'd go to my room and watch it 10pm. I guess I vaguely hoped that somebody would say that we could watch something else, so that yet again I wouldn't feel excluded, or that I should exclude myself. That didn't happen. So, I went back to my room, and brooded. At around 9.30pm, Dunc knocked on my door to ask if he could borrow some lettuce. I said yes. Why not? I'm a nice guy. I think. But no mention of the fact that I was sit in my room, on my own, isolated from the rest of the guys. At this point, I decided that I wouldn't be watching OC at 10. Since Dunc, Ian and Larry had watched it already, I didn't want to have to either a) sit and watch it on my own knowing that I had made them leave the room because they had already seen it -[despite the fact that they had given no consideration to the fact that I felt I had to leave the room]- or b) sit and watch it listening to Dunc and Ian chatting over the programme, or Ian chamming all the way through it. And so, in my stubbornness, I decided to go to sleep. I figured I could wake up at either 12am or 1am, and catch the other repeats. That too was blown out of the water. Dunc was playing San Andreas at 12am, and Ian and Evelyn were watching soft porn on Bravo at 1am. So, basically, what was supposed to be a relaxing evening, became one big giant wind-up. Now, I can appreciate that the guys didn't set out to put me in this bad mood, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm in a bad mood. Ignorance doesn't excuse responsibility. And I guess that's what annoys me, or at least, what has annoyed me, at the end of the day.

Anyway, I'm now going to have to wait until Sunday to watch what I have now found out to be the penultimate episode of the first season. Meaning, that it would have been a highly entertaining episode as all penultimate episodes are -[episode, episode, episode, episode, episode, episode, episode, episode, episode....]. What's worse is that once my housemates sense that I'm a little 'sour grapes' over last night, I'm absolutely sure that instead of being sympathetic to my pathetic cause, they will smite it down, and will most probably do so with details of the plot from the episode. Of course, knowing what happens won't actually affect my enjoyment of finally watching it, it will just be all the more annoying that they tried to ruin it even more for me.

And with that, I think I should probably stop bitching, and start writing my essay. Life is hard.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

stay positive, sir

How eventful the last couple of days have been! The whole week, in fact, has been eventful, or at least contemplative, in some way or form. Hopefully this week will be a little more relaxed, although it does bring the troubles of essay writing.

It began last Sunday on Halloween. What I thought at the time to be a small case of friendly banter soon snow-balled into a rather cruel taunting session. Needless to say, the victim of said taunting got pretty shitty for the rest of the day. Over the course of that day and the next, it suggested two things to me. Firstly, that, for the most part, what I had been dismissing as 'friendly banter' throughout the short and narrow course of my social life was neither 'friendly' nor 'banter', but rather a way of exorcising myself of any insecurities. To put it bluntly, putting over people down had been a rather selfish way of making me feel better about myself - ignoring the fact that it made those that I directed these explosions towards feel like shit. Second... that this was not a good thing, and it must change. This has been the most difficult part. When you have positioned yourself into your own personal mould within whichever social circle you belong to, changing your attitude towards people is relatively easy, but, in your previous behaviour, you have unknowingly restricted yourself by impressing a perspective onto your friends and acquaintances that has become the 'norm'. And so, it is important not only to change the way you behave, but to convince those around you that you are a really nice person... (or am I?)

Any which way, having apologised once to Dunc's face on Sunday, and again by text on Monday afternoon, some alone time was needed. Its becoming that acts of self-isolation are becoming a habit at the moment, and this too needs to change, but that is of little relevance. And in this instance, it probably wasn't the best thing to do. By my return home at 7pm, I had already had a phone call from the house which I had ignored, and, on getting back, the tension was so great that it was impenetrable. Thinking that another apology wouldn't hurt, I said 'sorry' yet again, and while it was returned with a 'that's ok', it still wasn't right. In fact, it didn't feel right until at least Wednesday. Ever since, I've tried my hardest to make sure I have no more misunderstandings, though I can't say for certain whether I've been particularly successful. Of course, confidence in myself is lowered by the constant knowledge that I'm trying to save a ship that's already sunk, and the constant reminding of what I've been like in the past.

However, the remainder of Wednesday and Thursday went alright, I felt, if you ignored the fact that I had been a little bit pushy on the subject of Rachel, but then, pushiness wasn't something that I had previously acknowledged and decided to alter, so that can be excluded. It's a fairly minor issue in regards to my social conduct, though having now realised its existence, that is now also subject to change. It was Friday that proved to be the turning point. Rachel was coming over that day, and so it was understandable that tensions were high, I think. Given that we'd all been out the night before, Friday morning was, in itself, fairly alright. I wasn't yet feeling the after-effects of Thursday night's drinking, and so, by focusing myself on my studies, and managing to avoid any confrontation whatsoever, because everybody else was asleep, I had no social worries, or at least none significant. Of course, my pushiness the night before was at the back of my mind, and so I knew that I, of all people, had to be careful about what I said or did that day...

After three hours of class, I returned home to find that Rachel had already arrived with some bodily marks that weren't exactly a comfort to Dunc. He told us all, but I was sure not to say much on the subject, thinking that more than enough was said about Ra last year. Besides, it would have made the week's efforts redundant. I left them largely to themselves. However, all it took was for me to shout 'chocolate fingers' to Larry, and Dunc, overhearing yet not quite hearing (his senses had been roused when Larry said that I was going to shout 'KY jelly' up the stairs), to think that I was talking about him, and even if the situation had not reverted back to its usual self, I was most certainly pissed off that my efforts made apparently little, if any, difference. The rest of the evening continued fine, and despite the taunts of Larry and Rich, I felt that I remained fairly amicable throughout, even warning Ian to leave the subject of Rachel alone. It was the combination of lots to drink, and underlying anger at people's presumptuous attitude in regards to what I say and think, and one comment from Dunc that I can't quite remember that created a bigger bang than any of the fireworks had created that night. Recounting the ins and outs of a drunken argument is not particularly worth it, so I'll just give the effects:

  1. A Dunc that was pretty fucking pissed off with me because I was pissed off with him and had blanked him after he made the comment that I could not quite remember, but that really pushed me over the edge.
  2. A drunken me adamant to leave any possible solution to the problem until the following morning when we could think a little more clearly, and talk a little more sensibly.
  3. A Dunc that would tell me exactly what he thought of me, or, at least what he thought of me in terms of what I think of other people. My housemates joke about me being a 'genius' which is not particularly true, and it hurts a little each time they say it. I'm not sure why they've got the impression that I'm that big headed, but they obviously have. (N.B. Given the self-centred nature of this post, trying to argue that I'm not big-headed is utterly pointless... nevermind).
  4. In the first good turn of the day, a recognition that I had been trying to be less cruel and sarcastic all week, but that even then what I considered to be friendly banter was being misconstrued as cruel and sarcastic given my former, and more typical, social conduct.
  5. An Ian acting as peacemaker, which made me feel a little better since I didn't feel so much like the bad guy, just the misunderstood guy. He spoke to me first, and then Dunc...
  6. At which point, I made my escape. Given the stress that I had been under, I had already got through 10 cigarettes of my own that evening, and three of Rich's, and now, not wanting to bug Rich anymore, and having no more of my own left, I took a walk on Albert Road to get some. I took the time to walk from there to Fratton, from Fratton to the city centre, and from the city centre to back home. Looking back at myself now, I can see that I was probably a little bit melodramatic, but I had drunk a lot, and I didn't want to have to face anybody else. I figured everybody would be asleep when I got back in, and when I returned at about 4am, they were, so I went to bed too.
Fortunately, in the morning, Dunc apologised for whatever he said, though neither of us could remember. Since I couldn't explain what exactly had pissed me off, I had to explain that it was just his attitude that evening. Nothing more. I was just pissed off that he had attributed what other people had said to me. Though, as I said, that is understandable, and of no surprise. Hopefully, that should be the end of it. Now that I've sorted things out with Dunc, I'm wondering whether I should talk to other friends back home. I can't say that my attitude to them has been anywhere near as detrimental as it has been with Dunc, so, perhaps a mere change will do.

I am trying though... Chris and Ben always said that I was surly.