Thursday, April 14, 2011


Spring on college campus is terrifying. Finals are rolling closer, teachers are getting testy (growing more afraid they may eat you alive), panic struck from all the work that keeps getting piled on, but oddly enough, this is not the most intimidating thing on campus. Couples are. That’s right; all the cute, little spring clothes are coming out of the closet as well as relationships. You see giggly boys and girls holding hands walking out of the cafeteria on an adventure to their dorms as if they knew what love was. Ha! It makes me sick to see it.

You know, all of my life has been built off of relationships and now that I have met someone who is truly worth a second of my time, I am so far gone I don’t know where to begin. Knowing what you want and knowing what you get are two very, very separate things. You can expect X, Y, and Z out of someone and then are out of luck when your expectations are crushed. People can try to make generalizations and predictions about people but it takes years to know someone.

I was on Facebook today and saw a little High School boy’s status, “Happy 10 months, Suzy. I love you.” I nearly shat myself out of laughter. I wanted to post ‘Hey, Jimmy. You really think this will be happily ever after?’ Kids are so na├»ve when it comes to love and yet I maybe more experienced in the field, but I know that I was there once, dumb and love struck.

I have also been looking at all of these kids out of High School getting married and having kids before they even turn twenty. I don’t know if the rest of the world sees children having more children, but hey, you plant corn you get corn! I feel that an education, a foundation of who you are and then some is what you really should base a relationship on first. Half of people today don’t know what they want out of life, who they are, and basically, they don’t know a thing. I am just as fresh out of the cradle as these kids making huge life decisions! I guarantee you over half the relationships I have seen are immature and unhealthy (not to mention most of the ones I have had).

You know, now that I am closer to the real world, Prince Charming doesn’t have a check list anymore. Sure, there are the basic qualities such as respect, patience, kindness, and sexual attraction (yes, that is a requirement; trust me I’ve tried dating without it and it CAN’T happen!) and all of the rest of the stuff you think you need are actually just optimistic expectations. My mom told me at one point in my life to never settle for anything less when it comes to men and my first thought was ‘That’s what I have always done!’ Nevertheless, I realized it even more so through a completely beautiful friendship with a boy who is the dopiest yet mature person I have ever met.

That ‘check list’ for the perfect guy that every girl goes over for male criteria is completely bogus. The bare essentials make everything more beautiful. I can tell you right now that over thinking can ruin a lot of good things in your life. I went through that check list and was rambling on and on about what if Chris is not perfect. Then I was stopped. Does he understand you? Yes. Does he make you feel loved? Yes. Does he make you feel happy? Yes. Does he provide a safe harbor for you? Yes. Does he respect you? Yes. All the loving and nurturing I could hope for was right there in front of me and I was over analyzing it for some list? To hell with it! I promptly asked him out and of course he said yes.

Another thing you’ll find accurate is that being yourself will make good things will come your way. You’d think I’d know better but I didn’t when I was younger. Dating was the name and any possible way to get a guy’s attention was the game. Well no, I never have wanted to get sexual with someone, those were all bluffs to get attention from horny high school boys and you know what, it worked! Then the other day and realized I had been playing the same game with just about every guy, except Chris. Later, the two of us were sitting together, just talking away as usual and I said, “you know, most guys I teased to get their attention.” His response, “well that’s just silly,” and it hit me like a ton of bricks. By God, that is silly! I have been pretending to be someone I'm not just to get attention from guys I couldn’t get from other people. All I can say is I will never go back again.

Something else I have also learned in this experience is never compromise your happiness. Yes, I know it seem blatantly obvious but it evades you in everyday life. I didn’t date Chris right away over being worried I would hurt someone else’s feelings. I have wanted to for a while now but was scared of what me dating him would result in. More drama? More hate? Hell, if I knew what would break loose and then once again, the light bulb went off. My happiness is worth more than anything. I know that being compassionate and understanding of someone’s situation is important but it is about damn time I am even a little self-centered! If I am going to do something now it better be good for me too! No more of that unhealthy business.

The bottom line is relationships are scary looking at them or being in one; it is intimidating and has a forecast of unpredictable weather and bumpy roads ahead. But, in the end, you learn something every time and isn’t that what life is truly about? I’d rather make a thousand mistakes than be perfect. So here is to making mistakes but never regretting and to loving, living, and growing for the rest of my life! 


Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if she were here, if she survived the normally successful surgery. I wonder what it would be like to have that close same-sex relationship where holding hands was soothing and not considered homosexual. I wonder what it is like to feel her heart beat knowing that it is almost part of me. I wonder how much we looked alike, if her hands were soft, if she was blessed with curls like me, if she got the better body as well as the better name. Sometimes, when people say how much I look like my mother, I know that from birth she looked like her carbon copy. Sometimes I wonder what it feels like to have that reliable friend and a real sister.

I am sure we would fight. Over boys, over clothes, over what show to watch, but it would have been worth it to even have a single memory of her. To have that companion not matter what shit was going on. Sharing genetics let alone growing in the same womb have unbelievable bonding products that are unexplainable. Sure, science can crack it down, but I believe there is more than anything

I know if anything, my parents hurt a lot in the past, but sometimes I am jealous. At least they have memories. I don’t. An entire pregnancy and eight weeks is not exactly enough for a newborn to develop memories.  
When you find out at about six years old that you had a twin, you think ‘oh neat’ and wonder if she can see you from heaven. When you realize that all nineteen years of your life has been based off establishing a close relationship in order to make up for the loss at infancy, you realize what has been missing your entire life.

A few months ago, while on a college concert tour around the East coast, we went to a unique, beautiful Catholic church in Maryland, probably the most beautiful church I have ever seen. For the life of me I can’t recall the name of the church or its exact location but it is in my choir folder, a little piece of history tucked away. I didn’t know that so many family members and friends of the choir would be at so many of the seven concerts. Of course, out of convenience of the family, I let everyone wait for our final concert that was closest to home. But looking around that evening, I wondered if Jane would ever have the passion to sing like I did. If we would dorm together at college and be in the same friend group, if she would be my twin in the Soprano or Alto section, I could only imagine the understanding, the connection and sometimes competition that would be between us. I laugh just imagining us teasing each other over which section was better.  

I read My Sister’s Keeper for a mandatory college writing class. The view of the sisters from several perspectives triggered me occasionally, sometimes more than others. When I finally finished the book, I cried. Not because of Anna’s sudden death, but because the family lost a child without a choice of any treatment. Sure, Anna could help Kate while she was alive or close to dead. I couldn’t help my sister. There was nothing I could give Jane to save her, nothing at all. Infalicil has one Google search result. Basically, to my understanding, my sister had a hole in her stomach that could be fixed. We were premature by a little less than a month and approximately five pounds each. I am sure there was some risk, but when I questioned Mom, she said it had been a normally successful procedure. It failed. I wore a cute matching dress to her funeral. Mom kept some of her hair, everything that was in her hospital room, the wristbands, the funeral cards, everything that was associated with Jane that could be kept.

I wish I got something out of the experience. Some sort of treasure to remember her by. For me, all I have is a picture frame of the two of us. Me, laying on a baby blanket with a onesie that is obviously way too big for my little body and Jane, her eyes shut, tubes coming from her nose and medical cream around her mouth. This is all I have to remember my sister by. Nothing else, except an ache deep in my heart from a void that can never be filled.