Sunday, May 13, 2012

breaking up is hard to do

I woke up this morning and came to the sad realization that I would be waking up in Charleston (as a student/transfer-South Carolinian/Charlestonian) for the last time.  I graduated yesterday, and while that fills me with pride in my accomplishments and excitement about starting the next chapter of my life, it has also plagued me with sadness and nostalgia.

I have said goodbye to a lot of people I love and "see you later" to the ones who can never be rid of me,  but I am still grievously sad (as anyone within 40 feet of me can attest - I have cried a lot this week).  Why am I so sad though? This is the beginning of something new, even though it means the end of something beloved.   And then I realized why I am so weepy:

I am breaking up with Charleston.
I took this picture at Freshman Orientation, Summer 2008 :)

I once joked on Facebook that I was "in a relationship with the city of Charleston" and "it's complicated."  Complicated because so many people are in the same relationship, I think. Or because in the summer it gets really hot and smells like garbage and/or fish. Sometimes it's hard to love that. But I did.

In the summer I would joke that I was "in a long-distance relationship with the city of Charleston."   I would start to have dreams about just walking the streets, I missed it so much.  And then a month would go by and it would be time to move back. And I would roll down the windows as we drove into the city and say "it smells like beach" and smile.  And I would unpack and take a walk around the city, wishing on several occasions that it were possible to give the city a BIG I-missed-you hug.  (I had to settle for a lamppost. There was gum on it...)

I haven't experienced very many break-ups, and they have never been too devastating, and I think that's because I have never truly been in love.  Until I moved to Charleston.

I know it's a break-up (and that's why I am so inconsolably sad) because:
  • Every song is about us.   (me and Charleston, that is.)  Driving home from my parents' hotel room the other night, I heard two songs on the radio and I wanted to cry.  These are songs that I have heard millions of times before and on the surface have nothing to do with graduating or leaving or anything really. They were:
    • Hold on Loosely - 38 Special   "usually it's too late when you/ realize what you had/ so hold on loosely/and don't let go...etc."
    • Mr. Jones - Counting Crows  "when everybody loves you/ you can never be lonely"
    • thank goodness I didn't hear the Cheers theme or James Taylor or "How Far We've Come" or something otherwise reminisce-y.  Looking at these lyrics now, it seems really stupid, but the other night these songs were about meeee.  And that's how I know it's a break-up. Because I am acting crazy.
  • When people say "you can still come visit!"  what I hear is "we can still be friends...."  Visiting is such a hollow mockery of our relationship it makes me sad to think about it. I will always belong here, but I won't belong to Charleston the same way ever again.
  • I know that this is "for the best" but I don't care. We will both go on to grow and flourish. But I am allowed to be sad about something wonderful ending. So damn it, I will be sad. 
So goodbye, Charleston.

It sucks to leave you.  I will always have a HUGE place in my heart for you and for the College and all the wonderful people I met as a happy consequence of moving here four years ago.  I will miss you. I will miss the Farmer's Market and praline samples and Charleston Christmas traditions and nuns and church bells and crooked streets and lampposts covered in gum and old houses and boarded-up fireplaces and seagulls and the Cooper River Bridge and horse-drawn carriages and alleyways and the Battery and bicycles and the best cupcakes I will ever eat. I will probably never stop dreaming about walking these streets with the people I love.
Stay beautiful, Charleston.  I will be back to visit (we can still be friends).

I've cried a lot about leaving here, but this morning when I looked out my window I knew it was never a one-sided relationship:  Charleston was crying too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

today on the internet...

I just came back from practice for my graduation from the College.  Cray-zay.   And now that I have the time (which I should be using to do laundry, pack my stuff, and...I don't know...learn French) I am going to regale you with commentary on ridiculous things I found on the internet today.  

I checked the weather this morning (hoping it would rain again so I didn't have to sit on the stage in the blazing sun) and noticed that has made some updates.  Again!  I feel like they do a redesign every other week.  Those people are on the ball.   Anyway. Today I noticed a new feature:

That's right. It says "Alert me when it rains."  A useful feature for...cave dwellers? People without windows? Maybe, but chances are that if you aren't already outside or can't see outside, you won't be going outside soon. And if you did, you would probably be able to tell when you got there. I'd hope.

 It doesn't say "alert me when there is a hurricane" or "alert me when there is a deadly waterspout hell-bent on making it inland and headed straight for my house" or "alert me when ash falls out of the sky after a Super Volcano-type situation cuz then I will probably need more than a poncho." It says "alert me when it rains." I am curious to know how many people use this application and why.  But that's for another day.  

OH! also lets you know about weather-related "trending" topics from Twitter users in the area.   And surprise! Today's trending topics are "rain," "raining," and "sunny."  Fascinating.  Potentially useful/interesting if the topics are "blood rain" "locusts" or "aliens??"  But for now... it's a bit redundant.

Another thing that caught my attention (potentially more stimulating than updates) was this article about the new cover for Time Magazine. It's about the mother breastfeeding her almost-four-year-old son. Here's the picture:
Oh my! Controversy! That child is wearing army pants! 
OK, setting aside anything implied by the actual Time article or the headline ("Are you mom enough?" really? Time Magazine, why you always gotta be startin' sumthin?), the article about the article was pretty inflammatory and stupid.  The url for the Gawker article is "" GIANT preschool son's mouth? I don't know all of his parentage, but I doubt he is even half-Giant. Does he look like a child of Hagrid? No.

The final questions are designed to get commenters into a frenzy.  The first two are valid:
  • How does this cover make you feel? 
  • Will it haunt [the child's] future? 
but of course, even these questions elicit the most heinous internet responses:

"Wish I was that Kid so I can have my mouth on those sweet jugs : )"    classy.

"Not being breast feed had NOT ONE negative effect on me and I'm closer to my parents than some of my peers. My first cousin breastfeeds her children until they're almost two years old and they're allergic to almost everything under sun!"  to which someone responded: "maybe if you had been breast fed you would understand the concept of sample sizes"    hahaha touche.

 And then people just started getting sarcastic..."Breastfed toddlers are also Giant Pussy Crybaby Whiners. See Science publication Vol456. The correct feeding method is Mountain Dew in a bottle with Kool ashes flicked on the head."

And this gem:
 "First of all he is four and his brother is five, and they both breastfeed. That is way beyond the point of normalcy, whether you agree with that or not ("normal" is relative, but that is a fair point, this is not average behavior). And I only took 4 classes in psych in college (please, please don't brag about this. By starting your sentence this way I have already stopped listening to you) but I am quite sure (you are the expert opinion here) that the kid will develop a different bond with people than most. It is likely that he will be much more needy for companionship (not true - several studies show similar levels of attachment to peers as well as fewer problems weaning off of transition objects like teddy bears and security blankets) since for 4 more years he had to attach himself to his mother for nutrition (what? pretty sure he ate other food - otherwise he would not be the "Giant" you claim he is) while all other kids were learning to eat by themselves. I'm not saying it's a certainty, but it is a likelihood that could prove a major problem later on in life."

I am not going to take a side on this.  I am not going to use anecdotal evidence and say "I know people who breastfed past the age of four and they turned out pretty OK fine" because that is the kind of reasoning these commenters use and it is completely ineffective.  What I will say is this: people on the internet are stupid. I do realize the irony of writing all this on the internet, yes.  But just remember that opinions are opinions and facts are facts. And please don't pretend to be an expert and then admit to not being one in the same sentence.

Also, just FYI, I have never before seen the word "tits" used this many times in a comment section about a Time Magazine article. ever.