Monday, May 28, 2012

stupid adventures in francesland

It's been a while. And I've been adjusting.

In the past three weeks, I've managed to graduate college, start two grown up jobs, help out with my best friend's wedding and for the first time in a good three years, I'm single.

Barf. I hate talking about relationships on the internet, and swore I never would on this blog, but this story wouldn't make much sense without it. And it's a pretty good story.

Single life is weird, and for the past month I've been figuring out life on my own and I've realized that, although I used to brag about independence, maybe I'm not as good at being alone as I thought.

Of course it's easy to say that I'm great at being alone and that I love time by myself when I always have another person there to call, but now... It just me, and that's a very strange thing.

I started out calling friends profusely (sorry, by the way) because my singleness coupled with getting home from work and having nothing to do caused me to go a little stir crazy. Then four days ago I bought Netflix and watched three seasons of How I Met Your Mother. Things were looking up.

But yesterday, after I realized the only reason I actually left my otherwise deserted apartment (roommates, are you alive?) was to get WingStop, I was determined to go out and show myself a good time.

I saw online that the Paseo (OKC's art district around 23rd) was having an Arts Festival this weekend. I've been wanting to go so badly, but unfortunately the people I had talked already had plans. I pouted about it for a while, then I had the epiphany. It went something like this:

I said to myself, Self, you sat in your apartment all day yesterday, and you want to go out and have some fun, now this is your chance. You don't need no stinking friends or boyfriends or nobody to have fun. Channel your inner Kelly Clarkson, go be independent and show yourself how great being single is! You go girl!

(That inner pep talk may or may not have taken place in front of my mirror.)

So, I put on some cute earrings and put my hair up in an artsy bun and headed to the city. Ridin' solo.

I parked about seven blocks (this is important later) away from the festival because I didn't feel like paying to park and I'm a young college student that can afford walking a bit. I came up over a hill and was greeted by some smooth jazzy music and and an energetic yet not hectic buzz of people milling around the tents.
Just as I got to where the band was playing, a very nice woman came up to me, extending a small fan my direction. "Would you like this? I'm on my way out and it's a good thing to have." I accepted the woman's kind gesture with a probably crazed smile.

I fanned myself and walked through the tents. I felt great. Best decision I'd made all week. I can totally do this; doing stuff by myself is awesome! The best way to describe my jubilance is this scene from 500 Days of Summer. I was walking on sunshine.
This next picture is an homage to one of the best blog posts on the internet. If I only had $135...

I made my way around when I stopped to get some fair food. I try my best to avoid it in company, but heck, no one knew me here; I had no need to impress anyone, bring on the corndog and funnel cake (for the record, I only ate a corndog)!

After about an hour and a half, I went back to one of my favorite vendors and picked this adorable thing up. Everything from this tent was "art"-cycled. And that trash is now cute treasures like this.
But something else happened in that tent. A woman approached me, asking where I'd gotten my fan. I told her a woman had just given it to me, so in the spirit of paying it forward, I smiled and handed it off to the woman, who thanked my on my way out.

This was my first mistake. Albeit a nice mistake, but still...

Soon after I made my way to the next tent where, as I was rummaging through some oil prints, I noticed that I was sweating.... A lot.

Now, let's back up a week, a.k.a the last time I drank a glass of water. Okay, now you're caught up.

I was wiping drops of sweat from my forehead and found my back drenched when I went to scratch an itch. I didn't really pay it much mind as I left the tent with a couple more prints.
However, a whopping thirty seconds later, the place began to spin and bright orange dots blurred my vision. Crap. 

I immediately locked in on a patch of grass and slumped down with my bags. I sat there until my vision cleared again, took a couple deep breaths, then stood up to head to my car. Second mistake.

It became very apparent to me that I needed water, so I dragged my feet to the nearest food vendor and muttered, "Water." I'm almost positive I ordered with my eyes closed so everything wasn't spinning.

"Here you go," said the cheery woman in the funnel cake cart. Her tone of voice changed, though, when she looked at me again. "So, how hot is it out there?"
I looked up at her, squinting. "I don't actually know," I said. At least I think I said that. I might have just grumbled.
"Yeah," she replied, "because you're, like, really sweaty."
From there I just gave a single nod and walked away. I opened the bottle and downed half while I walked, thinking it would help as I walked back to my car. Third mistake.

After about fifty more feet, I was walking through the tables set up in front of the stage where the blues band had been playing. At this point, the sounds around me had dropped an octave and were no longer understandable. The dots in front of my eye returned with a vengeance, making it almost impossible to see anything, and my hands began to tremble. Double crap.

The only thing I could think was to find a chair. Find a chair immediately so you don't collapse and make a scene. So with significantly limited thought, I sat fell into a chair at a table directly in front of me.

What I didn't notice was that I had taken a clumsy seat at a table filled with 65 year old women, who stared for a moment then collectively left me there. I couldn't even care, I just threw my head down on the table and lay motionless.

For a few minutes my outlook on the immediate future was pretty bleak. This is where I die. I'm here alone, in the Paseo, at an arts festival, and I will die here. This is why people that are single don't go places. This is why I should have stayed home. I hate adventure.

But, after finishing the bottle of water and the good Lord bringing in some cloud cover, I started to feel better. Fifteen minutes of staring off into space and trying to get my directional bearing, I got up and walked back to my car. And let me tell you, the AC in my car has never felt and probably will never feel that good ever again.

All in all, I'd say it was a great day. You know, despite almost passing out in front of hundreds of people, I made a big, self-validating step towards being okay by myself. And it's also scared me into drinking about of gallon of water since. Progress, people.

So, in a nutshell, that's how I spent my Memorial Day.

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