Yesterday sort of kicked my ass in the feeling-bad department. There was a situation with so-called friends in real life, where I thought I was among my people, but it turns out I … wasn’t. This made me feel quite blue, and unloved.
I toiled at my desk all day like Bartleby the Scrivener, facing the wall of my outsiderness.
Yes, those were the kinds of feelings I was immersed in, where I was thinking things like, “The wall of my outsiderness.”
Part of what I had to do at work yesterday was call people to fact-check things. The other copy editors–and see yesterday’s post where I say I’m not like other copy editors–do not enjoy calling strangers to check facts, whereas I loves it. Oh, I do. Everyone I meet is so lovely.
“How do you do that?” asked another copy editor, after I hung up from yet another pleasant call. “My exchanges are so often tense. Maybe it’s the part where you sound friendly.”
Shy people have never made sense to me. Just FAKE BEING FRIENDLY. Why is that hard? Have the sun in your voice! For fuck’s sake.
But look. Since I teeter on the very edge of the introvert/extrovert line, I was getting drained as the day wore on. And plus also I felt bad about what had happened earlier in the day. Drained and unloved-feeling are not a combo that works for keeping the sun in your voice.
Then I got a text. From my friend Sandy.
From somewhere around 1978 to about 1984, everyone on planet Earth–except maybe you, the reader I’m now explaining this to–watched General Hospital. Seeing as it was on at 3 p.m. (on channel 12), I don’t know how we all managed to do so, although I seem to remember rushing down the freezing sidewalk in freezing Michigan to our freezing apartment to not miss a moment of it after school. Did I really get out before 3:00 in junior high? And why did I have to be a teen when there weren’t VCRs or whatever?
I like how the most modern recording device in my mind is a VCR.
Anyway, a big draw of General Hospital was Laura Vining Faulkner Webber Baldwin Spencer Cassadine Spencer. At least those were her last names when I left her, in 1984. She may have added a pearl or two in the ensuing years.
Another not-nearly-as-big-a-draw-at-all was a restaurant where they all confabbed, a restaurant across the street from General Hospital called The Floating Rib.
Why? Why The Floating Rib? And yet they all stampeded over there in between Lasa Fever outbreaks. “Bobbi and Jeff are at …The Floating Rib.”
I guess I should not be surprised that writers who came up with the hospital name General Hospital can’t come up with a restaurant name better than The Floating Rib.
Anyway, it turns out that while most of us watched General Hospital all the way up through Frisco Jones’s shenanigans and then lost interest? Apparently the folks in Port Charles just kept right on going.
Imagine all the things you’ve done since 1984. In all that time, given a few years off for Bare Essence or whatever,
Laura Vining Faulkner Webber Baldwin Spencer Cassadine Spencer (aka Tyger Hayes) has been slogging over to General Hospital to work. And now she’s the mayor of Port Charles! Well deserved, I say.
I was given this crucial info yesterday from my old friend Sandy, whom I met in the dorms in 1984, making her, apparently, my Official Replacement® for General Hospital. I can honestly say, with all the dumb-ass shit we ever did together, including sitting on opposite ends of the couch reading gossip magazines for 20 hours at a time, we never watched General Hospital as a couple. A Current Affair? Oh, hell yes. But ever GH.
And yet, apparently it was part of our fiber, like Tara is to Scarlett.
My point of all this is that for some reason, the idea that The Floating Rib still exists somewhere, and that despite her fancy job and fancy house and fancy husband, Sandy is still aware of The Floating Rib with me, warmed m’cockles, is what it did.
And despite the fact that she’s in Michigan and I see her once every 10 years, I remember a time I needed her to do something awkward for me, and I called her and began with, “Can you do something for me?”
And her answer was immediately yes. Not, “What?” Just yes.
And despite the fact that there was this time in college where a whole bunch of people didn’t like me? And what’s with me, anyway? How unlikable am I? Anyway, there was this time when all of my regularly scheduled college friends took a turn, like that chardonnay you leave in the fridge too long, and tens of people didn’t like me, but Sandy never wavered.
People come and go. But every once in a while, there’s another eyeliner-loving, gossip-magazine-reading, Floating-Rib-knowing pal who’s been there all this time, just like Port Charles and Laura Vining Faulkner Webber Baldwin Spencer Cassadine Spencer.