As I tried to go to sleep last night, I realized something.
You’re not interested in me at all. I do all the work. Only, it’s not work. I love chasing people, learning about their lives, immersing myself in their stories. I think often of the various people who’ve captured my interest. I wish them well. Oftentimes, I actively try to take care of them, be there for them, remember them.
I tried to think of anyone in my life who is like that for me, and I couldn’t. Not my husband. Not my son. Not my other family members. My brother’s more interested and invested in his wife as a writer. He boasts about her all the time, causing me to wonder if he even remembers I’m a writer too. My own mother brags about Cris as this great writer, she’s so talented, “You should read her writing, Carol, she’s amazing.”
But they never recommend my writing. They never talk about any other aspects of my personality, or my triumphs, the kind of unique person I am, why I am essential in their lives.
I didn’t even get a proper romantic marriage proposal. Marriage was handled in a very business-like manner. We shook on it for Christ’s sake.
Men, past suitors especially could care less. I guess I’m not fascinating enough.
But I do get to listen to them go on feverishly about their fascination with other women, worthy or not, hot women, K-Pop superstars, Michelle and Liane, that Narcissist bitch, anybody but me.
Other than my husband, who kind of has to remember since he’s married to me, most people don’t remember my birthday.
Go ahead. When’s my birthday?
You don’t know and you don’t care.
You don’t care that I would love to visit Spain and eat tapas by the sea all day, that my favorite food used to be spaghetti and meatballs, but now I favor small bites of a type of Farmer’s Platter, grits with a fried egg on top even though technically I’m not from the South unless that stint in Louisville counts. You don’t care that I enjoy baking, even though I’m lazy and bad at Math, that baking calms me down like meditation and yoga do for countless others. You don’t care that my mother taught me to crochet, the only legacy she left me other than an appreciation for Jobim, Tom Jones, and Connie Francis, and a freakish ability to sing a song after hearing it only once… and that if I crochet you an afghan, it means I really, really care about you.
You don’t care that, as a child, I used to walk around my neighborhood in Ft. Shafter with my space-aged Panasonic radio, the one that looked like the Death Star, and sang along to the Top 40 radio hits, like Diana Ross and the Supremes. Or that listening to Lighthouse’s “Pretty Lady” made me cry because I knew that would never happen to me.
You don’t care that if the light is just right, and I’m wearing cobalt blue, I’m almost pretty. And when I smile, really smile, I’m actually sort of breathtaking.
You don’t care because you’d rather hear all about … them.
You will never stay up nights in agony because of me. You will never moon over what could have been, or beat yourself up because you lost me. You will never obsessively hit refresh just to hear one more word from me, see one more picture, hear me laugh, really laugh. You will never remember me, no matter what you say to make me feel better because I just baked you a pan of Outrageous Brownies and stayed up late talking to you about your problems, or stood up for you in a virtual room full of trolls.
You won’t. But I have.
I recently took up the childhood habit of listening to music before going to bed. Instead of the radio, now it’s my IPod, Coast to Coast, or my iTunes jams. I stayed up last night listening to disco and love songs from the 1970s-’90s. I kept returning to Seal’s “Touch,” though, wishing that could be me he’s singing about.
Like you care.