Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And when you leave, make sure to say "Thank you"

Back when I was young, and I would get invited to a friend's house for the much anticipated sleepover, my mom would always remind me to say "Thank you" when I left for inviting me and letting me stay at their house.  I've tried to keep up with this practice whenever I go visit someone and they are forced to graciously let me stay in their home.
I thought that was common courtesy.  Treat your host with respect.

But apparently some people didn't get that lesson when they were young.  And silly me was left to play the fool.
Let me explain.
Scene: Iowa vs. Iowa State football weekend in Iowa City mostly revolving around my apartment
Plot: Five of Matt's friends are making the trip to Iowa City
Of course when Matt asked me if one of them could stay at my place I said yes.  And then there was another that wanted to stay and I said okay to that too.  And then Friday night before the game, four of them show up and want to stay.  Ugh. I have two couches and an air mattress and a laminate floor. But whatever, I said they could stay.
So those guys wanted to go downtown and have a few drinks.  The big college student Matt needed to come home early due to a very important job interview the next morning, so him and I called it an early night and came home leaving the remaining boys to drink themselves into a drunken frenzy enjoy each others company.  After arriving home, Matt went off to bed, but I stayed up, along with my gracious roommate Staci, to wait for the boys to come home so I could lock up my apartment.  You see, I didn't want to lock them out because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up (for my coma sleep).  But Hello! it's Iowa City and I don't like to leave my door unlocked all night.  Due to my exhaustion from the prior week, sleep overtook me sometime around 2 and I woke up quite disoriented around 3 and realized my guests were still not back.  At that point, I said screw it and went to bad.
Awaking at 6 am, Matt goes to prepare for his interview.  Upon entering the living room, he realized his friends were nowhere to be found. Crap. 
Since sleep was now eluding me, I got up and started getting for my day which was packed full with football and tailgating, and was starting at 8!  Calls to the so-called friends were made and voicemails left to no avail.  Matt left for the interview and I was left to find the other boys.  Armed with only one cell phone number for the boys I was not so happy.  I finally got through to one of them around 9 on a number I had to search facebook for. Note: I wanted to start my tailgate at 8!  Stupid guests had stayed at a hotel the previous night and they were just getting ready to come back.  Not cool boys.
Fast forward to after the game. My girlfriends and I come back to our tailgate spot to pick up all our stuff and head home.  After dropping them off at home, I pick up Matt from his step-brother's house and head back to my place.  The last Matt had heard from the so-called friends, they had just gotten tickets into the game and we're heading in.  After nap time and snack time and still no word from boys, Matt and I decide to head over to his mom's for dinner and visiting.  On the way to Coralville, we finally hear from the rest of the guys.  They are back and want into my apartment.  Matt tells them to go somewhere else because we aren't coming back for a few hours.  In about an hour, I have this text conversation with my roommate:
Staci: Did you know Matt's friends were back?
Me: Yeah, they called us but we were on our way to coralville.  Did you let them in?
S: No, so how the hell did they get in?
Phone call- Staci: They broke in! They broke in to our apartment!
You've got to be kidding me! Don't worry I will take care of this.

So yeah those guys broke into my apartment by busting my screen off my kitchen window and letting themselves in.  How nice. When Matt and I got back to my place after dinner, you could say that I was a little upset.  And by that I mean, tears and throwing things and also getting out Staci's punching pad thing and beating on it for awhile. Needless to say, those boys didn't come back that night due to a few texts sent out by Matt about my angry state.
Actually the convo went something like this.
Matt: You guys should probably stay at the sheraton again tonight cuz alyssa's pretty pissed.
Reply: Because of us?
NO YOU IDIOT BECAUSE THE SKY IS BLUE! YES YOU! YOU BROKE INTO MY APARTMENT!  Okay so that wasn't really the response, but was that a legit question?

The next morning, Matt had to go pick up the guys from some hotel and bring them back because all their vehicles were at my place.  I saw one of them that morning because I had his cooler in my apartment still.  I obviously thought I deserved an apology but instead I got this.
C: Did you take the rest of our beer?
Me: Um yeah, there wasn't that much left. (Only 4 in fact, of Busch Light, not even good)
C: Laughs
Did I mention I had a ton of homework?
I still can't believe they were stupid enough to break in.
I got one call later that day to apologize. One. Even after a nasty email from Matt.  I'm still a little bitter.
If I had the balls to say how I felt to them, I would say this.
I think what I'm most angry about is not the fact that you broke in and busted my screen, but instead the fact that only one person apologized to me.  And the one that called is not even the one I would consider one of the better of my friends.  That's right I thought we were friends and then you couldn't even man up and call and apologize.  I'm actually really embarrassed.  I am embarrassed because I invited you in and told my roommate you were friends of mine and then they disrespected not only me but her too.  Really? My bad, I thought you were respectful, mature gentlemen.  But I guess I expected too much.

I guess I will just play the fool again. But it hurts.  And even now, I am still tearing up. I thought we were friends.  I would never do that to one of my friends.  

So remember, when you are a guest at someone else's home, always remember to be respectful and courteous and say "Thank you"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meant to be?

Recently, in the past month or so, I have been blessed with the opportunity to reconnect with several old friends and also reflect on new friendships.  And it's got me thinking, Was I meant to be friends with these people? Did God lead me down this path so I could find them? Would it be different and would I have ever meet them if I had chosen a different way? 
I have said before that I really don't believe in soul mates in the normal sense.  By that I mean, I don't think that everyone has a soul mate that they are supposed to find and fall in love with and live happily ever after.  I just don't.  Really it's because I just don't think it's practical.  How can you guarantee that everyone finds their soul mate?  You can't. So I think it would be a sad world if everyone was going around looking for their soul mate.  I think it's possible to be happy with more than one person. And don't get me wrong, I definitely love the boyfriend I'm with, but what if it didn't work out? I would then be left with thinking he wasn't my soul mate or he was my soul mate and now my life is going to be terrible. Again, not a fun world. 
Now, it's not that I don't believe in soul mates at all, I just believe in them more unconventionally.  I believe there are soul mates and find each other and fall madly in love.  I think everyone knows a couple who was just meant to be together, right?  But what about everyone else?  That's got me thinking.  Maybe soul mates aren't always significant others.  Instead the could be best friends or BFFE-best freaking friends ever or siblings.  
Part of the reason I've been thinking about this is that I feel like I've meet people like this in many parts of my life.  I went to high school where I sometimes felt like I didn't fit in.  I went to one college for two years and then decided that I needed something else and transfered.  And at all places, I meet people that I know are supposed to be in my life.  
For example, at Wartburg, I met Danielle, whom like me decided to transfer and move back to Colorado.  And although we only spent about 12 months together in total, we've still kept in touch over the past two years and over the many miles between us.  So I think it's fate that we both went to a school that wasn't really right for us and managed to become friends.

Example 2.  Two more of my Wartburg friends, Sam and Jena, came to visit me a few weeks ago.  And after not seeing one of them for about a year, and the other one seeing them only once in the last year, it was still just the same as when we were all living together.  There were no awkward moments of not knowing what to say, we just picked up where we left off.  And I loved it.  I miss all of my Res suitemates!

Example 3.  
Since coming to the University of Iowa, I have meet several people I feel like I've known forever, and one in particular is Laura.  I've been thinking about our friendship a lot lately as we have done a lot of things together and talk about our futures of grad schools and such.  I especially thinks it's funny that we've only been friends for about 10 months.  (We knew each other before that, but had never really spent a lot of time together.)  And now we spend huge chunks of time together and I don't know what my life would be like without her, probably not as fun.

So maybe God has just led me down a winding path to make sure I meet this people.  But really, who knows?  I am sure of one thing, I am very grateful that I did find them.  There are many others I haven't mentioned here that also have a space in my heart, but I don't have space on this blog to mention, but you still mean a lot to me.  I look forward to more phone calls and time together and reminiscing. 
My suggestion to you is to call up your soul mates and old friends.  It's not too late to reconnect.  So, what are you waiting for?  It was meant to be after all.

" A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."  - Arabian Proverb
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