I went to bed on Day 5 pissed off. I really don’t ever get animated when I’m mad. I just leave. Fight or flight I suppose. Well, a good buddy of mine pissed me off and I left the festivities and stewed in my room till the next morning. My buddy, to his credit, tried to get into the room to apologize but when I get pissed off I just can’t be talked to for some time. I literally need time to cool off. The phrase “sleep on it” strongly applies to me and I almost always sleep on it before I make any big decisions or any decisions that stemmed from anger. My stubbornness always wins out so he gave up trying to get in the room after a valiant and reasonable effort and I turned off the lights and went to sleep.
Well, I tried to go to sleep. For about an hour, I contemplated all sorts of juvenile, melodramatic actions I could take. Luckily after a ludicrous amount of time, I decided not to do any of them. I consider that a minor miracle.
I don’t take any mature choices I make lightly. It’s almost as rare as seeing a unicorn run across a rainbow.
I know. I know. Unicorn crossings are way more common.
So I eventually drifted off to my typical fitful sleep and woke up concerned in the morning. I really suck at being mature but I knew I had to try my best because I got disproportionately upset and I felt bad and being a dick further would be a dick move obviously and I didn’t want to be a dick squared. That is too much dick.
It’s hard being a dick. Especially an overthinking one.
But I talked myself into being a brave little toaster and walked out into the common area to find some breakfast. I knew my buddy would materialize there soon so I took some deep breaths and silently repeated my mantra (credit: Saint Walker and D. G., dumbass extraordinaire): All Will Be Well.
My buddy came out of his room and because he has a true heart he made a beeline to me and said a 4-word apology. I accepted with a 2-word reply. Then he trapped me in a kindly bear hug. And all was well.
That’s pretty much historically how my male friends and I have made up. Sometimes it even takes fewer words. Sometimes even no words.
I really don’t know about how women reconcile with other women except for what I’ve been told by my lady friends and pop culture but I think it generally involves a lot more talking and feelings.
It’s not that us dudes don’t feel. A lot of us feel DEEP, amigos. It’s just that we process them at a very high rate of speed? The quicker it’s done the faster we can get back to berating and wrestling each other (that’s how we show love).
So it was an eventful start to the last day of my lovely vacation. The rest was spent reading hilarious graphic novels, secretly getting high (because I only brought enough for myself and my buddies who are reading this are now justifiably pissed at me. But, hey, they know me. I’m an asshole. Asshole is as asshole does), chilling in the hot tub with good buds, more Malibu and Coke and finishing off the day with a meal by the universally regarded Top Chef (it’s actually a tie between two braves in our tribe but the other one wasn’t around; he was in a galaxy far, far away this year) of our concern. The master culinarian (cool I wasn’t sure if that was a real word!) prepared the following (the dumbass extraordinaire assisted): perfect steak with a mushroom cream sauce that filled my brain’s relevant receptors with sheer joy, red potatoes, healthy salad, crisp seasoned asparagus, and the usual complement of choice red wine to wash it all down with (a Rioja I believe).
We gathered together after dinner to enjoy the last few hours of our yearly pilgrimage before going to bed to face the god awful checkout Sunday morning.
I wanted to stay up more and enjoy more but I was too full and sleepy. So I went to bed kinda early.
I’ve been to 6 of these jams total and this was my 2nd favorite! The first can’t be beaten because everything is new and shiny and I weighed 30 pounds less so it was easier to move around and I had a job that paid more than a substitute teacher makes and I actually lived on my own and not with my parents. So I had a lot more going for me that 1st time.
But in a lot of ways, I’d much rather be who I am now than who I was then. I don’t have most of the material markers of success most people in my friend group have anymore but I’ve never been happier and more clear-eyed about who I want to be, who I am and what I need to do next.
I had a blast the first time, don’t get it twisted. But I think I was just a caterpillar then. I’m a big, fat, hopeful butterfly now.
Party on, dudes (and dudettes)!