With unforeseen dread, Michigania is sleeplessly stuck on my mind yet again…
Winter Camp. A time to celebrate the snowy season in northern Michigan, watch stunning sunrises over a frozen Walloon, kick back by the many fireplaces in the Ed Center – with steaming hot cocoa of course – after some snow shoeing, skiing, or hard-core sledding. For me, I only ever experienced the last because I blew it the first morning of camp, two days after a dysfunctional family Christmas. I showed up to work an hour late, alcohol still on my breath from RAGING the night before. And to make matters worse, I had drunk-texted some nonsense to the chick I had a huge crush on that likely sealed my fate for weirding her out. Inevitably this would be my last mistake allowed in order to work at Michigania, equating to everyone’s shock when I wasn’t hired on for Summer 2011.
For weeks after James had told me I would be one of only twelve specially selected staff privileged to work WC2010, the image of a memorable winter wonderland on Walloon had been growing steadily. By the time I was in a car with two fond Family Olympics co-staffers to head up at the crack of dawn, my excitement could have literally exploded. The holidays had been a stressful disaster I can hardly even remember now, steeped sourly with my parents separation. Finally I had my escape from the depressed state of “home” living with my Mom who was doing her best to keep it together. Literally days before Christmas this year, she made a point to take me out to breakfast and thank me for all the love and support I provided during those dark dreary months.
The group of Winter Camp staffers would undoubtedly be a tight-knit one, with “best friends” breaking off here and there. Aside from one other staffer in particular, this crew couldn’t have been much more fun. Differences aside, this staffer seemingly held a grudge against me from summer events that never directly related to her – that is, they were none of her business. To this day I resent her openly opinionated air and abrasive attitude, despite my discrete discussions with fellow staffers close to her. Staffers who agreed she can be overly critical and judgmental assured me not to take it too personally from the get-go, but time would reveal it was personal from the very beginning. Yet it was never her fight to fight.
That’s not what is keeping me up tonight though, oh no…
What crossed my mind was a very specific interaction I remember with a certain someone. We were sorting ski boots together in the basement of the Ed Center while I attempted to hide my hangover. Conversation was mellow, but good, and then all of the sudden she confronted me about that ridiculous text message. At first I had no clue what she was talking about, as I’d forgotten ever sending the wretched thing, so I asked her what she was talking about. She responded, “Oh nevermind…” as if I was blowing some suspicion off. Well then when I went into the other room to grab more ski boots, I whipped out my phone and memory punched me right in the face. My jaw fell open.
To put it perfectly, this message totally looked like a Text From Last Night. Slightly jarbled, clearly intoxicated, and definitely embarrassing. And believe me, I don’t like to admit embarrassment, but it does happen on rare occasion with this instance definitely being one of them. It wouldn’t be until later that day I could even find the words to admit to her how drunk I was and say sorry. However… why didn’t I play around with it? Why did I forgo any sort of flirting? Here was my golden opportunity, perfectly laid out before me, to banter with a girl I had harbored a crush on all summer. Nevermind she was 19 and I four years older at the time…
Seriously though, with what little chemistry that might have existed, history may have been written a different way and I totally blew it. How does this keep me up at night? Because I’m one of those people who gets carried away over-analyzing certain situations. 90% of the time I make bold choices in life laden with spontaneity and without regret. So when something doesn’t happen the way I imagine it (ideally-but-not-perfect), I can’t help but think about how I should have acted differently. Ah the lessons of life, all we can do is roll with the punches.
Other opportunities would come and go, until it became blatantly obvious that she didn’t view me as an option for her. Frankly asking a guy like me whose 24 if he is still a virgin couldn’t be more insulting. Obviously you are trying to be funny if your best friend is right there chiming in too, but it came at my expense. I knew then that you didn’t know me at all and didn’t even care to have one of camp’s notorious “heart-to-hearts.” Then again, your unprecedented Valentine’s Day Story on the very last night of camp would shock me into realizing how little I knew about you. Point taken, and I’m glad at the very least we are still friends.
If anything, I fully realize little actions now I should have never taken then which seemed humorous to me yet awkward to others. This is hard to explain without going into detail and god forbid I should reveal anyone’s privacy. Honestly, the simple truth is I respect those who respect me. If it’s not mutual, I won’t hesitate to give you a taste of your own medicine. Some of that happily went down at Mt. Michigania 2011 and I’m sure you know who you are, albeit it wouldn’t surprise me if you were too wrapped up in your own world to really remember or care. Never once did this fellow staffer attempt to apologize to me for all her insidious quips or insults. Such a shining case of favoritism from Admin as well.