Ghost Girl

Most things in life are not fair.... asked to name a super-power that I have, all I could come up with is my incredibly bad timing.
It's epic and it's so bad, SO unlucky that it's got to be a double-negative by now.
Which makes it a positive, which means my bad luck and poor timing are SO bad that they are good.

Like, I have to believe that for as many boats as I've missed, there must be a reason I missed them.
Maybe they had an outbreak of malaria or eventually sank but not before fiery explosion.

At any rate, I have comedic timing and a will to always be early somewhere so I can sit in my car and wait for a few others to arrive but that's really where any positive relationship I have with timing ends. Abruptly.

My bad timing has led me to ask for signs and then ignore them because, well, it actually WAS too late to change my mind since I was already GONE.

My bad timing has cost me thousands of dollars. Example?
I bought my brand new, brand new car because my brand new car was a lemon. It was the usual awful experience where the dealer gave me a price on the phone and I said, "Deal!" and then I got there but that was no longer the price.
And it took HOURS to get to the price I thought I was walking into.
I missed practice.
My dog was locked inside for 14 hours, HOURS.

A couple of weeks later, I see the car advertised for a couple grand less than what I finally ended up paying.

Gym memberships?
I always manage to join right before a sale.

Well that brings me to my point in this.

Ever year, I have this internal debate of guilt and rage and generally white-girl shakiness.
Every year, my family gets together at Thanksgiving.
This happens in a very small town in the middle of nowhere. There is no good way to get there. Even after expensive airfare, last year I had to take a shuttle to Phoenix, fly to Chicago, take a train 8ish hours South to get there. To get home, I had to bum a ride to St. Louis from my cousin's step-brother, take the Metro to the airport, find out there was no way I could leave that night unless I wanted to pay $150 additional, take a shuttle to an airport hotel, cry my eyes out, and get to a flight in the morning.
And then take a shuttle home from Phoenix.
The crowded shuttle where you got in trouble for even text-messaging by the overly-friendly driver/entertainer who had a real issue with cell phones.

I like my family but anyone would have a troubling time with being in a tiny town with half of all your relatives - none of them being your parents, who are strong advocates for getting away from the group for a bit and having a beer someplace quiet.
They're never there so basically, every year, I revert to being the sullen teenager with her own perfectly normal and reasonable agenda but who has to explain EVERY millisecond of her time to about 8 people, including an ancient Jewish grandmother.

"I'm going out for a bit."
Oh, by the way, it's a totally different climate there then in Arizona so I never have warm enough clothes, ever.
"Sarah! What are you WEARING?"
Ummm... leggings, corduroys, a tank top, a long-sleeve shirt, a tee-shirt over my long-sleeves (this and the corduroys being the actual outfit I was thinking about), this cardigan that's my cousin's and about 4 sizes too small and this jacket that's my other cousin's.
My boy cousin's.
"It's really COLD! What am I supposed to do - FREEZE? I'm going to get COFFEE!!"
"We can make coffee right here! Hey! In the freezer, there is coffee from the last time your mother was here. Where is your mother? She should be here!"
From your mouth to God's ears but she's smarter and more resourceful.
"I'll be back, I won't be long."

At which point, I am faced with the horribly uncomfortable truth that I am now going to have to perform the task of going outside.
Where I can see my breath when I breath and I worry about my ears getting frost-bitten.

And it's this really small town, right?
It's not Springfield, even.
There is nowhere to go.
There is a hippy food coop where I'll eat hippy gorp junk food I don't need and there's a bar called the Mississippi Flyway. All your gut-reaction conclusions are correct about that one.
There are no friends to call so I call other people who maybe are in the same sad boat as I but.... turns out they're not.
They're at work and they can't talk right now.
They're at home and they're in their cars and they're not having to reunion during the busiest travel time of the year.
But I keep calling around, hoping someone will be bored enough to talk to me and then when I hang up, I remember it's daytime minutes and I always end up with a cell phone bill I can't afford.

The thing is, I could technically have figured out how to afford the airfare.
But I spent that money on a trip for myself, my upcoming trip to Springfield.
Now I am racked with guilt because I know they need to see me.
I'm this unfortunate link, you know?
I look like my dad.
I act like my dad.
My dad has been dead for over half my life but I GET that while my family wants to see me and spend time with me, it's somehow a loaded proposition because I know it's weighted with the expectation of seeing that fucking ghost everyone sees when I walk into a room.

And I just hate it.

And I feel like the World's Biggest Asshole for hating it.

I feel like I am selfish and rude and assumptive.

But nobody there could possibly understand that why they need me there so badly is in part due to the ghost they need to see every time I walk into their rooms.

Nobody could understand how being looked at like that, like there is a haint-colored haze over me makes me feel like a teenager, makes me want to go to PK's and get really drunk and smoke cigarettes with toothless rednecks because.....

I'm not a ghost.

I need them to see me before they see my dad in me.

And unless I shut-down and seem miserable, they see my dad in me more than ME in me.

What am I going to do?

arizonasarah at 2:50 p.m.

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