Monday, March 21, 2011

Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This...

Oh good Lordy, Lordy, Lordy...
I haven't had the best day. I'll just say that right off-the-bat because if anyone takes the time to actually read this I don't want them to say, "Wow...sounds like someone was having a bad day!". Let me solve this mystery for you beforehand and play spoiler--I really did have a bad day. *GASP!*SHOCK!*EEEeeeek!* It is so.
I'm having "square peg in a round hole" phenomenon day. This is kind of a continuation of my last blog about being a fashionista who spring break vacations in the Alaskan arctic. Who does that? I does that. Great--now I'm talking in poor hillbilly English. Let's travel back yonder year, shall we??...
Ok, so back in the day before Tristan and I started dating we would talk for hours on the phone at night. This is just how two smitten people who are 3,000 mile apart roll--that and texting. Tristan and I have been friends for years--literally years. We were BFFs up at The University of Alaska Fairbanks for 5 years and then friends for another almost 8 years after that before we ever officially kissed. During one of these phone conversations he was talking about himself and about his friends. I made an off-the-cuff joke about redneck hillbillies thinking I was funny to which he replied, "Uh, Whit--we are just a bunch of redneck hillbillies." *total deadpan*--I couldn't see his face but his voice was chalked full of honesty and his face was like--um, yeah, that's us. Let me digress...
Ever see Hannah Montana? I have two 8 year old girls so we've pretty much seen every Hannah episode there is. I also have a 19 year old girl and it's kind of our "secret" that we are closet Hannah fans (out of the bag now--crud). We even own blonde Hannah wigs--cuz we're cool like that. If any of you have seen that show then you have seen Billy Ray Cyrus who plays Hannah's dad--and who is ironically Miley Cyrus' dad (who plays Hannah Montana) in real life. Confused yet? During that show he lives with Miley and her brother, Jackson, in Malibu, California but he still let's his modified, chic hillbilly shine through--cuz in the show they are transplant musical artists from Tennessee. I am sorry--he is my TV crush. He's the cutest, most honest, most sincere character on the show. He's quite charming--yet unrefined. So...when Cute Alaskan Man made his comment about he and his friends being "redneck hillbillies" I found it pretty intriguing--not just because of Hannah Montana--I like the show but I'm not a delusional dork thinking it's actually real. Nope...but I thought it was quite sweet and didn't really feel too intimidated by it--even though I'm a fashion-forward girl who spends a lot of time shopping and enjoying the "girlie" things in life like mani/pedis and a good lunch date with my fashionista friends.
FAST FORWARD: Tristan and I have been together for 2.5 years now. He has a tight-knit circle of friends up in Palmer, AK and I've always felt like the odd-man-out. Not because they aren't all brilliant and super nice and sweet people. I think we are all in culture shock when it comes to one another. I'm not really sure what to do with them and where I fit in, and vise versa. This is where the square peg/round hole phenomenon comes in. I am a fish out of water when I'm up there. There's 900 churches in a 2 mile radius (ok...more like 15 mile radius). I go to church. I love God. Some of you may have see my YouTube video about God--but it gets a little different when you're in "God's Country" and I'm pretty sure that's what Palmer is. I hope Heaven feels less awkward because I likely won't get in if it's like Palmer, Alaska. St. Peter will meet me at the gate and be like, "Nope, sorry you Coco Chanel loving snob--no pearly gates for you!" and I'll be like, "But St. Peter!!!!...I WORE pearls!!! I'm not above them--or their gates for that matter!!! Let me in!!!! Pretty pretty please with a cherry on top???" And he'll probably cave cuz he's tired of hearing me whining. I'll get into heaven by playing the pity card. Figures...
So yes, I am dating a self-proclaimed redneck-hillbilly. I don't fit in. I went to his softball game two summers ago wearing a white, 4-tiered skirt by Abercrombie and Fitch and 4-inch cork wedge heels. I looked like an idiot among the shorts and tees club--but that's what I wear. You ever look at the people around you and try to picture what they are saying in their heads about you? (Like right now I'm picturing anyone reading this and saying, "Parnoid much, Whitney?") *SHRUG*
This has also become a problem recently because I truthfully feel out of my element. I guess we all have an idea of who we will end up with. I actually wrote on my, "Where do you picture yourself in ten years" paper during graduation week in highschool that I was going to be a trophy wife to a very successful doctor (likely a plastic surgeon) and driving a convertible BMW in Malibu by this time--which was probably a lofty goal but go big or go home, right? Only--I'm in love with a mechanical engineer from Palmer, Alaska who designs and builds machines from the ground up that blast the airline tire rubber off of runways and aircraft carriers and who is also a self-proclaimed redneck-hillbilly who lives in the middle of the Alaskan bible belt. How did all of this come about? How did my friend turn into my boyfriend? How did my intrigue for Billy Ray Cyrus turn into my real life Cute Alaskan Man???
I can hear you already--"So what's the problem, Whitney? Why griping about the fish out of water?" Do you know anything about fishes??? (I can say fishes...the plural of many different types of fish swimming together is technically "fishes". "Fish", both singular and plural describe on type of "species" of fish. *Heh*--I may be blonde but I know some things. Back to the matter at hand. the fish out of water part of me--this comes from not being able to blend "the best of both worlds" (thank you, Hannah Montana, for letting me kype your theme song). I am a fish out of water. I brought open toed heels to Alaska for spring--what the crap, Batman? I never wore them, but I thought it was practical so I did pack them. It's hard to blend two different worlds together. Friends, girlfriends, boyfriends--why does it have to be so hard? I'm keenly aware of the fact that people look at Tristan and I and probably think, "Um...what? Why?". And it doesn't make it any easier when one of your "date nights" is spent at an up-and-up restaurant in Wasilla, Alaska where the table behind you is ranting in backwoods hillbilly about the cops coming to arrest them because they were "fishin' outta three fishin' holes in the ice instead of two--even though that other hole was carved by someone else so it wasn't their fault there were three fishin' holes." Seriously--this was my romantic dinner and the background noise (plus F-bombs, S-bombs, A-bombs, and a whole bunch of other words I had never creatively thought to congegate on my own with respect to ice fishing--which ironically was a topic I never thought I'd hear about at an upscale restaurant on a date).
Can anything ever "mesh" like it's supposed to? I felt like Cinderella at Disneyland when Tristan and I took all four of my kids there last year. It was amazing. We never have a bad time when we are together. It just gets hard to blend our two worlds together and make it into something that functions "normally" that we can both understand. Can his world eventually understand fashion/heels/mani-pedis/waxing/fashion forward friends? Can I ever understand Palmer, Alaska in its entirity? Every once in a while I think I can--Tristan has awesome friends. Some I get more than others and some not at all. Some I can't relate to but I like them and they make me laugh. Some I can't relate to who think I'm an idiot snob who is overly opinionated and judgemental. And then every once in a while I get a nice surprise. I love it when I see a good Juicy Couture purse surface in the midst of a miserable arctic winter that one of his friends purchased. I get that. It's like a light beams down from heaven and angels start singing--and then I see that maybe there is hope!!! Maybe someday the two worlds will mesh--maybe. Then again, maybe not.
So yes, not a good day. Not only did my village get raped and pillaged by the IRS today but dealing with the fact that trying to make Alaska "fit" when it really is a square peg in a round hole sometimes smacks me upside the head. 2.5 years of trying to fit square pegs and round holes together is no only frustrating, but also exhausting. It also often feels like an exercise in futility.
I like the picture I chose for this blog entry though--I think I'll call him "Skippy"--although homeboy looks like he's going to need some chest compressions soon if a good fish tank doesn't become available.


  1. I feel like a stalker because I'm fixin' ta comment on the second of two successive blog posts. But since they both involve a guy whom I consider to be one of the best friends I've ever had - a guy who flew all the way to Texas to be in my wedding as a grooms man - I guess I feel a bit qualified to weigh in here:

    You're perfect the way you are. I was on the phone when you two were splitzies... and it wasn't pretty. Tristan revolves around you and hillbilly or no - that's pretty romantic. Course, I suspect you already know that.

    The second piece of my opinioniation is this: as a peg of sorts myself, fittin' in isn't everything. Sure there are concessions and compromises and if you really really want a great and private expletive-free dinner you need to head into Anchorage at a minimum... but don't - for the love of GOD in GOD's Country - change who you are just becuase your flannel shirt collection is a little lacking. I think it's great that you know who Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Cartier, Tiffany, and other famous Wal-Mart Brands (i kid) are.

    With you being you, maybe it does take a bit longer for Joel Fleischman and the rest of the Cicely Alaskan crowd to warm up to you (that’s a Northern Exposure reference in case you’re wondering). But the payoff is that the woman that Tristan loves is still the woman that Tristan loves, and really – isn’t he worth it?

  2. Thank you for this, Jason. It's been really hard to try to mix his life and my life together. I feel like we are both so different and have different agendas. This week has been particularly hard--it's a hard realization when you find out that your friends don't mix with your relationship. I realize that it doesn't really matter all that much--and you are right--the only thing that matters is Tristan and how I feel about him. I guess if the other peripheral things would fall into place it would be helpful. I'm sure if you were talking to him during the split that you are aware this is more than a flannel shirt v. Gucci problem. It doesn't seem to be getting any easier and it's actually getting worse--not necessarily for Tristan and I but it's been hard for me with his friends lately. Not to mention I'm the one who is ill fit--it was like this in college, too. I never hung out with Tristan's friends because there just isn't much in common. Like I said in my blog, "Why does it have to be so complicated?". I loved your Northern Exposure reference. That show is why I ended up there. I watched on too many episodes and thought it looked like fun. I also almost fell over laughing with your comment about having to go to Anchorage to get away from "fishin' hole" banter. LOL! It really means a lot to me that you took time to write this comment. I really needed to hear something like this right about now. :)

  3. Well, you're aces in my book. You and Tristan should come and visit!
    As far as Alaskans go, they're really a tender bunch. I had extreme culture shock when I left the state because of how unfriendly people in the lower 48 were compared to the community in Fairbanks.
    It's never easy being the new kid in school - figuratively or in actuality. For all your fears and uneasiness, I'm pretty sure Tristans friends are pretty paranoid, too. You hold Tristans heart and these friends realize that whether they like it or not, they're going to have to shift around to let you in at the front of the Tristan line. Give it some adjustment time and as the new General on the field, be gracious to those who are stepping aside to let you in.

    As for the decision on whether or not to live in Alaska, I think you already made that decision when you chose who to love. It's a beautiful and wonderful place and the hard edges are easily softened by the good people. Having gone to school there I'm sure you know much of this, but I wanted to remind you just the same.

    Tristan is the best of the best, as true-blue as anyone I've ever met. You couldn't have picked a better one, and as a great person he has a tendency to pick great friends who are great people, too (exhibit one- me!). Give them a chance to adjust to you and for you to adjust to them. Everything else will be the stories you tell your grand kids.