When I was a senior in high school, the “new guy” in school was assigned the locker right next to mine.
His last name, luckily enough: Butler. Mine: Byerman. So it was a match made in alphabetical-order heaven.
He was dreamy. He was confident and suave. He was mysterious, what with the “new guy” moniker and whatnot.
And, as it turned out, he was interested.
Trust me, I was as shocked as the next person.
He even concocted this elaborate prom invitation — before it was cool to do so. He had balloons. And in each balloon was a message. My job was to pop all the balloons and figure out the message.
Bless his heart.
After I successfully put the message together and uttered a swoony “yes,” I remember shopping for the dress at the mall, flitting between 5-7-9, Jay Jacobs and Weinstocks.
I remember fixating on my hair, experimenting with my Clairol Lock ‘n Roll and the Conair Hot Sticks, trying to get my hair just high enough.
And with my satiny teal, poufy-sleaved, backless, tea-length gown selected, my shoes dyed to match and my prom hair perfected, I awaited the date.
Until 2 weeks before prom. When I contracted the chicken pox.
Not even kidding.
You see, in my time (yes, I’m dating myself), there was no chicken pox vaccine. Nope. You just got the chicken pox.
When you were, like, 7.
Not at the age of 17. And not 2 weeks before senior prom.
But go to the prom, I did. Only because Mr. Man O’ Mystery called me on my teen line while I was recovering from my itchy and inflamed outbreak to notify me that he had chosen an “alternate” — should I not heal in time.
Bless his heart.
But dammit, I was going. Even though it ended up being a miserable time. I was ugly, covered in scabs and welts and my backless dress smelling of calamine lotion.
I was a hot mess. Before being a hot mess was cool.
Are you surprised I have not a single picture to show for it? I’m not.
Fast forward a few years, and I was getting married. I remember the stress of preparing for the honeymoon, and I remember the moment at which I decided to throw every single piece of lingerie I had received from my bridal showers into my luggage.
All 13 of them.
Because I couldn’t decide. Plus, it’s not like they took up much space.
A “win,” that is, until the first night of our honeymoon. Because our car was robbed and every piece of luggage stolen — while we were in Disneyland the day before we left for our cruise of the Mexican Riviera.
“Happiest Place on Earth,” indeed. For our robber — if he was looking for 13 negligees, that is.
But go on our cruise, we did. Even though it ended up being a miserable time. We were depressed, broke (our money was in the car, of course) and shopping for new clothes during every port excursion.
You know how they always take that picture of you next to the life ring when you board the ship? Well my then-husband and I literally had grocery bags in our hands. Instead of luggage.
BECAUSE THEY STOLE OUR FUCKING LUGGAGE, TOO.
Grocery bags. Real classy.
Anyhow, are you seeing a pattern here? I am.
So let’s continue, shall we?
Fast forward about a decade, and I was hit upside the head with the brick that ended my marriage.
Fast forward a few more years, and I was getting a restraining order against a man I was dating.
Fast forward a few more years still, and the front door of my home swings open to reveal the sheriff’s posse, ready to take away husband #2 for life.
What. The. FUCK?!?!?!
“Unlucky in love” seems the understatement of the century.
I’m at a loss. I just don’t know what to make of all of this.
But as I detailed in my last post, I definitely don’t think I’ve “invited” all of this lacking luck. After all, I think I’m sorta sweet.
I’m a kind person, loving, mostly selfless and thoughtful. I’m optimistic. I’m open-minded, fun-loving and fairly intelligent.
Let’s emphasize the word “fairly.” Obviously.
But this kind of track record seems a bit extreme, am I right? And it’s not like I’m intentionally choosing douchebags. Nope, I’m choosing the guys who are intelligent, charismatic, adoring, hard working, mom-approved and seemingly well-adjusted.
Let’s emphasize the word “seemingly.” Obviously.
So let’s brainstorm a bit. Here are three ideas that may explain my love history.
Possible Explanation #1
Let’s start with the lowest hanging fruit: Bad luck.
That’s right: Just an unfortunate and random turn of events. Repeatedly. Times 2 or 3 or 5,000.
And before you get all technical on me, yes, I realize many people believe we make our own luck.
But did I go around licking the open, oozing sores of a chicken-pox riddled child two weeks before senior prom in an effort to contract the disease and avoid a date with my own personal Luke Perry?
Did I flaunt my luggage full of money and lingerie so that a lurking robber would take my suitcases from the locked car in Section Owl, Row 8 of Disneyland while on night #1 of my honeymoon?
Did I invite the brick, cause the near-nervous breakdown of the guy against whom I had to get a restraining order or turn a blind eye to all the NON-EXISTENT red flags with He-Who-Shan’t-Be-Named (who, henceforth, will simply go by the acronym HWSBN. Which conveniently, when you read it out loud, sounds exactly like “Fuck Weasel.” Trust me on that one.)
The biggest, steamiest, most heaping plate of rancid bad luck ever served up to one woman.
Sounds about right.
Possible Explanation #2
Karma/Punishment/Dante’s Circle of Hell #8.5.
A dear friend of mine, after hearing about yet another bombshell from my current made-for-TV life on a recent day, asked this question:
“Who exactly did you piss off in a previous life to deserve all this?”
Come on, now. Admit it. You’ve thought it.
I snapped back at him with what I was feeling at the time.
“I don’t know. But I do seem to have Hitler-level karma.”
Hitler-level karma. Is it possible? Was I was someone horrifyingly horrible in a previous life — Hitler, Idi Amin, Vlad the Impaler? Is it possible that I am right this moment inflicting pain and heartache on unsuspecting souls in a parallel universe?
I just don’t know.
Or is this life, for me, a real-life reflection of a circle of hell à la Dante’s Inferno.
Between circle 8 (a.k.a. fraud) and circle 9 (a.k.a. treachery), is there a ring dubbed “Mikalee,” in which the participant (a.k.a. me) gets repeatedly blind-sided? Is this poetic justice for some sin I’ve committed?
I suppose time will tell.
Possible Explanation #3
A Lesson to Learn
For some reason, this solution seems most likely to me. Perhaps I am here at this point in my life with unresolved issues, with a significant life lesson that needs to be learned and applied.
But what is the lesson, exactly?
a. Stop fucking trusting people.
b. Stop fucking getting married.
c. Adopt a solitary existence as a crazy cat lady.
If this is, indeed, the explanation, and if points a-c are even remotely correct, then we’re in good shape.
c. Working on it.
Possible Explanation #4
The Universe Has Made me her Bitch.
Alrighty then. Reflection and rumination over. For now.
Evidently, I have made some poor choices in a previous life, I have had some bad luck, or I have a lesson or two to learn.
But you know what? There’s a spectacular upside to all of this bad luck or lessons or whatever-the-fuck you choose to call it: Three smart, well-adjusted, respectful, quirky children who, it turns out, just might be the loves of my life.
And my sense of humor? My ability to try to keep it all in perspective and appreciate the small joys in life? My ability to laugh in the face of the Universe?
All still there. For the time being.
And there you have it.
So: Any input, dear readers? Does it seem to you like I’ve been handed a fairly gluttonous portion of bad luck? Any wives’ tale remedies or superstitions that you believe might help me shake the curse? Any bad-luck stories out there that would rival my senior year prom or honeymoon robbery?
And while you’re pondering these questions and offering your insights in the comments below, I’m off to collect some cats.
Oh yeah: And Happy 2015 to you all. Here’s hoping this year is better than the last — for all of us. Please, please, fucking please let it be better…