Thursday, August 27, 2009

So how was your vacation, Ayelet?

It was the best of cruises; it was the worst of cruises.

As my Facebook friends know, I came home from vacation in quite a funk. Not only did I schedule my return flight for August 31 instead of August 23 (and thus had to pay $380 extra to get home on time), I was dallied with, used, and backstabbed.

I trusted a Charming Cad (CC) who told me on Tuesday that I was the most beautiful woman on the ship. By Thursday he'd moved on to a younger, blonder, fatter woman (YBFW). She told me, on Tuesday, "Oh, you're welcome to CC." Apparently I wasn't.

Then I had to sit with CC and YBFW at Friday night dinner and watch them canoodle, knowing that everyone had seen me with him on Tuesday and Wednesday. Knowing that everyone knew I liked him and he rejected me. Watching my shipboard roommate (SR), whom I had bent over backwards to be nice to -- she's going through a bunch of identity crises and got tons of free therapy -- offer CC some of her wine and YBFW some of her seasickness pills. (Which I had fetched from the front office because SR wasn't feeling well.)

It was beyond humiliating. I don't do well with romantic rejection to start with; this was almost unbearable. I literally considered jumping off the cruise ship at one point, but reconsidered when I remembered how cold and uncomfortable the unheated cruise pool was. I assume the ocean would be worse.

It's not like I didn't enjoy any of the vacation. Alaska is spectacularly beautiful; I totally want to go back. And being on a cruise ship is fun. I took part in a karaoke "Cruise Ship Idol" type competition, and for the rest of the cruise random passengers were complimenting me on my performance. The judges were beyond rude, but whatever -- I had fans!

I also made some new girlfriends (not YBFW or SR, of course; they're dead to me), and solidified other friendships. In a very sweet gesture, ET bought me a purple keychain/flashlight/whistle with my name on it, because he felt bad about how upset I was over CC.

Before I embarked for Alaska, I spent Shabbat in Seattle with an old friend of mine who's a fairly well-known conservative pundit, his wife, and their five children. I hadn't seen him in more than ten years, when he was still single and living in NYC.

We caught up on the past decade and more, and Mr. Pundit was struck by the string of unfortunate incidents that constitutes my life -- being hit by a car, harassed at school and work, chronic pain from knees destroyed by a personal trainer, don't even get started on the dating horror stories. He validated my sense that far more than the usual allotment of bad things happen to me.

"Maybe you should move to Seattle," Mr. Pundit said seriously. "Meshaneh makom, meshaneh mazal (change your place and change your destiny)."

I don't think it will help. Right now I feel like I'm just Gd's punching bag, and no matter how hard I try to be a good person and make myself happy, bad things will keep happening.

I said before I left that I don't feel like treating my high cholesterol. I still don't. I have to replace the watch I loved -- it's obviously gone -- and deal with the Beth Din lawsuit. I don't want to live like this for 39 more years. Even 10.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Maite Plimmer8/27/2009 2:07 PM

    Dear Ayelet, My heart bleeds for you. I know how much you would like to be in love, and how devastating it must be to be rejected, but I wasn't there and I don't know if you actually had a date with this guy or you just sat together and chatted all evening.
    He was very rude, yes I agree because you can't go from flower to flower without showing some respect, but maybe you got your hopes high very quickly....Please forget it! He obviously wasn't worth it, and don't live near these people, and don't work with them. I stopped worrying what people thought a long time ago...You will never please everyone, and this shouldn't make you feel so wretched....I send you love and light...your FB friend Maite, who is coming to NYC in October and expects to meet you. I am free on the 17th and on the 23rd evening, or 24th day. Let me know!!

  2. Let time rewrite the memories of the cruise and hopefully you'll remember the fun parts and CC & YBFW will fade to a minor annoyance.

    In any case, humiliation usually entails being laughed at. It soulds like CC's behavior was blatant and people probably saw him in a bad light and sympathized with you.

    When you said on FB that you were publicly humiliated, I imagined much worse. You were wronged, but you shouldn't let that ruin your memories of a good time.

  3. Moving won't solve all your problems and it will create some new challenges. But it's true that a move can really help you break out of bad patterns and kickstart good things. I say yes. If you find a city you like, just up and do it.

    I'm sorry about your awful experience with the love-em-and-leave-em douchebag. But guess what. It's his problem, not yours. I know that's not easy to hear right now, but it really is just that he's a jerk. You didn't do anything wrong, so let go of the bad feelings because they attach to him, not to you. You say he's dead to you, well that's great. Now, like the dead, let him disappear from your mind.



  4. You went on a cruise and got jilted by a charming cad you barely knew?

    Wow, am I shocked. I don't think I've ever heard of that happening in my entire life. I mean, wow is that weird. Must be some kind of message from the Almighty.

    And all this time I've been thinking that a cruise is one of those deeply meaningful things to do to meet deeply meaningful and moral people. Humph.

  5. Way to kick me when I'm down, Anonymous ;) Thank you, DYS and S., for your condolences and wise words.

    Maite, I'm so excited to see you in October! I can meet you the evening of 10/17 or 10/24.

  6. There's a reason Love Boat aired right before Fantasy Island. It is make-believe to think that in one week you will connect with your life-long soulmate. A little bit of on-board flirting can be fun, but you can't take it to heart like this. These people were strangers; there is no reason to trust them or expect any relationship to continue beyond the next day.

  7. My dear friend Ayelet

    Let me first say I feel your pain. I got my hopes up on many a singles weekend, only then to have them dashed. It is a hurtful experience.

    But from your recent comments on FB and on this blog, I too imagined worse. You didn't have a relationship with this guy, just a momentary expression of interest. Girls can be bitchy when it comes to men. All this sucks, but it is not worth fretting over one more minute!

    My wish for you would be to develop a thicker skin where men are concerned. That applies for flirtations, dating and even marriage.

    Of all the things that have happened to you in your life, this does not rank in the top ten. I know that this painful memory will fade very soon, and the images of beautiful Alaska will remain.

    BTW given your vulnerability to SAD I cannot think of a worse place for you to live than rainy Seattle! And we would miss you so much if you moved away. : )

    Hang in there. --Riva

  8. Glad you had a good time (except for the bad time!)! I saw your FB pics and ALaska does look beautiful. I've never been on a cuise... I'd love to go.

    I think Anon makes some sense- cruises give the whole relationship/flirting thing a very abrstract and surreal quality. Add alcohol and it is not shocking at all to hear you got dumped before you even got off the ground. Really, try not to take it to heart.

    And I also hate to be the hard voice of scientific reason, but I'll tell you why you should treat your high cholesterol: if all that were to happen was that you get a massive heart attack and die, I guess you would be OK with that. But untreated high cholesterol, and it's evil twin, hypertension, can also lead to things like strokes, or heart atacks that cause strokes (as well as myriad other ailments). A stroke can do worse than kill you; it can leave you a disabled vegetable, dependent on others for feeding and moving and dressing and fully cognitively aware. So take care of yourself. Take meds if you need it, but you can also dramatically lower your cholesterol through diet and exercise (which will help a whole bunch of other things too).

    OK, off soapbox... glad you had a good time!

  9. Dearest Ayelet,

    I had no intention of kicking you when you're down. But if you put yourself on the floor by you're own fault, I can't have too much rachmanuss. If you can't handle that kind of thing happening without it deeply affecting you, you don't belong on a cruise. That's what goes on there. Wake up.

    I want you to be stronger, or not put yourself in harms way on purpose.

    Other illogical complaints:

    I went to the casino and lost $200!
    I drank 4 large milkshakes and now I feel fat and bloated!
    I lent my favorite shirt to a total stranger and they never returned it!

    I totally understand needing to vent and feeling bad and wanting comfort from friends.

    But you can't add this cruise to your list of bad things that happened to you (Gds punching bag) when you asked for it. If you don't take dating rejection well you have to stick with normal meetings with people like at the gym, Israeli bonds fundraisers, volunteering for the food bank, events or meetings arranged by a mutual friend, shadchan, or person of substance. You should never go to a singles bar or cruise. That's what happens there.

    You can't put yourself in harms way and then cry the victim.

    Either be stronger, tougher, bolder, or stick to safer situations.

    My apologies for being direct and blunt about this, but I think its important for you to hear, and will save you tons of pain in the future.

    Plus apparently you've got lots of decent folks to go to for sympathy who aren't as cold hearted as me. :)

  10. agree totally with the above anonymous comment. what would you say to your clients if they told you a similar story?

    i'm not sure why you think this blog is helpful for people with depression. it seems to me that your behavior and/or commentary frequently
    reinforce all sorts of negative stereotypes about depression -- but even more so, about borderline personality disorder. in so many ways, your posts fit the label close to perfectly. i worry about people who might come across your blog and think it could be a helpful tool for managing their own depression.

    (and yes, i have a MA in social work and a PhD in clinical psychology - i know, it's a bizarre mix.)

  11. Anonymous 8/30/09, as a social worker and psychologist, you should know better than to try to diagnose someone via a blog ;)

    Since I'm not significantly impaired in my work performance -- I just got a promotion, so I'm not merely bragging -- it's very unlikely I have a major personality disorder. Perhaps you need to review the rule-out standards that differentiate between borderline and bipolar.

    And I believe this blog is helpful for people with depression because they tell me they feel understood and can identify with the feelings I express. Others who don't have an illness find that it helps them understand friends or loved ones who suffer. If you don't find the blog helpful, you're more than welcome to stop reading it.

  12. Perhaps I forgot to mention that I also have bipolar disorder. And lack of significant impairment is certainly not enough to rule out a personality disorder! Where is your training from?!

    That said, in all honesty, some of your earlier posts do address aspects of depression. Basically everything I've seen for the last 6 months or so, though, does not. Anything you've tied to "depression" seems quite tied to external factors. You show a marked lack of insight in the vast majority of your posts.

    I don't mean this cruelly or judgmentally, though I realize you may choose to read it as such.