Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

January 31, 2011

They Like Me! They Really Like Me!

It's clear that there is no way in bloody hell I will be able to get away with not going back east for the 3rd year in a row.  This trip is tedious at best, and I just hate, hate, hate flying.  The whole process just sucks out loud.  I hate the thought of those all-too-revealing x-rays, but the molestation pat down is even worse.  The flight itself blows too.  Going east you lose 3 hours, so a 5 hour flight feels like 8 hours.  On the other hand, going east you get a decent tailwind, but still, when I get in, no one wants to come get me at Logan Airport.  And I honestly can't say I blame them.  I love my friends; I would never ask anyone to navigate through that clusterfuck in Boston to get to the airport.  It took them over 20 years to finish that disastrous "Big Dig" and I'm not entirely sure how it has helped streamline traffic to the airport.  But I digress...

On the upside, my cousin Sharon lives there and we have a lot of laughs together.  Thanks to Facebook, I'm back in touch with a lot of people from my youth.  I can't deny that it's bringing up a whole lot of nostalgia, lonely childhood notwithstanding.  Sandwich really was a nice place to grow up and I'm not the only kid who felt lonely or like an outsider.  I mean, that's all part of growing up.  Who doesn't feel lost and alone?  But I have, apparently, had a very skewed picture of how I was viewed by my peers.  Diane always used to tell me I was crazy whenever I told her that I remembered being friendless.  Invisible.  Wanting to be invisible, at least until my senior year when I was so alienated and angry that I provoked my classmates into taunting me for my blue hair, wild make up and army jacket covered with Sex Pistols and Clash pins.  I was recently told by an old friend that not only did he have a huge crush on me, he thought I was unapproachable and one of the most popular girls, b/c every time he saw me, I was talking to someone or walking w/ more than one person.  I was not only flattered, but floored. He had a crush on me?  ME?  Popular?!?!?! If he had told me that in person instead of by message, I would have turned around to see who he was actually talking to; like to the person standing behind me. And for the record, if he'd asked me to be his girlfriend, I definitely would have said yes. It is possible that my life would have turned out extremely differently had that happened.  The unapproachable thing made me feel kind of bad, because this is the second time I was told something along those lines, the first being by a guy in my class (his exact words were, "You were the girl who wouldn't talk to me."  Ouch).  Apparently my shyness and fear was misunderstood as aloofness. 

I decided to put a status up on Facebook, asking if I were to go back east this spring, would anyone want to hang out?  The responses were amazing.  So much so that for the first time since I can recall, I am actually looking forward to going back east.  I would have to stay there 3 weeks in order to visit everyone who asked me to, and these include stops in Vermont and Maine. 

I'll be leaving SeaTac on Thursday, March 24.  It's an all day flight and I get into Boston right smack in the middle of rush hour.  I'll be on the Cape till the following Thursday, March 31.  I don't care how broke we are, I'm flying first class both ways.  I refuse to tough it out with the plebes in coach anymore.  Coach sucks.  Last time I flew coach, I passed out.  It's a wee bit pricey but if I'm gonna be forced to put up with the draconian security procedures, crowds and an interminably long flight, I'm gonna be comfortable.

This situation reminded me how I've always thought how unfortunate it is that a dead person can't see the outpouring of love for them at their funeral.  I always think how sad it is that all those people didn't make it a point of telling the person how important they were to them, before they died.  You can go your whole life and never find out how much you have touched someone else's life.  While I thought I was largely forgettable....convinced I was largely forgettable, it turns out that I was well liked.  People who I thought tolerated me at best, or didn't like me at all, really did like me.  I can thank Facebook for that opportunity to talk to so many old friends.  I was so terribly insecure about my personality and was scared of anyone who was out of my comfort zone, which was pretty much everybody except for my small group of friends, who were mostly the children of my parents' close friends.  During my darkest days, and there have been quite a few of them, I had considered checking out for good. Felt backed into a corner.  Fight or flight.  No one would miss me anyway, no one would care, everyone would be better off.  "Hey!  Didja hear Joanne Mendonza died?"  "Who?"  You know, the whole George Bailey thing.  I never would have known that people did care because I'd be dead, and it'd be too late to realize that I had something to live for after all. That I'm not destined to die alone and friendless, a hermit crone in the rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula. 

So it's off to Sandwich I go, in late March.  But not without a fully stocked prescription for Xanax. 


  1. psst...check out business class. :)

  2. Ah, I wish I can afford to travel. It's what I really like to do. Unfortunately, my pocket says no. LOL Hope you have an awesome time.

  3. Anonymous7:59 PM

    It's amazing how people perceive themselves in comparison to how others do. I think being in school everyone felt self conscious about themselves and that whole thing of trying to fit in. Myself? I would have zoned right in on you with the blue hair and wild outfits. I love when people express themselves and are true to themselves no matter what others may think. I was the same way and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. Even my own family thought I was weird. I find you to be a very compassionate, creative and thoughtful person who attracts rather than repels. I hope you have a great time in Boston and you have the closure/validation you are searching for.

  4. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Your post gave me goosebumps.It touched me so. I think its wonderful that you've been able to reconnect JoJo. And for the record I may only know you via internet but I think you're a really neat, funny, convicted, inspiring person, and I'm glad to have met you.

  5. I agree with Nantz and Bev as well. Jojo, I for one, thank God for having you as a friend. You have done things fro me in my life NO-ONE has bothered to and I think everyone picks up on that side of you.

    It is wonderful that you finally realized (or was TOLD) that you were popular. It must have taken all that bad shit from your self-image, and that is great! I hope your trip is not too taxing and your visit there is not worthy of Xanax and I hope you have a KICK-ASS time!!!

    You deserve to test-drive that new self-image you get from others ;-)

  6. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Whoo hoo, a Jojo road trip - and you are certainly not a friendless crone!

  7. i'm glad that you've decided to go. you need this, especially after the last few years.

  8. I once called someone to take over for me on a sucky job I didn't want. It was medical transcription and the woman running the business really needed me that day, so I called someone I knew wasn't working and could handle it.

    Well, the person I called to fill in, ended up inheriting the business, buying a bigger house, all that stuff. She saw me years later and said "I really owe you, you know!" so very sincerely... such an off-hand thing, that phone call, but it changed HER life radically. A simple act of kindness, both to her and to the woman who needed someone to work, and look how it turned out. It's a very Buddhist lesson! The smallest thing we do counts more than we know. And things we think are "big" turn out not to be so big...

    BTW, I hate flying too, so I am right there with you! ARGH! DFW or Atlanta are the nightmares I must endure; you know an airport is too big when you need TRAINS to go from one side to another...

  9. Shy people often do come across as snooty or aloof. It's such a shame no one makes the effort to get to know them.

    When I went to a reunion at the first school I taught at, I felt fat, old and ugly, but the "kids" remembered the young, voluptuous me, and remembered with affection. I came away feeling 15 years younger and with a great boost to my ego. I hope the same happens for you. I have a feeling it will.

  10. You just gave me hope on so many levels :)

  11. You're so funny!

    Logan does SUCK!! Why not just use Bradley? Oh... Logan sucks, how did you say it? Out loud! :-p

    Yea, it's funny how our memories are colored by our own insecurities and struggles. I'm glad you found out the big secret... Everybody likes you!

    Was just talking to someone the other day about that line in the Big Chill where (I think it was Goldbloom) says, "Yea, they have the greatest party in your honor on the one day they know you can't be there"! Brilliant. I think I'm going to have my wake before I die. That seems like the way to go.

    Anyway, I'm babbling. Have fun! CAn't wait to see the pix.

  12. Thanks for all your kind words everyone! I love you guys. I have always tried to be the best friend I can be to everyone.

    I just hope that it's not snowing when I'm back there...they've had a horrible winter and I'm no hurry to see it for myself.