Never say, “Things cannot get worse.” Typically, when you place such negative thoughts on a certain situation, things likely will get very much worse. I learned this firsthand this past weekend. Just when I thought my “vacation” to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan had hit rock-bottom, another stone rolled away to allow the rock slide to continue downward.
Do you have that one friend in your life that, when you compare their life to yours, it is drastically more dramatic? It’s almost as if he or she LIVE for the drama. Tears, fights, living each day to the extremes of undying love and rabid hate. You can get whiplash simply from hearing the stories! I have a few of those friends, but the one in particular I am thinking of today is Teeth.
Teeth is beautiful, flirty, and a girl who is easy to converse with. She’s the friend I would go to when I needed some fun in my life because she lives every day like its a party in and of itself. She was a strong foothold in the aftermath of Hurricane Army, as she pushed me to keep going out, meeting new people, and drowning my sorrows. She lives by the mantra, “Life is always better when there is music and a bar involved.” There was never a dull moment when Teeth was involved, and for that I will always be thankful to her.
So when Teeth offered me the opportunity of joining her on a short road trip to Marquette, Michigan, I jumped. Not only had I never been to the city, but this would allow me to have a small vacation and knock off an objective for my 2015 Bucket List. And it would be a girls’ weekend — something I am always keen to partake in as I am a collector of laughs.
Teeth also invited her sister, Ham, along with us. I wasn’t too familiar with Ham but I did know that she 1.) was hilarious, 2.) would lend a hand in gas money, and 3.) liked to fight when she drank. The latter worried me a bit, especially given the fact Teeth and Ham had had a tumble in the front yard only five days prior to us leaving. However, my skepticism was put at bay when Teeth explained Ham was very apologetic and that the weekend would be focused more on exploration and new experiences than drinking.
I also had a nervous feeling at the weekend’s schedule. Teeth had recently begun talking to a guy and he was in Marquette for the weekend. I didn’t want to drive all the way to the U.P. for a girls’ weekend just to be abandoned without a vehicle, no knowledge of the area, and bored out of my mind. When I brought up this concern, though, Teeth was adamant this would not happen.
“Hell no dude! I have so much planned for us! [Guy] is going out with us Friday night but I have a lot of friends up there that want to hang out and there’s a lot we can do! Trust me it won’t be like that,” her text read.
As it was, I really wanted to go so I pushed my worries aside and said I was game.
Teeth and Ham had lived near Marquette growing up so the trip’s main purpose was to return and reunite with old friends and classmates. We would be staying at a girl’s house — we’ll just call her House — and visiting the areas they grew up, as well as going hiking, cliff jumping, cooking out, and relaxing with old and new friends. It sounded like the ideal vacation.
The three of us left Thursday evening after work. It was a long eight hour car ride from our little corner of Michigan to the city on the edge of Lake Superior. We took shifts driving, sang awfully to a number of genres, and played photographers at Mackinac Bridge when we crossed at midnight. It was a great start to a very promising weekend.
After arriving at the house at 3am, we slept to the late time of 8am and woke up for a day of adventure. House drove us to the town they all grew up, we ate lunch at a beautiful cabin, and then went hiking Sugarloaf Mountain. On Sugarloaf, we spent quite a bit of time with a photo shoot. My Facebook is now littered with adventurous pictures of me standing on the edges of rocks, looking pensively out to Lake Superior. Quite artistic. This was also the only time during the trip where we were genuinely happy and smiling with one another. Sugarloaf was the pinnacle of my vacation.
Upon returning back to the house, we took to the relaxation part of the schedule. Ham, House, and I chilled on the front lawn and waved to passers-by and laughed at who-knows-what. Teeth, however, had opted to visit another friend and family by herself — the friend I was a bit concerned about but who she told me not to worry. A friend she had seen only once in the past nine years. The guy friend.
No matter to me; I didn’t know the guy. It was a sore issue between Ham and House though. See, this guy is in the Marines and had taken his two week leave to visit his family in the U.P.. Ham and House had been his classmates, whereas Teeth was two years older and had been better friends with his sister. So Ham and House thought it strange and rude that they were not invited to visit the family as well.
I did not realize how rude they thought this was until later that night though.
The evening progressed well enough. I was feeling slightly buzzed after three Oberons and high on life as I followed my friends to other friends’ houses, meeting and greeting. It was not until nearly 10pm that we decided it might be time to eat some food if we were going to continue on to the local bar scene.
So Teeth and I returned home, leaving Ham passed out on someone’s couch and House to “watch over” her at a friends’ place. I managed to wrangle up some non-moldy food when Teeth’s guy friend, his sister, and another friend walked into the house. I didn’t think much of the encounter; everyone seemed nice and ready to go out on the town. We piled into his car and headed to Downtown Marquette.
If you have never visited Marquette, then you might be surprised by the size of the city. I sure was! When I think of the Upper Peninsula, I picture open wilderness and a lot of bears. Marquette, though, was a thriving city with a lot of people and some lively bars. Being a person who is not big into the “bar scene” and who is a lightweight, I chose not to drink anymore throughout the evening (other than one shot which was bought for our entire group.) So I spent the remainder of the night laughing, having fun, meeting new people, and dancing. A lot.
Once we moved to our final destination, Teeth and the guy were absent most of the night. I danced the majority of the time with the guy’s sister and other girl friend. However, it was so loud there wasn’t much conversing or bonding. I also ran into House and Ham once, but they also disappeared at some point. The night is a blur of bodies moving, drinks splashing, and music blaring.
When 2am rolled around and the bar ushered everyone out it’s doors, I was alone. The sister and friend and been carried off by the hoard of people and I fought my way outside on my own. I stood on the curb looking for familiar faces, specifically Teeth and the guy as they were my ride. However, even though I saw numerous friends of my travel companions, I did not see either Teeth or Ham, or any of the people I rode to the bar with.
I attempted to call Teeth. No answer.
I texted her. No response.
Then my mother’s voice rang in my head, talking about all the sex trafficking happening in the world, and I began to worry. Yeah, that’s what excessive sweatiness, fatigue, and a dying adrenaline rush will do to you. I walked to the only person I knew well enough, a guy who actually lived in Southwest Michigan but was originally from Marquette and who had once dated Teeth. (Talk about coincidences!) After hearing that I couldn’t find my party, he began asking his friends and people he knew if they had seen them.
Ten minutes went by and I finally get a ding with Teeth’s name, and my heart flutters. “I’m saved!” I laugh at myself. Opening the text though caused my heart to sink. It was simply an address to, what I assume, is the house I’m calling home for the weekend. I ask her what I’m supposed to do with that information, asking if I should hail a cab.
I walk to the only taxi on the street and ask the driver if he could take me to ### N Street. He looks at me like I’m drunk and replies there is no such thing as N Street. Great.
So here I am: eight hours from home, no idea where to go, and surrounded by people who I don’t know. I consider myself a pretty strong woman, but at that moment I felt like I was about to throw up… or burst out in tears. I was lost. And I had never felt more vulnerable.
As I stood there, with my thoughts completely at a stand still, Teeth’s ex-dating-pal walks up to me with a familiar face behind him: House!
She was far past drunk and probably didn’t recognize me, but I hugged her all the same. I was so relieved. And had to laugh when she exclaimed, in a slurred jumble of words, that everyone was invited back to her house (my home-away-from-home) for the after party. So me and a group of about 20 people began to trudge our way uphill back to her house, a cute little two-story that was decidedly on Front Street, not N Street.
It was past 3am by the time we made it to the house. The party stayed outside, flooding across our front lawn and the neighbor’s porch. I, being tired and angry and hurt over being deserted, just wanted to go to sleep. However, when I walked into the house I realized the light was on inside the bedroom Teeth and I were sharing and there was noise coming from inside. I decided bursting in would not be a good idea, even though the discovery made me angrier than ever. So I grudgingly went over and had a seat on the neighbor’s stairs and listened to the drunk conversations going on around me as I waited for my room to become unoccupied.
Cue Ham. Here she came, flipping every one off on the porch and screaming that we had left her behind. (I honestly hadn’t seen her since about three hours earlier on the dance floor because she switched bars again.) She stormed into the house with House following behind her. Being that I was angry enough at my own friend, I decided I was best to just wait for my room rather than become involved.
Five minutes later and then come the screams. Shrill, vulgar, and louder than the drunks around me, the house I was staying at seemed to be alive. From the neighbor’s porch, it was hard to hear exactly what was being said, but it definitely was not positive. Then the door flew open, a shadow can be seen running to a car, and the car proceeds to whip out of the drive way and fly out of sight. It took me only a second to recognize the car: it was the Jeep that brought me to Marquette. And also was my ride home.
Sighing, I told the spectators that I would figure out what happened and they (seriously!) wished me luck. So I creep into the house and see a dramatic sight before me: Teeth is on the floor, wearing nothing but a blanket, bawling. House is sitting at the kitchen table with a white paper towel wrapped around her finger that is quickly turning red. And House’s roommate is trying to fend off her boyfriend who is keeping her from chasing after the Jeep. As for Ham, she’s the refugee in the Jeep.
Usually, I would be attempting to calm everyone, but at this time of the night and with what had happened to me earlier at the bar, I was just done. I went to the couch, pulled a blanket over me, and closed my eyes.
Realistically, I knew that wouldn’t work. It was only a few minutes when House and Teeth came slouching into the living room, holding one another, and cussing off Ham. I guess things escalated to the point where Ham pushed Teeth to the ground and bit House’s finger. And being allowed to finally sleep was not a viable option for me I guess — I was told I needed to get her back or else the roommate would call the police and have her arrested for both grand theft auto and drunk driving.
Knowing I would be the one who’d have to wait for Ham should she be arrested, I agreed to try to help. I called Ham, she answered (I mean, she wasn’t mad at me…) She was going back home, she said. I sighed. I begged her to come back to the house because she was my ride home and I didn’t want to be stuck in the U.P.. And then I waited. “Fine,” she agreed, “but have your stuff ready when I get there.”
Great idea, in theory, except for the fact that 1.) Teeth and her guy friend were back to being locked in the bedroom with all my stuff as she whined at Ham always ruining things, and 2.) it was 4am and I was dead tired.
So I waited outside with the intent to grab the car keys, get her in the house, and settle things in the morning. Ham pulled up, would get out of the car, be scared off by something or other, and would quickly escape again. This happened three times. Three fricken times, guys! No help from Teeth, too, might I add… She was busy locking herself in our bedroom.
After a lot of maneuvering, scheming, being treated like I was the criminal, and a lot of tears (none of which were mine), we finally got the keys. I threw them to House, who gave them to her roommate, and they were locked in her bedroom until morning. No one was going anywhere in a car for the rest of the night.
Obviously, Ham was no longer welcome to stay in the house. And after what had just conspired, I no longer wanted to be in Marquette. So House and I made the pact that come 8am, I would wake Teeth and Ham and the three of us would leave for Southwest Michigan.
And so that is what happened. Morning rolled around and I had virtually no sleep as I had to share the couch with Ham as her parole officer or something. Teeth hid away in our bedroom with her boy toy, quite loudly again which also prevented much sleep.
7am did not come quick enough. As soon as I “awoke”, I knocked on House’s bedroom door, claimed the Jeep keys, and told Ham and Teeth they had a half hour to get their stuff in the car. (To which Teeth replied, “We are leaving today, but only when I feel like it.”)
I am not accustomed to being involved, let alone around such behavior. I could not believe Teeth had the nerve to say that to me. After everything she had put me through that night, and not attempting to help control her sister, I was over it.
And after some time, the sisters were loaded and in the Jeep as I backed out and fled from the humiliation they had put me through.
It gets better though, readers. Oh does it get better….
The Jeep needed gas for the upcoming eight hour trip so I stopped just on the outset of town. Then Teeth realized she had left her phone charger in House’s car. So we, to my begrudging disapproval, trekked back to the House of Horrors and waited for her to retrieve the cord. It was at this time Ham offered to drive first. I should have considered the offer with some skepticism but I was so tired and a quick nap before taking over the wheel sounded wonderful. So I obliged. Big mistake.
Ham began driving North. Contrary to what you might think, the Lower Peninsula is actually to the south of the Upper Peninsula. Weird, I know. But, hey, I wasn’t from Marquette and maybe this was a quicker way to the main highway or something. I didn’t know.
Teeth caught on first and began questioning Ham, “Where are you going? This isn’t the right way!”
Ham replied, “Yeah, it’s a short cut to the highway.” But her demeanor gave her away; she was obviously lying. I sat silently in the passenger seat and read my Kindle; I was so over these two.
Ham’s “short cut” turned out to be a dead end park on the coast of Lake Superior. She pulled into a parking space, parked the Jeep, and opened the driver’s door. She wanted to go rock jumping, she said. That is the only reason she came on this trip.
I had been looking forward to cliff jumping as well. Nonetheless, I was not about to chase after her when she proceeded to get out of the car and begin walking towards the lake. Teeth jumped out and screamed for Ham to get back in the car. “Why do you always act this way? Why are you so selfish?” she yelled at her sister’s back. Ham waved at us both and told us to go on without her.
Now Ham is a 21 year old woman. She is an adult and as being so has the right to make decisions that may impact her life in either poor or successful ways. Ham has grown up in the understanding that no matter what actions she takes, people will cover for her. She skates through life without caring about consequences because nothing has caught up with her yet. Unfortunately for Ham, she did not realize that I am not the type of person to allow others to walk all over me without consequences. Unfortunately for Ham, I no longer gave a damn about her or anyone else; I just wanted to be home and done with the whole ordeal.
Being the bitch these two had turned me into, I was done with playing games. I quietly turned my Kindle off, opened the passenger door, and looked Teeth in her teary eyes.
“Get. In. The. Car.” I said.
I don’t know what made her choose not to protest, but she didn’t hesitate. I scooted myself into the driver’s seat, pulled the car into Reverse, and left.
And I didn’t look back.
Fast forward three hours of small talk and attempting to nap, and Teeth and I are near Mackinac and the entrance to the L.P.. I wake up hearing sobs coming from the driver’s seat and listen to Teeth’s dad tell her to pull around and go back for Ham. She hangs up and turns to me, “I have to go get her.”
I nod and say the first thing that comes to mind, “I’m not going with you.” And I was proud of myself for making that statement.
It’s on principle. No, I would not drive three hours back to pick up a spoiled brat. No, I would not drive six hours out of my way to reunite two people who would most likely be at one another’s throats the entire car ride home. No, I would not drive three hours back to a city where I experienced so much hurt, frustration, and humiliation.
I would not go.
“Drop me off in Mackinac,” I stated and began to research hotels in the area.
Teeth did not counter my demand. She just nodded and continued to drive towards Mackinac.
Unfortunately for both of us, Mackinac is a big tourist town and we were arriving on a Saturday. Every hotel on Expedia was booked except one for $799. No thanks! So I called my friend Saki, who works for Hilton and was an absolute dear to help me out. Saki booked me a hotel in Petoskey for the discounted price of $190. Only 55 minutes south of Mackinac, Petoskey is a beautiful town and I was lucky to claim the last available room.
My parents, bless them, knew the entire ordeal and were more than willing to drive the four hours to pick me up from my Trip of Terrors. However, they had Saturday plans already and could not leave right when I called them to let them know the change in plans. So when Teeth dropped me off at the hotel and drove away, I was once again deserted in an unknown town full of strangers alone. Her parting words were that when she picked up Ham, she’d take her home and never speak to her again.
I will give my predicament this though: at least this time I had the comfort of a space to myself. And I enjoyed the space and my time alone. I meditated for a bit, and I attempted to de-stress.
I came to the conclusion that I never wanted to experience such drama again in my life. I do not openly welcome extremes in my life. I do not like being happy one moment, shifting to lost and scared another, followed by anger and frustration, and then sadness and hurt. And what made matters worse is that this girl called herself my best friend.
I’m a pretty good friend, I think. I care about my friends, I make sure they know that I love them, and I am always there for them. Such is my belief on how a friends should act. Teeth was not a friend. She was okay to 1.) ditch me for a guy, 2.) be angry at me for accusing her of leaving me, 3.) attempt to bully me into staying at the house so she could snuggle the guy, 4.) leave me in another city all by myself, and 5.) lie about the entire incident to everyone. That is not a friend.
Teeth’s boy toy ended up bringing Ham to Mackinac and meeting Teeth there. From their snapchat stories, it looks like they had a great time Saturday evening… and all day Sunday. I am so happy that their vacation was able to continue unhindered, and that I was easily replaceable by the guy friend.
All smiles and laughs on Snapchat and Facebook, Teeth and Ham seem quite peachy. Gone are Teeth’s declarations to take Ham straight home and be estranged to her. Rather, they spent the night in Mackinac (with guy comfortably curled beside Teeth, I’m sure) and proceeded to visit Mackinac Island on Sunday.
I never received a genuine apology. Instead, I was told that my actions were in the wrong. I shouldn’t be mad at Teeth. I honestly don’t think she believes she had any fault in the entire debacle that was our trip.
- Her leaving me in Marquette was because she was drunk
- Her deserting me in Petoskey was because I asked
- Her not helping control Ham was because she was pushed
- Her lying that she’d take Ham right home was because she was tired from driving
- Her spending the rest of the weekend with her boy toy was because she had to fake she was okay with Ham so Ham would go home
I mean, really? Not a single apology on any of those fronts? It must be nice to never be in the wrong.
So in conclusion of my story, thank you for the wonderful vacation, friend, and for the understanding of how some relationships are only meant to last so long…
Looking back, I think the lesson meant for me to gleam from this entire fiasco is that I am not cut out for a life filled with drama. I see no appeal.
Teeth has always been dramatic. She breaks up with a guy and its the end of the world. She meets someone new and she’s going to marry him. She has no personal worth. She sees no value in herself other than when there is a guy involved.
Talking to people who know her, Ham is also dramatic. She is happy and go-lucky one moment, and then terrifying and suicidal another. There is no compromise, it is her way or no way.
I see people who have to have so much drama in their lives as sad. They are so self-conceited that they can’t stop and see how life could be: stress-free and positive. When someone does you wrong, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world or a call for arms. Instead, maybe its a moment of revelation and understanding as to why that person acted in that way.
The world is not only about you, so maybe you should start thinking outside your own little bubble. Be considerate of other backgrounds and situations. Bad things are going to happen but there’s no reason to dwell on them.
As for me, I am over this incident. Sharing the story helps, but looking back I also thought it was far too ridiculous not to share! I am moving on. I have cut ties with the friendship I had with Teeth, and I will move forward wishing her only the best in all she does. Hopefully she will realize one day that taking fault in your own actions is a lot easier than trying to lie and cover them up. It also makes the hurt and anger go away quicker; nothing beats a genuine apology.
I will never understand the appeal of living in a life filled with drama, but I suppose if it suits you… The world needs all kinds of people to be interesting. As for me, I’ll stick to being a positive, happy, unstressed individual and work on finding friends with similar ideals.