Luggage. (jenn)

I am so thankful for Ryan.

We know I don’t slow him down.

We know I am not convenience over connection.

We know he is not settling for something he doesn’t really want.

It still stings, to read these words copy and pasted below from a Hawaii newspaper–but only for a minute, like that bee on your bicycle seat that time when you were five and in your bathing suit, about to peddle to the pool. It stings because I know the truth is I have been luggage.

But I’m not allergic. There’s no swelling. And now the bee is DEAD.

Death by ghetto booty.

It’s true.

Amsterdam was both the saddest and most beautiful time of my entire life.

It had nothing to do with drugs–the ingested, smoked, injected kind.

It had to do with my own chemicals–a slow tide, how they slip past a horizon I cannot see–leaving me somewhere barren. And grey. (Are barren places any other color?) Later, back from wherever they receded, I go back to floating, belly up, watching the sky and hoping it will stay bright and endless.

P.S. My sister sent me this link today. It almost made me want to come out of the melancholy closet, to wear my dark black nihilist ribbon, to reclaim “clinical” as a hip power-word, that I can say openly in conversation, just like how gay people can say the n-word.

See. Sad makes me FUNNY.

Anyway, tomorrow we’re waking up at 5 am to deliver flowers to people who actually GET flowers on Valentine’s Day. It’s going to be the best V-day ever!!! Expect us to read everyone’s little flower cards and use them as blog ammo.

And now… enjoy this article about how I am LUGGAGE from the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Is it love or luggage?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

by Gloria Baraquio

My best friends are visiting from Honolulu this week, and we’ve been having sleepovers every night they’ve been here. We feel like teenagers again — setting up our sleeping bags, staying up late, watching movies, playing games, eating junk food, and of course, catching up on all sorts of conversation.

Our main topic of discussion has been about relationships — current loves, past loves, ones that involve us, and ones that involve our good friends. We feel like we’ve lost some of our friends to partners they’ve chosen for themselves or attracted into their lives … and not necessarily for the better. That saddens us. It’s like instead of dating someone they like or enjoy, they seem to pick someone who seems to work for them. It seems like they’ve chosen practicality over passion, convenience over connection. How do I say this?… They’ve settled for something they don’t really want.

And so the question on the table this week has been: Is it love, or is it luggage?

[Anonymous Friend] puts it very eloquently when he speaks about our best friend’s girlfriend “She comes with two wheels and a handle. She holds his personal items.”

It’s not that we don’t like the girl. She really is cool. It’s just that she doesn’t seem to enhance our friend who we know and love. In fact, she kinda slows him down. He’s always checking to see if she’s OK or not. She often seems upset or irritable around the group, and she doesn’t talk to any of us. The two of them don’t kiss much or show much affection. He kinda seems stressed out by her. Luggage, that’s what we call it.

This past week, we met the boyfriend of one of our girlfriends. He was nice and not bad looking. He didn’t talk much, and the two of them barely interacted. Supposedly, he’s great in the kitchen and in the yard. As we all hung out, we felt like he just wanted to go home, but our girl was enjoying herself with us. But they soon left because there was nothing comfortable about it. Luggage, we call it.

We don’t mean to be harsh. I mean, I guess luggage doesn’t have to be a bad thing, someone carrying your baggage around for you. But I’m thinking, why do you gotta have someone else carry your stuff? Why can’t you deal with your own stuff and just get rid of them yourself?

I can be empathetic. Part of me feels like sometimes we just need luggage. We’re not ready to let go of our stuff. We don’t even know how to go through all of it, how to unpack it, how to organize it. And so it’s nice to have someone carry it for us while we free our hands to do other things in life, like our art or our craft or whatever it is that we need to do, even if it’s just buying us time to avoid the issues that are too dark and dirty for us to face.

[We] spent quite a bit of time talking about who we think belongs together, who we think will last, who we think will break up. But the reality is that it doesn’t matter what we think. People are gonna do whatever they’re gonna do, and we can never really know what’s going on between two people, let alone what’s going on inside one person’s head. How many of my boyfriends did my friends and family disapprove of?

I don’t care how much we think we know someone. People grow and change and move and morph.

They may no longer be who we thought they were or what we want them to be. And maybe they really are happy even if it doesn’t look like it. We don’t know what’s really going on.

And bottom line, that person in their life is serving some sort of purpose for them in this stage of development, somehow.

As friends, we just want the best for our other friends and their personal growth.

But then I thought about it, and I suggested to the group, “Maybe love isn’t the goal in every relationship. And sometimes, maybe love is just about finding other baggage that matches your own.” Don’t we all love matching luggage?

We laughed and somewhat agreed. Everyone has baggage, stuff, issues, and pasts, but just deal with them and keep it light. In the end, I think the three of us decided you only have room for one carry-on, so leave the rest behind.


18 responses to “Luggage. (jenn)

  1. Deb From Greenough

    Oh my goodness! Not that you should really care what I (former neighbor, briefly) should think…but I thought you two looked adorable together……….and I remember how Ryan spoke of you on the radio…..the happiness in his voice….forget that article….old friend ALWAYS have a hard time dealing with new people that come into our lives.

  2. Sending you both hugs. This article was meant to bring you down from where you both elevated to so others don’t have to strain their necks to observe what they aspire to have. Nothing is ever perfect and reality isn’t sugar coated. Keep on rising!

  3. how immature. it’s like an excerpt from my 8th grade diary.

  4. it’s funny how people can come across as so genuine and kind and turn out to be so mean and judgmental. Where does she get off writing such a stupid article? and why do hawaii papers publish this crap?

    I hope not to cross paths with gloria…ever. What a low blow gloria!

    she’s just salty cause she was the luggage left behind.

    peace out gloria!! your show is as bad as your writing.


    I’m a bitch, but I love it!

    sorry jenn and Ryan, but I take the low road like her 🙂

  5. don’t laugh cause I said I had a diary!!! I’m gay.

  6. disappointed from prague

    gloria, it is unfortunate that you found nothing better to write about; the world is out there waiting to be uncovered! there are so many issues that are more important than you talking smack about your ‘best friend’s’ judgement. it is articles like this that continues to feed the stereotype of ‘ignorant americans’. if you really are ryan’s friend, you wouln’t talk about him or his girlfriend in this light. not to mention, i’m sure your pals ,steve and minja, don’t appreciate you bringing them down to such a low, immature level. (you just violated the 1st rule of a pajama party- pajama party talk should never leave the room!!) your article does no justice. this is a pathetic attempt at trying to get some attention. i think you need to make a conscious effort to be a better friend- what goes around, comes around. i think ryan and jenn deserve an apology. don’t worry jenn, simple minds talk about others….jealousy is the root of all evil….don’t let this bother you!

  7. Rich Uncle Saltine

    This Gloria sounds jaded, plain and simple….this is in the “newspaper”?


    I’d hate to see what was on the front page!

    I’m sure Gloria was forgotten on the “conveyor belft of life” one too many times…..

  8. i love your blogs! i’m a blog lurker. anyway, from what i gather from the blogs, your relationship is rare, soulmatey and true. so special it strikes fear in others who can’t understand it, fear leads to anger anger leads to hate hate leads to suffering – yoda said in the phantom menace. that article is an example of the fear. my boyfriend’s friends probably look at me as his fanny pack. but only he and i know what’s up. and so do you and ryan. brush it off! no one reads the hawaii tribune herald anyway!

  9. Pingback: Coming up… « choose our own adventure!

  10. i guess we all just learned an important lesson here:
    any press is good press.

  11. i am speechless.

    no i’m not. how hurtful. not like i never took jabs via this computer world vehicle but shit, i don’t get paid by a fucking NEWSPAPER for my jabbing.

    doesn’t this woman come from a large family? sometimes people from large families like to wrap themselves up in other peoples lives and disguise it as ‘caring’ when really it’s just….. pathetic.

    see what i did? it’s easy! 2 parts google and 8 parts assumptions disguised as intellect.


  12. Gossiping about the love interests of friends can be a delicious way to spend a tipsy evening, but it’s terribly poor taste to even admit to it, much less publish it in a public forum.

    This is the silly act of a self-absorbed person who has nothing better to write about.

    Also, I think it is a sad commentary on the expectations of relationships. . .sometimes having a partner DOES slow one down in some respects. Are we so selfish that we find that impossible to bear? Learning to put someone else’s needs ahead of one’s own can be incredibly rewarding. I know you guys don’t believe in “breeding”, but at least you can apply this principle to relationships. We don’t all need to be perfectly self-sufficient at all times.


  13. this is a bunch of jenkem I tell you!

  14. hi jenn & ryan! it’s april from college, and april from the gym :). love is sacred and personal…it’s a relationship for two, and no one else knows your personal business, nor should they! unless they don’t have a life of their own! i say to remove this article from your website, it’s a waste of web space. love u both!

  15. its just so immature you can tell she is frustrated/jealous/has nothing better to do. I cant believe this article was published-its ok-but the content of the article is what trip me out. who cares? like she does state its up to people to choose their own relationships and just like what was said in the pose from prague if you are gonna gossip pj party status that stuff should not leave the room. werid. you guys are awesomelybizarretogether

    xoxo jenn hee


  16. Pingback: Love AND Luggage, Part 2 | Choose Our Own Adventure

  17. Pingback: Love AND Luggage, Part 3: Final Destination | Choose Our Own Adventure

  18. Not the Paul Ogata that you'll find at Paul Ogata dot com

    If I’m late to the party, and everything has been smoothed over then kindly disregard this message. But I’d like to send an open letter to the Gloria.

    Dear Gloria

    Equating people with belongings exposes you for the materialistic thing-whore that you are. Could it be that all of your greed-induced efforts, whether subtle or overt, to keep your friends exclusively yours is what causes their significant others to feel repelled by you?

    Just think about that term, “significant other”. Ryan has made Jenn significant in his life, and you feel like an Other. Which, if you watch “Lost” at all, you know makes you a lying, deceitful, manipulating malefactor.

    So while you and your friends sit around, laughing and giggling about “remember the time we did that awesome thing that Ryan’s girlfriend wasn’t around for,” and you notice that Ryan’s girlfriend seems upset or irritable, or that your other friend’s new boyfriend seems uncomfortable, maybe it is because they tire of hearing your incessant blathering, your glib oral diarrhea. (And in fact, is not “gloria” just a shortened form of “glib oral diarrhea”?)

    I think Laura Brannigan said it well, if I may paraphrase her here:

    “Gloria, you’re always on the run now
    Running after somebody, you gotta get him somehow
    I think you’ve got to slow down before you start to blow it
    I think you’re headed for a breakdown, so be careful not to show it
    You really don’t remember, was it something that he said?
    Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?
    Gloria, don’t you think you’re fallin’?
    If everybody wants you, why isn’t anybody callin’?”

    But Archie Bunker probably said it better when he said, “Jesus, Gloria, would you stifle it, huh?”

    Forgive me if I appear to vigorously defend my friends. That’s what friends do.

    And by the way, modern suitcases have FOUR wheels, not two. Stop living in the past.


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