I've been dreading making this post for multiple reasons. First I want to explain that the main reason that I decided to go to Louisiana and on such short notice, was to visit my friend Eric. I've known Eric for a few years online now, and we met through an internet gaming forum. He was always a nice guy and had no problems with being able to make me laugh. I expressed that I had a bit of a crush on him, to which he later replied that he found himself interested in me, too. So the idea of going to Louisiana for a few days popped into my head. And I started doing research to see if it were at all feasible to go before classes started on August 23rd. I found that with some proper planning and skimping on my expenses, I could go. I thought surely, if things didn't work out with Eric in that light in the long run anyway, at least I could say I'd seen a Southern state.
A couple of weeks after I'd decided to go, he expressed a concern of potentially feeling pressured into something he may not be ready for. I backed off, I mean, way off. That wasn't my intention, I didn't want to make him or anyone feel pressured into anything...EVER. My main thought was "this is a friend of mine, he makes me laugh, we're both curious about where things may naturally go, but I'm not going with the sole intent of coming back home with a boyfriend." We were friends, nothing more. Simple as that.
So I got there on Saturday night at 9 PM or so, landing at the New Orleans airport, which is really more in Kenner. I met a nice friendly couple on the plane, Darlene and Eric (obviously not the same Eric), who offered to help me find my rental car place (Dollar). They also offered to let me follow them to my hotel in Houma, because they were headed to Bourg, which are only 8.5 miles apart. I got to my hotel at about 11:30 PM, checked in, and headed to my hotel room where I crashed out pretty hard. I didn't get any sleep the day before because I was so excited to go, and then I worked for 10 1/2 hours before my flight.
I woke up the next day, enjoyed my free continental breakfast (which I abused the whole time I was there, that I could!), and then waited for Eric to come pick me up to head to the movie we were planning on seeing, Inception. After the movie we went to the mall, then he took me back to my hotel so I could grab the DVDs I brought for him to watch, and he took me to his house in Lockport. The drive over there was pretty uneventful. A lot of awkward chatter. I was a little bummed that he wasn't pointing things out to me like, "This is where I went to high school." The only thing he pointed out was the Walmart where he works. We hung out at his house for a few hours and watched the DVDs, then he took me back to my hotel. I can't even remember the time I got back to my hotel, but I can assure you it was before 9 PM.
The next morning (Monday) we made plans to hang out again, but because I had already been over there with him driving, I offered to drive myself over so he wouldn't have to spend so much gas. We hung out again for about 6-7 hours, playing video games and watching DVDs...again.
On Tuesday morning, I decided that I was going to head to the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom and the Arts and Science Museum in Baton Rouge. I enjoyed my road trip because I got to see quite a lot of the state that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. I got to experience driving in the worst rain I've ever experienced in my life.
The bridge going over the Mississippi.
I took the I-10 West exit, but I went to Folsom first. You have to head to Baton Rouge to get to Folsom, unless you go on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.
The road conditions for about 95% of the drive to Folsom and Baton Rouge and back to Houma.
Heading to Folsom.
Why hello there, wildlife!
I got to feed this kangaroo, Skippy! Don't worry, the snacks that I fed him (the bag) were given to me by one of the people that worked at the Global Wildlife Center, and she said he just loooooved junkfood!
Since not many people showed up for the tour (counting me, 4 people), we got to take this jeep-like vehicle out to see the animals instead of the more bus-like thing (tractor towing larger trailers). It meant we got to be a little more up close and personal with the animals!
Any time we stopped, these guys were RIGHT there begging for food!
I got to pet this one!
This little duck kept cracking me up. He would waddle so fast to keep up to the jeep, it was super cute!
My new best llama friend.
I got to pet a kangaroo, zebra, and giraffe!
I didn't get many other pictures from the trip, most were from the Global Wildlife Center... But if you want to see more, I have them uploaded to my Facebook (you will have to be my friend over there to be able to view them).
After the Global Wildlife Center, I headed to Baton Rouge, but by then I was already frustrated at the constant rain, and I was tired already from driving for 2 1/2+ hours. I ended up just seeing the art exhibits, the Ancient Egyptian exhibit, then I headed back to Lockport to see Eric for a few more hours, one last time, before heading to the airport the next morning and heading home.
When I left Eric's house for the last time, I was heavily disappointed. I expected some words of kindness, like "Thanks for coming to visit me," or "I hope you have a safe trip home," or "Text me to keep me posted on your trip home," or anything along those lines. I got nothing. I got "Bye!" Do you say "Bye!" to someone who just spent $1300+ to come see you for 3 days? I don't think so. It was kind of like getting kicked in the chest. I spent all of this money to go visit you, and you can't even show me around your hometown, and you can't even thank me for spending that money to come see you? I was so disappointed at that point, and within 3 miles of leaving his house I had to talk to someone, because I felt like I was breaking into pieces. I called Barbara, my best friend, and whined, and cried, and made her heart shatter into a bunch of pieces, too (what can I say, I just have that effect on people after I feel like I've been emotionally taken advantage of). I expressed to her, that while I know that Eric didn't want anything to do with me in any sort of a romantic light, I couldn't help myself to feel that way toward him. It took me a lot of thinking to figure out why it was that I felt so strongly about him...and I'll get to that in a minute. But I whined, and I cried, and I felt sorry for myself. I went to Chili's and had a margarita, for crying out loud, and I don't drink! ...I also had a chocolate cake and a cheeseburger, but that's beside the point (lol). I felt as if I had hit emotional rock bottom, and how cold he was when I was leaving his house for the last time really pissed me off. Who did he think he was? I have friends that I could have visited that would have shown me a much better time, and would have thanked me over and over again for coming to visit them. I have friends that I wouldn't have even needed to get a hotel room, had I decided to go visit them. And friends that would have picked me up at the airport instead of giving a totally lame excuse of "getting lost" in New Orleans. For one thing, the airport isn't even in New Orleans. Second, if you can take a California girl that has never been to Louisiana, and tell her to get around on her own without the help of anyone beyond Google Maps...I think YOU can make it to the airport without issues. Third...Gah, I'm done listing things because it just makes me more frustrated. My main point here is that I could find the airport without issues, all by myself, while sleep deprived and trying as hard as I could to choke back tears of anger, on Wednesday morning. You've lived in Louisiana your entire life and you can't find the airport? Riiiiight...
There are so many other things that frustrated me, but for the sake of trying not to write the longest blog post in my blogging history, I will skip ahead to what it was that seemed to make me feel so head over heels with him.
I will leave it with one brief word, and then as good of an explanation as I can muster.
Not everyone that will read this even got to meet Daniel. Daniel was without a doubt, the only man I've ever loved. He was sweet, he was goofy, he was fragile physically and emotionally, he wore his heart on his sleeve and frequently pretended to be stronger than he really was. He was awkward, and had never had a girlfriend before, and had never been in love before. Daniel had all of these traits about him, that most girls would have turned tail and ran. I stayed around. I got to know him, and I fell ridiculously in love with him.
...Eric has a lot of the same traits that Daniel had. And while I know that Eric was not at all the right guy for me in the long run, I think my problem was that I saw so many things that were similar between them...and that made me almost cling to Eric.
I can't have Daniel anymore, as many of you may know, because he took his own life a year after he broke up with me.
I can't explain it beyond that. I really can't.
All I can say is that I'm trying to mend the friendship that I had with Eric before my crush on him got so out of hand. But I'm a bit frustrated at some of the comments he's been making on his Facebook page, stating things like "Honesty may hurt but it's better than lying." ...I don't know where he is getting it in his head that I'd rather be lied to. And yeah, I'm hurt...but I'm not even hurt about him rejecting me in that light...I'm hurt about the bullcrap way he treated me when I was right in front of him. I've had perfect strangers treat me with more kindness than he did- even his mom was kinder to me than he was...And the people I met on the plane, Darlene and Eric? They were TEN times kinder to me than he was.
...All I can say is that I learned my lesson in more ways than one.
#1. Don't spend $1300 to visit someone you aren't sure about. I still had a great time in Louisiana, and I did have a lot of fun hanging out with him, too... But I came back from that trip with a real sour feeling.
#2. If I do end up meeting another guy online that claims to be interested in me at all in any light, whatsoever, he has to come to me. I'm not going to them anymore.
#3. I wasted money, that could have been sitting in my savings account to go toward my new car... But we all learn from our mistakes.
I guess the main reason I didn't want to make this entry was because I was already hearing the "I told you so"s that some people might be thinking already... And all I have to say, is that if you feel that way, please don't tell me. I already feel like an idiot, please don't make it worse.
I'm glad that I planned the trip when I did though. On the 23rd, I return to classes. I can throw myself into my studies and forget that this even happened.
Oh, and by the way, I'll say it...
Well, at least I've been to a Southern state!