Friday, December 30, 2011
And because my extra dorky glasses didn’t go with my cute dress, I put in my contacts. Because it was Thursday, I grabbed my make-up bag as I knew the odds were good that someone would want to do happy hour.
It came as no shock that that someone was Marie.
So there we were, sitting at a local wine bar, enjoying a very generous happy hour special when CK walked in.
Literally my breath caught.
Marie (who was getting up to use the lady's room) asked me what was wrong.
"Nothing. I think I know that guy." Now of course I knew it was him. But I thought maybe my eyesight or the three glasses of wine I drank were playing tricks on me.
She turned and looked where CK was standing. "Ding dong. I hope so." (Marie is part of the "you're not really going to be single for the rest of your life tribe.")
Then she walked away.
I watched as he scanned the bar for someone, tried (without looking too desperate) to catch his eye so I could wave, all the while secretly holding out hope that it was me he was looking for (despite not having checked-in to the bar on Facebook). He eventually stopped looking, never made eye contact and took a seat facing the door (and away from me).
When she returned she asked, “Well?”
“I do know him. It’s CK.” And I took a deep breath, ready to explain what that meant.
Marie turned in her chair, “that’s the one?”
I was racking my brain for how she would know him, then I wondered if she was thinking of this blog and confusing CK with The One. I started to respond, but she turned back in her chair.
“The CK? The reason it takes you 45 minutes to get ready to meet for a cup of coffee on Saturday morning because, as you put it, 'what if C-K- is there?'?”
I guess I had mentioned him before. “That’s the one.”
“I guess it is a good thing you didn’t wear your glasses today, huh?”
“Are you going to say ‘hi’ to him?”
“Of course.” I knew even as I said it, it was a lie.
CK’s date finally showed up and Marie and I finally called it a night. As we walked by him, I didn’t say hello (it felt weird interrupting his date) but Marie did trip over his foot and I apologized for her while pretending not to know who he was.
I mean, it wouldn’t be a CK story if I didn’t make a little bit of an ass out of myself. At least this time I was a well-dressed, mostly sober ass.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
man: noun, the male of the Homosapiens species that has his shit together. Example: Your friend that is funny, and smart, and has a job with a future and a life he enjoys, and that you always describe to all your girlfriends as “a greatNow that that is all cleared up, I will continue.
over-aged boy: noun, the male of the Homosapiens species that hasn’t grown up. Example: the hot guy that you met at a bar, with an awesome job and a nice car, that isn’t going to tell you about his girlfriend because he subscribes to the philosophy, “what she doesn’t know can’t hurt him.” See also Generation of Guys.
When I was still hunting, I would occasionally find myself on the trail (or in the arms) of an over-aged boy. My reasoning was simple. Looking for a mate is exhausting work. Sometimes a woman needs a break; needs to have a little fun. And when she does, over-aged boys are where it’s at – so long as you know what you are in for.
Because, while the differences between men and over-aged boys aren’t always as clear as my above examples, once you know you are with an over-aged boy, you have a choice to make. You can either a) move on, because that is not what you are looking for, or b) hang out, have your fun, and when you are through, move on.
Of course, there is a third option – stick around and hope he grows up. I cannot stress enough how much I don’t recommend this.
However, a couple of weeks ago I posted the notice for single ladies about picking up guys and the next day brought another IM session with the Source.
He was incredulous that I was telling my readers to pick up boys. He wants us out there looking for men.
I argued that, while the goal is a man, sometimes a woman just wants to let her hair down and make-out with someone she shouldn't. And when that time comes, she should take a book to a bar and find herself a boy. If she happens upon a man, super. If not, she has herself a little fun and no one gets hurt.
The source countered that the huntress is hurting herself by being distracted by the boy. His words:
As a huntress your goal is to bag a long term mate, a boy is like a rabbit running across your path, distracting you from the main game.He isn’t wrong. The main reason for my ending the text relationship with the Republican was that I found it was just enough of a relationship to keep me content. It distracted me from my actual hunt.
But if the Republican was only a one night thing, would it really have been so detrimental?
Only you can answer this for yourself. I will say, I know from experience it is a slippery slope. Boys are a lot of fun and they out-number men by a lot. But if you find yourself getting too comfortable, blowing off dates with potential men to spend time with your boy-friend, day-dreaming of long-term plans, or (gasp) thinking that maybe he will change, get out as soon as you can.
For my part, now that I am resigned to being single for life, I am looking forward to having fun with over-aged boys again.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
A couple of years ago, Steve Harvey wrote a terrible piece of crap called “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man.” Some of the worst dating advice I have ever read (and I have read a lot) but the title is interesting and something I would suggest to all you men that read this blog – in fact, don’t just think like a lady, read like a lady.
How do you read like a lady? Well, next time you are waiting in line at the Whole Paycheck (err, Foods), pick up a magazine that caters to women, skim the table of contents for the “relationship” department, and start reading.
Too manly to be seen reading Women’s Health in public. Okay, I’ll summarize. Every woman’s magazine from the dawn of time has written and rewritten the same advice for women looking to meet men: Get out there ladies. Take a yoga class. Or a cooking class. Visit a museum. Blah. Blah. Blah.
However tired this advice is, the next time a woman receives an invitation to an event at a local museum that sounds interesting, she will sign up, find their cutest outfit (or buy a new one), and head out with the highest of hopes. Of course, when she gets there, it is a sea of well-dressed women looking for the same thing – a man interested in art (or yoga, or cooking).
Why am I telling you all of this? Umm, can you not picture it? I am talking about rooms filled with hot looking women that are interested in art (or yoga, or cooking) and are also interested in meeting someone new. We are talking ratios that seriously favor single dudes; odds that you won’t get at any bar or sporting event (another abused suggestion).
So why aren’t you there?
Monday, December 12, 2011
If you are anything like I was, you get a girlfriend (not a group of girlfriends because that is just crazy) put on your cutest outfit, sit at a bar and laugh and share stories and smile and wait for the guys to start buying you drinks. After all, what guy wouldn’t want to buy someone as smart and pretty and funny as you are a drink.
And of course they know all of this, because they can see how pretty you are and how funny and interesting your friend finds you.
But here’s the thing. He isn’t likely to think any of that. No, according to my source, instead if he finds you attractive, he is only thinking about how he doesn’t want to interrupt all the fun you and your friend are having.
So, the next time you are in the mood to make-out with a boy, head to the bar by yourself. You won’t look like a desperate drunk (as I always feared) but instead will seem like someone that is open to meeting new people.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
As plain as I can put it: looking for a boyfriend left me feeling terrible about myself. And all that self-loathing paralyzed me from doing much of anything else – particularly writing. After all it is hard to believe you have any skills or talent when you keep telling yourself that you are a terrible, awful, human being.
Okay, I never said those words, but I may as well have. Looking back on it – this past year or so’s quest for a boyfriend was one of the most self-destructive things I have ever done.
Some of you may be guffawing. “Really, Tati. The most self-destructive thing you have ever done?”
Well, yeah. I’m not a cutter. I don’t have an eating disorder. And besides smoking (not any more) and drinking -- I don’t have any real vices (shoes don’t count).
Plus, think about the whole dating thing:
You meet a guy (or a girl) (either in a bar, or a coffeeshop, or a bar, or in line at the grocery store). You talk. You flirt. You exchange numbers. Maybe you make out (if you are drunk at a bar – not recommend if you are in line at a grocery store). Then you wait for him or her to call.
And you wait.
And then you call your friends who tell you to keep waiting.
So you wait some more.
Then your friends call you back to see if there is any word.
Maybe you cry a little at this point.
Finally, you stop waiting (but not crying) and you start wondering. Why didn’t he call? Was it something you said? Did your breath taste funny? Did you use too much tongue? As you walked away did he see your ass and think “whoa” and not in a good way?
It’s funny. It rarely crosses your mind that he may have lost his cell phone or been in a terrible accident and is now in a coma? (All my years of dating, when a guy called, no friend ever suggested I call around to area hospitals to check if he was admitted) Or is simply a jerk that didn’t call.
For some, this wondering lasts an afternoon. Maybe a weekend if she really liked him. For them, however, it doesn’t compound in their heads’ the way it does for those like me. For simplicity sake, I have decided to break these two groups of women up into Single Ladies and Huntresses.
Single ladies, like my friend Marie, can online date, and get fixed up, and go to mixers, and go to bars and never show the wear and tear because there isn’t any. At no time does she give the rejections any more value than they deserve.
For the huntress, however, dating is a game. A game she can’t lose. And when she does – when a guy doesn’t call or doesn’t show interest – all she does is think about what she did wrong. She analyzes game tape, makes changes to the roster, buys new uniforms, script new plays, and goes at it again.
The more she loses, the more work that needs to get done; the less time she has for anything else – if she wanted to do anything else. If she is like me – she just wants to win again, because she is not used to being a loser.
So this is why I couldn’t write. I didn’t have the time and towards the end I didn't have the belief in myself that I could. This is also why I can’t date anymore. I’m a huntress that has been clean now for almost a month and I don’t want to go back.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Fortunately for me, I got to see a lot of it these past couple of weeks.
Like me, my mother suffers from the antipoker-face face. Every thought and feeling she is having broadcasts across her mug. So, like me, she doesn’t bother lying.
So I know she isn’t lying when she tells me I look nice. But it’s funny to read on her face that it surprises her so much. What’s funnier is that it borders on astonishment.
For Thanksgiving dinner, I was wearing a nice skirt, make-up, and had just finished my hair. She said, “You look nice.” Her face said, “Why are you getting so dressed up? It’s just Daddy and I?”
Last week she was in the city attending a conference. I met her out for dinner. Again she commented on how nice I looked. Again her face told the whole story: “Wow, you almost look as nice as Lana (my older, prettier sister). I really don’t understand why you aren’t dating one of the attorneys you work with.”
But the best face – the face that was so distorted in confusion I actually had to call her out on it – was when I was leaving to meet up with friends on Saturday night (over Thanksgiving weekend). As I came down stairs, her face pulled back in horror, she stared at me, her whole head turning to watch me as I made my way to the couch. I could feel her gaze on the side of my head as I transferred my ID and money from my purse to my clutch. I couldn’t help but smile in anticipation of what face awaited me.
I wasn’t disappointed. Her face was equal parts “you are not my daughter” mixed with “I don’t understand if you can look this nice, why wouldn’t paint you face this way all the time” topped with just a touch of “did my husband and I really manage to produce that?”
And of course it would be flattering, if it didn’t all boil down to the fact that my mother is shocked that I can be pretty.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Still, I love it.
Now, a couple of years ago HIMYM (as the cool kids call it) aired “Woo Girls” an episode I didn’t love, though looking back that could be because it cut a little too close to home. As I am not a HIMYM blogger, I will just refer you to this synopsis in case you have no idea what I am talking about.
So the other night, I am out with friends at the Airborne Toxic Event concert and I came across what can only be described as Woo Dudes.
Now, I will concede that if one is to woo, a concert seems a perfectly apropos place to do so. I will even admit to wooing some while I was there. However, even at a concert, there is a time and a place to woo. At the end of a song, for example, or the end of a guitar or drum solo, or after the lead singer comments on how hard rockin’ Philadelphia is.
I don’t expect woos in the middle of a song.
But these dudes wooed then. They wooed in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of songs. They wooed when one of them brought beers. They wooed when one came back from the bathroom. They were wooing fools.
And it wasn’t just wooing. They also fist-bumped (when will this die?) and air guitared and air drummed and high-fived and double high-fived the night away.
But like the Woo Girls from HIMYM, the Woo Dudes woos didn’t ring true. Maybe it was their neatly pressed, Brooks Brothers button downs tucked into their designer jeans, maybe it was the overzealous air drumming, maybe it was that they kept buying me and my friends beer but didn’t once try to actually talk to us (didn’t even stand near us). The Woo Dudes seemed to be performing (and wooing) not from the heart, but for the benefit of their friends.
As I watched the Woo Dudes it came to me. While the Woo Girls were masking their loneliness with their woos, I felt like the Woo Dudes were using their woos to hide their fear: Fear that they were getting old.
Now, I didn’t have the benefit of subtitles, but if I did, I bet they would have read something like, “I would rather be home reading my daughter a bedtime story.”
Or, “It is really loud right here next to this speaker.”
Or, “I hope they hurry up and play Sometime Around Midnight. I have an early meeting tomorrow morning.”
Or simply, “I’m tired and I want to go home.”
But because they either haven’t figured out that growing up isn’t the same as growing old and neither is a bad thing, or they weren’t sure their friends would understand, they wooed.
Friday, November 18, 2011
And when all my friends were single, we went out to bars all the time. Not to get plastered mind you, but most often to have a couple of drinks after work and bitch about our bosses, while scooping out all the cute guys still in suits.
This changed a bit when my friends all became a part of a we. They now had different after work plans – couple plans – dinner plans – plans to go to a bar with other couples.
The obvious solution would be for me to go to a bar by myself. However, this option was so terrifying to me, I instead went on an ill-conceived quest for a new best single girlfriend just so I would have someone to go to a bar with me (don’t you worry there is more to come on those adventures, I assure you).
When that failed, I was left to accept that I might have to give up bars (or at least seriously cut back).
That all changed this week. Yesterday, Midtown Village in Philadelphia celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day. As I will never turn down a chance to wear a beret, I was all over this event. Unfortunately, Bridie and Marie had to work, and Salty had dinner plans with other friends.
The day of the event, I decided that despite my close friends not being able to join me, I would still go. I had other friends going and I was sure to run into someone I knew at the event. And if I didn’t, what would be the big deal. I would shop and drink wine and shop some more by myself. Big whoop? (This was the pep talk I was giving myself, by the way).
So I went. And as predicted I met up with friends. And we shopped and drank some free Beaujolais Nouveau and shopped some more. But then they had to leave. And I didn’t want to. I was still having fun and so I checked my phone, but no other friends had sent text messages that they were in the area.
Did I go home too, slightly disappointed.
Or, did I stop by the bar all by myself for an actual glass of wine (we had been drinking from Dixie cups all night).
Emboldened, maybe by the wine, maybe by the French spirit that was all around on 13th Street, I bid my friends adieu (yeah I did) and headed for my favorite wine bar.
Honestly, I don’t know what I was so scared of. After only a couple of minutes of waiting, I ordered my glass of wine, was given a seat by someone leaving, and was eavesdropping on the conversation of the three late-20-somethings sitting next to me.
Late-20-Something, “I just don’t think I should have to settle. (slight louder)It warmed my heart.
I’m not going to settle. I’m fine being single until the right guy comes along.”
(Friends clink glasses).
Or maybe it was the second glass of wine I ordered.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Then I stumbled upon the perfect pair of wide leg trousers. I could hear the choirs of angels in perfect harmony as I grabbed my size. Paired with a turtleneck sweater and the right accessories it was as close to perfect as I was going to get.
Of course, by perfect accessories I really meant the shoes.
Now, I have a lot of shoes – no I am not going to tell you my number, that’s personal we’ll just say it is more than most men (not including my brother) but less than Imelda (I hope). As I headed home, I closed my eyes to picture all of my shoes. What pair would pull my whole look together.
My eyes sprung open. Of course. My red patent leather, pointy-toed heels. I sighed with contentment.
This morning, I put on my new pants and my turtleneck sweater, my mom’s diamond earrings (she lent them to me in hopes that the new attorney I work with would notice them and fall in love), and a fun cuff. I grabbed the shoes from their box and slipped them on.
The pants weren’t long enough to support a three-inch heel. And while there was enough hem to let them out, there wasn’t enough time.
I sat back on my bed defeated. I suppose I could wear a loafer, or a ballet flat but neither of those would look as good as a pointy-toe shoe. Besides, as I stood there in a red loafer, the pants were a bit too long for a flat. I really need a kitten heel. A kitten heel on a pointy-toe shoe, preferable in a fun color.
I looked up into my closet willing such a shoe to appear when I recalled that a few years ago I bought just a shoe. There it was, pink with faux snake skin. I had almost completely forgotten about it.
All my happiness and contentment were restored.
Now, I have heard guys complain that women own too many shoes. That they (men) only need three pair, a black pair, a brown pair, and a pair of sneakers. That is all well and good, but just look at all the options us women are faced with.
Flat, kitten heel, mid-size high, high heel, platform, or wedge. Pointy toe, round toe, almond toe, or square toe? Then you need to get all of those in black and brown (and all the variations of brown) and then you need to buy a couple of pairs in whatever color the season dictates as the absolute must have shoe color (apparently several years ago it was pink). Multiply all those various options and you see how it adds up quickly.
And that’s not even counting our boots.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
One thing that has been troubling me is how to explain it to people when they ask if I there are any men in my life.
With my close friends it was easy. I told them, they listened, some expressed sympathy for not knowing how crazy I was making myself, all were happy for me, and all implied in some way or another that, you know if, in the meantime, I did meet someone that would be wonderful too.
Which is fine for them to say, but really not what I want to hear.
When I tell others, this last bit is what they really seem to harp on. For example, when I answered a former colleague one night when we were out for drinks that I was taking myself out of the game so I can focus on my work, she responded “be careful. When people say that, the shit really hits the fan and they find themselves married and pregnant, living in the suburbs.”
I smiled. “No, no. No shit. No fan. Nothing of that sort will happen.”
So I had to come up with some other answer to this question that wasn’t a lie, but didn’t leave room for debate (or sympathy).
And then I came across a link to the tumbler account Feminist Ryan Gosling.
Now, It’s not really him, obviously. But it is hysterical and I love it. I love it so much I have decided that the only way I will give up my awesome single life is for (feminist) Ryan Gosling. So, now when people ask I simply explain that I am saving myself for the Gos (he likes itwhen I call him that).
It’s brilliant. People aren’t sure what to make of it. They either laugh because they think I am joking, blink rapidly and walk away because they think I’m crazy or they get all high-and-mighty and ask, “Really? And how are you going to meet Ryan Gosling.”
To which I have the ready response, “When my novel is published, it will become so popular someone will want to make it a movie. R.G. is the perfect person for the male lead, and after reading the script, he will want to read the novel, and after reading the novel he will insist on meeting the cleaver woman that could pen such wit and insight.”
Monday, November 7, 2011
I shot her an email back saying we will definitely need food and drink and I would come up with a place. Later, when I finally focused on it, I had a list of 15 or so places in a matter of minutes. I shot the list to Salty, she responded, picking a place from my list and just like that we had a plan.
Now, about a month ago, Salty and I were sending similar messages back and forth, trying to figure out where we wanted to go for happy hour. It took us all day to make a plan and even then, I wasn’t thrilled about it, despite Salty picking one of my favorite places for happy hour. Why the ennui? If you had asked me then I would have said I was in a funk. With hindsight I realize it was because it was a Friday night and I thought I should have been going to a bar where there was better potential to talk to a guy.
The past several months, everywhere I was, I was sad. I was also anxious, and angry, and disappointed as well. If someone asked I dismissed it as a funk (or claimed I had no idea what they were talking about).
When friends wanted to get together for drinks, I would get annoyed about the place they picked.
When they wanted to get together at someone’s house, I was frustrated we weren’t going out.
When I didn’t have plans with them, I felt like a loser sitting in my apartment, all alone on a weekend night.
When I got back from Spain and people asked if I made out with any hot guys, I felt like a failure when I said no.
Yes. You read that last part right. I felt disappointed in getting to go to Spain with my three best friends: only mildly, but still. What the hell was wrong with me?
On my way back to civilization, in the jeep with my dad, both of us silent, I really started thinking about all the energy I was expending on the quest for a boyfriend. About how when the hot guy at my office is talking to his secretary, I stop working and listen to what he has to say in case he drops some crucial piece of information that I could possibly use later to strike up a conversation.
I thought about the new tattoo I wanted for my birthday, but held off on getting it because I worried that it might make me desirable to a smaller circle of men.
Probably the worst part was that I wasn’t writing. In addition to wondering what to blog about if I wasn’t blogging about guys (a question that should have given me more perspective that it did, sadly) I was also worried that I could possibly meet an awesome guy that wouldn’t want to date me after he learned about my blog. As for my other writing, when did I have time between my various jobs, going out, and obsessively worrying about the fact that I still didn’t have a boyfriend.
Why was I doing this to myself? Was being single really so terrifying?
Actually, it isn’t. I have long known I am really good at being single. I actually like drinking wine and watching movies by myself. I also prefer sleeping in a bed by myself and thanks to my big hands and my father’s instruction, I don’t need a man around to open jars or hang the art I bought in Granada.
I also know that being in a relationship isn’t all walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. It comes with a slew of problems and headaches and heartaches.
So, again, what the hell was wrong with me.
A couple weeks later, on another deck, with another man asking when I was going to find someone that was right for me, it hit me. Probably never.
But it wasn’t a woe’s me probably never. Or I am woman hear me roar probably never. Or even a men suck no one is good enough for me probably never.
Just a probably never because I’m done trying so freakin’ hard.
Instead, I am refocusing that energy. I’m knitting and writing and working on my office at my apartment because I am no longer convinced that I may have to leave Philadelphia to find my mate. I got to spend Halloween weekend not shivering in a slutty version of a costume, but in D.C. cheering for Lana (who finished the Marine Corp Marathon). I have been working, writing, and making plans, all without first wondering how any of it will impact my chances of meeting someone.
Which is how I found myself with Salty at one of our favorite martini bars in the city. As we sat there, chatting with the female bartender, Salty wondered why we don’t come here more often.
I looked around the bar and smiled, “Because there are never any dudes here.” She looked around, smiled, and raised her glass.
Cheers to that.
Friday, November 4, 2011
It’s Not Giving Up: Wherein I Attempt to Explain Why I Haven’t Blogged in So Many Months While Simultaneously Avoiding the Topic Altogether
A couple of weeks ago, on a deck in the middle of nowhere, the Duke (the Duchess’s beau) was asking me (as he always does) if there were any men in my life. I smiled and shook my head. After the typical notes of disbelief, the Duke then starts telling me about his cousin. I stopped listening until Bridie came out onto the deck and asked, “Are you really trying to set her up with a 50 year old that still lives at home with his parents?”
The Duke shrugged his shoulders innocently. The Duchess pointed out that the 50 year old is a really nice guy. I just laughed.
While, laughter was my normal go to response in these sort of situations, it was then followed my hours of self-doubt, wondering what it says about me that my friends want to set me up with a 50 year old guy that still lives in the suburbs with his parents. Followed by more doubts about whether there is anyone good left. That inevitably led to the plummet of desperation and sadness that I was never going to meet anyone and I would be alone forever which only ever led to the inexplicable resolve to move out of Philadelphia because life would be better in New York City, or Chicago, or Washington, D.C., or San Francisco.
But this time I just laughed and meant it.
See, a couple of weeks before that, on another deck just north of nowhere, I was sitting with my father. He was smoking a cigar, drinking a beer. I was drinking a beer, craving a cigarette. We were both silent, trying to think of something to talk about.
After several failed attempts to engage me in a political debate, he finally asked, “So, is there anything else going on in your life?”
I shrugged my shoulder. “Not really?”
I shook my head. “Nope.”
Then my father shocked me. Instead of retreating back into silence he continued “I know you have really high standards, kid. But do me a favor, don’t wait until I’m dead to introduce me to the guy you finally fall in love with. Because I swear, if the first time I meet your boyfriend is at my funeral, I will haunt your honeymoon.”
What a lovely thought.
I attempt to assure my father that my intention is not to wait until he is dead and that I really am trying to find someone. As I say it out loud the truth of it hits me. Recently I have become consumed with meeting someone. I've told friends that I was open to meeting any single guys they know. I never left my apartment without make-up, even when I was leaving to ride my bike for 80 miles. I went on dates with other single girls so that I would have single girlfriends with whom I could go out and meet guys, I hopefully bought pretty underwear, and I agonized over what to wear to the gym. My every free thought is focused on what I can do next to find a boyfriend, which is exactly what I am about to say to him when I taste the bile in my mouth.
I force a smile and instead, off my father the platitudes I typically give him, ending with “Daddy, I am trying, but you know it is hard to find someone good enough for your little princess.”
It’s tough for a father to argue with that sort of logic. But while that answer was enough for my dad, it wasn’t enough for me.
To be continued Monday.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Yes, my father, the former Marine that takes me shooting on Easter Sunday and drives around in a jeep with NRA stickers on it, loves a good chick-flick. Sure he blames the number of Sandra Bullock movies he has seen on my mother, but on more than one occasion, I have surprised him in his BarcaLounger watching something starring Reese Witherspoon and my mother was no where to be found. And while Rom-Coms are not my favorite genre, when I am home, and Daddy has the remote, I much prefer anything with Kate Hudson in it to anything on the Fox News Network – well, almost.
This is how I found myself watching a Ryan Reynolds movie with that girl from Little Miss Sunshine playing his daughter.
I was only mostly paying attention when I noticed that one of my favorite Law and Order ADAs had a small part in the movie. I perked up – what? I have a little bit of a girl crush on her – but because I was either writing or reading or plucking my leg hair out one at time I can’t tell you much about what led up to this scene. Ryan was there, along with the ADA and some other guys and the guys were talking about types of girls they each had a thing for. For instance, girls in nerdy glasses with long hair pulled up into a bun. Some other stereotypical irresistible types I can’t remember. Then the ADA contributed to the conversation:
“I have a thing for guys that have a thing for me.”
The guys all razzed her, claiming that was just sick and then there was laughter and maybe arm punches and I went back to doing what I was doing but I couldn’t stop thinking about how she put that.
Because the thing is, I too have a thing for guys that have a thing for me. I will meet a guy and think, “huh, he’s okay.” Then a couple days later someone will say, “Remember that guy at that bar the other night with the hair and the shirt? Well, he was asking about you. What do you think?” And just like that, the boy goes from just okay to a total Baldwin.
On the surface this seems healthy and makes sense (though maybe a little vain). It is certainly better than being one of these girls that stops liking a guy as soon as he shows any real interest in her. Still, this predilection hasn’t always served me well. For one thing, there are all the gay men I have made out with – most of whom liked me first. Then there is my middle school friend’s neighbor who thought I was hot. I let him stick his tongue down my throat despite his more than healthy curiosity for porn and his hobby of shooting small woodland creatures with his bow and arrow.
While I have learned from these mistakes, I still haven’t conquered this strange fetish. In particular there is one guy that I am 54, no 60, probably 70, okay 86 percent sure is bad news. However, I also have it on good authority that he would like to get to know me better. As such, I can’t stop thinking about him.
And, sure, I could just sleep with him to get over these feelings. But, I can’t keep using sex to solve my problems. After all, I’m still in my early 30s, how many mistakes does one get in each decade?
Sunday, May 29, 2011
In plain sight, I have been hiding. I'm really good at hiding.
A few weeks back, Marie and I were out. Marie and I only became very good friends in the past few years. So, needless to say, she didn’t know me in college. I’m not sure how we got on the topic, but we started discussing all my various hair colors and styles.
See, I started hiding in college. But in college I hid behind pink and purple and black and orange hair. I hid behind black eyeliner and black lipstick. I hid behind boy haircuts and ironic t-shirts.
I explained to Marie that as much as it doesn’t make sense, I did it all to keep everyone from noticing me, at least the real me.
Then she asked what made me stop. And I answered honestly, that I just grew out of it.
At least it was honest at the time.
Some time around 25 I just stopped cutting my hair into weird shapes, I stopped dying it unnatural colors, and I put away my “Boys Lie” t-shirt.
And then I threw myself into my work.
Ten years later, well almost, I have a job I actually like, I’ve been published a bunch of times and I even completed a novel.
But over the last two years I have been letting myself get bigger and bigger. I’ve been smoking and eating things that aren’t good for me and not working out and all because I don’t want people (read guys) to see the me. Not the real me anyway.
Not that I think there is anything wrong with the real me. Quite the opposite. I think I rock. But what if I really liked a guy and he didn’t like me. Then what?
Whereas, if I have a pre-fabricated, built-in excuse for why I am alone -- I’m a freak, I’m too caught up in my work, I’m fat, well, then, no one gets hurt.
So I hide. I hide, because I’m afraid. I’m terrified of getting hurt.
Worse. I know I am doing it. Since talking to Marie, I have realized it every time I choose something unhealthy to eat. Every time I hit the snooze button. Every time I lit a cigarette.
But I’m tired of it. Which is why I am writing this now. I tired of hiding. And while I know only a handful of people actually read this blog. Just knowing that it is out there may be enough.
I hope it will be anyway.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Well, I always sort of bought into that, except it wasn’t me that needed to open my eyes. It was a friend of mine.
Actually, more of a really good acquaintance.
I met him a few years ago and almost immediately developed a huge crush on him. But I got the sneaking suspicion he didn’t feel the same way. The more we hung out and the more I saw him in action, the more this feeling was confirmed.
But still, I thought, maybe one day. Just like my friends always said. One day we would be hanging out, laughing, drinking and he would realize just how freakin’ fantastic I am and we would live happily ever after.
Then I started to really think about it. Think about what I was waiting for. Think about why I was waiting. Then one night I was on a girl date with a new potential single girlfriend and she introduced me to two of her guy friends and after only one beer and a lot of laughs, her one guy friend couldn’t stop telling me how awesome I am.
What the? He knew me for maybe an hour and he already recognized it. Why was it taking my friend almost five years.
So I decided that I didn’t have a crush on him anymore. After all, I could never really be with someone that thick.
That is until a mutual friend got married. Maybe it was all the wine. Or the beer after. Or the wedding, or the dancing or what it felt like to have his tongue in my mouth -- I guess it doesn’t really matter -- I ended up going home with him.
Of course, because this is me we are talking about, only after I spilled my guts about my secret crush and how I know he didn’t like me and how I sort of really think that sucks and I can’t understand why he doesn’t like me the way I like him.
The next morning, while going over what of the conversation I remembered, I noticed that he never actually said he liked me. He argued my reasoning, and offered possible alternative motives for his actions, but he never said, “Tati, I like you. I’ve liked you for some time.” He never said anything like that.
Instead he kissed me, and I stupidly kissed him back.
As the haze of my hangover cleared, I prepared myself for the worst. I got a Gatorade, snuggled into my hangover couch, turned on my TV and waited for the regret to sink in.
Except, it never came.
The following morning, I tried to force it out. Kept reliving my stupidity over and over again. And still nothing.
I couldn’t help but think, while yes I was drunk, I was honest. I went home with a guy that I liked, and woke up next to a guy I didn’t.
Which was a relief. This time I was really over my crush on him.
So now the only thing I regret is not spending more time flirting with the cute lawyer that was seated at my table at the wedding. Well, that and that my friend’s roommate may or may not have seen me mostly naked.
But when you think about all my neighbors that may or may not have seen me naked over the years because I’m too lazy to bother closing my shades, that isn’t really a big deal either.
Monday, May 23, 2011
I had to tell him the truth. It wasn’t a case of the giggles. I was just so out of it I wasn’t capable of comprehending anything so I was laughing, hoping his friends were trying to be funny.
But I had planned to announce a reinvigorated effort to blog more often.
See, once I got tired of blogging about terrible guys, I had a bit of a case of writer’s block.
Actually, that isn’t entirely accurate. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to blog about terrible guys, but then I couldn’t think about what to blog about since my life isn’t all that interesting, and then I started to freak out that without douchy guys in my life, my life isn’t interesting and what the hell does that say about me as a person.
But then I was home and my parent’s were pushing me about babies -- my mother mentioned the words “sperm bank” no less than four times in 24 hours and when I mentioned that it would probably be a lot cheaper for me to just go to the corner bar, pick a guy up, bring him home and let him stick it in me, she thought about this for a minute and responded, “well, you would want him to get tested first.”
She thought about it! She thought I was being serious.
That is when I decided something needs to be done. Not only do I have to make my life worth blogging about, I have to blog it so that my parents can stop thinking my life needs a baby in it.
So, welcome to year number four. I promise there will be lots of blogs, some good stories, and I will try to keep the stories of jerks to a minimum.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Those of you that follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook know that a month or so ago I declared that I was officially tired of blogging about douchy guys. Not only did it get boring, it started to feel self-defeating. The more I blogged about jerks, the more focused I became on jerks, the more convinced I became that world was filled with nothing but jerks.
And then I met the Rock Climber.
Spoiler alert: I am not involved with the Rock Climber (so, no, I didn’t drop my blog for a guy) nor did anything happen between the Rock Climber and I (well, we did hug, which is sort of a big deal for me), nor will anything happen between us (he’s about 20 and lives in Colorado). You may now continue reading the blog with your lowered expectations.
As you may know, Lana moved to Colorado about two years ago and since she moved has been begging me to come visit her. As soon as I emailed Lana that I booked my trip, she scheduled us to spend one of my days there rock climbing. In case you couldn’t tell from my blog I’m not exactly the rock climbing type. I’m not coordinated, or rugged, or skinny. Still, Lana was really excited about it and so I agreed so long as we could spend the next day at the spa fixing my manicure.
Our guide for the day, Rock Climber, was everything he should be: young, rugged, and cute. He smiled a lot, carried one of those big backpacks with all the pockets and places to store things (and actually used all the pockets and storage), and said “awesome” a lot. I couldn’t have written a better wilderness guide if I wanted to.
Now, I won’t bore you will all the details of the day – there were tears, cuts and scrapes, cheers and lunch – and will just skip to the good part.
It was the last climb of the day and Rock Climber thought we should try to tackle a particularly tough looking rock face. Lana agreed. I scoffed.
The first part of the climb was easy – well easier than I thought it was going to be. As I neared the top, neared Rock Climber, it got harder and I got tired. I couldn’t get my footing, my legs and arms were shaking, I kept slipping and I couldn’t catch my breath. Then I slipped again, this time falling completely off the rock (but not to my death thanks to Rock Climber) which is when I really started to freak out.
Over my heavy breathing and heart palpitations and the voice in my head screaming “this is good enough.” I could hear Rock Climber telling me to “Sit back in my harness. Relax. Breathe. Try putting your foot there.”
I shook my head. “I can’t do this.”
“Look at me.”
I looked up.
“I think you can.”
I honestly think I can say no man has ever looked at me that way before. He wasn’t just saying that; he really believed it. No man has ever believed in me like that.
Sure, I was (or rather, Lana was) paying him to be so supportive. But I can’t imagine holding my fat butt 20 feet off of the ground was a whole lot of fun for him. In fact, I think it probably would have been easier for him to look at me and ask, “You’re really done? Okay, catch your breath and I will ease you down.” Sadly, I’m pretty sure if he were any of my ex-boyfriends that is exactly what he would have done.
But he didn’t. He thought I could do it and as it turns out he was right.
Monday, May 2, 2011
I rolled over, readjusting my pillow, slowly waking up despite my best efforts, thinking, that is an awful lot of cheering for a May victory over the Mets. Had Cliff Lee pitched a perfect game? Would that really be cause for such revelry on a Sunday night?
Then I started to listen to the chants. USA. USA. USA.
An odd chant for a Phillies’ win.
USA. USA. USA. Obama’s Dead.
I shot up. I’m not sure I know anyone that dislikes our president more than my father, and I couldn’t even imagine him taking to the streets to cheer his death. I ran to my window and looked down on a group of young men, walking down the street chanting.
“USA. USA. USA. Osama’s dead.”
Holy shit. I ran to my living room, turned on the TV and my computer and grabbed my phone. Twitter had exploded, a very much alive President Obama was addressing the nation, and my sister had sent a text saying “Osama bin Laden is dead.”
I spent the rest of night on my couch, in and out of consciousness, watching the news.
When I woke up sometime after 7 a.m., Matt and Meredith were showing me scenes of celebration that broke out around the nation, including the scene at the previous night’s Phillies-Mets game. While I was relieved to finally see Philly sports fans being covered by the national media for something other than being assholes, the idea of celebrating sat funny with me.
Instead of rejoicing, I started crying.
And while I have finally stopped, I am still fighting back the tears.
Please understand, I was not crying for the death of Osama bin Laden. I am happy that man is dead. I know the world is a better place now that he is gone. But my first instinct was not to run to Broad Street and celebrate.
As I sat there crying, I noticed the faces in the crowd coverage in D.C. were all very young. And the two kids with their big grins standing behind Matt at Ground Zero, were just that – kids; college kids that had driven down from Cornell to celebrate this blow to terrorism.
These kids were barely teenagers 10 years ago. And while I am sure they remember the attacks and were impacted by them, I have to think their experience was very different than those of me and my friends who were all the age these kids are now, 10 years ago.
I was their age when I sat on my bed, with my sister in my tiny apartment in Fairmount, watching a plane fly into one of the World Trade Center towers over and over and over again. Then watching it crumble, over and over and over again.
I was their age when the coverage switched from the streets of New York City to some long forgotten city street in the Middle East where extremists celebrated the deaths of more than 3,000 Americans.
I was their age, working in a bar, when one of my regulars came in, sat down and said, “I just got back from my first World Trade Center funeral.” His first. Because he had several to go. He was also just their age. Like me, he just graduated college and a number of his classmates had taken promising jobs in New York City.
I was their age when two weeks later I was running the Philadelphia Half Marathon. A woman was running in front of me wearing a white t-shirt. In black magic marker she had written "In memory of my son," with his birth date and his death date – September 11, 2001. I cried then too as I picked up my pace because I simply couldn’t stand to run behind her, reading that message.
As I think about that t-shirt, I start to cry all over again. I can’t stop remembering all of these things. I can’t stop thinking about all those people that died that day. How the whole world changed that day. And even though Osama bin Laden was largely responsible for this change, his death doesn’t change it back.
Which is probably why instead of celebrating, I am crying. I am happy and relieved he is gone. However, his death has served as a powerful reminder of everything we lost that day and since.
Monday, March 28, 2011
It was all purple and glittery. Inflated stars and hearts hung from the ceiling. It sold super cool pens with feathers and sparkles on them and matching, scented pads of paper. I silently cursed that I discovered this place so near the end of the school year and not in late August when it could have made me the envy of all of my classmates.
My mother, a sucker for my I-want-it-all-face, smiled down at my wide-eyed wonderment and told me I could get one thing. Just one.
Well, this wasn’t a decision to be taken lightly. I wandered the store, picking things up, putting them back down and occasionally sniffing things when it was required. And then I saw it. The thing I absolutely had to have and would simply die if my mom didn’t get it for me.
It was a two piece bathing suit.
But not just any two-piece bathing suit. It had a peach top that wasn’t smooth like other bathing suits, but ruched (no I didn’t know that word at the time, I just thought it was cool) and a turquoise blue bottom with a sash of peach flower pattern on a turquoise blue background. It looked so tropical. Like something one of my Barbies would wear. In short it was the most beautiful bathing suit I had ever seen.
When I tried it on, well, there was just no denying that this suit was made for me. Not even my mom could deny the beauty of that bathing suit.
It was one of the happiest days in my young life. No more silly, childish one-pieces with Miss Piggy on the front and ruffles along the bottom. I had a two-piece. I was a grown-up. I was eight-years-old.
Now this two piece bathing suit that I was so proud of had a top looked like a sports bra and the bottom was a brief cut, with the sash around the waist covering my belly button. It was nothing like the bikini my much older sister wore. It survived diving into pools, hardcore games of Marco Polo, body surfing, water slides, and running away from the neighborhood boys. After all, I was still an eight-year-old girl and I literally spent my summer in that swim suit.
And while I remember a lot of things about that summer, the one thing I don’t remember is ever feeling fat or too pale or as if my boobs were too small to fill it out my awesome swimsuit. Heck, I didn’t even have boobs at eight. I did worry that someone would see too much of my backside as I got off the speed slide at Wildwater Kingdom. I was petrified of spilling blue snow cone “juice” on the front of my suit and ruining it forever. I was also scared about who my third grade homeroom teacher was going to be and whether or not my best friend and I would be in the same class. But never once did I worry about my chest being too small.
Why am I bringing this up? Because Abercrombie & Fitch has just released its new padded, push-up triangle-top bikini – the Ashley – for girls ages 7 to 14.
Think about that. Second grade girls owning a padded, push-up bikini top. I saw the thing laying on a table on the Today show – it has about as much padding as one of my padded, push-up bras. But I am an insecure 32-year-old woman. I’m allowed padding.
These are young girls that aren’t supposed to know that they are flat-chested yet. They have their whole lives to be insecure about their bodies and whether or not they are attractive to the opposite (or same) sex. Why are we pushing this on them? Why, when the one thing they should be looking for in a swimsuit top is whether or not it will come off when jump off the high dive at the pool, are retailers telling them that they need bigger boobs to look good in a bikini?
What upsets me more than Abercrombie & Fitch thinking this is okay – let’s be honest, A&F is evil and they will continue to do these outlandish things just to keep their name in the media – is that there are probably parents out there that will buy this bathing suit for their daughters.
Which is why instead of calling for a boycott of this despicable institution (actually I can’t imagine a lot of my readers shop at A&F so boycotting won’t do much good) I say we buy them out of these suits and then destroy them. Yes, I realize buying these suits will just pad A&F’s bottom line, but let’s be honest, as long as there is babysitting and paper route money, that chain isn’t going anywhere. However, there is a higher purpose that needs to be met here. We need to keep these suits off of our young girls.
We need to give them another summer (or more if possible) of not caring how they look in their swimsuits. Another summer just assuming they look awesome. Another summer when their biggest worry is a water-slide wedgie.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I just heard the collective groans of all 22 of my readers. Yes. This again.
First, I am still wondering if I even want to get married. But I will get into that later. The real bit that has me stuck is when she suggested that we aren’t married because we are liars.
Priding myself on not being a liar, I secretly applauded the author for calling women out on this. We all know a liar. We all have a good friend that is with a guy that everyone knows isn’t in it for the long haul, he has even told her as much, and we want to shake her but she just sighs and tells us we don’t understand, that we aren’t there when it is just the two of them, by themselves and he tells her he loves her and she doesn’t care that he doesn’t want to commit because they spend all their time together and who needs a title anyway?
If you are anything like me, you are so scared for this friend of yours. You say to anyone that will listen, “That girl is lying to herself.” Every time you see that friend’s name on the caller ID, you bite your lip before hitting the answer button, expecting her to be sobbing on the other end of the line.
And you're not wrong to be worried. But the truth is your friend is also right. You aren’t there when they are alone. They do spend a lot of time together. He comes to all her things and he invites her out with him and his friends. Both their Facebook profile pictures include each other. And while it is easy to judge a situation when your feelings aren’t invested, it is a wholly different thing to be in a situation where you really like a guy, and you really like spending time with him, and you have so much fun when you are together, and he makes you feel like no other guy has made you feel, and he is pretty much perfect for you minus one, small, itsy-bitsy little detail – he doesn’t want to call you his girlfriend.
Every relationship book we have read has told us to run from this situation as fast as our little (or not so little as the case may be) legs can carry us. So why won’t liars listen? Why do they insist on sticking around? Do they know something we don’t? Could there be something to staying in a relationship even when your partner refuses to call it that?
And no, I am not asking because I have suddenly found myself in this situation.
It is because, I’m not sure marriage is my goal.
So if marriage isn’t the ultimate goal -- or even if it is but you are still holding out the silly hope that you can be one of those that finds happiness in it by finding the perfect guy for you – why not spend your time with a guy that might not be the one you spend happily ever after with?
Yes, I know there are studies and vignettes and hormones all proving women are incapable (or less capable) of casual sex. But that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about being with someone you love (or like a whole lot) that loves (or likes you or is good enough at pretending he likes you that you don’t know any better) as opposed to spending your time alone. Or worse, spending your time with someone that doesn’t make you feel all warm and special inside because you know there is a better chance that that someone will marry you.
I took a long hard look at the liars in my life. They are all pretty happy right now. Sure there are times when they hurt, or when they want more, but that passes just as quickly as all the times that I am sad because I haven’t had a date in a while. And sure, they could get really hurt when the guy that has been telling them that he doesn’t want anything serious moves on. But they could also get hit by a bus and die tomorrow. Yet, I wouldn’t advise any of them not to leave their houses – ever.
Personally, I’m not sure its possible for me to be so risky – to throw such caution to the wind and be with someone that I am so sure is only going to hurt me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not jealous of liars’ bravery.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Considering all the thinking I’ve been doing about relationships (not necessarily getting married) this article struck a nerve. Particularly because it is as if she is addressing me personally in her first couple of paragraphs (simply replace “to get married” with “a boyfriend”).
After reading the article late last night and determining that I meet the standards for four of the six reasons, I came to the obvious conclusion that I am never going to get married. I then drank two big glasses of wine and passed out on my couch. But not before posting the article to my Facebook page.
The next day, not able to shake the feeling that I should be angrier at the author of the article, I re-read it. Yep, I’m still a selfish, shallow bitch that doesn’t think she is good enough (sometimes). But hey, at least I’m not a liar or a slut (anymore, and really sometimes I wish I still was). Besides the not being good enough part – which I am working on, kind of – I really sort of admire my bitchy selfish ways. (As for being shallow, I find her argument flawed in that she married a man she describes as a liar and a cheater – neither qualities I would for in a man of character.)
So I’m a bitch because I’m angry. I’m not always angry. Besides there are a lot of things in this world to be angry about. Especially if you are a woman. That reads. Or sees. Or hears. Or thinks. And while I have never seen Kim Kardashian angry, I have to believe she has been. And if she hasn’t well then she’s an idiot. Because there is no way you can be smart and not be angry at least some time. Plus, I can be angry and nice. A lot of people think I am really nice: pleasant even. So if a guy is looking for someone to be nice to him – I can do that. So long as he’s not a rapist or a child molester or thinks I’m dumber than him simply because I’m a woman. In my opinion those sort of guys don’t deserve my niceness and what the hell, I wouldn’t marry that sort of guy anyway. Even if he was tall (so, see, I’m not even that shallow).
So I’m selfish. Yes, I think about myself a lot. Hell, I’ve dedicated a blog and a Facebook page and a Twitter account to the practice. But I don’t think I’m self-absorbed (feel free to disagree – you are all entitled to your opinions even if they are wrong). I spend most of my time thinking about myself (my career, my thighs) because that is what I have to think about. But I also think about my parents and my friends and my co-workers and poor people and the Today Show hosts, and Stewart Bradley and rape victims (which is when I get angry) and now Kim Kardashian. If I had a boyfriend, I would think about him too, giving me less time to think about myself. If I had a kid, I would have a lot less time to think about myself. However, I’m not about to go out and have a kid to prove I’m not selfish (and in turn find a husband).
Still not angry at the author, I read the article a third time. Which is when I started thinking about reason number seven (no it’s not in the article) why you’re (I’m) not married. Because I don’t want to be. I realized I agree with everything Tracy wrote. She tells the cold, hard, ugly truth in it. And if I wanted a husband (or a boyfriend) all I would have to do is make three really easy changes (and one not so easy change) and I would probably be married (or seeing someone seriously) in less than two years.
But I don’t want to make those changes. So maybe I don’t want a boyfriend?
I know it probably isn’t that simple, but I kind of think it is. For the past couple of weeks I have been questioning my motives for wanting a boyfriend, finally deciding that the reason didn’t matter. But what if I haven’t been asking the right question?
What if instead of asking why I no longer want to be single I should be asking am I tired of being single or am I tired of being the single friend?
Thursday, January 27, 2011
She asked us, using me as an example, if my mother came into my bedroom when I was sleeping and told me she loved me, and the following day I was asked “When was the last time your mother told me she loved me?” What would be the truthful answer?
Then, let us suppose, that I went home and my mother told me about her late night visit to my room and its purpose, did that mean I lied earlier?
I know I have been talking (err, writing) about truth a lot lately, and there is a reason for that.
I recently learned that Houdini is dating someone I find absolutely deplorable. What bothers me isn’t that he is dating someone, or that he is dating her, really. What bothers me is trying to figure out how Houdini -- or who I thought Houdini was -- can date me and then date her. How can he possibly be attracted to both of us when we are so completely opposite? Was the time Houdini and I spent together a lie or is the guy this despicable woman dating not Houdini?
It would be lovely if it were that easy. But I realized, it’s not. Truth changes.
I think we all want it easy. We want people to fit into neat little boxes. We want the good guy. The bad boy. The hero. The villain. Sadly, however, we aren’t characters in a bad romantic comedy. We are a little more three dimensional than that -- and maybe that is a good thing.
Eff that -- it is a good thing.
See, if we were just characters in a movie, then I would be relegated to the weird, cold, strangely obsessed with things no one else cares about best friend that you like and think is funny, but never know what really happens to and after the credits roll, you completely forget about until you see her again playing another quirky best friend. But I’m more than that.
And so is Houdini.
Whatever he has done since the break-up -- and whatever he does in the future -- doesn’t change what happened between us. It doesn’t make his I love you’s a lie. And if they were a lie, it doesn't change my feelings for him. It doesn’t make my feelings for him stupid or me stupid for having them.
Same holds true for your exes; whether you spent three months with him/her or three years. We can’t know the whole truth. We can only know our truth -- and we have to trust that. And that is true not just about relationships, but about life.
So, I’m not a hypocrite for thinking I could be single and happy forever and now desperately wanting a boyfriend. It also doesn’t mean I can’t be single and happy forever. It just means that who I was when I was 23 isn’t who I am as I turn (cough, cough) 33. And thank goodness for that.
It also means that I may have to find a new way to be happy and single. It may also mean not casting every guy I meet into a convenient role so I don’t have to actually get to know him.
I know it is too late for New Year’s resolutions -- thankfully it isn’t too late for Chinese New Year’s resolutions -- but I think I finally have one (above and beyond the learning French and tennis and loosing a ton of weight). In 2011, I resolve to not dwell in the past and just try to live in the here and now with all the beauty (and sometimes ugliness) that it brings. I'm also not going to spend so much time in the here and now trying to figure out everything I don't know.
Because tomorrow could change everything.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
When I first read the comment I breathed a sigh of relief. Of course. My truth has simply changed. I haven’t been lying to myself. What was fun and exciting when I was younger, simply isn’t any more. I really do have no desire to randomly have sex with strange guys. That I can say for certain because it has been a very long time and I know it is very easy for girls to get action. Still, I refrain from going out and simply saying yes to every quasi-attractive guy I see because I know I won’t enjoy it.
Okay, I might enjoy IT, but I won’t enjoy the next day, or the day after that, or the month after that.
So, yea! I’m not a hypocrite. I celebrated.
Then I got a text message from a friend of a friend saying she was in town, at a bar, watching football and did I want to join them.
Of course I did. There are few things I love more than watching football (doesn’t really matter the team) in a bar, surrounded by people cheering and booing and high-fiving. And since none of my friends were going out for the game, this text message seemed to have come from above.
However, it was a Sunday and I was on my way home from grocery shopping with a reusable bad filled with the makings for a healthy dinner when I got the text message. My responsible side thought I should respond immediately, saying no thank you, go home, make my super healthy dinner, and watch the game while knitting a hat. But The fun side of me started playing the If … Then Game. You know the game – if my hat is already 6.5 inches, then I can go out to the bar. Or, if I get home before kick-off, then I can go out to watch the game. Or, if I get home and Stewart Bradley has not sent me a text message inviting me out to watch the game with him, then I should go meet up with the friend of the friend.
When I got home, the hat was just under 4.5 inches, but the pre-game coverage had just started, and I didn’t have a single text from Stewart Bradley.
Still, I decided not to go. Instead, I put my groceries away, grabbed a beer and sank back into my couch to watch the game at home.
See, the rest of the way home I came up with two pretty good reasons for not going. One, this friend of a friend is in her 20s and my guess was the friends she was hanging out with were all in their 20s and the last thing I wanted to be was the old lady at the bar. Two, I was pretty sure one of the friends the friend of a friend was hanging out with was my brother’s friend, Forbidden Fruit. While I am not about to go out and hook up with a random stranger, I wasn’t sure I could be so steadfast in my resolve not to make out with F Squared. Especially if he was drunk and I could say I was drunk and he was flirting with me.
Oh, don’t judge me. Did you miss the part where I said it has been awhile. A long while.
Back to the point, you will note that neither of my reasons had anything to do with what I actually wanted to do -- which was go to the bar and watch the football game.
So, as I sat there, I asked myself, what has changed? Have I changed or have my circumstances changed? Have I evolved or am I merely adapting? And, again, do the semantics matter?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
You also should know that part of my effort has included opening up time in my schedule to date – time that I have been using to spend with myself.
I’m actually a pretty fascinating person to spend time. For instance, the other night, I challenged myself to really look at why I was suddenly so desirous to have a boyfriend.
“Simple,” I responded. “I’m finally at a point in my life where I am happy, content even. And I want to share that happiness with someone.”
I crossed my arms. “If you are so happy, why do you need someone else in your life?”
I rolled my eyes. “I didn’t say I needed someone. I said I wanted someone.”
“Well, it just seems to me that if you are so happy, you might be hesitant to bring someone in who screw it all up.”
I was aghast. “Are you suggesting I’m not happy?”
“Not at all,” I smirked. “I just find the timing of it all very convenient.”
“And what is that supposed to mean?”
I leaned back in my chair, “You don’t find it interesting that the exact time you want a boyfriend just happens to coincide with the first time in your life more of your friends are in relationships than aren’t?”
I hadn’t thought about it that way and of course I could tell that I hit a nerve. Man, I hate when I get all smug.
When I first moved to Philadelphia I lived with a gay man I will call Keating. And, actually, Keating’s niece (who was my age and how I happened to move into the house) also lived with us. Keating thought it was funny that he was in his 30s living with two, single girls in their early 20s, so he nicknamed our home Keating’s Home for Wayward Girls.
Keating didn’t just provide a roof over our head, three square meals a day, and a cocktail hour everyday, promptly at five, he also provided us an education. I can safely say, without Keating I wouldn’t be the woman you read before you today. He introduced me to Dorothy Parker, Liz Phair, and Martha Stewart. He taught me about art, and music, and people, and food. Cripes, before I met Keating I didn’t like wine. Can you believe there was ever a time in my life that I didn’t like wine?
One of Keating’s concerns about me (he had several) was what he called my Dragon Lady persona. Keating wasn’t a fan of my gruff exterior, my brutal honesty, the way I chewed men up and spit them out just for sport. He suggested I try letting someone in, letting them actually get to know me instead of having them run the deadly obstacle course I had set up around myself. He warned that his sort of attitude would keep me single forever.
My response? How do you think a 22-year-old me would respond? I told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. That if a guy wanted to be with me, he had to accept all of me, including the dragon lady side of me because that is who I am – take it or leave it.
Now, of course, I still believe this. But I think what Keating was trying to get at, and what I didn’t understand then, was that I’m not just a dragon lady. Hell, to be perfectly honest, I’m not even mostly dragon lady. But back when I was a scared 22-year-old, I felt safer as a dragon lady than as someone’s girlfriend.
In my return rant to Keating back in the day, I also added that I loved being single and that I don’t care if I’m single for the rest of my life.
He responded that being single is fun in the your 20s but not so in your 30s and 40s when hanging out at a bar grows tiresome and all of your friends are in relationships.
These are the words that have been ringing in my ears ever since I pointed out to myself that for the first time since the seventh grade I’m single when all of my closest friends have boyfriends.
I mean, I’m still happy being single, right? It’s still fun, right? My sudden urge to have a boyfriend is coming from a desire to share my fun, happy life, not from fear that I am going to be left behind, right? This isn’t some residual effect of the trauma of once being the cheese in the game Farmer and the Dell, right?
I honestly can’t answer these questions. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m over being selected as the cheese that one time in kindergarten. But the rest are sort of fuzzy. And maybe it shouldn’t matter what my motives are, but it does to me. I have spent the last decade telling anyone that would listen that I am a healthy, happy single woman and that I don’t mind if I spend the rest of my life this way.
Was I lying that whole time?
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The three-month-guy (or as I affectionately like to call him, the three-monther) is someone you date, who comes on strong, seems great, terrific and wonderful, and despite yourself, you find yourself really liking. Sure, you have only known him a short time, but he says and does everything right and hell, he was the first to say the L-word and so maybe, just maybe the universe is finally giving you a break. After all, didn’t you have to endure countless terrible dates (remember the guy that whipped out his third nipple on your first date) and near-heartbreaking rejections, not to mention the sideways glances and questions and sounds of a clock ticking you get from your relatives every Thanksgiving. And just when you have convinced yourself it is okay to let go and like this guy – poof. He disappears. Vanishes into thin air.
Those lucky enough to track down their three-month-guys are always met with some lame excuse about needing to focus on something in their lives that is not your relationship.
Meanwhile, you can't shake the feeling you are being punked. After all, wasn’t he the one who was pushing you two to spend so much time together? He was the one who put this relationship on fast forward. You were just along for the ride. So if he needed more time to focus on his career, school, family, friends, art, or Star Wars collectibles, why didn’t he just take that time? Why couldn’t he just tell you he needed to slow things down? Why does he seem to believe you require so much time and attention? Why couldn’t you two talk about this like grown-ups? What made him think it would be okay to just disappear like that? What made him think you didn’t deserve/earn some sort of explanation for why he was smothering you with affection one day and not returning your calls the next? Did you do something wrong? Say something wrong? Step into some bad lighting? Oh my god, could he be gay?
Somewhere in the middle of all of those questions is the answer – you couldn’t talk about this like grown-ups because he’s not one.
It helps if you think about this guy like your eighth grade boyfriend. Remember him? Remember how you met at a school dance and you two danced all the slow songs together? How he called you that weekend and asked you if you wanted to go out, which meant you two were boyfriend and girlfriend not that you were actually going to go anywhere? The next week he passed you a note that said he loved you. He held your hand while the two of you walk down the hallway, he always met you at your locker between classes and waited after school with you for your bus.
Then wham – you come to school one Monday and he’s not waiting by your locker. By third period you learn over the weekend he ran into Jenny Kline at the mall and now he loves her.
It’s a lot like that.
Just like your eighth grade boyfriend had no real reason for dumping you for your best friend, the three-monther can’t explain why he can’t date you and pursue his lifelong ambition to become a professional base-jumper. Because there isn’t a reason. This isn’t about you. It’s about him. He is essentially still an eighth grade boy who falls for every new shiny object that is out there.
To him, you were just another shiny object to play with for a while, and then discard when he got bored or something newer and shinier came along.
I should point out that not all three-monthers stick around for three-months; some last only three weeks, some make it to six months. So don’t think once you’ve cleared the three month hurdle you are in the clear. Likewise, if you fell for a guy after only a month, when he disappeared, you could still be the latest victim of this trend.
Sadly, I also can’t give you advice on how to treat the three-month-guy mostly because you can’t spot him until after he is gone. I mean I guess I could tell you to be weary of any guy whom you have great chemistry with who comes on strong, but that could mean missing out on something great. After all, there are great guys out there that are ready for a relationship (right?). So short of growing cold and bitter and choosing never to let anyone close to you again, avoiding the three-monther is damn near impossible.
No, I only wanted to draw your attention to this sort of guy so when you find yourself a victim you can reduce the amount of time you spend wallowing in self-loathing and self-doubt. Remember how, back in the eighth grade, you went home and cried and cried and maybe listened to a couple of Chicago songs over and over again until your parents came home and asked what was wrong and in between sobs you told them about what a jerk your boyfriend was and how you hate Jenny but moreover you hate yourself because you aren’t as pretty as Jenny.
Remember what your parents said to you that day? Oh, god, no, not the ugly duckling speech. The other things. About how you are wonderful and perfect and there is nothing wrong with you and that one day you will find someone who appreciates you for the wonderful person you are.
So there’s no need to pull that Chicago 17 CD out from the back of the closet. Think about what your parents said to you then (and your Aunt Tati is saying to you now). Your life isn’t over, you will meet someone else and there is nothing wrong with you. It’s him.
Trust me on this one.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Maybe more than once.
I took a shower and decided that regardless of how I was feeling on the inside, I was going to look amazing on the outside. I walked over to my closet, pulled out my favorite gray sweater dress, then reached up on my tip-toes to pull down my gray, suede shoe boots.
The box was about a quarter of the way out when I could tell it was empty. Naturally, I pushed it back into place.
Unfortunately the box that was precariously perched on top of it, didn’t slide back into place. Instead, it came crashing down on me; the corner hitting me right in the eye.
Did I mention the box contained a pair of five-inch wedges? I don’t think I realized just how heavy those suckers were until they clocked my in the face.
I ran to my bathroom to assess the damage. My eye was red, and starting to swell. The box had broken skin, only a small amount, just under my. I gently touched the afflicted area and cringed.
It hurt. A lot. As you may recall, I had a date that night with Ringo. I looked at my swollen eye in the mirror and wondered if this was the universe’s way of telling me something.
As I dried my hair, my swollen red eye slowly turned to a swollen black eye. It wasn’t super black – just a little black, I told myself. Plus, I had all day to bring the swelling down. For those of you that don’t know me personally – I have super cold hands. Which is bad because whenever I go to get a manicure the woman painting my nails always exclaims “your hands are so cold” and then, sometimes, she laughs. However, when your shoes attack, freezing cold hands are a bonus and they provide you two ice packs conveniently located at the end of your arms.
I did my make-up, got dressed, and went back to my bathroom for a final look. Even with my hair all fussed up and the 30 pounds of concealer, all I could see was the gash under the swollen, purplish skin around my eye. I was suddenly no longer in the mood for my super cute sweater dress and decided to change.
Now, you know how when you have a zit, it's the only thing you can see but then you are talking to one of your friends and you say something like “and then I woke up this morning with this huge zit in the middle of my forehead” and they respond, what zit? And they mean it. Because you think it is huge, meanwhile no body else notices it.
That is what I was hoping was the deal with my eye. I was hoping that because I could feel it and I knew it happened that whenever I looked in a mirror it was all I could see, but in reality it wasn’t noticeable at all.
That dream started to fade when I got on the subway and I noticed people looking at me and then quickly, guiltily looking away. Of course, maybe I was just being paranoid.
Then I got into work and the first words out of my co-worker Rhoda’s mouth were, “what happened to your eye?”
Still, the piece de resistance (as the French would say) had to be on my way to my date with Ringo. I was running to catch the el and bumped into a woman. She immediately turned on me, looking like she was about to yell, when she stopped and simply said “damn.”
Apparently, my icepacks hands didn’t do the trick.
Four hours later, I was finally home with a pack of frozen edamame on my face and a glass of wine in my hand, wondering if it was just too dark in the bar for Ringo to notice my eye or if he was just being polite by not mentioning it.
I also wondered if my mom would believe my story when she saw me later that week (she did, by the way, but then, she is just as klutzy as I am so she probably had something similar happen to her once).
I also wondered if there was a way I could blame my black eye on Houdini.
But mostly I wondered how the universe was going to top this in 2011.
Friday, January 7, 2011
I’m also not one to back down from a dare.
And, I’m also a bit of a fashion victim.
It was because these three things combined that I almost found myself standing face-to-face with Houdini in hockey socks and a mini-dress.
Let me explain.
Have you seen the arm warmers that have become all the rage? I’m sure you have and I’m sure you have strong feelings one way or the other about them. Personally, I love them. They are great to wear outside, leaving your fingers free to text, and they are equally as great to wear in the office where the collars on my mod dresses make sweaters impractical but the temperature leaves my bare arms with goose bumps – the men in the office control the thermostat and they insist that it is always too warm. Regardless, the arm warmers rock because they keep me warm and allow me to type.
Of course, there is one downside to the arm warmers and that is they leave my upper arm bare. A fact pointed out to me by a co-worker that we will call Mack. Mack teased me about this (along with others), at one point suggesting he would bring in hockey socks for me to wear.
I never actually expected him to bring in hockey socks for me to wear.
For those of you who haven’t the pleasure of knowing what hockey socks are – let me explain. You know those, striped, knit, probably polyester socks that hockey players wear over their pads and tuck into their skates? Those are hockey socks. For those of you who still don’t know what I am talking about, think acrylic leg warmers – really long, striped, oversize leg warmers.
So there I was, the proud owner of two pairs of hockey socks – that it seems I was being dared to wear. I certainly couldn’t wear them on my arms – I have put on some weight, but not that much weight. So, I was also facing a very awkward work wardrobe dilemma. How the heck was I going to pull off this look?
As luck would have it, our group decided to have a holiday bowling party, which we would be expected to attend straight from work. I found it very hard to believe this was simply a coincidence.
That’s right. I decided to wear the hockey socks (the purple, yellow and white striped pair) to the office bowling party. What does one wear with hockey socks (besides hip pads and skates)? A black mini-dress and textured tights of course. Oh, and arm warmers. Top it all off with bowling shoes and I must say, I was looking mighty fine.
And by mighty fine, I mean completely ridiculous.
But everyone at the bowling alley (at least in the immediate vicinity) worked with me and knew it was a joke. They pointed and laughed and took pictures and whenever I did well (mind you, I bowled a 59, so by well I mean knocked down any pins) they proclaimed that it had to be the socks.
We had so much fun bowling, a couple of us thought it might be fun to continue the party at a bar around the corner.
I took off my bowling shoes and wondered if I should also take off the hockey socks. Sure they were funny at a bowling alley, but they were funny because I looked ridiculous. Which, I guess would still be funny at the bar. But what if I ran into CK at the bar or along the way – he saw enough of me looking ridiculous in college.
So I took the hockey socks off. And while I didn’t run into CK (you know if I was wearing the socks I would have) I did run into someone I didn’t expect to see – Houdini.
There are a lot of embarrassing moments in break-ups. I looked down at my textured stockings and thank the lord this wasn’t one of them.
Of course, I was still wearing the arm warmers – but you know I was rocking those.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The morning after my office’s holiday party, I woke up on my couch, the details of the previous night a little fuzzy. Whenever I find myself in this situation – which isn’t often because I don’t have a problem – I like to go over what I do remember.
I remembered arriving to the office party.
I remembered making flirty eyes at one of my co-workers (I shook my head in shame).
I remembered some old man complimenting me on my barrette (I shuddered).
There was a lot of food at the party, but I couldn’t eat most of it so I kept drinking.
Then the party was over and I met up with friends at a nearby bar, where I saw my cute co-worker but I didn’t talk to him, didn’t even look his way (I smiled).
We were upstairs, my friends introduced me to their other friends. A bunch of names I don’t remember. And one of them was cute. What’s his name.
Oh right, then we were talking and I still didn’t know his name. Did someone distract me when he said his name? Then everyone was leaving. I shared a cab with him and one of his friends. Didn’t know his name either. We dropped his friend off. He suggested we hit up another bar. We did. He ordered our drinks. We talked. We talked a lot. What did we talk about? Oh god – we made out. A lot.
In a bar.
And I don’t know his name.
I squeezed my eyes shut as I remembered that I gave him my number.
And because this is my life he wasn’t one of the countless men whose names I could remember the next day, and whose conversations I repeated in their entirety to my friends in an effort to convince them that there was a real connection, and that I really wanted to call me but never did.
Now I will fast forward through all the embarrassing text messages and the voicemail he left (with his name praise Jesus) and the awkward phone conversation and drop you right in on my date with Ringo (obviously not his real name but a nickname Bridie and I came up with for him).
The first words out Ringo's mouth (after hello) were “Wow, you’re a lot taller than I remember.”
That’s right, readers, I was on a date with a guy who was probably exactly my height, but because I was wearing heels seemed shorter than me. Strike one.
Quick side note here – As I am constantly getting grief about my issues with height I feel it only pertinent to point out that Ringo looked a combination of shocked and disgusted as he uttered the above phrase. Even after I pointed out that I was wearing heels, he didn’t look happy to be on a date with a taller woman.
We sat down and almost immediately I make the huge mistake of asking him what he does. He looked at me blankly and I realized this was probably something we already discussed. After he answered, I apologized, explaining that that night was kind of fuzzy for me.
He smiled and said the evening was a bit of a blur for him too.
Then an awkward silence as we both realized that we could either a) admit just how blurry things were and start over or b) continue on as if it didn’t matter.
I preferred (a); he chose (b).
At some point during this awkward tip-toeing around the basic information we didn’t know about each other he mentioned he’s a Cowboys fan. A Dallas Cowboys fan.
My face twisted up in horror -- it was too sore from my black eye for me to control it. Oh did I mention I had a black eye? Yeah, that story is for another time.
He looked up to see my pained expression and said, “Maybe I should have told you I was a pedophile that likes to kick dogs.”
I smiled, nodded and thought, he’s funny. I could almost look past his height for funny. Too bad he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan. Strike two.
Shortly after realizing I could never introduce this guy to my family, he paid for his beer, and we headed over to the theater to see Black Swan (yep, another totally inappropriate date movie, but this time I didn’t pick it). Very little was said, we even split up because the line to get tickets was so long and I wanted popcorn. We shared my popcorn, both being very careful to never reach for the popcorn at the same time.
During the movie he checked his BlackBerry at least twice. Strike Three, not that I needed a third strike.
After the movie Ringo offered to drive me home (first we would have to walked to his place) but I opted for I cab. I offered him a ride to his place, he declined. We then exchanged a very chaste kiss, which made me smile.
As I pulled away from him to get into the cab, I noticed he was smiling too. Probably thinking the same thing I was – thank god that’s over.
Number of potential boyfriends: back to zero.