September 23, 2007
On Friday, I went to a bachelorette party.
I am WAY too old for bachelorette parties. I decided this as I lay in bed at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, completely unable to move lest the driving pain in my head migrate to another part of my brain with renewed agony in that delightful way that hangover headaches tend to do.
I’ve noticed that guys LOVE to flock to bachelorette parties. I’m not quite sure why that is, although I have a couple of theories. The first, and most likely, is that it is pretty much guaranteed that every girl in the group is drunk. The second, and perhaps more farfetched, is that guys assume that a bride-to-be’s single friends are so caught up in a state of jealousy of their happy friend, fear of the “always a bridesmaid” phenomenon and a competetively-based determination to show the new bride how awesome the single life is and how much she (the new bride) is giving up that they’ll pretty much go home with anything.
I don’t know. At any rate, our group was attracting a lot of attention, and it wasn’t long before I noticed that one guy was making a point of trying to talk to me. He offered to buy me a beer, and I accepted – my theory being that if he wants to waste his money on a beer without finding out if I’m available or not, that’s a $5 lesson he needs to learn. Then, one of my friends noticed that he was wearing a wedding ring and, not so subtly leaned over to point it out to me.
I confirmed the presence of the ring and asked the guy if he was married. He said that he was, and then reiterated his offer to buy me a drink. This time I declined, firmly, and suggested that his wife would not approve of him making that offer. He seemed surprised that I wouldn’t accept a drink, asking me at least 3 or 4 more times if he could just buy me one drink, just one. Each time, I declined again, telling him that I do not accept drinks from married men. Finally, in an effort to help his situation, he leaned over and whispered that he was “just in town a couple of days” in a suggestive tone.
As if that helps. As if I’m going to lean back over to him and whisper “well in that case, why don’t we skip the drinks and head back to my place?” AS IF! I cannot imagine who this guy thought he was, and the impression he must have had of me.
Ew. Ewwwww. Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.
Needless to say, I walked away from him at that point. If I had not done so, I very likely would have put my knee to his groin.
What the hell is wrong with people???
September 20, 2007
So I just did two things that I never ever EVER thought I’d do.
First, I came up with the absolutely most perfect Christmas gift ever for the new boyfriend. This is important in my world because I am an absolutely horrible gift-giver. Awful. It is without a doubt my Achilles Heel. My family’s Christmas presents from last year are still in my closet. As is a certain Jack Johnson CD that I purchased for a friend who was even here – in my house – for 2 full days and it never occurred to me to just hand it to him. I’m even more awful when it comes to picking out gifts for boys. What the hell do boys like? Damned if I know. Their needs are so simple. Beer. Cheeseburgers. Televised sports. Girls. They do tend to enjoy electronic gadgets, which is a possibility, but they inevitably, invariable, annoyingly purchase those gadgets for themselves whenever the whim strikes them.
But I did it. I came up with the perfect present. 4 tickets to an NFL game. I would get the tickets for one of the final games of the season, when it could actually matter. He could take me, if he wanted, though it wouldn’t be required. But then he could take two other people who might, I don’t know, actually care about football. There’d be tailgating. There’d be beer. There’d be sitting in a cold ass parking lot and then a cold ass stadium, cheering our heads off (if only to stay warm). The. Most. Perfect. Boy. Gift. Idea. Ever.
So I went online and went about doing the second thing I never thought I’d do in my life. Attempt to purchase tickets for a National Football League game.
And that’s when my elation gave way to deflation.
Do you have any idea HOW FUCKING EXPENSIVE NFL TICKETS ARE??????????
It’s insane. The cheap seats are $200. A seat. For a 4 hour game. Outside. In December.
Is it possible that I am the only one that finds this completely and unbelievably sadistic?
Even more ridiculous – I’m actually still considering it. For a boy I’ve been dating for less than a month. Because now that I’ve found the single most perfect gift ever – how do I not get it?
September 19, 2007
A nod to Talk Like a Pirate Day and a groan of frustration.
Those effing Mets better win tonight. That’s all I’m saying.
September 18, 2007
You told me your side, here is my response.
Get over yourself. It’s not about you. What you don’t seem to understand; what, in my opinion, you’ve never seemed to have understood, is that relationships are as much about her needs as they are about yours. She told you what she needed from you. Time and again. You didn’t listen. You were afraid, which is understandable, but so was she. Instead of being sympathetic to her fears, you exploited them. You talked about other girls, past and present. You criticized her appearance; her weight. You got upset when she saw other people, but then refused to give her assurance that this was going somewhere, that this was more than just a here and now type fling. When she got upset and threatened to break things off, you made promises and pledges and then didn’t keep them.
And then YOU ended it. You told her this wasn’t working. She accepted your decision, and she moved on.
And now? You’ve suddenly realized what a great girl she is. You’ve suddenly discovered that what she wanted from you wasn’t that unreasonable or outrageous. You’ve suddenly remembered how beautiful, kind, sweet and generous she is. You’ve suddenly decided that you don’t want her out of your life.
So I’ll say to you again. This isn’t about you. It’s not about your needs. Not anymore. She did her best and you took that for granted. If you realized that it wasn’t all about you, you would appreciate what you put her through. You would understand why she can’t be pulled into that again. You would apologize – sincerely apologize – for causing her so much confusion and anxiety. You would realize that you need to work through your own stuff before you asked her to give you another chance. You wouldn’t expect her to believe in the same promises that you’ve already broken. You would stop telling her, and start showing her.
But, my guess is that you won’t. So instead, why don’t you give her a break, and stop asking for things that you haven’t earned?
September 13, 2007
I rediscovered a very close friend just over a year ago. Relegated by time and circumstance to contacting each other once or twice a year with a “hey, how are you doing? this is what’s happening with me” email, he wasn’t exactly the first person I turned to when my ex and I split up. In fact, I think I waited more than three months after the ex moved out to send out my semi-annual email and let him know what was going on.
The response was unexpected. A sympathetic return email led to a phone call, which led to another, which led to a weekend visit. We both seemed to quickly remember what it was about our past friendship that we had enjoyed so much, and began talking regularly.
We flirted with the idea of turning our friendship into something more, but I was too fucked up, broken, scared and numbed by my personal recent history to be capable of much of anything that required any emotional investment, those pesky emotions were still all wrapped up in someone else. I told him how I felt and, at the time, I think it hurt him. And that was devastating to me. Having been recently hurt myself, it was horrible to cause pain for someone I cared about and who had become so important to me.
Once that experiment failed, we took a break. Me to continue to heal, him to evaluate whether and how he would choose to fit me into his life. His sudden silence left a hole in my life – I had been accustomed to calling him anytime, all the time, to tell him about something he would find ridiculous (he found humor in EVERYTHING, so that was easy), to talk shop or to just vent. But he had asked for a break and so, despite my selfish need for my friend, I respected that.
The break lasted about 8 weeks, and since that time, I’ve known that I can turn to him about pretty much anything. Advice. Bitching about work or traffic or co-workers or politics. Computer problems (although God help me if he did answer, I was lost after the second word). Laughs and jokes. Merciless endless relentless teasing. A careless but sincere compliment when I’m feeling down. A genuinely interested and sympathetic ear. Stories about one of his many (and often crazy hobbies) – computer programming; orienteering; martial arts; dragon slaying; whatever. Once recent day I called him up to see how he was doing and he was overflowing with excitement. He had just had the most perfect day. Halfway knowing the answer, I asked him to elaborate, and he told me about going to the bookstore, finding the perfect book, talking to an interesting person, and then getting caught in a torrential rainstorm. How can that description of a perfect day not make me smile?
Now, this person who has become such a dependable place to turn when I need a friend is going to a land far far away. Consistent with everything that he is – he’s going to an unconventional place with an unconventional purpose. He’ll be back, but not for 3 months.
I’m happy for him and excited for him, but I’ll miss him. And I’ll be looking forward to having him back here, so that he can ask me in a completely exasperated voice whether I can just try, for one second, to “not be such a Yankee.”
I’ll miss you my friend. Travel well….
September 11, 2007
United We Stand.
We’ll hear those words a lot today. I hope someone actually stops to think about them.
Today is a day of collective memory. Every single American above the age of 7 has an individual recollection of the horror they felt six years ago when the towers came down, our fortress was breached, and the very skies above our heads became an enemy. The experiences were all different – some were there, some lost family and friends, some watched the terror unfold watching tv over their morning coffee, some heard about it at work or school and thought – no, this can’t be – only to have the awful reality slowly creep in.
But although each experience was different, they were also all fundamentally the same. We all felt shock, and grief, and sadness at the loss of so many innocent, normal, ordinary lives. We all felt fear at what was happening and why. We all felt anger that our borders were breached and our own way of living was turned into weapons used to destroy us.
We’ve spent the last 6 years collecting stories, whether we know it or not. My ex-husband (then my fiance) was living just across the Hudson at the time and also visited the towers a week before they fell. My mom was supposed to be in the city that day and plans were unexpectedly changed. She was there – a block away, and ran through the clouds of smoke and ash to safety. A good friend from high school luckily escaped. Another friend’s brother unfortunately did not. A close friend was driving past the Pentagon when the plane fly over his head and plowed into the building only a few hundred yards away. We all heard about the bravery and self-sacrifice of the first responders. We all remember the massive blood drives for life-saving blood which was, unfortunately, never needed. We all marveled at the randomness at all – who was spared, who perished; there was no rhyme or reason to any of it.
Today, I think about those stories. My own memories from the day, and the stories I’ve heard and absorbed over the years. I’ll wish, futily, of course, there is an election next year, that the people in charge of publicly representing us all will put aside their scheming and points-watching for just one day, and resist the temptation to use this day for partisan bickering that only perverts what happened and the loss that we suffered. I’ll wish, futily again, that people won’t use a national tragedy as a forum to air their own personal biases and prejudices against fellow Americans who experienced the same sadness and shock, but with an additional sense of fear that their own countrymen may turn against them because of the country their parents were born in, the color of their skin, the style of their hair, the religion they practice, the language they speak or the clothes that they wear.
For me, my best memories of 9/11, if it’s possible to even say such a thing, was a nation united by sadness and grief, but also a firm resolve that we would not allow those needless, senseless, tragic deaths to be in vain. The flags. The spontaneous singing. The determination. The strength. I just hope that the memories of those people, of that day, will not be twisted by those who forget that healing sense of unity and who instead see this day as an opportunity to further a particular agenda. Tomorrow – we can argue about war and politics and Attorneys General and WMDs and gay marriage and all the rest. Tomorrow – I can once again focus on the frivolity of my own life – work and boys and diets and beer and messy apartments and petty squabbles with friends and whether my dog needs a bath and how much money I’ll spend on a new pair of fall shoes. But Today – it’s not just an ordinary day. Today – I will mourn and remember. Today – I will try to be just a little bit nicer to the people around me, not knowing who may be having a much more difficult day than me. Today – I will be thankful to be here to have all of this frivolous crap to worry about. And Tomorrow – maybe I’ll take some of this with me and have a little more perspective on what is really important.
September 10, 2007
The headlines screamed out at me as soon as I sat down to work this morning. Moveon.org’s full page ad in the New York Times regarding General Petraus or General Betrya-us? Nope. Britney Spears completely bombed her performance at last night’s VMAs. First, she couldn’t lip synch. Worse, she was fat.
Delighted as always to follow the Shakespearean decline of my generation’s pop princess, I click the link.
And since 9:30 a.m., I’ve been sucking in my tummy.
Granted, she wasn’t the Britney of yore, but to me, the descriptions did not match the image.
If society has dubbed her as fat just because she no longer has the teeny bopper six pack and instead has an abdomen that looks more like, I don’t know, someone who works out but isn’t starving herself and, oh by the way, has had two kids, then I seriously need to start reevaluating my own body image.
All I’m saying is that she looks better in that bikini than I would have. And better than most American woman, I’d guess.
I shouldn’t have had that chocolate cake for dessert 😦
September 7, 2007
Last night, my sister/roommate and I went out for drinks with one of our neighbors. Although we’ve lived here for more than a year, this is the first time either of us have socialized with him. Prior to this, the most meaningful conversation we had ever had with him immediately followed the discovery of a very politely worded note on our front door asking us to please try to get our dog to stop barking for hours on end at 3:00 a.m. because he has a job and stuff. I was horrified and immediately apologized, of course, and since then neighborly relations have resumed.
Following that humiliating discovery that I am “that” neighbor that everyone hates, my sister and I thought it prudent to ask him for drinks to make up for his lost sleep.
Which brings me to yesterday.
We went out to a local place and got down to the business of getting to know each other. After we had all finished beer #1, he had developed some sort of side to side head swaying motion that continued through most of beer #2. Finally, we asked him hat he was doing, and he explained that since the day we moved in, he had thought that we were some “boring choir girls” goodytwoshoes types and he couldn’t wait to tell his ex-roommate (who moved out a few months ago) what we were “really” like.
I guess that struck me for two reasons. Although I constantly form opinions and stories about people I don’t know or barely know, I forget about the possibility that people may be doing the same thing about me. I guess it’s natural for my neighbor and his roommate to speculate about two girls who move into their building, but I never really occurred to me that they would. I was also surprised about the image that we must portray to someone who knows nothing about me. There are a lot worse things than “choir girl,” I suppose, but, I mean, really? And his impression of us was clearly so strong, that he was still shaking his head in amazement and/or bewilderment when we got in the car, on the drive back home and as we walked back to our respective apartments.
So there you go. A relative party girl who comes across as a relative choir girl. Huh. If you ever wondered what kind of impression you give off, I sugget you take out a neighbor you’ve barely met and get him all liquored up and see what he says.
September 6, 2007
This past weekend I went camping in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with a group of friends and strangers to celebrate the unofficial end of summer.
It was an absolutely perfect weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sky so blue, and certainly not for three straight days in a row. The nights were just cool enough to justify throwing on a hoody and snuggling up close to the fire, but not too cold to prevent anyone from playing cards or beer pong (aka Chandeliers, depending on where you may have matriculated).
Not being an outdoorsman myself, I doubted my ability to happily spend three nights in the woods without any modern conveniences including (gasp!) cell phones and laptops, or the lesser necessities like a toilet and running water.
But it turned out to be one of the more relaxing weekends I’ve had in a very long time. It reminded me of summers when I was a little kid. I had no responsibility. No wireless meant I couldn’t check in with my work email just to see if some crisis was happening that I should know about. No cellphone meant that I couldn’t return those calls that I’ve been meaning to make but just haven’t gotten around to. Being out of my apartment meant that I couldn’t look at the plants that need watering, the shower that needs recaulking, the laundry that needs ironing, the carpet that needs vacuuming. Drinking next to a campfire about 25 steps from my tent meant no wondering whether I’ll make the last metro, no worrying if a third beer will take me just over the .08 threshhold, no last calls, no tabs to close out and divide. There were no clocks to tell me when I should wake up, when I should eat, when I should go to bed. I ate when I was hungry, I went to bed when I was sleepy and I woke up once the sunlight started filtering into my tent. Shoot, I didn’t even have to walk my dog. Upon arrival at the campsite, he hopped out of the car and immediately watered the first blade of grass he could find, and then apparently made it his weekend mission to water every other living plant in the surrounding forest.
I missed the boy, of course. Each day I drove out 6.7 miles to get into cell phone range, only to talk to his voicemail (stupid work making him work when I’m trying to call). It would have been nice to have him there with me, staring at the fire, looking at the stars, playing around in the lake, cuddled up in the tent. But in an odd way, it was also nice to get the chance to miss him. I miss him all of the time anyway – such be the curse of the long distance relationship – but the weekend made it very clear to me that I don’t want to go another day without hearing his voice.
Okay – so that’s camping. Hooray for me for staying on topic this time. PS – I saw a bear.
September 5, 2007
I know I’ve been a slacker with my posts recently. It’s not that I don’t have a lot to say. I do. Tons. But it’s different when I’m writing about a philandering ex or a series of relatively amusing and unimportant hookups than when I’m writing about someone I actually care about and who, incidentally, knows the link to this site.
So yes, the Boy From Back Home is still in the picture, and I am completely dorky with happiness. Even I roll my eyes at my giggly headoverheels infatuation. My sister/roommate might end up moving out if I don’t stop talking about him.
All of this is fascinating to me but I know from experience that it is interesting to no one else. Kind of like wedding planning. When a very dear and close girlfriend is planning a wedding, you know you are going to listen to hours upon hours of chatter about the shade of white for the dress (I wanted to go with a “winter,” but you know when white is just too white? So I decided on more of an ivoryslasheggshell, but then my mom thought it might look too yellow once we get to the reception and I’m standing next to all of the whiter white table cloths. So I asked my caterer if they had any ivoryslasheggshell type table cloths, and they told me that they would have to special order them and it will cost another $1,200. So now I don’t even know what to do). I mean, if you love someone, you love to hear them when they’re happy. But that doesn’t mean you don’t feel like pulling off your own earlobes and stuffing them into your ear canal after a few weeks of it.
So, I don’t want to piss off the person who is making me all googly-eyed, and I don’t want to bore some random reader who may chance upon this site with my googly-eyed-ness, and therefore I’ve not been posting quite so much lately.
For now, I’ll leave it at this. For someone who dubbed herself a cynic, I am shocked – literally shocked – that I have the capacity to have strong feelings again. For anyone. In so many ways, it feels like only yesterday when I felt my entire world was blown apart in an instant, and some days it was all that I knew how to do to stop myself from slamming my car into the biggest telephone pole I could find. But in other ways, that was a whole lifetime ago. I’m still angry – although that has been dissipating too. But I can’t really remember what it felt like to hurt that much. It’s fuzzy, like when you have an argument during the course of a long night of drinking. You wake up the next day and begin to remember (most of, hopefully,) what you said and did, but you can’t really remember why you were so upset about it. You can’t conjure up the intensity of the emotions that you had felt the night before. That’s kind of where I’m at with the whole end of the world break up and divorce. And I never thought it was possible.
If anything, I’m starting to believe that perhaps suffering from a broken heart and then utimately surviving it may allow me to take more risks than I would have thought possible if I had never gone through it. Because now that I’ve been through it once, as bad as it was, the next time (if there is a next time and, let’s face it, stastistically speaking there probably will be), I’ll know, without a doubt, that the hurt will end, that it does get better, and that I can withstand it.
So knowing that, I’m just going to ride this wave of happy and try not to worry so much about whether, how or when it will end. Or at least, I’m going to try.