Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
That line has always struck a chord with me. E. said it in the beginning after we’d just confessed that we loved each other. It was a warm, comfortable sentiment that hugged me close and made me feel like no matter what kind of psychopath I would inevitably turn into, he knew who I was at heart. No PMS or bad hair day could shake his knowledge of my life, my personality, my habits.
He uttered it four years later and it felt very different. Four years after the “I love you” and three years after the “I don’t love you anymore.” I had changed, I had grown up. I wasn’t co-habiting a tiny dorm room in rural Western New York. I was breezing into high-rise apartment buildings and rubbing elbows with models and Wall Street bankers in chic and urban Manhattan. Gone were the days of hoodies and excitement in the form of the Webster Fireman’s Carnival. Gone were the days when he knew me.
But we stood in the bar, sipping beers at the annual Christmas get together in my little home town, me trying too hard to look the part of Sophisticated New Yorker and him seemingly the same boisterous, pompous goof he had been in high school, and he made me feel like he could still see me. He made a joke about how much I eat. “You don’t knooow me!” I joked back. He grinned and his eyes narrowed and he said quietly and only to me, “I know you.”
E. used to say, “I like because, I love although.” It was eventually what broke us up. He knew me, but those little things he loved “although” must have been too much.
The initial weeks and months (and years...) of flirting and talking are fun, but I am a girl who lives for the moment when a guy knows me. When I become predictable. In addition to his inadvertent “we” comment last week, The LDC made another small step for him, giant leap for me statement. He called last night at 11. I was asleep.
“What time is it?”
“It’s… oh, it’s 11 there. I’m sorry, were you asleep?”
“Mmhmm… it’s okay.”
“You’ve been such a night owl lately, I forgot how early you usually go to bed.”
Whether he means to or not, he is getting to know me.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
MP and I once talked about her ushering in a "year of yes."* See, MP had read a piece about a young woman who decided to considerably lower her standards, which then led her to accept virtually any advance by the opposite sex. Not exactly the safest way of meeting of men (we are talking about any advance) but intriguing nonetheless.
Here is where I stand on the issue: I don't believe in getting rid of my standards entirely, no, because I recognize my worth. BUT- after having been strung along for the better part of this year by a guy whose intentions were never clear, leaving me hurt, or worse, feeling like an idiot, I see things a bit differently now.
When interested in someone, even if that person showed little to no signs of reciprocating, I would ignore other overtures that came my way. A self-imposed guilt. I realize now that I didn't owe that person anything, least of all my devotion.
Even though I still care about P, my former European bike boy and now coworker, I'm going to entertain other options if they come about. And they have. I went out for sushi and a drink with B, the middle school boyfriend. A guy asked me out at a cafe the other day, and despite not being fully into him, I might just go. Really, what have I got to lose?
My "year of maybe" starts now.
*A couple of months into her "year of yes", MP met the lovely D.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Yea. Can we just not talk about it for a bit now?
Come on, don't do this, you know I'm here for you.
Right. Yes. Of course. I love you too. I have to go to class now.
Come on, please, don't shut down?
Sorry, I have to go, it's getting late.
The dream vanishes before my eyes. No extra time to explore options. No cushy job that lets me dabble in different areas without really taking a plunge. No keeping my options open. The world is still my oyster. Except for this. And that too. And the other. Easy peasy just went out of the window.
Fuck you, Candide.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I've been having a rough time lately. I'm torn between a happy, safe life in a small town with old friends and stability, and a fast-paced life of passion and turmoil and lofty dreams that'll carry me somewhere unfamiliar. But after going to a friend's wedding last weekend, I do feel optimistic about love. And then I found this:
Pancakes for breakfast are the secret to a happy marriage. (Pancakes for breakfast are the secret to a happy anything actually.)
And I felt even better.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"What shall we do for dinner?" We walk to the grocery store. We buy a baguette. A bottle of wine, why not? We step on each other in our little kitchen. My hands smell like garlic. "Some more wine?" "I'll set the table" Spurts of conversation and a comfortable silence. I wash a spoon, feel the warm water trickle around my wrist. I read my book. I hear him moving around. I lie back on the slightly uncomfortable sofa. I look around. I close my eyes. Fragrance. Warmth. I hear him whistling a tune. I turn a page.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Let's call the past two weeks a lesson in expectation management.
Two lunches (both his initiatives) one joined by colleagues, one on a park bench on our own. A handful of after-work, work-related events (consisting of but not limited to) a farewell happy hour, a softball game, and a birthday gathering. Almost nightly gchat sessions, usually ending with my call for bedtime. Nary a longish phone call (one of those when you can tell the face of the person on the other line mirrors your own with its silly grin). One iPhone photo email of Velveeta cheese in the refrigerator section (long story) from him; one (jokingly!) snippy email in response to his lack of response to an offering of homemade banana bread from me.
I'm disappointed, but I completely understand where he's coming from. The hopeless romantic in me needs the overtures, but the pragmatist knows to give him his space. Fortunately for both of us, the latter has won out. I don't make excuses to visit him at his building; I don't send him a barrage of texts; I don't hang on him in front of people. But when I give him a piece of homemade banana bread at work on the sly, and he says nothing for more than 24 hours, it stings a bit. So what if it was slightly underdone?
He responded, and it was characteristically sweet. Still, I can't help but want to regress.
Wasn't it so much easier when a checked box meant certainty?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
“Is he worth it?”
The communication continues. Amplified. It is the loudest voice in my head. What would I wear to meet his parents? The most ridiculous thoughts cascade across my brain at the most inopportune times. He is exactly 2408 miles away. 3 hours behind. Light years away from my immediate world. But then at the same time he is everywhere. He buzzes away in my pocket while I’m on a date. His voice is tucked inside my purse while I’m at work. His words are on my computer screen late at night, early in the morning, somewhere in between. Go away. Stay. Stay there. Be here.
… is he worth it?