Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
I love Christmas. As I emerged from the subway station at Steinway Street in Astoria last night, I heard the tinny sounds of old holiday standards crackling out of speakers attached to the lampposts; the tiny white lights were twinkling on snowflake-shaped decorations; the Salvation Army bell ringer clanged away begging for donations. It’s Christmas time in the city. It should’ve been so perfect.
But I had to go “home” to the apartment I have barely lived in for the past 2 months; the apartment I never really felt at home in anyway. And then I spent the night in an apartment that I have been sleeping in for two months but am not really fully welcomed into. “She can’t be here seven nights a week,” the roommate said. So I keep my things in one place. I sleep in another. I visit my parents in their temporary extended-stay living suite upstate while they deal with their transitional time, too. Every single Christmas decoration I own is in a storage facility in Rochester, in boxes piled 20 feet high, where they can’t be accessed until Spring. I have nowhere to decorate, or anything to decorate with. I don’t have a place where I can cuddle into at night in my flannel Christmas pajamas and wake up at in the morning to stumble out into the living room and sip hot chocolate and watch Rudolph. His place is not my place. My place is not my place. Their place is not my place. And for the last five years all I’ve been aching for is a home.
I’ll wake up Christmas morning this year in a hotel in Rochester. Our first year without a family home in Rochester, I cried at the thought of waking up in a hotel on Christmas and so my parents rented a house. But as the years have passed, and the reality of the situation becomes as familiar as a limp, I have tucked that sadness away until it turned into a tiny pit in the depths of my chest. And it hurts the most this time of year.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Case in point, last night at a friend's dinner party:
"I love the shit out of you."
(It's cuter than it sounds, I promise.)
Monday, November 22, 2010
I had taken a big, scary French exam that morning. I had met with two fun work contacts. I had seen my bff from high school for the first time in six months. With two very promising parties on the agenda, I was feeling pretty good. And it was going pretty good...
until we remember I'm a lightweight. One drink (any drink) usually gets me a bit silly. As was the case after my gin tonic at the first party. Silly and happy. At the second party, after a little bit of beer and a little bit of wine, A's coworker convinced me to take a shot. Of vodka. Which was bigger than it should've been. But I was feeling good! Down went the fiery stuff. I'm chatting, dancing, and then WHOOSH. Not feeling good. And he can tell.
Glass of water in one hand, arm around me, we're out the door. Apparently I mentioned to him that one of my friend's commented that we'd get married. We get to his house, more water. I sit on his bed and then I'm up, making my way for the bathroom. He sits on the edge of the tub throughout and gives me mouthwash when I'm done. Back in his room, he tucks me in, a trashcan on my side of the bed. In the morning, he lets me sleep in while he goes out to buy me bread. He makes me breakfast and naps with me on the couch.
I was humiliated, and he tried to make me laugh at myself. I apologized a dozen times, and he shook off each one.
He took care of me, and I love him for it.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
"I don't feel lucky."
"You don't feel lucky that you met me?!"
"No! I had to go through a lot of shit to get here. I had to meet and spend time with a lot of terrible women before I met you."
"All the more reason to feel lucky now."
"I don't feel lucky. It wasn't luck. I was supposed to end up with you."
Friday, November 12, 2010
There she was. In a teeny-tiny Viking costume. I shouldn’t have clicked on her name but I did. Now I had an almost-naked visual to go along with his handful of stories about her. It didn’t matter how many times he told me she didn’t support his career or believe in his talent or care about his happiness. All I could focus on was how she made a lot of money and how tan she was and how below that picture of her in her teeny-tiny Viking costume was a comment: “TC likes this.” My stomach rose up in protest.
“We don’t talk,” he had told me once. “She texted me a couple weeks ago to come get some of my stuff and I told her to throw it away. Trust me, I have no interest in keeping in touch with my ex’es.” I had heard this same speech before from E. and then found out a year later he was telling his own ex that he loved her the whole time. And now here was my first red flag from TC. I couldn’t let it go.
“Are you home?”
“No, what’s up?”
“Just wanted to ask you something.”
“It can wait, call me when you get home.”
“No, I hate that. What is it?”
I was trembling. I knew he would be so angry. Didn’t I trust him? Why would I snoop into his past? Why would I be digging on Facebook? How did I even know who she was anyway? But it didn’t matter. If I didn’t ask now it would bubble up inside of me, constantly marinating, churning, stewing until one night after a few drinks I’d scream out, “I know you’re still in touch with her! I saw her Facebook picture!”
I tried to explain as rationally as I could. “I clicked on your ex’s profile. I shouldn’t have, but I did and I saw this slutty picture of her that you liked. And it really bothered me.” He began his typically rational speech. They are not in touch. They had an amicable breakup a year and a half ago, and every once in awhile he gets a text from her saying hello. He saw the picture on Facebook of a cute girl in a tiny outfit and he clicked like. That was all. She texted him afterward to say she saw his comment and hoped everything was going well. “We had a good relationship. We broke up over my career, and we both knew it was the best idea. We’re different people now and I don’t really like the person she’s turned into. I don’t like how she treats me or who she’s become, and I’m not attracted her anymore; emotionally, physically, or sexually. At all. But I hope she’s happy.” I had nothing else to say.
When do I start to really believe in this? When do I start to feel secure in this, in us? When he says I’m different, how long until I actually hear it?
He called back half an hour later. I anticipated anger. You know, Lauren, this REALLY pisses me off! But instead I got a quiet voice.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” And I meant it.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
TC and I have been together for just over four months. We were “dating” for three of those months, and now we’re “officially” together. Boyfriend and girlfriend. Committed and in love. What I didn’t expect was that once he committed, he would be really committed. All typical-boy fear of words like ‘marriage’ and ‘babies’ and ‘living together’ went straight out the window.
He had a roommate issue last week because I’ve been spending too much time there without paying rent. “If he gives me crap about it, I’ll just move in with you,” he said. My immediate reaction was, Oh no, you won’t!
But why? It’s the timing. Four months isn’t long enough.
I just went to the engagement party of my brother and his fiancée who have been dating since January of this year. They are perfect together. My parents, who dated for three months before getting engaged, were in attendance.
New York has tainted my relationship-brain. “We have to date for at least a year before we move in together and then another year before we get engaged and then another year before we get married.”
The rational part of me says it’s all way too soon. And the stupid-in-love girl part of me is looking up one-bedrooms on Craig’s List.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Yea...today is one of those days.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I wish instead of whispering behind closed doors my boss would ask me if I was happy.
I wish my hair would grow faster.
I wish TC would want to go to bed at a reasonable hour sometimes.
I am grateful to have TC, who only tells the truth but still manages to tell me I’m pretty when I’m in glasses and without makeup.
I am grateful to the stranger who mailed me my stolen wallet.
I am grateful that anyone at all reads my food blog, let alone the 50 daily dedicated fans.
I am grateful to my other boss, who buys me coffee, sends me job listings, and even gave me brand new leather boots.
Things in my life don’t always strike a perfect balance. But today as I started to write this, I ran out of things to list in the “I wish” column. And I realized that it’s nice sometimes when the scales are tipped.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Three months ago it was, “If I ever get married…”
Two months ago it was, “If we ever get married…”
A week ago it was, “When we get married…”
And then last night.
I was sleeping lightly. I felt a hand on my arm. I rolled over to face him.
“I love you. So much.”
“I love you, too,” I muttered, fighting for coherent words in my swimming, sleepy brain.
“I haven’t been this happy in a really long time.” I finally opened my eyes. “I want to marry you.”
I’ve waited almost seven years for this.
It feels like it was worth it.