Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Take Off

My heart hurt for twenty-four hours straight. One of my biggest fears in the whole LDC situation was that I thought it was more than he did. And with his “I don’t want to make all these expectations” comment, I was immediately convinced that my worst fear had come true. I was laboring over this and he didn’t want to deal with clearing three days in his schedule.

Tuesday afternoon he sent me an IM. I tried my best to convey over Gchat that I was angry. It didn’t take too many one-word responses for him to get the hint. “You ok? You seem kind of tense.” I answered that I was but I didn’t really know what to say about it. He pressed me until I finally gave in.

And what followed was honesty. Pure, unabashed honesty. I told him about how the weekend was turning into a mess and I couldn’t believe that he told me he couldn’t take three days out of 365 to just be in town and hang out while I was there. “You act like I dropped a bomb on you today that I was coming in for the weekend and needed you to clear everything you had planned.”

He told me wasn’t going skiing after all and after explaining how he was afraid that it would be like Three’s Company all weekend long and that M. would feel like the third wheel, I assured him I would balance my time and everyone would be happy.

He apologized. Later that night he called and left a voicemail, one of two he has ever left me. He said he was thinking about me. He sent a text later on that simply said, “I can’t wait to see you.”

I fly out tomorrow and I have no idea what'll be in store when I land. All I know is that I feel better about taking off.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I almost drowned. Last year. My foot slipped and suddenly I was in over my head. Water all around me. Blue. Bubbles. I didn't open my mouth. My mom kept asking me later if I felt okay, if I'd swallowed any water, if my throat was alright, if I felt like I was choking. I didn't open my mouth. I didn't choke. I didn't drown.

Everyone seems to have great reflexes. You throw a ball and they catch it. Keys, pens, books, you name it. D tossed an adapter at me the other day. I shook my head at him afterward and said "don't you know me at all?!" and picked it up off the floor. The doctor once tapped my knee. Not even the slightest hint of a twitch did I make.

I step off the street without noticing a bus barreling at me. I don't squeal and step back. My foot keeps moving forward, my brain says "oh no..." my eyes fixate on the bus. The bus stops. I set my foot on the ground and move on. My heart beats a little faster, but that is all.

My grandfather died. I heard my grand uncle on the phone. "Appa died" I said to my sister. I picked out the clothes my grandma said he should be cremated in, packed them into a bag to take to the hospital. I held my sister's hand. "Why are you being so stolid, little one?" I hadn't cried.

I noticed the car veering off to the side and off the road. I uttered one short exclamation of surprise. I climbed out into the ditch. I started taking my stuff out of the car.

"Oh man, how do you get through life without getting hurt all the time?" D asks.

I don't know how I avoid getting hit in the head with a ball or getting run over by a bus. But. I didn't open my mouth. I didn't drown. I made myself useful. I didn't turn into a wreck. I didn't freak out.

And I don't know what that's worth when perhaps buses are coming at me from all sides, but it's got to be worth something.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I was a fool, I was a fool to think...

LDC: welllll alright
i might be going skiing this sunday
that gona be a problem?
me: no, it's fine
LDC: haha ok
u talked to M at all?
me: nope
LDC: sweet
LDC: well ur gona be here soon
its sunny right now
me: nice
LDC: yuppp

10 minutes later...
me: i lied
LDC: about?
me: i don't want you to leave for a whole day when i'm only in town for 3
but i can't tell you not to go skiing
and i can't even guarantee how much i'll even be able to see you that day because no one will make any freaking plans
LDC: well when do u leave sunday?
me: at 9
LDC: ur worrying too much about this i think
me: i'm not worrying, you just caught me off guard
LDC: well dont worry bout it
obviously i wana hangout with u alot
but i cant just clear my schedule for 3 full days
me: i get it
LDC: i dont wana make all these expectations
its stressful
ur gona come up to visit
were gona hook up
have a great time
i wouldnt worry about nething
and i dont wana piss off M by stealing u all weekend

I fly out to Seattle in three days. And what am I supposed to do now?

Friday, January 22, 2010

The OC Series Finale

I’m great at the passive aggressive ending. Texts seem like such a passive way to reach out to a potential mate anyway, that I have no problem ignoring them until the suitor gives up. I’ve heard “If you’re interested, you can call me” more times than I can tell you. But I had never dated anyone from work before and I quickly realized it would not be so easy.

OC: I couldn't tell you this at work but I thought you looked fabulous today. Very cute. I hope you can make it to the office Happy Hour on Friday. If you can, would you like to get a drink with me after? I’d love to hear about the Swell Season concert.
L: Thanks for the invite, but I have plans on Friday.

I know it was cold. If I’d received something like that myself I would’ve been so offended. I might as well have typed “Thanks, busy.”

OC: Ah… ok. It seems like you’re always busy, so if you’d like to hang out again let me know. Hope you’re enjoying the concert.

I spoke to a friend about it the next day and she firmly but gently told me I couldn’t just keep blowing him off. “What if some guy did this to you?” she asked. But the truth was, this had happened to me before. I had been the one blown off, or promised a phone call and never received one, or been told a guy was “really busy” but he’d “get in touch soon.” It feels terrible but it is so much easier than dropping the bomb.

I have a friend who’s great at it. “Listen, Phil, I think you’re a very nice guy and I’ve enjoyed spending time with you, but I just think it’s better if we don’t see each other again.” She said it to his face. I decided since it had to be done with the OC, e-mail was my weapon of choice.

“Hi M.,

Just wanted to drop you a line because I felt bad about my vague text message yesterday. I think you’re such a nice guy and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, but I just don’t think this is going to work out. I hope we can still be friendly at the office.

All the best,

It should’ve made me feel better. A clean break. Done and done.

But he never responded. Why should he? And today when I saw him in the hallway, he stared down at his hands and bolted in the other direction. I guess I did the right thing by being honest but it sure doesn't feel that way when we pass in the hall.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What a Girl Wants

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To love...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Glorious Fear

I am afraid of commitment. Afraid with the kind of fear that closely attaches itself to the deepest desires of my heart. I can’t even think about it; so I run away from it. I have never dated anyone longer than three months. Many of these men have been such wonderful, generous, loving men that their ultimate desire for marriage has scared me shitless. The close and almost tangible reality that I could quite possibly marry one of these men, if I wanted to, has sent me runaway bride style, galloping away on the back of a horse wearing a big white fluffy wedding dress. Not quite, but hopefully you get the picture.

Once, I went on a few dates with a friend and actually enjoyed the dating experience until he told me of a conversation he had with a close friend of his, “I told him you were perfect except for the fact that you aren’t athletic, haha. Do you play tennis?” I knew then and there he was boldly picturing me in a tight white tennis outfit, wearing the four karat diamond he’d put on my finger, while I beat him at the sport on an early Saturday morning. We never went out again. My last boyfriend was so kind, caring and loving that I couldn’t let him be that for me anymore. It all seemed too close to the real thing; grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner before a long talk and a long make out session on his futon, three nights a week!

I thought this one was different. I have been seeing him for a little over a month now and I’m enjoying him so much.. I didn’t think that fear had the same hold anymore. My boldness and ease has amazed me. Even after he declared his intentions for me, stating his desire to know me better, after he told me that he wasn’t dating for recreational purposes but ultimately wanted a life long committed relationship. Even then I didn’t freak.. I hung in there and was honest with him. This thing, this relationship has been a breath of fresh air and just so easy.

Until... he decided to surprise me last week. “Hey, you free tonight? I have an idea that might just be crazy enough to work. Meet me at the Barnes and Nobel on W. 66th a little before 7:30. OH and you might wanna dress up a little bit.” I was so excited all day long, filled with anticipation and wonder. I could not believe this man was surprising me... on a Wednesday…was it my birthday? As soon as I met up with him, saw him wearing a tie, hearing him say the words, “We are going to the Opera,” my heart went numb, cold even. I freaked. We did have a lovely time, but that draw to him, that uncontrollable, untouchable attraction for him slipped away. All day I felt as if there was a humming bird trapped in my rib cage, and there, in his presence, in all of his kind, thoughtful, creative generosity, that bird seemed to break free and fly away.

The days following, I took some time to evaluate my own heart and mind, my past, my own fears and desires so closely connected they are hard to tell apart. I decided not to run away. I decided to just stay, to calm down and wait; to stick around until the next date. Slowly but surely the days leading up to our next encounter, that desire filled anticipation came back, this time with less fear. I am choosing to walk on and press in, to see where this leads me, without fear and without restraint. I will let those desires rise and I won’t gallop away from them, even if I do freak out.

The Superior Gender

My coworker on why I'm single:

Barbra: you need to put yourself out there
As generations go by, men do less and less courting
it's up to us, the superior gender

As you can tell, her name is Barbra. So you know that she has an old and wise soul... and is inevitably right.

Expectation Management

I'm learning (see here) but it's still a struggle. Tomorrow, I
will be off to Paris to see the lovely MP. In less than a week, Monday morning to be specific, I will land at Budapest Ferihegy Airport.

Will he pick me up? Will I take a bus into the city and meet him at his apartment? Will I, duffel bag on my shoulder, spend the day sightseeing until he gets a break from work? Not the faintest idea.

I will talk to him about these things... likely as the day approaches. See, my reluctance stems from not knowing how he perceives me. Crazy romantic? Tourist-friend crashing on his couch? Or, the worst of the worst, desperate fool?

In the two and a half months since we said goodbye, we've stayed in touch. He knows when I submit a grad school application, and I know when he has a marathon political party meeting. Odes to love? Definitely not. But, I do count the smiley face emoticons and occasional term of endearment (my favorite came after I informed him of my birthday last week: "see you soon, princess") as signs he is equally happy to see me.

Now I just have to keep those expectations low...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Following A Dream

I had a dream last Tuesday. I was in Seattle, staying with S.'s parents. My weekend had gotten so busy that I realized suddenly that it was Sunday and I hadn't seen the LDC yet. I called and heard laughter in the background but he hung up on me. I texted instead: My plane leaves in a couple hours -- I'm not going to see you?

And then I woke up. It wasn't the worst dream I'd ever had but it definitely stuck with me. It was bad enough to remember.

Thursday afternoon at work the LDC sent me an IM.

He: So I had the weirdest dream about you last night.
Me: Oh yeah? A good one?
He: It was strange, you were in town for the weekend but both our schedules were so busy that before I knew it, it was Sunday and I never got to see you.

If he and I are really not meant to be, then fate needs to stop messing with my head. And stay out of my dreams.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's raining men?

People don't flirt with me anymore.
What? What does that mean?
I mean, I don't know, people. Boys. They don't flirt with me. It's like I'm wearing a big sign on my forehead or something. Like, stay away, I'm already involved, don't flirt. ARE involved. With me.
Yea but you know what I mean! Ouf, you're taking this the wrong way. I'm just saying, I don't feel wanted, you know? Desired. Desirable.
I want you. I desire you. Don't I make you feel desirable?
No no no, you're not, never mind, that's not what I meant. You know that's not what I meant. I love coming home to you. I love you. You're awesome. I just want other people to want me too.
So...what? You can reject them?
What? I'm not an awful person - whatever. I don't want someone to fall head over heels in love with me just so I can reject him. I just want someone to want me. And then I could reject them.
I want you.
Ouf. Never mind. Can you just kiss me now?

He kissed my pseudo-frown away and I forgot my pseudo-grumbles. He laughed at me and all was right with the world. But is it wrong that it sometimes kinda sorta not really but yea still gets under my skin? That when I walk down the street it's like I give off a not-interested-vibe. at a party no cute boy tries to buy me a drink. That it feels like even without trying I have developed some sort of don't-approach-me aura.

Then again, maybe it just means that I don't see it. Maybe the cute guy smiles and I see him only as a friend so I don't see the flirt behind his upturned lips. Maybe the cute guy says we should get coffee and I say yea of course I'll tell the others. Maybe the cute guy doesn't even register as cute anymore.

And I don't know if that's more disturbing or less.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The OC cont.

“I have to apologize. I got my hair cut last night and it’s way too short. I don’t want anyone looking at us saying, ‘Why is he with her?’” I knew I was in for a long night. He tried. He tried hard. He tried so hard that we left the office at 5:15, finished with dinner at 7:30, went for, what I thought was, a single drink at a bar in my neighborhood, and I didn’t get home until 12:30. For the last three hours of the evening he talked. He told me the long winded story of his best friend and how he got married and then divorced and now he’s married again and expecting his first kid. He told the endless story about how people who don't like movies made from books are actually just plain old wrong, and why, specifically, their perceptions are skewed. He talked about authors and books and college. He asked me how I felt about kids and marriage.

It scared me. I felt like this guy that I was just getting to know was picturing me, in all my post-work, slightly-melted-makeup glory, with a veil on, cradling a baby in my arms. I found myself constantly reminding him of my age and my reckless, youthful ways. “I think I’d like to try living on the west coast for awhile,” I said more than once.

He walked me home and I gave him a hug goodbye; the kind of hug that typically signals to the other person that you’d rather kiss the curb than their face.

Now I long for the days when I used to see the OC in the hallway at work and experience some awkward sexual tension, as opposed to now when I walk by him and he winks. One date. And I think I’m in way over my head.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


He told me he was surprising me tonight and I needed to be a little dressed up. I told him I wasn't going to have time to go home and change.

I sent him this image and asked him if my attire was appropriate. He responded by saying he thought the dress was a little edgy, but the hat totally pulled it together.

I cannot wait to see where he takes me!

so...about 2010 being better than 2009...

So I went away for break. The new year started. And I came back.

I woke up, tripped. Walked into a door, banged my eye, and now my glasses sit wonkily on my nose. The metro wasn't on time. The snow turned to icy rain. My tummy decided to revolt. I barely made it through class without a whimper. I had four classes, so I couldn't lie curled up into a ball in bed and moan. My professor signed me up for a project topic, then emailed me (and the entire class) that I had yet to sign up for a topic. The internship office refuses to respond to my emails. The website won't work.

This is not just today. It is every day so far. This new year better start rolling happily soon, I'm about to punch a wall.

For now, I'm calling it a day at 6 pm, getting into pajamas, and not leaving the apartment until tomorrow comes around. Let's just hope the building doesn't burn down now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Let's Hear it for New York

I had had a very New York day. Monday morning, I had just come off a weekend filled with bellinis and blankets, the latter due to the lack of heat and hot water in my apartment. I was tired and I had a headache because I had slept with hunched shoulders and a furrowed brow.

I called 311 to remedy the negligent landlord issue and sent an e-mail to my boss: I needed a day to relax. I baked some biscuits, I brewed some coffee, I watched endless repeats of Roseanne. Just as I was starting to de-stress, the rotating plate from the microwave slipped from my hands and shattered on the kitchen floor. By the time I quarantined the cat and cleaned up the billions of tiny glass shards, my coffee was burnt. It was the tiny little push I needed and I lost it. I called my mom, sobbing about how I hated this God forsaken apartment and the winter and my job and my lack of money and my hopeless, hapless path toward a nebulous future. I kept trying to calm myself down in every way I knew how and everything seemed to slip just out of my reach… literally.

When I woke up this morning I had no hot water again. I hadn’t taken a shower since Saturday night and I couldn’t imagine going into work the snotty, smelly mess that I was. I cried a little because I felt I was allowed, shampooed my hair under the icy faucet, and donned an old cardigan before slumping off to work.

And then I saw this picture. And my knitted brow relaxed. And I felt better.

picture care of garance dore

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset

I carry you / You'll carry me / That's how it could be / Don't you know me? / Don't you know me by now?
By no means am I film critic. However, that does not mean that I do not have discerning taste, because I do. I much prefer a low budget, critic's darling to an over the top Hollywood spectacle (though certain superhero movies are an exception). Eyes roll whenever I casually mention an obscure foreign gem or say I haven't seen a universally deemed "classic." But, all of the above notwithstanding, I love a good movie. And I absolutely love Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.*

In Before Sunrise (1995), Jesse meets Celine on a train from Budapest. He spontaneously asks her to get off the train in Vienna (she was supposed to continue to Paris) and spend the afternoon/evening/night with him, since he will be on a flight back to the States in the morning. To their surprise, she agrees. Unsurprisingly, it's totally awkward at first - neither knows what to say to the other - but during the course of the night, they say it all. They have those intelligent but entirely nonsensical conversations about life and death, love and heartbreak that you have with your closest friends. They shop for records, watch street performers, play pinball, drink beers, and kiss. It's both realistic and idealized, in the sense that, should you meet someone in such a way, you'd hope for the same. (At least I would.) What makes the film so charming, though, is that it manages to capture the innocence and spirit of their nascent love without schmaltz.

They meet again in Paris in Before Sunset (2004). I won't reveal under what circumstances, but let's just say much has changed in nine years. He has to leave, again, for a flight to the States, so they decide to walk around the city for an hour or so (the film takes place in real time). At the beginning, they exchange pleasantries, but as the day wears on, they delve into the heavy stuff - fate and circumstances, successes and failures. Since you know these characters, it's neither too melodramatic nor too burdensome. For lack of a better word, like Before Sunrise, it seems real. That being said, the ending always makes me cry.

Out of happiness or sadness? Watch and find out.

*Be warned! What follows may include some spoilers. Now, I won't divulge everything, but maybe just enough to compel you to (re)watch the movies.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Make Me Stay

“I’m going to turn and walk away.
You can watch me go,

Or you can make me stay.”

Three weeks from today I’ll be on a plane heading West. I’ll have it in my head that the next time I’m on a plane I’ll be sad because it’ll be over. I’ll plan on the ending but I won’t believe it.

Every time I talk to the LDC we discuss my visit. “I have five restaurants I’m taking you to.” “I’m in town for four days!” “So? Trust me. You will want to eat at these places. I’ve already started saving for all the meals I’m taking you to.” My overzealous heart counts it out: four dinners, three lunches, three breakfasts. He wants to see me every day.

I’ll plan to end it. But I’ll be hoping for an Ani ending instead.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Everything But

Ah, dating; when two people share drinks or a meal and try to only reveal about themselves the things they think are most attractive. But this wasn’t date one for L. and I. It wasn’t even date two. But it was date one of the decade so it was new and familiar all at the same time.

The last time L. and I went out it was 2008 and I was 22. I didn’t feel young but maybe I acted that way. I remember being quiet and listening to him ramble on and on. This time I cut in with anecdotes of my own that made him laugh and caused the conversation to twist and turn down interesting avenues. Last time he ignored my protests against sake and ordered the bottle anyway. This time when I said I wasn’t a fan, he asked if wine was okay and which one did I prefer? Last time he was bitter and angry about his business. This time he laughed about it and sounded optimistic.

The meal was incredible. He humored me as I went on about how I loved the spicy tuna because of the combination of textures inside the little roll, and wondered aloud if shiso is part of the mint or basil family. He even plucked off a piece and tasted it when I prompted him. “Citrusy, right? Complements the lobster so well.” He just grinned. He has a car. He has a dog. He lives alone and runs his own successful business. It was as if someone sent him down in a freshly wrapped package and presented him to me with bows on top. Ask and ye shall receive, Lauren.

So why, for the entire duration of the meal, did I stare at his face and think, Do I want him to kiss me? And the answer was no. Here was this seemingly great guy who was doing everything right and when he asked if I wanted to get a drink after dinner I said no. “I’m such an old lady, I should really get home,” I answered. He walked me to the subway and hugged me goodbye.

He texted later. “Really good seeing you. If you want, we should get together again.”
“It was really good seeing you, too. I’d love to get together again.”

Just don’t try to kiss me.

Monday, January 4, 2010



Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pure Love

This is one of the sweetest videos I have ever seen, and after the craziness of the holidays, this is what I'm taking with me to start 2010. Happy New Year!