Tuesday, February 21, 2012

awesome date canceled out sucky date

Yesterday's lunch date was SO BAD I said to myself "OMG I am never breaking my 'coffee first' rule!!" The guy acted like making conversation was as terrifying as leaping out of a plane. His head swiveled wildly the entire time and he reached for and rattled everything within grasping or kicking distance. Conversation was awkward and full of unsmiling, hard stares. Like:

Him: So, do you have any siblings?

me: Yes! I have a sister who lives in NJ.

Him (staring, unsmiling): *crickets*

I kept looking at my watch and saying "Don't you have to go back to work now?" He said, "I'm good! I told them I'd be late!"

When the torture finally ended, I realized when I got home that I stank like rotting salmon and goat curry (even though that was not what I actually consumed). I aired out my car, took a shower and immediately threw everything into the wash, even my boots & jacket. I felt robbed of a leisurely afternoon off.

The evening date was with someone I just met the day before for a quick coffee. (Both of us had gotten small drinks to make it fast and then enjoyed the conversation so much, ended up chatting for 3 hours.)

Dinner was a completely different experience than lunch. Date #2 has a very calm and sweet demeanor and carries himself with confidence. He also seems kind. We closed out the restaurant chatting and then sat in the parking lot laughing at funny videos. Date #3 will be tonight.

Monday, February 20, 2012

what do you need?

I leave out a lot of details from my posts to protect other people's privacy. I try to just concentrate on what I'm processing -- there's no reason to talk about what someone else said or did because that leaves them open for judgment. And since they can't present their side too here (I mean, this is MY journal), it feels unfair. Also, this is about me learning, not blaming, and I can't grow if I'm not humbly willing to examine my part.

But I have been thinking lately about how much of our circumstances contribute to our well-being. A comment from an earlier post touched there and then used chemistry as an example:
"The directions said to heat the components slowly over an open flame, and you used what? The microwave? No wonder it blew up."
Maybe the thing to learn is what you need.

I once heard someone say, "I had a really shitty past. But I learned that I need this type of life, these types of friends, that much sleep, this kind of food, a special schedule, this sort of job, this kind of free time, etc. So now I make sure I have those things. And my life is pretty awesome. I'm happy."

Knowing what you need means you can, well, go after it. How much of the suck comes from trying to change the shape of the unshapeable? Or forego our needs?

Try an exercise with me. What do you need? What feels good -- what kind of schedule, how much sleep, what kind of connections, etc.? You don't have to list it below. But think about it. And I will too. Awareness is half the battle, right?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

sometimes he loved me too

Little bit of rehashing, this morning, with an ex. I can see in the friction we both still wanted to be understood. Maybe that's why feeling understood can be so elusive -- what we really wanted was to feel forgiven.

I was tempted to reply to an impolite comment with an equal tone. I wanted to explain and justify myself all over again. But I thought about what it'd be like to open an email like that. How, if I were a third party and he regaled the conversation to me later, I'd see his hurt and wish there'd been more empathy in the exchange. Like how when I watch a movie and see a death avenged, I'll think, "the avenging could go on forever, can't someone step away from their pain?" I mean, what's more important? To be heard, or to have a bond?

It's so easy to repeat yourself, thinking, "well, if I just say it THIS way, they'll finally get it." There's that seductive pull towards wanting to feel understood. I'm not always good at this, but I didn't follow my impulse. Instead, I tried to be a friend even when the words stung.

It's hard to root for someone when you're hurt, especially when you're feeling wronged. But wrong is subjective, right? Neither one of us always did right by the other. But in the end, I loved him. And sometimes he loved me too. And that's all that matters.
Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting. ~William Arthur Ward

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sunday's date

Sunday was date #4 with the runner. I invited him to yoga recently and promptly regretted it when the instructor demanded we straddle the floor in an amphibian sex pose:

My primary thoughts during the entire class were, "The human body is not supposed to bend like that," "Ohghd," "F*CK!" and "Why does this mat smell like urine?"

Since he already witnessed the floor fucking from a previous session, I invited him again to Sunday's class. I mean, let it all hang out. Whatev.

Afterwards we grabbed frozen yogurt and chatted and, while this is too new of a connection to even know what to write about, I like that he is honest, gentle, open and even-tempered. He doesn't seem like a game-player or embittered. He has a sweetness about him that is endearing.

For some reason, though, neither of us can eat in eachother's presence. It's like we're too shy. We held our frozen yogurts stiffly and watched them melt together. Isn't that romantic? He told me, "I know you're really busy but I would love to spend a whole day with you" and I immediately thought "but when would I EAT*??" (*my favorite activity ever, besides sex and sleep.) I can't chow down if HE'S not, and maybe he's not because I'm not? It's kindof an embarrassing date conundrum that I've not quite experienced before. Even hugs are awkward; when we greet eachother we're stiff and shy. At this rate, we're about 3 months away from handholding. But he listens and his eyes are kind. So we will see.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I hate jazz and I hate you

Me, texting girlfriend: "Going on date. In case I get stabbed, here's the info for the police."

He picked me up from the metro and, after an introductory hug, offered me a bottle of juice. "Are you thirsty?" I looked at the half-consumed container. "No thanks!"  "But it has vodka in it!" "Um, yeah, no thanks." I repeated. "Ohh, are you worried that I put something else in it? I just thought it'd be nice to have a little vodka before the show." "Yeah, that's not for me. Thanks though."

That's how the date started. I was more preoccupied by the germophobe aspect (the juice was thick and pulpy and had a backwashed appearance) than the fact that it might be spiked with rhohypnol or whether he was a closet alcoholic. Drink from someone's mouth before I even decided if I wanted to kiss it?? My mom would be proud, her lessons have transferred well.

We went to see a play and then strolled through the streets until we arrived at some jazz place. "You like jazz?" he asked. "Um, I don't know much jazz but sure, I'll give it a try."

I think in my head, jazz seemed like relaxing instrumental music.

I blame Kenny G.

However, the reality of my experience was more like:

Have you ever been in a crowd and allowed yourself to listen to the collective din of hundreds of separate conversations, effectively soaking in an ultimate cacophany of the human voice? This jazz was like the musical equivalent. There were people playing piano, trumpet, base and drums but none of them seemed to have anything to do with each other. And the audience was so lame -- no one was even slightly nodding to the beat. (Was there even a beat?) The room was full of slack-jawed white people staring disaffectedly at the stage, the most still and unmoved group of musical listeners I have ever seen. Sometimes they'd start clapping during a set for no reason at all, while continuing to look bored. I didn't understand.

The musicians, though, at least looked INTO their playing. The pianist exhibited the most passionate display of the repeated striking of a single piano key that I have ever seen.

My date was the only one bobbing his head, fully immersed in the experience. (Then again, HE drank all the juice so maybe the rohypnol was working.)

Halfway through the performance, he put his hand on the small of my back and tried to slide it up my shirt. I tugged it back to neutral ground but he protested, "I just want to feel your skin!" I replied "That feels uncomfortable for a first date." (Something you should know about me: I don't have "rules." Comfort is comfort. Either it's there or it's not, and, while it usually increases the more times you see someone, that's not a given. I rely heavily on my gut.) He pressed a little more before I said, "Listen, it's very important to me that if I say I'm not comfortable with something, you respect those messages." He got very respectful then and we spent the rest of the show absorbing the music. (Or, rather, he absorbed it while I entertained myself by observing the dispassionate audience, which turned out to be almost as much fun as I thought the music was going to be.)

Afterwards we strolled to a food joint, scored a booth and chatted. Conversation was easy. "We have to have some differences!" he cried. "We have too much in common!" "Okay, want to know a difference?" I  offered. "I didn't really like that jazz," I confessed. He laughed, at least not taking it personally. "Well, that wasn't the best jazz for a beginner."

Towards the end of the night, he offered that I could sleep over. "You can stay in the guest room! I'll be good!"

My reply, 2:15-2:26:

The eve was fun though, despite the awkward bits (which at least could be talked about). But I discovered that he had dated a good friend for a while pretty seriously and I don't think I'll feel comfortable about going on a second date.