Monday, November 29, 2010


This post is inspired by a previous comment:
"Let me know when you have the conversation about a threesome because I've always wondered how that topic is brought up too. LOL."
ha! Okay, this reminds me of a story someone else told me. This girl was visiting her boyfriend and things were about to get intimate when another guy popped out of the closet and was all "Hi!"

The female had not been notified in advance.

And that is how their threesome conversation went.

Among "normal" people, I don't know...!

Just search for the word "awkard" under Google images.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

He hadn't turned weird yet...

So, I went to a conference for work in downtown DC and met a fellow attendee wearing Army fatigues.

This isn't a "date" story so much as an "um, wow" recollection. The kind of "um, wow" that halts further contact. Not that he was a bad guy, just that we were uh, not on the same page.

So, this was the initial interaction:
Him: want to get a drink?

Me: no thanks, I'm on the heels of a breakup and just not up for it, but thanks.

Him: Okay.
So we leave the conference together to head to the metro and end up talking about work stuff. We paused at a monument on the way and, since he's from out of town, I offer to take a picture of him sightseeing using my phone. A stranger walked and said "Oh! How about I take the photo of BOTH of you!"

He hadn't turned weird yet so I said sure.

Then I emailed the photo to him.

Which meant he now had my email address.

I get home to the following email (condensed from about 3 pages):
"Hey, it was so nice hanging out with you. Sorry you're going through a breakup. You're an amazing woman. [Insert 17 lines of praise for all of my amazing qualities of which he has observed and fully stands as the authority on my awesomeness.] You know, If you change your mind and want to hang, I'm at xxx hotel, at xxx street address, in room xx, and -- don't worry -- I won't expect anything from you if you stop by. If you want anything, even to be held by a friend, I'm here. You can come anytime. You don't even have to call first."
Um, how did we go from "that's a nice design" to "come to my hotel?"

I sit on this for a week, not sure how to respond. I finally decide to write something short and sweet:
Me: "Thanks for thinking of me, that's thoughtful. I'm good."
He writes back [condensed from 2 pages]:
"I'm so glad to hear from you. I don't normally DO this but I just wanted to tell you that I was really hoping you'd come over. If you had, I would have been as naughty or nice as you wanted, even if you just wanted to sleep that would have been fine. I just wanted you near because you're so [insert myriad flatteries]. Miss you. Oh and my tomato plant didn't kick it, yay!"
I wait another week.

He misses me?

We talked about tomato plants?

I respond to this after a few days:
Me: "Thanks again for your nice email. I have zero interest in romance or dating right now. I'm not too comfortable talking about this so will just stick to work. Glad your tomato plant is better!"
His response (this time I'm cutting and pasting a snippet instead of paraphrasing. Misspellings original):
Him: "Before you think too harshly of me please understand that my suggestive comments towards anything romanatic or physical between us was meant simply as outlet for you to relax, unwind, and blow off some of the built up steam caused by all the recent events in your life. This no-strings-or-relationships-attached offer was very much a heartfelt and honest attempt at making you feel better. [snip] It was my belief that if I pleasantly, tactfully, and gentlemanly as possible, presented you with the possbility of a one night escape from relatity that I could somehow lesson the weight on your shouders. I was willing to be any kind of a friend that you needed that night whether it was a just a shoulder to cry on, a quiet place to rest, or a night of blissful ecstasy throwing all the worries of the world to the wind then forgotting the whole thing ever happened the next morning. I hope you understand that this... was about being the kind of friend who would willingly jump on a grenade if that was what was required in order to a friend."
Our exchange ended there. There just wasn't too much else to say.

Since I'm not too experienced in the pickup line world or even with dating a million people, I'm not totally sure if this is something he uses on everyone (if so, does it ever actually WORK???) or if he just acted weird around me. What do you think? Why would someone just spurt this out despite the absence of encouraging feedback? I'm sure he's a nice enough guy. We've all made social gaffes and maybe this was just one of those things. But really, guy. Really?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

complicated thoughts

Well, it shouldn't surprise me but somehow I hadn't anticipated it this soon. I heard that a significant ex has found someone new. I have no idea when. It could have been a while ago for all I know.

I remember being the someone new once and thinking that if it smarted for the old girlfriend, that I'd wish she could know that she hadn't been replaced, really. She was still special. And that there wasn't any vilifying of exes happening. But now I wonder: what does he say?

I have tried to handle this situation with as much grace as possible. I speak mostly of my own journey. I want only good things for those who were close in my heart. But it does hurt to consider being misunderstood.

I've been thinking about empathy lately. Not just the understanding of what life must be like for another, but the added stipulation that in those same shoes, we would do the same thing. There's too much judgment in the world. "I wouldn't do that!" we protest at the TV, advice columns, on line at the supermarket, in our heads hearing other's dilemmas.... But is that really true? If we were made of the same fibers, had the same background, same experiences, wouldn't we be that person doing those same things?

That doesn't mean that said action is excusable. But is it understandable? To truly empathize, one must consider the source as if one were that person. It's wrong to steal but suppose I were starving. It doesn't make it right but does make sense.

I hope I make sense.

I wish it were more visible that I mean well. How much I try. How much I care.

I was broken in my youth and so now I must rebuild.

Sometimes I want to hide until I'm done.
(But we're never done.)

I wrote in my last post about love. I have ideas but I'm missing the understanding of what it is to fully love oneself. This feels like a failure. But it also feels like an opportunity. Something to be discovered and explored. I've no map but I hope to find the way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

what is love?

Someone commented on an earlier post where I lamented about love. "Perhaps you can write what you think/want true love to be," Anonymous suggested.


I don't think I'm ready to think about this right now, really, but someday I hope to find a sense of home with someone.

I mean that intangible thing that happens when you're so comfortable you can be talking or quiet and still feel a connection. When you can throw your head back and laugh and totally lose yourself or be writing quietly and silently share a bowl of grapes. Where it just feels right to curl into each other as if love had blurred the boundary between. Joy at the simple sight of one another.

I also think lovers should be best friends.

I thrive on close connections. I am not satisfied with superficialities. When I ask someone how they are, I *want* to know. An honest and open dialogue is important.

I like a lot of down time too and so space is also key. I can be skittish if my reserves are low and if someone seems clingy or intense, it can trigger something in me which tends to make me close off (which sounds hypocritical given that I myself can be intense). So maybe it's a matter of being able to read each other.

Qualities that are valuable to me? Sense of humor, kindness, understanding, chemistry, intelligence. Feeling special. It also comforts me to see people take good care of themselves both physically and mentally. I like to see people doing what makes them happy: indulging in hobbies or whatever they find restorative and fun. The joyful and content make good company.

I'm not so unrealistic that I don't see the strain that a tough schedule or burdensome demands can place on a relationship. There's a lot of muck to everyday living. Laundry and bills and cat vomit are not hot (at least not in my house) and so it seems important to make time for fun, both together and apart.

What is love to you?

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I know what it feels like to be illiterate. To have all this feeling built up inside with no way to express it. I want to write, to draw, to pour out my complicated insides so that they're no longer caged but I don't know how.

I remember when my 2-year old nephew grew frustrated because he wanted more cereal but didn't have the tools to ask. He reached for the box and began to cry.

I reach for my pencil and want to cry.

I don't have the skill to create.

My insides still do not have a voice.

So I practice.

I gave up everything I knew to find a quiet place. And now I am arriving and but the journey's just begun.

Learning to draw.

Learning to see.

Learning to fall.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

my date with Scott Pilgrim

Have you seen the movie "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World?"

Well, I went on a date with Scott Pilgrim early in September.

I mean, not really. It wasn't supposed to be a date, and it wasn't really Scott Pilgrim. But it was with this 24 year-old guy that was Scott Pilgrim's dead ringer (with darker hair). I'd met him at a mutual friend's housewarming party and we talked about jobs. I saw his potential and was offering career advice.

He invited me to a bonfire the following week with a bunch of friends. I'd told him my age thinking that'd be all I needed to establish that it was NOT to be a date. Repeat. NOT A DATE.

He picked me up reeking of cologne and I immediately thought uh oh, he thinks this is a date.

We then picked up his younger friend (a kid who looked adolescent enough to be my son) and I tried to be chatty but he only grunted minimally, his face a mask of terror. After 45 minutes of this stilted conversation, we arrived and the friend peered at me hesitantly before getting out of the car, asking the only question he had all evening: "HOW old are you?"

Uh, yeah, I didn't feel awkward AT ALL.

So, all three of us walked over to the fire and observed a hundred drunken teenagers rioting wildly around the flames. Scott looked from me to to his terrified friend and back to me and awkwardly suggested, "Do you want to see the train car?"

The train car. Yes, I want to see the train car. Actually, I want to see THE car. A car. ANY car. Something with wheels which can go down the street in the opposite direction of arrival. Like, towards my house.

But that would make me a shitty guest (date?) and so, grateful for something to do besides take note of inebriated youth, I followed Scott and his terrified friend to a corner of the property which housed an ancient railway car covered with vines. We climbed onto a makeshift "deck" and I shifted nervously on the rotting planks before peering inside. Hazy figures huddled together behind a thick cloud of smoke, singing softly. Warmth at their camraderie fleeted across my heart before I realized what they were doing.

Greeat. A train car of kids getting high. Awesome. The awkwardness returned.

We carefully backtracked over the dilapidated platform down a rusty broken ladder while I mentally calculated my last tetanus shot. Then we awkwardly grabbed some seats by the fire so we could awkwardly not talk.

Terrified friend began drinking. I saw his face loosen slightly from a tight rictus of fear to shy smile. Suddenly he stood up. "I want to go swimming!" He exclaimed, and ran after 30 other people who had darted impulsively into the thick, black woods.

Swimming? Drunk? Scott and I looked uneasily at eachother. "Um, maybe we should keep an eye on your friend," I said. "I mean, it's not totally safe to mix alcohol and water."

"Yeah. but I don't know how to get to the lake so we have to hurry and follow them."

We began running after the youngsters into the darkness. We caught up to them on a narrow path which suddenly disappeared. "Watch out! We're on a cliff!" someone said. A collective hush of nervousness went through the crowd and we all stopped, strung our hands together, and resumed smashing through the brush single-file. Every once in a while, cries of pain filled the air from the thorny brush or twisted ankles.

I suddenly realized I wasn't following any of my normal forest protocols, which is to maniacally identify from a great distance any leafy substance which might contain the thing that turned the left half my face into a bumpy, scaly mess of fire all those years ago. The first vacation I would have in a year was scheduled for the following week and I quickly imagined it spent heaping calamine lotion onto a shroud of poison ivy blisters.

We finally got to a sliver of shoreline on the lake and (why I didn't expect this, I don't know) almost everyone immediately ripped off their clothes and dove into the water.

Everyone, that is, except me and Scott and terrified friend, who handed me his sneakers and slowly waded in, jeans and all.

Scott looked at me affectionately on the beach as nubile bodies streaked from shoreline to water, splashing and flirting and shrieking.

Channeling Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science.

 He put his arm around me and smiled.

I pointed to his arm, unamused. "THIS," I said, "Is a bad idea."

"What's a bad idea?" he asked, nuzzling me.

Me: "THIS." Pointing again to his arm. "There is too much of an age difference."

Scott: "But my parents have an age difference and it hasn't bothered them."

Me: "Yeah, but you can't bring home a girl to meet your mom who is your mom's age."* (*Not that bad actually, but close enough.)
More nude bodies exited the water, glistening. I tried to stare someplace that was not uncomfortable, and announced that I was ready to leave.

An exodus from the shore began and we trampled through more brush on the way back. This time one of the hands I held was the small, cold hand of the terrified friend who suddenly turned expressive from alcohol. "You're so beautiful!" he exclaimed, over and over. I wondered if I was the first to hold this wet hand, and gently guided his both innocent and incoherent form carefully past the thorns while Scott led the way.

And that was my adventure as Kelly LeBrock for the evening.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Walked - Sufjan Stevens

Lover, will you look at me now?
I'm already dead to you
but I'm inclined to explain
to you what I could not before
Whatever you didn't do, what you couldn't say
I am sorry that the worst has arrived
For I deserve more.
for at least I deserve the respect of a kiss goodbye

Tell me, do you think of me now
as I think of you?
For I could not have shaken the touch of your breath on my arm
For it has stayed in me as an epithet
I am sorry the worst has arrived
For I'm on the floor
In the room where we made it our last touch of the night

I walked, cause you walked
but I won't probably get very far
sensation to what you said
but I'm not about to expect something more
I would not have run off
but I couldn't bear that it's me
It's my fault
I should not be so lost
but I've got nothing left to love

Lover, will you look from me now
I'm already dead
but I've come to explain
why I left such a mess on the floor
For when you went away
I went crazy. I was wild with the breast of a dog
I ran through the night
with the knife in my chest
with the lust of your loveless life

I walked, cause you walked
but I won't probably get very far
sensation to what you said
but I'm not about to expect something more
I would not have run off
But I couldn't bear that it's me
It's my fault
I should not be so lost
But I've got nothing left to love

I walked, cause you walked