Saturday, November 21, 2009

Joe Montana

I know I've been quiet, but it doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about you!

They don't know why, or where the name came from, but everyone I know is calling my man Joe Montana. Everyone.

Last night I went out with my friends Ghost and Polo. They were asking me what the plans are for a "Meet Joe Montana" function on December 5 - a weekend that Joe will be in FL for a visit. I told them that they need to remember that his name is actually [redacted for privacy purposes], and not Joe Montana. They said, "Yeah, we're probably just going to call him Joe."

Fortunately for me, Joe Montana is a very good sport and doesn't mind if people happen to call him Joe rather than his actual name.

Lyrics of the Day

"Hey Joe, where you gonna run to now? Where you gonna run to now?" Jimi Hendrix Hey Joe

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Selling Out

I was out with some girlfriends the other night (thanks to kickball – I have actual friends!) and my friend Ghost was giving me crap for the complete 180 that I’ve done since we met. She and I had a mildly-intoxicated late night confessional in my car way back at the beginning of the summer and we discussed our mutual issues with men. I was in serious PC/relationship backlash at that moment and I went off (as I was wont to do around that time) about the possibility that I’m not the marrying type and that I don’t think you need a relationship to complete you, and blah blah blah. Ghost brought that up as we were out on the town last weekend and said, “Now look at you!”

So, yes, I’ve sold out. The odd thing about it is that it doesn’t feel like selling out. Once I regained my independence in March and remembered how much happier I was alone, it seemed perfectly reasonable for me to assume all relationships would make me feel smothered, drained and miserable. But Joe Montana doesn’t make me feel that way. Yes, we talk every day (because how else can you sustain a long-distance relationship?), but neither of us is ever upset or resentful if the other is too busy to talk at certain times or can’t talk for very long or puts their own social obligations ahead of spending hours on the phone. I had a little too much to drink when I went out with Ghost and the girls and passed out on a friend’s couch instead of calling Joe Montana. Rather than being upset with me, he was happy for me that I had so much fun.

I keep thinking that I should be more worried about selling my Single Self out – but it doesn’t feel like I’ve had to give anything up to be with Joe Montana. I haven’t had to change my life or how I do things for him, I’ve just been able to add him to everything that was already here that has been working so well for me for the past 6 months. So is it nuts for me to think that maybe I am the marrying kind – as long as it’s Joe Montana that I’m thinking of marrying?

Ghost told me that she’s totally jealous of what I’ve got going on, and if she felt the way I feel she’d be married in about two weeks. I told her people would think I’m insane if I were to rush into marriage that fast (or even this fast). She said, “I wouldn’t think you’re insane. Well, maybe insanely awesome.”

Lyrics of the Day

“…These wrinkles masterfully disguise the youthful boy below, who turned your way and saw something he was not looking for: both a beginning and an end.” Death Cab for Cutie Brothers on a Hotel Bed

Saturday, October 03, 2009

PC: Epilogue

I really try not to get defensive when people give their views and opinions on what I write about, because it would be pointless to write in a public forum and expect all comments to be flattering. But I'm going to address this subject one last time, because I just feel like I should say a thing or two.

I realize that my accounts of my relationship with PC are one-sided. The catch is that I was never 100% honest with how things were between us. Never. From the moment that PC knew about this blog, he constantly brought it up - when things were good or bad. He'd say, "So are you going to write about this in your blog? Are you going to make me look like a jerk? Are you going to tell your friends and your mom and your sister about this?" Because of this constant reminder that he felt what I was writing and saying affected him, I glossed over much of the bad stuff and all of the worst stuff really. Even after he left, I pulled punches.

I never felt that I was a woman who could be abused, in any way, but I've come to believe differently.

No, he did not ever actually hit me.

Would he have? If things had continued on the course that they were on (and they would have had I not ended it once and for all), I think he would have. In the last week that we were together, he scared the hell out of me more than once and one time he grabbed me forcefully enough for it to hurt and enough to send a million red flags and warning signals through my head.

With what I know now, and what I have found out since PC and I broke up, there was a lot more wrong and a lot more going on than I ever knew or probably ever will know. I realize that I sound cold when I talk about my frustrations concerning what I hope will be my final communication with him, but 6 months of half-knowledge and endless speculation have put me in a place where it makes me physically ill to speak to him and sometimes even to think of him. I felt a lot of guilt for a long time (guilt is a lot of what kept me with him for as long as I stayed), but I can't feel guilty any more. He made the choices he made - over and over and over again. He manipulated me every chance that he had, doing his best to ensure that I wouldn't leave him - that I would feel like I couldn't leave him.

He's not the worst guy in the world, there are plenty that are far worse, but he's an extremely troubled and messed up guy and he did everything he could to hide the worst and keep me tied to him. I was miserable with him and I thank my lucky stars every day that I finally had the wherewithal to end it.

By the time that I had been with PC for 3 months (as I've been with Joe Montana now), I had spent probably a week's worth of nights up and crying because of things that PC did or did not do. And those were the good times.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Keeping it To Myself

So I’ve been busy. Frighteningly busy really. I bought my townhouse and have spent much of the past couple of weeks working on furnishing it and getting my things moved out of the old apartment. I’ve also spent much of the last couple of weeks dealing with the train-wreck of BS that is still my every interaction with PC – but I’m mostly going to leave that alone in this space. Suffice it to say that six months after we broke up, he has still not come back to Florida to pick up his stuff (which truly is almost every one of his earthly possessions) and he is now scrambling to try to get his act together before the end of the lease on the apartment. It’s not been a stress that I’ve needed, but I don’t seem to have any say in that.

I’ve also been trying to analyze why I haven’t been more eager to tell you all what’s been going on with Joe Montana. I think that I’ve come up with a couple of viable reasons:

1. I chronicled a lot of my elation at the beginning of my relationship with PC and I just can’t bear for anyone (including myself) to make comparisons between that and how things are with Joe Montana at this point.

2. Part of me wants to keep this happiness all to myself and not share the intimate details with anyone.

What’s going on here is too good and too special and too realistic to really be described. It’s also hard for me to talk about it publicly because I know that there are people who will think that it’s just me rushing into something again and that I’m destined to get myself into more trouble (people like The Sister, especially). But it’s just not like that, although I don’t know if I’m able to truly articulate why. It just is, and that’s what’s amazing about it.

A brief break-down is that Joe Montana’s Labor Day visit was amazing. There wasn’t a single thing about the weekend that wasn’t fantastic and not a single thing about it that I wish had gone differently - except maybe the part about him getting on a plane and flying 3000 miles away from me afterward. We’ve talked every day since. We’ve been doing this phone thing for three months now and last night we still managed to accidentally stay on the phone for over an hour because we just didn’t get to the end of our conversation.

I’m going to man up and be honest here, because it’s what I usually do, even though it’s something that has always been hard for me – to be honest about my feelings. I’ve fallen completely in love with Joe Montana. It’s serious stuff here kids. Like, someone-may-have-to-move-across-the-country kind of serious. No real decisions have been made at this point, but we both know that eventually we will actually be able to be together. Because we know this, it’s somewhat easier to be patient with the distance now – though it’ll never be a cakewalk. I’m going to Montana for a weekend to see him in October and he’s coming back to Florida to visit for New Years. It’s not often enough, but we’re doing what we can. And as for that whole “we can date other people” stipulation, well that’s just a moot point. I can’t imagine wanting to, and it’s quite possible I’ll never date again.

Lyrics of the Day

“You know I dreamed about you for 29 years before I saw you. You know I dreamed about you. I missed you for 29 years.” The National Slow Show

Friday, September 04, 2009

I Should Be Committed

Speaking of commitment, Joe Montana and I (rather inadvertently) had The Talk. We were on the phone one night and he just threw out the “boyfriend/girlfriend” words. So I said, “Oh is that what’s going here?” Then we proceeded to have a stammered, halting discussion about the idea of being monogamous from three thousand miles away. I shared my opinion that in a situation like this, if one of us were to meet someone that we truly wanted to go out with, we should be able to do that as long as we’re honest about it. Joe replied with the conviction that he had no intention of meeting anyone else, that he couldn’t think of anyone but me. I had already thought this over from my perspective and had realized that Joe had set the bar pretty high. I couldn’t imagine myself engaging in a random, flip cup-fueled make-out session and it would take quite a lot for a guy to impress me enough to want to give him a chance.

So whether or not Joe Montana and I agreed on my stipulation (and I’m still not sure whether or not we really did), we did agree on the boyfriend/girlfriend words. So, here I am with another long-distance boyfriend: a long distance boyfriend who is on a plane on his way to see me at this very moment.

Although this long-distance business is familiar ground for me, everything about this relationship feels like uncharted territory. I don’t think that anything has gone so easily before (although I’m sure that I have said similar things in the past about relationships that were not going nearly as easily as I was imagining they were) and I’m both excited and nervous about where to go from here. If things go as well this weekend as I am hoping they will (and there is every indication that my hopes are based on reality), I think that this relationship is going to get pretty serious. From my perspective, Joe Montana’s perspective and the perspectives of River (who knows us both very well) and the therapist that I’ve been talking to (that’s a long story, but she’s been listening to the events since the beginning of things with Joe and she’s been behind it the whole time) Joe and I are just about perfect for each other.

The therapist said that a person’s life is like a movie script and when you’re dating someone, you’re letting them audition to fill a role in your movie. So far, Joe Montana seems perfect for the role and I’m thinking he could actually make the final cast. (Though we do disagree on which way to put the toilet paper on the roll; it was almost a deal-breaker for me, but I decided to try to be open-minded.)

When I was younger, I thought that it was perfectly reasonable for people in their 30’s, or thereabouts, to move more quickly in relationships. Obviously with more years of life and dating experience under your belt, you can figure out much more quickly what you like and what you want in a partner. Hopefully you can also figure it out more quickly when it isn’t working at all. Now that I have reached this venerable age group myself, I am feeling like it would be irrational for me to move too quickly with Joe. Or rather, a large part of me thinks that he really could be someone that I could be with long-term; the rest of me feels like I need to justify having this belief a mere couple months into the relationship. But I do believe it.

Lyrics of the Day

"I’m getting lost in your curls, I’m getting rushed back on a whim. Our breaths get wind back to the time when we were green. I know we have changed, but I still grin cause I can’t wait to see you." Animal Collective Bluish

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"He's Scared, She's Scared"

When I decided that I would be doing a little bit of research for posting material, I went to my local Barnes & Noble to browse the love and relationship section. At the time, I was curious about my self-diagnosed commitmentphobia and found the perfect book with which to educate myself. Who better to reference than the very authors who originally coined the term “commitmentphobia”?

Having been published in 1993, the book He's Scared, She's Scared, written by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol, is slightly dated in its references to the changing landscape of modern dating. It refers multiple times to the new, independent, modern woman – the type of woman that I’ve always considered myself to be and a gender role that has become common and familiar to my generation. The book addresses this subject to emphasize the evolution of gender relations and the shift from the perception that men have the monopoly on fear of commitment. Aside from these slightly dated details, I think this book is as useful as any I have ever read in addressing a subject so comprehensively.

Unlike The Man Plan, He’s Scared, She’s Scared uses scores of anecdotes and partial case studies very effectively to illustrate its points. The authors use these stories to put the behaviors they outline into real-life context. I don’t think that anyone could read this book without recognizing a relationship that they’ve been in or witnessed in one or more of the cautionary tales. The Sister’s relationship with her first boyfriend was so classically commitmentphobic that I almost believed she must have been interviewed for the book. (I actually Priority Mailed her the book almost as soon as I was finished reading it. It should be quite useful to her.)

The ideas in He’s Scared, She’s Scared are complex and involved. I won’t outline even the basics here, but if you have any reason to believe that you have issues with commitment or that your partner does, I highly recommend reading this book. It doesn’t treat people with commitment problems like they’re crazy or like there’s no hope for progress – it’s actually quite the opposite. There is even an appendix at the end with tips on how to deal with a commitmentphobic relationship, whichever stage it’s in and whichever role you’re playing in it.

Surprisingly for all of my asserting that I need space and my independence, I don’t seem to be an actual commitmentphobe. I have made mistakes in selecting partners and I have repeated a couple of odd patterns, but I don’t perpetuate the same destructive patterns that are detailed in He’s Scared, She’s Scared. The reason that I didn’t want to stay with PC and didn’t want to marry him wasn’t that I’m afraid to commit: it was that he was just the wrong guy for me. So there is hope for me (and maybe for Joe Montana) after all. If you think you might have issues with commitment, I think this book can show you that there’s hope for you as well.

Lyrics of the Day

"If you'd only seen yourself hating me, when I'd been so much more than fair. But then you'd have to lay those feelings bare. One thing I know has still got you scared." The Shins Turn On Me

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life Goes On

As happily wrapped up as I have been in all the newness and the fun of my romance with Joe Montana, I’m not allowing it to take over my life. I think that I did that with PC, I dropped my focus off of myself and what I should have been doing at that point and put all my energy into seeing him and talking to him as much as was humanly possible. Obviously, that didn’t turn into a good situation; I’ve been determined not to repeat those mistakes (even if I am crazy enough to repeat the long-distance experiment).

Kickball has started back up for the fall season, so I’m forced to thrust myself back out into the social world. I took a week to cocoon when I got back from Montana and then I had a week with The Mother in town. Now I’m back to my sleepless Thursday night routine and back in weekly contact with the friends that I’ve made down here. I’m also… drum roll please… buying a house, a townhouse to be more specific, and it’s actually a done deal. I’m just waiting for the 15th of September for my closing date and I will be an honest-to-goodness grown-up homeowner. It has been my life goal to be a property owner of some sort before my 30th birthday and I’m actually going to achieve that goal. I’m pretty damn excited. The Mother also bought a house in the area to have as an income property, so I’ll be seeing a lot more of her over the fall and winter. I’m back to normal at work and received a favorable six month review. Life is chugging along.

Of course I am still talking to Joe Montana through all of this. The more that I get to know him and know about him, the more I like him. We talk so easily that an hour can pass before I even know it. I find myself wanting to tell him about anything interesting or funny that happens during my days, and share with him first when something good happens. I had a nightmare one night (not a usual occurrence for me) and he was the first person that I wanted to call to make me feel better. Of course, it was four a.m. and the feeling passed before I actually did wake him up in the middle of the night. But it was a comfort to know that he was out there somewhere. Nothing has yet happened (sense my cautious optimism) that raises any red flags. He’s also coming down to Florida to visit me for Labor Day weekend. I’ve been counting down the weeks and days and I’m thrilled at the idea of getting to see him again.

As well as things are going, I can’t bank on it working out. I can’t get so fixated on the idea of being with Joe that I think I need to move back to Montana immediately and start planning a wedding and naming my unborn children. I’ve got a lot going on here in Florida and I’m going to keep working on it all and enjoying myself. If things happen to work out with Joe Montana too, it’ll just be icing on the cake.

Lyrics of the Day

"All I know is I gotta be where my heart says I outta be. It often makes no sense, in fact, I never understand these things I feel. Don't change your plans for me." Ben Folds Five Don't Change Your Plans

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Across the Universe

I’m going to skip ahead a bit here. Long-story-short, Joe Montana and I maximized the rest of the time that I was in Bozeman. I felt so completely comfortable, at ease and able to be myself around him that it just felt natural to see as much of him as I could. When I last saw him on the Saturday that I was leaving town, we hugged goodbye and agreed to keep talking. We didn’t discuss anything further than that, which was perfect. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I did know that there was one road that I definitely did not want to be traveling again so soon and so irrationally.

Since I’ve been back in Florida – over three weeks now – Joe and I have talked every day. We talk at night and exchange text messages semi-regularly throughout each day. Again, I’m feeling like a teenager here. This infatuation, these long phone conversations, the Romeo & Juliet feeling of a romance complicated by outside influences. I really don’t think that I have any clue what I’m getting myself into here, but I can’t help but fall head-long into whatever it will or won’t be.

Joe Montana is extremely open with how he feels about me. And he’s crazy about me. Every so often, his adoration has given me a pang of worry – my brain remembers the disaster that was PC and how frighteningly clingy and suffocating he got. It only takes me a few moments though, to remind myself of the many significant differences between Joe Montana and PC (shared first name aside…).

• Joe Montana has an established job in a career that he loves
• He has his own friends and maintains the relationships
• He is completely presentable in public and is in no way embarrassing
• He is older than me (which I still consider to be a minor miracle, with my track record)
• He’s never had a significant brain injury (I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this other bizarre pattern of mine, but it’s been one)
• He hasn’t done any of the creepy, manipulative, passive-aggressive crap that PC pulled when we were first long-distance dating

The part of all of this that is truly scary and very frustrating is that Joe Montana could just be perfect for me. By perfect for me, I don’t mean perfect in every way, but we just seem to match up really well. The catch is, there is no way that I can leave Florida in the next year and a half, and I have no desire to drag Joe Montana down here (away from all his friends and family and his job) to live with me. So if something is to continue between us, it’s going to be a long, slow road.

I talked to River about what has been going on, because I felt like I needed to really get her blessing. I asked her how she felt about Joe and I talking and she said she’s so excited that she’s really trying not to get her hopes up too high. She told me that she loves us both and couldn’t think of two people she’d rather see together.

I’m prepared for you all to admonish me and tell me that I shouldn’t jump into something crazy when I’m still so newly single; that I’m nuts for trying to have something with a guy that is three thousand miles away and is going to stay that way for a while. But the part of me that harbors general optimism thinks that there is something here and that something would be a shame to rule out before I even get to see what it is. Besides, it could just make a great story someday.

Lyrics of the Day

"Well, hot and heavy, pumpkin pie, chocolate candy, Jesus Christ. Ain't nothing please me more than you. Oh, home, let me come home. Home is wherever I'm with you." Home Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Friday, August 07, 2009

On Heartbreak and Breaking Hearts

For as long as I can remember, The Sister has had the worst taste in men. She’s been with neglectors, abusers (emotional, not physical – though I suspect it could have gotten there had it been given the time), charming players. I could be wrong, but suddenly it seems like she may have found a Keeper. We were discussing the timing of the new man in her life and she floated the following theory: that a person needs to experience at least one great broken heart and break at least one heart before she is ready to settle down for good. The Sister has done both in her dating history and I realized, with the end of my relationship with PC, I have too.

I’m not seriously getting insanely ahead of myself here; I just like this theory.


Once The Mother, The Sister and I were finally able to say farewell to the last of the family and friends that were in town for my dad’s memorial, the time started to fly. We spent a good amount of time together, just the 3 of us; my new nuclear family. But I also managed to see quite a lot of Joe Montana.

The Wednesday after the memorial, Joe and I went on an actual date-type-thing. We went to dinner, made a stop at Target to find a birthday card for his youngest sister (For those of you who don’t know me personally, Target is my version of shopping paradise. I can get anything I want there and it’s easy and pretty and it makes me happy. I even have a Target credit card. It’s all red with bull’s-eyes - it’s adorable.), then stopped at my new favorite Bozeman bar for a drink. It was a really great night, and the first real quality solo time that we had spent together. He opened the car door for me. I haven’t had a man open a car door for me since I dated The Ex. In 2005. Joe Montana held my hand and refused to let me pay for drinks and laughed at my witticisms and made me laugh right back. If I had any doubts about our compatibility before, I was able to cast them aside that night.

Did I mention how much I love it when a man opens the car door for me? I should also mention that Joe Montana has the most arresting eyes. I don’t know if it’s that they’re light, or that they’re big or that they’re framed in those lovely long eyelashes that evolution gave only to men – but I’m taken aback every time I see him.

I mean, I have had my heart broken (more than once). And I have broken a heart. I’m just saying.

Lyrics of the Day

“And all I want is your eyes, in the morning as we wake, for a short while.” Bowerbirds Northern Lights

Monday, August 03, 2009

Comfort

Joe Montana managed to do the impossible over the days surrounding my dad’s memorial gathering. He was somehow one of the very few presences that was able to calm and comfort me without demanding anything additional from me. I was still surprised and baffled at both his kindness and my willingness to accept it and lean on him, but the whole situation felt so natural that there was nothing I could do (or wanted to do) but go with it.

Joe came to my father’s memorial, with River and her husband. Being able to have Joe there and to have his arms around me was almost essential to my sanity. He was just able to let me be. He wasn’t the only one there that I had to lean on: my cousins came from California; My Husband flew in from LA (we had been estranged for months, due to the horrible complication with PC, but MH spent a lot of time with my parents during their various visits to CA and his coming to MT re-formed our friendship), my godmother made it up from the Florida Keys. It was just that Joe Montana was the easiest to be with; he allowed me to breathe.

After an interminable day of family, friends, and way too many tears, Joe and I eventually ended up alone. He drove me back to my parents’ house and we ended up in the back yard. There, beneath a version of the Milky Way that you can’t even imagine outside of Montana, we were teenagers again. We tangled together in the cool grass, fitting length to length and kissing – just… kissing.

It was perfect.


The view from my the back porch at my parents' house.
You'll have to imagine the stars.

Lyrics of the Day

"You told me victory is sweet, even deep in the cheap seats. And you don't judge me, that's not your style. But I won't see you for a little while." Conor Oberst Cape Canaveral

Friday, July 31, 2009

Home and the Heart

Joe Montana was dead serious about wanting to come for a visit to Florida, and though I was slightly apprehensive, I was pretty excited about the idea. He was looking at flights, I was thinking about available weekends and we were talking almost every day. Then things with my dad started to take a turn for the worse, and I asked Joe to put the FL trip on the backburner. I knew that I’d be seeing him much sooner than I had expected and for the worst possible reason.

The Mother called me on Saturday July 11 and told me that I needed to book a ticket home ASAP, because she didn’t think my dad had a lot of time left. I booked a ticket for the following morning and proceeded to do a combination of tidying my house, running last-minute errands and trying not to panic. A few hours later, The Mother called with the News. It was the last thing I expected to hear. It was the last thing I wanted to hear.

I don’t want to get into the next week too much. There was family, memorial arrangements, obituaries and boundless kindness from friends, neighbors and the community. It was hard. It was more than hard. Every day crept by.

During most of the first week that I was home, I didn’t see Joe Montana. But I was communicating with him often, mostly via text. He wasn’t pushy, he wasn’t insensitive, he wasn’t smothering. He just wanted me to know that he was there if I needed anything. I’m not usually open to support from much of anyone, much less from a man that I don’t know all that well. But as the week wore on, I found myself more and more comforted by his presence and I realized that I really wanted to see him.

That Thursday night, before my dad’s memorial on Saturday, we invited a slew of friends and relatives that had come into town out for a night of drinks and remembrances. I invited River and her husband and of course, I invited Joe Montana. I don’t think that I can adequately describe what it felt like to see Joe when he arrived; he put his arms around me and it felt safer, more comforting, more of a relief than anything else had up to that point.

Lyrics of the Day

"We strangers know each other now, as part of the whole design. Oh, hold me like a baby that will not fall asleep. Curl me up inside you and let me hear you through the heat." Suzanne Vega Gypsy

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Guesting Again

Ryan from Single-ish was kind enough to ask me to write another guest post for him while he's away for his brother's wedding. It's not new material for you faithful readers, but the comments are a lot of fun. Check it out here:

Have You Ever Hooked-Up at a Wedding?

And I promise, more Joe Montana stories and details to come...

Lyrics of the Day

"It's a nice day to start again, it's a nice day for a white wedding. It's a nice day to start again." Billy Idol White Wedding

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Out of the Blue

I didn’t mean to leave everyone in suspense for so long there. My father passed away on July 11 and it’s been a long few weeks. I feel as though I’ve been forced to stare at it and talk about it and be strong in the face of it all for long enough now, that I just can’t bear to write about it here. Instead, I’m going to continue the story of the man from the wedding.

Seeing as though I’ve had ample time to ponder, I really actually like Chris’s suggestion of calling him Joe Montana, so I’m going with it.

Joe Montana was thinking about me. This, just like the kiss at the wedding, was a complete surprise. It was also a surprise when he called me the following evening, bored and hoping to chat. I happened to be asleep at the time; I went to bed early that night (Thursday before July 4th) so that I could be up at the break of dawn to embark on my long-weekend camping trip. Again, I didn’t think all that much about it. Joe also sent me a happy 4th text on the day itself, which I didn’t get until I got back to civilization on the 5th.

When I was home and exhausted, I sent Joe Montana a text telling him that I hoped he had a good 4th and that I was worn out and might just die of sleep deprivation. He responded that he thought it was too bad that he wasn’t there to take care of me. I was seriously taken aback. I just didn’t know where any of this was coming from.

The text messages got flirtier and flirtier for about half an hour and then Joe called me; we proceeded to talk. For two and a half hours. Like a couple of teenagers. I actually think I was a teenager the last time that I spent that long on the phone with someone. I think that we text messaged the following day, but nothing major was said. On Tuesday, Joe Montana sent me a text early in the morning (for him, there’s a 2 hour time difference between FL and MT) to ask which airport he would fly into if he wanted to come for a visit.

Lyrics of the Day

"Everyone's getting off. Ended up in such a, such a familiar fade. When it started it was all so foreign to me. The company I keep." White Rabbits Company I Keep

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Something New

Last month I went home to Montana to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of my best friend from high school, River. When she asked me to be a bridesmaid I was really touched and accepted; the one thing that I requested was that she put me in anything but a strapless dress. I have always looked terrible in strapless things and I avoid them at all costs. So what did River do when she picked out the bridesmaids dresses? Went with the strapless.

The Dress

I knew it was a terrible attitude, but I wasn’t at all excited about the prospect of wearing the dress. It turned out though, that River knew way more than I did (shock of shocks) about what would look good in the wedding. There were 4 of us girls in the wedding party and I have to say that we all looked fantastic. I apparently looked so fantastic that I was nearly irresistible.

There is a man who I have known for a couple of years now, he’s a very close friend of both River and her now-husband. He’s adorable and very sweet and I always enjoyed hanging out with him while I was hanging out with River. He’d always been a little flirty, but it seemed he was that way with most girls, so I never thought a thing of it. I was also with PC when I met this guy and had been in a relationship the whole time we had known each other. As soon as he appeared at the wedding, however, he was suddenly far more flirty and affectionate than he had ever been. I noticed, but took it in stride until he pulled me aside at the reception and said he wanted to talk to me outside. Then he grabbed me and kissed me. Naturally, I kissed him back.

We were both swept back up into the activity of the evening and that was really the last significant interaction that we had. I was surprised as hell that it had happened, but it wasn’t an unpleasant surprise. A few days after the wedding, I got this man’s phone number from River so that I could just send him a quick text to say I was sorry that I got distracted (to be perfectly honest, I got distracted by dancing with this completely adorable guy who was fresh out of both 8 years with the Navy and a broken engagement) and that I hoped he had a good time. He sent a text back saying all was good and I thought that would be the end of it.

Then he sent me a text the next morning to tell me that he was thinking of me…

[Sidebar: before I continue on with this story, I seem to be having a bit of trouble coming up with a name for this one. I was speaking with a friend the other day who suggested that I put it out to committee. I think that’s a brilliant idea and so that’s what I’m about to do. Here are some of the basic facts that I know about this guy and you can tell me what you think I should call him:
  • He’s a genuinely sweet, good guy (River describes him as the best possible guy)
  • He’s 5th generation Montanan (a fact that I’m jealous of)
  • He’s a Surveyor and loves his work
  • He’s recently become entertained by guns, due to the influence of River's husband
  • He’s been a bit of a gambler in the past, poker mostly, but kicked the habit
  • He’s the 3rd of 4 kids and all of his siblings are married with children
  • He’s a big outdoors lover
  • He (in a creepy twist of fate) has the same first name as PC
So, I’m going to put all that out there and see if anyone comes up with something brilliant. This came up, partially, because after I had already named Mr. Green, my coworker started calling him Evel Knievel. I was upset because that was such a fantastic name for him and it was too late to use it. So maybe one of you will be that brilliant and come up with something that just didn’t occur to me. If not, I’ll go with one of the ideas that I've had, though I don’t love either one. Once we can find a suitable name for this new man, I’ll bring you up-to-date on the happenings.]

Lyrics of the Day

"Your tongue in my mouth, trying to keep the words from coming out. You didn't care to know who else may have been here before." Bright Eyes Lover I Don't Have to Love

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No Fear

Somewhere along the way there has been a change in me. I’m not sure that I actually felt it happening as it did, or that I even know exactly when it did happen. I do know that getting the hell out of LA had a lot to do with it and recovering from the catastrophe that was my relationship with PC also contributed. Maybe some of it has to do with my current family situation and the sub-conscious realization that there’s a lot more to worry about than how other people are going to perceive me. Or maybe that’s just over-thinking it.

You see, my dear readers, I spent most of my life battling with some form of low self-esteem or another. I was one of those maudlin teenagers wearing black and lighting candles and listening to Tori Amos’s album Little Earthquakes. (Still a great album, I just don’t obsessively identify with it any more.) Some part of me never felt good enough. I have always believed that a person’s confidence means a lot more than their actual level of attractiveness. Feel good about yourself and other people will be drawn to have good feelings about you. Feel bad about yourself and it surrounds you like a dark cloud or a sign reading “Keep Out”. I used to live under that cloud and behind that sign and it showed in the meager number of dates that I went on in high school. Some of that adolescent insecurity carried over into my adult life (though thankfully I retired the black clothing and candles) and it led to many of my struggles with dating and relationships. Some of those struggles have been documented here. Many of them.



But something has shifted. Situations and people that used to give me pause or make me nervous no longer have the power to do so. Since PC left and I decided to go full-force in the pursuit of a new life and social group here in Florida, I’ve felt very little fear or intimidation. It’s difficult to explain what this feels like for someone who wasted as much of her time worrying about self-worth as I did – but it’s a welcome change. I have received more attention (both romantically motivated and platonic) in the past few months than I have ever received. Surprised as I was by the development of the Mr. Green situation so soon after the break-up, it hasn’t been anywhere near the end of it.

Lyrics of the Day

"We're ordinary people, we can't help but to change as we walk and make plans in the dark, or to make haste with the boy who can't help but keep good people out. As you talk to me, too much you're assuming, we don't always want what's right." The Shins Pressed in a Book

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Nothing Certain

At the moment, I cannot bear to use this space as a purely emotional outlet. It is so difficult for me to focus my attention away from what is happening right now, and I need to try to do it as much as possible. So I am just going to state the situation, get it out of the way and go back to frivolous posts about the joy of being single again.

My dad is actually dying. It's past the point where I can fool myself by just saying that he's sick. We've had hospice care come into the house and they think that we'd be lucky if he was around for more than another month.

This is still mostly unimaginable to me, but it's getting to the point that it's undeniable. I was just home in Montana for a bit over a week and the changes that I saw during that time were frightening.

I will be going back home to spend what time I can with him in the next little while - it all depends on how much time he has left. I can't imagine not being there through it all, and I'm going to be there as much as I can.

So that's where I am. That's why I've been silent the last couple of weeks. But I'm not going to dwell on these events here. I can't do it. I need to allow myself to continue to find fun in things and to continue to develop a life here in Florida. I'm not going to wallow when I don't have to and I'm going to distract myself with cute boys and crazy 4th of July weekend camping trips and I'm not going to make myself feel guilty. This will be hard, as my combination Catholic and Jewish heritage makes me predisposed to all sorts of guilt, but I'm going to work on it.

Lyrics of the Day

"And I said, 'Oh Sophia, where'd you get a name like that, living in this dirt road town?' She said, 'I think she was a movie star my father saw before I was born, but I really don't remember now. He left when I was so young.'" Joe Purdy Meteor City

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lost That Lovin' Feeling

In the middle of all the rest of the turmoil in my life, my dating status changed. As much fun as it was to meet someone new and as good as it was for me to confirm that there would, indeed, be life after PC - things with Mr. Green have fizzled out. Somewhere at the confluence of my new social life, his increased work schedule, my family situation and my petrifying fear of commitment the flames of attraction sputtered and went out. I could feel it happen gradually: the phone conversations became less fluid, the plans to hang out less inventive, the need to touch less pressing.

Although it's a little sad - the ending of a crush, a possibility - I don't think the timing could have been better. I'm good with dating people and the end of dating. I can very easily develop and maintain a friendship with someone that I've dated, as long as things never got too serious. The other side of the coin is that I'm a terrible ex-girlfriend. Once an actual relationship is over, I have no desire to have any interaction with my ex. Ever. (Unless he totally broke my heart. Then he is welcome to come crawling back to me so that I may accept or reject his entreaties as I choose.) I know that it's cold to want to cut off someone who was once such a large part of my life, but that's just how I roll.

I will still see Mr. Green. We're still going to be on the same kickball team. It was one of the things that we talked about early on - that we wouldn't let our personal relationship get in the way of the team - and it won't be a problem. It could be mildly uncomfortable the first time one of us flirts with someone else in front of the other, but that's a bridge that won't have to be crossed for another month or more.

It was a good thing for me, and I'm glad that I hung out with him. But I knew that there wasn't any real potential there to get serious (nor did I want to be getting serious with anyone again) and I'm glad that it ended before anyone got hurt. I only really regret that I didn't get more Clue jokes out of it while I had the chance.



Lyrics of the Day


"What are you holding out for? What's always in the way? Why so damn absent-minded? Why so scared of romance? This modern love breaks me. This modern love wastes me." Bloc Party This Modern Love

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Downward Spiral

I'm supposed to be happy here. I'm supposed to be building a life here. I'm supposed to be getting as much as I can out of what I have around me. But how can I have a clear conscience about doing all of this while my father is dying?

It's been a hard 5 or 6 days. Last week I got a reality check that I don't think I was fully prepared to face: the remaining time I have with my dad is severely limited. Just how limited is still uncertain, but the feeling is that it would be a minor miracle if he were to survive the year.

It is so hard for me to grasp this. Yet, it's even harder to stop from obsessing about it. Obsessing about the fact that my father will never walk me down the aisle. About the fact that everyone I meet from this point forward may never get to know him. About the fact that he may never get to see the first home that I'm going to buy this year or be able wish me a happy 30th birthday.

Part of me feels like I should pack up and go home. Or at the very least, take my 3 month family medical leave and spend as much time as I can with my parents. The Mother assures me that is not what they want me to do. She says that it's more helpful for them to know that my sister and I are living our lives and doing well and being happy. But it's something that I'm now struggling with every day. Until now, there was always some kind of new hope on the horizon: a doctor that hadn't been seen yet, a completely untested new treatment to try, new supplements to add to the diet. Now, there's really nothing left. And I'm left here, wondering what the best thing to do is. For him. For me. For all of us, really.

Lyrics of the Day

"And you can learn to live without it, but your heart's gonna stay torn. And you can try hard not to need it, but you'll want it more and more. It's like the calm before the storm." Wild Sweet Orange Either/Or

Friday, June 05, 2009

"The Man Plan"

First of all, DO NOT - under any circumstances - buy this book. If your curiosity somehow gets the best of you and you absolutely must read it, either get it from the library or email me your address and I will send you my copy (Seriously. Otherwise it's going to Goodwill). Please don't support this book. It hurts my brain to think that it even got published. At the time, I thought the blurb made it sound like it would actually be useful...


The Man Plan by Whitney Casey

"While it’s great to suggest that a woman shouldn’t have to conform to unreasonable expectations of perfection in order to attract a guy and keep him, the reality in the dating world is somewhat different. Men are tactile, visual, and visceral, and a spectrum of factors—from the way a woman orders wine to the pictures she has next to her bed to how often she shaves—can be enough to turn a guy off…permanently.

With The Man Plan, relationship columnist Whitney Casey shares with women what men really think on a variety of issues, from the way women dress to how they take care of their cars. Including the opinions of a cross section of single men—as well as such notable personalities as Joel Osteen, P. Diddy, and Dr. Laura Berman—The Man Plan helps women identify the little issues that can make a big impression."

Maybe I should have read between the lines. Maybe I should have known what I was in for. But I was less than a week out of a relationship and I was feeling vulnerable and easily sold. So I ordered the book on Amazon (there was no way I would be caught dead buying it in the store) and hoped for some help in re-entering the dating world.

This book nearly rolls back the clock to the days of June Cleaver and Laura Petrie. It begins with the idea that all women are stereotypical Girly-Girls with very little sense or sensibility. The first few chapters are a glorified grooming/decorating guide for the completely clueless. Did you know that men like it when we understand basic hygiene and can actually walk in the outfits we've chosen to wear? Me neither! Case in point:

"So, you've got your body under stink control for the manly stink patrol. But wait - there is one factor you may not have factored in the smell wars. What about all that hot air you are putting out there for him to hear and er...um...uh...smell? Your breath woman! That's another huge and fierce funky factor for him. If your breath speaks louder than your words, you can kiss everyone kissable good-bye."

More gems like this follow in chapters that explain how to pronounce the names of foods (Like Cabernet - not pronounced "cab-er-net", but rather "cab-er-nay". Just in case you were born in a shoe box and never left it.), which car brands you should be aware of to appease a man (Know the difference between a Miata and a BMW - or at least know better than to say something when you don't know.) and how much you should know about the economy and your own finances. This is one of my favorite passages:

"Four New York City guys are out on the town in Los Angeles. They are far away from their high-powered, high-pressured Wall Street jobs and they are ready to start their high-priced, high-partying night on the town. It's not even an hour into their night before Wayne, Tod, Fred, and RJ meet Marci, Carla, Tiffany, and Tracy - four smoking-hot Orange County girls, 'raring to get down on the town.' As Tod explains: "I don't think these girls had ever met a wallet they didn't like. When I told one I was an investment banker, she said 'Oh, like you work in a bank...like a bank teller?"...
... RJ says it best: "These girls were not, but they were so dumb and silly, it was just too annoying." All four of the guys seem bewildered by the absurdity of the previously mentioned dialogue. "I don't get it; women can quote you the exact amount of money they spent last week on that pair of designer shoes, but ask them to quote the exact amount of money Google's stock is selling at, and they look at you like you are speaking in tongues," RJ says. Wayne adds that "women never know about money. They don't know what is happening in the economy, how to save their money, or how to make their money grow. They just know how to spend it."
*

Honestly, I'm so worked up by how offended I am by the book (don't even get me started on the chapter that tells you how to behave when your man is watching sports), it's hard for me to want to tell you the one thing, aside from this, that I got out of the book. But it did actually change the way I do things, so I feel that it's worth mentioning.

"'Shave with cold water before your shower or bath.' The hot water of your shower/bath makes your legs well just enough to prevent the closest shave possible. Thus, try shaving your legs sitting on the edge of the bathtub using cold water... as cold as you can stand it. You'll get a much closer shave, and your shave will last longer!"

Somehow in my lifetime of grooming and all my previous research, I never happened across this fact. It really does make a difference to shave in cold water and it's actually a really pleasant experience when you live in Florida where it's warm all the time. For those of you in colder parts of the world - have courage!

Unless you've never interacted with a man before or are a complete moron, most of the information in this book is going to sound condescending to you. I felt like it was written assuming that all women are complete idiots and wouldn't be able to find their way out of a Prada handbag without the help of a big, strong man. Even the "celebrity guests" and the oh-so-topical anecdotes that introduce every chapter are extremely weak. If Whitney Casey was ever actually a serious, legitimate journalist, she has fallen far. (Clink on that link. I'm not kidding.)

Lyrics of the Day

"Show him that you care just for him: do the things that he likes to do, wear your hair just for him. 'Cause you won't get him thinking and a-praying, wishing and a-hoping." Dusty Springfield Wishing and Hoping

*There are so many problems with this anecdote, I don't think I can even get into it all. But seriously, the girls are from Orange County. Also, I don't know a single woman who doesn't know at least a little bit about the economy or how to handle money. And I also don't know anyone (outside of a stock broker or investment banker maybe) who can quote the "exact stock price" of Google at any given moment. Obviously these douche bags hang out with the kind of girls that don't know what an investment banker is all the time. That's not the fault of woman-kind.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Fools Rush In

The beginning of my research phase seems to be paying off a little bit already. Last night, I finished a truly terrible "get a man" guide. It contained one relevant piece of wisdom, one chapter that was a little bit of a reality check for me, and a whole load of insanely useless information. I will check back in with a full review (including some of my favorite wonderfully stupid quotes, guaranteed to roll back the clock on feminism) a little later this week. Today, it is the reality check I am interested in discussing.

Without going into book-quoting detail, what happened was that I realized I am completely jumping the gun on being worried about how far things have gone and how far they could go with Mr. Green. It is completely normal for people to date for multiple months before anyone starts hinting at full-on Relationship Status. I realized that my view is completely skewed, because it has been about 5 years since I have had a truly normal dating relationship with anyone. Each of my 3 significant relationships have started like a forest fire, burning suddenly and out of control. The last reasonably-paced dating experience I had was when I dated a classmate from school during the summer of 2004. We dated in a completely fun and civilized way for 3 months before deciding that we weren't compatible enough to continue. I had completely forgotten that that is the way that things are supposed to go.

Mr. Green and I have only been dating for about a month and a half. Our schedules are such that we can really only see each other on weekends. Things are at just about the right place for the situation, as far as I can tell. So I'm going to let this realization ease my mind.

At least that book was good for something.

Lyrics of the Day

"Would you always, maybe sometimes, make it easy. Take your time." Grizzly Bear Two Weeks

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Treading Water

I haven't been updating all that much about what's going on with Mr. Green. That's because there's not a whole lot new going on with Mr. Green. It's just sort of, well, holding steady.

This past weekend, my wonderful girlfriends SJP and LAJ came to visit me. Once more, I was able to unleash the maximum dose of Girl Talk upon them. And once again, it was refreshing and a relief. But much of what I had to say was redundant. Things are where they are right now: I like Mr. Green, I like hanging out with Mr. Green, I am deathly afraid of being Mr. Green's (or anyone's) girlfriend. I know that doesn't seem fair, and maybe it does mean that I'm on the rebound a little bit. Because I'm just not there. And however "on" Mr. Green's taxi light is, I can't force myself to commit.

And it's not that Mr. Green is trying to force that. Actually, we don't really talk about that kind of thing at all. It is basically assumed that neither of us is seeing anyone else (because we spend what mutual free time there is with each other), but it's not something that has been discussed. He definitely hasn't said anything about the big, bad G-friend or B-friend words and I'm not going to encourage him to do so.

So, in the meantime, I'm going to do the research that I alluded to before I met Mr. Green and unwittingly got wrapped right back up in the world of romance. I'm going to be doing a lot of reading in the near future. I've decided to take it upon myself to take on as many of the published love / dating guides as I can stand and to report back to you on their varying levels of usefulness. I can already tell you, some of them are going to be completely useless. And some may be helpful... Only time (and I) will tell.



Lyrics of the Day

"You think she's an open book, but you don't know which page to turn to, do you?" Cake Open Book

Monday, May 25, 2009

Single-ish

Recently, my lovely and wonderful friend Blondie took it upon herself to pimp me out. She developed a relationship with a sweet and adorable dating blogger on Single-ish at Glamor.com and took the liberty of directing him to this modest space. Ryan seemed at least mildly entertained by my ceaseless ramblings and asked if I would be interested in guest blogging for him while he is in Europe next week. Always ready to prostitute myself for the enjoyment of others, I heartily agreed.

So, tomorrow and Thursday, you'll have the opportunity to read a little thing or two that I wrote for Single-ish. Please visit, and while you're there check out the regular posts and the archives. I know that I was mightily entertained and found a lot of food for thought in there.

The fun part of the assignment was that I was to ask questions of the readers and I'm eager for the answers. You all know how usually hopeless I am - maybe there's guidance out there for me yet...

Also, many thanks to Ryan for having me as a guest. It's been fun!

Lyrics of the Day

"I am a writer, writer of fictions. I am the heart that you call home. And I've written pages upon pages..." The Decemberists The Engine Driver

Monday, May 18, 2009

Open the Floodgates

The weekend before last, I went up to Tampa to see my childhood friends who live up there. They are sisters and bought a house together in the suburbs. In my earliest time here in Florida, they were a welcome oasis in a desert of people that I didn't know. I actually drove straight to their place after dropping PC at the airport when he left. It was a lifesaver to have familiar and loved people to turn to in my worst hours. Even though I hadn't seen Lee or Lo for over 6 years before I moved down here, they welcomed me like family and it has been amazing to regain the friendships.

So, that other weekend, I went up to their place. It was actually my birthday that weekend and I wanted to celebrate it with them. We had a fantastic birthday dinner that Saturday night and I had a ton of fun with them in general. But maybe the best thing (for my sanity) to come out of that weekend was the fact that I got to unload.

It seems to me that many women have a need to share way too much information with people about their love lives. I know I certainly do. After more than a year of living with someone who had very big ears and was terribly nosy, I stopped having "girl talks" with anyone. I was also so far removed from the people that I would usually share this information with that it made it difficult to do so. The only person that I talk to constantly is The Sister, and she won't listen to my TMI talk. She says it's gross, because I'm her sister and she doesn't want to know that stuff. Yet, she tells me all the gory details of her love life. She says it's different, because I don't have a problem hearing it about her.

I had been saving up years worth of details about PC, about previous relationships and about new and interesting developments with Mr. Green. Lee and Lo listened to me for hours. It was cathartic. I hadn't actually realized how long it had been since I'd been able to talk like that until I was in the midst of it and feeling the beginnings of immense relief.

Lyrics of the Day

"And everybody knows the way I walk, and knows the way I talk and knows the way I feel about you." Ryan Adams Wish You Were Here

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Evolution

As much as I am doing to resist analyzing where things are going with Mr. Green, things do seem to be moving forward. Part of me still gets the urge to shift into panic-mode - the part of me that just can't bear the thought of being someone's girlfriend again. But that part of me shuts right up when I'm with Mr. Green; things remain remarkably easy when I'm around him. I'm still not sure that I want to go down the Relationship Road again so fast, but I'm not ruling it out completely.

Things have been progressing. There are little things that you get comfortable with, like holding hands. At first you don't know if you should or not, then you do just a little bit, then it becomes natural when you're walking together. (I am still completely entranced by his hands. They're just big and strong and his knuckles are all scarred. It kills me.) Because of the distance between our places, sleepovers have become assumed. The more I sleep in the same bed with Mr. Green, the less I'm excited about sleeping alone. There's just something that works about sleeping with him. There has been speculation on whether or not I'm seeking out the physical affection just for the sake of it and those are very valid thoughts. But it just doesn't feel that way to me. I wasn't feeling empty or alone or like I was dying to be touched before I started dating Mr. Green. This really all feels like it just happened.

In the public world, Mr. Green and I have been completely busted on our relationship with the kickball crowd.

"But wait - are there some other [Team Name Redacted] who are getting friendly off the field? Looks like [LB] and [Mr. Green] have been spotted leaving Icabod's together... ??? Both were single & looking, neither seems to be anymore... also rumored to have showed up at a party together over the past weekend!"

This is what graced the gossip page of the league newsletter the week of our last regular-season game. Of course they couldn't have stopped there: I scrolled down to find a picture with multiple members of my team in it (that just happened to have Mr. Green and I standing next to each other); the masterminds behind the newsletter photoshopped a heart around our heads and the caption: "[Mr. Green] and [LB]: confirm or deny?!?"



Lyrics of the Day

"I was just bony hands, as cold as a winter pole. You held a warm stone out, new flowing blood to hold. Oh what a contrast you were to the brutes in the halls." The Shins Pink Bullets

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Not So Scary

I have been thinking lately that change can be a really beautiful thing.

In the past weeks, since I've gotten more used to my recovered Single Status, I have been making more changes than just adapting to the loss of a boyfriend and a roommate.

Did I ever mention that somewhere in the past 9 months, I had started smoking a little bit again? I probably didn't. Because I was horribly ashamed of it. It was something that I hid from everyone I could: none of my coworkers ever knew it - here or in Baltimore. I would only smoke at home, on my porch, and not out in public. I tried my very best to keep it to 2 or 3 cigarettes a day at the most, but that wasn't an excuse for such a backslide. I had quit for over 3 years, after smoking for more than 10, and quitting before had been the hardest thing I'd ever done. Yet, somehow, I allowed myself to start again. I made every excuse in the book, but it was really that: I let it happen.

Almost two weeks ago, I quit again. And it's been almost easy. Of course, the $2 hike in cigarette prices in FL definitely helped the motivation. I have also quit fast-food. And sodas. And wallowing in laziness and self-pity on my couch. I've been getting up early and working out, or running after work. I've been cooking myself healthy meals (although sometimes I only get around to a bowl of cereal - still not too bad) and laying off the snacks. I'm keeping my apartment actually clean - dusting and everything. I'm newly and strangely motivated to do all these good things for myself and I'm loving it.

Sure, dating someone new has something to do with this. But it's not everything. I'm doing it for myself and that's what feels best about it.

Lyrics of the Day

"I finally made it. I made a clean getaway." Maria Taylor Clean Getaway

Monday, May 04, 2009

No Clue

I'm not really sure what I'm getting myself into. I'm also not really sure whether I'm actually worried about that or not. I'd like to think that sometimes it's good not to worry or over analyze a situation; sometimes it's good just to go with something.

I've been spending quite a bit of time with Mr. Green. (Every time I type that, I have the urge to speculate whether he did it in the Ballroom with the Rope or in the Conservatory with the Lead Pipe.) After last Saturday night and the draft party, I saw him again on Wednesday night. Then for kickball on Thursday. Then we spent Saturday at the beach and Saturday night at my house watching the Supercross Finals.

It's moving fast. I know it is. In the moments when I give myself a chance to think about it, I sometimes get a little panicky. Here I am, a girl that has always had a hard time committing, and I'm fresh out of a semi-disastrous relationship. Yet I'm running head-long into something with the very first guy I've dated. Am I crazy or what?

The heart of the matter is that I'm really enjoying the time I'm spending with Mr. Green (in the Library with the Revolver). He's really easy to be around, he's smart, he's ambitious and he's sweet. He hasn't done any of the game-playing crap that I had come to expect in the dating world after all those years in LA.

I don't want to worry about it. I don't want to spend time thinking that I'm rushing into something or that I'm on the rebound. I want to enjoy this without having to answer the questions (Like: Am I on the road to Boyfriend-ville? Do I even want to be?).

Lyrics of the Day

"Squeaky swings and tall grass, the longest shadows ever cast. The water's warm and children swim and we frolicked about in our summer skin. I don't recall a single care, just greenery and humid air." Death Cab for Cutie Summer Skin

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pass the Chapstick

On Saturday Mr. Green and I went to an NFL Draft party that one of our team members was throwing at his place. It almost felt strange to go together, as it's not like we've been dating for very long or are sharing that information indiscriminately. I know that some people definitely got what was going on by the end of Thursday night, but not everyone was around to see that. But it wasn't that strange. It was easy. It's all been easy.

What wasn't easy was that we got to the party at about 1:30 and the draft didn't start until 4:00. That left almost 3 hours to be filled with Beer Pong and Flip Cup. What wasn't easy was resisting the urge to make out with Mr. Green in public once I'd had a drink or two. What was easy was kicking butt at Flip Cup. I just have a natural talent.

(If it sounds like I'm behaving like a college kid all over again - I totally am. I'm not ashamed of it at all. I felt like this part of my social life has been missing since I left LA and since I was with PC and I'm ecstatic to have it back. I'm not married, I don't have children. I'm gainfully employed and fiscally responsible. If I want to let my hair down and act like I'm 5 or 6 or 8 years younger in my free time, I should do it while I can. And I'm going to.)

So we watched about the first 13 draft picks (as number 13 was the all-important Redskins first round pick) before being a little too intoxicated to pay as much attention as was deserved. Once I had finished off a six-pack of Woodchuck (which I paid for with a raging 6 am headache on Sunday morning), there was no turning back. At some point, Mr. Green and I ended up talking on the porch for long enough that I think the other party-goers thought we had left, and it wasn't long after that we went back to my house.

Some of the rest of the evening is blurry - but the later it got, the more clear it got, because I really had quit drinking pretty early on. What I can tell you is that there was a lot more kissing and not a whole lot of sleeping. It has been so long since I've done this with someone - enjoying getting physical without getting completely physical. I certainly didn't do that with PC. Before that I was spending time with The Kid, and that was nothing but physical. And I'm not even sure my memory can go back much farther than that. Suffice to say that it has been a long time since I have been in this situation. And this situation is a bit intense. I guess I sort of forgot what new attraction is like and I was so miserable at the end of my relationship that it was hard for me to muster much attraction at all. This is fun.

He stayed until about 2pm Sunday afternoon. Once I was irreversibly awake, I subjected him to day 2 of the draft. We stayed in bed and watched a bit, talked a bit, made out a bit. It was a perfect Sunday morning. By the end of it all, my lips were ridiculously chapped and I had some serious beard-burn to show for it. Completely worth it.

Lyrics of the Day

"To wake next to you in the morning, and good morning to you. How do you do? Hey, good morning to you!" Band of Horses Part One

Monday, April 27, 2009

Men Are Like Taxis

I wish I could remember where I read or heard this: that men are like taxis. The theory is that when a man is ready for, or open to, the possibility of a relationship he turns his taxi light on. If you happen to be the girl that hails the cab (him) while the light is on, you've got a possibility of a decently long ride. But if you grab a cab with the light off, it doesn't really matter what you do, it's just not going to go anywhere. I think I learned this little theory sometime after The Ex dumped me. His light was definitely off, it just took a few months for him to figure that out.

What I have learned in the last week is that Mr. Green's light is on - really on.

After our date on Monday, Mr. Green sent me a text to say that he had a good time. Then he called me on Tuesday, just to talk. And on Wednesday. I wasn't expecting that at all - the lack of game-playing and holding back. It seemed that he wanted to talk to me, so he called. Dating someone definitely didn't go so smoothly back in the LA days where everyone is always on the lookout for something better than what they have. We didn't really talk about when the next date would be, as we knew there would be Thursday night and kickball.

Thursday night we won our game. Well, we really didn't - the other team forfeited - but that counts as a win and we'll take one where we can get one. Mr. Green and I kept it casual at the field and afterward at the bar, but got subtly closer and touchier as the evening progressed. You know how that goes: first you kind of stand near each other, then there's a little brushing of the arms, next a little leaning into each other and eventually it's pretty hard to miss that something is going on there.

We left the bar at the same time and walked out to where our cars were parked. I was thinking of the weekend and if he wanted to go to our teammate's draft party with me on Saturday. I was thinking maybe we would grab a drink or something on Friday night. Around this time, Mr. Green suggests something along the lines of coming home with me - though he said it in a tactful I'm-not-just-trying-to-get-into-your-pants way. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind, to be honest, but once it did it seemed like a pretty good idea. It seemed like a fantastic idea, actually, but I had to address the important stuff first. I told him that I wasn't looking to rush into something too quickly, especially not in the physical sense. But I said that I was really enjoying spending time with him and would be cool with him coming over, as long as things didn't cross certain lines.

So he came over. We had a drink, sat on my porch and just talked for a while. There was very tentative but brief talk of previous situations. He told me that he has dated since he's been in Florida (about a year now), but hasn't had anything serious. I told him that things had been on the way out in my relationship for a while before it actually happened - implying that I'm not just rebounding. (I think I've told you all before that I detest previous relationship talk. I don't want to know and I certainly don't want to tell you much. It only puts bad images and feelings in people's heads and provides ammo to drudge up when fighting.) But it was good to learn the most basic information and know that Mr. Green isn't a creepy serial-monogamist.

(I don't really think all serial-monogamists are creepy, but for me there is just a certain amount of suspicion attached when someone is constantly in a relationship. It generally means that they have some kind of problem being alone and may not be all that discriminating when it comes to who they commit to. You know what - I'm trying not to offend here, but to be honest, I do think serial-monogamy is creepy.)

Then we made-out for half the night like a couple of high school kids. It was fabulous. I think that making-out is a bit of a lost art these days; everyone is always jumping right to the sex of it all. And Mr. Green can kiss. Our styles are near-perfectly compatible and there was some definite heat there. More than some. A lot. Eventually, we had to sleep a little (and judging by how delirious I felt at work on Friday, it definitely wasn't enough) and he put his arms around me. They call it spooning because you lay just like spoons, lengths and curves aligned, and Mr. Green and I were a perfect fit.

Lyrics of the Day

"I know your name, I know your skin, I know the way these things begin. But I don't know what I would give of myself, how I would live with myself if you don't go." Suzanne Vega Caramel

Friday, April 24, 2009

Back on the Horse

So, after just over a month of my new single status, I went on my first date in nearly two and a half years. Mr. Green (This is based on what my coworkers are calling him. I've gotten a reputation as the office recycling-nazi and his job has to do with converting waste into fertilizer for orange groves and things. My coworkers thought this was a riot, that I would date someone who does work that is environmentally friendly.) and I talked on the phone last weekend a couple of times before figuring out that we would meet up for a drink on Monday evening.

I played it really cool on the phone and on the date itself, but I totally dorked out that evening before I left. I had to call The Sister for advice on clothing and greeting protocol. I even texted her a picture of the shirt I was thinking of wearing, so that I could get Fashion Guru approval. I aimed for something slightly better than casual, but not something that made it seem like I was trying too hard. I had forgotten what a nerve-wracking art the Date Outfit is. So we met at an ale house in a big shopping center down here. Mr. Green lives in Naples, which is about 30 miles south of Fort Myers and the shopping center was somewhere in between.

It went well. It went really well. We talked and talked and had some drinks. I found out that we are way more compatible than I had initially thought. He used to be a professional motocross rider, which is not something I even know anything about. But he's got a Real Job and has his stuff together and we talked really easily. And he's pretty adorable. He's got dark hair and almost shockingly light eyes. The contrast is really cool. He's somewhere around 6', maybe a little taller and has great hands, which is a thing with me.

We had a few drinks at the ale house and then agreed to postpone our mutually early bedtimes a bit longer by stopping over at another bar for one last drink. I broke out the old, "I've got a cat" information - which is something that is actually more of a worry than you would think. Some guys just hate cats. But Mr. Green does not. Mr. Green likes cats and didn't flinch when I mentioned mine. Score one for LB.

After the final drink, we walked to our cars. There was casual, yes-there-is-chemistry touching. And then, there were kisses. Slightly tentative, really nice, no-tongue kisses. Quite a few of them.

Lyrics of the Day

"And let our legs just run, no concept of distance. And all these rules we've learned could make no difference. There's so much to do or say without repeating... so why don't we?" Maria Taylor Lighthouse

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I've Got Game

Of course, there are cute guys that play in the kickball league. Initially, I just appreciated the chance to revert to my old shameless-check-out ways. But as the newness of my single status wore off, I began to realize that I could flirt again. I could bat my eyes and giggle and generally make a fool of myself. It was rather liberating.

From the beginning, there were a couple of guys on my very own team that I took notice of. One of them turned out to be married (I should be getting used to that by now, but it's still a very odd concept for me). The other seemed, as far as I could see, to be unattached. So I began to foster a little crush. I had forgotten how much fun it was to have a crush; I used to be the queen of crushes. But two years in a relationship gets a girl out of practice.

So, week before last, I show up at kickball and expect to continue my crushing. All seemed well through the game (despite the fact that we lost), but at the end of the game I was thrown a curve (ha ha, clever kickball puns). My crush had a girl with him.

I have to say, I was inordinately crestfallen at this discovery. I actually thought to myself at the time that I was way more bummed out than I should have been. But I shook it off and the girl actually ended up being pretty cool and a good sport as she joined us at the Flip Cup table.

Now, our kickball league (and I assume all kickball leagues) puts out a hilariously irreverent weekly newsletter. Previously they had noted that there was not enough hooking up going on at kickball and they intended to change that. So they put out an issue last week with pictures of league singles and a couple of (amusingly fabricated) profiles. After the game, at the bar, my crush commented indignantly that he got left out of the singles issue of the newsletter. He said, "What, just because I bring a girl to a game, everyone assumes I have a girlfriend?" And of course, that's absolutely what we all assumed.

When he set us all straight, saying that she was a nice girl but not the one for him, I realized that the door to my crush had reopened. So I flirted. I flirted blatantly, but not to the extent that I actually looked like an ass (I must be learning in my old age!).

Near the end of the evening, as I worked my way toward the door, my crush suggested that we exchange phone numbers. I agreed that we should and after we had walked out of the bar and discussed getting together sometime the following week, he planted a peck on my lips as we parted.

Lyrics of the Day

"All at once you look across a crowded room to see the way that light attaches to a girl." Counting Crows A Long December

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kickin' It

For the past six weeks or so, I've actually been involved in social activity down here on the gulf coast and it has been my saving grace in my newly single state. Every Thursday night is kickball night.

I got hooked up with this through a coworker and it has been the perfect thing. It's only partially about playing kickball (yes, that same schoolyard game that most of my generation played), it's really mostly about going to the bar. Much more time is devoted to the sport of Flip Cup than is devoted to the kickball itself - fortunately for me, I seem to have a little bit of talent for both.

The coworker who introduced me to the idea of joining the kickball league ended up bailing on the activity herself, so I was thrown into a crowd of 15 or so people whom I had never met. Many of the players were separated by more than one degree and a couple were randomly assigned to the team by the league. Somehow, it ended up being a fantastic mix of really wonderful people.

Originally, PC had been a member of the team as well, but the break-up went down after the first game and I've been on my own since. My teammates were very sweet and supportive when I broke the news that PC wouldn't be returning to the team, and the social environment is so much more fun and stress-free for me now that I don't have to watch him interact in it.

(*Anyone who wants a taste of what PC was like in public should really go see "I Love You Man". The way that the Paul Rudd character behaves around the friends that he's trying to make was frighteningly reminiscent of how PC would behave. Watching it was like having an acid flashback.)

Kickball has been a great place for me to meet potential friends. I didn't really expect to meet potential dates though...

Lyrics of the Day

"I fell on the playing field, the work of an errant heel. The din of the crowd and the loud commotion went deafening silence and stopped emotion. The season was almost done, we managed it 12 to 1. So far I had known no humiliation in front of my friends and close relations." The Decemberists The Sporting Life

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Right Outta My Hair

This blog is about to become a PC-free space.

I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of letting his bullshit affect me (If anyone is a grammatical genius and can explain to me, coherently, how to know when to use affect vs. effect I would be forever grateful.), which is something that should end when a relationship ends. I'm trying to tie up loose ends so that I won't have to associate with him again until he comes to pick up his things. Aside from the self-serving wish to have it all over, I really do believe that is the best thing for both of us.

I could continue to detail the conversations that we've had (PC asking me if I had been accessing his email account and the ensuing revelations that I knew what he had done; the subsequent denials of everything except what he knew I had concrete proof of), the things that I keep finding around the house that he took without asking (like my razor blades, as if we hadn't had that argument about 8 times) or that he left undone (like the dirty coffee pot that I happened to find and clean before actual mold formed). But I'm not going to do that. Well, any more than I just did.

I'm going to do, on the page, what I've been doing in my head since he left. I'm going to move on. I almost feel guilty for disconnecting so quickly and thoroughly, but it's hard not to when I was constantly on the verge of disconnecting for most of the last year. I feel better. I feel lighter without him. I feel slightly panicked about the prospect of dating again and having to impress men again. But even that feels good.

So, next step in the process is: Research.

Lyrics of the Day

"There's one thing I want to say, so I'll be brave. You were what I wanted, I gave what I gave. I'm not sorry I met you; I'm not sorry it's over; I'm not sorry there's nothing to say. I'm not sorry there's nothing to save." Stars Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Lie To Me

I've been lied to before. The Speed Freak tried very hard to cheat on me, and he may have actually accomplished it. He never told me the truth about any of that (or much else, really). The Ex lied unintentionally (and probably more to himself than to me) when he rushed me into the semblance of a relationship without the ability to finish what he started. But I'm not sure I've ever been so violated.

I'm losing sleep over this. I really can't believe that it really happened and was happening for so long. Part of me really wishes that I had been told earlier, when everyone else knew but me, so that I wouldn't have made the mistake of those last few months. But the rest of me knows that I needed to make this mistake, learn this lesson, and do it on my own. The people that protected me were doing the right thing, even if it is painful to think about how long it was that I was the only one not in on the joke.

The problem is that now I want to obsess over this information. I was, as a wise friend put it, spied on. I was spied on by a person who swore up and down that he admired my independence and respected my privacy. I let him share my computer, trusted him with my phone, told him about the existence of this space. Because he said I could trust him.

Is there an excuse for that? For being stupid enough to believe someone when they say something to you, even when you've caught them in blatant and bold-faced lies on more than one occasion? Is that the desire to trust or just some pathetic, subconscious attempt to keep from being alone?

The truth is that I can't figure out exactly how this is making me feel. I have flashes of near-livid anger. I have long periods where I can't really conceive of the reality I'm now living in. I have moments of nauseous anxiety and moments where I want to call him and tell him exactly what I think of him and his uber-creepy activities. In the end, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to call My Husband and apologize for putting him in this situation. I'm going to, definitively, move on with my life. I'm going to get everything I possibly can that belongs to him out of my house. I'm going to change my passwords, just in case. I'm going to try to get it through my thick skull that it doesn't matter how much he lied to me anymore, so I don't need to spend my nights thinking of things he could have lied about and analyzing the likelihood that he did.

Because, in all honesty, there are probably more of those things than I will ever know or ever want to know.

Lyrics of the Day

"Why you always making me cry? Why you always making me cry? You look me in the eyes and tell me all your lies. So why you always making me cry?" Joe Purdy Why You