Wednesday, November 22, 2006

switching teams is not an option

"In a way, it's like we're dating," I said to Roommate Rachel.

We were at Bar S, shaking off the Monday blues over a drink.

"I mean, we spend lots of time together," I continued, "And we've grown pretty close the last couple of months. We just don't do the smooching part."

"Yeah, no offense, but I don't want to smooch you."

"Same here. Still, in some ways, it's like we're having a relationship. Except that it's more fun and not as draining as dating can be. I never feel like I'm wasting my time when we hang out."

"Me neither."

We did some more girl bonding, and I recounted Saturday's encounter with Neighbor Neil.

"On one hand, I'm glad we kissed, I needed to be kissed. On the other hand, he made it pretty clear that he's not interested in dating me, so I'm all out of prospects. I kind of officially give up. Which is fine, because that's when they say it happens, right?"

Rachel nodded.

"Great. Then from this moment on, I totally and unequivocally give up. I state for the record that I never expect to meet another suitable man ever again."

We laughed.

Rachel talked about her dating woes a bit. She was out on a couple of dates with a guy Coworker Chris nicknamed Slice, probably because of his generic nature (or maybe because we were drunk and Chris hadn't eaten dinner). Slice was attractive and attentive but, ultimately, fatally bland. Roommate Rachel couldn't bear the thought of hurting his feelings. We tried to figure out a nice way she could end things.

"Don't tell Slice you like someone else," I advised. "That's never nice for the ego. How about you tell him you have all this other life stuff to figure out, and it's overwhelming you?"

"Ooh, that's good. Because it is true."

"And that way it's not about him, it's all you."

"Brilliant. That's what I'll say."

I paused. "I believe what we just came up with is: It's not you, it's me. Very original."

"Poor Slice."

Back home, around 10:30, while Rachel and I watched Favorite Show, there was a knock on the door. Neighbor Neil.

"Just a minute!" I scrambled into my room to put on a bra. Damn, I'll never be able to lounge in sweats and no make-up now.

"Hey, I just back from classes, and wanted to return this to you."

At the door, Neil handed over the bottle what was left of the vodka we drank on Saturday.

"Wow, did we drink that much?!" I looked at how little was left.

"Well, it was open when we started... but, yeah, we did a pretty good job."

"High five."

We chatted for a few more minutes, with surprisingly little awkwardness.

When I returned to the living room, Rachel nodded and said,

"You two have chemistry."

"I think I'm shaking a little bit. Damn it, that means I like him."

"He likes you."

"What do you mean, how can you tell? You think so?"

"Yeah, he's just confused. He's young."

"He's my age."

"But you're still older."

"You're right. But how could you tell we had chemistry?"

"It was the rhythm of your talking. You and he have this rhythm that you and I don't have."

"The banter."

"Exactly. Like that Nick and Nora thing you were saying you wanted."

"I do want it. I mean, we don't need to solve Jazz Age mysteries together or name our dog Asta, but if I wanted a martini at ten in the morning, it would be nice to have a man who would make one for me. And vice versa. But it's not even about the martinis--I don't even like martinis all that much. It's more the playful banter; it's downright crucial."

"You have very high standards."

"Which is why I plan on being single for a while yet. Except that it's going to happen to both of us, and soon."

"You think so?" Rachel asked.

"You bet. It's going to be the winter of our content, remember?"

Rachel and I giggled.

"Yes. It has to be. It will."

Score one for optimism.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another really good post dolly. Your writing has really ticked up a notch.

However, I fear for you! It seems plain that Neighbor Neil is hot for you big time and he's working his thing on you quite skillfully. Meanwhile, you don't seem to really know what you want.

If he was just some guy, this would all be fine. But he's your neighbor, sugar. That's a recipe for some serious akwardness. Remember how you felt just living near film felix and his roomate after all that fell apart?

If you can only fix your depression by getting into a situation that sets you up for more depression, well....

Dolly said...

Anonymous,
You're right, I don't want to turn my entire neighborhood into some kind of psychodrama obstacle course (I didn't want that to happen with Tyler and Felix, either; I genuinely wanted to be friends with Film Felix). Which is why I did not and will not have casual sex with NN. Sometimes, it's just nice to be nominated. And sure, I know I'm too screwed up for dating at the moment, hence the ambivalent giving up.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dolls -

Nice to see you sounding pretty clear eyed about things...

Though, from the content of your posts, it seems to me that you have not communicated very clearly with NN. Sounds like you've given lots of signals that you are interested and available, just possibly into 'taking it slow'.

Don't be surprise if he turns up the heat because he thinks you're giving him a green light...

Have a happy thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

What makes you think that it would be akward if it didn't pan out? Hasn't he been your neighbor for a long time without you running into each other?

Dolly said...

Anonymous 4:10,
I just met the guy, so there hasn't been all that much to communicate. He can turn the heat up all he wants, but he'll find out soon enough that smooching is as far as it will go if it's going to stay "friendly and casual."

Anonymous 8:00pm,
Actually, he only moved in a couple of months ago. But I don't run into the other people in the building that often, so chances are I won't even see him again for ages.

blonde71274 said...

Ok...here's what I say. Give him the yellow light. Keep flirting. Keep up with the banter. He'll probably ask you to do something, i.e. "hang out", again but be cool and aloof and BUSY for that time. He'll become more interested. I am better at giving this advice than following it myself but...it works for other people. You play hard to get, he wants/likes you more, you get more time to think about if you really like him or not, and then something good may just come out of this. Plus, you get more time to work on the depression thing. Does any of this make sense? I think I may have just confused myself. :)

PZ said...

wooo hot post - gosh but nehgbourly potentials though... haha.

Sandra Dee said...

The banter is always a good sign. I can tell someone is into me by that, too.

Good luck with this one!

niels said...

To keep things casual, the rule of thumb is not to see your partner too often.

That's tough when he's your neighbor. Good luck with that.

NotCarrie said...

I love this...and I love banter! It's crucial.

Dolly said...

Niels,
Actually, it's not tough at all. I rarely see my neighbors and haven't seen this one in over a week now.

Anonymous said...

It's weird how I've been reading all of these blogs and posts about people not wanting to settle for less. I think this is the 5th one I've ran into this week so far.

Don't feel alone though. Alot of people "think" they deserve better simply because. Those types of people don't really bring anything to the table. Do you deserve better simply because? or do you deserve better because you pride yourself in being original?

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