Friday, July 20, 2007
The other main reason for my absence is J.
In some ways, I feel like I've been absent from more than this blog, but the real world, too. I have told J more than once that I feel like I'm on vacation when I'm with him. We have this ability to create our own microcosmos when we're together: it's me, it's J, and the rest of existence is banished to the periphery. Whether on a beach or dancefloor, in a grocery store or casino, life plays out for us like a movie and we walk among its scenery.
I've been so busy being happy that I have hardly noticed the time go by, except in weekly increments. Or in weekends, which J and I spend almost exclusively together (he is napping right now), which pass shockingly quickly, crammed with social and familial obligations, but also hours that belong only to us.
It's been a dramatic change, going from the life I had before J to the life I have now. My days are different because of the shift in employment and my nights are different because I am no longer single. It's been tough staying in touch with friends. Polly said I fell off the radar a bit when I was in my last relationship. I know I've done that to an extent again, but I've been making a concerted effort not to drift away from the people who are my second family: Willow and Polly and (former) Coworker Chris and Podcast Penny and all the others. Not to mention my alone time; there's less of that, too.
Not that I'm complaining. Merely adjusting. I love inhabiting the world that J and I created for ourselves. I don't want anything to mar this world, which is why part of me is at a loss as to what to write about. I could write about how J has only ever dated thin girls and how I worry that if I don't keep off the fifty (yes, fifty) pounds I have lost in the last seven months, he'll leave me (though he is beyond supportive of my fitness goals). I could write about our magical (to the point of spooky) telepathic connection, about the way we fit the way I have never fit with anybody before. I could write about how nerve-wracking it was meeting each others' families. I could write about the positive-adjective-defying sex. I could write about how I feel like I've waited my whole life for him, and it was worth the wait. How he constantly makes me laugh, impresses me with his resourcefulness, and takes my breath away with his knockout combination of generosity, sensitivity, and raw masculinity. I could write about how I've reached a point where not having him in my life would be inconceivably tragic.
There are endless lists of things we have done (cooked together, taken walks in Central Park, gone away for the weekend) and things we haven't done (had our first fight, said the L word, anal). Part of me wants to chronicle every special minute of it. Another part of me wants to fully immerse myself in this wonderous time of my life, this falling in glorious love, and forego the need to capture it in words.
Time: it moves at light speeds, but I can't help the foolish notion that J and I have so much of it. Yet it still slips away, another hour, another day, another week. I blinked and found a month had passed that J and I were together. One of the happiest months of my life.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I tried to be casual girl, spur-of-the-moment girl, no-strings-attached girl, but that's not really me, not as far as relationships go. I knew that ultimately it wasn't good for me. I drank more around BT, my sleep schedule got thrown off, and I spent the beginning of every week dusting off emotional cobwebs, trying not to be attached, trying to distance myself. Even when I went out without him, I had my phone at the ready, waiting for his text messages, not being fully in the moment. Part of me hoped he'd come around and start asking me out on real dates, even while a bigger part of me understood that we would not be compatible in a relationship.
I was concerned that I had the wrong kind of energy around me, a careless and possibly destructive energy that could interfere with these bright new beginnings. It was time to be honest with myself and stop sectioning off my heart, stop forcing myself to stop feeling and reassess my attitude towards intimacy.
Anyway, I got the job, and I knew I had to make good on my end of the deal. This was a couple of weeks ago. I decided to wipe the slate clean: no more online dating, no more crushes on bartenders, no more drunken hook-ups. BT went out of town for a few days, which made letting him go in my head easier. Here I was with this great life as well as this new body and now new job. There wasn't any room to think about dating, to obsess about relationships. Why focus on the one aspect of my life that was lacking when I had so much else going for me?
I made peace with the fact that there were no romantic prospects on the horizon and probably wouldn't be for some time.
Then I went to that club the weekend before last, where J, a friend of a friend, started chatting with me. J and I talked for hours and hours. There was an instant rapport. We had our first date a week ago. We had our second date on Friday, and it was easily the best date of my life. We had our third date on Monday and I'm seeing him again later today. We talk on the phone every day, we exchange countless emails and texts, and have become pretty much inseparable since we met.
J and I have a connection that is so special, so electric, it is downright telepathic. I can't describe it any other way but to call it magic. I feel like I have fairy dust sprinkled over my life.
I've been struggling with what to write about J. Words can't do him justice and I'm still figuring it out what to chronicle and what to keep private, what to keep ours.
As much as I have resisted and fought and raged against the idea, it all comes back to that Buddhist koan: to find something stop looking for it.
I stopped looking, put blinders on even, and one night I glanced up and found the man of my dreams sitting next to me.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
On Saturday, I was doing the last mile of my second lap when I noticed somebody jogging next to me. Jogging very close to me, slowly, to keep the same pace as my speed walking. I looked over at him, annoyed. Usually, people in the park follow etiquette and pass each other or allow for a certain amount of personal space. Then, clocking his interested look, I realized why he was jogging so close to me.
I stopped walking, letting him run a few paces. He stopped too, then turned around and walked back toward me.
This is when I noticed that even though it was Saturday afternoon, and even though we were on the "safer" side of the park, the stretch of track where we stood was in the shade and completely empty of people. That's when I got scared. I realized that even if I sprinted, the closest person was easily a hundred or more feet ahead of me. If he had some kind of weapon on him, I could be in trouble.
I was rooted to the spot, unable to move.
Just before he reached me I said, with great hostility, "Can you please leave me alone?"
He paused, then walked out of the park. I finished my workout, a little shaky, hating the guy for making me feel unsafe in a place I frequent, in broad daylight.
That night, I went to a concert with my friend Music Mandy. The two of us got to the venue early and chose a spot where nobody was standing, to crowd watch and wait for the first opening act.
A few minutes later, I sensed a guy standing right next to me, I mean right next to me, when there was plenty of open space around us. I groaned inwardly, because the guy was hovering, and I knew he was going to try to talk to one of us soon. I faced away from him, chatting with Mandy, but a little while later I felt a tap on my shoulder.
I turned around, bracing myself. Standing next to me (too close!) was an older man with a dark pony tail.
"Can I take you out sometime?"
"Um, sorry, but I'm kind of seeing someone." I smiled awkwardly and turned back to Mandy.
*tap* *tap* *tap*
I turned back to him.
"What's your name?"
"Well, can I get a number for your so that we could talk some time?"
"No, I'm sorry." I gave Mandy a Look and murmured, "Let's take a walk."
That's twice in one day. I'm sympathetic to the fact that it takes a lot of guts to make that approach, that it's not easy to put your ego on the line. However, there's a difference between casually expressing interest and making a woman feel deeply uncomfortable (or worse, actually afraid for her safety) with one's interest. Respecting personal space is key, as is noticing a woman's body language. If I'm wearing dark glasses and not looking in the guy's direction, or if I keep turning away to talk to my friend, it should be pretty obvious that I'm not interested.
After these two unpleasant incidents, I felt more guarded than usual, though I did end up enjoying the darkly experimental, noisy concert.
I ended up at a club with friends after the show, where some drinking, dancing, and socializing raised my spirits.
A group of us took over a stretch of banquettes and later in the night, this guy came over. He looked like he was trying to sit on on one of the unstable end tables, before changing his mind and sitting next to me.
"That's much better," he said.
"Yeah, I don't know why you'd sit there when there's miles of couches in here."
"Well, I wanted to sit near my friends."
"Oh, you know these people?" That's when I really looked at him, noticed he was actually pretty attractive.
"Yeah. What, you think I came over just to hit on you?" He raised his eyebrows, smiled.
I laughed. "Well it's been a strange day for it..."
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I got the job.
I'm happy to still be working in media, but even happier to be working in a broader spectrum. New projects, more opportunities to grow, and a company that is just plain cool.
This is such a major breakthrough for me. I have been in serious crisis mode with regards to my career for some time now. One of the two big goals I set for myself this year was to figure things out vocationally (the other is fitness-oriented). My current job is fine, but became a dead end--not to mention the money's pretty lousy. I was at a loss, but started actively looking, anyway. I figured if I didn't find my dream job, I should at least find something higher paying, and chip away at my debt. I'm not one for setting major life goals, but I did it this year.
That's why this feels like such an accomplishment. The new gig has tons of potential and is a good boost money-wise, too. That's all I need to be happy: potential. Hope. I know it's going to be lots of hard work, but the future looks brighter for the first time in over a year.
I gave my notice and everyone at work is really happy for me. I've been receiving congratulations from all around. My friends know what a big deal this is for me, how long I've been searching, waiting, and I'm grateful that they're sharing in my happiness.
Just now, I was saying to Podcast Penny how much I wish somebody told me in October, when I got passed over for an opportunity within my current company, than in eight months time I'd get an awesome new job. Of course, now I kinda wish somebody would tell me how awesome my love life is going to be X months from now, but I have too much else going on to dwell on that. Apart from the new job, I've been riding a recent wave of inspiration and working on art projects, which is one reason I've been writing less. I've also been less of a slacker about nurturing friendships, so things are hopping socially, too.
I feel like I'm entering an exciting new phase of my life. The tears, the frustration, the reluctant patience, all of it has finally given way to something good. The air around me feels full of possibility and I love it. Sometimes I wish things could stay like this indefinitely: on the cusp, at the threshold, brimming with anticipation. Of course that's not possible.
Time to move forward.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
"Don't forget to breathe," BT keeps telling me. He's been one of my few sanity anchors recently.
I wish I could feel the same easy, relaxed sense of well being that I feel with him all the time, but the real world encroaches. Responsibilities, pressure, decisions, tedium, obligations. So much patience and resilience required. Why was I in such a hurry to grow up and be an adult?
And now, all I can do is try to show some grace under pressure. All I can do is wait. I'm poised at a very dangerous angle, at the precipice of elation or devastation. I shouldn't let it affect me so much, should keep my wits about it, etc. Go ahead, tell me not to care so much. It won't do any good. This is going to have a great impact on me one way or the other, and I can't pretend it won't. I was never any good at playing it cool.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I take the force of the blow
Last night was different. Happier, giddier. Both of us have made progress with our personal situations, which made for a lighter, cheerier atmosphere.
When we stood to leave, the bartender, a Greek woman equal parts sassy and sweet, hugged me goodbye like an old friend.
"Take good care of her," she said to him.
"I always take care of her," he replied.
"He's a good guy," she told me.
I nodded. "I know."
I don't know what to call it, but I'm finally starting to understand that maybe it doesn't need a name. I can't explain it to my friends, who worry I'll get hurt because it's not a traditional relationship, more of a once-in-a-while thing. He's not my boyfriend and yet I've been seeing him longer than some of my exes. Every time I see him, it's with the understanding that it might be the last time. There has been a lot of passion, but conflict, too. I'm drawn to him in a way I haven't been drawn to anyone in a long time.
I pinned down what was bothering me about the situation last week. It's not that I need for us to be exclusive; I like having the option of seeing other people (though I equally dislike the thought of him doing so, because I'm jealous like that; oh well). It's not that I need to be labeled his girlfriend. Last night, he introduced me to everyone as his friend, but then openly kissed me and wrapped his arms around me. The label didn't matter, because I felt genuine warmth and affection from him.
No, what troubled me was the time in-between, the days during the week when I don't see him, when there's barely any contact, when I have to fend for myself. I have plenty to keep me busy, but it was more a matter that I never felt like I could call him after a tough day to talk, that I could view him as a source of support the way I do my other friends. That's what it was: I didn't get a sense that he was my friend.
Last night, I told him that. I said I was aware of the risks of developing a closer personal relationship, that treating him more as a confidante could lead to sticky territory of more attachment and a need for commitment. Which isn't what I was asking for.
He saw the difference.
"You can always call me if you had tough day and need to talk. I would be there for you the way I'd be there for any other of my friends. And if anyone was every giving you a hard time, I'd sort them out. I'll be your bodyguard." He got a fierce look in his eyes, a spark of anger at the idea of somebody messing with me.
"I guess I never felt that from you before."
"I consider you my friend. I have from the very beginning."
He said he didn't think of me as a casual fling or fuck buddy (how I hate that term), that he thinks about being with me during the times we're apart.
He mentioned a personal story I shared a couple of weeks ago, of something awful that happened to me as a little girl.
"When you told me that, even though you said you couldn't remember it happening, I felt so sad for you I wanted to cry. And I couldn't stop that from happening to you, but I feel so protective of you now."
He sees a part of me not many others see. In many ways, I'm still naive, still blind to the evils of the world, and oblivious to life outside my small sphere of consciousness. For the most part, I have led a relatively sheltered life. He sees this innocence, and wants to shield me from harm.
I feel his protection.
This is one reason why I love being with him, why the times we are together are worth all the uncertainty that follows. I feel so safe with him that everything else falls away. I can let go of my fear and be my real self. And despite our strange and uneven communication in between, when we get together there's a sense of relief and inevitability, a sense of belonging, even if it's just for the night. There is always at least one moment during the night that feels perfect. It might be a minute in my room, listening to music in utter stillness. It might be in a taxi, crossing the bridge and putting my head on his shoulder. It might be in a crowded bar, smiling at each other through the hazy din of layered conversations and alcohol. It might be when he wipes away my tears, pulls me in close, and kisses me. It could happen at any time.
I pay a price for these perfect moments. I want more of them and yet I have to understand that their beauty comes from the wild and unstable circumstances surrounding them. It's the power, brightness, and instability of a lightning bolt. It's breathtaking and treacherous, impossible to predict.
When that lighting does strike, time freezes and everything is in its right place. In those seconds or minutes or even hours, in his arms, I am completely, irrefutably, safe. Protected.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Miss C: why can't he just be in love with you already?!?!?!
Dolly: i know, right?
you know when he's goign to fall in love with me?
Miss C: I know when
Dolly: after i get totally heartbroken and decide conclusively i want nothing to do with him and
Miss C: yup
Dolly: there is no solution
Miss C: so are we in hell?
where nothing goes our way?!?! hahaha!
two ships passing in the night
Dolly: the solution is to give up
but i mean "give up"
Miss C: possible?
Dolly: fully accept the fact that we're going to be alone
Miss C: if we're supposedly here to propagate, and I've overcome the desire to have my own children (would adopt children who've been left)... then how is it I cannot rid myself of the need for a partner? Because propagation should be the only need for one... successful hunter/gatherer propagation
so there's a chance that we could "give up"
Dolly: what about companionship? sex? love?
should all of those come from different sources?
Miss C: yes, they should
companionship, sex, love
all byproducts of our primal instinct to reproduce
Dolly: but how do we splinter ourselves like that?
Miss C: that's what we must discover
there must be a way
Dolly: distracting ourselves with tons of hobbies and other social activity?
Miss C: yeah, drugs and alcohol
Dolly: becoming buddhist
Miss C: smoking weed and live music make me complete!
Dolly: that's what people keep suggesting to me
buddhism, not weed
Miss C: buddhism is actually pretty fucking great... but I'm personally too neurotic to "be at peace without knowing the answers"
I actually try to apply many buddhist philosophies to my life, but it's tough to achieve
how's it going for you?
Dolly: it's the wanting that's the sticky point for me
i can't imagine passion without desire
and i can't imagine life without passion
i don't want some kind of neutral life. i'll take the roller coaster any day
Miss C: I'm not sure what my answer is to that question anymore
I can completely see why you'd want it that way
Dolly: sometimes it doesn't feel like i have a choice
Miss C: you're absolutely right... it's more in theory ;-)
Thursday, May 17, 2007
It took me a minute to place the familiar scent. The lime top note hit me, and then I remembered. Going back several years, he mentioned the name of the scent, an obscure one. I made a special trip to a shop on Madison Avenue to buy it for him. This was during the long distance correspondence, before we met, before we kissed, before we moved in together.
"This is what he smells like," I held the bottle in my hand, pausing before I brought it up to my nose.
I know about pheromones, I know about the scientific theories that propose love boils down to smell. I know about the sweaty t-shirt experiment, where women were more likely to be attracted to the men whose odors they responded to best during a blind smell test. What I don't know is how deodorants, scented lotions, colognes, and perfumes mask or enhance a person's natural odor in a subconscious way. I know I'm sensitive to a person's smell, and highly sensitive to men's colognes (there are some brands that I find highly erotic and others which utterly repulse me), but I'm curious about how much we affect courtship and mating by changing the way we smell.
I was nervous that day, standing in a shop full of glass bottles, about to spray one, the one, about to inhale his scent. If I didn't have a positive reaction, I knew it would never work between us. Yet when I craned my neck to catch a whiff of the citrus mist that I sprayed, I was pleasantly surprised, even a little excited. I was also relieved. Of course, things ended up not working out between us anyway, but it was because of irreconcilable, not olfactory reasons.
Friday night, outside Bar K, a delayed hug hello. My nose against his black t-shirt, inhaling.
"You smell good," I said. "You always smell good."
I asked him to name the colognes he wears, one of which is my favorite male brand, and I wonder how much stock to put in such things. Is it really all about smell? Is that what we mean when we talk about that elusive x factor known as chemistry? If he wore the same cologne as my father, would I no longer be attracted to him? (I could never date a man who smelled like my Dad.) The first night we met, he told me I smelled good; if I wore a different perfume that night, would he not have been attracted to me? Not as much?
For the most part, I prefer it when men wear cologne, though it can be tricky to select the right scent. I made the mistake of choosing incorrectly at least one time that I know about: on a first date, I once wore the same perfume that my date's ex-girlfriend used to wear. We hit it off, but I knew there would be no second date; there wasn't. How much of that had to do with that perfume and the memory trigger is something I will never know.
I'm endlessly fascinated by the smell-memory connection. When I was reminded of my ex's scent this morning, I was so disturbed and overwhelmed, I had to spray myself with perfume to cover it up. I also had to think twice and choose a perfume that wouldn't bring back other memories. I sprayed a bit too generously in my haste, and can still smell it on me. This spicy scent does conjure a vague nostalgia, but I've worn it sporadically over the last five years, so it isn't tied to a specific part of my life the way other scents are.
Friday night, during that hug, I recalled the necklace he left on my nightstand, the way the leather cord absorbed his scent, made him vivid in his absence.
In a blind test, would I select his sweaty t-shirt over all others?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Today I am about 40 pounds lighter than I was in that photo. I lost the depression weight, and then lost more. I weigh less now than I did in college. It's possible I'd be able to fit into my high school prom dress.
I'm not an After yet. I've had people say I look great as is and don't need to lose any more weight. I've had people say 10-15 more pounds will do it. I have my own number in my head and I'm fairly certain I'll be able to reach and maintain it in a healthy way.
Being heavy in today's society, especially in New York (one of the "glamour" cities) was not fun. It was akin to being a second class citizen, or even being invisible. There are only so many times you can be told what a pretty face you have. And even though I was still able to attract men, I knew my weight was a liability, a detriment to my "replication value."
It wasn't just being less attractive (by modern standards) externally. I felt terrible on the inside. I had less confidence, less energy, and a part of me believed I didn't deserve... well, anything good. I'm sure last autumn's break-up, my grandmother's death, and a few other things had a lot to do with it, too, but this was one thing I could actually fix. And I don't mean it in the way of women who develop eating disorders because it's one thing in their lives they can control. For me, it was one thing in my life I could improve.
So I changed my diet, brought my exercise routine up a notch, and started becoming more aware of what was going into my body, whether it was food, nicotine, or alcohol. I said no to birthday cake, dinners out, and happy hours if I felt I had overindulged too much that week. I planned girls nights out, dates, and other social activities around my workout schedule. I balanced this with treats when I knew I needed them, whether it was a day to be lazy on the couch or Thai take out. I rewarded myself with an exotic vacation, but chose one that involved a lot of physical activity.
Generally, I don't believe myself to be all that disciplined. Sloth is one of my favorite deadly sins, after Lust and Gluttony (though less of the latter these days). So it's a little shocking to step on the scale week after week and see the numbers go down. It's more than a little shocking to look in the mirror and see a different person's reflection.
I used to say that I would never date a man who would only want me at a lower weight (and I still think "for fatter or thinner" should be added to traditional wedding vows). Dating these last few months has been strange, because part of me wonders if any of these men would have liked me 40 pounds ago. But then I remember something: I didn't like me 40 pounds ago, either. I mean, yes, I'm still the same person I was then, but in other ways--apart from physical--I'm not. I enjoy challenging myself more now. I have much more confidence and better self-esteem. I now believe I deserve those good things, not in an entitled way, but in an I-work-hard-and-will-reap-my-rewards-kind of way.
"Beauty is a currency," I told a man this weekend. He didn't disagree.
By the standards of society, I have raised my value over these last four-and-a-half months. People look at me and treat me differently. It's daunting to be more visible, but also empowering.
I'm not writing all this to brag. I'm actually pretty hard on myself about not achieving enough, not working hard enough, and generally having little to show for my life. This is more a reminder that I did accomplish something this year: I transformed myself into a person I like. It's a process, and I'm still getting there, but it's nice to step back and recognize that I've actually made some progress.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I went to bed early, slept through the night, woke up before my alarm. I should be refreshed, and physically I'm okay. Mentally, not so much. Basically, I can't allow myself to think about anything too much, or else I get overwhelmed with a sense of loneliness, failure, and despair. I'm trying to remind myself that it's the crazy dose of hormones coursing through my body, but it's no good. Right now, it's easier to believe that I've done nothing, and am worth nothing, and things will never, ever fall into place for me.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
One night my boyfriend and I got carried away and had sex without a condom. The next day, I went to a local clinic and got the morning after pill, which back then was a series of four or eight birth control pills (nowadays, it's a high dosage of two pills). Apart from the fear of pregnancy, I was concerned about the possible side effects of the medication, having previously had a very negative experience with the birth control pill.
The side effects hit me hard. The nausea wasn't so bad, but the exhaustion and depression were far from pleasant. It was like being hit with some kind of severe emotional flu for a few days. I don't remember much about it apart from a dark haze. The worst part was, my boyfriend wasn't around to take care of me. I remember talking to him on the phone, telling him I didn't feel well, maybe even crying, but he never offered to come over to check in on me. Maybe he thought it was something I needed to go through on my own; I don't know. My brain was too clouded over at the time to think he may have been behaving in an insensitive way. I don't think he ever gave me a real reason. We stayed together after that, for another couple of months. I ended up trying out a different birth control pill while dating him, and this one didn't affect me as badly, but I still couldn't get over the psychological implications of messing with my body's hormonal balance and kept worrying I would slip into another depression. After that one mishap, we always stuck to condoms.
2. Six years ago.
I was living with a man, involved in what what was one of my healthiest relationships to date. One night, the condom broke. We worked near each other, so my boyfriend accompanied me to the clinic on my lunch break. There was a longer wait to be seen than I expected, so he had to return to the office after an hour. I stayed behind, sensing the minutes ticking by, anxiously remembering that the first dose needs to be taken as quickly as possible after the "incident." In my nervousness, I neglected to call work to inform them that I'd be delayed.
I returned to the office four hours four later. My manager was livid and took me into the kitchen to chew me out. I remember his face was tomato-red, but before he could say anything I burst into tears. I had no choice but to tell him the truth. As soon as I mentioned the words "emergency birth control" his anger gave way to awkward embarrassment. The delicate nature of what I shared paired with my tears made for a lenient and sympathetic manager. I wiped my tears, returned to my desk, and finished out the day.
This time, I can't remember feeling any of the medication's side effects. It turned out that having the condom break and getting the morning after pill wasn't as nerve-wracking as having to tell my manager about it so that he wouldn't yell at me.
I wasn't even going to take it. Yes, certain risky sexual behavior transpired, but it wasn't something that could be classified as a mishap. More of a caught-up-in-the-moment kind of thing. My gut told me I'd be okay, but my gut isn't fail-safe. If another clinic visit was required, I would have scrapped the idea, but now they sell the stuff over the counter (at the pharmacy's discretion, so not all will carry it). Apparently, if you're over 18, and have ID and fifty bucks, you can get Plan B.
I was surprised to learn how pricey it was. Then again, an abortion is even more expensive, to say nothing of the costs (financial and beyond) of raising an actual kid. I decided it was worth it for extra peace of mind, so I took my passport and stopped by my local pharmacy on my way to the movies. The man and woman behind the counter were friendly and polite, though they did look at me with a slight air of concern and sympathy. The pharmacist, while checking my passport, said I look much younger than in the photo. I appreciated his kindness.
I took the first pill just before entering the subway, set an alarm on my cell phone to wake me up for the second dose, and went on my merry way.
Once again, I braced myself for side effects, but I feel okay so far. A little tired and a little anxious, but I don't know if that's from the pills or from a restless night of sleep paired with work stress.
I don't plan on making a habit of needing it, but am extremely grateful that I've always had access to emergency contraception. Though I want to have a family some day, getting pregnant right now is a frightening prospect (I mean, the week I spent taking care of my parent's dog seemed like a huge responsibility). Having taken Plan B, I'm immensely relieved that I've lowered my odds of conceiving (though the next few weeks will be a bit tense until I am completely sure I'm not pregnant).
As much as I've been craving adventure, and as much fun as that preceding night was, I know playing fast and loose with my fertility should not be the way I seek it out. I've been lucky that no previous incidents have resulted in STDs or pregnancy. For the record, I'll be more careful in the future.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Let's examine the evidence, shall we? Names and identifying details withheld to protect the foolish (myself included):
Exhibit A: She's still getting over the break-up of a long-term relationship, but can't help from chronically text messaging a former one-night-stand-turned-fling who has done nothing but play head games with her, who is beneath her to begin with.
Exhibit B: She dragged things out with her sociopathic boyfriend for way too long, finally broke things off, and soon after ended up drunkenly making out with a guy in a serious relationship.
Exhibit C: She spent the night talking about what a wonderful, sweet, caring boyfriend she has, and a couple of days later made out with a guy who has been flaky and sketchy with her, and has psychological problems, as well as some kind of sexual dysfunction.
Exhibit D: She has been flirting online with a man in a foreign country who is in a serious (live-in) relationship. They've done nothing more than chat, and neither want to cross any boundaries, but conversation topics have included masturbation and pornography.
Exhibit E: She has such a rigid ideal of what her "type" is, she closes herself off from any potential suitors and has been on exactly one date in the last year, preferring instead to concoct theories about relationships and love that are grounded very little in personal experience. She's about to move to another country where her chances of meeting a potential suitor are even lower.
Exhibit F: She was told from the beginning that he was never faithful to a woman, but got physically and then emotionally involved. Soon after, he slept with someone else, came clean about it, and ended up hurting her despite the warning.
Exhibit G: She spent one night crying over her ex, the next night "getting over" him, the next night telling him how evil he is, and the night after that inviting him over.
What is wrong with all of us? How can a group of such smart, attractive women make such colossally stupid choices? I think sometimes it's because we want a little mischief or adventure, we want to cut lose and stop being sensible all the time (or, in the case of inaction, want to protect ourselves from deep emotional harm). Sometimes alcohol plays a big part in the bad behavior. In many of the above cases, we all got ample warning about what a Bad Idea it would be to get entangled, but went ahead anyway. Maybe we thought we'd be able to keep our hearts out of it. Maybe we didn't do much thinking at all and let our instincts and impulses carry us instead.
Part of me wants to get all self-righteous about it, give lectures about being more self-aware, having more self-respect, etc. But I don't think that's the problem. We're talking about a pretty bright bunch of ladies here. I think it's more that we need to get a little crazy sometimes. Or even a lot. So let's ride out this wave of madness and see where it leads us...
[ETA: In keeping with the gossip rag style of this post, I'm a little disappointed with myself that I wasn't able to work in the word "canoodling" in any of the blind items. Next time.]
Monday, April 30, 2007
The week before was full of potential. The romantic situation was convoluted-but-promising and I had an amazing job interview. An interview where I saw a future for myself, with a company I admired and was excited at the prospect of joining. Just like that, out of nowhere, in the space of a few days, life appeared to be in an upswing.
Then last week happened. The email from BT happened. Then I got a call from the company, telling me how much they loved me, what a great impression I made... but how they decided they need someone with more relevant industry experience after all. Just like that, everything seemed to go to shit.
In the past, I would have let the disappointments really get to me. Granted, I did spend a little time moping, but I decided to shift my perspective. The fact that my love and work life took these unexpected turns taught me to expect unpredictability and weather the (positive and negative) surprises with as much grace as possible.
A few weeks ago, I saw The Last Kiss, a movie in which Zack Braff has a fabulous career, a gorgeous girlfriend pregnant with his child, and a group of awesome friends, but because he is about to turn 30 and thinks his life has no more surprises in store for him, he has a big ol' existential crisis and acts like a dumbass for 90 cinematic minutes. For the most part, I enjoyed the film (I'm partial to the angst of my peers). I found it comforting that a character that had a great life mapped out for him would envy the thing that my life is currently rife with: unpredictability. It made me realize how much freedom I have, and how open I am to the unexpected. I am not tied to my job, I have no kids or other family to support, and my lease expires this summer. I have some responsibilities, but in many ways, I am a free agent. That's pretty great.
If I learned anything from the movie, it's that people will always find reasons to have a crisis, reasons to be dissatisfied with what they've been dealt. I'm trying not to do that. Yes, I do feel anxious at the lack of stability in my life, but I also know I'm taking active measures to improve my situation, while remembering that the "right" job or man will not make me happy. All I can do is find that happiness in ways that are within my reach. I'm learning to focus less on having a perfect life and more on enjoying perfect moments.
A short list of perfect moments this weekend: seeing the magnolia trees in bloom in the park, eating sushi while watching DVDs on my couch, having a drunk bartender shamelessly flirt with me (no, not Ben or BT), laughing with Polly, and most of all this:
5:00am Saturday, smoking outside, tipsy, not realizing the drop in temperature until back inside.
"Why are your fingers cold?"
"Because I was outside smoking."
"How many did you have?"
"Three. In a row."
Suddenly, my cold hands were enveloped in warm ones, the chill rubbed out of them, the fingers kissed.
I looked up and smiled.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
You are going to get hurt. I don't know how many times I can tell you this. I don't want to be selfish, but I enjoy spending time with you. So I guess I will do so and eventually you will get hurt. Sound good?
Well...I guess that's that.
Monday, April 23, 2007
I wanted to go on dates with BT. However, after the email I received from him earlier in the week, I got it into my head that he was taking a step back, about to do the fade. There were further text messages, but nothing about wanting to see me again. I felt neglected and was scared that I was starting to like him too much. After witnessing Polly's recent ordeal, where she was the one who cared more, where she spent months being uncertain and insecure, I was worried about having an emotional imbalance. I needed to stay level-headed, so I went into self-preservation mode.
My self-preservation mode involved a brief return to the world of online dating. I figured that meeting new people would help put things in perspective and keep me from getting too attached to BT. I also figured that there was a good chance BT was seeing other people, remembering everything I heard about how easy it is for bartenders to get play. Of course, the smart thing to do would have been to have a conversation about that beforehand. But the idea of BT fooling around with other women was so disturbing to me, I decided to be a coward and do my own thing until he and I established whether or not we a real couple. I figured until then, we were on a break. Then BT made a an offhand comment about possibly moving across the country and that put even more fear into my heart.
So I went on a couple of dates. They were like 85% of all the online dates I've been on: pleasant but uneventful. No spark, no chemistry. No BT. I tried to be open, tried to give these guys a chance, but when they would leave the table, I would check my phone for texts from BT. Not fair to the dates, not fair to BT.
Saturday night, we both got drunk separately and met up at my place at 5:00am. We had a date for the following day and I know we were continuing a pattern of behavior that is maybe not the wisest early on, but I cannot convey how good it was to see him walk through my door. I was tipsy and giggly and so, so happy. This is what I was waiting for. I could go on a million dates, but it wouldn't do any good, because it was too late, I was hooked on BT.
"What are we doing?" BT asked.
"I don't know," I shrugged.
We looked at each other and I realized that the previous times we were together, I shied away from prolonged eye contact. This time, I really looked at him and I know why I had avoided it. When I gazed into his eyes, it was like moving at warp speed, the walls and floor and bed melting away.
"Tell me you're not getting emotionally attached," he said.
I looked at him, saying nothing.
"You are," he confirmed.
Shit. BT was right.
"I am," I admitted. "But you are, too."
It seems like it should be so simple from here. Two people like each other, have a physical and emotional connection and decide to be in a relationship. Except that last bit was a stumbling block. It's too convoluted and personal for me to go into, but suffice it to say that a relationship was deemed Not a Good Idea by both parties.
"What if we kept it open, saw other people?" I suggested.
"I think you are already too attached to do that."
I came clean, told him about the two dates. I was floored at how upset BT was about it. He hadn't been seeing other people, he had been thinking about me, about us. He thought I'd be loyal while we were figuring things out.
Oh my god. I had no idea. I wasn't even sure he liked me that much. I thought he was too caught up in his other problems to give me much thought. If we had Saturday's conversation a week earlier, I never, ever would have gone on those dates. The fact that I left BT feeling so betrayed horrified me. And it made me realize just how much I care about him, even though I had just hurt him.
More conversation, no sleep until 7:30am. Kinda throws off Sunday's plans. No resolution on where we stand.
Yesterday afternoon, after BT left, I was still confused, but oddly hopeful. In my previous post, I mentioned that when two people get together, the beginning needs to be fun. When I'm with BT, it isn't fun, it's exhilarating. Through the chaos and uncertainty, there is the kind of passion that I live for.
Then there's last night. Last night was madness. BT came over, drunk. His knuckles were swollen, because he had punched out a troublemaker at the bar. I had eaten a spicy Indian meal for dinner and felt like I ingested a gallon of acid. We played Scrabble for ten minutes, then started fooling around, then started fighting about my stupid two dates. He said I ruined the trust between us, that he didn't see us going the distance.
I felt sick. I went to the bathroom and threw up. Went back to my room and cried, thinking this was it, I'd never see him again. BT held me and stroked my hair and I didn't want it to be over.
More fighting, more crying, more holding each other. Then I went to the bathroom and threw up again (yay, food poisoning).
BT asked me to call in sick, so that we could spend the day together. I wanted to, but logistics and circumstances at work made it impossible, even though I felt nauseaus again and didn't know if I'd be up all night vomiting. I was really sick and he was really drunk; hardly a dynamic duo.
He left, and I went into the bathroom and puked the last of the Indian food, got really scared at how much was coming up, thought I'd start vomiting blood. I shivered and crawled into bed, finally fell asleep.
Went to work this morning, happy to be keeping food down, uncertain about everything else. When BT left last night, it might have been for good. I said that if he was so sure he was going to break my heart, that this couldn't work between us, we might as well put a stop to things now instead of getting more deeply involved.
I sent BT an email this morning, trying to put all my thoughts in order, apologizing again for damaging the trust between us. Ultimately, after everything that has happened, despite trying to keep my emotions in check, I want BT. Nobody else. It's that complicated and it's that simple.
Friday, April 20, 2007
I could have left it there, taken it on faith that he didn't and wouldn't discover it.
"They always find the blog," Polly said.
It's true. As soon as they know you have a blog, unless you are super-stealthy, it's bound to be found. And I'm not stealth girl. Magazine Mitch once said that I'm so mysterious, that I have so many secrets. While hearing that makes me feel like some kind of sexy spy movie villain, it also makes me think of being somewhat duplicitous. Some people know about Dolly, some people know Real Me, but there are only a handful of people who know both. Anybody I'm going to date even semi-seriously should know both.
Even though BT and I are technically not in a relationship, I was glad to know he was that curious about me, and the blog, even if it was to see what I wrote about him. Considering all the hurdles we have between us, I didn't want the blog to be another potential issue, so I gave him the link. After all, I was already writing posts with a view that he would eventually read them. Might as well make it sooner than later. And if there has been an overriding theme to our interractions (besides alcohol), it's been honesty. Which has also been a theme in keeping this blog.
BT didn't go into the archives, and said I was "comprehensive" in my chronicle. He called my writing "great", which is always nice for the ego (I also believe you should not date anyone whose creative talent you don't believe in). He also sent me an email explaining his current situation in a bit more detail. Look at that, two people communicating, sharing and getting to know each other a bit better.
There have been a lot more text messages this week. We're supposed to see each other over the weekend. A proper date, perhaps?
I'm staying rational about the whole thing. Keeping my options open, paying attention to how I feel.
I've dated issue guys, and I am no longer under the illusion that I can offer some kind of cure to their problems. The last time I succumbed to the bird-with-broken-wing syndrome, I got involved with a chronically depressed man who not only brought me down with him, but shattered my self-esteem in the process. I know, I know, he didn't do it to me, I allowed it to be done to myself. Even so, the relationship mutated into something morbid and emotionally abusive, to a point where I didn't believe I deserved any better. That was a couple of years ago, and since then I have developed a hell of a lot more self-respect and inner strength. Today, I like who I am, and I know I deserve to be treated well.
Luckily, BT is also aware of my awesomeness, and made it clear he doesn't want to hurt me. Good, and ditto. It's kind of a quandry, because while we are working through our personal shit, I know there's still a connection. A chemistry that I don't want to ignore. At the same time, there's a lot I don't know about him and his daily life, and I need to be so very careful with these feelings of mine.
All I know is, we're at the beginning and the beginning needs to be fun. Both people need to feel good together. I promised myself I'd keep a level head about this and I am sticking to that promise. No angst, no tears, just a lot of awareness and maybe a little bit of caution. How very sensible of me.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I stand by my words; I still think BT and I are both a bit lost and frustrated in our lives, and a relationship might put more strain on the existing situations. At the same time, I know that I haven't met a man with this much boyfriend potential in over a year. I know there's a chemistry, a something between us.
I also know that we need to go on some real dates to see what this something is. Dates that don't involve alcohol and nudity. Are we destined to have nothing more than a fling? I don't know. Could I handle a purely physical relationship? I thought I could, but I usually end up getting emotionally attached (damn oxytocin!) and I can see myself heading down that path with BT.
For the most part, I took a break from dating this year, and it has served me well. It's been great to be self-sufficient and put my attention into the non-romantic aspects of my life. However, I was saying to Polly this morning, say I accomplish the two goals I set out for myself this year, I get myself in proper shape and find a new job. Then what? A boyfriend will magically appear because I'm officially "ready"? It doesn't work that way.
It's safe not to get attached to anyone, and the last couple of weeks have shown me the ups and downs that can occur. I get nervous when I don't hear from him, I feel all smiley when I know I'm going to see him, and I've had periodic moments of anxiety in between when trying to figure out What it All Means.
I wish I could be the cool girl, the takes-things-as-they-come girl, instead of the confused girl.
All around me, I see failed relationships. My heart goes out to Polly, who I have been trying to comfort over her recent breakup. My parents did not set a good template of a happy and successful relationship for me (though I love them dearly and don't want to place any blame on them). Yes, I know of a few happy couples, but they seem more the exception than the rule. I have tried everything I can think of and have even tried not trying, but my love life often seems in a state of disarray. Pacing and patience are two of my problems, I know that much.
Being a romantic in New York City (or probably anywhere, for that matter) is murder. I don't believe in god, but I believe in true love, and keeping that faith can be unbelievably hard sometimes. I know I can do it again, open up and be vulnerable, make another person's happiness a priority, foster intimacy and friendship, listen, comfort, support, all of that relationship good stuff. I know reciprocity is key. I have the How down, it's just a matter of the When and the Who.
Maybe what I'm scared of is wanting all that stuff again, knowing that I have to give my heart to balance the scales. It's such a risk, such a leap of faith. How do people do it? How did I?
Sunday, April 15, 2007
...I didn't expect to hear from BT after Wednesday's "break-up," but when I received text messages from him the following day, they made me smile.
...We still like each other (he calls me 'dollface' and I call him 'sweetie').
...As busy as I was with other things, I found myself missing him.
...We are both trying to put our lives in order, obstacles and uncertainties abound, and the timing for a relationship may not be right for either of us.
...BT is a good man.
...Regardless of anyone who tried to flirt with me at Cozy Bar last night, I was really happy to be in BT's arms at the end of the night.
...BT is going to find this blog very, very soon (there was a little slip-up), which makes me unsure of how much to write just yet.
...I need to stay level-headed, not get overtaken with the pheromones.
...I want to see him again.
I don't know...
...How I feel about all of this.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I guess I'll go back to Tuesday, when BT came over for a movie night. Shortly after he arrived, he got a text from his sister, who just arrived in New York (she lives across the country). He completely forgot that she would be passing through and said he might have to leave to meet her, since she was only going to be in town briefly.
"Are you serious?" I asked.
"I'm not even kidding you," he showed me the text message.
Not an auspicious beginning.
BT called his sister, said he had dinner plans, but would see her later. I was already on edge, because now I felt like the date had some kind of expiration timer on it. Still, I decided to be flexible and not make an issue of it.
Things got better. We chatted a bit as we picked out a movie and I was happy to see that our physical chemistry was still strong. After fooling around a bit, we ordered food and watched the movie.
As soon as the credits started to roll, BT stood up, apologized, and said he had to go. The date clocked in at a mere three hours, and felt very abrupt.
"Maybe I can see you on Thursday," he said, as he was leaving.
"I might be having drinks with a friend," I answered.
"Ooh, so popular."
"We'll figure something out."
After he left, I felt... I don't know how I felt. Confused? Uneasy? Dissatisfied? A little empty? The date with BT felt like the kind of date you'd have in the middle of a relationship, when both people are a little out of it, but spend a few low key hours in each others' company. The night felt like we had bypassed all of the fun early relationship buzz and went straight for the comfort. I would have liked things to be a bit more affectionate, and also wasn't sure that we were connecting on a conversational level as much as I'd want to be with someone I was dating. At the same time, everyone is allowed an off night, so I was willing to see how the next date went before deciding anything.
The positive thing about having the date end so early was that I was able to wake up at 6:00am the following morning and make it to an early exercise class with my favorite instructor. Getting the endorphins flowing helped set my mind straight.
I realized a few things. A relationship means setting aside a certain amount of time for the other person, and I felt anxious about committing so much of my schedule. I'm scared of a relationship interfering with certain routines I have set for myself. I had already missed one workout due to sleep deprivation on Monday, and was expecting the same to happen yesterday. As much as I am a night person and love staying up late, I still have a day job and BT's schedule would have really messed with my circadian rhythms. The thought of dating a guy who works nights was becoming more surreal to me, anyway; it's like being involved with someone who lives in a different time zone. BT would rarely be able to go to sleep and wake up at the same time as me; it would always feel like he was just passing through.
Then there was the matter of his job. The fact that he is paid to flirt is not the issue with me, but more the fact that he is also a writer and is also dissatisfied with his job, and on the verge of burnout. It's one thing for one person in the relationship to be at a loss career-wise, or to have lofty, creative, and possibly unattainable career goals. For both people to be in a similar situation is asking for trouble. I know I definitely want to have a family someday and I want to be with a man with career stability. I'm not talking loads of money, but I am talking security. A month or so before BF David and I broke up, I remember thinking that his love of theater and desire to return to acting did not add up to the kind of stability I wanted in a potential mate. But since I had developed all these feelings for him, I felt like I had to accept it and make the best of it, even though it was a source of anxiety. With BT, it's still early days, and those emotional attachments haven't formed yet. Which means I can still be sensible and rationally consider whether this is a man I could build a future with.
I spent much of yesterday mulling all of this over, I decided I didn't want to wait until I heard from him or saw him next. I needed to say something. I should have picked up the phone right away, but I was at work, so I texted him instead. I wrote:
Last night was weird. Can we go on some regular dates and get to know each other better?
He replied: Sure. What was weird?
I replied that I just wanted to make sure we got to know and like each other as people, and he replied that we did rush into things and should slow it down.
I ended up stepping outside and calling him anyway, to clarify. He said that he broke up with somebody at the beginning of the year, and ended something recently, and that maybe he should spend some time on his own.
"See, I want to know about those relationships and why they didn't work out. And I've spent the last few months purposefully single because I was working on other things, and I want you to know about that, too. There's a lot for us to talk about."
"We'll talk. We'll still date, I'm not cutting you off, we should just take things slower."
"See, I think we are so similar in a lot of ways, and maybe not all of them so great. Because I also have a tendency to be compulsive and rush into things, so it was easy to get carried away."
I know why I let myself get carried away. Since the beginning of the year, I have regimented my life in many ways. I am strict about what I eat, I am strict about how often I exercise, and even my social calendar, while flexible, gets filled in an orderly way. I may come across as a party girl from all the boozy weekends I write about, but I keep track of every single drink I have and do intense 90-minute cardio workouts Saturdays and Sundays, to balance out the weekend's indulgences. I have also been scouring job sites regularly, and doing research on various career options, spending countless hours mulling over what my skills might be suited for. Even my vacation, which was lovely and beyond wonderful, had an itinerary with every day mapped out.
Even though I'm the one who drew them, it seemed like everything in my life had to adhere to certain rules and borders, despite the freedom I had within the lines. When BT came along, he broke the rules by being so direct and off-beat, he went beyond those borders. His unpretentiousness was so refreshing, it made me less reserved, too. If he could tell me openly that he had a crush on me, I felt free enough to tell him I had been thinking about him all day. No games, no bullshit: this is how it's supposed to be.
That's why, when he asked to be my boyfriend, I agreed. Yes, the sensible thing would have been to wait a few dates, have some heart-to-hearts, make sure we were truly compatible. However, I spent the last several months being so sensible and disciplined in these other areas of my life, I just wanted to go off the map for a little while. It was like a mini-emotional road trip.
And now? I'm back to the regimentation, but I love it. I'm thirty pounds lighter, my body is the strongest it has ever been, which has in turn helped me become more resilient on a mental and emotional level. I have also developed a confidence and autonomy that I never had before. I'm still fine-tuning it, but I love the life I have created for myself. The idea of letting someone into that life is overwhelming to me. Not inconceivable, but something I know should not be a priority right now.
I wasn't looking, and they always say it happens when you aren't looking, so I thought BT was this wonderful, not-sought-after surprise.
Well, I am still not looking, so lord knows what's in store next....
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
"I'm not sure I should be dating anyone right now," BT said, just a few minutes ago.
Thing is, I think I feel the same way. I'll write more, but right now I'm just making sense of all of it in my head.
Well then. So much for being spontaneous.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Is this a bad idea? I wondered. Tuesday wasn't all that far away, and I had a long day at work waiting for me the next day, so I couldn't make it a late night (hell, I never make it a late night on Sunday, unless it's a three day weekend). At the same time, I loved the idea of being so spontaneous. I also loved how direct he was about wanting to hang out with me.
Plus, I saw him on Saturday night, too. He sent me a text, letting me know he was working if I wanted to stop by. I ended up staying until the bar closed, chatting with his friends and other customers when he was busy working. It was relaxed and we didn't have much physical contact, but I still felt a connection and discovered more things we had in common.
Back to last night. I sat at the bar with him and ordered a glass of wine. He was very affectionate and laid back, joking with the bartender one minute and telling me I smelled good the next. I was nervous, but the I'm-out-with-a-guy-I-like-and-want-to-kiss kind of nervous.
When we took a break to smoke a cigarette, BT asked why I didn't have a boyfriend.
"I don't know. I had one last year and it was nice. But then I focused on other things. I'm not one of those women that always needs to have a man in my life. And I didn't meet anyone who was a contender."
"Am I a contender?"
I smiled. "Maybe."
"I think you are."
"I think I am, too. Do you want a boyfriend?"
"I'm open to the idea."
"You're open to the idea..." he echoed, nodding.
There was some kissing. BT is tall and strapping and when he hugged me, I didn't feel the cold.
Later on (and I hadn't even finished my first glass of wine, still stone cold sober), we went outside again.
"So you're 'open to the idea' of a boyfriend," he continued.
"I think I should be your boyfriend. I think you're awesome, and I'm pretty awesome, too."
"Just like that?"
"Just like that."
I tried to reason that it was fast, we hardly knew each other, etc.
"I know enough," he said.
The crazy thing is, I knew it the first time I met BT. There was something very... inevitable about the whole thing. He's a straight shooter and made me feel comfortable being my complete and utter real self around him. I wasn't looking for a relationship, but all of this felt right, serendipitous, something I needed to follow.
"Okay," I nodded.
"Yes. So what does this mean? We don't see other people?"
"Do we change our status on MySpace?" I asked.
I am still pretty shell-shocked over the whole thing. I did not expect to end up with boyfriend before the end of the weekend, especially not before our first date. It's rather unconventional, but I like it. And I like him. A lot.
Life is nothing if not surprising and I've just been given one hell of a happy surprise...
Saturday, April 07, 2007
We ended up at Book Bar, which is a couple of blocks away from Random Bar. I knew there was absolutely no way we could go to BT's place of work, but I felt a strong impulse to send him a text message. We exchanged a few texts earlier that day, so I didn't think it was totally off-base.
I know that perhaps it wasn't the best idea (I wasn't even drunk, just vaguely tipsy), but I decided that I didn't want to play the game of pretending not to be interested. I wanted to be the real me, and the real me really wanted to text him at that moment.
This is what I wrote:
At Book Bar. Would have stopped by Random Bar, but don't want to risk a restraining order before our first date. Guess I'll have to wait 'til Tuesday.
Bold move and could have Seriously Messed Things Up. Instead, we had the following text exchange over the course of the next twenty minutes:
BT: I actually called out sick. I'm home.
Me: Feel better. I'm still sniffly, but in denial.
BT: I miss you though.
[He does? I felt my stomach go all fluttery.]
Me: I miss you, too.
BT: I've got a crush on you.
[My jaw literally dropped open when I read that. Penny smiled, excited for me.]
Me: I.m blushing. And smiling.
BT: I still haven't figured out what we're doing.
Me: No pressure. I just want to hang out with you.
BT: Goodie. Me too.
Me: Get better.
BT: Thanks baby.
I put my phone away, beaming.
"This is so strange, Penny. It's all very BF/GF and we haven't even had our first date."
"It's been like that pretty much from the start," Penny knowingly replied.
"It has. That's so weird," I shook my head, puzzled.
This is where I try to keep a level head and not get my hopes up. The beginning needs to be about having fun, keeping things light, feeling good. There's plenty of time for things to get deep and complicated and emotionally tumultuous.
Right now, I feel good. Not thrilled that Tuesday is three whole fucking days away (four, if you count today), but I love having something like this to look forward to.