Monday, April 30, 2007

the good, the bad, the unexpected

On paper, last week was not a good week. At least, not when compared to the week before.

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.

"Thank you."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

better off... just not right now

I miss him.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

it's over...again

Email from BT, two days ago:

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

it's simple, except when it isn't

I wanted to go on dates. The kind where you pick a nice place to meet ahead of time, get a little dressed up, bring your A game. The kind where there is food or drink or some sort of mildly engaging activity involved, like a movie or a museum.

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.

"Me neither."

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."

"I am."

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

coming out

I asked BT if he found the blog (via text; it's always texts). He said no, that he gave up looking.

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

tick tock, tick tock

Any minute now, BT will stumble upon this blog, into the private stories of the last sixteen months of my life. I shouldn't feel so much dread, but I do. I take pride in my writing, but I also know there's a good chance he might read the blog and decide he doesn't want to see me anymore. Maybe not because of what I wrote about other people, but what I wrote about him.

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

The BT Update: What I Know...and What I Don't

I know...

...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

last call

Goodness gracious, where do I even begin?

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

strange times

Okay, so this must be a record, but I seem to have gone from single to in a relationship and back to single in the span of three days. I'm totally okay with it, too.

"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

the date before the date

BT sent me a text last night, asking me what I was up to and inviting me out for dinner. He was in my neighborhood and wanted to see me. I already ate, but wanted to see him, too, so I agreed to meet him for a drink. I showered and made myself cute at lightning speed.

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 am."

"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.

"Of course."

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

no subtext, just text

Met up with Podcast Penny and Coworker Chris last night. After a few drinks, Penny and I decided to head over to my neighborhood to check out a bar that isn't Cozy (dare I say I'm becoming a teeny bit tired of that place?).

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.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

the sweetest sound in the world... the sound of the phone ringing. Well, it is when the person calling is the guy.

Barman BT just called. He's been sick, too. He's also had to work during his illness. With a 103 degree fever.

"Wow, it sounds like you've been sicker than me," I said.

"I probably was sicker."

"So you win this round, but I'll win the next one."

"I don't know, I think you gave me something," he joked.

"Well, that handshake of mine is pretty lethal."

He laughed.

"So I was calling to see when you're free to hang out. What's your schedule like?" he asked.

I told him I'm a 9-to-5'er.

"That's going to make it pretty tough to hang out with me. I work nights."

"Not every night, right?"

We narrowed it down to tomorrow or Tuesday.

"How about I give you a call tomorrow, just to make sure I'm feeling better," BT suggested.

"Better yet, why don't we say Tuesday and give our immune systems a rest?"

"Okay. So I'll see you on Tuesday, though I don't know what we're gonna do."

"Well, you have all weekend to come up with something good," I replied.

"Oh, that's right, I get to do all the work because I'm the guy."

"Yep. And as the girl, all I have to do is show up and look pretty."

"I'll see you on Tuesday."

I hung up and ran out of my room, squealing with glee. Roommate Rachel shook her head in amusement (or was it exasperation?) and said,

"I told you he'd call. I knew he would."

I kind of knew he would, too, just didn't think it would take this long. I didn't even consider that he might be sick, too. I just overreacted and figured he changed his mind or had a harem keeping him busy or something. So yes, I feel kind of silly. But extremely relieved. And all kinds of "YAY!"

I can feel my health improving by the minute.

I have a date with BT on Tuesday!

How YOU doin?

No, I haven't been possessed by the spirit of Joey Tribiani. The above is, word for word, the text message I received from BT early last night.

How am I "doin"? In a word, "crappy", but much of that is due to being sick and having no energy for fun things (or really, much of anything). Somehow, I dragged myself to work yesterday, and even made it to a job interview in the afternoon. Sadly, I'm pretty sure I don't want the job, another bummer.

I called Magazine Mitch yesterday and left him a message postponing our...hanging out (won't be presumptuous enough to think of it as a date). Came home and got that text from BT. I honestly didn't know how to respond. I called Podcast Penny, who made me realize that I didn't want BT and I to get caught up in a long text discussion. I sucked it up and called him. Got his voicemail. Left a message, mustering as much casual charm as I could, joked about being hopped up on cold medication.

He didn't call back, but I was busy jobhunting and passed out so early anyway, so it doesn't matter. Much. Plus, I'm trying to focus more on looking for a new job these days, less on looking for a new man (that will happen in its own time).

Today hasn't been so great, either. After making conclusively sure that I would not be sick on the subway, I crawled into the office again, where I have been steadily assaulted with tasks and have cried at my desk not once, but twice (let's remember that being sick makes me even more of an emotional wuss than I normally am).

The positive thing about illness is that it makes it easy to not care about boys who don't call. The negative thing about illness (other than feeling like poo on a cracker) is that it can trigger self-pity mode. I have to keep reminding myself that my body will regain its strength, this achiness and congestion will go away, and I will return to my former exuberant self. It just sucks to be me right this second.

So yeah, if you ask how I'm "doin" I'd have to say I've been better. And I'm a bit disgruntled with boys.

Monday, April 02, 2007

a watched phone doesn't ring

I was sure Barman BT would call by now. I thought if he was direct enough to send me a text, message asking me out within hours of meeting me (to which I replied the next morning, affirmitavely), he'd call by the end of the weekend to plan the date. At the very least, he should have called by tonight.

This is what I hate about dating more than anything else: the waiting for a guy to call. I've said this before and I'll say it again. I can survive catastrophes on all different levels, but make me wait a little too long for a guy I like to call and it's only a matter of time before I'm ready to be fitted for a straitjacket.

I pick my battles. The cute sculptor I met on Saturday at Cozy Bar after yelling at him for sending text messages in the ladies room and holding up the line, but who took a fancy to me anyway, asked me out and got my number? I don't expect to hear from him, and I am okay with that. In fact, I am pretty much that way with any man I meet in a bar; I know it's not an atmosphere that caters to fostering serious relationships.

With BT, I thought it was different. I thought he was a contender. After talking to Podcast Penny about me, he said,

"Did you just make a love connection? I think you just made a love connection." (In reference to him and me; this was shortly after referring to me as his future wife.)

Maybe I'm a sucker, maybe he talks about women like this all the time. After the emotional hallucination that was Barman Ben, I clearly need to refine my instincts a bit. Nevertheless, I did sense a connection with BT and, to my utter dismay, found myself urging my phone to ring from Sunday afternoon onwards. I glared at it, I checked to make I had reception and the battery was charged, I read and reread BT's text, which sure made it seem like he was interested in me.

"Ring, damn you! Ring!" That's right, I yelled at my cell phone. Not my proudest moment.

Roommate Rachel, bless her innocent soul, thinks he is waiting to call because he's thinking of ideas for our first date. Somehow I had doubt there is a hot air balloon ride and picnic lunch in my near future. BT did mention that his lease is up soon, so he might be caught up in apartment hunting stress, but still. I can't make excuses for guy. He seemed so keen, I didn't think I'd have to wait this long.

Then, tonight, the phone rang. A number I didn't recognize.


"Is this Dolly D?" Male voice, British accent.

"Speaking. Who is this?"

"You don't remember me, Dolly D?" His repeated use of my full name cracked me up.

Magazine Mitch.

Now this was a surprise.

"I haven't seen you around Cozy Bar," I said. "I thought I'd run into you by now."

"I was there last Friday," Mitch replied.

"See, I asked Ben if he'd seen you recently and he said, 'Not for a while. But he did come to my show.' I had to remind him that we saw his show together. He can be such a jerk."

"Well, I saw him last week, but don't worry, I didn't spill the beans."

I laughed. "Oh, I'm over him now, anyway. So there's nothing to spill."


"Yeah. I mean, he's a cool guy, but let's call it temporary insanity."

Mitch said he wanted to hear all about my trip, but when I started to talk about it, he interrupted:

"No, no, I want you to tell me properly. In person."

He mentioned his own recent vacation and an amazing mushroom trip he had.

"It does sound like we have a lot to catch up on," I said.

He suggested meeting up for drinks this week and promised he wouldn't keep me out too late on a school night. He also said he's been doing various searches online to find my blog, but still hasn't been able to locate it (uh-oh, only a matter of time now).

I told him I'd call him tomorrow.

I don't want to have a rotation, I don't want to have a bunch of guys on the go simultaneously. I can't do flings without getting emotionally involved, it's no good.

I want BT to call. I got the feeling he could sweep me off my feet. Now, I have the feeling I won't be returning to Random Bar any time soon.

Magazine Mitch's reappearance is an unexpected twist. I do have a great time with him and I did promise to keep myself open to new experiences, so I might as well see where that will lead.