July 21, 2009 at 8:52 am (It's all about me, On dating and mating, past)


Yes, this is a post about The Bachelorette. Except, not quite.

I admit that I’m invested in the show. I admit that I would have had some tough love for Jillian with regards to The Fuckwit Who Shall Not Be Named. I admit that I would have made fun of Ed in those teeny tiny shorts. But what struck me last night was how real her pain was at having to let one of three men go. You’d think that when faced with Mr. Perfect and The Big Tech Geek Who Can(not), she wouldn’t have minded saying goodbye to the emotionally stunted guy next door. But she did. And I get it.

I met an astrophysicist on Friday. He was smart beyond science. He made me laugh. He challenged me. He forced me to raise the level of my conversation. He was an observer of culture and interested in my thoughts. He was active and enjoyed a good endorphin rush. Talking with him felt easy and comfortable. I wanted to know more. But I wasn’t attracted to him in the least and it made me sad.

You see, I’ve HAD multiple men at one time. No, no, no, no, no, that’s NOT what I meant. I’ve dated multiple men at one time. It’s not that this is unusual or even wrong, but I didn’t always think it was possible for me. When I was younger, I wanted one boyfriend. One who would send me candygrams at school and write the card in all caps (because every high school boy I ever dated wrote in all caps). I wanted one boy to be everything to me.

But over the years I’ve come to know what it feels like to get your needs met by multiple guys (I didn’t mean for that to sound dirty either.) I’ve known that you can be emotionally attracted, intellectually attracted, and sexually attracted to different people. I’ve realized that such compartmentalization can be addictive. I’ve stayed in situations for too long because I’ve been filling in one set of relationship holes with what I’m getting from another. In short, I’ve juggled.

I’ve since come full circle. The older I get, the more I want just one to provide all three kinds of attraction. I don’t want to put together the perfect relationship by taking bits and pieces here and there. This one’s hand on my back and that one’s voice in my ear.  I deserve to find it all in one and he deserves it from me. We all do. Anything less, including the astrophysicist, would be settling.

So I’m not buying it Jillian. It may be possible to tell a camera that you’re falling in love with three men, but I don’t believe for a second that they’re not ranked in your mind. And if you’re THAT upset to lose one, then neither of the other two are going to be enough for you. Throw up your hands, swallow your pride, and tell the producers that you want to find real love in the real world – the kind that happens one man at a time.


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If it kills me

July 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm (past)

There is nothing I don’t like about this.

I watched last night and remembered how it felt. Not the dancing, but the thrilling, magnetic, sheer terror of falling for a friend. Of an email that simply said, “I know we’re always joking, but sometimes I’m half-serious.” Of a date with my hair still wet from a post-dance class shower. Of a first kiss in a field for which I was more nervous than any before or since. Of feeling like it was a precious secret I couldn’t or wouldn’t yet share. Of taking someone’s hand to leap boldly over that line into something else entirely.

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I left my heart

June 29, 2009 at 9:59 am (past, the fam)

It was July, maybe August, of 2006. We were at a birthday celebration for a family matriarch who was turning 100. (Once the party was planned and everyone had plane tickets, someone realized that she was actually turning 101.) The sundress I wore had a halter neckline and a 1940s feel. It was miserably hot and sticky as it always is in the state where old Jews go to die. There was music and the old folks danced.

Some weeks ago I’d been offered my current job (in a dressing room) and my mother had dissolved into tears. I had spent the days since deeply focused on logistics. Negotiating a compensation package, researching moving companies, planning the drive, scheduling drinks, or dinner, or dancing with various individuals and groups. I knew full well what I was about to do, but I didn’t know what it meant to me.

My father and I were in conversation with a cousin – probably one I’d never met – when I first noticed the song. Suddenly my mother was at Dad’s elbow.

“Dance with your daughter,” she whispered.

He paused, Tony Bennett sang.

I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan

Dad smiled, took my hand, and there between the tables we danced. My dad can’t lead, he has no rhythm…but I cried anyway. And still, when I hear that song, the words that resonate are these:

I’m coming home to my city by the Bay

And I still feel that way. This place, this city, this state, makes me happy. This place is home. And I knew it before I ever lived here.

*JUST as I began typing the second sentence of this post, iTunes, set to random, began playing this song.

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Photo Post

June 16, 2009 at 10:29 pm (past)

Katie of Can I just say… tagged me to do a photo post, but there was a problem. Nudity? Nope. Straight on shot of my face? Nah. It was a problem of numbers. I was supposed to find the 10th photo in my first photo folder, but I had to go to the 13th folder to find one with more than nine photos. And when I did it was a perfect, charming shot of…my right foot.

I’m almost certain the foot photo was part of a virtual modeling session for C. They were lovely d’Orsay heels, just purchased (in 2006 when the photo was taken), but I’d rather post a shot of my cleavage* than one of my feet. Instead, I went for something that seemed truer to the intent of this whole thing.

This is my tenth photo, regardless of folders, and it’s a doozie. At least to me.

Wedding Dress

Wedding Dress

That, my friends, is the back of a wedding dress. Before you get all suspicious that I’m hiding a secret husband (feel free to picture this guy), I should clarify that it’s not MY wedding dress. It belongs to a very dear friend who married in the fall of 2006. The photo was taken in the spring of that year, when I was in the Bay Area meeting with my current employer. It brings back a whirlwind interview day that I never blogged about and the call offering me the job, which I answered in a dressing room. It precedes my 26th birthday (oh! to be 26 again!). It precedes about 10 weddings. It precedes my few months of living alone, the Ex-ALM, my life in California, the miracle that is LASIK, and (by more than 9 months, in case your math is bad and/or you care about such things) the birth of the bride’s son, Tyler. It shows me how much has changed in the short years since I reveled in pot-holed roads and Red Sox games.

*Not gonna happen.

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March 18, 2009 at 4:02 am (favs, past)

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Love in red pen

February 2, 2009 at 7:53 am (favs, past, plays well with others)

If I could find my childhood diary, I’d bet you a Wall Street girlfriend’s diamonds that it would be covered with some version of “I love Billy*”. Billy was sweet, smart, and adorable (as 5th graders go). He had the kind of eyes girls and their mothers envied. He was cool. He didn’t care that my best friend had the rad Guess denim jacket with striped lining on the hood. He was always nice to me when we played kickball at recess. He knew I could kick his little ass at Four Square and never made me pretend I couldn’t. He was a third. As in William Brockton Andrews III. But mostly, Billy had a Cubs hat.

Growing up in the middle of California generally meant that you grew up a Dodgers fan or a Giants fan. Growing up as the daughter of a man who was 11-years-old and a Yankees fan in 1957 meant that I could follow neither team. “We don’t talk about the Giants – they left. And we don’t talk about the Dodgers, period,” Dad would say. To me, Billy’s hat made him exotic. Foreign. Special. He wasn’t like the other boys. He had roots somewhere else, just like me.

He liked my best friend first. Either she wasn’t interested, or it didn’t last, I really can’t remember. Then, in what would become a pattern that lasted into the first year of high school (where it blessedly died a quick and thorough death), her leftovers came looking for me. She and Colorado Friend and I were BFFs at the time. We were chicks before dicks before any of us knew what a dick was, but somehow we worked it out and I found myself going out with Billy.

We barely talked. We passed notes (“Do you like me? Check yes or no”). We might have held hands. And then one day, Billy told me he loved me. He didn’t use those words exactly, or any words at all actually, but I knew. One day Billy let me wear his hat. And I learned why he was so careful with it, so scared to let it get knocked off his head or worn by any of the other girls who asked. There on the inside lining, scrawled in all caps, was my name and a heart written in red pen.

Billy moved away before junior high. I don’t know where or remember exactly when. Years later at Grad Nite, I ran into him on a boat. I was dating The Dangerous Ex at the time and thought I was an adult in an adult relationship (or at least I knew what a dick was). He cringed when I introduced him to my friends and said, “I go by Bill now”. I can’t remember whether he was headed to college and if so where, but seeing him made me think of that simple declaration of love as pure and perfect as any I’ve received since.

Yesterday Billy found me on Facebook.

*Names have been changed to protect the adorably innocent.

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All my stuff

December 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm (past)

I watched an acquaintance gift the scarf she was wearing to a co-worker who admired it today. It was a charming gesture, one that reminded me most of my grandmother (around whom I always had to be careful with the compliments lest I find some bauble thrust upon me), but it also reminded me that not everyone attaches memories to things. I do. And over Thanksgiving I got to see just how much I do.

When my parents moved out of the house they had lived in for nearly 30 years – the house I grew up in (and, to be terribly dramatic, the only home I’d ever known) – they came to a not-so-startling realization. They had a lot of stuff. They carefully boxed and moved it all into the new, much smaller home they’d gutted and rebuilt from the inside out, but not everything made the cut. Some things were tossed, many, many things were donated, and some ended up languishing in purgatory storage. I knew how hard it was for them to get through it all and didn’t begrudge them their hail mary storage unit, but three plus years later I was tired of hearing, “I think it’s in storage” when I asked about something from the old house. I put my foot down this past summer: we’d tackle the unit over Thanksgiving no matter how bad the weather or how good the Black Friday sales.

Sure enough, Saturday morning found my mother and I in work clothes and chest deep in boxes. Going through clothes (I think I had a sweatshirt from every college I ever visited), and costumes (ooooh, my pointe trio!), and photo albums (despite my strict instructions that photographs should be kept in a secure, pest-free location at 68°F. / 20 C. (±5°) and 50% relative humidity (±5%)) was like traveling back in time.
Not everyone shares my affinity for most things old. Not everyone remembers the pink sweater she wore with navy leggings to demonstrate pointe shoes in her mother’s classroom. Not everyone remembers the ankle strap pumps that came with Working Woman Barbie. Not everyone would have a downright great time spending two hours with their mother amidst spiderwebs and 20-year-old fleece. But I did.
I think we should wait three years then go through it all again. Also, I never want to get rid of anything. Ever.

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The day I was gangsta

November 21, 2008 at 10:12 pm (past, plays well with others)

Thursday 11/20
1:08 pm

The Dangerous Ex: oh
DE: youre already here
BS: I’m everywhere sucka
DE: look at you all gangsta
BS: aren’t I though?
DE: maybe
DE: when you wanna be
BS: I’m having a shitty day
DE: so whats up?
DE: why you stressed?
DE: you need me to brush your shoulders off?
BS: brush my shoulders off?
DE: yeah, it means relax, dont worry about bullshit
DE: i thought you were gangsta
DE: it means brush the chips off your shoulders, brush the dust off
DE: dont worry about the haters

BS: honestly, I’m like an emotional minefield today
DE: thats ok
DE: im trained to move in minefields
BS: you’ve been waiting years to use that line
DE: yeah and you set me up perfectly

BS: heh
DE: cmon, that was funny
BS: it was funny
DE: it deserved a little more than ‘heh’
BS: heh is my lol
DE: oh
DE: well i hate to tell you this
DE: but your lol sucks

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Ah yes, the masturbating rollerblader…

November 20, 2008 at 6:38 am (past, plays well with others)

First of all, BlogSecret. Whew. That was amazing. And scary, and fun, and exhilarating, and deep, and cathartic. Nilsa is pretty damn awesome for organizing that whole thing and for letting us all get our secrets out there.

Now on to the important things. Like masturbation. And rollerblading. Or maybe just masturbating rollerbladers. Because LynnAnn asked, and I enjoy fulfilling the whims of perfect strangers. Perhaps that’s not a good way to preface a story about masturbating rollerbladers, but there, I’ve done it.

I’ll make the long part of the story short and the short part long, sound good?

In college I did a semester abroad in Paris (I also did a summer in DC where I never encountered any masturbating rollerbladers, just devious bastards, but that’s neither here nor there). I had two roommates, let’s call one The Roommate I Liked and the other one Superficial, Self-centered Bitch. Nah, she wasn’t that bad. She just liked making fun of people in public for wearing shoes without a red stripe on the sole (read: Prada). Oh and for being fat. So…RIL and I went out one evening. This may or may not have been the night she puked on the Metro and the nice little old French lady (in a hat!) said, “Pleeze, you vil be getting uff zee train now?”, but it was most certainly one of the many nights in which we chose to skip dinner (and maybe lunch) in order to get drunk for cheaper and take in fewer calories. (We were smart girls doing stupid things, it’s not very original.)

We were out, probably in the Bastille, probably at the place that had the slushy drinks in little mini-cement mixers that we never ordered but loved to watch. We drank, we danced, we fended off skeazy men (did I mention that RIL is one of those tall, lovely, All-American girl-next-door types? Seems to attract skeazy French men) and then we realized the Metro was already closed. In the past, this had not been a problem. When the Metro closed, we’d stay out until the clubs closed. Then we’d find an all-night cafe. If SSB had joined us, she’d order her heart attack plate (Steak Frites with a side of grease), while RIL and I allowed ourselves real, honest-to-goodness food. You know, the kind with more than 300 calories. For whatever reason, that night we needed to get home. It can’t have been the night we met the Marines (they guarded the US Embassy in Paris, we were just doing our patriotic duty) and it can’t have been the night we watched the 2000 election results come in while trying to explain the electoral college in French. But whatever it was calling us home, we decided to walk. From the Bastille. To the 7th. Via the place du Parvis-Notre-Dame. I’ve never actually mapped it, but it felt like miles. Miles on feet that had been dancing all night. Miles on feet that were in 3″ peep-toe slingbacks. Miles on cobblestones.

When we got to our side of the Seine and began to work our way south, we noticed a man in a doorway. Wait, wait, wait, backup. While getting to our side of the Seine, I complained over and over and over to RIL about how much my feet hurt. (Strange that I can still remember exactly how much I paid for those shoes, which have since disappeared, and that it seemed like a lot at the time, and that it’s about 1/4 of the cost of the most expensive pair of shoes I currently own.) Complain, complain, complain about my feet. Whine, whine, whine. I’m a peach, aren’t I? I wanted to take off the shoes, but RIL wouldn’t let me. Which illustrates two important things: #1) I was really, really, really drunk because taking off my shoes in a Paris street is not something I’d EVER consider sober and #2) RIL was a good roommate/friend because despite being really, really, really drunk herself, she didn’t let me. So there we were on La Rive Gauche, both still sensibly wearing shoes when, as I said, we saw a man in a doorway.

He was hidden in the shadows, but we could tell he was watching us. Because we are smart girls (despite doing stupid things) we crossed to the other side of the quai. As we got closer, we saw something small and pink in his hands near his crotch. RIL figured it out first (she might look like the All-American girl-next-door, but she went to Berkeley and knows a thing or two about small pink things in crotches). She grabbed my arm and giggled/screeched/whispered so that I’d understand too. We looked back to find the man had moved a doorway closer. We walked faster. He moved a doorway closer again. We walked faster. We realized he was following us. Then we realized he was on rollerblades. He was exposing himself (not very impressive, I must say), playing with it, and chasing us on rollerblades. He was a masturbating rollerblader! Once we saw he was on wheels, we made quick decisions. RIL now approved of me removing my shoes (makes me cringe 8 years later just thinking about it) and we RAN. Ran like get-the-hell-out-of-Dodge ran. Ran like we were being chased by a masturbating rollerblader ran. Thankfully we were both running regularly that semester (which went along with the not eating) and thankfully the masturbating rollerblader didn’t mean us any real bodily harm. Somehow we lost him, made our way home (checking carefully to be sure we weren’t followed), and rushed up the 5 flights to our apartment so I could wash my feet with scalding water and lots and lots of soap.

We considered reporting it, but figured the gendarme would just respond with a Gallic shrug that would not make it worth looking up “masturbating” in French.

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Add this to the list of things I can’t believe I’m doing

October 14, 2008 at 10:56 pm (in my head, past)

I’ve talked about personal soundtracks before, and even mix tapes, but this time the cheesy nostalgia of a bunch of songs-cum-memories couldn’t be more appropriate: I’m working on a soundtrack to accompany me on the car ride down to the reunion. 

You’re totally jealous of the girl driving down with me, aren’t you.

Shakedown Street – Grateful Dead 
The Distance – Cake
Gone Till November – Wyclef Jean
40oz. to Freedom – Sublime
Regulate – Warren G
Angel – Sarah McLachlan
Poison – Bel Biv Devoe
Peaches – The Presidents of the United States of America
Whatta Man – Salt-N-Pepa
Sarah Brown Eyes – Ragtime (soundtrack)
Ghetto Supastar – Pras ft. ODB
Lunatic – Billy Joel
She’s Every Woman – Garth Brooks
Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks

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