Monday, February 27, 2006

People To Hate: Arctic Chill Spreaders In The Office

This post is brought to you by the ice cube - it's not just for cooling your lemonade - that is, when you live your life AS an ice cube, essentially.

Admittedly, I get cold very easily. I keep a blanket on my couch because the sedentary life I come to know circa 7:30 pm, promises that I will get a little chilly. I also sleep with socks on most of the time - because the extremeties - not covered by my nighties - get cold. And shivering is not conducive to a blissful night of sleeping. People think the scarves I wear in the winter months are for fashion's sake - well, that is only partly right. Actually the scarves do serve the purpose of warming me from head to toe - by way of the neck.

Thus, it's a cold life I lead.

I wish I could "Linus my life around" and carry my couch blanket with me everywhere because I was on to something when I was 3 to probably around 5. I actually did carry a blanket with me wherever I went. Until the one day it was "lost." I still believe that an elaborate plan was hatched to confiscate the blanket in order to spare me the teasing by the other children in the first grade. Otherwise, I promise I would have never stopped carrying that thing around.

It is not that I mind the cold. Because I don't mind the chill when there is something I can do about it. Whether it be to wrap the blanket around, put a few extra layers on, or turn the heat on.

Heat! The socially-acceptable alternative to blanket-carrying. So, in order to maintain some semblance of professionalism in the office, I forego the "office blanket" and opt for the individual wall unit located right outside my office door to keep me all warm and toasty. Except! There is a mystery afoot. Because some little arctic chill spreader is going behind my back and switching my wall unit to cold air!

Do I have to remind you that it is February in DC. It does actually get its own brand of cold and, well, especially when the central a/c in the office is essentially on 365 days of the year. Y'all, the air conditioning is on in the winter! The cold draft in my office is most certainly NOT the drinking kind. "Bartender, I'll have a cold draft - and make it 32 ounces." No, it's the kind that makes you run for the blanket. (Oh, to be three again.)

So everyday I turn the wall unit to "hot" that - remember - is right outside my office and only affects, well, me and my next door office neighbor - who is never here but also feels the chill down to her core the way I do. We agree on the heating implement being necessary. On top of all this, I even supplement the heating unit with a pashmina - probably professional society's answer to blanket-carrying.

YET, everyday somebody is going behind me and turning the dial over to "cool" air.

Who is doing this?
When are they doing this?
Why are they doing this?

A mystery of Angela Lansbury proportion!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Rejection Junction, What's Your Function?

If there is one thing I have learned over the past year, it’s that you need thick skin when it comes to dating. No, I'm not claiming that is a profound and unique realization. But will you let me get away with it for just this one post? Because I think I am toughening up now. Why, I think I might be almost reptilian now. OK, the sun damage I endured last summer may have a little bit to do with it. But underneath the pebbled leather - not really, am creamy milky white now with freckles all over my chest - but that is from childhood actually - so underneath is calcium-fortified bones, a rock-hard soul, and an unpenetrable heart.

I joke! Because...not really. I am still the mush I was before. (And that is not just because "you are what you eat", in which my case, it would be mashed potatoes). BUT, I am learning to not have any expectations whatsoever. I now want to be caught off guard – pleasantly off-guard, that is. Prove me wrong Romeos, Don Juans, and Napoleans. I want a jack-in-the-box who will just "pop! up" and knock me on my ass. Jacks, why are you hiding in your boxes?


But really I am toughening up. Are you surprised? I'm reminded of this quote: "For a man to truly understand rejection, he must first be ignored by a cat." Well, I have faced rejection - by cats and other miscellany - and I continue to endure it on an almost daily basis. It's dating and it's inevitable.

Yes, today, we - the collective "I" - are riding the wave of rejection. Yes, re-jec-tion. Um, nobody likes it, right? Well, I have come to find the humor in it on one hand. And on the other, well, it is just not going to get me down anymore. I've hardened my ways. Let's take a closer look at the two scenarios.

First, I ask you Married and Single People, how would you feel to get rejected by short, squat bald guys? Yeah, the plural is intentional - short squat bald guySSSS. Five to be exact, if one were counting. (And if you are a guy, let's say the equivalent is 6'6" body builder she-man just for purposes of making an - admittedly - extreme comparison because I want the boys to participate in the dialogue here. So you can pick your own imagery even.) Would that kind of rejection hurt your ego? Would you crawl under a rock? Would you yank your profile down? Would you write a seething blog post about it - possibly "naming" said little bald man rejector? Here is what I do: I do pick myself up off the floor - because that is where my jaw is. Then I stitch up my sides - because of the fully belly laugh that ensued. My friend, that is when rejection takes a turn into....Funny Town. Clowns are not necessary.

(Footnote: I have nothing against short squat bald guys. Apparantly I have dated a few - bald ones that is but not short squat. Remember they are rejecting me. This blog - although not a dating blog! - is most definitely woe-is-me - sometimes at the expense of others. Sorry if you feel used and abused short squat bald guys. Please don't send me hate mail. You are already rejecting me. Stop the hurt.)

To explain - I am doing the unthinkable eharmony thing [shudders] and let me just say, all my friends were right, it sucks! Big time. That is $60 I could have spent on 60 baked potatoes (you know, if I was doing a "fast food" 99 cents commercial).

Here is why I hate eharmony. First, one has no control in the “matching” process. The system spits back "matches" based on some - they say - scientific and/or? psychological profile. When really, they just match up any two people who live in the same geographic area who call themself human because I think there is a box to check: human or alien. For the record, short squat bald guys are not alien - so I can be matched up with one. Second, the profiles have the most arbitrary of questions. For example: “three things you are grateful for”; the generic “what do you like to do”; or “what do you wish people knew about you but don’t”. You can tell so much about someone who is grateful for God, a roof over his head, and his family and friends. So much. Tell me more. Seriously, tell me more. Third, there are "stages of communication” and only after you pass go and get out of jail a couple times and buy Boardwalk for $60 - then - you can have “open communication” – i.e., emailing! Oh yeah, time for our own words and our own thoughts. Some people have them and then you can't be all "the computer made me say it." Proceed at your own risk. So at the end of the run around, I have lost patience and three weeks later I still don't know anything about the guy I am " electronically harmonizing" with. Which reminds me, I think I owe him an email now.

Which brings us around to tieing "rejection" "short squat bald guys" and "funny" into one point. If we were talking in secret code it might go like this: Ax SSBG lol. But if we are being literal: Y'all I have been rejected by about 5 short squat bald guys - ha ha ha. See, they send you a potential match - and it goes to both people - the SSBG and me. At this point, you can either: "Close them," which is basically telling them "no, thanks I never want to see your face again," because this option closes that person from communication forever, essentially you are sending them to the black hole of no-date-everland; or the proactive “start communication,” which starts you down the windy path of canned communication; or one can opt to put them "on hold”. Now, I don't know about you but to me, "closing" them seems like harsh and blatant....rejection. Thus, I opt for the “put on hold” option. It seems gentler - it kind of says, "I'm real busy right now, I'll call you later" even though you never intend on calling. Or do I have that backwards? Is the maybe-but-probably-not approach actually dishonest and subsequently more harsh than blatant rejection?

So while I am trying to let the boys down easily, the short squat baldies are beating me to the punch - they are "closing" all communication with me, right off the bat. And this is where I get very serious with you, dear reader. I am not joking about this. Five rejections by SSBGs in the past week! Sad, but funny. The funny kind of rejection that only a thick-skinned gal can handle, mind you.

So, I decided I’m pretty much a “match” girl. I won't lie, I would prefer "taken" girl, but I've got to troll the marketplace for that special guy. I'm cutting coupons, watching the specials, combing the aisles, and filling up my bonus card. (And that is pretty much what you feel like.) But on Match, you are in control of your matches, your words, your communication. The "rejection" that takes place here is you just don't email them back. (Except for ItalianSpice who said, "he won't give up" - that guy you got to spell out the words of r-e-j-e-c-t-i-o-n.) So I have to do some rejecting myself. I mentioned earlier I had 7 guys in the beginning, then I whittled it down to four within a few days, then this past week I whittled it down to three. Now after my two dates last week, I have whittled it down to two, because there is another date still pending with The Flirt. Then either of these two may have already decided to whittle me out themselves. You never know. Oh, whittle-dee-dee, whittle-dee-dah.

And this is the other side of the rejection coin. Because the thick skin comes in handy when it is no laughing matter - because it is some cutie who really should love you but actually might possibly be rejecting you. If I was God, he would love me. But he was almost too perfect. He is in the box. I want to be caught by surprise if he decides to "pop!" This laid-back there's-no-expectation approach comes only after I analyzed what his follow-up email on Monday said: "Thanks again for a great time.....Plan B was a stunning success....anyway, if you would be up for it, we should try and catch a show sometime soon.” That was no pop-up. To me, that says "you're cool, but there was no love connection - you're good for some live music." But he said "soon!" And he was feeling me out with "if you are up for it." But then again he mentioned only seeing some music and not the general idea of “I’d like to see you anywhere." Probably, gentle rejection. And that is okay. It's the thick skin that keeps me so level-headed and secure and detached from the situation. (Snark.)

But then there is the issue of the guy who asked to "reschedule" our date that was to take place tonight. I don't know he mentioned something about fighting a cold but still "really wants to meet me." Yeah? Well, I got thick skin, besides, I have my own sock drawer that needs re-arranging too. And now a loofah treatment to attend to. This thick skin is getting itchy.

But see? All this is the right kind of rejecting. There isn't any false hope. What we have here is a variation of the "put on hold" option. "You seem like a nice person but it's probably not going to happen" is what that is saying. Now I am trying to walk that fine line with my Sunday night date - The Sprite Drinker. I'd like to "put him on hold." Because you can't just ignore it and not do anything.

Because that is the worst type of rejection. I am talking about the kind of rejection that goes something like this: ---------. That was internet-speak for "silence" also known as "no words", "not facing the music", "avoidance", or "I am a pussy". Or to put it another way - fall off the face of the earth and avoid the person you want to break up with so that they have to file a missing persons report and feel shameful of the was-it-something-I-did kind. You get the picture.

This is the kind of rejection - the kind that doesn't even aknowledge or dignify the relationship to any - even small - degree of worth - no amount of thick skin can shield. Or, does that kind of rejection give you the thick skin? I remember it well - that sting of rejection - so much so that I wish him to feel that sting of rejection himself. To take from that relationship: I will be sure to not dish that brand of rejection myself. It is not a nice way to conduct your life.

So short squat baldies and cute fun dates - reject me all you want. Because you can't say I'm being ignored, right?


I HATE rejection and all its variations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Good Date Bad Date 1-2-3

A good date is when you show up and you are pleasantly surprised because he is gosh-darn cute - from his two hazel eyes down to his shoes. You are pleasantly surprised because in his pictures he had sunglasses on and you were almost certain you were going to be met with a cyclops.

A bad date is when you are slightly disappointed because he is wearing something too closely resembling a sweatshirt. Do you understand my dislike of the sweats?

A good date will ask you, “Can I get you a drink?” as his first question of the night.

A bad date will not ask you for a drink because he is too busy with his Sprite.

A good date is when you close the bar down - brooms are sweeping your feet and lights are brightening reminding you that it is the early morning hour of 1:30. Too soon.

A bad date lasts a little over an hour and consists of hamburgers and Sprite - 5 of them at that. You can never have too many! And you watch ice skating - which you hate - in the window's reflection.

A good date consists of lots of talk of indie rock and jazz and an impromptu run to a local jazz club when you discover your mutual fondness for jazz and you talk about the music and the dialogue of the instruments that play off, around, and against each other. Then you sing along to 'Tis Wonderful.

A bad date consists of forced conversation - like when you talk about what you eat for dinner most nights and how many ways you can make a potato.

A good date is complimentary, engaging, and courteous.

A bad date criticizes North Carolina after you tell him all your immediate family lives there, criticizes "Florida schools" after you tell him you went to one, and stereotypes attorneys in which case you had to tell him that 85% of your friends are attorneys.

A good date gives you a hug and kiss good night and tells you he'd like to see you again.

A bad date gives you a hug and kiss good night and tells you he'd like to see you again.

But you know what the real difference is between Good Date--Bad Date? The good date will not follow through.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine Randomness

The Mood: A Playlist

This Valentine's Day I Wanna Be Adored [Stone Roses] because the last month just Makes No Sense At All [Husker Du]. But what really sucks about it is I have to drink Champagne From A Paper Cup [Death Cab] because the jackass has my sterling silver champagne bucket with four champagne glasses that I can't ask for because he won't even call me back. I want to get all You Oughta Know [Alanis Morissette] but instead there was only a Tear Stained Letter [Johnny Cash] that was never sent because really, it's Just Another Day [Oingo Boingo]. And frankly, The Future Is So Bright I Got To Wear Shades [Timbuk 3].

The Past: My Life

My daddy's name was Valent. My grandma would actually say that it was really Valentine but my dad never admitted to that. And like our 'ole Saint - that some love and some curse because you have it or you don't - my Daddy Valentine was full of the love. I have it.

The Hope: Eternal, I Hope

It's called dating and I am back baby. You know I won't be able to keep my mouth shut about it. But I promise that I will not use anything like "love of my life" "my favorite guy ever" or "boyfriend" - which I now hate as much as "fiance". Yuk.

A Pop Culture Reference: Appropriate Cheesy Optimism

I ch-ch-choose....ME. ;)

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A PSA And A Subliminal Message

Do not buy knock-off purses anymore.

Counterfeit fashion seems passable on first glance, but closer inspection reveals misspelled logos, inferior craftsmanship, puckered seams, low quality leather, large, uneven stitching, and flimsy hardware. Next time you see a purse posing as the real thing, inspect it more closely. And if you see a “Made in Taiwan” tag, know it is not authentic.

Besides, if the price is right and you can buy it off the trunk of a car, then it IS too good to be true. Why settle for less than an original?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Blacklist

This will be my last post about the relationship gone bad starring Peter Pan, moonlighting as Johnny Jerkface, as the villian. I hear he is up for an Oscar this year for his role which - with his great acting ability - had his audience fooled. Villian posing as superhero gets them all the time. I am sure I have seen a Batman episode like that.

In the end, the outcome is "Player." I was deceived and he certainly played me. Because he has never called me to break up with me so I don't know why or what. It is the weirdest relationship-breakup I have ever encountered. It rocked my world for a couple weeks but now I can do nothing but laugh about it. I would have taken anything if even an email - or post-it note a la Berger (Sex and the City) that said, "Sorry. Can't do this." But he just dropped off the face of the earth never to be seen or heard from again. [It's funny because the Berger storyline is going on in the reruns right now and I can't help but see the similarities in that relationship. In hindsight.]

It's funny how you can identify all the negative aspects of a relationship when it is over. But when you are in it, you overlook those things. I have a friend who once dated a guy who punched a wall. She made excuses for it at the time. I don't know him so I can't pass judgment but one MIGHT think, um, anger issues. My sister dated one of those Wall Punchers and I can most definitely assure you - MAJOR anger issues. Now Johnny Jerkface wasn't a wall puncher, but I can assure you I found plenty other faults when I stepped outside of starry-eyed girl box.

What I Won't Fall For Next Time

I hereby declare not to fall for someone who--

--wears white elastic-ankled sweatpants.

--says "kiddie doodles" instead of "kids" each and every time.

--will not perform oral sex on me.

--has me meet his parents after only knowing him three weeks and dismissing it as "no big deal" when it should be a big deal.

--constantly calls me "gorgeous" "hot stuff" "hottie" or "crouton" - or by my last name.

--tells me he knew I was "the one" after our first date.

--prefers his drinks pink.

--wears cravats for driving his British sports car around town.

--wears an orange ski parka. Orange.

--picks me up at the airport and does not get out to help me put my luggage in the back.

--paws me on our third date in front of his co-workers.

--won't let me pull the table closer to me because it will be "too far from him then."

--disregards my desire to show up at MY friend's holiday party on time because it is "too early, it's better to be fashionably late" - when it is my good friend, I am expected to show up early, and if I don't show up at that time I will miss seeing my pregnant friend - and therefore makes me arrive 2 hours and 45 minutes later than when I wanted to.

--doesn't walk me to my car the first time I go over to his house.

--says "fun event" as in: "Let's talk later and coordinate for our 'fun event'."

--hates his job or is very unhappy in his job situation.

--has conflict with management in every professional job he has held.

--plans many dates for the first two months of dating and then stops planning and then wants to stay in all the time and then when I ask why, says that he wanted to see how I reacted to that. Huh?

--tells me he can be a jerk and a player. (Apparently looks have nothing to do with it.) If someone is saying this, apparently there is some truth in it. Foreshadowing.

--has negative things to say about his exes and thinks that some of them are crazy and are prone to stalking.

--thinks all his girl friends have crushes on him.

--paints his kitchen purple and has red velvet couches. (I can't tell you the hatred I have for these two decorating schemes.)

--doesn't like when I put a couch pillow on the floor.

--doesn't understand the importance of cool sunglasses. Guys, sunglasses are just as crucial as the shoes. The right pair of shades are everything.

--would wear satin pajamas and lets his sister borrow them.

--strokes his mom's hair or has to touch everyone's hair. Hair fetish?

--went a year at any point in his life not talking to his parents.

--thinks he is such a great cook, but doesn't even know how to slice an onion. I can't cook but I can slice a mean onion.

--can not make good waffles or never makes me blueberry pancakes. I can't settle for less.

--doesn't let me buy another bottle of champagne for New Year's Eve because he thinks one bottle is enough. Sure it was a magnum but isn't it better to be safe than sorry, err on the side of more?

--doesn't want to drink with me on New Year's Eve.

--would rather play video games all night long on New Year's Eve.

--does not feel the need to watch the ball drop and smooch at midnight.

--wants to talk about marriage, kids, cohabitation, and the future within the first month of dating.

--constantly talks to his friends about me, how wonderful I am, etc. - I know this because I hear him on the phone - yet never introduces me to them.

--tells me on our first date about an ex-girlfriend who made out with his sister.

--has parents that buy him a t-shirt that says, "Looking to score."

--tells me within a few weeks of knowing him how much his parents are worth.

--is BORING and perfunctory in bed, no matter if he uses it well. I like variety and fun.

--makes me - in his selfish ways - feel unsexy. Because...I am sexy!

--doesn't take an interest in "me" as a person but instead "me" as it relates to him. This is hard to explain but a very, very general example is when someone asks you when your birthday is, you ask the same thing back. If you care.

--never uses the $200 wallet you bought him for Christmas because he is afraid to use it - and won't return it and get the Ferragamo shoes he really wants when you absolutely insist he does this - so he ends up wasting your money and hurting your feelings.

--does not have the decency or maturity to break up with someone whom you spent the better part of four months - who spent Christmas with you - when you want out for whatever reason.

--takes the "I will not call her" approach. Or the "I won't even call her back" approach.

The End.

I'm now closing the book on that chapter unless of course there is some update. Some poetic justice which I do dream about. But I don't count on it....

So I'm back on match trolling for another round of dating misery. Within my first 30 minutes I got an email from someone calling himself italianspice. Oh boy, I can hardly wait.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Friday Night Lineup At The Convenience Store

I have to start dating all over again. And, um, quite frankly, DC is hard. On one hand are the Hill people - which, I am so not into. And never mind that DC is so transient, people come and go. And everyone is getting younger and younger because the people my age? Married.

Friday night I had drinks with my friend Shamrock and a co-worker of hers. I learned that this girl is 32 and going through a divorce. (I guess it could always be worse.) So we started trolling the crowd for the "cuties." Um, there were none. Oh yeah, there is one, but look at that, he's with a girl. Then there was one guy whom we were debating his age. I was sure he wasn't a day past 29 and then when I saw his buddies I didn't think he was a day past 25. So what does the Divorcee do? She goes up to the guy. Kudos to her but when she came back after exchanging business cards with the "boy" I learn of her "line" which, unbeknownst to me, involved me.

"Oh, I told him that you thought he was cute."

Oh. Whatever. I have no energy. If she needs to use me to get her confidence up to speak to the boys, go right ahead. Because I am not talking to them.

After drinks, I decided to stop by the little market by my house. I love the little guy at the market because he gives you chocolate with your purchase. Sometimes it is the kind with hazelnuts in it and I don't like nuts at all. One time, however, I was so desperate for the chocolate, I picked out the little teeny, tiny hazelnuts. But when I am lucky he passes out a Lindt truffle. I loooove the Lindt truffle. I was taking a gamble that he would treat me right that night.

Do you need the evidence of how hard it is to date in DC. I present to you the Friday Night Lineup At The Convence Store. A sum total of three decent-looking girls lined up at the cash register.

Girl #1: Buying a pack of smokes and a pack of gum.
Girl #2: Buying a bag of potato chips and a pint of Ben & Jerrys.
Girl #3 AKA ME: Buying a bottle of wine.

And we each got a little Lindt chocolate to complete our own pity parties. We should have convened on my balcony, watched the drunks walk to the bars, and toast our truffles.

These are the gals I would rather be hanging out with. Instead I had to see my Downer Friend - I promised her lunch and shopping on Saturday. She feels kindred now that I have been dumped in a BIG WAY and this is her conversation with me: "What is wrong with us? I tell ya', these guys are all the same. It'll happen for us some day. What are we doing wrong? Did we sleep with them too soon?"

I hear this over and over and over. Groundhog day, indeed.

Really there is no "we" in this equation. We have two totally different circumstances. But since we both just happen to be single at the same time she uses this as an excuse to call me THREE TIMES A DAY to have the same conversation because all she can do is dwell on it. Atleast the guy whom she was casually dating actually BROKE UP WITH HER. That is what my BOYFRIEND should have done. Broke up with me and not just ignored my phone call to avoid the BREAK UP. I can't keep having this conversation with her. Our lives are so, so different. She thinks people who love Vegas have gambling problems and people who drink an occassional bottle of wine are alcoholics. She has always been my "small dose friend."

Yet I can't "break up" with her. She means well. So I just act like I am not bothered in the least by what has happened and I try to be the strong one so she will get over this guy. She is amazed at my resiliency. Little does she know that I am not really. This guy actually got me in a big way. Peter Pan NEVER called on the date that HE set as the END to THE BREAK. And guess what? That Lindt truffle is still sitting in the bottom of my purse. I have NO desire for the chocolate. Something IS wrong with me....

Friday, February 03, 2006

On Dating, Ulcers, And Friends Gone Bad

I have been on edge for two weeks now. When I agreed to the "break" my momma told me that I would be sorry because I would be a ball of nerves. Dear Momma's always right.

There is a pit in my stomach right now.

I don't think it would have been so hard for me if I had not seen him last week. When I agreed to the "break" I thought we would not see each other, we would miss each other, and reclaim our groove. Every which way I wrap my mind around this I still think we had it. In spite of the elastic-ankled sweat pants. (Like my fashion-conscious brother asked, "You mean like sweatshirt sweatpants?" "Yes.") I would - will - be so much better if even I hear, "Thanks but no thanks. I'm moving on to other pastures." I can accept that and then get my mind to the point of NOT WORTH IT. I will never fret over someone who is not fretting over me.

But I am in limbo. So now that my stomach is somersaulting and the time is closing in, I wonder if he is even going to heed our Feb. 5th date and call or just blow it off. Well, of course if he blows it off, there is my answer. THAT move would certainly get my head around NOT WORTH IT. THAT move would be shit-E. I should be giving him more credit, but frankly his behavior as of late is not the same of the guy I spent every weekend since Sept. 24th with, including Christmas. So I am doubting. My stomach flipping is synchronized to my aching head that can't think about ANYTHING ELSE.

However, the waiting does not come without some positives. I lost seven pounds which I probably just put back on with lunch today. (Chicken and orzo, a big hunk of buttery bread, and the BEST chocolate chip cookie ever from the greek deli.) I am not going out - on Friday night - I know! I am going to the gym instead. Crazy? I think not. Why not reclaim the reins of slender and sinewy? [Edited to add: Shamrock called, I am meeting her for drinks....sinewy will come some other day.]

But on the other hand I am getting the stomach pains that my sister, mom, and I succumb to and which my mom refers to as the "Bennett stomach." That may or may not have something to do with some curse placed on three generations of the Bennett (my mom's) family. Stomach ailments are apparently a family tradition. My grandma died of stomach cancer. Eeriely. So I am never without my ginger pills, which I am popping religiously these days.

Fucking boy. Because I hate that. My feminist sensibilities hate that: Giving some guy your well-being. However, I will gladly give him the weight. A pound for his thoughtlessness, a pound for his selfishness, a pound for his sweatpants.

And then on top of my mental state pinged with anger alternating with sorrow, I have this friend who is being a drain. Let me just say that this girl is a sweatheart, very beautiful, and wants nothing more in the world than to be a mom. She is 38. She is also very small-town (meaning: she never leaves small-town - she lives in a suburb of DC and will not come into the "city." "DC is dangerous.") So she latches on to any good looking guy who gives her the time of day. I have seen her do this over the past 12 years I have known her. And when I say latch on, she latches on with all her being and doesn't let go. I am afraid she sends the guys running to the hills. Because I see her do it with me. For example, she knows I hate the phone, yet she will call me 3 times a day, albeit when there is no boyfriend - with absolutely NOTHING NEW to say. She has no hobbies - she doesn't read, she doesn't watch any TV. (One time she called and I told her I was watching the Bachelor and she asked what that was. Are you kidding? First of all, do not disturb me during the Bachelor (or Family Guy, The Office, or Weeds - and hopefully, Love Monkey) and, what rock is she living under? And, trust me, it is not like she is pondering physics or world peace. She once asked me what it meant to be "conservative" politically. And which was further, Las Vegas or California. See?) So there is nothing else to talk about. Well, lo and behold, she just got "turned away" by this guy who - frankly was sketchy from day one. I wouldn't be surprised if there were drugs and a wife involved. No, it's not a TV show. So now she is turning to me. Three times a day. And I don't have the energy for her. She will not let this guy go. He last told her that he thinks they are on different emotional levels and that he is still hung up on an ex-girlfriend so he was canceling their date for that night. She still doesn't get that. She thinks she just said something wrong so she keeps calling him and emailing him and he ignores her calls. I cringe at the crazy she is teetering on.

But I get the three times a day phone call that goes like this each and every time: "Hi. What are you doing? You busy? Do you have a lot of work? Anything new? I still have not heard from him. Should I call him again?"

So even though my stomach is a ball of nerves, my head aches, my heart pounds, and all I can think about is HIM, atleast HE doesn't know it. It's dignity and I plan to keep it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Different Kind Of Bowling League

Gangs are cool. Well, not the Crypts and Bloods kind of gangs where Biggies and Tupacs are getting killed (and subsequently coming out with movies and videos STILL - conspiracy? I'm looking at you P Diddly Dink) and 50 is getting shot at 50 times and the 6th grade recruits are holding a gun in one hand and holding up their pants by the other. For those playing along at home - NOT cool. I am actually talking about a more innocent - harmless - type of gang. The kind you start with your friends based on one common denominator or such because you don't start the club and then make a common denominator.

For example, I was in a gang - or club - in high school. We were cooler than the Pink Ladies. It started with a uniform of the black bra. See, I was sitting around at a party (incidently at my house, hi mom) with my friends Katie and Marlene and one of the guys there pointed to us and said something like, "Y'all are so punk rock with your black bra straps showing." Apparently, we all just happened to have our black bras on and our shirts just happened to be falling down our shoulders and we were simultaneously advertising black bra straps. One guy thought it was hot. And so from that point forward we began to call ourselves the Good Girl Club. Our "secret" handshake was a yank of your shirt to reveal your black bra strap. Coo. And Katie even bought us these little ceramic dolls and painted a black bra strap on each girl's right shoulder. Our "good girl" symbol. Sigh. The Good Girl Club had a lot of good clean fun. I must subconsciously still yearn for those days because I occassionally will flash a black - or red! - bra strap. At work. It can't be helped. My thinking is that we are probably a really big club in actuality. I bet there are a lot of girls out there who can't keep the bra strap covered.

Now recently, Mav and I dubbed a new club that actually does not even count us as members. We needed a club to collect all the wrongdoers in relationships. It is equivalent to the Go-Stand-In-The-Corner Club for-you-have-been-a-bad-boy-so-you-have-been-tagged. Because shouldn't guys come with some kind of warning like: Contents are not really what they seem. Will lose shape. Contents may shift in transit. Or, It's all about me (when really, come on here, it is all about ME). They put a jail out on a island, can't we do the same for those who have "done us wrong"? So a "club" given a gimmick and that gimmick is.....bowling.

Before I get to the rules of the club, the card carrying (i.e., founding) members, and their uniform and props let me just say that bowling is used as metaphor. Because, uh, bowling is fun of course! Any night with pitchers of beer, funky shoes, and sticking your ass out for ogling, is frankly my kind of night. And when it is 80's night on the loudspeakers - even better. So I'm not dissing the "sport" per se. Seriously, Peter Pan was going to take me to "opening night" at the new groovy "alley" that opened up in Gallery Place. He got "special" tickets but then had to bail because, um, "work", of course. And then he bailed out of the relationship. So it seems. [Special note: Here is where I should point out - or warn you - because I am well aware of what is happening here - for the next month I will tie Peter Pan into every conversation, nostalgically. "Going to brush my teeth." "Peter Pan brushes his teeth!" "I just got my toes painted." "That's funny, Peter Pan has 10 toes!" "Where should we eat?" "Peter Pan and I ate dinner at a restaurant once....." Right? Haven't we all done this? Or is that just me? Well, strap yourself in.]

So how did bowling as metaphor come about, you may wonder?

Mav: I haven't heard from Steve-O, The Delicate Flower yet.
Me: Pshaw. He and Peter Pan should get together and go bowling.

And, no surprise there, Mav got it. I have tried to use it on people before and nobody ever got it. So we shared a laugh at the concept. I guess it is like saying they should both go to hell. In all honesty, the phrase might come from a movie and somebody might clear that up here. Breakfast Club perhaps? I don't remember, but Marlene - of the Good Girl Club fame - and I used to use that phrase in high school and we were always quoting Duckie from Pretty in Pink ALL THE TIME. I only watched that movie 100 times. "I'm off like a dirty shirt." "Do I offend?" "I'm not going to ride my bike by your house anymore!" (I could actually use that one, sad to say.)

But Mav and I are taking the phrase a step further and modeling a little make believe world for the losers who have crossed our path. It's innocent - because I'd like to do the voodoo because I believe in black magic, you know, stick a pin in his heart - but instead we are sending them to....the bowling alley. In case you are wondering, "God, you girls have NOTHING better to do than concoct these make believe clubs for losers who don't even deserve your time of worrying. And mentally visualizing props and uniforms? Geesh." Well, you might be right. For me, at least. Mav is powerful - she sits in depositions and "objects" every 15 minutes - just to stay in the game, on her toes...awake. So she might be "bored" too in actuality. But really I am just blowing a half hour long email exchange into a STORY. So, yes, THIS keeps me busy. Hey, I'm not the bowler....

Mav: Any word?
Me: Nope. Hilarious. Bowler!
Mav: Yes, he should quit his job and go on the professional circuit.
Me: When are you seeing Steve-O, The Delicate Flower, The Delicate Flower, Steve-O?
Mav: I suggested sat but he hasn't gotten back to me yet.
Me: He might have a bowling tournament. Don't be surprised.
Mav: True. I didn't even think of that. I just hate bowling.
Me: Greengenes is bowling at Ballroom this Saturday night...I wonder if Peter Pan is going....
Mav: I wonder if he will bring the ugly girl who carries his ball.
Me: He's got a hot pink ball.
Mav: I'm sure his initials are carved in it as well. "PP" in italics of course.
Me: And he keeps throwing gutter balls.
Mav: Wearing a pink satin jacket with the words "I bust mine to break yours"

Thus, a league was born! If you would like to nominate someone, send your request to The first 10 people will get a pink satin jacket with their initials, of course.