Friday, April 21, 2006

One shoe off and one shoe on, I sit here mid-intention to take myself for a walk, typing instead.

Today's been one of those days when, in spite of its Friday-ness and its end of the week-ness, and in spite of the good cheer experienced by others at these very facts, you look in the refrigerator of life and feel there's nothing to eat.

This isn't depression. This isn't boredom. It is ennui. Worst of all is that I can think of no one to share it with. Have you ever not wanted to be alone, yet not wanted to be among the people you know? That's where I am.

It is not being helped by the yelping I hear from next door that would indicate an (illegal for this complex) dog has taken residence. Probably a Yorkie or some other walking dustmop. Damn that Paris Hilton for making pets into a fashion accessory! Now every diva wanna-be in town has some tiny thing with huge wet eyes in a fake Coach bag and takes it everywhere dogs should not be, like anywhere food is sold, served and eaten. Gah.

Interestingly, I note with glee, this is the perfect time to write. Aha! Just a quick walk to get the blood flowing, no? Then I will come back to my little Dell of dreams and hammer out sentences that speak of my passionate indifference.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thought of the moment: I wish I hadn't found out that the last guy I went out with was such a good kisser before I found out he was an asshole.

Okay, it's true confession time now, and I say this with the conviction and confidence of someone who knows no one is actually reading this.

The three-date rule is all very well and good, but at the moment it's not very comforting. I know that what I really want is a fella whom I feel good to be around and who makes no bones about liking me. It's not too much to ask and I know that. But damn, if that little quiver of doubt doesn't feel good too in its way. Hmm.

Here's how Stacey's latest adventure went down. Please understand that I am hormonal right now and that this may be my own personal Twinkie defense if I am ever confronted with this story.

Date one went well. I enjoyed very much meeting the voice at the other end of the phone line who had flirted and bantered with me. I was interested in everything we talked about and pleased that he seemed to be too. There was smooching as we said goodnight that confirmed the interest was mutual. We made tentative plans for a day that weekend.

Date two went a little less swimmingly, but could have easily been just the vagaries of two people getting to know each other. As we got to our destination (a museum), I noted that it was raining and was supposed to stop. He questioned the veracity of my weather information (perhaps joking, but a little too aggressively) because it was not radar. I clenched my teeth and observed that it was idle conversation, perhaps annoyed that I seemed to be the only one making any. I wasn't inclined to speak again until we alighted at our destination, and nor was he.

At the museum, I did my usual thing and made conversation about what I knew about the paintings. This went badly, as I apparently came off as lecturing. My companion saw fit to pick at every observation I made, until I gave up for fear of opening myself to criticism or ridicule. The remainder of the visit was pleasantly given over to somewhat simple comments that for my part I invested with little of myself. We walked a bit and had lunch. He was amusing and charming. Sex reared its head in our conversation playfully. We decided on seeing a movie. We had dinner afterwards. There was some very nice smooching. I told him it was too soon for me to canoodle. He seemed a tiny bit put out and we walked on, obviously in the general direction of a train home. I stopped him and explained that I wanted to be sure about him before canoodling. He said I *should* wait until I was more comfortable, but that we should get going before he got too worked up. We had a reasonably companionable and somewhat flirtatious train ride home. I explicitly told him (I'm too grown up to wait for a phone call) that I would like to see him again and left when I alighted at Edison alone.

Monday rolled around after I had done some thinking and I invited him to dinner. He dithered somewhat gracefully, I thought, because he was in the process of packing for a move. If he was not available, he was not being evasive. But he offered an evening that week. We made it a date.

I cooked a yummy leg of lamb and some vegetables and he arrived on time. He came into my place and made the usual awkward conversation one does with someone new in their home, but did notice that in his opionion that my own paintings looked as though they were hung incorrectly. In the bedroom when I gave the tour, his only comment was that the accent squares I had painted on the walls were crooked. He commented that I "brought out the smartass in him," and cattily referred to our museum visit as "the Whitney lecture tour." (Ouch!)

I won't lie, intimacy happened. I had to find out what it was like. And I felt driven to know that night. Let's just say that you get what you might expect if you hurry. It did the job, but no magic.

He stood in my kitchen and listened to me gabble about my family without really looking up as I pointed out pictures. Lack of interest, anyone? I had no idea I was so boring. When we sat down to eat, he ate everything on his plate with no comment. Then he helped himself to two of my homemade brownies (these must not have sucked, but he didn't say either way) and focused his attention on a poster I have of an old photo of the NY waterline from Weehauken. He couldn't rest until I looked up the location of a hotel in the picture.

Then, in the oddest moment of the night, he turned to me and asked, "Shall we go to bed now?"

Please know that in my invitation to dinner no sleepover was implicated on my part; this was complete news to me. I was stunned. I hesitated, but in a delusional moment said "Okay," with some idea that cuddling might ensue.

We went in and laid down, and then he went about making himself comfortable for sleep, but in a very businesslike way. Some...incipient intimacy happened, but petered out. Perhaps it was stress or fatigue.

I was restless, and, hearing his regular breathing, I rose and went to clear up the as-yet uncleared dinner things. I laid back down again. It was still early for me, but I slept some. Later, when dawn was breaking, I noticed he wasn't under the covers. I had the window open, so I thought he might be cold. "Do you realize what time it is?" he asked quite distinctly, and I knew that he wasn't asleep by his irritated tone.

Yes, I said, but I thought he might be cold. He snapped that he was tired and he was having a very stressful week and he needed to get some sleep, in a somewhat nasty manner. I apologized quickly, then observed that he was being very authoritarian, and he made some observation that he was in his place to be. I called him a cranky bastard in a half-joking tone and went back to sleep.

Later, when waking was inevitable, I rolled closer to him (I am an affectionate person by nature)and he asked again why I was so restless. I apologized, but remembered that I'd been pissed off by his irritable outburst and said that I didn't think I deserved to be yelled at and asked if he was in the habit of speaking to people like they were children. He remarked that he hadn't cared before, and that he cared only slightly more now. I rose some time after and began dressing. He took some time longer than this and finally dressed. When he was ready, we stood awkwardly at my door and I said jovially, "Thanks for stopping by," and made a move to hug him (intimacy HAD taken place, after all), and he demurred only slightly, indicating he would prefer not to.

Fair enough, I said, and let him out.

Normally, I would email the next day, mentioning desire to get together again, but I wasn't even slightly inclined this time. I don't think I was wrong.

But damn, what a good kisser...
Someone please tell me why I take so many of these "personality tests." Is there something I don't know about myself, or am I just looking for a neat and tidy way to sum it all up? And would someone please tell me how I can be both sanguine *and* melancholy? I guess I should consult my alchemist for the proper tonic to balance the bad spirits.

Or perhaps I should just bleed them out with leeches.

Your personality is Sanguine Melancholy

30% Melancholy Strength:8 Weakness:4

13% Phlegmatic Strength:1 Weakness:4

40% Sanguine Strength:7 Weakness:9

15% Choleric Strength:3 Weakness:3

Monday, April 17, 2006

Friends With Money...

Saw this yesterday in the city. Loved it. First of all, the subject matter - a single woman who is underemployed and financially challenged finds her friendships with three married, wealthy women to be sometimes trying. The conversations between the women about each other are very honest and real, and all of the relationships are believably flawed. The shifting viewpoints from character to character are revealing too: no one is 100% sympathetic, but nor is anyone particularly to blame. It's a great ensemble cast - who can argue with Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, AND Catherine Keener?

And a word to those who would question the inclusion of Jennifer Aniston - she belongs in this movie. Her conflicted, more-insecure-than-you-know character plays to her strengths as a modern young woman. Finally someone is dethroning the ditzy single gal who just wants to get married made popular by Doris Day. (All props to DD - I love her comedies from the late 50s and her clothes were DIVINE - but I don't see myself as her as much as I could see myself as Olivia in this movie.)

The resolution of the movie was beautifully handled in the face of what could have been a very Hollywood moment. I won't spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that although you may think you're getting what you want, it could all be subject to change. But sometimes that's all right.