Friday, November 30, 2007
Me: "Hey, you know, I think maybe we would be better off as friends."
Him: "Well, maybe I'm a little disappointed, but ok. Sure."
In actuality, it went a little more like this:
Him: "What? I don't...I don't understand. You're not...attracted to me?"
Me: "No, I mean, I think you're really cute. You are."
Him: "But you don't want to...have sex with me?"
And oh, Internet, if you could have seen the look in his puppy dog eyes...Between the eyes and the fact that I'm a total pushover and apparently defenseless against men who manifest any kind of interest in my general direction, perhaps you can understand why I found myself back-pedaling and wildly overcompensating.
"No...it's just...Hey, let's kiss," I said. "Hey, let's kiss, ok? Maybe I could like you...Just forget I said anything." He walked me home, and perhaps sensing a moment of weakness, invited himself in for a glass of water. We kissed more, and...well, I suppose it wasn't that bad. But I ask you, how can I be with a guy like this?:
"Hey, your shirt, it's all holey," I said. "I saw a couple holes before, but it's covered in holes. You bought it like that?"
"This shirt is from Barney's," he said.
"So you paid a lot of money for it, then? For a shirt with holes in it?"
"David Bowie has this shirt."
"So, you bought that shirt because David Bowie has it?"
"No, I had it before David Bowie did."
I mean, really. Can the fashion maven and this Old Navy girl ever really see eye to eye? (Except in the physical sense, as we are literally eye to eye and nose to nose. He tried telling me that he was 6'1", and I had to break the sad news, with the help of The Measuring Tape of Truth, that really he was only 5'10". I didn't understand why he was so upset until I realized that his whole adult life, he really believed he was 6'1". So I had to bring him down a few notches, literally. Heh).
And of course, as this is Cambridge, and my route home from school overlaps his route to school, who should I hear call out my name from across the street when I was on my way home this afternoon.
"Are you stalking me?" I asked. But no, apparently he was simply on his way to hold office hours at Cambridge's most ivy league of institutions. And now I have plans for a study date tomorrow. As if I have time for a study date tomorrow, four days before the most important exam of my career. We're going to...read. Together. And seperately, of course. But together.
Really. Are there any more stupid decisions I could make or weird situations I could get myself into right now? Please, send me your dating/relationship/life/school/work-related questions and/or solicitations for advice now. Then make sure you do the exact opposite of what I recommend, and you should be just fine. Seriously, act now while the bad decision-making and clouded judgement last. Results not guaranteed.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Carrie: It's not that simple anymore. The real question is, is he a straight gay man, or is he a gay straight man?
Samantha: Hopefully, he's a gay straight guy, which means he's straight with a lot of gay qualities. Whereas, a straight gay guy is just a gay guy who plays sports and won't fuck you.
According to the wise, wise words of SATC, apparently I have found myself the elusive gay straight guy. He plays sports, he has impeccable taste, he gives good backrubs, he seems quite interested in yours truly, and yet...
But let's back up a bit. The answer to the question, will he call?, is no, he will not.
But he will text. Last night found me returning to the scene of the debauchery, leaving a detailed note for my roommate directing her to my whereabouts, in the event that the police would later need a clue as to where to find my mangled remains. (You never can be too careful). The verdict: not a psycho-killer. We drank wine, he made dinner, and it was good. The chemistry however...that was not so good. So apparently I'm not super attracted to short and gayish. Who knew? (Oh wait, I did).
He seems to think he can beat me at ping-pong though, so perhaps I'll come out of this with a pong partner or a new friend, at least. Plus, I bet he would totally go shopping with me.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
What? You mean that isn't how everyone celebrates Thanksgiving?
I should clarify by saying we weren't actually dancing, drinking and getting high with a professor of Cambridge's most ivy-league of insitutions, but rather with one of said professor's grad students who is loft-sitting for the next few months.
It started at dinner, at one of the few restaurant/bars open in Cambridge on Thanksgiving. He was sitting by himself at the table next to us, and he started talking to Erin while I was in the bathroom. I came back and introduced myself, and we talked about our grad programs, teaching, and how good the roasted beet and frisée salad was. He excused himself to the bathroom, and Erin and I held a quick conference.
"I think he's gay," she said.
"I know, I do too," I said. "But you don't know what guys around here are like. You never can tell, with them."
"I still think he's gay," she said.
"Yeah, probably," I agreed.
He came back, and said he liked my watch, its blue face. "That's so funny," I said. "Someone said the same thing to me earlier today, in the exact same words."
"So do I have to think of a new compliment, then?" he asked. "Since someone already told you that one?" He looked at me evaluatively, contemplating my face.
"I got a great compliment the other day," I said. "It would be really funny if you told me that one, too."
"What was it?"
"No, I want to see what you say."
"Well, I'm thinking of like, three things. But...no. I don't want to say the same thing as the other guy and sound really unoriginal."
The conversation turned to other topics then, and we continued to eat, drink, and chat.
"Hey," he said. "I have kind of a crazy idea. I mean, I don't know what you guys have planned for the rest of the evening, but do you maybe want to hang out? I mean, it is Thanksgiving..."
Erin and I looked at each other and shrugged. "Sure. Ok, why not?"
"Ok, great. I don't know what else is open, but I'm house-sitting for my professor, and he has a pretty nice loft. We could go there?"
"Ok, sounds good."
"So, are you ready for your compliment now?" he asked me.
"Of course," I said.
He leaned closer, raised his hand to my face, touching his finger to just above the corner of my mouth. "Here, this part right here. I love this."
I raised my own hand, touched the skin where his hand had just been. "This? You like...?" I mumbled in confusion.
"Do you not realize? You have a beauty mark there. It's adorable."
I might have blushed, and tried to signal "possibly not gay?" to Erin with my eyes.
Shortly thereafter we found ourselves chez le professeur, fresh drinks in hand. It is possible that shots of tequila were consumed. We discussed music, art and Mallarmé. It is quite possible that I didn't understand a single thing that he related on any of these topics. Not for any chemical reasons, mind you, but in the way that it seemed like I could almost see the ideas he was constructing fly by in the air above me, ten feet over my head. They were all so nearly accessible, and yet I was unable to grasp onto a single one of them. We eventually gave up on deep conversation, and smoked instead.
Now, I don't usually smoke anything. I'm not against it, per se, but it's just not something I usually do, even if the opportunity affords itself. I tried it a few times in college with no real results, and I've seen enough people get freaked out or sick from it that it never looked very appealing to me.
So, when he sucked a mouthful into his lungs and leaned towards me, gesturing for me to breathe the smoke from his curled hand poised against his mouth, I shied away warily.
He exhaled in a loud burst, disappointed. "No, it's ok," he encouraged me. "This is how people do it."
I looked at Erin. "This is a real thing?" I asked suspiciously. "This is how people smoke?"
"Yeah," she assured me.
"Well...ok," I said. He went through a dry-run with me, made me exhale all my breath, place my mouth against his hand with his mouth on the other side, inhale. Then we did it for real.
"Hm," he said. "I'm not sure you really got the full effect there. We may have to cut out the middle man."
"Hm," I said.
"I mean, the other way is to do it without the hand," he said. Then he inhaled another lungful, and pulled me into him. No middle man.
He turned some music on, and he and Erin got up to dance. I just watched, mostly. He came over to me, massaged my shoulders. "So, Rachel, we should hang out again. When should we get together again? Sunday night? I'll cook for you."
"Ok," I said.
"Or, hey, why not Saturday night? Yeah, let's get together Saturday night."
"I think I'm busy," I said.
"Ok, well, Sunday then."
He took my hand, pulled me out of my chair to dance with him. He put his hands on my waist and pressed his mouth to mine, no exhaling this time. No smoke, and no middle man either. After a little while I broke free. "We should probably stop," I said. "My friend..."
"Well, we could all three of us kiss," he suggested.
I didn't respond, I didn't have time to before he, perhaps noticing my lack of immediate enthusiasm for the idea, started frantically back-pedaling.
"Oh, no! Rachel, that's not what I meant," he said. "Now you think that that's what I'm into, and it's not at all what I'm into. I was just joking... heh."
At that point he excused himself to check his phone. He had been on his phone all night, tapping out messages on the glowing screen. He went upstairs and was gone for quite a while, this time. When he came back down, "So, are you guys heading out?" he said.
"Um, yeah," Erin said, looking at me. "We are."
"No, I mean, you can stay...it's just..."
"No," I said, "we should get going."
We exchanged numbers, he escorted us out, and with that, our Thanksgiving adventure came to a close, not with a bang, but, much like a fully-cooked turkey hitting the kitchen floor, with a resounding thud.
Cordially escorted out to make way for someone's Thanksgiving night booty call. Indeed.
Still, though. I wonder if he'll call?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
It was quite a night. Here's what I remember:
I wore a dress. I avoided the club photographer all night, turning my head and ducking out of photos at the last minute, until he showed up directly in front of me, his camera inches from my face, saying, "Smile."
"Oh, no," I protested. "I'm really unphotogenic."
"Yeah," he said. "Right."
"No, really," I pleaded. "It's true."
"Just smile," he said.
I threw my arm around the girl next to me, and smiled. He took the picture, and then, looking at it, frowned and said, "Uh, let's do that one again."
"See!" I shouted triumphantly. "I told you so!"
"No," he said, "she closed her eyes. She fucked up, not you. Now, one more time."
I once more assumed the standard deer-in-the-headlights picture pose. "No," he said. "No, don't do that."
"Don't do what?" I said.
"Don't duck down like that. She's shorter than you, that's a fact of life. Deal with it." Interesting theory. I stood up straight.
He finally took a picture that he seemed happy with. Then, as he melted back into the crowd..."You're not unphotogenic," he yelled over the music. "You have amazing cheekbones."
I felt like I was floating. Amazing cheekbones! A girl waits her whole life for a compliment like that. Perhaps that compliment was the small ego boost necessary to bring about the events of part two of the evening. And here a little background info becomes necessary.
I don't know if you followed the comments on this post, but it seems that I was found out, my cover blown, my blog discovered by an unidentified former date from the internet. Horrors! Naturally I frantically went through a list of potential suspects in my head, narrowing the choice down to two, and beyond that burning in the agonizing suspense of the unresolved mystery.
And, still glowing from the cheekbones compliment, who did I see across the dance floor in one of those 'only in Cambridge' moments, but Suspect Number One. "Holy shit!" I yelled. "I went out with that guy!"
"Ok," my roommate said, "what do you need us to do?"
"Dance me over there!" I said, and they did, my roommate and her friend, dancing me across the crowded floor to the other side of the club, where I "accidentally" bumped into Suspect Number One. "Hey, I know you!" I yelled over the loud, thumping music. "We went out!"
"Whoa," he said. "Hey!"
"You never called me!" I said.
"You never called me!" he said.
"Have you been reading my blog?!" I blurted out.
He looked first taken aback, then bashful, and then he laughed. I took that as a yes. "I knew it was you!" I said. "I can't believe you're here!"
"I can't believe you're here!"
We danced and caught up a bit, screaming at each other over the music. I remember insisting that he buy me a drink. Not that I'm incapable of buying my own drinks, mind you, but my purse was all the way over on the other side of the room. He very nicely complied, although I am quite certain that I did not need that last drink. We danced closer. We kissed. At some point he suggested leaving, and I went with him. We walked the mile or so back to his apartment, which I remembered from our first and only date. When he asked if I wanted to come up though, I declined, this time. He offered to walk me the few more blocks to my apartment, and I said ok.
Then he called me Jen. "What?" I said. "Did you just call me Jen?" Suddenly a couple of puzzling moments in the noise and confusion of the club earlier became a bit clearer. "You've been calling me Jen all night, haven't you?"
"Yeah, well, that's your name, isn't it?"
"So what's your name then?"
"Heh. No seriously, what's your name? Are you sure it isn't Jen?"
"I can't believe you don't know my name! It's in my blog! Have you even read my blog? You say you have but now I'm not sure."
"I know your blog's name..."
"Oh, come on, why are you getting so upset about this? We went out so long ago, and I've gone out with other girls since then..."
"How many dates have you gone on since we went out?"
"I don't know, ten?"
"Ten? I scoffed. Ten? I've gone out on so many more, and I still remember your name."
"Come on, tell me your name..."
Of course, not thirty seconds later I fucked up and said my own name. I don't even remember the context, but I think I was quoting something someone said to me. Also, I was quite drunk.
"Rachel! Of course, I knew your name was Rachel!"
We reached my street, made up (and out), and said goodnight. Then we parted, walking in opposite directions. When he got to the end of my street, he called out. I didn't hear what he said, so I turned around, and as I did I tripped rather spectacularly over a (quite large and, one would think, noticeable) pile of Tuesday night garbage on the sidewalk. I cursed, forgot why I had turned around in the first place, and concentrated on walking in something approximating a straight line and getting safely into my house without tripping over anything else. Once inside, I washed my face, brushed my teeth, had some special quality time with my toilet, and then fell into bed and didn't get up until noon today.
But I still don't know what he said.
Monday, November 19, 2007
When I expressed my concern at being able to find each other, he had this to say in response:
I will see you at noon then. It will probably be crowded, but I will wear one of those giant foam hands with the extended index finger so you will be able to recognize me.
Heh. What a joker. Unless...wouldn't it be awesome if he actually did wear a giant foam finger? In fact, I think I'll be a little disappointed if he doesn't. After all, you know what they say about guys with big, latex hands, don't you? No? You don't? Well...I bet they never have any trouble hailing a cab, for one thing. And they have really big...hearts. Yes, that's it. Huge, throbbing hearts.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
This is what happens when you have nothing to blog about and every single animal protection league, society, and association in the continental U.S. won't stop sending cloyingly adorable and guilt-inducing gifts.
Please, PETA, ASPCA, and animal rescue leagues of the world; this has to stop. The notecards, the return address labels, the wrapping paper, the desk calendar, the dog tags, the calculator, the umbrella; they are all so lovely and thoughtful and squishily adorable, but the problem is, I don't have a dog to put tags on, I don't write that many letters, and honestly, I'm not totally convinced that that umbrella is even waterproof. You see, several years ago I had a full-time job and a salary and made a couple modest donations to what I assumed was a local animal rescue league, but in fact turns out to be located inNew York state. (Duped!) However, I am now what we call
Anyway, Animal People Whose Mailing Lists I Am On, I would just like you to know that I can't be guilted anymore. As I don't have any money at the moment (or most likely throughout the forseeable future), I am unable to contribute to your very worthy cause. But please, for the love of kittens, please stop sending me your crap. Because the days are long, the blogging is slow, and I still have piles of cards crying out for a felt-tipped pen and an irreverant hand. Please, APWMLIAO, don't make me do it.
Friday, November 16, 2007
"So, you play the guitar?" I asked.
"So, have you seen any movies lately?" he replied.
"Oh, I...well I don't really get out to the theater much anymore, but the last movie I saw was Darjeeling Limited."
"What did you think?"
"Oh, I loved it, it was great. Yup."
"So, do you see your family often?" he asked.
"No, actually not that often at all. I'm not even going home for Thanksgiving this year, because I need to stay and study. But I have a friend who's coming to visit, so it won't be that bad. I'm actually kind of nervous about entertaining her, because, I mean, where do you go on Thanksgiving? Everything will be closed. But we'll figure something out, I'm sure."
"So, are you going home for Thanksgiving?" he asked.
"Uh...no....I'm...not. Because I need to...study."
"So, you play the guitar?" I tried again.
"Yeah, for about fifteen years or so, I guess."
"I would love to play the guitar," I said. "I've tried but it just didn't work out."
"It's really easy, actually."
"I hate people like you."
"Uh, I mean, it's really hard? But I mean, the first part, learning all the chords, is the hardest. It becomes kind of mindless after a point. I just play while I'm sitting on the couch watching tv. I'm sure my roommates don't appreciate it so much, but it's relaxing for me."
"I would love it if I had a roommate who played. I find it soothing, maybe because my dad always played when I was growing up, and I could always hear him play while I was in bed at night. He would play all the time, I mean, he used to have a music store, actually, and he plays the guitar, banjo, anything with strings. Luckily he never tried to force it on me. He tried teaching me a couple times, but I just had no interest. It wasn't until college that I decided to learn, and then I just taught myself chords from a book."
"Did you ever take lessons?"
"Just a few times, at my dad's store, because I figured, why not? But it didn't last very long. And my dad tried to teach me a few things, but it's hard learning from your parents, you know?"
"Oh, does your dad play?"
"Uh...yeah. I...I give up."
"What? Why are you banging your head on the table like that?"
Perhaps it was more the effects of the second beer kicking in, but we finally (finally) managed to connect on a somewhat meaningful level when the topic turned to food. Then, suddenly we couldn't stop talking; about our favorite foods, cooking classes we had both taken at the same culinary school, gushing about our favorite restaurants, and discovering in the process that we live just blocks from each other (of course). And he's not a vegetarian, so perhaps there is hope.
Though I'm just not sure how much a shared passion for food makes up for. I mean, sharing an appreciation for a good, stinky cheese has its merits. But I'm envisioning down the road, when I ask him five times to pick up milk on his way home, and he comes in and I say, 'Did you get the milk?' and he says, 'Oh, did you want me to pick up milk?' And then I will be forced to kill him and will spend the rest of my life in jail, because my lawyer is an alcoholic and the judge hates me. I mean, I'm just not sure I'm ready for that kind of commitment.
I think we're going to go out again. But I swear, if he asks me what I'm doing for Thanksgiving one more time, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
1. Make-or-break exam coming up on Dec. 5 which theoretically I have been preparing for for the last year and a half. I'll modify this a bit by saying that while I have been aware of the existence of this exam for the last year and a half, actual studying did not commence until May. For the last 6 months, however, my life has been nothing but class, homework, lesson plans, performing those small acts of maintenance required to sustain my mortal existence, and studying for this effing exam. And what are the requirements for passing this exam? you may ask. Oh, just a passing knowledge of the last eight hundred years of French literature, is all. In case you were wondering how one would prepare for this impossible and thankless task, here's what's worked for me:
- Read 100 of the most important works of French literature from the Middle Ages through the 20th century.
- Realize that you cannot remember a single thing you read.
- Go back. Read them again. Make some flashcards.
2. More time spent studying means less time for dating. Less time for dating means fewer posts regaling you with my dating (mis-)adventures. However, lack of free time isn't the only thing preventing me from dating, which brings us to the third Thing That Sucks About My Life:
3. I have run out of guys to date. Seriously. There is no one on the horizon, no e-mails being exchanged, no winking, no wooing, THERE IS NO ONE ELSE. I have dated Boston, and I have lost. Have you ever seen that commercial that was on a while ago, with that guy, and he's typing away and then his computer is all, "You have reached the end of the internet"? Yeah, it's kind of like that over here, only more boring. All I can do now is sit and twiddle my thumbs and wait for them to start shipping men in from other cities, or hope that someone somewhere breaks up with his current girlfriend. (I do put the hopeless in hopeless romantic, don't I?)
4. Daylight Savings Time and the joy that is November in Boston. (I can and will totally blame Daylight Savings Time for not posting). The cold, the dark, they weigh on my delicate poet's soul. I come home and put on my pajamas at 3:00. At 4:30 I'm starving and think it's dinnertime, and by 7:00 I'm all, what, it's not bedtime yet? It's all I can do just to hold a glass of wine in one weary hand and a copy of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu in the other. The only thing I feel capable of writing at times like this are weepy letters to my ex-boyfriend, and that's not good for anyone. (Unless you want to read weepy letters to my ex-boyfriend, in which case let me know, 'cause man, do I have a stockpile of those. They could keep this blog going until spring, at least).
So there, you see, for these reasons and so many more, posting may be light around here until January. But! I will make it up to you, I swear! And I will start with this gift I have made for you. Behold, it's a mix cd!
Well, I guess it's actually a playlist, but it started out as a mix cd, which I made as a belated birthday present for Talia, after discovering that origami notecards aside, what she really was hoping for on her birthday was another mix cd. Anyway, I spent a really long time (oh my god, so long), time that really should have been spent reading Proust, putting this list together, and then uploading it (my god! the uploading!) so that I could share it with you all. I had this idea that instead of writing a post I would just put up the playlist instead, and then making the damn thing ended up taking much longer that writing a post would have (so much longer!) and then I ended up writing this whole post around it anyway...
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I really hope you enjoy it.
Anyway, I'm sure I'll be around, writing a bit here and there, but for the next couple months posting will be light. So, listen to the music, enjoy, and try not to miss me too much. I'll be back soon.
Now if you'll excuse me, I must be In Search of Lost Time.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Oh my god, is that really what I look like? Is that really what I SOUND like?
I always kind of suspected that my shoulder blades stick out further than my boobs, but now I have proof.
I can't believe how many people are going to watch me doing this.
Will it ever end? My god, it's been almost an hour...
And then the absolute worst, the one thing you never want to think in that situation, or ever, actually:
Oh my god, I look like my mother.
As I was watching it, parts of it came back to me, and I remembered, oh yeah, this is the part where I become acutely aware of the camera...and now this is the part where I realize my sweater is coated in chalk dust and I start frantically brushing myself off...
Because I was teaching, I mean. Why, what did you think?
I've been dreading this project all semester, and it's finally almost over. Now I just have to choose a short clip to show to a group of my peers in our teaching methods class on Tuesday. But what will I show? Me writing on the board? The students mumbling half-hearted responses? But it's all so very scintillating!
I'm assuming there will be wine at our meeting. Hopefully lots of it. I'll drink to another 27 years of never seeing myself on the wrong end of a video camera again.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
The perfect new pair of black leather boots and and a cozy and delicious pre-departure brunch were just icing on the (cup)cake(s).
Happy birthday, Tal!