December 2009


Tuesday I spoke with my friend Jack.  It’s hard to talk to him.

He is one of those people who are half-crazy, full of life and so ballooned with the idea of success that he is blind to his own teacher-and-braggart way of speaking.

I can’t stand it.

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Yet I am drawn to him. His big ideas for making just enough money doing one thing so he can turn around and use the capital to do something he loves – and will still make a fortune doing —  is this flavor of person I find often in my life.

“You have just got to believe in yourself. It’s a certain way of looking at the world. It’s taking risks and knowing when to grab that chance. I had a great chance working for the Denver Post. I could make six figures a year. But then I looked at the people who had worked there for 20, 30 years and I realized I didn’t want to be stuck in that kind of life.”

“Mm-hmm,” I said, thinking ‘commitment phobic’ and recalling his past history of several longer-term girlfriends, but also a history of one-night stands (including me) that would make any sane person run down to the hospital for STD tests.

“And so what I’m doing now is small company, but I’ve already got nationwide accounts set up. Nationwide accounts for this tiny company! And once I work there awhile, I can be independently wealthy. And then I can do what I want. I can write, publish books, I can buy a newspaper and …”

He continues in this vein for a while. I only manage to insert the occasional, “oh.”

It’s not really much of a conversation.

And half-way through it leaves me feeling like I’m not good enough. He casually casts out disdain for the corporate life and yet maintains respect for those of us who play it straight? Not sure I’d buy that one.

But I keep listening. Masochistic? Maybe. But as I listen, the painful part turns into this melodious background, white noise with a hum, a rhythm that has my brain firing in a billion directions about my own life.

I cradle the phone in one ear, pausing to touch a lampshade, feeling the soft, silky fabric of the inside on my fingertips as if I’ve never touched such a surface before. I stare at my hand through the shade, nearly black against the yellow light bulb, each finger blurred. (more…)

I’d love to be so organized that I already had two blogs posts ready for you this week, but oops, I ran out of time. 

Here’s what I do have done: 

 – 98 percent of my Christmas shopping 

– Menu planned for my parents visit Friday-Sunday. No clue what to do with them Saturday though, so I’ll take your suggestions.

– Outfit chosen (or at least narrowed) for Kevin’s parents’ house Christmas Eve.

Somehow, the blog posts did not get done. But since all of my friends are out of town anyway, you, dear readers, are probably also busy chugging egg nog or choking on family moments, depending on your plans.

Since this started as a single girl blog almost a year ago, I will ask one thing: If you know someone single this holiday, who works and cannot get home to see his or her family, pick up the phone and wish them a happy one. Because I’ve certainly been there, done that.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!

Quack.

I could hear Kevin laughing from the other room.

“Did you hear my duck?” I asked. He laughed his affirmative.

My duck is not a pet, but he follows me around a lot. That recent audible visit was the seventh time Kevin has observed me farting. I don’t do this on purpose, believe me.

The first time it happened, it just slipped out, as we were walking into my old apartment. He laughed that time, too.

“It wasn’t me,” I said. “It was a duck. Didn’t you see it?”

Since then, that’s the joke. I quack pretty often, probably because I eat oatmeal for breakfast and there’s nothing like strong fiber to get your air moving. (Hey – oatmeal isn’t for old people. You don’t look hot like I do without healthy food.)

The point of all this TMI is to ponder those things we do that we try to hide from our significant other. I think most people would agree that during the first month of dating you would NEVER quack loudly in front of your guy or gal. But several months, years into it?

What else do we hide from people at first? Zits? Odd habits like compulsive cleaning? Your penchant for watching “Golden Girls” between the sheets right before bed or your guilty pleasure of reading romance novels? Your strange Uncle Ernie, whose ear and nose hair are only half as odd as his personality? (more…)

“Hey, what’s your name?”

“Suzanne.”

“Really? That’s my mom’s name.”

Kevin has been doing this lately. He got that winning line from “I Love You, Man,” and has used it to replace the old “You come here often?”

Since he’s the classical Shy Guy, he wasn’t exactly a Cassanova flirter even when we first started dating. But his flirtatiousness was sweet and sincere, full of smiles and looks and little touches.

Worked for me then, works for me now. I have no complaints. I’ll start complaining when he stops the little touches when I walk by, the jokes about feeling me up. I think it keeps our relationship healthy.

Of course, flirting when you’re dating someone is a different dance than his moves now that we live together. Before we started dating, when we were just friends, we used to send each other text messages. Not sexting, but definitely flirty, with references to sex and chewing on ice cubes — akin to peeling the label off your beer bottle. I realized I liked him when I starting trying to touch him all the time, and teased him third-grade style by sticking my tongue out at him.

A girl I know just went on a so-so first date. She and the guy had some things in common and conversation was ok. But he was too nice, she said.

Ah, poor schmuck. Once you’re “too nice,” you’re screwed. At first, I thought she meant “too eager,” oozing desperation like bad cologne.  But she said that wasn’t it.  

“I guess it’s because he didn’t really flirt with me at all. He brought me flowers, paid for dinner. He was very sweet,” she said. “But come on! We’re on a date; let me know you’re interested.”

See guys? A little reference to the fact that you’d like to see us naked is not a bad thing. Just as long as it isn’t: “Is that a mirror in your pocket? Because I see myself in your pants.”

Once I had a guy just come up to me and tell me I was hot and he’d like to talk to me for awhile. You get bonus points for directness, as long as it’s not too cocky. So sure, I talked with him. He turned out to be a jerk though, so he didn’t score a phone number (or anything else).

But when it comes down to it, I prefer the sweet things Kevin says, even if they’re cheesy. Like the best one of all:

Me: Whatever. You’re not going to miss me, it’s fine. [sarcasm]
Kevin: Sure I will. I blink my eyes and I miss you. 
 
What are your favorite flirty moves? What’s the worst line you’ve ever heard?

As if the holidays weren’t stressful enough as it is.

“Your parents are going to be here for Christmas, right? What time are they arriving?”

This from Kevin over gchat one day.

Me: Sometime shortly after lunch, I guess. Why?
Him: My parents want to stop by and see the house before they go out to dinner.
Me: So this means our parents are going to meet? Plus your other relatives?
Him: Oh, yeah I guess so.
Me: So they’re just stopping by?
Him: Yeah, for a drink. Then I’ll go out to dinner with them.
Me: I don’t know about this. Are we ready for our parents to meet?

I must be on Santa’s “naughty” list this year.

I admit that I’m being more dramatic about this than necessary. Yes, we’re serious about each other. Yes, it’s probably OK for our parents to meet. But on Christmas Day? Yes, it would be fine. They’d say hello, have a jolly gin and next thing I know, they’d be inviting me and my parents along for their dinner out — or DUM DA DUM DUM – they’d end up staying to help eat the dinner I’m planning to cook for my parents.

It’s just too cheerfully Cleaver for me, ok? No, I’m not REALLY worried about it. But hey, why push these things any faster than necessary? Can’t they just meet over a our-kids-just-sealed-the-deal-meal to discuss who is paying for the photographer?

Kevin says he’s going to try to avoid it because he doesn’t like the idea either.

Now his parents are coming over for a  Friday cocktail to check out our new place, so they won’t have to stop by on Christmas.

Gee, that’s better. Now I have to clean the semi-unpacked house so they don’t think he live-in[sin] girlfriend is a slob or a bad housekeeper.

Are they selling alcohol-laced egg nog yet?

Well Kevin and I are officially moved into a house, and as we organize two houses into one (Goodwill loves us), I haven’t had time to write a good blog post.

So, I will simply report the merger is going well. He and I are geeks about organization, so we’ve been having a lot of fun with it. That, and we’ve both been pretty good about compromising as we decide which art to keep and which set of silverware is better.

Now, if we could just get the landlord to fix the grill on the back deck, we’d be all set!

I stared at the ceiling, feeling sort of like I was at the gynecologist. We chatted about the weather.

“Ok. Now pull on your skin right here.”

I followed her orders, tensed my muscles and held my breath.

“YEE-OW!”

And that, ladies and gentlemen,  is the sound of a Brazilian bikini wax. I had my first such experience Monday, and while I can’t claim I’d prefer the gyno, it’s a really tough call. Especially after she asked me to turn over to “do the rear.”

“Do you ever get grossed out doing this?” I asked, as I lay facedown on the table.

“No,” she said. “I’m also an X-ray tech and basically, I’ve seen it all.”

Not to TMI you to death, but typically I get a waxing once in awhile and shave most of the rest. Waxes are not cheap, and generally I don’t have a ton of money. But as I experienced the “take it all but the patch” for the first time, it occurred to me that guys really do have it easy.

I know a guy who let his girlfriend wax his back. Now THERE’S a guy who goes above and beyond the call of duty and gets a gold star for the year. Sure, wax it, but get a professional, right?

His wasn’t even so bad — just a bit thick in certain spots. Not the rugs you see on some guys’ shoulders that leave you thinking, “Oh yeah, I need to pick up brillo pads when I go to the store later.”

If my guy Kevin was a brillo pad, I would require him to wax it. Because hey, if I’m willing to get some very sensitive spots yanked to go (almost) bald in the name of beauty, frankly, I’d prefer no hair there when it comes to his back.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask, do you?