Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"There, now we're on the same plane."

Love Triangles. Sometimes other shapes, a trapezoid perhaps, or some kind of strange rhombus. (The ones your geometry teacher threw into the test to make sure you knew your formulas, even though that shape looked absurd and resistant to any preplanned equation.) Not a square, because the sides are all even and the angles equal. And absolutely never a circle, because it’s never-ending, and harmonious and encapsulates everything in a pretty little cliché package.

Triangles. Because one point always reaches out to two others, because the only way to get to the third angle is through the second.

I’d been in love with someone unavailable for months. And lo and behold, one day I’m introduced to his friend, who quite quickly falls for me. Ninety percent of the time, this is how we know love. Unrequited, unreturned, secret, and completely missed. We rarely meet. Hardly ever can we cut the third point of the triangle and reduce our existence to a straight line that runs on a single plane. Because if we are not part of a triangle, we are merely a point. A one-dimensional dot surrounded by other haphazard dots, some on the same plane, some living in an alternate dimension. In fact, if we are lucky, we meet up with two others, we experience the passion of creating a three-pointed shape, even if that passion is misdirected and unanswered.

Every once in a while, however, we meet another dot, other than ourselves, who may or may not be on the same plane we are. The passion is there, the energy. The equation seems to be well-made. Suddenly you look around and realize that there is no one else. The third point, that you have grown so accustomed to, is not there. The only shape you are creating is a single line, between two points, on a plane all by itself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

my loneliness has no real name

my loneliness has no real name
unlike my comrades who shout out jens and rebeccas and saras

my loneliness has no real name
worthy of wrestling Kilimanjaro, let alone flying to the continent where it all began

my loneliness has no real name
that one can attach a face to as the lights go out and the air conditioner is reeling and i begin to touch myself but beg to find out "how quickly can i get this over with?"

my loneliness has no real name
only a dance, a waltz, that glides in as the 19th hour approaches
my bedroom and i measuring the height of our shadow as the sun sets in the LA sky,
weighing the heat of the afternoon and noting it's loss of density as night arrives
the ordained irony of it all

my loneliness has no real name
only an inkling of a feeling, a swoosh, swoosh, swoosh
of the amniotic fluid that once contained me soundly in my mother's belly

my loneliness is human
but has no real name.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Change is the only constant? or a writing from my younger years.

"Bullshit!" I scream as the fire alarm blares through my ears. Bullshit. All of it. In out around backwards forwards we never know. I never know. I never know I never know. Because its all these relationships. Relationships. What are they? They that feed me and breathe me and eat me. Constantly sucking my fucking soul. My soul. Which is what? What what what what what. What is it? Questions always questions. Through my mind, through my ears, through my mouth. And then its bullshit, again. And I take that drag and I suck it up because shit, I’m too fuck scared, too fucking guilty to take that risk.

So she leans against me, grabs my hand, rubs my hand, places my hand on her breast. And slowly her pelvis rises. The smell of cheap white wine mixed with marijuana ooze from her lips. And I draw closer as her back arches, anticipating what is to come. Slowly, her intentions beyond clear, she grabs my head, pulls my hair and our lips meet. That sexual tension from the day I laid my eyes on her rapidly changes to an overwhelming aura of energy. But all I keep thinking is “she wants it, she wants it so bad”. Two candles lit on the ashtray of a coffee table are blown out and her hand carefully leads mine into her bedroom. The expression she used earlier on in the night “Just remember, you can’t wear a condom over your heart” plays out over and over in my mind. I take off my shirt and our naked bodies create a warmth overpowering the cool night air. I no longer think, I just do. I do what my body, what her body, needs me to do. As she moans with pleasure, I quickly fall back to reality. This is my friend. This is my friend. This is my friend. But the words once again sink into the subliminal, just like last weekend. We find ourselves tangled in a web, where neither one of us knows who is the black widow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The History Lesson Continues

You did end up spilling your guts to him (whether you hit "send" or another Bell did is no matter), and he didn't go running in the other direction. When we pay attention to history, we can progress.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Birthday Blog

They say, “age is just a number,” but I disagree. Numbers are not at all like age. Numbers are objective and unbiased. They do not carry the weight of emotion. Sometimes they are invisible, sometimes they are imaginary, sometimes they are represented by letters (another code of semantics, a topic for a different day), but whatever they are, age certainly is not.

Of course we all have feelings about numbers. We have favorite numbers or lucky numbers or numbers that feel right or appear repeatedly in our lives. Some of us have aversions to certain numbers. There are Godly numbers, numbers in which bad things happen or people die. Many of us catch a glimpse of the clock at precisely the same time on a regular basis. Whether these things are controlled by a greater force, or simply the great force of our own belief, is neither here nor there. The point is, I love even numbers. For some reason it seems to me that most people prefer odd numbers or prime numbers for their uniqueness. A number that cannot be split evenly is definitive. But I have always found myself drawn to numbers like 2 and 4. Small, round, perfectly symmetrical numbers that divide easily and multiply into more familiar and comfortable numbers.

Perhaps this comes from a childhood full of “Sorry!” tournaments in which drawing a “2” meant you got to draw again and, when planned correctly, drawing a “4” meant you got to back straight into your safety zone, skipping the course of the entire board. The odd numbers were not nearly as exciting. Number 11 (a prime) was an anticlimactic card you always drew when what you really wanted was a Sorry! It didn’t actually allow you to wipe out your opponent, but simply trade places with him. Drawing a 7 was only worthwhile if you had two pawns perfectly distanced from both your “home” and each other, and otherwise, was a waste of a special card. My favorite square on the board was exactly 8 squares away from “home,” right on the corner in a very aesthetically pleasing position. In my strange little right-centric, 7-year-old brain, even numbers were simply the most pleasing and palatable.

The other rather strange thing about me was that at a young age I decided it was too difficult to choose favorites and therefore I hadn’t any. When you’re five all anyone wants to know is your favorite color or your favorite food. As you get older new friends are interested in what your favorite music is or your favorite movie. Intellectuals want you to choose a favorite book and every time I tell people I’m an actor they want to know who my favorite actor or actress is. I always prescribed to the philosophy that different things are good for different situations. My favorite color to wear is not my favorite color to paint my walls. My favorite music to dance to is not my favorite music to fall asleep to and how on earth can I pick a favorite food when so much of it tastes so good?

As my friends started to turn 24 around the end of last year and into this year, I thought, “well 24 is not so different from 23.” My two closest friends are both 9 months older than I am, yet they at 24 and myself at 23 were going through similar experiences in life, dealing with the same age-appropriate issues. I kept thinking as my own 24th birthday approached that there was so little difference between the two ages, and that, at 24, I would still be very young. When my birthday arrived, as birthdays are wont to do, 24 felt like nothing at all. Yesterday and today and tomorrow are all the same, until they are far away and become the distant past. Then I got a birthday text message from a friend that read, “happy birthday, do you feel nice and even now?” And at that moment I remembered: 24 is my favorite number! Of all the many things of which I could choose a favorite, the only favorite I ever settled on was a number. Twenty four is a wonderfully round, comfortable number. It is greatly divisible, it is the number of hours in a day, double the number of months in a year, and it is the marriage of my two favorite cards in “Sorry!” My whole life, 24 is the only favorite I could ever settle on and now it also represents my age! But I had never until this point associated my age with my feelings about this number. My age was a very different thing, it did not represent roundness or balance, in fact, quite the opposite. Twenty-four is a time of career uncertainty, financial instability and romantic frustration.

It was only after my friend’s wonderfully (if unknowingly) insightful text that I gained a little perspective. If age is just a number, and a favorite number at that, then this year may not be so bad after all. And if I ever start feeling uneasy about my age, I’ll just refer to it as x.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fare Thee Well Blues

What happens when technology gets ahead of you? When you think you are using it for your advantage but you realize that, in all senses, it is truly a double-edged sword?

I’m afraid I have an addiction. To Facebook. To being connected all the time. My only problem is that everyone else has this addiction too.

What if we were faced with a challenge that not so long ago, was simply the way we lived? What if Facebook did not exist? I don’t mean specifically this one website. I’m using Facebook as an all encompassing term for Facebook, MySpace (does anyone other than unsigned rock bands even use MySpace anymore?), Twitter, and whatever rumored replacement for all of these is in the works.

What if we were forced to pick up the phone every once in a while? What if we were forced to convey our inflection by flexing our vocal chords instead of our pinky fingers to hit “Ctrl, I” or “Caps Lock?”

Even scarier a thought, what if my phone only made phone calls? Why do we even call it a phone anymore? It’s really so much more. Well, Apple, for one, has added iPhone as a separate category when labeling the kind of line your contact is calling from (e.g. office, home, mobile). Apparently an iPhone should not just be labeled simply as a mobile phone. There is merit in this assumption because it is not just a phone, after all it can be used for so much more than just phone calls.

Most times I love it. But lately, it seems to be getting the better of me. It’s as if I have forgotten how to approach my problems directly.

We can no longer make uneducated guesses about those around us, because we have the ability to educate ourselves about them without them even knowing! Nothing is up front any more. Everything is a complex game of strategy and timing.

We have added too many parts to the equation and I only ever made it to pre-calculus in high school, so I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. It’s time to take one of those away. (At least temporarily). Help me save me from myself. And if you find you’re one of those who actually need me (or should decide to want me), give me call.
Because I’m leaving.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'll sleep when I'm dead.

"I'll sleep when I'm dead" came to mind at 3:30 am as I tried to subside my rage at what I imagined to be a harmless immigrant collecting glass and plastic from the recyclables and hauling them noisily to the neighboring building to reduce, reuse, repeat in their blue bin. When what I imagined to be his black durable garbage bag began to fill too close to the brim, he proceeded to drag the clanging trash back to his car (in the alley of my building), start the engine, let it lull, and then drive away. I don't mean to sound devoid of emotion for a fellow human being having to collect trash before sunrise...everyone knows once the sun rises it's anyone's game...capitalism for god's sake...but for my sake, this may have been the first night I would have had two uninterrupted REM cycles in the past three weeks.

The quote "I'll sleep when I'm dead" was conceived by Warren Zevon, a rock and roll musician, whose prime came in the 70's and 80's and who, unlike me, had more of a problem with booze and FOMO (fear of missing out) than loud, flamboyant gays, construction workers, car alarms, and obnoxious neighbors. For him, there was "so much to do... on the farm"; for me, there is too much noise on the farm. I didn't discover the origins of this famously repeated phrase until this morning when I tried to make sense of the last three weeks.

Until yesterday, I had crows outside my window beginning my morning wake up at 6:30. For weeks I had been subjected to their "Koww, koww, koww, koww" (if you ever meet me in person, I would be more than happy to mimic the sound as I have it down pat). Morning, after endless morning, I believed the groundhog had seen its shadow and Bill Murray was lying in bed with me. "I got you babe" would play in the form of crow music and I unfortunately did not have an alarm clock to smash... or love interest to effortlessly charm with my knowledge of the previous day. I WAS ANGRY. FURIOUS even. But maddening as these ominous birds were, I knew there was a reason for their incessant nagging. Sunday morning I woke up (at 6:30 am) from a rather pleasant dream where my current crush has left her significant other and finally found her way to my arms. Of course the crows were chirping and as I lay there, enthralled by my night's reverie, I accepted those crows and all their shortcomings, because "if you can’t beat them, join them" and I knew it was time. I told my roomie about this Sunday morning catharsis and she replied with Discovery Channel-esque information that fascinated me in that moment and stunned me the next day- crows feed off energy. And sure enough, my energy toward them had been negative. They have an uncanny ability to recognize human faces and transmit information about "bad" humans by squawking.

Come Monday morning I woke up on my own accord, at 6:45, a natural habit at this point, to discover a caw-free air. I rested there, eyes open, eyes close, listening for my friends and their morning musings. However, by 7:10 I couldn't help but smile and pray that that smile wouldn't jinx the whole situation. Fingers crossed, it hasn't thus far.

My acceptance of what was, lead to the disappearance of what had been. Simple philosophy, hard to put to practice, but worth it if you do...  And if all else fails, i.e. this morning's trash-capade, get a prescription for Ambien CR and say "fuck you" Edgar Allan Poe and your "Nevermore".



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Whose Vows Are These, Anyway?

For some reason, by the age of five, girls are already planning their weddings. The idea of the event at that age usually involves nothing more than a fluffy white dress and the presence of some faceless groom. By the age of twelve we are beginning to put a face on that groom and it is usually that of our newest, most exciting crush. By fifteen we’re probably discussing with friends our time frame for marriage and childbearing. For me, it was married by 24, first child by 26. Seeing as how my 24th birthday is a mere two months away and one of the farthest things from my mind is a committed relationship, much less marriage, I’m going to go ahead and admit that my predictions were a little inaccurate.

My predicted time frame is becoming less common as women continue to gain power positions in their chosen professions, but it still exists for many young women, or as I continue to refer to myself and those my age, girls. It didn’t occur to me however, how off I really was until I turned 22 and realized that the best part about my life was how single I was. I say it like that because there are certainly degrees of being single and I was most definitely the most single a girl could be. Doing what I wanted, when I wanted, with whom I wanted and there was no one at the other end of a text message wondering about any of those W’s. I knew I was happy to be single, but it was a temporary situation and when the right guy came along surely things would change.

It wasn’t until my next birthday that I began to have the thought that blew my mind. It blew my mind more than any thought I had had before because it wasn’t so much a realization of the world around me, as it was a realization of myself and the possible outcomes of my own life. It’s like reading a choose your own adventure book and thinking you chose exactly the right path to end up with all the gold at the end only to find as you turn the last page that you made a fatal mistake on page 9 that inevitably landed you in the tar pit. I realized that while it was possible that marriage would not occur until later in my life, it was also just as possible that marriage not occur at all. What if I never marry?

Perhaps this thought had never crossed my mind because society likes to lead us into monogamous lifelong partnership, but most likely it was due to the fact that I was the product of a highly successful marriage which resulted in a happy, functional family. A rare thing these days, admittedly, but so strong in my life that I had never imagined my own family would turn out any other way. Everyone talks about the times in their lives when they realized that they were adults and their parents were simply other adults coexisting in the adult world. For me, this was it. Yes, it was true that my parents had chosen the path of a wonderfully healthy nuclear family with a mom and a dad and two kids. But they were just people, like me. Not necessarily predictions of how my own life would turn out. And it was possible that I, as an adult, would choose my own path different from my parents’ choice.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t bitter. This was not a decision that I made at 23, choosing to remain single. But the mere thought that it was a possibility turned my world upside down. All of a sudden it was as if the pressure was off. I was going to be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding in a few short months (a cousin who had shared my marital musings as a child), a position I had been promised some time in high school when we were planning out the next ten years of our love lives. She managed to stick to her plan. I realized my need for revisions. There was something about that realization that, for the first time, was miraculously okay.

Now here I am a year later, about to turn the age at which I’m supposed to wed (according to my sophomoric self), nowhere near where I thought I’d be. But after a year of telling myself that it’s possible I won’t wed at all, the pressure’s off. And that lack of pressure seems to have led me to have one of the most enjoyable first dates I’ve ever had.

So where’s that fluffy white dress?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Being 24 means drinking Bloody Mary’s.

Being 24 means drinking bloody Mary’s on the flight home for your mom’s birthday.  
Being 24 means you can’t afford the second single shot of Sky Vodka but the flight attendant recognizes a sweet smile and friendly face and gives it to you anyway, wishing you a happy birthday.  
Being 24 means you look at the nutrition facts, get excited that a serving size of Mr. and Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix is only 70 calories and that serving size is ONE WHOLE CAN!   
Being 24 means you are no longer 5, 10, 13, 16, 18, or 21 and selfishness is an extremely unattractive character trait.   
Being 24 means you sleep with someone, they ditch you the next day, and you move on.   
Being 24 means you know who holds weight in your life; those who don’t, you give 12-48 hours of your attention and expect nothing more and nothing less from them.   
Being 24 means you are one step closer to 25 but it doesn’t fucking matter because a number is a number is a number and in the end that number is just a convention.   
Being 24 means you have no idea what this life has to offer, no clue which road to take, no beginning, middle or end in sight, but try to accept the vastness with an open heart and mind. 
Being 24 means I am in charge of my own destiny and it’s going to be a good one.     
Being 24 means....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Standard

In relationships, we must all find a way to get what we want but continue to be accommodating enough to be able to compromise with our partner. We must decide what is most important to us, what cannot be changed, and in which areas we are willing to meet half-way. For instance, although I am a social person and feel more comfortable around others than alone, if my partner prefers to fly solo to social events in his circle, or needs to be apart most nights of the week, I am happy to accommodate. However, if his need to be alone turns into a suspicious guessing game of his whereabouts, I’m out. Donezos. I don’t tolerate lying (and yes, to all you infidels, omitting the truth is a form of lying), but I am happy to adjust my social rhythms in order to ease the comfort of my significant other.

Over the years, through various failed relationships, or what I like to call learning experiences, I have discovered a number of things about myself, including what my needs are. I have learned what I absolutely can’t live without (or with). And, most importantly, I have learned which of my own habits and expectations are absurd and would drive anyone up a wall or just simply away. Learning experiences are important. They allow us not to make the same mistake twice and when we see an all too familiar situation coming our way we can dodge it like WeHo boys dodge balls (in the WeHo dodgeball league, that is ). It is from our learning experiences that we are able to set our standards.

I’ve heard tell that once a single lady hits her 30s and starts to hear her biological clock ticking (if that is a clock she cares about) her standards may start to relax as she realizes she has built her “Mr. Right” into a Mr. Doesn’t-Exist-Anywhere-But-In-Her-Head-And-In-The-Movies. However, I’m NOT 30. I’m not even half a decade away from 30. And yet, I have begun to wonder, are my standards too high? This question used to pertain solely to romantic relationships, but more often these days I am caused to wonder if my standards for all people are too high? Am I expecting something no one is able to give? Am I actually treating people the same way they treat me and just not realizing it? Why has it become the norm to blow people off?

Just a couple weeks ago, my fellow Bell shared with you the evening she was forced to replace her booty call with a bottle of wine. As we sat together yesterday contemplating our past and current endeavors in love and friendship, we nearly simultaneously realized that very currently, we were being blown off. No call, no show. In the professional world, a “no call/no show” equals no job. So giving my personal life as much weight as a minimum wage job (which I think is more than fair) a no call/no show should equal a “no time for you” dismissal. But were I to stick to that rule consistently throughout my life, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have any friends left. Or maybe I’d have five. Not enough to count on two hands, that’s for sure.

I once thought that perhaps I needed to tare my personal scale of acceptance and expectation in order for my love life to be more successful. I have recently realized, however, that my love life is not the only thing out of whack. My entire social life is a series of let-downs and frustrations and because I am not pushing 30, I refuse to believe it is a sign that I need to lower my standards.

For now, I maintain that my desire for communication and mutual respect is not asking too much, so I will leave this one open for discussion. When my boss has gone through 27 employees in 3 months, my roommate has been used and abused by consecutive love interests and I can’t even get an hour long time commitment from a dear old friend, I have to wonder: is it just me, or are social behavioral standards lowering at an exponential rate?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's all just a big ole chess board.

I can't say I know how to play chess.

But I think if I was told the rules I’d be a damn fine player.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

what am i doing?
what are we all doing?
these questions surface and no answer for restitution.
it doesn't even matter the subject. 
you can apply those two questions to anything.
what am i doing enjoying this persons company when they are in a committed relationship?
what are we all doing pretending to enjoy an evening at a bar when in fact we are all lonely human beings looking for the next person to fill our void.
paul simon was WRONG. we are not rocks nor island. we are nerves carrying reverse signals to arteries...and somehow FEEL things. ISNT THAT CRAZY?
we feel things. 
i think we forget that we feel. 
if i were to take a minute with myself, sitting here at this computer at 12:17 at night, tears streaming down my face, i would realize i'm just human. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Census Report

According to the 2000 Census (this information is almost out of date, however, so make sure to fill out your 2010 Census forms, everybody!) my neighborhood has a male to female ratio higher than that of the county at large. 1.12 to 1. Statistically, it is not a particularly young neighborhood, but that is really only due to the fact that a mere 6.4% of residents are 19 and younger (read: single people don’t have kids). Half of the population clock in between 25 and 44 and more than a quarter are between the ages of 25 and 34, quite a desirable range, if I do say so. These stats are looking pretty good for a single gal in her twenties! I read on to find that not only are the residents, young, male and single (an average household size of 1.53 versus the national average of 3.14), but smart as well! Only 8.8% of the residents didn’t finish high school, versus the 30% of the rest of the county. This information is getting increasingly exciting, but after reading a little bit further I will find that a whopping 41% of my city’s population identify as gay or bisexual men. Womp Womp.

I am constantly surrounded by young men who care how they look and what they eat, who are good to their bodies, know how to dress, can party like it’s 1999 all the time (even Tuesday nights!), who drive nice cars, who are generally outgoing and friendly and who don’t even notice me walk into a room. This is like straight girl purgatory. Every time I want to go out somewhere in the neighborhood (because one great thing about my location is how much is within walking distance), I find myself being almost uncomfortably over-looked.

I am by no means cocky about my appearance, but I know I am a relatively good-looking girl. That, along with the fact that straight men have a tendency to “check out” any female who passes them by, means I am used to a certain amount of male attention (wanted or unwanted).

I feel like I’m in the twilight zone around here. Everywhere I go I realize that no man has taken stock of my presence. This can be a liberating feeling, especially when out dancing. Who doesn’t do their best dancing when they think no one is watching (i.e. alone in your room with your favorite guilty-pleasure pop tune blasting)? Eventually, though, it gets a little frustrating. I can’t catch anyone’s eye. Gay men and straight girls make great friends to each other, but no one at this bar is looking for a friend. If there’s something gay men do more than their lesbian or straight counterparts, it’s cruise. And guaranteed, in my part of town, no one is cruising me.

If there is one thing living here is teaching me, it’s to enjoy this time as a single female. If at first these nights out in Boytown were exciting, and then rather frustrating, they must now become a reminder to continue to focus on myself. No one, male or female, has ever gotten anywhere without a whole lot of self-love. Who needs validation from the opposite (or same) sex? Well, we all do, sometimes. But more importantly I need: a) a job; b) to further my career c); to maintain good health and a fit body; d) strong friendships and familial relationships. After all that, who has time for sex and love? One day I will, but for now I’m happy to be surrounded by potential tennis partners.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Taco Salad

The prices soar in this economic crisis.
Taco salads are more and more expensive. 
An excellent taco salad takes hours, if not days, to cultivate.   

The crisp shell, acting as hollow mound to protect the goodness inside  
The shredded lettuce, giving shape and adornment 
The red of the tomatoes: somewhere between a lava and a lust
The beef…and all its scrumptious juices… 
The seducing avocado - plump and tender  - always leaves me wanting more.   

I must note, I personally forgo the cheese; most of us in today’s society are lactose intolerant…bad for the tummy.   

Patiently, I bide my time for the purrfect taco salad to come along. 
And don’t be fooled, I’m always down for new variations.
However, I like to have an understanding of where it’s coming from and who helped it along the way.   

Oh, and never forget the splash of Tabasco. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Battle Cry

How is it possible to be a single twenty-something and not think about doing it? With everyone, all the time. Some days I wonder if I haven’t somehow been transformed into a thirteen-year-old-boy because everyone I see turns into a potential mate. Even that possibly Autistic, but quirkily attractive cashier at CVS. Did we lock eyes for longer than the average three quarters of a second? And, more importantly, does that mean something? What it means is that I have come to accept disconnected apathy as the norm for human interaction, and any deviation from that is highly noticeable and inevitably intriguing. I make human connection multiple times a day: at the grocery store, the bank, the parking garage. We are all used to this routine. “Hi, how are you today?” “I’m good, thanks, you?” “I’m fine.” The end. A three sentence exchange that anyone could predict nearly verbatim and not once was a head lifted, a brow raised.

Everyday we ignore each other. And so it doesn’t take much to excite me or to make me feel important or even desired. The kindness of the man at the UPS store who is willing to make my copies even though the store is (at the rude insistence of his unhappy co-worker) technically closed, does not go unnoticed on my part. No, quite the opposite, in fact. It actually excites the hormone inside me that says, “maybe he’s doing it because he likes you, because he thinks you’re cute. Because you’ll walk away from the storefront into the sunset together after he’s locked up for the night…” I’m sorry, where was I?
That is exactly the problem. Any amount of human attention paid to me is magnified in my mind and translates to attraction. And when someone is attracted to me, in my desperate state of being, how can I not be totally flattered and at least a little attracted back? The problem with this logic is that attention does not equal attraction. Most of the time attention simply equals attention, but we are so used to being glossed over in our daily interactions (and probably doing our fair share of glossing too) that the attention paid to us, which should be considered average courteous behavior, seems like over-the-top interest. And in my case, romantic interest.

So here is my call to arms. Let us make sincere interest the norm. Let us truly engage those around us, to whom we are required to speak on a daily, if not mundane basis. Let every interaction better us, or move our day forward in a positive way (or even negative, as long as we are being engaged and honest). Help me bring the standard of interaction up a notch or two so that every time Steve—who always rings in my toiletry purchase with a little extra pep—looks me in the eye for longer than a full second, I don’t assume it’s because he is looking for the faces of our future children. I just can’t keep getting let down like this.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Even my booty call doesn’t show up

It's 11:31. Thursday night. The night I planned to have one of my first booty call experiences. As a novice, perhaps I am not giving my caller a fair chance. She's busy, she's getting ready, she's sleeping, she's reading… who knows. I could be so far behind the times of bootycall that, in fact, I am a grandma receiver. But still! It's almost midnight and jobless or not, this lady has things to do tomorrow! I deserve a text of some sort to say “hey whats up, I can’t fuck tonight, sorry you got your pussy waxed a day early. Maybe next time? Xx” YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT. I got my pussy waxed a day early and did not end up with the worm…or fingers. So what am I left with, you ask? A two dollar bottle of Shiraz from Trader Joe’s, tights with brown cowboy boots and my flannel nighty. I'm not willing to strip the boots till it's actually tomorrow…12 a.m.

I just googled booty call (to see if it’s one word or a hypen or just two distinct words) and came across three intriguing webpages: onelinebootycall.com, “booty call” – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and imdb’s “Booty Call (1997).” The first expresses an ability to help you “meet your mate today!” I'm sorry, but the last time I checked, booty call meant fuck buddy. If we skip to the second website, the favored, always correct Wikipedia, it clearly states that this “telephone call is made with the sole intent of arranging a meeting for sexual acts with the person being contacted”. So no, no, no, no, no, onlinebootycall.com, I do not want a partner in life. This is not JDate. This is purely “I’m horny, you’re horny….wanna fuck?” LADIES AND GENTELMEN a quick interruption: it is now midnight. I will be removing my boots and making my way to the fridge for fresh strawberries. (Yes, I live in LA. Ben and Jerry's is only acceptable once a month and I used my get out of jail free card two nights ago). The extent of which I’ll go into the third website can be seen below… it clearly states what I’m not hittin’ tonight.

Pushing the humiliation aside, the worst part is she happens to be a friend. What happens next time the good ole college crew hangs out? Will there be tension? Will we make out again and plan yet another sexcapade that amounts to nothing?

I can’t be accountable for my words or actions right now, the bottle of wine is almost empty and I am its sole devourer. I guess I shrug it off and say, "to the wind!"; no place for flakes in my house, I have a rabbit that holds a steady key to my lock! Thank god this bottle of wine only cost two dollars.

One last note: under the “See also” section for booty call (on Wikipedia) it links to “drunk dialing”. This is what I need to refrain from doing right now.

A History Lesson

Being in love with someone else’s boyfriend sucks. It sucks more when he lives 3,000 miles away, in your hometown. It makes it even worse when you realize you haven’t had a crush this intense since you were twelve and everyone had a poster of Jonathan Taylor Thomas in their locker. It adds insult to injury when you wake up in a new city with only one real friend and, strangely, no libido. It rubs salt in the wound that everywhere you go you meet men who are in relationships. But the worst part of all, the thing that makes all of the above problems seem insignificant, the predicament that places an immoveable boulder in your path of self-improvement, is that you and he are friends. The only thing more disheartening than coveting another woman’s boyfriend, is coveting your friend.

Beyond the moral dilemma, there is added the issue of day-to-day survival. In today’s uber-connected world with fuzzy lines between reality and virtual-reality, you can speak to someone in the afternoon about his plans for that evening and then see photographic evidence of it pop up on your news feed four hours later (at least you know he wasn’t lying about why he had to go!). We must now cope with our problems in our faces at all times. If he’s truly your friend, if you honestly have an existing relationship with this person, his presence, regardless of his physical distance from you, is not going anywhere.

Of course if he were just an acquaintance, a friend of a friend or a distant co-worker or classmate, he could easily disappear with the click of a button. De-friending is easy when you know you’ll barely be missed, but how do you explain such an action if he’s asking you to send pictures of your new apartment? We are all familiar, whether we’ll admit it or not, with the pulsating temptation to virtually check in on people. We check in on the objects of our affection. We check in on the objects of their affection. We check in on past objects of our affection even if we are truly unaffected by their affections anymore. And even though few of us have big enough egos to believe it, they are all checking in on us too. In short, if you delete him from your friends list simply to stop yourself from obsessing over his unattainable existence, your actions will not go unnoticed.

It is wonderful that now, no matter where you are in the world, your friends are close by. No matter how many time zones separate you, being in touch is a few keystrokes away. But what happens if your friend is the person you need desperately to avoid? Being connected with him online is like being forced to pass by your seventh grade crush everyday because he’s always at his locker when you’re headed to U.S. History. There’s no avoiding it and worst of all, it feels kind of good.

We’ve all had our fair share of guiltless crushes from far away. That guy at the coffee shop who always serves your Americano with an extra smile you assume is just for you; the one with whom you repeatedly end up on the same subway car during your morning commute. These are welcome distractions from our otherwise mundane routines. There’s a freedom we get from obsessing from a distance. It’s a safe way to direct our affection in an anonymous, non-committal environment. In essence, these crushes don’t matter because nothing will ever come of them. There is little to no interaction between you and this person and that way it can live in your imagination as big or as small as you need it. When you’re ready to move on, you can make it disappear as easily as you can switch to the Starbucks three blocks closer to work. So what happens when you need to move on, but the object of your desire is a frequently called contact in your phone? It now becomes much more difficult to extract this fantasized relationship from your imagination. This is not just a day-dreamed scenario with a barista. It is a very real relationship that exists in the very real world and it is not of the same nature as the idyllic one living in your right brain.

A friendship is hard work, even harder when you secretly wish it were something more. You are constantly trying to find the balance between full support and total honesty. And truly, what is any relationship without honesty? Herein lies your predicament. When surveying close girlfriends, the one that leans more on the side of support than honesty will tell you that since he never talks to you about his girlfriend, he must love you too he just hasn’t admit it (to himself) yet. The one leaning towards (brutal) honesty will tell you to get over it, it’s unrealistic and unhealthy and this hang-up is perhaps the cause of your mysterious loss of libido. Perhaps they are both right (about everything), but your honest friend will tell you that even if the two of you are meant to be together it sure ain’t happening anytime soon, so move on.

If this is the opinion you’ve accepted, you now have to deal head on with the fact that he is still in your life. Maybe even permanently depending on how good a friend he is. Odds are, he’s a great friend. A great person. A loyal boyfriend. Always giving you positive feedback and confidence boosts just when you need them and making you feel needed at exactly the right times. Chances are he’s doing everything right all the time. This can be looked at as the reason why he’s so hard to be around (even in a virtual world). But this can also be the reason why you can continue to be his friend: he’s easy to support. You are, by definition of your obsession, in full support of his behavior as a friend.

You’ve got half of your role as a good friend down pat. But the other half? Not as simple. How do you find a way to be honest, without spilling your guts and sending him running in the other direction? The answer is painfully simple. The only real way to cope is to continue. And, at the risk of sounding cliché, eventually, something has got to give. Either you will find a way out of love, or he will find a way in. Nothing lasts forever. After all, you don’t have any posters of JTT on your wall now, do you? You will eventually move on, and as long as you remain a true friend, you can’t lose. Be thankful that you don’t have the kind of friendship that allows you to dish about your love lives to each other. What could be more painful than hearing how well things are going for him with someone else? And if you do have that kind of friendship, be thankful it’s not you he’s complaining about to his friends.

If honesty is the other half of your friendship role, then be honest about your desire to be his friend. Give him honest advice and support. Let yourself have honest relationships with those around you so you can stop neglecting potential new friendships. Remember that once upon a time, his was a new friendship too.

So before you go suspending your online accounts because his cyber presence is too much for you to bear, try to see the bigger picture. You can’t spend your entire semester coming in late to your U.S. History class. What you can do is enjoy the view as you pass his locker, and then get ready to pay attention in class, because history is bound to repeat itself.