Friday, January 29, 2010

A Half-Hearted Apology & A Story

I was brainstorming what I should write about today and 9 out of 10 ideas were about...dun dun dun. Boys! Dating too, but mostly boys. I paused for a moment of self-loathing. And then I got over it.

I do hate that so many of these posts are probably going to be about boys. I bet I sound super boy crazy. Maybe I am. I don't really feel like I should have to apologize for it (because wouldn't that essentially be apologizing for who I am at this moment in my life?), but I kind of want to apologize for it. I want to apologize to the 18-year-old me who hoped never to become one of those girls whose life revolved around boys. Sorry hon. But you also thought you would be married by the time you were my age.

So I admit it. Sometimes my life does revolve around boys. In any case, it's certainly the most interesting topic in my life right now. I hardly think there are many people out there who want to read about my dating escapades, but I'm quite sure there are even fewer who would want to read about how I skipped out of work today for 2 hours to go to MoMA, or how I got free shipping on my last J.Crew order or how I hit Bobby Flay with my shopping cart when I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods. Ha! I just threw that last one in there to make it seem like my life is a lot cooler than it is (though I did almost bump into him once). Anyway, this is all to say that sadly this blog may end up becoming a little one-note. So, sorry.

And now for the story!

I wanted to write about the worst date I've been on in the last year. But in the spirit of not becoming That Bitter Single Girl, I decided instead to write about the BEST date I went on this year. When I first starting thinking about it, there wasn't actually a clear winner. Despite all my griping, I actually did go on some pretty great dates this year. There were several nearly-perfect dinner dates where we never ran out of things to talk about, continued with drinks after, and ended the night with a good-night kiss (or two or three). There was an amazingly cheesy date when we went ice-skating at the outdoor rink in Bryant Park, surrounded by skyscrapers and a beautifully-lit Christmas tree, just after it had snowed and everything was dusted with a film of white. And then there were those great "dates" when we ordered greasy take-out, sat on the couch and relished being comfortable enough with each other to just stay in.

But the date I recall the most fondly was none of the above. Actually I'm not sure I can even call it a date. The night I recall the most fondly then.

His name was...hmmm.  No, no, I remember his name. But maybe it isn't exactly fair to put his name on here when I'm not even sharing mine. So, let's just call him 'A'. I was out with some friends at Spitzer's one night when I spied these three guys in the corner of the bar, chatting amongst themselves. When I looked over, one of them gave me this big, toothy, super cute smile. I smiled back (I think) but that was it. My friends and I left the bar not too long afterwards and went down the street to another bar, where the night continued pretty uneventfully. The bar was starting to empty out and we were getting ready to call it a night when three guys walked in. The SAME three guys from Spitzer's. 'A' took one glance at me, pointed and practically screeched, "YOU! You were at Spitzer's!!!! I gave you a HUGE smile and you didn't even come over and say hi!"

I have to pause the story for a second. Doesn't this sound like the beginning of the most perfect how-I-met-your-mother kind of story? Yeah. Sadly, it didn't turn out that way. Instead it turned out that 'A' was moving to Seattle in three days. Three! Just my luck. We ended up talking until we closed the bar down at 4am. There was no initial plan to exchange numbers. What was the point, right? But then his friend practically forced him to ask for mine. And I figured, what the hell. It's not like he was going to call anyway.

But he did. Since he was moving, he had a pretty jam-packed schedule, but I agreed to meet up with him and oh, just TWENTY, of his friends the next night for drinks. They were throwing him a going-away barbeque and then heading to their favorite bar for one last hurrah. So, I went. And I brought two friends along as airbags. I couldn't quite believe myself. Was I really about to meet up with some random guy who was about to move and his entire group of friends? Sure, I'd done some out-of-character things in the past year but certainly nothing this pointless?

One of the first things 'A' said when we arrived was, "I bet in 19 hours, you'll wish I wasn't moving to Seattle." Oh god. Really? I rolled my eyes. And then four hours later, I was wishing he wasn't moving to Seattle.

Apart from the slightly cocky personality, he was amazing. He was easy to talk to and struck just the right balance of talking to me AND my friends but without completely ignoring all of his friends. He was a recently laid-off architect whose latest project had just been completed. He asked if I'd seen it (I hadn't), so when everyone else cleared out, we hopped in a cab and headed over to check it out. It was a gorgeous building. Even more gorgeous was the passion with which he described it. I know nothing about building construction, so he could have been making everything up, but even if that was the case, it was pretty hot. We wandered through all these back areas of the building with him pointing out all sorts of architectural details along the way. And then made out in a stairwell. And then he moved to Seattle and I never heard from him again.

Sometimes I wonder if that's why I can still look back on that night so fondly. Is it simply because there was nothing for me or him to feel sorry for at the end of the day? Is it simply because no one got hurt in the process? Would I still feel the same way about him if he hadn't moved to Seattle and we had actually gone on a second or third or fourth date? I guess I will never know the answer to these questions, but I do know this.

Sometimes it's the things we do in life that we think are pointless that end up becoming the things we enjoy the most.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


So, my first (slash second) post was pretty sappy. And really, for the most part, when I haven't just been disappointed by a boy for the hundredth time, I am overall a pretty happy person. Cynical? Yes. Bitter? Oh alright, yes, sometimes. See above. But overly emotional and always talking about my feelings? No. Today I reviewed my first (slash second) post and was a little shocked to see that I had used the word "cry" not once but three times. Like I said, I forget half the things I write. So for today, something a little more lighthearted.

Like my Spanish phrase-of-the-day calendar. I know, it's like a thousand percent dorky. But at the beginning of 2009, I bought one of those tear off a page each day calendars in an attempt to learn a little bit of Spanish. And by a little bit, I really do mean a little bit. For the first 3 months of the year, I could only remember one phrase: "Mi dia favorito es el viernes."  Translation: My favorite day is Friday. We decided it actually was quite a useful phrase to know. Very multi-purpose. For example, at work it could be used like this:

"When do you think we should have this conference call?"
"Mi dia favorito es el viernes."

Or if you were at a bar:

"We should grab a drink together sometime."
"Mi dia favorito es el viernes."

Or if you were planning a trip:

"Let's go to Rome."
"Mi dia favorito es el viernes."

Ok so maybe it doesn't work so well in that last example, but nonetheless a relatively versatile phrase. A full year of Spanish phrases later, I've only mastered a few additional key phrases, like "Vamos a tomar algo" (Let's go get a drink) and "Es fea" (It's ugly). Perhaps it's not the most effective way to learn a language, but I keep it around (and even bought a new one for 2010) because occasionally, my calendar surprises me with a slightly creepy insight into my life. Like the time that I spent a terrible, horrible weekend at work. Monday's phrase was "Me merezco un aumento" (I deserve a raise). True dat! And then there was the day when I showed up to work completely hungover and my calendar said, "Necesito dormir la siesta" (I need a nap). And then there was today. "Eres soltero?" (Are you single?) Why yes Calendar, thanks for reminding me. I AM single. Ugh. I suppose though, together with "Vamos a tomar algo," I can now start picking up Spaniards and Mexicans at bars! Just as long as they don't call me "fea."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Beginning, Take 2

I think it's only fitting that my first (slash second) post here is about how terrible my memory is. Short-term, long-term, all equally bad. Case in point: this morning, I was clicking through some blogs and thought, oh hey. I started a blog about a month ago too! So I tried to go to it. I went to, then I tried, then I tried before I gave up and just logged into my gmail account. I must say it's a good freaking thing that blogspot and gmail are linked otherwise I never would've remembered my password and I would've given up on the blog thing altogether.

So all that being said, the thing that I love about writing and journaling and well nowadays emailing, is that I can go back and read exactly what I was thinking at a certain point in time. Because usually I can't actually remember. I used to really love (well, I still do) a good old-fashioned, hand-written letter. But the problem is, you pour your heart out in a letter, stuff it in an envelope, slap a stamp on it, send it off, and it's gone forever. I mean, unless your ex-boyfriend is just crazy and sentimental enough to tuck it away into a book for safe-keeping, and you're on good enough terms with him to say, "Hey you, remember that letter I wrote you when I was 16? Can I read it?" (Although hypothetically, just hypothetically, if I were to ever write a letter like that, I would obviously make a copy of it before licking the envelope... ) Anyway, I've been pretty introspective the last few days (a direct result of boy troubles, job troubles, and general quarter-life what-the-hell-am-i-doing-with-my-life troubles), which always puts me in a reading and writing mood. I write long-winded emails that I'm sure are really hard to respond to and I read back through old emails that I wrote to girlfriends, ex-boyfriends. The amazing thing is that whenever I'm emotional and start fishing through my inbox, the emails my exes wrote me don't make me cry (at least, not usually). No, it's my emails that make me cry. My own words make me cry. So I have no one to blame for my puffy eyes but myself!

More than that though, I'm really just surprised at my own words. Like, wait, was that me? Did I write that? Did I actually think that? Did I really feel that way about him? I guess my surprise is a result of being really good at compartmentalizing my feelings. Pushing them aside and just forgetting that they exist. So, the point is, I had initially planned on writing this blog completely in the third person. It was going to be an experimental ground for unrelated posts, loosely autobiographical but largely fictionalized. A collection of short stories and maybe on occasion, a baby novella of a few related stories. And while I think I probably will still post in that way every now and then, the point of this right now is more for me. For me to remember. For me to remember what it was like to be 26, living in New York in 2010. The ups and the downs. The good and the bad.

So here goes. Here's to remembering the present.