Friday, August 29, 2008
The Alchemist in Jamaica Plain's Barack Obama Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech Watch Party, in which the seemingly only two straight men in the crowd, standing directly in front of me, blatantly picked up the seemingly only other straight women as I looked on: generally, not a great place to meet men.
But hey. The evening wasn't a total waste. Obama accepted the Democractic nomination. And the bartender was cute.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
What can I say. He came from spinning class, I came from a 6-mile run. We needed to eat at someplace around Wally's that wasn't greased-over pizza. Betty's Wok and Noodle, our first choice, was inexplicably closed, and we only wanted to walk down Huntington Ave so far. And I had an awesome grilled cheese sandwich with mushrooms.
Sparing you most of the details, last night's outing had a different tinge from previous dates. Familiarity, perhaps, taking off some of the dynamism. He's a hand-holder and reached for mine at every opportunity....at the club, jammed into a side table by the crowds, he stroked my forearm as I draped it over his shoulder. When he left to go to the men's room after supper, I snuck over to wait outside the door to surprise him....and he rather strode over to me as if expecting it. And he was tired and showed it...it was the first time our goodnight embrace was truncated with him saying, "to be continued"....rather than continuing on its own steam.
All well and good. Although the truncation gave me my first -- yes, first -- thought that this no-strings-attached business will have its challenges.
As I stepped out of his car and he revved off, rather than the usual waiting for me to get in my front door, I was in a moment overwhelmed with insecurity. Had I been denied just deserts, unliplocked when I wasn't ready.....dare to say, unfinished? Or was it that I hoped his rushing off was due to fatigue, not to something I said or did. ...and why did I even think that?
Or another major thought: even if I too was exhausted and it didn't have to do with kissing, last night I wanted to be home and comfortable with someone besides my cats. And the someone available to me had just gone down the street. Bullet point: standing there outside my front door, despite an evening of attention and affection, I felt ridiculously lonely.
I think "casual" is meant to imply that I don't, or don't need to care, how this companionship plays out....since, what are the stakes? But of course--and I'm sure there are those who have been dying for me to admit this--things will always get more complicated the longer it goes.
So true of so many things. Maybe he really was just tired.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
As in he didn't respond to my response. No capacity for fun, it seems.
I'm developing an idea about these match guys.....that my sense of humor is just not cutting through. That I come off as weird. Blunt. Cynical? Or maybe my mature wit is overwhelming the college boy? Or maybe his semester just started and his days of late-night match-trolling are over.
Who knows. I ran the theory by my cousin, J. We grew up like sisters and to this day, she is one of my favorite folks with whom to hash out the neuroses and crises of life. She's had her experiences with online dating. In fact, many times in the past when I whined about my singleness, she lectured me for not getting online and getting on the stick... so to speak.
Last night I whined because I had gotten on the stick and it consequently aggravates me. I just want to get past the second e-mail response with a man I find interesting.....who has expressed interest already....and if I find him interesting, I want to meet him in person. But something I am doing between the greet and meet is stopping the train. So perhaps I need to be nicer, saner, less glibber, more fawning, etc.
J wouldn't hear of it. She said:
"Would you really want to meet up with someone who doesn't get your e-mail style?"
She's right. It would be like putting on a parka over shorts in the middle of August and pretending it was January while going for a 5-mile run, just to feel less sweaty.
Or something like that.
Monday, August 25, 2008
A few nights ago, I heard from the other end of the spectrum, off my match.com profile.
From: 22-year-old man
Received: August 23, 2008
"Hi there, how are you? I quite like your profile and find you very sexy as well. Let me know if you are interested in conversing or exploring our capacity for fun.
I understand there exists an age discrepancy, however being unconventional and unbound by societal expectations I grasp opportunity by its desirability, not specification. Age is simply a number, inconsequential and irrelevant as long as both parties remain realistic.
Let me know what you think."
The Australian is back! Althougth you might not recognize him by that name..... Two months ago he was also on the prowl, asking me in similar tones about what kind of fun I thought we could have together. He affiliates with North Carolina, evidently lives in Newton, but claims to have grown up and been "baptized in Australia". Skinny, six o'clock shadow, shaggy do. Loves BMWs and wants to work for the company after college.
From all my bluster about grammar, you shouldn't be suprised that I was tempted to take the red slasher pen to his prose. But, wow....to be seen as "an opportunity of desirability" by someone 13 years my junior. (Lolita in reverse?) And that he's back for a second try after long hiatus. Maybe an opportunistic troller......although his profile contains the following earnest self-assessment:
"I think it’s important to be accessible, socially versatile and willing to explore new territory whether it is in the physical, emotional, or intellectual sense."
I guess then I, too, should be accessible, socially versatile and willing to explore new territory. And it's only match.com. So I wrote him back last night with a few brief lines, the most important being:
"What is YOUR capacity for fun?"
Meanwhile, men my age. Where be you?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
1) It was the due date for my nephew to appear. (Yes, was....unless I get word in the next 61 minutes. I think Missy is less anxious than me, who awaits a text from the Twin Cities, a la Obama/Biden '08.)
2) It was occasion for two friends and I to host a shower for another friend, Joy, who expects a daughter in a few weeks. There were 14 ladies--10 mothers themselves--and I was exposed to items I never before knew existed in the universe: nursing stools, hanging diaper stackers, nasal aspirators. And stories about swaddling.
Funny. My sister and my pregnant friends (3 in my immediate circle!) are all younger than me, yet I feel the baby of this group myself. As in, less mature on the subject. I have no spare bedroom for a crib, no extra income for a college savings account, no chance of imminent conception, and absoutely zero knowledge of cervical dilation.
The fact of which, I'm sure, is a great relief to my mother. She coined a phrase of legend in the family some 15 years ago in a car along U.S. Highway 2....a phrase invoked to this day whenever the subject of babies comes up. My parents in the front seat, my two sisters with me in the back, returning from my parents' anniversary dinner in Devils Lake. For reasons known only to history and the unremembered logic of that moment, my mother turned and proclaimed:
"Karin, you look fertile. I bet you'll get pregnant the first time you have sex."
We have still not determined what constituted a "fertile" look that night.
I've also not shown up at any holidays back in Minneapolis with a baby bump so at 35, I kind of wonder what she might think about the more intimate details of my life in the interim. Or really and truly don't want to go there.
Ah, Saturday night with the cats. The mind doth wander.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
We got together because of their shared connection to Columbus, Ohio. One knows the city, living there already part-time; the other is learning to know it....leaving Boston in a few weeks with her husband and son to live there full-time, to my sadness.
I posit that single folks in in this city do often think about other things besides dating. Hard to tell from the content on this blog, you may say, but true. When roommates are cats and the family lives 1400 driving miles away, it is necessary to create yourself a community or two within the bigger community. And that's something I think about an awful lot. My two friends tonight created an instant community--Columbusites from Boston who share a passion for missions and a friendship with Karin--where hours before none had existed.
My first apartment in Boston was on Peterborough Steet in the Fenway....on a block teeming with Berklee and Northeastern students I didn't exactly care to know.....a boisterous, echoey population that in that one street, exceeded that of my hometown in North Dakota. Had a college friend not moved at the same time and provided some social comfort, the immensity would have swallowed me. But I soon discovered the pockets that provide the same comfort as small towns: my roommates Ilaria and Nithya and our dozens of little mouse friends. Church choir. Memoir-writing class. The pot-smoking waiters, all studying piano and singing when not smoking and waitering at the West Street Grille, who bonded over post-shift martinis. Like little towns unto themselves.
Later would come the community theatre folks. And the office folks. And the marathon-running folks. And the church folks and the church folks and the church folks who never stop cycling through and sometimes stay...who are like brothers and sisters to me.
I hope to not portray the single life in Boston as a lonely place. Like any, it is pockets of community.....where there are builders and destroyers.....the good and the ugly.....and where when one might falter for a time, another thrives and fills the hole.
With the recent addition of a dating community (CFO among them) and all of you--my reading community--I was already sated. The new community tonight feels like dessert.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Fabulous, then, that the CFO picked me up after church and, sunroof full open, we headed to the south end of town and the Arnold Arboretum. I've lived here 9 years and had never set foot in Boston's 265-acre landscape bonanza.....all the more reason to park there. We found a Japanese cherry tree by a pond, set up blanket underneath, and he pulled out a thermos of a fruity vodka cocktail. We kicked off shoes, watched clouds, contemplated eating peaches and almonds.
Like I've stated before, the CFO knows how to have a date that a girl can appreciate. He brought the picnic, naughty in its alcohol content. He perpetuated the slightly naughtier act of hopping the fence with me to some darkened forest for a camper's version of using the bathoom. He kissed me for a good long while in that out-of-bounds, out-of-sight but still in sight, traffic grinding by on Centre Street.
It's all the sweeter that we're not really dating. And strange to me, that I find it so sweet. Again today, we talked about this casualness we've both agreed to and unless he's lying blind, we both revel in. I can't say I've ever spent time in such a romantic fashion with someone who I don't want to be in a relationship with.
But I have no problem with a man who looks like a much-younger Sean Connery leaning me into a tree on a sunny afternoon. Then taking me to JP Licks for coffee oreo ice cream.
Curious, but indictative of the vibe, what happened next. While walking down Centre Street hand-in-hand, we crossed paths with a someone he knew. We all chatted, I was introduced, I was intrigued by the curly-haired young man whom--the CFO later explained--builds violins as a career. When I suggested to the CFO that this unpretentious, lanky drink of water was officially "my type," he grinned.
"So you'd like to meet him, maybe, eh?" he said. "So what if I write him some e-mail, copy you on it, say that you remember meeting him and, as a fellow musician, had a few questions about something with violins. Then you'd be talking!"
Being encouraged by my date to approach another man if I found him attractive? (And hey, no prostitution jokes in this space....)
Priceless. And, amazingly, OK by me.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
You know, it went well, and no reason for the delay. In fact, I heard from the CFO late yesterday afternoon .....we almost made impromptu plans for last evening, had I not already planned dinner with some girlfriends. (Which, by the way folks, get over to Picco on Tremont Street for the eggplant/mushroom/ricotta pizza. Do.)
We are "pencilling something in" for the weekend.
To give you some sense of the situation: in an e-mail last weekend, he addressed me as "Sweetness." I replied that I was honored to be held in that esteem, along with Chicago Bears great Walter Payton. Yesterday, he began his message:
"Sweetness .. yes! You and Walter (nice company to be in, if you ask me!) Why wouldn't I think sweetness when I think of you? We've had two delightful dates now, both of which have ended with me smiling! You too, I hope!!!"
That's some serious exclamation-point action. He doesn't talk that way....I swear.
But it was a good time last Wednesday. A commonality we share is a love of working out.....so we met at 8:30, both coming straight from the gym. This left us with appetite for fajitas and sangria at a Mexican joint just down from my apartment, as well as for stories from the 3 weeks since we met at River Gods. All followed by another "satisfactory goodnight kiss."
Sorry to keep bringing up the liplocks, but they highlight another topic we plumbed verbally: my writing about him on this blog. He is all for it. (And approves of "CFO"; to his friends who know we have gone out, I'm known as "Southie.") We discussed how I characterized our first date in writing, particularly the (ahem) lengthy way we ended up saying goodbye.
Shall I say, if we continue to date, "satisfactory goodnight kiss" will become code for a great many things best left unsaid. Enough said.
The CFO is so far a gentleman who has been to town and back.....divorced, several long-term relationships, and a number of other women he's found interesting along the way. He's infused with joie de vivre.......flirting with the 69-year-old female owners of Ferraris until they give him a ride (a much longer story from the trip to California), rock climbing with his sons, effusively complimenting this much younger woman way more than he needs to.
We're aware of the 20 years of difference, and that I'm looking for a relationship and children and that he has no desire for either or more. But for the moment we hang out well and don't necessarily want to stop. We have strong chemistry. We've already shared piles of dirty laundry. We made a pact to always be frank....and because of the frankly casual nature of the experience thus far, it's been easier to be frank because there feels to be less at stake.
And did I mention that he strongly resembles Sean Connery?
Eat that, Matt Damon look-alike leg-ogler...! And my mother should be so proud.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The only thing that would have made it more perfect would have been if he had turned around and ridden back the right way.
Monday, August 11, 2008
And boy, did he ever weigh-in. With a string of of paragraphs that somewhat boggles, represented by the following....
K: ....so I've the following scintillating questions from reading your profile....(followed by list of questions)
Mr. K.C.: OK, let me scintiallate these one at a time. If that verb even exists, which it likely does not (I"m not a fan of spell/grammar-checking FYI, esp. since I've always been a good speller, and decent at grammar, it's cheating to use Word or whatever to me).
A literary giant experimenting with form? Or just a man who can type as fast as he thinks?
Curiouser and curiouser.
Nonetheless. Once again, I'm perplexed at how frequently match.com guys can:
a) drool over a profile;
b) wink at the girl in the profile;
c) get all excited when the girl--who rightly should be dismayed that such a man is winking instead of wooing her more eloquently--actually writes back;
d) respond anew, in cheeky spirit, saying how much he hopes the girl writes again; and then
e) not respond when the girl writes again.
I mean, really. As my father might exclaim (and often does when watching professional sports on television), "That's bush league!" And not in a W sort of way.
Obviously the man in the Kansas City hat never took to my witty banter about teaching him golf. Which constitutes the third time in a month a prospect--who appears prospective in a number of ways--begs me to write and chat. And then disappears when I do.
So what in my responses causes these men to run for the hills.... adjective overuse?
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Fascinating. But is it possible that with 10,000 athletes and 15 million people in the city surrounding, we could go one day without a photo of Kobe Bryant?
The current intended is from Lexington, MA. My "point of entry" was the Kansas City Royals baseball cap he wore in one of his photos; there were zero references in his profile to baseball or the Midwest. So I asked him to comment. He suggested he is weary of the rampant Red-Soxism in this city...many "bandwagoners".... so he wanted to wear a different cap to distinguish himself. He thought the interlocking KC and royal blue color were "cool." And he figured no one would accuse him of wanting to bandwagon on the Royals.
I wrote him back to suggest that I, too, choose not to wear the hometown baseball cap in Boston. And that my profile had a picture of me wearing the Twins cap I do choose to wear.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Patience, pale flowers.
What you should know before that....is that proof officially emerged last night: I'm turning into my mother.
Not that she would leave her back door open before leaving for work yesterday...then return home 15 hours later to find it ajar. Wondering why her two cats had left the apartment to explore the wilds of Southie. Thinking an intruder was in her closet. Calling the police, her landlord, her upstairs neighbors to warn them of the invasion.
And then, after some pretty real hyperventilation in front of the policeman who arrived to help, remembering she had taken out the trash through that door at 8 a.m. and, in some haze, did not pull it shut. Sitting on the kitchen floor in relief, but still wondering how she was going to track down the cats....only to watch first Tusker, then Velvet, saunter up the patio steps, damp from the rain, mewing to be let back in.
No....of my two parents who gene-ified me, this situation would have happened to my dad. We share a few DNA of flakiness.
But if it had happened to her, my mom would simply not hesitate to tell you the story. Even at risk of her own mortification. What she passed on to me is the desire to share mortifying stories with the masses....perhaps diluting how silly she occasionally feels herself.
Therefore, I do the same.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
And so the workday ends, I'm heading out the door to the CFO date, and I got nothing too much to say, folks. I'm tired, and working finance in a big-ole down market has kiboshed today's sense of humor.
I've been ruminating about the Anonymity War that sparked up over the weekend, in the comment section responding to my rant at cranky match.com correspondent. I regret I had to delete the instigating post from my "Spy" clone regarding privacy issues, since it contained my last name, which I'm trying to not publish on purpose. (If you didn't get to read it prior to deletion...sorry...ask me, if you're lost....)
On one level: I loved that multiple Anonymouses ("Anonymii"?) were duking it out. Could have been as many as four people?....or just one person, entertaining himself?
On another level: thanks to Anonymous 2, or Spy Clone, for believing I'm going to someday have an eight-year old daughter. Thanks for believing in the cause of "single in the city"! Truthfully, right now I'm just trying to have more than one date with a man I find interesting. Perhaps by the time a daughter shows up, the internet will be obsolete and this will be a non-issue....
And on yet another, I appreciate that I truly don't know who the Anonymii were. (And I do have to know Spy Clone in his human form, because he knew my full name.) Bravo to all for keeping defining characteristics to a minimum....you get an A+ for editing! I have guesses, obviously, and will admit to spending a hour studying the comments for voice, tone, word usage and whoever knows what else. Still perplexed.
So everyone who logged-on Anonymously remains Anonymous to me still. You're safe. And it's all OK, because it provoked some debate (always good) and did "give me pause," as Spy Clone theorized it quite well should.
Although I do dislike the Anonymity function. It's difficult for me to trust the motives of someone who quite clearly knows me--which probably means he has my e-mail address--and quite clearly has something to say but doesn't want to own it. It's the equivalent of talking behind my back, and I'm not sure why that would be necessary in this space.
Here's to some better humor in the a.m......for all of us!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This is a good location.
A positive to this excess of energy is that I've now finished most of the cleaning required in case the CFO has any reason to see the inside of my apartment on Wednesday. (Mostly deleting cat hair and stray litter from any number of surfaces....) Yup, that Wednesday is just an evening away. We're deciding on either the South End or Southie "hotspots" (his phrase) for drinks.... I'm agitating for B&G Oysters....which means any nightcap would involve seeing the contents of not his refrigerator, but mine. Which is why some old black beans and curdled milk were also culled this evening.
Tell I haven't had company in awhile?
There is something satisfactory, on occasion, about not having roommates or companions when insomnia is near. (Except the cats.....under the bed at the moment....hiding from the broom....) No one wondering when I'm coming to bed, or to gripe that I'm running laps out to the deck and slamming the screen door by the dozens. Or eating the last of the Ben & Jerry's from the carton.
More satisfactory, though, is that my e-mail inbox contains an ambitious message (ambitious in its effort, that is) from a match.com subscriber....which will most likely get answered in the morning with some more clarity than this post surely holds.
And even more so....the knowledge that Wednesday's date will be the second of this week..... Yes, you read it here. Second! Withholding details until there is more reason to write....but Sunday night was a blind date with a friend of a friend of a friend. Beer in the Back Bay, for several hours. And a decent time, devoid of drama.
Girl is on a roll!
(And you can tell girl is on a roll when she is unfettered enough to go nuts with the ellipses and parantheses....)
Now, if she could just get to sleep....
Maybe if Jethro tuned up the flute again...
Friday, August 1, 2008
The Spy (nickname, mine) showed up for several weeks on the "who's viewed me" page of my match.com account. But our first communication was on Tuesday via my match blast to the finish, in which I wrote him because he was cute, Protestant, and hanging around.
Some things to know:
1) NDA is a "non-disclosure agreement."
2) My profile on match says this in the heading: "You too could be the next contestant...."
Followed by: "Writing a blog about my dating life...creative weigh-ins on this profile could gain you a featured moment. Or maybe just a shout back from me. "
- - - - -
To: The Spy
Date Sent: July 29
Subject: You must explain the hedges....
Hi there -I've seen you here now for awhile, have been meaning to write. Specific points about you that appeal: smile (great), outdoor-activity centered (great), the WSJ (ok, well, I do go with the politically-counterpointed Times, but....)
Although you know how these things go -- you're interesting to me....but how to break the ice? I noticed that you had two books in your recent reading that discussed "hedges." Are we talking about the financially-precarious ones of late, or the ones that need pruning? Inquiring minds choose to ask. Would love to hear from you if you've an answer.
- - - - -
From: The Spy
Date Received: July 29
Subject: Working hard ??
Thanks for the email. How's your week going? I hope I'm going to stay off your blog???
......I read the WSJ purely for the business news/views, not the editorials. Currently working in gov't I get enough on the politically end. Especially as I work for a foreign gov't. I would love to have hedges that need pruning, alas I don't, only hosta's on my balcony that need watering and the ocasional weed pulled out....
....and what exactly is your blog all about? Thanks for the compliments.
- - - - -
To: The Spy
Date Sent: July 29
Subject: Re: Working hard ??
My blog is about dating, and about my attempts at dating. I consider match.com pretty fair game. You only get run-through if you say something inordinatey tactless.....nice people get nice entries. (and, usually, nicknames....!)
Truthfully, my education is in journalism and creative writing but it has been many years (6 since grad school) that I wrote on a regular basis. Since then a lot of my free time has been spent running.....but I've had foot issues since the marathon this spring and have had to re-focus....and the writing the blog is a part of that. It achieves the purpose of a) forcing me to write, period; and b) forcing me to keep up with the dating (i.e., if I write about doing something I then have a readership I'm accountable to...) ..........
....Although I'm interested in this "foreign govt." bit. A spy, perhaps? Which at this juncture has to be more lucrative than finance....
- - - - -
From: The Spy
Date Received: July 31
Subject: No blog
..... .Match is not fair game. I control what I do on match, not others. I don't think I can have my personal business reported to world via someones blog - So you going to sign my no-blog NDA so we can continue speaking ?? Your kinda cute and I would hate to not be able to proceed.
- - - - -
To: The Spy
Date Sent: July 31
So I had to think about what you're asking....because I did put it straight out there that I AM blogging about my dating life. That is part of me and my life. And that I'm a tactful person who keeps others' identities anonymous. Nonetheless, you're the first person to express qualms, which I can respect.
So I will sign the NDA if you agree: I can write that I have encountered someone who expresses qualms, and therefore while I might be talking to said someone, I will be talking offline. And that's as much as I will say.
- - - - -
From: The Spy
Date received: July 31
It's my way or the high way............
Was pretty clear on my participation or not - your choice...- - - - -
To: The Spy
Date Sent: August 1
Subject: Re: so....
That's pretty inflexible on a pretty small issue. Which is hardly attractive to me.
- - - - -
So this incident has given me several things to think about.
First: "kinda cute"?
Second: "my way or the high way"?
(Technically, "highway." As in "road"....not the "higher way." He's not an English major... or someone who proofreads his clichés.)
I assume there are multiple reasons he doesn't want his personal life spilled on my blog, and since not everyone is as share-happy as me, it's understandable. I respect that. And I'd also suggest that my compromise proposed keeping his privacy....while not forcing me to rescind an integral part of my personality.....or make me feel I was doing something dirty by blogging.
I wonder how wonderful, exactly, he thinks he is. That someone I've known for five e-mails and says I'm "kinda cute" would demand I give up something important just to talk to him. His choice in the first place to answer a girl who says "you too could be the next contestant." As I wrote to my FwaB Bill in an e-mail this morning:
"It's less about the blogging and more that if that is his modus operandi, well shit. He's an ass."
Or in other words, if he gets this wound up and stubborn about my writing, how would he react to a truly serious issue?
There's incongruity here. The Spy's match moniker incorporates the word "fun".... for someone with little apparent sense of humor. And his unwillingness to compromise about my blogging caused me to, resultingly, blog about him.
It's brutal out there!