Saturday, January 31, 2009


Not long ago, while scrubbing post-party burnt chili scum from a pot, I was reminded of how handy it would have been to have a man around to help clean up (and give me a kiss after).

I had that moment tonight at Shaw's Market, looping those 7 plastic bag handles onto my wrists to walk to the bus: After 15 years, I'm tired of carrying the groceries. Where is my knight with shopping cart? The co-decider on produce quality? The co-spender to keep me on budget?

Funny, this feeling recalls an incident from my brief tenure with Another Man. Hanging out at my place one winter afternoon, we decided to pick up fixings at the grocery store, rather than go out to a bar for supper.

My first time shopping with a date! And it was weird. We hadn't been going out for very long and, while we had decent rapport, exact dynamics weren't solid. It didn't help that I was exceedingly self-conscious: should I push the cart or wait and see if he took the lead? Since the groceries were for my house, should I be the executive decision-maker or ask his opinion on what should go into the stir fry? Should I pay or see if he offered?

I pushed the cart. Mostly, I remember, he just kind of trailed me through the produce aisle as I gathered mushrooms, peppers and onion. Then we had an awkward moment while stopped to peruse chicken breasts. Whatever we had been talking about, it seemed the perfect moment for me to exclaim:

"You know, I'm just so not used to grocery shopping with someone else! It's so weird!"

I looked over at him, chuckled a bit.

He didn't say anything back. Grinned--or grimaced, really--then started strolling away.

Oh. Instant lameness. I knew. I did not need to tell my date that I had never dated anyone else for long enough to go grocery shopping with him.

We went back to my place; I cooked, he did the dishes. We went on with the evening. Yet there's a part of me that still believes the chicken breast revelation dug the foundation for that relationship's in, someone was way too excited to have company at the store and it showed. That's a lot of pressure, being the first man to carry a girl's grocery bags.

(Which, by the way, he did.)


In any case, there's hope: the first time is out of the way! As in just about everything, the second time could only be better. Onward!

Friday, January 30, 2009

If no play is allowed....

...then what's the fun?

Another day. Another e-mail from Yahoo! Personals saying my profile had been viewed. Another click onto the Yahoo! site for a look at the looker. Yet another profile of yet another man with a blurry photo whose goal in dating---evidently, based on its prominent place in the first line of text-- is that he "doesn't play games." And is not looking for anyone who does.


I can't count the ways in which this edict turns me off.

But I can start.

1) The assumption that women are by default nefarious and should take a purity test or be turned away at the gate of love.

2) The promise of a sheer lack of a good time.

3) The dreary list of qualities sure to follow such a chart-topper....such as, perhaps, "I'm outgoing with my friends but really just like to stay at home with that special someone and be quiet."

4) The surely even drearier dating history of such a man. Really. If he eliminates all game players he eliminates the population of greater Boston. Which means he's never dated.

5) Disregard for the nuances of flirtation. Courtship. Seduction. Or just conversation. Total fireball.

6) Proof that he never could be taken home to play Jenga with the family.

Really. This is online dating today. This represents. This is the pool into which we are encouraged to jump and swim and feast: humorless, stagnant waters.

I want to call this man up, dare him to have a personality, tell him that he can't have things that easy and clean because it's not real and it's not fun, belt out a karaoke version of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," convince him that it's the play that makes the match and he's going to be a man alone still looking at profiles like mine long after I'm gone.

So you see how it is possible to feel humorless and stagnant.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Margarita Hour

It's a tad late. Or early. (Or both.)

Just returned home from margaritas and guacamole out with B, my musician boy friend. Yes, exactly the kind of guy I should go for as a musician girl.

For about 2 weeks last winter, B & I wanted badly to hook up....and talked about it at a bar over beer with our knees touching, followed by another evening out to the opera followed by chardonnay at another bar, this time with knees touching and bantering shoulder taps. Yet. We decided to preserve our platonic rapport. Because it was quality rapport....which, how often does that happen?....and the impulse passed.

Which in all ways, turned out to be the right decision. Anything we would have pursued now looks like wishful opportunism. He's thoughtful but impulsive, passionate, and at the age of 29, just figuring out what he really wants in a woman and in his life. We are closer friends for our history, and it's entertaining to watch him do this. (To be a part of it? Surely a roller coaster.)

So tonight.....B has a new love interest and was itching to tell me about it. I was itching to listen. We usually have beer, but because we just felt like it, ordered tequila and lime on the rocks instead. Then rolled into a conversation that rarely happens--where nothing is sacred and everything is game. Love. Sex. Talents and careers. The history of them. Expectations about them. The kind of conversation where you leave and anything you think about feels beautiful and possible.

Granted, it was a Wednesday night at the only mildly-happening Cottonwood Cafe during one of the wackiest weather days in Boston's recent wacky weather history, 10:45, well before we were ready to finish, our waitress was reading a book at the bar, waiting for us to leave.

Eh. It was a Wednesday. We skated out onto the Berkeley Street sidewalks up to Boylston. A drunk met us on that corner, yelling at us to keep our balance as he struggled to keep his. And he was playing (and I'm not joking), "The Hustle" on a pennywhistle, stopping every few notes to wish us good night. No choice but to wish him good night, too, and wave, and make sure to not fall over ourselves. Which when you're under a few thumbs of tequila and things still feel beautiful and possible, is the only way to be.

And then B took off on his bike through the slush. Careful yet heedless with his giddiness and liquor and compromised balance and the potholes and the 9 blocks to ride home. But I knew he'd be fine because, sometimes, everything just is.

Again. 3 cheers for Friends Who are Boys! I will sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

People like me

A joy of writing 200 blog entries in the past 9 months (yes, what I did instead of gestating a child) is that, now, I find articles all the time much like something I've already written. Every possible essay topic will eventually be explored in someone's online diary and if you don't get there's a rehash.

OK. So if you've been with me for even half of these monologues, you know the saga of The CFO:

Somewhat Older Craiglist Respondee
turned River Gods Great Date
turned Even Better Kisser
turned Casual Boyfriend for 2 Months
turned Disappearing Act in September
turned Back Up in October But with Girlfriend and Looking for an Open Relationship
turned Totally Ignored By Me and, finally,
turned Back Up in January with Girlfriend Moving to Africa and Looking to See Me Again if I wanted to see him.

(Which by the way, for those of you unhappy with my choice to consider it....well, still considering. We haven't gone out yet, but exchanged texts on Inauguration Day vowing to get together to celebrate. And that's the latest.)

I struggled when the CFO came forward with the open relationship proposition, even though I originally accepted him as a man who saw other women. Which is why it took me months to get back to him. When he then replied, in apology, he talked about how he too struggled....even though he thought he knew what he wanted for us (casual), for him and his girlfriend (open), for himself (fancy free). Even though all parties had agreed to the terms. This line stuck out:

"What I've learned and continue to learn is that any sort of open relationship or non-monogamous situation is an emotional land mine and there aren't any maps!"
Right or wrong, approved or disapproved of, mapless is certainly a way many of us make our way from day to day. I empathized. Which is why the situation still exists.

While trolling the Times during mid-afternoon procrastination hour today, I encountered this column published last Sunday under the category of "Modern Love". Katherine Ruppe found her a man the equivalent of my CFO: The Engineer. Except that her story involves Moby concerts, Las Vegas trysts, and a phone showdown with the Other Woman revealing the existence of the Other Woman's Husband and Other Woman's Husband's Girlfriend.

Katherine did not empathize with this drama. It's juicy, and makes the CFO look like Ward Cleaver. Enjoy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

River I could skate away on...*

View from the office. 4:31 p.m. The Back Bay, the Charles Basin, the Salt & Pepper Bridge.

When it is cold enough for long enough to freeze this water this solid... gearing up for tonight's 4-mile jog, I kind of wish for skates instead.

But, yes, there's this marathon thing. T-minus 84 days..... Oh well.

*(with props to
Joni Mitchell)

Monday, Monday

This is going to be a rant.

I'm wiped out this morning. More wiped out than used toilet paper. So wiped out that when I fell asleep on the bus to work, sitting in an aisle seat, I awoke and didn't know where I was.

(I think we need The Mamas & The Papas on the scene, stat.)

It was a busier Saturday than normal....physically and mentally demanding. Starting with a 13-mile training run up Heartbreak Hill first thing in the morning. Followed by a musical revue rehearsal at 12 that went until 7, followed by a 3-hour show that started at 8....with me pounding the piano for all of those 11 hours. Immediately followed by 3 glasses of merlot, meant to celebrate the success of the show, as well as dull the throbbing in my fingers. Bed at 2 a.m.

(Why is it true that after a hard workout, you feel acceptable the next day, then like shit on day 2? Wow. The truck ran over my arms and legs and my head this morning, picked me up and put me on the #9 bus and said, you've got a busy day at work in front of you. Go. )

Truthfully, the mood is exacerbated because, in my recovery yesterday, I was lazy. I didn't start laundry or send out my marathon fundraising letter, despite carving out time to do so and not wanting to wake up Monday morning already behind the 8-ball for the week.

Then. With all that procrastinating and no achievement, it took me until after 10 p.m. to get to the grocery store, and after midnight to get up enough momentum to empty the dishwasher and clean out the cat litter. (Now that's a task I'm just Done with.)

All the time listening to BBC radio and hearing how there is a world food shortage and that Microsoft is cutting jobs and that Pfizer is buying Wyeth and slashing its dividend and the Republicans are going to fight Obama's stimulus package (naturally)....and thinking about how I love working in finance on days when that's the lead-in news.

OK. It's 10:30. Enough ranting. It would not do to end Monday behind the 8-ball after starting that way.

In the 6 days since the Inauguration I have not yet tired of hearing Perlman, Ma, Montero and McGill rip through this version of "Simple Gifts." It's the arrangement, it's their vigor and hair blowing in the breeze, it's the reminder of what that song celebrates and what I forget about in my selfish moments:

"....'tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free..."

(And the gift to have the energy and drive necessary to exhaust oneself, evidently. )

Think I'll put it on repeat. May I suggest if you're having a Monday, too, you do the same.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Typing lessons

If my cat is going to attempt to write on her own, perhaps I should first teach her the critical nature of leaving the keys on the keyboard.

Beautiful Sunday-morning surprise.


Update, Monday morning.
Evidently there is a God: my 3-year-old laptop has a 4-year repair warranty. Bless you, Dell.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spam Poetry

Not to be ornery,

but I am the only woman

--as a woman going for fourth-and-long on the dating field--

who finds an e-mail inviting me to "save the day for romance" and pay to attend the Boston Bridal Affair at the Hyatt Regency

as outlandish as an e-mail

promising to enlarge my penis?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inauguration wrap-up....

In scanning my writing of the last few days, I noticed many a "more later" (cop-out) caveat at the end of the various entries about the Obama inauguration. As if I couldn't be troubled to provide reflection on a fairly major event of our time.

Hmm. By now, everyone and their dog has provided some reflection on this fairly major event of our time.....if they were there, it was about being there; if they were not, it was about not being there. That is the pitfall of fairly major events. It's difficult to say anything original when the whole world is talking with you.

But at the risk of copping out by saying nothing, I'll list two favorite moments.

1) This. Not having read ahead about what was on the inaugural program, this was a beautiful surprise...moreso than even Aretha Franklin's hat. A girl next to me in the crowd said, "I never thought I'd get to see Yo-Yo Ma perform in my lifetime!" Me too. At the time, my toes were icecubes from standing for 5 hours on the frozen tundra....and the sight of these folks sitting bare-headed and smiling in the breeze contributed to the chill (and the chills as coolness) factor.

2) This. Shortly after the ceremony, I stood on Constitution Avenue, waiting for Cousin J to finish using the port-a-potty....when I heard the whirring of blades and motor and looked up to see a gigantic helicopter directly above.

The folks about me started waving and cheering, so I started waving and cheering too, not realizing that it was former President Bush (43) already on his way to Camp David....and on his further way to Texas.....within 45 minutes of the Obama's oath.

No one told me I'd actually get to wave goodbye to W. Definitely worth the 18 hours of driving....and getting up at 6 a.m. to bike into a crowd of 2 million people....and the resulting frozen toes....and being just plain cold for 5 straight days.

And, of course, worth being in D.C. for that one day....before everyone wants to know what Obama is going to acheive and how fast he's going to achieve it and what he will possibly screw up and who he'll screw over....where the prevailing emotion was joy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Bikini Challenge (Week II: Reinforcement!)

It's a good thing this package from Victoria's Secret awaited my return from Washington D.C. this evening.

In the past 5 days I spent 18 hours in my car accompanied by National Public Radio's full a pounder bag of Necco Conversation Hearts, Mountain Dew, trail mix both with honey roasted peanuts and without, and dried fruit with extra-added sugar. For starters. (Distance driving is one of my great eating hazards....which is why I only do it a couple times a year.)

Despite this--and despite the 12 glasses of red wine and the shot of Hot Damn otherwise consumed while "Inaugurating"--the weekend was not without hope. (How could it not be?!) I figure Cousin J and I burned a minimum of 1200 calories walking faster than anyone else in search of our security gate just prior to the swearing-in Tuesday morning. And burned 1000 more shaking booty on the dance floor Tuesday night. And otherwise managed 1 run, four 5-mile bike rides to and from the Capitol, 100-plus ab exercises, and at least 384 calf raises (while trying to maintain a view of the Mall Jumbotrons).

I'm grateful just to have stayed at par on such a week. In the meantime, the suit is hung and ready for daily viewing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dateline: Washington, D.C. 1/20/09

Das there....the view from the cheap standing seats. (Seriously, should buy stock in Jumbotron.)

Seven hours later, still unthawing. But so very worth it.

More later.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dateline: Washington D.C. 1/18/09

The Mall to the left of the Lincoln Memorial, 4:15 p.m.

The man had to follow James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi ("who knew he had so much soul?" said Cousin J, behind the camera, above), Garth Brooks, Bono and Jamie Foxx's subtle impression of him. I'd guess, on average, that more folks around us had their camera phones aimed at the screen for his 5-minute speech than for all the folks preceding him, combined.

Observations so far:
Biking as transportation is a wise choice and Cousin J knows the fast routes. While the cold is not so very cold, the longjohns have also been wise.....ask me again on Tuesday when we wait 7 hours outside for the inaugural address. The number of swag vendors on the street is uncountable....and it's only Sunday.

More to come.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday checklist

Wake up with cat's rear end in face? Check.

Tell self that I'll feel as guilty as George Bush if I don't layer up on thermals and get out to run...then make coffee and contemplate for many moments, before determining that I really don't wish to start Inauguration weekend thinking about George Bush at all? Check.

Run 12 miles through the city without dying from either foot woes or chill (except for that 1 minute going over the Fort Point Channel where, I'd swear, chill blisters formed on the upwind side of my face)? Check.

125 ab exercises upon return? Oh yes. Ice bath? Ohhhh....yes.

Dissemble bike for car transport, double-feed the cats, make sure car starts, scour closet for something, anything, that makes me look younger than 35? Check.

Get super-psyched about driving to D.C. for the next 4 days to stand in the cold and meet cool people at parties and bars and the National Mall and Secret Service security lines, and then stand in the cold some more but just maybe get to be part of something that if my dating life ever pans out and I get married and have children and then they have children and they want to know where I was when Barack Obama was inaugurated, I'll have something to tell them?

Amen. Check.

Friday, January 16, 2009

1:28 does, indeed, come along every morning

Tooling around here. It's very, very early and I'm awake and I'm not even drunk. Or kissing someone as a means to an end. Which are really 2 of the primary reasons to be up past midnight, ever. In fact, I'm drinking Fresca from the can and had been sorting laundry while the BBC newshour played over the clock radio and, not really finishing that task because it was too early to start the laundry anyway, came back to the kitchen table and kind of just listened to the kettle boil for a bit because it soothes me, when I noticed the cats on the ottoman so close to the fire I was jealous and had to go rub their fur, as warm as an electric blanket, and kind of wished I could curl up there too, except that there's no room on the ottoman because the cats are on it and the floor is still cold despite the fire and the steaming kettle and the thermostat at 72 degrees farenheit and it seems, tonight, that anywhere but 6 inches from the flame is going to be too cold to sleep, even the sofa that's only 18 inches away, and the bed is a whole 2 rooms away and around a corner and, even with a down comforter, should be made up with the flannel sheets when it's 11 dry degrees outside but really feels like a minus-4 with the wind, except that I haven't done the laundry yet and no one is going to do it but me and I'm not going to go down into that concrete basement right now for anything and besides, even though it's 1:28 a.m. again and I'm going to dread the waking at 6:45, if I do choose to sleep, it's just more comfortable here at the table, in my black wool hat and my pajamas, with the cats and the steam and the fire and the loveline on my Fresca can.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sexy in January? Inconceivable.

Or maybe just this January.

Or this week, particularly. Or today. Today felt like North Dakota. The wind threw a face-full of dry snow from my car as I brushed it off. With the next swipe, it delivered a load off the front hood and into my boot tops.

Let's face it. A brown, ankle-length quilted parka (worn with the famous paisley waders) has limited sex appeal. Laura Ingalls somehow attracted Almanzo Wilder wearing longjohns and 8 layers of muffler for 8 months of The Long Winter. Instead of describing all those days of Bible-reading during blizzards, I wish she had clued us into how she wooed a husband while dealing with perpetually chapped skin.....which she never showed him, anyhow.

Again, it could just be this January.

I've dated almost ritually in Januarys past. Last year I was taken out by both The Editor and Another Man and had to choose between them. A few years before that, I met skinny, blond Evan at Gypsy Bar when we made out on the dance floor; he later took me to a movie on Martin Luther King Day, after which we downed a bottle of Ruffino and made out some more. My first kiss--freshman year in college, used dorm loveseat, football player offering wine coolers--came shortly after the new year via a set-up with a friend of a friend of my roommate Suzanne, who thought I'd "like big guys."

I somehow felt sexy enough to contribute to those situations. And one of those times was even in Moorhead, Minnesota....where the wind comes whipping down the plains. So why, this January, do I feel like more like eating peanut butter from the jar than finding someone to make-out with. More than More than even just smiling at co-workers in the elevator because, after all, lips can't be seen through all the fuzz on my parka hood.

Sigh. I need to start disconnecting the cold feelings from the cold outside. I'd gladly take suggestions.

*Thanks,, for the mention.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blogger's Bible: When in doubt.... a picture of a baby eating his foot.

While it's Henry displaying early signs of the family ballet gene and my inspiration for today's power yoga and is interesting enough that I don't have to write any more tonight and can go to bed, today's lesson is:

Never overexplain when a picture says it better.

Thanks, little man.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yahoo! indeed. Maybe.

Over the weekend, the venerable Yahoo! Personals sent an e-mail that....I Had 1 New Message! from an Existing Connection!

(Exclamation Points and Caps are Completely Honestly True!)

It was "Knows How to Treat a Woman!" from Arlington. Who loves my name ("sounds very Norwegian?"), really enjoys karaoke (and was going to be singing about an hour from now), and swears there are never leftovers when he makes his special hamburger hotdish recipe for friends.

I wasn't expecting a message. In fact, I had forgotten about the profile....last actively looked in.....March 2006. Maybe?

But evidently it is possible to be active on Yahoo! Personals without really being active. So I went on over for a look-see, semi-averting eyes.

Profile pic? Tan, bare-shouldered, tipsy, smiling. Holding a lampshade. Glasses from a couple pairs ago. Teeth clean. Green is a good color. OK.

Profile itself? Eh. It's peppy. But it does stand up a bit better than it might have....except that I have moved on from Pabst Blue Ribbon and, somewhat regrettably, karaoke:

The Opener: "The temptation as a former journalist is to go nuts crafting something witty for this space....but hey, that would be trying too hard, and I'm not trying to try too hard. I'm a native of North Dakota (no, not the Mt. Rushmore state), and made my way to Boston via Minnesota...."

And then: ".... Really wanted an excuse to stay here, because I always enjoy the energy of this city....walking wherever possible, people-watching, betting how long it might take traffic to unsnarl at a given corner."

And then again: "So, of course, I'm looking to meet someone. Someone who doesn't take himself too seriously...but seriously enough to have a good passion or several. Someone who works hard at what he does, but likes what he does in his off-time more. Someone who might not dislike me for wanting to hash out liberal-politic talking points (might even like to do the same) or go to church Sunday mornings. Bonus points to someone who runs half-marathons. Triple bonus points for a karaoke a dive bar...who would be ok drinking PBR. Cheers!"
Funny, that does read like I'm trying too hard. Like I read the instruction manual on how to write a profile in which I don't take myself so seriously and highlight my fun, irreverent side.

Digging further into my inbox, I discovered I received a response or so a month over the last 3 years. Which means I'd have a head start if decided to rejoin Yahoo! Personals. Which means shelling out some bucks. And rewriting ye olde C.V.

Eh. Double eh. Must I?

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Bikini Challenge (Week I: The Suit)

The Suit: At left. Ordered online today from Victoria's Secret. (I'm not shirking to delay having it on the premises....but you just cannot buy a bikini in Boston in January.)

So my torso is about 1/3 the length of this model's. So is my hair. And she's about 1/3 my age. When it comes time to take the photo of me, don't judge.

I will, however, work on my sassy head tilt hip thrust thingy....

The Sit-ups: 515+ abdominal exercises over 6 can be, and was, done this week. The joke about adding 100 crunches a day turned out to be not as difficult as first thought. I'll shoot for 600 by next Sunday.

Also benefitting from a sadistic yoga teacher who is in love with Full Boat Pose. And a visiting coach during marathon team training who, prior to sending us on a 10-mile run, said in a tone that wasn't to be messed with: "Get into Plank Pose and hold for 2 minutes." OK. Ouch.

The Sugar: The good news--not even the scent of anything chocolate has gone down since the moratorium began January 1. The bad--had a craving so acute Saturday night that I invaded my cinnamon sugar stash with a teaspoon.

Diet is going to be the Achilles' heel. I like beer. I like wine. I like Sweet Tarts. I like to eat late at night....preferably spoonfuls of peanut butter from the jar. My willpower against these habits is notoriously unsteady.

So this week: need to brainstorm strategies to give my willpower improved core strength. (Ha.)

The Shoot: March 22. My 36th birthday. Why not a milestone for a milestone?

We're at T-minus 69 days. (And 6900 sit-ups.) Game on!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Soulmate, schmoulmate....

"We are all soulmates.
It's the earthmates that are hard to find."

--Attributed (with his permission) to John M....interior designer, volunteer dog-walker, pragmatist, purveyor of free beverages at Jurys, nicest guy on earth (and in this picture, the tall guy on the right with gold tie) .....via Facebook chat, 1/09/09.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Deep Thought: Be like Tina

At 9:30 p.m. Thursday I was doing what every good girl should be doing at 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday: pounding the elliptical machine at the gym.

(Bikini Challenge, folks. Seriously. I'm on it.)

Anyway, NBC's comedy 30 Rock was playing on the elliptical's attached television. Love this show, written by and starring current everywhere woman Tina Fey: her character is 30-something, writerly, and neurotic....with great legs. Last night she hooked up with a United Nations operative (Peter Dinklage).....whom she meets on a street corner when she approaches and ruffles his hair, maternally, thinking he's a child.

He could be offended. He's not. He responds thusly: (and approximately....hey, I was ellipticalling pretty hard...)

"Should we get a cup of coffee? Aggressive women with a touch of nerdiness are a complete turn-on."
And off they go for coffee.

Hmmmm.... who else do I know that is 30-something, writerly, neurotic, (by some standard) nerdy, and (by some standard) has great legs?

You got it. Time to get aggressive.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back in with the Man (Redux)

I appreciate friends who continue to respond to the plethora of e-mails I write about dating attempts....even well after certain men's expiration dates. With this latest spin to the CFO story, I've preached digital sermons to a few. Perhaps I believe in the power of my persuasion technique.

But so far, no. This should tell me something, yes.

Nonetheless, I stay honest in my desire and they stay honest in disapproval...but, I think, trust me to not be an idiot and, like any good parent, know I might flounder regardless. It's good to have these folks around. When I'm balancing desire and loneliness and pragmatism and expectations and sweet talk from old flames...thoughts are constant noise, disturbing clarity. Forcing them into written words is helpful.

So thanks again to A. I've hashed out this recent bit with her since Saturday. But something she wrote this morning caused me to respond with the paragraph plaigiarized below, which I think is a clearer evocation (than yesterday's blog entry) of my current rationale:
"I know I'm going to run into this with folks who see it as odd to put in time towards anything that does not have marriage at the end of it. Is it self-abasing? Depends on your definition. I don't feel that eyes are wide open here. It takes many kinds of people to make the world turn. Including those who do like to go out on enjoyable dates just because they're enjoyable. I believe I've been upfront about yes, wanting someone to be in a relationship with, but just wanting to date, period. That in and of itself is difficult enough. Much less search for soulmate. There is an ideal, of course, but there is also real life and how one chooses to go day to day.
But you've heard this all before, anyway. And who knows, it might be a moot point. We [CFO & I] haven't written in 3 days and maybe it will amount to nothing."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back in with the man (in a fashion).

At 3:15 on New Year's morning--pinot grigio in hand, Bach's Art of the Fugue on the stereo--I sat in the dark at my kitchen table and wrote to the the CFO.

As y'all know, I was grounded by weather and circumstance from spending the evening with friends.....and it was the first instance I felt lucid enough to articulate the thoughts conjured by the CFO's October 21 e-mail. (Which I won't rehash....feel free to follow the label trail and save the sanity of those who labored along with my indecision since then...)

Sparing most details, I told him I had felt hurt. That I regretted not saying sooner that I was. How I came to learn that our style of relationship was emotionally dangerous. That while time had passed and this was a certain dredging up, I thought of him too frequently to not respond.

Cartharsis generated my best sleep in months, and not just because it was 4:30 a.m. I told myself if he doesn't respond, it's closure. OK. And if he does, well, then, I'll deal.

So. He wrote back the next evening....with, in his words, surpise and gladness. Then he wrote at length again on Saturday, responding almost point-by-point to my points. Apologizing for "mishandling" everything, which he regretted because of how much he enjoyed our times together. Then....that his relationship was coming to a mutually-agreed-on close next week because she's moving to Africa, and he wants to start dating again.

And he'd like to go out with me, if that's agreeable.

That's sweet talk, is what it is. Because I find myself so inclined. I wrote him back last night and told him so. For any number of reasons....mostly because he apologized thoroughly but not gratuitously. Because I'm a complete sucker for articulate men. And because I'd really like to see him again and he wants to see me. We had seriously good times last summer and I'd like to have more.

So I don't know what exactly will come of it. As of tonight, I'm OK with it. He responded, and I'm dealing.

My decision has not sat well with the 3 friends I've discussed it with. Bill says: "You can do better than the CFO. Thats all I'm going to say." Another FWAB, sitting across the table at The Paramount on Sunday, listened for 20 minutes before replying, "Karin, run away." A is not keen on me retreating again to the dating-just-to-date scenario, and wrote in an e-mail:

"The second go-around with him might be different, but remember the first--meant to be casual but distressing when things didn't continue as you had hoped despite your first intentions (case in point). Just don't like to see you get hurt, and would rather see you with your "soulmate" which doesn't sound to be him."
Can I disagree with all of them and still feel good about going forward on my own path? My initial thought....was the ungenerous try being 35 and single and not having a date for 3 months and then tell me that every date should be with the man I'm expecting to marry. It's easier to say "wait for 'The One'" from the vantage of the relationship surety you're all in.

I felt bad for thinking it, because these folks all seriously care about me. So I've rather stopped thinking it and will try not to think it again. I don't like feeling my friends disapprove of me.

And if I see the CFO again and he stomps on my heart, I will tell them they were right. If we have a splendid old time doing up the city, I won't rub it in.

Nonetheless, it seems the storyline has re-upped. More to follow.

(And don't think y'all are going to pile-on in the comment section now and give me a lecture.....!)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Bikini Challenge (Starting Line)

I've never hidden the fact that this blog serves a selfish function: to keep me accountable to someone besides God and myself in my desire to achieve certain goals. You may remember past quests on Or Craiglist. Or Weight Watchers and 35 days to a better everything.

So in the biggest cliché known to all, I now announce my official new year's publicity stunt: (drum roll, please)

The Bikini Challenge.

It came to me about 8:20 a.m. Saturday, while on mile 5 of an 8-mile Charles River run.

You should try it....running, that is.....during the waking moments of a January morning....when the sky is clear and the river is quiet.....and you hear only breathing and footfall. Everything seems possible.....washboard abs, among them. I want to be hard-body in a two-piece swimsuit by the time I visit my aunt and uncle in Florida, in March. (Granted, the crowd on the SW coast by Fort Myers is decidedly retiree.... nonetheless, a beach is a beach and it will be my first beach of the season.)

No other parameters, like losing a certain number of pounds. I just need to look good.....a subjective goal, if ever there were.

So exercise, the easy part. Training for a marathon. I have to run 20-40 miles a week for the next 3 months. And lift weights. And go to yoga. Or I die on April 20. So all I need to do is add 100 abdominal exercises a day. Woo-hoo!

So eating, also easy. After 3 months of inhaling several bags of Reeses Pieces per day, I declare official sugar-shock. Time for a break...and a January chocolate moratorium. That alone should remove several inches from my waist.

So all that is left is to set the goal date (booking my plane tix) and find the desired two-piecer. After which I will hang it in my bedroom on a hanger to walk by on my way to the shower, just like the girl in the Yoplait commercials. I will post a weekly update here on Sunday nights with the ins (and hopefully less frequent, particularly stomach and hip flesh) outs.

There will be no "before" picture. This is not The Biggest Loser. But you stick around to the bitter end........................

............I promise a picture of me in a family-friendly pose, wearing the suit. I promise.

However, play fair. Those of you with no desire to see me, in public, in a bikini, simply de-tune from the blog at the appointed hour. Do not feed me alcohol, caramel rolls, cheese or cotton candy while attempting to derail.

As always, stay tuned... and I will post the suit, hanging in bedroom, soon. And it will not have yellow polka dots, thank you very much.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's hangover

1) The mouse?

Still dead. Pretty fat. I did have to touch it, but it's now out with the trash. I'm glad to have had a pair of latex gloves on the premises.

Reported its appearance to my landlord, who agreed to provide traps and fill up a hole in my storage room drywall that he cut this summer for plumbing issues. We theorized together about what made a perfectly well-fed mouse keel over next to a stray sock in my laundry tub. His suggestion wins, I think: mouse scurried about, fell in, had no way to climb up the slick metal, no way to get to food. Going forward, we agreed I'd keep the lid down, very much like one should a toilet seat with dogs....

2) The glasses?

Super glue attempt #1 snapped in half this afternoon when I unthinkingly pulled a t-shirt over my head. (After years of abusing these frames...being careful is not as easy as you think.)

About an hour and 5 additional layers of glue later, I'm a little high from the fumes about my nose, but think they will hold me until Monday when I head back to LensCrafters for a replacement pair. Nothing like draining the healthcare flexible spending account for the year on January 5.

3) The wallet?

Recovered from the MBTA bus barn at 10:30 last night, looking as if it hadn't been touched. Hooray for kind Southie lost-finders.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Patience is a (bitch, but also a) virtue

As if 2008 were a burden to be shucked off, 2009 started thusly:


1) I ran a run that restored my enjoyment of running.

2) Friends A, B & C cooked Indian-style lamb and basmati and invited me over to JP to eat it. Which we paired with a South African white wine while listening to Handel piano sonatas.

3) A cheerful (yes, cheerful) Store 24 clerk at the corner of Broadway and H Street unquestioningly replaced the defective Krazy Glue pen with a real tube of gooey stuff. And when I went home to use it, it held my glasses together. Proof:



4) If you're willing to go out drinking late on New Year's Day with everyone's favorite boy friend John M., you'll get your white wine subsidized, and will also have someone to hang with at Jury's to ogle stubbly men in grey t-shirts.

I was, and I did, and I did, and I did.

Then today:

1) It's easy to forget you're hung over on white wine when it's Friday.

2) The T came through, in a big way. My #9 bus driver was cheerful in reeling off their lost-and-found number when asked. I called it while taking her bus into work, inquiring about lost NYE wallet...and discovered that lost-and-found not only has said wallet, but said wallet is intact. And that their office is open 24 hours for whenever I want to come pick said wallet up.


3) Riding this jubilation into my office tower, I was ready to convince whoever was at the security desk to let me through on charm alone....since my building ID is still in said wallet back at the MBTA office.

And there he sat behind the desk: lanky, dark-eyed, shaggy-haired, college-boy holiday replacement (really!). He smiled (really!) as I approached and (really!) said:

"Oh, you again?! Last name Xxxxxxxx, right? You're all set. Have a good one..."
Then buzzed me through the gate. Surprised he didn't print me a day pass for re-entry if necessary, I said so. He replied:
"No problem. I'll be here all day and will certainly remember you!"
Cheers for the New Year. (Finally.)

BBC 3: New Year's Run.

At 4:15 yesterday afternoon I woke from NYE silliness, donned ski socks and sunglasses, and ran 5.12 miles through Southie. Up East 3rd Street and Broadway and eventually to Columbia Road, and along Carson Beach as the sun set. By the time I got back to Broadway and sprinted (yes, sprinted!) up the hill to L Street to circle home, the same sky was black and very dark when viewed through shades.

I love this kind of run. Made me forget the wallet is still missing, the glasses are still halved, the market still lost 34% in 2008.

(A mystery to me, this amnesiating. If it could make me forget lost loves, I'd run 20 miles a day.)

Winter running takes getting used to, especially the below-zero kind. The iPod helped..a repeat of Sandy Patty on "O, Holy Night" propelled me the first 20 minutes, when icy air was still ice in the lungs. Everything after that felt merely crisp. Even when crossing Columbia and stepping thigh-deep into a plow drift to get to the opposite side. By then blood flowed to hands and muscles were warm. Sidewalks were universally fingers of ice and packed snow....but how was it so easy to be surefooted, so much more so than when walking?

Another mystery.

When it is this cold I'm always glad to see other runners. Yesterday, at least 10 other folks jogged past. To a man, wearing matching UnderArmour skullcaps, jackets and black tights. To a man, we raised our first 2 fingers, casually, when passing...some silent code of respect for braving the hangover or the melancholy or the thermometer, or for just looking good (and not like space aliens) in our gear, or giving the impression that we all must be training for something.

And ergo, super cool. Amen.

The 2 miles along Carson Beach were equally cool and the most bone-chilling. I wish I had brought my phone to capture the pink sky behind the JFK Library and UMass, the wind gusting clouds of snow from the beach to the whitecaps.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bathrobe. Sunglasses. 23 degrees below. Perfect!

Can't make this stuff up. Cannot.

December 31, 8:30 p.m. I'm in the bathroom....shaved legs, silk blouse, fresh mascara and lipstick, drinks and host gifts in hand, moments from stepping out to 3 (yes, 3!) social gatherings.


1) My glasses snap at the bridge as I clean them with Kleenex. I now hold identical 1-legged spectacles.

2) No problem....I go to the toolbox for the super glue.

3) Problem...the tube of super glue is dried into a lump. OK. Why not go to the convenience store for a fresh one?

4) Coat on, hat on, boots on....and I have no wallet.

Twenty minutes of turning my apartment on its ear, searching, and still no wallet. It might be on the #9 bus. It might have fallen from my pocket on Dorchester Street and since been plowed up with the slush. It might be funding someone's Dom Perignon purchase. Hard to tell. Nobody answers the phone at either the Citizens Bank or MBTA customer service lines.

So fitting that 90 minutes before the end of this strange and perplexing year, I was walking into a 25 mp/h wind through Broadway's snow drifts, toes frozen to the inside of my boots, prescription sunglasses on, going to Store 24. No way to know what the cashier thought when I pulled out out baggie full of dimes and quarters (from the spare change mug on my bookshelf) to pay for my $2.40 Krazy Glue pen.

Which did not prove its worth; opened and squeezed, no glue came out. Perhaps it is also dried into a lump inside its plastic tube. Hard to tell.

So. We're 34 minutes into 2009. Since returning from Krazy Glue Shopping, I've taken my second bubble bath of this evening. While reading The New Yorker (thanks to glasses held together with Scotch tape). While drinking a bottle of Harpoon Raspberry Hefeweisen (meant for Eric and Brandi's party). While trying to convince myself that there are so many other worse places I could be when the wind chill is 23 degrees below zero.

(Like drinking beer with friends and meeting new people.)

I'm in my bathrobe now. In a few moments I'll empty the clean dishes from the dishwasher and start a load of laundry. Then I will help myself to the bottle of pinot grigio that was intended to help fuel Dave's party.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll find my wallet. And fix my glasses. And further perplex the Store 24 clerk by returning the defective glue.

Happy F#$%ing New Year!

Insult-to-Injury Update, 2:10 a.m.: There is a dead mouse in my washing machine. Perhaps it is time to go to bed.