Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good morning to you (too)

Yes. I'm cynical.  I no longer get misty when a man sends a poem as form of online introduction  Most of the time he's lifted it from some other source. All of the time it indicates an easy-out rather than something more genuine.

This morning I received this (which, when Googled, is found to live on dozens of Hindi text-message sites) from yet another early-20s (and ostensible) college student from Allston-Brighton:

It’s So
Pleasant !
You !
You !
I have told them
all To Wish You
Good Morning.
Since it indeed has (finally) stopped raining, despite a lingering fog, he's almost (actually) persuaded me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Birthday Shout-Out: Big Sis

Growing up, being the middle child of 3 kinda sucked.

Kristin, 2 years older than me, was the responsible, serious, indecisive one with the best hair who hated eating breakfast. Missy, 2 years younger, was bossy, driven, fun-loving, and had the most boyfriends. I was the shortest, the sneakiest, the most gullible and (taking after my father), absolutely hated fighting and refused to take sides when it happened.

It is not always in a child's best interest to be a mediator between warring factions. I was often the victim of an accusatory "you never take MY side!", complete with hair-pulling, kicking, and silent treatment.

(Which of course, when faced with it, then often gave back. Can you imagine these sweet faces trying out swear words for the first time, at each other? Those pigtails being yanked?)

Missy (2), Kristin (6), Karin (4) - Cando, ND, c. 1977.

In any case, we 3 girls survived. Thirty-some years after this picture ... we generally like each other, we generally get along, we still gather around the piano at Christmas to sing "Sunshine & Snowflakes", we remember each other's birthdays.

I'm happy to report that Kristin is still 2 years older. Today is her genuine 39th birthday. She is happily married and living in suburban Minneapolis, working at a law firm and singing in church choir. She still has great hair. She's still (sometimes!) responsible and she still hates eating breakfast. She's also loyal and caring; last Monday, she made her Facebook status:

"Happy Birthday to my amazing sister Karin today! Love ya!!"

Happy Birthday to my amazing sister Kristin today! Love ya!!

Kristin (38) & Karin (36) -- Fort Myers, FL, March 2009

Monday, March 29, 2010

Restless, again

Don't know what it is. 

Can't concentrate today.

Maybe because my primary diet staple this weekend was raw peanut butter cookie dough and sugar and fat has glommed up my neurons.

Maybe because a glorious, live, Bach's St. John Passion kept me up in Harvard Square until after 11:30 last night, and I still haven't figured out how to stay up too late on a Sunday and not regret it.

Which, speaking of, maybe it was waking up to a slate-colored sky on a Monday morning and, when snoozing-on to WBUR, have the first thing I hear be:"Heavy rain tonight. Heavy rain tomorrow. Heavy rain on Wednesday.  Maybe sun on Thursday."

Maybe, because on OKC this morning, this guy showed up again.  Then not just 1, but 2 additional correspondents of yore popped up to chat in "remember me?" fashion, for a total of 3 interested guys who didn't follow through the first time who now, again, either situationally or hormonally, are re-interested, all of which prompted this appropo exchange with one of my favorite FWABs:
Justin: HUH?!?!
Karin: Yeah.  This whole theory of unavailibility breeding interest is really proving itself over and over.  ;-)   Guys are so much more predictable than they think they are.
Justin: Guys are 132% more predictable than women.
Maybe it's just 4th-and-long during tax season and it's Holy Week and it's grey and windy and the men in my orbit continue to be even more indecisive than myself.

None of which surprises me.

What does surprise me is that, knowing all of this, I'm still back to feeling restless, again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

6 Minutes, 37 Seconds (and Brahms)

So it's Friday night and all my bills are paid and my 2010 census form mailed and I've got drinks plans later and lunch plans tomorrow and a new dresser (!) to assemble and a bike to buy (and new Asics and an Easter dress, too) and to find and a rehearsal to attend and some website edits to do for Mike's campaign websites and a Palm Sunday service at which to sing Bach, but no dates and no real pressure to do anything except for these tasks I've placed on myself, which is both a relief and a drag because I definitely do better with deadlines and I can see myself on Monday in self-flagellating mode because I haven't finished them ...

.... but, as you can tell, I don't have much else to blog about tonight, or else I wouldn't have challenged myself to list out these details all in the 6 minutes 37 seconds it took Martha Argerich to tear through the Brahms Rhapsody in G minor, the only piano piece I can perform from memory at a concert level because I learned it in 1994 for my junior recital and still play it hard every couple of weeks, and if I were truly ambitious, part of my weekend would include rehearsing this piece so that I, too, could put my version on YouTube, or other pieces, so that after 17 years I would indeed have something else to play.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Two (un)related dating items

Last night I drank a first (2) beer(s) at one of my favorite beer and sandwich spots, The Parish Cafe on Boylston, with a new OKCupid guy. 

He's a post-doc in genetics at Harvard Medical, engineer by training, claims to have practiced yoga on occasion. We met at 10:15 and were both fading by 11:15. But we did manage 2 full hours of conversation -- mostly opinions regarding (too suburban, agreed) and OKC (he trusted the compatibility algorithms, I saw them only as rough guides and gateways), and then an extended, bantering discourse on how he had become drunk off of one Blue Moon and I was still lucid after 2 Left Hand Brewing Milk Stouts.

[I know it's cliche to live in this city and expect high-level academic discourse whenever Harvard (and in last night's case, Stanford and Brown, too.... and, furthermore, what is it about my ability to attract Brown alumni, this being my FIFTH?) comes attached to a date CV. I just don't expect queries about how I might have answered specific questions on online dating quizzes. ]

In any case, after we both relaxed into it, Harvard post-doc and I had a decent vibe not to be totally discounted. I think we will meet up again. He's out of town for a week; when he comes back we'll do a Southie dive-bar crawl. More to follow, perhaps.

In the meantime, I found myself fretting this morning after reading today's "Love Letters" column on  The subject:  "She Dotes on Her Men."  The downlow: the author, in past dating scenarios, has "waited hand and foot" on men as her way of demonstrating she cares for them; one of her guy friends has told her to lighten up and "act more equal" and now she's worried that this instinct is "unhealthy."

Then I read through the reader comments to this post, and most agreed that, indeed, she needs to back off and avoid a smother-fest. The following one specifically caught my eye:

"I read a book a while ago, called 'Why Men Love B*tches'. Don't be deceived by the title; she didn't mean you should treat a guy like crap. To quote the author, Sherry Argov: 'Women need to understand that trying too hard and sacrificing yourself turns guys off, and pretty much guarantees you'll be taken for granted and dumped.' Here is a quote from a guy on her website: 'Men need to put in some work to really appreciate what they get. When a woman gives too much, too soon, she is viewed as absolutely positively BORING to men.'

I read this and recalled Claudia's advice from Monday (and from countless previous conversations) about the emotional and situational perils of making myself just the right balance of "available." I recall how I struggle (and frequently worry to distraction) with, when interested in someone, I don't know how to show myself as interested and caring enough, but not too interested and caring.

Oy. Headache.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fabulous patience

I had several good chats this week with Claudia. 

We usually have good chats if I've got man stories to tell her.  Claudia has heard some part of some story of every man I have ever spoken with.  And she has heard all the stories of all the men I've gone so far as to go out with.

So she knows me.

Yesterday at the birthday lunch, I was telling Claudia of a great frustration I own regarding a man I know; my frustration stems from open-ended awkwardness between us that, at least in my opinion, deserves some resolution. I am not asking him for resolution, but I am not patiently awaiting it. I want resolution but don't want to be the one to ask for it.  So I'm just stewing.

Claudia doesn't buy any of this. She says, in essence:
"Screw resolution. Sometimes you don't get it, so just get over it. 
You're not allowed to force anything, especially if he doesn't want to force it. You go live your life and be fabulous and adventuresome and don't be so damn available that you're either boring or annoying."
I wish I wasn't still frustrated. But I so much more wish to not be annoying -- annoyance being the kiss of death to an awkward situation. And the kiss of death to the situation being highly undesirable.

Claudia's advice here might be distilled into a concept, henceforth, to be known only as Fabulous Patience.  Perhaps it is worth a shot.

Monday, March 22, 2010

..........Dateline 3/22/10: Thirty-seven..................

(Prudential Center),
2:45 pm,
featuring the Key Lime
(with caramel-flavored writing),
courtesy of Claudia
(who also gets the photo credit).

I am not entertaining any
smart-ass comments
about how
last year
and how
this year
known to woman.

It is the way to go
a birthday must fall 
on a
rainy, foggy Monday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The last 3 hours have been perhaps the mellowest 3 hours I have had in months.

It did not include blogging. Or running. Or kvetching. Or organizing. Or paying attention to the House vote on Healthcare Reform. (Sorry. Bad citizen. I know.)

In that period I had a Hosting a Dinner with Friends Recovery Hour.  I sat down on the couch.  I called my grandma. Then my sister called and I talked to her.  Then I hung up the phone, pushed repeat on my friend Balint's recording of J.S. Bach's St Anne Prelude and Fugue -- perhaps one of the most stellar versions I know of the most stellar organ piece I know --  and let it wash over as I lay back on the couch, feet up, and closed my eyes.  The dishes were done. The leftovers were stored. My stomach was full of another friend, Chris', homemade fried sausage and my grandma's recipe for plattar and some potent Hungarian apricot hootch that Balint brought and the peppermint schnapps we downed over toasts to celebrate Bach's 325th birthday today and my 37th birthday tomorrow and the sunshine and Spring and family recipes and the music and the fellowship of the gathered and the friendship and the love.

I thought of my family, my friends, the day ... and knew I had moved, if only for this certain hour, from relatively content to completely content, and realized, quite frankly, that I can't believe how lucky I am for it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Relatively content

Ah. March 19 and patio weather is already back.

It's dark. It's quiet.

Even at 3:13 a.m., this set-up works. Juice glass of cabernet left over from last Tuesday. Blanket over bare knees. Radio coming through the screen door. Competitive, speed game of online Scrabble in process with fellow candle-burner.

It took a long day to get to this reward. Work -- non-stop projects, until after 8. Elliptical machine at the gym until 9:45. Then home, only to not possibly stand the griminess of the bedroom one moment longer, necessitating the ripping apart of bed linens and scrubbing out of  litter box and sweeping dust clumps from behind night stand and hanging the big rug to air on the patio and remaking the bed with brand new foam-green sheets and pillowcases.

Some nights I'll take this reward rather than ever-elusive sleep. In this mood, I don't fear the morning.  In fact, I'm already anticipating the iced black-eye and the walk I'll take back to the office on the fourth sunny spring morning in a row.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sunny day (II)

For inquiring minds:

1) We (3) ran 7 miles along the South Boston waterfront, around UMass and the JFK Library. Quickly. He wants to run the Los Angeles Marathon this weekend in under 3 hours and 20 minutes. And it certainly felt like we were doing sub-8 miles. Although I know he held back his pace to be nice.

2) Later in the evening, we hung out at a pub with some more of his running friends and talked about running. Exclusively about running. 

3) Except ... for a brief foray into political interests.  He worked once with Joe Biden's campaign, so we talked about Joe Biden. I had to spend a couple hours between our run and our drink at Mike McGee's campaign meeting .... so we talked about Mike, too. He thinks Mike would win the election hands-down if he became (wait for it) a runner ....and conducted "running debates" in which the winner would be the one who could be most articulate while short-of-breath.

4) So we dutched on the beers and nosh and shook hands to part.  I thanked him for the invite. He promised to let me know how the race went. We agreed to touch base next week after his return from the other coast.

5) And that was that.  It was, indeed, a nice evening.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunny day

Tuesdays are not universally better than Mondays, but today already beats yesterday by several miles. In part, because of the sun (duh!) after 4 days of none and 10 inches of rain. Shocking how that helps.

I am also jazzed at this perfect weather for my initial outing with Erudite Southie Runner -- who last week suggested I join him and his buddies for their Tuesday-night run out of the L Street gym. I'm in the mood to run. I'm in the mood to make new friends. The extra evening sunlight, plus the sun itself, makes this baseline foolproof.

(I hope.)

Meeting with a group -- including unattached men my age -- to work out and drink a few beers after: I should have aspired to this activity long, long ago. That my first chance came via unsolicited invitation from a man who, in a week of e-mails, has Not. Once. Mentioned. Either. Sex. Or. My. Legs. and is running his first marathon this weekend and just today admitted he co-wrote a musical (a musical!) about Watergate .....

.... not putting any eggs in any basket on this, other than I'll be disappointed if this doesn't turn out to be a mildly nice evening.

Game on.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dateline 03/14/10: South Boston

12:58 pm, corner of Broadway and Dot Ave, with the well-prepared musket man and his compatriots (and yes, he did indeed make a bad joke about the capabilities of his musket, as you might expect), before the parade, before I could have possibly realized that 2 hours later I would be standing in my bathtub wringing 2 full gallons of water out of all of those layers of "waterproof" clothes (including the "waterproof" boots).

Some stinkin' storm.

Update - 6:52 pm:  So I was just chatting with my father about my weekend. He thought my colonial drum-and-fife buddy above was the candidate I was marching in the parade for.  Which means I should be a good campaign volunteer and clarify that Mike McGee (below) is the man running for Fourth Suffolk District State Rep. That he sprinted flat out for 3 hours shaking hands in his garbage-bag-over-wool coat outfit through a serious Nor'easter (see the waves blowing through the puddles behind us) means he deserves a bit more love from me -- even if it means you have to see 2 photos of  that awful poncho.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oy, the Green

I just got home from running errands. My pants are wet. I've got goosebumps. And the sound of the wind outside is louder than the Bach partita on my stereo. But at least I'm in for the night.

So, then. Ask me tomorrow at this time how I'm feeling. I'll have survived attending my first Southie St. Patrick's Day Parade. In fact, I'll have most likely walked in the parade. In a bright yellow slicker and ye olde paisley rain boots. Holding a sign. Striding into a 40-mph gale and, probably, trying to see around the raindrops glazing the front of my glasses.

(Through this well-timed Nor'easter, of course, in effect until the 1 pm event start, after which it is being downgraded to "just" a storm. Awesome.)

The occasion for breaking down after 3 years of purposefully avoiding the drunken chaos of millions that is this particular March Sunday in our fair city?

Politics. It's my friend Mike, who I'm supporting as he runs for Fourth Suffolk District State Rep. He's walking the parade as a necessary rite of political passage. We're walking with him because Mike is a nice guy, and because it is something that campaign volunteers do for their candidate, and because ... what other year will Southie let a Scandinavian like me onto the route ... ?

The good news is we are just a few entries behind the Hot Tamale Brass Band, who will hopefully make the slog up Broadway just a bit juicier. And I'm hoping a couple nips of vodka ahead of time, combined with the yellow slicker, will make it a bit warmer.

Oy, indeed.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Deep Thought: Tulips

It is the season for tough times.

Last night I was on a family e-mail from a relative dealing with workplace budget cuts that may very well result in her longtime job being reduced or eliminated ... familiar language in this climate, unfortunately. After explaining the ups and downs of her last couple weeks, this paragraph:
"In the midst of all of this uncertainty, [my husband] is my focus and centers me. He is unfailingly supportive and will work with me in any direction this all may lead. He sent me gorgeous orange tulips, streaked with purple - in a vase yesterday for my desk.....every time I look at them, I smile.....that is a good thing as having a smile on my face has been difficult lately."
I'm a sucker for stories like this: when a friend or a partner or a lover knows the small thing to do that keeps someone's boat floating for another day. Sometimes, in those depths of March before the first day of Spring, it could be tulips.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Proposition of a different sort

My favorite type of message request on OKCupid is cryptic, direct, intelligent, and in no way uses the words "cutie" or "hot."

So, last night:
Subject: equally obsessed
Message: runner. running. run. I run with friends in Southie, generally on Tuesday nights. Might be a nice way to meet. What do you think?
The gentleman is mid-40s. Definite serious runner's physique. OKC's compare-o-meter suggests we "both like Watergate, and All the Presidents Men" and that we are a 67% friendly match.

I liked his response for I spend a lot of time thinking about ...
"Making a difference from this moment on. Not repeating the same stupid mistakes again. Avoiding making new stupid mistakes when possible. Accepting that making mistakes comes with committing to life. Admitting and correcting the mistakes I make ....

Getting faster (and smarter) when I race.

The incredible – and beautiful – improbability of it all. (Who the f*ck knew, and why wasn't I told when I was younger?!)"

Kind of a nice change of pace for this scene, eh?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


One of my best friends is mid-rough patch at present. The upside is that he needs a lot of company, so we've spent a lot more time together than usual.

I like my friend; even when he's down, he's fine company. And my own dating life has officially re-entered stagnancy. So this is good for me, too, to keep occupied. (Otherwise I'd be wallowing. I'm in a wallowing mood. So you should thank my friend for his help in sparing you this.)

Last night, we had been talking outside by his car, and as we were saying goodnight, he sighed and looked into the sky.

"I just need to be somewhere else," he said, almost ruefully. "Just go to some mountain or something and be by myself. Wouldn't that be nice."

My reaction to this was surprisingly visceral.

Indeed, how absolutely perfect -- to be somewhere else. To not be in the city for one day. To not hear sirens. To not have to hear garbage trucks and Fed Ex trucks and jackhammers and bus motors and T speakers announcing the next train to Ashmont. To not check e-mail. To not be wishing someone would write. To not smell cat litter and to not have to remember to sort the recycling. To not feel incompetent because the floor didn't get washed this weekend. To not be addicted to expensive coffee. To not have to discuss cost basis information with anyone. To not be beholden to anyone.

Every once in awhile, the fantasy of "away" has a nice ring. Maybe the spring weather is playing with me.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Over No Hill (thank you very much)

Yesterday I worked through lunch until 6:30 p.m., after which I ran 4 miles and then stopped off at a friend's house to rehearse some songs, before riding the B Line to Allston to hang with a friend and a bunch of his friends while imbibing some truly smooth Atwater Vanilla Java Porter, before riding the B Line to the Red Line to the 15-minute walk home ....

So. By the time I dropped my backpack on the kitchen floor and kicked off my shoes, the hour was approaching late and what more could I possibly have been in the mood for after such social frivolity.... but a hop onto OKC to see if anyone was up and in the mood for more social frivolity.

It was a fruitful choice. An acquaintance I'd chatted with a couple times last fall appeared and we fell into a benign, amiable conversation about our shared interests: running (he's an ultra-marathoner) and blogging (which because of his running success, for various reasons, is also a success). At one point, he was talking about a 125-mile run (you read right). I was feeling small potatoes:

Karin: So my 5 miles yesterday is really impressing you, I can tell...

Runner-Blogger: It actually is... I'm always impressed when people get out for a run. Its one of the hardest things to do

K: It's very exhilarating to me .... running, when it feels good. It doesn't always. These last couple of days have felt fabulous, which is always great, because it makes me want to do more.

R-B: I wish I was older.
I feel like if I was.. I might actually have a chance with you.
We really hadn't been talking about chances of any sort. Or anything other than running and blogging. Tone-shift 180.

K: ? Do you feel as if you don't?

R-B: sorta..

R-B: I mean.. I'm just a young 28 yr old with a babyface

R-B: still a student, no steady job

R-B: I live an hour from you

R-B: ....
So then, I'm thinking .... why did this man, 28, start talking to me in the first place? And why was it only after talking and determining we had some real points in common, that he decided age was indeed a factor? And why had he already decided that I would never consider him?

OKC's site hosts a blog called "OkTrends," in which they "compile data from the hundreds of millions of user interactions on the site to explore the data side of the online dating world." One of their more recent studies, drowning in data, is called The Case for An Older Woman.

It's a good read and contains many beautiful rainbow charts. I'll leave it to you if you want to. But I like their findings which, as the blog's author and researcher states after a lengthy introduction of men's proclivities to find younger mates:

"I will show that an older woman's attitudes, both about sex and life, are just as good if not better than her younger counterparts', and hopefully I'll convince more guys to venture north of their current age-limits."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Benefit (2)

It's always during the mental health weekend
(which was going quite well, BTW)
while standing in an inexplicable Sunday-morning line at Starbucks,
I see walking towards me
and who,
on this day,
makes eye contact and then
as my lips breathe open to form the word "hey",
looks away as if we didn't really make eye contact
and keeps on walking
(as if he had never held my hand through the whole movie and kissed me in the bus shelter at the end of Date #1 and on the corner of Boylston and Tremont and in front of California Pizza Kitchen and while waiting for the train on Date #2).

Another benefit of dating like a fiend:
a year ago,
this kind of shit would have destroyed me.

But by now I'm just kind of used to it.

And it has been a good Sunday.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mental health

A couple weeks ago I was in a world of drama.

The friend you want in your corner in such circumstances is Claudia -- she is indeed one of the finest uncomplaining listeners of our generation. That President's Day of my discontent, she and I met at the gym to unload on the ellipticals, then unloaded several hours at Starbucks, then went to CitySports to find me a yoga mat. Furiously talking all the while. Tuesday afternoon, still in the same frame of mind, I don't recall exactly but think she and I spent 90 minutes on the phone, talking some more. Or, mostly, me talking, she verbally nodding.

I'm lucky to have Claudia. She indulges me like that for a time, realizing its benefits. Then at point X, she just does not. She gives me the "pull up the bootstraps" directive.

I remember her saying that to me by Wednesday, essentially: "You need to figure out your own life, not other people's. And don't wait for someone else to figure out yours."

This weekend, I think, is going to be that. Do the laundry. And a couple 5-mile runs. Scrub the cherrywood floor, covered in cat hair, that hasn't been scrubbed in 3 months. Hit the antique store at the corner of E Street & Broadway and buy that dresser I've been looking at for 3 years. Go to Brookline and look at that Craigslist electronic keyboard I've been hedging on all week. Go to a concert on Saturday night that I feel like going to. Sleep. Bathe. Don't stress.

It's not figuring it all out. It's just sweeping a few things clean. I think I'm about up for that.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Yesterday during work I was quite tired and a bit out of sorts.

It was thusly good to find my old friend Bill also quite tired and a bit out of sorts. That usually means we try to solve each other's problems. Or at least figure out how to articulate them.

Yesterday we worked on one of mine.

From: Bill
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 10:04 AM
To: Karin
How are you?
From: Karin
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 10:19 AM
To: Bill

I’m OK. Really wiped. Yesterday was very busy at work and a rehearsal in Arlington…and then I ended up going out for a last-minute drink that was kind of annoying. You know ... one of those where going out for a beer means you stay up 2 hours later than you should. Then it was annoying. So I lost sleep for no good reason. Which is even more annoying. I’m just annoyed at myself, actually

But really. I’m OK.

How are you?
From: Bill
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 10:57 AM
To: Karin

Tired. Going through a bout of insomnia, and it sucks. Constantly tired and cannot think clearly.

Why annoyed at yourself?
From: Karin
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 10:58 AM
To: Bill

Ah, sorry about the no-sleep. I hear you.

Annoyed because I keep getting caught up with guys who are very sweet-talky and then have no time or energy for me. And then I just get frustrated. It’s a stupid cycle that I’m just starting to see.
From: Bill
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 11:03 AM
To: Karin

Yeah, it’s not a good cycle. Lets break it!
From: Karin
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 11:01 AM
To: Bill

But I need dynamic men who can sweet-talk me. It’s only after I get caught up in it that I see part 2. How does one get around this? Hanging with boring guys in the hopes they’ll turn out to be cool?
From: Bill
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 11:11 AM
To: Karin
I do not know, honestly. Is it wrong to say that a dynamic guy shouldn’t need to sweet talk you? Feels like sweet talking should come later.
From: Karin
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 11:16 AM
To: Bill

Hmm. I’m overstating the “sweet-talk” part. I don’t mean that.

I just like interesting, dynamic people who are fun to be with. It’s more that these are usually also (same) the most ambitious, driven, time-sucked people out there. It’s the dichotomy. Interesting, dynamic people are usually very busy.
From: Bill
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 11:23 AM
To: Karin

Yeah, that kind of sucks.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Last Thursday I unexpectedly ended up for a couple beers down at Tom English's with a first date. It was all quite random. We had IM'd on OKC several months earlier but never connected. It was only on this, a wickedly stormy night, both of us spontaneous, that we found good reason to meet up.

So .... I won't go on too much, except to note it was a decent enough date that he stopped over for a nightcap and dropped his wallet in the creases of my couch ... which meant we had to reconnect the next day on our lunch hours so I could return it.

Fast forward to a few hours ago. We met again for a beer out at Tom English's. He's working for a tech start-up. He's been working 14-hour days the last two, after having just worked all weekend. He's exhausted. He's distracted by Sarah Palin on the Jay Leno Show in our mid-conversation. He needs to go home to bed just after the segment on Shaun White, even after I offer(and give him) a back-rub ... while sitting at the bar ... even though it was he who asked me out.

And now I'm sitting here at my kitchen table, alone, writing to y'all.

(Hm. Kind of a killjoy of a beer, 'twas.)

So here's the point of this pointlessness: I want to know how soon a date gets entered as a contact in a cell phone .... or how long he remains a faceless 617-xxx-xxxx. It's a true balancing act, I tell you: assign it not soon enough, and I have to wonder who the faceless texter might be; assign it too soon, and it's just another thing I have to frustratingly delete when the endeavor goes south.

This gentleman has kept me guessing. After Date #1 he did check in with me again Sunday night (as 617-xxx-xxxx), to which I responded ... so I figured we were headed for a Date #2 and assigned him a name. Then it took him an entire day to again respond ... so I wondered if I had over-anticipated. Then tonight our texting conversation re-upped and led us to a date, and I figured I was in good shape. Then the date was unsatisfying ... and now I'm (wait for it ..... wait for it) frustrated. Not "delete from the phonebook" frustrated. More "what the hell? Build me up just to fade to the finish?" frustrated.

No, no.

Actually ... it's that I did capitulate and add him to my phone when maybe he's not going to to be worthy.

Or ... he is worthy, and I find myself just more increasingly impatient and unsympathetic than I should be knowing another man with an all-consuming job.

[Or if I'm just, again, (argh), frustrated at my own lack of ability to tell the difference.]

Monday, March 1, 2010

D = 5C = 10L = 50X = 500I

Today is Single in the City Blog Post #500.

(One benefit of personal drama: it makes you forget about the big picture. It didn't occur to me until this morning, on the #9, that I was facing an anniversary I hadn't in the least contemplated. Which meant I don't get to stress over it in a I-haven't-yet-done-my-2009-Christmas-cards-fashion. Now that's personal progress.)

It seems a good moment to reflect briefly on what I've taken away from 22 months of self-reflection:

1) I would greatly benefit from strings for my mittens.

2) My nephew is now and will probably always be better looking than any of the men I've dated.

Henry (18 mos.) in Florida, February 2010

3) I will probably never again have as nice of a body as I did on my 36th birthday. I'm still sad about this.

4) My time-management skills are eroding every day.

5) Self-challenges with deadlines have been by the far the most effective way at getting me to eat better, exercise better, date better, and write this blog. But not, as you well know, sleep better. That might be the lifelong rock in my shoe.

6) Politics have not yet saved my dating life and, now firmly entrenched in my friend Mike's campaign for Massachusetts State Rep, wonder if I should still be asking the question.

7) I have more boy friends than girl friends and wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that I'm still single.

8) OKC has been wonderful. OKC has been a time suck. OKC has introduced me to several of the more interesting people I'll ever meet. Perhaps it's OK that I signed up.

9) I've done well to write the first female dating blog that doesn't consistently reference Jane Austen novels. Yet. Just 2 weeks ago I picked up Sense and Sensibility for the first time. I can see I am forever attracted to Willoughbys and have no time for Colonel Brandons. I'm well aware it took a near-death fever illness for Marianne Dashwood to see the light. I've been wondering lately what it will take for me.

10) I may be still be single, but I'm a better date than I was 500 blog entries ago. I hope.