Friday, June 29, 2007

The Mom

I called my mom the other day to chit chat. At one point, she lowered her voice and said to me in a hushed tone, "I worry about you."

Worry about me? Worry about what?

Was she worried that I lived alone in a big big city in an apartment by myself? That I might slip on the bathtub and knock myself unconscious and drown in my own bath? That one day coming home from work at 11 pm I might get raped and murdered and no one would find my limp body in the dumpster until three days later?


She was worried I would become a Spinster.

"You're almost thirty now," she said mournfully, as if delivering a eulogy, "I worry that you become Spinster. I pray for you every day that you find a good man. Soon."

I laughed despite myself. "Um, thanks Mom."

She wouldn't be Mom unless she was Mom.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A person

As one progresses from childhood to adulthood, a person will come to many startling realizations. There is no Santa. Babies come from sex, not heaven. Mommy and Daddy are sometimes wrong. Life isn't fair. Fortune cookies don't always have fortunes in them. Et cetera, et cetera.

One of the eeriest realizations for me is the fact that my mom isn't just Mom, but an actual...person. A woman.

WEIRD, isn't it?

I was reminded of this while reading "Behind the Scenes at the Museum," by Kate Atkinson (who by the way is a frigging kick-ass writer, the kind of writer I wish I could be). The main character at one point looks at her mom at a moment when the mom is particularly vulnerable, and is just struck by that raw vulnerability and the life her mother lived (or rather, didn't live).

Most of the time I see my mom as Mom. Cooker of food. Nagger. Affixer of band-aids. Disciplinarian. Comforter. But every once in a while, something I witness or read will remind me that she's a real person with this whole life story that preceded my existence.

It's frigging WEIRD.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Poem of a Bad Mathematician
(or Something You Write After Being Coked up on Several Shots of Espresso)

You could even my oddness.

I could odd your evenness.

And if we're both odd, then together we add up to an even.

Though if you are the One, that would make you odd.
And infinite.
And then One plus One would not equal two but one.

Then we'd both be odd and uneven.
And infinite.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The gravel path

I grew up in a Christian household, where Bible study was as important a subject as geography or literature. My experience with the opposite sex, from age 0 to 18, was very very limited. Virtually nonexistent in fact. I was the quiet, modestly smart girl whom the boys just couldn't see "in that way." And while my love life remained steady at 0%, my notions of like, like-like, and love bloomed inversely. The Christian additive of spiritual and perfect love perhaps catalyzed my idealism.

Up until age 15, I had never kissed a boy. My forays into romance in high school were limited to one-sided crushes and the one boy I dated for a week. And yes, the one boy was the only boy I had kissed in high school and we only kissed once.

Not that I went to a pristine high school. Kids were having sex at age 12. I knew a girl who had an abortion at age 14. And I had heard of parties where people got drunk and got high and "hooked up." To me, all of this was as foreign as showing up to church without a Bible. And so, in the absence of a love life, any experience I had with any guy was magnified ten fold.

One such experience began with a gravel path.

It was winter and I was fifteen years old. I was walking to church on the gravel path, a remote side street that served as the boundary line between a lightly wooded area and a yellowed grass field. That morning my brother had gone to a different church with his friend and my mother had gone to an earlier service. I had no ride so I had to walk the mile and a half to church. It was a little cold, but tolerable, probably 40 degrees.

As I walked along the road, I could hear a car drive slowly from behind. I walked to the edge of the road to let the car pass. But instead of passing by, the small white sedan slowed down. The driver was a young man, Yellow, with smooth tawny skin that stretched over his high cheekbones. Next to him was another young man, also Yellow. The driver rolled down his window and smiled. "Hi there."

"Hi," I said, still walking, holding my Bible and notepad to my chest. His smile was so warm, I couldn't help but smile back.

He kept driving along next to me. "Isn't it too chilly to be walking by yourself?" he asked me.

"Nah," I said, still walking, "it's fine."

"Where you off to?" he asked.


"Really? Me too. Which one?"

"First Presbyterian Church, right down this road."

"Really? That's where we're going to too."

I stopped walking. "Really? Which service do you go to?"

"The college group with Pastor Ham."

"Oh yeah," I said. "I'm in the youth group. I guess our services start around the same time."

"Do you need a ride?" he asked me.

I looked at the empty back seat and then turned to the gravel path that stretched ahead of me. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was perhaps a little too chilly to be walking by myself. Still, I felt obligated to say, "Are you sure that's okay?"

"Of course," he said. And so he unlocked the back of his car and I opened it and hopped in. As I sat in the back seat, adjusting my Bible and notepad, the driver looked at me through the rearview mirror so that I could only see his narrow eyes. "By the way, I'm Johnny."

"Hi Johnny," I said, "I'm Yellow Gal."

"And this is Tom."

Tom turned around to say to me, "Hi."

"Hi Tom," I said. He turned back around to face the road.

I don't remember exactly what we chatted about for the next few minutes. Was it about church? The youth group? The upcoming church retreat? I'm not sure. I do remember sitting there in the back, feeling the car quake on the bumpy gravel path and looking at Johnny through the rearview mirror, or just his eyes rather, as he glanced from the road to me throughout the ride. And suddenly I didn't feel that cold anymore; I felt very warm in fact, just sitting there and talking to him. He was so easy-going, so friendly. Tom, for the most part, spoke only once or twice to interject a "yeah" or "uh huh."

When we got to church, he drove up to the youth group entrance to drop me off. "Thank you," I smiled to him as I shut his door.

"No problem," he said to me with a nod. I stood there, wanting him to say something more. But instead he drove away to the lot to park his car.

I went to service as usual, my heart beating beneath the Bible I held to my chest, still shivering from the bumpy ride. He definitely seemed older. The way he spoke was just different from the way the boys in my algebra class spoke. Something more grown up, but still boyish.

I hoped against all hope that I would bump into him in church that day, in the hallway or out on the lawn. But I didn't. For the next several weeks, I looked for him on Sundays, hoping I'd see him again before or after his service. But I didn't. My fifteen year old mind envisioned various circumstances under which I would bump into Johnny. At the supermarket perhaps. Or maybe at the mall. Maybe we'd bump into each other at the same Christian shop. But we didn't.

And so, of course, as time passed my crush faded and in its wake, other short-lived crushes cropped up and similarly faded. It would be a year before I'd see Johnny again.

I was sixteen now and had made the JV cheerleading squad for what would be a brief stint in high school. It was winter and therefore basketball season. The JV basketball team just finished winning their game, and the gym court cleared for the varsity cheerleaders and varsity basketball players to warm up before their game. I was chatting with some squad members, commenting on a particularly pathetic toe touch the other team's cheerleader did, when I happened to spot a random girl in crutches hobble around the court. She stopped in front of one of the bleachers and started playfully kicking someone with her still good leg.

That someone looked very very familiar.

I broke away from the group and started walking towards the girl and her victim. As I got closer and closer, I recognized the tawny skin, the smooth cheekbones. It was Johnny. He seemed to be sitting with a group of upperclassmen.

"Stop kicking me!" Johnny was saying to the the girl, laughing.

"Ha-ha!" she said as she swatted him one last time with one of her crutches before hobbling away, giggling.

I stood there, pom poms in hand, staring at Johnny, until he looked at me. "Hi," I breathed.

"Um, hi," he said. Clearly he didn't recognize me.

"Um," I said, "didn't you give me a ride before?"

One of the older high school girls behind him started snickering. "That sounded bad," she smirked. So much for an opener.

"Huh?" he said. "A ride?"

"Um," I said. "Last year. I was walking to church and you gave me a ride. It was to First Presbyterian Church...?"

He kind of looked at me for a second and narrowed his eyes. "Oh yeah," he said nodding slowly. "I kinda remember you. You were in the youth group?"

"Yeah," I said. "It's Yellow Gal. In case you forgot."

"Oh yeah, I remember," he said, smiling. I beamed at him, wringing my pom poms in my hand.

"You're Johnny, right?"

"Right," he smiled. And we chatted some more. I sat down next to him on the bleachers and we talked about where he was now (still in college) and whether he went back to that church (no). I soon learned that he had attended my high school a few years before. Apparently he knew some of the older siblings of some of the upperclassmen. We watched the varsity game and he, in a very unsportsmanlike manner, yelped a falsetto "shazoo!" every time the other team had a foul shot. It usually worked. And as crude as his behavior was, I of course found it endearing.

The game ended with another win. As people started trickling out of the gym in good spirits, I stood up. "Well," I said, "I'm gonna call my mom to pick me up now."

"Oh, do you want a ride?" he asked.

"Ummm," I said. I did some quick mental math, wondering what were the chances of my parents freaking out over a college guy giving me a ride home after 8 pm. Then I figured I could just lie and say so-and-so's mom drove me home, it was on the way. "Sure!" I chirped.

(I could always ask God for forgiveness for lying and dishonoring my parents later.)

"Cool," he said.

And so I ran to the locker room to grab my bookbag and jacket, and met him by the gym's side exit. He held the door open for me as I exited the gym. It was very dark outside.

"Isn't it so funny how we bumped into each other again?" I said, walking next to him.

"Yeah," he said as he pulled out his keys, "what a coincidence."

By the time we got to his car, there was only the distant sound of people hooting and cars driving away. His white sedan glowed faintly beneath the dim street lights. He unlocked my door and opened it for me (Such a gentleman! I had thought to myself). Then he closed the door for me once I was seated. I watched him get in the car, seat himself comfortably, place the key in the ignition and turn the engine on. He fiddled with the radio a bit before settling on a station. Ace of Base was singing "The Sign," and Johnny and I just sat there, waiting for the car to warm up. Then he turned to me and asked, "How old are you?"

"Sixteen," I said. "How old are you?"

"Twenty-one," he said.

"Oh," I said, "okay." I was suddenly worried that he'd think I was just a kid, too young and immature to like-like, much less like. He's probably used to older mature college girls, I thought to myself. I really really wanted him to like me.

"My dad's ten years older than my mom," I added. And as soon as I said that, I felt really stupid.

He kind of laughed and brushed my cheek with his hand before putting the car in reverse. "You're really cute," he said as he began backing out.

I felt my heart race. "Cute" as in funny? Or "cute" like a baby? Or "cute" like a woman? People always think I look 12 years old, I thought miserably to myself. He pulled out of the parking lot and I gave him directions to my house. As I sat next to him, I looked at his face and watched it flicker beneath the passing street lights, and his hands as they steadily steered the steering wheel. He looked different at night.

Soon we were pulling into my driveway at my house. He slowed the car in front of my garage and put the car in park.

"Well," I said nervously, "it was good chatting with you. Thanks for the ride!"

"No problem," he said slowly. I was adjusting my bookbag to leave when he asked me, "So can I have your number?"

I felt my heart skip a beat. "Sure," I said. JOHNNY IS ASKING ME FOR MY NUMBER! I was screaming inside my mind. I stealthily unzipped my bag, shuffled for a notebook and pen, ripped out a corner of a page, and scribbled my name and number on it.

Then I handed it to him shyly. "Sorry it's so sloppy," I offered.

"No worries. Thanks," he said, "I'll call you."

"Cool," I said, beaming. Then I hopped out of his car, closed the door, and walked to my front door, listening to the sound of his white sedan back out of the driveway.

* * *
Okay this blog entry is getting long. I'll finish the rest of this anecdote some other time. A couple things struck me though as I relived this memory: (1) It's kind of scary for a fifteen year old girl to get into a car with two male strangers on a remote road in the middle of winter. It sounds like the beginning of a really scary movie, doesn't it? and (2) It's kind of grody for a 21 year old college dude to fraternize with a 16 year old. But at the time neither of those instances struck me as odd. Parents, watch your kids!

Anyhow, I'll finish some other time.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A couple things

I'm going to do before I turn 30 this December:

1) Sky dive
2) Vegas, baby

I've never done either. My head will probably explode during both events from sensation-overload. My goal is to survive unscathed. Or at least survive.

I know I know

I need to get a grip. For some reason, I'm starting to miss him. Now. Why now and not last week or the week before? I suppose the past couple of weeks I was playing the part of "Bitter Sarcastic Yellow Gal." But now, I kind of miss the bugger.

The last few weekends, Bitter Sarcastic Yellow Gal has been going out and dancing and binge-drinking like a college kid, trying to throw herself out in the sea of non-GD men, meet new people and have as much fun as possible. "See, World?" Bitter Sarcastic Yellow Gal said while wobbling on a bar stool, "I can have fun and be fun without GD."

Yet as the hangover from the past few weekends wears off this Sunday evening, I realize it was all a front. Being dissed by someone you like sucks. I know I know, it's not like the end of a 20-year marriage with your soulmate. And I seriously need to move on. But I guess it's sort of hitting me now. Sucks.

Scenarios that I entertain in my head but I shouldn't because I'm not in high school anymore and should know better

Of course, all pertaining to GD. I think I watched a lot of bad sitcoms and 80s movies.

Scenario #1
I bump into GD unexpectedly. As usual, he looks effortlessly gorgeous. And on his arm is a similarly effortlessly gorgeous girl. She wears a tasteful sleeveless sun dress with a matching headband that pulls back her straight dark hair. She's the pretty girl who can pull off a sun dress with matching headband. I'm wearing my should've-donated-to-the-homeless clothes and my hair is tied loosely in a librarian bun. I am not able to escape as I've already been spotted so I have no choice but to walk up to the happy couple, sans man, and make nice.

"Hi," I say to them, and happily, they say hi back. GD introduces the effortlessly gorgeous girl as "my girlfriend."

I fake smile, fake laugh and fake happy. As my sense of decency forces me to chat with them more than one second, I realize, with horror, that not only is the girlfriend gorgeous, but also intelligent, funny and kind.

"She's enrolled in Harvard's JD/MBA program for the fall," GD says while reverently looking at her.

And ambitious.

"Nice," I reply, while thinking money grubbing capitalist whore.

"Yeah, I hope to use my degrees to expand this non-profit organization I spearheaded a couple years ago for kids with leukemia," she says. "My niece has leukemia now, but I think with more funding and lobbying, she'll be back in school in no time." And then she smiles that kind of smile you know isn't fake, the kind that you can't help but smile back at. As much as I want to, I can't help but feel myself like her just a little. So not only is gorgeous, intelligent, funny, sweet and ambitious -- she's making the world a better place. Could it get any worse?

"I'm so glad General Electric and Bristol-Myers gave me those grants, otherwise I have no idea how I could afford it!" she exclaims as if still relieved.

And poor.

Afterwards, I go home and go into party planning mode -- pity-party-planning, that is. It'll be a party of two. Me and a bottle of Jack Daniels. No cups. No napkins. I need mouth-to-bottle recussitation.

* * *
Scenario #2
I bump into GD unexpectedly. This time it's me looking effortlessly gorgeous. I'm having a good hair day. I'm not wearing the should've-donated-to-the-homeless clothes. In fact, I look like I got it going on. Effortlessly gorgeous man candy on my arm is optional. When you look this good, who needs a man to make you look better?

Of course, GD is still looking effortlessly gorgeous because he always is, whether he's wearing a ratty t-shirt with tattered jeans or gym shorts with flip flops. Anyway, being the mature and cool person that I am, I saunter over to him, say hi, and engage in artful chitchat. He is with his boys, sans girl. I joke with him and his boys, because I'm that girl, the fun charming girl who can chitchat with anyone anywhere anytime.

As I direct my attention to GD I can't help but notice something. Sometimes a girl can tell when a guy is so enamoured by her that he smiles in a peculiar way and talks to her as if there's something lodged in the back of his throat. (Granted, I myself have no idea what this is like but in Scenario #2, I do.) As GD smiles at me in a peculiar way and talks to me as if there's something lodged in the back of his throat, my cell phone chirps. It's a text message.

"I have to run," I lilt to him.

"Hot date?" he jokes weakly.

"I have to run," I repeat and hug him. "It was good seeing you again," I say.

"Yeah it was," he says.

I wave goodbye to him and his boys, walk away, leaving them all wondering why, god, why, did he let me go.

* * *
Scenario #3
One of my friends just got a new job and we're at a local watering hole to celebrate. While my friends are at the bar ordering lemon drop shots, I stop by the ladies' room to powder my nose and check for smeared eyeliner. As I head back to the bar, I survey the room and its rather unimpressive occupants. The jukebox finishes playing "Baby Got Back" with the familiar whip snap, and suddenly a familiar song comes on, "D'yer Mak'er" by Led Zeppelin.

And then I see him. GD. Leaning over his glass, in a baseball cap, t-shirt and jeans, chatting with some guys. I can't help but smile because the last time I heard the song was at his place, on a lazy Saturday afternoon, when he had it on repeat on his iPod. And I think he was wearing that same cap.

As Robert Plant croons "You don't have to go," GD for some reason looks up from his drink, looks around the room and sees me. And smiles. I smile back. He stands up and walks toward me. And as we make our way across the room, everything suddenly becomes slow motion and the ambient bar noise muffles into nothing but the song. In a moment, we're standing in front of each other.

"Hey," he smiles.

"Hi," I beam. "How you been?"

"Good, good," he nods, "how about you?"

"Good." I look around the room and nod. "Good song."

"I love this song," he says.

"I remember," I say, the song continuing in the background, "You hurt me to my soul."

"Good memory," he smiles.

"Nah. I just listen."

We walk over to a little table nearby, sit down, and catch up and chat. It's as if nothing happened, as if there were no memory of the Hamster Incident or the passive aggressive MIA bull shit, as if everything had been okay all along and still is. But I know it's not.

In the middle of the conversation, I realize that I have to ask him the question I had been meaning to ask him all along: "So ... what happened?"

He sits there for a moment and blinks a few times. I know he knows exactly what I'm talking about. "I don't know," he says to me, shaking his head. "I just ... couldn't anymore."

I nod, because I finally get it. "I see," I say.

"Hey, do you want a drink or something?" he says nodding his head toward the bar and pulling out his wallet.

"Uh, I can't. I better get back to my friends." I then gesture to the audibly cheerful group at the bar. "My friend just got a new job and there's a shot glass with my name on it."

"Oh cool," he says. "Congrats to her!"

"Yeah," I reply and stand up. He stands up too. God he still looks good.

"It was good seeing you, Yellow Gal," he says.

"It was good seeing you too," I say.

Then he hugs me for what appears to be the last time and says, "Bye, Yellow Gal."

"Bye," I say, and walk away.

* * *
Okay that's it.

I guess #3 is the "closure" scenario. Which, while more likely to occur than Sceniario #s 1 and 2, will still not occur.

Fiction is fun!

Last night

I saw "Knocked Up." It's not exactly brimming with high brow humor but I thought it was funny. There's one part in the movie where Alison (Katherine Heigle) and Ben (Seth Rogen) are kissing and then Alison stops for a second and asks Ben, point blank, "You're a sweet guy, right?"

"Yes," he says.

"You're not gonna fuck me over right?" she asks. "Don't fuck me over."

"I'm the guy girls fuck over, so don't fuck me over," he responds.

I found that scene very honest and poignant. I want to say that to every guy I meet: "Please don't fuck me over." Of course, every guy (including those that will) say they won't.

A gal can only hope.

Monday, June 18, 2007

For some reason

this video, "Stick Figures On Crack 3," the third installment of some dude's series, "Stick Figures On Crack," really cracks me up. This from someone who's never been on crack.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


To maintain my streak of cheerful blog entries that so far have ranged from biting self-deprecation to pessimism, I must ask the question: is it me, or is it tacky of MSN Hotmail to have on its splash page (or whatever you call the page that appears when you first log in) a link to an article, "Men's deadliest health threats," on Father's Day of all days? Now I realize I may be somewhat sensitive to this because my father and both my grandfathers have all passed away. But still. Today is Father's Day, we're supposed to be celebrating our relationships with our dads, grandpas, uncles, etc.--not discussing the various ways they can kick the can. I'm all about maintaining health, but really, it's a bit tacky to say the equivalent of, "Happy Father's Day! Now here are the ways your dad can croak."

Then again, the titles above the how-your-dad-can-croak article are: "How to dress like Madonna" and "Celeb kids & famous dads." So if I want to be dumb and overanalytical about it, I could interpret MSN Hotmail as first giving suggestions to Dad on how to be a drag queen, then letting Dad know how he falls short of male brats and their bratty offspring, and then enlightening him on the most likely ways he'll kick the can.

Okay, so maybe the MSN Hotmail webpage developers did not sit in a circle and deliberate on how they could be tacky on Father's Day. They probably instant messaged. Just kidding, but seriously though, I think I have a point here. There's room for improvement in the Tact Department. Posting the above article on Father's Day is akin to displaying an article on Valentine's Day, "The conclusive link between marriage and suicidal depression." Seriously.

Who's a cynic

They say that what goes around comes around. The theory is, whatever evil you do to others will come to you. Let's say a guy cheats on his girlfriend. Her friends tell her, "What goes around comes around." And somehow, this is supposed to make everyone feel better because the universe or higher being(s) will do unto the guy what he did unto the girlfriend. And maybe later on in life, the guy's wife cheats on him. "What goes around comes around," everyone surmises, and somehow, that shows how everything came full circle.

But if what went around really came around, then Hitler wouldn't have gotten off so easy, innocent children wouldn't be forced into labor, and murderers and child molesters wouldn't be acquitted on a technicality. Now if you ascribe to a religion or faith, then yes, Hitler and child molesters will go to Hell or the equivalent thereof in other religions. Yet in this life, there are people who do lots of bad things and go on to live perfectly happy lives, without guilt, shame or punishment.

Let's face it. Shit happens. There is no rhyme or reason. I suspect that, for the most part, people tell themselves "what goes around comes around" to justify or rationalize the bad events that seem to happen for no reason. This goes hand in hand with the saying, "everything happens for a reason."

In my life, I certainly don't think that all the people who've mistreated me will have bad things happen to them because of what they did. And if bad things did happen to them, it wouldn't be because of their bad acts. Bad people and bad things just sometimes exist and occur. It's a part of life. They serve no purpose. They just sucked. Maybe they made me tougher, wiser, and more self-reliant. But I don't think you can tell a girl who was abused when she was 8 that her abuse "happened for a reason." Given the choice, I think she'd rather that not happen at all. And I don't think telling her that "what goes around comes around" assuages the trauma of her abuse. Especially if her abuser has a good defense attorney and is subsequently acquitted.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh. Maybe, if we try hard enough, we can see the silver lining in every shitty thing that happens. And even if there is no silver lining, maybe some people just need to believe that there is something or Someone out there who will right all the wrongs. We all need our beliefs, don't we? Otherwise, we just might have to relent to a fact so unbearable, so unimaginable, that we concoct religions and one-liners to circumvent it: that sometimes, life just sucks.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


"Wake up," it said.

"No," she replied.

"Do you know what day it is," it said.

"No," she replied.

"According to your birth control dispenser, it's Tuesday."

"Okay," she said.

"Why do you take birth control if you don't have sex?"

"To stay regular," she replied.

"Isn't it sad that the only way you know what day it is today is through your birth control pill dispenser?" it said. "And you're not even getting any."

She threw her pillow over her head.

"You can't block me out," it said in her ear.

"I know," she said, "but can I pretend?"


"Please, stop talking to me."

"I can't stop because I won't stop."


"Do you know who I am?" it asked her.


"Who am I?"

"You are the Voice," she said, "the Voice in the Back of my Mind. The one that tells me after I've left the house that I can't pull off that shirt. The one that says he's probably too good for me. The one that tells me I'm dumb, fat and ugly and will therefore die alone."

"Ah, so we've met."

"Yes, Voice, we have. Now please, leave me alone."

"Not until."

"Until what?"

"Until you convince me otherwise."

"Convince you otherwise what?"

"Until you convince me I'm wrong."

"Is that how this works?"

"Yes," it said. "For example, whenever I say you're fat, you take it, instead of having a comeback."


"Hello -- the proper response is, 'I'm not fat. I'm hot.' "

"That's supposed to be my response?"

"Yes," it said.

"Why are you giving me advice on shutting you up?"

"Because," it said, "you need it."


"Plus, it's kind of boring to kick someone while she's down."


"So the next time I say you're dumb, you say...?"

"I'm smart, not dumb."

"Good," it said, "and...?

"Um," she thought a bit, "I wouldn't have been able to go to the schools I did, get the results I did, and get to where I was if I were dumb."

"There you go."

"Some people use sex or nepotism or connections to get to where I am now."

"Uh huh."

"And I worked my ass off."


"Ergo, I'm smart, and, with all due respect, you need to shut the fuck up."

"Yeah, there you go," it said.

"No really, shut the fuck up."

"Okayokayokay. I'll go," it said sheepishly. "But you get the idea. Just remember this the next time you hear me."

"What I just say? Did I stutter?" she said. "Shut the fuck up."

"All right. I'm out."

She waited a minute and, after hearing nothing, pulled the pillow off her head and opened her eyes. There was nothing in the room. Nothing but silence. Sweet, serene silence. And it was nice.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An exercise in decorum

Another inevitability of ending a non-relationship is that all the people you gushed to about it will inevitably ask you about it. Then you have to come up with a nice, diplomatic spiel.

Last night, I had dinner and drinks with a casual friend. I wouldn't say she's a good friend, but a newer friend with whom I have had dinner and drinks a handful of times. She inevitably asked, "So how's it going with Your Man, GD?"

My Man? How about my Non-Man. I sighed and said, "It's not."

"What?! What happened?!" she asked, her eyes widening.

Now, to discuss someone behind their back (or, to put it more diplomatically, talk about someone when that person is not present) is a delicate matter. It's best to assume that every word you say will probably get back to the person. Last night, I hadn't properly rehearsed my recap of the non-end of the non-relationship with my non-man. So I think I blabbered a bit more with the casual friend more than I should have. I said it bothered me how it ended but overall I'm okay about it. She kept prodding more and more, "So you're really okay? How do you feel? You're okay?" And after a couple drinks and continual prodding, I relented and told her I thought it was kind of lame of GD to purport to be an upfront person and then engage in the opposite behavior. She responded, "Oh. You're very sensitive."

Not really sure how one responds to that. I deduced from her complete lack of sympathy that she disagreed with my assessment. Also, is it ironic if you're sensitive to the fact that someone called you sensitive?

Anyhow, I know she has a friend who's friends with a friend of GD. That's the great thing about living in a large city. You are lulled into this illusion that everyone is disconnected because the city is so big. But they're not.

I mitigated my blabbering by repeating to her, "GD is a good guy. I genuinely believe that." And I'm hoping she was too drunk to remember anything I said. Which wasn't even that bad to begin with. I just like to minimize damage, minimize potential damage, and minimize potential potential damage.

So tomorrow night, my guy friend is throwing a little soirée. I will for sure bump into people who are acquainted with GD. So this is how I'm thinking I should handle the inevitable question: "So how's it going with GD?":

Me: "Oh, we're not dating anymore."

Inevitable response: "Ohhh, why not?"

"Oh, we just decided to go our separate ways."

"What happened?"

"Nothing. We just went our separate ways. It's cool."

"Are you okay??"

"Yep. [smile and nod] Totally."

Then in my fantasy, they'll leave it at that and we'll talk about the finale of "Grey's Anatomy" or some other random chit chat.

I have a feeling though that it will not be so cut and dry and that psychological prodding will occur. I will just have to remind myself to be nice and diplomatic. Assume everything I say will get back to him. And most of all, look happy.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's not me, it's you

When you stop dating someone, a fascinating, almost supernatural phenomenon occurs. Suddenly one third of the population begins to drive the same car he drives. The same make. The same model. The same color. Like somehow, there was some cosmic flyer that went out to the universe that said, "Please buy/rent this car and drive it around this person as much as possible."

So GD drives a black Lexus. And I'm serious, everywhere I go now, I suddenly see these black Lexuses. I go to the supermarket. Black Lexus turning into the parking lot. I walk from the train station to work. Black Lexus humming at a red light. Jogging by the water. Black Lexus parked by the sidewalk. And I'm not talking about just any Black Lexuses, I mean, identical or nearly identical model and year. It's frigging freaky. And it doesn't help that many car manufacturers mimic Lexus's design.

So whenever I see these Black Lexuses, I tend to undergo the same three physical reactions. First, I panic: Crap, I'm wearing my reject clothes that I should have donated to the homeless but I can't because today's a laundry day! Second, I peer into the Black Lexus to investigate. Third, I sigh of relief when I inevitably see a woman or geriatric man.

Yesterday, after a nice long jog, I was walking home in my drawstring pants and sweat-stained t-shirt when I saw the Black Lexus. Oh another false alarm, I tried to assure myself as my heart palpitated. But as I commenced physical reaction number 2 and peered inside, I noticed the dark hair, the smooth jawline, the assured right hand placed at 2:00 on the steering wheel.

It was GD. Now what dumpee wants her dumper to see her looking dumpy? I immediately looked away and skirted into the nearest edifice. Which would have been fine had it not been a sex shop for gay men. As I stood by the doorway near an assortment of edible paint, I waited for a minute to pass, waited for him to pass, so I could emerge from this shop in which 90% of the equipment were incompatible with my machinery. Suddenly, I felt my phone vibrate (ironic, isn't it). It was a text with a simple question: "Having fun in the sex shop?" I felt my heart stop. A minute later, he texted, "Hello to you too." And that was it. I never responded. I simply stood paralyzed in the doorway, watching the male clientele look at me dismissively. Too frumpy and flat to be a drag, they were probably thinking.

. . .

OKAY. I'm kidding. Nothing in the previous paragraph actually happened. I'm good at inventing worst case scenarios because I frequently am living one. No, what in fact happened was, I looked away and took a side street and kept walking, hoping he didn't see me, and if he did, hoping he didn't see me see him and take a side street. Chances are, it probably wasn't GD. I mean, never mind the fact that he lives literally half a mile from me.

My message is this: People of the world, stop driving Black Lexuses. It's freaking me out!

Good morning

There are many things a person can do at 4:20 in the morning. A person can go for an early morning jog. Perhaps watch an infomercial on TV. Or surf the web. Maybe eat some chocolate chip ice cream whilst reading a book.

This morning at 4:20, one person, whom I shall now refer to as Annoying Dumbass, went outside into the alley outside my apartment building, took with him a baseball bat and large empty plastic water cooler, and began beating the empty water cooler with the bat as loudly as he could.

Okay, I don't know for a fact if Annoying Dumbass was actually beating a water cooler with a baseball bat, but that's what it sounded like at 4:20 am when it woke me up. As I threw my pillow over my head, wishing myself to sleep, I involuntarily began fantasizing about owning a BB gun and transforming into a military level sniper that could shoot the bat out of Annoying Dumbass's hand and reduce the empty water cooler into tiny bits. And with each subsequent ear-splitting, mind-numbing thud, my fantasy evolved. The BB gun turned into a handgun. The a handgun became a rifle. The rifle morphed into a bazooka.

Just as the bazooka was about to transform into a missile, a neighboring woman screeched, "HEY CUT THAT OUT!"

The beating of the empty water cooler ceased and a young male voice sheepishly called out, "Sorry." Annoying Dumbass sounded like he was 20 years old.

Now seriously. When you're a 20-year-old dude and it's 4:20 am, shouldn't you be playing Wii or Sony Playstation or getting stoned or trashed or banging some chick(s)? Why on earth would you be beating a water cooler with a bat?

It makes no sense. I suppose this is just another question I can throw into my ever growing repository of Unanswerable Questions About Males.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I speak English

The English language is very interesting. It's so elastic and evolving. There are the different regions of America that've developed their own accents and words. Is it "soda" as they say in New York or "pop" as they say in Michigan? And there's the inevitable mixing with other "immigrant" languages in America, resulting in Spanglish or Chinglish.

And it doesn't end there. It goes beyond U.S. borders. For example, when I first watched the British version of "The Office," I didn't know what "whinging," "bender" or "tipple" meant. When I was in London a few years ago, I learned that the Brits actually did use the words "bloke" and "fancy." I like "fancy" because it is a nuanced version of "like." For example, I usually say, "Does he like her or like-like her?" Now I can say "Does he like her or fancy her?" Though it sounds terribly British to me.

I've heard Canadians say "bloody" (like "give me the bloody keys!") and "mum," which both sound very British to me.

Out of all the English-derived accents, the South African one sounds the most foreign to me. It sounds kind of British, but with a Southern accent. Like someone from London lived in Mississippi for a while or something. I think it's the way they pronounce their a's or i's, it's a bit more drawn out than the standard British accent. I think.

I really like the Scottish accent. It's almost lyrical. I remember listening to a rural Scottish radio station on my walkman, marvelling at the way they said their sharp o's and i's.

But alas, I'll resign to my standard American slightly northeast accent. That is, unless I get the case of the Madonna's.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Look & listen

My boss once told me, "Never listen to what a guy says. Watch what he does." Like you people, he has pretty much endured my GD saga in full detail. He said this in response to the hamster incident, when he remarked that GD was jealous. "But GD never gets jealous," I insisted, "That's what he told me."

"Look at his behavior," he said. "Look at his actions, not his words."

Then he started rattling off examples of other things less than savory men have said:

"She's just a friend."

"It wasn't me."

"Don't worry, I'll never cheat on you."

"I won't ever hit you again, I swear."

Some lies are certainly worse than others. And I think women believe the lies, despite conduct indicating otherwise, because we want to believe them. We want to believe the best in people, and especially in men we're already emotionally attached to.

I'm feeling much better about things, because I can sigh of relief that I at least know that it's done. The lie-rebutted-by-conduct GD told me time and time again was "I am open and honest about things" and "If I have a problem or an issue or have something to say, I'll say it."

I ignored the passive aggressive behavior, the evasiveness, and the fact that I had to force literally him to tell me every problem he had with me. Oh yeah, and the fact that's he's ending this non-relationship by never contacting me again. I clung to his touted philosophy of being open and honest because I wanted to believe it.

Lesson learned. Look at how a person behaves. Not what he says. Easy way or hard way, you'll learn. It's just harder learning the hard way.

Musings of two gals

My girlfriend and I were chatting on the phone about the guys in our lives, how they weave in and out of our lives, how weird and surreal it is that a man can be such a fundamental part of a gal's everyday life, from waking up in the morning, to coming home from work, to spending every weekend minute together -- and then poof, he disappears.

I speak more for my friend than myself, as she actually got to the boyfriend stage, and really began to fall for him. Then, they broke up. And now he's no longer a part of her life. It's like this entire person somehow just disappeared. And all she's left with is these memories of lazy Saturday and Sunday mornings, movies they watched, and lingering emotions. Other than the memories, it's as if he never existed.

Strange, isn't it? An entire segment of one's life, emotional and physical, is just gone.

But I suppose we all move on. Such is life. I think someone said life's a journey. Can't wait 'til we get there.

Monday, June 04, 2007

All day long,

the song, "Sweet Thing" by Rufus, has been in my head. If I liked GD more than I did, it'd be so apt. The song is so melodic, soulful and longing. The lyrics, without music accompaniment, don't do the song justice, but here they are:

I will love you anyway
Even if you cannot stay
I think you are the one for me
Here is where you ought to be
I just want to satisfy ya
Though you're not mine
I can't deny ya
Don't you hear me talking baby?
Love me now or I'll go crazy

Oh sweet thing
Don't you know you're my everything?
Oh sweet thing
Don't you know you're my everything?
Yes, you are

I wish you were my lover
But ya act so undercover
To love you child my whole life long
Be it right, or be it wrong
I'm only what you make me, baby
Don't walk away, don't be so shady
Don't want your mind, don't want your money
These words I say, they may sound funny, but

Oh sweet thing
Don't you know you're my everything?
Oh sweet thing
Don't you know you're my everything?
Yes, you are

Yes, you are

You are my heat
You are my fire
You make me weak with strong desire
To love you child my whole life long
Be it right, or be it wrong
I just want to satisfy ya
Though you're not mine
I can't deny ya
Don't you hear me talking baby?
Love me now or I'll go crazy

You're the heat, you are the fire
You're not mine, I can't deny ya
Don't you hear me talking, baby?
Love me now, or I'll go crazy

Sunday, June 03, 2007

This is what I'm working with

I know one day, when I'm 70 years old, I'll look back fondly at some of the bad opening lines I got in my teens, twenties and thirties, and reminisce.

But that moment is not now.

I feel obligated as a concerned citizen, as a concerned human being, to apprised the public of what constitutes a bad opening line. A few recent examples:

1) A couple weeks ago, I was at a bar with another yellow gal. I was talking to a white guy who tells me he's a third year law student. "Cool," I think to myself, "he must have some modicum of intelligence." As we chit chat, he asks me my favorite question, "Where are you from?" Except, it's not just "Where are you from?" It's "Where are you from? You must be from California because there are a lot of Asians in California."

"No," I said. "I'm from the East Coast."

"Oh," he said, "I thought you were from California because there are a lot of Asians there."

Is it just me, or did that not make any sense? If I'm not mistaken, New York City has the 2nd largest Asian population in the U.S., after L.A.

If my life were a movie, this would be the part where I would turn to the camera and say, "Seriously? This is what I'm working with? This is my dating pool?"

2) Friday night, I get on the subway to meet up with a friend at a bar. I am semi-hooched out since we plan on clubbing - black halter top, jeans, black heels, silver hoop earrings. I soon learn that one of the good things about looking like a hoochie is that you get attention. One of the bad things about looking like a hoochie is that you get attention.

The subway car is virtually empty, so I choose the window seat of a two-seater-row. It's hot and muggy and I am fanning myself with a piece of paper. Then, a guy sits next to me. Which I think is weird because there's about a hundred empty seats in the rest of the car.

So I'm sitting there, praying that he won't start talking to me, already recoiling as I sense him looking directly at me as I fan myself and stare intently out the window.

"Wow you must be cold," he grinned, "you must be cold because you're fanning yourself."

I tried my best to stifle a grimace. "Um, no, actually, I'm hot," I explained, "that's why I'm fanning myself."

"Oh yeah, ha ha."

Okay, seriously? This is what I'm working with? THIS is my dating pool?

I had a whole train ride to go (thankfully only three more stops), so I opened my cell phone to fiddle with my texts and contacts list, anything to show this guy that I was too busy to converse with him. My stop came up and I thankfully was able to avoid speaking with him any longer.

3) I meet my girlfriend's guy friend Friday night. She insists that he likes me. I don't find him that attractive, but he's not bad. Then he opened his mouth.

"How old are you?" he asked me. Isn't there a rule that a guy is not supposed to ask a girl this question?

"29," I said.

"Oh I'm 28."

"Okay," I said.

"So why are you still single?"

"Um," I said, "because I haven't met the right one yet." What other answer did he expect? Because I'm psycho and clingy? Because I have intimacy issues? Because I just finished my 10-year prison sentence and just got out?

"See, it's okay for me to be single and 28, because I'm a guy," he explained, "but you're a girl and you're 29. So it's weird for you to be single."

Okay, seriously? SERIOUSLY? This is what I'm working with? Can you believe that these words actually came out of his mouth? Can you believe that after saying that to me he tried to ask me out the next night and then got miffed when I blew him off? Seriously?

So yeah. That's my report on Bad Opening Lines for now. This report will continue to be updated. It's sad because I don't think any of these guys are actually bad guys or anything. They just need some guidance. I can only hope that by spreading the word, we can stave off this epidemic of Bad Opening Lines.

Until then, this is what I'm working with.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Just pull the plug

Don't worry people. My GD preoccupation will soon be over. Not now. But soon.

GD hasn't contacted me in a few days. Instead of playing the waiting game, I called him and left a message. He hasn't called me back.

Now I find all of this amusing. Not only is he being MIA all over again, but he's doing this after I had confronted him about his MIA behavior. It's funny that he's doing it again, knowing full well it bothers me and fucks with me.

I was blabbing to my ex-now-friend about GD. My ex paused for a second and said, "Yellow Gal, he's just not that into you. Come on, isn't it obvious?"

I closed my eyes. "I guess," I grudgingly admitted.

"This might be hard to hear," my ex continued, "but if you pulled the same shit on me you pulled on him, I'd never call you again. And I think most guys would feel like that."

"I guess," I said. "But even if I apologized?"

"Sorry, it's hard to just gloss over, especially so early in the relationship. He doesn't know you that well."

"Fine," I said.

"It's his loss," he added.

"Right," I said. Nothing feels as low as having an ex tell you that another guy's dissing you is that guy's loss.

"Hey maybe he's acting like this again because he wants another confrontational interrogation that ends in tears," he said, dead pan.

"No I just think he likes me a lot," I said, also dead pan, "so much in fact, that he won't call me, text me or ask me to hang out. He likes me that much."

So I feel like this non-relationship GD and I have/had is like a pet hamster we both own. In the beginning, the hamster was happy, fun, and furry. We played with it and all was well.

Then one day, I got drunk and dropped the hamster into the toilet to see if it could swim. A few hours later, GD discovered me passed out on the floor and the hamster floating face down, and rescued it. The hamster was in a coma for three days afterwards and suffered extensive injuries.

Since then, I've apologized several times for the hamster incident. And I, desperate to bring back the old hamster that GD and I once knew and loved, took it to the best veterinarian, paid for its physical therapy, and even visited a pet psychologist and pet psychic.

The hamster has its good days, but mostly bad days. It usually lies in its wheel, one eye half closed, the other eye looking perpetually in the upper right hand corner of its head, as if some food pellet were suspended mid-air right above it. Patches of its fur are gone. It's losing weight. It has a twitch in its left hind leg. Soon, I have it on hamster life support.

GD meanwhile doesn't look at the hamster the same way anymore. He forgets to feed it. He'll throw in a vitamin or two once a week. But it's not his hamster anymore. And as I shove a tube into yet another one of the hamster's orifices to have a machine artificially perform yet another necessary bodily function, I realize with some sadness that I too don't look at the hamster the same way anymore.

It's just a different hamster now.

So the hamster's on its way out. The damage appears to be irreparable. It takes both of our efforts to keep the hamster alive, but if GD won't help nurse it back to health, it will die. Soon.

So my last phone call to GD is my last ditch effort to keep the hamster alive. As each passing moment that GD doesn't call me back expires, I realize with some sadness that the hamster's days are numbered.

I think I once heard a saying that hope is man's greatest and worst trait. Hope is what kept alive all those Holocaust survivors and victims of abuse. But hope also prolongs incredibly unhealthy delusions. There are stalkers ("maybe she'll come back to me") and dictators ("maybe burning books and murdering people will persuade the masses"). Here's to hoping I have the good kind of hope. Not the bad kind.

We'll see.
Site Meter