Sunday, June 29, 2008

REALLY good friends

An acquaintance of mine from college recently relocated from Providence to Cincinnati for work, and for the duration of last week, I took it upon myself to be in charge of showing him around the city. So, over the course of the last seven days, we've already hung out three times.

We were never close in college, just kind of talked to each other a few times at a few parties of our mutual friend. But we really hit it off in Cincinnati cause, as it turns out, we've got a lot more in common than I had initially realized, including our hatred for everything New Jersey and our lingering nostalgia for our hometowns.

On Wednesday we went out to eat at a quaint little restaurant that serves mostly mediocre food, unless you know those one or two exceptional menu items that have people coming back there for more. He talked a lot about his work and his friends back home and all together, we spent about three hours at the restaurant.

Later that night I received the following text message from him:

"Hey, just wanted to say I had a great time. You're very nice and easy to talk to. Hope you had fun."

Well, that was really cute, I thought to myself and texted him back with, "I think you're fun too, we'll hang out this weekend, I'm sure."

A few minutes later, a follow up text lit up my cell phone screen, "I hope I didn't bore you. I tend to talk a lot when I'm comfortable with someone. Have a good night."

That weekend him and I met up with a bunch of my friends from school and we conjured up a plan to go out to a local bar. I was on a roll that night, cracking jokes, laughing and just having a blast. I think a part of my increased effort to be "the cool girl" that night was due to the fact that The Artist came out with us, and I just was feeling good, looking good and wanted to rub it into his face. As to say, "Ha! You missed out and I hope you realize that you missed out."

And, of course, I was there with a "new man". (The Artist didn't need to know that the new man was just a friend)

Later on that night, just as I was about to get comfy in my bed in preparation for sleep, I, again, received a text message from my friend.

"I had such a blast tonight. You are the coolest girl I had ever met. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow."

Well, well... What can I say? I felt extremely flattered that he thought I was just that fabulous. It's not every day that I hear comments like those.

We made plans to hang out again last night and decided to go dancing. I was all up for it because I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of men I know who actually enjoy dancing. Four out of five of them are gay.

As we danced, I looked around the club to survey the scene and saw this girl eyeing my dance partner up and down. I knew that look oh-too-well. It was the "Hey boy, you are looking so sexy, wish you were dancing with me" look. I looked back at my friend, who was being oblivious to the girl's stare, and it just sort of dawned on me - he is, indeed, a very very good-looking man. His body, all muscular, cute smile, those blue eyes...

But wait, did I mention that he has a girlfriend back home?

I looked away nervously, hoping that he didn't notice the way I was looking at him for the past ten seconds. Damn it, I can't be thinking about him this way, gotta burry those feelings deep inside, gotta forget that he's cute.

Later on, after I got home, I received yet another text message from him:
"I haven't had this much fun in a long time. By the way, you are a really good dancer."

I replied with, "Thanks, I liked dancing with you. Hope to do it again soon."


He texted back shortly after with, "We'll have to get together before I leave [he's going to Cleveland for two weeks, spending four days out of that time hanging with his girlfriend] and then we definitely have to go out a lot when I get back. Good night, give me a call tomorrow."

Is it just me or is he being slightly too friendly with me? I know nothing can happen with him while he's still with his girl, because I don't want to be a homewrecker. Moreover, nothing can happen even if he breaks up with her, because I so don't wanna be a rebound girl.

However, I feel like he's borderline flirting with me, and unfortunately, I can't say that I don't like that.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

So, while in Philly this week, I met up with my good friend for a girls' night out before I left for Cincinnati again. The guy friends we were originally supposed to hang out with sort of stood us up in that they showed up at a bar for about two seconds, just to announce that they have to get up early the next day and they had to leave. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Slightly pissed off at the overall situation, my friend and I decide to switch our drinking locales and we head over to a bar a few blocks away. As we enter, one particular guy catches my eye right away and I try to do my best not to visibly show my amazement. The guy looks JUST LIKE THE ARTIST. I mean, everything - his body, his face, his smile, his style - everything was looking pretty close to identical to The Artist.

I had to share my immediate sentiments with my friend. "I must get his number," I confided in her, "I gotta forget for a second that I am leaving the city in about 48 hours. I NEED his number."

After a few sips of my my Red Bull and vodka drink, I get hit on by some semi-pleasant and semi-hot guy but I just can't keep my eyes off The Artist Look-Alike. I juggle my priorities between making pleasant conversation with the Semi-Hottie and the man I truly want.

At some point The Artist Look-Alike is told by one of his friends that I practically can't stop starring at him and the guy begins looking over his shoulder every five seconds and smiling at me. Oh Jesus Christ, my initial reaction was right - his smile is as radiant and sexy as that of The Artist.

Without giving it a second thought, I give the Semi-Hottie my number and he leaves the bar with his crew. At that point the bar is about to close down so everyone begins to proceed to the exit. As The Artist Look-Alike and his friends walk by me, he paused for a second and flashes his smile at me. I am freaking smitten and I just walk over and say hi.

Jesus, what am I doing? I am leaving the city on Sunday and here I am talking to this drop-dead sexy guy, here I am getting invited over to his place.


Getting invited over to his place?!

My head is spinning in a semi-drunken whirlwind and I stare at the boy for a second longer.

"Are you gonna give me a ride home in the morning?" I say before realizing what I am saying.
"Of course," he replies, and out of the corner of my eye I see the worried look on my friend's face.
"Don't worry," I tell her candidly, "I will be okay. I will text you and let you know how everything goes."

I leave with The Artist Look-Alike, against my better judgement and his friend drives us around through a maze of tiny street of the Philly suburbia, until we finally get dropped off at his place, which turns out to be a typical little house with a white picket fence. He clearly lives with his parents, which raises a question...

"Hey, how old are you?"

"Twenty one."

Jesus, why do I like them so young all of the sudden.

We make out on his couch for about three hours until the sunrise. I make an excuse of "I don't usually do this kind of stuff with guys I just meet" and I hate myself for saying that cliche phrase. The guilt quickly dissipates though and I pass out on his chest with my shirt off.

Around 6 am, I open my eyes in a dream-like state from the noise I hear. I look around the dimly lit room just to find, to my complete shock and embarassment, the guy's father coming down the stairs to take care of his miscellaneous business. I do nothing but lay still, with my bare back turned towards the father and silently wish that I could teleport myself to my own bed.

The father seems to be taken aback by a semi-naked girl laying on top of his son on a couch, but says nothing and quickly grabs something out of the mini-fridge. I close my eyes and drift away into dreamland again.

At 9am I get woken up again by light kisses on my forehead and neck. The Artist Look-Alike smiles at me as I open my eyes and I have to catch my breath for a second because the boy looks just like The Artist himself. Throughout our morning conversation, I find out that his birthday is the same month as The Artist's. They are truly clones of one another.

At 11am I politely ask him to drive me home, and on the drive back to my parents' place I find out that the boy is going to be in Vegas the same week I am vacationing there. We exchange numbers and make plans to meet up in a month, in Nevada.

"Call me if you're ever in Cincinnati," I say, as casually as possible, where all I really want to say is, "You are the most amazing man ever, what do I need to do to be with you?"

"I don't think I will ever come around that way," he says, oblivious as to how those words crush my heart, "But call me when you're in Vegas."

I nod and kiss him in a hurry before getting out of the car.

And yet again, I begin to regret no longer living in Philly. And yet again I have to remind myself that work comes before men for now. My 4.0 this quarter and my new appointment as a graduate assistant to a professor need to keep me on track. Otherwise, I am lost, for I, like everyone else, need love too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Goodbye for Good

So after the New Guy's several attempts to flirt with me via instant messages and texts (how romantic, right?), sending me a b-day card and a CD he made for me I had to tell him that I wasn't interested.

Especially after he sent this to me:

"I am sooo attracted to you. Probably more than I should be, at this point."

It's funny. When I don't reciprocate someone's feelings of affection I almost take it too close to heart myself. I feel like I should be obliged to return affection because, you know, they put themselves out there and they open up to you. And they're human beings and their feelings get hurt. But, at the same time, I have to take care of myself first. I can't court to other's people's feelings and well-being all the time. Sometimes I can be selfish and self-centered. But that only makes me human. I've faced rejection before, sometimes I'm the one who has to do the rejecting. It just... doesn't feel good.

I have been talking to a boy from the past who somewhat resurfaced in my life recently. I hung out with him a few times when I was dating my very first boyfriend way way WAY back in the day and he was just an acquaintance of mine, a popular boy who had a girlfriend with a model body, perfect hair and laughter. A popular boy who never looked at me, a painfully-skinny, artsy social reject. Why would he? He was too preoccupied with her.

He found me on an online social networking site a few weeks ago. You know, one of those type of deals. He said he remembered me from back in the day and I couldn't help but feel flattered that I was memorable enough to him.

So, damn! Not that he was ever lacking in the looks department, but the past seven years have been VERY good to him. He's smashingly handsome. He turned his life around, from a seventeen year old stoner to a twenty four year old sexy-as-all-hell law school student with a SMOKING body. He's perfect-o in every damn way and he is completely smitten by me as well. I mean, when you hear the words like "gorgeous", "beautiful", "amazing" coming out of that boy's mouth in reference to you, you can't help but melt like butter and keep the river of compliments flowing by telling him that there are simply no men that even compare to him in all of Cincinnati.

The catch is (of course, there's always a catch), Law School Guy now lives in Portland. Portland, Oregon. That's about a day's drive from Cincinnati. Of course. Just my luck.

So let's see, I'm not naive. I know he flirts with other women, I know I'm not the only one he pays compliments to, so I am, by no means, planning our wedding in my head. I know that unless I relocate to Portland, or he decides to leave that city in favor of establishing a home base in the 'Nati (why the eff would he ever want to though?), we will not have a future together.

It's flattering, though, when men from the past are pleasantly surprised when they see the "new" me. Yeah, on many levels, it's all so incredibly superficial. But I got made fun of so much in grade school and high school, because I was ugly, skinny, awkward and quiet. And this boy never said anything bad about me, though I'm sure, he didn't necessarily have crazy sex dreams about me either back in the day. But the boy was nice, and that's all I ever wanted from everyone, including boys, and some stuck-up classmates.

Now that we're all grown up and this guy is this smart, sexy individual, and I'm here doing things with my life and taking off in many aspects of my professional career yet keep getting involved with these bland, dead-end guys. It's good to know that, no, I'm not too picky. And a guy like Law School Guy is worth waiting for, because I'll be damned if I settle for someone like the New Guy, even if he he is incredibly nice and sweet, even if he does make me CD compilations of my favorite songs. He will make some girl happy one day. That girl won't be me.

And who knows, maybe someday Law School Guy and I will cross our paths and we will be in a closer proximity to each other. But for now, I am content with unabashedly flirting with him, and keeping the butterflies in my stomach in check.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


For the past five weeks I had barely had a chance to step outside of my house. To relay how swamped I was with work, I will just say that at more than one instance I contemplated skipping a meal so that I could have more time to spend on my projects. And several times, I was so engrossed in my work, that I did skip a meal or two, without intending to do so.

But all that's fun must come to an end, right?


All I gotta say is that I feel lucky to still be somewhat alive and breathing. I have never worked this hard in my entire life and, hopefully, my final projects really showcase the amount of dedication I poured into architecture.

There was no social life for a while. The only human interaction was with my fellow-sufferers in architecture studio who I've spent many sleepless nights with, my worried mother who would call me every other day to make sure I was getting enough sleep, and the New Guy who, no matter how bland he may be, apparently cares enough to inquire about my well being.

Would I do this all over again, knowing now how hard this was for me? Probably not. But I'm glad I didn't know it was going to be like this, because going through this experience made me tougher, for better or for worse. I pushed my limits, and I've reached the finish line.

And now... Now I think I am fairly ready for my last exam tomorrow morning and after that I will be ready to reemerge into the world. Perhaps, a trip to the mall will be my end-of-quarter celebration, or maybe a midday nap.

I am coming back to life, maybe even considering dating again. I am looking forward to going on a week-long vacation to the wonderful city of Philadelphia to visit the fam and my crazy and wonderful friends. I feel life being pumped into my still lifeless arms, and heart and brain.

Tomorrow I am picking back up on my work-out regimen. Tomorrow, I am coming back with a vengeance. Tomorrow is a new, beautiful day. All in all, I am honored that I will get to live to see tomorrow.

Friday, June 6, 2008

On Drinking and Dating

Two weeks ago, I've had my last sip of alcohol. Many sips to be exact. Who am I kidding, I got pretty wasted. That was the night of the party I was bringing the New Guy I'm seeing to and I was so afraid yet so anxious to see the Artist there.
The Artist didn't show up for one reason or another and I decided not to ask any one of my friends why he didn't show.

After a few hours of drinking games, we all piled up in a backseat of my Fabulous Friend's car and took our party to a bar downtown. I sat on the New Guy's lap and you would think the proximity of us being literally on top of each other and my face only a few inches away from him would create the sort of chemistry in the air that you could cut with a knife. No such thing happened. Even worse, it was like sitting on my brother's lap, at least that's what I'm imagining it would be like if I had a brother.

Somewhere sometime at the bar, I was forcing myself to attempt some sort of flirting with the New Guy. "I know he's into me", I kept telling myself. "I know you're very very tipsy", I kept telling myself. Why can't I just have fun for this once and at least pretend in my drunkenness that I like this guy more than I really do.

But then I got sick of it. Or maybe it's the alcohol that made me feel sick, but suddenly, I wanted to be somewhere else. I felt like a stranger at a strange bar with a strange, almost-awkward guy whose levels of communication with a girl do not surpass those of an adolescent tenth-grader. At two o'clock, I was happy to hear the bartender to yell at the crowd to promptly get out. The pleasure is all mine.

I let the New Guy crash on my bed, and in the middle of the night (he was far too drunk to drive), I woke up and tried to move away from him as far as possible because I did not want him to accidentally touch me in his sleep.

They say that a woman knows within the first five minutes of meeting a guy if she would like him more than a friend or not. I generally agree with that notion, except that the New Guy is an exception. When I met him for the first time, I was extremely drawn to his looks but as the time went on, more and more, I began to realize that his personality was as bland as a piece of cardboard. I mean, really, the best nickname I can come up for his is "The New Guy" simply because there are NO stand-out characteristics or personality traits that I could identify him with. He is the most generic of all people.

Sure, he was nice, and seemed genuine, and he tried really hard to keep the conversation going. But it was oh so generic. I felt like an actress on a set of a badly-written soap, where the main actors who are supposed to be into each other, have zero chemistry.

By the third date, I could care less if I appeared interesting to him, or interested IN him, for that matter. I found myself in a persistent state of surprise as to how the attractiveness of his looks dissipated the more he opened his mouth. Every word... it seemed, he had to pick out very carefully in his head before he actually said it. I found myself wanting to finish his own sentences. I found myself more frustrated, than excited, when thinking about a possibility of a fourth date.

There won't be a fourth date, I've decided. And now that I think back to that party two weeks ago, and I think of him, and I think of all the alcohol I've consumed. It's like, the frustration that built up when I was around the New Guy pops into my head every time I even think about drinking.

Yesterday I went out to celebrate the end of classes and a successful final architectural review with a bunch of classmates, and I TRIED to drink a beer. I ended up leaving it unfinished and when the waitress asked me if I wanted anything else to drink, I replied with,

"I'll just have a lemonade, please."