Sunday, August 30, 2009

Getting Back in the Game... Kind of.

I dragged myself out on a date the other day in an effort to get my heart out of the perpetual pity party it's been having with itself ever since I've decided that it would be wise to move on from Mr. January. I figured the best way to move on is to start liking someone else - and how can I start liking someone else if I am not meeting any new potential prospects.

When I met this particular guy, let's call him Princeton for his alma mater, he didn't exactly push all the right buttons for me. I decided to give it a go, however, when he proposed we go to a dinner at one of the hottest restaurants in town. I've been dying to go there all summer but didn't have anyone to go with so, of course, I jumped at the opportunity with both feet.

I agreed to meet him at the restaurant and, indeed, he was already there, talking to a bartender, when I arrived. I mentally petted myself on the back for dressing it up a bit that night - a flawlessly-fitted charcoal gray pencil skirt, a sexy top and tiny little heels - the crowd at the restaurant was older and definitely classier than your average neighborhood bar and I blended right in.

We grabbed a table and started off with martinis and appetizers. He was intelligent, talkative, funny, incredibly successful. I couldn't really figure him out but I thought I'd wait to finalize my opinion about him. At that moment the octopus appetizer was much more intriguing to me than the man who ordered this appetizer.

"My sister is also going for a degree in architecture. She is starting this fall... You know, I never thought architecture was so artisitc, I thought it would be much more math oriented," he said, upon finding out what I am getting my Master's in.

I glared. There is nothing more that I hate than people making rush assumptions about something they know next to nothing about - his sister didn't even start grad school, how would he know that the grad program is "artistically oriented".

I politely explained that, in graduate school, there is much more emphasis on the technical and practical side of things, much more so than in the undergrad - there is certainly a fair amount of calculations involved in sizing the mechanical equipment, columns and beams, thicknesses of walls, etc etc. Somewhere along the line, our conversation turned into me feeling invalidated for the work I do and I felt that I had to explain and educate.

"I had to interview an architect for the next issue of the magazine I work for - I thought it was an incredible opportunity to get to meet him and ask him all these questions... I would love to interview other people as well, now that I've had a taste for this interviewing process..." I told him.

"Really? Why do you say that?" he asked. I think he meant well - he was genuinely interested in what made me passionate about my work - but the way he stated it blurred the line between him being interested and him coming across as a snotty douche.

Well, so be it, I thought. Maybe I could overlook his mannerisms and concentrate on other, more positive qualities - after all, he has a wide range of interests, he is well traveled, he just got a huge promotion, he lives in one of the most beautiful buildings downtown....

Wait, wait, wait a minute.

I realized, as Princeton had paid for the bill and we were walking towards the front door that the list of good qualities that I compiled for myself sounded more like those a boss would look for in his ideal employee. Not once did I think about his eyes, or the way he smiled, or the way he made me laugh. Not once.

I dreaded a goodnight kiss, but luckily I got away with a hug. As I walked away, a pinch of regret I was feeling due to the lack of chemistry on my part finally seemed justified. I want real love and I am ready to take that step and to really open up... but to the right person. And Princeton is not that person.

When I got home, I finally checked my phone for messages. There was one text from Mr. January, asking me how my night was going. Instantly, butterflies and an increased heart rate was all I felt. I guess, I am still not over him after all. Far from it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Truth about Lies...

... is that they are addictive. Once you tell one white lie and get away with it, you are enticed to lie again, and again, and again. Until those white lies grow and spread and the next thing you know, you are tangled up in a web of falasies that spin off of one another. You get so lost in who you pretend to be that you eventually lose touch of who you are underneath it all.

I remember a friend that I had when I was 18. He was two years older than me but we took the same art history class and sat next to each other during each lecture. While a lot of other kids in that class already knew each other and sat in groups, this guy and I did not know anyone in the class so it was only natural for us to befriend each other.

It started off innocently enough - we had lunch a few times on campus, we swapped notes when either of us missed a class. I told him that I lived at home and not on campus and he, having a car and all, offered to drive me home one day after two months of us knowing each other. As he was driving me to my house on I-95, his girlfriend called his cell and inquired as to where he was going and who he was with.

He said that he was with one of his guy friends, which immediately set off the alarm bells in my head. When he got off the phone, I gave him a silent inquisitive look. Not needing much persuasion, he offered up his explanation, "She doesn't let me have any girl friends. She doesn't let me hang out with any girls at all."

"That's crazy. How is that possible? And why do you put up with that?" I couldn't fathom why this possessive girl was so adamant about her boy not having any contact with any females. I couldn't imagine being with anyone that jealous and manipulating.

He dropped me off that night and drove off to go back home, but the trips to my house became more and more frequent as time went by. One night in November, he dropped me off at my house again and I invited him to come in and watch a movie.

Slowly but surely, during the movie, I felt him moving his hand closer and closer to mine - I didn't mind the closeness, in the back of my mind I kind of expected us to move past the friendship stage for a couple of weeks now. I moved in close to him and though neither one of us said a single word, you could cut the sexual tension in that room with a knife.

After the movie I offered up to walk him to the front door so that I could lock it behind him after he left. I hugged him goodbye but instead of letting go, I let my arms remain in an tight embrace and I lifted my body up on my tiptoes, my lips just inches away from him.

His breath was noticeably quicker but he managed to let out a half-hearted protest, "I don't know.. I don't think my girlfriend would like this..."

For a moment, my inner voice of reason took over me and I stepped back, let my arms let go of the embrace, slight look of guilt in my eyes.
"Yeah, I've never met her, but I don't want you to do anything you will regret doing..." I said, averting my gaze from him.

And that's when he wrapped his arms around my waist and let go of all the reservations and kissed me. I, in turn, forgot about how wrong it was what I was about to do and eagerly kissed him back. It was, without a doubt, one of the hottest kisses I've ever experienced and, to this day, that smooch remains on my list of the top five best kisses ever.

I wish I could say that it was the one and only time we ever crosses the line, but the truth of the matter is that our "affair" continued, on and off, for two years. He never told his girlfriend about any of his transgressions, and even when, after two years, we stopped sleeping with each other, he cheated on his girlfriend with other girls he knew. I could definitely understand why his girl never wanted him to talk to other women - he could not control himself. He was a good friend to me, before and after we became physically intimate, but he was a total jerk of a boyfriend to that girl.

I was in the wrong too, I should have said no to him. But I was operating under a pretense of never intending to get too serious with him, I pretended that it was all in good fun and nothing more. The truth was that at one point of time I became very attached to him... I reread my journal entries dating back to that time and my feelings for him, indeed, ran deep. It was more than just a fling for me.

As far as he goes, his lies never caught up to him, as he eventually got back with the girl he cheated on so many times. Or maybe she did find out about me after all, because, after a while, he stopped talking to me all together. It wasn't a sudden thing, and I didn't even notice that our conversations were growing less and less frequent but after a while... at the age of 22, I realized that I could no longer call him a close friend.

I can't believe that it's been three years now that I haven't talked to him. To this day, I think about him sometimes. Not that I still have feelings for him, not at all, - he was just one of those men that I always wondered about. What if the moment was right back then and he didn't have a girlfriend. What if...

But then again, maybe the saying "once a cheater always a cheater" is true after all. It is true - it is always much less fun being cheated on than being the 'other woman'. As for me, after all was said and done, I vowed to never be the 'other woman' again.

Friday, August 14, 2009


When I drove to St. Louis last weekend to see Mr. J for, perhaps, the last time, a lot of thoughts ran through my head. As I drove through the downtown of Louisville, I cursed myself for even attempting this long distance drive. And then while I drove through the seemingly endless corn fields of Indiana and my butt cheeks became more and more fused with one another, I wondered why I was even trying to make it work. But then as I entered Missouri and finally saw the graceful bend of the famous arch hovering over the St. Louis skyline, I found myself excited and giddy at a mere thought of seeing and hanging out with Mr. J again.

The weekend was, well, just the way I wanted it to go. We went out, stayed in, watched movies, cuddled, spooned and I felt myself perhaps even falling deeper for him than I thought I could ever fall. Which made my drive home all the more devastating, because goodbyes were never my forte.

It's not that there was a goodbye per se. We made a lot of vague promises to each other to attempt to hang out and remain friends. I even said something along the lines of visiting him again before my fall quarter of my final year at graduate school picked back up again. But I think we kind of knew something we did not want to admit. The end - it was like a pink elephant in the air that neither of us wanted to acknowledge.

The drive home was made all that much harder by the sudden failure of my air conditioner and the stifflingly hot summer air loomed above and around me the way my thoughts about my future with Mr. J spread their poison through my brain cells.

Now a week later, it's not getting easier just yet. I was going to stop by a liquor store on my way home from work today to pick up a bottle of wine but decided against it. It is never good to drink with a heavy heart, and my heart's been weighing me down ever since I hugged Mr. J goodbye.

And he's doing well, he's making friends in law school already. And I will be fine too. I just wanted this to last for a little bit longer. And I could have diluted myself into thinking that I could continue a phone/text relationship with the man I love, but the best thing to do is to let go right now. Emotionally, I can't handle hoping that I can, realistically, be with Mr. J. Whether a year from now, or three years from now - we are pursuing very separate career paths. I can't view the outcome of our profession-driven decisions with rose colored glasses on.

But for a brief moment, though, when he kissed me on the forehead right before I drove away to my temporary home in Louisville, I wished I could put it all, all of it, on hold and stop the time just to be with him. Even if for just an hour longer.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And Once Again It's on...

Some things always remain the same. The sky, inevitably, is always blue. College kids, inevitably, always grow up and forget their wayward ways to become more responsible adults. Some douchebags always remains douchebags, and some people still dilute themselves into thinking that they are still 25 and they can dress the part even though their are several decades older.

Other things do change though. Like today, through Facebook of course, I found out that one of my long-term exes proposed to his girlfriend of one year. My first reaction was, thankfully, not, "Oh no! The one that got away!!" It was more like, "Oh Jesus, Mr. Moneybags, you were able to afford a decent ring in THIS economy."

I mean, I guess that's always a good sign when I am feeling more competitive with the dude's money than his love interest. I think that might have been the ultimate test of whether or not I may still have any feelings for him, if I ever needed a test to prove the obvious. Today's emotions showed that, no, indeed, I was not secretly pining over my ex boyfriend and wishing for his ass to come back into my lap.

An engagement is a monumental thing though, not just from a monetary stand point. It does require a level of commitment from a guy that is usually to be appauded. An engagement ritual usually involves a long and agonizing process of a guy pondering whether or not he really wants to propose and give up all the hot chicks lining up to spread the legs for him (trust me, this was SO not the case with my ex...), deciding on the price and the amount to spend, and the actual trip to the store (hopefully that store name does not begin with Wal and end with Mart) to buy the said ring.

An engagement is indeed a prelude to marriage. My ex has always been one of those people who has been painfully dependent on being with someone and on striving for that ultimate field goal that, for him, constitutes a faithful, blissful marriage. While I am happy dancing in clubs on Friday nights, burning the midnight oil on Mondays and drinking my mid-week beer on Wednesdays, he is happy to be with his girl. And while I whole-heartedly admire and respect his goals, I cannot relate them to my own, at this point in my life.

Hell, if Mr. January himself proposed to me today, I'd be all like, "Babe, let's go have a couple of shots and dance it off at a club and talk it over in the morning." Of course, this is coming from a girl who has all the potential to evolve into a 70-year-old crazy cat lady who slaps the perfectly-toned asses of her nursing home attendants and lives in the la-la-land of the better days.