Monday, August 31, 2009

The one that got away

Every now and then I think about a guy I knew in college, a guy that I almost hooked up with but, thanks to an untimely runny nose and general awkwardness we never quite connected.

I Google him from time to time. All I've ever found is a paper he coauthored for his zoology program. I even looked him up on Facebook but didn't find anything. I'm sure he got married years ago, but maybe, just maybe, he's still out there and also thinking about me.

He lived down the street from me in an atrocious slate gray box of a house. I spent a lot of time over there. I had a huge crush on his roommate and I spent hours waiting for his roommate to get home. Yes, I was THAT girl.

The roommate was so dreamy. He looked like a slightly squashed Richard Gere; let's just call him Richard. The other guy (the almost hookup guy) resembled Patrick Swayze who, face it, was only ever hot in Dirty Dancing - and that was more about the character than it was about him. Anyway, we'll call him Patrick.

There I was every afternoon, pining after Richard who was almost never home. He probably knew I was there waiting for him. Meanwhile, Patrick was almost always home and didn't mind hanging out with me. He was sort of dating another girl and he knew I liked Richard, so there wasn't any pressure to impress him. I could be as goofy and relaxed as I wanted to be.

I was going through a teasing phase, I guess. I had just taken the infamous Marriage Prep class where I learned a little about how to flirt and show interest in guys. So I was showing interest in every guy I met, just to see how they reacted to it. Most didn't react well, sadly.

Except for Patrick. Day after day I waited for Richard in their living room and passed the time cuddling with Patrick, playing with his hair, kissing him on the cheek, just joking around. Man, this is embarrassing! He kissed me once or twice but it was never a serious smooch. I thought he was joking. He had a sort of girlfriend and he knew I liked Richard.

Then the weirdest thing happened. Patrick dumped the girl he was dating. The same week, Richard took her out on what I thought was a sympathy date. Until they showed up at a party together and then came to church and sat together (both of which are serious declarations of being an Item). I was inconsolable.

Patrick called and listened to me sob about Richard every day for two weeks. He came over to see how I was doing, since I wasn't going over there anymore. It all seems so obvious now, but I really thought he was just being a friend. He casually mentioned other girls he might be interested in. I didn't catch on that I might be one of them.

One night he dragged me out of the house and we walked around town for a couple of hours. By this time I was tired of all the drama around the now-engaged Richard but that was all Patrick would talk about. Meanwhile he was holding my hand and wrapping his arms around me. I was confused. There were very mixed signals here!

Then came the Moment. We stopped under a streetlight, facing each other. He had his arms around me, I had mine around his waist. I thought he was going to kiss me. I couldn't be sure. I waited. I waited. I WAITED! Still nothing. And it was cold outside. My nose was about to drip. I turned away to wipe it. He must have taken that as a rejection or something because he dropped his arms and we walked back.

That was it. My almost love story. I kick myself when I think about it. Damn runny nose! So every now and then I think about him and wonder what he's up to. Mostly I wish I could have a do-over.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's alive! It's ALIVE!

I was talking to Three the other day and apparently he and Five are immensely proud of their influence on me. Bit by bit they've suggested things to watch or read, then stood back to see their creation take shape. He told me that over the last year I have blossomed into a nerd.

It was funny that he brought that up, because in the last few weeks I've been wondering a little nervously if they were turning me into a guy. I don't know any other girls who like this kind of stuff - except my aunts and sisters. To be honest, it's a little bit of a relief to be labeled a nerd!

I reminded Three that the seeds have always been there. I've been reading science fiction/fantasy books since I was 8 and I played an online RPG for nearly 2 years in my 20s. Still, they deserve some credit for the transformation. I don't think I've ever been this immersed in nerd culture before.

I mentioned in a previous post that a lot of my favorite things were introduced by one or both of them. That doesn't bother me like it did. It's really great to have seen the same shows, listened to the same songs and read the same books. Something you may or may not know about us Dozen is that we often communicate through quotes. Maybe we all share the same hangups when it comes to expressing our feelings - I don't know - but good or bad it's somehow easier to use someone else's words to say what's on our mind. And responding with the next line of a song or movie is kind of like saying I understand what you really mean - plus I think you're really clever for saying it that way.

Knowing more of their lingo makes me feel closer to my brothers than I have in a long time. It's really nice. And before you go thinking that maybe I was right before and I only watch/read/listen to this stuff because I want them to like me, let me say that I have a lot of my own interests, too. I don't like *everything* they suggest, but I don't feel a need to tear it apart either.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tears for fears

I've had "Head Over Heels" in my head for a few days, but this post isn't really about that.

I don't know what it is about me and guys. They fascinate and terrify me. It's like I never evolved beyond grade school, where someone finding out you had a crush was mortifying. I can hardly look at guys I don't know. I'm so afraid they'll see me and - well, I'm not sure what exactly scares me but I always look away if I ever make eye contact.

I don't just look away, I practically run away, like tonight in the grocery store when one of the managers said "hi" to me. I scuttled off sideways like a crab. As I did, I noticed that he wasn't wearing a wedding ring and appeared to be in his mid-30s. Single, appropriate age, friendly... what's the problem?

I think I've built up a wall over the years that I don't know how to break down. I was teased and rejected a lot as a child and teenager. In my mind I am wrong, I am strange, I am not liked. I approach friendships apologetically and I'm extremely sensitive to any cue that I've overstayed my welcome.

In a scenario where a guy speaks first, shouldn't I be a little more at ease? Maybe I'm afraid of ultimate rejection and I'm trying to beat them to the punch. Maybe I'm afraid I'll misread friendliness as flirting and make an idiot of myself. I don't know. I hoped he would think I was shy rather than unfriendly, but as I rounded the corner it occurred to me that I was frowning.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nothing's right, I'm torn

I was lying in bed the other night, mulling over my options. I'm facing a sort of crossroads. I found out that I am definitely going to be laid off in October. I have a little money saved and I will receive a severance package. If I want to leave Kansas then I feel like this is my opportunity. But where should I go?

Part of the problem with coming from a nomadic family is that there isn't any place you identify as "home". My siblings are scattered across the western US. I'm very close to most of them and can't go a day without talking to at least 2 siblings. I hardly ever see them because they live so far from me and from each other.

Who do I choose? Who is most likely not to leave me if I move nearby? When I came here after college I wanted to be closer to the - then - 8 siblings remaining at home. But my parents moved and I was left on my own. Ironically, they moved to within an hour of where I had gone to college. I decided not to follow them because I couldn't trust them to stay put. And they didn't stay put; they moved three more times and are now back to within 2 hours of me.

I've become a bit wary about moving for another person but I'm feeling pulled. I could move west near Two and her boys. I have several aunts, uncles and cousins in the area and I have always felt guilty for not knowing them better. I have my best friend from high school there and now Nine is making plans to move there.

I could move south near Three and Five. I'm not crazy about the weather but I miss those boys! They are so much fun, they're always introducing me to new interests and part of me thinks if I'm ever going to have a chance at marriage then it wouldn't hurt to be around them and their guy friends. I get the feeling they don't like it where they are and I don't know if I can trust them not to leave if I move for them.

I could stay here. There are still 4 kids at home that I'd like to see more of. I have a frosty relationship with my parents so I don't visit very often. I'm getting less bang for my buck if I stay, but the other siblings do cycle through a few times a year so at least I have a chance of seeing everyone.

I could walk away and stop being so codependent. I could sell the house, give away the cats, backpack around Europe, meet a real British guy or two instead of the airbrushed hotties I see on BBC America and finally get over my obsession. I could change my life completely, or at least have a few adventures. I could even go back to school and learn something useful this time. I don't know! These decisions are so hard.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Record breaking

Sometimes I think the competitive spirit has gotten out of hand. It seems we have a record for everything and there's a palpable excitement when a record is about to be broken.

I get really annoyed each year when United Way pledge time comes around. There's intense pressure to exceed the previous year's donation. It's especially annoying when the drive comes after a round of layoffs. Not only do they want the employees to top the previous record, but they want us to do it with fewer people. God forgive us if we fall short by a thousand dollars! We can't feel good about giving unless we give more than we ever have before.

This summer the temperature in Seattle soared into the 100's. Everyone was hot and miserable but they could take some comfort in the knowledge that they broke a record. A few years ago Florida and the Gulf Coast were being hammered with hurricanes. Property was damaged, lives were lost - but wait, there is a silver lining! We broke a record for the most hurricanes/deadliest hurricane/most-creatively-named hurricane ever! I think the worst example came during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as people breathlessly waited to hear how high the body count would go. It's as if we can't classify something as a disaster until we've ranked how it compares to similar events.

I guess I'm feeling a little burned out on all the record breaking. I do feel it's important to keep records, I just don't think we should be so hung up on setting new ones. I especially find it distasteful when it comes to natural disasters. People who lost their homes don't care if the earthquake was less intense than an earthquake fifty years ago. There comes a point where bad is bad and we shouldn't have to quantify it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tight tight tighty tight

The title comes from one of my favorite Real Men of Genius commercials: Mr Tiny Thong Bikini Wearer. Hilarious!

My battle of the bulge continues. Can you still call it a battle if one side gives up and lets the fat tanks roll over them? Hmm. I felt slightly vindicated today when I observed that an acquaintance who had the same thyroid surgery several months after I did is also gaining weight. I shouldn't feel too smug about it. Having a go-to excuse for being a fat fatty doesn't change the fact that I am a fat fatty.

I've tossed around the idea of joining a gym and paying extra for a personal trainer. I haven't done it for a few reasons; I'm not sure I can afford to do that while my job is up in the air, I don't want to be laughed at by all the pretty people, I don't think it will really make a difference. Then there's the biggest reason: it's easier to do nothing.

Still, I need to do something. I'm physically uncomfortable being this big. I squeeze into chairs, I can't put my shoes on without losing my breath. Some of my PCOS symptoms are coming back, which is not a good sign. I'm embarrassed by the weight gain and I haven't been back to my regular doctors because I'm afraid they'll scold me. God help me if I get sick! So I'm going to start walking again. The beautiful New Balance shoes that I bought in March ended up being a bad choice because my feet cramp in them, but I think they'll be okay for low-intensity walking. Maybe.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pretty pathetic

It's hard to see, but this tragic kitty is licking an empty food bowl.

Don't let her fool you. I give her Eukanuba twice a day and the vet says she's borderline overweight. I don't know what to do! Maybe I should switch to a cheaper food that will make her feel full but give her fewer calories?

Anyway, I thought this would illustrate how serious she is about eating every scrap she can find. I ask you, is this the belly of an underfed kitty?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Facing up to it

Well, this week I did two things I swore I would never do: I phoned in my vote for a TV show and I joined Facebook. I've been afraid to sign up for a social networking site because I thought it might hurt me professionally, but then it occurred to me that maybe a lack of information would be more damaging than the PG-rated life I lead. So I created a profile and I'm building up my Facebook page. Incidentally, that same fear is one of the reasons I wanted to be anonymous on this blog. I'm trying to be honest and uncensored here. I don't want to be fired for my opinions and quirky admissions!

Now, about that voting... I've watched every episode of the current season of So You Think You Can Dance. Three of my favorite dancers made it to the final four this week. Usually I'm just a passive observer. Not this time! I don't know what came over me, but I became very concerned that my least favorite dancer seemed to be the front-runner to win it. So I called. And called. And called. And called. I think I ended up casting 20 votes for Jeanine and 10 for Evan (because he's so darn cute and I'd rather see him win than Brandon). Now I can't use "voted for a contestant on a TV show" in the "I've Never" game, but it was worth it to see Jeanine win the competition last night. Well deserved!

Here's a video of Jeanine's solo from the last night of competition. Skip to 2:25 if you don't want to watch the interview:

Although I thought Jeanine did better overall, my favorite routine of the season was performed by another finalist, Kayla. Here's a video of Kayla and Kupono dancing a Mia Michaels routine about addiction:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boys don't make passes

Let's expound on my laziness. I took out my 30-day contact lenses two weeks ago when I rubbed an eye too hard and one of them fell out. My hands were dirty but I plopped them in saline solution and told myself I would clean them that evening. Only I didn't clean them. They were near the end of their 30 days and I could have thrown them out. I'm not sure why I didn't, maybe I was feeling frugal?

Fast forward two weeks and I still haven't cleaned them, mainly because the idea of them sitting dirty for so long is disgusting and I don't want to put them in my eyes. I could throw them out and get a new pair but I don't have another case and the idea of reusing the case I have is almost as disgusting as reusing the lenses. I could buy a new case (and I probably will, eventually) but I keep forgetting to swing by the pharmacy on my twice-weekly run to Target.

I've been wearing my 4 year old glasses instead. They aren't terrible but they aren't all that cute either. What they are is a great disguise for my sans-makeup face in the morning. At least, that's what I tell myself as I scurry to my desk, head down at 8:10.

You see, my laziness extends far beyond the dirty contact lenses. I won't drag myself out of bed before 7:15, despite a clock radio that plays 10 second bursts of Jack's Big Breakfast every 9 minutes beginning at 6:30. I have so little time to get ready that I end up choosing between hair and makeup. I usually go with hair because makeup can be done anywhere. Nowhere in that decision-making process do I ever consider taking a minute to put in new contacts.

And so the cycle continues. I keep wearing these old glasses, feeling a little bit homely but not taking the time to change. Hey, maybe my laziness will pay off and the glasses will attract a nerd or two! Then again, maybe the glasses will attract the wrong kind of nerd - the nongenius kind. Eek.