Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Thought Counts

Platonic Ex got dumped. I thought they were a pretty solid match, but in the end, his cynicism and callousness proved to be too much. His insensitivity isn't intentional. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. He's just incredibly clueless when human interaction is involved. You'd think he was raised by wolves.

Things went from bad to worse when he failed to give her a thoughtful Christmas present. She'd told him many times that Christmas was the only holiday she cared about and that he didn't have to get her anything for her birthday or any other time except Christmas.

For his birthday, she took him to dinner and arranged for a ghost tour because he'd expressed interest in haunted houses at the time. For Christmas, she gave him a wine seminar/tour because he's big into wine now. When she realized he wasn't going to make it to the scheduled wine event due to a work commitment, all he said in reply was, "Oh, that sucks."

Not to mention he failed to give her something on December 25th, simply saying, "I'll have to have your present shipped to your house." When I asked why he failed to get her a a gift, he said he had one all picked out online but hadn't ordered it. His thoughtful gift: a bookshelf. He said a bookshelf was thoughtful because she loved to read and her bookshelf couldn't hold all her books. This is what I mean when I say he's totally clueless.

After dating a social retard for so long, I'm surprised by many of the small acts of common courtesy performed by TheGuy. He holds doors, lets me order first at restaurants, he apologizes, he says "thank you." Last weekend I laughed at him when he thanked me for driving down to his house to hang out.

Believe it or not, these are all things Platonic Ex never did. I remember constantly telling him, "You don't even care!" And he didn't. Yet I can't help but feel sorry for him. He told me his most recent ex got really upset and thought his detached ways were due to his malicious nature, which I know for a fact, to not be true.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When the Dust Begins to Settle

I think I smoothed things over. The worst part was telling TheGuy my reasoning for asking if he was on a date. It went something like this: "Well, first I went through your email and then I stalked your potential love interest on Facebook and read through all the posts on her wall." That's totally normal behavior, right?

He said it wasn't a date and I believe him. But I made sure to point out the obvious fact LP was hoping it was a date or sort-of-a-date. I asked if he knew she liked him and he said he didn't think she did. To prove my claim, what else could I do but have him read the post from LP's friend saying, "How'd stuff go, plans to do it again???"

If I had to do it all over again, would I? I don't know. He expressed his annoyance of me accusing him of going on a date and even more annoyance of me going through his email. I don't believe my lame attempt to defend myself did much good: "I swear I didn't click on any of your emails! I just saw the beginning text part!" I never actually accused him of going on a date though, I merely asked. In fact, my exact text was: "At the risk of sounding paranoid, did you go on a date on Thursday?" After all, I'm an English major. I choose my words wisely.

So last night I offered to take him to dinner and then we went to his house and watched some season three of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He has the episodes downloaded on his computer, which I am terrified to even touch now because he'll probably assume I am checking his browsing history or something equally stalkerish (not to say he would be in the wrong). I'm pretty sure his web browser no longer opens up to his email inbox and never will so long as I'm around. See, this is what happens when you fail to heed your own advice.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Oh, the Irony

After claiming not to be a jealous person, what do I do but turn around and do exactly that? I can't help it that I snoop. My mom tells me my grandpa used to get really upset that from a young age, I would rifle through his drawers and he'd have to reorganize his belongings after all my trips to his house.

It started with an email. Last Wednesday when I was at TheGuy's house, I wanted to check something online. Tortuously tempting me, he has his web browser set to open up his gmail account. Given he was not in the room, I couldn't help but let my eyes linger at his inbox in search of female names. I saw a girl's name I recognized from college, LP. I didn't allow myself to click on the email thread but the text I saw said, "Ok Old Chicago sounds great!" I got really quiet when he came back in the room but I didn't say anything about the email. While I'd never heard him mention her name, I figured they'd either been friends since college or recently met at a party since they have a lot of mutual friends. Maybe the latter was more likely since I had noticed they'd only recently become friends on MySpace/Facebook.

TheGuy and I hung out Friday night and everything seemed normal. When I got home Saturday afternoon, I decided to do some stalking on Facebook. I looked at LP's page and saw that one of her friends had written something suspicious on her wall. This totally annoying friend wrote a post the length of a short story saying she was on cloud nine because she'd had the "best first date ever" and rambling on and on about how wonderful her life is. Then towards the end, it occurred to her to ask, "How'd your stuff go, plans to do it again???" She'd written the post Friday morning and Thursday night had been Old Chicago night.

It didn't take long for the reels to start spinning. I went so far as to wonder if TheGuy had asked me if I wanted to hang out Wednesday last week in case I asked if he wanted to do something Thursday since he apparently already had plans with some girl.

So then I went into a texting frenzy asking if he went on a date on Thursday. And then I got really pissed when he didn't respond and went into drama queen mode. I shut off my phone and bailed on my plans to go out for the evening. I don't know why I get like that, but I do. The next morning, I saw he eventually texted back saying "No, why do you think I went on a date?" Plus a bunch more texts where he got really annoyed that I was ignoring him. We still haven't talked about "the date" thing yet, but I'm sure he's dying to hear about how I'm a stalker/psychotic freak.

TheGuy and I had planned to hang out last night until I somehow lost my keys at my parents' house. Seriously, how does that happen? I am curious to hear his explanation. I mean, even if he didn't consider it "a date," LP obviously has a thing for him, since LP's friend was so interested to know if they had "plans to do it again" that it required the use of three question marks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jealous Much?

About a month ago at dinner, Lo told an amusing story about her roommate, Missy. Missy has been doing and during one of her recent first dates, the guy told a story that involved some of his female friends, to which Missy said, "I don't believe in men and women having friends of the opposite sex." Her date said, "So you wouldn't marry a guy that had girls as friends?" She shot back, "Why are you bringing up marriage? Is it because you want to marry me?"

The following day, Missy relayed the conversation to Lo, and in all seriousness asked, "So what should I do if he calls? Should I answer?" "No," Lo said, knowing full well a call would never be made in the first place.

Jealousy is an ugly emotion. I try to be realistic when it comes to jealousy. Just because you've chosen to be in a monogamous relationship shouldn't mean you're no longer allowed to have friends of the opposite sex or find others attractive. That's crazy. And would never happen. If he/she tells you otherwise, they lie.

One pattern in my dating history is that I've never dated a notoriously jealous guy. Not even remotely close. While I can't speak on behalf of men, I believe some women find it chivalrous when their men get jealous. To me, jealousy screams insecurity and lack of trust on the part of the possessive half. I would never have the patience or tolerance to put up with that constant mistrust.

If someone is gonna cheat, they're gonna cheat. There's not much you can do about it. When you're growing up, parents and teachers repeatedly tell you not to drink or do drugs, which only piques your curiosity and makes you want to rebel even more. I apply the same logic when it comes to jealousy: the more you try to control someone, the more resentful they'll become and it will only fuel their need for secrecy. The way I see it, it will do more harm than good and potentially drive a huge wedge in your relationship.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Daily Reminders

Daily reminders of your single status. No wonder people think being single sucks.

Exhibit A

The Dumbest Woman Alive works in the office of my apartment building. DMA has worked there since I moved in four and a half years ago with my friend from college and Platonic Ex as my roommates. In all this time, DMA and I have maybe said a total of fifteen words to one another.

Last month I received a package so I was forced to communicate with the half-wits in the leasing office. DMA retrieved my package from the locked storage area and as she handed it to me, said, "I haven't seen your boyfriend around lately." Taken aback, I replied, "Oh, well we broke up a long time ago." She said, "You did? I'm sorry to hear that." Considering it took ten times of meeting her for her to recognize me, it shocked me she had put two and two together and recall that I had a boyfriend.

On Friday, I had another lovely encounter with DMA, as I went to pick up the flowers my friend sent me. DMA got this knowing look on her face and said with great enthusiasm, "Flowers? There must be a new man!" So then I had to explain they were from a friend in lieu of losing my dog. It's not like I was sent a dozen roses. Why this sudden interest in my love life? Is this what married people do? Sit around and fantasize about the dating life of single people??

Exhibit B

I received the following email yesterday from a male friend of mine:

Hello all,

I need to know if any of you are in serious relationships. Seating at the wedding will be limited, but we would like to be able to allow those in serious relationships to bring their significant others.

Is this not the most insulting thing you've ever read? Okay, you've probably encountered worse, but it's pretty appalling. While we've drifted apart in the last few years, this is someone I once considered one of my best friends. And the other guys copied on the email (I was the only female) have been friends with him since elementary school so they have even more reason to be offended.

When you receive an invitation to a wedding, it should be an honor. But this makes me feel like I'm an inconvenience to the bride and groom, occupying one of their coveted seats.

I haven't figured out the proper response as of yet. I don't mind going solo, but it's the principle! Really, if I'm not a good enough friend to allow me the courtesy of bringing a guest, why invite me at all? I'd rather not attend thank you.

This has been my favorite response thus far:

"I'm seriously dating a lemur. Can I bring my lemur?"

To think I was actually looking forward to attending their wedding...

On a related note, TheGuy recently received a wedding invitation that was addressed solely to him, with the absence of "+ guest." Has this ever happened to any of you? Is this becoming standard now?

Yet again, single people are made to feel like outcasts. Don't even get me started on Valentine's Day...

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Longest Line

Yesterday after work, I drove straight to the mall. Not for any particular reason other than I felt like spending money. That, and the fact there's way too many McFatties at the gym taking up all the treadmills in hopes they'll actually stick to their New Years' resolutions this time around. I give 'em another week at most.

It turned out the mall was a wise decision since I found some skinny clothes! No, I didn't drop a size. If anything, I've gained due to my slacker workout schedule and doubling the number of meals I eat out. Yet I managed to find a pair of jeans and three tops that make me look thinner than I actually am! Finding clothes that flatter your figure is better than finding amazing deals. In my opinion anyway.

While I loved the jeans, they were a couple inches too long so I took them to get hemmed at this shop in the mall. They said they could have it done in an hour so I went to a couple more stores where my newly purchased clothes set off the alarm in both places. A sales associate assisted me in searching for unremoved security devices but we never found anything. She profusely apologized for the inconvenience, but after that, I decided not to venture into any more stores.

With thirty-five minutes to go, I headed to Panera. When I arrived, there were eight people before me in line and one young woman working the register. For whatever reason, this woman took her job seriously. An elderly couple stood before her.

Young Woman:
Welcome. What can I get for you today?

Old Woman: I'll have the Sierra Turkey sandwich and the chicken noodle soup.

Young Woman: Would you like the you-pick-two?

Old Woman: What is that?

Young Woman: You get half a sandwich and soup or salad.

Old Woman: That sounds good.

Young Woman: Would you like the Sierra Turkey on the focaccia bread?

Old Woman: What other kinds of bread do you have?

Young Woman:
We have sourdough, tomato basil, whole grain, honey wheat, french, and ciabatta.

Old Woman: Mmm...well I don't know...I guess I'll have the wheat one.

Young Woman: Okay. And would you like the chipotle mayonnaise, field greens, and red onions that come on it?

Old Woman: Sure.

Young Woman:
Would you like anything to drink?

Old Woman: I'll take coffee.

Young Woman: In a mug or a to-go cup?

Old Woman:
Oh, I don't know.

Young Woman:
[presents the mug as a visual] Is this for here or to go?

Old Woman: For here.

Young Woman: So you probably want the mug.

Old Woman: Uh, ok.

Young Woman:
And the coffee is located directly behind you. Did you want to add a cookie for 99 cents?

Old Woman: No thanks.

Young Woman: And sir, what can I get for you?

The entire conversation played out again with the old woman's husband including the part about whether it was "for here" or "to go." Keep in mind there were long pauses as the old people stopped to think before they answered all the young woman's questions. When it finally came time to ring up the next customer, a middle-aged woman, she inquired as to what the tomato basil bread tasted like, so the young woman told her she was "bad at describing it" so instead offered to give the woman a sample, which required her to leave the register so she could slice part of the bread.

For those that know me, you know I have a low tolerance for annoyances. When you're the only one working and there's a line of ten hungry people, would it kill you to skip reciting every ingredient on a stupid sandwich?!? You're not at fault if the customer fails to read the posted menu! It's a good thing someone else stepped up to take my order because I seriously wanted to punch that woman in the face.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

When you Know or Don't Know

After my mom delivered the sad news, TheGuy came over and hung out with me. I thought I'd cry in front of him, but I didn't shed a tear, successfully dodged that bullet. I hate crying. I especially hate letting others see me cry.

Last night we grabbed dinner at Sawatdee. He summed it up best when he said, "On all accounts, that was the worst Thai food experience of my life." Not only was the food a major disappointment, but the service was equally horrendous. I ordered the pad prig which is basically a stir-fry with green and red peppers, mushrooms, and onions. It was okay, but nothing to write home about for $12. He ordered the pad thai, requesting medium spiciness, but it was bland and greasy. The Diet Coke I ordered never arrived until I asked a second time and when it came time to pay our bill, our server was nowhere to be found. As a result, her lack of service caused us to be late for The Wild game.

TheGuy and I have begun to spend a lot more time together. In the last twelve days, I've seen him eight of those days. It actually feels like we're dating now. I still have no expectations or any idea as to what the future may hold. Maybe I'm skeptical because it's taken so long for us to reach this point. If it's right, do you always know from the beginning? I've never had luck with that before. In the past, when I met someone I really liked, I became so neurotic that I wound up sabotaging the relationship because I was terrified of getting hurt. I'm still trying to figure out what sort of balance I need to maintain a healthy, non-dysfunctional relationship.


In grief-stricken news, my family's fourteen-year-old golden retriever passed away. Having eaten very little in recent days, we knew the end was near. My mom let him out in the front yard Tuesday afternoon only to watch him collapse several times until she finally went out there to help him back inside where he fell once more in the laundry room and stayed as she cradled him in her arms until he died.

Devastating as it may be, it helps knowing it was his time to go. He lived a long, good life and we were fortunate to have him for as long as we did. For the most part, I've moved beyond the sadness and now it's just a matter of coming to terms with the fact he's gone. The next time I go home, he won't be there to greet me with a smile and wag of his tail. Say what you will about dogs not being human, but his compassion and devotion to his family would question the world's biggest skeptic.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Road Maps

Last Saturday I went out for a friend's birthday. Out of eight women, the birthday girl and I were the only single ones. Four were married, two will be married this summer, and of the six, two have babies. More of my friends are married than single these days, but I've never felt so outnumbered. It was quite the reality check.

I never had a date in high school, but at least I wasn't alone. Countless conversations took place between my friend and I about how it didn't matter that we never had boyfriends in high school because we'd go to college where there would be a plethora of smart, eligible men. The latter was true. College was foolproof. Or so I thought. Besides, the dating gods owed me for being forced to sit at home on prom night. But then I never even dated anyone from my college (when I was in school, that is).

I've never understood those women that declare a "cut-off age" for marriage. If I'm not married by the time I'm 26, I'll throw myself off a bridge. That's a hell of a lot of pressure to put upon oneself. Though I never had a timetable, I always kind of figured I'd be married by the time I was 30, but I've come to realize the odds are no longer in my favor. I'd have to date my future husband for at least one year, if not more, and then we'd need a year to plan the wedding. So I basically have 10 months max to meet the man I'm going to spend the rest of my life with.

This is not the end of the world here people. If I'm still single at 30 and by society's standards, that makes me a crazy old cat lady destined to die alone, so be it. I don't need marriage to define me as a person. If it happens, it happens. It won't do any good to force it or have unrealistic expectations.

I finally got around to seeing Juno last weekend. This quote sticks out in my mind, when Juno says to her father: "I need to know that it's possible that two people can stay happy together forever."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nod of Approval

If any of you were wondering, I decided to give TheGuy his Christmas present -- the Dwight Schrute bobblehead I ordered online about a decade ago. And at the risk of blowing my aloof cover, I told him the truth: that I'm a neurotic fool who didn't want to give him anything unless he got me something so he wouldn't feel obligated to buy me some pity gift. Because really, the more psychotic a guy thinks you are, the more endearing he'll find you.

p.s. cats love Dwight's bobbing head.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Imaginary Line in the Sand

The post that was long overdue...

I'm going to refrain from sharing the details of my friend's wedding. It'd be different if it were my own, but since it's not, it isn't really my place. That being said, I will say this: the ceremony was beautiful, the bride stunning, and the reception looked amazing.

Now on to the sensationalized details of what is a very dull life. Prior to the ceremony, I kept checking my phone to see if TheGuy had decided to bail at the last minute. He'd mentioned not feeling well the day before so I thought perhaps he was setting up some sort of alibi. No such text arrived but I never saw TheGuy or Platonic Ex during the ceremony. Afterwards, I received confirmation through a mutual friend that Platonic Ex did indeed attend (he was rumored to be a no-show) and that was followed by an ambiguous text from TheGuy letting me know he was on his way to the reception.

When we arrived at the reception, I immediately saw TheGuy talking to my dad. Unfortunately for him, that was the only person he knew aside from the bride and one of the fellow bridesmaids. I went up to say hello, quickly spotting my mom chatting up Platonic Ex and his good friend RWD nearby. Not five minutes later, leave it to dear old Mom to make an uncomfortable situation worse by leading Platonic Ex over to us and saying, "TheGuy, have you met Platonic Ex?" This goes down as one of the most awkward moments of my life. They shook hands and Platonic Ex said, "We've actually met before." TheGuy said, "Oh? We have?" To my knowledge, the two hadn't met, but it's certainly possible. Back in college, we went to parties hosted by TheGuy and his roommates which Platonic Ex very well may have gone to with us, but I don't recall such an introduction being made.

I don't know what all my mom said throughout the evening (my friends probably spared me the humiliation), but I do know she gave Platonic Ex a long, sappy spiel about how he'd been a part of our family for four years and that he's always welcome in her home. Even going so far as to say, "No matter what time of day. I don't care if it's 3 in the morning -- you know how to get in our house." And then she was lamenting the travesty of our breakup to the parents of my friends. That was a year ago Mom -- get over it!

Though I never uttered the words, everyone assumed TheGuy was my boyfriend and I heard, "This is WTP's boyfriend" tossed around on more than one occasion. And I never bothered to correct anyone. What would I say? Actually, we're dating but we haven't reached that stage yet.

An old friend from my days of waitressing put me on the spot when she turned to me and TheGuy and said, "So how long have you guys been dating?" Dead silence. She continued, "You've been dating a long time, right?" I shook my head and was quick to reply, "No." Then I added, "You're probably thinking of my ex-boyfriend," whom I was dating during the year and a half we worked together. But she said, "Nooo. So how long has it been?" I turned to TheGuy who flashed a stupid smirk so I knew I was on my own. Maybe part of him was curious to see what I would say. I finally said, "A few months." I think it was several months ago that we actually started going on dates. I don't know where she got the idea we'd been dating for a long time, but "a few months' seemed to satisfy her that he was indeed "the guy I'd been dating for a 'long' time." I still say she was confused.

It was blatantly obvious Platonic Ex and RWD were segregated from the rest of "our group" all evening. They were seated on the opposite side of the room and they stayed on that side for most of the night. Once the majority of guests had cleared out, they eventually moved to seats beside the dance floor and I danced with RWD for a song. After the reception, the remaining crew headed to a dive bar across the street where the segregation took place yet again: us versus them. Knowing my date's presence was the reason they couldn't socialize with the rest of us made me feel terribly guilty so TheGuy and I left early.

In talking to my friend the next day, she reported that as soon as we left, Platonic Ex and RWD made their way to the rest of the group, which is exactly what I knew would happen. What I never would have predicted, however, is that Platonic Ex told my friend ever so matter-of-factly there was an 80% chance he and I would get back together. I've had days to process this and still have no idea what led him to this conclusion. It was good to see him, but it ends there. Perhaps he was just reeling from a recent falling-out with his girlfriend. I guess he told everyone he got on her last nerve while they vacationed overseas during the holidays.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I Think too Much for my Own Good

I am weird about gift giving. If I put too much thought into it, it's distressing. If someone gives me something, I feel like I owe them and vice versa. I know that defeats the purpose of a "gift" but that's how I feel.

A few months ago, I bought something for TheGuy, but I became so anxiety-ridden at the thought of giving it to him that I never did. Then I thought I'd wait 'til his birthday, but we all know how that turned out. Then Christmas came and I went so far as to wrap the damn gift, but then stowed it in the back of my closet.

I know, I'm seriously perturbed.

My warped reasoning was this: If I gave him something, and he didn't get me anything, then he would only be buying me a gift out of a sense of obligation. And I didn't want that.

So when he never showed up at my door bearing gifts, his already-wrapped present was left to collect dust.

On Tuesday I went to his house and we watched some more It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (thanks MD!). Between episdoes, I got up to use the bathroom and when I returned, TheGuy had moved and was sitting in his chair. He said, "So I got you a Christmas present. It was supposed to be here a week ago but I ordered it from Amazon and accidentally selected 'free shipping' so it took a long time to get here."

I opened it and thanked him, but made no mention of his present. If I tell him now, will it seem like I rushed out to get him something and fabricated some lame story about my gift-giving neurosis?

I am such a head case.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Great Condom Debate

For the past week or so, I haven't been able to stop thinking about the topic of buying condoms. It all started when I heard from a few girl friends that their husbands are too embarrassed to buy condoms. Really? A married person?

At lunch a couple weeks ago, I asked Stripes and his friend about it. Now it didn't surprise me that Stripes said he doesn't like buying condoms (he's a shy one), but his friend is really outgoing so I was shocked when he said he hates doing it because he doesn't want other people knowing his "personal business." Particularly when the awkward run-in with a family friend or neighbor occurs. At which point, they both said you shift the items in your basket to hide the paraphernalia.

The only other male opinion I have thus far is TheGuy and he disagreed, saying it wasn't a big deal and that he thought others should consider it perfectly normal for a 28-year-old to be buying condoms. He said he wouldn't feel the need to hide it from people he knew at the store, but he did say it was funny to watch the really young and really old female cashiers become uncomfortable when ringing you up.

Before I started asking around, I kind of figured that most guys would be proud to buy condoms because that meant some girl was actually willing to have sex with them (or at least in hopes of that). I guess I don't have a lot to go on, so if any males wish to share their input, it would be greatly appreciated. Or if any females want to ask the guys they know, I am really curious. I know this is a strange thing to take interest in, but what can I say? I never claimed to be "normal."

Married Ex Update

Last night a good friend called to fill me in on some juicy gossip regarding Married Ex. Apparently, Married Ex’s college roommate, B-Side, didn’t attend the wedding ceremony, but he went to the reception. B-Side knows Married Ex’s wife because they all worked together (the same way Married Ex and his wife met).

B-Side said it's no secret that all their friends/co-workers think Married Ex’s wife is psychotic. Before she got involved with Married Ex, she had a long-term boyfriend that everyone knew she was obsessed with. B-Side’s co-worker told him that during the wedding, as they were saying their vows, Married Ex’s wife looked out at the crowd, zeroing in on her ex-boyfriend and burst out crying. For a guy to notice to such a thing? Must have been very conspicuous! As my friend said, “That’s like something out of a movie or TV!” I was thinking the same thing: like when Ross said ‘Rachel’ instead of ‘Emily” during his vows.

B-Side also said the reception was awkward and not the least bit fun. He said no one in Married Ex’s family, including his extended family, likes his wife and it was terribly obvious. B-Side said people were actually making bets on how long the marriage would last.

I feel the same way I did after I ran into Married Ex’s brother and he shared the same sentiments. Only now Married Ex is married. I couldn’t imaging marrying someone that NONE of my family or friends cared for. Though love is blind, if everyone you knew disliked the person you were with, wouldn’t you give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that they saw something you don’t??