War, an apt metaphor for dating. Or is it, Dating, an apt metaphor for war?

August 18, 2007 at 7:37 pm | Posted in boys, life | 6 Comments
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So, I don’t know who really reads this blog, other than some of my friends and some of my classmates and coworkers. But if you’ve met me for even a second, you’ve probably heard me say at least one of the following:
“Dating is a nightmare.”
“I hate men.”
“I’m never dating anyone ever again. Ever ever ever.”
“Dating is like walking through a minefield — you never know if your next step is going to blow you up or land you on solid ground.”
“I give up.”

It’s no longer necessary or expected for women to marry straight out of high school, or even college/university, thank God. I can’t even imagine being married right now, let alone married to some dude I met when I was 16 or 20. I am not on the marriage/babies track; I don’t know if I want kids. The biological clock isn’t ticking, that’s for sure. But still, I feel that companionship is extremely important. One of my goals in life is to have a lasting emotional, sexual, intimate relationship with a man. Preferably a decent, unmarried man. And so, I find myself at 26, looking for a partner. (I’ve always hated that word, “partner,” when used to describe heterosexual relationships. Just say, boyfriend, or girlfriend, ok? But now I kind of think that it’s appropriate — I’m not looking for a sugar daddy or a baby daddy or any kind of daddy (I already have a father, thanks!), and “partner” has the connotation of equality and companionship, two things I value highly.) So, for the past four years, since the end of my “college marriage” relationship, I’ve been out there.

I love hearing stories from the dating front. One of my coworkers has the most incredible and unbelievable catalogue of first date nightmares. Consider these: a woman so close to lesbianism that she was practically her own pride flag, a Buffy-obsessed lawyer whose entire apartment was decorated like the fictional character’s condo, a pre-op male-to-female, and a woman on a day-pass from a mental institution. As he put it, “I put on the dating magnet and attract all of the cheap metal in the GTA.”

My friends and I have our own, less shocking but probably exponentially more dramatic, catalogue of dating history. Between us we’ve heard every opening and closing line in the book…we’ve had one night stands and long-term relationships and everything in between…we’ve slept with ex-boyfriends and -girlfriends…we’ve dated and re-dated and tried so hard to jam square pegs into round holes (so to speak)…we’ve obsessed and neurotically picked apart every single syllable uttered by a man — or a woman…

Sometimes I find it pretty amazing that anyone, anywhere has managed to meet someone else. Consider all of the things that have to come together for that to happen: both people have to be in the same place at the same time, be mutually attracted to each other, live in the same geographic region at the very least, be single at the same time, and not be irreparably damaged. And that’s just for them to decide to go on a date! Imagine the things that have to happen for a relationship to develop… As I said, amazing.

I’m just not sure I can do it all right now. I’ve been dating pretty much constantly for FOUR YEARS. That is, like, the world’s longest marathon. I’ve barely had time to breathe. Wait. Does that make me sound like a whore? Oh, whatever, I don’t care. Point is, I’ve been busy these past four years and all I have to show for it are notches on the bedpost and a growing list of shit I won’t tolerate from men. I’m tired. I need a break.

The bike boys think I’m an idiot

July 4, 2007 at 9:14 pm | Posted in boys | 1 Comment

So, there’s this bike store pretty close to my house. I’ve lived here for going on two years, and I’d never been in it until a few weeks ago, when I got the bicycle itch and had to scratch it. Actually, I was going in to see if they sold used bikes, but I ended up getting sucked into a cute boy vortex, and walked out with a brand-new bike. I like to think of myself as sensible, but clearly I’m not. Just show me a bunch of sweaty, scruffy, 20-something males and I’ll just hand over my debit card, no questions asked. But seriously, every single one of the boys who works there is adorable. It’s sick. It’s, like, designed to trap susceptible young women.

Anyway, I was told to bring my bike back after a couple weeks so that they could tighten the cables. In the meantime, I’ve put fenders and a bike basket on the bike. Myself. And by myself, I mean that I put on the front fender and made my dad help me with the back one. I’m an independent woman, damn it. (But I did put the basket on myself.)

So, I walked into the store today with my bike. The first guy I saw, I explained to him why I was there. You know how sometimes, people — and I find that this is usually girls, but whatever — will give you the once over? They’ll look you up and down, from head to toe, to determine whether or not you’re worthy of their time. (I’m usually not found worthy, but that’s neither here nor there.) Well, this guy was giving my bike the once-over. He said, “Uh, did we put that basket on your bike?” I said no, that I had done it myself. He sort of looked at me with this knowing smirk and said, “Oh. Well, that’s totally the wrong basket for that kind of bike. You have suspension forks, so the distance between the handlebars and the wheel is constantly changing, and the basket rods are going to warp.” It made perfect sense once he’d explained it to me, but really, I never would’ve thought of that on my own. He went to go get someone to check out the cables, and as he did, the guy who’d been sitting at the counter turned around.

He’s the guy who originally sold me the bike, the one who led me into the boy vortex, and I said hi. He said hi back, glanced at my bike, and said, “Oh. Uh, did we put that basket on your bike?”

Strike two. They’re never going to love me, are they?

Kill closet rock stars

June 21, 2007 at 11:59 pm | Posted in boys, things that annoy | 1 Comment

Ok, I like music as much as the next girl, which means:

–I listen to lots of the music I was raised on, including the eternally uncool Billy Joel and the Beach Boys’ surf songs (not just the hipster-approved Pet Sounds);

–I also listen to pop artists and indie bands and folk and classic rock and grunge and sometimes classical and never, ever, EVER country or techno or Celine Dion; and

–I even went through my own rock star phase when I was 14, wherein I decided that my dream in life was to play the guitar, so I took lessons and went to a rock ‘n’ roll “camp” over the summer (two weeks at the University of Miami; it wasn’t super elaborate or anything and there were lots of cute boys); I wore band t-shirts and Converse and torn jeans and flannel; and I shopped at the now-defunct Y & T Records in Miami, where I longed to buy the Don’t Suck Corporate Cock shirt but figured it might not be the best idea to ask my mom to buy it for me (shut up).

However.

I grew out of my music snob phase quite a while ago, and even though I still enjoy teasing Lorien for her taste in music , I just do not give a shit about my friends’, my coworkers’, the boys I date’s, taste in music. (Sorry for that awkward sentence construction there.)

Sometimes, I think I might be the only one.

Has anyone else had the unfortunate combination of being a single girl in a large, hip city; being attracted to tall, thin nerdy types; and also not giving a flying fuck about anyone’s band? I mean, hello, I barely even know the names of the musicians in the bands I like. But, I fear that I should just resign myself to dating pretentious music snobs and closet rock stars, people who consider knowledge of obscure bands — most of them local — to be the pinnacle of knowledge and the only thing worth discussing.

I’ve dated musicians before and have found that this always, always, becomes a point of contention, partly due, I’m sure, to my own attitude towards their obsession with music and their band. Talking about music doesn’t bother me, actually, and I like being exposed to new stuff; it’s when music becomes the only topic of conversation that I start to get pissy and irritated. Why do people, urban boys in particular, become so obsessed with music? Why is it used as a platform of cool? Is it because it’s something we all have in common? I mean, everyone listens to some kind of music, so I suppose knowing more about it than most other people has a certain kind of attraction, if you’re a certain kind of douchebag. It’s just bothersome that we can never discuss things about which I am knowledgeable, like literature or knitting or photography. Or even things that neither of us know anything about, like woodworking, or kites, or whatever. I mean, I don’t care what the fuck we talk about, as long as it’s not (often and incessantly):
–your band,
–your friend’s band,
–[insert name of obscure local band here], or
–the Beatles versus the Rolling Stones (similarly: Pet Sounds versus Revolver; how country music influenced rock ‘n’ roll; why early the Who is better than late the Who).

The impetus for this post is that I’ve been browsing through some ads on Lavalife (online dating, for the uninitiated), and I swear to you, nine times out of ten, if I happen upon a profile that isn’t littered with exclamation marks or cheesy, pseudo-romantic catchphrases (Am I the 1 4 U? and similar), the dude is a musician. Some even mention it in their LL “name” (e.g., GuitrLovr). I feel like just throwing in the towel and dating an accountant or something. After all, OkCupid’s dating persona quiz told me, a Window Shopper, that “Even though you might be attracted to them, avoid artists at all costs.” Clearly, there is only room for one artsy snob in a relationship, and that’s sure as hell going to be me.

Daddy’s little girl

June 3, 2007 at 7:11 pm | Posted in boys, family | 6 Comments

I’ve sworn off men once again, people. I know, I know, not a huge surprise, and also a vow likely to be broken in a matter of days, given the course of my dating life so far. But if it doesn’t get broken, more power to me.

I mentioned this no-more-men vow to my father, who along with my mom usually gets the abbreviated version of my dating life (it’s not a love life, really, and I would be a fool to refer to it as such). My dad is vaguely supportive of me in my romantic spills and scrapes — he obviously doesn’t wish me any harm but also refuses to hand out advice on the matter; I’m not sure if this is because he thinks it would go unheeded and doesn’t wish to waste his breath, or if it’s because he doesn’t want to be held accountable for anything I do upon receiving advice. My frequent lament is that I haven’t had a really serious boyfriend since Vito, my college boyfriend, and I broke up four years ago (holy fuck). Since, I’ve dated plenty of guys and have entered into little pseudo-relationships with some that never last more than a couple of months. (This is certainly something I see as a failure. What, after all, is the point of trying on so many freakin’ hats if you never ever find one that you want to wear for more than half a season?) Anyway, I was discussing this with my father, and I mentioned that I put up with a lot of bullshit from Vito that I wouldn’t necessarily put up with from him or anyone else now. My father said, “Well, maybe that’s your problem. Maybe you need to lower your standards.”

I was floored. My father thinks I need to lower my standards? People, when your parents start telling you that you’re aiming too high, someone has a problem. Isn’t my dad supposed to say things like, “That bastard! His loss,” and, “No man is good enough for my little girl”?

I am an idiot

January 24, 2007 at 3:15 pm | Posted in boys, life | 3 Comments

I know that I call myself an idiot on a daily basis, but this time I mean it -sometimes, when my life is rolling along fairly smoothly, I like to rock the boat by emailing my ex-boyfriend.

We were together for 3 1/2 years, and we broke up about that same length of time ago. We got together in our first year of college, when we were 18. We lived together for 2 years. He was my first love: he fascinated me, frustrated me, made me feel whole. When our relationship ended, he was the one who broke up with me. It had been over for a while, but I wouldn’t have ever had the courage to end things. When he did finally cut the cord, no matter how over I knew it was, I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do with myself. This coincided with graduating from college, and most of my friends had moved away from Portland. I felt completely lost, like a boat without an anchor, like a freed helium balloon. It was the scariest thing I’d ever felt, and I hated it. I still do: I look back on that and shudder, as I shudder to think of the upcoming “freedom” I’m about to experience when I’m done with grad school.

After a while, I started to get over it. I went out with other boys. I made new friends and found new places to live. Meanwhile, my ex had spent a summer in Ecuador and was moving to the Czech Republic for the experience of living in Europe.

Eventually, I moved back to Miami following a bout of almost unbearable depression (my mother: “You either move back home yourself or I come out there and get you. Which one do you want it to be?”). I found the ground a bit more solid there, and I started working at the bookstore. I had a love-hate relationship with that job, but I have to say that it made my time in Miami as good as it could have been. I applied for grad school, and started dating various boys. I had fun. I made friends.

During this, my ex had moved back from the Czech Republic to California. He called me on my 24th birthday, totally out of the blue and unexpected. The year before, when I turned 23, I’d received an email from him, wishing me a happy birthday and informing me that his current girlfriend, some Czech girl, had the same birthday as me (same day, different year). My mom and I figured that the reason he always remembered my birthday was because it was the same as hers. Have I told you how much I hated that girl? As good as I try to be (and yeah, doubting friends of mine, I do try to be good -I try to quell the anger and the sadness and the hopelessness; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t), I often fail.

Since then, I’ve started and almost completed grad school. My longest relationship since my ex-boyfriend and I broke up has come and gone. Again, I’ve made friends. I’m enjoying my time in Toronto. I’ve done some good work at school. I’ve started taking anti-depressants, which has made my life infinitely easier.

I could have easily left well enough alone, but why would I do that?  I emailed him, under the auspices of wishing him a happy new year and asking about his holidays.  I mentioned that I had been dating someone but that he didn’t get my sense of humor and clearly hadn’t been meant to last.  He wrote back, updating me on life in Barcelona (yeah, that Barcelona).  Apparently, he’s pretty involved in a relationship with his roommate.  And things are going really well: each time he experiences doubts, “She comes through with flying colors.”  That made me want to die.  I know it shouldn’t, I know that I should be totally cool with my life: steps have been made in the right direction -I mean, hey, at least I’m not smoking crack or prostituting myself- but I just feel so far behind my peers sometimes.

As my friends, both here and in various parts of the States, get deeper into relationships and careers, I am scared of being left behind.   As my ex-boyfriend, the first and only love of my life (so far, I sincerely hope) moves on (and on), I am scared of being left behind.  As my friends get engaged and married, I am scared of being left behind.  Yes, I know that I’m only 25 and, despite the title of this blog, am hardly at the door of spinsterhood, but still.  What if I am too complicated?  What if my depression and anxiety and abrasiveness all equal a life of loneliness?  If I was convinced that I was fine, being single wouldn’t matter.  But I’m not -I’m convinced that I am toxic and damaged and that I’ll remain this way while everyone else moves on to the lives they were meant to lead.

The worst kind

January 21, 2007 at 9:12 pm | Posted in boys | 3 Comments

In order to navigate the waters of dating in the twenty-first century, you have to be knowledgeable of body language and you must pay attention to details. Body language is the biggie: can you tell, by non-verbal clues alone, whether someone is interested in you? Do you know what those non-verbal clues are? Do you know how to use body language consciously to your advantage, to either convey interest or a lack of interest? Paying attention to details is kind of a tough one, because it requires you to read between the lines. Yeah, I know, she said she’d give you a call, but how did she say it? Was it in response to that pleading look in your eyes, or did she volunteer it? He kissed you, so maybe he is interested in seeing you again, but was it really that intimate of a kiss?

As we all know, I went on a date last weekend. It was great (I thought): the conversation flowed, the body language was excellent. It lasted 8 hours, until 4:30 in the morning. The boy was interesting and, I thought, interested.

Against my (and my friends’) better judgment, I called him on Tuesday evening to say thanks, and to see what he was up to this coming weekend. I wasn’t going to call him, then I was going to call but I was going to wait until Wednesday -a safe four days after the event- but then I got impatient and called on Tuesday. The phone must’ve rung a billion times before the voicemail picked up, and I had visions of him holding the phone, my name and number flashing on the screen, as he waited for the ringing to stop. I left your standard message: “Hi, it’s Tasha. I just wanted to say thanks for Saturday. I had a good time, and I was wondering what you’re doing this weekend. Anyway, I’ll talk to you later.”

I didn’t hear from him at all this week. At first, I felt like an idiot -who calls someone on Tuesday to make plans for the weekend- but I got over that one around Thursday morning. Now, I’m stuck in the limbo of What did I do wrong?, which is the self-doubt that one experiences after going on a date with a Misleader.

A Misleader is probably the worst kind to date. If you’re on a date that is not going well and both parties know it, it might be a bummer of a night, but at least everyone knows where they stand. If you’re on a date that is going well, it’s a great night and everyone still knows where they stand. If, however, you’re on a date that seems to be going well -and I, having been on a few dates and being what I thought was decently fluent in the language of dating, did think it was going well- but you never hear from the person again, you don’t know where you stand and you likely just got misled by a Misleader.

I can’t think of a title.

January 15, 2007 at 3:56 pm | Posted in boys, shiny things | 2 Comments

green-necklace.JPG

Sorry about the huge picture but I can’t reformat it at the moment. So, I made this necklace on Friday night for a date on Saturday. I have no idea what any of the stones are, but in my humble opinion it turned out quite well.

I’m not exactly sure if I should blog about the date or not…

Ok, fine.  But I’m not telling you everything.  He’s a guy I met before break and we tried to get together before I left but that didn’t work out.  Then when I was back, he was gone.  So, with all of the time that had elapsed, I wasn’t really expecting him to call me.  But he did, and we went out on Saturday night.  I had a really good time, and I’m pretty sure things went well.  There were a couple of awkward moments, however, which kind of sucked.  There was kissing, though, and it was the best kind (i.e.,  not investigating the deepest recesses of a virtual stranger’s mouth with your tongue).  We left it at:

Him: Maybe we can do this again sometime.

Me: I think that could be possible.

And that’s all I’m going to say about my date.

Rejection, part a million

December 18, 2006 at 9:08 pm | Posted in boys | 1 Comment

Why is it that when you meet someone you could maybe possibly like if you got to know them a bit more, they think pretty much the opposite of you? And why is it that when you meet someone you don’t like all that much, they think that you are fabulous and wonderful?

I hate dating. Or maybe I hate being single, since “dating” is not a word one would apply to the current situation. Or maybe I hate being young. Contrary to what we’re led to believe, it sucks.

Oh, and? My own mother thinks I’m a whore. She told me to stop making out with boys! I finally found something I’m good at, and now she wants me to stop? That’s like asking me to stop breathing. It ain’t gonna happen, mom.

EDIT I’m sorry, I know that I posted this last night, but I was thinking about what my mom said as I was walking to work this morning and I wanted to make a point.  I honestly cannot believe that, in 2006, I am being told to not kiss boys.  It’s not as if I’m having casual, or any, sex, with these guys; all I’m doing is kissing them.  Usually, it’s not even horizontal kissing.  And I’m being given a guilt trip about it?

I can sort of see her point: after hooking up with a boy, I do tend to wonder if there’s anything behind it, and when it turns out that there isn’t (as it usually does), I get upset.  But it’s not like, upset upset.  It’s more the blow of rejection, which hurts no matter where it comes from.  And truthfully, I would rather make out with someone and eventually be rejected by them than not kiss them at all.  Why?  Because kissing is fun and it’s usually harmless.  Also, I want to test drive the car before I buy it.  If a guy can’t even kiss well, why would I want to spend any more time with him?  Anyway, if my mother is merely concerned about my well-being, that’s fine, and I’ll allow her that with no more said on the subject.

But if she’s concerned about my moral looseness or something similar, I’m going to have to call bullshit on it.  This isn’t parochial school (though really, weren’t the biggest whores you knew in high school Catholic school girls?) and it’s not the 1800s; we don’t have to keep three feet on the floor at all times when in a room with a boy, and we don’t have to wear letters on our chests to proclaim our infidelity.  There can’t still be some sort of crazy double standard about what girls do and what boys do and what those actions say about the genders’ characters.  And certainly not over kissing!

Ok.  That’s all.  End rant.

You know you are addicted to the internet when

December 18, 2006 at 7:49 pm | Posted in boys | 1 Comment

you begin to use Google as a magic 8-ball. This evening, I caught myself asking the search engine questions about my personal life that I used to ask of the 8-ball when I was 15: “Should I call so-and-so?” “Does he like me?” “Dear Google/8-ball, will I ever, ever get a boyfriend?”. As if either the internet oracle or the 8-ball has the answers!

A “public” humiliation, a public apology

December 6, 2006 at 1:16 am | Posted in boys, life, things that annoy | 11 Comments

Ok, so most of you already know that He Who Shall Not Be Named found my blog. I posted something a few weeks ago about exclamation mark-riddled emails which were not to my liking. In the post, I made up an email, basing it on typical emails that I was likely to receive throughout the day, and inserted the offending punctuation mark. Apparently, I also, at some point, wrote some rant about how I hated men. Now, we all know that I don’t really hate men. However, I say I do every now and again, cause I get pissed at whatever boy in my life is causing me heartache and/or stress.

HWSNBN got upset, duly so, because I posted a “private email” on a “public forum.” I take the point: even though the email in question was a fabrication, it was not a nice thing, nor the right thing, to do. I shouldn’t have posted it; I should have just discussed the issue with the person and not aired my or his dirty laundry on the internet.

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