Murky Monday, Jun 9 2008 

Yeah, I kinda called it – The Young Man and I were unable to meet up before his departure.  Early last week, I shot him a casual little e-mail hoping that things were going well.  Eventually, he responded, and it was nice to hear that he is having a good time, both socially and academically.  I also got out of the house, KSP and I went out for a beer and some chitchat, and were later joined by her beau 2A.  We talked bad movies and ran into a large portion of our social circle.  We all shot the shit, and it was fun.  Out past midnight, which is quite the rarity for me.

KSP, God bless her, can be a known meddler.  And I say this knowing full well that she is a semi-regular visitor to the blog.  KSP, you are a known meddler.  Yes, I may have asked for some meddling input, and I do encourage the meddling when I am a spectator to it.  She made a suggestion, and I gotta say, my first impulse was to say, “er…no.”  But, I’m nothing if not introspective, so I revisited my first response, just to make sure I wasn’t being too hasty.  After careful consideration, my considered opinion is…”er..no.”  But I would recommend the gentleman in question to someone else, should they ask for my opinion.  But this was my reasoning.

Why I Won’t Date Within My Social Circle
(by The Senior Senior)

  1. Our social circle is borderline incestuous already.  While it makes gossip an enjoyable constant, I prefer to be a spectator to the gossip.
  2. When it all goes kablooey (and the odds are always in favor of kablooey), the awkwardness is palpable.  Divisions are almost necessary, and friend custody is trickier.
  3. In adulthood, one’s social circle tends to contract, rather than expand.  Dating outside the herd is excellent for staving off that process.

And that pretty much sums it up.  Now certainly, many of my friends have seen or are seeing someone in the circle, and more power to them.  I would never talk anyone out of seeing someone for my reasons.  They’re mine, and are applicable only to me.

I realize that for someone who is, theoretically, interested in pursuing some sort of romantic relationship, I may come across as perhaps a tad picky.  But I don’t care.  I have gone back on my self-imposed rules in the past, if I have been interested enough in a particular man.  But my flouting of the rule in question has always, and I mean always, bitten me on the ass.  So I say no more.  If I have to be in my mid (to late) thirties, I might as well benefit from the foolish, drunken, short-sighted or just generally ridiculous errors in judgment I have made in the past.  I’m not saying I’ll never make any foolish, drunken, short-sighted or just generally ridiculous errors in judgment; I just hope I won’t make the exact same ones – stick to new mistakes, that’s my goal.

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You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him (or her) drink Friday, May 30 2008 

A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a thang for the end of the semester.  The Young Man was going to come and, to thank me for my proofreading help, he was going to buy me a drink.  Except, unfortunately, he couldn’t make it to the thang, but offered a raincheck.  All well and good, but he is leaving town for a few months, and with one thing or another, it is very likely this will all be put on hold for a few months.

I’m of two minds about this.  Certainly, The Young Man is startlingly hot, and I get all weak in the knees and crap; an outing like this may be the start of something.  Or, it may not be, and then it will be just another opportunity to make some sort of an ass of myself.  And that is something I don’t need.

If this little plot should come to fruition, and we do meet for this drink, then what?  It very likely doesn’t mean anything; it also doesn’t not mean anything, because it was mostly his idea.  If he had wanted to ditch this plan at any time, he could have.  I even gave him an escape hatch, so maybe I’ll be blown off yet.

Reading the previous paragraph, I suspect myself of being a 100 percent, 24 karat saboteur (or saboteuse, if you want to get all gender agreement about it).  God forbid that this could actually be a date-like incident, filled with date-like activities, which would be so out of line with my standard world view.  I might enjoy myself or something.

Although I shouldn’t be so hasty – he leaves this weekend, and there is still plenty of time for me to be disappointed.

Giving Up The Ghost Monday, Mar 10 2008 

This weekend has been…edifying.  I do value clarity, even if it may not be the clarity I seek.  Put another way, crappy clarity is always better than optimistic ambiguity.  Because optimistic ambiguity plays with your judgement, and you spend a lot of time staring at the ambiguity, trying to make sense of it.

As I have already hinted, I received some news.  It wasn’t bad news (nor was it good news); however, it was news to me.  And it functioned as sort of a code – all of a sudden, things that were mystifying made perfect sense.  And that was good.  But I have a little void in my life, and that isn’t so very nice for me.  I have been wandering around my apartment, at a bit of a loss as to what to do next.

It is official – GSS and I are resolutely platonic.  And while it would be a lie to say it wasn’t disappointing, neither is it a tragic thing.  He was very deft and kind, and everybody is hunky-dory (or, more accurately, hunky-dorky).  Because what is causing the void isn’t that we won’t be getting together (because that never happened, it isn’t really something one can miss); it is more the loss of the possibility that I feel.

If everything had worked out exactly the way I wanted it to (which would have been the first time in the history of my life, I’m sure), it ultimately would have been a letdown.  He would have done something that would have annoyed me, and I would have done something that annoyed him.  There would have been quotidian difficulties, and eventually, I’d move on to wherever I’m to go (which is still a mystery [and very annoying] to me), as would he.  The only truly perfect incarnation was in the possibility.  And while a real, grown-up relationship is the real goal, this never felt like that, so it wasn’t that great a loss when nothing came of anything.

However, that little charge I got when deciding what to wear, or composing a clever little e-mail that was flirtatious, but not overtly so; I’m going to miss that.  The anticipation, as they say, is always better than the realization.  Discounting the real thing, a real, feel-it-in-your-soul connection, that honest-and-for-true love (which is so potent, it seems to be the only reason to go through all this nonsense sometimes), the anticipation is usually better than the realization.  Though the realization would be nice, too.

So I need myself a new hobby.  And by hobby, I do actually mean a new man to try to seduce.  Alarmingly (for me), I seem to be ready enough to go once more into the breach, dear friends.

And this is what interests me.  Because even though my original emergency back-up plan involved flirting with someone else I already know (e.g., The Young Man, The Younger Man, maybe even The Would-Be Homework Buddy), I’m thinking no.  While all these men have their charms, and could possibly be a pleasant enough way to while away the rest of the semester, I think I’ve turned some sort of corner.  The sport of the last five months was often entertaining and certainly instructive, but it was always just sport.  And I knew that, so when it turned out to be just a decoy, I was okay with that.  But now I’m after bigger game, not smaller.  My flirtation with GSS was always for a temporary fix.  And, as I’ve said before, it fixed me (but good).  No really, I honestly feel it pushed me to move on after having my heart broken.  So I’m sanguine about the whole thing.  But, instead of moving on to smaller game – men I am less, not more, interested in – wouldn’t it be something if I instead moved on to larger game – love?  This is a radical departure for me.  And I’m not sure what to do next.  You’re supposed to stop looking, the conventional wisdom says, and you’ll find it.  And that had happened to me, so I know that it’s partly true.  But maybe, just maybe, if I meet more people, I’ll improve my odds.

But none of that on-line shit.  I’m going old school.

Of files and favors Sunday, Jan 20 2008 

My mother’s computer died some time ago, so today I have been moving/deleting files like a madwoman.  I have saved most of what was on my old desktop by making CD backups, though I am unsure why.  Ever since I went laptop, I have mostly ignored my desktop; with an exception or two, I have not needed any thing that was on there (and what there was, I moved to my external hard drive months ago).  Since CDs are small, I can justify saving a bunch of files, as they no longer take up the room they did when everything was all low tech.  For example, I took the time and trouble to save all the old e-mails on my desktop.  Why?  Because I could fit them all on a CD, and still have room for more files.  I even read some of them (including those from the Ex when we were young and in love, so to speak).  I found them an interesting artifact, and I’m glad I bothered to save them, though I can’t imagine ever looking at them again.  Maybe it is enough to save them.  Dunno.

As for the favors (one of them being giving my old computer to my mom), I noticed that I lightly snarked about how I felt GSS gave me short shrift when he thanked me for the favor I had rendered.  Now that we’re seeing each other in person and all, he has been very appreciative, and has thanked me more than once this last week.  Maybe he’s just not an e-mail guy.  Not everyone is, I suppose.  And that does explain things – if he’s not an e-mail guy, he isn’t going to respond to every whimsical message I send out.

I just thought that every one under 40 was an e-mail guy.  Live and learn.

Emotional Whiplash Friday, Jan 18 2008 

On Tuesday, I had dinner with The Ex.  It wasn’t the high point of my week – I wasn’t sure I wanted to “catch up.”  I think I was concerned that I was deluding myself that I had finally moved on, that the musical chairs of work flirting was just a distraction.  I hoped, of course, that that wasn’t the case, but I wasn’t raging to find that out.  In anticipation of a meltdown, I arranged with KSP to meet me for a drink after dinner (just in case).

Ultimately, the meltdown didn’t happen; it was nice seeing The Ex, but that relationship is over.  We’re friends, but more of a theoretical friendship – we were simply too close in the past to retrofit the relationship into a working, practical friendship.  I even found out that he has a girlfriend (he wasn’t going to tell me, but I had asked a question and to pretend that there was no girlfriend involved would have been a lie, so he told the truth), which didn’t affect me in the way that I thought it would.  Yes, there is a little part of me (the petty part of which I am often ashamed) that wishes he would still be single (not to reunite, but for my pride’s sake), but ultimately it doesn’t matter.  I didn’t pry, because I felt it wasn’t really any of my business (and surprisingly, I wasn’t that interested).  How was I affected though?  An interesting question, and one that I am trying to figure out.  I’m interested in how people seem to start up new relationships much more easily than I do.  I seem to be, at heart, a self-contained unit.  And I am okay with that, but I’d like to think that I can be part of a couple when I want to.  I wonder if I emit some sort of solitary vibe, or if I become interested in men who also emit the solitary vibe (as though it were some sort of homing signal), or other theories which are simply too half-baked to write down here.  And yes, I am not in a place where I want to be in a serious relationship.  But a frivolous one would be okay by me.  Except I might not project that sort of persona.  I think a lot of this relationship crap starts with how other people perceive you, and I have no earthly idea how I am perceived by men.  I would kill (well, maybe maim) for that sort of information.

When KSP and I met for our drink, I was reflective and told her about some interesting thinking I had done about my past relationships/hook ups.  We whiled away a couple of hours laughing about the weird/funny things that had happened in our romantic pasts, and it was all good.  However, my overanalytical nature had gone into overload with all of this data, and I had a hell of time sleeping.  I wasn’t troubled or upset, but the hamsters of my subconscious would not stop running in their little wheels, and I slept fitfully, if at all.

So I go into work the next morning, vague and foggy as all get out.  I managed to help people, but when GSS rolled in (late, but I’ve already discussed that in other posts), I wasn’t as sharp as I have been known to be.  He strolls in, greets me with the Czech equivalent of “what’s up?” (which is similar enough to the Polish equivalent of “what’s up” that I knew what he meant).  I responded in English (as I no longer speak Polish, but can only spit out a handful of phrases and count to ten), and we talked.  Mr. Math came by and the two of them spoke Spanish, and at one point referred to me.  GSS asked me if I understood what they were saying.  I said that every so often, I could grab a word, but for the most part, no.  I added that if it had been written down, I would understand most of it.  (When they referred to me, it was merely a discussion of whether I could understand them – that much I could gather.)  Mr. Math left and GSS told me that he was trying to show off.  I told him I was impressed, and he said that I shouldn’t be – he had screwed up a lot.  I told him that I thought he was great at not letting his concern of making mistakes stop the flow of conversation.  We both agreed that was essential to being able to speak a foreign language.  But I wasn’t carrying my end of the conversational load, and one of his regulars came in, so we parted company.  I can’t be sure, but I thought he looked a little disappointed.  But I was so tired, I couldn’t even explain that I was dead-ass tired.  But there you have it – over one man, obsessing over another.  That’s life, or so they say.

A semi-related anecdote:  I was waiting for the bus downtown last night, when some guy comes up and starts talking to me (bus stops: the new meat markets).  He wasn’t repellent or anything, but I wasn’t interested.  He makes some slight on me not being a conversationalist, which has the desired effect (at least from his point of view), as I started participating in the conversation – even though he was clearly stealing his delivery from the late Mitch Hedberg.  But the effort of talking to some guy who is not all that interesting to me (what is it with these guys who think that broadcasting their theories about what kind of person you are is somehow appealing to women?) took it’s toll, and I stopped participating.  Look, I don’t want much when it comes to men.  But is it too much to ask that the one guy I am interested in asks me out, and that the random oddities on the city streets leave me alone?

I should probably be working, but… Tuesday, Oct 2 2007 

I have roughly an hour until my super-scary grad class, and I came to the library to read a reading on reserve, but the computers called, and I decided to check my e-mail and whatnot.  And blogging qualifies as whatnot.

Lappy, Jr. is in the throes of what I can only describe as creeping mouse sickness.  I can usually stave it off for a little while by rebooting, but I don’t like the looks of it.  I just need Lappy, Jr. to hold off until I can afford a new computer (which ain’t gonna be for awhile, dammit).

KS(-P) and I hit the town (or rather, our version of Cheers) Friday night, and had a hoot and a holler.  Of course, she went out again Saturday night, whereas I ended napping, ’cause I’m old.  But kudos to KS(-P), as she had a great time, and the Senior Senior is all about people seizing life these days.

I am (not so patiently) waiting for tomorrow, as I will be able to flirt with GSS.  I tell you, while it is enjoyable flirting, I do hope that he appreciates the “A” game I’ve been bringing, and he’ll maybe ask for my number or something.  That said, this new crush can be distracting, as I don’t always have the attention span needed to read dry textbook chapters.

Speaking of which, I’ve really got to go.  I can’t believe that I am not studying enough.  What the hell?

Boo Hoo Friday, Sep 28 2007 

One of the main problems with having a new crush:  you’re all keyed up to see the object of your affection; however, life has other plans, and your crush takes the day off, leaving you wearing your “good butt” pants for no real reason.

As you can infer from this, GSS was not at work today, which, while not a disaster, does take the shine off a day.  After all, I work two jobs and carry 16 credits – some days I need that little extra incentive to leave the house.  That said, I was busy helping students, which is good (helping students is the reason I keep coming back to this job each year).  And when I had a little downtime, I made some bitchin’ IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) flashcards.

Still, GSS being MIA means that I won’t get to see him until Tuesday, I thought I had acquired some good momentum.  Ah well, if he’s really interested, he’ll be waiting for Tuesday to roll around, too.

Tee Hee Thursday, Sep 27 2007 

I am posting at work, which I generally wouldn’t do, except that a) it is pretty deserted and b) GSS has gone home, so I don’t have to worry about any embarrassing over-the-shoulder reading.

As I mentioned yesterday, I believe I was caught in the act of having a crush by Mr. Math, a coworker/work pal, who may have been subtly teasing me.  Damn me and my laughably translucent skin.  Even though Mr. Math didn’t work today, his spirit lives on, as a student I was working with asked me if I had a sunburn.  At first, I thought that maybe I did have one; then I realized that the proximity to GSS was bringing out the nerdly 13 year old in me again.  Porcelain-skinned girls with mild social anxiety disorder can’t seem to catch a break, apparently.

However, I can live with that, as it seems that the attraction isn’t one-sided.  There are interpretations where his behavior might not be a sign that he is attracted to me, but they would mean that a) he is biblically dense when it comes to interpersonal matters or b) my conversations are some of the most scintillating in the Upper Midwest.  You be the judge.

I come in, and as I pass by, I brush him lightly on the shoulder, as a nonverbal greeting.  (Pretty slick, huh?)  He is busy with another student, and immediately after I sit down, one of my regular ESL students comes over to work with me.  GSS and I are both busy for roughly an hour.

After my student leaves, I look around to see if anyone else is struggling.  No one needs my help, so I start a little of my own studying.  GSS is still helping students.

Indication #1 he may be interested.  We are seated at different tables, but his body is turned towards me, not his student.

Indication #2 – When there is a lull in his session, he looks over at me and smiles.

Indication #3 – After he finishes, he leaves, but then comes back.  I ask him if he’s headed home, and he says he is in the process of leaving.  However, he still finds time to talk to me.  He starts the conversation standing, but then sits down at my table (unfortunately, I had students need my help, so I had to stop talking).  When I can no longer continue the conversation, he leaves.

Indication #4 – He comes back after roughly 45 minutes.  I’m still busy with students, but he kind of lingers around, looking at stuff on the walls.  After about 15 minutes of doing this, he leaves, saying “bye” or “see you” to everyone except me.  He says “au revoir” to me.

As I said, individually, none of these are particularly compelling – as part of a pattern, I think it could be considered evidence.

Of course, in my still-fragile state (post-Ex), I’m in no real position to take the lead (i.e. be more forward).  So it’s all on him.  Very retro, I know, but actually having a crush on someone I have real interaction with, someone I know, is huge progress for me.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I’ll see him tomorrow at work.  News to follow.

Something Stupid Friday, Sep 7 2007 

Imagine the scene:  I have treated the Ex to dinner to thank him for a huge favor he rendered me earlier this summer.  He then, in turn, bought me a drink at a quasi-romantic spot (though also the spot where we broke up, but that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax).  I’m showing him some of my photos from France, and he is interested, but he also checks the time occasionally, as he wants to stop by the house of some friends that live in my neighborhood.  I keep offering to stop the photo display, but he always refuses.  He checks the time again.

“Trying to make some time for your other girlfriend?”  I say, jokingly.

 Oof.

I swear, I wasn’t fishing for information.  I wasn’t trying to suss out whether he’s seeing someone else.  However, the Freudian slip of “other” girlfriend is not something I can ignore.  In the deep recesses of my brain, clearly I still consider myself his girlfriend.  This cannot be healthy.

He did me the service of ignoring my slip, for which I am grateful.

Now, of course I wonder if he would have mentioned if he was seeing someone.  He’s personally ethical, so I’m inclined to say that he would; however, I can’t help but suspect that he might remain silent on the matter, to avoid hurting my feelings.  It is 99% not my business, but I am, evidence to the contrary, emotionally healthy enough to handle the news (and it might even help me move past the whole damn thing, knowing that he has moved on).

Or (and I hope to the heavens that this is true), he didn’t even notice the all-too-revealing slip of the tongue.  After all, I say a lot of stuff to be funny, and a lot of it has no deeper meaning.

My dinner with the Ex Friday, Jun 1 2007 

This evening, I had dinner with my Ex.  I had talked to him and e-mailed him, but hadn’t seen him since we broke up (technically, a few days after, but close enough).  He has been kind enough to do a couple of favors for me (one small, which I had asked for; one large, which he had offered), and he suggested we meet for dinner.  I had, truth be told, been super wired about this – how weird was it going to be?  Would I cry?  (Answers:  not especially weird, and no)

We caught up, talking quite a bit about what has been going on in our lives.  I talked about grad school applications (he didn’t realize I wasn’t going to stay here – that I wasn’t applying here).  The conversation flowed like it always has between us.  Which is kind of sad, as well as a relief.  I did, in a casual manner, suggest that he could always follow me to wherever I may go – which he took exactly as I meant it.  How is that, you may ask? 

Look, I know where we stand – we have a timing issue.  I’m not going to hang around like Miss Havisham and wait for something that isn’t going to happen.  That said, we really had (and, in a way, still have) something special, and if your timing ever does catch up with mine, it wouldn’t hurt to tell me.  It could be an adventure.  If that doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen – but I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do.

That said, I can’t leave the country fast enough.  Now if the State Department would just send me my damn passport…

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