Category Archives: Dating

Time Slips Away

In the words of Willie Nelson, “ain’t it funny how times slips away.” Today Sassy Sundry Thoughts turns one. What a great experiment. I know I have not posted much lately, and I’ve commented even less, but I am enjoying this immensely. Thank you for reading. Thank you for posting. This is a blast.

OK. Time for an update about the time that slipped away from me. Some of the time has slipped away in delightful ways, but mostly I’ve just been drifting, adjusting, and trying to figure things out. Here’s what I’ve been up to since last time.

First things first. I met Devin! Oh, the lovely, lovely Devin. She flew into Boston to go horseback riding with her wonderful friend C and suggested a meet-up before her equestrian adventure. When faced with Krappy Koffee as the only option at the airport, she and C had another adventure—driving to Sullivan Square to meet me at the T. They did great.

Devin and C with Fluff on Da Orange Line

When I met Devin, it was meeting an old friend. Hugs and smiles all around. From Sullivan, we went to Newbury Street (ladies who brunch must brunch on the fashionable street). There was much catching up and establishing the “real” details of our lives over mimosas and Bloody Marys (Devin—“See. My drink comes with salad). The only weird thing was that it wasn’t weird at all to be sitting there chatting away with someone I’ve known only in cyberspace. Devin has inspired me in her blog, and she is even more inspiring in person. She’s also hilarious. We laughed a lot.

After brunch, we wandered among the beautiful people (and savaging their outfits—clear bra straps be damned!) and into the public garden before heading back to the T. If meeting blog friends will always be this much fun, I’m game. Bostonian bloggers, I suggest a meet-up somewhere.

Fluff with Devin and I

As I mentioned, life got a little strange on me. The evening after meeting Devin found me at a watering hole (not one in my immediate locale—so don’t think I was doing this at one of the bars I’ve described here), having a couple of drinks while reading my novel. “Excuse me,” this adorable young man said, “Would you mind if I joined you?” Well, we got to chatting, and we really hit it off, despite the TEN-year age difference (he was the beauty). One thing led to another, and well… (*sheepish grin*) At least we didn’t make a scene in the bar.

How does one not crack up when someone says sincerely, “Wow. You really have your life together” upon waking up hungover on a Monday morning after scandalously little sleep with a boy one picked up in a bar in one’s bed? I’m crediting the hangover. I don’t think I have it together at all, but I really needed the distraction.

It didn’t last long. No sooner had I finished giggling over the “Boytoy Incident” with friends that I heard from McI. He invited me to his next gig. Now I’m sure that he was just being nice and friendly, and in a way I’m glad that he invited me, but you know. Seeing his name in my inbox threw me for a loop. A very painful loop. I didn’t respond, which might not have been the best thing, and I didn’t go, which definitely was the best thing, but both were really hard. I would like to be his friend someday, but I just can’t right now.

More time has slipped away with a few entertaining online-dating prospects. None of them have the butterflies fluttering. I hate this phase. It, too, will slip away someday, and someone will excite me.

In other news, I’m really enjoying having a roommate. She also lives for brunch, and we’ve had a great time checking out new spots. Last week, we espied this sign after particularly filling meal.

We vowed to work out more.

Roommate also plugged in the cable, and we spent a very hot Friday evening on the couch sucked into reality television. America’s Next Top Model is strangely hilarious, and inexplicably addictive when presented in marathon format. Now that I’ve connected with my culture, I’ll be very content to remain ignorant of it for the next several years.

So that’s how my time has slipped away. The world goes on around me. Rove’s gone. Gonzales is gone. I’m nearly thirty four. And my blog is now one.

The Sassy Sundries: My Week in Review

Well, this week featured resolution for me. I’m afraid that I did not pay attention to much else (including all of your blogs—part of this is due to a major crackdown on web usage at work, but mostly it’s because I’ve been in my own head—I’ll be back soon).

Here are the week’s Sassy Sundries, my weekly tally of things political, personal, and nonsensical:

McOver. I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out with us, but I’m relieved to finally have things resolved. At least I’m not seething with anger over how the breakup took place (McAsshole doesn’t hold a candle to McI in the class department). I’m glad that I had the time that I did with McI, and I learned a lot about what I want and what I don’t want in a relationship. My friends and blogpals have supported me, and my therapist is worth her weight in gold. I have no idea how to rate this

I had a fantastic day at the beach with my friend Smokestack. We’ve both been going through some things the last couple of years, and it’s been a while since we had an all-fun-all-the-time day together. I think we both needed it. We’re still laughing over THAT’S NOT HEALTHY! Plus Ten

While writing about habits that freak me out, I remembered the best billboard ever. A couple of years ago, my sister and I were driving into NYC with friends to go to an art opening (she had a piece displayed). All of the sudden we looked up and say a billboard with this on it:


We couldn’t stop laughing for days. Maybe I’m feeling punchy, but this thing still cracks me up. I need to laugh, so I’m giving it a Plus Five

The War’s still going on, and W’s still an idiot. How can he stand there and express confidence in the Iraqi government? How can he say that the safety of Americans traveling on the roads isn’t worth five cents a gallon? Minus Five

Barry Bonds breaks* Hank Aaron’s homerun record. Baseball wishes he’d just go away. I don’t like A-Rod at all, but I have to admit that I’m looking forward to his breaking Bonds’s record. Just so long as it isn’t against the Red Sox. Minus Two

I’m going to have brunch with the Hangar Queen on Sunday! Look for Fluff pictures soon. Plus Ten

Total Plus: 25
Total Minus: 2

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: +23 (not counting McOver)

Last Week’s Total: -9

McOver

Yesterday morning I woke up, and I realized that I was happy. I’d had a date Friday night—not a good date (the guy was really, really good looking— there was just nothing there)—but a date all the same. Saturday I’d headed up to Portland and had a wonderful day at the beach with my old friend Smokestack. Thirty years of inside jokes came roaring out of us, and we were laughing like fools. I had all these plans with friends set for the week. I had no plans with McI, and it occurred to me that it really didn’t bother me.

My poor roommate’s plan of her Sunday at the beach fell through, and we went to brunch instead. After that I headed home and hung out in the backyard with the paper. Then I broke my moratorium on sequels again and went to see the new Bourne flick (I know, I know, but when The New Yorker gives an action flick a decent review, I figure it’s OK). On my way home, I tried to decide if I was going to let McI know that I was moving on or just let him go. I went with just letting him go.

This morning I woke up to a message from him saying that he just wasn’t in a space where a relationship with me was something he could do but that he had enjoyed our time together and that he’d be happy to hear from me sometime in the future. I messaged back saying much the same thing.

So, it’s over. I’m sad, and I’m cursing the Timing Gods, for timing was the real issue here, but I’m going to be OK. The parts of this relationship that were good were really good, but I deserve something that is all good. It’s hard to remain optimistic when I have to keep picking up the pieces of myself, but I’m a survivor because I have hope.

I’m probably going to be offline for a bit, but I will try to get back to commenting form soon.

The Sassy Sundries: My Week(ish) in Review

Happy hazy, hot, and humid Friday! Summer finally made a comeback here on the East Coast. Not only that, but the heat’s going to last through the weekend, so I’ll be hitting the beach. Only eight hours of work to go.

Well, it’s that time again. Time for me to give my numerical tally of events transpiring over the last seven days. This time, however, I’m going to cheat and haul a few dusty items off the shelves of time. I’ve stolen this idea from the Weekly Dig’s Bean Counter column. The Dig finally got their new site up and running. I haven’t looked through it too much, but I’m a little disconcerted about the “User Login” at the top of the page. We shall see.

OK, shut up, Sassy, and start assigning points. Here are the week’s Sassy Sundries:

I now have a roommate. After the chaos of moving in (and a good therapy appointment), things have settled down. Although I would have preferred to live alone, it is really nice to have someone around to talk to. Plus Five

A bridge collapses in Minneapolis, killing at least five. A steam pipe explodes in Manhattan. Minneapolis and Manhattan join Boston for failed engineering projects. But none of these cities touch Japan, what with that little nuclear plant accident and all. Geeks are weeping. Minus Five

Tammy Faye has begun her mascara sales campaign in the afterlife. Angels and demons wage war over who has to take her, as she weeps tears of black tar. At least we don’t have to deal with her anymore. Even

I have a date tonight with a new guy. I’m pulling a Dive on remaining mum on the whole McI situation. As he says, it’s complicated. Think of the date as heart insurance. Even

W has maintained that he can do whatever he wants because he has Executive Privilege. Alberto Gonzales, our man in the Halls of Justice, lies on the stand. Congress seems powerless to stop them. Another couple of weeks in government. I have to say I miss the days when the most exciting thing going on in politics was a debate over whether or not blow jobs constitute sex. Minus Ten

Things have gotten all 1984 at the place of employment. Minus Two

Fare thee well, Igmar Bergman. Thank you for living and for making so many incredible films. Even

People in Blogland think I’m pretty. Good thing I didn’t post that other one. Plus Three

Total Plus: 8
Total Minus: 17

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: -9

Last Time’s Total: -1

The Talk

At long last, McI and I had our overdue conversation. It went much better than I had expected. Things came to a head on Friday, when he didn’t bother to contact me to cancel tentative plans. He’d never done that before, and so I sent him a text telling him that we needed to talk (meaning whatever it is people who aren’t a couple do to “break up”).

I heard back from him, with an apology, saying that he needed to go hide and that he understood that the writing was on the wall. We wound up texting into the wee hours of the morning about where and when we’d meet and settled on the Charles St. T Saturday morning. I got about two hours of sleep, and smoked an entire pack of cigarettes (I know, I know, but given my self-destructive tendencies when I’m hurt, my choices were getting hammered or smoking, and I chose having a clearer head).

Throughout the night, I tried to figure out what I might say. I settled on being honest, and telling him how I felt and what I wanted—and what I didn’t want. I’ve never really done that before, and I was going to regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t tell him. As best as I could, I prepared myself for hearing the likely truth that we didn’t want the same things. I resolved to remain calm, not to cry, and not to attack. I wasn’t going to be Little Sassy Schmoozer, but I was going to employ some of her communication skills. The Little One sets people at ease, and allows for people to respond calmly (and honestly), not defensively. I needed her.

That morning before we met was one of the longer mornings of my life. How do you really prepare yourself to say goodbye to someone you love and want to be with? How do you prepare to do it without reading rejection as a reflection on you and your worth? Although I have learned to value myself on my own, I think perhaps that meeting with McArtsyPants couldn’t have been more timely. Someone who’d dated me and treated me less-than well had just expressed regret that he hadn’t recognized what he’d had when he had it. That gave me some external strength, and I needed it.

I walked to the T a little early, preparing myself along the way. I looked at my watch and told myself that it would all be over in an hour. I just needed to get through this hour. I hadn’t really talked to myself like that since I took my Master’s exam. Like the exam, it would be OK. I’d live, even if I didn’t “pass” this one (I passed my exam with flying colors, even though I was convinced I’d flunk).

The train arrived and deposited me at Downtown Crossing. Just as I’d sat down to wait for the Red Line, in walked McI. We laughed at our punctuality, and he sat beside me. “Come here often?” I joked. We had an easy chat, interrupted at times by uncomfortable silences. We got on the train, and I learned why he had wanted to hide. His life isn’t for broadcast on this blog, but I will say that I would have run home to hide myself. But that doesn’t make it OK.

We got off at Charles St. and walked to the Esplanade. I’d thought that it would make a good spot to chat. Pretty, public enough to discourage a scene, and with plenty of exits. We chatted as we walked along before sitting down on a bench. I took a deep breath and started.

“I really like you, McI,” I said (OK, I didn’t say “love,” but Little Sassy Schmoozer knows how not to freak people out). “I’d really like to keep dating you. But I can’t have you blowing me off, even for good reasons, and I don’t like the way I’ve often wondered if you’d just disappeared. You’ve always had good reasons for doing this kind of stuff, which is why I’ve been understanding, but I can’t do it anymore. It hurts. I need to know if you still want to know me.”

“I know,” he said. “I’m sorry,” and he proceeded to tell me how he felt. We’re not in the same place, but he doesn’t want me out of his life. I learned a little more about why he’s been hesitant about getting more involved with me—things that have nothing to do with me. Things that in time could be resolved (like I said, his life isn’t for broadcast, so although this part of the story is incomplete, you’ll have to trust me that it wasn’t hopeless). I asked him if he thought that he could be better about communicating with me.

“Definitely,” he said without hesitation.

We talked some more, and we left it that we’d work on getting to know each other better. We agreed that there’s something there with us that would be sad to lose. It was really nice to hear that he likes me, and not matter what happens to with us romantically, he’d hate to lose my friendship. That might sound strange, but I’ve often struggled with feelings that I’m not worth knowing and that guys only want me for sex. That’s not to say that we didn’t talk about that—we laughed when we talked about how good other aspects of our relationship are. In general the conversation was calm, honest, and kind. The setting provided ample opportunity for diversions when things got a bit uncomfortable.

For now we’re both free to date other people. I know this sounds weird, but that’s fine with me. He’s a busy guy, and I’ve wanted a little more company. I like knowing that I can have some without feeling like I’m sneaking around. He also knows that I’m not going to wait forever and that I’m going to live my life. We’ll see what happens, but things are no longer on his terms exclusively.

“Well,” I sighed. “THAT was somewhat unpleasant. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I know you weren’t looking forward to this conversation.”

“Yeah, I know. These things are never fun, but we needed to do it, and I’m glad you said something.”

All in all, we talked for about an hour, and then we parted company with a hug. “I’ll be in touch, and I won’t disappear,” he said, smiling. He went his way, and I went to the North End for a coffee.

I’m proud of myself. I was able to say what I wanted and to express what I didn’t want honestly and in a way that didn’t put him on the defensive. I found out where we stand, and I realized that things weren’t as dark as I’d thought. He agreed to communicate with me more, and ultimately, this was what I really wanted. And the thing is, even if he doesn’t follow through with that, and even if things don’t (and there’s every possibility that they won’t) work out with us, it won’t be because I didn’t say anything. I don’t have to live with that regret.

This concludes the blogging I’m doing about my dating life for a while. Things are fucked up enough in this world these days that a good ol’ political rant is in order soon.

A Surprising Evening

“So, I’m dying to know,” I said, fiddling with the lemon twist atop my summer ale, “What on Earth made you call me?”

McArtsyPants and I had met up at a fun little bar and grill in Central Square and had slipped into the old silliness, making circle patterns with our beer glasses on the soapstone tables and giggling. He was clearly very happy to see me, and we’d been exchanging updates from the last year or so of our lives, when I posed my question.

“I’m not sure if it was anything on Earth,” he said, giving me a half-kidding look. McAP can be a little spiritual sometimes, but he’s also quite the kidder. I went with that.

“So what alien life form told you that you had to call me?”

At first, he appeared ready to come up with a humorous answer to that question, but then his face turned serious. “You came into my head one day, and I wanted to get in touch with you. I always really liked you, and, I don’t know, the timing was off for me. I wound up getting back together with my ex for a bit after I was with you. I realized that I’d been a jerk to you, because I didn’t know what I wanted. So I went and found the e-mail where you gave me your phone number and decided to get in touch with you.”

This surprised me. I’ve often wondered if my exes ever thought about me, particularly the ones who jerked me around a lot, unsure of what they wanted from me. Did they regret letting me go? Did they feel badly about how they’d behaved? Did they just think of me and smile? McAP, it seems, had.

From the look on his face, it was clear that he had a glimmer of hope that I’d take him back, and I didn’t want to encourage that. “You were a bit of a jerk to me,” I said. “But I got over it and moved on, and honestly, I’ve always thought of you fondly. I knew you meant well, really. It was just one of those things.”

Our food arrived, and we ate and chatted about other things, bands, how hot it was outside, various other topics. After dinner, we decided to take a walk along the Charles. He talked about his new car, where he was hoping to live, and I talked about my move and the view from the river. We laughed a lot, but there was no spark, at least from me.

We stopped about a half-mile down the path and looked at the Red Line train cross the bridge against the lights of the John Hancock and the Pru. I thought about how romantic the spot could be, if only I was there with someone else. It had occurred to me that perhaps I would see McAP and, despite my better judgment, want to be with him again, but I didn’t. It was over, and while I was happy to be with him in that moment and happy to hear that he still thought about me, I didn’t want to go back.

McAP walked me back to the train, and gave me his old look that said he wanted to kiss me, but I just said, “It was great to see you again, McAP. Thanks for getting in touch.” He hugged me and said he’d call again. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t.

Unlike CraigslistGuy, I didn’t cry when I got home from our date. I felt better. Meeting up with McAP gave me outside confirmation that I am worthy of good treatment. It’s given me something to think about.

Quandary

Yes, the confusement will pass. And it will be replaced by a quandary.

On Saturday, I had plans to get together with McArtsyPants. In addition making a Craigslist date, I’d also contacted McAP, figuring that he would make a nice no-strings distraction for the weekend. Saturday morning had me feeling rather poorly, but with coffee and a shower (and OK, a few cigarettes—for the stress of it all), I rallied and was prepared to see McAP.

I wasn’t thrilled, but I figured that it was better than sitting at home. Plus, if I went through with my scheduled outing with Mc(m)I(a) on Sunday, the date with McAP would see me achieve the Dating Trifecta. The Trifecta is three dates (no scams—“friend dates”), with three different guys, in three days (or less). This has been a long-standing goal of my intrepid friend and I, but since I’m a date-one-guy-at-a-time kind of gal, I’ve rarely come close. The last time was last spring, the weekend of my first date with McAsshole. Come to think of it, I think my third date was supposed to be McAP.

Well, McAP called Saturday around noon and wanted to know if I wanted to go on a boat ride with him. Now I said I’d rallied. I didn’t say that I was prepared to be tossed about on the open seas. Nor was I prepared to be trapped with McAP and his friends. I tried to talk him out of the boat ride and into lunch, but he really wanted to go, so we agreed to see each other during the week.

Honestly, it was for the best. My rally didn’t last all that long. I spent most of the day milling around my neighborhood’s community-building block party (=one really good band+ mediocre food+ entirely too many little girls dancing like call girls [that was disturbing]) and then went to bed.

Sunday saw me in a much better frame of mind. My emotions are very strong, overpoweringly so, but they are short-lived. I can deal with turmoil for only so long, and then it just doesn’t seem so important anymore. It can be a problem, because it’s not as though I deal with why I was so upset, I just stop caring about it. Healthy or no, I still felt relieved. My head was clear, and I felt lighter. That’s not to say that I was happy, but I felt like I was going to be OK, no matter what happened. McI got in touch with me around one, and we made arrangements to meet that evening. It was a beautiful day, and I headed into the North End to sit at a caffé for a while.

I had just settled in with a Campari and soda and my book (Oracle Night, by Paul Auster) to enjoy the lovely weather when an artist came in. I say “artist” because he was wearing black clothes spattered with different colors of paint, and he did not appear to be the type to mess around with walls. Definitely a hot ticket, even if he was getting on in years, when he moved across the room and women’s eyes followed. He sat down next to his friends at the table next to me, and I looked down at my book lightning fast.

Alas, not fast enough. I could feel him looking me over, and I tried not to notice. God knows why, but the song “Car Wash” came on just then. The artist started clapping along with the beginning, and then I saw an arm snaking into my field of vision. I looked up to find him staring at me intently, far more intently than the “Car Wash” should inspire. He then started dancing, daring me to join him. So I did. I think I shocked him. His dare turned into a grin and we did a few moves, and I took a bow before going back to my book. He laughed.

“How come you’re reading? How can you read with this music on?” His accent was Italian.

“I’m literate, and I have amazing powers of concentration,” I replied.

His eyebrows arched, and he grinned wickedly. “Why? I like my women illiterate.” He was kidding, sure, but there was an undercurrent of disapproval in his voice.

“Good luck with that,” I said, taking a sip of my drink and winking at him. I read a bit longer, and then it was time to meet McI.

I had no idea what to make of this meeting. We were getting together to hang out and then check out a movie. I didn’t know if I would talk to him or not. I didn’t know if it was worth it to talk to him or not. Like I said, the storm had passed.

We met up, kissed, exchanged pleasantries, and proceeded to have a fine time. I found out why he hadn’t called. I’m not OK with it, and I’m still going out with McArtsyPants, but if I had McI’s communication skills, I wouldn’t have called me either. In fact, even with my communication skills, I might not have called me. If there ever was an excuse to disappear, he had it. That doesn’t mean that I’m cool with it.

I think he sensed this, because I’ve heard from him since, and he suggested getting together this week. He wanted to know if Thursday would work, and I let him know that I had plans, so we might do tonight, and we might do the weekend. I checked my online dating messages last night. There’s no one out there I really want to date right now, but I’ve decided that until I talk to McI that I’m dating “tapas style” (thanks, Andraste).

So I’m still in a bit of a quandary where all of this is concerned, but at least I’m not bogged down by confusement.