Listen. If we just say what we mean, what we want, who we are, what we are looking for, this whole dating thing would be a lot easier. I mean, let's be clear from the get go, you know what I'm saying? If you like me, tell me! (Ok, ok, ok . . .no need to go overboard here. A simple “You're a cool gal” will suffice. I don't want to feel claustrophobic.) And for some reason, this city starts blurring lines when trying to define a date. Sometimes I think I am on a date, but really we are just friends hanging out. Other times I agree to hang out with a friend, and it turns out he thinks it's a date. Man, oh man, sometimes I envy the women of Jane Austen's mind who merely sit pretty while a handsome man swoops in and asks the father for the daughter's hand. (Of course, if we were in Jane Austen's time or world, I would be considered a spinster. Comforting.) I want you to be up front with me, and I am even ok with you being up front via text. Also, ladies, feel free to make the first move. Sure, getting rejected is not bound to be your finest hour, but guess what! Recovery will make you stronger. I speak from experience (cringe) and in my experience, I learned that as much as the physical rejection hurts, it is not as bad as the sitting around wondering what the other person wants. And for that matter, if you are the one who has the unfortunate role of turning down someone's advances, be kind. Be kind and honest. Tell the person you don't think of them that way, despite their attractiveness. And that's really all I have to say, I suppose. Be kind. Practice the age old golden rule, and for goodness' sake, be honest!
When my roommate is out of town, I find myself in a weird state.
A state called Poverty of Words, and instead of being alarmed, I feel at home
I am used to conversing, saying words out loud, but sometimes I cannot grasp the words long enough to reproduce them.
Home is here, now, but yesterday it was somewhere else. Somewhere not here, not home.
I don't drink coffee, but I can still fall in love in a coffee shop,
even if it is just the hot chocolate making me feel that way.
Never let me go, Flo, last week I confessed a confession that was hard for me to write
But you know what?
No, you don't know, how could you, even when you say you know, you don't really,
But you know what, that confession was cleansing, as they say, and I work so hard at not being dirty.
Right now I sleep in squalor, but not really, but really, it feels that way. And when you come over, I wonder if you wait until I slip into the bathroom and the door is shut so that you can sneak a peek under my couch to count the dust bunnies living in the dark and dingy corner. They are not my pets, I do not feed them, but they are thinking about ambushing me, my ankles, my home that is not mine.
And pristine is not attainable. And polished is laughable. This city is old and I wonder how long I will be living here before I am old, too. Before my eggs are old. Before my new is old.
And I am alone, but of course I am not, because I have my dog but you know she is going to die soon, so I snap photos of her and I tell her repeatedly I love her. So silly, but I do it. Like her final thoughts before the light is clouded over will be, “She loves me”.
And I do not know what my final thoughts will be and why are we here anyway and do you think about death like I think about death and then life rears its head. Never let me go, Flo, and don't let me fall into the well.
To Jersey101Summatime, Thank you for the email telling me how hot you think I am. I have to admit that I did not even read your profile before deleting your message. Why would I need to after seeing your two profile photos that highlighted you and your guns? I am not complimenting your massive biceps, though they were impressive in your tight t-shirt, I am referring to the literal gun you are brandishing in your photo. That is a first, and hopefully it will be the last. I am dying to know if you score any chicks with that ploy. Oh, and the other photos that showed your artistic side? You know the ones—three photos of a Heineken bottle shot at different angles and with different filters—nice choice. I am still amused, and confused as to what about my profile screamed “girl itching for a beer guzzling, gun toting musclehead”. I mean, come on!! Who posts a picture of themselves holding a cocked weapon??!
To the Comic Nerd that Stood me Up last Saturday night, I am disappointed. And maybe it doesn't count as being “stood up”, since you took the time to send me multiple messages with various excuses as to why you were running first ten, then fifteen, then twenty-five minutes late, but if this were twenty years ago, before cell phones took over, it would totally qualify. You are lucky I was playing Words With Friends instead of sitting there, twiddling my thumbs.
To the King of the Land of Mixed Messages, Way to keep me on my toes. Some people would probably say the universe is telling me to employ some patience, to let go of control, to accept that not everyone thinks I am the cat's pajamas. My reply is that yes, that is a possibility, but more likely I am just dealing with a guy that doesn't know what the eff he wants.
To the 55 year old man with the gaudy onyx ring, Never gonna happen.
To the boy that texted my rainbow buddy, I am still blown away that you would call her a “dirty tease” days before you'd even met her. A dirty tease? Your face is a dirty tease. Didn't your mama tell you how to woo a lady?
To the man with the accent, Thanks for making me smile even more than usual.
In between the land of joy and the land of sadness is a bay of guilt. And if you are dancing on the shores of happiness, you may only notice those smiling faces dancing around you. But it takes only a glance across the water to see someone you know sitting or sleeping on the banks of sadness. Step into the water to get a closer look, take note of the others on the sand, some of them strangers and some of them loved ones, weeping. Or loved ones looking forlornly across the bay, estimating the distance between you and them. Yell to them some words of encouragement, get closer so they can hear, but be careful how deep you wade. Empathy is heroic, but don't forget the land where you came from.
On the other side, stand limply, while the waves crash around your feet, and borrow your friend's binoculars to see the revelers across the bay. Or don't. Maybe if you lie in the shade of two trees, it will be easier to forget about their joy and your lack thereof. And let's be frank, it doesn't feel good to lock eyes with those across the water, anyway, knowing that your despair can be read and perceived or worse, felt. It is nice to be understood, but you don't want to be responsible for dragging anyone over to your side. And if you feel pity, for yourself and by yourself or emanating from the land across the bay, don't worry. It's ok. The girl from the other side has seen you and she says it is ok to feel that way, for a little while, you can feel that way.
And the girl looked at the boy and she confessed to him.
I should tell you.
I should tell you that I'm hard. I am not saying that I am hard on the inside, but I am hard everywhere else so I might as well be hard on the inside.
And the boy looked at the girl and laughed.
And the girl rolled over and said
I am sick of people getting mad at me.
I will not get mad at you.
That's what they always say.
Get over yourself.
I want to start off by saying that Bob is not a bad guy. He is not a creepster douche bag that deserves a little mockery in exchange for disrespect. Instead, Bob is a guy that walked into my salon last Thursday morning, with a flimsy excuse to “scope out the digs”, who chatted me up for twenty minutes. He had a bejeweled band on his wedding finger, so I assumed he was married and just wanted to flirt. Then his inquiries got a little personal, and he asked me my age and whether or not I was “spoken for”. I replied, “You're married, Bob, not sure if that is appropriate.” He quickly cleared that misinterpretation up and said he was single and ready to mingle. I asked him how old he was, and seeing as how he complimented my forthrightness earlier in the conversation, he forgave my brazen question. He told me to guess (which, by the way, is one of my least favorite games) and I threw out a complimentary “41”. Nope. 55. So I chuckled, and said, “Well, Bob, I'm sorry to tell you this, but you are a bit too old for me.”
“Do you date men, Lacy? Or boys?”
“Oh, you know, mostly boys, and maybe some men. But you are too old. My dad is 55.” (I should note that this is not entirely true. My dad is a smidge older than 55. While most people lie about their age to cling onto those younger years, my dad is the opposite and has been lying about his age for years in order to appear older. You know how that man loves the senior citizen discounts.)
He didn't want to give up, so I reminded him that he had another dealbreaker, which is that he does not have a cell phone. No cell phone! This is New York City, and he is an actor with an agent that calls his home phone to set up appointments. Now, ditching the cell phone for two months in Argentina was liberating and good for the ol' soul, but this girl sends hundreds of texts a day and since I do not talk on the phone while at work, I rely on texting to communicate.
After a few more minutes of debate, primarily about the love of books being outweighed by the love of Mother Earth's resources, he finally left. And though he did not get a date or even a number, he was kind enough to tell me that I had amazing energy, and that he felt it from the street outside. I have put aside my usual snarkiness in the telling of yet another “men in New York” tale, because he was nice enough and not too creepy. Although let's get serious, the odds of the man finding, let alone reading, my blog are pretty slim.
Dear John. I've never written a “Dear John” before, and I feel very old fashioned, or romantic, or nostalgic, or really just like my normal self, only different. Who was the original John? I envision him in army fatigues, or something a little smarter, like a lieutenant's uniform. Handsome and young. Freshly shaved and scrubbed clean. Dear John, or Unwelcome lover who I no longer want in my life, And here I thought I'd rid myself of you for good. I patched the weak spots and filled the open spots, making myself impenetrable, stronger, a wall. And I think of other fortified walls, and their collapses, like Jericho or Berlin, and no those do not fit. My wall is still standing, but you, you sneaky rat, you crawled up and over like a stealth ninja, and wiggled your way in. Remember last time? Years ago? I threw you out, no niceties, no sugar coating, no room for misunderstanding. Kicked you past the curb and turned my back. So why did you think you could come back into my life? I don't want you here. I will not stand for it. Please leave me be. Goodbye.
And when you are riding your bike down 6th Ave, and you pass a woman crying, think about stopping. This young, distraught woman whose loveliness is stifled by despair might need you. But remember, she is not your friend. You can console her, hug her, maybe, but don't kiss her forehead and refrain from massaging. Listen, of course listen, but proffered advice is not always welcome. You can't just say, “Perhaps it's time to cut out all films dealing with cancer.” For that matter, why go see any movie with death in it? Or pain inflicted on animals. Or anything to do with addiction. It's too hard. But don't say that. And maybe skip the tirade about eating healthy, can you do that? And Jesus talk, whoa, I mean this is New York City. Need I say more? Just, you know, “be there” for her. Just in case. And keep your bossy mouth shut, if you can manage. Or don't. Skip the worry and just be yourself. But, stop, will you? Just stop and give that strange woman crying on a public avenue some gosh darn acknowledgement.
In the last week, I have come across the word “ubiquitous” within the first few chapters of three different books. I think the word “ubiquitous” has become ubiquitous.
Crissy Powers, my bike, is too heavy to carry up and down three flights of stairs every day. However, when there is a large pile of vomitus disgustus marinating outside the elevator, it is amazing how light she becomes.
In the last few days, I have had two women pray with me and for me over the phone. This comes just after I was lamenting about how much I miss my women's group and our prayer time. There is comfort found when women that care about you offer up a prayer in your name. And if they pray to God, asking that a husband be placed in my path, emphasis on the “man”, so be it. It is appreciated.
Disconcerting is when you hustle outside your apartment, lugging your bike and your school lunch bag and your library book, and you are instantly confronted by an ambulance and two cop cars. And then when you see the mangled bike and the man with his head strapped down to the stretcher, disconcerting is not quite strong enough of a description.
Ten hours later, I witnessed a biker make a complete somersault over his handle bars after an erratic courier swerved into the bike lane in front of us. The man (the boy) landed on his back and whacked his head on the ground. I heard the smack of his helmet hit the pavement, but I did not hear his shoulder dislocate. Two accidents in one day; one in front of my house and one in front of my eyes. Makes the heart beat a little louder, you know?
Today I met a young woman who needed help shampooing her hair. The whole underneath of her hair, what some people refer to as the “kitchen sink”, was matted and knotted and harder than any puzzle to unravel. It took me over 20 minutes to comb those tangles, and I was gentle the whole time. Sometimes people come in for a shampoo because they are exhausted or are wearing a cast or have injured their shoulders or neck, making it near impossible to wash their own hair. This girl had just spent 5 days in a hospital bed, thus the soiled and insurmountable knots. She'd had a double mastectomy; she is 26 years old.
In one month, my right hand gal will turn ten years old. I will probably throw her a party, but knowing her, she will not expect anyone to make a big deal out of something so paltry as her date of birth. She does an excellent job of balancing her overt confidence with her subtle humility. Take notes, people.
In a few days I will be reunited with my little sister in a strange town known as Nashville. As excited as I am, I am already mourning our departure. I feel just like Drew Barrymore in that Going the Distance movie, but with better hair. But how long will we have to wait until we see each other again?
Opposites attract. Of course. We've heard that idiom countless times, Paula Abdul sang about it with a cartoon cat that liked to smoke (I write this with a straight face, I swear) and you have probably even experienced this phenomenon firsthand. But what happens when you are attracted to someone that is your synonym? Surely this must happen a lot, and yet there is no catchy phrase to toss around like “opposites attract”. Perhaps this is because there is no easy word to describe the antonym of the word “opposite”, or maybe it is simply because Barbie and Ken are not as interesting as Tony and Maria, Pony Boy and Cherry, or Johnny and Baby.
The yin and yang found in counterparts latching onto each other, balancing one another's extremes, is something to admire. And yet. Last night I went out with a group of friends, and on a whim I invited an attractive young man to join us. His black hair and dark skin were a lovely flip to my blonde fairness, and his smile was genuine and gleaming. And then we started talking, and it became clear within the first few minutes that he possessed quite a strong personality. This guy was cocky, confident, loud and vehement in his unwavering opinions, and so self-righteous in his views, as if he has never been wrong in his life.
In summation, he was a boy version of me.
And so I found my voice rising, volume escalating as I argued with this man, this boy I accused of being naïve and ridiculous. And he did not bat an eye, if anything he only smiled more grandly, amused at my fervor. But don't be fooled, he was heated, too, insisting in an “outside voice” that “PEOPLE DO NOT CHANGE!”. And when I slung examples at him right and left, he yelled even louder, “PEOPLE DO NOT CHANGE!”. What an interesting interaction we had, he and I, me and him, hands touching backs, touching legs, with smiles fluctuating between entertained and attracted and bafflement, with consternation flailing as two stubborn people clashed righteous antlers in the middle of a bar. Respect gleaned from a show of confidence recognized and appreciated for its boldness. The gall of it all.
And when we left the bar, I was exhausted and my voice was raspy and part of me thought I should have just slapped the guy when I had the chance. And yet, less than 24 hours later, we have a plan to see each other again. Shrug.