Wednesday, August 31, 2005

If Only it Could Really Rain Men

I talked to my college roommate tonight and told her about the wedding, the boys, etc. I told her how much fun it was to be with all of them again. And she said, "that's why you're still single."

"Why's that?"

"Because you love all that attention -- one guy isn't enough. You need to surround yourself with lots of men."

** ** ** **

Wow, is that true? I think maybe it is. I think back, to the answer I always give when people ask me why I love baseball so much. "Because I realized that I could more attention from my father and brothers that way."

Being the youngest of eight, there was stiff competition for attention. Being the baby, being the cute one, wasn't enough. Even back then, I realized that I needed an edge. Baseball was my edge.

And so it became part of my edge as I grew up and discovered boys in a new way. I was always the fun one, always the one to hang out with the guys. I'd drink beer with them, watch sports, more importantly talk sports and even talk with them about "chicks."

And so when Gina said that to me tonight, that one guy isn't enough, it really gave me pause to think. Will one guy ever be enough? Will I need more from someone than the average person? But I think back to my past relationships -- to Bruce, to Chris. I would consider them my most successful. Longest lasting, at least.

Each one of them was enough for me, in their own way. They made me feel happy. Content. Safe. Secure. And adored. But because the very basis of both relationships (without going into too many gory details -- let's just say neither started with honesty, neither was destined to last) was shakey, did that make it somehow "more."

Did that excitement, that badness, give me that extra rush, that extra something that Gina says I need in my relationships?

I guess without even knowing the answer, that knowing the question can help me with future relationships. Knowing that I thrive on lots of male attention, maybe I can reign in next time. I guess I won't know the answer to that, won't know if it's true, won't know if I can succeed with just one guy, until that guy comes along.

One guy has to be enough, will be enough. Because at the end of the day, four days after having so much fun with a handful of guys -- they are all home with their wives or girlfriends, with their kids, their own life -- and they have what I want. And what I don't have, yet. But what I'm determined to get.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Apparently, I'm Hot

Too many things to report on. My vacation is almost over -- I go back to work tomorrow.

Some conversational highlights from the wedding between me and my boys from college:

Me: "i can't believe you didn't recognize me."
Coach: "it took me a minute, i haven't seen you in 10 years."
Me: "i look almost exactly the same."
Coach: "no you don't. you were cute in college."
Bruno: "you're hot now."

** ** ** ** ** ** **

Me: "i need another drink."
Bruno: "oh you're going to be a problem, aren't you?"
Me: "am i showing too much cleavage?"
Bruno: "oh you're definitely going to be a problem."

** ** ** ** ** ** **

Dave: "you're not married?"
Me: "no."
Dave:" no boyfriend?"
Me: "nope."
Dave: "fiancee?"
Me (shaking my head): "nope"
Dave: "no boyfriend, no fiancee, no husband. how is that possible?"
Me: "that's the million dollar question."
Dave: promise you're not lying, 'cuz i'm about to kiss you."

** ** ** ** ** ** **

Me, leaving Brownie my first voice mail: "i can't believe you're not here. i miss you -- you should be here for michael's wedding."

Me, leaving Brownie a second voice mail: "you're such a pussy, i can't believe you're not here. i love you, though. but you're still a pussy."

** ** ** ** ** ** **

The next my brother's...

Reuben: "get over here."
Me: "what?"
Reuben: "what's that on your neck?"
Me: "i don't know what you're talking about."
Reuben: "the mark, on your neck."
Me: "it's a birthmark, i've always had it."
Reuben: "bullshit."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I Swing Big

Whoever said "you can't go home again" was brilliant.

I went to Baltimore today -- though not the first time since I left. It was still an odd sensation driving on the highways, strolling around the ballpark, and walking up the spiral stairs to the third floor of the Birthplace, back up to where I used to work.

Tiffany and I drove up to Baltimore for the day, and visited my old workplace and its new expansion site and had lunch with Morty. And while I breezed through it last month, this time I was really able to take the new place in. Objectively, there were things I liked and things I didn't. I made a mental list and also shared them with a former co-worker. I knew that sharing them meant nothing -- but as a former museum geek, I felt it was my duty to.

Morty told me that he had run into Mike on his way over to meeting me. He had asked about me and said that I "helped him out five years ago when she came on board." Just five years ago, not any of the time after that until I left, apparently. Or maybe I'm being overly sensitive. I knew that I should go over and see him, that it would be the right thing to do. He was once my boss, also once my friend and sometimes confidante.

I was apprehensive walking up the stairs. I so didn't want to run into Bitch-stine. And, honestly, did I really want to see Mike? Admittedly, I did. I walked into his office, all smiles and sunshine, hugged him and sat for a while. My life is wonderful, work is great, you need to do something about the sound at Camden Station, and it's really hard to read some of the label copy. It all came out at once.

He immediately got defensive (as I knew he would) -- everyone's raving about it, he said. I'm sure they are. I backtracked -- told him what I liked, what I loved seeing, and again addressed the issues that I thought still needing tweaking. He took it better the second time.

I managed to leave without seeing Bitch-stine -- heard her craggy voice, but never even looked towards her office. Tiffany thinks she walked by another office when I popped in to say hi. (for background on her, see my post from 7/28.)

It was healing, I think, to go back. The birthplace looks run down, old, not so bright -- and Mike looked old, and told me he was exhausted with no rest in sight. A year and some months later, my decision to leave "the perfect job" was even more cemented in my mind as the right thing.

I did my time there. I accomplished a lot -- helped the museum grow and the museum helped me grow. Even if Mike still feels that I deserted him, I know it was the right thing to do, the right time for me to leave.

Maybe some day he'll realize that. If he does, will he ever tell me? Probably not.

But after this last visit to the place I called home for almost five year, I finally know that it doesn't matter anymore.

I know it was right -- and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Lost ... Never Found

There comes a time in your life when you realize that your parents are brilliant. They are invincible and can do anything, can fix everything. For during that time, you are unstoppable because you have this arsenal of super powers in your back pocket, a safety net created by Martha Stewart and Bob Villa.

And as you grow older, so do your parents. And as you gain perspective, insight and skills of your own, you notice that theirs may deteriorate. And so I have finally realized that my mom's sewing skills are not what they used to be. I can no longer find the "almost-perfect dress," and have her make it perfect.

It was a $100 lesson to learn most recently. My princess dress, for the wedding. Everything I wanted -- black, satin, tulle, strapless, even a bow! And yet, it did not zip up over my chest. And I knew no matter how much weight I lost, the "girls" weren't going to get dramatically smaller. I bought the dress anyway -- because I knew my mother could work her magic.

Straight from the store, I brought it to her. It was floor-length -- I wanted tea-length. No problem. She could take off three of four inches, and take that material to create "gussets" in the bodice. No problem.

Two weeks before I was to leave for my vacation/wedding trip, she called to say the dress was done. "The knap doesn't match exactly, but there wasn't much I could do." Excuse me! We went round and round on the phone, with her side-stepping, back-tracking and all out making me very nervous about whether the alterations were going to somewhere between noticeable or down-right visible.

I refrained from driving the 60 miles north to get my dress immediately. She called me later in the day to tell me that she looked at it again, and it looks fine. Apparently something happened to her eye sight between noon and 6pm that day. I told her I would deal with it when I saw the dress.

The next day at work, I hopped on the computer. I love Nordstrom -- $5 flat shipping and a kick-ass return policy. I ordered three dresses -- all over $120 -- and had them shipped directly to my brother's in Virginia. I felt better. I had a back-up. Plan B was in action. No matter what the dress looked like, I would have a poker face.

I picked up the dress, tried it on, thanked her for her hard work. I didn't even really look at the dress. I was still too anxious over it. I needed a second opinion. That opinion came in the form of my sister-in-law and niece, who when I took the dress out of the bag in Virginia, both said, "oh no, she ruined it."

Thank god for Plan B. I have a beautiful halter dress -- very Marilyn in "Seven Year Itch." And I'm not wearing a bra with it!! It's gorgeous. I don't think I'll feel like a princess in this dress, the way I would have in the other. But being a princess might be over-rated.

Find me a subway grate -- and I'll be ready for my close-up!

The Grass is Always Greener

I spent the day with my 25-year-old niece and her boyfriend. A boyfriend that is not exactly popular in my family. He is selfish and arrogant, and while I don't think he exactly mis-treats Erica, he definitely doesn't treat her well. The last time I was in Richmond, we were talking about her options, about their future, etc. And I asked her if she thought, in his mind, that his career would always come ahead of her career. She said, without even blinking, "His career will always come before me."

I still think about that, and what an awful feeling that must be. But to feel that you've made this much of a commitment to someone to put up with that. What would I do in that situation? I'd like to think that I wouldn't stay, that I wouldn't allow that to happen. But really, until we're faced with that, and the consequences of not putting up with it, we never really know.

She so wants to be in a relationship -- she wants the whole deal. Husband, kids, dog, house in the suburbs. And yet she is living with someone who doesn't think he ever wants to get married. Not at least until he's in his 40s or 50s. So is having love and your dreams compromised better than not having love at all?

I think that is the dilemma she is facing. Perhaps she sees me -- at 35 and single. Successful, stable and self-sufficient -- absolutely. But also, sadly, single. I think she knows -- as everyone in my family probably does to a certain extent -- that I want to be married. I want kids. I don't have that yet. May never have that.

Does she see me and think that her life is somehow a better alternative? What would I do? What if I fell in love with a great guy -- the perfect man for me? With one flaw -- he didn't want kids. Ever. Would I give up love for that? Would I be willing to sacrifice being a mother just so that I can be a wife?

I honestly don't know the answer to that. And that helps me understand what Erica must be going through. She told me that it would be so much easier if someone just told her what to do, even though she knows she must face this decision on her own. I don't know what the right thing is for her -- I know what I think the right thing is for her. But being put in a similar situation -- what I ultimately decided was right for me, might not be the popular opinion.

And so today, I made small talk best I could, invited them to stay for dinner, and really tried -- because who knows -- someday he could really be a part of this family, whether we like it or not.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The high points of my day:

* sitting on a piano bench, being sung to by a very cute boy
* having said very cute boy make me a CD so I can listen to his amazing voice for 7 hours in the car tomorrow (will probably switch to radio at some point -- but at 5:30am, it'll be sweet)
* getting a phone call from a Baltimore friend
* it's almost 5pm

The low points of my day:
* a client wanting a 5.5 by 8.5 catalog enlarged to 8.5 x 11 -- even though it's 32 pages long and needs to be printed by 9/2
* said client not understanding design principles
* receiving five phone calls in the space of five minutes when I normally don't get five phone calls in the space of one day
* all said phone calls were an emergency or a crisis
* not finishing everything on my list
* not caring that I didn't finish everything on my list (which means that I will probably finish them while on vacation....which starts in six minutes -- fuck it, I'm leaving now)

The Last Day

My last day of work before vacation, and I'm hoping for a quiet day. I'm not overly optimistic. Last night before I left, I made a list -- complete with check boxes next to each item -- of everything I need to get done before I leave. Does that mean if I get to leave as soon as they're done, even if it's before 5pm? I doubt it.

I started packing last night, and cleaning -- and feel much more ready to get on the road at 5:30am tomorrow. I have way too much dirty laundry (literally) that I am bringing with me. Good thing my brother and sister-in-law are going away -- I think I'll be doing laundry the whole time they're gone.

On the B side of things -- I knew he was working late, so I called his cell phone, got his voice mail and left him the message that I was running to Wegmans and to ICO, could I bring him dinner since I would be going right by work? He called me back just as I was leaving Wegmans, saying that he ended up skipping out of work on time, that he adored me and maybe we could get coffee this morning.

*Sigh* I went home and made him cookies.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It's Been Too Long

So I had a sex dream about B last night -- and it wasn't even sex and I STILL woke up satisfied. A friend of mine who has been amusingly watching this interaction between us told me yesterday that I need to do something. She suggested I send him an e-mail that says: "So who's going to make the first move -- you or me?"

I'm thinking about it. I can't do anything until after vacation (only two more days of work!).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Who's Doing Who a Favor Here?

So I had a bunch of stuff that didn't sell in the garage sale this past weekend and wanted to drop it off at the Salvation Army -- rather than just toss it in my dumpster. Just because it's of no use to me doesn't me that someone else couldn't benefit from it, right?

I drove by on Saturday and read the large sign by the donation door that said "donations only accepted during store hours." Since it was after hours that day, I saw that they were open until 9pm each weeknight. Great, I could go after work. Which is what I did last night, at 6pm. Only to drive right up to the donation door and see in smaller, hand-written with a Sharpie lettering: "9am to 4pm M-F, 9am to 3pm Sat."

Sigh, one more day with all this junk in my trunk. I really thought about tossing it, but really what was one more day. No big deal. I'm helping by donating, really.

So after a shitty, frustrating morning at work, I drive down to the Army and pull up to the donation door. I pull out the shopping bags from the back of my car and hand them over to the man working there, go back for more and overhear him rudely tell a woman that they are a "retail center" and they are not accepting books of any kind. She gives it back to him with a smile, "you'd think people these days would buy books, my mistake."

I bring two more bags -- kitchen stuff and Christmas. "We're not taking Christmas, bring it back in November."

I'm throwing this shit out, but I don't say that. "Can I have a receipt please?"

"You make your own."

"Excuse me." Now every other place I've been to has given me a blank sheet of paper with some sort of letterhead or logo on top, and then they date and sign it.

"You're supposed to make your own itemized list yourself."

At this point, I've had it up to here with his attitude -- no thank you for donating, no helpful attitude about my taxes. Just "make your own."

Yea, I will gladly throw that Christmas stuff away tonight -- so much for being a good person and donating to a "worthy" cause. Salvation, my ass.

Monday, August 15, 2005

High school, all over again

So how do I know if the flirting is going anywhere? Or if its just adult flirting -- innocent and not really real? Sometimes, I think I can read him so well -- the inuedos, the flirting, the winking, etc. But then I think, I've given him openings, I've expressed enough of an interest for him to invite me to drinks (even said, "we need to get a drink before I go on vacation") and nothing yet. I've made it known that I'm a "bad girl." He's commented on that -- he loves that I come off at work like I'm so sweet and innocent, and yet he can see that I'm really bad.

I don't want to be too aggressive -- I guess my week away will give him pause to miss me -- or forget about whatever little attraction he had to me.

B, you gotta make a move, man!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A good Sunday

A nap on the couch, listening to the Yankees game ... a two-mile walk, complete with pre-thunder storm wind ... a no carb day with two weeks to look fabulous in a strapless dress ... 100 crunches (again the dress thing) ... only four days of work until vacation!

A potentially good Monday ... again the four days of work this week ... flirting with a hot co-worker (sometimes innocently, sometimes completely inappropriately).

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Rethinking pink

I think I've been over-thinking this whole blog thing -- like I'm supposed to write a column each time, like I'm Carrie Bradshaw or something. Let's face it -- I'm closer to being like Sara Jessica than Ithaca is to being compared to NYC, or maybe the other way around. So I need to just get into the habit of writing again -- that was one of the reasons I started this. I now have a job that doesn't require as much writing as my last job. I used that as my excuse -- too much writing during the day to want to write for fun at night and on the weekend. But excuses. I write 4 to 5 times a week. Pinky promise.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The season's over -- for now

So, I've given up on my month's experiment on Yahoo personals. I wish I could say that the disturbing news of two regional women being killed by people they met on-line was the main reason. It's a good justification -- and if there's something I love, it's to jusitfy things. But the real reason is that I just didn't have good luck.

On to the next thing -- there is cute guy at work, and there has been some definite flirting. Does it matter that he is so unlike anyone I've ever dated or been attracted to? He knows nothing about sports. He's a computer geek (though I use that as a term, not that I think he's a geek) and an aspiring rock star. I think it does matter -- and I think it's a good thing. Because, let's face it, I haven't had much luck with the other type of guy. Stay tuned....