Boys are weird.

28 June 2007

Shocking epiphany, isn’t it?

D. and I had date #2 on Sunday 17 June. We played mini-golf, which was much fun, then drove through the Valley and Beverly Hills as he pointed out sites of interest to his life (his high school, his parents’ house, his shul), then hung out at my place for a bit.

Strange things about him:

* He is really into sports. Like, when we got to my place, he asked if he could turn on the U.S. Open (on mute) just so he could keep apprised of what was happening.

* He doesn’t eat much in terms of quantity or variety. He told me he eats like a six-year-old (i.e., he’s very picky), though I haven’t actually observed this myself. That’s partly because I’ve only observed him eating one meal, and that was at a restaurant that he’d chosen. Our second date started at 10.30 in the morning and ended at 2.30 in the afternoon, and the only food involved was a bottle of water and a bite of churro each. The instant he left, I jumped up and made myself lunch. I’d asked/hinted about lunch while we were out, but he didn’t seem interested in going to a restaurant since mini-golf in the Valley heat had left us “glowing,” if you will. Could be an interesting new diet: Lose weight by dating a guy who doesn’t eat.

* He goes to bed really early. He called tonight at 10, which I found shocking because I thought he’d be asleep by then. We talked ’til almost 10.30, and by the end he was so out of it, I couldn’t help but laugh.

* He doesn’t drink. Which isn’t so weird, I suppose, it’s just not what I’m used to in a guy. But at least this one won’t get drunk and make an asinine fool of himself at my best friend’s wedding. (Of course, he couldn’t anyway, since my best friend is, y’know, already married. But you get the point.)

And the other strange thing is, in the six weeks since we met at the hurry-date thing, we’ve had two dates. Even if you start the clock at our first date, it’s been three weeks and only two dates. Our schedules have just been incompatible — I had the business trip to Iowa and then the weekend in Canada to grade exams, and he’s had various crises (a friend of his from high school died; then he had to take his father to the hospital for a kidney stone; etc.). And he keeps wanting me to come over to watch TV at his place. He’d invited me last week, but then had to cancel two nights in a row because of the aforementioned crises; he was busy in the early part of this week, and I’m busy now since R. and J. are staying with me over the weekend before they move, and I am cooking up a storm for Shabbat dinner in their honor (recipe post to come). I’d been thinking of asking if he wanted to get together on July 4th, but when we chatted tonight he mentioned that at his friend’s funeral yesterday, somehow his mother invited his friends to their (his parents’) house for July 4th. So much for that idea. He said I should call him on Sunday after my friends leave, and — you guessed it — maybe I could come over to his place and watch TV.

So. He’s a lot of fun to talk to, and I enjoy spending time with him. But I like cooking and baking and sharing good meals with good wine…and he doesn’t really seem to be into any of that. And while I don’t stay out ’til 3 a.m. routinely, I do stay up until 11-ish during the week, and there are plenty of Saturday nights when I’m out past 1 or 2. So I am wondering how compatible we are. But maybe I’m over-thinking. (Heaven knows it wouldn’t be the first time.)

And I haven’t told him about my ex yet. I don’t know when or how to have that conversation. With the JDate guys I went out with in December and January, it somehow naturally became a second-date conversation. But that hasn’t happened this time, and I sort of feel like I’m lying by not bringing it up, but then again we haven’t had any discussion of past relationships yet.

I feel somewhat off-kilter. Maybe boys aren’t the only ones who are weird, come to think of it…


Time, time, time, see what’s become of me

9 June 2007

It’s been five years to the day since I stepped onto a plane in New York and stepped off in California (with a brief layover in Las Vegas, where I debated playing the airport slot machines, but feared that losing would be an unbearable beginning to this new chapter of my life).

I wrote then:

Every time I make a big decision, I get a sinking feeling that I’ve chosen the wrong course, that I should’ve picked the other, that anyone else would have made a better and smarter decision — because clearly ‘anyone else’ is better and smarter than I am, and knows better than I do what’s right for me…Who knows where the road may lead us? Only a fool would say. I’ll just keep my eyes on the road, wherever it leads.

Interesting how much that still resonates. I’m still second-guessing myself for changing jobs a year and a half ago. If I’d stayed, I’d be having my five-year anniversary there in another week.

But my eyes are still on the road. It’s led me to places I never expected. I still wish I could undo the whole relationship with my ex, and have that time (and self-confidence) back…but I do understand that apparently, it was something I had to go through in order to get to where I needed to be. So here I am, older and wiser, still searching, still holding onto my hope. “You can’t lose your hope,” a coworker said to me yesterday. “It’s the most precious thing you have.”

It has been twelve years since I graduated from high school, eight years since I graduated from college. I think I was a bit of a late bloomer — I don’t really think I grew into myself and got comfortable in my own skin until the end of college and my second year in New York. But better late than never. Looking back over the last eight or so months, I have come into my own more than ever before. I didn’t notice when I reached the point where it wasn’t a struggle to get through each and every day, but it happened. And I am really, truly proud of myself for coming through this as well as I have.

There’s a story in one of the prayerbooks we used in the shul where I grew up…and yay, it’s also in the machzor (High Holiday prayerbook) I grew up with and love (and more importantly, own):

A king once owned a large, beautiful diamond of which he was justly proud, for it had no equal anywhere. One day, the diamond accidentally sustained a large, deep scratch. The king summoned the most skilled diamond cutters and offered them a great reward if they could remove the blemish. But none could repair the jewel.

After some time, a gifted artisan came to the king and promised to make the rare diamond even more beautiful than it had been before the mishap. The king was impressed by this confidence, and entrusted the precious stone to the artisnan’s care.

And the artisan kept the promise. With superb artistry, the artisan engraved a lovely rosebud around the imperfection, using the scratch to make the stem.

I didn’t emerge unscathed. There are still scars, and I don’t know if they will ever fade away completely. But for now, at least, I am trying my best to use them as the basis for something new and beautiful. I attempted to channel my pain into creativity and art, painting pottery and coloring with pastels. I hope that the scars that are the memory of my pain have helped me become more empathetic and caring toward others. And perhaps, I can find more beauty in the world now than there was before.

* * *

And just so you know, apparently I haven’t jinxed myself yet. D. and I traded e-mails Thursday night after I posted, traded voicemails this afternoon, and spoke just a little while ago. Date #2 will be next Sunday, after I’m back from my business trip.


Things are looking up…

7 June 2007

New department gets awesome-r every day. And today I actually contributed — my coworker asked me to review a sample form before we sent it out to be submitted for regulatory approval in the Pacific Rim. I happened to notice that “Amount We’re Asking Client to Pay” was actually less than “Minimum Amount Required,” which is listed in a footnote. That caused a bit of a mad scramble until we concluded that the “Minimum Amount Required” was a number with no basis in reality, and when we did the actual calculations, it came out to something less than “Amount We’re Asking Client to Pay,” and all was well in the world again.

And tonight, I had a good first date with D. Much fun. We talked about sports — he’s into ALL of them (playing and watching), and I’m…um…not. And when I mentioned that basketball is the one sport I’ve never had any interest in, ever, he said, “So, you’re not upset that we’re here during the first game of the NBA playoffs?” And, naturally, it turns out that he loves basketball. D’oh. But I redeemed myself when I told him that I still missed The West Wing — that’s still his favorite show, and it actually inspired his brief stint in politics (he spent about a year working on a couple of failed presidential campaigns).

I have always wanted to have a date call me immediately after the date and say something like, “I couldn’t stop thinking about you, and I just called to say good-night again.” And yes, I fully realize that if the wrong guy did that, it would come across as creepy or desperate or whatever. Hey, I never said that my “wants” made any sense.

Well…after a nearly two-hour dinner, he walked me to my car and gave me a quick hug and said he’d call…and about two minutes later, he called. Of course, what he said was, “I knew you’d never sleep tonight without knowing the outcome, so I just wanted to tell you that the Spurs won game one of the playoffs tonight.” He was lots of fun on the date, and he was at least interested enough to call me moments after the date, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

(Here’s hoping I’m not jinxing myself by writing about what a good date it was, and how happy I am. I do recall what happened the last time I wrote something like that on a blog…)


Catching up

6 June 2007

Seeing my bestest friend was as wonderful as always. And now I’m the proud owner of a t-shirt that says, “Everyone loves an Irish girl,” which will be useful next time I have to go undercover as an Irish lass.

I’d emailed with Dr. X last Wednesday and said my schedule for this week was pretty open, so perhaps we could get together. He called last night – nearly a week later – and was surprised to learn that actually, I didn’t have time anymore. I have exams to grade this week, plus I already have plans for Thursday night, and next week I’m going to be on a business trip in the Midwest. He was less than thrilled, but we will try to make plans for the week after next, when I’m back in town. I’ve noticed that he is easily irritated — before, it was because it took a few rounds of phone tag for us to connect on the phone, and this time it was because my schedule had booked up.

I also e-mailed last week with D. from the speed-dating event, and he is my aforementioned plan for Thursday evening. He called and left a friendly-sounding message yesterday to firm up the details, which ended with his saying that he was looking forward to seeing me; we chatted later in the evening and settled on a place and time. I hadn’t heard of the restaurant, and about 5 minutes after we’d hung up — when I was talking to Dr. X, who was already getting into a snit — he e-mailed me the name, address, and cross-streets for the restaurant, and reiterated that he was really looking forward to our date. So at the moment, my hopes are higher for D. than for Dr. X.

The new job continues to be better than the old job, simply by virtue of the fact that my new department is far friendlier than my old one. I’m still learning and not actually contributing much, but I think I’m making progress. And the trip next week is for some of the upper managers from LA to train new folks at our operations centre, and they figured I needed training, too, so that’s why I’m coming along. Hopefully soon after I return, I will be up-to-speed enough to be able to do some real work.