Monday, December 31, 2007

The Substitution Method

N is a fancy lad. He makes a good amount of coin, so yesterday I tagged along with him as he scoured Madison Avenue looking for the perfect pair of black loafers. For the first time in my life, I entered Gucci. I entered Tod's. I entered Prada. I followed N around Barney's and sat with him and tried to look nonchalant as he tried on $375 leather shoes.

During our shopping trip, I could feel him pulling back. As usual.

When I get that vibe from him, I try to fade back myself. It's hard, though, because all I want to do is wrap him up in my arms and kiss his soft right cheek and make sure he's not cold.

After our foray into luxury retail goods, he left me in the rain at the 59th Street subway stop so I could catch an uptown train.

"I want to go home with you," I told him between goodbye kisses.

"I...," he said when his mouth wasn't on mine. "No...I have so much to do."

"I'm a good muse," I said. Another kiss.

"I won't get anything done," he said.

We parted, and I felt lost.

As if on cue, Sunny called my cell within roughly two minutes of when I stepped into the subway turnstile and interrupted my emotional paralysis. I went over to her place for red wine and mac and cheese.

Sunny and I ended up going downtown ostensibly to see a band with our friends but actually to get out of our respective love funks. I invited along a cute 23-year-old screenwriting student from L.A. that I met on Christmas Eve and had instant chemistry with, mostly to forget about N and have some fun for once.

Roughly four Bud Lights later, I was in tucked into one of the bar's red leather booths, deep into conversation with the Screenwriter. We had seen the same movie recently, we both love Mad Men, we both have the same favorite stand-up routines, and then the Screenwriter's fingers were interlaced with mine and he was looking into my eyes and kissing me hard.... Before I knew it, I was hurtling uptown with him, in a cab bound for the Upper East Side. It all happened so quickly.

The Screenwriter and I are hanging out again tonight -- packing a picnic and watching the fireworks in Central Park. I don't really want to go. I already miss N terribly and feel guilty about the Screenwriter, and, if we're being honest, I'd rather take a Xanax tonight and zone out alone, cradling a bottle of red and watching HBO OnDemand.

But I know I have to get over N. I have to at least fill my life with non-N things so the entirety of my thoughts don't become N, with all of his hangups and half-promises and glimmers of hope and letdowns and mood swings.

I wish we could choose whom we love.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Janey Drama

I think I'm in a pseudo-relationship with a crazy person. I have a hunch that N is mentally unstable, but in a socially acceptable way. I know y'all know people like that.

Six days after confessing that he wanted to be with me more than anything else, promising me trips to various beach towns, and changing his flight home to New York so he could see me sooner, N gave me his patented speech over the phone: "I don't know what I want right now" "I don't want a big commitment" and "I'm just trying to go with my feelings." (That last one is my personal favorite.)

Like clockwork, though, after a day of my crying all over the streets and subways of New York Friday morning, we met up again and connected again. I'm going out to meet him tonight at a fancy sushi place we had gone to back in October, and then we're going to a movie.

I'm not sure that this non-relationship is ever going to be normal, and I'm not sure it's going to last until 2008, quite frankly. It's telling, however, that I'm still in this. Any sane woman -- any woman who was more interested in self-preservation than self-destruction -- would have ended this long ago. I haven't. So what does that say about me? That I'm desperate? (Not likely -- I don't have much of a problem filling my dance card.) That I'm crazy? (Maybe.) That I'm self-destructive? (Definitely...?)

Normalcy has never been my bag, but when it it time to put away the selfish, mental, sexy, male nutcases and pick someone stable and good, if not a little boring? Age 30? Thirty-five? As soon as the biological clock starts ticking? When I've had enough?

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Don't Rain On My Parade

N is the Nicky Arnstein to my Fanny Brice.

Whenever I watch Funny Girl, I think to myself, "Wow, I know he's cute and charming, Fanny, but honestly. He's a gambler! A con artist! Run! Run away!"

That's similar to what my friends say about N. They know I'm head over heels for him, but they know he's probably not the kind of person I should be with, because he might be incapable of giving me what I need.

Did Fanny Brice listen to her friends, though? Nope. And neither will I, because I still believe in love. N is back in my life right now, and he now says he's ready to do this. So, here it goes. Again. I won't expect a safety net this time.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007


Saw the movie Juno today at the cute one-screen movie theater around the corner from my apartment, and it was fantastic and witty. What's even cooler is that a chick who's about my age wrote it, and the dialogue is brilliant. What's cooler than that is that the female lead is such a breath of fresh air and completely nails her loveable, cool-girl character, the likes of which I haven't seen in quite some time. It's female role models like that and the unwavering encouragement that I've received from every single one of my friends that are keeping me going right now.

My friend Sunny and I blew off no fewer than three parties tonight and coccooned up here on the Upper East while the wintry mix descended. Staying in was necessary. It feels strange but good. (Insert "that's what she said" joke here.)

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Laughing about Crying

One of the great things about living in Manhattan is that going about your everyday business takes on a certain glamour to outsiders simply because you're living in New York City. Like, you could be getting Chinese takeout, but it's takeout...from Midtown. Or you could be going running, but you're Central Park. It just sounds cooler.

I thought about that when I was crying like a baby over N in the Oyster Bar restaurant last night. I mean, yes, I was drinking a Miller Lite and sobbing into a cocktail napkin while my friend A tried to console me, but I was drinking a Miller Lite and sobbing into a cocktail Grand Central Station. That's when I started thinking about all the places I've cried in the city, usually over boys -- N, the Boyf, Evil... Yeah, pretty much just those guys. Here's a list of the ones I can think of off the top of my head:

Grand Central Station's Oyster Bar (N)
The 6 train (N)
The L train (N)
The corner of Grand and Metropolitan in Williamsburg (N)
The elevator of a high-rise in Williamsburg (N)
The lobby of a high-rise in Murray Hill (the Boyf)
The Macy's shoe department (the Boyf)
Rodeo Bar (N)
The Bar that Shall Not Be Named (N, the Boyf)
My workplace in Midtown (N, the Boyf)
My former workplace in Midtown (Evil)
Madison Square Park (the Boyf)
A hardware store in Murray Hill (the Boyf)
Union Pool in Williamsburg (the Boyf)
A bus to Weehawken, New Jersey (Evil)
Various taxis (N, the Boyf, Evil)
A foyer in Nolita (Evil)
The basement of Lolita (the Boyf)
Tavaru (Evil)
Eighth Avenue in the 40s (the Boyf)
The R train (Evil)
Some Naked Lunch-esque bar in the East Village (N)
A good portion of the Upper East Side (N)

I'm sure there are more. So now I will get back to enjoying my ultraglamorous (yet unceremonious) dumping.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

That's About Right

N dumped me today.

When I say that it was out of nowhere, I mean that. I am a lot of things, but I am not delusional.

He took me to drinks and dinner in Brooklyn last night and met two of my college friends out at a local bar, where he tried to get in good with them and impress them. He took me to brunch this morning, then to a bookstore, and then to an art gallery he "wanted to take (me) to," holding my hand and engaging in light conversation the whole time. He then said he was cold and wanted to go back home. Once inside, he kissed me multiple times and took off my coat. I could tell by his face that something was wrong, and I said, "What's on your mind?" He led me to his couch, sat us both down, and went silent. I said, "I'm not going to push you, but know that you can tell me anything."

That's when he said that he didn't "see this turning into a relationship." Ever. He said he "had fun" when we went out together but that he felt "disconnected" from me when we weren't together, and that he also felt disconnected from "everything." He said that he felt that two people should feel connected to each other at all times, and that he had been trying to force that with me. He said that he didn't want me to think that he didn't like me, because he did. And that he didn't necessarily want to stop seeing me, but that he didn't want to "disappoint" me by not giving me what I wanted. I said that I didn't want to push him into a commitment that he didn't want and that we could keep things casual. He said, "Would you be okay with that?" And I said, "Well, would you see other people?" He said, "I don't know." That was the nail in the coffin. That was an "Oh, hell, no." I was taken aback, and I was sad. I told him that he should work out whatever issues he was dealing with. He continued to kiss me and hug me. That made it difficult to leave, even though I knew I needed to leave immediately. I needed an exit strategy.

"Want to fuck one last time before I go?" I said.

"Is that what you want?" he said.

"Yes," I said.

It was a power-play move. The sex from my end was strong, dominant, forceful. He took forever to come. I stared up at the ceiling afterward and then, with a half-smile, collected my things, refusing to cuddle next to him, even though he was inching closer to me.

I put my sweaty hair into a ponytail and shrugged my coat on -- he always used to help me put on my coat, which always used to make me smile. I looked at him and said, "I had fun. Good luck working your issues out. I know it can be hard." He kissed me, and I left, avoiding eye contact. He doesn't have to know that I cried in the elevator, and on the subway, and all through the streets of the Upper East Side.

I've been broken up with twice in the cream-colored turtleneck I was wearing today. I'm throwing it away tomorrow, maybe with unnecessary flourish into a streetside trash can.

I always used to pity women I met who said seriously that they're "not dating" or are "over" dating or can't deal with the scene. I found them sad. I thought that they harbored no hope. I understand them today. I know that I'll be over N's and my short-lived non-relationship in about three days flat, but I cannot go through this again. I will choose not to go through this again.

They say that nice guys finish last, but it's nice girls who get the short end of the stick, because we care first and think later. That is a recipe for hurt.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Endorsement: Strawberry

I shacked at N's house last night on the spur of the moment, and because he and I live a good distance apart (we're talking boroughs here), I decided there was no way I was going to make it to the Upper East Side to change/shower/primp before work this morning.

On a tip from Sunny, I decided instead to stop by Strawberry, the poor woman's H&M, before work this morning to find myself something fabulous yet inconspicous that...wasn't my outfit from the day before. I hadn't been in a Strawberry since, oh, 2003, because, well, we all outgrow sequins sometime, but I have to say it: I love Strawberry. Not only did I find myself an adorable gray babydoll dress and inexpensive black tights for roughly $20 altogether, there was absolutely zero judgment from the gray-haired 50-something cashier as I politely asked her if she could please remove the tags and the security sensor from the dress as I was wearing it.

I received at least eight compliments from my co-workers on my attire today, all of which managed to detract from any residual feelings about my harlothood that my religious upbringing instilled.

So, New York ladies, if you're feeling slutty in the a.m., a trip to Strawberry is practically a visit to confession. A guilt-free trip to confession (financially, anyway).

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