Tuesday, February 19, 2008

City Civility

Strange thing happened on the downtown 6 train this morning: I was sitting by a gentleman who was about 40 or so, and an attractive 20-something woman boarded the train and stood in front of us, grasping the metal pole directly above our heads. A stop or so later, he jumped up and put his hand out, gesturing toward the seat, offering it to her. She shook her head no, and the gentleman returned to the seat and sat down. I figured she must be getting off at the next stop. But she didn't.

A couple of stops later, the 40-something gentleman got off the train, and the younger woman sat down in the seat he had offered her three stops ago.


Here's my thinking: I'm as much of a feminist as the next woman, but to keep chivalry from going totally dead, I think we ladies should take a seat if a gentleman offers it to us. Call it a respect thing. It's the equivalent of letting your date help you with your coat at the end of dinner: antiquated, maybe, but civilized and well-meaning, definitely.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008


I am not, generally, the kind of woman who buys a snake-print string bikini and plans to wear it in public.


N is taking me on a last-minute, whirlwind trip to Miami next weekend, and I when I tried on the swimsuit at N's half-joking urging...well, it looked damn good. I decided that, just for next weekend, and just for fun, I am going to be the kind of woman who wears a snake-print bikini and mugs for the digital camera and French-kisses with gusto and abandon in front of throngs of strangers.

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Friday, February 01, 2008


"Relationships," my crazy former therapist used to say, "have no guarantees."

I still have trouble believing that I actually trusted the words that came out of her mouth, considering her office was an absolute disaster -- unexplained plastic children's chairs stacked high with haphazard manila folders and an ancient air conditioner under the window that I always had to shout over -- and she could never seem to keep her tangerine-colored pedicure touched up. But, occasionally, she'd come up with gems like the one above.

Things with N are going so well it's hard to believe this is actually my life. It's not perfect -- nothing ever is; I still get wasted off of Ketel One and tonics and say crazy things, like how much I want to marry him. (Yeah. I know.) And I still get a flicker or two of irrational jealousy from him. (Yes. Seriously.) But for the most part, our bodies curl into each other, and our words intertwine. We are happy with each other.

At least I know I am, with him.

But that's the thing: You can't know. No matter what the other person says or does, it's impossible to know what's really going on in their heads, what's going to happen next month, or even where they are when they're not with you. There are no guarantees. And, as Sunny says, the other person could get hit by a bus tomorrow: Point is, you just never know. I think that's where this little thing called "trust" comes in.

Today, though, I got this little sliver of insurance from N -- a whisper of a promise that I wasn't sure was going to come. He has talked about both taking me somewhere warm this month or next and going to the tropical destination wedding that a high school friend of mine is having in May. Having heard all of those kinds of promises before (see: Christmastime 2007), I was resigned that I'd believe it when the plane tickets were booked.

Today, though, he took the first step: He reserved our rooms for the destination wedding and sent me a picture of the beachside resort we'd be staying in. As far as a guarantee goes, I think that's about as close as I'm going to get, for now. It also means that I'd better get used to the idea of being with him for quite some time...or at least for four more months. Wow. It's a little scary, but it feels just right.

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