It Never Fails! Can't rain but it pours.

No, really. It's ridiculous. I swear men can smell each other on a woman. As soon as they catch the scent of another man on you they are suddenly attracted. Or They're more attracted. I just got asked out. Of course he waits until now because I'm seeing someone. And of course, that is too new to know what it is or where it's going. But I couldn't just say, 'No thank you I have a boyfriend,' because I don't. That--and I'm a terrible flirt when I'm not trying.

I have lived here since August. It is now practically January. How many months was I alone and miserable? I met him even before I moved in, the day I came with the rent check and to pick up my keys. He lives in the first floor apartment that's separate from the rest of the house. He let me in that day because Lucy didn't hear the doorbell. He flirts with me everytime we run into each other. Which is maybe a couple times a month. Then I found out in November that he grew up in my old neighborhood, where I went to college. We even know some of the same people. His father is friends with the woman who taught my cello lessons. One goth girl who was part of the crew I went clubbing with, ages and ages ago, was in his high school class.

Why did he just ask me out now? Several factors played into the timing. Though he did surprise me with it tonight. Lucy wanted to play scrabble two or three weeks ago (I can't remember) so she recruited me and the Basement Boy. There were four of us. We were friendly. Basement Boy and I got kind of chatty, comparing notes about places we used to hang out and people we knew. So, I guess that's when we crossed the acquaintance "Hi, how you doing?" threshold, which we were kind of stuck on before. Ahhhhhccckk. Stupid men! I hate you all.

Ok, but he was always chatty when we did the 'hi, how you doing,' and he was always inquisitive about me. And I was always flirty because he is cute and was chatty and inquisitive about me. Except the night he was hanging out with Alex in the kitchen. It was around midnight and I went downstairs to get a drink of ice water. I had on my little sleeping tank top and was bra-less. I'm not someone who can go in public without a bra. And it's chilly in the house at night. But I didn't think the public was in my kitchen at midnight. Alex lives in the house so he doesn't count. They were talking and dragged me into the conversation but I was just embarrassed by my Jennifer Aniston problem. I tried to use my arms as strategically as possible and get out of the kitchen without being rude. But it took awhile to extract myself. So I'm sure I was rude and that probably put him off. That was in September. Then in October I crashed emotionally and was miserable until about the end of November. That had to have made me unattractive.

This is kind of my fault because I heard him doing stuff on the stairs in our hall that lead down to his apt. And I stuck my head down and asked what he was doing and we started up a conversation. Mostly he started up the conversation by asking me about work, if I'd got my grading done. The whole house--including the basement--heard me moaning about it. Then he asked me what I was doing for New Years? Yikes. Um, nothing yet. What about him? He is doing the weekly bike protest and then going to a party in Park Slope. He has friends from college coming to town, he's so excited. blah blah. I thought he might ask me to go with him since I said I hadn't gotten around to making plans yet. But he didn't ask. Probably because I panicked and pulled my head out of the stairwell before he could. But then I peeked down at him again and we kept talking. I figured I should probably let him continue installing the light in the stairwell and he made me nervous after the New Year's question so I started taking my leave with a "See you later" and that's when he said it.

"You know, you should come down sometime. Anytime if you want to have dinner or something." And what did I say? After the moment of comprehension dawned, I said, "oh? Yeah?" And he said, "Yeah. It's not that hard you know." I smiled, said "Ok" and "See ya later." Then I ran upstairs to my cave of a bedroom. Now I'm hiding up here and I'll probably never go downstairs again.

Here's my theory why this ALWAYS happens:

1. Lonely people often look sad and that is unattractive so they don't get asked out. People who are with someone tend not to be so lonely and not look so sad and that makes them more attractive.

2. Pheromones. Men can smell each other. I'm not sure if it's that romantic activity sets off female estrus pheromones or if they literally can smell the pheromones of another man. I don't have any man scent on me today so it must be estrus smell in this case.

3. The freshly sexed glow. You all know what I'm talking about. Doesn't it just make women look all happy and sexy and shiny and men are drawn to that like flies to. . . never mind.

4. Competition. I think something happens psychologically when one man finds out another man is into a woman. Unless they're friends. But maybe the man never noticed the woman before. And then he sees her with another man or hears a man talking about her and suddenly his interest may be piqued. He wants to know why this other man is attracted to her, because there must be something right? Then he may notice the attractive things about her and suddenly find himself interested too.

So that's why I think women get asked out more frequently when they already have a man around. In my case I chalk it up to one and two. Care to share your opinions on the general matter? Have stories of your own? Am I wrong? Did I miss anything?



The 12 Gifts of Christmas

Inspired by this post by White Skinned Goddess who had a lovely and very different holiday from mine.

The 12 gifts of Christmas this year:No Partridge in a Pear Tree

1. NOT having to travel in the crowds and with the delays, no crushing lines with people holding too many packages/bags/luggage. Not getting pat-down by security. Not dragging my luggage down the street, on the subway, on the over-priced rip-off air-train which you should be able to pay for with your unlimited Metro-Card. But of course you can't, you have to buy a $5 card for a 2 minute train ride across the parking lots.

2. No frustrations over money and gift-buying. Usually I just try to buy things that aren't expensive and hope I have enough in the bank to cover it. Usually I don't.

3. For the first time in years, I spent Christmas day without worrying about the work I was not doing. I had time this year to do it later.

4. Waking up Christmas morning and going downstairs to breakfast and finding to my surprise....no fat man with a beard and presents but a skanky hung-over girl sleeping on my couch! Then finding the kitchen is trashed with dirty dishes, wine/liquor bottles, and left-over food.

5. Waiting for the email with the digital pictures of my presents from my Pops and the wife. I asked lil sis to open them for me and send me the pictures. It was nice to have something to anticipate. They arrived around 2 pm and included pictures of the family, the Christmas tree, and their little rat dog. Pops gave me what looks like a very cool Sony discman that even has one of those remote controls. This will make my long commutes so much more pleasant. It's also good for warding off intruding strangers who are are less likely to talk to someone wearing headphones.

6. Getting lots of morning phone calls, especially the one from a young man who was willing to spend the day with me. He neglected his own plans to work, and even came to my neighborhood at my request.

7. Watching that same young man talk to the skanky couch girl for an extraordinary length of time--way beyond what politeness called for and even further beyond anything interesting she had to say. He correctly guessed she was Jewish and they talked about that for awhile as I got peeved.

I thought, "So she's Jewish, good for her. Now he has to talk to her about it, fine... Ok, you've met already can we go now?...He's still talking to her? It took her 10 minutes to tell us her name! Whoo, you began using a different name when you started going to Rainbow gatherings, what a surprise.'

As she warmed up to his attention she got a bit flirty. He kept talking to her and I grew annoyed.

OK, I see how it is, you like me until a nice Jewish girl comes along. Worse, one that isn't 'nice'. You can't possibly think she is this interesting unless you are into her, you hoser. Nice Christmas this turned out--lose a boy to a greasy-haired moocher on my couch because of an accident of birth. . . Oh she's going to Israel tomorrow, that's great....blah, blah, blah We finally left her to go buy some food.

When we got to the store he said, "Oh, by the way, that girl, what was her name? Anna?" "Amy." Well, that's nice of you to pretend you forgot her name. "Right. Amy. She's disgusting." "What?" "Weird too, from California. (like the New Yorker he is he couldn't name the state without derision) I bet she's never worked a day in her life and never will, etc., etc., she's an embarrassment to my people." Ooooh. He knew what I was thinking.

I'm not very quick with these things. It was a few hours later when I realized he had been toying with me. He could tell I was getting jealous so he kept talking to her despite her inanity because my reaction must have pleased him. But, not wanting to be cruel he allayed my fears as soon as he could and as unambiguously as possible. I thought it was all very cute that he could read me so well, liked me enough to like seeing me jealous and yet made sure he didn't leave me worried about it. [WARNING: It was cute once. Don't make a habit of it.]

8. Cooking French toast with the boy who took over the cooking part after I made the batter because I couldn't manage to get the bread from the bowl to the skillet. I was too nervous. So he sat me down and massaged my shoulders while the bread was on the stove. Then he served me breakfast.

9. Taking an after-meal 'nap' that involved no sleeping and lots of yummilicious kissing with his sumptuous semitic lips. He even made my cat jealous because she doesn't like to see other people with her property. (The OPP was me.) She tried to join us and had to be forcibly removed from his back. b. Learning he would tolerate a cat intrusion even though I know he found it disgusting. [I'm sorry, it won't become a habit.]

10. Seeing him grin with contentment as he held my face in his hands and looked at me. I'd never seen him grin in the two and a half years I've known him, he's usually quite the stoic.

11. Checking the time after we finished our take-out Chinese dinner at his apartment in the Heights, where we went because the couch moochers had multiplied and I didn't trust the Chinesefood places in my neighborhood to not serve cat meat. Finding out it was 11 pm shocked and awed us. He asked, "How can it be that late already?"

12. Actually making it to church that Sunday because I had help waking up. This is only the second time I've been since this summer. I still got there an hour late because I dawdled (very nervous about going) and wandered around outside the building lost for 20 minutes. This time church was better than the first time. I met some nice people. And I got one present for me, finding out that a couple I was friends with in Atlanta belonged to this congregation too!

After church I snuck upstairs and found an empty room with a piano. I closed the door,left the light off and played Christmas songs and my favorite hymns for a long time. It began to flurry outside.

This was my Christmas worship. I prayed with my body, heart and mind as I sang the words in my head and played as best I could, pounding the wrong keys with love and gratitude. Knowing I am so blessed and undeservedly so. Thanking God for his goodness to me.

~And no partridge in a pear tree~
The ultimate gift this year: Celebrating the love of Christ simply without the pagan symbols, gorging on rich foods, or material consumerism.*
The penultimate gift: Spending Christmas Day very un-alone.

*Not that there is anything wrong with that. I'll do things traditionally next year.


This is just to say

I had taken
the hint
that was in
the conversation

And which
you were probably
to discuss

Forgive me
it was obvious
so kind
even Operatic

--William Carlos Williams wrote the poem, "This is Just to Say."
I bastardized it here. So, props and apologies to the W.C.W.


NO Christmas for YOU!!

I was supposed to be at the airport right now for my flight to Ft. Lauderdale. This makes me sad. I'm disappointed in myself for failing again. I wanted to get away from this pit I live in. Relax somewhere with clean air in a comfy house with other people. So I woke up this morning very upset that I'd have to skip Christmas because my grades weren't done and I didn't have time to finish and turned them in. When I called my family, they changed my mind. Mom convinced me I could go because my flight left Florida the 29th and not the 30th as I had thought. Great! I had some brunch at the diner then got packed. I was excited. When ready to go, I pulled up the email with the flight info. But, oh what is this? My flight doesn't leave Florida until the 30th? Huh. Well didn't that just suck?

My mother is angry that I stayed home. It's all my fault of course. I just need to grow up because I should have planned ahead. Right. She said in the email she she sent after I hung up on her that I should have found out about the school being closed on the 24th before yesterday "but that's water over the dam". If the water is so over the dam why was she too mad to talk to me on the phone? My sister is sad because she's going to be bored without me. My father is actually sympathetic that I'm missing his big Christmas Eve fiesta.

I'm still packed. I guess I'll be unpacking tonight instead of eating homemade goodies with the fam in 70 degree weather. Here's what I am missing:

The beach. Exquisite food made by my mother, or her homemade fudge and toffee. The long breakfast after we open presents and the warm-fuzzies at giving people things they like. Real Christmas tree smell. Spending the day lying out in the backyard to read a novel and get a tan. My mother's kitchen full of food. Laughing with the sibs. Watching cable TV. Watching movies on a TV that's more than 10 inches. I won't get to do any driving either! I LOVE driving the Miami freeways. No palm trees with Christmas lights on them, or tacky plastic manger scenes and Maria shrines, no balmy nights of looking up at the stars and listening to the croaking frogs, no break from bohemian housemates with their incense and loud sex and curry-stank cooking....

Here's what I do not mind missing:

The tri-lingual Christmas eve festival at Pops' house with his Brazilian wife's family. Half of them speak Spanish because they emigrated to Panama, the other speak Portuguese. My step bro and sis speak English because they grew up here, but Portugese is the house language. They usually smoke a blunt before the party and are quite boring anyway so it's no loss. The girl wears something slinky on her perfect body and always has her boyfriend around. Everyone mingles in the house waiting until midnight, not speaking English. At some point they watch the Vatican mass by satellite. Then when it hits 12 am we have a toast and a prayer from Pops' wife's mother in Portuguese that is too long and dramatic, then a Spanish one from the cousins, and lastly the English one from my father. Then we all have to hug and kiss and cheer. After that the dinner buffet begins with lots of beans and rice and meats. The food rarely tastes good. The Flan isn't bad.

Once everyone has eaten their fill, all 20 people sit around the tree and the Walmart singing and dancing Santa from Hell whom I find scarier than Chucky. We have to sit on each other's laps or the floor because there aren't enough chairs, and watch as one by one everyone opens their two presents. I always attempt to feign pleasure at the Swapmeet gift from the wife, but I suspect I'm not good at it. My bro, sis and I always try to leave after the presents before Pops busts out the Karaoke on his big-screen TV. Sometimes we aren't so lucky...

That's what I would have been doing tonight instead of sitting alone in my bedroom with my cats and bluebooks, eating cheesepuffs and cold canned soup. Listening to Portishead on repeat might seem excessive, but it's perfect. I enjoy wallowing in this kind of miserable-ness. There is an art to it. When done right, it can be cathartic. If I'm wallowing, that means I'm not depressed. Depressed people don't have the energy to wallow. However, I did go out to do something special for myself. I went to the 99 cent store scross the street and bought christmas lights, candles, chocolate and 18 agw speaker wire. And some fixings to wrap presents that I haven't bought yet.

This is my first Christmas alone.


Bring flowers for tomorrow

Because each bluebook I read destroys part of my brain. I have 90 more to go. Maybe 10% of those are not convoluted displays of abstract English or the foul tumors grown from what was once a philosophy cell. The really special ones are Rorshach tests which call on my id to project some coherent thought on the blob of words. The Rorshach exams take three times longer than the others because I first have to figure out which question they have attempted to answer. Once I guess the question, I have to decode the nonsense into something that I can score as either right or wrong. I'm not exagerrating. Maybe I'll give you a sample from each when I'm not so exhausted.

At this bluebook rate of IQ erosion, by tomorrow I will be Autistic.
Call me 'Algernon'...And bring me some flowers. They will look pretty. I can put them next to my suitcase. My suitcase will be sad because it had to stay home. And this year there will be no Christmas. Because I was a bad, lazy adjunct (with an attitude too, according to ratemyprofessor.) Bad girl! But it's not all my fault. Satan's Administration(S.A.) helped too.

The S.A. maliciously designed the academic calendar to sap all joy and happiness from the workers. They scheduled mandatory final exams all day on the 23rd, the last one ending at 6 pm. Then they want grades and gradebooks submitted by the 29th. You must hand them in to the Registrar in person, during business hours. But, wait, the college is closed from the 24th-27th. So we have two days in which we can personally turn in our grades and roles,etc. Did they not tell the faculty about that earlier when the faculty were making travel plans? Of course they did not. Staff holidays aren't on the academic calendar they give to the faculty. But maybe that date is flexible? They know everyone will be late so they make it earlier than it needs to be. Oh No.

That's what I thought last year. I got called by the provost's office twice because my grades were late. The Department secretary called me twice also. The Dept. chair only called me once. The Executive Officer of my PhD program in a different college called me once from his home in Virginia because the woman in charge of GTFs in the grad program "was harrassing" him about my late grades because the Provost's office of the college where I teach was calling her. Got that?

Yeah. So. I can't miss the grade deadline AGAIN this year. Especially not after that crappy evaluation I got which required a meeting with the chair and in which I had to enthusiastically agree to have a teaching mentor, who is an adjunct I might add. And I shouldn't annoy the chair so soon after the last time, last week when he sent me that curt email about my unprofessional and unacceptable manner of returning student work and blah blah.

That was the night my block caught on fire. I was on my way to the office to resolve the problem when I saw all the fire trucks parked in front of my house. And the police had closed the street. So I'm thinking, "Where's the fire?" I look down the block. It's coming from a house five buildings from mine, on the same side of the street. A street of century old ghetto rowhouses. No one else was home so I decided I should stay in case it spread. Then I got in trouble.

I never in my life thought I'd say this, but all the ridiculous complication of grown-up land is making me nostalgic. Thinking of the Algernon story made me remember being very young and simple. Specifically, I remember playing little league softball when I was 5 years old. "Playing" meant that I wore the uniform and stood way out in the grass to pick flowers while all the other people shouted and ran and threw things. I liked to catch the stinkbugs that you could find under the white-weedy flowers. They were fun to play with. They'd climb around on your fingers and hands for a long time. And I watched the big fluffly clouds in the sky. Sometimes they would yell at me to chase the ball. But by the time I noticed, if I did, someone else already got it. There were leather ties on my glove...I remember how they tasted. Salty and chewy.

Bring Flowers for Algernon. You may never hear from JL again.


Director's cut from 'What a Difference'

I often change posts significantly the day after I publish them. I added to the 'What a Difference' post on Monday. I wrote the 'Difference' post on Sunday to express my very positive change in mood and the cause of such. On Monday I turned it into a post about my mother. I'm unsatisfied with the dual-themes and change in tone. I think one distracts from the other. I should have made this a separate post so I'm doing that now. In case you've already read it, I added more content for your trouble.

Sunday night, the 19th, my mother queried after my unusual and sudden improvement in mood. I didn't tell her the whole reason. I like to keep her out of my love life, she's only met two of my boyfriends. One was in high school because she made me bring him over for a family dinner of fun. Mom told me she thought he was very cute and she could see why I liked him. That was both icky and wrong. She was supposed to dislike him because he had long hair, an earring and played drums in a speed metal band(Stop laughing! It was 1992 and that was still cool.) My dad didn't give a rat's arse about him. The poor boy asked me what he'd said and was disappointed when I told him 'nothing.' So I went home and asked my pops. All he said was: 'He's ok. He needs a shave and a haircut.' That boy had no facial hair. I think he was mocking me and my tender 16 year old heart.

The second time was in 2001 when she came to see me for Thanksgiving and we three had dinner together which gave me an anxiety attack. Really. I had to go outside of the restaurant for awhile so I could start breathing again. I don't know why it was so hard for me other than the 'worlds colliding' problem. (The Seinfeld show did a more than adequate treatment of that in one episode so I won't discuss it here.) She was very pleasant and he was a gentleman, I was the only one suffering from the collision. My extreme discomfort during that meal lead to more anxiety the next day when he wanted to come over. So I told him he couldn't. Then we had a fight and he threw his home-made pasta out the window of his truck on the freeway. Looking back, I think I was ashamed of him and what my mother would think. He was a sweetheart, and a beautiful vacuous mimbo with a temper.

And so it went. I'm still not comfortable sharing my love life with her. Hundreds of strangers, yes. Mother, no.

Re-released POST FROM DEC. 20:
So currently, there is a man around here. Mom will be all over it if I'm getting phone calls from a boy while staying with her for Christmas. She can wait until then to hear about it. There is no reason to get her excited yet. When she hears of one guy she'll ask me about him for a year. Even when he's been history for ages, or when it was one date that turned into nothing.

One day she'll be pondering her grandchild-less state and the injustice of the universe, then...she makes phone calls. Like this one to my sister. She calls both of us and starts prodding for info about our love lives. She brings up whatever guy she can think of that she once heard about from me and ask,
"So do you ever hear from that ______ guy? What was his name?"
"His name is mud. No. I hate him."
"Oh. Why?"
"Because. He sucks."
"Well what about so and so?"
"No. He hates me."
"Because I'm me. Can we not talk about this."
"Oh,ok. What's about___?
"He came out of the closet last year and is much happier. We hang out all the time. I have to go."
"I sure wish you had someone. I think you'd be happier."
"So would you. Where is your boyfriend, huh? Why aren't you dating?"
"I'm too old and ugly."
"You're not. But whatever. I have to go."
"What's that guy doing that you grew up with? Do you ever hear from him?"
"We're friends. He has 8 girlfriends. I'm going now."
. . .
God bless her, she just wants some grandkids. My mother and my ovaries should start a club, the "Get JL Frigging Preggers Already Boosters." Then they could have bake sales to benefit the cause. Hmm, what would be the best way for my boosters to spend the proceeds?

As far as injustices go, mom is afraid to ask my eldest brother if he and his wife of 8 years are planning to have children. She has never asked him. Finally, last year she asked my brother's mother-in-law if she knew anything. She, of course, had been asking her daughter when and if they would breed. The answer: They won't rule it out. Translation: They won't complain if there's an accident.


What a difference

Lord, what a dif' - rence a day made!

There's a rain - bow be - fore me.

Skies a - bove can't be stor - my

Since that mo - ment of bliss, that thrill - ing kiss.

What a dif' - rence a day made --

And the dif' - rence is you.

--Words & Music by Maria Grever & Stanley Adams
Recorded by Dinah Washington, 1959
Thanks to the Guitar Guy for lyrics, he's listed the chords too if anyone is interested.

Ok, it's cheese on a cracker. But sometimes, occaisionally, it's true. (I wrote this post 6 days ago.) Except I'll always prefer storm clouds to rainbows. I find the sublime beautiful and moving. Rainbows are just pretty. (I'm not being metaphorical. I don't prefer bad things over good things. I just don't like that metaphor because I love storms.) It might snow tonight? It's snowing in Philly, that would be perfect.

My poor mother called and was so confused. She said "You certainly sound a lot better." She said it in a puzzled and accusatory way. Demanding explanation. I said, "I had a lot of fun yesterday. Steph and Paul were in town and we had a good time. She flew up and Paul drove in, so. And my classes are over, so I don't have to teach anymore, so that stress is gone too. That's why." Which is all very true. But there was a little more to my improved mood. She knew I was being less than honest. She'll be all over it if I'm getting phone calls from a boy while staying with her for Christmas. She can wait until then. There is no reason to get her all excited yet.


The Wrath of Blog II: Dating Policies

Read The Wrath of Blog I, here.

Blog Policies with respect to respecting the men I'm dating:

1. If it's over, and things ended badly then it's all fair game. Don't date me if you plan to be a jerk because you will end up eviscerated on here. Warts and all. Though pseudonymously. Not so much out of concern for the jerk's privacy but my own. Often, I don't want to publicize whom I've dated, many a men did not make me proud.

2. If it's over and you were good to me, I will be charitable in my posts about you. So most everything is still fair game though you won't come out looking bad. And I will try to respect shared intimate information by not writing about it. Also sticking to pseudonyms only rule.

3. If you dated me and find yourself discussed here and you don't like it, email me. I'll consider removing the posts from public eye. Whether or not I do and the degree of haste to which I comply depends on how much I still like you. (See rules 1 and 2).

4. I consider the foibles of initial courtship to be public information. Men aren't supposed to know about CitC at first but it seems that some do, due to the success of this beastly blog. Having become aware of that fact, then obviously if I like someone and we are in pursuit of each other I will make every effort not to humiliate him. However, I think almost everything people do is funny and I'm not sensitive so I may be unaware that I'm writing something embarassing. I am in fact shameless online so my boundaries may not coincide with most normal people's. In that case I would ask that the injured party email me and I will quickly remove the offensive material. (Use my personal addie for a more immediate response.)

5. Once a relationship develops, I promise to respect all requests for privacy. Until it's over. (See 1 and 2.) So if you're my boyfriend and you don't want to end up on here then you'll have to marry me. Yes, this is a bribe, my ovaries hate me.

*These policies are subject to revision and addition (some rules I had to learn along the way so I apologize for past indiscretions.)

Burn me and beware the Wrath of Blog.

The Wrath of Blog I: Existential Justification*

*I sincerely apologize in advance for butchering Heideggerrian and Existentialist concepts. (It was meant with an attitude of being-in-funness.)

The Absurdity! I just read a new comment to my Introduction post. Here's the comment:
If I were a guy (which i am) I wouldn't date you because you would write about our relationship on your blog. That's creepy. Lose the blog. Go to counselling.

Message from Anonymous

Fair enough. My reply:
Bite me. I've been in therapy my whole life. You see where that's taken me. Your counseling comment aside, thank you. It was good for me to hear and I'm sure you are not alone in that sentiment. It's probably the majority view. I appreciate that you took the time to type it because I needed to resolve my thoughts on the question of this blog's being.

FOR THE RECORD: IF I HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A GOOD MAN OR THE BLOG, THE BLOG LOSES. As much fun as it's been, it doesn't keep me warm at night--among the other things it doesn't do. The tricky part is finding out if the man is worthy of ditching the blog.
Below I've written some Existentialist* justifications for my blog, in order to show that it is not creepy but an expression of my Dasein. * See the apology above for my misappropriations

In the beginning. . . Finding Purpose in Angst
1. My intention with CitC was to write stories of past dating debacles as a way to cleanse my palate of them. By purging the tales I hoped to effectively reduce my potential for bitterness.
2. This blog has provided many more hours of entertainment and satisfaction and thus fulfillment of self than most men I've dated.
3. When I began blogging I was in the throes of despair caused by the rejection of my being, yet again. I retreated into a shell of isolation as I tried to reconstruct myself. I thought I'd never date again. So I realized that there was No Future (for us! da na na nuh na!) to endanger with my present blogging.

The 'Thrown-ness' of Blog-Being and inevitable change
1. Even in exile, more life kept happening. I couldn't stop it--in spite of my Sysiphian efforts! Since moving to NYC there has constantly been some man sniffing around.
2. Because the beginnings of courtship are the most entertaining phase they make good reading. Until I am in a relationship with someone I don't owe them special loyalty (I don't even use their real names.) I feel no remorse for using the material because these romantic skirmishes are un-owned. No structure binds us to them or to each other.
3. It is a futile exercise for thin-skinned men to pursue me anyway. My caustic humor drives them away. The strong men who survive that shouldn't get scared off by anonymous internet exposure.

The contextual import of dating: Finding significance in the Other
1. Is this really so different from telling your girlfriends about your dates? I don't think so. Should I arbitrarily alienate the Stranger from this conversation? I see no reason to value my unknown blog readers less than my friends.
2. The woman 'Sex and the City' is based on wrote a newspaper column about her sex life and then she metamorphosed into a millionaire. Is that creepy? Maybe, but compared to that, my little non-profit celibate blog is an insignificant gnat.
3. Is it the content or the technology that induces more anxiety? This is how women talk about men. They discuss ALL the details of their dates then analyze them. The content is real. Or is it that the technology de-humanizes the most human of experiences and behaviors? And thereby undermines our identity as real beings? This probably disturbs the people who use words like 'creepy' to describe their anxiety over my blog.
4. Because I find myself separated by long distances from my girlfriends (Even NJ is long distance from NYC) blogging makes conversation more efficient. They can read my story in time, then call me to discuss it.

The Embeddedness: For Authenticity I face the communal whole
1. I enjoy the public discourse and attention. I've learned a lot from CitC threads, I think other people have too. In this way, I contribute to the whole of which I am a part.
2. I accept and embrace my nature as a blog whore who needs to increase traffic. Give me a break, a girl's gotta do something. My only vice is drinking caffeinated Diet Coke!! And now, I expose myself on the internet.
3. The blog is an excellent tool ready-at-hand for developing my writing skills. The public frame in which I place it forces me to take more care with the craft. I spend hours on each post fine-tuning each word. Then I get immediate reactions from readers that show me which language use works and which doesn't.
4. When I inevitably find myself unemployed upon graduation, I will need a new career or I will be left with No Exit. Writing seems a sensible second choice for one thrown into that circumstance.


SNL Live: Telephone Fumbles

No, sigh, I did not actually attend Saturday Night Live. But, I just had a phone conversation that could have been an SNL skit. I know I've seen variations on the theme. Remember that skit with one of the awkward women, maybe it was Sherry O'Terry, who goes to a class on dating skills? And the people have to practice flirting with each other and it's so unbelievably rehearsed and forced...yeah. That's how this phone call went. I didn't want to post this at first, I was going to save it as a draft for later, but it's too funny.

I don't know what's going on with me here. I can flirt quite a lot at times. I can pick up a suggestive comment and run with it. I did it in class yesterday! I said: "You can ask me questions, I don't bite. Well, maybe I do. But you'll never find out." (Because I've given up on maintaining control and the semester ends tomorrow.) But I can't seem to do the flirting with this guy. We got our flirt on eventually, so we communicated mutual interest in what should have been a playful way. Instead it was painful, I'm usually not this stupid.

Here is a transcript from memory. Interject loaded pauses between each sentence. Imagine them delivered in an uneasy cadence, making the fear loudly audible. I've included ellipses to indicate especially long pauses, and put my thoughts in italics:

Me: My cat's sitting on my lap. [ Am I really this boring?]
Him: Which cat?
Me: The big one
H: Oh.
M: But she's old and crotchety and grumpy so this is--
H: That's like me-I'm crotchety and grumpy too.
M: Uh...Yeah. So this is unusual... For her to be cuddly, she must want something.
H: What does she want--How can you tell what she wants?
M: Cats only want a few things. Food, water, clean litter, sleep. So, it's not hard to guess... But she has all of those things.
H: Then what does she want?
M: I don't know. She must be cold so she wants to sit in my lap. Because when she is cold, that way she can get warm... um, She's purring too.
H: ...So I should do that when I get cold? [ Oh!? Did he just say that? He wants to sit in my lap?]
M: Uh...
H: So when I'm cold I'll come sit in your lap? [ Yeah, he's flirting. He wants to sit in my lap. This is innuendo.]
M: ... Right, like the cat
H: ...And that should warm me up? [ Now I should respond. He wants me to say yes.]
M: um...There's only one way to find out. [ That's the best I could do?.]
H: ok... So then I'll come sit in your lap when I get cold.
M: uh, yeah,. . .You can do that. [ Oh, smooth one! Kill me now. ]
H: You know when I get cold because I have no sweater.

[Because he loaned me one last weekend.]

At that point he mercifully put us out of our misery and we moved into a discussion about my losing his favorite sweatshirt on the subway. Which was a lie. Which he knew was a lie. Then the talking got easy again. Regardless of the comedic episode, we had a good conversation. Romantic (at least sexual) interest has been made unmistakably explicit.

Having typed out the words, I can see that he fared much better than I did. He could say the flirty lines--he started it! He gave me the bait over and over and I wanted to take it. But I couldn't even make the words come out. He's reduced me to moronic monosyllabilism. I don't know why, I can't explain it. Clearly, we don't grow out of that adolescent awkwardness. No matter how many dates you go on, it's always a new thing. You'd think it would get easier as one goes along, but it doesn't. It just gets harder with each person because the rejection, resentment, and fear grow with every failure.


Take the A train

On my way home from an evening with a certain male person, I had to wait 30 minutes for the A train because it was 'late night' hours. Because of the delay and it being that time of night, the train was loaded, not rush hour crotch to buttocks to elbow to what was that? loaded. But we stood shoulder to shoulder with space between most rider's genitals--which is something one does not complain about. While I squeezed myself in through the doorway I heard shouting at the other end of the car. Great. I tried to push in as far as I could to the opposite direction. I didn't get far, just to the end of the handrail so I barely stood between the seat aisles. The shouting grew louder.

.... I ain't your baby's mama!...You want a bullet in the mouth?...You call the P! Go ahead and call them! I'm licensed to carry! I'm licensed to carry! I'm licensed to carry! You think I'd talk trash if I wasn't? ... You get out at that stop! That's not your stop! No you get out at that stop! You get out!... I'm going home to my baby!......

Hearing someone with whom you are trapped in an enclosed space shout that they are licensed to carry after threatening to kill someone is not the most pleasant way to end an otherwise pleasant evening. Some people rolled their eyes. Some people clucked their tongues. Some strained to look over the heads to see what was happening. Most of us grimaced in annoyance. But the conductor didn't shut the doors. He announced the train was being held. Nice. Eventually the woman's tirade worked its way around to "I'll get out at this stop! I'll get out!" A teenage girl sitting near me clapped. There was grumbling. I yelled out, 'Please!'.

She did not stop screaming or swearing at that man for one second. A few new voices mixed in and then she changed the direction of her abuse. I looked around the car at people's faces, both annoyed and bemused. Just another night in the city. I wondered what people from exotic places would think of it? That made me chuckle. I was in a good mood, though I kept my hackles up. She probably didn't have a gun but she did threaten to shoot someone and was less than 20 feet from me.

After 10 minutes or so she got off the train. We couldn't see her but we could hear her shouts echoing through the tunnels. A few people cheered. Then she came back on the train. Then off. Then on. Then off. Still shouting and cursing. She stood in the doorway awhile. Finally she walked down the platform. I saw the head of a cop go by the windows, walking the platform in the same direction. And a minute or two after that, while we could still hear her yelling, the train doors closed. The car collectively sighed with relief.

Next Post: I'm finally over it enough that I can finish the Tainted Love story and tell you all what happened in Atlanta in October. I apologize for leaving you hanging, I thought I could write it but it was too hard.


I have never...

Ok, there are lots of things I've never. But. This tops every other form of insolence from my students, college students. I told my mother what this boy said to me and she said none of her inner city high school students in all the 15 years she taught ever said that to her.

Here's what happened. This class is generally rude and unruly, you can read about them here. I gave them group work today, to come up with their own proofs for the existence or non-existence of God. Then each group had to present their proof for the class to critique. [A very cool assignment I was quite proud of.] At one point, it was time for the next group to go and I waited for someone to volunteer by raising his hand. We have to have a 'no talking without raising your hand' rule. Then this kid just starts talking. I said, "You didn't raise your hand." He did not stop talking nor acknowledge me. Some other kids started talking to him about it and he turned around to answer them while I stood in front of the class like an idiot. I asked him again to stop and for someone to raise her hand to give their proof. He completely ignored me. "Chris I don't see you raising your hand." Still talking. Then someone said, "Chris wants to go." So I said "Fine, whatever. Chris, go ahead." But he still hadn't stopped--and he was just babbling, not talking about his proof. So I repeated myself a little louder, "Chris, you can go now." Still ignored me. Then I yelled at him "Chris! Go!" The rest of the class made "oo-uoo" noises in a mocking tone. That's when he finally stopped and turned forward to face me. He looked me in the face and said, with much scorn, "Calm down."

I'm sorry, I have not been in college for 10 years to have some punka** 18 year old kid tell me to 'calm down' because he won't shut up.

I took him aside after class to talk about it, this is the first time I've done that. I should have earlier but oh well. I asked if he had ever told any of his other professors to 'calm down'. He said 'no.' I asked, "Do you understand how disrespectful that was?" He rambled on about how I had attacked him and it was just in the moment he said it and he didn't mean it like that and yes he does talk to the others that way and he's sorry it wasn't like that... Then I explained to him that I wasn't attacking him, I had to yell because that's the only thing the students respond to because of comments like his. That saying things like that undermines my authority which leads to situations like we had today. I told him I didn't appreciate it and sent him away. Unbelievable.

Before Chris did his little thing, another guy started chanting a little song to me. Because, I woke up feeling sick this morning. I'm getting a sinus infection and felt feverish. So I looked a little rough today, wearing sneakers, jeans and had just pulled my hair back in a messy bun. When I walked by this other kid he sang, "So-omeone's go-ot a hanggggg-over". This to the woman who has never been drunk in her whole life. He is the one who propositioned me so he just wanted me to pay some attention to him. I've decided to definitely sex up my look for their final exam. I'll walk around the whole time so I can distract the little boys and, oops, then they might not do very well.

These are supposed to be adults. The problem might just be with me. I'd accept that but my night class is completely different. One student thanked me for our class today because she enjoyed it so much. If I didn't have that night section I'd shoot myself for being such an incompetent failure. Man, I could so use some love tonight. A hug would be great. Just a pat on the back would do. Stupid empty bed.

UPDATE: The kid was much subdued next class. If only I'd talked to him months ago!


Merry Thanksgiving !

While away from the city and my computer for the holidays I got a little nervous about the blog. I wondered how foolish it was for me to publish the romantic developments in my life while they occur, especially because of google. Two months ago, one random Google search having NOTHING to do with my blog led to its most humiliating discovery by one of my blog subjects who now hates me because of it. I've considered removing CitC from the Google index. But, I get a lot of traffic via Google so I'm reluctant to do that. The next best idea is for me to limit my dating posts to past events, ones that I don't care about getting exposed. I had planned that originally but new stuff kept happening and ....well, I wrote about them here. I think this is a wise move. But my self discipline leaves much to be desired, I probably can't stick to such a rule.

For example, right now. The J-boy called me on Thanksgiving Day. I missed the call so he sent me a text message instead of a voice mail. Thus, he broke two standards of dating coolness. 1. If your new love interest goes on a trip, you do not call her cell phone or hotel, etc. He knew I was out of town and called me anyway, after only one date. Highly unusual. People tend not to call their travelling love interest until AFTER the DTR (define the relationship talk), or at least after several months of dating. And if someone wants to call before the DTR, they will usually set it up beforehand, i.e. "Why don't you call me while I'm in..." or "Should I call you while you are in..."

He made no such inquiry beforehand, nor did I. This was a VERY BOLD move and impressed me much. It signals definite interest. The second standard he violated: 2. Do not call your new love interest on a major holiday. You just don't do it this early on because it says that you are interested in something serious, as opposed to the casual bootycall. Most people can't stomach making a statement like that after only one date. It's not psycho because we have known each other for two years. But, it's still incredibly bold and way cool.

The import of the call was slightly lessened when I found out he'd been alone all day eating tuna fish. It's a bigger deal when someone takes time away from their family on a holiday to call you. Regardless, he still called me knowing full well he might be interrupting my holiday revelries.

Cynicism runs deep down into my bones. I found it difficult to accept this boy's implicit declaration of interest. There really is no way to rationalize it into anything else. Finding myself incapable of explaining it away, I did the next best thing. I made it less impressive. What if he found my blog? And it was reading about himself that gave him the guts to call me? I took this idea so seriously it made me nervous. I assumed he might have found it because nice guys just don't take risks like that. Long shot? Yes. Except, when we talked on Thanksgiving night he told me he had been on the internet earlier. Paranoia? I'd say yes, but I knew when my blog got discovered last time. I guessed based on a similar unlikelihood and guessed correctly. Whatever, this doesn't matter.

Fact is, he called me and he's interested, for now. And I don't plan to write anymore posts about him soon, just in case.


On Maudlin Street

I came home today after spending Thanksgiving with a friend. I flew down on Wednesday and returned Monday night. I can't say I was thrilled to walk up my littered dingy street. The surveillance cop truck left last week, unfortunately. It had grown on me as more than just an oddity--I felt measurably more secure walking home at night knowing one cop stood at my corner and at least one more sat in the big marked truck in front of my house. Surprisingly though, a friendly neighbor stole our garbage can right in front of the surveillance van. My house chore is taking out the trash and I'd spoken to some of the cops while doing that. If they had paid attention, they should have noticed someone who did not look like me walking away with our trash bin. I decided not to take the theft personally, and since I believe that one's garbage can should express one's individuality, I bought a beige can as a replacement.

We've all wondered why the cop truck was there. Obviously it was not there to protect my garbage can. One friend said she thinks the van parked there because of the empty lot across the street. It was completely grown over with huge weeds and bushes. She suggested that special weeds also grew there amongst the evil pollen releasing sinus irritating ones. I remembered that someone always used to hang out by the lot, at all hours of the night. That's not unusual, people like to hang out on street corners all night long in neighborhoods like mine. But, what happened a few days after the cop van arrived is unusual and the best proof that the lot was used for illicit agriculture. One morning, a dumptruck and some other large things showed up. Within two hours they had the entire lot cleared of all growing and green and brown things and trash. They left nothing but the broken pavement, shards of glass and cruddy grey city dirt. The van left the following week. Someone must have lost his livelihood. I'm curious to see how long it takes for business to return to usual.


The man test, what is it?

One of the comments to the last post said this:
Also, his phoning someone in front of you was to guage your reaction. If he was hiding something or being dishonest, he could so easily have not done it in front of you. Beware the man with tests!

I had no idea men tested women that way! To catch you up quickly, I went out with this guy and he made a weird phone call in front of me making plans to meet someone at his house later that night. Whatever this guy was doing, probably just making a phone call, doesn't matter. I'm very intrigued by this possibility though. It never occurred to me that men might think that way.

Here's the question to my readers: Do you know about men testing women in various ways? (I suspect LDS guys have tests they do on women before they even ask them out.) How do men do these tests and why do they do it? I'm completely shocked by this information. Please share anything you know about this male mating behavior, enquiring women want to know.


I think it was a date

There was flirting. He bought the movies tickets and paid for dinner. I offered to pay him for my ticket but he wouldn't take the money. I picked up the check at dinner but he took it from me and asked if I could pay the tip because he didn't have enough ones. I didn't fight with him over money because I think that's tacky and rude. And I liked that he wanted to pay for me. That meant it was more likely to be a date or that he had date-type feelings for me and, as much as my feminist self hates to admit it, it's one of those perks of being a girl. It made me smile, not because I care about the money but because it makes me feel kind of special. It feels like the man is so pleased to have my company that he wants to pay for me as a gesture of thanks. And that feels very nice.

However, I still can't take that as a sure sign of a date because several of my male friends pay for me that same way. It's not unusual for me to go out to eat with a friend, we get the bill, I get out my wallet and ask to see the check, the guy tells me he'll get it this time if I get the tip. My sister thinks those guy friends paid because they want to date me. I don't agree. But, this was not the only evidence of dateness.

During dinner he said something that sounded accidental. I think he said "You are so adorable." He kind of mumbled it and then seemed embarrassed. I smiled and looked down at my plate of food, home fries are ugly. Later, I commented on how I hate sitting next to mirrors. Then he started looking intently into the mirrored wall, I said "I see you don't mind them at all." He said, "I'm looking at you." "Oh." So I turned and looked back at his reflection for a second or two.

We got a little cozy in the theater. They had those make-out seats with the arm that you can raise or lower. We didn't lower the arm between us. Our shoulders touched each other for the duration of the film. I'm a movie talker. So I leaned over to him and whispered in his ear several times. He's a movie talker too but wasn't quite as whispery about it and I think we pissed off the people around us. The movie was silly and we both kept guessing what would happen next and had to tell each other about it so we could show off our smarts. We also made fun of the film a few times, or lots of times.

But, we are both geeky and shy. So nothing major occurred. As proof of our shared geekiness, he about peed his pants when they showed the preview to Hitckhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was really cute, he asked me if I'd see it with him. I pretended to be excited too, even though I tried reading that book a few times and could never get through the first chapter. (He doesn't need to know that.) But then I got very excited for the preview of a fantasy film adapted from a book series and he got excited because he knew the author since she also writes sci-fi. Then he told me he doesn't like fantasy but she's a good writer. We got into a discussion of fantasy versus sci-fi. I love the former and like the latter a lot but not as much. We decided that the difference is that fantasy is too fantastic such that there is no possible world where these things could happen but with sci-fi the possibilities are very real. (This is why philosophers should not procreate with each other.)

Despite the ultra nerdiness some things did happen. He touched my arm or leg a few times I think. And one time when I turned to whisper to him he turned towards me and our foreheads touched. Near the end of the film we were fake crying and he put his finger up to my cheek to wipe off a fake tear. It was sweet. I'm actually going to make myself gag in a second. But he walked me to the subway and made me promise to call him when I got home. He said, "Because I'm old and I'm Jewish and I worry about you."

Overall, I had fun and he's very cute. I'm fairly certain that it was indeed a date. We'll see where this goes. I'll call him soon, he seems to respond enthusiastically when I make an initial gesture. And then, I don't know.


Ambiguous dates make me nervous

I should be getting ready right now. I'm meeting him at 5:30 in downtown Bklyn. This is one of those "I don't know if this is a date or a friendly outing" thing. Ugh. How this came about is that he called me this afternoon to see how I was doing. I told him I was doing fine. He said that was all he wanted to know and he had nothing else to say. So before he hung up I said, "Do you want to hang out?" --Oh baby, I'm completely cringing at my own clumsiness. Anyway, he said "yes" despite my lack of cool.

Now is when the ambiguity and messiness comes in. I did the initial asking out. But then he said yes and took over by making it specific. He asked me if I wanted to hang out tonight, or did I have plans already? I didn't have plans so I said tonight was good. He said tonight was good for him too so we should hang out. But he wants to do it kind of early, if that's ok. Yes. Ok. He'd call me in a few hours so we could make plans. Ok.

He just called and told me has decided on what we should do, but we don't have to do it if I have another idea or if I don't want to. He wants to go to a movie because he hasn't been to the movies in 6 months. I said a movie is good. Then he said we should get some dinner either before or after the movie. Because people need to eat and we're people. I agreed. He was very cute about it too, constantly peppering the conversation with statements like, "unless you are opposed" and "if that's ok with you".

Is this a date or isn't it? Dinner and a movie, people of the opposite sex, nervous interactions and sexual tension....Do I want this to be date? Yes. So, then I should let him pay if he offers. But, here's the tricky thing, not offering to pay is rude. I don't expect my friends to pay for me (I don't even expect all my dates to either). But, if I offer to pay then he could read that as a signal that this is not a date and then act accordingly and then I miss out on possible romantic somethings. Do I risk being rude or losing a date which might not have been a possibility to begin with? Oh, the joy of 21st century dating-or not dating.

In Passing my Students

On the way into my second class today, the one with the fireman and the self proclaimed sex machine, I heard this:

"She's dressed up today!"
"Uh-oh, Fred's getting hot and turned on."
"Shut up! I'm not! I have a girlfriend."

I tried to listen to what else they said but I couldn't hear them anymore from the front of the room. I didn't know wearing my hair down and replacing my ugly old lady shoes with boots qualified as 'dressing up' but I guess they are easily impressed. They were also incredibly unruly again. I think there is a direct correlation between the style of my hair and their behavior. Last week when they graced me with such eloquence as described here, I also had my hair down. Even worse, I was wearing a long skirt and boots!! I should have known. No more boots. No more hair down. I better forget about even considering contacts instead of glasses. That would cause total mayhem.

Maybe I'll vamp it up on the last day of class--or for their final exam-- just for fun. I can wear a short skirt, high heel boots, contacts, dark lipstick and big hair, they won't even know what hit them. Heh-heh.

Come back for more TRUE stories of the strange, sad and pathetic exploits of me not having sex in the city.


JL Van Winkle wakes up

Scary. I'm writing this post so that I don't forget what I've learned this week. I don't want to repeat this failed experiment.

Rude Awakening #1:
Because of the way I struggled with my work last spring I decided I should try a different med. So I changed over to it in mid-September. Last week I looked back and realized that my intense apathy towards my work dates exactly to the time when I change meds. I thought the change was good initially, it allowed me to sit and read for 4 hours straight. I also felt more relaxed.

But this relaxed apathy has not been good. I spent one week without either drug. Then this week I changed back to my old med. I now feel terror at the situation I have put myself in. I did nothing for two months. Absolutely nothing but write for this blog. I stopped going to classes, I did no school work. I stopped lecturing but I did manage to show up for my classes most of the time. And I fell into this deep crisis because all of a sudden I didn't love my field anymore. I also stopped getting any satisfaction from teaching. So because I no longer cared about my education and work, everything seemed pointless and I almost decided I needed to change my life.

ACCKKKK!! The fear I physically feel upon awakening as someone who gives a damn about my life can be described thusly: It feels like I am surrounded by huge shards of glass pointed at me, I don't know if they are moving towards me, if they'll fall or if I'll move and crash into them. Seriously, imagine for yourself what it would be like to wake up after sleeping for two months. What kind of shambles would your life be in? Some zombie, albeit a relaxed one with better vision, was stumbling through my life screwing everything up. It managed to show up for the bare minimum of my responsibilities and that's it. Holy crap. I'm in deep. I'm never touching that med again.

Rude Awakening #2
I am soooo grateful my mother flew up here to help me put myself back together. She dropped everything and took 3 days off of work to fly up here because I asked for help. She brought me breakfast everyday, cleaned up my stuff, went shopping with me and more. You can't buy that kind of love. I'm truly in awe. Also, this is a big step for me to even ask for help.

Ummm, but, next time I think we'll limit her visit to 3 days. By day 4 she started in on the judgmental criticizing. She said over dinner that she wished she could make me smile, and then said I shouldn't be alone.
"Yeah, I'm very aware of my solitude Mom."
"You should go to the singles ward. All the men there can't be obnoxious."
"Of course not," said I, "but I can't stand the environment in those wards. My chances would be slim anyway because I'm not the kind of person most of them want."
"Not with that attitude you're not."
Blah blah.... I wish you and so and so would get together."
"He doesn't want me that way."
"How do you know?"
"He told me."
"Then why does he keep ...Blah blah blah... When I was teaching, I know that my attitude had a lot to do with how my classes went you should....blah blah blah.... I think most people want too much from life. So what if you don't like teaching. Life is hard and we just have to get through it anyway. Most people don't like their jobs."
"I know that. But I want to at least get some satisfaction from life. Since I probably won't have children, I'd like to accomplish something instead of just getting a dumb job. I don't think that's asking too much."
"Well, I don't get any satisfaction or pleasure in my life."
"I know. I don't want your life either."
She scowled, then said "Thank you."

Mom, next time you want to make me smile, please tell me a joke instead.


The more I ignore him. . .

He must be really bored and desperate. Why is he still calling me? I don't answer the phone, I don't return his call and yet he keeps calling. Usually after his 2nd or 3rd message I'll call him back. He called me Halloween weekend. I didn't return his call. Then he called me the Monday/Tuesday after that. So I waited until last Saturday, the 6th to call him. He didn't answer, much to my relief so I left a message. He waited two days before he called me back. So I didn't answer and he left another message. I ignored it. Then he called me last night and I didn't answer. Then he called me again today and again I ignored the phone. He left me a message today, can't remember if he did yesterday or not. I haven't even listened to his latest message yet. Yeesh.

It's HT, those of you who have been following this blog awhile know him well. The one who won't go away. Probably because I'm the only woman in town he hasn't run off with his rude manners. If you can even call them manners. If you want to catch up on the HT story, I think you can do a search of my blog in the blogger bar at the top of the page.

I'm surreptitiously writing this post while my mother sleeps on my floor, only two feet away. (She came up here to do my laundry! She really does love me--BTW investing in an old lady shopping cart is worth every penny!! I didn't have to carry my 80 pounds of clothes the 3 blocks to the laundromat. But I've learned that the holes in the cart are big enough for socks and underwear to fall through. It's not cool to have to pick up your panties off the asphalt of a busy street. Next time I'll line the cart with a laundry bag like the other ladies do.) So, Mom has no knowledge of this blog and things need to stay that way. That's my excuse for being too lazy to type in some links for you.

I still have to write about the last time HT took me to dinner a few weeks ago. I want to get rid of him because he's just no fun, completely inconsiderate and I always feel depressed after I'm with him. I only called him back after his first message because he told me he has cancer. Rather, he had it, it was skin cancer and they cut it off his arm, end of story. And last time I saw him he had a sunburn so it's his own dang fault. Who doesn't wear sunscreen AFTER getting skin cancer?

Wow, I never finished my Atlanta story either. No one knows what happened with George that weekend. I am the Queen of Tease. Hey, you don't stay a virgin this long without learning some skills.

My mom snores! Who knew? You know what's a fun trick? Sending your mom cab directions to your house by email then having her call you to say she can't believe where you're living and that she nearly croaked when she read it. And then listening to her prattle on about how scary my neighborhood is and she can't believe I moved here. Gave me a good laugh. When I asked how she knew, she said she's read about it in detective novels and seen it in TV cops shows and movies. I thought she would be reassured when I told her about the police truck parked in front of the building but I think that upset her even more. Come on, how much safer can you get than to have a marked armored police surveillance truck right outside your front door?

SUNDAY UPDATE: Whoa, he called me twice today too. Something serious must be going down. I suppose I should listen to his messages.

For those who don't know: HT is not trying to date me. He made it as clear as possible for him last time we were together that he doesn't want to date me. He is using me as female company, but of course does not want to lose me as a romantic possibility so he won't cut me off.

*MONDAY UPDATE* True to form, HT confuses. Friday he called to say he wanted his book back, one he had lent me, because he wanted to lend it to someone else. Then he called me again on Sunday to see if I wanted a ride to Stake Conference. The third call of Sunday evening is unaccounted for since he didn't leave a message. I'll call him on Tuesday and arrange a time when he can get his book back. I'm betting he has some drama with another woman and he wants to talk to me about it. He might genuinely be worried about me since he knows I don't answer the phone when I'm depressed (when he calls anyway). But that's kind of far-fetched since he's not big on consideration.

WEDNESDAY After dropping mom off and while waiting for my train at the JFK station, I called HT. I said I got his message about his book, that he wanted to lend it to someone. He said he did but now he can't remember who he wanted to loan it to. He asked how I was doing. Then he had to go because he was driving ms. daisy today (Ms. Violet). He said he'd call me later. Hmmmm.

Come back for more TRUE stories of the strange, sad and pathetic exploits of me not having sex in the city.


Help a brother out

One of my readers has sent me an email request. He needs help with a situation and would like you all to offer any advice or suggestions you have. It's a problem of a very sensitive nature which is why he wants to discuss this anonymously. I've copied excerpts of his email below. Please comment if you have helpful suggestions. Thank you!
I am a Returned Missionary and live with other RMs somewhere outside of Utah. We go to our local singles ward. So, recently, I walked in on my roommate late at night and I think I caught him masturbating to gay porn. I can not say I am absolutely certain of what I saw. But I am pretty sure.

So what now? Do I say something to him? If so, what? Do I say something to the bishop? I know that this is not my business, but this particular fellow is in a priesthood leadership position in the ward. If I saw what I think I saw, it probably is not appropriate for him to continue on in that calling.

I have no illusion that he is exceptional, or that I am better than
him. I have no desire to judge this guy. On the other hand, I am pretty sure from my own experiences that he will not escape this pattern of behavior on his own.

I feel I ought to do something. Whether for his sake, or for the sake of the folks he is responsible for, I don't know. But I feel I ought to do something, and I have no idea what to do. Maybe I should tend to my own problems and leave this poor fellow alone. I just don't know. Does anyone have any suggestions?

[addendum from second email:] It's not my business, but I'm not sure the thing for me as a friend to do is turn my back and pretend I'm not aware of the problem.


If anyone can help please comment. If you'd rather email your response to me then I can forward it on to him.

The senses being dulled are mine

NYPD is staking out my block. Not very inconspicuously I might add. Yesterday they parked across the street in their white armored truck that says "POLICE" in bold letters on the sides. Tonight they have parked themselves in front of my house. I can look down from my 4th floor window and see into the front seat. Our friendly gentleman dealers have disappeared from their sidewalk. Wait, they aren't gentleman! I just remembered the pleasure I had one day of looking out the window to see one old man pee into the grass. In broad daylight.

Which reminds me, I had a particularly nasty day in the classroom this afternoon. I really can't believe the rude, impertinent, presumptuous, and disgusting behavior of so many of the students. This has been a colorful week for them too. Probably because I have implemented my "Goal #1 is to make my life easier" plan. I told them the final paper is optional. I pray none of them do it so I can have a nice Christmas. I wear jeans now because they don't respect my authority anyway so I might as well be comfortable. I also used classtime to grade their exams while they did group work. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not pleased with spending 15 or so hours of my own time unpaid to grade the dang midterm essay exams the school tells me I'm required to give. I was up from 2 am to 10 am last night grading and even though 1/3 were already done before that, I still didn't finish.

My plan is working insofar as I am now somewhat relaxed. I'm not surprised that their insults have increased in proportion to my relaxation level. Here are some choice excerpts from this week:

Tuesday I told the night class I didn't have their exams graded yet. One woman asked, as if utterly disgusted with me, "WHAT do you DO all day?" I responded by looking her in the face and saying "I'm a PhD student. Full time." Thankfully that shut her up since she's one of the polite ones.

In a discussion about the problem of knowledge and evidence I brought up WMDs. The middle aged fireman groans, "Oh here we go again." I have only mentioned that issue once before. And I do not express my own opinions on anything in the classroom so I've never said anything bad about Bush except that he, like every other politician, uses logical fallacies to sway the public and I gave them some examples. That's all. So his obnoxious remark was completely uncalled for and was especially grating since he has been nothing but condescending the entire semester. He sits in class with his arms crossed and smirks at me. He often rolls his eyes. And of course makes smartmouth comments like "I'd like to see how you get out of that one"--after he asks me a question and then laughs like he's tricked me. Buddy, I'm smarter than you are. I know that's hard to believe because I'm a little girl and I'm in a position of authority over you, it's just too bad your ego just can't handle that fact.

And the best was from the boy who sits in the back row thinking he is Mr Playa All That and A Bag of Chips! Today he did what no one in any of the 17 classes I have taught has ever done.
I asked the class what they would say if I held a gun to their head and demanded they tell me everything they know, threatening to shoot them if anything they say is false. They made a few attempts and I showed them how all their claims lacked certainty. As they sat in their skeptic stupor, he shouted out "I know that I am a sex machine." The class laughed. I said, "How do you know that?" Class laughed. He said, "Do you want to find out?" I laughed. Then said, "No. I don't. Thank you." Class mocked him.
Now I ask you, where does one learn that it's ok to insultingly proposition your teacher during class? I can understand if the prof sets up the dynamic that way and often makes sex jokes herself. But I'm not fool enough to encourage the horny buggers.

And then, the princess topped them all. She is an alpha-girl fresh from high school. She's collected a group of fans with whom she has loud conversations during my lectures and can be counted on for some rude display each class. Today as I sat grading their exams she came up and asked me why I'm not teaching anymore. "Is there something wrong? Like some kind of psychology thing? Is it because you've misunderstood the students?..." She only feigned concern. Her eyes laughed at me.

Because I had only 2 hours of sleep I answered her. I said I was tired so we were taking a break. She began to tell me that she's sure other professors are tired too so shouldn't I... my dirty look cut her off. I told her I'd be lecturing Descartes on Tuesday. Then she said, "Well, why don't you try mixing it up a little. And you know, do something like..." At that I laughed in shock, then gave her my most evil stare. I told her that if she wanted to talk to me she could see me during office hours because I was done talking to her now.

So, in what possible universe is it ok to accuse your professor of having problems then proceed to advise her on how to teach? I suspect she called some dean to tell on me. She used her cell phone shortly after and her side-kick blushed when she saw me watching them. It's happened before.

Good thing I decided not to care about this job anymore. Otherwise I might really be upset by that. The deputy chair in my department wants to see me. Probably to talk about my crappy observation report and to explain why they took away my 3rd class. Good times. I was going to tell them I didn't want a third class but I figured they would take it away so I didn't bother. Do I really have to go listen to advice on how to improve my teaching? I started out as a good teacher and now I suck. That shows that I know what to do but I'm not doing it. Might it have something to do with the students?


Oh, how do I feel about my shoes?

*Using Morrissey lyrics as titles is too easy. I'll never have to come up with my own clever title again.*

Something is happening to me. I'm not sure what it is.

Which is rare. I'm overly introspective and analytical and should pay myself for my own therapy. I was one of those kids who loved getting 'sent to my room' for a few hours as punishment. Permanently lock me in an empty room and I won't get bored. I'll go mad, but I'll certainly be entertained by that madness. I'd probably bring it on myself just to make things more interesting. And lately.....

Lately. My mind is changing.

I'm not as consumed by my love life as one might think reading this blog. I don't really have a love life. I haven't had a date in 5 months. I'm not actively looking for a man. I could name 5 guys right now that I could call up and ask on a date who I know would say yes. But I don't want to call them. I don't like leaving my bedroom. Going on dates is like going to the dentist or gynecologist. I force myself to do it because it is the means to an end I desire. It's unpleasant or painful, always humiliating, and one must expose herself in ways unsuitable for polite society.

My romantic life doesn't obsess me, writing about it does. Somehow, constraining myself to a specific subject and forcing myself to regularly write about it has released a flood. At first it came incrementally. When I started blogging, I spent about a week tweaking each story. Then, during the summer as I wandered through Ireland, I'd work on my next post in my head. Because I had to pay by the minute for use of a computer, I usually had a mental draft ready before I typed it.

Then I came back to all the drama of being homeless and moving and starting a new semester. And now? Now things have imploded. The crazy hamster wheel of school started running over me so I tried fighting back. But I give up. It is winning and I don't have it in me to fight anymore. But give up and do what?

What? My head these days is flooded with words. A constant deluge. My mind writes all day and all night. The words don't stop. They form into sentences piled on top of more sentences. They replay over and over, switching around, playing the rhythms, surveying the connotations for the right meaning/emotion/description of whatever it refers to....this is not purposefully done. It's compulsive. I find it annoying when I want to sleep or I'm trying to read. Because the words won't stop for me or my leisure. I feel like a dumb spectator whose brain has been hijacked by some manic writer who forces me to observe her composition. So I listen to the words and taste them roll around my tongue to make sure they roll smooth, for her.

This lingual flood is familiar. I swam in it when I was young. I kept copious journals, beginning at age 9. I got through high school by composing poems during class, then scribbling the garbled expressions of my teen angst and unrequited love in notebooks. Then it stopped after the trauma of my 18th summer. Something so horrific I couldn't touch it, but something so colossal I couldn't travel my psyche without crashing into it. So the words stopped. Granting me a blissful silence. I couldn't even keep a journal anymore. I tried taking some writing classes in school, but it was too hard.

So an academic career seemed the perfect consolation prize. I could still write but not about anything personal, and only in a way so disciplined that it required all my mental faculties, thus silencing the horror. Have I reached some phase of healing that brings me back to this? Could it be the onset of schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder? I have high risk factors for developing manic depression. Maybe it finally arrived and this is my first full-fledged mania.

All I want to do is write, for my body to go along with my brain and get the words out of my head. That's the only way to stop hearing them, to spit them out. Otherwise they get damned up against each other. Then my head gets too crowded. They shout at me and I can't sleep. "I must conquer this!" (Yes, Mr. Darcy. You can conquer me anytime!) The only way, I fear, is to write, write, write, and write. I need a break from school to empty my head of the maddening verbiage.

As my mind whirls through its game, I wonder what to do. Either this is some temporary state I have to wait out, a new manifestation of mental illness, or it's a permanent change and I have to reconsider the direction of my life. So what about my shoes?


Boy Afraid, Hypothesis #2

This is healthy. I was a little angry when I wrote my last post having just been rejected by another Mormon. But I'm learning things from your comments and emails. One email in particular really shed some light on my situation. A mo' man gave me another explanation for why I have more success dating regular guys than mormons.

I suppose it should have been obvious to me but I had no idea. Having never lived in a Mormon community, I didn't know how prevalent this phenomenon was. Sure, people from Utah often seemed a little odd. But I really didn't think they were still living in the 1950s. In terms of women's liberation, mormons are some 40 or 50 years behind the rest of the nation. So I have been told. I haven't been there in 8 years and never stayed longer than a vacation so I have no firsthand knowledge of the matter. Please correct me in the comments if this is wrong.

Here's a quote from the email: "In Mormonland, guys don't have examples of strong independent women to look to. So when they see one, meet one, talk to one, or in this case read one, it throws them for a loop and since they don't expect to see this, they get insecure, and as stated earlier, guys who are insecure about something will take flight. " He also explained that in the regular world, women are now expected to run beside men. But in Mormon culture the women are still expected to watch and cheer. Clearly, if my informant is correct, then my independent ways scare off most Mormon men. I had been told this before but I never believed it because I had no way to understand that fear.

It's like someone turned the light on in my room. It all makes sense now. Every Mormon guy I have dated or was pursued by had a very strong mother. The best mo relationship of my life was had with a man whose mother was a total bada**, she even scared me. This man and I had no conflicts and our interactions with each other were the most natural and easy that I've ever experienced.

This also explains what happened with the boy from Logan. I met him online and we began a long distance relationship that was strange. After two months we got into a fight on the phone. We were discussing our politics for the first time. Of course, as a poster boy product of mormonism and Utah, he was a raging conservative. As the child of angry intellectual mormon hippies growing up on the east coast it should shock no one that I am a socialist. But it shocked him, so he proceeded to explain to me the erroroneous nature of my beliefs. Anyone who knows me right now is laughing.

We talked for a long time. It started as a good debate because he was intelligent. Except that I was winning. He was running out of things to say and growing increasingly angry. I was getting angry too. Then he told me I was "being a spoiled brat." WHAT? (he's calling me names?) I told him he was ignorant. Then we started shouting until I hung up. He called later. I expected an apology. Nope. He called to tell to me why he is in fact not ignorant and so I needed to apologize and take that back. In the interests of the relationship, I gave him an apology. Then I asked for an apology. He said he couldn't apologize because he meant what he said because it was true. I acted like a spoiled brat. He didn't want to insult me by saying something he didn't mean. EXCUSE ME???? I asked him to define 'spoiled brat' and tell me what I did to deserve the epithet, but he wouldn't do it. Surprise.

After a few days, we worked it out mostly because he was flying out to see me the following week. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was so excessively insulting and condescending because he was likely not used to losing arguments to women. His mother probably coddled him and his inflated ego must have been stroked to no end by whimpering girlfriends. I decided to wait until we spent our week together to see if he could overcome it or not. But that wasn't his first sexist faux pas. He told me once that he was glad I was a virgin. I thought that was weird so I asked him why it mattered. He said, "Because I've resisted temptation and saved myself. So my wife should have been able to wait too." Shiver. So, having oral sex means that you waited and you're still a virgin buddy? Oh right, because that wasn't your fault--the girl was a horny slut and you couldn't stop her. Ok, then.

I should have known better but I really had no referential knowledge of this type of man. (I went to a women's college!) I tried anyway. He went running back to the mountains after meeting me. Good riddance, but it stung to be dumped by someone like him. The point of that story is to show why I believe my informant is correct. This guy was pure old fashioned sexism, he thought it would be exciting to date someone so 'independent' but in the end he couldn't stomach it.

Here's what I've learned:
1) The ones who run away are saving me time from having to dump them.
2) I should ask my prospective Mormon dates about their mothers and sisters.
3) I should ask them if they think it is appropriate to refer to non-virgin women as "used goods", (This woman writes about experiencing that here.)

Dare I hope that this non-women's liberation thing doesn't apply to those men from non-Mormon communities? Theoretically, my luck in NY should be better than it would be in Utah. I don't know. We have a lot of transplants here. What do you think? How different is the sample of mo men here from those living in red states--oops, I mean, more traditional places? ;-)

**Another interesting point made by my informant was this: "Do a rough count of all the guys who comment on here... I'm willing to give you 4 to 1 odds that more than
75% of them are married, and are married to strong women." That is certainly what it looks like if one reads the comments to this post and this post. Anyone want to weigh in on that issue? I think he's right.


Ask me, Ask me, Ask me

I won't say 'no'--how could I?

Why do normal men chase me but Mormon men run away from me? I thought I must have some kind of flaw that only matters to the mormons, which is why I asked this question here. But someone explained things to me. And of course it was much simpler than anything I could fathom. *This same person has sent me a correction.* He just wanted to explain some differences in dating behavior of the two populations. He did not mean to dis on the mo men and has rebuked my generalization below as being too cynical. So noted.

Mormon boys (in general, not all) tend not to be as assertive when it comes to dating, partly because they don't have the immediate sexual gratification incentive that normal men do. I was informed by a member of that sex that it's a lot easier to take risks for a woman if you think you might be rewarded with sex in the very near future. Makes sense. Mormon boys have no such incentive in near sight so they don't bother to invest much energy in pursuit unless they are really sure they really like this girl and want to marry her. How they can figure that out without dating is a mysetery to me, but it does save one money. Ouch! I am overloading on cynicism today.

Because I only dated regular boys in high school and through college and long after, I missed the social lessons on chasing a Mormon man down. Silly me, I kept feeling rejected when the guys didn't ask me out, didn't call and walked away. I didn't know that in mormonland the ladies have to chase men because we just aren't worth the work since they can't get into our pants. I should have known! And, well, this also explains the laissez-faire attitude many of the over 25s have when it comes to dating. Their hormones have settled down so getting hitched just isn't a raging priority. Which is the opposite situation for women. Our hormones get cranked up more every year. I suppose this means I have to decide to give in, hang up my dignity (what dignity?) and catch me a man!

Ok, I'll admit this does not explain everything, maybe it explains nothing. Except that regular men want to get in my pants so that's why they hit on me and mo men don't hit on me because they know they can't get in my pants. I have more to offer than my hot body ;-P Maybe that's not apparent unless someone reads my blog?

Come back for more TRUE stories of the strange, sad and pathetic exploits of me not having sex in the city.


I Know that I'm the most inept

DISCLAIMER: This is a long and whiny post. Read at your own peril.

I find myself inert at the one thing I could always do. The one thing I never lost interest in suddenly repulses me. Ok, not so suddenly. I haven't finished a paper since December 2002. Last December I sat at my computer and then the computers at school trying to finish a paper, desperately wanting to finish that paper...I found myself paralyzed. I tried everything I could think of. But I wasn't interested in the thesis for one thing. I only chose it because the a-hole who has a crush on me stole my topic. Which he knew was my specialty subject. I couldn't tell if he did it for revenge for my lack of interest or his warped attempt to capture my interest.

He is so clueless! He just called me on Sunday and left a message asking me out. LOL. I haven't called him back yet. Last year he tricked me into having a date with him that totally sucked and he's still trying? He's lucky I don't hate him for what he did. The first thing he did was an extra credit presentation on my subject so I had to present on something else. Then he told me he was writing his paper on my topic. I didn't want to compete with him because he's one of those annoying over-working people. His presentation lasted an hour when it was supposed to be 15 minutes. So I ended up writing about something boring and couldn't finish the paper. Then he told me in February he didn't write about it afterall! He changed his mind. Oh yeah. He's a special one.

So last winter I had this awful 'holiday'. I couldn't finish that paper. And I still had to get my grades in. But I didn't finish grading their papers on time. The provost and others called me about my overdue grades. I ended up rushing them but messed a lot up so I spent two months making corrections.

Now when I sit down to write I stare at the blank screen, type in the preliminary stuff, type my thesis statement and then when I'm ready to go, I get nauseous. My mind refuses to co-operate. I process the arguments and ready myself to write them out and then I shut down. This is the point when I cry or blog or go numb because it's easier not to feel the frustration and anger. I want to write the damn paper. I don't know how anymore. How can that be? I've been doing this for 9 years! I used to write papers in my sleep. I could crank out a 6 pager in 3 hours and get an A in grad school. October 11th I had a 5 pager due. I had a thesis. Then I did the reading but what I needed to find wasn't there. The paper suddenly became more difficult than I could manage in the two days I had.

That's when I stalled. I missed the deadline. And then the weekend was over and I had to do the reading for my monday night class, which reading I did not have because I skipped the last class because I was very late. I forgot what time class started. I annoyed the prof the previous week. So I didn't want to increase his disregard for me by bursting in late, disrupting class and looking like a jerk. Later I found out he assigned a one page essay. I didn't do it because I was still 'working' on the not even started paper and didn't have time to read the 100 pages I needed to. I skipped the next class out of shame. And then the next one after that because I still didn't have the essay. Now I'm 3 weeks behind in reading which he knows because he gives us the texts in class. I think we have a midterm next week. No way do I have time to catch up now.

For my students, I had to write 3 different midterm exams last week (because they cheat). Now I have to grade them and make a handout with their paper assignment and a guide to writing philosophy papers because they won't read the book I made them buy which explains philosophy writing . And I stopped going to the P.I. class because the prof asked me when I'd have the paper done. I couldn't force myself to keep going without it. The course ends next week because he's a visiting prof. Our final paper was due this week. So I'm failing. Drowning. I don't know what to do.

I can't be both a good teacher and a good student. So this term I tried to be a mediocre teacher and a mediocre student. But I can't be a mediocre student. I'd rather do nothing than crap. I only have time to write crap. Which would be good enough to pass. But I won't let myself do it despite all my efforts to convince me otherwise. I wish I could withdraw from my classes but my teaching fellowship requires us to be fulltime students. (How sick is that?) I feel so trapped.

Writing this I've realized that the repulsion is due to my feelings of failure, not the subject. That's good to know at least. I really need help but I don't know what kind. Any suggestions? I want to scream. I want to do violence to something. Gee, I bet sex would be great right now wouldn't it? Not that I would know. ~The hills are alive with celibate cries.~


But he didn't and he never will

Continued from this post

The way we got together almost makes one believe in destiny, but not quite. It was merely one coincidence after another and another and another. Our boy meets girl story could be a whole movie in itself. But I'll try to explain briefly. Someday I'll write the details. They're really quite lovely in parts.

Four years before I dated this tainted love guy, I'll call him George, I had a crush on another boy. I didn't even know George then. The guy I liked was a regular at the coffeeshop where I hung out as an undergrad. He was in the punk scene and seemed to know everyone. But he was also a braggart. The night he found out I was Mormon he told me he had a Mormon friend he should set me up with. He described his friend George to me but I rolled my eyes, I didn't believe his friend really existed-- not the way he described him anyway. Because he just described my dream and well, that just wasn't possible. Later that night, my best friend laughed about how perfect the guy sounded and wouldn't I die if I ever met him. I told her I wasn't interested and he was full of crap anyway. But I didn't forget.

The next year, at a church dance I watched a tall guy walk into the gym. My jaw hit the floor and I began to drool. I had never seen him before. As I checked out the clothes and noted his red hair and Doc Marten steel toes, I remembered my coffeeshop friend's description: a tall red haired ska punk Mormon. That had to be him. How many red haired Mormon punks were running around town?. I let some months pass before I talked to him because he seemed to have a girlfriend with him. Finally, I saw him alone. So, very bravely, and out of character for me, I sat next to him and asked if his name was George? Yes. I told him I knew a friend of his. He didn't remember him at first. But then, Oh yeah! They used to hang out at the Masquerade. So. He told me was going on a mission soon, just waiting for the call. Yikes. Of course. He didn't look that young because of his strapping physique and the age in his eyes. But I figured I should sod off. So I did.

Two years and some months later, I saw him again at another church dance. Wow, he looked just as interesting as I remembered him. So I stopped him in the lobby to talk. Indeed, he had just come home. We chatted a few minutes, the usual 'what do you do' stuff. But not long after, he just turned and walked away. No, 'nice to meet you' or 'excuse me but I hate you so I'm leaving now.' Nice! Ugh.

The next year, in the spring, I showed up for a weekend job proctoring an exam run by people in my ward. They always hired other church members. It was a two day, semi-annual gig. We had to show up way early in the morning. The first day I rushed in late and had to pick from the remains of our catered breakfast. I sat on the floor near some friends. While eating dry biscuits and cold eggs I looked across the room and almost choked. It was him. What was he doing here? How did he know these people? But he looked so cute! All sleepy-eyed and with his glasses on. Crap! Why didn't I take a shower and fix my hair? I looked disgusting. Good thing I at least brought some make up. I kept my eyes on him and ducked into the bathroom to paint my face.

The next day, I showered but still hadn't fixed my hair because, what was the point?. That afternoon, one of my friends sidled up to me in the hall and whispered, "What do you think of George?" "What?" "He told me he thinks you're cute." "What?!" "He thinks you're cute." That was a shock. "Tell him to come talk to me. I think he's cute too." Then I waited. All day. We had opposite rotations so we hardly saw each other. But finally, he appeared in the lounge for the last 30 minutes and sat next to me at my table. I was playing cards, so my friends dealt him in and we started talking. Our words rushed out in that over-excited flurry of two people who've found a kindred and attractive person. We had too much to say to each other and every sentence out of the other's mouth just excited us all the more. Leaving, he walked me to my car and asked for my phone number. Woo-Hoo!!!! Finally, after four years of the myth and a distant crush, I might actually go out with this guy.

But, but. I had to decide if I was going to New York at the end of the summer. Now was not the time to date someone new. But how could I turn him down? I'd wanted him for years now. I had to make an exception. Nothing would come of it anyway so what's the harm?

He called and we dated. They were the best dates of my life. Oh, and I asked about his rude blow off the summer before and he was surprised. He said, "I didn't blow you off. I just felt stupid when you said you were getting a masters and I was just a freshman." "So you just walked away?" "I didn't know I did that." Anyway, as things unfolded he became a factor in my decision to stay or go. I made my decision conditional on several things. One by one, the staying factors fell while I for him. The last factor remaining was whether I got student housing or not. He knew all of this. We even worked out the odds of my getting a room. I think we came up with 30-something%. Neither of us liked the odds.

As I began to understand how much potential we had, and realized this was the first boy that I would consider marrying, I decided that it could be worth putting school off for a year to see where things went. But I wasn't sure how to tell him that. Only the week before he told me about his friend who knew a girl in Utah that he dated. The girl was moving to Georgia just to date his friend. He told me he thought that was psycho. Gulp. Ok.

About the same time I made that decision he made some decisions of his own. He began to act weird. Sigh. He cancelled on me rudely. I knew this routine. That's when I called and asked if he wanted to stop dating. He said he didn't know. So, ok, you don't have the balls to really tell me you want to break up. I maintained composure and said, "Why don't you call me when you figure it out." I tried to hang up but he blurted out, "Wait, I still want to see you. Can we still go out tomorrow night?" Fine. I hung up then cried until dawn. Heart break #1. I didn't think I'd ever hear from him again.

We did go out the next night and he played the friend thing. So I punished him for rejecting me. It was so utterly depressing. We sat in Waffle House in the boondocks of West Georgia and he put that cheesy Fleetwood Mac song "Landslide" on the jukebox. We were both so sad. The words seem to cut and we sat speechless. I can't hear that song now without remembering that night, as if it wasn't bad enough already. Then we played pool with the local rednecks, making fun of them and the hair bands on the jukebox. I tried my best to be flirty and attractive. I'm sure I tried too hard. He let me win one game. At the end of the night, he dropped me off at my car without even turning his engine off. A good southern boy does not kick a woman out of his car at night like that unless he wants her to feel slighted. I did. I remember driving home feeling like the last piece of my heart had been crushed forever. I lived in the city 45 minutes away from him, I sobbed the whole drive home believing this was the last time I could suffer like this. After this night, I'd have nothing left to break and nothing left to feel.

The rest of the summer was very weird. We still went out at least once a week but never alone. I wanted to talk to him about my feelings but he never gave me a chance. He brought his sister on our 'dates' or made sure we were too busy to talk. Even on the phone, he'd cut the conversation short before I could work up to anything. So I decided to go to New York. He wasn't behaving maturely enough for us to have an honest discussion, or any discussion. He just said one night in front of our sisters, that he didn't know what he wanted and his feelings confused him.

George had offered to help me move but he didn't show up. I tried calling him all day, I was leaving the next morning, but he didn't answer. Sometime after midnight when we'd gotten the trailer loaded, I called him. I left him a vulgar voice mail message calling him a certain kind of chicken excrement for not even saying goodbye to me. I think I yelled. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep that night so I left right then about 1 am. I also told him to have a nice life and didn't expect to ever hear from him again.

Obviously I did. He called my apartment the next day and my mom answered. He asked her to tell me he was sorry for missing me and he did want to say goodbye. So, I forgave him and called him as soon as I got a phone, leaving a message with my new number. He started calling me every weekend. We also saw each other in November when I went back to Atlanta for a weekend. He wanted to pick me up from the airport then he took me out to dinner. The next night we got into a fight over dinner after he told me about how much he disliked his current girlfriend and how he unsuccessfully tried to break up with her the night before. (Right after he dropped me off.) When I got back to NY we patched things up and started planning his trip to the city.

What got me about all this was that he couldn't seem to let go. He had multiple chances to gracefully drop contact. He kind of broke up with me but didn't stop seeing me. He didn't have to call me when I moved. With a few exceptions he was the one who always called me. After the fight in November, he could have stopped calling me. After the weirdness of New Year's I really wasn't expecting to hear from him again. Sure enough, he kept calling. After he told me about his new girlfriend, I thought for sure he'd stop calling me then. You can't call your ex-girlfriend to chat when you have a new girlfriend. But he called. I had had enough by then and that's when I didn't answer or return his call for the first time ever. I didn't understand what he wanted from me. It seemed like the healthy thing to do.

Then he called the night before his elopement trip to California. He didn't tell me they were getting married. So it was strange that he called to tell me he was going on a trip for spring break. We had a nice talk though. I still missed him. He said he had our pictures from our trip and he wanted to send some to me. I told him to call me after he got back because I wanted to about his trip. But he never did.

In April, a month after George's last call, my sister called and told me he eloped with the girl in California, then when they got back she got baptized into the church. His sister told her about it and also said their family was very upset. I couldn't digest that information for a long while. The sadness grew slowly. But I wanted him to be happy. I prayed for his happiness with her. That their marriage would work. I didn't understand this at all but who am I to understand everything? Someone joined the church who probably never would any other way so this was probably best. But I also figured I just lost my last chance for happiness. It took me 27 years to find someone compatible AND desirable who seemed to like me back. How long would it take for the next one to come along?

When I finally accepted that he was married, I mailed him a congratulations card with pictures of him from our two trips, so he'd know there weren't hard feelings. I wasn't angry at either of them, just confused and sad for myself. Of course, way deep down in the ugliest parts of my soul I couldn't help thinking, "it won't work, they'll get divorced. So don't give up yet." But those thoughts were evil so I suppressed them and I don't even like voicing them here. I really did wish them well. I did love him.

Read the Finale here: Tainted Love:Take my Tears