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.~