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!