Bye-Bye Bed-Stuy

By this time tomorrow I should be unapacking boxes in my new apartment in New Jersey. The movers are scheduled to arrive tomorrow at 9 am, to the annoyance of the housemates I'm sure. I did schedule to have them come at 3 pm but they called me to change it. Two men and a 17 foot truck cost $60 per hour from the time the they arrive at my door to the time they finish unloading. Not bad at all. I found them on craigslist.com. Most movers I called wanted to charge extra for the stairs, and/or charge an hour and a half for their travel time in addition to my moving time. If all goes well it should take 3 hours. 4 hours max. It took the two guys I hired last summer about an hour to unload the moving truck into my house. Since that was an upstairs move and this is downstairs, I don't think it should take any longer. Given that there are no traffic problems (knock on wood), I think the drive will be 30-45 minutes.

After the nightmare of my last do-it-yourself move, I decided never to do it myself again. After paying the parking tickets for the truck I rented, I think the whole move cost me about 700. Maybe more. I had to rent two trucks, one to move to the storage place and one to move to my house. I got two parking tickets for parking a commercial vehicle in Manhattan overnight.

I began getting nervous about the decision last weekend. I worry about....ack. I will not indulge in a list of my fears. The packing has made me very nervous. I began that on Monday with the idea that I could finish by Wednesday and then use the rest of my Spring Break to work on my paper. Ha! Ha!

Obviously, I still haven't even packed up my computer. But I left that out so I could do address changes online and such. Most of my bedroom is packed. I'm a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to packing which is why it takes me so long. I got so used to moving myself in my car as a college student that I learned to maximize every single inch of space. So now, when I have a space left in a box, I go all around looking for that item that will best fill that space. I've even re-packed boxes when I thought it could be done more effeciently. I'm trying not to obsess so much. I'm out of time now anyway.

My mother was sweet enough to offer to pay for me to rent a car! That would make transporting two cats out of state much easier. But, guess what? My driver's license expired last month on my birthday. This horrifies me. Truly. Someone said I'm now a real New Yorker without a driver's license. But, now I'm leaving New York. So who cares? Haven't figured out how to get the cats to New Jersey yet. This is so weird. I am getting a little excited. My very first apartment without roommates. With a separate bedroom and an office! And a full kitchen. That's unheard of for the rent I'll be paying, $725. I checked up on the rents in the neighborhood and it looks like the market price for a two bedroom is at least twice that.

Second Thoughts
Making life altering decisions in a matter of three days and executing them three weeks later is scary. Changing one's abode doesn't seem like it should be such a big deal, but it really is. I'm changing my domestic environment. I'm making a one year commitment. I wonder, what if nothing gets better when I'm out there (New Jersey is Outer Darkness according to some blogs). If nothing improves after I move, then it means that there is more I have to do on myself. All of these things started running round my head last weekend.

Then, a few days ago I reminded myself what happened on Friday night. I was hanging out in my bedroom at about 1 am. Probably on the computer. I hear a bang-bangbangbang-bang-bang. I think, 'that sounds like gunfire. Must be an automatic there were a lot of shots.' Then I hear screaming. Definitely gunfire. The screaming isn't far away, so I peek out the window. People are streaming out of the nightclub on the next block. (essentially across the street.) I watch as some people run down my block to get away. And they just keep pouring out. Everyone is talking excitedly. It looks like a movie. After 5 minutes the sirens arrived. Several cop cars and two fire rescue ambulences. I don't see what happens because they pull onto the next block up, out of my view. 30 minutes later, all is normal again. And some cops pulled a car over in front of my house to question some boys.

That is scary. A few months ago, they found a pair of severed legs and a hand in the subway station one block away. I'm tired of living here. The streets and sidewalks seethe with tension. Yesterday really exentuated this fact for me. I went to the laundromat to do laundry (*gasp!) and had to watch a young mother scream at her 3 year old with obscenities, telling her to f-ing stop this or that and ... it was awful. Three grandmother type women sat on the bench and watched the girl with disdain. The poor child. Goodbye and Good riddance, ghetto-mat.

KFC Kickers
The day started off with an episode in the KFC. I went in there to get a jumbo Mountain Dew. I walked by two drunk homeless men. One said Hello to me and I replied. The other said, "Look at that white girl. She ain't got no a**. No a** at all. She is flat!" He laughed and kept repeating himself as I stood in line. The man in front of me turned around and said, "He's crazy." I rolled my eyes and nodded. He kept shouting to the whole place about my privation of booty. A woman with some serious back came in the door. The man then said, "Unh. Now look at that. Now that's an a**. Yes, I love me some black women. Look at that. Unh. I don't want those white girls starving themselves to look like models. No a**>" Walking on my way out, he said, "That white girl ain't got no a**, look at her. nothing." When I got to the door. I stopped. I bent down sticking out my flat rear, looked over my shoulder with a grin at the man and patted my non-existent a**. Then I exited, chuckling.

Then I went to the dollar store to buy cleaning supplies for my new apartment. While waiting in line, the woman acting as store security guard got into a fight with the owner who worked the register. He told her to go to the back of the store, to stop standing by the door. This is the woman I had to ask to move so I could get a shopping basked and who then gave me a look. She yelled at the owner demanding to know why he kept looking at her. He yelled, "I pay you!" She made him furious. The guy at the counter wanted a razor. Not that kind. The one way at the top of the wall. The owner had to climb a ladder. He got the razor down and gave it to the customer. He examined it and asked how much. 2.50. What? How can you charge that much? That's robbery! He continued to fondle the razor in its plastic packaging. The woman by the door yelled that she wanted to quit. The owner's face reddened and he said "Fine. Go." She said, "Give my money for today and I will." She didn't go. The girl behind the guy with razor commanded that she be checked out because she has to go.

The owner rang up her toothbrushes. The man with the razor chatted her up. The girl's friend put something else on the counter, but the girl had already paid. She wouldn't pay for that too. The owner rang up the friend. Meanwhile, the man put the razor down and paid for the things he did buy. A woman walked up to the counter, butting in front of me and put her things down. The owner rang her up even though I was next. That woman left and she went by the security lady who still stood by the door with an angry expression. She told the woman not to put up with that kind of treatment by that man, etc... Then, finally, it was my turn to pay. Goodbye, ghetto shopping.

A little later, still yesterday, I went to the cleaners to pick up my coats. I came in and gave the woman my ticket. She brought out some clothes for a man already there, she hung them on the rack then went back to get mine. The man inspected his clothing then took out his cash to pay. When the woman returned, the man held out the money and ticket for her to take but she ignored him. She pushed his clothes out of the way to hang mine up. The man got angry, understandably, and slammed his money on the counter. He left, cursing the woman. Goodbye, daily guilt for my white privilage. (I don't know if that is a good thing morally, but it wears me out. I'm also tired of getting angry looks just for walking down the street.)

Hello, New Jersey.


Jersey Girl

Yesterday I paid my deposit on my new apartment! My very own place. No roommates! Hooray!!! The decision made me nervous because it will cost me an extra $150 a month. But I realized that if I moved, I wouldn't have to spend 45 minutes on the subway to go anywhere. Now, it's a 10 minute ride on a big, clean, comfy bus through the Lincoln Tunnel, which drops off at the Port Authority. From there, it's only one subway stop to my work. And one stop the other direction to my school. Saving myself the anxiety of the train is well worth the money. And then there is the comfort of living in my own space, and not feeling like a visitor. And living on a quiet and cute street with an awesome Manhattan view, no corner drug dealers. And no drunk men taking a wizz on the house! (Last week a man peed in the street right in front of me and a friend while we sat on the stoop. He apologized and said it was an emergency.)

Ah, here is the dilemma....am I still Celibate in the CITY? I think, yes. I work in the city, I socialize in the city, I pay city taxes and claim state residency. My new home happens to be on the other side of the Hudson. (Literally, it's the first stop outside the tunnel.) Most importantly, I still plan on dating in the city. The man I date lives in Brooklyn. And I have a list of stories from the last 3 years of city dating that I have yet to write.

The money difference worried me. I'm not very practical, to put it mildly. I'm not very good with money because I really don't care about it. Knowing this about myself, I asked everyone I know who has practical skills and money skills. When I told my friend I wanted his opinion because he is so practical, he said he really wasn't very practical. So I qualified it and said he is more practical than I am. He said,"Yes, but everyone is more practical than you are." True. But it didn't discount his opinion. My mother is the most practical and safest person I know. When I mentioned the apartment to her she almost started shouting, "Yay! Yes, move! Move! Move!" She offered to help, even to fly up here to help me with it.

My sister told me she was excited about my moving. I told the man what she said and he replied, "We're all excited about your moving." He hates where I live. It scares him. Only 3 neighborhoods in the city scare him, mine is one of them. Despite his academic geekiness, he is also a bit of a bada**. He got in a bar fight with UN soldiers in Israel, he's in the Army reserve, and he knows how to take care of himself on the street. Very few things scare him. But, he won't let me go home alone if it's after 1 am. He's wanted me to move for a long time and started sending me apartment listings in January. Awhile ago, I told him about something that happened to me here, he got upset and said, "You have to get the f*** out of that neighborhood!" It was very sexy. (Men, women love when you act tough and protective over them.)

Have I failed by leaving New York City proper? Yes. But, I don't think I care. I have not been healthy or happy here. Maybe when I get my emotions in order and make more money, I can move back. Or when my sugar daddy buys me a flat in Chelsea. Whichever comes first. What I expect to miss most is the corner deli. Open 24 hours, anything you might need in the middle of the night. I often sneak out to buy a pint of Ben and Jerry's at 1 am. The clerks all know me as the Diet Coke girl. So if I'm short a buck they tell me to pay them tomorrow. And, they have increased their stock of Diet Coke.

I move the 30th of April. My life will become less interesting, which is probably a good thing. I also plan to get a new hairdo. I'm thinking big with peroxide stripes. Anyone know where I can buy some big earrings? Blue eye shadow isn't hard to find. Maybe when I complete the Jersey girl transformation, Harrison Ford will rescue me from my cheating fiancee and help me start a career in the corporate world. A girl can dream, can't she?


I like your sleeves

Continued from this post.

Guy:"I got behind with everything today. So, if you still want to go out we can. But, I have to take this thing to the upper west side. I won't be back until 9:30. If you think that is too late then we can go out another time. What do you want to do?"
Me: (thought:Excuse me?! This is why we made plans to prevent this from happening.) That is too late. I have to get up in the morning for church. Let's just forget it.
Guy Ok. I want to see you, I wish I could. How about Monday? What are doing then?
Me: (if you really wanted to then you would.) Yeah ok. I have plans in the afternoon but I'm free at night...

We re-scheduled our Saturday night date for Monday, a school holiday that we both had off. We made our plans for the weekend earlier in the week. I hadn't seen him since the previous Saturday, which was the first time we got together since we had the incident. He had Purim festivities with his family and friends beginning Thursday night and going through Friday night. We hadn't set a time for our date. So, around noon I called him. Got his voicemail. That was weird. I called back 30 minutes later. He responded with a text: "Sorry I can't talk now. I'll call you'll later. How was the party?"

When I hadn't heard from him by 6 pm I started to get annoyed. Did he expect me to wait at home for him all night? Screw that. I called again and left another voice mail asking him to call me so I could know if he still wanted to go out. Half an hour later he did. The excerpt above is from the conversation. I'm a bit slow when it comes to my emotions and processing events as they occur. I rarely get angry immediately, usually it takes a few moments to realize I didn't like what just happened.

The call peeved me. How rude to cancel on me at the last minute like that. Obviously I was less important to him then whatever his delivery happened to be. And less important than hanging out with whoever he spent the entire day with. That was not cool. And he did this right after we had the big talk about how he needed to show me that he is not in fact embarassed to be with me. What was he doing?

I called him back after stewing for a few minutes.
Guy: Hello?
Me: Hey
Guy: What's up?
Me: Umm...Just for future reference, I'd appreciate it if you tried not to cancel on me at the last minute again."
Guy: Oh wait. We can go out if you want. I can see you instead of delivering this.
Me: Really? Are you sure?
Guy: Yes. I want to see you. I'd rather see you than do this.

Wow, he listened to me. He even seemed to care that I was upset. AND he wanted to make it right. He shouldn't have been so rude in the first place, but this was a good sign.

He came to my house to watch a movie. When he got here, I told him it feels not nice to be brushed off for a courier errand. He said that he was really sorry, he wasn't thinking. He is so used to making his list of things to do for the day, it's always longer than he can do, so he usually goes down the list in order. The delivery was before me. That sounded reasonable, he was used to being single, these things take time.

We watched Napolean Dynamite. I wanted him to have some exposure to my Mormon "culture." He couldn't believe it when I told him that the high school dance in the movie exactly resembled all the singles dances I had to go to in college. He also couldn't believe that I had danced like that more times than I could count. (For a description of these heinous institutions, the singles dance, go here.) Then he asked me to dance, he wanted to try it. We did the missionary shuffle(slowly walking in circle with our hands on each other's shoulders) in the middle of my bedroom, by the light from the tv. After laughing at the silliness, he pulled me closer-- leaving no room for the Holy Ghost. We danced, or swayed rather, with our cheeks touching. I found it hard to breathe.

He didn't notice when the music stopped. Being the romantic that I am, I told him there was no more music so we should stop and watch the movie. When it ended he said that we came from different planets. I agreed. How a Mormon from the south with pioneer roots and a non-practicing Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn have lasted this long. . . .

His behavior had completely changed. That night, he gave me more compliments than I can count. He actually told me that he 'really likes me'. He had NEVER said that before. In fact, in February when I asked how he felt about me and told him that I liked him, he said, "I wish I could be that straightforward." Huh? He also told me he really missed me. He said it twice even. We had only seen each other once in the previous two weeks. So, was this a portent of things to come? I liked it a lot. The two weeks of distance must have done something. Maybe almost losing me made him realize he cares?

The next Tuesday we met for dinner in Brooklyn Heights at an excellent restaurant, The Greens, it's the best vegan chinese I've had in the city. Dinner was really nice. He kept up with the compliments and sweet behavior. Then we took a romantic walk on the Promenade afterwards.

The Promenade is often filmed in movies and has the best view of Manhattan. It's a stretch of boardwork south of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Watchtower--J.W. world headquarters. Despite almost getting run over by the police car driving on the walkway with its lights off, we had a lovely time. The wind had picked up and made the night a lot colder than it had been, so we had to snuggle as we walked. Returning to the neighborhood, he showed me some of the memorial plaques on the houses designating that some famous writer had lived or died there. I said that I wanted a plaque put on my house after I died. He said he'd make sure I got one. I told him it had to be bigger than Norman Mailer's, because you can't even read his from the street! He promised it would be.

Here's why I gave him another chance. I had never objected to the teasing jokes. He had no way to know that they bothered me. It's not fair to dump someone for crossing a line he didn't know was there. Yes, he should have known, but there are good reasons we are both still single, this is likely one of them. Now that I told him how he made me feel, he has shown a willingness to alter his behavior, and that he doesn't want to hurt me. If this proves to be temporary then it's over.


Leaving Brooklyn!

I think I am definitely moving. A great apartment has opened up across the hall from my former roommate. It's a 3 room apartment which would give me a living room and an office in addition to having a bedroom. Full kitchen with appliances and room for a table, full bathroom with a bathtub, lots of windows. It will cost me $150 more per month with utilities, and now is not a convenient time to move....BUT, this kind of apartment does not come available often. My friend waited 4 years for one to open up in her friend's building and it never did. She finally moved into that apartment when her friend moved out. She called me on Sunday to tell me about it. It is in New Jersey. *Gasp* which is weird psychologically. But it is 10 minutes from Manhattan by bus, unless it is rush hour. It's a cute neighborhood in a cute town that is right on the river across from NY. I think having my own place in a pretty neighborhood will make my quality of life go way way way up.

The ugly truth is, I'm not bohemian enough for this Brooklyn life I'm trying to live. I like having furniture and my own private space. I get really annoyed when the housemates abuse my Heinkel knives by putting them point down in the drying rack with the silverware, or when they use metal utensils on my really nice teflon pans given to me by my brother. I'm not cool enough to live in this house. There, I said it. I'm 29 years old and I want my own dang apartment. I want a kitchen I can eat in, a living room to watch tv in and an office to work in, rather than doing all of that in my bedroom. I want an apartment where I can keep the cat litter box somewhere other than my bedroom. I hate coming home to a house that smells like curry. I can't stand curry. I hate the incense the girl across the hall burns all the time. I dislike going to get a drink of water at night and being greeted by the sex noises of my housemates and their guests.

One of the best things about the apartment is that I will be living in the same building with Barbara. We had a great time as roommates. She's my best girlfriend in this city. It'll be great having her so close by, I've really missed her. Our friendship was one of those good things that happen that you know didn't come about by chance. She was assigned to live in my apartment by the school and she happened to be in the same field and we got along great as roommates. She really made life bearable for me last year when things started going bad.

Moving away from the neighborhood that inspired 'Do the Right Thing' and into my very own place should help quite a bit with the anxiety. I'll have a sanctuary. The apartment building is on a street that has an awesome view of Manhattan. I can get a bike and go riding.... this will be a very good thing.


Anxiety Affliction

Warning: This is an unpleasant and not-fun post. I recommend skipping this post if you are reading for entertainment purposes.

A good friend invited me to have dinner with her on Sunday. As we talked about how we were doing, Barbara asked me a question. My answer told me something very important. I should have noticed before but didn't. It explains what is wrong with me. It explains how and why I have been living the way I have for the past year. Why I don't seem able to have fun. I have no appetite and most of time cannot even taste my food. I don't even enjoy sleeping or taking a nice warm shower. Everything has just become a chore.

She asked me what happens to me when I let myself relax. I paused to think about it. Then I answered that I never relax. I am in a constant state of anxiety. This is true. For the past year, with the exception of my Ireland trip, I have lived each day in a constant state of tension and fear. I wake up with tight shoulders, often having to pull myself out of some anxiety-producing dream. I wake up and think about the day ahead. I think of all the things I have to do that day and my stomach clinches. Remember how you felt the last time you went for a job interview? Or right before you had to do some public speaking? That's how I feel all day long, every single day and have for a year.

This explains why I am so tired at the end of the day. Why I dislike eating. I go out with my friends and don't have any fun. The whole time I'm waiting until I can go home. Smiling is difficult. Laughing is rare. My confidence is shot. My students see this in my demeanor and body language. They see me as weak and pounce. I don't enjoy my work anymore. I remember when teaching was fun. Now it is a terror inducing chore. Writing papers used to give me great pleasure. I loved wrestling with reason and ideas and feeling like I conquered something. Now, these papers mock me as tangible proof of my failure. I began grinding my teeth a few years ago, splitting some teeth and giving myself TMJ.

My home is another source of anxiety. There are 3 and sometimes 4 people here that I don't know well and don't feel comfortable with. I feel the need to withdraw and hide from them to avoid having to talk. I'm afraid of these people for no reason. Sometimes I don't eat because there are other people in the kitchen and I don't want to deal with them. Going outside makes me nervous, I've developed a pretty bad case of agoraphobia in the last year. The neighborhood didn't scare me at first. But the longer I live here, the more uncomfortable it makes me.

There are always 2-5 drug dealers standing on the corner outside my house whom I have to pass whenever going or coming. I know they have weapons and I know they don't like me. Recently, a man followed me home. I didn't notice until I was half-way up the stairs to my stoop. The man stood outside the flimsy little gate and said, "Take me with you." I told him no and proceeded to unlock the 4 locks on the door as quickly as possible. Then he said, "So I'm going to be punished for my good taste?" I said "Yes" and went inside. A few weeks ago, on Purim, some Hassidic boys were skipping and singing down the sidewalk. One wore a costume, he had on a large afro wig. Walking behind them, I could hear all the people cussing them. They made everyone on the street angry. Then one man said, "I'm going to f*****g shoot him" and started following the boys. He had his right hand in his jacket pocket, obviously holding something. I was on my way to the laundromat.

Riding the train is a 45 minute exercise in torture. I can't read on the train so I have to sit there alone with my sick thoughts. Usually worried because I am late.

In response to all of this I have withdrawn from the world, from my work, from my friends, from church. I can't handle 3 hours of socializing or the strain of finding nice clothes to wear. (I don't have any skirts or dresses that fit me.) I am always late to church and usually get confused about which train to take and get lost wandering around the neighborhood looking for the church building. . . . this withdrawal has only made life worse.

Some of the anxiety probably comes from withdrawal from the benzodiazapene I was on for 6 years. People aren't supposed to take those drugs that long. I have been addicted to my alprazolam both physically and emotionally for at least 5 years. I weaned myself off of it in January/February but started reducing the dose in the fall(after several failed attempts over the years). Yesterday I researched the long term effects of taking these drugs. I learned that withdrawal symptoms can last up to a year and benzos are more difficult to withdraw from then heroin. Here is a partial list of withdrawal symptoms: (I removed the ones I don't suffer from.)
  • increased anxiety and depression
  • nightmares -- ( I have them almost every night)
  • restlessness and inability to concentrate
  • panic attacks and agoraphobia
  • loss of interest in sex--- ( my dating stories bore me now?)
  • loss of appetite and of body weight --(I've gone down 3 dress sizes and now am smaller than I was as a teenager.)
  • muscle tension --( Chronic tension and pain in my shoulders)
  • tight chest
  • trembling or shaking
  • nausea
  • increased sensitivity to light, noise, touch and smell
  • obsessive negative thoughts
  • phobias (especially agoraphobia and fear of insanity)
  • dysphoria (loss of capacity to enjoy life; possibly a combination of depression, anxiety, and derealisation/depersonalisation)
  • impairment of cognitive functioning
  • severe depression
  • paranoia and delusions (baseless fears and beliefs)
  • confusion
  • memory loss
  • depersonalisation (feeling strange in familiar surroundings)
  • derealisation (feeling out of touch with reality).
Yucky yuck yuck. The withdrawal symptoms can start while one is still on it, after developing a tolerance for the dose. I stopped increasing the dose a couple years ago.
So what do I do now? I've begun doing Yoga in the mornings for 15-30 minutes. I absolutely must start swimming laps regularly. I should get my hands on some cognitive therapy books and work on improving my thoughts. Eating healthy food is supposed to help. I may move out of the city next month into my very own apartment in Jersey, but I haven't commited to that yet. Sorry for the unpleasant post but I needed to see these things in writing to fully understand this problem. Even now, writing this has increased my body tension, my hands are shaking and my stomach is in knots. Time to go to class and sit through a two hour lecture and spend an hour and a half on the train. Whee.

Update: I made myself too sick to go to class so I have stayed home and researched benzodiazapine addiction and withdrawal syndrome. Crap, if I had known what this could and would do to me I never would have started on it. Many if not most of my emotional problems from the last two years can be explained as long term effects of benzo use. And, because I took a sedative from age 24-29, I have failed to learn healthy and normal stress coping techniques. Which now leaves me vulnerable and ill-equipped to live my life.These drugs cause cognitive impairment with effects similar to long-term alcoholism. I have felt my intellectual abilities decrease, when attempting to concentrate my head would go fuzzy, this has seriously damaged my confidence. They damage the pleasure/pain receptors in the brain . . . the agoraphobia, the nightmares....stupid stupid stupid drugs!!!!


Fighting Geeks

I have neglected you my lovelies. For some reason, lately I have found writing repellent. It also doesn't fit into my new schedule that I am trying to follow. But I have learned a lot about myself in the last week. Especially the last two days. Before getting to that, I need to write about my love life! What's happening? Enquiring readers want to know. Perhaps some of you worry that I have passively assented to a harmful relationship, when this is not the case.

After my birthday, I didn't know what to do about the boy I was dating. My time with him seemed to hurt me more than not lately. I figured it must be time to end it. This saddened me, and disappointed me. It is so hard to find a person with whom one feels comfortable, someone interesting and fun, someone who speaks your language and whom you find attractive and is attracted to you reciprocally. Very few and far between do we find this combination in another person. I found it here with this boy after a few years of drought. It made me angry that he was messed up and abusive. I sulked that week.

We didn't talk. I resolved not to call him, but to wait and see what kind of compensatory overtures he would make. Deciding that I would continue the relationship or end it depending on what he did next. He did nothing. He didn't call. To me, this said that he wasn't interested in continuing our relationship. He apologized already and didn't want to bother trying to reconcile things with me. This confirmed my fear that our relationship was merely a leisure activity in his life, one with little importance. This made me sad.

But as the days passed I couldn't take not knowing anymore. I made the situation worse and worse by telling myself that I didn't matter to him at all, etc. I needed to end things for good so I could move on. That Thursday I wanted to resolve this. We needed to talk. I sent him a text message saying: I want to talk. (I should have called but it was the best I could manage at the time.) Not long after, the boy sent me an Instant Message saying 'Hello'.

What? Does he seriously want to talk about us with instant messages? Is this a joke? I knew it wasn't. Should I call him? No, if this is what he feels comfortable with, just go with it. It'll be easier for myself too. Talking is so hard and I have had so little practice discussing my feelings. After deliberating, I responded. We exchanged a few pleasantries. Then I wrote, "Is there any point in continuing this relationship?" After a moment, he replied, "What do you think?" Oh-hell-no! He wasn't putting this back on me, wussy. I told him that I wanted to know what he thought which is why I asked. I already knew what I thought. Could he please answer the question.

He told me that he liked the way things were between us and would like to continue. I told him I had some problems with the way things were and wanted them to change. So we talked about things. About the oh so offensive comment, "I'm embarassed to be with you." He said that he couldn't believe I would find it offensive because it was so obviously ridiculous and obviously a joke. Obviously it wasn't to me. He apologized again and said he wanted to do anything he could to make it up to me. He also wanted to know what the deal was with the weird phone message I left him on Saturday about not staying at his house. (To be explained later.)

The oddness of having our 'fight/discussion' over the internet was not lost on me. Now, we officially qualified as the biggest geeks on the planet. Instead of feeling shame, this amused me. Could two people really be be so inept and clueless? Yes. This is part of the reason I gave him a chance to make things up to me. Two emotionally retared nerds trying to date each other were bound to have such misunderstandings. We couldn't even fight over the phone like normal people! So maybe he really was unaware that people don't talk to each other like that. I explained all this to him. He was very apologetic and assured me he meant no harm.

After awhile, maybe an hour or two or this, he asked me if I wanted to come to his house on Saturday for breakfast and to work together. I thought it a good idea since I only got work done when at his house. So I agreed. In my mind, I put him on probationary status. I still felt quite disgusted with him over everything, that squelched all romantic feelings I had before. But I wasn't willing to give up on him yet.

Saturday we met at his house as planned. I kept my distance emotionally and physically. We worked but neither of us got much work done. I don't really remember what went on, we talked a lot. We talked more than we worked. At one point, he sat at his table with his laptop while I sat on his couch reading. He asked me to come over. So I walked up to the table. He pointed to the floor next to him and asked me to come over there. So I moved around and stood next to his chair. I thought he wanted to show me something. "What?" He didn't say anything but pointed to his cheek, his way of asking me for a kiss. Yeah, right. I said, "Oh, I see you want a kiss from me." He said yes. "Why?" I wanted a reason. He laughed. But he gave me no reason. So I walked back to the couch and sat down.

He said I was mean to deprive him. I told him if he couldn't do something as simple as tell me why he wanted a kiss from me then he didn't deserve one. I left that evening and gave him a hug. Later that night we talked on the phone for 2 hours. I explained some of my insecurities about our whatever this is. We had a heated discussion and hammered some things out.

We didn't see each other again until the next Saturday. He remained on probationary status with me.

What happened next is coming soon. Right now I have to go to school to prepare to teach.