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Leaping

June 19, 2012

I’ve met someone.

Sort of.

We’re friends. When we met, he was casually dating someone else so I never thought of him as anything more than a new friend. We established a friendship based on mutual nerd loves and it was cool to have a friend who wanted to go with me to Underworld. He wanted to go and his girlfriend didn’t. We were a friendship made in nerd-vana.

When the casual girlfriend was demoted to ‘just a friend’, Nerdboy and I started to hang out more often. Somewhere between debating the comic Avengers vs. the movie Avengers and trading our favourite books, I realized I like him as more than just a friend. He’s nerdy, he’s hot, he’s funny, he’s nerdy, what’s not to love?

I still continued to meet up with a couple of internet potentials, but those poor bastards were doomed. I had formed a checklist of awesomeness based on my friend and none of those guys could meet it. I wanted them to pole vault but I was giving them a pool cue. Good luck, suckas!

It’s not that I think my friend is perfect, it’s that I think he’s perfect for me. It’s pretty hard to top that.

I spent weeks going back and forth with the voices in my head about what to do. Do I say something? Do I wait and hope that he says something? Do I bury the bodies six feet under or just make sure I’m deep enough in the woods that I can just cover them with leaves? Is my shirt too boob-tacular for just hanging out? Wait. One of those questions wasn’t supposed to be on this list.

I talked to myself in the mirror. I talked to myself while trying to fall asleep. I talked to myself riding the bus. It was a constant stream of internal debates. I became spinny me – going over every interaction, every possible nuance, every look – while I directed myself to the only logical outcome: say something to him.

Before I could undertake this incredibly simple yet incredibly nerve-wracking plunge, I received a phone call from another friend: she was ending her relationship of 10 years, could I help her move her things to her parent’s house?

I know that all relationships are different and not all will last a lifetime, but this is one that I truly thought would go the distance. I didn’t doubt they would work through anything. They were the couple that made me believe the bad dates, getting dumped by a text message (that was awesome!), meeting my boyfriend’s live-in girlfriend (that was great!), and dealing with a 37-year-old man throwing a temper tantrum in a restaurant (that was fun!) would be worth it. The idea that I could find a relationship like theirs kept me trying.

Yet there I was, helping her pack up her clothes and meeting him for a moral support lunch. They met during the first year of university and had been friends for two years before they started dating. They didn’t know adult life without each other. They were not only losing each other as partners, they were losing each other as best friends. I watched her hand back her keys and I made up my mind: I’d rather be his friend for life than to risk losing it all.

I stuck to that decision for a week, determined to be the bestest best nerd friend to him I could be. A lifetime of Doctor Who jokes trumps losing it over something as stupid as telling him that I want to be more. That was what I told myself. I repeated it again and again. I looked for any sign that he only wanted to be friends and I latched onto it. I replayed them to myself as proof I was making the right decision.

Then I saw the Monday poster by ZenPencils – which is a wonderful site that sets inspirational quotes to cartoons, you should all check it out – about taking the leap.

You can see the whole thing (and you should see the whole thing) here.

Am I really satisfied just being his friend? Seeing his name on my phone makes me break into a gigantic grin. Time spent with him is the most enjoyable part of my week. I can’t recall the last time I found it this easy to keep a conversation going with someone for three hours, ending only because our waitress was ending shift and needed us to settle up. He makes me laugh so hard I snort. I find the idea of watching one of our sci-fi shows together in silence just as appealing as going out somewhere together.

No, I am not satisfied just being his friend.

Taking the leap isn’t about what might happen in 10 years or even in 10 weeks, it’s about now. Either the jump takes us to a different relationship status or it gives me the end I need to move on. Whether that’s a positive or a negative ultimately depends on how I choose to view it.

So some day soon, I’ll be taking my jump.

I don’t know when. I’m a huge wimp and will most likely back out three or four times before I actually do it, but I’m gonna.

I promise.

Some day.

Before the end of June July.

I’ll keep you posted.

Bayonet of Happiness

May 21, 2012

We must give off some sort of pheromone when we’re content with our lives. I say this because a friend recently popped back into my life a year after he ripped my still-beating heart out and held it in front of me Temple-of-Doom style.

He wore the same hat too when he did it.

[Source]

But can’t we just let bygones be bygones and go forward with our friendship? Has he never met a woman before? No, we can’t just let heart-breaking bygones be bygones, asshat.

I went an entire year without speaking to him despite the fact that we see each other every day on the bus. Now he wants to be friends again and hang-out like we used to. What he seems to forget is that like-we-used-to was very different for me than it was for him. He knew he was keeping me there just in case things didn’t work out with the girl he was actually interested in while I was thinking we were working towards something more serious.

You can see then why I might not be so keen to hang out with him.

Unlike the Non-Ex Ex where I knew there was no future and I have no one to blame but myself, I honestly thought this budding friendship was the foreplay to dating. There were lingering looks, dinners for just the two of us before we’d meet up with the group, hugs that were too long, and suggestions of integrating me into his life.

I should have known that I wasn’t his number one. Weekend plans were always last minute, I never met any friends beyond our group of mutual friends, and I seemed to be blocked from certain photo albums on facebook. Still, like the Canadian Olympics ads, my mind would ask “do you believe?” and I’d shout back “YES! YES, I DO!!” and wait for his next text.

I became the girl who waited. I was Amy Pond (I wish my legs looked that good in short skirts!) but there was no Rory or the Doctor frantically trying to save me, just a boy who was too scared to be alone and so he let me wait just in case. I soon developed my own case of justincaseitis. I turned down Friday night social events just in case he called with plans. I declined a Saturday night date invite just in case it got back to him that I was seeing other people. By the time he and the other girl officially became an item, I deluded myself into being his friend just in case they don’t work out.

Was I really so pathetic that all I could hope for was a chance at a second go round? HELLS NO!

One day, I stopped waiting. Not only did I deserve a guy who thinks I’m awesome the first time round, I deserved a friend who respected me. All his actions showed that he didn’t respect me and I pointed this out to him. He did not react kindly to my growing a backbone. But what did I expect from a boy who is scared to be alone?

He called me names. He said I was ungrateful. He believed I was overreacting to nothing. He called me a bad friend who couldn’t be happy for those she supposedly cares about. Um, hello pot; I’d like you to meet kettle.

I walked away from our friendship. His insecurities and mind games had done a number on me. Walking away from all that let me hold up a figurative middle finger and it felt great. It took less than a week for me to realise that I didn’t miss him. As a friend. As a person. As a fellow geek. It was as if he had never existed in my life and that made me happy.

We still had to see each other from time-to-time. I’d do the head nod of acknowledgement and he’d do the straight face of awkwardness. We’d sometimes even manage a greeting of ‘hey’ while performing these actions.

Then suddenly, out of the blue, I get a text from him. How have I been doing? I’ve seemed a lot happier lately. By the way, he and the girl broke up. Want to go for beers and catch up?

What.

The.

FUCK!

I politely explain that I’m busy and as far as I’m concerned he can shove a rusted bayonet up his backside although the second part of that statement was more of an unsaid understanding. I must have left it unsaid in Finnish or something because he suggests another time for beers.

I thought you might finally be over whatever happened, he texts me. And this might be a good time to become friends again.

Maybe if I showed him the rusted bayonet…

 

Decode This

May 10, 2012

Remember those cheap decoder rings you used to get in the bottom of cereal boxes? Or, if you’re me, you eat the entire box only to have a sibling some how pick that day to eat a bowl of that cereal and get that decoder ring you’ve coveted since the day you picked out the box of cereal at the grocery store with your mom. Yeah, that ring.

We need those decoder rings as adults to figure out what’s actually happening in relationships. It would be so much easier than relying on our own flawed memory of any interactions to determine the other person’s true feelings. Just line up the actions with the symbol and write the corresponding emotion on your little note pad. Seriously. How many more hours in the day would you have if you didn’t have to wonder “is he into me too?”

There are three gentlemen that I’ve been meeting with recently. While they are all great in their own ways, there is specifically one that I’m hoping things move forward with. We’ve been chatting for a while and have gone out a few times; it seemed like we were both moving in the same direction. Until the end of our last social interaction.

We had evening plans in my neighbourhood so he parked at my place and we walked the three blocks. I was my usual charming, witty, and modest self. Mostly modest. It was an enjoyable evening consisting of great conversation with an attractive date. He wasn’t too shabby looking either. (See, totally modest!) I did have some issues drinking from the wine glass – pretty sure the restaurant gave me a dribble glass on purpose – but who hasn’t spilled something at some point in their adult life?

As we walked back to my place, I was feeling pretty good about the evening. We had laughed a lot which is important for me. I once dated a guy who didn’t share my sense of humour and I will never do that again. I don’t need a guy to be the clown in the relationship, but I need him to get my sense of humour. I can not be the only person laughing when I tell the story about buying my step-grandpa’s new gravestone. I just can’t. This current guy laughed at that story so big brownie points for him.

We arrive to my door and it’s as if we had just had the worst date in the world. There was none of the usual lingering chitchat, no kiss or even hug good night, nothing. Fuck. Even a handshake would have been more welcoming than his demeanour once we were standing on my stoop.

“I had a good time tonight. We should do it again. Good night.” And then he just turned and walked to his car. I don’t know if my dad had snuck into my place and was standing behind me with a shot gun, but he bolted. I felt like the little boy at the end of Shane: I couldn’t understand why he was leaving so quickly, I wanted him to come back, I wanted a do-over. Hell, mother wants you, Shane! (If you’ve never watched Shane, I probably just sound like a horny single nerd but it’s a movie reference. I swear. And I’m a horny single nerd, but mostly the movie reference part.)

It led to a confusion of thoughts running through my mind as I lay in bed. Did I say something at the end of the walk? Did I not say something at the end of the walk? Were my boobs not as inviting as I thought? Was I perhaps too modest? Did he just realize he’s gay as we were walking up the stairs and he suddenly had to run away to start a Village People Tribute band? What was it?

Starting tomorrow, I only buy cereal that has a decoder ring as the prize. I need to get to the bottom of this.

The Worst Moment of my Life

May 5, 2012

After what felt like a lifetime of weeding through men who made me question my sexuality, I’ve been on two dates recently that I would call successful. I also have another one this weekend with a gentleman I’ve been chatting and texting with for a couple of weeks. I’m cautiously optimistic that at least one of these will lead to something worthy of a nickname on this blog. Given the optimism, it’s time for a girl to take some precautions.

The great thing about living in a country where birth control is legal is that I can just add my choice of prophylactic to my shopping cart and call it a day. I don’t intend for this blog to be political, but it’s a wonderful world we live in when women can take steps to protect ourselves from STDs and pregnancy. Which is exactly what I did during my shopping trip for various household cleaning supplies and toiletries.

I am waiting in line at the checkout when I hear a familiar voice call out my name.

It’s my mom.

I move as quick as lightning and jostle the items in my hands to hide the condoms between the box of garbage bags and my body.  Any security guards watching the CC cameras at that moment probably suspect me of attempting to steal but I don’t care. Frankly, being hauled off to the backroom and strip searched would be less embarrassing than this moment. I turn awkwardly towards my mom and smile.

My mom and I always had a very open relationship. While most girlfriends  talk about the dread they had for their mother-daughter talks about menstrual cycles, dating, and sex, I long to have my daughter to feel as open to discussing these topics with me as I did with my mom… up to a point. While I still have no qualms about discussing my period with my mom, sex became a taboo subject around the same time I started having it (which was 19 for those of you keeping score at home).

My mom is aware that I am not a virgin. I admitted to that a few months before telling her I was going to shack up with a boyfriend. But admitting to sex within a steady relationship where at one point even marriage was discussed is whole different kettle of fish than admitting to sex at a time when I am decidedly not in a relationship. Hey mom, you raised a whore sexually liberated woman!

“What are you doing here,” flies out of my mouth before ‘hello’. If my mom notices the odd behaviour, she lets it pass as she starts talking about her day. The line slowly moves towards the counter and I panic that she won’t be gone before I have to put down the items. If I have ever wanted the earth to open up beneath me and swallow me whole, this is it. My heart races at the thought of my mom actually seeing the condoms and the acknowledgement we will have to share that sometimes her daughter has sex just because. I frantically search for a place in the magazine rack where I could ditch the package of condoms without her seeing.

Nothing.

Praise be to the Invisible Space Pickle, my mom sees something that takes her attention and she walks away just as I reach the moment I need to put the items down. I feel like crying with relief. I flirt with the cashier because, fuck it, I can. As he starts to put everything in my bag, I grab the condoms and throw them in my purse. I don’t want them lying out a second longer than they have to. It’s a good call because my mom comes back to ask me if I have an evening free this week for dinner.

After all of that, at least one of these guys better turn out to be a fucking GOD in bed.

It’s Good to be Wanted

April 18, 2012

I’m working on a dating post. In the meantime, here’s a work-related post. I can’t talk about this on my ‘normal’ blog – IE where people actually know me – so you get to enjoy it instead.

I have worked for the same company for more years than I care to admit to. They hired me right out of university and they’ve been good to me for the most part. The only downside to my work is that we’re union.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against unions per se. I just hate my union because they’ve fucked me over a few times. (Usually without lube.) I am good at my job. Screw that, I am fucking awesome at my job. I excel at what I do. I have never had a “we’re worried about your production levels/attendance/obsession with pretending you’re on Glee” meeting. I am continually praised by my various supervisors with requests to clone me and create an entire department. (Apparently “the man” thinks it’s too expensive and breaks too many “rules”.)

Yet my company can not give me a raise nor can they promote me without posting the position to all employees. The frustration of that is increased when I know that I’m working with Rummy McDrunkergin because the union has stepped in the last seven times the company has tried to fire her. I have four letters on my personal file written by the general public thanking me for my professionalism, kindness, and helpfulness. She has seven complaints on her file from coworkers, three complaints from the general public, but still gets lauded when she makes it to morning coffee without nipping into the backroom to have a drink.

It’s not the fault of the company. Not really. I set my own bar quite high when I first started. I fucking met that bar and cleared it within the first year. I became the girl who could handle all the problem cases. Who could lead that task force. Who could proof read all our revised letters. Who could streamline our work processes. Who could write the training guidelines. Who could train new hires. Who could cook a fucking soufflé and still meet her monthly targets. I did this. In a unionized office. If I had fully understood what that meant when I was 22, I would have spent a lot more time browsing Craigslist on my computer and sticking it to “the man”.

I don’t begrudge the company for any of this. It’s not their fault I’m fucking awesome and my coworker can barely stand upright. (She once fell into a wall walking down the hallway. FELL. INTO. A WALL. That takes some serious drunk talent to do that at 2pm on a Thursday. By her own admission, she didn’t even trip on her feet. “I just suddenly couldn’t stand up straight so I fell over.”) It’s not their fault that my supervisor gave me a $25 gift certificate as a ‘thank you’ for working on a project I was the only person to volunteer for and four of my coworkers who responded in emails saying they did not want to work on the project went to the union about it and my supervisor ended up getting reprimanded.

It’s the union’s fault.

But I put up with it because I liked my job and I liked the majority of my coworkers. Recently, however, that hasn’t been enough. I want someone to acknowledge that I’m a fucking rock star. For my new supervisor, that’s apparently too much to ask for because she’s an entitled bitch whose ass I don’t lick enough. (For the record, I’ve never been an ass-licker. I’m a work-hard-work-quietly-work-diligently and supervisors appreciate that.)

Then I got a phone call from another department.

They have a new position and they want me. It’s an immediate jump in salary plus there’s room to advance and money for further education should I wish to return to school for a masters. I read over the requirements and realize the position was written for me. There are ‘preferred’ skills and knowledge that only I have because I wrote that program. That’s how much they want me.

It feels pretty damn good.

It’s the kick in the pants I need to blow this Long Island Ice Tea stand and get the job I’ve deserved for the last five years.

The Non-Ex Ex

March 4, 2012

He wants to hang out, just the two of us.

“Like we used to,” he reminds me. He smiles and his eyes sparkle. His brown eyes which are so dark, I can’t see where the pupil ends and the iris starts.

We used to hang out but it led to us dating and that just led to awkward. He’s Indian and his parents expect him to marry an Indian. I am not Indian. We were silly to go down that road at all. Like a teenage boy trying to unhook a bra, we fumbled about with no clear idea what we were doing. We tried to be more than just friends but not willing or able to tell anyone we were.

We went to movies but didn’t hold hands in case we saw someone we knew. I was his ‘just a friend’ for dinner with his family where his mom asked if I knew any nice Indian girls I could set him up with. When we ran into my friend at a pub he was just my coworker and of course she could join us at our table.

I always knew that he planned to respect his parents’ wishes and marry an Indian girl. We always knew, and always told each other, that it couldn’t go anywhere. But still we flirted. Still we tried to be just friends. We tried to keep it casual. And we failed.

I will never be Indian no matter how many different dishes his mom teaches me to cook or how many saris his sisters loan me when I join them for Visakhi dinner. And he will never marry a white girl. We never broke up because we were never dating. We just stopped hanging out or texting each other. It was the Firefly of relationship ends but we never got a Serenity to wrap up the lose ends.

Now he wants to hangout as friends again.

I’ve missed him. I’ve missed his friendship. I’ve missed the ease of laughing with him. I’ve missed our intense discussion about Game of Thrones or Underworld or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I’ve missed our after work beers on a sunny patio while we discuss what it’s like to be the offspring of immigrant parents: his from India, mine from Europe.

I want to accept his offer of an after work pint but I decline.

It’s been two years but still have a crush on him. I still glance over at his cubicle and think inappropriate thoughts. I still feel sadness when mutual friends joke about setting him up with someone. A part of me still wants to be that someone but I know that I can’t. And for that reason, I can’t be friends with him.

Deserving

February 10, 2012

I had a moment at work today. I was washing my hands in the bathroom sink when I looked up and I beer-goggled myself. Except I was sober and at work, but it was still beer-goggling: that moment when you look at yourself and think ‘yeah, I would totally tap that’ before you suddenly realize you are giving yourself a creepy smirk in a public mirror and you snap back to reality just in time to stumble to the bar for last call.

It was a small moment, lasting only a few seconds, but I needed it. I needed that reminder from myself that I was a worthy person who deserved good things, and dammit, I’m hot… in the right lighting with makeup and my contacts in. In bathroom lighting with no makeup and my glasses on, well, I’m still attractive. I, like so many girls, get caught up in the things that are wrong with me that I forget about all that is awesome about me.

I was on a coffee date earlier this week. On paper, this guy was damn-near perfect. Definitely someone I could have taken home to mom and my dad with his two shot guns. Sitting across from him, it became apparently very quickly that we just weren’t going to click. The closest I’ve come to an actual date in a while and all I felt was meh!

I started to question what was wrong with me that I was with this attractive guy who was pretty much a checklist of dating requirements and I wasn’t interested. It’s like he was the cat food to me being my cats. FOOD! FOOD! FOOD! FOOD! Okay, you’ve filled the bowl. We’re going to go sleep now… after we cough up a hairball in your bed. Eventually, the thoughts turned very negative.

You’re not the hottest girl on the block. You don’t have a right to be that choosy. This guy says all the right things that would make your mom so happy but you think you can do better. He’s a hardcore hiker. You could stand to lose a few pounds. You think you can do better than this? You’re nobody! Round and round in my head these poisoned thoughts jogged. They picked up steam and soon, an entire running club of negative thoughts was doing laps. I beat myself down. I retreated into my own little world. I stopped smiling at people. I wore the same shirt two days in a row out of laziness and a general I-don’t-give-a-fuck. I didn’t respond to any dating-site messages. I let the mean thoughts win.

Then this morning, an attractive guy I see every morning on my way into work gave me a big smile. It was just a friendly hey-I-recognize-you smile but it was enough to let one little thought into my head: I’m not a nobody. That single thought rattled about by its lonesome until I caught my reflection in the mirror. I smiled alone in the bathroom and other positive thoughts joined with the first one.

Yes, the gentleman from earlier this week was great on paper but in person, he was as dull as the plain A4 paper the list was written on. His craziest story was smuggling booze into a night club. My craziest story? Take your pick: arrested in another country, stared down a developing nation con man and his “police” buddy after I refused to pay a bullshit fine (and I won), got lost in an ancient Roman villa and had to jump fences to get out after the place had locked down for the night, fell off a roof, swam in a fountain half-naked, and the list goes on. Clearly, we had different ideas of what crazy meant.

I don’t believe I deserve a perfect man but I deserve more than meh. So excuse me while I go beer-goggle myself in the mirror and remind myself that I am worthy of that.

And you should go beer-goggle yourself as well because we’re all pretty fantastic and worthy of more than just meh.