Guest Blogger – 27swf: The Sweet Spot

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

This week I turned 28. And though age 28 often flies under the radar, it’s actually quite a significant birthday: it’s the year that one completes her first decade as an adult.

I started pondering where I am, 10 years in, and where I was, 10 years ago: I’ve got a College and Master’s degree, I’ve had great job experiences, including the one I’m in now, a career I love, wonderful friends, legs that run marathons & hike mountains. I know what foods give me heartburn, how to straighten my hair and how many drinks it takes for me to transform from sweet girl to pool shark (1.5 exactly).

In general, I’m feeling pretty great about who I’ve become.

Except, yesterday, I started thinking about that episode on Friends I saw just about 10 years ago. Rachel and Ross had just broken up (for the fifth time, probably). Rachel realizes she wants to have babies…with a husband…by age 32…and starts counting backwards, only to realize that she’d need to marry someone tomorrow to fulfill her life’s plan (how ironic, given real-life Jennifer Aniston’s own romantic trajectory).

I thought about Rachel and how I’m finally reaching that age — the age at which, ten years in, the biological clock is (whether I want to believe it) starting to tick. Slowly, but nonetheless, moving forward…

I remind myself that I look young and feel even younger than I am. But the hard numbers don’t lie. There are risks to waiting for pregnancy, not to mention articles like this one  that encourage me to believe I’m becoming a less desirable mate, spouse, life partner, whatever with each passing day.

So what’s a girl to do? Cry (in your car, on the phone, in front of the TV). Online date? Or, my favorite, ask your friends to set you up, only to hear them laugh (because they’re married/in a relationship and don’t understand) or reply with the equally frustrating “I wish I was still single — go out! Have fun! This is the best time of you’re life!”

I feel like I’m in the sweet spot of being old enough to know how old I’m not (yes, age 30, I see you giving me the death stare from across the room). But, I’m also old enough to know that I’m young…and that more awaits me…at least I hope.

As I get older, my standards get higher because, well, it just takes a lot more to impress me. Call me an a**hole, but I’ve never been one to settle, and the more accomplished I become, the more unaccomplished people there are below me. At 18, I was happy to be with someone in college, at 21 I was happy to date someone who went to college, at 23, he needed to have a college degree, and a job. At 25, I wanted someone with a college degree, a job, and real career goals. Now, at 28? I’m looking for someone who has all the above…and more. A real salary would be nice too. I see myself getting more picky, all the while feeling like I’m becoming less attractive to the opposite sex.  Most people reading this will say that my cynicism and expectations are making me less attractive. Well, sorry. That’s just how I feel.

Call me crazy. But these days, I just find myself sort of depressed by the whole scenario —

While I may be in the sweet spot, lately, I’m feeling rather bitter…

Yours,

27swf

Guest Blogger – 27swf: In Response to Granuaile: Let’s be friends?

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

Let’s just be friends.

Most relationships end this way. But what do you do when that’s how it starts?

Lately, I’ve become very close friends with a guy named Doggy Style. We do everything together.  We eat (I’m his excuse for breaking his draconian diet).  We smoke hookah (we have joint custody of a beautiful Egyptian number). We sit by the beach, waiting for the tsunami to hit the coast (it never did — but that didn’t stop us from sitting there all day, drinking margaritas). We share our dreams for the future — many of which involve things we will do together. We talk about moving back to New York. We talk about renting a cabin in the woods. Oh, and didn’t you know? We’re writing the next great American screenplay — it’s a minimum five year commitment (he says).

We stay up talking all night, sometimes sleeping in the same bed, his leg just a little too close to mine (you know, ’cause our full size beds are just a tad too small for both of us). And just when I’m on the edge of sleep, I feel him holding me, wrapping his body around mine, as though he wants me to think I’m dreaming it, that it’s not actually happening. Maybe, it isn’t…

He proclaims that love is a death sentence; that he doesn’t want to be hurt by it again. That if we don’t have sex, we can be friends. He says friendship is forever, while relationships are doomed and destructive.

Little does he realize that we’re already in one.

So what do you do when you have a semi-platonic boyfriend? Do you break up with him? Do you stay in it, knowing it will probably never go anywhere? Do you tell him the truth, only to have him retreat out of obligation and dedication to a mantra he’s prescribed? Do you pull away, hoping he’ll fall in love?

Yesterday, he texted me three times and I responded briefly; a curt, short one liner. When he called me, I silenced his ring.

I don’t know what to do so I’m doing nothing.

A part of me says stay in it — he’s a comfort, he’s kind, he’s fun, I’m enjoying myself with him and therefore, why should I stop? The guy brings me candy, moves my car at 7AM so it won’t get towed, holds the door and sings my praises. I feel too young for marriage and so this relationship is perfect because it demands no real, emotional commitment.

The other part of me says RUN. Run away from a man who doesn’t know what he wants, a man who takes you for granted, a man who is selfish because he only gives what he wants to give. He will break your heart. You don’t need him. Or maybe you do?

Mostly I’m just angry at the bitch before me who broke his heart. I’m depressed by the fact that for the first time, in a long time, I’m in a relationship where we don’t play games, where our connection is sober and fun and real. I found a great boyfriend who can’t and won’t be my boyfriend. And that just sucks.

Maybe Granuaile and Doggy Style are onto something — that love is fleeting, that we convince ourselves that it is something more than it is. Maybe we should be seeking something deeper…or shallower, as the case may be. What do you all think?

Yours,

27swf

Guest Blogger – 27swf: The Kiss That Cracked Me…Up

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

On Sunday, my world stopped. Time became crystalline. Motion ceased. I pulled off the road into a Sunoco station and cried without mercy.

Here’s the part where I tell you, readers, that a lot of shit went down this year. I moved into my first apartment alone (no roomies or BF), I took on a huge professional challenge that tested my sanity and my strength. I was in a long, complicated, deep relationship that ended in an appropriately drawn-out, dramatic and ultimately exhausting fashion. There was professional stress (working three jobs while in grad school), a death in the family that left my mother in shambles — and me as her pillar of strength. Plus, it didn’t help that everyone around me seemed to be getting hitched (including a previous ex), knocked-up, or $100,000 job offers…

In an effort to counteract all this stress, I did what I’ve always done: I kept going, full speed ahead. I kept working. I kept dating. I ran. A lot. So much so that I had to take a month off to allow my knee to heel. I drank a lot of wine. I ate a lot. I starved a lot. Then I drank some more. I even contributed to a blog! I pushed forward because forward is the only direction we’re allowed to go in life.

And then, YTH kissed me. And I cracked.

It was simple kiss. Nothing major. And yet, my reaction spoke volumes about my life right now: I just can’t take it anymore!

For right now, for this week, maybe this month, I just can’t take any more expectations, potential, disappointments or stress.

Let me backtrack. YTH and I had gone on a date that night. As I had sat across from him, I hated myself because I just didn’t care about a thing he was saying. I didn’t care that he wanted to impress me with his skydiving, his jaunts through Europe, his published screenplay. Worst of all, I felt like I was putting on a show. Because what I really wanted to tell this guy is the shit I’ve been through this year — that I’ve been tried, exhausted, exhilarated, scared, broken, drunk, hurt — and that I’m finally reaching the other side. But I couldn’t. Because I felt like he just wouldn’t get it.

When he walked me out onto the street, he pulled me aside and I knew he was going to kiss me. But instead of letting the moment play out in all of its swirling, romantic potential, I did something super insulting.

I laughed.

“I’m sorry, that was awkward,” I said, “Did I ruin the moment?”

“Yes, you sort of did,” he replied. Then he kissed me anyway. And I let him because I figured it would brighten the mood.

Truth was, even though he’s a comedy writer, he didn’t get the humor of the whole situation. Because let’s be honest, what could be more ridiculous than someone like me, at this moment in time, on a date with cheerful YTH as he makes an innocuous and clueless move on me outside the dive bar where I’ve just kicked his ass at pool.

We parted ways. He called out that we should swap screenplays and I agreed. He took off in his car, and I got into mine.

And for the first time in 2 and a half years, I couldn’t have been happier to get home and crawl under my big, beautiful down comforter. And have it all to myself.

With love,
27swf

Guest Blogger – 27swf: The Vomitwire

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

Two weeks ago, I binged. Hard. I kept going and going, unable to stop. I grabbed for more, trying desperately to satiate myself. But the more I clamored, the more I thirsted for more…

No, readers, it wasn’t chocolate or coke. It wasn’t cigs or booze. It was worse. It was Facebook.

I’ve been off Facebook for two weeks now, venturing on (with trepidation) to read messages and monitor postings and photos. After reading fellow 25swf’s post about the perils of fb-stalking, I too took a vow of celibacy. No more information porn for me.

At first it was hard. How could I live without knowing that Tess O. was in food coma from too much Thai food? That Lenny A. just ran 2.97 miles with his Nike-iPhone pedometer? That Mallory just checked in at Whole Foods (with 13 others)?

But I learned to live without this information. I was a happier person, living in the moment. You know. Real moments. I knew stuff about people because they actually told me, not because a virtual vomitwire was spewing it at me.

Facebook became a far-away land that I could just pretend didn’t exist. Sure, I knew in the back of my mind that it had loads of exciting things going on, but they were things that didn’t pertain to my life and so I didn’t really care. Sort of how most Americans felt about the political uprising in Egypt or the Mayoral Election in Chicago.

And then, the binge. A simple click of the mouse led to the page of my ex-boyfriend (the one I dated for 7 years). And that’s how I found out he got engaged. I started snooping, first his profile, then the fiance’s, then the fiance’s sister’s, then the fiance’s brother-in-law, then that girl named Ruthie who commented on the fiance’s photos from their dinner last week at a kosher Chinese restaurant….I felt the binge take hold of me, consuming me, exploding my brain, eyes, stomach to smithereens, pulverizing any sense of stability I’d finally achieved after two weeks of mayhem…

So, I took a lunch break.

As I enjoyed Baja Fresh Diablo Shrimp Tacos (soft shell, extra jalapenos) I realized that while Facebook is a wonderful networking tool, it is also destructive. And so I shouted out, from the steps of Baja Fresh (in my head, of course):

I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE

Like Howard Beale, in the fabulous film, Network, I’m mad as hell that Facebook has taken over lives. We’ve become slaves to a website and the useless information it holds. If Facebook gives us good news, we’re happy (“Hilary had a baby — send her a box of virtual truffles!”); if it gives us bad news, we’re sad (“My dog was run over today. RIP old man — you always did have a thing for motorcycles”). The website has the power to ruin my day or enliven my mood. And that’s way too much power.

And so, as Max Schumacher said to Diana in that same brilliant film:

“You are television incarnate, Diana, indifferent to suffering, insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality.”

Only now, Facebook has replaced television — the common, unifying social force that is insensitive to our feelings, insensitive to our insecurities. Facebook doesn’t care how all useless, hurtful, insulting, and just plain dumb information that it spews forth hurts us. But we recklessly imbibe its poison, allowing it to influence how we see our world — and above all, ourselves.

And on that note, I’m turning off my computer and going to watch some quality television.

Yours,
27swf

Guest Blogger – 27swf: Young Tom Hanks

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

A wise woman once told me men always come in pairs. And she’s never failed to be correct (until you’re in a monogamous relationship, of course, and then hopefully it’s just the two of you.) But I digress.

Young Tom Hanks

YTH

What I’ve left out of the Doggy Style (part 1, part 2) story is that there’s been another guy in the eaves that I’ve been seeing simultaneously. Let’s call him Young Tom Hanks (YTH) — because he is young Tom Hanks: tall, adorable, kind of goofy, and knows how to make me laugh.

I met YTH at a party which I happened to be at with Doggy Style. While Doggy hid in the corner, sipping his vodka soda (might have forgotten to mention he’s manorexic), YTH approached me — he’d heard about the film I directed last summer and was eager to learn more about it. We chatted, exchanged info, and parted ways — he back to his friends, I home to make out with Doggy Style.

Cut to a month later, after a few Facebook messages, YTH and I met up for drinks. About 45 minutes in, I realized I might be on a date. This question was answered by the fact that he paid. Though my feminist streak was offended, my lady soul was charmed.

As things with Doggy just sorta simmered on the low burner, YTH and I went out on two more “outings” — one for drinks and another on…wait for it…VALENTINE’S DAY. Yes, the man asked me out on Valentine’s Day. That was conveniently the only day last week that I didn’t hear from Doggy Style.

As he walked me to my car after a delicious sushi dinner, I thought to myself: Who is this commitment non-phobe? Why is he so confident? Why isn’t he afraid of me?

And sadly, Why don’t I find him attractive? Continue reading