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

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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: 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

Guest Blogger – 27swf: Doggy Style, Part II…or the lack thereof…

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

With the release of “No Strings Attached” two weeks ago, I began contemplating all the friends I’ve had sex with in my life. I realized that most all these incidences started just around when I became a 27swf. There was the colleague that I hooked up with on my couch, the friend I went home with after a karaoke party, the buddy who I spent a hot weekend with by the beach, the lifelong friend that I made out with…and felt like I was kissing myself. They were mostly uninspiring trysts, leaving me with great stories, some orgasms and ultimately, the intense desire to bolt when the sun came up.

It also led me to a singular conclusion: there is reason why we’re friends and not more.

However, I’ve found myself in a new conundrum dating D aka Doggy Style (read all about him here). After an impromptu run-in in November, we started becoming friends after years as just acquaintances. There were long distance jogs on the beach, evenings of long phone conversations, writing exchanges, book swaps, movie swaps. Then, one night, a little vodka led things to the bedroom. They that stayed that way for about two weeks, at which point I left town for a month for work and vacation. We spent nearly a month apart, communicating via text, phone and email, becoming closer and closer.

When I came back from my trip, we continued to stay close, our communication becoming more frequent and comfortable. But as time passed, he seemed less interested in sex yet more interested in me. Baffling. In all my other relationships, the sex became more frequent as we got to know each other, but with D, it seemed the closer we grew, the more he shied away.

Then, we had the “conversation.” The talk that every self-respecting woman has, then regrets soon after. Because, let’s be honest, ladies. No man out there EVER wants to have “the conversation.” Even if he’s crazy about you. Even if he’s madly in love with you. He doesn’t want to be pressured into saying how he feels. And so, I got exactly what I was expecting: the “I don’t know what I want. I don’t know if I can be a boyfriend. I’m damaged by my last relationship. You’re becoming my best friend, can we just keep things how they’ve been?”

Last week, I suffered major tragedy in my family. I left town, once again, and once again, D was there for comfort. He made me laugh on the phone, calling to see how I was doing. He sent me emails to cheer me up. He appeared faithfully at the airport, carried my suitcase upstairs, and sat with me for two hours while I regaled him with tales of the funeral, the characters, etc. Then, he left, a hug and a goodbye.

Again, the next day. Texting, phone calls, emails. We decided to watch Gossip Girl that night (with his puppy, of course). I headed over, convinced that maybe, perhaps, I could distract myself from my week of pain by getting naked — escape my emotions by swallowing myself in sex. But instead, nothing happened. We watched TV on his couch and he promptly walked me to my car after the show was over. Overwhelmed by the week’s events, I burst into tears. I told him I couldn’t be alone, that I didn’t understand his gestures which, to me, were so romantic and kind, but his actions seemed to suggest he found me repulsive. Why couldn’t he touch me and hold me? He said he didn’t feel like being romantic right now in his life, that he was still mourning his last relationship, that sex made him feel guilty because his last girlfriend accused him of using her for sex. Above all, he said that it takes him time to feel comfortable with someone…and he’s not there yet. He doesn’t know how he feels, only that he really enjoys our time together. That our chemistry is strong but he doesn’t feel compelled to romance me just yet. I asked if I could stay the night, that I was too depressed to be alone and he said yes. We slept side by side; his arm grazed my body throughout the night, pulling the blanket over me when he felt it fall. I couldn’t tell if he was awake or asleep when he held me. When I left in the morning, I told him I needed time to think. And I’m still thinking.

My girlfriends think he’s damaged, that maybe it’s too much work after getting over my 25swf romance. I’m a 27swf now — don’t I have new expectations? New goals? Do I really want the same guy all over again…the one who is fearful, confused, damaged, introspective? The one who needs and wants me but can’t bring himself to be 100% present? My father, on the other hand, says he’s a nice guy who just needs some time (don’t worry, observant readers, dad gets the G-rated version of this story)

Yesterday we didn’t speak and I missed him. I missed our great conversations, our jokes, our comfort with each other.

I remembered the days in college and after, when all I wanted was a guy to be kind, to pick me up from the airport, to be my friend, and not just want me for sex. To want to see me in sunlight and not the inebriated haze of midnight. And now…? I feel like the tables have turned. That I’m the one wanting sex, craving someone touching my body…and feeling okay with leaving in the morning. D says that maybe, I’m the “guy” in our relationship…that I have to wait for him to “ready” for the sexual relationship that I want and feel comfortable having.

I’m left wondering if maybe now, I’m the one using sex as a way of not really getting too close….or if I’m just making excuses.

What do you all think, fellow readers? I’m curious for your input…

Yours, in confusion,

27swf

Guest Blogger – 27swf: Doggy Style

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

For the first time in months, I’m seeing someone. He (let’s call him “D”) is attractive, he actually reads books (ones with more words than pictures) and he’s heterosexual (I live in LA…this is something we worry about). In fact, things are off to a great start. There’s just one problem — the bitch that’s coming between us:

His dog.

Look, I love dogs. Really, I do. Little white loofah-looking things that yip. Big slobbering messes that leave a trail of goo on the coffee table. Purebreed, mutt, I love ’em all. But when I’m three-quarters naked…I don’t really want man’s other best friend joining the party. It’s a little awkward when you and the man are getting to first base…and his puppy is already rounding second (yes, this happened 4 nights ago).

D loves his dog. He loves petting her, whispering sweet nothings into her little floppy ears, kissing her doggy beard.  At first, I thought it was adorable. Look how sensitive he is! Look how willing he is to love! Sure, it bothered me when on our second date, good old poochie had prime real estate on the couch (I bit my tongue as she hogged the sour patch kids). But I didn’t want to rock the boat. I was the new girl… she’d been around the block with him a few times already.

As I lay next to him (puppy between us), I was scared to speak up. It’s too soon to say something, I thought. We haven’t been dating that long. Maybe if I speak up, I’ll ruin what we have so far. He’s cool with the dog being here…so I guess I should just go with it.

Then I realized: I’m not making this mistake again.

In my last relationship, (when I was a youthful 25swf) I constantly worried about ruining the relationship. I let him slip-slide along, never reprimanding him for putting me second. I always acquiesced. I always said “whatever you want, baby.” When he ignored my phone calls, I figured he was doing something more important than talking to me. When he didn’t invite him along with his friends (who were bringing their girlfriends) I figured, he just needed some space. He loved me, but he loved himself much more. He was always number 1…and I silently believed that in order for our love to work, I had to be content with being number 2.

This time around, can’t I be a little more selfish?

So I did said something. I told D that his dog needs to go in her crate. And the crate needs to go in the living room. She’s a great dog, but sometimes, I just don’t feel like sharing the spotlight. And what do you know? He actually agreed.

At 25, I was content to be runner up in order to make the relationship work. At 27, I’m pretty sure that if either person is runner up, the relationship’s bound to lose.

Signing off,

27swf