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: 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: 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