Tuesday, December 27, 2005

C.

Christmas and the holidays in general without M. have been at least mildly depressing, there's no getting around that. The saddest thing was Christmas day when our families talked on the phone (his mom was practically crying to mine about how sad she was that we're no longer together), and I was reminded again how much a perfect fit we are in some regards.

And of course how imperfect in others.

I've kept myself occupied over the holiday break time with thoughts of C. In some ways, he reminds me of the one ex who broke my heart, which definitely raises some red flags for me. But I can't help being attracted to the guys who are ultra-confident, have really engaging personalities, are really smart (high IQ's and EQ's at the same time just DO it for me), and admittedly, have the money to back up my fantasy that they could definitely take care of me. Every time I write something like that I feel so shallow but M. has scarred me in that regard--I had to control, organize and plan virtually every aspect of our relationship so it makes at least a little sense that I would go running in the opposite direction.

I've known C. very peripherally for years now--we have acquaintances in common, and as has been my pattern in my new dating life, I re-met him at a party a couple of weeks ago. I could tell right away that he liked me--or more specifically, thought I was hot and fun--and he got my number. He is so funny and quick and could definitely be smarter than me, which scares me to freakin death yet also inrigues me since with someone like C. there would definitely never be a dull moment. To top it all off, we oddly enough have a very similiar (and strange) family dynamic.

We've been texting, talking and emailing but I came down with bronchitis and also the holidays have made getting together an impossibility. Finally, we made sort of plans to meet tomorrow night when I get back into the city. But I haven't heard from him and it's making me a little crazy. The new dating me though is smart: I absolutely refuse to call him or get in touch. I read The Rules and He's Just Not That Into You and the common theme seems to be, LET HIM CALL YOU. And clearly I'm not desperate enough to call him, and I've got a solid five guys waiting in the wings to assuage any boredom or need for lunch, dinner, drinks, coffee, a movie, etc. As the song goes, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with..."

And I should definitely know by now that my detailed fantasies of the white knight have not come true in the fifteen or so years I have been entertaining them, so I should maybe save myself a little trouble. But when I'm lying in bed at night, I can't help ruminating on the house in the Hamptons and New Year's in St. Barth's that necessarily accompany the man who will take care of me in other ways. What's WRONG with me?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Friends with Benefits

When I was still heavily entrenched in my relationship with M., I-oops-hooked up with one of his friends. A couple of times. Actually, B. is more of a good acquaintance of M...OK, I am making excuses. I was bored with M., horny and alone, and I went out looking for trouble. I literally wove my web around B. one night, firm in my intention to score. B. it should be noted, is a very good guy, but I was determined, and alas, he was no match for me. I just re-read that paragraph and it sounds like I am some sort of minx or supermodel. Not so. I just got game, at least according to my friends.

B. is a pretty good hookup, though he takes forever to come. I definitely enjoyed myself and he is one of those romantic, semi-erotic literary types, which made it much easier to kind of forget what I was doing and how relatively small our worlds are. Honestly, if nothing else, M. is very loyal and not a cheater and was the first guy I ever trusted and couldn't dig up any excuse to go crazy with jealousy over and it would have (and still would) rocked his world if he ever found about this transgression.

I just got interrupted with an email from one of M.s friend's girlfriends who hadn't heard yet we broke up. I love getting to tell my side of the story first.

Anyway, so B. and I hook up a couple of times and predictably I lose interst sooner rather than later. Mainly because he let me read something he wrote and I hated it. He's very smart but all of a sudden became human and fallible, which is never a good thing with me. Much to his credit, he was not a stalker, mainly because I was dating his friend, and he probably knew any efforts on that level would be completely futile. We stayed in touch, I edited some of his stuff here and there, and I thought it was put to rest.

Not so, as B. has been emailing me, complete with annoying subject lines, insisting that we really hang out. I have been ignoring him in the hopes that he gets the idea. I am spineless but it doesn't help that M. has been calling me lately and actually being solicitous and remembering things I told him in previous conversations, which is rare for him. There really is no reason for this post other than for the purposes of juxtaposition. My dance card is completely full, but I am not in the mood to dance with anyone other than M., even though I cannot be with him. What to do, what to do?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The interim

I have been figuring (as M. and I sporadically exchange random messages yet grow further and further apart) that I am terrified of being alone. I know the probability is not high (or if you ask my friends, not even a remote possibility) but I cannot even begin to imagine who I am possibly going to end up with. M. looks better and better, yet worse and worse if that makes sense. For example, tonight I was over at my (married) friend's apartment and AN., who I used to wildly hook with was, was there. He's been dating an OK chick for years and the bottom line is, I was never realy attracted to him enough to take our wild sex four years ago to the next level, though we have a great friendship and connection and all that. Yet, I left my friend's house (actually kind of suddenly--being the fifth wheel is even worse than being single) feeling VERY depressed because he was so cute with his girlfriend--just kisses and attention without being annoying. As much as I missed M. intensely, the validity of our breakup was reaffirmed because he could never just do those siimple little things that make me feel wanted and special. i can think of a million examples. At the end of the day, it just resounds--he is not the one for me.

Have I mentioned I really don't want to be alone? I have never felt as confident as this time in my life. Everyone says I am just glowing and attracting guys galore. Yet. I scrutinize everyone on the street because I want to divine my future and determine who is my perfect match. It's not any of the myriad guys I've encountered recently. I just can't figure it out, though. It's such a movie cliche, but the biggest city in the universe--NYC--can definitely be the loneliest. Walking through Union Square tonight, I glanced into places like Coffee Shop and it's so warm and cozy and filled with people interacting across small tables that I felt this vague sort of sadness (nostalgia?) that defined my solitary-ness. I want to fast forward to the content, happy, never lonely part of life where I am in a stable relationship and taken care of.

So the night I decided that m#2 wasn't for me (if you recall, the sunday night we went walking around the city) I had a wierd dream. It was so vivid I woke up freaked out and sweating. I dreamed that I was sitting in a crowded cafeteria setting with the one (uninitialed because the witch in me doesn't want to give him any sort of credence) guy who about five years ago broke my heart. We were chatting about his upcoming wedding, life, love--but not flirting or anything. He looked great and was his usual fun, relaxed self in a great blue button-down shirt. Then, my FATHER (perhaps as my shrink would say, the OTHER man who broke my heart) came up to the table to collect me to take me somewhere. I remember feeling like Dad was so impressive and the two men could go head to head. I vaguely remember feeling like the bad ex would be the one to hold his own with the father. Dad is also someone, though we're not close, who is actually really smart and wise and who I've emailed lengthily for advice about life and love even after not talking to for months (not like I really follow the advice, but whatever). He said that he "liked the way [I] talk about Matt" and gave me all this advice about working it out and comprmising and shit. yeah, like he knows how that works, what with four divorces under his belt and all.

I am not sure where this whole thing is coming from, but....nonetheless I am positive there is some deeper meaning to my angst. I am definitely psychologically fucked and never going to meet anyone in New York to boot.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The J. Date

I just sent M. his holiday card. I tried to keep the whole thing from becoming too maudlin but I couldn't resist injecting some poignancy into it to make him feel bad.

I'll distract myself from thinking about spending my first set of holidays in three years without him by writing about my "date" with J., who is my friend from my summer house. He is a typical Greenwich rich kid: hot, chivalrous and a brat. He is a total lady killer without being a player but I have yet to experience an ounce of sexual attraction for him. This summer, I happened to get to know him somewhat--we bonded over poetry we both write and don't share with anyone, music, etc. Plus, you definitely get to know someone pretty intimiately (even with M. around all the time) when he's sitting in his boxers on the couch hungover in the morning eating a bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich. After M. and I get in a particularly huge fight one night, I go out with our group of friends, including J. I am so drunk and pissed off that I try to kiss J. (the only accessible single guy in my immediate sphere) who denies me, saying something about how much be respects M. The last thing I needed at that exact moment was a stand-up guy, but oh well. We end up going to the beach the next day and totally bonding over how much we can't stand the people we're in relationships with (he broke up recently too). It's fun, but in reality I only fantasize about being with him because I've decided I really want to have a house in Palm Beach like his family does. I have no idea how I've gotten so wierdly acquisitive (maybe because I've had to work my ass off for everything my whole life and am still always broke!) Speaking of families, I still feel like I could never in a trillion years bring him home to mine. I just couldn't imagine him fitting in with certain people from my home town. My mom once said that M. on the other hand is the only guy I've ever been with that seemed right for me. Of course, this was quite a while ago. Like, when he was still working.

Long story short, over the last few months J. and I have stayed in touch and seen each other at various parties through our mutual friends. Again, zero sexual attraction. In fact, I think he is in love with one of my girlfriends, another summer share houser who has a serious boyfriend. We still talk on occasion and he asks me to a concert in November, which I can't go to (Willie Nelson and Ryan Adams, fuck!). Finally we get to go to a concert (Ray LaMontagne) together a week or so ago, who is amazing and not exactly rockin' (read: romantic). We meet for a beer before, have fun, go to the concert, have more fun, and then sit in a bar for three hours after the concert, rapping about everything, especially love and meeting your soul mate and all that. This is a sort of anti-climactic story because if it were the movies, we would close down the bar (well, we did that) and kiss passionately outside amidst the first snowflakes of the season. The snow part is true but we just hugged and went our separate ways. He emailed me thanking me the next day, saying he "always loves talking to me about love and life stuff."

I guess deep down, if I am honest with myself. I would be attracted to him if I felt any attraction FROM him, though I'm also honestly not upset that it's not there. I couldn't imagine letting him go down on me--I feel like I just wouldn't feel comfortable or something. Of course, I couldn't help but daydream that when he told me about how his parents told him that the reason they've had such a successful relationship is because they've remained best friends and have such a great time together, he was hinting that it would be important to him to start building such a relationship with me. I think I am living in a dream world. No, I know I am.

I'm going to send him an email right now...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Poetic Justice?

I am still laughing about this.

I am strolling home from a dinner party tonight (it's freezing!) and finally make it to my apartment. The whole way home, I am contemplating whom to drunk dial (and this certainly doesn't exclude my mom, sister and of course, M.--he is always willing to pick up the phone or at least call me right back). About six different times I reach in my bag to get out my phone but finally decide that I MUST wait until I at least step foot in my apartment in order to call someone. That should give me enough time to think rationally. Or possibly sober enough not to call P., who is the best kisser of all of the guys I've kissed recently, and therefore the logical choice for a booty call on a frigid Wednesday night in December.

I step foot in my apartment, fumbling with my keys and promptly drop said phone, which shatters on the ground (or so it would appear). I am not kidding when I say I spend the next twenty minutes searching for the battery insert in my teeny, tiny vestibule. I run my foot in stripes along the floor. I get down on my hands and knees and pat the ground. I am about to burst into tears.

After what seems like hours, I finally come to terms with the fact that God is giving me a sign: I must not drunk dial. I MUST be strong and make it one my own. After feeling creepily disconnected from the rest of the universe (what if a serial killer decides to break into my apartment that very night?), I steel myself to pay the forty dollars to get a new battery at Verizon tomorrow, then finally unlock and enter the main door into my building. And like the Holy Grail, there it is: my fucking battery. Looking smug and electronic right at my feet. I feel like such a tool because I was going to write a note on a Post-It and stick it to the entry door, instructing anyone who found my "inexplicably lost" battery to leave it in front of #2A.

Lesson learned! Now, who to call??!

Monday, December 12, 2005

and then there was m.

I will call my next date lower-case m, or m#2. Now this is interesting: we meet at yet another event and it turns out he is from my hometown and I actually knew him when I was younger. A friend of a friend. We have a blast hanging out at the bar, talking wine, politics, music...we end up going to another place, drinking a couple of great bottles of wine, talking more and then making out like a couple of teenagers. I didn't absolutely love his hair (too slicked back) or his kissing (WAY too much tongue) but I was horny and happy enough to figure in my drunken haze that it wasn't a big deal--I can train those things right out of him.

I am excited waiting for m#2. to call. I am even more excited when he doesn't call for a few days. I start fantasizing about a wedding back home. It would be so convenient if I married someone from home! I remember his parents have a really nice house plus a vacation home so he has to have at least SOME family money. When M. and I first met, we hung out and then he went to a weding or something and didn't call me for a couple of days. I love that--it makes me deliciously crazy.

I knew m#2. liked me. I guess he was really patient (I vaguely remember some wine-drenched discussion about the delay of gratification), which is definitely not the way I do things. I generally gravitate toward people and activities that offer instantaneous gratification. But either way, by the time m#2 and I agreed to meet for dinner at my place that Thursday, I was on pins and needles. Actually, I was a nervous wreck, but relaxed as soon as he got there (and opened the wine).

That goddamn slicked hair is the first thing I notice. He's not some Italian stallion. He's just a cute guy in a suit. M. used to try to play the gel game too but I nipped that habit in the bud. I didn't feel like it was appropriate for me to reach up and muss up m#2's hair until it was more of the cute mop top I think it should be. Oh well, for now.

We talk and talk, which is welcome and frankly, hot. m#2 asks me what my day entails and listens to my (long-winded) response, at least pretending that he's really interested. This is a major part of what I had been missing with M. I was desperate for him to ask me questions about every detail of what I was doing. One time I was out of town for work and got in a screaming fight with him over the phone from my hotel room because he admitted (under intense interrogation) that he had absolutely no idea what I do professionally on a day-to-day basis. He claimed that he knew everything I am doing more generally speaking and that should be enough. I think not.

Anyway, m#2. and I start making out on my couch. No clothes come off (well...that's not entirely true but none of his came off) and he was very complimentary ("magnificent" he calls me!) and cute. He says a few random wierd things like he [eventually] wanted to "kiss [me] on the crotch" (gross!) and his tongue was still doing all the wrong things--he kissed like he was taking long licks of an ice cream cone and not in a tasty kind of way. But even this is not enough to deter me from my good time and when he finally has to leave because he had to be up at the crack of dawn, I don't want him to leave. I wasn't quite at the level of wanting him to sleep over--the day that happens is the day I am really going to have to say goodbye in my head to M. because I still literally can't imagine sleeping next to anyone else. I LOVED sleeping with M. Anyway, I have fun with m#2.

The nest few days I have a lot of plans and go out and drunk dial m#2 once if I recall. I see him again for a walk around the city and dinner on Sunday and I suddenly and acutely know I am not into him anymore. And it's not just my astronomical hangover talking (or thinking) here. I am just over it. He looks like a dork, kisses me on the street and his breath smells sour. But the good thing with m#2. is that I definitely think we'll be friends so I don't even feel the need to avoid him like the plague. Hopefully he'll just get the message along the way.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Date #1 with A.

I met A. recently. He's a mutual friend of a lot of my friends. The minute M. and I broke up, my well-meaning (and actually awesome) group of guys and girl friends from my Ivy-League university immediately started conspiring to set me up. I got a lot of emails with the subject line "great guy for you!" I learned after the fact that while M. was and is universally liked (I keep saying he's wonderful), the consensus was that he wasn't necessarily the best for me. According to my crew, it was a question of timing.

Have I mentioned that practically the millisecond that M. and I broke up, even my most stubbornly single friends settled down into a serious relationship? I couldn't believe it. I literally have maybe two single friends left. The rest of my time is spent cajoling my attached friends into joining me for my nightly round of cocktails. I can see how people become alcoholics, especially in New York City.

Anyway, A. is everything that M. is not: ultra-rich (family money--his dad was Vice Chair of one of the city's most prominent investment banks), successful, not a partier, well-rounded, short, not cute and dorky. I think, Bingo! I am finally going to date somehow who knows how to take care of a woman. Full discolsure: A. and I hooked up in my hotel room out of town the first night we met and had a fun time fooling around. We didn't have sex but I definitely enjoyed myself. Mainly because I am probably the hottest girls he ever hooked up with in his life and I could tell he was into it. Also, I decided to start taking after another one of my girlfriends, who when she used to date (before she settled down in HER serious relationship), went out with hot guys, made them get her off and then kicked them out, high and dry. The epitome both of feminism and The Rules: what a great freaking dichotomy. At the time I thought it was wierd but I've changed my ways. Let him do anything and everything to me. I am not about to reciprocate...at least to the fullest extent of my abilities. Too bad for him.

After our first encounter, A. kept calling me. I had to admire his persistence. Didn't he ever see Swingers? I knew right away that I wouldn't ever be into him, but finally after blowing him off for weeks, I agreed to go to a movie screening and out to dinner with him last week.

We met at the screening. He was neurotic about us getting seats so he made us go really early. The theater was only half-full. It was a painfully long, boring and mawkish movie. I could smell his breath--mothballs--on my left side so I kept shifting to the right. The seconds ticked by and I could barely contain myself from checking my cell phone every single second. I used to love going to movies with M. Whenever I covered my eyes during scary or sickening parts, he would reach over in this cute, gentle kind of way, smile and pull my hands away, clutching them in his lap. I would just bury my head in his shoulder instead.

Finally, it's over. We leave the theater and walk outside into the frigid, windy November New York City night. He immediately puts his arm around me and tries to full-on make out with me. Ugh. I realize that we did hook up already, but seriously. Who did he think he was?

We get into a cab and head downtown. I pay for the cab, because he only has $4 in cash. I don't really mind, though. I am never that girl who never pulls out her wallet. I at least pretend I have class! We walk a couple of blocks, trying to pick a place out of the over-crowded ones. Finally, he decides on a restaurant that's pretty expensive. But it's nice (I'd been there for lunch once or twice), and it's not as crowded as all the other ones, so we go in.

Sitting at the bar and drinking red wine is the only enjoyable part of the evening for me. And I don't mean just because of the Pinot Noir. We bond a little bit over family craziness, even though he is a loud talker and laugher. I start to bristle at that when the host finally gives us our table.

He proceeds to complain about money he spends going out with friends (cry me a river--he's a billionaire, remember?) and haggles with the waiter to recommend a bottle of wine that's less expensive than the one originally . After this, I have to force myself to engage in the inane conversation even as he's sweating and the zit on his forehead turns whiter and whiter and he keeps kissing me even though the restaurant is small and the people next to us are practically in my lap. I am so grossed out and embarrassed and the waiter is looking at me like, "why the fuck are you with this loser?"

Suffice it to say, I do not prolong the night. He walks me the three blocks it takes to get to my apartment and puts his hands on my face and kisses me. M. kind of stopped kissing me like that after a while, but it still makes me think of him. In no uncertain terms, I tell him he is NOT coming up to my place. Date #1 with A. will definitely be our last...unless he offers to fly me out to Aspen for New Year's. Is it so wrong that I want a guy who can take care of me? That was neve M.s strong suit, and trust me, I am queen of taking care of myself.

I got upstairs, listen to some depressing music and call M. I'm not even drunk.

Sad songs say so much

There aren't enough songs about my kind of breakup. I've been trolling through my iPod, the radio, Cds, websites, everything--all to find some music I can relate to. I can only listen to so much Bob Dylan. This wasn't your garden-variety breakup, though, and nothing is speaking to me. He didn't fuck some other girl, or fuck a guy for that matter, or treat me like shit. He loves me but isn't a sucker. He's smart and interesting and outgoing. He's not jealous, he lets me do my own thing, he cuddles me at night but not too much where I feel smothered. He holds me hand when we walk around.

I think I'm still attracted to him. It wasn't the death knell of a relationship where his kiss or body repulses me. I've lost attraction before, for J. specifically after about four years, and just KNEW it was done. I don't think it was that. I'm not saying that after two+ years he was any closer to giving me an orgasm, but I'm probably more to blame about that since I faked a few each and every time we hooked up. We did stop making out after a while, but I feel like that's pretty normal. Well, maybe not normal but at least something that happens a lot.

With M., I agonized for ages before telling him that I needed to "take a break" about two months ago. This break has grown considerably in my mind and I've started dating other people. I obviously still call him when I'm drunk or need sympathy or can't figure out how to work my computer. How come there isn't a song about missing those things? How comes there isn't a song about not being able to decide if someone is right for you?

M. and I have the same conversation every time we talk (not so much these days)--he believes that a person should just be free to enjoy life, not "settle down", work and travel and not subscribe to American concepts of being an "adult" and being "responsible." As you can probably imagine, he smokes a lot of weed and sleeps a lot of the day. I, on the other hand, believe relationships are work, people need to actually communicate ESPECIALLY when they are living geographically apart like we are at the moment. M. believes that there is an "understanding" that should just naturally occur when people are in love, and both parties should just relax and take things as they come. Oh, and he was also going to propose to me a couple of months ago. He doesn't even have a job, much less health insurance or any sort of discernable career goals, and he wanted to marry me. Hmm.

I've always been a pretty positive person but I think I'm at least a little depressed. Or maybe annoyed: why can't I just make him be everything I want so I don't have to start from scratch at age 28?