Matchmaker, Matchmaker

It’s officially that time of year when it begins to get sort of uncomfortably warm in my bedroom at night, so that even though I put the ceiling fan on full speed and throw all the blankets off of me, I still toss and turn and have weird dreams and wake up sort of parched. I can’t complain too much — there could be much worse things in life than warm summer nights arriving in April — but still, it’s enough to put central air right up there on my checklist for my next apartment/condo, right after washer/dryer. (A girl can dream, can’t she?) Noodles has taken to sprawling out on the floor, sometimes next to my bed, sometimes in the living room. Maybe he’s got the right idea…

So as most of you know, my mom lives up in Oregon, seemingly far enough away to keep my private life — well, private. But it’s only been in the past six months that I’ve finally wised up and realized that even from 1000 miles away, my mom will be just as involved in my life as is humanly possible, unless I — God forbid — stop sharing every single bit of my life with her. Now don’t get me wrong. My mom and I talk on the phone a lot, and for the most part I fill her in on everything I’m doing at work, with my friends, etc. She knows a LOT of the mundane details of my life. And I like sharing things with her, because we have a really good and loving relationship. But for the sake of my sanity, I drew the line and decided that I won’t tell her about my dating lfe until I meet somebody special.

In a way I feel bad not telling her that I’m out there going on dates. Sometimes when we talk, even though she knows I’m happy and busy and work is going well and I usually have a lot of plans, I get the sense that she’s worried that I’m not putting myself out there to meet people. I think she’d probably be relieved if she knew that I’ve been dating (or at least going on dates, which to me is different than actual “dating”), so sometimes I feel like I should just tell her to ease her mind. But the problem is that mentioning a guy to her automatically creates all sorts of pressure.

Example: those readers of my old blog may recall the guy I met on Match who gave good email. Super funny and cute on email; crickets chirping in real life. Anyway, we had emailed at some length and I was crushing bad on his cyber-persona, and then shortly before Thanksgiving we went on our 1st date. In hindsight it was pretty awkward (though not terrible), but I was still incredibly optimistic — how could anyone who writes such good emails be boring in real life??? So I told my mom about him. And of course, she did what she always does: she cyber stalked him. (The apple does not far fall from the tree, my friends.) Then when I went home over Thanksgiving, she seriously gave me the third degree about him. “Where does he live? What’s his job? Do you mind that he has a slightly receding hairline? No? Good for you, SF! What’s his grandmother’s middle name?” Ok, that last one I made up, but you get the idea.

And then what happened next? Did I begin a whirlwind romance with him, take him to meet my parents and live happily ever after? Of course not. What happened is that we went out on a second date, it was equally awkward as the 1st, and then I never heard from him again. That’s a really fun thing to tell Mom.

So instead, I choose silence.

And somehow, from 1000 miles away, my mom is still involved. A few months ago Mom told me that the provost of the school where she teaches has a son who is also a lawyer in L.A. and that he might be getting in touch with me. He didn’t and I forgot all about it. But then last week he emailed me. (By the way, it was the most formal email EVER. I think he even signed it, “Best regards.” I would have said something along the lines of, “Hey there, good to know other peoples’ parents meddle in their social lives as much as mine do.” ) Anyway, he graduated from UO Law school last year and is waiting for bar results, wants to practice entertainment or IP law and so he moved down here. I figured it must be hard getting adjusted to a new city, so I invited him to come have lunch with me and we are meeting tomorrow.

Even though the whole notion of me meeting him came from our parents’ mutual desire for us to “network,” I just KNEW that my mom was hoping this dude would turn out to be Prince Charming. So it cracked me up to no end when I looked at this guy’s Facebook page (I never said I wasn’t also a cyber stalker!) and realized that he must be the polar opposite of what Mom envisioned. Yes, he is a lawyer. Yes, he is the son of the head of the university. But…sadly for Mom’s yenta-ish tendencies…he is also a 25 year old kid who’s in a punk rock band. And he likes to take pictures of himself. Just himself. Doing punk rock poses. (To his credit, his band has a deal with Warner Music and they have a pretty cool sound.) This was his most recent email to me: “Sounds great, I’ll be wearing black-rimmed glasses, jeans and a casual blazer. Actually, I’ll probably look like everyone else in LA, so maybe I’ll just call you when I get there! Haha.”

This lunch will be … interesting to say the least. Hey, if nothing else maybe I’ll end up seeing his band sometime. I don’t see live music nearly enough, and I’ve always wanted to be a groupie. (ok, not really, but how funny would that be?)

But as for Mom’s matchmaking skills…sorry, not so much.

PS. I keep meaning to write about Texas Boy but I’m still on the fence about him, and I want to wait until my thoughts are clear before I commit to a position. We were supposed to meet for a drink tonight after he had some networking thing but he called me at 8 30 and said he wasnt feeling well, was just getting off work and going home to fall into a Nyquil coma. We set a tentative rain check for later in the week, but I feel “meh” about it. Even tonight, when he called I was secretly relieved because I had worked out, showered and put on my PJs so I didnt have to sit around in “real clothes” until I went out. And I was actually happy to be able to stay in my PJs! Is there something wrong with me?

PPS. My subscriptions to online dating sites (Match and eHarmony) are expiring on Thurs and I am 98% sure I am going to let them lapse and not renew them. I’m sort of fed up with the mens and the whole process. Thoughts, dear readers?

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California Dreamin’

Happy Monday, dear readers! I feel like I’ve been pretty delinquent in the blogging lately, and I want to make a concerted effort to get better. During the day I think of things I want to blog about, and I think I need to jot them down because when I finally get a moment to sit down and write, I am sometimes struck with a serious case of writer’s block!

This was a whirlwind weekend but it was a lot of fun. On Friday night I went to the Dodgers game. My firm has tickets in the Dugout Club and it was just fantastic. I’m admittedly not a real baseball fan — I don’t really follow it at all during the season — but I have a lot of fun going to games. Whether it’s in the awesome seats like this time or way far up in the peanut gallery, I just love the atmosphere. Give me some peanuts and a Dodger dog and I’m as happy as a clam! Even though it was a very close game, we (bad non-fans, I know, I know!) left after the 7th inning because I had to catch an early flight in the morning, I had to drive my co worker home and it was already after 10:30 pm. When I got home, I was antsy and couldn’t sleep and I checked the score — the game ended up going into the 13th inning!!! I was sort of relieved that we didn’t stick out the whole game since it didn’t end till after 12:30 am, but I was also bummed that we missed the end of such a great game!

The next part of my weekend was a trip up to San Francisco for my friend and former roommate Knittikins’ wedding celebration. She and her honey eloped at the end of February and her parents and godparents threw her a small dinner this weekend for family and close friends. So on Saturday I caught an early morning flight up to San Francisco. First of all, I very highly recommend Virgin America …SO much better than Southwest! I arrived up there at about 10 and CM. (my best college friend and other former roommate and Knittikins’ sister), and TM, their baby sister picked me up from the airport.

After a brief detour (aka, getting ourselves slightly lost in the city) we went to meet up with some of our college friends for brunch. It was really fun to see them. Our friend N. and her girlfriend E.L. are expecting a baby in July and E.L. is quite pregnant and SO cute! It was funny to hear them talk about their expectations and fears. We all cracked up when N. told how she semi-dropped her friend’s 9 month old baby by placing her on her feet in front of the couch. N. said “well, I just expected her to fall on all fours, like my cat does.” (Needless to say, the baby did NOT behave like a cat….) Our other friend E.C. is finishing her 2L year of law school and is going to be a summer associate at a big scary law firm in NY this summer. It had been a long time since I’d seen her, but there’s something about certain friends…when you meet up, it’s like no time has passed. I do wish I got to see those girls more.

After brunch we returned to the family’s house and all started getting ready to head over to the venue for pre-event photos. We got there and it was gorgeous– a restaurant in Sausalito with huge windows overlooking the Bay and with a view of the SF skyline. The photographer took tons of shots (I even got to be in some, as the former roommate / honorary sister 🙂 ) and I can’t wait to see them. Knittikins looked gorgeous.

Once photos ended we headed upstairs and hung out for a while before the guests arrived, we had appetizers then a sit down dinner. I was seated at a table with two of Knittikins’ HS friends and one of her college friends and her husband. I knew most of them because they’d lived in LA for part of the time we lived together, so it was fun to catch up with them. The dinner was yummy, there were some nice toasts and everyone seemed really happy and mellow. I have to say, the highlight of the night was totally silly and random — their godmother had borrowed a Nintendo Wii and it was set up in a corner of the restaurant with a giant screen. The most priceless moment was Knittikins and her college friend going at it with the Wii boxing — in their high heels and beautiful dresses, leaping around, getting low to the ground and then jumping up — it was hysterical. I can’t wait to see the photos!

I spent quite some time over the course of the weekend thinking about San Francisco as a city and trying to picture myself living there. For many years now, I have dreamed about living up there, but have never taken the leap. When I was in college I did a summer program up in Berkeley and fell in love with the Bay area — that’s also when I first got to know CM’s family. I applied to law school in Berkeley and didn’t get in, and was thrilled to go to UCLA…and the rest is history. I worked at my firm as a summer associate, started there in fall of ’05 and have been in L.A. this whole time.

But more and more I keep thinking — I have a freedom that a lot of people my age don’t have, in that I have no husband, no boyfriend, no kids, no mortgage — I could pick up and move at a moment’s notice without thinking of anyone’s needs but mine. Of course, just because I could doesn’t necessarily mean I should — but if I were going to take a big leap, now would be the time to do it. Over the weekend I found myself saying, “I’ve always wanted to live in San Francisco…” and I wondered, Will I still be saying that when I’m 40? Would I regret if I never try it?

Even without the kids and the mortgage, there is still a lot holding me back. Above all, I adore my friends — who have been my family here for the past 6 years when my parents are 1000 miles away. Of course, my job and the people I work with. And Los Angeles itself, which I have always had a love/hate relationship with, but which has, it seems, become much more loving over the years. 🙂

And, what I hope isn’t the primary thing, but could be — fear. I’ve never started totally from scratch in a new city, and it would be pretty terrifying. I know that even if it could be wonderful in the long run, it would be a rocky road and a tough adjustment.

I don’t really know how to sort all of this out, so I’ve done a trick that my mom taught me when I was in high school – I created pro and con lists and I set them aside to let them percolate. I know that the earliest I would make any move would be 2009 because I would want to finish out the year at my firm…so I have some time to consider it. It’s a lot to think about!

Next time, more juicy tidbits from my love life (or lack thereof). Till then, dear readers, good night!

The Loneliest Number Since the Number One

It’s been a lovely weekend, but amidst lots of plans and fun with friends I’ve also had many moments of contemplation and lots of thoughts swirling around in my head that I have wanted to focus into a blog post. Now that the time has come to write them down, though, it seems difficult to know where to begin.

I never meant for my blog to become so much about relationships and dating, and yet that is what I seem to write about all the time…forgive me, dear readers!

After the anticlimactic end of things with New Guy, I have continued to do the online dating thing and have gone out with twice this past week with a new – new guy from Match.com who I’ll call Texas Boy. (More on that another time.) I also have a date with someone else lined up tomorrow.

Embarking on a new round of dating, I’ve begin to question, What exactly am I looking for here? I’ve been doing the online dating thing off and on for…sheesh, about a year now…and I’ve always thought I knew what I was looking for in a guy, but my list of wants has always been sort of standard: smart, kind, funny, attractive, blah blah blah. As much as I feel like I hate going on 1st and 2nd dates, and I tend to think of myself more as a “relationship person,” when I really get down to imagining what it would be like to get into a serious relationship right now…frankly, it’s terrifying. And now that so many of my friends are tying the knot, when I try to envision myself getting engaged (again) at some point in the future, it’s enough to make me break out in a cold sweat and start hyperventilating.

I’m always fine in a relationship up to a certain point. With the two guys I dated for a few months each after my engagement broke off, a certain rhythm developed. I would spend the night at the guy’s apartment but he would almost never come over to mine. We would spend a few evenings a week together but almost never make plans during the day on weekends. They only saw so much of me and my life, and even though I’d complain that I wanted them more in my life, there was something easy about it. For example, I’m one of the messiest people I know, and I always figured the less people see of my mess, the better. The physical mess is what I’m referring to… but also the emotional stuff.

And maybe that’s what it is — maybe I’m just not ready to let someone see me for who I really am.

And that’s probably the root of the biggest problem I have in relationships: loneliness. I know it’s counterintuitive. Right now, though I’m single and spend a fair amount of time alone, I’m not lonely. But in every relationship I’ve ever been in, there has come a point where I’ve begin to feel overwhelmingly, consumingly lonely. To me, there’s nothing worse than being with someone, that someone who’s supposed to be an important someone, and feel alone. I’ve always felt that the person I’m with never quite “gets” me. In the month before I broke up with my ex-fiance, I recall many sleepless nights, staring at the ceiling while he slept peacefully next to me, sometimes crying, feeling like he didn’t understand me at all.

I’m not sure what to make of all this, or what I need to do to get myself in the place where I can be with someone else in a real way. In the meantime, as I said, I’m out there doing the dating thing. But I still stop and wonder, what’s the point?

Don’t be concerned, dear readers: overall, my life is a lot better and happier than this post makes it sound. But it’s good to get these thoughts out of my head…

I didn’t like you anyway …

In my last post I gave a little bit of a tease about New Guy, so I decided to shut the door on the subject once and for all by filling my dear readers in on what transpired.

I think I reported earlier that our last date (which was in mid March sometime…seems so long ago, and I was still in my trial fog) seemed a bit awkward, and things just felt a bit off. After that I didn’t hear from him for 3 weeks. Yes, 2 of those weeks he was in Europe, but still – after that prolonged silence I assumed that New Guy had died (you know, not literally, but in the sense of “he must have died, otherwise he would have called”).

Then, last Sunday, I got a surprising voice mail from him apologizing for being MIA, and I waffled back and forth between whether I wanted to say, “It’s too late and I don’t like you that much anyway” or whether I wanted to just go with the flow. As it turned out, I didn’t get a chance to do either because when I called him back, I got his voice mail, and then two days later I received an email (yes, not a phone call, but an email) saying “Got your message, I’m out of town all this week for work, I’ll call you this weekend.”

Um…okaaaay. Needless to say at this point I’m not exactly holding my breath. I was on my firm retreat having a jolly old time when I got his voice mail on Sat, and I called him back on Sunday afternoon. After a round of phone tag, we finally spoke on the phone for the 1st time in a month. After we got the annoying chit chat out of the way (“how was your trip?” “how was your trial?”) he said “So, the reason I wanted to make sure I talked to you is…..”

……

……I wanted to tell you I met someone else.”

These, dear readers, are words I have become particularly NOT fond of hearing.

He then proceeded to tell me that he wanted to “be fair” to me and not just disappear on me.

Okay, dear readers, let’s back up for a minute. First, let me say that I totally appreciate upfrontness and honesty. I really do. Enough guys have “died” on me, which always leaves the most frustrating sense of non-closure, that I have to give at least some props to anyone who can man up and be honest.

But, New Guy? I have to give you a tip. When you disappear for weeks, don’t bother reappearing to be “upfront”! It’s too late!

To add insult to injury, he then proceeded to say “Well, best of luck to you….are you still doing the Match thing?”

I know that the whole point of dating is to, you know — date multiple people…but I have a hard time doing that, especially when I’ve slept with someone. Don’t get me wrong, I have continued to look around online and email with various people, so though no real dates have emerged from that yet, I have been keeping my options open as best as possible. But when someone throws so blatantly back in my face that they have been dating around all along and that I should have been doing the same, it’s just — I don’t know — tacky?

Anyhoo, at the end of the day I’m not upset or even disappointed, because the warm fuzzies I had felt for him at first had given way on our last date. I think one of the biggest feelings I’m having is indignant that he beat me to the punch. If I were somewhat less mature, I would have just loved to, instead of saying, “Thanks for telling me, take care now!” say the following:

“New Guy, thanks for telling me, but don’t flatter yourself. Let’s face it — you have a high voice (such a mood killer), you work way too much to date anyone, and you’re totally selfish in bed. Best of luck to you and especially to the poor new Match girl you are dating now!!”

But of course, dear readers, SF is way more mature than that…. 😉

Sailing Away …

I have arrived back this afternoon from a spectacular weekend in Santa Barbara, and it was exactly what I needed. It was my firm’s annual litigation department retreat, and it was such a fun trip. I’m very lucky to have hilarious, entertaining and nice co-workers that I actually really enjoy spending time with, and my firm doesn’t even force us to do work-related activities, so it was really nothing more than a heavily subsidized vacation! Ahhh…

First of all, we stayed in an amazing hotel. It would be a great place for a romantic weekend getaway with one’s sweetie. A lot of people brought their spouses or sig o’s (most of my co workers, even the other junior associates, are married) but I got to room with one of the first year associates, and we totally bonded — it was great! She’s my “little sib” at the firm but this was the first weekend we’d ever had a true heart-to-heart, and I really enjoyed getting to know more about her. She and I made plans to go out sometime soon, so that will be fun.

Other highlights of the weekend were sailboat racing (it was a gorgeous day, and my team’s boat won! — much to the dismay of my boss who is extremely competitive), wine tasting in Santa Ynez and Solvang, and of course, LOTS of eating and drinking. Somehow, despite drinking quite a bit both Fri and Sat nights, I wasn’t hungover at all this weekend! (This is nothing short of miraculous considering that my drinks on Fri night included white wine, red wine, an Irish car bomb and 2 Cosmopolitans!) My boss was not so lucky, and in fact, he ended up having to stay home to nurse his hangover on Sat in lieu of wine tasting. Later that day, my co worker overheard him utter the best quote of the weekend: “Man, my back hurts. I don’t know if it’s from playing tennis or throwing up.”

I have to say, I totally welcome scandal and hilarity on work trips, so long as it’s not me! 🙂

Last night after a delicious wine pairing dinner in downtown Santa Barbara, my hotel roomie and I decided to venture out and bar-hop on State Street. Wow, if there was ever a way to feel incredibly old, that was it! We had a beer at one pub (where we monopolized the jukebox with Journey and other goodies) and then moved on to another bar where we claimed a booth and people watched. We were thisclose to calling it a night, when two guys slipped into our booth and started chatting with us. My hotel roomie and I share the same name, which the guys loved (leading us to decide that we need to take this show on the road in L.A.!) and they convinced us, in spite of our reluctance, to follow them to a dance club down the street. They were on a bachelor party and as it turned out, they were the only guys in the bar who didn’t look like they were using a fake ID.

I was hoping for some good stories to ensue, but sadly, as soon as we got to the club the other guys disappeared who-knows-where and then left us with their dorky friend. Poor guy…he was perfectly nice and smart, but as far as cuteness goes, this was the classic bait and switch. When we learned the club had a cover charge (only $5, but c’mon, it’s the principle — who wants to wait behind a velvet rope in a college town?) we used that as our excuse and we hopped in the next cab.

All in all, it was a great weekend and I feel very relaxed and zen to begin the new week. I need to really kick it into high gear now, as I have been slacking at work (deservedly, after the hours I billed last month, but still.) Starting tomorrow, will work hard, I promise!

I have an update about New Guy, which has officially come to an end, but I sort of don’t want to dedicate space to him! Let’s just say that I think I may have preferred it when I thought he died.

Is that mean? 🙂

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My arms will keep me warm

Hello, dear readers, and I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Things are still going swimmingly in the post-trial world of S/F. It’s a bit strange since I’m not exactly sure what the catalyst was, but I feel, as my friend D. put it, that I am really coming into my own all of a sudden. I’m not sure why this is happening now, and part of me wishes that it happened a long time ago (I’m 28 and have been living all by myself — no roommates — for over a year and a half now), but for the first time I can remember, I really feel the full ownership I have over my life and I’m loving it. For so long, if I’m really honest with myself, my main focus (whether consciously or subconsciously) has been looking, waiting, wishing and hoping that the love of my life would come along. When I got sick of feeling heartbroken, I put up a self imposed wall and told myself I was on “man-cation” but I never actually broke out of the same old patterns. But I feel like I had an “a-ha” moment — what if I never get married? Is that going to be tragic, or is it going to be ok — better yet, is my life going to be great no matter what? And at any rate, why ruin the present worrying about the future?

I’m finally in a place where I feel like my life is fantastic just as it is. Being alone, to me, used to feel like some kind of punishment. Now, I relish it. I fill up my hours with things I want to do — because I have the luxury of being able to focus primarily on my own needs. And I decided to start making positive changes in my life – starting with exercising. I’ve been hiking 3 times in the past week (last Sat and this Sat and Sun) and I’m loving it. I must admit, dear readers, that right now I’m pretty embarrassingly out of shape and I huff and puff up the mountain, but it just makes me that much more motivated to keep at it until I am more fit. Case in point: yesterday my friend D. and I went hiking up in Runyon Canyon, which is where everyone within a 10 mile radius of Hollywood and their dogs goes hiking on the weekend. On our hike, while I was panting my way up the hill (I don’t think I’m very fun to hike with right now b/c I get too out-of-breath to be chatty!) we were passed by a woman who was–no exaggeration–probably 8 1/2 – 9 months pregnant. Like, she could have given birth on the hike. Not only was she hiking in her extremely pregnant state, while my daily exercise prior to this recent hiking spurt consisted of walking the 2 flights of stairs up from my office parking garage, but she was having no trouble whatsoever.

If that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is! I’ve been considering getting up and taking a hike before work some day this week, but we’ll see — when push comes to shove, it’s often difficult for me to rally out of my warm and cozy bed.

In other news, New Guy is apparently still alive. Our last date was over 3 weeks ago, after which he went to Europe for 2 weeks, and we hadn’t talked since. Our last date was somewhat awkward (whereas our prior dates had been pretty sparkling) so I assumed that he had just decided that things would fizzle out. I knew he had gotten back into town and I hadn’t heard anything from him. Honestly, while I thought it was a bit rude (I had sent him an email) I really hadn’t been thinking much about it. And then today I received the following voice mail: “Hi SF, it’s NG, sorry I’ve been so MIA, I got back into town last Sunday and I have been getting killed at work. Hope you’re doing well and that your case went well. Give me a call when you get a chance.”

Normally, if a guy would have called me after I’d given up on him, I would have had an extreme reaction: either really pissed off (“how dare he wait so long to call me?”) or really excited (“I guess he does kinda like me!”) Now, I had neither reaction – instead I though, “Huh.” At first I thought maybe I wouldn’t return the call, since I had already sort of assumed things were over and things were weird last time and he hadn’t contacted me sooner. Then I decided that I would call him and go with the flow. I’m not mad, I’m not thrilled, but I stll think he’s a nice guy and at one point we had some pretty awesome chemistry, so why not? If I weren’t in such a good mental place right now, I might feel like I was playing with fire, but as it is, I know that I’ll be fine no matter what happens.

On a final note, I bought the Juno soundtrack and I’ve been listening to it pretty compulsively. I love the song that Ellen Page and Michael Cera sing together at the end. Is there anything cuter or more romantic than the lyrics “I don’t see what anyone can see, in anyone else/but you”? Then there are all the quirky Kimya Dawson songs that I really appreciate for their upbeatness and strangeness. My favorite is “Tire Swing” and especially the part at the end, “if I’m a spinster for the rest of my life/ my arms will keep me warm on cold and lonely nights.”

Maybe that sounds depressing, but it really isn’t. What can be better than knowing that you’ll be able to keep yourself warm? And I finally know that’s true…