A night not to forget

The moment before we kissed seemed to last forever.  Just the way I think a first kiss should be.  Looking into each others’ eyes, inching closer and closer until our lips finally touched…

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  🙂

My date on Thursday, which all my dear readers know had the potential to be truly disastrous, ended up far, far exceeding my expectations.

He had offered to pick me up from work, but since he works halfway between my work and the event, I ended up driving.  I was starting to majorly stress over the situation, especially because I had a last-minute wardrobe semi-crisis (which turned out fine.)  I wore a little black dress with a suit jacket over it, and some high heeled strappy black shoes which if I do say so myself are pretty sexy.  (EHB thought so too.  But again, I’m getting ahead of myself.)

I pulled up alongside his office and called him just as he was coming out of the building.  He was dressed great – a nice suit and a tie which he put on in the car, saying that he was embarrassed to be putting on his tie when we just met (which I thought was hilarious, given how bold it was that we were going to this event together, and that  was what embarrassed him?)  He looked like his pictures but a little less serious, and he also wears glasses which are totally cute. 

We had a good conversation on the drive and then we arrived at the event and immediately he was introduced to all my co workers, one after the other.  The event was typical of these lawyer events — a bunch of speeches that vary from mind numbingly self-congratulatory to inspiring, but at any rate go on waaaay too long.  He had bought us drinks right before dinner, but an hour later, the main course was still nowhere in sight, there were endless speeches going on, and we all needed a drink.  Bad.  Everyone at the table was starting to complain.

And guess what?  EHB totally saved the day.  He got up and came back a few minutes later.  Moments after that, the waiter appeared with not one, but two bottles of wine that EHB had purchased for the table.  Major brownie points for that.

Most of all, what I recall about the dinner was that it just felt so easy to be with him.  A couple of times I had to go say hi to people, and he did just fine chatting with my co-workers.  We spent a good amount of time whispering to each other, and things got more flirtatious.  Our knees were touching under the table.  I just felt a very strong sense of well-being.

After the event finally ended, it was only 9 pm, so we decided to go have a drink with my co-worker L. and her fiance.  We wandered down the street to the Standard (I just love that bar, and even more now!) and headed up to the roof.  It was a gorgeous night and it just felt so pleasant to be up there, having a drink, relaxing.  We ended up sort of wandering off from L. and her fiance, and going around back behind the pool where we discovered these great couches — ok, so they were glorified beds!  We lay back and sipped our drinks and talked and talked.  He’s really fascinating — he’s lived and traveled so many places in his life.  At some point I was starting to shiver and he stood up, took off his jacket and draped it over my bare legs.  He put his arm around me and we sat together, so close, and he helped me stay warm.  And it didn’t even feel like a sexual thing at that point — I mean, not that the attraction wasn’t there because it definitely was, but I mean that it felt like more than that.  Very sweet, and very simple.  He even told me that he had wanted to take my hand earlier in the night but that he had felt awkward.

At one point he said to me, “You feel very comfortable.”  And I felt the same way, like I could just be exactly myself and just be and enjoy the moment.  There were the great butterflies, but not the anxiety ridden butterflies of a first date — more the butterflies you get a little further down the road when things feel less uncertain.  There’s really no reason I should have felt that, but I did. 

And then we were sitting so close like that, with my right leg over his left, and looking at each other and smiling, and he started touching my hair very gently, brushing it out of my face (which kills me – in a good way), and our lips were so close but not touching yet, and I think I moved forward and kissed him.  So then we were kissing, and normally I am really not a PDA person unless I’m drunk (which I wasn’t), but it was so nice that I just didn’t care.

Eventually we decided to head out — had I not started to get so cold, I could have stayed there all night.  It was late by this point and way past my bedtime (especially for a “school night”) but neither of us wanted the night to end.  We headed back to get my car and he grabbed my hand, and we walked, hand in hand, through the streets of downtown.  At one point I was shivering and he stopped and exclaimed, “Oh, you’re so cold!” and put his arms around me and just stood there holding me. 

So we went back to his work so he could get his car and agreed that the next stop would be a bar closer to me, Lola’s.  He told me to start heading home and he’d call me.  But he had been unable to find his BlackBerry earlier.  So I went home, fed Noodles, changed my shoes, no call.  I called him but no answer.  So in a total leap of faith, I decided to head to Lola’s.  And sure enough, I parked a couple of blocks away and as I walked towards the bar, there he was walking toward me.  (His BB, incidentally, was in my car!)  So we hung out there for a while and it was more of the same — talking and smooching.  Finally, after 1 am, he walked me back to my car and kissed me goodnight.

Then when he got home he texted me that it was a night “not to forget.”  Hear, hear.

So there you have it, dear readers.  I have attempted to shed my superstitions for one night and actually dish.  EHB and I have our 2nd date on Tuesday night for a late dinner (as of now, 10 pm, since I have trial starting tomorrow…normally I would just postpone everything until after trial but I want to see this boy again sooner rather than later!) so I will keep you posted….

 

A Change Would Do You Good

I know my dear readers are probably very disappointed in me because I have not yet dished on Thursday night’s blind date.  And you will be even more disappointed when I say that actually,  I am not going to dish like I said I would.

Now, if it had been a total disaster, I would have blooged about it in a heartbeat.  But let’s just say that it was the best night I’ve had in a long time, and the best first date I’ve had since…well, maybe ever! One of my many crazy attributes is that I somehow believe that if I blog about someone, it will jinx it.  Also, I know I always gush about this guy and that guy, and then when things don’t work out I feel stupid for having been so gushy.  (My friend T. has begun to tell me, when I start a sentence with “I just have a feeling that…”  — “No offense, SF, but given your guy situations over the past year, maybe you shouldn’t give those “feelings” so much weight.”)   So for now, my lips are sealed.  But if I were to gush…there is plenty of gush-worthy material.  🙂

All that excitement, though, doesn’t change the fundamentally restless-but-lethargic feeling I’ve been having recently.  I think it’s time to change things up, but how?  (Yes, I am actively in search of a therapist now, averse though I might be to the process.  ICK.)  Tonight my internet searches have ranged from condos in West Hollywood –I am being pressured from all sides to think about buying a place — to law jobs in New York.  (Yes, I know I don’t actually want to be a lawyer in NYC.  But the ad was for a fluent Spanish speaker for their “Latin American practice” which made my heart do a little flip.)  And I am always saying I wished I had lived there at some point in my younger life, as though I am SO OLD and decrepit now that I couldn’t possibly consider it. 

On Thurs night, I was telling EHB (who lived in NY for a year and loved it) that I wish I could have lived there and he was like, “So live there for a year.”  I think his reaction is probably TOO far on the opposite end of the spectrum — obviouslysuch a huge change isn’t as easy as snapping my fingers — but what if I am living my life with too much fear and caution?  What if 10, 20, 30 years from now all those “what-ifs” catch up with me and turn into regrets?  Will I really wish that I had lived in NY, San Francisco, etc?  Or will I be content that I lived my whole adult life in LA?  There’s a fine line between being content and just suffering from inertia.

 I just don’t know.  What do you think, dear readers? 

The most adventurous thing I’ve done this year

Warning, dear readers: I am about to confirm to all of you that I am officially crazy when it comes to all things dating-related.  This recent turn of events was enough to make my friend T., who has pretty much seen all my dating craziness, say “I’m speechless.”  Here goes.

As you know, I had done a fairly long stint with online dating, during which time I experienced a lot of first dates and a lot of “deaths.”  (You know, not real confirmed deaths, but guys dropping off the face of the earth — and what other explanation is there??)  In the middle of May I resigned from Match, and at the beginning of June I did the same with eHarmony.  I really wasn’t missing them at all, either.   Online dating can be extremely frustrating and way too time consuming. 

But then I had my most recent dating-related confusion/angst (about which I have been purposely vague – let’s just say I think it is decidedly a He’s Just Not That Into Me situation, though I still like the guy), and this confusion coincided with my receipt of an email from eHarmony offering me a special rate if I rejoined.

Being of the opinion that sometimes the best antidote for fretting about a boy is fretting about LOTS of different boys, I rejoined (against my better judgment).  Did the eHarmony process become any less aggravating in my three week hiatus?  Did the questions become any less daunting?  Did my selection of miniature Asian men decrease in favor of men who come up higher than my chin?  No, no, and no.

But, dear readers, I did start corresponding with one fellow with whom I’d been matched just a few days before I ditched my subscription the last time.  We somehow made it through the eHarmony process.  I even managed to answer the annoying essay questions — including the one that most instills me wth dread: “What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done this year?”  (Thank GOD for that white water rafting trip.  “Adventurous” isn’t exactly the 1st word I’d use to describe myself.  Or the 10th, or the 100th.)

Anyway, we made it past all the nonsense and started the normal emailing.  He’s funny and smart (but his emails are normal, not the long and TOO funny / well written type that signal that the guy will never ever live up to his emails).  He’s cute — and tall.  He even likes cats.  So far, so good. 

Yesterday morning, he emailed me and asked if I might want to have drinks on Thursday night.  I responded that I’d like to, but that my firm is receiving an award for my pro bono case and I have to go to the awards dinner.  Despite my very whiny post about my lack of guest, I really hadn’t been concerning myself with it since I wrote that (yet another example of writing something down helping to diffuse the intensity of my reaction) and I realized that it was a very cool honor and was fine doing my own thing an just enjoying the moment and being proud of myself. 

Anyway, I told him over email that I had the dinner that night.   Later that same day, he appeared on Gmail chat and we started chatting.  We were talking back and forth about all the various things keeping us busy (he has been working long hours, he is going out of town next weekend, etc. )  Then things took a turn for the very, very unexpected:

eHarmony Boy (hereafter “EHB”):  anyway, what i wanted to say is that if you have any time, i can try to meet up at some point even if it’s just for a little bit

SF: yeah, i’d like that

 EHB:  what’s not exciting is when you get talking with someone and then they quickly become a memory.  it’s all about the momentum 

 SF: yeah I am not a fan of the long drawn out email thing.  I don’t need more email pals 🙂  so, I concur!

EHB: email pals, ha ha

SF: I could probably do later drinks sometime this week, just not thurs.  or we can play it by ear for next week

EHB: I guess I’ll stop pushing for an invitation to the special dinner where no one would have any idea who I am.  😉

WHOA!!!!!!  Come again?   I know what you’re thinking, dear readers.  Come on, SF.  There is no way that this guy actually suggested that you go on a blind date to your work function.

Oh, but he did.  And what did I say?  Well, there’s not even any suspense, is there?  You know I said yes. 

And this is how I have managed to combine the most nervewracking things possible into one single event.  1)  I am meeting this guy for the 1st time.  2)  I am meeting this guy for the 1st time in the presence of several of my co workers (oh and by the way we are now sitting at the firm table, where he will be subject to up-close scrutiny); and 3) I have to go up on stage to accept the award.

ACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One blessing is that I don’t have to give a speech.  That might actually send me into a full blown panic attack.  As it is, I am actually getting rather excited.  (Once I got over the “what will I wear” panic, that is.)   This will either be sheer genius or it will be an unmitigated disaster, but at any rate I’ll get a good blog out of it.   And at a minimum it will be good for other peoples’ entertainment — my co-worker L., who will be at the dinner, was pretty much beside herself with excitement that she will get to witness this whole event go down.

And one more plus — I think this might beat out white water rafting in the adventure category…don’t you?

To be continued…

I guess that’s why they call it the blues

I meant to go to bed early tonight.  I really did.  But I was talking on the phone, then I was eating a belated dinner, then I was watching something sappy on TV, then I was chatting online with my friend A., and somehow the hours just slipped by. 

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately and I think it’s a combination of factors.  First — drinking Diet Coke in the afternoon/evening, as always, is a killer.  Bad SF, bad.  Need to wean myself off DC and at the very least, if I am not capable of cutting the soda cold turkey, back onto Diet Sprite (which I convinced myself I loved but I think I may have had one two many of and now the thought makes me feel a bit ill.)  What’s that you say?  Water?  Yes, I know, I know…that is the next step.

Second, stress always does it to me.  Tomorrow I have to take not one, not two, but THREE depositions, and I have a feeling I will wake up in the middle of the night (read: two hours from now) in a cold sweat with my heart racing.  The partner on this case seems to pretty much trust me to do anything, which in my humble opinion is a questionable judgment call, at best.  You remember I’m a lowly third year associate, right?  Right?

Third, my darling cat (bless his attention-whorish heart) has seen fit to start waking me up with meows, steadily increasing in volume, beginning at about 4:30 in the morning every day.  If only he weren’t so damn cute… (Story of my life, right?  Big sigh.)  He won’t even do the normal cat thing of jumping on the bed; instead, he’ll lay outside of my door and meow plaintively until I 1) shut the door (somewhat muffling the meows); 2) fall back asleep (highly unlikely, given the stress factor above); or (and this is the most likely scenario, because I’m a sucker) 3) trudge sleepily out of bed to feed him. 

Let me ask you — is there ANY reason for a cat who gets fed every morning and night and who always has dry food in his bowl and who weighs at least 15 lbs as of the last vet appointment, ANY reason why he should be fed in the middle of the night like a baby?  No, of course not.  Will I do it anyway to shut him up?  You bet.  Who’s the boss of the house, anyway?  Not even a contest.  In the month of June so far, Noodles: 15, SF: 0.

And finally, I’ve just been feeling a sense of general malaise (really wish I could use that word without thinking of Dr. Evil, because it is so apropos here).  I swear that I will elaborate more on this, dear readers, but for now my eyelids are closing (miracle!!!) and I need to take advantage.

till then,   SF

I Bruise Easily

I’ve always bruised easily.  Combine this with the fact that I am one of the clumsiest individuals on the planet and I am constantly bumping into things unwittingly, it’s not uncommon for me to have random black and blue marks on my legs or arms. 

It occurred to me this weekend as I was contemplating one such random mark that I don’t just bruise easily physically — I also bruise easily emotionally.  And just as with the physical bruises, I find them difficult to avoid, but they take a lot longer to heal. 

I had a heart-to-heart with my best childhood friend M. a couple of weeks ago, and she told me that she was concerned about me and some of the things I’d been blogging about, like the situation with C.  She basically told me that she was worried I wasn’t loving myself enough and I was ending up with a series of guys who didn’t love or respect me either.  She suggested, in the kindest and most constructive and loving way possible, that I had some things to work through and that perhaps I should seek therapy.  (She said it in a much more comprehensive and thoughtful way than that, but I’m summarizing.)

Of course, I pushed back.  I knew what she was saying was coming from a good place, but I reassured her that I was happy and that my life was good.  I told her that she shouldn’t worry about me, because things aren’t always as dramatic as they sound in my blog, and that my blog is cathartic and in a way it is my therapy.  I told her that I had learned my lesson from the C. situation and was looking out for myself and yada yada yada.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much, right?

The truth is, as much as I’d like for all the things I told M. to be true, and as much as I believed them when I was saying them, there is a lot of wisdom in everything that M. told me.  And the more that I try to say that everything is all sunshine and kittens and roses, the more I become like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, ignoring all my own issues as they just snowball.  It’s just so hard to admit that there are things I need to deal with, that I can’t blame on this guy or that bad day, because that means that I would actually have to look inside myself and make some real changes.  And frankly, that scares the shit out of me.

As you know, dear readers, in my dating life, as in all areas of my life, I tend to go into things with my heart wide open.  I’m trusting.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I give guys the benefit of the doubt, probably way past the point where they actually deserve it.  When I meet someone who I like, someone who I click with, I don’t follow any of those age-old dating rules.  Usually this backfires.  Every time I think, this one is different.  Every time I’m wrong.

It disappoints me every time that I open my heart to someone and they pull away from me.  It disappoints me most when I felt I actually had reason to trust the person in question.  But these days, the person I’m most disappointed in is myself.  Because I know I need to love myself more and look out for myself more.  No one else is going to do it for me — at least not until I do.

Why I shouldn’t drink Diet Coke late at night

Because inevitably I end up waking up at 4 am (yes, I have been up for over an hour) unable to fall back asleep.  And not particularly awake/inspired enough to work or blog or do anything productive.  Ugh.

But while I have your attention, two things:

1)  Thanks so much, dear readers, for all the kind words yesterday. It means a lot. 

2)  The one thing that finally broke through my sad mood (at least momentarily) was the wonder known as Human Tetris.  If you haven’t seen this before, please check it out.  I don’t want to over-hype it (thereby spoiling it) but let me know if you get a laugh out of it or if it’s just me!

And now, back to try to salvage whatever night-ish hours are left…

Not Tough Enough

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this has been the most upsetting day of my legal career so far.

I’ve shared with you about how, after much prayer (and hard work), the immigration judge in San Diego granted my client asylum.  That was probably the best moment of my legal career so far. 

But there was a catch (isn’t there always). The government reserved its right to appeal, so my client has remained in detention in the meantime. Yesterday was the last day to file an appeal. And of course, they filed it.

And here’s where it gets worse. Despite the judge having granted my client asylum, my poor client has to sit in detention for months more while the appeal is briefed and decided.  My client, who has all sorts of serious health problems.  My client, who has been harassed and mistreated in detention because she is transgender.  My client, who has already been in detention since March 2007.

And it gets even worse.  In most cases you can at least seek a setting of bond.  But my client had put in a declaration (which I translated and filed) stating that her family (who had abused her) had connections to the government and that because of that, she had been jailed for a robbery she didn’t commit.  Knowing now what I knew then, I would never have allowed her to include that information.  Because what that means is that she is considered by the US government to be an “aggravated felon” and can’t get out on bond.  And that’s also the grounds on which the govt is appealing the grant of asylum. 

I feel fairly confident (KNOCK ON WOOD) that we will win in the end, in some way or another.  But in the meantime, I feel absolutely sick to my stomach that my client is stuck in detention.  I feel guilty that this is all my fault.  I feel that my sense that I had actually done something good for someone has vanished.

I think I’m not tough enough for this job.  After I yelled at government counsel on the phone and all but hung up on her, what did I do?  I shut my office door and I cried.  Not useful, I know, but I was so frustrated and upset, it was the only thing I could do.  In fact, my office door is still closed because I suspect I may not have had my last cry of the day.

What do you do, dear readers, when you screw up and you can’t fix it?