More Matchmaking Madness

After a brief hiatus from intervention in my dating life, my mom has once again taken it upon herself to be my personal dating service.  Now, it’s not so much that I don’t trust my mom’s taste.  I am willing to humor her.  But there’s the small problem of the fact that she — and hence, any guy she could meet to set me up with — lives in Eugene, Oregon.  No big deal – only a 13 hour drive.  Never mind that SF is a girl who thinks that, living in West Hollywood, a guy who lives in Pasadena or Hermosa Beach is geographically undesirable!

Here is the email exchange that I had with my mom today  (She is a professor):

Dear SF, Tonight I have class with the student who Dad and I would like to introduce to you. I am attaching his photo, but he is much cuter than this. Do you even want me to find out if he has a girl friend and if he smokes.  If you do, I can tell him that I want to introduce him to someone when he is done with the program.  I won’t tell him who you are, but I will tell him some things about you if they don’t give away who you are. If you don’t want me to do this, just let me know.  I promise to give up after this and never bug you about someone I meet….ugh, that is a BIG promise to make.

I responded: 

I don’t mind you trying to set me up and I will be openminded, but I have to warn you that the chances of me actually dating someone who doesn’t live in L.A. are very very slim!   I don’t even want to date someone who lives too far away IN L.A. …much less a real long distance relationship. That said, you can ask him whatever you like and/or tell him about me if you want, I don’t mind.

She responded:

Actually, because I’m his advisor, I don’t plan to let him know who I want to set him up with.  I’ll tell him that I’ll give him your name and email information in February (because of a conflict of interest). If you don’t have a boy friend by then, I’ll give him the info.   Also, that makes it more comfortable in case one of you doesn’t want to meet the other one.  I want it to be comfortable for everyone.  In the meantime, if he wonders something about this mystery woman, I’ll tell him that I’ll have to check the answer with “her.”  Kind of like Match.com, but far more weird.  By the time I tell him about you, I’ll have to let him know that Eugene is a deal-breaker.   I know he loves to travel, and I think he is even considering teaching overseas. He is doing his student teaching in a math classroom. I’ll talk to him tonight as though I haven’t spoken to the “mystery woman” so that he can decline if he wants to….and like I said, I’ll check on the smoking issue I guess he needs to like cats, too…….

 

 By the end of this I was cracking up and forwarding to all my girlfriends so they could get a laugh, too.  But when I talked to Mom tonight, she meant business!  She rattled off all his wonderful attributes — apparently he is extremely kind, smart, funny but sort of introverted, and did she mention he was even cuter than his picture?  (Note: in the picture he is cute, but reminds me eerily of my ex-fiance’s younger brother.)

My mom then told me that she had hatched a plan for me to meet this guy in a casual way, but it would involve me coming to Eugene on December 18th instead of the 22nd or 23rd as I usually do.   I managed to talk her out of this, but she seemed disappointed until we hatched a plan.  I am flying up there in a few weeks for my 10 year high school reunion (which is a matter for another post, dear readers) and so she is going to enlist the social butterfly of her class of grad students to plan a Friday happy hour that she and I can tag along to.  And I agreed to this — aren’t I so openminded?

The funny thing is, even though she does tend to meddle, she really isn’t usually this serious about things.  I think she genuinely believes that this guy may be the love of my life and that she would be doing both of us a disservice if she didn’t introduce us to each other.

So, what the hell.  Mom, this one’s for you…

….and if nothing else, it will make for some good blogging.

I love this man!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m no pundit, and I won’t try to start with the political commentary now.  But for the love of blog, stop reading immediately and go watch his speech from tonight!  Try not to feel inspired — I double dog dare you.

YES WE CAN!

Open or Closed?

***Navel-gazing ahead!! Consider yourself warned.***

I have plenty of happy things to write about, but then I had a thought-provoking session with my therapist today, and the things we talked about pushed right to the forefront of my mind. I’ve been purposefully not writing much about therapy, partly because it’s so personal and partly because recently, I have felt like she’s been exploring areas that don’t exactly feel relevant to me. But today, she really made me take a step back and evaluate myself.

She’s made comments in the past that while she sees me as being at a high level intellectually, that my ability to express my emotions isn’t very developed. Today she said that she can see in my face sometimes that I am upset and that my chin quivers a little bit, but that I never actually let myself cry.

“This is a safe space,” she said. “You always seem like you almost get there and then you pull yourself together.”

I know. I’ve just always hated crying in front of other people. Even my best friends.

Why do you think that is?

I don’t know, I’ve just always hated it. It just makes me feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.

Have you ever seen your parents cry?

Yes, yes, of course.

And did you think there was something wrong with that?

Well…no.

So it’s OK for other people but not for you?

…and so on. Then she asked me, “what about anger?”

When I’m angry I usually just bottle it up.

So where does that anger go?

Well…time goes by and it just goes away, I guess.

I explained to her that even though most of my friends are really good and upfront about telling people when they are upset, and I really admire that trait, I just have a block about doing it myself. I swear I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever yelled at someone.

And then it was as though my whole relationship life flashed before my eyes, and I thought how different some of my relationships might have been if I had stepped up and not been afraid to express what I was feeling, for better or for worse. I think of myself as being too emotionally available, but I feel like really what I’ve been doing is putting my feelings up at stake (in the sense that I feel things strongly) but not really being candid or emotionally open, because I so often keep inside what I’m really thinking or feeling.

I said this to her and she said, “well if you think back like that, then it makes you wrong, or it makes everything seem like your fault.” So, onward and upward I suppose. But if I am really as emotionally closed off as she suggests, how do I ever begin to change that?

(My ex-boyfriend A. called me tonight just to chat. When we hung up, I thought about my therapy session and almost called him back to say, “do you think I’m emotionally retarded?” before I realized that he was the last person who I would trust to answer a question like that. He is so non confrontational, he makes me look like a screamer. Anyway.)

I keep thinking that this right guy is just around the corner and that when he appears into my life, we will fit together like puzzle pieces and things will be — not easy all the time, of course, but basically simple and compatible. But what if …fuck, what if there is some fundamental thing that is keeping me from being able to be in a real relationship?

I guess this shouldn’t be such a shock to me. I’m in therapy, obviously there are things about myself that can stand to undergo a major change. But with this, I don’t know, it feels like a huge hurdle. It feels like a way bigger hurdle even than the unnamed sadness I was fighting for so many months, because that almost felt like something outside of myself that I needed to purge.

But this…this is just me. And frankly, I don’t even know where to start.

Shout Out

Good evening, dear readers.  It’s the end of the weekend (*tear*) and I have a lot to write about, but I wanted to take the time to do a separate post about a blog that seems to be largely overlooked.  I forget how I started reading Playing With Matches, but it is worth checking out, and it is worth reading back through the archives for some of the most interesting and bizarre dating stories I’ve read/heard.  Some of my favorites are here, here and here.

Strangely, I seem to be one of only 1 or 2 people who comment on this blog, and I don’t understand why such an entertaining (and also sympathetic) blog wouldn’t have a bigger readership.  If you like stories of singlehood and dating and the perils that go with it, by all means, click on the above link and go give Tanasie some love.  What are you waiting for?

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

I have to admit, I’m sad that I’m done with my trip recaps already, because now I am faced with the daunting task of deciding what to write about.  I fear this will be very stream-of-consciousness; consider yourself warned!

Everyone has been lovely in welcoming me home, but I think no one is happier to see me than he is:

My beautiful furry friend has been following me around like a puppy, nuzzling me at every turn and even sleeping with me.  I hadn’t been sure whether my absence would provoke lots of love or vicious attacks upon my return, but thank god it’s the former!

Last night I went to a networky get together with my friend J.  A guy she knows who is also an attorney put it together.  He seems like one of those people who knows everyone and is really good about staying in touch with people and networking and shmoozing and all that good stuff.  I wholeheartedly admire people like that, but I myself am just not like that.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually love meeting new people.  I try to always be friendly, and given the right situation I can be really outgoing.  But sometimes in big groups I am more inclined to just hang back and take it all in.  And when it comes to marketing myself, I’m sometimes shy.  I never want to seem like I’m being pushy or obnoxious, so I feel like it’s a fine line.  My firm has gotten really gung ho about the marketing thing lately too — today we had a workshop on “elevator pitches.”  So I know this is something I need to work on.

Still, I’m never quite sure how others perceive me, so it’s always interesting to find out.  Last night one of the guys was extremely charming and gregarious and J. and I and two others were talking to him.  He turned to J. and said, “You look very Nordic.”  [We cracked up.  J. is petite and blond, but I think “Nordic” may be a first.]  Then he turned to me and said “You look very…tall.”  Then he continued, “…unassuming…and gentle.”

Hmm….okaaaay.  I suppose there is nothing particularly wrong with unassuming-ness.  And there’s certainly nothing wrong with being gentle.  I’m just not sure that’s the image I want to be projecting to the world.  In the dating world, unassuming is probably just code for boring, no?  And in business?  I mean, I’m a litigator for God’s sake!  If you were going to trial, would you hire the “unassuming and gentle” trial attorney?  Unassuming and gentle makes me sound like this:

 

So yeah…guess I need to work on that. 

Baaa.

Vacation Recap Part Trois: Paris

Jet lag is thoroughly kicking my single and fabulous bum this evening, dear readers, but I wanted to finish out the vacation trilogy so that I can begin to return to our regularly scheduled programming.  Plus, I suppose going to sleep at 8:20 pm wouldn’t help me get over the jet lag, would it?

So after my whirlwind tour of London, RL and I set out for Paris by train.  I highly recommend that way of getting from London to Paris or vice versa – it only costs about $100 if you buy ahead (it might have been even cheaper but I procrastinated) and took less than 2 1/2 hours and was a pleasant journey.  Our arrival in Paris was somewhat less than smooth.  We needed to buy Metro tickets to get to our hotel (way cheaper than taxi), but the ticket machine only took Euro coins (not bills) or credit cards.  We didn’t have any coins, and our credit cards didn’t work, and the ticket window with a live human was closed (it was about 9 pm), and the currency exchange place wouldn’t give us change.  I ended up having to hit up the ATM for Euro bills, then ask a woman at the bakery to take pity on me and give me change, so it worked out, but only after we’d shlepped around the train station for a good 20 minutes.

Other than that sorry welcome, I adored Paris as always.  The last time I was there, when I studied abroad in Madrid and spent a weekend there, it was a week before Christmas and was bitterly cold (but still beautiful).  I recall being up on the Eiffel Tower and hearing my teeth literally chattering.  But this time around, the weather was perfect — sunny and breezy and lovely.

The first night we were exhausted so we just shared a pizza and some wine at a local restaurant and hit the sack early.  The next day, we set out to explore Paris.  First up was the important task of finding breakfast, and we both had our little hearts set on crepes.  We walked around our neighborhood to no avail, including a cool open air market, and ended up walking across to Ile St. Louis, where we first got suckered into sitting down at a tourist trap restaurant.  We fled quickly when we saw that the only crepe on the menu was a dessert crepe for NINE euros!  (Aka, like 12 dollars.  Holy crap.)  We wandered down a nearby side street and were fortunate enough to stumble on a perfect little crepe stand where the crepes were a much more doable 4 euros and they were made up hot and to-go: Nutella and banana for me, cheese and egg for RL.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Satisfied by our meal, we then strolled over to Notre Dame:

We then walked along checking out the various bridges.  Once it got to be lunchtime, we decided that we were going to do it up right and get our own little picnic.  We hit up a wine store, a cheese shop, a bakery, and a fruit stand and ended up with this:

 

 

First we sat on a nice grass lawn, but before we could even open the wine bottle, the police swooped down on us and tsk-tsked that we couldn’t drink in that particular area.  To add insult to injury, they looked at our bottle of wine and laughed at us!  (Ok, so it cost 3 Euro, but it was a 2003 Bordeaux and it tasted good to me – not like that says much…)  We relocated to a bench but we dubbed them the “wine police” and we kept seeing them throughout the afternoon:

I will elaborate more on this in another post because it will take longer to explain adequately, but in my time in Paris I was just loving the language and the city and the ambience and I told RL that my biggest regret in college was that even though I studied French, I never studied in France so I never really got comfortable with it or good at it.  I told her that I would love to live in Paris for a year and get fluent in French so I could be trilingual (I also speak Spanish).  And I said that if I were to do something like that, the time would be right now, before I have anything else tying me down.

And since I got back I have been researching what it would take to make this kind of leap.  It is daunting and seems very challenging, but not impossible.  Since I believe that where there is a will, there’s a way, I have all my feelers out, and we’ll see what happens!  It’s fun to keep my mind and heart open to these exciting possibilities, and to think about returning to something that I loved so many years ago and let fall by the wayside.

But I digress.  That night after walking all over and picnicking, RL and I met up for dinner with her friend S.  He is French but he lived in San Francisco for a while a few years ago, and they were roommates for a year.  He turned out to be a great guy – and yes, the very same fetching French boy I mentioned a couple of posts ago.  He was a little bit shy at first, but sweet and funny and cute and of course, the accent is absolutely adorable.  He sort of has a Penn Badgley look about him.  He took us to a traditional French brasserie and he and I shared a giant steak and fries – delicious!  We had a good time talking and laughing – luckily his English is amazingly good, because my French is embarrassing at this point.  We hung out with him two nights in a row, but I hate to disappoint my readers that it never became more than platonic.  (Nope – I didn’t smooch a single European man.  Sorry, all!)  There was a definite vibe between us, but as I said, he is shy and plus, RL was there the whole time so it wasn’t exactly conducive to makeout time.  The second night he showed us his apartment, and it was a tiny place (makes some studio apts i’ve seen in Hollywood look large by comparison) but it also had the most gorgeous view I’ve ever seen — a 180 degree view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower.  So anyway, we said our goodbyes and he had asked for my info, so I gave him my card, and he told me that if I ever came back to Paris he would show me more of the city and other parts of France.  Yesterday he wrote me a totally cute email, saying that he had a really good time hanging out with RL and me, and that my visit was too short.

Wouldn’t it figure that this happens with a guy who lives on a different continent?  Oh well – I guess there is no harm in crushing, is there?

I will leave you, dear readers, with a couple more photos – can’t go to Paris without seeing these, after all.

Au revoir until next time!

Vacation Recap Part Two: London

So I left off my story, dear readers, in the gorgeous Lakes District with M.’s wedding celebration.  On Monday, we had to check out of the house, so the party was officially over and we had to each go our separate ways.  We had lots of goodbyes, lots of hugs and well wishing and exchanging of email addresses.  And then I was off to London!

In London I stayed with RL, my roommate from freshman year of college who I had been dear friends with throughout college but had fallen out of touch with a few years ago, for no reason other than laziness.  Last I saw her, she was living in San Francisco.  So I was plenty surprised when earlier this year I found her on Facebook and discovered she was living in London!  It worked out perfectly and it was great to see her.  She’s one of those people who I can always pick up with as though no time had passed.

She met me at the train station and we chatted as we walked along.  I knew vaguely from what she had told me that she was living with two guys, but I didn’t know much more than that.  It wasn’t till I got there that she revealed one of the guys was her boyfriend.  And better yet, they had been roomies for more than 9 mos before starting to date.  Craziness!  Things became more than a bit awkward because as soon as we arrived, they went in the other room and started having a heated argument.  About?  None other than the fact that he refuses to put “in a relationship” on Facebook.  Just another reason that Facebook, despite its awesomeness in rekindling old friendships, can be the devil, my friends!  (Btw, I have to take her side on this one.  He kept saying “it’s childish.”  Well, I can understand not being on board with Facebook to begin with, but if you’re in, you’re in.  Don’t be all Shady McShaderson about it.)  Anyway, the BF didn’t come out to dinner with us either night, so we ended up speaking all of 5 sentences to each other that left me underwhelmed.  But on to other things.

The day after I arrived, RL had to work a full day, so I headed out to explore the city by myself, armed with my camera and my trusty Lonely Planet guidebook (a tourist?  who, moi?)  I had a lovely walk all along the South Bank of the Thames from across the river from Westminster Abbey to Tower Bridge.  I went to the Tate and saw an exhibit on surrealist art, which I loved.  I also checked out Piccadilly, St James Park, Buckingham Palace (from the outside) and Trafalgar Square.  All in all, I was totally enchanted by London– such a vibrant city, fantastic architecture, so much history.  Here are a few photos:

That night, RL and I met up to go out for some (much-anticipated) curry.  She took me to a street in London that is famous for its many Indian restaurants.  She told me as we were walking from the tube that the many restaurant guys would try to convince us to eat there, and that we should look for whoever gave us the best deal.

The guy in the doorway of the very 1st restaurant told us he would give us 25% off, and make us free drinks.  Tempting, except that there was not a soul in the place!  Um..yeah.  Moving on.  But just as we moved on down the road, the heavens opened up and started pouring buckets down on us.  We were half soaked before we even got the umbrella open!  At the next place, the guy offered 10% off.  RL, ever the bargain hunter, told him we had gotten a 25% offer at the other place.  He was dismissive and not too eager to earn our business.  As we were turning away, another guy came out from the same restaurant to play “good cop.”  “I’ll give you 20% off, but don’t tell my friend there,” he said conspiratorially.  We were wet and starving, so we shrugged and decided to eat there.

After waiting for what seemed like forever, we got our food and chowed down.  (The food was definitely good, but not better than what I have had in LA.  Oh well!)  We only managed to eat about half of it, so we politely asked the “bad cop” for a takeaway box.

“We don’t do takeaway,” he said rudely.  “Just finish your food here.”

RL and I were stunned by this.  First of all, who doesn’t do takeaway?  Second of all, we had just seen  someone pick up a takeaway order.  So we waited until bad cop went out for a smoke and asked good cop for a takeaway box and the check.  Sure enough, we were soon leaving with our leftovers, which we couldn’t help but wave in front of bad cop’s face as we left.  Score!

We didn’t really check out London’s nightlife because RL was tired from work both nights (and, I suspect, wanted to finish the Facebook battle before we left for Paris — but didn’t).   So, no smooching of any Brits to report.  But overall, I loved the city, only with the exception of the rude Indian restaurant guy and the small matter of the dollar being so weak I could cry.

Next, on to Paris on the Eurostar!  But seeing as how it is 2:30 am and I need to actually make an effort to fight my jetlag (I went to bed at 9:30 and woke up at 1:30) it will have to wait till tomorrow!  Part Trois coming up…