….And Guest

Dear readers: I apologize in advance for what I’m sure will be the supremely whiny tone of this post.  I try to self censor my whining to a certain degree (though it may not seem that way!) but there are some days when I just can’t help it.  This is one of those days.

First, we have officially arrived in that oh-so-glorious time of year known in L.A. as “June Gloom.”  I know, I know, cry me a river, I live in a place where it’s sunny every day and I complain about a few overcast mornings.  Wah wah wah.  But it just sets the tone for the day.  (It may also not have helped that I I was listening to decidedly melancholy Jack Johnson songs on the way to work.  Hmm.)

I arrived at work and the harsh realization washed over me that because of our totally unsuccessful waste of a mediation yesterday, I am now forced to begin preparing for my fourth trial this year, which begins June 30.  As much as I have actually really enjoyed doing these trial, I I also enjoy, you know, having a life.  Bye, bye, life–see you in July.

I went to a meeting and when I came back, there was a message from a woman at a local bar organization.  My firm is getting a pro bono award based on that asylum case that I worked on, which is really awesome.  The awards dinner is coming up in 2 weeks.  But what I didn’t realize is that instead of getting to sit with my co-workers who show up to fill the table my firm bought, I will apparently be sitting at a separate table — presumably with the other award recipients.  That wouldn’t be bad (even though I don’t know them personally, I have emailed with some of them and they are very nice women) except for the kicker: the woman was calling to find out who I was bringing as my guest.

Most of the time, I’m pretty fine with being single.  But I must say that in these situations, being sans a plus-one is supremely sucky.  I had to take several deep breaths before I picked up the phone and called the woman back to tell her that I wouldn’t be bringing a guest.  I know it’s stupid, but I actually felt embarrassed to say that — to a woman I’ve never even met!  She sort of paused awkwardly and then told me, well, I have the option of bringing a complimentary guest, so just to let her know a few days before if I change my mind. 

After I hung up the phone, I was thinking back to a bruncheon event I went to several months ago where one of my co-workers was being honored for her pro bono work for a different organization.  She’s my office neighbor, also an associate and a year older than me.  A group of us came from the firm, and she also had her husband, parents and in-laws there.  I remember even at the time, watching how her husband was there at her side, beaming at her and supporting her and being proud of her, and I thought how I wish I had that.  And I still really, really wish I had that.  Of course I don’t want to be with someone for the sake of being with someone — I want the right someone. 

My mom asked me why I didn’t just invite one of my friends to accompany me to the event, but I don’t know; it just seems inappropriate somehow.  So instead I decided to invite this lawyer who became my co-counsel on the case a few months back and has helped me tremendously from the beginning.  He was working for a local nonprofit and giving me lots of advice, then he transferred to a nonprofit in San Diego, my case eventually got moved to San Diego and he kept helping me.  And — this is uber embarrassing — somewhere along the way I started to develop this half-joking crush on him.  Of course, I have never to this day met this guy.  We have exchanged tons of emails and phone calls (always about the case), but all I knew aside from his job was the fact that he was about my age.  But I would joke to my co-worker L. that he was going to fall in love with me, he just didn’t know if because he hasn’t met me yet.

So I sent him an email asking if he wanted to come with me since he worked so hard on the case.  And he replied that he was really touched that I’d invited him, but he couldn’t make it because he’d be in Hawaii.

….

On his HONEYMOON.

Again, I know that it is supremely idiotic and nonsensical to be disappointed to learn that a guy I’ve never met is getting married.  But I seriously wanted to just stop my work and sit and pout.

I can just hear all my friends screaming at me simultaneously as I say this, so I must preface it by saying I know this statement is irrational and fundamentally untrue, but the whole lack-of-guest situation makes me feel like some kind of a failure. 

So then I went to a meeting tonight and, you know how when you get fixated on something that’s all you can see?  Like when you have a new haircut you dont like and all you can do is look at people’s hair?  Well tonight all I could see were all the sparkly wedding rings on everyone’s fingers.  And I just felt disgusted with myself because I really have never, ever been that girl.  On the one hand, I feel like since I was engaged and we broke up, I’m in absolutely no rush to jump into anything, and I have really become accustomed to having my own life and doing my own thing.  But as I get older, being single becomes more and more rare and I start to feel like a weird outlier.   It’s not that I’m unhappy or envious of all my friends who are getting married — to the contrary, I love helping them and celebrating with them and I think it’s wonderful — but I can tell that I’m just going to feel more and more…different.  And that’s hard.

Then I came home today and greeting me was an (adorable, by the way) wedding invitation from one of my close friends.  And on the envelope?  You guessed it: “Miss Single/Fabulous & Guest.”

I don’t know, dear readers.  None of these things should really upset me, I realize.  But somehow today, I just haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I just want to burst into tears.

As I said…I guess it’s just one of those days.

My Future Husband

After a day at home, dear readers (thankfully I am sort of slow at work right now, normally I just have to suck it up and go anyway), I am happy to report that I think my bad cold has turned the corner!  Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll feel even more like normal.

So tonight I was supposed to go to a fundraising dinner for an organization that one of my fellow associates, AB, is involved with, on the board of directors.  My firm bought a table and I agreed to go when AB called me and I knew he was hard pressed to find a warm body to fill the seats.  At the time, I thought that I was just doing a mitzvah for a friend; I had no idea that AB had any ulterior motive.

But today, when I woke up feeling like death and emailed AB to let him know that our other co-worker’s fiance would be taking my place, he responded, “I’m really sorry to hear that you are sick and that you can’t make it to the Awards Dinner tonight.  I am especially bummed because I was hoping to introduce you to a really nice young man who is going to be there tonight.  He’s actually one of the awards recipients, and I’m sure L. will tell you all about how tall, dark, handsome and great he is and how much you missed out… unless you have a miraculous recovery and can join us after all…  🙂  *cough, cough*  In all seriousness, I was hoping to introduce you to him, but perhaps on another occasion.”

I had to say, very impressive, AB!  Way to prey on a girl’s weaknesses.  And since I was at home and bored, I proceeded to do some cyber recon on this guy (AB is a great guy and all, but let’s just say I’m not sure I trust his taste in men!).  Sure enough, though,  my recon mission revealed that this guy was an attractive, MBA, former I-banker business owner who volunteers with kids.  Good on paper — check!  I emailed my co-worker L. and informed her that it was her duty to check this guy out in person.  I then mused that I hoped I wasn’t missing the chance to meet my future husband.  L. encouraged me to get up off the couch and rally for the event, but I figured that I’d rather not have my future husband meet me when I’m all runny-nosed and hacking up a lung.  My friend T. confirmed to me that since my future husband was going to be receiving an award tonight, better I meet him when he doesn’t have other fish to fry. 

Ok, so maybe we were getting a bit carried away with the “my future husband” shenanigans… 🙂

In other news, I am still confused about whether the situation with Cute Boy is a potential love interest thing or whether it’s just a friend/networking thing.  As you know, we met because our parents decided we should, he emailed me, we went to lunch about a month ago, and then last week we went out to dinner.  I had hoped that dinner would clarify for me whether thing were friendly or more than friendly but they didn’t.  He had told me he wanted to ask my advice about job hunting, but it turned out that he had decided to do one last hurrah and tour with his band in August and September, so he’s not really job hunting yet.  We talked a bit about job stuff, but the majority of the 2 hours was just spent talking about all sorts of random stuff.  We each had 2 beers, we laughed a lot, and he paid for everything at the end (over my protest).  But then at the end, he seemed really anxious to get out of there and just gave me a casual hug goodbye and told me we’d talk soon.  I decided it was just a friend thing, and thought that was sort of too bad because I was starting to crush on him a little bit.

I had invited him to this networky/drinks thing that I was putting together with a new acquaintance of mine that was supposed to be tomorrow, and he seemed psyched about going, but again — hello, networking.  Then the Laker game was scheduled for tomorrow so I emailed Cute Boy today to let him know that the networky drinks were being postponed, and mentioned offhand that I’m sick but that if I felt better I might go watch the game at a sports bar – but I didn’t specifically invite him or anything.  Then he wrote back, “That’s totally cool, I hope you feel better soon. If you do decide that you’d like to go to a sports bar or something for food and/or drinks to watch the game, let me know. I’d be interested in joining you.” 

 This seems sort of promising, but who knows.  I’m totally happy to be friends with this guy — he’s fun and smart and I have a relative shortage of guy friends compared to other times in my life — but if that’s the case I’d sort of like to know so I’m not wondering and crushing needlessly.  I’ll keep you posted!

Speaking of guy friends, I’ve got a new one who I’ve hung out with a few times now and he’s totally awesome…and much needed, since all of my other guy friends consist of my ex-boyfriends and my friend D. who’s gay.  Straight male friend = quite refreshing.  And some of my friends would say, an urban myth, but I disagree.

On a final note, does anyone else love, love, love Top Chef???  I have been watching a marathon for the past 3 hours (no matter that I have seen all the episodes already) and I dig it so much.  Ironically, I hardly cook at all myself, and in fact, tonight I have been watching the show while devouring Thai food takeout.

Maybe I should work on that before I meet my future husband?

 

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? 🙂

“Your guest shouldn’t be some Joe Schmoe.”

It’s that time of year…the time where the location of the annual litigation department trip is announced. Dum da da dum!!! Since time immemorial, the litigation department has done a ski trip in January or February. There is a very vocal group of hard core skiiers who have long threatened that they wouldn’t go on a trip if it wasn’t ski related. But, after the dismal turnout at last year’s trip to Whistler (less than 10 lawyers out of a department of 40-50 people), an equally vocal group of non-skiiers spoke up and advocated for a warm weather trip. And finally, the head of my department, who I’ll call Boss, was swayed.

Then Boss, who is a young, 30-something guy from Texas who’s very outdoorsy (his young children have done more camping/backpacking than me; a few years ago he went on a 3 week long hiking trip by himself with just a satellite phone) decided that our trip should be active, and suggested an “upscale dude ranch.”

Ummmmm…………

Sadly (not), the dude ranch was booked, so now we are going to Santa Barbara and staying at the Four Seasons! I couldn’t be happier. A day of wine tasting, a day of sailing, time at the spa, some yummy meals…now that’s more my speed.

So today the associates planning the trip sent out an email saying how much the trip would cost, and that guests were welcome and would be subsidized at the same rate as the person bringing the guest. Then Boss stopped by my office to chat about the trip, since I helped plan the ski trip last year. He plopped down in a chair and then came out with, “So, could you pass along to your fellow associates that their guest shouldn’t be some Joe Schmoe, it should be a real person.”

Huh?

As it turns out, apparently a few years back, an associate brought a blind date on a firm retreat. Seriously – who does that?? And so, someone raised the issue as a concern with Boss.

But the thing is, aside from one 1st year associate, I am literally the only single associate in the department. 98% of the people are married or engaged, and the only unmarried/engaged girls have serious boyfriend who they bring to everything. Soo….exactly who am I “passing” this information on to? That’s right –nobody.

I was actually incredibly amused by this. Perhaps a teeny bit miffed, but only when I pondered it afterward. At the time, I just laughed out loud and said, “Don’t worry, Boss, I’m not bringing anybody on the trip.”

I’m not offended by the policy. I totally get it. I suppose it could be considered single person discrimination — “what do you mean, I can’t bring my gay friend / BFF / blind date?” But really, if the firm is going to pay for someone to come for a weekend in Santa Barbara, I can understand why they wouldn’t want to be paying for some “Joe Schmoe” off the street. Also, I’d much rather fly solo than be worried about whether someone is having fun or how that person is behaving with my work people.

I guess the only thing I found unsettling by the comment is, Does Boss think I’m the sort of girl who brings a blind date on a work trip? I’m sure I’m overanalyzing this. I know Boss likes me, and perhaps he actually just wanted someone else to be the messenger and didn’t consider everyone’s relationship status.

Anyway….

Speaking of blind dates, tomorrow is my coffee date with Chemistry.com guy. Despite myself, I began to get a wee bit excited about it today. I was trying to decide what to wear since I’ll be coming straight from work, and I think I’m going to follow T.’s advice and wear a pencil skirt and a soft sweater. It’s a bit of a bummer to go on a date right after work with no time to go home and freshen up, but c’est la vie. This guy sounds very sweet and genuine in his emails and profile, and looks like a real cutie. Tall with dimples – kills me every time!

I can just see us getting on the topic of our upcoming weekend plans. It will go something like this:

“So, Singlefabulous, what do your next couple of weeks look like?”
“Well, Blind Date, this weekend I’m going to San Diego for the California Bar Education Institute, and next weekend I’m going up to Oregon for a sex weekend with a married man.”

Or….maybe not.

I’ll keep you posted, dear readers!