Year 30

Even though my posts have become much fewer and much farther between, I haven’t resigned this blog because I know that the moment I do, I will be instantly struck with the urge to write another post.  I am keeping the blog here so that I can return periodically with updates on the life of SF.  So, for my dear readers (if any), here is a brief recap of the last couple of months.

1.  I was stranded in L.A. for Christmas because of the freakish weather in the Pacific Northwest, but happily I got to spend a lovely Christmas Day with friends.  I also discovered that one of the perks of being an only child is that my parents saved our Christmukkah celebration until I got home, so we opened all our presents and had a nice meal with my grandfather on Dec. 27th.  I was so happy to see my family, albeit belatedly.  I also had the good fortune of seeing my best friend who lives in England and was in town.  And the whole week, my wonderful BF was taking all sorts of photos on his camera phone (he was back East with his own family) and texting them to me so that we felt like we were together.  Shmoopy?  Who, us?

2.  Yesterday was my 29th birthday, or as I was reminded by several people, the beginning of my 30th year on this planet.  This is poised to be a very interesting year.  In some ways it will be a scary and uncertain year, with the state of the economy and the general feeling of flux.  But I still (perhaps naively) have high hopes that this will be a fabulous year.  I think it will be a year of change and a year of growth.  And I can’t wait to see where it brings me. 

3.  This year I will be in two wedding parties (so far – you never know what might happen!), attending at least two bachelorette parties, and going on a couple of cool vacations (in just a few days, Vail; at the end of the year, Australia!).  

4.  In sadder news, the girl who has been my best work friend and lifeline since we started as summer associates together in the summer of 2004 is leaving me (what about my needs?!) and moving up north.   I am still in complete denial about my life after she leaves the firm, so I am trying not to think about it.  (SF covers her ears.  La la la la la la!)

5.  My relationship, which is now four months old, is still swimming along perfectly.  I am at a loss for what to say about it that will adequately describe it, but I have been feeling a LOT of warm fuzzies.   I don’t think I ever realized that I could love someone so much, and I know we are just getting started.

6.  My New Year’s resolution is to dust off my elliptical machine and use it for something other than a clothes hanger, and so far so good.   My trick is that I am totally obsessed with renting DVDs of the show “Friday Night Lights” on Netflix (I am at the end of season 1.  It’s so good!!)  So I put on the DVD and watch an episode while I ride.  I know it’s a bit premature to boast about my resolution-keeping on January 12, so hopefully it will continue!

7.  This weekend I am going to try to learn to snowboard.  Again.  Wish me luck, and no severe injuries.

8.  Noodles is doing well, and I only sustained minor scratch wounds when I tried to get him in his cat carrier over the holidays (and two holes in my sweater).

With that, dear readers, I am calling it a day.  If anyone is still reading and you have particular things you are curious about, feel free to comment or email me!

Till next time, happy 2009!

xoxo

SF

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Back from the reunion, dear readers, and I promised stories!

Overall, I must say that the reunion was more fun and not at all traumatizing like I imagined, and I’m very glad I went because I think I’ve laid rest to a few of my neuroses – it’s about time!

As you know, I had worked myself up into a near panic over the horror of going to the reunion by myself.  And yet, in the end, I was actually really happy to be there on my own and to be able to talk to everyone I wanted to without torturing somone else!  (Case in point – my friend A.’s husband spent most of the evening by the bar getting progressively more drunk.) 

And even more than feeling ok being there by myself, I felt genuinely ok being single.  It was good to see people, and it was good to catch up.  Most everyone looks great (the girls more so than the guys, actually), and seems happy with whatever they are doing.  But listening to everyone talk about their lives, there isn’t anyone I’d want to switch places with, for all the husbands and babies and all that.   There isn’t anyone I’d rather be than who I am right now.  Which is not to say that my life is perfect – it is a work in progress, of course – but it’s my own.   And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

On another note, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, several people told me I looked great, and for once I believed them!  I don’t even mind that I was sort of nerdy in high school because I’d so much rather look better in my 20’s/30’s than have peaked in high school.   (On a related note: they were showing videos of school assemblies from our senior year, and in one of them I and the rest of the cast of Steel Magnolias, which I had a lead role in, had to do a little dance in front of the WHOLE SCHOOL to “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”  I was mortified watching this.  I was such a dork, I was wearing a totally fugly sweater, a black skirt and black tights.  Oh, how happy I am not to be in HS anymore!)

Anyway, the most entertaining encounter of the evening was with a guy named KM.  Before my mom became a professor, she was a 5th grade teacher at a different elementary school than the one I went to, but one that fed into the same high school as mine.  So one class of my mom’s students ended up being in my graduating class.  One such guy was KM.  My mom loved him, and I thought he was totally cute in high school, but he never ever gave me the time of day. 

This weekend I was showing my mom the Facebook photos of some of my high school friends and some of her former students, including KM.  She requested that if he were at the reunion, that I get a picture with him.  (I thought yeah right…I’m going to ask a guy who barely spoke to me in high school for a photo.)

Later in the evening, A. and I were getting a second drink at the bar when a guy we didn’t recognize started chatting with us.  (Not to digress too much, but this guy was in the running for the biggest douche in the universe prize.  He kept appearing all night with such winning lines as “I’m a corporate lawyer and a professional asshole.”  No shit, Sherlock.)  Anyway, I asked him whose husband he was and he said no, he was a friend of KM’s.

Right.  I spotted KM and smiled, and he gave me a quizzical look like he was trying to place me and I figured that was that.

But later in the night I was in a circle of people and KM snaked up behind me, started running his hand all over my back, and said “You look so beautiful.”  Then he told me that he’d seen some pictures of me on Facebook, and commented, “You just got back from a trip, right?”  I responded with, “Oh yeah, I saw some pictures of you too.  And your really cute girlfriend.”  Then he got all weird and was like, “Oh, that;s just a girl I used to date…it’s complicated.”  (Who puts pictures of an ex on Facebook?)

He came up to me several more times, his eyes looking more glazed and drunk by the minute, touching my back and saying I was beautiful.  He was like “we need to catch up!  Give me the update!”  But of course, when  tried to ask what he was up to, he’d give totally evasive answers like “Just living the dream!”  Then he’d say “we should go to a quiet corner to catch up…we keep getting interrupted.”

It was such a funny feeling, to have a guy I used to think was so hot (and who is still quite good looking) be trying to put the sleaze moves on me, and I just stood there thinking “Ugh, pathetic.”

I figured I might as well make my mom happy so this wouldn’t be a total waste, so I asked KM to take a photo with me along with another of her former students (who is now a math teacher and football coach at our high school and is totally the wholesome young teacher who all the girls must have crushes on).  KM then launched into, I love your mom.  If I could date your mom, I totally would.  Your mom is such a panther.

A PANTHER?

Yeah, you know, a panther.  30 to 39 is a Puma.  40 to 49 is a Cougar.  50 to 59 is a Panther.  And 60 and up is a Silver Panther.

Oh holy mother of god.  Yes, he actually called my sweet, innocent mom a Panther.  Happily, her other student was looking suitably skeeved/horrified.

I told my mom this and she cracked up.  If I had known he was like that, I would never have had you talk to him, she said.

I wonder if she’s flattered to be called a Panther?

Homeward Bound

Home, where my thought’s escaping…

Isn’t my hometown pretty?  I don’t have any plans to move back to Oregon, but sometimes I really do miss it.

I will be blog-free for a few days, but I promise a full report on all things reunion when I return!  xoxo!

Matchmaking Madness Part II

So, today the guy I want to set you up with came up to me after class.  He said,  So why do I have to wait 5 months to meet this mystery woman?  Why can’t I just meet her for coffee or lunch now? I told him that if he didn’t like her, or she didn’t like him, I didn’t want either of you to feel awkward around me.  And he said,  Oh come on, I’m not like that! 

“Well, Mom, don’t worry, I won’t feel awkward around you either.  And this guy wouldn’t be so excited if he knew that his mystery woman lived in Los Angeles.”

Anyway, it sounds like he’s going to come to the happy hour at El Torito I put together for my students next Friday when you’re in town.  So that way you can meet then. 

“Oh, I’m sure he won’t put two and two together.  ‘I have a mystery woman I want to set you up with.  On a totally unrelated note, I’d like you to meet my single 28-year old daughter.’  Frankly, if he doesn’t put two and two together, I don’t want to date someone so dense. ”

I’m not going to tell him it’s you.  And if he ever asks me, I’ll say ‘Wow, that’s a good idea!'”

“But then you actually have to pull another girl out of thin air.  You know, I sort of feel sorry for this guy.  He thinks he’s going to meet some woman who lives in Eugene.”

Oh, now I feel guilty! 

“I think you need to fix this guy up with someone now.  On the bright side, now you can shift your focus away from setting me up and onto setting him up!”

Maybe I can set up an eHarmony profile for him!

“Um, Mom, you know you have to PAY for eHarmony….”

I’m going to be paying for this one way or another!

“You’re telling me.”

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.

It’s Hard At The End Of The Day

Ten years ago, my uncle killed himself.

He was my mom’s older brother, the oldest of the three children.  Like me, he lived in Los Angeles.  Like me, he was an attorney in Century City.  He had been married and divorced not once, not twice, but five times.  He had recently been left by his fifth wife and had reconciled with his fourth wife, the mother of his only child, a girl who at the time of his death was only 9 years old.  She was told that he died of cancer.  He had also been wronged by his law partners, and apparently was in way over his head financially.  According to my mom at the time, it seemed that he just couldn’t see any way out and he wanted to provide for his daughter.  He took out a substantial life insurance policy at some point before he died.

That spring, I was a senior in high school.  I had always lived in Oregon while my uncle lived in Los Angeles, so we weren’t as close as we might have been, but I had a lot of memories of him (and his many wives) from the yearly visits we would make to L.A. when I was growing up and the several visits he had made to Eugene when I was younger.  He was smart and handsome and a little intimidating, but also kind, and I really loved him (but not his wives).  

I remember a couple of months before he died, we had some kind of frank telephone conversation.  All I recall is him saying, “Now that you’re 18 I can speak openly with you.”  But I can’t for the life of me remember what he said.  I wish I could.

I also remember that after he died, my then-boyfriend (C., of course) came over and we laid on the couch in my parents’ family room with his arms around me and I cried.  He didn’t know what to do with me or what to say, but I was so happy to have him there.

Needless to say, my uncle’s suicide has left its mark on my family.  Most notably, at least for its effect on my life, it has made my mom worry even more about me than she normally would have.  As you ma recall, dear readers, my mom was privy to my old blog and she would get extremely worried at every hint that I was feeling sad or blue.  She finally admitted to me that she was so worried because of what had happened to my uncle.  I think she felt like there was something she could or should have done to prevent it — which of course, she couldn’t have.

Maybe because of this, even though I consider myself to be close to my parents, I can’t bring myself to share with them what a tough time I’ve been having intermittently for the past several months.  I haven’t told them that I decided to start seeing a therapist.  (First visit tomorrow!)  I don’t know if I will.  I just feel like all it will do is make them worry, and being that they are in Oregon and I’m here, there isn’t too much they can do for me besides worry needlessly.  Truth be told, there isn’t anything they could do even if they were here.  I have fantastic friends who are great at listening and keeping me company and offering advice, but at the end of the day I come back to myself and I know that my demons are my own.  No one else can help me, but me.

And in the past I’ve told my mom not to worry because I’m not my uncle, and I’m not like him.  Now, DON’T WORRY –it’s true that I would never ever consider suicide.  But I have been thinking about him a lot recently and when I think back on my memories of him, I recall always seeing this deep sadness in his eyes.  And I can’t help but wonder, what if I have some remnant of his disposition, of his tendency to be sad?  He went from relationship to relationship, living in excess, never satisfied with what he had, never finding happiness.  He is the reason I had never wanted to become a lawyer in the first place.  It’s a mighty scary legacy, really.  But In a sick way I can identify with it more than, say, my parents who met when they were teenagers and fell in love and have been married ever since.

Recently, I have felt sad or anxious so much of the time that it’s hard to recall not feeling this way.  I will have fun times, but there is always a heaviness and a darkness lurking there in the back of my mind that I can never quite let go of.  I don’t remember the last time I felt truly happy in any lasting way.  I will have happy days and then they are followed by unhappy nights.  And I want to be happy.  I want it so much I can taste it.  It just feels like it’s always slightly out of my reach.

I had sort of planned to write a fun recap of my weekend — which was a pretty nice weekend — but I suppose all this is what I wanted to get off my chest.  Thanks for “listening,” dear readers.

This is the song that always makes my mom think of my uncle, and so I also have that association:

Angel by Sarah McLachlan

Spend all your time waiting

For that second chance

For a break that would make it okay

Theres always one reason

To feel not good enough

And its hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction

Oh beautiful release

Memory seeps from my veins

Let me be empty

And weightless and maybe

Ill find some peace tonight

 

In the arms of an angel

Fly away from here

From this dark cold hotel room

And the endlessness that you fear

You are pulled from the wreckage

Of your silent reverie

Youre in the arms of the angel

May you find some comfort there

 

So tired of the straight line

And everywhere you turn

Theres vultures and thieves at your back

And the storm keeps on twisting

You keep on building the lie

That you make up for all that you lack

It dont make no difference

Escaping one last time

Its easier to believe in this sweet madness oh

This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

 

In the arms of an angel

Fly away from here

From this dark cold hotel room

And the endlessness that you fear

You are pulled from the wreckage

Of your silent reverie

Youre in the arms of the angel

May you find some comfort there

Youre in the arms of the angel

May you find some comfort here