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

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Douchebaggery, Ivy Style

***Warning: Ivy League insults ahead.  Ivy leaguers who read my blog (ahem, KB), close your eyes and/or promise not to be TOO offended.***

Tonight I went to an event put on by The Ivy Plus Society.  (Also known as “TIPS.”)  This is a group whose members are exclusively people who went to one of a short list of schools — Ivy league or similar.  You don’t have to be a TIPS member to go to an event, you can be invited by a member, which is good… being that I don’t qualify for TIPS since neither my undergrad nor my law school appear on the short list of sufficiently-elite institutions.  (Though, the med school and business school at the university where I did law school ARE on the list.  Hmm.)

I was originally supposed to go with my co-worker R., who went to Harvard Law, but she had to work late so I persuaded my dear friend T. to accompany me.  “I hope you know how much your friendship means to me since I am going to hang out with a bunch of snooty Ivy leaguers with you on a Tuesday night,” she emailed me.  After we left the event, she remarked, “Yep, that was the level of douchebaggery that I would expect from the Ivy League.”

The event was put on at a swanky bar in Hollywood.  When we arrived, we checked in under my faux name and we headed to the bar to get drinks (the typically obscene $11 for a vodka/grapefruit juice, when really I should have just gotten a soda cause it was so damn hot at the rooftop bar.  What is up with it being 90 plus degrees in almost-October?  Sheesh).  Then we went up to the roof.  It was a really well attended event – the roof was teeming with people, and I was sort of startled by how good looking some of the people were, both men and women.  We talked in our own huddle for a while before venturing into the masses.  It didn’t take long for us to be approached, and from then on we were talking in groups.  I even gave out my business card to a few people — my  firm’s marketing director would be so proud.  (Is it bad that I am hoping to God none of them call or email me?)

There was one particular guy who stood out as receiving the Douchebag award of the evening, however.   He approached us with the winning line, “So we have new question other than ‘What do you do?’ Instead, we’ll ask ‘Where have you been lately?'”

Douchebag had recently been to the East Coast, where he’s from.  Douchebag’s Friend (DF), who was actually really nice, apparently had been somewhere soooo cool that he had to save talking about it till the end.  But when it came around, DF said he’d recently been to Burning Man and he was telling us all about it.  Now, I know Burning Man is a huge event.  And call me a snob, yuppie, prude, what have you.  But seriously, a big party in the desert?  Are we still in college?  As Sarah Palin claims to have said about the Bridge to Nowhere (ha!  HA!), “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Douchebag is a software engineer but was wearing the Hollywood Douche uniform of jeans, T shirt and white blazer.  When talking to me and another girl, he gave insightful (not) commentary on how he wouldn’t mind a Great Depression if it would sort itself out afterward.  He kept making comments that would have us glancing sidelong at each other, mouths agape.   He said he really likes body language more than just spoken language.  He said it with a seflf assured way and a cock of the head that implied, “Why don’t we go communicate through some body language in my apartment, baby.”

Douchebag also was the second person in as many networking events I have attended recently to tell me that I am “unassuming.”  T. started laughing and told him that wasn’t the first time that I’d heard that recently.  He then tried really hard to say “that’s a good thing!  Really, don’t change!”  (My dear readers said the same thing, I guess it must be true.)   Not that I want to be the opposite of unassuming — but I don’t know, I think I’d rather that not be the first adjective that jumps to mind.

Douchebag also apparently told T., while I was talking to someone else, that she is “sensual.”  Yeah, hi, Creepy McCreeperson.  Don’t let the gorgeous engagement ring stop you.

And he told T. and me, eyes shifting and rolling drunkenly in his head, that men didn’t know how to be men anymore, that the club scene has changed since he moved to LA in 2001.

And because I, unlike T., have not perfected the art of clean escape, and because we had talked to these guys so long at this point that I felt bad despite myself, I gave them both my card.

Here’s hoping they don’t use it.

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?

Flashing Back

These are scary times, dear readers.  Politically, economically, things are more than unstable.   I’m sure at some point I will write about all of that, because you’d best believe it’s been on my mind.  But for now, I am going to try to stay in denial and write about a different time in my life.  Because in a few days I will be traveling in a time machine, back to 1998.

That’s right – I’m talking about my ten year high school reunion.

What was SF like in high school, you ask?

I was smart.  I was awkward.  I was dying to fit in.  I wore baggy sweaters and flannel shirts my freshman year because I wanted to be like Angela Chase on My So-Called Life.  I was boy-crazy.  I was in theater.  I had long straight hair and bangs.  I studied a lot.  When I was 15, I tried to befriend the popular girls by going to JV basketball games with them.  I never became a so-called popular girl.  I didn’t swear, drink, or have sex.  I hated doing anything athletic.  When I was 16, I thought I was in love with a boy who was Mormon and I went to church with him.  When I was 17, I dated a boy from the “wrong side of the tracks” and took him to prom with me.  He dumped me in favor of a girl who would put out.  When I was 18, I fell in love with C.  When they handed out joke awards in the drama department, I got the “Sorry I’m such a sweetheart” award.  I wanted nothing more than to be swept off my feet.

My, my, how times have changed.  But sometimes, I still feel like that Oregon high school girl.

And on Saturday, I’ll be going to some new restaurant/bar in Eugene that I’ve never heard of, and I’ll be seeing a lot of people who haven’t seen me since I stopped being that girl.  And even though my life has come so far since 1998, when I think about going back and seeing all those people, I feel like maybe I haven’t let go of all those old stupid high school insecurities.

(Random non sequitur: I am watching Fringe, and Joshua Jackson is even hotter now than he was on Dawson’s Creek.  Rowrrr.)

Anyway, I know that the mild dread I feel about going to my reunion is silly.  I have a good life.  I have great friends.  I have a good job.  (I’m a frickin’ lawyer in Los Angeles, man!) 

But there’s that needling part of me that wishes I were …well, while I’m being honest, let’s be honest… less single.  (Or maybe supermodel gorgeous.  That would work too.)  I know I’m going to be meeting a lot of husbands and wives, and seeing a lot of baby photos, and even at the same time that I know that things happen in their own time and blah blah blah, I still have that slight feeling of Why isn’t that me?  And it will be even more exaggerated because instead of, for example, Facebook, where I can look at the husbands and wives and babies from the comfort of my couch, I will actually have to face the reunion alone in a sea of couples.

*Shudder*

Now, of course, I signed myself up for this, so I obviously feel that the pros of seeing some of the people I am excited to see outweigh the cons.   And at the end of the day, it will probably be fun to a degree.  I just need to remember this isn’t high school anymore.

I mean, I’m grown up now…right?

When it Rains

Just as I was waxing majorly pessimistic about my romantic status as compared with all my happily domesticated friends, it turns out that for the first time in recent memory, I have not one, but two prospective suitors.

Guy # 1, I met on Match.  We had emailed a bit before my England/Paris trip, he had asked me for coffee, and I had asked for a rain check.  When I got back, we met up in person for a Saturday afternoon coffee meet-and-greet.  We spent two hours chatting, before I had to go meet some friends.  He followed up quickly, we ended up having a long phone conversation mid-week, and the following weekend (last weekend) we had two dates — dinner and a movie on Friday and a hike and lunch on Sunday.  I’m really liking this guy: we click well, we have great conversations, we have a lot in common, he has beautiful green eyes and a chin dimple, we have exchanged a couple of sweet smooches but are taking things nice and slow.  He recommended a book to me and I am reading it and totally hooked.  His grandpa passed away 😦 so this weekend he went home to be with his family, but he just emailed me about making a date for this week.  So far, so good.

Guy # 2 I met in real life.  I know, dear readers, it’s shocking.  I had all but given up on my ability to meet men through any means other than the internets.  So it was quite flattering that a real flesh and blood guy took an interest in the real flesh and blood me.  Fancy that! 

Anyway, Guy # 2 is a long story.  He is friends with my friend  L.’s husband and I saw him at a party they threw on Saturday night.  Interestingly, I had met guy #2 for the 1st time at a party 2 years ago.  At the time I was engaged and my fiance was at the party with me.  Even so, L. encouraged us to talk because “you’re both lawyers!”  We had a decently long chat that 1st time, mostly talking shop, but then I had to awkwardly mention the fiance (in case he hadn’t glimpsed the ring) and it was awkward.  L. recently told me that he had been like “Your friend is cute and cool, but she’s engaged, what’s up with that?” 

Then my fiance and I broke up, and about 6 months later I joined eHarmony, and who was one of my 1st matches, but guy # 2.  I felt weird about it, and I also met someone else and we started dating, so nothing ever came of that, though L. and I would joke about it from time to time.

Then last week I allowed L. to take over control of my eHarmony account (***a story for another post!) and discovered that I had been matched with another of her husband’s friends named JM, a guy who is really sweet who I had met a few times.  L., being in control of my account, closed JM and listed as her reason “Other.”

Fast forward to Saturday night, when I arrive at the party to find a semi circle of people, including JM, guy # 2, JM’s brother, and L.’s sister, all apparently discussing me.  I am immediately accosted with, “You are so harsh, you close everyone on eHarmony!”  I then am subjected to like 30 mins of regaling / questioning / joking about what my criteria are and why I close people (all the while protesting, “it wasn’t me!  L. did it!”  Guy # 2 joked that since I had closed him, I was dead to him.

As the night wore on, guy # 2 found lots of opportunities to talk to me.  When I had met him 2 years ago, he had struck me as a little arrogant and a little bitter.  (I learned from L. that he had just gone through a breakup, which makes sense.)  Apparently the past two years have been good to him, because he was mellow and sweet, and much cuter than I had remembered him too!  (He does competitive swimming and I could tell he is built like a swimmer.  Yum.)

At the end of the night when he was leaving, he was a little shy (or, understandably, trying to stay away from the earshot of any of the nosy-kins at the party) and said to me quietly, “So, listen – you like to eat, right?”  Yes, I like to eat, I smiled.   “How about I get your number so I can call you and take you out to eat?”  So the digits were handed over and he said he’d call me this week after he does a couple of big filings.

So there you have it, readers.  Two promising boys, both very different in personality but I like them both in different ways.  I have never successfully juggled the mens because I always say that one man is enough trouble, but here it just seems right to get to know both of them and see how things go.  Obviously if things progress with one or the other, I will have to evaluate.  But for now, I am just going to try to enjoy this for what it is.

I will keep you posted…

Two Steps Behind

Last month, my dear friend S. got married.  (Sadly, she got married the same day that my BFF M. got married in England, so I had to miss S.’ wedding!  Daaa!)  Today I came home and in the mail was a thank-you card for the wedding gift I purchased for them, and it was a postcard with a darling picture of S. and her husband on their honeymoon.   So I put it up on my fridge.

Then I stepped back and surveyed my fridge.  Engagement photos, wedding photos, holiday photo cards.  My kitchen is a veritable scrapbook of all my friends’ happy relationships.  And I smile every time I look at these photos, because yes, I am a shmoopy person, and I love that kind of stuff.

But today I took a step back and thought, Wow.  I never thought at this age, I’d be here. 

I never thought that while I watched all my friends get married, I would be the anomaly.

I never thought that I would become the token single girl, entertaining my coupled friends with stories of my dating life.

I never thought that I would go to so many weddings without a “plus-one.”

I never thought that I’d be twenty-eight and be set up with guys by my mother.

All those things almost didn’t happen.  If I had stayed with my ex, we would be celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary on the 29th.  And I don’t wish that were the case, I truly don’t.  I know I made the right decision — he wasn’t the person I was meant to be with. 

But I do want that with somebody — the right somebody.  And I know he’s out there.  I know there are many people out there who I could be happy with.  And in the meantime, there are lots of great things in my life.

But sometimes, I just wish that the guy, whoever and wherever he may be, would just hurry the hell up and meet me already.

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.