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.

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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…

It’s Official – I’m Crazy

I can hear my dear readers saying simultaneously, “Well, we knew that.”  But I’m not just talking about the weekly dose of neuroses that I divulge on this blog.  I’m talking about a real, serious mental disorder.  And if I’m guessing correctly based on what I know of you, dear readers, particularly my blogger friends– I’d bet that some of you are afflicted with it too. My question is, what is the cure for this particular disorder?  It probably does not include endless games of Scrabulous (some people I know, ahem Knittikins, insist on starting like 5 games with me at once), nor Gmail chatting, nor blogging, nor reading other people’s blogs (thank you J. for enlightening me about Google Reader, the new love of my life), nor any of the other things that make my work day tolerable.  And call me crazy if you will, but we all need some way to get through the day in one piece, right?

 In fact, I’ve been thinking that I want to devote even more time to this here blog.  Often I don’t write unless the mood strikes or unless something in particular inspires me to —

[OMG.  I had to interrupt this to say that I just saw my first ever 90210 trailer on the CW — yes, I am watching a Gossip Girl rerun, what of it? — and hearing that oh-so-familiar theme song made my little heart go pitter patter.  If only I didn’t have to wait till the fall!!  Is it wrong that I Iove shows about high school students as much now as when I was 12?  Wait — don’t answer that.]

–Anyhoo, as I was saying, I think maybe I need to force myself to be a bit more dedicated to the blogginess.  So starting today, I am going to attempt to post every other day.  I’d like to work my way up to every day, but that seems a bit ambitious right now, so…every other day it is.

I also want to spruce up my blog and add more photos and fancy shmancy stuff.  But…and this is embarrassing to admit…I am sadly a low-tech girl in a high-tech world.   And at the risk of being shunned by the blog world, the truth is that I just don’t know how to do the things I want to do on my blog.  Now is when I’m hoping that some bloggers more savvy than I–read, every blogger out there–may have some advice for how I might make Single/Fabulous more, well, fabulous!  Anyone?  Bueller?

So I’ve been sharing with all of you some of my dreams for what I might like to have happen in my life.  I still don’t know if the bookstore is what I will pursue or not — though, I have gotten loads of awesome advice on things I could do in conjunction with my bookstore.  I think right now, taking everyone’s suggestions, it’s something like a bookstore/wine bar/record store/knitting shop/cupcake store.  A little eclectic, but it might work, right?  🙂

Anyway, even as I continue to ponder it, I find that the bookstore has become that “happy place” that I go to in my mind when things start to get stressful or hectic or upsetting at work (read: at least once a day.  No one ever said being a lawyer was tranquil).  Ever since my trip to Maui last year, my “happy place” became the memory of the snorkeling excursion I went on with my dad.  I have a beautiful sea turtle photograph on the bookshelf in my office, along with a carved wooden sea turtle (which I originally bought as a souvenir for my then-boyfriend, and kept when he decided to break up with me the very night I returned from Maui), so every so often when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed, I try to stop for a moment, take a breath, and picture that I am swimming through that beautiful blue water, fish and turtles swimming past me, so far far away from my everyday stresses.  Well, in the past week or two since the bookstore idea began a’ brewin’, when I have felt overwhelmed I’ve just pictured myself working in the bookstore, exactly how I have always dreamed it, and it brings a smile to my face.  I’ve been asked to describe the bookstore, and it’s weird because I can SEE it in my mind’s eye perfectly but I can’t describe it well at all.  Obviously if I start to get serious about it I will need a business plan and all the nitty-gritties, but for now it’s best described as a feeling.  (Ps. Sarah, I may well take you up on your offer to run the business side of things. 🙂 )

One last thing before I get in my PJs and retire to my room to read — yes, I am totally hooked on my most recent read (which will be the subject of a future post once I finish it) and I would have stayed in bed starting at 9 pm on a Saturday night, reading, had someone not persuaded me to bust out the rally monkeys — the mini-saga of Cute Boy has come to an end.

And for once — once in my life,  I tell you! — I am proud to say that I was the one to put the brakes on the (yes, self-created) drama.  As you know, dear readers, I have only met this guy a whopping two times, though we have traded a bunch of random emails and have made plans to hang out that have never quite panned out.  A couple of weeks ago, I was putting together a little happy hour get together with a girl I know at Pink Taco.  Yes, I know – and imagine that business lunches take place there!  Even better is that I just discovered, in looking for a link to the restaurant, that it has its own Wikipedia entry:

Pink Taco 

is a Mexican restaurant chain that has earned notoriety[1] for its name, which is the same as a slang term for a human vagina. The president and CEO, Harry Morton, contends it comes from a menu item[2] and claims that if the restaurant were truly “vagina-themed” there would be “vaginas all over the walls.”[3]

 

 Now that is classic, dear readers.

On second thought, I don’t think I can top that for now, so this will be a to-be-continued!

At the start of me

….I’d plot a course to the source of the purest little part of me…

My last post was such a Debbie Downer post, and I am feeling so much better now (thanks to all of you for your kind words — sometimes I really just need to whine to get it out of my system) that I want to share with all of my dear readers some things I’m excited about (big and small).

1.  The Weekend

Tomorrow’s Friday and it continues to be the calm before the proverbial storm…even though trial is coming up way too soon (la la la la I’m in denial!!), somehow it looks like I won’t have to work this weekend.  Which is glorious.

2.  Nesting

My desire to decorate my walls (esp in my bedroom, where until today there was a lone framed photo of a sunset) has coincided perfectly and serendipitously with my ongoing de-cluttering project.  In going through the depths of my closet, I came up with a poster I love that I bought in Barcelona when I studied in Spain in college (um…EIGHT years ago!  sigh).  The poster is quite battered, having seen the walls of at least two dorm rooms and my old apartment, but no matter, I still love it.  So it is now gracing my bedroom wall.  Even better, I was going through a bag of goodies that I had kept from my post-bar trip to Spain, Greece and Italy three years ago, and I found no less than 15 or 20 awesome postcards — mostly of cool pieces of art like Dali, Picasso, El Greco, etc.  I think I bought and kept them all expecting that I would scrapbookmy trip (I sadly never did) or put them on my wall (I never did).  So now I’m creating sort of a cool arrangement on my wall with the beloved Barcelona poster as the centerpiece.  I only managed to get a few up tonight before I realized that it was 10:30 pm and an apartment resident could get killed for lesser crimes than hammering at that hour, so I tabled it for tomorrow.  But seeing all these things come together gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling, especially since I adore Spain and it brings back nothing but great memories.  Maybe I will post a photo when it’s all done.

3.  Pampering

My back has been hurting lately for no reason, and today I mentioned to my friend T. that maybe I would get a massage this weekend.  It turns out she still has a gift certificate to Burke Williams that we bought for her birthday, so now we are doing a mini spa day on Saturday.  Yay!  I feel more relaxed alreadt, just thinking about it.

4.  Dreaming

I know I don’t talk much about my job, but for the most part I do enjoy being a lawyer — even though it’s stressful.  I love the people I work with, it challenges me, and I have a lot of great opportunities.  Still, even when I’m relatively happy at work, I like to daydream about what other paths I could follow.  Having a stressful job at 28 when I’m single with no kids is one thing.  When I have to work late or on the weekends, no one misses me but my cat, so i can put nose to the grindstone.  I just don’t know if that’s something I want to do forever and ever.  So, my brainchild of the moment?  I have been contemplating what it would be like to open my own bookstore.

The way this came about was this.  I had been joking with some of my friends that if the law thing didnt work out for me, I would open a boutique that sold things for cats called “Crazy Cat Lady” (or CCL for those in the know).  My plans for the store became more detailed, and over the weekend I was sharing the joke with my mom.  She commented that there was a bookstore we used to go to on the Oregon Coast, where there were cats that lived in the store, and when I was a little girl I said that I was going to open a bookstore someday.

And the crazy thing?  I still remember that store even though I probably haven’t been there in 15 to 20 years.  I still think about that store, and what it would be like to own a place like that.

So then I began giving it some thought.  Isn’t there something powerful about your childhood dreams?  It’s like it goes to the essence of who you are.  Some of my childhood dreams, like becoming an elementary school teacher, I discarded and have never regretted.  But there are some that still hold all the wonder and fascination that they did when I was a child.  The bookstore is one.  Being a writer is the other.  (And really, don’t those two dreams go perfectly hand-in-hand?)

So call me nutty, but I’m doing some research on what a venture like this would really entail.  For now it’s a pipe dream, but at some point it may become something real…I’ll keep you posted!

What were your dreams for your life when you were a child, dear readers?

***********

“1983” by John Mayer

I’ve these dreams I’m

Walking home

Home when it used to be

 And everything is

 As it was

Frozen in front of me

  

Here I stand

 6 feet small 

romanticizing years ago

it’s a bitter sweet feeling hearing “Wrapped Around Your Finger” on the

radio

 

 and these days

I wish I was 6 again

Oh make me a red cape

I wanna be Superman

 

 

 

Oh, if only my life was more like 1983

all these things would be more like they were at the

start of me

 had it made in 83

  

thinking bout my brother Ben 

I miss him every day

He looks just like his brother John

But on an 18 month delay 

Here I stand

6 feet small

and smiling cause I’m scared as hell

kind of like my life is like a sequel to a movie

 where the actor’s names have changed

 

oh well 

well these days

I wish I was 6 again

Oh make me a red cape

 I wanna be Superman

 

Oh, if only my life was more like

1983 

all these things would be more like they were at the

start of me

If my life was more like 1983

I’d plot a course to the source of the purest little part of me

 

and most my memories

have escaped me

or confused themselves with dreams

if heaven’s all we want it to be

send your prayers to me

 care of 1983

 

you can paint that house a rainbow of colors

rip out the floorboards

 replace the shutters but

that’s my plastic in the dirt

 whatever happened to my

 whatever happened to my

whatever happened to my lunchbox

 when came the day that it got

 thrown away and don’t you think I should have had some say

in that decision

 

 

….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.

Warm Fuzzies

Thanks so much for all the nice comments, thoughts & prayers after my last post! Not only did they inspire me and bring a smile to my face, my dear readers will be happy to know that things went exceptionally well at the hearing and the judge granted my client asylum. It was truly the most magical moment I have experienced as a lawyer. When the judge announced that she was granting asylum, I got choked up, had to wipe the tears from my eyes, and my client (who is a monolingual Spanish speaker who I have never heard speak English) turned to me and said in English with tears running down her face, “Thank you! Thank you!”

This is exactly why I became a lawyer in the first place — because I thought it would be a way to do good, to give a voice to people who for a variety of reasons can’t speak up for themselves. And yes, now I work at a private firm and represent real estate developers and business owners and corporations. But I am so grateful that my firm supports me and allows me to do this other incredibly important work at the same time.

I guess you could say I’ve officially been bitten by the pro bono bug. I think I might have to wait awhile before I take on a case like this again — my firm is really great about this stuff, but at the same time I do need to focus on the paying clients too — but this will definitely not be my last asylum case.

In other news, I appear to have officially exhausted the dating pool of the greater Los Angeles area. Proof? One of my recent eHarmony matches is none other than my ex-boyfriend A.’s brother!!! (The whole story of my relationship with A., which is briefly described in the above post from my old blog, would take way too long to recount. Suffice it to say, we were friends, we dated, he broke my heart, we didn’t talk for several months, and now we are buddies again.)

Anyway, I met A.’s brother a couple of times when we were dating. He’s a few years older and is a high school teacher in Laguna Niguel. He’s a funny guy, but sort of a perpetual player — always seemed to be dating multiple women and insisting that none of them were serious. So imagine my surprise when I was surfing through my new eHarmony matches this weekend and come across “S., 33, Laguna Niguel, 5’9″, high school teacher, Jewish.” There was no picture posted, but based on that alone, I was 99.9% sure that it was him. Then I scrolled down and in the section titled “Last book read and enjoyed” he wrote, “Marley and Me” and then said that his parents have a dog named Marley. It was official. My ex-boyfriend’s brother was my supposed eHarmony match.

This could only mean 1 of 2 things. 1) I am actually meant to end up with S., and fate is causing our paths to cross once again; or 2) I have actually already met every possible guy in the greater L.A. area that I could possibly ever date, and I should just give up and either a) move elsewhere or b) declare my eternal celibacy.

Seeing as how I’m not nutso, I am ruling out option # 1.

That only leaves one thing to do ….

eHarmony, I’m sorry, but we’re through.

Say a Little Prayer

My dear readers probably know by now that I’m not a religious person. I grew up celebrating Chrismukkah (though wasn’t as clever as Seth Cohen so never came up with a catchy name for it) but never attended church or synagogue. I tend to classify myself as an agnostic.

Still, as I get older I tend to believe more and more that there is something out there that’s bigger than all of us. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t necessarily conceptualize it as God in the typical sense. But sometimes I feel it.

And today I did something I never do — I closed my office door, I closed my eyes and I prayed. Now, I know my focus is normally taken up with boys, boys, boys, so I share very little of my work life or otherwise, but I may have mentioned at some point that I have been handling a pro bono asylum case. This is the case that, time and time again, has helped me to gain some perspective. My client, a transgendered person from Mexico, is this incredibly beautiful spirit who has experienced violence and abuse that nobody should have to bear in their lives. She has lasting scars and wounds and post traumatic stress disorder and depression and anxiety. And still she keeps on keeping on.

So my prayer today was this: If ever in my life I am able to use whatever lawyering skills I have to reach a positive outcome, please, please, please let it be now. Nothing would make me happier than knowing that she won’t have to return to a country that has caused her nothing but sorrow.

Off to try to sleep….