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.

Advertisements

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.

I Give Up

Yes, I know that drinking + blogging = danger, Will Robinson.  In fact, drinking + internet usage in general = danger.  I know this because approximately 10 minutes ago, I sent EHB a nasty email that I’m sure I will live to regret.  But I had typed it up earlier today, saved it in my drafts to “sleep on” it, then my half-drunken finger had a mind of its own and pressed “Send” before I could even think too much about it.  Oopsies!  No matter, I know he won’t respond anyway (the email doesnt call for a response), so it doesn’t much matter what I say, right?  In fact, I wish that I had given up all self censors and just told him to go fuck himself, but I retained much more propriety than that.

Anyway, I just had one of those nights that makes me feel that 1) God, I’m old and 2) God, I need to get the hell out of this godforsaken city!!  I made the rounds of the bars in downtown LA tonight with T. and her fiance K. as my diligent wingpeople.  We scoped out any eligible bachelors, they encouraged me at every turn, and yet at every turn it seemed that I was kicked out of the game by girls more beautiful than I, who were 6-7 years my junior.   Could it get more depressing?

I know what you’re going to say: SF, why are you even trying to meet a guy in a bar anyway?  Well, I agree that’s not the ideal place to meet someone, but at the same time I think it’s just a microcosm of the dating scene as a whole, online dating included.  Why would a guy date me when he can date my younger, hotter counterpart? 

And I know pessimism won’t get me anywhere but I just can’t help but feel that he’s NOT really out there and that I am looking fruitlessly for nothing.  

I am almos t desperate to leave L.A.  But where, dear readers, should I go?

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

 

 

 

A night not to forget

The moment before we kissed seemed to last forever.  Just the way I think a first kiss should be.  Looking into each others’ eyes, inching closer and closer until our lips finally touched…

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  🙂

My date on Thursday, which all my dear readers know had the potential to be truly disastrous, ended up far, far exceeding my expectations.

He had offered to pick me up from work, but since he works halfway between my work and the event, I ended up driving.  I was starting to majorly stress over the situation, especially because I had a last-minute wardrobe semi-crisis (which turned out fine.)  I wore a little black dress with a suit jacket over it, and some high heeled strappy black shoes which if I do say so myself are pretty sexy.  (EHB thought so too.  But again, I’m getting ahead of myself.)

I pulled up alongside his office and called him just as he was coming out of the building.  He was dressed great – a nice suit and a tie which he put on in the car, saying that he was embarrassed to be putting on his tie when we just met (which I thought was hilarious, given how bold it was that we were going to this event together, and that  was what embarrassed him?)  He looked like his pictures but a little less serious, and he also wears glasses which are totally cute. 

We had a good conversation on the drive and then we arrived at the event and immediately he was introduced to all my co workers, one after the other.  The event was typical of these lawyer events — a bunch of speeches that vary from mind numbingly self-congratulatory to inspiring, but at any rate go on waaaay too long.  He had bought us drinks right before dinner, but an hour later, the main course was still nowhere in sight, there were endless speeches going on, and we all needed a drink.  Bad.  Everyone at the table was starting to complain.

And guess what?  EHB totally saved the day.  He got up and came back a few minutes later.  Moments after that, the waiter appeared with not one, but two bottles of wine that EHB had purchased for the table.  Major brownie points for that.

Most of all, what I recall about the dinner was that it just felt so easy to be with him.  A couple of times I had to go say hi to people, and he did just fine chatting with my co-workers.  We spent a good amount of time whispering to each other, and things got more flirtatious.  Our knees were touching under the table.  I just felt a very strong sense of well-being.

After the event finally ended, it was only 9 pm, so we decided to go have a drink with my co-worker L. and her fiance.  We wandered down the street to the Standard (I just love that bar, and even more now!) and headed up to the roof.  It was a gorgeous night and it just felt so pleasant to be up there, having a drink, relaxing.  We ended up sort of wandering off from L. and her fiance, and going around back behind the pool where we discovered these great couches — ok, so they were glorified beds!  We lay back and sipped our drinks and talked and talked.  He’s really fascinating — he’s lived and traveled so many places in his life.  At some point I was starting to shiver and he stood up, took off his jacket and draped it over my bare legs.  He put his arm around me and we sat together, so close, and he helped me stay warm.  And it didn’t even feel like a sexual thing at that point — I mean, not that the attraction wasn’t there because it definitely was, but I mean that it felt like more than that.  Very sweet, and very simple.  He even told me that he had wanted to take my hand earlier in the night but that he had felt awkward.

At one point he said to me, “You feel very comfortable.”  And I felt the same way, like I could just be exactly myself and just be and enjoy the moment.  There were the great butterflies, but not the anxiety ridden butterflies of a first date — more the butterflies you get a little further down the road when things feel less uncertain.  There’s really no reason I should have felt that, but I did. 

And then we were sitting so close like that, with my right leg over his left, and looking at each other and smiling, and he started touching my hair very gently, brushing it out of my face (which kills me – in a good way), and our lips were so close but not touching yet, and I think I moved forward and kissed him.  So then we were kissing, and normally I am really not a PDA person unless I’m drunk (which I wasn’t), but it was so nice that I just didn’t care.

Eventually we decided to head out — had I not started to get so cold, I could have stayed there all night.  It was late by this point and way past my bedtime (especially for a “school night”) but neither of us wanted the night to end.  We headed back to get my car and he grabbed my hand, and we walked, hand in hand, through the streets of downtown.  At one point I was shivering and he stopped and exclaimed, “Oh, you’re so cold!” and put his arms around me and just stood there holding me. 

So we went back to his work so he could get his car and agreed that the next stop would be a bar closer to me, Lola’s.  He told me to start heading home and he’d call me.  But he had been unable to find his BlackBerry earlier.  So I went home, fed Noodles, changed my shoes, no call.  I called him but no answer.  So in a total leap of faith, I decided to head to Lola’s.  And sure enough, I parked a couple of blocks away and as I walked towards the bar, there he was walking toward me.  (His BB, incidentally, was in my car!)  So we hung out there for a while and it was more of the same — talking and smooching.  Finally, after 1 am, he walked me back to my car and kissed me goodnight.

Then when he got home he texted me that it was a night “not to forget.”  Hear, hear.

So there you have it, dear readers.  I have attempted to shed my superstitions for one night and actually dish.  EHB and I have our 2nd date on Tuesday night for a late dinner (as of now, 10 pm, since I have trial starting tomorrow…normally I would just postpone everything until after trial but I want to see this boy again sooner rather than later!) so I will keep you posted….

 

Lil’ Bit of This, Lil’ Bit of That

I am too tired, dear readers, to write any sort of coherent, themed, focused blog post tonight. (Indeed, I am typing this from the comfort of my bed….zzzzzz…) But since it’s been several days since I blogged, thought I’d go stream-of-consciousness style. In no particular order, other than the order they pop into my head:

-Just watched Into the Wild. If you haven’t seen it, and you have 2 1/2 hours to spare, by all means, run out and rent it. Be prepared, though, because it’s extremely intense and haunting. I fully expect to dream about the movie tonight….and I’m sort of wishing I hadn’t watched it by myself! Does this happen to anyone else? My Netflix queue is full of all the things I haven’t seen in theatres, which means my queue is full of indie movies and darker, more serious things — movies I am less likely to be able to rally my friends to see on a Saturday afternoon. (With the exception of course of my friend CM, but she sees everything before I do so that doesnt help.) Anyway, even though I like getting to watch these movies that I have been wanting to see, my recent choices — the last two being No Country for Old Men and Into the Wild — are not exactly the type to give you the warm fuzzies. Does anyone have any suggestions for something slightly less dark that I can put at the top of my Netflix queue? It doesn’t need to be a comedy, so long as it is less likely than my last 2 choices to give me nightmares. Thanks. 🙂

-This is probably TMI for my male readers, but today I was having the worst. cramps. ever. Along with its fun companion, mood swings. One of the positive things about being single is that most of my mood swings end up being in my own head and I don’t take them out on anyone, but still — no fun. As I was feeling particularly cranky/teary, I thought of that awesome scene in Knocked Up (which I re-watched over the weekend) where Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl get in the argument at the doctor’s office, and he starts yelling, “You know what, I know this isn’t you talking, it’s your hormones, but I would just like to say, F#%CK YOU, HORMONES, YOU ARE A CRAZY BITCH, HORMONES–not Alison, HORMONES!” That’s pretty much how I felt today. I knew it was going to be one of those days when I insisted on listening to that Sheryl Crow/Kid Rock duet on repeat on the way to work. That’s a bad sign, there.

-In happier news, I had a really great Memorial Day weekend! My friend KT was visiting from Chicago, and she always livens things up. In fact, dear readers, I who have not had much more than a glass of wine or a beer or 2 at a time in many months got fairly drunk both Saturday and Sunday night. Sat we went to Geisha House (love the sushi there) and Sun night we went to my new favorite karaoke bar, which is going to get its own post soon. Sun during the day we went to the Dodgers game — I’m getting hooked! And Monday we went down to OC to see a friend and go shopping. There are lots of good stories from the weekend, esp the karaoke bar, but they will have to be saved for another time. Basically it was great to see KT, I was very happy to be in town and avoid the traveling madness, and it was all around good times!

-In more happy news, I am going up to Eugene to see the fam this weekend and I’m taking Friday off, so I only have 2 more work days till the weekend!! Now that is quality — if only I could have 3 day work weeks all the time! It will be really nice to see my parents and grandfather and to just mellow out up there. Mmm…

-Last thing before I pass out — tomorrow night I am having dinner/drinks with Cute Boy who is the son of the provost at my mom’s university — who I wrote about here and here. I must admit, I’m a little unsure whether this is still just networking/friendly drinks or whether it is a maybe-possibly-kinda-pseudo date. I’m still thinking the former, since 1) our parents know each other, 2) he is at least 2 years my junior, 3) he mentioned in his recent email that he looks fwd to seeing me to get advice on his job search and 4) I mean, he’s in a band for god’s sake, and he is out playing gigs in LA while I am sitting at home watching movies with my cat. I thought I felt a spark when we met for lunch a few weeks back, but it’s impossible to tell whether there was an actual spark or just me being a creepy old lady and thinking he’s cute. We’ll see, dear readers!

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.