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?

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.”

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.

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.

How Dating Makes Me Feel (Part II)

I know what you’re thinking, dear readers.  SF, in the name of all that’s holy. when are you going to stop posting pictures of cats on your blog?

My answer is: when it stops amusing me.  And I’m easily amused.  And I love cats.  So you may be in for a bit of a wait.  Sorry!

Anyway, the point of this post is that I need some advice from those of you out there in online-dating land who manage to successfully email with scads of potential suitors and go on oodles of dates.  How do you accomplish this, my friends?  Right now I am emailing with a handful of guys (and going out with one tomorrow – update to come) but it seems so incredibly time consuming.  I have to read their emails, read their profile, answer all their questions, think of questions to ask them, be witty…by the time I hit “send” I feel utterly exhausted!  And that’s just in the emailing phase – how in the world could I handle multiple mens in real life??  I know I need to put myself out there, but I feel like I become more of a homebody as I get older and I also relish my nights alone with Noodles and a good book.

I’ve also tried to put myself out there in real life lately, but have discovered that if I ever had any game — and I feel so rusty that it’s hard to recall — I clearly have lost my game now.  Behold the following encounter from this past Sunday:

INT. TARGET STORE- DAYTIME.  SF, tall late 20s brunette, walks slowly and aimlessly down the center aisle with basket in hand.  Looking down one aisle, SF spots TALL CUTE GUY.  SF tries to look casual as she veers into that aisle.

TALL CUTE GUY sees SF as she approaches and gives her a big smile.  He is tall, brown hair, wearing jeans and a checkered shirt.  He looks decidedly single and heterosexual, even though this is the Target in WeHo.

SF (pretending to look at shaving cream): Gosh, there are just so many choices these days.  Aluring Avocado?  What is that?

TCG (laughing): So many choices, huh?  I know what you mean, it makes my brain hurt.

TCG goes back to looking at some manly product.

SF is suddenly shy.  She doesn’t know what to say next.  She puts the shaving cream in her basket and waits a couple of beats.  She opens her mouth to speak then decides against it and walks away.

SF didn’t even need the damn shaving cream.

And…..scene!  Tragic, isn’t it?  I’m sure there is some clever way I could have pushed things further, but I totally froze.  What’s a girl to say/do in that situation?

Ok, now I am really tired.  More on my date tomorrow…

In Honor of a Recent Comment

This is courtesy of a friend’s Facebook page.

The original caption reads, “Honey, DTMFA.”

Before today I had never even heard that expression (I guess I have been living under a rock!) and now I have heard it twice!  Love it.