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?

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Homeward Bound

Home, where my thought’s escaping…

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

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

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.”

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

So despite all my talk about substance over style, I’m going to delve into something of very little substance, but something that has been plaguing me.  (I know you will be sad that I am taking a break from my normal talk about the issues facing our nation – ha.) 

I’ll just come right out and say it.

My boobs are shrinking.

At first, it was happening gradually and I hadn’t much noticed.  I’ve always had smallish boobs – a 34B bra size.  Then one day a couple of months ago, I was enjoying  pool time with some girlfriends.  My friend S., who is not one to mince words, glanced over and exclaimed, “What happened to your boobs?  Where’d they go?”

I laughed.   Oh, c’mon.  I’ve always had small boobs.

“Yeah, but you used to have more tits than this!”

And guess what?  Since that time, they have kept shrinking.  I can’t explain it.  I swear to God, if they keep shrinking at this rate, in 2 months’ time they’ll be concave.

I’ve never minded too much having small boobs.  Sure, there have been plenty of times I wished for better cleavage, but for the most part I’ve been OK.  I always liked that I could wear tube tops and other things like that without worry.  And I never got any complaints.

But c’mon…now this is just ridiculous.  It’s like I’m going through reverse puberty.

Today I finally sucked it up and went to Macy’s to buy new bras, since my old ones are all *tear* beginning to gape.  I frowned as I went into the dressing room with a pile of 34A bras.

And the worst part?

The fucking 34As gape too!!!

I managed to find a brand called Jezebel that fits well.  And their bras are quite sexy.  So I bought 3 in different colors and styles.  I even bought the undies to match – I never normally do that.

And still – I couldn’t feel less sexy.

As if reading my mind, when I arrived home, waiting for me in my mailbox was an ad from Rady Rahban, M.D. in Beverly Hills. 

Thinking of having Plastic Surgery?  …Then take advantage of our specials!

20% OFF ALL SURGERIES    FINANCING AVAILABLE

Oh, good.  That’s just what I need.  In addition to my monthly payments to Toyota Financial and my student loan company, how ’bout I take out a loan from Boobs R Us?  How much do you think a new rack would cost a girl, anyway?

Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, SF, you seem too rational to spend your money on something like plastic surgery, you would be correct, dear readers.  Not to mention, the thought of any kind of surgery makes me extremely squeamish — why would I sign up for that on purpose?

So it seems that I will just have to live with it.  Just me and my 34A Wonderbra, and Noodles, who loves me no matter how much my boobs shrink.

Sigh.

One Bite at a Time

When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.

It seems that’s a good rule of thumb for a lot of things in life, isn’t it?  Often I find that if I look too far ahead and try to think about all my upcoming deadlines and plans and stresses, I get overwhelmed and just want to curl into a little ball and watch Gossip Girl.  (Sidenote: actually, I think I might be giving up that show.  It’s just mildly depressing to watch a show about teenagers who have way more sex than me.  Not that that’s hard, since I am not having any.  But you get my drift.) 

But anyway.  Like I was saying, looking too far ahead can make me panic.  But if I break down what I have to do into bite-sized portions, it seems much more manageable.

And so it goes with therapy.  My last session was two weeks ago (because of a Labor Day hiatus) and that was the day I really had my eyes opened to how much work I have to do in being able to express my emotions.  And my first reaction was omething along the lines of “Fuuuuck!”

But my friends and dear readers reassured me that this is something that we all struggle with, that in a relationship I will work on this with someone else, and that it’s a process.  My friend O. said she didn’t want me to feel like a “ticking time bomb.”  And yeah, I guess that is honestly how I felt.  So one bite at at a time it is.

Still, it is a hard path to figure out how to make little changes and alterations, day to day.  Sometimes I feel like not only do I have a hard time expressing my feelings, I don’t even know what that means.  Today my therapist was asking me about the guys I have been seeing and was asking me about my dates with guy #1.  I told her that we had good conversations.

So have you talked about your feelings with him?  I don’t mean your feelings FOR each other, but just in general.

Well…not really.  I mean, that’s hard to do early on, we don’t know each other that well.

It isn’t always hard.  It isn’t hard with everyone.  So what did you talk about on the hike, besides the plants you were seeing along the way?

I don’t know.  I guess I don’t know what you mean by talking about feelings. 

Well, like happy, sad, etc.  As opposed to talking about thinking things, like talking about Obama vs. McCain.   Though I suppose you could have feelings about that.

Oh, believe me, I do.

So what if a guy talks about his feelings?  Does that make it easier?

Well, yeah, I guess then I find it easier to open up.

****

Dear readers, what do you think?  What does “talking about feelings” mean to you in the first-few-dates context?  Do you talk about your feelings?  When, and to whom?

My “homework” for the week is to take notice of when I am feeling something and don’t express it, and then what happens with the feeling — where it goes and what I do with it.  I feel like I should start carrying a note pad around with me and jotting it down or something.

She also wants me to keep note of my dreams.  I haven’t had a dream I remembered in a long time, but I’m pretty sure the last dream I recall involved me having a long drawn out screaming fight with my mom.  My therapist’s eyes widened when I told her that — therapy pay dirt!! — but I told her that not only do I not recall the last fight I had with my mom, I don’t even remember the last time I felt angry with her.  (Mildly annoyed at her need to set me up with her students, yes.)  She explained to me that maybe the character of my mom wasn’t really my mom.  Okaaay…well, for now that is an unsolved mystery, I suppose.

In the meantime, I am off to the ominous task of feeling my feelings and – gasp! – expressing my feelings.  On the scary scale, that is pretty damn high up there.

But I know I’ll get there eventually….

One bite at a time.

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…