~Monday, July 31, 2006


Friday night E and I went to our favorite happy hour spot. We were there the previous week and I met the hired entertainment. He was a cute guy my age who half plays covers with his guitar. I say half play because he'll invariably forget how to finish the song and just stop, shrugging, "I don't know how to finish it."

I ran into him again that weekend at the Pete Yorn show. He was wearing the same red baseball t-shirt. "You're that guy from Friday!" I said.

He looked confused.

"The taqueria singer!"

"Oh yeah, that's me." He studied my face for a moment, "You're my Dixie Land Delight!"

It was the song I booed him for not finishing without at least the key change bridge. He didn't know the words so I shouted them over the crowd. He applauded me and I slurred, "We're gonna be best friends!"

"Hey you should come back out next Friday. I'm finishing out the month there. And if I knew you liked Pete Yorn, I would have played more of his songs."

"I'll make a deal with you. You learn my song and I'll be back out."


Which is how Friday E and I ended up at happy hour again. We were at a table by the street, quietly mocking most of the other people there. 2 guys we had already mocked approached out table and asked if they could join us. One was outgoing and one was quiet, similar to E and me. The extrovert and I were soon talking.

When he found out my major in school, he called me a nerd.

"Don't say that! Why am I a nerd?"

"Because you weren't in the business school like me."


As the conversation continued, and he kept picking at me, I couldn't tell if he was pulling my pigtails like a kindergartener or just generally insulting me.

"How tall are you?" he asks.

"5'7" without shoes."

"You're a giant! You're a giant nerd!" He seemed pleased with himself.

I looked down to the nearly full beer he bought me and remembered back to our conversations this week over insulting women being the new pick up tactic. I remember what I said I would do if I encountered that. I told this much to his friend.

"I'll pay you five bucks if you do it."

~Friday, July 28, 2006

Pants on fire

I didn't know why he kept calling me.

Sure we were old friends from school, but that weekend in December didn't warrant a phone call every week. Between the university days and last December, we would go years without so much as a IM. Now it's every. Freaking. Week.

Maybe I grew bored because the conversations weren't that great. They were at best a step above the weekly calls to the parents. We'd talk about current hobbies and work, skipping any topic that involved emotion, especially anything involving any naked activities. It was an unwritten rule that we wouldn't even discuss the naked activities we partook in with each other. And I grew bored. I felt like whatever we were doing was forced. He didn't want to hurt my feelings or make me feel bad, so he called every week to prove me wrong. "It's okay," I thought. "I understand. You don't have to keep pretending."

Then one day I was driving home from work and his picture flashed on my cell phone. "Eh," I mumbled and I just let it ring. He never quit; he called every week regardless if I picked up the phone or not. Friday, I answered after six weeks of silence.

We worked our way through work and hobbies. I lied when he asked if I still practiced yoga. "Oh yeah, three times a week," I responded. Truth was I hadn't been in a month and my stomach looked more like a tummy. I didn't care. I didn't even mask my blah mood. Had I not been feeling so apathetic, I probably wouldn't even have answered the phone.

Wednesday he called again. I made a mental note that it hadn't been a week yet. I picked up again. This time I was feeling a bit lonely, settling in The Week Where No Worketh Gets Done, and hadn't spoken to a person in days. Then he did it. He mentioned a certain naked activity. "I was thinking about last week when I was describing my physic to you and then I thought, "Sarah's seen me naked!" he laughed.

"Anyways," he continued. "I'm coming to see you in August. Let's pick a weekend."

"Okay sure." I kicked around a blanket on my couch. He's been saying that since February and I've known since May to not expect it.

"Cool. How's August 11th?"


"Okay, your choice: August 4th or August 11th?"

"Um," I looked down at my non-yoga tummy, "August 11th."

"Awesome! And can we go to the aquarium?"

"Uh, sure."

"I've been talking about this for so long, I bet you didn't believe I'd ever come."

"Yeah, something like that."

I hung up the phone. He's called the second time in under a week, brought up the unmentioned naked activity, and set a date to come visit. Nick must be horny.

I'm currently checking my Outlook Calendar. I have three weeks to lose 10 pounds. Now what the hell did I do with my yoga mat?

~Thursday, July 27, 2006

Because I read it on Vince's and M's blogs and MSN

As long as I'm doing PSAs today:

Somewhere some guy genius has decided that it is a good idea to insult women to get them into bed. "Your goal is... to make her question whether you're really interested in her," MSN explains.

Boy, I can't wait to meet this guy. I'm sure he'll understand why my drink is in his lap and the dinner rolls are being aimed at his face.

You know... so he'll question whether or not I'm really interested in him.

That is all. Again.

The More You Know /*

Just in case clarification was needed on this topic:

It is not okay to ask a girl out via phone text message. She will not respond. Moreover, she will be pissed about the $.10 charge on her phone bill for your idiotic behavior.

That is all.

~Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"When you get a minute come see me."

My entire department is out of town this week, leaving only me. It's quiet. I'm a bit lonely. I've spent all my time on the internet (which explains my sudden increase in blog postings, I can just sit here and think things up).

Yesterday afternoon was spent digging around in other people's archives. It's interesting to see how people got to the points where they are today. An e-mail pops up on my screen from a higher up whom I assume is my boss for this week: "When you get a minute come see me."

Shit. Shit. Shit. She knows I've done NOTHING this week and now she's going to fire me. Or at least have a stern talk with me about internet privileges. A warning. I'm going to get written up.

I knock on her office door and she invites me to sit. She, however, does not ask me to close the door. I lighten up a bit-- when they fire you they ask you to close the door. Her head is bent scribbling something down and there is a pause before she speaks. I begin to panic again. She leans back in her chair and takes off her reading glasses, "So how are yours and E's dating lives?"

I breathed a sigh of relief. I'm so not getting fired. E and I are the only single people in the entire company which is why we've gravitated towards each other. This higher up is neither of our bosses and she likes to live through us and find out what we're up to. E and I always have some crazy plan.

I laughed, "Well we're on perfectmatch.com for this month. E is doing much better than me. She's e-mailing 3 complete hotties and I think she really likes a police officer."

"Have they met yet?"

"No, but they are talking about it. I think they are going to make plans when she gets back in town."

"Well what about you?"

"I haven't had such good luck. I went out with this lawyer who turned out to be a dud. I've had a few people take interest in me, but that seems to be dissipating. It's tough, you know?"

"Yeah. You really have to treat a relationship like you would a job hunt. You really have to put forth quite an effort." She proceeds to give me an activity list of single's events she used to partake in not too long ago.

"We have a goal you know."

"Oh yeah? What's that?"

"We're trying to get dates for the Christmas party. Screw the holidays, we just want an escort for the Christmas party."

She laughed so hard I thought she was going to pee in her pants. "I like that. You're keeping things light!"

Yeah, so not getting fired. I must call E though and let her know about the conversation, because I know this higher up will corner her one day, asking about her date with the police officer.

~Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hey you,

Yes you. The one looking sheepish. I see you.

I don't take the time to e-mail just anybody, you know. Especially e-mails as smartly and cleverly written like that one. It oozed pure charm. I know this for a fact because I have all my e-mails checked for The Crazy Factor before I send them. It was confirmed: I am a cute girl with a knack for funny and well thought out e-mails. I'm so goddamn great that people have asked me to write their e-mails for them.

So why the no response?

~Monday, July 24, 2006

Singing the song to a different tune/tone

I no longer felt guilty about my snap judgment about Lawson. I gave him a second chance and he wowed me with "I haven't planned anything" and "give me a call later on."

I was pissed off. So I didn't call him. I had no intentions of ever calling him again. I didn't care if I left him high and dry on a Saturday night; it's not like we had plans anyways.

As a matter of fact, I called my parents and asked them to drive into the city and have dinner with me. You don't know what a huge step that was for me. I blew off a date with a lawyer to hang out with my parents that I don't even get along with. I took complete control of the situation. This is a first for me.

"Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me/ Don't you wish she was a freak like me." (Note: change that ring tone, it's becoming embarrassing.) Lawson called twice. Looked like he changed his attitude on "you call me."

After my parents dropped me off at my apartment, I called him back. I told him I had a car emergency and had been busy with that (technically true.) He said he made other plans for the night but Sunday he would be free.

I told him I was not (true.)

"Well Thursday night my buddy is coming in town and we're going to the Highlands if you want to join."

Seriously? You went from a date to me hanging out with you and your friends? "I don't think so."


"Because I can't go drinking like that during the week."

"Well I'll give you a call later on and we'll work something out."

Looks like he's changed his tune.

~Saturday, July 22, 2006

Benefit of the doubt

I love how everyone responded and it has been decided that I was in the right in over three countries. I am universally right. I also think Nick should write a book geared towards American men titled, Why Women Don't Like You: A guide for ending your fuckwit ways. You can even include an index of dating ideas, so they'll never have to think for themselves.

I talked with E over the situation. She knew how guilty I felt. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was nervous. I know I've done many stupid things when I first met some people that I wish I had been given a second chance. I felt like a hypocrite for wanting to forget his number.

"Just call him," she finally said. I knew she felt differently, but she knew it was what I wanted to hear.

So I just picked up the phone and called him.


"Hey Lawson, it's Sarah."

"I know."

"I was calling to see what you had planned for tonight."


"Okaaaaay. Did you change your mind?"

"No. I just hadn't planned anything."

"Okaaaaay." This is the exact moment where I knew I would never want to see him again.

"Well what do you want to do?"

"Um..." Oh God, I just want off the phone.

"How about dinner and a movie?"

"Okay. When? Where?"

"I don't know. Why don't you call me later on."

Not only do I not want to call him later on, I actually resent him a little for thinking this is okay behavior. I think by calling him though, I forced myself to having to go out with him tonight. Shit.

~Friday, July 21, 2006

Romance me

In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have gone on a first date in a tank top and blue jeans, but I accessorized it correctly and looked very cute.

We met at the restaurant I picked. I had driven by it several times and thought, "I would love to go there on a date." Mel was right, Lawson was not as cute as his picture, but he wasn't unattractive. He's one of those people whose personality will make or break his attractiveness. He talked and smiled a lot more than Mel had alluded and I dismissed their date to having no spark. We made small talk about school and the city.

When the bill came, I had no intentions of paying: he asked me out and it was the first date, but I knew guys at least appreciate the fake reach. So I fake reached into my purse. He said nothing. I grabbed my wallet. He said nothing. I fiddled with opening my wallet. Nothing. And finally I slapped down my plastic. Hmph.

Afterwards we had one more drink at a dive bar I've been wanting to go to before going home. I paid for my drink there too.

At his car I hugged him goodbye and he said he had a good time. I knew he liked me and that was a confidence booster, but I hadn't made my mind about him yet.

At home I received an e-mail from him. It was very nice, stating he had a good time and wanted to do it again. He added he "might not be going out of town this weekend" like he thought and for me to give him a call. I hmphed at the computer screen. Me call him? On the off-chance he didn't go out of town? I don't think so. So I thought I was being ultra clever with guiding him on what to do. I merely responded back, "Why don't you give me a call when you know you're not going for sure?"

I collapsed on the couch. I was buzzed from the 3 beers I had. I couldn't believe it only took 3 beers. I hadn't been drinking much lately, but 3 beers? The TV was on but I couldn't really watch it. And then my phone rang, it was Lawson.

"Okay, I'm definitely not going out of town this weekend," he said. "I'm having dinner with friends on Friday, but I'm free after that."

I put my hand on my head. I was pretty buzzed. "Saturday would be better for me." A date on two consecutive nights is weird.

"Okay, well you give me a call on Saturday and we'll figure things out."

What is with this guy? Look, I appreciate the e-mail. An e-mail and a phone call the same night as the date is unheard of; I was in some unprecedented dating territory. I'm a lucky girl, I get that. But why do I have to call the guy? I'm not comfortable with calling the guy; he is supposed to call me. Romance me. The only thing I'm supposed to do the first couple of dates is show up. Frankly, I like it that way. But here I'm supposed to call the guy the day of the date to schedule it, where I'll invariably have to plan it, meet him there, and likely pay my own way. I'm guessing that I'll have to open my own doors too. I'm not used to putting forth this much effort.

When do you lower your standards? Do I really not go out with him again because I have to call? When do you realize that maybe you have too-high standards? Is who calls really that much of a big deal?

If he called me and asked me out properly and gave me a time and a place on Saturday, I would have accepted. But to put all the weight on me? That makes me uneasy. What do I do?

~Thursday, July 20, 2006

Coincidence or will power?

William S Burroughs once wrote, "In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen." Last night I got stood up and through the encouragement of a very nice door guy, I started calling my friends. Mel jumped at the chance to go to a show and soon met me downtown. Childhood friends, we haven't seen each other in over a year. She takes the seat next to me and we begin gabbing.

"I met a guy," she says. Mel has never had a boyfriend, or even a "real" date.

I gasped and punched her in the arm, "Really? That's wonderful! No one deserves it more than you. You've waited so long for this!"

Mel rubbed her arm, "Thanks."

"So how did you meet?"

"At Barnes and Noble, my new favorite store."

"Wow. I sit at coffee shops by myself on Sunday mornings with the paper, hoping to encourage a meeting like that and nothing ever happens to me."

"It's crazy, isn't it?"

"It's crazy awesome!" I slumped in my chair. "I, on the other hand, am on perfectmatch.com."

"Don't worry," she consoles, "I was on there too."

"I'm actually meeting someone tomorrow. He just passed the bar."

"Is his name Lawson?"

My mouth hung open and I studied her face. She was completely serious. "Yes," I answered.

"Was he wearing a blue shirt in his profile?"

He was, but I didn't know where this was going, so I didn't want to admit it. "I can't remember."

"If it is, I went out with him. Sarah, it was so awful. He's not a cute as his picture and he just wouldn't talk. The whole ordeal was like pulling teeth."

I slumped in my chair even lower. We pulled out cell phones and sure enough, Lawson's number matched perfectly. Shit. I told her about the 3 minute phone call. "Yeah that sounds like him," she says. "He was very perfunctory. He told me to call him if I wanted to hang out again and I thought, 'Yeah, right.'"

"Should I cancel? Because I totally will!"

"No, you should go, but you have to promise to call me afterwards."


I faced front and thought about it. I haven't been excited about a date in so long. I can't even remember. To me, these dates are like small scheduling sacrifices. I've been so busy that I always have to rearrange something to go out. Maybe it was because these recent dates have all been set ups; maybe it's because my life is full now.

I was already not looking forward to the date with Lawson, now I wondered if I should cancel anyways. Then again, Mel is not exactly a man's girl, so maybe he just wasn't attracted. "That's it, I'm not showering beforehand." I huffed. Mel laughed. I'll go on the date, but I'm picking the restaurant.

~Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"You'll what? Uh, ok. Bye to you too."

I have my first date with someone from online tomorrow. His name is Lawson. He just passed the bar and is currently looking for a job here. We went to the same university and have the same taste in books, music, and movies. It's been so long since I've been able to debate themes with someone and that really attracted me to him.

Things I am excited about:

  • He calls when he says he will.
  • He's polite.
  • I like saying, "Meet my boyfriend, the lawyer," and have already imagined several instances of running into exes with him.
  • I like the sound of his voice and his picture isn't ugly either.
  • He's read most the books that I have and has actual thoughts on them.

Things I am not excited about:
  • He's unemployed.
  • He's living at home while unemployed.
  • (I really should give him a break on this since I was in that exact place not too long ago.)
  • I met him online and have yet to think of a lie to tell people about how we met.
  • Both times I spoke to him on the phone, he got off rather quickly. Last night when he called for the date, he was off in under 4 minutes. I thought we would at least talk about where we were going to go, but he said he would send me a follow up e-mail. I give him points for properly asking me out, but I felt rushed. The other time we talked on the phone, he was off in under 8 minutes. So I have yet to have a proper conversation with this guy.
I guess the date will tell on this one.

~Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Life is good.

Right now I feel like life is great: I get to eat whatever I want, I have sole power over the remote control, and I get to hog the covers at night. My friends keep me busy and I'm always out enjoying some sort of urban adventure. Life is good. My married friends, however, feel the need to set me up because I'm 25, single, and living alone.

Even though I grew up in a privileged area, it was still the south. Girls still swooned over boys at bars that include mechanical bulls. Tight jeans, chewing tobacco, and NASCAR... oh my. The girls I remained friends with from high school married such boys. Two of them married young and had kids young. One of them had the kids, but didn't get married. It's the south; we're the largest contributor to Jerry Springer guests.

I, however, wanted more for myself. Not to say that they aren't happy, but that isn't the life I wanted for me. I don't want to spend my Saturdays at the track, watching the mud races. I want to be Intown, hitting on the cute boy who owns an art gallery. Our choices are just different.

My married friends feel bad for me and have made it their mission to find me a man. I'll get phone calls about a bartender from Longhorn in some hick town. He has a two-year-old, but don't worry, he's not on speaking terms with his ex-fiance.

Oh sweet Jesus.

I kindly turned down the offer, careful not to say anything specific because he is so-and-so's cousin.

Last night, I get another phone call:

"Yeah, I have Billy passing out your photo and trying to get you set up."

"Um, where is he doing this?"

"At work."

I'm running through my mind. Billy is a jack-of-all trades from ballet dancer to computer engineer and I can't remember where he works. "Where is that?" I ask.

"At the auto garage."

I almost dropped the phone. She has a man named Billy passing out my photo at a mechanic shop. I could just imagined men in mustaches and grease stained uniforms with their names embroidered inside the red little ovals, exhaling cigarette smoke between yellow teeth while looking at MY photo. I stifled back a cry.

How do I tell her that this isn't my scene without sounding like I'm looking down on her life?

I lied.

"Well, I just started seeing this other guy, but thanks for the offer!"

The truth is, I don't want to settle. I would rather be alone than be with someone who irritates me. Call it a self-preservation thing-- otherwise I'd be worried about the very real possibility of murder-suicide.

~Friday, July 14, 2006

High Times

Great article!

My favorite is #6. Go me!

~Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On Online Dating

I've had a profile posted online for... 3 days now and I already have a laundry list of complaints. This is what I wanted to include in my profile, but won't because no one likes a bitch.

Do Not Contact Me If:
  • You haven't been properly socialized. I'm way too worn out to teach you how to act in both social and private settings. It's work that I'm just not willing to put in.
  • You cannot carry a conversation. It irritates me to have to control the conversation every friggin' time. You say you love your job over and over. Fine, I'll ask you about what you do, or I'll ask you to elaborate on your job duties. Then you give me a one sentence response and say nothing else. Whatever. I never cared about your job anyways. I just thought you could talk passionately about something. Again, this is too much work for me.
  • You cannot match your shoes to your belt, or, at the very least, know when to ask for help with this.
  • You write with "text lingo" instead of words. I have an English degree. Crap like "i c" and "u 2" really irritate the hell out of me. To me, it just shows that you're lazy. Phone text messaging didn't come out until we were in college, so you should have learned proper language skills by then. We're not 14; this isn't trendy.
  • You quote or steal movie lines and/or songs for your profile. You are unoriginal. In the few chances you get to talk about yourself, you steal someone else's work. This tells me nothing about yourself. Maybe you don't think much about yourself. Maybe you're not good at following directions. Maybe you don't think much of me, the one reading your profile. Any of these three possibilities are enough to make me move on.
  • You begin your profile with, "Well, I don't know what to put here so... " It's awkward. I get that. Don't think that I didn't gripe about that too. But once again, you're using the one chance you get to talk about yourself to complain that it's awkward. The first sentence shows up under your picture. Seeing your pic with "Well, I don't know what to put here" doesn't accomplish a thing. Other than that you, too, are lazy. And/Or unoriginal. That puts you in the category above that I want no part of.
I really don't feel like I'm asking too much here. Really.

~Tuesday, July 11, 2006

An early morning drive home

Something had to change. I was already in a funk and used Conor's party as an escape, but between the guy with the girlfriend and Conor in all his glory, I was even worse off than before.

Making the trek home at ungodly Tuesday morning hours, I thought about statistics. Statistics has both dependent and independent variables. I always thought of myself as the independent variable, that if I change enough and tweak enough aspects of my personality, I would find a man. Some weekends I would wake up and decide that I need new pajamas. I need the frilly lacy kind, the sexy kind. I decided that if that part changed, so would the outcome. Another weekend I decided that I had too much stuff in my apartment and I needed to let go of some things to make room in my life for someone else. The karmic purging would yield different results.

But the recent events: bad dates, badly behaving men, and freaking Conor—I am not the independent variable in all of this. I am the dependent variable. It's going to take the right man to come along and impress me for anything to change. It's not me; it's them. These boys are the lowest of the low and I didn't want any part of it. It is these guys who make the rest look bad.

As the sun peaked between the highrises, and I was more exhausted than I could even imagine, I decided to not change myself, but to change the prospects.

~Friday, July 07, 2006

Girlfriends, Part 2

Conor had his head in the fridge and grabbed another beer. "Hey, que Sarah Sarah!" he called out. He's been calling me that for years. "Come sit."

It felt late. A few people were strumming on guitars. A few were asleep, including Conor's girlfriend. I introduced them when Conor and I were dating. Conor and I listened to the guitars for a few minutes. He looked over at Caroline sleeping on the couch and turned back to look at me.

"I have a secret to tell you."

I looked from Caroline to him, "Omigod, you're getting engaged."


I gasped, "You got her pregnant! You're having a baby!"

"No! I can't tell you here."

"I wanna know."

He got up and gestured for me to follow. We went into his other roommate's bedroom. He told me to close the door and I did.

"Caroline has been getting mad at me for no reason a lot lately."

"Yeah, well girls do that when they're unhappy about something. So what's your secret?"

"You don't know it already?" He began to look uncomfortable.

"No," I nervously laughed.

"I've told you this before." He looked even more embarrassed.

I thought about it for a minute. A couple of years ago, Conor got drunk and told me he loved me. He said he loved me when we were together and that he still did. That was before Caroline. I didn't know for sure if this was what he was going to tell me or not, so I decided to play dumb. Besides, I liked watching him squirm.

Conor got up from where we were sitting and went over to his roommate's computer. He clicked around for a minute and Blue October's "Hate Me" began to play.

"This song reminds me of you. I can't listen to it without thinking of you. It's the type of music you used to listen to while we were together."

"I do like this song."

"How long ago did we date?"

I really had to think about it, "Four years ago, I think. I was 21 and you were 23."

"That sounds about right. Four years. It's been four years." He began laughing and covered his face up. "You know, the only reason we're not still together is because we both belonged in straitjackets during that period in our lives."

While I didn't exactly agree with the way he put it-- that I belonged in a straitjacket-- I did have to agree that I wasn't a very stable person back then. I had just gotten out of a very serious relationship. Conor introduced me to whisky and pot, neither of which I've had before. He and I had dreams back then. I was going to move to NYC that August and work at one of the eight publishing houses up there. Conor was... I don't remember his dream anymore, only that he had one. Those were the best days of my life. In photo albums, it's the period where I look the happiest.

"Hate Me" ended and I heard Bryan singing one of his songs through the bedroom door. I liked it.

"Ugh, I hate it when Bryan sings!" growled Conor. "He's almost deaf and you can totally tell. That better not be my guitar he's playing!"

"You know it is."

Conor huffed and sank lower, "I know."

"So what's your secret?"

"You already know it!"

"No I don't!"

"I told you and you were so happy!"

"I don't remember!"

"I can't believe you forgot."

"What is it?"

Conor was squirming so hard right now. He was playing with a piece of chain maille and had taken it off his head and covered his face with it.

Here it goes. This is when Conor tells me he still loves me. I could never be with him again, but I need to hear this. After Nick, Bryan, Christopher, Andy, and BDB, I need to hear this. I need to know there is hope for me.

"Que Sarah Sarah," Conor sighed into the chain maille, "You gave the best head I ever had."

If I could make things like this up, I'd quit my job immediately and would start writing novels.

I jumped up. "Are you serious?" I screamed. "That's it?! That's why you pulled me in here!?"

"It's been four years!" he half-laughed. "I can't forget you. You were the best."

I pointed at the closed door. "You have a girlfriend in there!"

"I know! I know!" He fell over with his face pressed into the couch where I used to be sitting. "She's not as good as you."

"Well I could have told you that, Conor." I stomped out of the bedroom.

Conor followed me out, calling after me, "I think we can be together forever, Sarah! We're like Jerry and Elaine, only not fictional!"

The party was mostly broken up by now. Caroline was nowhere to be found. I stepped outside to see if I could see her truck; it was not there. In the kitchen Bryan and a boy I went to school with leaned against the counter and were in a debate on new grammar rules. It was late and I wanted my leaky apartment. I left.

Girlfriends, Part 1

I've been physically, mentally, and emotionally absent the past couple of weeks. I'm dealing with a lot of stuff and put pretty much everything else on the back burner.

Conor called Monday night. I've mentioned him before, he's my ex-boyfriend-turned-friend from college. He was having a party that night and invited me. I had just gotten bit by a dog and my roof was still leaking... I didn't even look back when I locked the door to leave.

Knowing Conor, a party means BYOB. When he says he's grilling, it means there is a grill in his backyard that someone, not him, can use to cook anything you bring. I brought a box of beer and a package of bratwursts and instantly became a hero because apparently no one else knows Conor like I do and showed up empty handed. I became a minor celebrity for bringing bratwursts, not hot dogs. Hugs and high-fives for everyone.

A guy, moderately cute, began arguing with me over the best way to cook them. After a phone call to a real German, we compromised and he stood over the stove, boiling them in beer before grilling them. He gave me lots of attention, flirting with me and touching my stomach. Finally, I thought, my time has come. For most of the night he followed me around the party, talking to me and touching me. I thoroughly enjoyed the attention. I pretty much know all of Conor's friends and was surprised I hadn't met him before.

Bryan was running to the store for a cigars and I went with him to get more beer. When I was leaving, the new guy handed me some money. I was pleased. It was a nice, thoughtful gesture that I haven't seen in a long time. As Bryan and I disappeared into the darkness, I heard New Guy talking about me to another boy. I smiled.

Bryan and I were making some small talk in his car. I leaned back against the headrest and closed my eyes. It had been seven months since our brief fling. I felt the distance and awkwardness between us. I had seen him a couple of months ago for his birthday. He kept kissing me and Christopher was in the other room...

"So, uh, are you still with Christopher?" he asked.

"Oh God no." I paused, wondering how to handle the question and what it meant, if anything. "It's all good though," I added, trying to sound breezy.

Beautiful and incredible, I thought. That's what Bryan thought I was. I pushed the thought out of my mind.

Back at the party New Guy found me quickly. He and Bryan began a debate of politics and the war. I climbed up on the porch banister and laid out my legs on the railing and quietly drank my beer. New Guy came up to me and pretended to push me.

"Don't! I'll fall" I cried while reached a hand to his shoulder to balance myself.

"I like it how you grab me like that," he whispered in my ear and pretended to push me again, never letting go. "Come sit with us," he said pointing to his empty chair and Bryan.

"I don't have a place to sit."

"You can sit in my lap."

"Yeah, I bet your girlfriend would love that!" shouted the boy I had seen him talk to when Bryan and I left the party.

I stopped smiling and studied his face. "Where's your girlfriend?" I asked evenly.

He pointed to a girl not 3 feet away. Smoking from the hookah, she had not heard any of this. "Right there." And then not missing a beat, "So are you going to sit in my lap or not?"

"You have a girlfriend."

"What if I didn't?"

"There's no point in me even answering that," and I got off the porch railing and walked inside.


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