Saturday, February 19, 2005

hebrew hammer

I had a great time on my date this afternoon. I thought he was cute, funny, intelligent. Despite this, I left feeling a little down. Toward the end of the date I think I felt some preemptive defensiveness. Either I got a sense that he wasn't as interested as I was or I am not used to feeling anything beyond neutral. I became very casual. I said, "it is too bad you live so far away," (he lives about 4 hours drive and was in to see his family), "but it was nice meeting you". He agreed and we parted ways. I did mention to him that next time he was in town he could call, but wasn't I again closing things off in a way? Was I not saying, nice meeting you, but unless you are back in town, there is no point? I don't know if I feel like he didn't like me or that I ruined it even if he did. I think I might email him to say thanks for coffee etc... I am not sure how, but I am willing to go out on a limb and give him the message that I would like to go out again, even if it means he may not take the bait or he may not feel the same way. What do I have to lose?

I won't bother getting into the list of things that weren't ideal because that is too easy for me. It is one thing I know how to do, but suffice it to say that for now, I was not put off.

I just got home from a friends where we watched The Hebrew Hammer. A great movie that every Jew should watch. I am going to have an annual Chanukah party and screening. Just imagine: latkes, gelt, manischewitz drinking games...

stemming the flow

So far this weekend I have been very productive. I got my laundry done last night (I didn't say I was social) and this morning I made breakfast (smoothies and waffles) for myself and my classmate so we could work on our seminar. That was fun and semi-productive. Now, I have time to download some music and create new playlists. This afternoon I am going on another blind date/coffee. This guy sounded cool on the phone, so I am looking forward to it. It is pretty amazing when you have never met someone but can joke around on the phone and 'get' each other. From my experience, that doesn't necessarily foreshadow a successful match, it is just of note that people can be in synch having never met.

I leave to go south on Thursday, so this week is going to be busy, what with the waxings and mani/pedicures. My throat has been sore for a few days so if it isn't better by Monday I may have to get it looked at. I want to be fully healthy there. I feel fine otherwise.

Last night the tenor used an amazing analogy to describe the way interpersonal process plays out. He likened it to those magnetic gadgets, with all of the little metal pieces. When you drop them onto the surface, they fall into the shape of the magnet. Preverbal experiences can behave as a magnetic field. Interactions are shaped by these pre-determined patterns. Two people with similarly shaped magnetic fields, so to speak, are in synch. In my field, the hammer is always about to fall. Humanity opposed by the mechanistic. The morning after, stemming the flow, being put in your place, the obligitory anti-climax, the final solution.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

get the message

A couple of months ago a man accidently left me a messsage on my voice mail at home. It was a man calling his sister to tell her that their mother had taken "a turn for the worse". He said that she was "on a lot of oxygen now". He finished off the message sounding unsure, "...I just thought you should know".

That messsage was of such consequence. In just a couple of sentances I gathered that the mother was dying and that the sister may not be closely involved. I was terrified that the mother would die and the sister would never get the message and so she wouldn't get there in time. It occurred to me that the brother would assume she got the message but decided not to come. The whole situation was brimming with disaster. I had to do something.

I found the number on my call display and left the man a very clearly articulated message explaining what happened. It was like their whole world hung on my ability to get the message across. Hanging up, I worried something would happen and he wouldn't get it. Maybe he would erase it by accident or maybe I dialed the wrong number. I contemplated leaving a second message.

Every week now, my machine plays the voice mail back to me and every week I re-save it. I can't bring myself to erase it.

Friday, February 11, 2005

love is for suckers

Remember when I said I bumped into my old manager from the restaurant I worked at when I first moved to the big city? On Saturday when we were out he told me that he had a Jewish friend he wanted to set me up with. I got a message from him when I was out of town, telling me to call him back asap because something strange had happened re: this Jewish friend. I called him and apparently I HAVE ALREADY GONE OUT WITH THIS GUY!!! It took some promting before I remembered the date about a year ago. Is the Jewish population in this city that small? Is it possible that I have exhausted the potentials? What's up with that? He was actually cute and tall. He seemed nice, although I remember he gave me the impression he wasn't very social. At the time I thought that was strange because he looked very cool - a good dresser. I think I was dissapointed with my impression.

One thing I have recently learned about myself is that, although I find the charismatic, social guys attractive at first, it doesn't last. I think that on some level, I need a good deal of attention for me - I am not so sure I want too much competition. If my old roommates, Josh and Lana were reading this, they would laugh, "Are you just figuring this out?" Good or bad, I think this may be the reality. That's where Michael was perfect for me. A perfect balance. He was hysterical, but didn't overpower me. We had fun together. My job wasn't soley to admire him and the reverse was true as well.

All the travelling this week has left me exhausted. Valentine's Day weekend and I turned down a party, drinks and dinner with friends, came home, cooked Friday night dinner alone, and to top it off, rented The Notebook (a true love story). You might think, is she crazy? A glutton for punishment? Well, maybe a little, but I am also a sucker for love.

this is not a rhetorical question

Does anyone ever read this blog? I am so embarassed to ask that question. I have only ever had one comment so I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is 'no'. If no one answers, this particular post will have to go and we can forget I ever asked. Then again, if no one reads this, what is there to be embarassed about, right?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


There was a segment on the news about 911. It still rouses up so much in me. I have always meant to record my memories of that time. I was afraid they might start to fade, but they haven't.

I remember it was a beautiful warm morning. It was my last day of work as a nurse in a pediatric ICU. I was in a four-patient room when I noticed some of the parents gathered around one of the televisions mounted on the wall. I was at the bedside with my patient who was having a cardiac ultrasound. The ultrasonographer and I both stopped to see what was capturing everyone's attention. It takes something big to pull parents of critically ill children away. The only sound in the room came from the cardiac monitors. Hands to mouths, we all stood starring at the screen in collective horror, shock, disbelief. I will never forget how the tears streamed down the face of the ultrasonographer. Then the second plane hit.

Soon the unit manager went room to room, telling us that the televisions would have to be turned off for the rest of the day. The world might be permanently changing, and while none of us knew how much more was to come, the manager wanted to make sure we retained focus.

I almost never took a break when I was working, but that day I did. I ran to a payphone and called my friend Shane who lives in NYC. It took a few tries but I got through. He told me he was ok, but was at that moment, standing by his window watching what was left of the towers. "Oh my G-D, Rachel! You wouldn't fucking believe what I am looking at. You wouldn't fucking believe it", he repeated again and again.

Hanging up, I could barely breath. I needed to get outside. I stepped out of the climate-controlled hospital into an unseasonably warm September day. The sky could not have been bluer. It was the same clarity and vibrancy of the sky in NYC at that very moment. I sat on a bench a block away. There were these bushes with the most beautiful huge white flowers. Fall flowers. I lit a cigarette and looked up into the blue sky.

riding in trains

I have arrived at my destination. There is something remarkable about travelling this way. Bisecting the city on train shortly after departure, I was struck by a sense of the unfamiliar. This is the city that used to be foreign to me in every glance and with every move, but I have grown accustomed to it over the years. Today I was somewhere else. Maybe back to the beginning of my time here or maybe somewhere novel. Lines of backyards preceded unfamiliar houses. The architecture seemed alien. Looking out at people in cars and walking the streets, leading their lives, I felt like a voyeur. Somehow riding this train brought me to a place normally beyond reach, making the reality of these people accessable. Like looking up into the miniscule passenger windows of a plane flying overhead, in a flash I got this.

Wake-up call and breakfast pre-ordered, and pajamas on, I will be asleep soon. I heard a clock chime somewhere outside in the fog at 10 PM - hopefully this isn't going to wake me at every hour...


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Monday, February 07, 2005

my own synchronized swim team

I just made the most delicious smoothie with pomegranate and orange juice, banana, yogurt, mango, blueberry and strawberry. Delish!

I felt a little stressy because I have to pack for my work trip and instead I am doing this. I have to drag my shit with me on the subway tomorrow, go to work, go to class, and then catch a cab to the train. Traveling is always exciting though - no matter where you are going. I also love to stay in hotels by myself. I don't know what that is about. When I was a kid, there was nothing more exciting in the entire world than staying in a hotel. The patterned carpet, matching bedspreads, mini shampoo and conditioner, tiny was so much fun. The only thing that was more thrilling was the three-way mirror at my uncle's clothing store. When I stood in the centre of that mirror, there were millions of every direction! All of the me's did exactly what I did, at the same time. It was like being a part of the rockettes, but bigger. I was the star of my own giant synchronized swim team - sans pool.

If I can figure out how to get the Internet working while I am away, I will write and tell you about all of the hot doctors I met.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

my dry spell

Today is the dreaded Sunday and I awoke at 7:30AM hungover and in desparate need of water. I managed to go out for the day and walk around, have brunch, coffee, make granola, dinner and start packing to go away for work, but I did all of this feeling off. Sunday is sad enough, but I am always a little down after a night of drinking. I didn't even have that much but before I knew it I was the kind of drunk that you know you can't just go to bed. I forced myself to stay up and watch tv for a bit before I went to sleep, to give myself some sobering up time.

Last night I bumped into this guy I used to work with at a restaurant when I first moved here 8 years ago. It was so nice to see him. He was so genuinely excited to see me. He remembered so much about me. It made me feel great. It was one of those moments where you realize that you have an impact on people that you meet in life, even though you didn't realize it. He was my manager back then, and so much fun to work with. He wants to set me up with a Jewish friend of his - we will see.

A group of my friends went out for dinner last night. We were talking about sex. Everyone was putting in their 2 cents about a particular sexual position. I offered my opion and my friend's boyfriend Joey blurted out, "Rachel, how would you know? When was the last time you were even in a situation where that was a possibility?" I was mortified. For a second I just sat there stunned. I could see my friend giving Joey a look to tell him to shut up. I looked at him calmly and said, "Joey, you don't really have any idea what I do". I stayed calm, and even told my friend she could stop with the looks. Inside I was dying and I was truly fighting back tears. I will admit, there hasn't been much going on for me in that department in a really long time. I haven't had a serious relationship in years. I have, however, been dating off and on over the past few years so it hasn't been a completely dry spell. A long time ago I learned that the context and the person are important to me. Its not that I can only be with someone if we are in a serious relationship, it is more that I need to like the person. I need to feel a strong attraction. I need to feel ok with the situation.

I called my friend Josh this morning. I told him what Joey said. He listened to me cry, but then he gave me some good advice. It isn't that I haven't had the option or opportunity. It is that I made a conscious decision, based on previous experiences. This decision is not something of which I should be ashamed. Josh is good. Joey, on the other hand, really pisses me off. I find him so unpredictable. Sometimes he is so nice and fun, but every once in a while he throws me off. He can't be trusted. There was a table of people there! While some were my close friends, others were people I had just met. In fact, one of them was the guy that my other friend Derek works - the one I have a crush on. What an asshole!

Friday, February 04, 2005


Being vulnerable. Getting caught up in the moment. Letting my hair down. Reinventing myself. Letting it go. Un-self-conscious happiness. Collective excitement. Just doing it. Now I wonder how I will get the salt and dirt off my uggs? I don't even want to try.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

balancing things

Instead of coffee I am taking a blog break. If I don't do something new for a few minutes I am going to fall asleep. I haven't posted in awhile so I will fill you in.

I did end up calling S. I left him a "breezy" message and he got back right away and invited me for dinner. I think I was right. I also went out with another guy - we will just call him boring. Anyway, boring was a set-up through a guy my friend was dating ("was" being the operative word). We went for a coffee and, although nice, I was underwhelmed. Later that week, my friend found out that this guy she was dating, who was supposed to be busy at work, was actually busy with someone else. Ouch.

My second date with S was similar to the first, just longer. He is really nice and funny etc... but shorter than I remember- in fact shorter than me. I am not very tall or heavy (5'6, 140 lbs.), so why is it so hard to meet a Jewish guy who is taller, and weighs more than I do??? Am I looking in the wrong places? Tomorrow night will be date number 3. I am going to take him out this time, for two reasons: the first is that he took me out the first two times, and the second is that, in case I decide not to do a fourth date, I will feel better balancing things.

I have become so self-sufficient that I almost don't feel lonely at all. That scares me a little. The other day, someone who has only been single for a short time described to me how sad they felt. As her eyes began to well up, so did mine. I was so close to tears and I am pretty sure it wasn't for her. I think I need to be open to that part of me to allow myself to be open to someone else. I need to back up a bit, toward my adolescent level of vulnerability. Please don't let me keep speeding ahead in my single life. Before I know it I will be 40. I imagine this process doesn't get any easier as more time goes by.