Monday, May 08, 2006
the tell-tale bag
Last week, all I could think is, here's that feeling. It's back. I wondered if it was my neuroses or my litmus paper. I like to say that I trust my instincts, but I don't. I haven't the capacity for that level of faith. If it isn't there in front of me, I won't see it. Especially when I don't want to. Oh, and how I don't want to see it. Instead I talk of walls and porridge, hoping to nose it into a better spot. Sometimes I just stop talking altogether. Recently, when the feeling got to be a little too much, I wrote it down. It was late one night when I came home after too many drinks:
'Do I have my contacts in still or don’t I? All I know is it feels like a fine layer of sand blew in my eyes and I feel slow and drunk, but not too much that a little sleep delay and water won’t fix it. Tonight I was at a party with some girlfriends and this guy kept looking our way. I kept telling Alison he had 'eyes for her', and we laughed. Later he approached me in the kitchen and told me he recognized me from online dating. Apparently I was the only person he had ever emailed, but I never responded. It could have been a creepy exchange, but it wasn’t really. There was nothing wrong with him. In fact, he was kinda cute and interesting, but I was relieved to be able to say I was dating someone. As the words came out of my mouth, I felt like a liar. I could hear the scratchy newspaper box voice taunting me, "Lies!". I took his email because I felt bad saying ‘no’ when he offered himself on an ‘if it doesn’t work out’-basis, wishing me luck. But what about the little voice? The doubt? I'm swimming in it. This is a vulnerable period, I guess. It’s like making blind investments and the stakes are getting higher. The last couple of times I 've found myself in this position, things went badly. Maybe that's what's wrong. Maybe not.'
As early as a few dates in, despite the surface excitement, I had a funny feeling. I even joked with my therapist, "watch, this one'll be gay or something...you don't think he is, do you?" Of course he just shrugged.
Yesterday the 'guy' was a little snippy with me on the phone when we made plans. In response I was a little snippier back. Later that night at the restaurant, he asked me what 'that' was all about. I tried my best to explain. I reminded him of how the conversation went. He waived it off telling me, "Ya but I've been getting the feeling that something hasn't been right for the last week. You sound different." I wasn't sure what he was picking up on, so I didn't say anything right away. He pressed on. I turned the question around a bit and asked him if there was something that was bothering him. At first he said he wasn't sure. I waited for him to continue. Then he told me several things, none of which made a lot of sense taken together.
He's worried we're losing momentum because we haven't seen each other much lately.
He realizes he's the reason we haven't seen each other much lately and he's going away again.
He's unsure of how I feel about things.
He thinks I'm a great girl.
Alone time is important to him.
He's getting a bad vibe from me.
I'm not like the other girls he's dated, in a good way.
He doesn't want this to be the end.
He wants to see me again when he gets home.
He doesn't want to move too quickly
His work is stressful lately and timing isn't ideal...
He trailed off when he caught a glimpse of some friends of his we bumped into earlier in line at the restaurant. They were getting up to leave. He watched them approach. "That was quick," he said smiling, and then he continued under his breath, almost to himself, "look at Lisa and her Fendi B bag."
Are you kidding me? Did I just hear what I think I heard. Did he just notice a designer bag, recognize it, classify it, and admire it? A designer bag that I, being the girl at the table, didn't even notice? He didn't just do that, did he? Maybe I mis-heard. I looked up to see for myself.
And maybe not. The past few weeks rushed in. There was the impeccible dressing, the subtle homophobia, the myriads of friends that are girls, the not so dirty mind I mistook for gentlemenliness, the love for 'Desperate Housewives'...
And it all made sense.
Posted by Rachel at 10:26 PM