Saturday, February 03, 2007

no shadow

This week has been too much. There have been four torturous nights of insomnia. I feel like a machine missing it's parts; the parts that allow you to fall asleep. Maybe if I had more sleep I would be able to come up with a better analogy. Two out of three of my pregnant friends gave birth to healthy and lovely babies. The weather has been cold and my skin is itchy from the winter dryness. It's only getting colder. For the coming week the expected highs are around -10 degrees. Inhuman.

Recently I also made a career decision, which was a long drawn-out and painstaking process. I gathered up all of my courage and made a plan, updated my resume, and applied to a handful of positions last week. I was surprised to be called for an interview so quickly and they gave me 24 hours to prepare, which entailed the regular interview prep as well as reviewing relevant pathophysiology etc... All of this had to take place within an already full week, between work, visiting babies, and sleep that would not come. My boss, who has been in the loop on this, responded to the news by trying to 'retain' me, coming up with creative solutions that would combine the clinical work I am looking for with an academic/research role. I'm not sure why she's so determined, but I guess I should be flattered. The problem is that while it could be a good opportunity, it's really clouding the decisions I so painfully made. Part of me is relieved because it reduces the anxiety that facing a huge change in my life would cause. I would be looking at shift work [12-hour shifts, 50/50 days and nights, and working every second weekend]. I would be taking a pay cut too. I'm just afraid that I wouldn't be doing my plans justice by staying. I guess there's no harm in talking to them about it.

Then there were angry accusations followed by lusty propositions. Apparently I made Andy feel 'asexual' last week when we went out. I didn't mean to, but when he didn't kiss me goodnight...again, I started to wonder if we were just friends. I was feeling very little attraction for him or from him. For me, usually I can tell if there's chemistry from a kiss. Four or five dates in and no kiss? I didn't want to wonder any more so I made a smart-ass remark to stir up a discussion like, "so I guess we'll just keep doing this?" I pointed back and forth between us.

Let me go back a little. For our second date he invited me over to his place to watch a movie. I politely declined but he sensed some awkwardness and asked me about it. I told him I didn't feel comfortable with that because it was too soon. I barely knew him, and generally 'watching a movie' includes very little movie watching. Besides, a girl can never be too careful. He laughed. When I asked him what was so funny, he explained to me that he and his friends call that the 'cock block' and that it's so funny that girls think that if they don't 'give it up' early on, somehow it will increase the chances that the guy is going to end up liking them for 'who they are', but if you sleep with someone right away they'll see you as disposable. Then he told me, like he was imparting a great nugget of wisdom, that in fact guys know if they're going to like a girl within the first few minutes of meeting them so nothing they do or don't do, sexually, is going to change that.

I listened patiently, waiting until he finished talking.

"Interesting theory", I said, "but you and your friends assume the girl is going to like YOU regardless; that it's all in your hands. I don't want to go back to your apartment on a second date because I don't know you. I can't speak for any other women, but the way it works for me is that I like to get to know someone before I sleep with them, not in the hopes that they'll learn to like me 'for who I am', but rather to decide if I like THEM".

So the morning after the no-kiss goodnight, he emailed me to tell me that I made him feel asexual. He offered up two reasons for not kissing me: (1) he is way too mature to 'make-out' on a street corner [like that's what I had been holding out for]; and (2) he had been trying to respect the 'get to know me' clause.

Funny, I thought, how over a week had gone by before he had even called me to ask me out again. And then another week rolled by before I saw another [very short] email from him, which came the other day, containing exactly two words:

"How goes?"

I told him I'd had a stressful week and he replied moments later.

"Me too. Got a huge account. Let's celebrate with a sleep over."

I can't be bothered to respond. The only reason I'm even writing about it now is because it amuses me. Way to get to know me asshole.

But seriously, why can't anyone be charming? Even just a little?

Anyway, Friday morning I was abnormally emotional. It was the job, the lack of sleep, and the babies. I think the babies triggered some chemical reaction. I knew it was bad when I cried over the groundhog prognosticating that spring was 'just around the corner'. It was a happy cry at first, but it quickly turned into straight crying. I have a thing for groundhog day, by the way. I really do. I cried...and clapped when I heard spring was almost here. Cried and clapped over toast and coffee, alone in my apartment. Sometimes it feels like I'll never be anything but alone.

Last night I met up with Josh for dinner. I really needed that to wipe away the week. We laughed our asses off about Lana's water breaking at costco. It isn't always as dramatic as it is on TV, so she was in complete denial. She pretended it wasn't happening and finished shopping and went back to work for a couple of hours before she called her husband. Josh kept laughing about it, going, "Clean up in aisle 7. Oh, wait...clean up in aisle 5. Clean up in aisle 7 again."

Today I got my new couch, but it came so late I missed the movie I was supposed to go to with some friends, so I decided to stay home and watch some Woody Allen and admire my new couch. Tomorrow I am meeting Harry for breakfast and then going to make dinner for Lana and her husband and to see the baby. Everything feels better again. I think I may even sleep tonight.


The Fed Ex of Funk said...

I guess I'm just curious as to why you didn't cut things off immediately following the "cock block" conversation. Most girls don't even wait for an excuse to give me the cold shoulder even though I'm constitutively respectful. I'm not saying you have to adopt the negative qualities of others to get what you want, but it seems like you're more willing than most to invest time in someone who's obviously not worth it.

Rachel said...

I don't know, probably because all of my friends and family who 'don't understand why I'm still single' accuse me of being too critical or too picky, and so I try to be open minded. Maybe too much so. But you know what? You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

The Fed Ex of Funk said...

Some time last fall I was talking to one of the friends I spent New Year's with, and in telling me about a possible relationship that didn't work out, she said she thought some people just get over situations that don't work out and stop thinking about it. This viewpoint would certainly explain why someone would just stop talking to me in the middle of a conversation, without even a good-bye, at the first sign of boredom. That's just the way some people are. While I don't condone adopting their accompanying rude behaviors, it's been liberating to stop dwelling on decreasingly likely possibilities for which there's still some small hope. At least I'm in control of that last 1% of possibility, it saves some time, and I can approach the next person I meet with a fresh perspective. And if you're worried about giving up on someone who might not have given up on you yet, keep this in mind: recently I've come into contact with a few girls I hadn't talked to since last summer, and none of them remembered anything about me without a lot of reminding. Think about that. I remember everything about them, and my existence barely registers with them. That's enough of an asymmetry that it's not worth dwelling upon.

Bubbles, Ink. said...

why is it important for someone not to be single? why does someone always have to have a partner?

chapman said...

i'm not sure what to say about all this that hasn't been said before, but i laughed. i would have defended andy because i've been the guy getting energetically confusing signals, but the things he says just sound so dim. i won't defend a dolt.

Rachel said...

Who said people in general have to be in a relationship? Not me. I just happen to want one for a variety of reasons: intimacy, the discount on rent, the sex, the family. I'm not making any grand statement here. It's about me. What I want.

In the end, I don't blame him all that much either. I'm just tired.