Tuesday, April 26, 2005

So Apt

Monday, April 18, 2005

On Men

things have been calm on the manfront lately. this alternates between pleasing and boring me. it's not that i crave drama, but it'd be nice to get some butterflies swirling inside. as things stand lately, the only thing swirling inside is indigestion. that often happens when i eat too much spinach. but anyhow: the last time the butterflies made an appearance was when i had that great first date in early february. but that turned out to be flash in the pan. the guy and i hung out some after our date and things were moving nicely, but then it just kinda fizzled. it was weird, because the phone calls and meetings became less frequent until they virtually ceased altogether. i want to say it's because work took over, but i don't think that's true. i think we make time for what's important to us. and once the infatuation began its wane, there was no fighting it. he and i both seemed to lose interest. however short-lived, our time together was sweet and relaxed, but there can be no resurrecting it. i've moved on.

well, kind of. i may have moved on from new guy, but not from old guy(s). i've been hanging out with yogaman in recent weeks. maybe that's not exactly accurate. i guess we've been hanging out quite regularly since we "broke up" last december. it's amazing how not living together can improve a relationship and how quickly a man will want to commit to you once he finds out you're seeing someone else. but that's not a commitment i want, yet i'm still so deathly attracted to him, so for the time being we're sustaining what from the outside looks like an open relationship. (i know that ultimately this is unsustainable, but let's focus on the present.) at present, it's working out nicely as we have all the couply benefits of a relationship but without any of the bullshit. it's ideal in many ways. and now that everything's been clearly defined between us, we can spend quality time that doesn't necessarily mean nothing, though it doesn't necessarily mean everything either. i adore him relentlessly, but i don't want to be his girlfriend again. that arrangement is fairly stable, clear and calm.

i've also run into another old guy, once known simply as O. if you recall, he was from the online personals -- the only one from the personals whom i saw somewhat regularly. recently, we discovered our mutual single status and proceeded to have dinner. that turned into yet another dinner.

so now i'm basically dining on my old harem of O and yogaman. but this time i didn't have to go out in search of it; it found me. and being the chic (and impulsive) sheik that i am, i couldn't resist. not sure how frequently or how long O will stay in the picture -- he's always been a wild card -- but i don't mind the deja vu. it was fun before as well, and time and history make it even more comfortable now.

despite how exciting it might sound, this has all been quite mellow. these are men, after all, so they're not angling for marriage and a mortgage. nor am i. and i've found that once you lay out low expectations, they're more than happy to meet them. so my commitment-phobia is working in everyone's favor. monogamy is overrated.

but is it? i wonder if i'm selling myself short. i mean, this whole arrangement is adequate, but it's not extraordinary and, ultimately, i want the extraordinary. maybe i simply haven't met anyone who has wowed and wooed me yet. but maybe i'm not receptive to being wowed. i want the wow, i think, but perhaps i've become too jaded about men. the guys have seen it, said it: how i'm "emotionally unavailable," how i "shut down" and "pull away." i resist meaningful intimacy. i run.

it wasn't always like this. once upon a time, i used to fall in love so easily. i was idealistic and hopeful. i was more open to all sorts of new people and experiences. i gave everything the old college try, and i was a better listener. now, i'm far more cynical. i get annoyed easily. i see men's flaws before their assets, always searching for that instant disqualifier to move them into my "sucks" category. the world is suddenly in black and white. in my book, you're either real or you're not, you're in or you're out. there's no gray, no wonderful nuance to get lost in. i adore you or i ignore you.

how right is this new worldview? is it a function of maturity or of damage? am i now thoughtfully discerning or needlessly judgmental? is this dysfunction? maybe i'm finally being realistic. how many couples do you know that have stayed together happily and forever? sure, it happens for some but definitely not for most. maybe detachment is the best form of self-preservation. maybe there are many different ways to live and avenues for happiness. maybe my fear is allowing opportunities to pass me by.

or maybe i'm overanalyzing this whole fucking thing. i really don't know.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Massaging the Noggin

my brain's been in overdrive lately. good to know it still works. i don't think i've used it much since i finished school last may. can't believe that was almost a year ago. it's been, arguably, my longest hiatus from strenuous brain activity. (or perhaps the four years i spent working for the man between schoolings was the longest?) it seems so easy to allow your mind to atrophy when there's no upcoming exam to measure your new knowledge. and as someone who is inherently lazy, i relied on exams to keep my nose in books. without them, my nose has a tendency to wander with my unfocused, ADD-riddled spirit. they'll just meander around town, hand in hand, hoping to be captivated by something. under the best circumstances, they'll find adventure and intruige and form some half-baked ideas. but eventually -- restlessness, uncertainty, self-doubt. it's the same cyclical story.

but i digress (as all free spirits do). apparently, my brain isn't entirely lubed up and ready to go. it's still (re)acclimating to its newfound focus. it's had plenty of practice in the past few weeks, having been bombarded with all sorts of data. though many would be surprised to hear it, the fascinating world of finance can be quite fascinating. i'm learning up a storm at work about mutual funds, the markets and economics. i'm starting to read the business section daily. i'm starting to understand terms like "market capitalization" and "net asset value." pop quiz: what's the difference between between securities, treasuries and equities?

appropriately, aiding me in my new cerebral pursuit is "mutual funds for dummies." what a five-star read! no, not really, but it's helped buckets. and all this new exposure to finance has gotten me very concerned about my own finances, which have, famously, always been in disarray. but now that i'm becoming so learned (pronounced: learn-NED), i'm going to soon form a masterful plan on how to make bags of money. and if it takes off, i'll write a 'how-to' book or make an informercial selling my "10 easy steps to becoming a rich bitch like me." then i'll quit my job and move myself, juice and my new riches to the tax-exempt isle of bermuda. soon after, you'll see me on 'lifestyles of the rich & famous' lounging on a chaise with a martini in one hand while a cabana boy with soccer thighs stands nearby, peeling me grapes.

or at least that's what i fantasize about when i stare out the office window from the 49th floor. i also wonder what the gritty smog that blankets the LA basin is doing to my lungs. then i'll wonder whether someone brought in a box of doughnuts that morning. then i'll yawn. it's riveting to be me, isn't it?

also lubing my brain is the car hunt, which is well underway. i figure that the best way to start making money is to get myself into considerable debt with a new-car purchase. i've been checking out various financing options and figure that a bank loan will offer the lowest interest rate. i've also been perusing the wonderful edmunds.com, where i found this great piece written by a journalist who went undercover as a car salesman. i think i'll end up buying my car online, maybe from carsdirect.com, instead of getting ripped off by a dealership. g-d bless the internet.

and g-d bless all the other 'to do' items currently up on my dry-erase board. perhaps it's time to finally get to them.