26 December 2006

Hear Me Roar

I went to a Christmas party the weekend before last. I’m 24, you understand, so this wasn’t an egg nog and pigs in a blanket 7-9PM party. Nope, it was the same old everyone has a drink in hand at all times, conversation centers around other times people were drunk party. But I didn't hate it. On the contrary, I had a fantastic time and didn't get home until after three in the morning (in contrast, here's my standby party trick borrowed from my mom: walk in, say hello as obviously as possible to as many people as possible in twenty minutes, then get the hell out. Believe me, it works because everyone will remember you being there. Especially if they drink.).

So what was the difference? I guess there were a couple. The party was hosted by a former softball teammate of mine. So about 20% of the crowd consisted of people in whose company I once spent entire summers. Summers I'm unbelievably nostalgic about (nostalgic enough to play on the world's most annoying baseball team...that's a story for another day though). And I don't get the chance to see many of these girls on a regular basis. So that was something. But that wasn't the greatest factor. Since I'm not exactly a scene queen, most parties feature people I don't see that often.

And the vast majority of the crowd had some connection with sports, but I don't remember talking about sports much at all. Even when we waxed poetic about softball days, it was more often things that happened in the dugout or at hotels.

It took me two days to figure it out (and apparently ten days to write about it). The difference? No girls in tight dresses and heels, no one giggling and acting dumb, guys asking what we were talking about, how we knew each other. That's right, it was a female centered environment. It has been so long (since rugby parties at school, probably) since I've seen that, I almost didn't recognize it. It was such a pleasure not to have anyone telling me who they had slept with/were going to sleep with/wanted to sleep with/thought their roommate should sleep with/how their boyfriend had disappointed them, etc. that I just had a good time. I didn't worry about what I was going to talk about with so and so's roommate, didn't watch girls give me the once over, just caught up with old friends. Who sincerely wanted to hear about my job, my family, and my life.

13 December 2006


Sometimes, you meet someone whose company you truly enjoy. Someone with whom friendship, common ground, and conversation come easily and seem to last no matter how much time the two of you spend together. Sure, you might get on each other's nerves occasionally, but when it comes time to part ways, you always wish the time could go a bit slower.

I can count these people on two hands. Three of them have been members of the male species. One is my brother, one is someone most of you are unaware I still think about, and the other was a very good friend of mine up until last winter...

He and I met almost two years ago and were really really tight for about a year. After hanging out for a month, he informed me that he wanted to be more than friends and we went on perhaps the most awkward date of all time. We decided (in retrospect, I decided and he didn't argue) to just be friends and though I sort of knew he wanted more, we seemed have survived it. We saw each other 2-3 times a week for the next eight months, went out to dinner, emailed at work, saw Cubs games (he must be a good friend if I did that...), hung out with each other's friends and talked all the time about things I didn't talk about with anyone else. For a long time, he was the only male the cat wasn't afraid of.

Last November/December, he started pushing again for more than just friends and though I see now that it was probably a bad decision, I was willing to try. I saw him more than anyone else (except my coworkers...work is so weird), he made me laugh, and he was male. Right? Of course, the same problems I'd had with it before hadn't disappeared and after a few more weird dates, being friends again seemed like the right move.

I thought things were okay until he all but fell off the planet that spring. Someone who had always called when he said he would, emailed nearly every day, sent flowers on my birthday suddenly stopped returning all my efforts to get in touch. After I called on his birthday, he emailed to tell me "how much it meant" to him that I remembered and that he was "dealing with some things." I haven't heard from him since. After about a month of silence, I gave up calling.

I can't let it go. I really miss him and I'm unbelievably curious and maybe a little worried about what happened. I know he had some issues with his family, but I've never met them. And honestly, he seemed pretty stable regardless. He seems to still be at the same job (yes, I'm a huge stalker)...so, alive. And, self-centered as we all are, I'm dying to know what I have to do with any of this. How could I lose my best friend in the blink of eye and not know why?

The point of all this is, I'm thinking about him a lot lately. I'm almost (but not quite) willing to try dating him again to have him back. Do I call again? Wait for an occasion like Christmas or his birthday and cross my fingers? Email him to tell him I miss him? Let it go because the ball's in his court?

07 December 2006

My Boys

No, not those boys (and unless one reappears, I don't think there are any left anyway), the show. I watched it. Both episodes from Tuesday (thank you tivo). Honestly, I thought it was pretty stupid (and yes, the Carrie Bradshaw voiceover is beyond ridiculous). It's also one of those shows where the characters are parodies of themselves--the mildly sensitive asshole, the strange, odd-looking brother, the wussy dork, and the cute-ish frat boy type who everyone hilariously calls Brando instead of Brandon.

Though it would probably be hard to be satisfied by a show where the main character is supposed to have a lot in common with you, I have to say that everything just seems a little off. She's supposed to be this 'guy's girl' and all, but she's always wearing hoop earrings. Her best (and only female) friend is a total girly girl. Basically, the only clues to her supposedly uncommon personality are that her hair's in a ponytail, she apparently works as a sportswriter (though she NEVER talks about it) and she says things like "I call bullshit" and "duuude." Sweet...

Frankly, I'd be a little offended if I were a guy as well, since in this show, 'male' seems equated with 'stupid and low-class.'

Oh yeah, and she implied that she's always "working on a crush." Now, there's not necessarily anything wrong with that and I know a lot of girls do that, but it's the damn girliest thing in the world to SAY. As a girl who does talk about sports intelligently--and almost constantly--and is generally comfortable with guys, let me tell you that finding one guy, let alone a series, who interests you beyond the role of BCS-sparring-partner (and happens to like your cat or is at least able to fake it) is next to impossible.

(The just may get another chance though. Just for the complaining potential. And it's set in Chicago, after all)

04 December 2006

Yay Gary!

I really don't like to fly. It's not that I'm afraid (though I'm certainly less comfortable than I used to be, particularly on bumpy flights), more that I get incredibly, stupendously restless. Which makes me incredibly, stupendously irritable. As in, 'why did you just take 12 flash pictures in a row out of the window, it's nightime and we're flying over Nebraska', 'do you need to do a pull-up with the back of my seat in order to get to your feet', 'is it some kind of rule that all the cranberry juice on planes has to have apple juice in it' irritable.

So we're about an hour into three and a half, drinks/snacks are over (handi-snacks?? I thought they stopped making those because of their extreme toxicity...) and I've just fallen asleep, which I know because I remember being on song 8 of my dinosaur of an iPod and now I'm on song 10. The dopey Mr. Rogers-wannabe (except young and like 6'6") flight attendant gets on the loud speaker to ask how many people lost money in Vegas this week. (Side note: If you go to Vegas for any other reason than to gamble, you get sick of this question really fast). The crowd chuckles idiotically, and some people raise hands. At this point, I'm thinking maybe I could still go back to sleep. But then, Mr. Rogers announces that he'd like to remedy that situation and proceeds to have a goddamn raffle wherein people write their seat numbers on dollar bills and throw them in the bag he runs up and down the aisle. Okay fine. They're idiots (and *no wonder* they all lost money), but I'm still enjoying the iPod. But then, we have to give Gary in 15A a round of applause and THEN chuckle idiotically (though since this has been going on the whole time, it's really just a matter of not stopping) as he walks down the aisle collecting trash as some sort of moronic penance for winning 69 one-dollar bills. (I'm not making that up, the total was $69).

Maybe I'm just the world's biggest buzzkill (funny, since I may have been the youngest person on that plane), but while I appreciate informality and little one-liners in the safety lecture and I don't mind being told when we're flying over the Grand Canyon or the like, I pretty much think you should stay the hell off the loud speaker until you want the guy next to me to stop watching Ronin on his DVD player. You guys fly the plane, I'll try to take my mind off the fact that there's a foreign butt ooching into my seat under the armrests. I bought a plane ticket to Chicago, not a bus ticket to summer camp.

*Though I promised I wouldn't, it almost killed me not to do a football post today. I hate you so much, Notre Dame.