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My life is just like a circus

Mar 30, 2009

There's only two kinds of people in the world: the kind that goes to see Britney Spears in concert and the kind that is lame.

Okay so my version doesn't rhyme, but if there's one thing we've learned from pop music it's that it doesn't really have to, and on that note, pop stars don't have to actually sing at a concert. And let me tell you, it was the most PHENOM (flip wrist to the left) ENAL (flip wrist to the right) concert EVER. Not to mention it started off my birthday week, since it was a present from Megan (thanks friend!!!).


So Tuesday was the Britney concert, and I was bouncing off the walls excited. I got to work and Joanna suggested we play Britney all day. I looked at her in disbelief, but she just shrugged. "I know when you get back you'll want to play it constantly. Let's get it over with." Do I have fantastic friends or what?

The day became even more exciting when Humanitarian Guy suddenly materialized in the building and invited me over via e-mail to see all the pictures from his trip. I immediately forgot that I'd gotten over him and instead panicked. 'What do I wear???' I thought. Unfortunately, I was already dressed. My natural charm would have to be enough.

While he told me his stories and showed me his pictures, I fought back tears of sadness for the poor children and the urge to puke from nervous excitement. When it was time for me to go, he gave me a souvenir and said we should get lunch later in the week. I blurted out, "Okay! Sure! I'm going to Britney tonight!" He didn't seem to notice how random my exclamation was. "I live right by there," he offered. My head was screaming, "BRITNEY! HUMANITARIAN GUY LUNCH! BRITNEY! HUMANITARIAN GUY LUNCH!" I wasn't processing much else, so I missed his hint. But when I relayed the story to Joanna, she understood what he was really saying and told me to invite him for a drink before the concert, which I did, and he speedily accepted and asked me for my phone number. SNAPS!

That evening we went to Clyde's, which was playing Britney's new album on a loop and had drink specials such as "The Comeback" and "The K-Fed." The place was a zoo of Britney fans, and our server looked frightened (he had switched shifts with another, smarter server who didn't want to work that night). Outside girls too young to get in a bar (I'm talkin' 11 years old) were lined up in their shiny leggings and pink lip gloss. My how Britney can unite women of all ages.

I was so excited all I could eat was a piece of bread. It didn't help that Humanitarian Guy was coming. "You've got to calm down before he gets here," Megan warned me as she shoved artichoke dip in my direction. Bzzz bzzz bzzz -- Text message from ... "He's here!" I yelped. I sang the chorus of "Womanizer" in my head to pump myself up, stood, and pranced around the corner to meet him.

The poor guy was such a trooper. I couldn't focus on any topic for more than 10 seconds before squealing something about Britney, and I kept flirting with our server to get free drinks (and totally scored). He tried to have a normal conversation with me and humored Megan and me when we would break out into a string of giggles. When it was time for us to leave he walked me out and asked me to call him after the concert, even though he'd probably be asleep (he was).

After the concert I pole danced on the Metro (I know you're jealous).

Two days later we had lunch, and I ran into every person I know in my big government building. They all smiled way too much and gave me vigorous nods of approval when Humanitarian Guy wasn't looking. It was so embarrassingly gratifying. Our conversation was easy and enjoyable, and then next day he asked me out. Okay so I broke my rule of must ask out by Thursday, and he really just asked if I wanted to "meet up," but I was determined to be modern and open minded. I'm basically in the North anyway; it was time to break free of my Southern dating roots of letting the guy make every move and be proactive and accommodating to his way of dating.

So Saturday we met up at a bar -- a nice bar -- and once again had great conversation. When it got too loud he suggested we leave, and we walked along U Street for a while. The cherry blossoms had bloomed that day and he picked one for me, which I thought was incredibly romantic (although I did suggest he pick it...oh well, he could've said no). The night ended with him claiming chivalry isn't completely dead and walking me to the Metro then a kiss on the cheek good night. On the way home I mused over what a gentleman he was and how much I liked talking to him. When I got home I texted him a thank you and offered my services to help him pack up his apartment. The next week was going to be so great!

The weekend passed with no response, text or other. 'Oh well,' I thought. 'I think the game goes three days and then the guy makes contact.' Sure enough, three days later I got a text: "Have you ever heard of suede paint?" WTH??? I consulted two straight, dating guys (Player and Southern Boy) for an interpretation.
"He likes you," said Player. "He's chillin' out. Be cool."

"These Northern guys just don't treat girls the way you're used to being treated," said Southern Boy. "Guys up here are lazy. And texting doesn't count as making contact."

Although I agreed with Southern Boy, if Humanitarian wanted to text, I would text my thumbs off to maintain the potential relationship. So I was cool about it, like Player told me to be, and texted back, "Yes."
Three more days passed and nothing. We officially were not seeing each other that weekend. Friday night my roomie was hosting a cook-out, so I took the opportunity to get some more opinions on the situation. "He's just not that into me, right?" I asked a group of guys.

They all shrugged and looked at each other, hoping someone would have something encouraging to say to me, but no one said a word.

"I mean, why bother texting me at all? If he's not into me, just leave it alone, right?" I asked expectantly.
"Maybe an old girlfriend came into the picture," a girl listening in offered.

"Ooh, you could be right!" I said, my eyes widening with enlightenment. "So, what, do I text him tomorrow to remind him that I am alive and he should choose me?"

All the guys nodded...but I'm pretty sure they shook their heads in pity when I walked away.

The next day I woke up to a text: "Cupcakes!" It was from Ashmi, who had promised me a Saturday-morning trip to Buzz for my birthday. I lingered in my Inbox for a few moments and considered texting Humanitarian, but instead I shut my phone and got ready for breakfast.

Of course, cupcakes put everything in perspective. Sitting on the patio of Buzz with Ashmi and Margaret, licking espresso cream icing off a spoon, the Humanitarian seemed like the most boring thing I could talk about. And later when my friends took me out for a fabulous dinner on the National Harbor, I didn't wonder about him once. I did text him that day, but by the time he answered, asking me what I was doing later that night, I was on the phone with Steve who had called to wish me a happy birthday and promise me a fun night out next month when he will be in town on business, and even though I saw that name I had been dying to see pop up on my screen, I didn't bother checking it right away.

There's only two kinds of guys out there: the kind that can handle me, and the kind that...can't, I guess. Oh, who knows what happened? I racked my brain for an entire week, but by the end of it, I didn't care anymore. It was fun to act like a 20-year-old, foolish girl again, but it also made me remember why I walked away from the dating game when I was 25. Lying in my bed Saturday night, I reflected on all the terrific friends I have and how great they consistently make me feel, and for the first time in a week, Humanitarian was not the last thing I thought of before I fell asleep. That night I dreamed of cupcakes and shoes, and all was right with my world again.

I'm in love with a mediocre guy because he's ignoring me

Mar 21, 2009

Remember when Facebook was only for college kids, and the rest of us had to use MySpace? MySpace is basically the same thing, except you can see who has looked at your profile. The fear of an ex-boyfriend or a crush seeing your profile picture appear in his "Who's Viewed Me" section suppressed the crazy. Then Facebook opened its virtual doors to everyone, and the crazy was unleashed. You can't see who's viewed your profile, and, as I found out not too long ago, you can look at people within your regional network. Commence stalkerdom.

Case #1 - Bi Guy:

Megan had been seeing Josh for about a week. Things were going well, though he did seem a little overbearing. But he was funny and smart, and whattdyaknow, he was on Facebook too! Sitting on my couch one afternoon, she decided to take a little peek at his page, since they were in the same network.

"I'm having a heart attack!" she yelled across my apartment.

"Oh?" I casually replied from the bathroom, too busy eyeing an ominous wrinkle on my forehead to worry about such matters.

"On his Facebook it says, 'Interested in: Women....Men.'"

The wrinkle could wait. This relationship had just gotten good.

We inspected his page, analyzing every photo, comment, and status update, but the evidence was too ambiguous. Could it have been a mistake? Surely not. Maybe someone hacked in. But he is awfully chummy with that European guy in several pictures. But no, no way is he bi. Maybe it's a joke. Would a straight guy joke about that?

We polled our friends and even a guy in line at T.J. Maxx. Half said it was probably a joke. The other half said drop him immediately. (We also found out the guy in T.J. Maxx had a girlfriend. We had to know -- he was cute and not bi-looking at all.)

The answer was clear: she would have to ask him.

The most direct way was, of course, texting, and that conversation went on for the next six hours, something like this: "Are you bi?" "I am, I was meaning to tell you." "Oh really? I don't know what to say." "Just kidding, I'm not really bi. LOL" "Not funny, I can't tell if you're being serious." "If you can't take a joke I don't think we should see each other anymore." "I can take a joke. Haha. See?"

Then nothing.

Well, not nothing. I heard an earful the next four days. Suddenly he was the most amazing guy and they had the most amazing connection and the amazingness was ruined over a little misunderstanding regarding his current gender preference.

In the end, after much apologizing on Megan's part, they did see each other again, and he was a colossal jerk, which we had known pretty much from the start.

Case #2 - Always Off On A Humanitarian Mission Guy:

It's a well known fact that DC is a terrible place for a girl to find a guy, and those of us who work in the my very high profile government building know it's rare to just find a single guy in the place, much less one you might be interested in. So the day I met Humanitarian Guy I was automatically enamored, if for nothing but that he had no wife and was taller than me.

The occasion was simple happenstance -- after the presidential administration rolled over, he lost his job on the Hill and took a 10-month assignment across the hall. We already knew their fax machine was broken and were used to various people ringing our doorbell and requesting to use ours. One day the bell rang and I buzzed the person in, and there he stood, shining like a ray of light in my sea of married people world (well, he shines this way in my memory. At this point I still assumed he was a creepy married). He was cute, but I paid no attention because all the cute ones (and not cute ones) are married. He was chatting it up with me, and I was only half-interested until he told me his 10-year high shcool reunion was this year (wait, he's my age?) and he was hoping to buy a condo soon, a nice little bachelor pad. The word "bachelor" rolled off his tongue like butter -- sweet, magical butter. You have to understand, the under-30 single man working here is a mythical creature. Yet there he was, standing at my fax machine smiling at me. My vision blurred. My head was spinning. I was overwhelmed with a strange feeling I hadn't felt in a long time. I had a crush on the new guy across the hall.

He showed up several times over the next week, and each time he would linger and tell me about himself and what he did. Now that I think about it, he didn't ask me too much about myself, but when a girl has a crush she doesn't notice that the guy really isn't being all that attentive. At the end of the week, he let me know he was headed to Afghanistan on a humanitarian mission for a few days, but we should get lunch when he got back.

A week passed, then another, then another. He had said he would be gone a few days, so I began to get suspicious. If only I had access to his Facebook I could at least know if he was back. I looked him up and then realized, as Megan had taught me, that we were in the same regional network. Hooray!

According to my research, he had come back, put a bid on a condo, then left again. "He's ignoring me," I told my friends. "No, he's in Afghanistan. It's remote. Perfectly legit excuse," they told me. That held me over for the rest of the week, and I restrained myself from researching further until Friday. My heart sunk when I read his status message: "Back in the States." How could it be that I found the one Singleton and he was not into me?

In Bi Guy fashion, he was suddenly amazing, and I had missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of being with Amazing Humanitarian Guy who I really knew nothing about, definitely not enough to determine if I actually liked him.

This all must stem back to Eve eating of the other tree, desperately wanting what she couldn't have. That little piece of forbidden fruit became amazing amazingness, and she had to have it. Once she got it, she found out it wasn't that great, plus it resulted in PMS. 

Moral of the story: Facebook stalking is a pain in the uterus. Next time I feel the urge I will eat some chocolate and get over it.

Spring is in the air

Mar 20, 2009

There are lots of signs that spring is coming: a grumpy groundhog (he's only given us an early spring 15 times!), rising temperatures (I'm talkin' 40s), light rainfalls (mixed with sleet), birds appearing (and pooping on my car), and trees budding (inducing post-winter bronchitis from the pollen). Despite my cynicism, there's one unique thing that lets me know spring is coming and never fails to lift my mood -- my early-April birthday.

I associate spring with cake and presents, but of course as you get older all that hoopla dies down and it becomes more of a OMG-I'm-another-year-older-and-still-have-no-boyfriend/career/place of my own/general life direction thing. I got lucky, though. My adorable baby nephew was born two days after me (well, two days and 25 years). That takes the spotlight off me a little.

I complain about growing older, but the other day I actually found myself envying my friend Anne who will turn 30 this year. I thought, a woman in her 30s must be very comfortable in her skin and surely out of debt. Surely. That brings me to another terrible subject, which is that I was rejected three times this week for a credit card debt transfer. Ne-Yo sings about the independent woman who "pays her bills on time." Well I do! But I don't feel very independent. But 30...30 will be different.

For now, though, I am existing in time and space as a 20-something with no boyfriend (despite all my online and speed dating efforts in conjunction with smiling and saying hello to every man I see), unsure of where my career is headed (although I am grateful to have a job!), a mean landlord (Shenneah...grrrrr...), and no clue what comes next.

But, no matter how hard I try to feel sorry for myself, spring is in the air, and I will always associate it with happiness, aka cake!