Sunday, July 31, 2005

I? Am a dork. But you already knew that.

I am taking a break from dating. I AM taking a break from dating. I am TAKING a break from dating. I am taking A break from dating. I am taking a BREAK from dating. I am taking a break FROM dating. I am taking a break from DATING.

Except for yesterday, when I, um, went out on a date. At one point, I actually said this: "Oh, my God. I haven't thought about gram-positive streptococci in YEARS."

He's a biochemist. Working on an AIDS vaccine.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Matters of the Heart

It recently occurred to me that most of the things I thought of as romantic, when I was growing up, are largely influenced by the movies "Karate Kid" and "Before Sunrise." Andi and Daniel-san go on a date to a Fun Center (FunCenter!FunCenter!FunCenter!) careening through the parking lot in a yellow convertible with the top down, blond hair flying behind her. I didn't know that high school dances mostly consisted of girls crying in cliques in the bathroom, that the disco ball and streamers can't mask the fact that the gym still smells like feet and floor wax, even if you are dancing with Ralph Macchio, who is, of course, dressed as a shower.

I backpacked through Europe and wandered the streets of Vienna, too. By myself. The nice guy I met wasn't Ethan Hawke, and we didn't meet in Vienna. No, for my Interesting Backpacking through Europe One Day Relationship, I met the guy... in a concentration camp. Our day was spent in Munich, and our crackhead street musician didn't write us a sweet poem about milkshakes. Nope, the crackhead street performer we encountered pulled me to the front of the crowd and cracked Bill and Monica jokes while touching my telephoto lens WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. (I can handle public humiliation. I can't handle crackheads touching my camera.)

So it's summer. The part of summer that has been the happiest for me these last seven years. The part of the summer devoted to ice cream trucks, "Shakespeare in the Park" and New England. I photographed a bad, bad teen rock musical production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" the other day. There are never enough guys willing to do such things at that age, so as many roles as possible were portrayed by girls, including Puck. I was photographing the cast "backstage" (as much as one can get "backstage" when the stage itself doubles as "that cluster of trees behind the library"), and I saw Demetrius slipping Puck a little tongue in an enthusiastic teenage "Break a Leg" kiss. (He was much cuter than Lysander, by the way. Puck- you go, girl!)


Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
I miss this. Not him. The way we look together.

It fit.


Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
I miss this, too. Not him, [at least not the him that was hanging around since last Christmas, when we watched "Before Sunset" (the Ethan Hawke sequel) and he practically spat at the ending; "He was looking for a way out the whole time!" THE IRONY]. I mean, the way he's looking at me; like he *gets* me. Some people go their whole lives without meeting someone they can say anything to, in whatever rambling, crazy, idiosyncratic way it comes to them. Some people go their whole lives without ever feeling like they've really been seen, really been heard, really been understood. I had it twice, a decade apart. Twice. From here on out, I'm just pushing my luck.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The penguins will have to wait, and you need a therapist.

Hi. It's Friday night. I am not out on a date right now, even though I had a date scheduled with a seemingly very nice, successful, sweet, emotionally-open, intelligent guy who, depending on his eventual reponse may forthwith be referred to as a selfish, sizest, money-obsessed asshat. You will, of course, be required to agree me wholeheartedly in either case. (I will let you know as soon as I figure out which one he is.)

We had plans to the see the March of the Emperor Penguin movie, and he more or less blew me off when a friend (male, he claims, unless the friend is actually a girl named "Chad-" it could happen) rolled into town unexpectedly. He broke our date with a somewhat chilly email titled "The pengiuns [sic] will have to wait."


I emailed him back, saying I understood that these things happen, but I have to wonder if he's just blowing me off. In his original email, he said he was going out of town for a week starting tomorrow and said we could "maybe set something up" later. Most importantly, he did not apologize. He signed it "all the best." I was out of the dating scene for 6.5 years, but even I know that "all the best" does not bode well.

Now I'm a little worried that I was too harsh in my response. This was the first draft:

"F*ck off, you f*cking f*ck face. Sorry, my friend Gwen suggested I use that as my opener. I hope that big pile of money keeps you warm at night. There was a reason Scrooge McDuck was a bachelor.
All the best right back at ya,
Crestfallen Penguin"
(Special thanks to Gwen for writing most of it.)

My actual response was much, much nicer. No, really. It was. I promise.

This is the second Friday night in a row this has happened. I was supposed to go to Cosi with Aunt Flo last Friday, but he cancelled at the last minute because he decided he needed a therapist instead of a girlfriend.
Which is all well and good, in the end. At least tonight I managed to pull together last minute plans to hang out with a nice married couple. We went to Friendly's, the preferred chain restaurant of my adolescence.

Anyway, for those of you who are trying to keep track...
Up now? Sketchy Penguin.

On deck? A very nice, bleeding heart liberal law school student who is currently out of the state until the middle of August. We've sent a bunch of emails, and he seems like he might be worth meeting for coffee. However, in the most recent message, he revealed that his father is a former Prophet of Doom who has abandoned his predictions of apocalypse in favor of the pursuit of immortality. Apparently his dad is using himself as a "test case" as he attempts to prove "that one could live forever, physically, given adherence to some vague conditions of which [his son] is unaware." Also, Law School Boy never believed in Santa Claus, as his father thought it was a "Satanic fiction." Perhaps most disturbing of all, Law School Boy has never seen nor heard of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Behold the power of The Cuteness!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Gwen, Alissa and I helped Shannon and her family move into their new house in the beginning of the month. Her daughter Gaby is the best 2-year-old I know. If you click on any of the photos below, you can go to my flickr account. There are 28 photos there, most featuring The Cuteness, but I must warn you... she's so adorable, you're going to want to buy her stuff. Well, I do, in case. Enjoy!

For good luck...

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
It's best to carry someone over the threshold.

Moving Day!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.

Don't forget to pack your Gaby!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.

Quintessential Gwen

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Have I told you much I love you today, G?

I love their expressions in this one.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.

This one is my favorite.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Loved it! Loved it!

So... the people who hired me to shoot some portraits this morning had to cancel, because the father in the family threw his back out. So I got to go right to the bookstore to buy HP 6, which I didn't do at midnight so I'd be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the shoot. I started at noon with glass of iced tea and snacks nearby, and 7.5 hours later (minus three bathroom breaks and one doggie-relief trip outside: poor Bella) I'm done.

And I freakin' loved it. Loved it, loved it, loved it. It's darker than any of its predecessors, but it's much funnier, too. I'm not going to spoil anything, so anyone can read this next part...

In the third movie, we get to see a few scenes between Hogwarts students that aren't written into the books. It was one of the things that set the third director apart from Chr!s Columbus. There's a scene where Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean are eating candy in their dorm that makes them imitate zoo animals. Rowling has never described any such candy, but it's absolutely something that would exist in the world she created. In the scene, Seamus has his Hogwarts' tie wrapped around his head like Rambo. I loved it, because it was the sort of nuanced detail that Rowling includes in her books, but is missing from the movies. It's probably my favorite thing, and this book is rich with details like that.

To which I will only add... Won-Won!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Wild About Harry

So... I feel like all I'm posting about lately is dating, but it's really the funniest thing I've done in a long time. I had a nice thing going (you know it was going well because I haven't mentioned here yet) with a sweet, warm, funny guy who had a really dorky name. The dorky name was fine, except... well, back in high school, two of my close girlfriends used this name exclusively to speak in code about their periods. (No, he isn't named "Aunt Flo," but that's the general idea.)

Anyway, I realized Aunt Flo has some issues during our first heart-to-heart conversation the other night. And... call me selfish, but I just don't want to be in a serious relationship with a "smitten and endearing, but damaged and probably clinically depressed" boy right now. But not to worry! Aunt Flo just called and bailed on our date for tomorrow night, saying I helped him realize that he needs therapy, not a serious relationship. And he does. He really does.

So I guess my only hot date for this weekend is a book about a certain orphaned British boy wizard and his friends. I can't wait! I can't wait! I may not post for a few days as I chomp my way through Book 6.

Meanwhile, for your enjoyment, here are a few excerpts from emails and profiles of people I will *not* be dating. Ever. (But none of them hold a candle to Peach Pancakes, I have to say.)

Here we go...

"Lets see im white not much else to say, some say i look like jason giambi of the yankees , what do you think?"

"If I trust some as much as they trust me then I can make their every day so magical and make their inner joy and happiness blossom like a morning rose."

"I have clean fingernails."

"My affair with the flute has been a slow blossoming love affair.... In graduate school, I got to study with one of the giants of the flute world."

"The most influential person in my life other than my parents would have to be George W. Bush. This is a man that understands that the right decision isn't always popular, & the popular decision isn't always right. Despite media opinion, George W. Bush is a man with a vision of what needs to be done, and he is a good man with strong religious beliefs and a true sense of love for America."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

How to Alarm Me: Dating Scenarios

1. When you first see me, don't say hello. Just say my name and then lean in to kiss me, especially if we've never met before. That will definitely alarm me.

2. Bear an uncanny resemblance to my least favorite OCD housemate of all time, aka "Creepy Carl." You don't know that you're doing anything? so it's not really your fault? But still, thoughts of you: a) insisting that I scrub the outside of the milk jug as soon I get home from the supermarket, b) composing songs in the middle of the night that all sound like "Happy Birthday" written in a minor key, and c) compulsively eating oatmeal out of someone else's favorite yellow bowl every day until you break it- haunt me. THEY HAUNT ME.

3. While we're waiting in line at the coffee bar, and I point out that the faux caramel topping looks a little scary in its big, economy-sized tub, place your hands on my shoulders to block your view of it and say "Don't move. I'll look at you instead."

4. Being me, I inevitably almost spill my mocha latte frozzochino thingy as soon as we sit down. After I instinctively lick the whipped cream of my hand and then apologize, because it was kind of a gross thing to do, you say: "Why are you sorry?" Then I say, "Because of that embarrassing food thing that just happened?" You say, "I didn't see it." Then wait a few seconds and say, "Actually I did see it. I liked it. Do it again." After I stammer "Oh! No. no no no..." You should definitely say, in a deep serious tone, "Do it again," prompting ME to say, "NO" in a deep, serious tone that would make my tae kwon do instructor proud.

5. After I tell you that, "no, I wasn't scared while I was backpacking through Europe by myself actually," you should tell me about your female friends who were violated on a similar trip. Spending 30 seconds stammering around the phrase "dry-humping" is especially reassuring.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Just sharing this...

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.

The Girl Who Never Heard of Mexico

So there's Yet Another Internet Guy....We're meeting for coffee tomorrow, and we talked on the phone today. We were both on cell phones. He has a cold, and our reception was a little off. I couldn't understand half of what he was saying. I felt really bad about asking him to repeat himself.

Anyway, he was trying to tell me that he's leaving on Monday for Mexico, but his phone kept cutting out on the word "Mexico." I finally admitted that we really needed to switch to a land line, and even then, I thought he was saying Mesopo or something? Which isn't even a place. Whatever. So I tried to be all, "Oh! That's nice. I've never heard of that." And he said, "You're not understanding me. MEX.I.CO."

I burst out laughing and apologized. I was like, "Wow. If I had *actually* never heard of Mexico, I would have been your best Internet dating story ever."

We made a date for coffee. Mexico aside, I don't have high hopes for this one, though.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

There *has* to be a happy medium.

Okay, so I alluded to my "good date" in the comments from a previous post. He was nice enough (even though he voted for Bush), which was something I was willing to overlook on a temporary basis, mostly because I'm a giant hypocrite, as it turns out. Apparently, my commitment to not compromising on my politics has a big "unless he's a really good kisser" caveat. Go, me.

Yeah, so we had a big, melt-up-against-the-side-of-my-car kissing session weekend before last, agreed to call each other, la dee da. We chatted on the phone twice last week and agreed to check in when we both got back in town from our respective holiday weekend plans. So yesterday I emailed him something pithy about a second date.

I knew when I didn't hear back right away that this wasn't going to be good, partly because I'm running around like a kicked dog and have a very "DOOM!" attitude about such things at the moment. Also, I was pumping gas and simultaneously tempting fate by talking on my cell phone to Gwen when the automatic shut-off function failed, creating my own personal HazMat situation. We were bitching about the "It's Okay To Be Rude to People From the Internet Because They Obviously Don't Have Feelings" Factor when I spilled flammable fluid everywhere. I figured that can't be a good sign.

I was right. This is what I got back from the Excellent Kisser Who Voted for Bush:

"Hi, I'm not sure what to say.  I just have a feeling that we would have a fun time together for a little while, but I have a feeling it woudn't [sic] last very long.  I just think we are on opposite ends of the spectrum in a few areas, politics is just one.  I don't want to waste your time or lead you on.  Sorry."

So I sent back: "I have to say, I agree with you. I didn't think we were soulmates; I just wanted to make out again. But thanks for your honesty. Best of luck!" (Special thanks to Kelly for helping me define "too bitchy" on this one.)


BUT THEN.... On the other end of the spectrum, I also had this message waiting in my inbox. I swear I am not making this up. This was the real subject line of the email.

Subject: Passionate Kisses On Your Sweet Spot???
"Hello! My name is Toolbox
[not his real name.] I'm a long distance runner (I have a trainer), I'm a full-time student at L****n College (my GPA is 3.98. I'm on the President's List, and the National Dean's List, and Phi Theta Kappa) , I love animals (My kitty cat's name is G****l. She protects me at nighttime when I'm scared), [his profile says he's 39] I'm a very good dancer (I was voted dancing king at my ten year high school reunion), and I'm EXTREMELY affectionate! You are a very beautiful woman! Wow!!! I make GREAT peach pancakes! I'll serve you breakfast in bed, and I'll wash the dishes also! I also play guitar and sing! I will serenade you with The Beatles' song, "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" Here are my two phone numbers:
My Home # ******
My Cell # ********
I can't wait to hear from you! You're GORGEOUS!!!
Love, (Kisses and Hugs)Toolbox

So, I would have just ignored the message, but karma is a bitch. So I sent this:

Subject: RE: re: Passionate Kisses On Your Sweet Spot???
Dear Toolbox,
Thanks for your email. I am so flattered, but I think the difference in our ages is too great. Best of luck in your search!
Take care,

Alas, he is not to be deterred! I just got this back....

Subject: RE: re: Passionate Kisses On Your Sweet Spot???
[My Real Name ]:
Sweetie, are you sure that you won't reconsider? Love does not know age, LOVE ONLY KNOWS PASSION AND CHEMISTRY!!! WE could be great together! Pretty please???
         Here are my two phone numbers:
                My Home # *****
                My Cell # ******
I can't wait to meet you, sweetie! You're a doll!!!
Love, (HOT,WET KISSES)Toolbox
P.S. You don't date Republicans. I'm a Socialist. Is that far away enough from Republican for you???

Why, yes, yes it is. Why don't you show me how very, very far away it is? I should mention that the words "HOT, WET KISSES" were written in 72-pt font. It makes it creepier. I'm just sayin.'

Ugh. Does the "People From the Internet Have Feelings, Too" Factor necessitate that I respond- again- with my regrets? Not to sound like the Konservative Kisser (see above), but I feel like that might lead him on. Suggestions are welcome in the comments. Maybe I'll make peach pancakes for the person with the best response....

There has to be a happy medium. There just has to be.

Friday, July 01, 2005

We're f*cked.

We are so f*cked.

Heartbreak: Month 5

So.... where am I?

Back in the saddle, baby, that's where I am!