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I am...a New Yorker
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[Previous entry: "Extricated"]

Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Relieved
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Seeing...
Traffic at a dead standstill.

Annoying...
Horns blaring, not only during rush hour, but all day through. Traffic is screwed now that the UN is in session. I've never worked on the East Side before, so I don't know if it's always been like this.

Walking...
The last 4 or 5 blocks to work, not that I mind the exercise because it's a relatively short distance. It was just an annoying end to my commute. Traffic was at an absolute standstill. I've always thought NY traffic was not nearly as bad as its reputation, nor of the actual traffic in L.A. or San Francisco.

Watching...
One Hour Photo and considering hitting a different place for every fucking roll.

Crying...
Nope.

Receiving...
A dark, chocolate lobster from my coworker who went to visit her parents in Maine over the long weekend.

Exhausting...
The events of the weekend. I went to bed earlier and slept in later last night and am still tired. I need a few days of just being alone after work, I think. I've taken to sneaking out food because I want to eat alone and not be social.

I am...so thankful for all the kind emails I received after yesterday's entries. A couple of people spent some time saying, "please don't go back to that guy." No worries, I won't. I posted the entry and told all my friends to shame myself out of doing precisely that. I don't even expect him to call; after all, he broke it off.

The whole situation came just in time and was a major relief. I was starting to care about him, which he said he didn't realize until Friday. There was talk of doing this or that, references to the near and distant future. Another week or two, and it would have really hurt. I'm grateful for that.

Also, no worries, I don't tend to go back when someone does something outrageously bad once we're involved. (And there is a pretty major portion of the story I won't mention here, as I have no interest in violating his privacy). If we're not dating and I'm not sure we're going in that direction, I can take a bit more because I'm not sure if it's just confusion (as with Nerd Boy).

The reason I'd never posted the celibate entry before was that I wasn't sure it was something I wanted to say publicly and, when things accelerated with Rafe, I thought I'd give it one, last try.

I have to say, too, that Rafe was the best choice that came down the pike in a really long time. I enjoyed the Greek, but mostly because he was attracted to me. That's a very attractive quality, I must say. But we had little to talk about, it was just a flirtfest, which has its benefits.

There was something about him that seemed condescending. I thought I was just being cynical and looking for fault, but I started to pay closer attention. His story often changed and if I asked about something like that he just said, "Oh Pretty One, don't you worry about that...don't be silly." Yeah, me not worry. So no Greek for me. I tend to attract men who live in the 1950s and try to tell me what a "lady" does and does not do. Do I look like a fuckin' lady?

It was different with Rafe. There was potential to have something more than just disappointing sex. In spite of what he said on Sunday, we do have a lot in common.

Rafe seemed right up my alley -- smart, talented, creative, geeky but not so much so that I couldn't understand a word he said. In fact, one thing that really cracked me up was when he said he was impressed that I was emailing him from an IMAP client installed on my sites.

I had to confess to him that I had no idea how to install it, just that it allowed me to check mail from wherever and then download into Outlook later. He returned by confessing he just cut and pasted certain types of code himself.

Geeks, we, but only half-assed. It seemed Rafe also got into the geeking only as a medium for writing, just as I did. But we had nothing in common.

Each relationship, each attempt anyway, is a step, a learning process. It was a short period of time, but I learned a lot with Rafe. I finally saw the difference between someone doing the closer... closer... closer... TOO CLOSE! dance and someone really pursuing me. Granted, he ended up bailing, but I did get to experience that sweet, magical time when we agreed to start on a fresh slate, when I decided to just enjoy the ride -- for once.

Because I am terribly smart and, in some areas, wise beyond my years, I think people who know those things about me are surprised at how I flail in this particular area. What it helps to remember is that I didn't start dating until I was 25, about 10 years after my friends. Prior to that, I had some weird, frustrating thing with Eric (not until I was almost 21!) and a few bizarre sexual encounters. So yeah, the delayed development in this area shouldn't come as a surprise. I mean, jeez, I'm 31 and I've never had a boyfriend. It's like expecting me to build a rocket when I haven't passed Algebra.

That disparity between my experience and that of my friends was really brought home to me recently. I told Dorothy, for example, about things starting to develop with Rafe. But, unfortunately, his future at his job was uncertain and he might get deported if his company folded and he couldn't find another sponsor. If forced to leave the U.S., he had mentioned that, once he's settled in, he'd love to "host" me when I visit London.

For Erica, this meant, "Cool, another place to stay in London!" I used to befriend exchange students for precisely this reason (kidding, it was largely because I preferred their more global perspective, which was more than most of the rednecks I went to high school with could fathom).

Dorothy took it about a thousand steps further, "Hey, maybe he'll take you to London with him!" This reminds me of the story of the six blind men and the elephant. It is really telling about the difference between Dorothy and I. She comes from a very romantic planet, goddess bless her. That's the best way I can say it -- it's not better or worse.

She comes from a family in which you grow up, have a big wedding, change your name and start making babies. I come from two families in which you get knocked up, hate your kids and turn a blind eye while your rageaholic husband/boyfriend/guy-you-fuck beats the crap out of your kids. Neither lifestyle ever appealed to me and I always figured I'd be alone or otherwise, make my own system.

The thing is, it's always a struggle when you're different, particularly when you're different in so many ways. Sometimes I find myself wishing for a "day off," or at least one area in which I wasn't so odd in quite so many ways. Even Fang, crusty old rebel that she is, has had boyfriends for most of the 7 years I've known her (4 that I can think of) and, to my surprise, got married this year. Even people who reject ideas like marriage still cohabitat.

I don't know many people like me for whom it just isn't an available option. My friend T. is in a similar boat and jokes, "Hey, at least celibacy is some optional choice you're making." Is it? I could keep on fucking assholes with teeny, tiny penises* who won't go down on me -- but why? At least in college, it was satisfying sex with assholes! Lately it's just time that could be better spent masturbating. At least I know where my clitoris is. I didn't just lay back quietly and neglect to share this information, mind you.

One of the reasons I made this choice is a string of really shitty, ill-equipped lovers of late. I thought it was something only some uptight, Upper East Side princess like Wendy Shallit could promote because her pussy's made of solid gold. But, for me, it's not about controlling anyone or being on a pedestal like a hewpwess widdle girwl.

Again and again I've thought, "who the hell has this idiot been sleeping with that this has been acceptable?" I mean, it's all well and good to have purely physical relationships. I've had a couple of those in the past and they were rather functional with minimal crap. But part of the deal, really the entire deal, is that it had to be good for us both, physically. Otherwise, what's the point?

So, in part, I'm celibate for the sex!

*For the record, that's not some bitter swipe at Rafe, as it doesn't apply. But really, I was starting to wonder what the heck was up with that. I'm no size queen, but it should be big enough for penetration. Otherwise, what's the point?

[Next entry: "A Friend of L"]
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