March 29, 2007
It’s funny how things transform out of context. I saw this quote, standing alone, and thought it was a lyric or verse. Two people were conversing – one of them pleading with the other to stop self-destructing, promising to help make it all better, if the other could only stop doing the thing that was affecting them both, right then.
It’s hard, watching someone take a particular path you know will cause them harm. When you want nothing more than to help them, but know they’re just one step away from crossing the Rubicon. As you watch them move forward anyway, carelessly or defiantly, the few seconds required for that irreversible step stretch into a regret that lasts for years, if not a lifetime.
In movies – well, most of them, at least, those few seconds are a turning point for the main character. The guy runs into his apartment building’s hallway, tells the girl that he doesn’t care how badly they screw it up so long as they can be together. It’s beautiful, and romantic, and unrealistic.
Another way to look at those few seconds, though – the only way that lets me stay sane, is to see them as an opportunity to go in a different direction. To do something with my life that I wouldn’t have before. I may have closed one door, locked it, boarded it up and cemented it shut – but that doesn’t mean that what’s behind door # 42278 won’t have its own, different sun.
March 23, 2007
I refuse to accept that the following narrative depicts normal human behavior. Note – this actually happened. Me? Baffled:
Wednesday morning, I entered my building at the same time as someone who works down the hall from me. I’ve seen him in the hallway before, but never exchanged more than the “D.C. nod”. Since he was on crutches, it seemed appropriate to express sympathy, so I did.
Later that day, he stopped by my cube and asked me to have lunch Thursday (yesterday) at the little place across the street. I agreed without thinking much of it, since I’m working on a fairly major project here, and am the primary point of contact. I figured it was probably related.
But then, after the lunch, it happened. “I’m getting the cast off this weekend, but maybe we could do something the weekend after that?”
“Um. Well, I – I’m actually seeing someone.” (yeah, not actually seeing anyone).
“Oh. Well, then maybe we can get lunch again sometime.”
“Sometime… K thanks, bye!”
This post brought to you by the number 62. Which, by the way, is also his age.
Borrowing from Bill Maher, I’m going to institute a
New Rule: If you can biologically be my grandfather, it is not, under any circumstances, appropriate to ask me out. Especially in the workplace. Anywhere, anytime.
Color me ageist if that makes you happy – I’m okay with that.
March 20, 2007
K: Hey there, Dags!
(slaps DT overexuberantly on the back)
K: Been a while, no?
DT: Karma. You’re looking well.
K: Well, you know. Just wanted to let you know I was still here, in case you had forgotten.
DT: You know what would be great? If I could actually get a chance to miss you. I think we’d both like that.
K: Darlin’, you know I don’t work that way. Besides, who would keep your butt in line when I was away?
DT: (dryly) I suspect I’d manage.
K: I really don’t think it’s wise to take that chance.
DT: Well, I feel warm and fuzzy now. I do cherish these little chats we have.
K: A pleasure, as usual.
DT: (muttering under her breath) If you’re a sadist, maybe.
March 9, 2007
I was reading a pretty funny account of someone’s blind date with a guy who was engaged to be married in less than two months, and it reminded me of one of my more entertaining dating escapades. At least, I think it’s entertaining. I don’t know if Squiggy and Laverne (names changed to protect the batsh*t insane) would agree, but you really can’t make this stuff up.
Squiggy and I met up through a dating website. He was, I think, a grad student with a full-time internship, and thus on the poor side. I was still in law school, so I was equally bankrupt. Thus, our first encounter was over a beverage at a local eatery. He wasn’t remarkable, but I tend to agree to second dates unless I have a really bad feeling after the first, so we made plans to meet again.
That second evening, we were out at a bar in his neighborhood, a lovely little Greek place in Woodley Park, as I recall. Conversation was flowing, things were going well. I glanced at my phone and noticed that the missed call indicator was flashing – the number was one from the 202, that I didn’t recognize. I showed him and asked if he had called.
“Who do you know at DoJ?” he responded.
“Um. No one, I don’t think…” I said, thinking this was out of left field.
“Well, that’s a DoJ number. It belongs to this girl I was kind of dating.”
I highlighted the number and hit “Send”.
“Hi, this is Dagny. Did you call me?”
“Oh. Um, yeah, I did. Are you with Squiggy now?”
“Well, actually, yes.”
“Well, I’m in his apartment. I have a key. And I saw your emails on his computer, and was wondering what was going on.”
“Um. Well, I kind of thought we were on a date, but now I don’t know what’s going on.”
Who has conversations like this? Seriously?
So Squiggy explains that he and Laverne had dated for a while, that it was intense, and that they had ended things a month ago, but that he hadn’t gotten the key back for his place. He also explained that he was on Prozac, but didn’t always take it because it interfered with various… personal activities.
His impressive Tori collection notwithstanding, I decided that I was unqualified to pursue this further, not being of the batsh*t insane persuasion.
I sometimes suspect that such encounters have served to lower my standards. I mean, people do these things, and don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Granted, Laverne did me a favor, but… still. She read her (ex-?)boyrfriend’s email account and called a stranger’s cell phone to check up on him.
I’d probably have admired them for giving it a shot anyway, if there had been the slightest recognition of the dysfunction of that relationship. But no. That’s some people’s normal.