do over: I only wore the ugly shoes because you’re short

in my world, there are about three general responses i could have when i run into an Ex in the street.

1.Point and laugh.

2.Vomit.

3.Run.

(sometimes a combo.)

i imagine it is awkward under even the best of circumstances. not that i can really imagine what the best circumstances would be. perhaps:

1. You run into your Ex on the way into the book signing for your best selling novel.

hillary duff booksigning

“oh. hello…who is this made out to? jerkface? how do you spell that?”

2. You run into your Ex in the crowd at the ribbon cutting ceremony your hometown has just put on commemorating the library and park erected in your honor.
giant scissor

“oh. hello. could you hold my giant scissor?”

3.You run into your Ex at the airport baggage claim returning from your honeymoon in the Maldives with your new wife who is a rockstar-slash-underwear model-slash-biochemist. 
hot chemist

“that guy? i bet he knows nothing about the practical importance of a phenomenological theory of particles.” or “oh”

or

4.You run into your Ex in a late model pickup truck or SUV with stolen plates… reverse, and do it again. Then drive off into the night, cackling, vengeance yours.

truck

“boom”

I’m kidding.

Sorta.

but there’s always that one person from your past where the relationship went sour like milk and you wouldn’t even want to run into them in the street without a Nobel Peace Prize in one hand and a can of ‘told-ya-so’ in the other and yet you still effing do.  i know a guy like that.

in the first years and a half since that break-up i ran into that guy five times.
five fingers

FIVE.

(one of the run-ins was a semi-drunken late night exchange in front of a 24-hour McDonald’s walk-up window.  his friend threw a chicken mcnugget at my friend’s head. nothing good can come from french fries at 2am. nothing.)

my mother still occasionally asks
“whatever happened to that guy? he had such nice teeth!”
right. you know who else have perfect teeth, ma?
tom

sociopaths.

at first, i’d practice all the scathing remarks and perfectly arched eyebrows that would speak volumes, specifically “eat shit volumes 1 and 2”– that is, just in case i’m not walking with my rhodes scholar super hot french and cameroonian life partner because she’s off leading a pilates retreat in mexico that week.
or, alternately, pretend i am method acting for the lead in a movie about a blind woman by specifically not seeing him.
(constantly wearing sunglasses aids this method considerably)
or, channel my inner ancient ninja and disappear into a rice paddy or the crowd of hustling rush hour commuters.
but, none of these are the right thing to do. as i’ve said – with me as well as with jennifer aniston— the best response may be to ‘just keep livin’, but the best revenge is to
live well.
 
so even if my future life partner IS really a rockstar and a master yoga instructor teaching a course in mexico… but isn’t here with me at the moment of concern because i don’t actually know her yet– i STILL should act as tho’ oprah is about to endorse my book on the OWN network by next week. because without the drama from that guy in my life i AM living better than well.
double rainbow
ok, ok, ok. all of that best inner life, fully transcendant stuff is all well and good.
but if i WAS to run into that guy again, there’d be ONE snarky thing i would definitely have to say:
“I only wore the ugly shoes because you’re short”
ugly sneakers
that would probably settle that.

lost in the sandbox

how do you make friends as an adult?

coz i need more/better/new ones.
not that theres anything wrong with the ones i’ve got – i love them all truly, madly, deeply. but as is the course of friendships- you become friends because of shared interests and remain friends because of shared history. you know what you are going to GET with your peeps and thats what makes them YOURS.

knowing them as i do, i know the majority of mine arent going to want to go barhopping on a sunday night no matter how hard i beg. which is why i find myself writing a memorial to my social life. not of a year ago when i was a swinging single. nay. of about 25 years ago when i was in pre school and the easiest way to make a new friend was to plop down beside them in the sandbox and show them that you, too, liked to make gourmet  meals from play doh and it was game ON from there on out.

girl eating sand

sea food.

things ain’t that simple no more. majority of my friends now are in various relationship stages that are not conducive to stone chillin’ saturday nights as in the days of old. they’re either

A:coupled up – so do married type things on the weekend like antiquing upstate, or visiting their special person’s parents for long weekends on lumpy twin beds.

couple on twin bed retro black and white

"...but grandma's right next door."

or hang out with other couples who are married or married-like and talk about antiquing  trips upstate with the parents.

or B:  newly coupled-  which means they spend their entire weekend in bed discovering all the fascinating quirks about their partner that will annoy the shit out of them in 7 months but that at the moment they find adorable, or telling stories about things they did in junior high and drinking each others sweat.

couple on bed

can't blame 'em

until they come up for air there’s really  no room for a third in that party.

and the last group, the dying breed, i was the local chapter president of for longer than i remember –can’t hang out on weekends because they are

C:single and mingling.

party girl

what? olives are vegetables -- so this is heathy.

which means roughly a year ago today i was most likely drunk, doing something mildly inappropriate with someone who’s last name i didn’t know then and first name i can’t remember now. (ok. or home happily reading a book) either way, a complete 180 from tonight, where i bedrugingly took off my party clothes at 11pm and told myself I need to get a jump start on tomorrow’s work. which brings me back around to my original lament. where, as an adult do you make new friends? its not like picking up fruit (or tricks) in the supermarket, or books (or tricks) in the bookstore.

if you lean over to the interesting looking girl sitting next to you on the subway reading the fountainhead on her ipad (only after checking to see if her thick frame black glasses actually had a perscription in the lens. (score! they do. proceed) and ask her where she got that obviously eco-friendly backpack… she’s going to think you’re cruising her.

girl w glasses reading

mind yours.

aaaaaaand a year ago she would have been right.
or, when you’re at your local organic coffee place and that guy with the bike and the yogamat and the vintage sneakers saunters in blasting something out of his beats by dre that sounds kinda like starwars meets r&b meets 80s; if you grab him before he takes his soy latte to-go in order to ask what is he listening to and does he know if they touring locally? he’s going to think you are cruising him. aaaaaaaaaand again, a year ago he would have ended up as that fuck  friend you dont remember from last summer  and therefore he would have been right.

pharrell with bike

mind yours.

so whats a girl to do?
join professional clubs, do charity, get involved with your community, take a class?  could find tons of people with shared interest and you’ll have reasons to talk to them eliminating the awkward “hello” and the tamping down the automatic response of trying to formulate a meet-cute when all you want to do is find someone to talk about how much you still miss LOST.

lost on tv screen two sodas

one for me. one for the polar bear

and then what happens when it comes down to the main nerve-wracking event part where you exchange numbers – how do you ask someone out on a friend date without feeling date-like?

couple on date

im not on a date. are you on a date?

how do you cruise for platonic friends?

THIS plus THIS: summer reading edition

ok,

is it really THAT impossible to find a supermarket  suspense/romance/thriller written in the style of nora roberts or sandra brown…

nora roberts

my hero

set in a dystopian future…

dystopian future

...tomorrow is another day...right?

written with  protagonists that  are edgy lesbians of color?

ladies

*hi.

really??

you think i’m asking too much??  😦

*(photo via GO! magazine)

ok cupid, match this

he’s playing a sad, sad song just for me

thats the thing about the internet dating.
its so easy to fall for the okey-doke.
for days and weeks you are strung along thinking you are talking to prince charming
and then  your first face to face meet comes and he looks more like
the hind end of prince charming’s horse
and he’s brought his own saddle
and whip
and wants you to use it.

there is no way of knowing beforehand if the photographs they put up are from 15 years or 15lbs ago.

so, you’re on a local football team?”

…a fantasy football team

“what! you made $85,000 this year?”

…in credit card debt.

“yeah, i agree a bungalow is more than enough space for two”

yourself and your mother.


anything can happen. anything can be fraudulent. but you’re already internet dating so you have no choice but to be hopeful.
and so,  you arrive– pressed, polished, primped.
(pathetic? no. its the way of the future. sally forth*.)

you are poised on the bar stool with your good side to the room and your nonchalant face on.

waiting and anticipating and
can’t figure out (until it is much muchmuch too late)
why this balding beer bellied yahoo, clutching that sad bunch of bodega roses is standing
in front of you (looking hopeful)
blocking your view of the restaurant door.

(is he really wearing tevas?)

no matter how short you manage to make the night it is always, always too long.

better (or worse) than the photo fraud perpetrators are the disappearing acts.
these heartbreak houdini’s come from nowhere– never appeared in your matchsearch before and then blammo you’ve got an inbox full of the cleverest of one-liners, the most meaningful email messages and a e-heart full of goo.

“what? you’ve got a head full of hair and a real job that you love AND tattoos AND a dog AND you like skydiving AND listen to  rachmaninoff AND wu tang clan AND [insert hyperbole ad nauseum]?”

nope. he’s the real deal.

and then…
*POOF*
one fine day
you wake up, check your personal emails, your work emails, and then (finally, phew!)
the dating site emails – looking for,  nay expecting some
sweet e-nothings from this man of your internet fantasies and irl dreams…
and that’s exactly what you got:
e-nothing.
as in exactly nothing.
no profile,
no log of page visits,
no insightful journal entries about politics and pop culture,
no tasteful shirtless photo on a foreign beach,
none of all the things that tipped you over into e-heart with him
nothing to even prove that he existed at all.
nothing but the hilarious and introspective and wry and perfect 13 printed pages long email chain
(better than first date small talk any day)
now seemingly sent from an anonymous paramour because this one is just …
bermuda triangulated.
eharmonious match forfeit.
gone.

but, you are resigned  and determined to be hopeful. you are already internet dating after all. you keep your eye on the prize of  one day writing your own email testimonial complete with photos of you and your beau kayaking or posing in front of yosemite.  you sally forth; culling new batches of matches. composing more insightful emails. crossing your fingers.

like that one kid playing musical chairs that would sit on every other chair – music stopped or not.
maybe now?
maybe now?
… maybe now?
sometimes, in the schoolyard game of internet dating (as with musical chairs and life)
you end up on your ass.

*or cathy, lol. i bet she would have internet dated.