Friday, March 30, 2007

Comfort Food

It's past 9 p.m., closer to 10, and I have yet to shower today. The smells emanating from my crevices occassional waft past my unsuspecting nostrils. My bed sheets stink. I should do something. Hours ago, I contemplated working out, popping in the DVD featuring sleek women with taut abs and a visible line between shoulders and biceps. "Squat, round your back, flatten, and stand," the leader always instructs. I told myself I'd follow her cues after an afternoon nap, then after a snack, then after one more page read. With those tasks complete, all I want to do is eat a brownie sundae. My tongue can taste the warm sweet chocolate cooled by even sweeter vanilla ice cream. I can feel the thick fudge coating the back of my throat. I want it, badly. But I want to look like the women on the DVD even more. Besides Pizza Hut at breakfast time did enough damage for today.
If I sit here long enough the need to fill myself should pass. I'll think of my full stomach, protruding against my too large sweatshirt and remind myself of the guilt that will stay with me long after the sugar, fat, and calories have passed from my system. That should tide me over, knowing that I won't like myself after I enjoy myself. Worse, I'll still have this craving that decadence can't satisfy. I'll still need to know that my life will head where I want it to go, while door after door shuts in my face. What I want most in life can't be served on a plate, and if I can't have it, then I'll settle for the body a brownie sundae won't let me have.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Por Favor

Dear ABC:

YouTube has compelled me to ask you for a huge, ginormous, astronomical favor. I could possibly be asking for too much, but what the hell. I'll never know unless I put it out there. After way too many nights spent staying up until 4 a.m. to watch just one more episode on my computer, I beseech you to bring back My So Called Life. Yes, I realize that it's been about twelve years since the show aired and you assume that everyone has long since forgotten that Angela got into Jordan's car immediately after Brian Krakow admitted that he was the one who wrote the letter that made Angela forgive Jordan in the first place. Well, I haven't forgotten and after more than a decade of wondering what happens next, I don't think that I ever will.

Now I know it seems a little far fetched to bring back a show that has been off the air since the Clinton administration and pick up right where you left off, but I guarantee that there is still an audience that has been waiting with baited breath for this series to continue. In fact, I went to high school with a girl who looked just like Angela, from the red shoulder length bob to the Doc Martins and tight lipped smile. She even had a crush on this boy with chin length air, stubble, and an unbelievable ability to wear the hell out of a mechanic's shirt - totally hot. I know in my heart of hearts that she still pines for more MSCL. Don't worry about a time slot. Just cancel that melodramatic, horribly acted, ill conceived joke of a show, October Road and it's all set.

Of course you'll have to get the same actors and use the same sets. I've already googled the entire cast and they're all still alive. Now you should hurry and get the relaunch together because I don't know how much longer Jordan Cat- err I mean Jared Leto is going to exist in the land of the living. Besides, anything could happen (car accident, earthquake, freak lipo accident) and any member of MSCL could be gone before this undertaking even begins. Yes, I do realize that Angela, well Claire is no longer 16 years old, and Jord- damn it I mean Jared may not even be male anymore, but that completely doesn't matter. I'm totally willing to ignore the fact that Danielle will be the most adult looking 10 year old EVER just to know what happens after Angela gets in the car with Jordan. Plus I need to know if Graham sleeps with Halley Lowenthal. Thought I forgot about that little subplot? Nope, I didn't!!

Just to clarify, I'm not asking for a reunion to find out what Angela, Jordan, Rayanne, Sharon, and company are up to now. No, I want the next episode to pick up where the last one left off. Additionally, I'd also like the remainder of Season 1 to air. Wrap up the story nice and pretty so that I can finally sleep at night.

Granted, it may be a little bit difficult to successfully pull off this production, but whatever difficulties you may experience are really of your own making. You dumb asses never should've cancelled the show in the first place. And for what? So you could bring us real winners like Brothers Keeper, Two of a Kind, and Vengeance Unlimited. At least people remember and miss My So Called Life. Prematurely pulling the plug was one of the biggest travesties in all of television history and honestly, it's up to you to rectify this egregious mistake. Do it for me, do it for the flannel and Doc Martins generation, do it for Brian Krakow!


MSCL's #1 Fan

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ready and Willing

I have a laundry list of wants: a thin body, huge hair, admission to grad school, a life in New York, a new BCBG dress, and a littany of other things. He isn't on the list. Yes, I want a man, but not him. When something good happens to me, I don't feel the urge to share it with him. On a horrible day, he's not the person I call to vent to. Thoughts of him do not fill my idle time. My visions for the future do not include him.
Then he called, and I ran straight to him, 140 miles down the highway just because he asked me to hang out. Within two hours I was running from him, livid after yet another retread of the same argument we've been having for the past six months. Friends tell me I never should have gone to see him, remind me that I had said I was done with him. They're right. I am done. I'm done with arguing with him, missing him, and yearning for us to be like we were before the insanity set in. I don't want to go back to him.
But if he asked, I would. And he has asked. Each time he does I enter the ring for another round and get knocked out harder than the last time. Even though I don't want to work things out, I'm willing to try if he is. With him, I'm sixteen years old again, making decisions based on what others will or won't do. If he's not talking to me, then I'm not talking to him. If he wants to spend time with me, then I'm willing to drive to the ends of the earth to spend some time with him.
Is he worth it? Probably not. It's just that I can't seem to bring myself to give up on us. He's a hot mess, but Team Us is amazing. I can definitely live without us if us isn't a possibility. However, each time he comes back around it's as though he's saying we are definitely possible. And my gut never fails to tell me that passing up an opportunity to get us back is plain wrong.
I can't keep doing this. The fight gets a little worse each time we have it and the damage that much more evident. I'm done, for the third time (or maybe it's the fourth or fifth). I am not speaking to him. I am not missing him. I don't want a damn thing from him. But what I want to do has never been as big a problem as what I'm willing to do.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Talk To Me

In the five years since we met I had never seen him as anything more than a short (5'9"), obnoxious, constantly inebriated Jamaican who made an unsuccessful attempt to woo my best friend. All characteristics I try to avoid in men. Then one night, as the hours mounted on my cell phone screen, I found myself drawn to him and thinking to myself, "Maybe..." He wasn't saying anything special, but I didn't want to get off the phone. One topic flowed smoothly into the next with nary an akward silence. We finished each other's sentences and traded sarcastic one liners, claiming, "You left yourself open for that one." Even when my bladder was about to burst I couldn't bear to put him on hold for a moment and break the steady rhythm of conversation and laughter. After four hours and countless "I should go to bed"s that turned into another half hour of chatter we managed to hang up. Pressing END, I no longer thought about all that was wrong with him and considered the possibility that he could just be Mr. Right.
More than five months of melodramatic bullshit proved that he was all wrong for me. Still, as I sat across the restaurant table from my date with The White Boy two weeks ago I found myself missing that Alcoholic West Indian. The date wasn't bad. In fact it could actually be considered good. Yummy food, lots of compliments, funny jokes, no embarassing mishaps. However, something imperceptible was askew. Actually, that something was so indiscernable that I don't think he noticed anything was kind of off. Although the only time we weren't talking was when our mouths were full of pasta or steak, for me the conversation was still lacking. Sure, he asked questions and I answered in detail. He told me all about combat in Iraq, bootcamp, and his many military maneuvers. We got to know each other.
And that was the problem. It wasn't a conversation. It was an info dump. While most of what I learned about The Whiteboy was definitely interesting, it was nothing I wanted to know right away. I understand that the purpose of a first date is for two people to get to know each other and I'm fine with that. But for me, getting to know someone should be like a mining for diamonds. The thrill lies in the unexpected discoveries that are buried underneath the superficial sand. Where's the fun if everything is presented up front?
As he told me how attractive he thought I was I couldn't help but think to myself, The Alcoholic West Indian wouldn't say that. And when he recounted tales from his misguided youth I thought, The Alcoholic West Indian would save that story for a later date. Then I racked my brain to figure out what The Alcoholic West Indian actually would talk about and it finally hit me. NOTHING!
The entire reason why I fell for The Alcoholic West Indian's short, obnoxious, constantly inebriated ass in the first place was the exact same reason I fell for The Idiot Who Made Me Cry. We could spend hours talking about absolutely nothing. From the physics behind deoderant chunks on armpit hair to the unending quotables uttered by my future husband Jay-Z we could talk about anything without ever having tell each other about ourselves. Who we are came through loud and clear so there was no reason to ask or answer any questions. And if a certain topic led to the telling of a personal story that was great, but nothing was ever told just to have something to say.
Don't get me wrong, I did have fun on my date with The Whiteboy. We even hung out the very next day and I'll probably spend more time with him in the future. But it won't go anywhere. Chemistry is created in conversation and he just doesn't know how to talk to me.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Trial and Error

If anyone asks me why I did it, I can give them a lot of reasons. It was 3 a.m. and delirium had set in hours ago. Boredom led me to it. My friend was laughing and I wanted to laugh too. Hello, it was a joke. I had nothing better to do. Morbid curiosity is a bitch. Everyone else was doing it. I was in an emotional downward spiral. Or I could just blame Beyonce for making me keenly aware that I couldn't say he wasn't irreplaceable if I didn't have a replacement for him. Ummm, it was free.

Under normal circumstances I never would have typed my full name along with other personal information, chosen a screenname, and joined, an online dating site. But with all those reasons working together to conspire against me I couldn't help myself. All of the girls at church were doing it. And although their searches yielded less than stellar results, I figured, "why the hell not?" Did I mention it was three in the morning.

Within seconds of registering I received a confirmation email.

Step 1: Complete Your Profile

Q:"What are you looking for in a mate?"
A: I'll know it when I see it

Q: "What role does your faith play in your life?"
A: God's my homie!

Q: "What are some of your hobbies and interests?"
A: Boys and shopping
Step 2: Add a picture - picture must be approved by site before it becomes visible to members.

I'm thinking this picture might not pass inspection . So I'll go with this one. Nothing says wholesome Christian chick like Sesame Street.
Step 3: Sit back and wait for the men to flock.
Easy peasy. Or maybe not. The first two days of the two week trial were uneventful. My profile received several views, but no winks, instant messages, or "hey baby, will you marry me" emails. I'm not into the online dating thing (it's too structured for me. I hate knowing a man's intentions up front), but I was kind of disappointed. I get hit on all the time on non dating websites (social networking is NOT dating so myspace doesn't count), so I was expecting guys to see the fro and the smile then fall in love. Not that I was looking for love or anything of the sort. But somewhere in the back of my mind I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe someone great would sort of find me and we'd sort of hit it off and just when I least expected it I'd be in a sort of quasi relationship with the man of my dreams.
I wanted to make the most of my two week trial. So I went back and edited my profile. I lengethened my answers and tried to temper my wry, sarcastic wit (which Christian guys apparently aren't into) with some straightforwardness (is that a word?). I quoted my favorite scripture (Deuteronomy 6:4), gave a brief description of why my last "relationship" didn't work (he's an asshole), and delved into my love of tap dance and tae kwon do. Satisfied that I had given an accurate, slightly humorous, and detailed account of myself I sat back and waited for the magic to happen.
Well not quite sat back. More like checked my account every 10 minutes to see if I got any hits. Sure enough my profile views increased. And several hours later I received my first message. It was from an overweight 60 something female in my area looking for pen pals. Not quite what I was looking for, but possibly a springboard to better possibilities, no? Better came in the form of an emaciated 40 year old from Sweden who saw my profile and immediately wanted to explore a serious relationship. That little thing called the Atlantic Ocean didn't deter him at all.
When I first signed up for ChristianCafe I promised myself that I would NOT utilize the site's search function to find attractive, eligible men in my area to stalk...umm, I mean contact. I was only using the free trial for experimental purposes and I have a very firm "no trolling for men" policy. Promises are meant to be broken. Looking through the profiles of every 24-34 year old man in the Great Lakes region over 5'10 with a picture, I quickly realized that not searching would've yielded the same results.
By Day 5 I was completely baffled as to why anyone would pay to be a member of that site. I'd received numerous messages from men with bad teeth and no command of the English language.
"Hi. You look nice womn. I very much like too meet yu. I from Nigeria and now life in France. Call so we get married. Love you, Jasper."
The rare men who actually could get his subject and verbs to agree were still a hot ass mess.
"Hi. My name is John. I'm 34 and work for the Department of Corrections in Macon, GA. I enjoy long walks, candlelit dinners, and reading poetry by the fire. I like your profile. If you'd like to email me we can get to know each other via email for exactly 2 weeks. If at the end of two weeks things go smoothly, we shall proceed to talking on the phone. Then we will spend quality time together as just friends to see if we are compatible. Within six months we should be engaged. The wedding will be six months later. Can't wait to hear from you."
Like I said, I have issues with clearly stated intentions.
By day 10 I'd pretty much lost any hope of success. Then something interesting happened. Late one evening while I was surfing the net to get my mind off the fact that the Alcoholic West Indian wasn't speaking to me, I received an instant message.
"Hi! I like your profile. Write back if you want to chat."
It wasn't clever nor witty, but it was in readable English and didn't contain a marriage proposal so it was good enough for me. I wrote back. Something short, polite, and marginally flirtatious. During four days of correspondence I found out that he worked in the Navy and was currently at sea, enjoyed cooking, and was looking forward to hitting dry land. Unfortunately he didn't look enough like Denzel for me to ignore the fact that he was in his mid forties. His time was up when my free trial ended.
ChristianCafe didn't want me to go. They plied me with emails of special discounts and notifications that my profile was still being viewed by wonderful men who could only contact me if I paid CC $90.95 for a three month membership. And for a second, the wheels in my head turned and a little voice said I could be missing an opportunity with a man who really wanted to get to know me but couldn't because I'm not a ChristianCafe member. Then I remembered that that man was probably 5'6" with less than stellar oral hygeine who rode a moped to his job herding goats in the hills of Norway. There's not a good enough reason in the world to make me sign up for that.