Wednesday, February 18, 2009

growing pains

Heather and I were riding the T together the other day, only mildly irritated about barely going 5mph down Comm Ave. I think it was a day we had resigned ourselves to the glorious pursuit of excellence the MBTA is always striving for. Boston subway stories are another post, perhaps even an entire blog, in and of itself, however. Anyway, as we're crawling along, she asks me, "Do you think we'll ever feel grown up?"

I sort of shrugged, non-committal, as I wasn't able to conjure the brain power to provide any semblance of an intriguing response as my thoughts fleeted a million directions elsewhere. But since she's said it, I've been thinking of it sporadically the past few days. Then today, I was poking around on MySpace and was looking at the page of my younger cousin who is just in middle school. She had quotes and sayings about how she and her best friend, regardless of what life brings them, will be friends forever. She also discusses her hopes, dreams and desires while a hauntingly beautiful song called 'Almost Lover' plays in the background.

Now the cynical side of my brain, which seems to take full possession of my mind on weekday nights during the approximate hours of 7pm - 10pm began to disregard her musings and epithets as naive. I also spent time contemplating on how, at the age of 13, she is too young to be experiencing such desires and emotions.

I'm not really willing to rescind the latter opinion (no 13 year old girl should be talking about broken hearts and missed life loves) but what about her naivete? I believed, as I imagine most young girls do, in life-long best friends and dreams of things never changing. But we grow up. Circumstances change. WE change and outgrow friendships and relationships. We find new friendships, lovers, dreams, desires, all the while we're growing up. But when do we reach the final destination?

Perhaps there is no final destination. As humans we are always growing, changing, evolving. Perhaps Darwin was onto something that spans beyond the scientific. We always look back at younger versions of ourselves thinking If only I had known then what I know now or How innocent/naive/ignorant I was. But is that so bad? If being "grown up" is some sort of destination, what happens when we get there? Do we stop changing, learning, evolving?

If that's the case, then I hope I never grow up. But if being grown up is about learning from mistakes, evolving into what is hopefully a better person with the chance to fulfill my dreams and perhaps even assist others in doing the same, then I hope I can feel grown up every day for the rest of my life.

So my dear friend Heather, I suppose that is my long-winded answer to your relatively short question. Perhaps it is best I did not provide it the other day, though with as long as the T takes, we would have had time to discuss it twice over. ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

wait wait.... don't tell me...

No, this isn't going to be a blog about the amazing NPR show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me which you can subscribe to free of charge via iTunes. If you've never listened to it I recommend you do so right away. Podcasts are amazing little buggers, aren't they?

This blog is more about dating and is connected to the movie (and by association the book) He's Just Not That Into You. So, if you plan on seeing it and haven't yet, you may want to stop here. Spoiler Alert. Though nothing that ends up happening is far off from what you will actually guess, all on your own, about 1/3 into the movie.

The main character of the movie, Gigi, is a far cry from normal. Now most of us women who have been in the dating scene for any fraction of our lives have experienced our own ability to justify, irrationally, men's actions; the obsession with waiting for the phone to ring or the text to come; and of course the desire to do random 'drive by's' of the places we know a particular interest may or may not be located. For most of us though, we left the completely crazy back in pre-Millennium (read: high school) and only have an occasional visit with her less hormonal sister 'slightly crazy'.

Yes, as women, we have a tendency to overlook signals men give us, dissect the little things that could potentially mean he's into us and use those bits to overshadow the more obvious signs: he's not calling, he's dating other women, he's not calling, he keeps losing your number, etc. But what about Gigi? She writes a script (a script?! that's when a good friend intervenes, not sits down with you to pen the damn thing) to leave a voice mail. A voice mail for a guy she went on one date with and hasn't heard back from. A voice mail that ends terribly as the script gets stumbled over and results in quite an embarrassing display of inappropriate bumbling about who knows what. It is too painful to remember.

But amongst Gigi's overly desperate attempts to find love, she meets this guy Alex who lays it all out for her - if he's not calling, if he's not asking you out again, if he's making excuses - HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. Seems simple enough.

But what about Alex? As the movie progresses, my roommate and I leaned conspiratorially together, whispering about how we can see (obviously) that Alex is falling for Gigi. I mean all the signs are there, right? He's making excuses to see her. He's calling her out of the blue. It's so obvious.

Well Gigi comes to the same conclusion, and while I like to believe that I, and pretty much all of the single women I know (and the taken ones too, for that matter) would be suave enough to handle it a bit more gracefully than she does, she puts herself out there, based on the 'signals' provided by Alex, and gets rejected hardcore. Alex says she made all the signals up in her mind; essentially she's crazy. Gigi leaves embarrassed.

Here's problem number one. From an outside perspective, we thought he was into her too. It wasn't as if we were the friends coddling her to make her feel better (but ultimately set her up for failure). We believed as the faithful audience, based on the evidence provided, he was totally into her. Turns out he was, but that he was too scared or didn't realize it until she confronted him or some baloney.

So this leads to problem two: per the mantra of the book/movie, women shouldn't pursue men. Men know what they want and they'll do whatever it takes to get what they want and they prefer to be the pursuers. But according to this outcome, Gigi either misread the signals, or correctly read the signals but had to put herself out there (cause Alex wasn't making the first move) to get what she wanted.

So wait wait... don't tell me. What is it we're suppose to do? And what is with all the rules and games and ridiculousness? Why does this whole dating mess have to be so complicated?

So please, DO tell me - what are the right rules for dating? Because me, and many of the friends I know, would like to figure it out so we can play the game. For real.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I used to love blogging. I really only did it on MySpace previously as a way of staying in touch with friends that were long ways away while I was living in England, both during the first and last stint.

Thinking about writing a blog now is strange. Who would care to read it? I have no idea. Who could read it? Anyone, really - people I have been friends with forever, people I've been friends with for a shorter time, people I work with, my family, people who don't even like me. So much of writing is about taloring it to your targeted audience. In a personal blog, who is the targeted audience? Maybe it is me, maybe it is simply my stream of consciousness, something that allows me to do one of the things I love so much (writing) and something that helps my mental well-being (rambling out loud).

So maybe I will revitalize the use of the blog. Maybe people will read it. Maybe they won't. Maybe this will be a one-time thing I do late at 2am on a Saturday night because I'm awake and can't sleep for all the things tumbling around in my mind, those things which I KNOW the only audience privy to such musings is myself and not for the greater world wide web. Maybe I need to find a synonym to maybe and also limit the use of my run-on sentences... yeah.

Well if you're reading, thanks. If you're bored or you think this is ridiculous, that's fine too.