Monday, April 27, 2009

When Jenny met Hmm hmm

Shakespeare once said… “All the world is a stage, and we the men and women are merely players.” But what happens when you put a bunch of people on a given stage for the rest of the world to observe, participate, and criticize… with no script, no plot, and no direction as to what is about to happen to them. Maybe that is why it leaves most of us wondering… are we living in a comedy or a tragedy???

I have had my shares of ups and downs in life, just like the rest of us. And despite all the BS I have been subjected to, I still remain fairly optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, I am still cautious as all hell, but I am also the one that isn’t afraid to take a chance every now and then on a wild card. After all, those are the kinds of decisions that can lead to tons of fun… or absolute disaster. Unfortunately you have to let all the plans unfold before you can decide what it is.

I choose to believe my life.. is a comedy, and a romantic one at that. Part adventure, part chaos, with all the Kraft cheesiness your stomach can handle. Maybe that is because I am one of the many women that gets sucked in to believing that the Matthew McConaugheys, the Tom Hanks, the Richard Geres of the world are in fact real live sample sizes of the general population. You just have to be lucky enough to find one.

My favorite of all these films has to be without a doubt.. When Harry Met Sally. It was one of those films my dad would constantly mention in regards to a guy friend I had growing up but I never got his references. He always insisted I was “girl who thought she was low maintenance, but was actually in fact high maintenance.” He said, “it took me twenty minutes to order a sandwich.. and that ‘on the side’ is a very big thing for me.” I simply said.. “I’m a girl that knows what she wants and how she wants it.”

It wasn’t until I was much older, and having my tonsils ripped from my throat that I was bored enough to actually sit down and watch something that was made when Billy Crystal still had hair, and Meg Ryan did not yet resemble a fish. Two hours later… I was left with a whole new repertoire of movie quotes to choose from… and an even bigger question in life.. “Can men and women really just be friends.. or does sex always get in the way??”

I’ve always been a firm believer in the fact that men and women can be “just friends.” Sure, sometimes there can be awkward undertones of unspoken feelings, but I can honestly say that I have a key group of male friends that are just that and want nothing else. Just the girl they have come to love and respect like a little sister, who knows her sports, loves her beer, and can’t get enough buffalo chicken wings. And then…. There is the other kind.

I once had this amazing friend named.. Hmm hmm. We met in the most random of ways, and began a friendship that was almost as random. He was super smart, funny, and boyishly charming. But the thing I admired most about him was his overall selfless concern he seemed to have for me. He looked out for me, offered advice when he could, but was really there as a shoulder when I needed something to lean on.

But like any good foil, we were total opposites. I was much fierier, while he was laid back. My idea of a good time was white water rafting, or spending time outside, his involved sand and an outdoor Tiki bar. He loved to gamble, while I was frugal as hell. He was sarcastic and biting, while I tended to be a bit of a goofball and oversensitive. Yet somehow, this oil and water mixture made us perfect sparring partners, and instant friends. It was nice to have someone to talk to that “got me” and could keep up with my banter.

We hung out together, quoted the latest episodes of How I Met Your Mother together, and just genuinely enjoyed being in each other’s presence. Even when we weren't together, we were constantly texting or drunk dialing each other with our random life stories.

Then, something happened. I'm talking about the kind of something’s that only happen when two reasonably good looking, fun loving individuals have one too many cups with the Captain, or Mr. Grey Goose.

We hooked up.

It was like that awkward scene from When Harry met Sally, where the two of them know so much about each other, except how they react in such a situation. Because we knew each others war stories and horror stories, there was that awkward silence of.. What the hell were we supposed to do now? We didn't want to act like the guys and girls we complained to one another about. The “Why didn't you call me girl?” The “Emotionally unavailable dude.” The “I’m scrapbooking pictures of our future children” girl. The “wait three days to call her guy.” Between the two of us, we had seen it all, and we definitely didn't want to be THOSE people.

For days we acted like nothing had changed. But let's face it. We both knew it had. We didn't know how to act around each other. I couldn't possibly tell him bout my ex giving me problems, because now, he had a vested interest. Or at least I hoped he did. And I didn't want to hear his war stories from his latest trip to Vegas.. because there's a reason what happens there stays there… so people can keep their relationships and their self respect.

And then it dawned on me.

$hit. I LIKE Hmm-hmm.

I’m majorly, totally, butt crazy, head over heels for Hmm-hmm. But now I have no idea how to act around him. I couldn't strut around in my cute little outfits, or talk to other boys to try to make him jealous. I mean, its Hmm-hmm. He knows what makes me tick. How I operate. It was like he had been a spy in my world this whole time, and all it took was a little liquid courage to bring his true feelings to the surface. It was a weird tension. You know.. Where you're afraid you like them more than they like you?? I began to find myself in midst of a power struggle. The laid back buddy in me saw it as something casual, just a random thing that happens between friends. But the other side of me saw something completely different. The other side of me said.. maybe, just maybe.. “there may be something there that wasn’t there before.”

Was I just supposed to ignore the fact that I found someone that I could genuinely be myself around, because the friendship was already there??.. For once, I was actually speechless. So I just played the game. I said the things a girl in my position is supposed to say, and found myself more lost than when I started.

Revert to Plan B.—TELL HIM THE TRUTH. I mean, we were friends before the incident, why not after??? You can revert back to your old friendship if things don’t work out, or he’s just not that into you. Right?.. (Buzzer)

It was a winless situation, and instead, I took a cue from Charlie Chaplin and stayed silent. He would drop hints that he didn’t want me “seeing” other people, or that he was jealous, but maybe this was all just some playful banter. The longer this dialogue exchange took place, the more I realized I was not willing to give up my personal freedom, for someone who wasn’t respectful enough to do the same.

Til this day, the situation remains unresolved. There are so many questions, so many things I would like to say to him that I simply couldn’t find a way to put to words. Maybe that’s because I value what we have enough to stay silent and just let it be. After all, he’s become too important to me to risk losing him as a friend.

I guess that’s why were torn between living our lives as comedies or tragedies. Because while life may present you with the answers to all the things you were looking for, it may also put them just beyond your reach. So for now, I’ll continue to just toil away at my career and just let life come at me as it will. I’ll laugh about the comedy, overcome the tragedy, and just soak up the moments in between. Because while the storyline may be a little vague, at least I know the person holding the power to write it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Triple Word Score

Maybe it was just sheer curiosity of what their life was like before us, but for some reason people can't help but wonder about their "present’s" past. Who came before us? What were they like? Why didn't they work out? Then somewhere our curiosity gets the better of us and we're bound to destroy our future before it even gets its legs. Looks like the cat wasn't the only thing that bit the big one. Unless you've only encountered one person since you left the womb, odds are you have a past and a few skeletons in your closet. For me though? The only thing in my closet is a crap-load of shoes and some Jets gear.

Time after time again, as relationships try and fail (as they sometimes do) I've always tried to remain cordial with exes. Hell, some of them are my best friends. Others.. Well we are friendly, but it’s just better for us to not be active in each other's lives. Usually for unresolved issues, questions about would we or wouldn't we in a different place or time, sometimes you just realize you and the person really had zero in common. Whatever. We all have our reasons. It just always was better to move on, and send a postcard. After all, you can't have a perfect future if your past is always present. How's that for a grammar lesson?
If you dig deep enough you could find dirt on just about any one. But why soil your chance at a legit future? Particularly the question of "numbers."

So this buddy of mine comes to me in a panic over the girl he has been seeing because he finds out she was bragging about..uh.. "played Scrabble" with a lot of people in Collegetown, USA.

I know you're all thinking, well.. Of course she's played Scrabble before, we all played Scrabble as a kid. Well, of course, we all played silly games like Scrabble when we were younger.. But when you're an adult there's this whole new kind of "Scrabble" you get to play. A game where the words aren't quite as important so much as the letters you choose to make them with. The more letters you use, the more "rare" the letters, the more points you have. As a kid when you played games it was the person with the highest score that won. But as an adult, the higher your Scrabble score.. Well, the people you date begin to think you're a Scrabble whore.
I know you're probably saying.. “Dude, Scrabble is just a fun game. Everyone’s doing it.” Yeah, of course everyone's doing it, it's just one of those basic instincts that kicks in during our teenage years, and becomes our addiction for years to come, the Holy Grail in a quest to find the perfect Scrabble opponent.
Some search their entire lives for the "one" worthy Scrabble opponent, while others will play with just about anyone for fear of being lonely, or to get their rocks off.

So that night, when Cliché A$$hole BBM’d me (that would be ‘Chasing Amy’). Our conversation went something like this:

Cliché A$$hole: So I asked her what her “number” was.

Chasing Amy: Bro… what were you thinking??... :::slaps forehead:::

Cliché A$$hole: I dunno dude. But.. she admitted it. So, we broke up.

Chasing Amy: Could it have really been that bad dude?.. Was it worth breaking up for? I mean, no one is perfect…

Cliché A$$hole: She made me look like an amateur, and I’m not exactly a saint. She definitely holds the high score on this one.

Chasing Amy: "High score? What does that mean? Did she break it?” Sorry.. couldn’t resist man. I really think the two of you just need time to think this through. Is this really worth losing her over???

But for C.A., there was no thinking. He had already made up his mind. Repulsed by her awesome Scrabble playing abilities, he calls her a few choice words. She returns the favor, and minutes later.. Game over...

I began to ask myself.. was knowing the truth really all that important? Was knowing her number what defined her as a person? If he loved the girl, he'd love her unconditionally, no matter what her Scrabble high score was.

One thing’s for sure, one is still the loneliest number. While you always want to think you're different or special to your Scrabble opponent, you also have to remember they are human beings with egos, with vulnerability. No one's perfect, and if you're waiting around for the person that's still a scrabble virgin, well good luck with that. They only get harder to find as you get older.

So until you do, practice safe Scrabble, and always play by the rules especially when hearts are involved. Who knows.. That heart may one day be yours.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Road Runner and The Coyote

Ah, the thrill of a chase. In LA, it’s customary for people to stop what they are doing in their everyday lives to watch a car be pursued by the police. They weave in and out of traffic without a thought to the lives around them and we all stop to take notice. Why? Because in each and every one of us, there is some sick morbid curiosity of how it will all play out. Will he get away, will he be apprehended, or worse, will he crash???..

Let's face it, no one goes to NASCAR races to watch rednecks make left hand turns all day. They go for the start, finish, and the fiery crashes in between. Hell, Vin Diesel has made an entire career out of driving fast, blowing stuff up, and quirky puns and catch phrases. The thing about the chase that is so mesmerizing, is that crazy feeling of uncertainty.

One guy chases the girl of his dreams, the best “girl” friend that chases the hot unattainable guy. Both parties have to know their role, and know the rules. If one chases the other, and never catches it then the race is fruitless. But, if the guy in the back just throws his hands up and says eff this, the power shifts and so do the roles. This process seems to me like it is never-ending in the world of dating. We are all merely road runners and coyotes simply out to catch that one thing it is that we are all seeking.

Maybe I'm reaching a stage in my life where I find the whole premise of the chase somewhat, dull and unamusing. Or perhaps I just get tired of feeling I'm going after something I’ll never catch. There's no harm in walking away, and saying I'm done chasing my own tail, and you! I’ve come to find the so called “pretty boys” are quite possibly the worst, as they are overly cocky ones. There's some sense of power and entitlement in the getting the woman to chase you, that makes them treat the opposite sex like they are dispensable. I come from the school of thought, that in a functioning healthy courtship, people don't chase one another, they run along together. There's nothing worse than investing your feelings and heart into something with no pay off. After all, if you're constantly on the run, when do you get to ever just enjoy the other persons company, the fruits of your labor?? Playing hard to get, simply gets old. To the point where even Wile E Coyote holds up his sign that says, “F@#$ this.” Then, the giant boulder that inevitably falls on his head shortly thereafter. Luckily for me, there aren’t too many boulders where I live, or I would have needed to find new health insurance by now.

I had a short forty-five minute layover in Atlanta the other day. Atlanta Hartsfield is by far one of the busiest airports in the country. So imagine my surprise when I passed by the Sam Adams bar in Terminal C and low and behold I find.. My road runner. Of all the airports, in all the world, he somehow ended up in mine.

Ah, the one that got away. He's a beautiful specimen let me tell you, and our personalities are beyond electric together. But we were also both stubborn asses who were used to being pursued by the opposite sex, and neither one of our prides was about to back down to a friendly challenge. Our courtship, though fun, was a relentless game of cat and mouse, innuendos, and dirty jokes, but combined with the distance factor. Well, it was simply a case of wrong place, wrong time.

A lot you may think my blogs are all about the blame game and only paint me as the victim when in fact you couldn't be further from the truth. When I'm wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it. And in this particular instance, it was 90% my fault. All this time, I had pinned him to be the road runner, when in reality the only one running was me. I'm a true romantic at heart, but I was all too familiar with the impact that distance can have on even the sturdiest of relationships. I had been there, done that; I had so many of those "I survived this relationship” t-shirts that I just wasn't ready to open myself up to that kind of vulnerability again. Sure, not all situations are created equal but the countless hours spent on a plane certainly gets monotonous, as do the constant questions about your whereabouts when you're not in each others lives. And there’s always the “where is this relationship going” question. And we all know the answer to that. Nowhere. Absolutely, nowhere.

But here we were again, just the two of us in a sea of people looking to make their connections, while the two of us were wondering if “our” connection was still there. Our eyes met from across the bar, and suddenly we were the only two people in Terminal C.

With less than ten minutes before we boarded our separate planes to our very separate lives, it was like nothing had changed. We still laughed, we still smiled, and there was still that sense of... Wow. If I didn't know any better the screen of our movie went from color to black and white, and we were now standing in the middle of our very own Ingrid Bergman/Humphrey Bogart movie. As I turned my head to blush and laugh at his jokes and his cute lil southern drawl... He grabbed my cheeks and pulled me in for a good one. While unexpected, it was certainly welcome, and oh so familiar. Had we just revolutionized long distance relationships with layover dating? Maybe not, but it didn’t make the moment any less enjoyable. No sooner had our lips parted than they announced final boarding on his flight.

"Well, I guess… here's looking at you kid.." he laughed, as he threw his bags over his shoulder and ran off.

And just like that. He was gone again. This time, it was me that was the coyote: holding up my “?” sign, more confused than ever. Had I made a mistake of running too far ahead that my coyote simply gave up? Or, when it was my turn to chase him was I simply just too stubborn and dug my heels in, instead of just buying a better pair of running shoes?

Maybe I'd never have all the answers, but we’d always have Terminal C, and that right there was enough to make me stop and think... And smile.

Meep Meep,

Game on bitches.

Oh crap, I have a flight to catch.