Friday, May 07, 2010

Beware of the Mom T Rex

Meeting the parents is reason enough to be nervous. Meeting them under less than ideal circumstances, at a moment’s notice? Well, pass the Valium please. While men would argue that father’s are the most intimidating, I beg to disagree. With all due respect, mothers are always far more intimidating in my case. I can remember the last time the mother of a guy I was seeing. It was not pretty. Funny though, it wasn’t always this way. Maybe that's because before… I was a parents dream.

Well, that was before the boobs. And the whole Playboy thing.

Back in the good old days, I was the girl next door. The kind that didn't set off any red flags. The kinda girl you would let spend the night in the same bed with your boy, and not even bat an eye. I mean, why would you? I'm an angel.

But not after my surgery. With those scientifically engineered breasts and this magnificent bra by Victoria, I may as well have been a terminator. Sent back in time, to f*ck her son’s brains out, and then destroy his life and take the rest of the future with it. Once I had my claws in him, it was hasta la vista grandbabies, unless it involved child support, alimony, and Britney Spears’ divorce attorneys. Yeah, kinda leaves a bad taste in a mother’s mouth after she kisses her sons cheek. After all, I have tainted her offspring.

Oddly enough though, even with the drastically reduced chesticles I’m still a suspect, a mother’s worst nightmare. Or what she perceives to be anyways. I vividly remember the last mother I met. Granted it was some time ago. But damn. That woman stared me down until it burned deep in my soul, like really bad Mexican food. How could someone hate someone so much that they had just met? Or judge me based on simply my looks? It’s not as if I was even dressed as a whore, it was the middle of winter for Christ’s sake! Still, the glare continued. I had been doomed from the get go, set up for failure. By whom, I didn't know, but surely this woman had it out for me.

I so badly wanted to call her on her unfounded beliefs, but I sensed she could smell my fear. So I simply smiled, and went about my business, and involved her in conversation when necessary. And it wasn't that I was even scared of her, I was scared what bearing her opinion would have on my future with her son. After all, blood is thicker than water. And in this case, the woman’s blood had icicles forming in it.

I couldn't blame the woman. She had seen the pretty girls before. The truth was.. “I'm not bad; I'm just drawn that way.” But she discounted me before I had even uttered a word. It would be my pleasure to prove them wrong. But why should I have to? A person’s actions should be allowed to speak for themselves, and I treat people the way I want to be treated. So, she would just have to trust me, or get over it. At the end of the day, it was her son’s heart I was after, and not hers.

Then again, plenty of guys I have dated say that about my mom. Never mind the fact my mother is a good looking woman; she is also a real ball buster. She’s the type of mom that stands at the door and asks potential suitors to submit to a breath/blood/urine testing on the spot. Not really, but its damn close. People have sworn she has a look to her. A look that just screams, "Stay away from my daughters you prick. I know what you're after."

Yet, somehow, my parents were always the cool ones. My mom is so cool she even follows me on Twitter, under her name “MomTrex1.” And if you have ever watched Jurassic Park 2, you know EXACTLY which scene she took THAT from. Still, they were the type of people that would welcome friends and their daughter’s love interests with open arms, at least until they proved they couldn't be trusted. Then, they often felt as betrayed as my sister and I did, and sometimes just as heartbroken. I think we forget at times that when we enter relationships with another person we not only touch their lives, but the lives of everyone involved. So it’s not uncommon for people in their inner circle to voice opinions and concerns. But does that mean we have to subject ourselves and our relationship choices to outsider’s scrutiny. I think, somewhere between the lines of self respect, and disrespect has to lie a happy medium. Otherwise, how can a woman ever come to call another woman “mom” that she has no relation to?

“A mother holds her daughters hand for a while.. but she holds her heart for forever,” she once told me. “Or at least until she finds someone with hands big enough, yet gentle enough to not break it.”

When it comes to relationships and life, I could not have had a better example than my mother. My mother is the type of mom any woman should aspire to be. The kinda mom that will bake treats for your class, but in the same breath will be in the driveway with a baseball bat if some jerkoff dude breaks her daughters’ hearts. She walks a fine balance between a best friend, and a parental figure. But most importantly, she reminds me that even on the darkest and loneliest of days I’m never alone. And really, isn’t that what we all need in life?

Happy Mother’s Day… to yours, and mine. While one day isn’t enough to repay them for all they do, it’s certainly a good place to start. Love you, Mommy.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Memories of March Madness

The past few years of my life have been so ingrained in the sports world that the word Cinderella has come to mean less about princesses in puffy dresses, and more about a great underdog story. And in the midst of this year’s March Madness, and more talks about NCAA tournament expansion I had become less and less interested in filling out brackets, and more about just wanting to root for the “lil guy.” Not to say they had to be mid-majors or dark horses but more so main thought was… well, “DUCK FUKE.”

It’s been a while since any part of my life had resembled a Cinderella story. Especially, the Walt Disney fairytale variety. No, instead, it’s been a lot more like those shitty German ones, with the not so ‘happily ever afters.’ And people wonder why their kids need therapy? But for those of you keeping up with the news, “I may have finally arrived” as they say in Hollywood. Errr, at least in the sports world…sorta. I'm still waiting on that call back from John Favreau on Iron Man 3, but no promises.

After plenty of brushes with television opportunities and guest spots on various sports programs, I finally had the chance to make something of myself on my new show on Versus... “The Daily Line.” The opposite sex, and my dealings with them had really taken a backseat to the things I was working on. Make that a back seat with no seatbelts and the speakers blown out… and zero action in it. I just didn't have time for all the background noise and drama that dealing with boys brings into my life. So I put myself on a mandatory hiatus. I gave up men for lent, I guess you could say.

It wasn't like I didn't go on dates. After all, I meet interesting people all the time. And no one said I had to marry the guys. (Whew!) But if anything, casual dating was good practice. I did the shoot-arounds, and shuttle drills, and all that stretching that looks more suited for gymnastic porn than really loosening any muscles. But, at the end of the day, I was still talking about practice! Thanks Allen Iverson.

There were a couple of faces that were recurring in my line-up, but they were more like the D-league and less like a five man. And I just liked it better that way. After all, there's no way I was these guys "one and only" let alone their frontrunner, given their “ass options” on the daily. And as I've always said, never make someone a priority that only sees you as an option. So I just kept trucking along, like I always do.

When my show's business brought me out to LA however, something quite unexpected happened. The event was nothing short of a "meet cute," as they call it in industry terms. But, in my head it was more: “we met, and damn, he was actually cute.”

But he wasn't cute in a big muscular jock, frat boy, Jersey shore way that I had become so familiar with in NYC. Nope, it was something much different. It was that disarming charm, quick wit, and a ridiculous sense of humor that caught me off guard. Oh yeah, and his big blue-green eyes didn’t hurt one bit either. All it took was one look and a genuine smile, and I went from man eating bitch to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman-- minus the whole hooker part. He was confident, but not cocky. And his flirting was ever so subtle. In fact I wasn't even sure he was so much as interested. Maybe that's because he flirted a lot like I do. He was a classic "sand thrower" as I've come to refer to them, as their ancient technique dates back to my preschool days. But like any piece of jewelry you'd find at Tiffany’s, or a good pair of Chuck Taylors.. It never seemed to go out of style.

I can't tell you the last time I asked a guy out. I'd always come from the camp that the dude should always make the first move. But this seemed like a win-win situation. It’s not like I was having huge dating success in NYC, and if it bombed, well, at least there wouldn’t be any awkward run-ins. So I casually told him to look me up if he was ever in NYC, and gave him my number. Yeah, I'm that smooth.

Of course he texted me. I mean, who wouldn’t? We decided to meet up the following night, since I already had plans to meet friends for dinner. Nothing crazy, just some kind of dive bar, as I am really not into that whole club scene.

He played it cool, and kept it casual, and delivered as promised with the locale. It was the perfect dive bar. I’m pretty sure when you Wikipedia the term, this place’s address comes up. It’s the kinda establishment that has peanut shells all over the floor and is unapologetic about it. And somehow, this good old southern girl felt right at home there. With Lynyrd Skynyrd cranking through some rickety jukebox speakers, the two of us just sat there and enjoyed one another’s company. Turns out, he wasn’t just smart, he was actually quite brilliant. And his jokes made me laugh harder than I had in a long time.

Two and a half hours, and with me one and a half light beers deep, we left the dive bar to take a walk down the Santa Monica pier. God, I missed having decent weather. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to actually have a beach to walk down. Besides, the Hudson view only looks great in movies because the scenes aren’t scratch and sniff. The two of us made our way to the end of the pier, and past all the carnival rides that had shut down for the evening, and found a decent bench to people watch from. And eventually, he moved in for the kiss.

It’s not that the kiss wasn't perfect because it most certainly was. In fact it was that "one shining moment" every sports Cinderella story dreams of. The problem was… well, what comes next?.. It had been so long since I had been out on a date with a dude that didn’t seem overly preoccupied with getting in my pants, and that had his shit together, that I didn’t know how to respond. The cool chick in me said to play it cool. The high school band dork that still saw herself in braces and unruly curly hair.. well, she was awkward to say the least. And that’s the part of me forgets that basketball and dating go both ways, unless you play for the nets. The problem lies in the fact I feel like I can never stop playing defense. Especially in the D League when your chance at the five man is on the line. But what’s a girl supposed to do, when you're with a guy, and something amazingly good happens???

Well if you’re gun-shy like me, you diffuse the situation with a bit of humor. You pull back, from an amazing first kiss, smile, and say the first thing that comes to your mind without hesitation or need for filter. In my case, I made a reference to the fact we had an audience of bums that were holding a “fundraising meeting” on the bench next to ours, and then immediately reference some completely asexual movie line.

“Good talk, Russ,” I said.

“You just had to open your mouth didn’t you? You couldn’t resist?.. Had to wreck the moment,” he laughed.

What was he talking about? I’ve had plenty moments in my twenty six years of life. I just like to wave at them as they pass me by, or be the guy driving the truck that runs them over. I'm sure I've felt the foot pop at the end of a romantic comedy kiss or the Roy Hobbes shot at the end of “The Natural.” (The movie, not the book, btw. Yeah, won't even lie, made THAT mistake on an English lit paper once. Luckily I happened to check out Cliff’s Notes before I turned it in. My bad.) SO WHAT??? Besides, since when did guys have moments? Shit, since when did guys have feelings? Well, ones that didn't involve the words, “ooo yeah right there.. Uh huh.”

“You know,” he said, “once you let your bad ass frat boy guard down, you’re actually a big sweetheart. And that’s the side of you I really like.”

I’m sure I opened my big mouth to make some smart ass comment, but I don’t even remember what I was going to say since he cut me off by kissing me. Well, that was one way to get me to shut up. And his technique actually worked.

The rest of the night went rather well, so much so, it didn’t occur to me how late it was. I saw him a few more times before I left L.A. and we’ve talked a bit since, but the long distance crap really does suck when you’re trying to get to know someone. But for now, we’re just making due with texting and whatever forms of technologically advanced communication we can find.

His schedule sucks, and mine does too.. but it’s because we’re both chasing careers that make us happy. So I’m ok with that. I guess I just never once thought I would meet someone, and have to tell him a chance at happily ever after would have to wait. Certain circumstances create larger than life chasms that make reaching the people, places, and things we like even harder than they should be. But then again, if chasing dreams, and careers, and relationships were that easy, wouldn't we all be doing it?
Because let's face it.. Every sports enthusiast loves a good Cinderella story and more so, a happy ending. And maybe one of these days they'll make a glass slipper in a size 6 and a half. Until then, well.. I’ll just have to settle for my silver Ree-Zigs.