i so needed a weekend

Somehow every time I’d stayed over, we’d had something to do early the next day. It was usually a work night, and we’d fallen into a little bit of a routine. We’d wake up late, get up later, and scramble to get clean and dressed. He’d nearly forget his tie, then shove it in his pocket on the way out the door. I’d chatter incessantly while I put on makeup in the visor mirror. And he’d drop me off a few blocks from my work.

It works.

But this is better.

We wake up late, get up later, and it’s fine. We have brunch in the sun, and I drink too much coffee. A walk, a streetfair, a farmer’s market. A walk down the park. Deciding not to see a movie, it’s a nap instead. We only get up because we’re so hungry. Delicious dinner. Only go home because I have to some time. I guess.

This is almost too easy.


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the tale of the magic hat

Pete told me that his friend, a voiceover artist, decided to experiment. He put on a British accent, went out to a bar, and within minutes was having sex against a wall by the bathroom. Pete wishes he had a better accent.

I don’t generally need a gimmick to meet boys, but I discovered a rather effective one quite by accident.

Back when I was still with David, Harper came to visit, and Prince Charming threw a party. I got there a little late, and was happy to see Harper. I gave her a hug, and she handed me a bottle of champagne before going to the bathroom. I didn’t know the girls she’d been talking to, but I took a sip from the champagne and introduced myself.

They stared at me with open mouths.

Finally one of them said, “You just drank. . . out of the bottle.”

Not seeing a problem here, all I could think to say was, “Yeah, but Harper won’t mind.”

So my amazing gimmick isn’t getting very very drunk, but the fact is that I was. And I when we all went out, I left Prince Charming’s apartment wearing a dress, knee boots, and his Detroit Tigers baseball cap.

And I met every boy on Spring Street.

It was incredible. I met boys in bars and on the sidewalk and boys in passing cars. I didn’t have to do a thing, because this gross hat started my conversations for me.

It’s an approach I’ve been meaning to try again, just to see if I can replicate the results.


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i really love this jar?

It’s never really a surprise that Sam and I are friends.

One day I said, “I really love this jar,” before I realized how stupid it sounded.
But Sammy just answered, “I know! It’s so. . . satisfying.”

Sometimes it’s just so clear why the two of us get along.

He was working himself up over a boy,

“I don’t really like the way he dresses. . . . And what if I find somebody cuter. . . . And how does anyone ever get married??”


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forever hold your peace

John and I had tons of good ideas at the wedding. Our best idea was to have marshmallows to roast in the huge outdoor firepit at the reception venue. But our second-best idea was to hire an actor to object during that part of the ceremony. I don’t think anyone ever includes that part, but it’s always in movies. And it would be dramatic and fun for the guests.

So then I was thinking: If I got married, who would object? Who would want to stand up and say, “Wait. Don’t do this. I want another chance.”? Anyone? And would I care?


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When I walked into the hotel room, the party was still going full-force. I was exhausted and at least six drinks behind.

“Yeah, you look like you’ve been on a bus for seven hours,” was the first thing that he said to me, but a few minutes later, when he patted the floor and I sat down beside him, everything was easy, comfortable.

I’d known him forever: A weekend spent at a friend’s parents’ house in Texas sophomore year of college. . . A situation requiring an extra car on the return trip. . . Six hours in the passenger’s seat of a Suburban neither of us owned. . . Sunday nights with Jules watching cartoons on his sofa. . . And of course the few months I spent hooking up with his room mate.

A birthday message had re-opened the dialogue, and it gained momentum until we were talking every day-- John procrastinating writing business school papers and me staying in to enforce my no-making-out resolution. The internet makes it easy-- the facelessness of it makes it easy to tell everything, and the two of us needed no time to catch up.

We stretched out on the floor that night, and whispered before the wedding ceremony started the next afternoon. I ate the tiny zucchini off his plate at the reception, and we wandered off alone to eat cake. His arm kept falling around my waist, and I can’t say I minded. The party didn’t stop-- there was drinking back at the hotel and decorating the bride and groom’s car. He was wasted. But, somehow, at 4 a.m., I was sober. Very, very sober.

At the end of the night (rather the early, early morning), I climbed into the giant bed between John and Jay. And in the morning I woke up between them, before them. I didn’t touch John on the hand or on the chest or at all, so I don’t know what it would have felt like. And we, sluggishly, went to the send-off brunch. I ate the orange slice off his plate, and he had to go to the airport, and I’ll probably never know what it would have felt like.


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to find the courage

I’m in the crook of his arm, head on his chest.

“Is this a Thing? Because I want it to be a Thing, but I’m afraid for it to be Thing. . . . Maybe. . . .Can it be a Thing that we just keep pretending is not a Thing?”

That. . . that is what I don’t say.


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too good

I tried to explain my hesitation to Pete.

“You know how sometimes it’s scary because things are good? And the better things are, the worse they’ll be later. And I don’t know what’s happening. And I don’t know what to do. Ugh. It’s, like, too good. You know?”

“No. I never have the problem that things are too good,” he laughs.

It might be Sam who says it best:

“You hate it when boys like you.”


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karma: net zero

I didn’t just abandon the plot line; I ignored a real boy.

During the whole kissing moratorium, things were going great with the being honest. I stopped blowing off the teacher and just told him that I didn’t think it was going anywhere. I stopped using the chubby boy as an activity, and I told him that I needed a break. It was liberating.

But Sandeep called a few times when I was with Ted, so of course I didn’t answer. And I didn’t call him back. And then one afternoon he called while I was by myself, and it just seemed too hard. So I let it keep ringing.

I guess I’ve disappeared from his life. The same way Gyan disappeared from mine.

That’s the thing I hate most about all of this: The coming and going and going forever.


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the hard part

“We can’t. It will just get all complicated and hard. . . .”
“What will get complicated?”
“I’m just bad at this.”
“We are good at this part.”
“This is the easy part.”
“It’s been easy. For a whole month.”
“But it will get complicated.”
“Maybe we’d be good at the hard part. Maybe we should try.”

This feels like the hard part already. Not because it’s bad; because I like it.

“I like you,” I whisper.

“I like you, too.”

I’m trying not to be a mess, not to fall apart. Trying.

He’s good at this,

“I’m glad you met me for falafel.”


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waxing gibbeous

On Wednesday afternoon, I apologized to Sam,

“I’m sorry I was so crabby last week. I was really PMS-y.”
“ I need to put this in my calendar.”

But a monthly repeat won’t work; because of my birth control addiction, it needs to repeat on a 4-week or 28-day schedule. He doesn’t know how to do that on the iphone calendar.

On Friday, we ate our dinner on a bench outside Taïm, and I got tahini sauce on my shirt just like I knew I would.

“I haven’t been drunk in. . . a long time.”

“Me either. That’s why I thought tonight was the night,” I was disappointed.

I’d had a plan. Going out with my co-workers always ends in my getting silly-drunk, which would make it possible to stop by Prince Charming’s and his room mate’s birthday party, even after December’s incident. I haven’t seen him for the whole of the new year, and he still hasn’t managed to mention his girlfriend to me. But more than that, I’d get drunk, stop by the party, and have an excuse to call Ted.

I’m not sure why I needed such an intense plan to rationalize calling him. I talk to him nearly every day. Being drunk somehow seems like a better reason that just wanting to. But everyone was tired and went to a different place than usual and didn’t get drunk. No matter-- he texted before 7.

So Sam and I were walking back across town, somewhere in the single-digit streets with no specific destination when he pointed,


The moon was low and full between two buildings.

“You know what that means,” he explains. “That you just had your menses.”

Sam has figured out my phase of the moon.


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maybe the worst children's book ever

“If this was a children’s book, it would be called Ted and Trix and the Torrential Downpour.”

“Or Ted and Trix Should Have Taken a Cab.”

It had seemed like a good idea to walk back to his place when we started. And it still seemed like a fine idea when it started sprinkling. And then it seemed silly to stop once we were halfway, even though it was pouring.

We had one umbrella between us, and it wasn’t helping much. And I wasn’t helping much by walking erratically, trying not to get my boots full of water.

“I have waterproof boots, but they aren’t as cute as these.”

“At least I think it’s slowed down.”

Which was practically a request to the heavens for the hardest rain they could muster. There were no longer rain drops at all, just solid sheets.

So by the time we did get to his apartment we were soaked and my boots were full of water and my hair was enormous. But it wasn’t so bad. My hair had stayed nice long enough for me to meet his mom and to realize she’s not terrifying but cute and would probably make you delicious dinner. And I get the feeling that I’m just one in a steady stream of girls, but I’m more comfortable with that than with this being a special occasion. And the boy held my hand for all three hours of The Merchant of Venice, the story of a Christian versus a Jew.


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a brief history of fear

I really had missed him.

After he helped me get an A in that awful French history class, and we were friends, and then he was away in Lyon for a whole year, I missed him and I told him that.

So when he came back, we were hanging out a lot, and of course we kissed. And then we hung out a few times in restaurants, just the two of us. So, sure, we were dating. But then we were walking one day, by that bar where you had to be 21 and water burst through the ceiling that night with Harper and I was too drunk to stop playing pool and notice, and he said,

“Can I ask you a question?”

And I just knew it was going to be The Talk I had been dreading so much, but you can’t really say that someone can’t ask you a question. So I started to prepare my oh-it’s-fun-but-I-value-your-friendship-so-no-you-can’t-be-my-boyfriend speech and said yes.

“I just wanted to make sure I was being a good boyfriend.”

That wasn’t actually a question, but that’s not the point. The point is that I was shocked and the words I had ready piled up in my throat like when a train slams on breaks because there’s a cow in the way and the cars go all sideways and off the tracks, and I was so unprepared that I said yes again.

And then he was my boyfriend for a while even though it was sort of an accident. And one night he took me to dinner and said it was to celebrate our month anniversary, but I’m not sure what it was the anniversary of. And anniversaries should only be for years because of the etymology. But anyway, it was after the whole boyfriend thing but before the month-iversary when this awful thing happened.

I was sitting quietly waiting for him to get off the phone. And he just handed it to me, and said, “She wants to talk to you.”

It was the most terrifying thing; I had to talk to his stepmom, and I’m pretty sure she told me not to break his heart, which is a promise I’m not usually prepared to make.

So I’m a little scared of moms. I mean, moms are almost always nice and cute and they make you dinner, but there’s just something about boys’ moms in this context that makes them frightening. My high school boyfriend’s mom was so scary-- confrontational and unwilling to listen to logic and seemingly the type who would scratch or bite you in a fight. I hid from her at the grocery store once less than two years ago. David’s mom was scary in a different way-- smug and disapproving with her lips all pressed together. I’m pretty sure she never spoke directly to me, and she might never have even looked at me even though I always tried to fix my hair before I saw her. But for the most part, I never meet moms because I never get that far into things, and even if I do get that far I’m rarely dating a boy whose parents live in the vicinity so I just don‘t have to deal with it.

Ted had a really lovely activity planned, but mentioned that we’d have to see his mom, just for a moment. It’s purely logistical, and the words “quick” and “painless” might have been used, but that’s hard to believe.

I am so so bad at this sort of thing. Tell me you need to introduce me to Brad Pitt or the Dalai Lama or Martha Stewart, and I’ll be fine. But this-- this is something different altogether.

“If I have to cancel tomorrow it’s because I’m sick; my tonsils are enormous. For real. It won’t just be because I’m afraid of your mom.”


p.s. i named him ted. and this is more how i sound in real life.

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the only boy

“So is he the only boy you’re dating right now?”

I have to think about it.

“Maybe. . . ” I can’t think of anyone else, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t forget someone, “But not, like, as a rule.”

“So not by choice.”

Eyes roll.

“I almost sent a message to Isaac last night,” Sam confesses.

“Why? So he could tell you you’re pretty?”


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another angle

“What do you think of the fellow in the middle here?” Cooper sends me a link to a photo. “Here is another angle. He’s tall and slim. Super, super nice guy. He’s dating a few people but nothing particularly serious. I thought you two might get along.”

“Because he’s Indian?”

“AND NICE! Yes. We all have things we like. I showed him a face book pic of you the other day and he thought you were attractive, so I thought maybe I’d introduce you two. He has a super cool job and enormous apartment WITH laundry room inside.”

Only in New York do a washer and dryer make a boy so attractive. And I feel like only I have exes trying to set me up on dates.

“It just seems awkward."

“Eh. What’s the difference between Match and Cooper?”


p.s. I'll be away at a wedding for a long weekend. I hope yours is lovely.

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so what if i like him

Six posts in a row about the same boy. Make that seven.

It’s gross and lame, and I’m sorry. But he’s been on my mind, I guess.

I haven’t even given him a name. I don’t know why-- I guess it’s just the extra pressure of knowing he could be reading this.

I think I might have to name him soon. I have a feeling.


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eternal fates

We were facing west, bright orange sunset glow all around us. Just the two of us, on the beach. When my mother told me,

“Just. . . please don’t marry a Jewish boy.”

She asked, really.

I must have been twenty. Growing up in a town with two temples, I had three Jewish friends, had attended a single Bat Mitzvah, and had two Jewish acquaintances from my ballet studio I probably would have counted as enemies if they’d ever acknowledged my existence. But now I was going to a college that was one-third Catholic, one-third Jewish, and one-third Other. I’m pretty sure I’d never been Other before.

A family friend a few years older than me had recently gotten married and converted, and my mom was concerned about the eternal fates of the souls of her unborn grandchildren.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t make any promises.

So the Jew thing doesn’t throw me, even though he might not love questions like, “If you’re kosher, is it ok to eat chicken with eggs?” (I’d been wondering that for a while.) And I’m doing a pretty good job of ignoring the fact that he’s 25 because he’s almost 26. And anyway, he’s cute enough and clever enough, and it’s just for fun.

“Did you ever play an instrument?”
“Flute in middle school band. And I can, like, play a song on a piano. How ’bout you?”
“I played clarinet.”

It’s this that stops me in my tracks. I think he’s joking, this boy who has access to so many of my secrets. I don’t believe him at first, but when I realize he’s serious, I’m disappointed.

“What’s wrong?”
“It’s just. . . that’s sort of a dealbreaker.”

He must think I’m joking.

I fall asleep, all wrapped up in his arms, mumbling something about just wanting to find a nice WASPy boy who plays something like. . . a trumpet.


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public displays

Possessive hands in a crowded place.

Maybe I don’t mind.

We are here. Together.

I wonder if I could get used to this. His hands tangled in mine, at my waist, on my shoulders, in my pockets, pulling me to him. His face pressed into my hair. Whispering things, kissing me whenever he feels like it.

But these are his friends, people I don’t know. So I don’t have to care.


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An 8:45 activity. On a Wednesday. In Brooklyn.

-That’s very late. Is it a trick to get me to stay over?
-I can’t control venue schedules.
(p.s. I think that was boy for maybe.)

So I throw things in my bag for a just-in-case I know will happen. A toothbrush, a clean shirt, the barest makeup essentials. It’s a good thing I have a very large bag.

And I guess I’ll have to buy lunch at work, even though I just went to the grocery store.

How creepy would it be to pack a sandwich?


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how i spent my sunday or this isn't that couch

The bankers-- these guys who work for hedgefunds and in private equity and who do finance things that I don’t quite understand-- they all have the same sofa. It’s cold leather. Black, maybe very dark brown. And it’s huge-- I can stretch all the way out on it, and usually, so can they. It faces the flatscreen on the opposite off-white wall in a sparsely-decorated one-bedroom with granite counter tops in a newish building.

This? This isn’t that couch.

It’s just a little lumpy, but comfortable. Found on the street just in time to replace one that was seriously destroyed, he says, then assures me it’s clean. Burgundy with gold damask. Not in his own apartment, exactly, but upstairs where there’s another kitchen. It’s across from a flatscreen, set against a bright blue wall, cables taped to the ceiling. There’s stuff on every surface, detritus from a Saturday-afternoon barbeque: a bag of hot dog buns, Oreos, empty beer cans, not-empty beer cans, what I think can be described as drug paraphernalia, half a bottle of that wine with the kangaroo, a pile of lighters.

He’s not a banker. He’s a writer. And a writer seems like a good idea.

We bang teeth when a housemate walks in.

He was supposed to be at a Mets game. Reportedly.

It feels like college. But the kissing’s good, so I can’t say I mind. And I don’t mind the way he takes my hand on the way to the park, assuredly, no fumbling with finger placement. Or how he lets me lie on his arm in the grass or moves his cap out of the way to kiss me a little more. I don’t mind that, back at his place, he leads me to his bedroom. I don’t even mind, too much, that I end up spending ten hours with him, most of it touching.

I went home alone. It was still hot like summer at 10 o’clock. And I had the distinct print of a tank top and a locket sunburnt onto my skin.


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the anti-formula

“Did he try to seduce you?”
“If he did, he didn’t try very hard.”

Me and Pete were walking in the park on Friday after work and had stopped to sit on a bench and watch the rollerbladers.

“He just said that he had wine and beer at his place, but I said I had to go home. If you want to hook up on a third date, you can. You just have to go on a datey-date. You know, order a bottle of wine and stuff. Make sure it’s not too late. . . .”

There’s a proven formula for the hook-up date, if you’re one to do things with a system.

Pete’s not.

“Maybe I should try that. I usually just try to distract them.”


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movie plot-- edit

I broke a rule. A big one.

I think he has a pretty significant informational advantage, even though he says I can read his archives.

I’m sure there are people out there who have a blog crush on someone for years and it never goes anywhere because the crush lives across the country, etc. etc. Me? We’ve had a blog for. . . what? . . three months? . . and I’m going on a third (or second depending on how we’re counting) date with someone who found me through it. Or I found him. I can’t quite remember how this happened.

I know. I know. Feel sorry for me. The Gap has size-inflated and I have to wear a 0 now, and I can’t stop finding boys to date. I know.

But now my movie plot is starting to feel more like this:

I declare openly and publicly that my blog is anonymous. He and his buddies take this as a personal challenge, and one (we’ll cast a tall guy with dark, spikey hair and dress him in a t shirt that’s almost too small) bets him that he can’t go out with me/sleep with me/take me to prom (because this is clearly about to turn into a teen movie).

So after he convinces me to meet him in person, tricks me into telling him my real name, and generally woos me, I see two directions the plot can take:

In one, I see through this ruse and manage to humiliate him. I’ll then end up with my best friend/sidekick/his brother/no one (because I’m so independent and strong (lame)).

In the other, it turns out that that we really do like each other. It might end with a dramatic cab/car chase scene. Or it might end with one of us getting dressed up for prom and, through some misunderstanding, being stood up by the other one. The situation will be rectified in the middle of the prom dance floor, and we will kiss in our own magical spotlight.

At any rate, this movie sucks.

And the boy. Well, he knows too much. Not only the things he shouldn’t know, like how I slept with my friend from high school two weeks ago or how I woke up in some other boy’s bed the morning of the day I met him, but rules. Secrets. How to get ahead.

And he’s probably reading this now.


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all i know

“The Asian guy. He was cute, no?”

I guess it’s a strange question, coming from your boss. But you get used to it in a place like this.

“Yeah, he was pretty cute,” I agree.

“But I think he plays for her team,” Sam chimes in, gesturing toward me.

Phil’s eyes light up.

“You think he likes her??”

“No. Not, like, my actual team,” I try to explain. “But, you know, the straight team.”

While Sam and I are waiting for the elevator, Phil’s head pops out the door.

“Beatrix,” he says, fluttering his eyelashes, “how did you know that about that guy?”

“That he’s straight? I don’t know. Sam thought so, too.”

“Oh. I’ve never been able to tell. All I know is cute or not cute.”


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happy spring

It’s finally springtime.

So I’m sniffly, itchy, making out in that gazebo subway entrance, daydreaming about waking up with Simon, naming the babies I’m going to have with Pete, and planning my wedding to Dev (who might or might not know I exist).

At least it’s finally warm.


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