Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yonder Camping

The prof survived a camping trip with me. Yup. The man still lives and seems to be relatively unharmed.

Several weeks back, way too early in our "relationship" to be talking about such things, I mentioned to prof that Yonder Mountain String Band was coming to do a show in the mountains. I love me some Yonder. Just saying. Anyway, seeing them involves an overnight stay because it is waaaay too far to drive. And the overnight stay involves camping because I am waaaay too cheap to pay for both concert tickets and a hotel.

Amazingly, prof also likes bluegrass and had even heard of Yonder. And, even though he hadn't camped since he was 8, he wanted to go. So, off we went. I just have to mention though, what a pain in the ass camping is. Even though I have everything I need, lugging crap out of the basement, packing the car, menu planning... good lord. Its exhausting. And now I'm doing it in reverse (this blog post is in part a procrastination tool to avoid the mess of camping equipment sitting in my living room needing my attention)

We had a great time. He danced with me at the concert - so few boys will really dance with me; mostly because I flail around so much. We tailgated. We successfully set up camp in the wee hours of the morning without any major problems or arguments. We seemed to work really well as a team. Not once did I think to myself "get off your lazy ass and help me you slacker" and I really thought I would. There are people who wait to be told what to do, and there are people who jump in when they see a need. He is, thankfully, the latter.

But here's what I realized today. This was my trip. I was totally in control of just about everything because he hadn't ever really done any camping before. From who would drive (me) to where to put the tent, what to eat, where to park, where to hike, how to pack... all my decisions. And he didn't have an opinion of his own because he had no other frame of reference. Of course we didn't have any conflicts! He didn't know any better and couldn't challenge me! Lord knows what would have happened had he actually had an opinion on something... "That's not how you do it!" "No! Let me do it!" "I'm going to drive. No I am!" "I hate you. I want to go home".

So, now, he has learned camping my way. And all other camping trips will be a breeze because he will know how to do things the way I do things! What a great thing! I am a genius!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Biting the BB

I bit the bullet tonight and did something that I had been dreading for more than a month.

I sent BB an email.

I felt like I had to contact him before he left to go west, which is happening at the end of the month. I told him that I would contact him when I was ready, and I've been ready for a while, just wasn't sure what it would do to me. I just wished him luck and told him that I was doing well. Nothing else.

I was on the phone with Prof when he emailed back, less than an hour after I had emailed.

It felt so completely inappropriate that I was talking to my new boyfriend (or whatever we are calling him) who I am so excited about and am so compatible with and reading an email from the boy who is the reason I am having trouble using the boyfriend term. Jeezus. Why do I do these things to myself?

BB said that he had wanted to contact me but that I had left explicit instructions not to until he heard from me (which is true). He had seen my car at the river when he was whitewater rafting and he thought it was a sign that he should call me. I would have agreed. He never leaves the house, let alone does anything adventurous, and to drive several hours to the nearest body of whitewater and to see my car parked in town? Yeah. That's pretty friggin weird. It must have totally freaked him out, wondering whether I was going to appear every time the river turned a bend... Its freaking me out a bit actually.

So anyway, the email is out of the way. He is leaving on Friday and will be living 3000 miles away from me in just a couple of days. I am slightly sad. I really didn't think that our last conversation was going to be the last time that I saw him, but it is. Likely forever. And its sad to really know that. But there is someone really good in my life who is making me very happy. And for that, I'm glad and happy to be able to really be moving on.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Defining the Relationship

So, he's totally my boyfriend.

We spent friday night through sunday afternoon together. I reached out to him for emotional support this week when my boss turned crazy on me. I showed him pictures of my youth, and junior and senior prom. And marching band. When I was the drum major. I saw pictures of his ex-wife, from the early 90's (all the other ones seem to have been destroyed). We've shared fears, hopes, and embarrassments. I have a hairdryer, toothbrush and birth control pills at his house.

I mean, its done. End of story. That's a boyfriend.

Yet, it still feels really weird to say it out loud. Or to think it in my head. And he feels the same way. We talked about it a lot over the weekend. I think we both know its happened, and we had the talk about being exclusive, but the term boyfriend sounds so serious. And scary. And quasi-permanent.

The last time I had a boyfriend, I got crushed. Twice. Ok fine, the second time was totally my fault, but the first time wasn't and it devastated me. He's divorced and hasn't gotten this close to someone since the divorce. So we are both scared. Well, I am at any rate. And I suspect that he is too. When you are boyfriend/girlfriend, one of two things will eventually happen: you will break up, or you will stay together. I've already jumped to fearing the pain of breaking up.

So, we tried to find another term to define us. I tried "going steady" but you can't refer to someone as your "going steady mate." We aren't "dating" anymore, because we are exclusive. He suggested that I just start calling him my ex, since that will eventually be the case anyway. It was funny at the time, but now it seems awful.

So, is there another term for this early boyfriend/girlfriend stage? Or do you really have to jump from just dating to the boyfriend stage? Or do you just have to suck it up, grow a set and deal with it until it doesn't feel awkward every time that word comes out of your mouth?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Time for a Pity Party

My boss has always had horns and a forked tail. We all know it and laugh about it. And for 10 years, I've pretty much escaped the brunt of it. And for the past 5 years, he really hasn't been that bad.

Until this week.

I don't know what the hell happened, but his eyes turned yellow, the horns grew, and a little fire pit developed at his feet. All of a sudden, things he's been ignoring for months are critically important, and its my fault they aren't done. He's lashing out at people and acting like a total prick in meetings. But, these things are fine. I can deal, and laugh it off.

But, he pushed it too far today. By suggesting that he wanted to move my office. And I'm in a total fit.

I've had an office with a window and a door for almost ten years. It was a lucky accident when I started that the only computer available was in there and he was too lazy to find any other space. It was supposed to be "temporary" but due to his inability to make a decision, became permanent. I didn't deserve that office then, but I sure as hell deserve it now. And I don't take it for granted. At all. But now, he thinks that it would be good for the office if I were to move out, and move into a shared office. An office that would be stared with a brand new intern.

No. You don't share an office with an intern. Particularly when you will be supervising that intern. Its demoralizing to even suggest it; and that combined with the pay cut we will be taking in just two weeks was enough to really make me think about my career options. And weapons training.

So, I wanted to kill someone. I have a knot of anxiety in my stomach. I can't eat. I'm going to deal with it, and I expect that I will win, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Nor does having someone to share my misery with.

Prof was very sympathetic this afternoon and expressed just the right amount of outrage about the situation in a rapid-fire email exchange. But, I felt lame for even talking about it. Felt silly for sharing it. Felt vulnerable because I was looking for his support.

I'm pretty good at handling things by myself and have become accustomed to not talking about problems with anyone. Particularly work problems. Who the hell wants to hear this shit? Whine, Whine, office space. Whine, whine, my boss is a prick. Duh. Everyone deals with stuff like this. And I have too. But it feels more tragic when I share it with someone. And that, I don't like.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Panic

I'm becoming overwhelmed. Again.

I thought that when the semester ended, I would pick up the pieces (along with all the crap on my floor) and be able to rejuvenate, catch up, breathe...

Then prof came along. And everything is chaotic again.

We "celebrated" our monthiversary yesterday. Yes. We did. I know. Its disgusting. A month ago yesterday, we met for the first time. And things clicked. And we liked each other. And now, we are both putting everything else on the back burner to spend time with each other. Mostly, its affecting how much sleep I get (and him too). Which is seriously interfering with work. And when work is going poorly, it affects my personal life, which affects my work... And the downward spiral continues.

The panic set in today after I went home with a migraine that may or may not have been caused by lack of sleep and got a work related call that just illustrated how tremendously screwed up things are at work right now. And it reminded me that I would be handling it better if I was well rested and focused. But I'm not. I'm tired and unfocused. I want to gchat with prof rather than doing the long term strategic planning that needs to happen. I want to leave early so I can play with him. I want to take time off for long weekends. And I want to do all the other stuff that's important to me too. But I can't do everything. Something has to go, and I have no idea what its going to be. Other than my sanity.

This is why its easier to be single: you can focus on only yourself and all your own stuff. When you are with someone, you have to focus on your own stuff, and his stuff and finding enough quality time. I'm not sure I know how to do this whole gig without dropping. Or without being committed to a nice place with padded walls and lots and lots of tranquilizers.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Hairdryer Chronicles

Its so funny how a stupid thing like a hairdryer has become such a meaningful thing for me in relationships. There was that infamous first email from BB that got that whole debacle started. Then, there was the purchase of a new hairdryer for my use at BB's - a gesture that I of course attached great meaning to, when there really was none because it was mostly purchased so he could put up that window film that keeps the drafts out.

And now, I'm attaching meaning to another hairdryer. But this time, I really think there is something to it.

There were three sleep overs this week.

THREE.

By the third time, it was planned and known that I was staying over. I packed a little bag and everything so I could go straight to work. But I'm totally out of practice and forgot tons of essential things. Prof has no girl stuff in his house. Nada. And since he's got very little hair, doesn't have much use for a hairdryer.

So I went to work, late and with damp hair this morning (sure sign that I didn't stay at my own house). It dried really weird and I looked terrible; not necessarily because of the hair but because of the bags under my eyes from the lack of sleep.

But the lack of sleep has been totally worth it.

And now he's buying me a hairdryer. That's susan-speak for serious relationship. And I'm not even freaking out.

Yet.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spooky and Signs

Prof and I got caught in the rain on our last date and got absolutely soaked by a thunderstorm that seemed to be tracking us (but it gave us an excuse to make out in the rain, which was actually quite pleasant).  The weather for our next date looks equally iffy, so I was sitting at work, thinking about an ex-boyfriend and signs.

There was a guy I dated briefly.  It was good that we dated only briefly.  He too, was a serious Christian who wanted babies like yesterday, but more bothersome was that he had a little poodle dog.  A bichon frises; the least masculine dog a boy could ever own.  He used to blow dry the thing if it rained.  That alone and in itself was a sign, but I ignored it.

I also ignored it when the electricity went off in my town and prevented us from going to the movies.  And when traffic prevented him from getting here one night.  And, I think it rained every time we got together.  Fate was trying to clue me in - this bichon frises guy is not for you.  You probably shouldn't give him extravagant Christmas presents and invite him to your friends New Year's Party (a party I ended up going to alone, btw.)

So, I was giggling to myself about this and my office phone rang not 2 seconds afterwards.

It was bichon frises guy.

I am not joking.

He calls occasionally for work related reasons; maybe once or twice a year.  But holy crap.  For him to have called right after I got done smirking about him?  It spooked the shit out of me. He's not someone I think about a lot, but sometimes when I see a bichon frises I giggle.  

I resisted the urge to say "I was just thinking about you!" because I would have had to explain why I was thinking about him.  And I wasn't thinking about him in a good way, or a wistful way, just an ironic way.  He asked me his very easy and pretty apparent question, then we talked about kayaking and concerts and housing prices.  It was fine, I like that we can have pleasantries, because there was a time I wanted to slash his car tires and poke his eyes out.  

I never got to poke his eyes out, but I will always be thankful to him.  I took back those extravagant Christmas presents after we broke up and bought myself really nice shoes.  Two pairs of really nice shoes.  Cute, comfortable nice shoes.  And with that, a shoe shopper was born.  Thanks Bichon Frises guy.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gushy McVomit

It strikes me as a bit strange that I've been out with the professor twice since my last blog post, yet haven't written about it. I just don't have anything snarky, or mean, or cynical to say. Sure, I could talk about white, mid-calf socks, or boy feet, or boy sweat, but I don't want to.

Because I honestly really like this guy. And the fact that he owns (and wears) calf socks isn't relevant (plus, I can buy him new socks someday if it comes to that).

What is relevant is that, even though we haven't know each other very long, I feel like I've known him forever. He is this crazy combination of all the traits I've appreciated and admired in the men I've previously cast aside because of the other traits that I didn't like so much. He's this familiar stranger, who I like to make out with. And share things with.

He came to my house last night, and I was so excited for him to see where I lived. To share with him this place that oozes susan from every crevice. And he liked it here; and I liked having him here. And I liked waking up with him. And I hated that I had to leave to go to work.

I think he might be around for a while. Stay tuned. I'm sure I will have something snarky to say at some point.