Monthly Archives: March 2009

Mother of God

My brother’s trip to New Jersey continues to generate much conversation at me.  I have been getting non-stop chirps from my mother about the baby and how cute he is, and how great Joe is being, and how wonderful it is to be with grown-up Joe.

Nicole also reports that our mother has been incessantly crowing about how wonderful and brilliant her Joe is.  As Nicole put it today “i love him, too, but he isn’t a freaking god.”

In about 2 months, I will have had two brothers (Joe being one of them) for 30 years.  And 30 years later, I am still jealous.  Jealous, and angry.  How could a mother treat her children like that?  To treat one as if he is a god, so that he then experiences a life with that perspective, and to her air feelings so clearly and frequently that her other two children are well aware of them.

It makes me question any abilities that I think I have in interacting with other people.  My mother isn’t a moron.  She probably doesn’t know how hugely she’s played favorite all this time.  In which case, she’s deluded.  Then how do I know that I’m not deluded?  What if I’m totally wrong?  What if I think that I’m being loving and thoughtful and really I’m being an asshole?  If you’re deluded, how do you know?  And either way, then what?

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Return to the Chickadee Nest

My brother took a trip to New Jersey with his girlfriend, Nicole, and my nephew, Max.  He’s there right now, in fact.

I have been getting IM messages from him, Nicole, my mom, and my other brother (logged in to my mom’s chat, so that her messages were coming in from two different people, double time) all at once, while they are all under the same roof.

Today, Joe typed the following rant at me:

this place is gross
there’s a pile of rotting food next to the kitchen sink
all the “clean” dishes are coated in hard water scum
the silverware drawer looks like it’s full of rust
there’s no soap in the bathroom
the brita is also perma-coated with hard water scum making it difficult to even get a drink of water
the refrigerator is of course full past capacity and there are some unpleasant odors coming out of there
mother has all this food she’s preparing, and she’s just leaving it out
is she intending to leave it out until tomorrow?  I guess so
also the place has stinkbugs
http://trilogy.brynmawr.edu/mt/trinews/stinkbug.jpg

Surprisingly, this surprised me.
For the past two weeks, my mother has been messaging me about how much cleaning she’s been doing.  They’ve had all kinds of renovations done, replacing the floors and counters, painting the walls, and she’s been gushing about how great it all looks.  She can’t wait for me to see it.

And bizarrely, I bought into it!  I believed that that house could be clean, tidy, pleasant.  Me, the master of pessimism.  I was open minded and hopeful and I had visions of normal, non-squalor-like living.

Maybe I should still reserve judgment, because I haven’t seen it for myself.  But if *Joe* is calling it gross, that could be a very bad sign.  He might have increased his level of domesticity by about 78% via living with an adult female for 2 or 3 years now.  But my brother, god love him, is not exactly tidy or well kept.  I won’t go into any disparaging details, as I don’t think I need a written record of the slovenliness.  My brain will remember.  But I will say that if Joe thinks it’s bad, that’s a bit worrisome.  And also, stone throwing and glass houses and stuff.

And then I just feel so sorry for my poor mother, who I know thinks she’s been trying so hard.  Her efforts fall so far below the mark, despite her intentions, that it’s heart breaking.  I feel sad.  She’s been so proud of the house, and all the new improvements and how much she’s done.  From 3000 miles away, I can just feel bad for her.

Once plopped in the midst of it, I get enraged.

Why must there be bottles of pills and vitamins all over the counter?
-Because the cabinets are too full to put them all away.
But why are there 5 sacks of all-purpose flour in the cabinet?!  Why?

And the fridge?  Why can’t I fit a single, solitary baby-bel cheese in here?
Oh?  Is it because there are stacks and heaps of tupperwares and cartons, in various states of closure crammed in there?

And what in the hell is this sludge in the bottom of the vegetable drawer?
It was a vegetable once, and therefore deserves a spot in the drawer?

So on and so forth, until I have frothed in to a fit of rageful productivity, clearing out the fridge and the cupboards and throwing crap out.  Which means that I am a bullying domineering and unreasonable boor-bitch, who comes storming in on a broomstick of righteousness, leaving a wake of violation and defensiveness.
Then, I descend into a quagmire of fug, stop showering, and hole up in the cat piss smelling living room watching non-stop episodes of The Sopranos, mildly in sequence.

I guess I can get mad all I want to that my mother is my mother.  But I can’t change that, and that madness would be much better spent raging against the people to whom I must explain the difference between a page and a sheet of paper.  If she’s happy about the house and it seems clean to her, then so long as she doesn’t give herself salmonella, I can be ok with it.  From a continent away, it all doesn’t look so bad.

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Tartlets in the rose garden

First there was the wine bar.

And then there was the picnic with the pitted cherries.

And then, and then!  Then there was the night that we made fruit tartlets, which we took, along with a bottle of champagne, to the rose garden down the road.  In the gloamy twilight, we drank champagne and ate our wee fruit tartlets amongs the rose garden, in glorious bloom.  It was lovely, and I was enchanted.

Possibly also drunk.

But in a nice golden, bubbly champagne sort of way.

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Cherries everywhere

When I first started dating the David who became my Sweet Boy, I was also dating another guy that I had met in a local watering hole.  I met him there on an evening that I had gone in after work with a friend, for the purposes of drinking whiskey and lamenting the general state of affairs of my miserable love life.  I wasn’t wearing any make-up and I was exhausted.  Bek was smoking then, and we took the opportunity to smoke profusely with our whiskey, in the back courtyard of the bar.

As often happens in this location, we got to chatting with the other people who were sitting back there.  One of them, was this guy, Chase.  Turns out, he is an artist and while we were there he drew me a picture of hands holding a giant cherry, and called it Cherries for Maggie, and autographed it with his phone number and website.  I was totally charmed by this and sent him an e-mail and he replied and asked me out.

2 Days later, I met David.

I had plans to meet up with Chase, but he had a family member come in to town unexpectedly and he had to cancel.

Then, I had a perfect dream date with David.  He took me for a picnic by the lake in our neighborhood.  He prepared and brought everything.  And the thing that pierced my heart comletely with cupid’s arrow was this:  he brought cherries, which he had known I was terrifically fond of.  But he pitted them.

A few days later, I had another date with Chase.  Turns out, he also had planned for a picnic.  But he hadn’t prepared anything.  We went to a coffee shop to get sandwhiches, which he didn’t pay for, because he had a long-standing credit for building something for them.  And he didn’t bring any wine, or a corkscrew.  So we went to the liquor store to get wine and since it had to have a screw top, our options were limited.  Because he’d just told me this whole story about having lost $200 in cash and how despondent he was about it, I paid for the over priced screw top wine.  And then the park he had thought to go to was closed after sunset.  We walked a goodly ways (in cute date shoes) to a different park.  Almost immediately, I was attacked by viscious mosquitos.  We left and went over to his apartment, which was nearby.  He showed me his paintings, including one of my pant cuffs and shoes from the night we met.

Then I had another date with David.  The fruit tarts in the rose garden date.

And then Chase convinced me to let him give me a ride home from work one night.  Since he wasn’t making ends meet as an artist, he also did some contracting/construction work and happened to be in the city that week.  Although I thought it was absurd to try to drive into the Financial District to come get me, he was insistent.  And I get it.  He was making a real effort to try with me.  And while the goofiness of crushing on someone can make you retarded, sometimes it just seems like too much.  But he insisted that he really wanted to do this, so I agreed.  As planned, I met him in Union Square and then we walked over to where his truck was.  And by was, I mean that it was there, but then it wasn’t.  He insisted that he had a construction permit on his car, which meant that he could park in loading zones.  I’m sure this is true, except for when the signs said you couldn’t do it between 4 and 6, which happened to be the exact window we were in.  After much confusion, he finally called in to the city and got confirmation that he had been towed.

Sigh.  sigh.  sigh.  I clearly remember thinking then “if I were with David right now, this never would have happened.”

It seemed to heartless to just leave him there to catch my bus home, so I walked with him to the city towing site in SOMA where he realized that he didn’t have a credit card or a way to pay the fee to get the truck out.  Pity made me want to whip out my credit card to just make the awfulness go away, but I didn’t.  He called a cousin who came down and paid the ticket.  Finally, I got the privilege of being driven home.

I think he sent me an e-mail after that saying that I should get in touch if I had time to meet up again, but that was the last I saw of him.

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The Parkway Theater

On Thursday, I learned (from Facebook) that the Parway Theater would be closing for good on Sunday, March 22.
Because David had never been and because I welcomed an opportunity to go one last time, we made a visit on Friday night to see Revolutionary Road.
I was paranoid that it would be a mob scene and that we wouldn’t be able to get in at all, so we got there an hour early.  It wasn’t as busy as I’d feared, and we totally snagged a couch.  Yay!  I did get a little teary when we bought the tickets, though.
We got a pitcher of beer and ordered a pizza.  I took a lot of pictures.  I remembered coming here to see Zombie Strippers with the Uber Nerd.  And Best in Show, with Tuck.  (His cat kept smacking me in the head when we were kissing.)  I saw The Kite Runner there with Bek.  I saw Dreamgirls with Peter.  I fell asleep watching that one.

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I loved the Parkway.  They didn’t have  great deal of variety, and movies would play there for ages.  The show times were often inconvenient or impossible.  So I never went as much as I wanted to.  But it was in my neighborhood and it was unique and just cool and special.

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And in this corner….

Another tale from that datilithic era of last year…

The same time that I was dating Fred, the Aryan Uber Nerd, I was also dating… Herman.  He was quirky, almost bizarre.  But interesting.  He wore sweaters with silhouettes of people fishing on them.

He handsome, but sort of not.  We drank a lot and exchanged much comedic banter.

Of particular note, we had a date at a bar where speed dating was happening.  We had a prime spot to watch the festivities and snigger.  The first round was an older set.  Probably 35 and up.  It was rather meager, pickings were slim (but not literally) and a little sad.  Boy, was it super to be smug, and on an actual date, watching the have-a-date wanabees.  The second round was the younger crowd, which was much better attended.  I wish that I had written about this sooner so that I could have regaled myself with blogged tales of the amusement, but alas, it was probably about 10 months ago now.  I *can* remember that it was funny and awkward, so I should just try to hold on to that sentiment at least.

Anyway.

Eventually, there was some making out and then there was a night that I spent the night at his apartment, which the demise of any interest I had in him.  His apartment was a small, but potentially nice studio in SOMO.  Except that it looked like a homeless person lived there.  Seems paradoxical, no?  Yes.  There were piles of things everywhere, and not a stitch of furniture.  The bed was a twin mattress on the floor.  And not a real mattress.  The pseudo kind of mattress that you might have on the top bunk of your bed for 6 weeks in summer camp.
There was no way I could deal with his hobo aesthetic.

Aaand… we-e-ell… his make-out business was a little scary.  He was a big fan of the kind of kissing that involves forcible restraint against a wall.  Sort of hot for a second, but then, yeah.  Let me go.  Karate chop.

So I got rid of Herman.  But tra-la-la!  So many boys, I was happy to move on and non-obsess.

Another tale next time.

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The Dating Game

I chat with a good friend regularly about her dating woes, or her lack of dating woes, or her woes of the relationship of yore.  It wasn’t so long that I was there myself, and I know how bad it sucks.  Like any pain, I can’t quite conjure back up the horribleness of it, but I can remember that it was bad and I can read in this here very blog when I feel like having a reminder.

I’ve convinced this lady friend that she should really try online dating.  I know it feels stupid.  I’m not a fan of having to confess that I met my very own Sweet Boy via online dating.  But, I think it served an invaluable purpose for me and it would for her also.  When you’re plugged in to online dating, you always know where your next date is coming from.  Consequently, you don’t start obsessing over any one guy just because he’s the one guy there is.  I’ve heard her saying the exact same goofiness of my own head:  getting all hung up over some guy because he seemed like he had promise.  He would be good to have another date with.  And he’s got all the qualifications on paper that seem like he’s worthwhile.  All you need now, is the opportunity to invest to make sure that he actually is worth your while.  Except then you start spending your while getting all bent out of shape about why he didn’t respond to your last text message.  Or why his last e-mail was pleasant and promising, but it didn’t actually suggest getting together again.  And then he said he was busy when you made an offer and he didn’t counter with an alternative.  Enter:  despair!  Woe!  Angst!
If you were dating several people at once, though, you’d be too distracted to get all bajiggity about any one guy.  You can easily go on a date, walk away and conclude that he was nice, admit that it might be ok to see him again, but not be heartbroken if you don’t talk again.

Thinking about all of this has been sending me back to that time when I was in that place last year.  Before I met the best boyfriend known to man kind, I was meeting some other sorts of fellows.  I would like to now harken back to one of them.  Even though no one reads my blog, I still feel paranoid and feel like a pseudonym would somehow be appropriate.  Just in case.  So let’s call him Fred.  Fred looked kind of like one of the actors from Saved By the Bell who played a nerd.  Which is to say that he didn’t just look like a nerd, he looked like the quintessential nerd.  Very, very blond, pale, thin lips, little teeth, round face.  He wore his hair kind of spiky and was always wearing boots and this bulky motorcycle jacket, and he rode a motorcycle.  So he was the uber nerd who was making uber effort to shirk nerd-dom.  He was shy and quiet and I had to make a lot of effort to draw him out.  I babbled a lot just to fill the silence with something and I probably drank more than I should have.  But he was smiley and pleasant and amenable so I went out with him again and then a couple times more.

The physical chemstry wasn’t entirely there for me and I was feeling a bit lackluster about him when we went out on our last date.  Arranging this date had been a little difficult, as he’d been uncharacteristically unresponsive about pinning down plans and we ended up having to reschedule the original plan.  When we did meet up that night, he was especially reserved.  I tried to ask if something was wrong, which he denied.  But it was a particularly stilted dinner.  We finished and he asked if I wanted to get a drink.  So picked a destination a few blocks away to walk to.  On the way there, he finally admitted that there was a problem.  He thought that I was too mean and critical.  He gave a few examples when I had been snarky and that he tries to be a good person and so this made him feel bad.  And as he was saying all this, we were stepping inside of the bar.

There’s nothing to do now but go ahead and order.  Since he’s driving his motorcycle home, he gets a soda.  We grab a table.  And now what?  What do you do once you’ve been told what your date finds undesirable about you, and you’re still just sitting there looking at them?  Me?  I babble.  I spent 20 minutes trying to explain how it was ok.  That he didn’t have to like me.  We were just dating.  I was ok.  He was ok.  It was fine.  Good for him for recognizing what he wanted.  Blah blah blah.  Blah!  And gulp gulp gulp Mr Beer, because I have got to hightail it out of here.  I am done talking about what a rotten person I am and helping you to feel better about having had told me!

Finally, I down the beer.  It’s ok to escape.  Cordial.  He walks me to the BART station, where we will part ways.  And then he says “I know you’d already said that you were really busy this week, but do you really not have any time that we could hang out?”

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