Saturday, February 14, 2004
My legs are killing me
It was nicer than usual today, so I opted to do all my weekend running-around without the aid of the T. Of course, since I'll be at the Marathon tomorrow, that meant compressing a couple days worth of errands into one afternoon, even more so because I've got a dinner date with Carter tonight, it being Valentine's Day and all.
Besides, I was feeling a little guilty about how little I've been exercising and stuff. This body has a pretty good metabolism, but I've put on a few pounds in the last couple months. The male judge of aesthetics inside me thinks it's still a pretty hot body, and one can argue that not only are the curves pretty damn sexy, but there's nothing wrong with carrying a little extra weight in the winter. It's insulation, right? But, hey, the last time Carter and I made love, he was pinching me and kind of teasing me about it. Of course, I pointed out that our dates had become a little more food-centric in the past month, and if he wasn't so insistent on feeding me so much. His response was that I should spend more time at the gym like he does. Given the choice of spending money on a gym membership or a couple DVDs every month, though, I'm putting Intolerable Cruelty on my shelf.
Anyway, things got done today - grocery shopping (a lot of snacks for the next couple days), getting movies while the release week sale prices were still good, doing some window shopping, stopping at the hardware store to get a new phone (the one I've got has a weird fluctuating volume problem). I also lucked out finding a spiffy red dress and matching shoes at the Garment District; affordable and hot.
Of course, it's a little short for February - what dumbass decided that the day in the middle of winter would be the best one for romance? Of course, when this decision was made, women probably were wearing those gigantic hoop dresses and twenty layers of underwear, so the outfits might have been warmer. Still, I'd suggest that this holiday be moved to August. There's no holidays in August, and with Valentine's Day often being so close to President's Day, I think it would work out well for everybody. Heck, the greeting-card people for whom this holiday is most important probably look at that long stretch between Father's Day and Halloween and think, yeah, this needs filling.
This would also enable me to not break what I think is an eminently sensible rule about not exposing my legs to the elements while the Charles River is covered with ice. Not that this rule got tested much before this winter. Really, I'm surprised at the number of people I saw jogging today in either shorts or just tights. This body may not seem to be as affected by the cold as much as the old one, but it doesn't mean I like it, either.
Friday, February 13, 2004
Freaking flowers everwhere
I mean, Kate just met a guy on a blind date Monday and she got flowers today. Hell, she got two vases worth because George is apparently unable to take a hint.
Mine were modest; good enough to get noticed, but not overdone to the point where Carter got ragged on. Jen's were nice, too, for flowers. In fact, I think the only girl in the office who didn't get any was Maureen. Well, I don't know for a fact that she didn't get any; she might just have a boyfriend who doesn't send flowers, right? But, she had the brittle smile thing going whenever someone from the florist stopped by today.
I must say, it's amazing how relaxing Valentine's Day can be for women. I know, technically, it's not until tomorrow, but when it falls on a weekend, a guy's got to do something to make sure she feels loved at work. The girl, on the other hand, apparently doesn't have to do anything except wear red or pink or something with a heart on it; then, once the guy does something, it's just sit back and enjoy. No stress about whether you've done enough, whether she'll be disappointed, or feeling stupid or resentful. Granted, I imagine it can be hell if you're not in a relationship, but that's sort of a given for both sexes. On average, it seems more relaxing for women.
Of course, it got a little stressful when Jen asked me if I had plans for the weekend and I mentioned the sci-fi movie marathon; Carter had a sort of "we're going to do the whole thing" reaction. I said something like "so, when you said you liked everything about me, including the nerdy bits, you were mostly talking about my boobs, huh?" A little more polite, but bitchy enough to raise an eyebrow or two. Kate caught me later and wanted to know what was up with that; I told her that, apparently, we're at the point where he's gotten me in the sack and now we're trying to figure out how much we really like each other, and that so far it's a lot more than nothing but not quite Romeo & Juliet. Happens in every relationship once you're past immediate goals, really, except those huge one true love things that mostly happen in the movies.
Still, I can't deny there's something undefinable about Carter that keeps me interested even if we don't seem quite as compatible as we did at first.
Pretty quiet day at work today, so I hit TheSpark.com and did some of these goofy things. Not all of them have little icons, but I have to wonder - how can you be 59% slut and only 29% pick-up-able? Doesn't make sense.
Or, more accurately, 2am munchies. I've got to remember to start buying pop-tarts or oreos or something, just to have something to snack on. Not like I remember doing before being in this body, but just for when I'm actually hungry at odd hours and don't want a full meal of any sort. Like right now.
I spent the last couple of evenings with Carter; it's funny how little food someone who cooks so well has in his kitchen. It's like he can make a fine meal whenever he wants, but if you just want to nibble on something, the best you can do is fry yourself an egg, or maybe slice off a hunk of cheese. Actually, I'm surprised how much I like cheese now. Maybe it's fitting into the same niche peanut butter used to fit in. I mean, I always liked cheese, but yellow american or Velveeta would be good enough; nowadays I find myself spending a little extra to get some good Monterey Jack. And he teases me with promises of really good snacks he can make but never gets around to.
The last couple of days were kind of iffy. We went out, and we did stuff, and if was fun, but not exciting fun, but at the same time, I felt kind of drawn to continuing. I don't know if it's a sign of some kind of deeper attraction or getting in a rut or what. Maybe I still need to figure out how this brain works, like the Martin "software" isn't quite adjusted to the Michelle "hardware" yet. Though, geez, it's been almost seven months; babies seem to figure everything out quicker than this.
Carter's got some weird quirks. Like how he wants me to leave stuff at his place so that I can stay over like I did last night, but doesn't like seeing it; it's all got to be put away. So I've got a drawer over there, which is I guess a sort of landmark in a relationship, but since it feels like it's more about him than us, it doesn't feel like it.
Gads, I should go to sleep, what with what I'm typing not making any sense, but the sugar in mug full of Honey Nut Cheerios I used for a midnight snack is evidently just strong enough to keep me awake, even if I am just super-tired. I guess that's what it's like with Carter right now, sort of feeling two opposing things at the same time.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
I feel like such a heel writing this, with him not ten feet away in the bed, but I'm just not sure where this whole thing with Carter is going.
It's sort of silly to worry about, since we've only really been going out with each other for a month, if that, but there was so much dancing around it and significant glances and we-would-have-but before then... I don't know, maybe it just raised my expectations to high. Maybe not knowing how to date as a girl is part of it. Or maybe I'm not as sold on the "acting like a woman is perfectly natural" thing as I'd like to think I am. Whatever the reason, I just don't seem to be enjoying it as much as I did the first week or so and...
Like, take last night. We're going to see another Bogie double-feature at the Brattle, with Jen having set Kate up on a blind date. It's good movies, and we had supper at The Dolphin beforehand. At the intermission between The African Queen and The Caine Mutiny, though, Carter just decides he wants to split. He asks me if I'd like to head back to his place, but I tell him that the second movie is the one I actually haven't seen before. He grumbles about how we're always seeing my movies, so I tell him that if he wants to do something else, I'm open. He says "fine", but leaves, making me the fifth wheel. Which is fine, I've got a magazine in my purse to read until the movie starts, but everybody else is uncomfortable.
But does he have something else to do tonight? Nope. So we just wind up sitting around my apartmentment watching hockey, since he evidently doesn't get NESN in his package. I never realized he was a fan.
The sex was good, though. Not as joyous as the first few times, or as intense as it was later on, but good. It's still a little clumsy sometimes, which is weird, because I thought I'd pretty much gotten the hang of this body by now.
And that's fine, I guess, but I just remember the girlfriends I broke up with who said "if it were just about the sex...", and I wonder if we're heading in that direction.
Monday, February 09, 2004
No Sam/Michelle today
I wanted to ask her whether she'd had the phantom smell thing going on, but I couldn't find her out at the common today. It's no big deal, I guess, since it's damn cold and you don't need quite so many street vendors in this weather. Still, I can't remember the last time I was in that area and didn't see her there.
Carter's taking me to The African Queen and The Caine Mutiny tonight, so just time for a short note. It will, at least, be an opportunity to remind him of the difference between Audrey and Katherine Hepburn.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
Five movies in 24 hours with Kate is a lot
Of course, it's the other stuff that's exhausting.
I met up with her at about 9:30 last night, in front of the theater. We were able to get seats in the front row, which isn't bad at all in the Coolidge's upstairs theater - there's a stage so that you're not sitting three feet away and the screen's not so high that you're craning your neck. There was a little mistake where the projectionist started playing the wrong movie (The Company is sharing a screen with The Triplets Of Belleville), but that got fixed right away.
Because of that, though, there wasn't much time for Kate to hem and haw about whether she wanted to stay for the Midnight Kung Fu Madness show. She actually gave in, though, and we stayed for Haunted Cop Shop 2. It was pretty obvious that this movie just isn't her thing, which is cool, but she was laughing anyway. She wasn't fooling me, though, and I told her as we were leaving the theater that she didn't have to pretend to like it. She brushed it off, saying don't be ridiculous, until she saw the clock in the theater lobby and realized it was 1:40am, and the subway/trolley doesn't run after about 12:30. I told her not to worry, that there were Night Owl buses that ran along the same routes, but she evidently won't take the bus. I don't see how it's worse than the train, but she's not the only one with that attitude, so I've stopped questioning it. I told her she could either get a cab or crash at my place; to my surprise she chose the latter - "I'll just be heading out this way for the Sunday morning show at the Brattle anyway".
It only takes fifteen minutes to walk from the Coolidge to my apartment, but it was really cold last night, so it wasn't much fun and we didn't talk much with our scarves wrapped around our faces. When we got inside, finally, I asked her what she really thought of the movies.
"Well, I really liked The Company, but some of those injuries made me really glad I decided not to pursue ballet when I was 14."
"You wanted to be a ballerina?"
She took her toothbrush out of her mouth (she's prepared for everything - I don't carry one of those in my purse), spat, and looked at me skeptically. "Like you never wanted to."
"Do I look like I have the body for it?"
"You've got me on that one, but I was talking about before you got boobs - come on, every girl goes through an I-wanna-be-a-ballerina phase when she's little."
"Not me." Never having been a four-year-old girl may have something to do with that.
"So it must have bored you silly."
"Not really. I mean, you can sort of look at it as a sports movie - competition for roster spots, the new kid getting a chance when the veteran is injured, that sort of thing. And... someone I knew is apparently really into it." I snorted, thinking of "Martin" and Natalya out in Seattle. "Met his current girlfriend at a ballet, in fact."
"Oooh, that sounds ugly. Do tell."
"Not much to say. I mean, it was after we... split, he was on the other side of the country. I only found out because she's evidently loaded and a picture showed up on the internet."
"That's just weird - not just the finding out your ex is seeing someone else by seeing a picture on the internet, but you going for a guy who likes ballet. Don't get me wrong, you're smart and everything, but dance so doesn't seem to be your thing."
"Martin and I were both different people back then, like you wouldn't believe."
"Must be nice."
"What do you mean?"
"Being able to say you were a different person. I mean, I want to be a different person, but I've been just the same as long as I can remember."
"Why would you want to be a different person? You're awesome. I would be all over you if I were a guy."
She laughed. "Easy for you to say, since the possibility is just science fiction. In the real world, I wish I were more like you. That was half the point of going to the kung fu thing tonight, just to see what you got out of it. Because, you know, it's not just your body that guys like about you. You're fun and can talk to them about the things that they like, and I just come off as this snob, and I know I'm a snob, and I don't want to be a snob but it's like I can't stop."
The idea of Kate wanting to be like me was just silly, but I didn't laugh. "You're not a snob. A snob wouldn't hang out with the secretary, OK? You've just got high standards, and that's cool. Come on, it's almost two-thirty and we're talking silly. Let's get some sleep; I'll set the alarm so we can get coffee into us before the movie, OK?"
There followed the usual "I'm not taking your bed"/"I'm not sticking you on the couch" argument, leading to us sharing the bed. I worried a bit, remembering how that went down last time. In retrospect, that's funny.
Because when the alarm went off at nine o'clock, Kate had her arm around me, and she had a pretty good grip on one of my breasts. And the alarm woke us both up at the same time, leaving no time for face saving. We both sort of jumped out of bed - opposite sides, natch.
"Look, Kate, if I did anything to lead you on - I mean, I've been acting weird, with the whole phantom smell, and then being all nympho with Carter on Friday--"
"No, it was all my fault."
"Don't say it's your fault like you're to blame for something - I mean, we're both dressed just like we were when we hit the sack, so it's not like anything happened or it would be awful if anything did..."
That sort of hung in the air as we looked at each other. Finally, Kate said she couldn't talk about this without coffee, which made perfect sense. Unfortunately, I didn't have any in the apartment, and it was going to take us twenty minutes to get to the theater after we washed and dressed, so we didn't actually have time to talk about it until after the movie.
Her explanation was straightforward, if eccentric: "I have a teddy bear."
"I've got this four-foot-tall, soft, teddy bear on my bed. How pathetic is that? I'm 28 years old, two of my younger siblings have already gotten married, I've got a nephew on the way, and I still sleep with this big stuffed animal. So, anyway, last night, I must have just, you, know, grabbed at you and started to cuddle and... God, it's so embarrassing!"
I laughed a little. "It's okay. I mean, I've done the same and I don't even have a big teddy bear. So, does this bear have a name?"
"Fine. But, you know, I bet most guys would think the whole teddy bear thing is cute and not snobby."
"No, they'd just think I'm some stupid, immature little girl."
"Trust me, Kate, nobody is ever going to think you're immature after ten seconds of being around you. And I know for a fact that there are men who would find an 'I thought my friend's boob was a teddy bear' story flat-out hot."
That made her grin, a little mischevous one. "I suppose so. You don't mind?"
"Knock yourself out."
By then, Kate had noticed that the Brattle was doing a Bogie-and-Bacall weekend, so we went in for a double feature of that. She even tried the story on a guy we met there, but I gather the story would be, if not better, at least more effective in terms of getting guys to like her if the boob in question wasn't around for demonstration purposes.