Saturday, October 16, 2004
Wish I had more to say
I mean, look at me. Walking science fiction story and a whole week goes by without much to add to this diary. Sure, some stuff happened, but it's not major finding-out-where-my-original-body-is stuff or my sexual preference going wonky. It's not even major soap-opera type stuff; I mean, I've talked to a few people who've been up to the same thing.
Like, Tuesday and Wednesday, just watching ballgames. Stayed home with Mo and Carter on Tuesday, then we decided that was bad luck and decided to try something else Wednesday, so I headed over to Wei and Jim's place. It was the first time I'd seen Jim's place at all, let alone since Wei moved in. Nice. Jim's such a down-to-earth guy you forget his folks are millionaires (which, seeing as they live in Manhattan, doesn't go as far as you might think and doesn't exactly filter down to him - Nat he ain't). Still, they sprang for a nice little condo when he graduated medical school, the kind of think I might have be able to afford when I was fifty if I'd been left in my old body. Nicer than Doug's place, even.
Doug. That ate at me most of the week. I know there has to have been a better way for me to handle it, but damned if I know what it is. Okay, not using words like "nuts" and the like, but I'm not ready to get married, so what should I do, say yes and then wait to set a date until I am really sure? That's just silly.
So, I spent the first half of the week trying very hard to not do anything. I've got to admit Wei was cool about it. Under normal circumstances, she said, she'd be one of those recently-married women that wants all of her friends to share the joy and delight of marriage, but my circumstances are hardly normal. Jim said I must be sick of hearing that "my circumstances are hardly normal", but I was kind of surprised to find I'm not, really. I suppose it's hypocritical, but I like people understanding that I don't really fit into the regular holes. I don't want to be treated as weak or fragile or handicapped because of it, but I'm not big on people pussyfooting around, either.
So, anyway, it was like a little party, with some paired-off old friends I hadn't seen regularly in years. We're sort of evolving a system for that - Wei looks unsure what to say when introducing me, I tell the truth, they're amused and disbelieving.
I wound up hanging around with Kurt a bit. It's awkward, but so's standing by yourself at a couples party. It shouldn't be any big deal; I pal around with Mags and she's my ex. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. He just stands a couple inches farther away.
The last couple of days, I've been living at the Brattle; they're having the Boston Fantastic Film Festival there. I arrived to see Five Children and It Thursday night to find Doug waiting there. We did the hey, hey yourself, Kate said I'd probably find you here thing, then found a bench across the street. He apologized for the proposal, saying that he never imagined he'd have to apologize for something like that, but if I didn't feel ready, it made sense. He offered me a festival pass as a peace offering, I accepted, we went to the movie. He has, in the past forty-eight hours, sat through an awful lot of sci-fi and horror on my behalf (and probably would be now if it wasn't a second screening of the movie we saw Thursday night). We've at least got it worked out so that tonight we can get some supper and watch the game afterward.
Although I get the feeling we won't be using the same cushions on the couch. I'd never proposed to anyone and been shot down before, but he really hasn't been very touchy the last couple days ago. Are you supposed to basically start over from scratch when that happens? Or is it some spiteful, well, you rejected one kind of intimicy so the underwear stays on sort of thing?
I don't know; I just remember that a Red Sox victory was a pretty big turn-on for Kurt; maybe it's a universal aphrodisiac, at least for New England.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Adventures in Public Transportation
Nobody I know had today off, so why is it considered a holiday? Does anyone do anything Columbus-related to celebrate Columbus Day? Sure, I think it would be a cool thing if people were to take Columbus Day and maybe go sailing or something, but that's not what actually happens. You just go to work but have your commute screwed up because everything's on a Saturday schedule.
Now, Maureen figures I was just trying to avoid coming home and answering the phone, but I just got tied up for five minutes too long at work, which caused me to miss the train, so I took the bus, but on a Saturday schedule this bus dumps you in West Newton instead of downtown - which is insane! I mean, I can understand the schedule not running as often, but not as far? Lunacy. So then I take another bus which drops me near the Fenway theater, but I just miss my start time, take another bus to the Boston Common one, see the next movie showing...
Okay, maybe I was avoiding a little. And it annoys me; why should I be doing that? He's the one who put me in the position of having to say no, not right now, when it should have been completely obvious that I wasn't ready. But now I'm supposed to feel guilty because I did something reasonable, whereas I'm sure people are feeling sorry for him because he did something silly, and I don't want to deal with that right now.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Not the answer he was looking for
Okay, who else knew what Doug was up to last night? Maybe if I'd grown up a woman, I would have glommed on to what it means with him asking me to a nice restaurant, dress up please, and nothing planned for afterward. Of course, maybe if I'd gone through the whole girlhood thing, I would have been looking forward to it.
The funny thing is, he must have talked to Kate beforehand, and either she didn't know me very well or he just ignored her, indicating he didn't know me that well or just... I don't know.
See, I know he talked to Kate because when I ment her at the Sunday morning movie club thing, she has this big "I've got a secret" look on her face, barely holding in a squeal, clackety-clacks her way across the brick sidewalk doing double time on her heels, and grabs my hands. Then she notices that neither of them has a ring on them. "You said no?"
My exact words were, in fact, "are you nuts?" Probably not the most polite way to go about it, but picture the situation - he's in a nice suit, I'm in a nice dress, we've just ordered some good food and we're sipping good wine. He's giving me the compliments, about how astonishing I am and how what I've been through would break most people. I say that's sweet, and give yourself a little credit for not being totally freaked out by all my baggage, and then he does it. He gets up from his seat, walks over to mine, gets down on one knee and pulls out the little ring box. He opens it up and asks if I'll make him the luckiest man alive and marry him. The whole restaurant has gone quiet and they're looking at us. It's ridiculous! That's when I lean over and whisper those three words without moving my lips. I also whisper something about getting up and not making it worse by drawing it out.
He does, and I know it's got to be intensely embarassing. There's some murmuring, and a waiter holding a bottle of champagne in a bucket looks unsure whether to stay or go; Doug takes a step in the waiter's direction and tells him that I don't like being put on the spot. Then he sits down, looks across the table at me, and says well, this is awkward.
Awkward? Awkward? Christ, Doug, I say, what are you thinking? It was just three weeks ago that I said I liked my life as it was, but he heard it differently, and since I didn't actually come out and say "I don't want to get married" and he had already bought the ring, he interpreted my words as being happy with him and not wanting someone else. Which is just ridiculous; I used the terms "identity" and "autonomy" and he's a lawyer, he knows what words like those mean. I was pretty clear, and that he's saying otherwise freaks me out, because I have to wonder if his not remembering that evening "correctly" means that "he" wasn't there, that maybe someone else's mind has taken up residence in his body. I mean, it's happened before, hasn't it?
He assures me that's not the case, in enough detail that I believe him. Still, I mean, gads, do you really want to marry a woman who, when she gets a few beers in her, still tries to pee standing up? Who is still in the middle of such an ongoing identity crisis that, should we marry, it's kind of an open question as to whether he'd have a mother-in-law or not? And, geez, getting married when quite frankly I'd been wondering...
Kate gasped at that, which is kind of fitting; I'd cut myself off, but of course had to finish with whether I'd started dating him because I was really attracted to him or because I needed legal advice. He said that didn't matter, that what mattered was how we feel now.
Still, he was hurt. Suffice it to say, we didn't order dessert.
Kate, of course, wanted to know why I didn't immediately call her; I said Mags had flipped out when I didn't tell her about Nat's pregnancy right away, so imagine what would happen if she found out about this third-hand? Fortunately, her boyfriend was out of town for a conference, so she and I went out to have a drink and a movie so I wouldn't be alone. I told her it was no big deal, but she was having none of it.
Kate was cool about it. We waited until after the movie to talk more, and she said she couldn't really blame me; she couldn't imagine being married to Doug. Said she was jealous, since she'd been seeing Dennis longer than I'd been seeing Doug and he still hadn't proposed. Of course, she Dennis hadn't had the weekend where he was away at a wedding without her that leads to an epiphany of some kind. Sure, I said, but that doesn't mean you have to drop a couple thousand dollars on a ring the next day. Especially since he must have heard my opinions on the whole diamond ring deal.
So, I asked her, where do we go from here? Babe, she says, I wouldn't know the answer to that question even if you weren't you. But chocolate ice cream might help us figure it out.
It didn't, but chocolate ice cream is worthwhile for its own sake.