Intersection

You know that feeling you get when you’re out, doing an errand, and you look across the street and see your ex with her new girlfriend? Yeah, that happened to me. Yesterday to be exact. In Park Slope. I don’t even live in Park Slope.

I’d like to think that I held my head up high, waved hello to K, and looked Jess powerfully in the eye, asserting my authority. But no, snapping out of my 10 seconds of panic and paralysis, I scampered up 5th Avenue before they could see me in something akin to a fugue state. Continue reading

"I love you so much."

The whole addendum or coda or whatever you want to call it to the Deborah incident is that she texted Ms. K on New Year’s Eve to say that she loves her so much. This text came while Ms. K and I were sharing a New Year’s Eve dinner at Applewood, leaving both of us rather perplexed.

“She can’t possibly love me!” Ms. K said as she showed me her cellphone in the middle of our five course dinner. “Maybe she meant this for someone else?”

Maybe.

On advice from me and a friend of hers, Ms. K ignored the text. It had to have been meant for someone else.

Except that Deborah was acting weird at work when they finally did see each other. Ms. K pulled her aside and asked what was wrong. After some evasion, Deborah confessed that she was jealous.

Jealous? Seriously? Jealous of me, jealous of Ms. K’s close friendship with another person (that’s another long story). Why do I feel like I’m in high school again? And I don’t even work with Deborah.

“I’m not sure what gave you the impression otherwise,” Ms. K clarified, “but I don’t cheat on Rouge.”

I hope this is the final words I write on this because it’s all very immature.

"Don’t touch my boobs, don’t touch my ass, just stop it."

Ms. K has a coworker that propositioned her for sex last night.

Let’s call this coworker Deborah.

Look, I’m not particularly the jealous type and I feel 100% secure in my relationship with Ms. K, but this is the same coworker who is quickly sleeping her way through the rest of the restaurant staff. Not only has Deborah slept with one of the managers who has girlfriend, she’s gotten friendly with a waiter who is known to have patronized hookers. Hookers! So it’s all a bit sordid and with a dash of a potential STD. And furthermore, Deborah has met me. Multiple times! She knows that Ms. K and I are married!

I guess this means that it was inevitable that Deborah would set her sights on Ms. K, but it’s still gross. There’s a lot of dirty back story that I could explain, but this is all you need to know. Deborah was rather sexually aggressive with Ms. K last night as they had drinks after work with other staff members. If she wasn’t pressing her body against Ms. K while sitting on the bar stool, she was Mr. Grabby with the inappropriate touching. Or she was saying, “I was thinking of you all day.” Or she was suggesting threesomes with the guy who has sex with hookers. Deborah even followed Ms. K to the bathroom at one point and she told me that had to forcefully say to Deborah, “You need to stop.”

However it really didn’t stop, so Ms. K called it a night and left the bar before anyone could slip her a roofie, coming home to me and regaling me with her story of bad touching and incestuous, alcohol fueled coworker relationships. With hookers.

I feel the need to go down to the restaurant and reestablish some boundaries, but my gut is telling me that Deborah is not the most stable person and thus my saying something would be like pouring gasoline on fire.

Dude. Too much drama.

"The apartment was found in disarray."

The Good:

Unexpectedly, my friend and colleague DJ surprised Ms. K and I with a wedding gift — two wedding gifts! Orchestrating donations at work, she not only presented us with a lovely card signed by 18 of my colleagues, but two gift certificates — one to the restaurant Blue Hill in Manhattan and the other to Char No. 4 in Brooklyn. Hey, maybe there’s something to this whole getting married thing.

Furthermore, on the same day that we received the gifts, I unexpectedly won a free service probably valued at about $50. Huzzah. Time to take that luck to Vegas!

The Bad:

Apart from losing a couple of paychecks to IKEA, things have been generally good. The new apartment is great! No regrets! However my previous landlord is less that happy with me and is threatening to sue me in small claims court. This can probably be sorted out without going to court and we’ve been playing phone tag over the last week, but right now the red voice mail indicator is flashing on my work phone and I really don’t want to pick it up and listen to the message because I know there’s a 99% chance that it is him. Needless to say I’ve been procrastinating on this all morning and, well, need to just nut up and call him back and sort it all out. He says, “The apartment was found in disarray,” and I need to explain to him that that was pretty much how we received it from the previous tenant.

The Not So Ugly:

A couple of days ago, after going over a week without cooking gas, I finally made my first meal in the apartment, which was a modest supper of chicken, sauteed crimini mushrooms, and green beans. Apologies for the iPhone quality photo. My camera is packed somewhere . . . . But hey, note the granite counter top at the top of the picture!

"You are ugly woman."

As previously mentioned, I kind of live in a weird neighborhood — weird because I’m this (cough cough) yuppie Brooklynite lesbian living in a heavily Russian and Jewish Orthodox neighborhood where no one smiles. My neighbors seem saddled with a leaden sense of stoicism, a psychic weight dragged with them from the old country. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Also previously mentioned, people around here seem supremely weirded out by dogs — particularly large dogs. When I take Harley through the building to take him for a walk, there is a palpable distaste and sometimes a fear of his presence. It doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers Ms. K; it just is what it is and it is the price we pay for cheap rent.

That said, I was taking Harley out for a walk this evening and upon coming back to the building he pulls me with all his weight the closer we get to the door. That is what he does — he pulls. He’s a big dog, so you kind of have to really fight against him or break out into sprint because he’s got places to go apparently.

We go though the front door and into the vestibule and I open the main door with my keys. He starts pulling me into the lobby, which again is like a g-force.

What I didn’t know was that there was someone behind me as I entered the building, although he was far enough behind that the main door closed before he could get through. No big deal, I thought. Normally I would have gone back and opened the door for the 60 something year old man with a bottle brush mustache and who was carrying a couple of shopping bags, but like I said, Harley was calling the shots.

Even though Harley was pulling me, I managed to look over my shoulder towards the man who was 10 yards away at this point.

“Shit!” he called from the vestibule, clearly irritated and offended that I had not held the door for him. Someone buzzed him in and he walked to his side of the building, GLARING at me the whole time. I think he grumbled something in a language I did not recognize.

Look, buddy, I didn’t not hold the door on purpose. I’m not some ill mannered asshole like you. Harley is calling the shots here and if he says move I move. Besides, people here are so weird about dogs that I try to stay out of people’s way.

And FURTHER more, I am a lady (er, sometimes, when it suits me). You do not shout obscenities at a lady.

Oh, he was not happy with me and continued to glare as he waited for his elevator. (As he did so I was reminded of my previous run in with a neighbor.) My spine stiffened. I have a big dog, I thought. You do not. I will out stare you. I kind of wanted to get in his face, which is really not me at all, but I didn’t want to upset Harley.

When his elevator came, he gave me his parting shot.

“You are ugly woman,” he shouted out as he boarded his elevator.

I laughed. That was the best he could do? The worst insult he could lob in his broken English?

Next time I will let Harley eat you.

"Did you ever want to break up with me?"

Laying in bed one night recently, Ms. K was pressed against my back. With her arm hooked around my waist, she was, as she likes to call it, a big spoon to my little spoon. Content and warm, I began to drift off into the gentle waves of my unconscious only to hear her ask,

“Did you ever want to break up with me?”

Jerked back awake, I hesitated to answer — not because there were times when I had secretly considered ending the relationship, but because the question was far too loaded for pre-bedtime conversation. No, I cautiously answered, not apart from the two times we actually did break up.

(Consider this post some relationship DVD extras. Or rather a missing part of the narrative.)

The first break up came a little over a month after we started dating. For those who were reading at the time, I was enjoying myself. Highly. I wasn’t taking things very seriously because for the first time in a very long time I was having fun. There was booze, hot sex, and staying out late on a work night to be had. But at the same time I had my Lesbian Red Flag Detector set to kill and with each successive date I proceeded to interrogate the shit out of Ms. K. In hindsight I feel bad because I probably came across more as a member of the CIA than a fun date, but the point is that alcohol makes for good truth serum and I learned far more than I needed to know — far more than was relevant.

Armed with too much information I came to the conclusion to break things off and sometime in late August 2007, after blowing her off a little, I sent her an email outlining why I thought continuing dating was not in my best interest.

“Anyone else I would have told to fuck off,” Ms. K later said about my email. Instead she wrote a strong rebuttal and told me why I was wrong and why I should give things another chance. She made a convincing point and the burgeoning relationship lived to see another day. Actually what she said was, “I can completely understand why you don’t want to get involved with someone carrying around a lot of baggage . . . . I feel like maybe it’s possible that because of what you’ve been through with other women, you really aren’t giving me the benefit of the doubt.”

(I found out much later that my initial email had not only been mean, but had caused her to cry while at a her family’s Thanksgiving, Summer Edition. Yes, I am an asshole.)

Speaking of mean . . . this brings me to the second time Ms. K and I broke up, which was last December.

To simplify a long story, let’s just say that Ms. K had enough of my bitchy snark. (Hey, it’s a defense mechanism!) She met me after work one night in Union Square and as we huddled under the awning of a subway entrance trying to stay out of the steady drizzle, I watched her nervously pick at the the hole in her brown striped cashmere glove. She obviously had something to tell me, but her mouth was having a hard time forming the words.

“I . . . don’t think I can do this anymore,” she finally said after more than a few halting starts.

Oh, no way. No way she’s breaking up with ME, I thought.

We stood there for a long time, conspicuously positioned by the entrance of a busy subway station. Intervals of people pushed by us, umbrellas opened and closed, a German tourist asked us for directions, unaware that it was Not A Good Time.

When I asked her why she was breaking up with me, she reluctantly explained I was mean and that I didn’t make her feel good about herself.

Mean??!

I can’t remember what I said or what sort of defense I had, but I do remember that all I wanted to do was leave that perch above the stairwell and head back to Brooklyn. I was totally done.

We stood there awkwardly some more, unsure how to leave things. Goodbye? Nice knowing you? I watched as she continued to play with the hole in her glove as another wave of commuters flooded by.

At some point there was an energy shift and Ms. K started to back track. Life force quietly seeped into the corpse of our relationship. One of her gloved hands reached into my pocket and found mine, her touch rekindling our affection for each other. The warmth of her hand felt like water after a drought.

She later said that at one point I had looked at her with hatred and that’s what did it — that’s what made her regret ending things. Her heart, she confessed, would have broken if I hated her.

Suddenly exhausted from the emotional lurches, I motioned to the subway below, “Let’s get out of here and find someplace to talk.” Standing on the subway platform, we held each other as we waited for the Q train to take us back to Brooklyn.

"I don’t know how this placed hasn’t burned down yet."

I knew it was a risky move signing for an apartment that Ms. K hadn’t had a chance to see, but I was bolstered by faith and optimism. Look! An apartment! For us! Yeah it’s kind of a mess, but I have a vision! A vision of apartment awesomeness!

When Ms. K and I opened the door last Thursday, she didn’t quite have the same level of optimism that I had. The place was a wreck — a dirty wreck with many layers of paint on its forty-year-old walls. The previous tenant hadn’t cleaned (ever) and the super hadn’t painted or done repairs. The toilet was brown and so was the shower. The stove had a couple of years worth of caked on grease and food. When I saw the apartment previous to signing the lease, I had overlooked these glaring problems somehow. Probably because the previous tenant was still there and her shit was everywhere so I couldn’t assess the full horror.

But, honey, I have a vision!

There were tears and things have swung back and forth between I hate this apartment and I hate you for making me live here to Let’s make this work! The dog versus cats issue has exploded into a ginormous issue, the electrical wiring in the apartment is dangerously old, and we’ve also started fighting about how we just have too much stuff.

Fun!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Adventures in Cohabitation!

"And I said no no no."

I’m getting too old for drama, especially the lesbian variety. The Halloween party I went to ended up in near fisticuffs with me having to separate Holly’s 22 year old roommate, dressed as Amy Winehouse incidentally, and my drunk 35 year old friend Carm. I was dressed as Mrs. White from the movie Clue and while it was a far cry from last year’s serving wench look, I still looked hot — too hot to be playing adult when things took a turn for the dramatic.

Anyway I learned a couple of things:

* Apparently dressing as Amy Winehouse for Halloween is en vogue for 2007 (photos, photos). There were two at the party on Saturday. And apparently Amy gets around too. She was spotted at a party in the DC area.

* Never get in the middle of two drunk girls fighting, especially when one is dressed as Amy Winehouse. She’ll fight dirty and crazy.

* I’m too good for Holly, especially after meeting her “boyfriend” at the party for the very first time. I was a little nervous at finally meeting the infamous J, but when he walked in the door I started laughing. I win. I win hands down compared to him. And I felt smug that given the chance to meet him, however awkward, I looked fucking hot. Take that!

* It was me with the candlestick in the kitchen. It was a bloody mess.

And that, my friends, is all I wish to ever blog about Holly ever again.

"But aren’t you brushing me off?"

It figured one day that my blog or rather my often flippant recollections would be the source of a misunderstanding. I mean it was inevitable considering that too many of my friends are reading. And sure enough that day came yesterday when Ms. K thought I was brushing her off in some oblique way . . . or rather someone made her think that. Long story.

While I was a little annoyed at having my words misinterpreted so that anyone would think I was so callous to give anyone a kiss off via this blog and not in person (doing so would only have been a couple of degrees away from announcing your divorce via press conference), it did make me think of the uniquely perilous position of dating someone who is a blog reader . . . and someone who started off as a blog reader.

Sympathy? Anyone . . . anyone . . . oh.

"So when are you moving to England?"

“So when are you moving to England?” more that one person joked at the wedding I attended in Nottingham last Saturday. Only hours before I had watched Jane get married to her English boyfriend, the second of my American roommates to find British husbands and move off to the UK. If two makes a trend, then apparently in four or five years time I’ll be packing up my stuff to move to England to marry my hypothetical English girlfriend. (Perhaps Scottish? We’ve already got a Welshman and an Englishman.) Who am I to argue with fate?

When it was commented on for the nth time that it was now my turn for the UK wedding, I quipped, “Maybe I’ll convince her to move to New York.”

Or maybe I’ll convince her to move to Amsterdam.

As I walked around the Grachtengordel last Monday afternoon enjoying a rare bit of January sunshine, rare for this corner of Northern Europe, I fell in love with Amsterdam, the Dutch design aesthetic, the bikes, and the architecture. And fantasizing on the days and years to come, I envisioned this:

While walking through Prospect Park, shamefully using my friend’s two Shiba Inu dogs as girl bait, a beautiful English woman approaches me and we hit it off. Turns out she’s half Dutch too and lives in Park Slope. She’s a foodie, works for some International finance firm in lower Manhattan, and loves art and music. We then form the stereotypical instant co-dependent lesbian relationship which is only foiled by the fact that she’s not a permanent resident of the US. She goes back to London because of her job and a long distance relationship ensues. We talk about me moving over there with her and we even talk about domestic partner registry so I can get EU benefits. After a year of back and forth Atlantic trips, I move to London, and we live happily ever after with my two cats. There’s even a London wedding to celebrate our life partnership. Later she’s transfered to Amsterdam and luckily her family has an old house on one of the canals we can live in. I get a job working in design or the arts, write a couple of books on the side, and we spend our days riding our bikes, cooking for friends, and walking along the canals.

Sigh. It could happen. My luggage is still in London just waiting for me to come back and retrieve it.