Friday, October 30, 2009

Blast from the past

Y'all won't believe who called me at work today... Muckraker.

I mean, right? I know. That's effed up.

It's funny, in the past I would have been all a twitter... Whoo! He called! Right? Ha.

I know you will NOT be surprised to hear he needed a favor.

I was a little more surprised to hear him asking how my love life is going... Do I have a boyfriend?

Ha ha ha ha!

I the past I would have been flattered by this thinking, "Gee! Maybe it means he wants me after all!"

I was vague. It's none of his business.

Besides, I'm 99% sure that our mutual friend Mary would have told him that, yes, I AM dating someone.

I turned the question around on him... "Are you dating anyone?"

He totally dodged that one.

He asked if he could call me next week. I said sure... Mostly because I'm amused by this.

Compare and contrast Muckraker (Who could also be called Mr.2Old being 12 years older than I am...) with Mr.2young.

Muckraker has only ever been in touch when he needs something, he never does anything thoughtful/out of the blue for anyone as far as I can tell, and if not outright deceitful then definitely shady.

Mr.2young is in touch with me daily (much to my annoyance sometimes,) is always thoughtful (He got my favorite candy for me the other day... This morning he came to my work and brought me breakfast...), and he's totally honest-- to an extreme, sometimes.

There's really no comparison, is there?

Hmmm... I think I got the better bargain.

(Oh-PS! When it rains, it pours! Science Guy is back in touch! He wants to do breakfast sometime this week. I'm amused. I'll meet with him. Maybe I'll bring Mr.2young along... hee... hee...)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Puppy Love

Mr.2young is delightful. And delightfully earnest.

He reminds me a little bit of a puppy in some ways, with all of his energy and unabashed enthusiasm, and his need to be with me ALL THE FREAKING TIME. (And I feel like I'm very meanly crate-training him when I say, "NO! You CANNOT come over today! Or Tomorrow! Or the NEXT DAY!" And then he looks at me with those puppy dog eyes... and does some very nice tricks... and I let him spend the night in my bed. See! Just like a puppy! I'm such a sucker.)

On the one hand I like it. I like being liked to such an overwhelming degree.

Even if it feels a bit fake.

Not because I don't think he MEANS it... He very sincerely means it.

But, rather, because he's like a puppy. He would be very sincerely enamored with ANYBODY.

I think he would deny that, but... let's look at the track record here...

He once proposed to a girl he knew for ONE MONTH.

He has said the "L" word to at least 3 different women. (And he's TWENTY TWO!)

Now, some might call me emotionally stunted, but I barely use the "L" word with my parents, and I'm biblically required to love them.

And so... When he said he "Loved" me a few nights ago my instinct was to pat him on the head and say, "Thank you very much" and give him a biscuit.

I believe that HE believes that he means it.

However... *sigh*... Those are not words I say lightly. And I do not believe it's possible [for me, at least] to "Love" someone you've known for 2 months. Not to the extent that you're IMPLYING when you use those words in a romantic context.

Maybe that's the difference-- To me "Love" means 50+ years of trials and tribulations and job losses and illnesses and fires and floods and sustaining all that. Do I love some people? Absolutely. But that's a pretty select group. I don't think that's something you can feel for someone you've known for 2 months... for someone you wouldn't trust with your PIN number... For someone you wouldn't give the keys to your house. Not because I DISTRUST Mr.2young, but because trust takes TIME to grow. So does love.

It's hard to remember what I've mentioned here before. Have I mentioned that he has washed my windows? Taken out my garbage? Offered to clean and vacuum and scrub toilets? Cooked me dinner? Bought me little gifts for no reasons? Faithfully calls and emails and texts? Made a point of showing and telling me how much he respects my feminist beliefs?

He is a pretty amazing guy.

But the "L" word?

Only if that word is "Like."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Road Block

Mr.2young is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. From what I can tell, from what (admittedly little) I know about him he's trustworthy, caring, considerate, kind, and thoughtful. (Ok, yes, there are some redundancies in that statement.) He's a nice guy without being a faux, creeptastic, "Nice Guy" (as we've discussed before.) And his age doesn't really bother me anymore.

No, what bothers me the most is what his really poor spelling is a symptom of... It's a lack of knowledge, perhaps a lack of awareness. He tells me he has a learning disability for which he's getting help from the academic skills center of his college, and I don't hold that against him. Hell, I couldn't read until I was in the 4th grade--I had to be put in a special ed program.

However, since the 4th grade I admit that I haven't struggled much academically. I don't study--not really. I never have. I'm just good at retaining information the first time I hear it (mostly because I'm genuinely fascinated by the world and how it works.) I write my papers the day they're due... and I get high marks. I sometimes feel guilty about this. I know I'm not particularly smart or talented... I just, I don't know, remember things. And I'm fast at comprehending new information and integrating it with what I've already learned to come to a conclusion or a course of action.

And Mr.2young? He struggles... A LOT. He was having difficulty with his homework yesterday; It was a topic I haven't studied since the 8th grade, but I knew more off the top of my head than he did after having read books for a week. I spent my evening explaining the topic to him... inwardly I was cringing. Is this the person I want to be with? Do we really have anything in common? I am someone with little patience. I wanted to shout at him, "HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW THIS STUFF!?" and "How is it possible that you've not retained information you read 30 minutes ago!?"

I didn't yell. Don't worry. I didn't.

How much is the learning disability and how much is *HIM*? I also don't know.

I tried to be patient and understanding and compassionate. Mostly because I could see how devastated he was. He was close to tears at numerous points as he struggled to understand different concepts. Perhaps this wouldn't be so worrisome except for the fact that he wants to be a teacher-- he wants to teach these same concepts to students... and at the moment? I wouldn't want him teaching my (hypothetical) kids anything. I cringe.

I do feel compassion for him. I can't say I understand his frustration. I don't know what it's like to not comprehend something at that level... perhaps mostly because if I don't understand something the first time I learn about it I seek other sources for clarification until I finally DO understand. Perhaps that's what he's lacking, but I don't know how you provide someone with the impetus to seek out knowledge when you don't have a roadmap. [Also, I resisted the urge to tell him, "Wikipedia is not an appropriate lesson planning guide..."]

He hated to let me see him like that, I know. He was hurt, and embarrassed, and ashamed (the word he used.) It bothers him that I'm nearly done with my second masters (no great feat, quite frankly), and he doesn't have a single degree. I was at a loss as to how to comfort him. I did tell him that people have many different kinds of gifts, and if academics wasn't his strength he made up for it in other ways. That, and the fact that I've known many a Ph.D who can barely tie her shoelaces, let alone function as an adult human being, prove credentials are not much of an indicator of intelligence.

I worry though. I feel like this will be the main reason this doesn't work out. How much am I willing to compromise? How much do I forgo intellectual stimulation for kindheartedness? (He's not DUMB, mind you. He's just not knowledgeable. Given that he doesn't seem to retain information though, I don't know that this is something "fixable." Not that one should ever try to "fix" someone else either, because that's just a futile task.) My relationship with him is probably the healthiest relationship I've ever been in. I feel comfortable, and easy, and free to be myself, and to know I'm completely accepted for who I am.

I want to be able to offer him the same gift in return... but I don't know if I can accept this about him.

(I know many people will probably think me a terrible person for admitting that, but I do think that intellectual compatibility is a cornerstone for a good relationship. Though, as evidenced with other people (ahem. Muckraker.) I also acknowledge that intelligence is not a substitute for the other qualities that Mr.2young has in spades.)

So... My other question is... how long to I give myself to figure this out? He likes me. A LOT. I worry that the longer I let this go on the more I'll hurt him. And yet I'm inclined to let it go on for my own selfish reasons-- because he makes me feel really, really great about myself. This also probably makes me a terrible person.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Deep End

I'm not really fond of people in general (or in particular...hmmm...). I really require a lot of alone time for contemplation and to recharge my energy.

And yet... I've seen Mr.2Young EVERY SINGLE DAY (and night) for the past week. This is certainly a record for me, but what's even more remarkable is that I'm not sick of him. Yet. (I like to look at glasses half empty.... the benefit of being a pessimist is that you're always either proven right or you're pleasantly surprised.)

I still have issues (most notably with his spelling! Like when he texted me to tell me he was going to do "loan work and rack leaves"... (get it? Um. Took me a while to figure out he meant LAWN work and RAKE leaves. It's not the *spelling* really, it's the seeming lack of awareness that the two words are not one and the same. I've known some bad spellers (and I'm a spell-check addict) but your/you're, their/there/they're type of mistakes drive me BANANAS) *sigh*) His age doesn't bother me as much anymore... (which means I should probably come up with a new moniker, hmmm? Suggestions?)

He is very sweet. He brought me flowers for no reason last week (they're still blooming), and he went out of his way to figure out which flowers I like. (Hint: NOT roses. Getting a bouquet of roses requires about as much effort and foresight as brushing one's teeth, in my humble opinion. Yes, I would accept them graciously, but inside I would be thinking, "you don't know me at all, do you?)

Part of the reason I keep letting him stay over (ok, ok, INVITING him to stay over...) is because I feel it's going to end... someday. Everything ends, right? And with my track record, sooner rather than later. And so, I figure, soon enough I'll be back to having my big bed to myself-- so I may as well make some nice memories to keep me company throughout the long, long, long New England winter. There will be more than enough time to be alone in the future, so I may as well make the most of being with him now.

Npapaya thinks I'm a crazy person (true, true,) for thinking this way. She pointed out to be last night, "Nothing you've said points to this ending... Not saying it won't, but right now there's nothing to indicate a red flag or troubled waters ahead... so why are you actively seeking to end it?" (That was the gist of what she said anyway...)

Mr.2Young and I were talking last night and he asked me a question that I didn't know the answer to. He said, "What scares you the most? That this will end? or that it won't?" Something to discuss with my therapist, to be sure.

I went away for the weekend (yes, I went away, but still only ended up spending one night away from him...) and I was like a 16 year old-- texting him constantly. (I am super LAME-O, I admit it!) So, yes, I'm getting attached to him, which is scary for me.

He cracked me up last night though. I asked him (randomly, out of nowhere,) "So, would you kill a mastodon for me if I asked you to?" His response? "You seem like the kind of girl who could kill her own mastodon."

That still cracks me up. In that moment I felt like he really, really, GOT me.

But I'm still a little worried about wading into the deep end of the relationship pool....

(I should add that I have given him permission to refer to me as his "girlfriend," mostly because everyone is already doing so. *sigh*)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm quite fond of the 17th chapel myself...

About my previous post Npapaya said, "Are you trying to dump Mr.2young in as cruel a way as possible?" ... because the person I was crushing on works in Ramses' (the person who set Mr.2young & I up) office.

*shrug* it's a small town. What are you supposed to do? If you only date people who don't know your Exs, you'll never date anyone. (Not that Mr.2young is an Ex. Or a current. Well. Maybe he's a current... I may have to start facing up to that.) For the record it was more a passing fancy than anything, and now that Npapaya has given me the background on that particular object of crush I find myself no longer quite as interested. Just as well.

Mr.2young is pretty damn fabulous. Last night he wanted to come over but I told him I was cleaning (to get ready for a trip. Hate to come home to a dirty house) and so he couldn't come over. He said he didn't care, he just wanted to see me.

So, well... I looked like crap. Sweatpants and a dirty mess. He meant it when he said he didn't care though. Better than that? Completely unbidden, he did my dishes and washed my windows. Sweet! And he gives unsolicited foot rubs and backrubs... Awesome! (Have I mentioned that he thinks I'm really hot?? And that the more dressed down I am, the hotter he thinks I am? I know. I don't get it either, but he seems to be sincere. Weird-o!)

So. Yeah. things are going well.

Except... well. Except for the fact that when I asked him who his favorite artist is he said. "Oh, I like the guy who painted the Sixteenth chapel."

DOH! Head smack.

(Actually, I couldn't stop giggling when he said that. I think I hurt his feelings.... :-( It wasn't intentional, but I just couldn't stop.)

Edit: Apparently PLENTY of people make that mistake... I just googled Sixteenth Chapel and guess what came up? Mmm hmmm... I blame the US educational system. *sigh*

Monday, October 12, 2009

In which I'm kind of a terrible person...

Don't get me wrong. I still like Mr.2young. He's very kind and very attentive... but, I admit, what I like best about him is how much he likes me.

We stayed in this weekend-- on Friday and Saturday, mostly just watching movies, which was nice (Though, I didn't let him sleep over on Saturday! I needed to actually SLEEP). But, he was exasperating me in some ways too, really showing his age.

As I mentioned before, he still lives with his parents. He got into a fight with his dad this weekend though about some chores that his dad wanted him to do (to help his grandparents.) Mr.2young had told his dad "no" because he wanted to spend the day with me on Sunday. I told him I was not ok with that-- I didn't want to get in the middle, and that he had responsibilities-- especially considering that he doesn't pay rent. Mr.2young wasn't really happy with that answer and kind of pouted. (Though, to his credit, he did acknowledge the next day that I'd been right.)

I then helped him look at his budget to see if he would be able to move out... Sadly, not really. He'd have to find a place around $400/month in order to make ends meet, and around here that's nearly impossible (even with a room share). He was all gung-ho about it though and started looking at more expensive places-- which I was like-- "I really don't think you can afford those!" One moment was rather forehead-smack inducing-- I suggested that he try living as though he WAS paying rent ($500) to see if he would have enough money to get by. He was all, "Oh! That's a good idea! I never thought of that." Doh.

I know. He's young. Budgets are rather novel to the young.

But none of those reasons are why I'm a terrible person. I'm a terrible person because I've developed a little crush on someone else. Someone I barely know. Someone who, if he were to ask me out, I would totally say, "Yes."

Hey! I've made a point of telling Mr.2young that we're not "boyfriend/girlfriend." And I would NOT sleep with someone else without breaking things off with Mr.2young first. But a date? I don't know... would that be crossing the line? Maybe. Would it hurt his feelings? Totally. *sigh*

Like I said, probably a moot point because it's really unlikely that this other guy even knows who I am, but I don't think it's a good sign for my relationship (or whatever the hell it is) with Mr.2young that I'm even thinking that at this point.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dr. Feelbad

Mr.2young and I went to see Hamlet last night. Npapaya couldn't go (a group of us have season tickets) and so gave him her ticket. We met a bunch of my other (work) friends for dinner ahead of time... they're kind of a rambunctious crowd, but good-spirited. When Mr.2young stepped away at one point one of my friends said, "Two thumbs up for this one!" and at the end of the night another friend embarrassed him (and me!) by saying, "Gee, Mr.2young... I hope we'll be seeing a lot more of you! How about it, Hypatia? Will we be seeing him again?"

He's spent the past few nights at my place. He's actually now leaving his toothbrush at my place and keeping an overnight bag in his car. (Yes, this effing freaks me out.) He also referred to an event we're going to and said, "All the girlfriends are getting together afterward...." and including me in the "girlfriend" category. I kind of lost it, actually... I think I rather hurt his feelings, but that wasn't my intention. But at the same time I feel like I needed to be honest.

I went to the doctor's today to get the pill. I think anyone reading this blog would know that I'm not one to rush into things... Mr.2young is the only "whatever the hell this is" I've ever rushed into. I think I've mentioned in the past that I was raised Baptist-- "hellfire and brimstone and disease and death are the only things that can come out of premarital relations"--school of thought.

It has taken me A LOT to get over that... to the point that this casual "whatever the hell this is" is both an anomaly and probably pretty good for me personal-growth wise. And my therapist... who has been following me for 3 years... completely agrees.

Which is why I'm SO EFFING ANNOYED at the doctor I saw today. It was a new one in the same practice (because the other one didn't have any openings until November for non-emergency stuff.) And you would have thought this (young-ish) doctor was a doctor out of 'Mad Men'! She said to me "I really don't recommend you being intimate with someone you've known so little... Sex should be reserved for a long-term committed relationship... Is he putting undue pressure on you? what are these bruises? are you in an abusive relationship...?" Seriously, I got a 1 hour lecture, and she was like, "I'm only prescribing you birth control because you're going to do it anyway, but I really don't think it's in your best interest..." She kept giving me dire warnings about AIDS and Chlamydia and Syphilis ... It just brought me back to the whole abstinence-only education (Which we know works SO Well!

I tried to stay polite... (Because I needed a damned prescription!)... but I wanted to say to her-- "Lady, I'm 28 and I'm overly educated and overly cautious. I know what I'm getting into... but even if I was sleeping with a knuckle-dragging mouth breather, it still wouldn't be any of your damned business!!!)

I was angry... but that doesn't mean her words didn't get to me. Because they're the same words that were drilled into my brain from the time I was 3 to the time I was 21. That's a lot of indoctrination to drown out. It took a lot of self-growth to get to the point where I feel comfortable with my decisions about my body, and I feel like I'm back in a pit of self-doubt at the moment... Like that I'm somehow going to become a bad Lifetime morality tale and I'm going to wind up pregnant with the clap living with an abusive boyfriend because I dared to have sex outside of the church's permission. Ugh.

(The other thing the doctor was shoveling was a lot of gender stereotyping about how "Men will say anything to have sex... Men can have sex without emotions but women can't..." I tried pointing out to her that I was the one who had initiated things with Mr.2young, and her response was, "Well, sometimes it can feel that way, but men are crafty manipulators and will say they don't want to do something when they're really trying to get you to do it." Talk about a mind-fuck.)

Even though I know it's totally irrational it has only intensified my feelings of ambivalence about the whole "whatever the hell this is" situation with Mr.2young. We're supposed to get together on Friday, but I'm really not feeling it at the moment...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Who is Rahm Emanuel?

An example of why Mr.2young and I are not a match made in heaven:

I was telling him about a dream I had. "I dreamt that Rahm Emanuel and Rachel Maddow came over for dinner at my house and they totally took my policy suggestions seriously!"

Mr.2young responded with, "Oh. Are those people you work with?"


Reminded me a bit of this week's "Parks and Recreation" where the cop who asks Leslie out on a date sees a picture on her desk and says, "Oh, is that a picture of your grandma?"

She says, "That's Madeleine Albright."

He says, "Oh. Is that what you call her? I just call mine 'Nana.'"

Don't Fuck This One Up!

"Don't fuck this one up."

Those are the wise words of my straight-shooting therapist. I would be offended at the implication that I have fucked up other 'ones' if I didn't know it to be true. My flight instinct is still in high gear though I'm trying to fight it. I admit though that as much as I like Mr.2young I'm still looking for the character flaw that will allow me to kick him to the curb. (Harsh, I know...)

And, intuitive guy that he is, Mr.2young confessed that his fear is that he's going to do something that is going to give me a reason to do that.


Do I feel bad about this? Somewhat. Is this totally unfair to him? Absolutely. Which is why I'm not letting myself end it though my instinct is to do so.

I enjoy the time I spend with him. When I'm with him I don't have any doubts or fears because I'm just in the moment. But when he's gone all those insecurities come flooding back.

I feel like a drowning swimmer who, when the lifeguard comes to save him, fights and thrashes instead of letting himself be saved, thus drowning the lifeguard as well. I don't want to do that.

I went against my instincts and invited Mr.2young to a jazz club on Friday with about 10 of my friends. I was nervous. He was nervous. (Again, he worried that if they didn't like him it would be an excuse to get rid of him. Like I said, smart guy.)

I like to keep my different worlds from touching. Sometimes they interact-- such as when Nell (A Grad Student friend) and Npapaya (A Work Friend) came over the other night. Rarely do the twain meet though, and I like it that way. This group on Friday was my 'Grad Student friend' group, which is probably worse than having him meet my work friends. I would say that my work friends are a little kinder, more understanding. The grad students are great, but totally bitchy. (In a super fun way!)

The grad student friends knew both Muckraker (because he was a grad student), and Science Guy (Because I invited him for dinner with them once.) They obviously liked muckraker (even if they did find him super shady), but none of them liked Science guy for some inexplicable reason. The only thing they would really say is "He's not good enough for you." Which... frankly... was totally not true. I don't know by what definition they were using "not good enough." He was nice (if a bit immature), smart, well-educated (post-doc), well-established, generous, and into me. But... whatever.

So, yes, I was nervous as to what their opinion would be... imagine my surprise when only half-way through the evening my friends started giving me surreptitious thumbs-up. I got numerous people saying, "We really like this one!" "So much better than the last guy!" So... yippee...? :-p

He spent the night on Friday and I had to work on Saturday. He was supposed to spend the night on Saturday and Sunday, but I cancelled on him. No, not because I wasn't feeling it, but because I'd been around people WAY too much this weekend. I'm an introvert at heart, and I need a lot of space and quiet time to recuperate after being around people.

I do know that this might seem crazy... like, why would I prefer an evening alone (with Don and Betty Draper!) to fun times with a real, live, cute guy... ? Right? But it's really about my own sanity and needing space. I have forewarned Mr.2young numerous times about this-- that it's not personal, but that I need lots of alone time. He seems to get it (or, at least if he doesn't he feigns understanding quite well.)

I might see him tonight. I'll probably see him on Wednesday if we go to a play together.

(PS-- Another example of my craziness? I told him he needs to stop telling me I'm beautiful and gorgeous. It just makes me too uncomfortable. Probably because *I* don't believe it, and so therefore it feels like he's lying to me. Yes, yes... I need professional help. Don't worry. I'm getting it.)