May 2009


The couple thing started before we were even together. On the first day of our trip, I called The Firefighter from MSP (Minneapolis/St Paul Airport) to tell him, “If we’re going to keep track of how many times we’re mistaken as a couple, the count is already at two – as people from check-in and airport security just asked about my ‘boyfriend in Seattle’. And you’re not even with me yet.”

He laughed at that. “Ah, MollyE, why fight it.”

So we let people assume what they wanted, without trying to convince them otherwise. Actually, with our behavior, we only reinforced those erroneous assumptions.

Putting the whole hooking-up thing aside, we acted COUPLEY. We HELD HANDS. I would lie on his stomach when we would read in bed. He’d plant small kisses on my neck when walking behind me. I mindlessly scratched his back when waiting on a bench for a tour to start. My knee grew accustomed to having his hand on it. We FROLICKED in the ocean at night. BARF, right?

What’s worse than being COUPLEY: being a HAPPY couple. We ENJOYED each other.

Puke.

What.

The Eff.

And we’ve always been close, with little to no adherence to personal space, so our behavior felt natural. Just odd when I would step back and overthink it. Sharing midnight tiramisu = acceptable friends activity. Having his hands on my waist at the bar = COUPLEY. Which sent off the bells in my head: WARNING! NOT A FRIENDS ACTIVITY. I rarely allow myself to indulge in the couple stuff, probably because the majority of my guy friends are kept securely in the arms-length friends category. He’s the exception, apparently.

It was good.

I only see him twice a year, if that. So it was what it was for the time that it was. The end.

**Stories (and pics, too!) to follow – but I wanted to cover the boy-stuff first. Because that’s what’s been on my mind.

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Is there a condition that transfers all good associations of a trip onto a person? The Florence Nightingale syndrome of travelers. There has to be. Transference is a bitch like that.

Needless to say, I am back and Costa Rica with The Firefighter went well. Amazingly well.

How do I, at age 26, still feel uncomfortable buying condoms? I am having protected, premarital sex – what a dirty, dirty whore. I never felt weird picking up birth control prescriptions –was freaking chipper about it –so I must associate condoms differently (and yes, I realize that The Pill is a safer choice, but with my medical history, its best for nature to run its own hormonal course). In college, I always made The Kid buy them. Which he did, until he thought it would be good for me to extend outside my comfort zone. I think his eloquent words were something to the extent of, “Dude, get over it.” I still didn’t buy at the store though; the Internet is an amazing marketplace: 100 for $20? Yes, please, and extra points for the bargain shopper. Alas, these days, buying in bulk would be laughable.

Any summer reading suggestions? Appears I have a slight case of reader’s block, where nothing looks particularly appealing. On my trip, the reading will be minimal, as The Firefighter isn’t a reader (nor a speller, apparently, as he advised against bringing travel Scrabble; I predict a lot of card games), but I will need something for the plane, at the least.

I leave for Costa Rica TOMORROW. Packing has proven difficult, as I am trying to pretend that I am pro-nature and low maintenance (as my mother likes to quote from Billy Crystal, I am the worst kind of maintenance: I am high maintenance but I think I am low maintenance. No, Mother, I REALLY AM LOW MAINTENANCE.) Ho Hum, and now I shall prove her point and talk about shoes. Do you think I need rainboots? What if I have really cute rainboots, how ‘bout then? I mean, we’ll be tramping around a rainforest where there is MUD, shouldn’t I bring waterproof footwear instead of ruining my white Sauconys? I’ll bring those, too, but not for the muddy trails. And even one pair of heels is unnecessary, right? Flip flops are all-encompassing.

Also, my wardrobe should be more browns-based and less blacks-based. I do not have enough color for Central America. I do, however, have exactly the perfect amount of color for Paris (read that: none). Will probably experience the same unbefitting feeling as last year in Greece, where only the widows wear black. On the positive, I read that the jungle animals tend to shy away from dramatic color (indicates poisonous), so maybe the black thing will work for me. Either way, I rarely plan on leaving my comfy pants. How awesome is a vacation of comfy pants (answer: very).

Final question: The Firefighter will have a birthday while we’re in Costa Rica. I should buy him something … something fun and slightly relevant … I have no idea what that should be. Thought his favorite booze sold in MN but then I’d have to check my bag and that’s a hassle, blah blah. Ideas?

TOMORROW. Maybe we should have booked even one hotel room? NO. We are adventurous! We will not be tied down! I have no anxiety about being a free spirit because THAT’S WHO I AM.

Bear Fights are not an easy succession of shots: a car bomb (Guinness, Bailey’s, Jameson) immediately followed by a Jag Bomb (Jägermeister, Red Bull). The heaviness of the first and the sweetness of the second react violently with each other, hence the etymology.

I do not typically partake in Bear Fights. I only did so on Friday because I lost. Lost ten times in a row. My opponent, that tricky bastard, did paper every time. Damn you, Rock-Paper-Scissors. After our shots, decently lit, my opponent and I were walking to the next bar to meet the rest of the group when I heard my name.

“Molly! Molly Elizabeth!”

He was outside a bar, sitting on the patio with friends, smiling a cautious smile. The first and only time I’d ever seen him in a place other than my house, his place, or the real estate office. And here I was, fresh from fightin’ me a bear.

We chatted, as per usual The Realtor was charming – obviously, the guy is in sales for God’s sake – and my friend and I eventually carried on our merry way. Reunited with our group at a bar down the block, the eight of us fought more bears, returning to Baby Cakes’ once the clock struck two.

We played cards until 4am, until everyone (paired off) retired to their respective corners. My floor space quickly became claimed by a heavily-breathing couple. Delightful. Which left me with a random boy and the pull-out couch. No big deal; it was sleeping time. Then his hands started to wander. Clumsily.

It’s not that my couch partner wasn’t attractive – because he was, in his way – but he hadn’t spoken to me throughout the course of the evening. At all. I find that awkward. Is one smile too much to ask before you put your hands on me? Maybe just a hello? I barely knew his name. Also, I have a rule where I don’t have casual hook-ups with guys within The Kid’s circle. It’s a respect thing, not that I owe him that, but with our history, I give him that. A guy has to have some potential if I am going to sacrifice my privacy and become a subject for gossip.

I tried to play the pass out card. It didn’t work. I had previously thought that the genius of the pass-out card is that it ALWAYS WORKS. Apparently not. [Side note: reading texts from The Realtor probably didn’t help my passed-out argument, so I stopped reading them after the first twenty minutes. He was inviting me over, even offered to pay for the cab. Very effortful on his part.] Throughout my FORTY-FIVE MINUTES OF FAKE SLEEP, he repeated the following actions:

1. Pulling my hip so that I was laying on my back (even though I had told him MULTIPLE TIMES that I had 48 NEW stitches in my back)
2. Picking up my limp wrist and dropping it
3. Poking my shoulder
4. Repeating, “Are you serious? Hey. HEY. Are you AWAKE?”
5. Wandering hands
6. Trying to hold hands, lace fingers, and massage(?) my palm
7. Spooning at various angles

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

While I meticulously maintained my passing out act, sometimes integrating the subtle, “Shh, I’m sleeping.”, he KEPT GOING. Dude, even if you don’t believe my (very convincing!) act, I am still not sending signals of interest. GIVE IT UP.

Near 5am, bless his trying heart, my patience was approaching its end. All I wanted was sleep but those goddamn Red Bulls weren’t making my mission easy. Nor was my couch partner. When he took my hand, I grew hopeful that he was finally going to calm his hands and let me sleep, but instead, with my fingers twined with his as if that meant I was an active participant, he started to poke at my mouth with his finger. His finger. My mouth.

Poke. Poke.

Yes. When I am diligently acting non-responsive, PLEASE CAN I SUCK YOUR FINGER. Nothing I love more than waking up to a surprise finger-sucking with a random. Goody! Was just craving dirty boy-finger! Delicious!

Poke. Poke poke.

When my lips wouldn’t yield to his poking, he attempted to WEDGE it between my teeth. Sure, just cram it in there. A little force never hurt anyone.

Was the last straw. An excuse was given, and I left the apartment. I thought the lie plausible, but The Guy from the Couch repeated it to Baby Cakes, who found it hilariously improbable. Anyone who thinks The Bestest Friend and I wouldn’t go on an emergency stalking mission to catch her boyfriend cheating in the early-morning hours, doesn’t know us at all. Plus, I like using excuses that illustrate my crazy, because, you know, that saves time in the long-run.

I walked the streets of uptown –took less than ten minutes –and knocked on a door. He didn’t look surprised to see me.

“Hey,” he said. I was embarrassed that I was there, and defensive.

“Hey. I’ve come over to sleep. That’s it.”

And The Realtor let me sleep.

Life has been busy. And not good busy where I feel like I am accomplishing my goals, but busy like I have been frantically treading water to stay afloat without making any progress. If I could stop putting all my energy into keeping my head above water, I might pick a direction, but for the moment, I keep swimming. How is it May? When did that happen? The semester ends soon and work is slowing, so my use of the survival stroke should be minimized this summer. I hope. Or there’s always my back-up plan: a Happy Pills prescription. Or maybe Adderall – that seems like a productive drug.

Another reason I haven’t written is because I haven’t had much to say. How many blog entries can I submit about treading water? “Dear Diary, On Friday night I did laundry and drank wine by myself. I almost baked cookies but instead chose to sleep my full twelve hours. Huzzah.”

Hmm … where did I last leave off? My nonexistent love life, maybe? No surprises here, the same players, which I hope to change with the start of summer and being SOCIAL again.

The Realtor and his chica are officially broken up. He says that he still has a crush on me. I say, wtf?

The Kid … well, we weren’t talking, but now we are again, so that situation is pretty much the same. A few weeks ago, he was being distant. Not answering texts, not returning calls, etc. It was enough of a change that I consciously noticed. I called him out on being sketchy and requested a break from our talking, and two days later, unable to sleep at 2am and stalking on facebook, I saw pictures of him –he wasn’t tagged, but his roommate was –at Law School Prom with a girl, she was pretty, and the caption underneath said, “so cute!”. Immediately upon viewing, I became physically nauseous. I usually have excuses and explanations regarding all things Kid-related, but the involuntary reactions are most difficult to rationalize. Not being ok, wasn’t ok with me. So I put more distance between us. Last spring, when we decided to try this “friends” thing, my stipulation was that I wanted notice when he was going to start dating someone and therefore avoid me. He dismissed my concern at the time, saying he would never do that again, yet WHY WASN’T I SURPRISED. I’m better now. I don’t know if they are together, I don’t want to know – not like last time’s obsessive mission to discover each trivial detail –so I haven’t asked him or his friends. I haven’t even said her name out loud. He can have his life, I have mine.

It always comes down to my choice: to talk or not to talk. And as unhealthy as our dynamic is, I would always rather talk to him than not talk to him. Our inane email conversations mean something to me, and I’ve accepted that it hinders my growth process. And I don’t want to analyze what that says about me.

I’m not visiting him with The Bestest Friend, as she had previously arranged. In lieu, I am going to Costa Rica trip with The Firefighter. Our departure is in one week. ONE WEEK. Details have yet to be arranged. We’re meeting in Denver the night of May 13th, arriving in San Jose at 5am on the 14th and flying back to the states on May 24th. Ten days of jungling. Last night we booked our car rental, sure to become our cozy little home for the trip duration. Other details will have to wait until my finals are complete (Thursday! – can I crack open a beer during the exam?). This will be a lot of time for us together. A lot. Even when we lived in the same state, we didn’t bank this many hours together. It should be good – we’re both pretty adaptable –but who knows, traveling brings out interesting personality facets.

And that’s my life. How’s yours?