Thursday, November 30, 2006

“the gap between expectation and reward”

There was something about that date I had a couple weeks ago that put me in old and familiar territory, that Oh shit, here we go again feeling that comes with every first date. Don't get me wrong, I had an enjoyable time, but the thought of getting out there again in the dating world was enough to make me break out into a cold sweat. In the end I really couldn't be bothered and didn't email her back. Dear readers, I just didn't care.

So why the apathy?

If burnout is the gap between expectation and reward, or rather the failure of expectation and effort to meet up with a desired result, then I am burned out. I'm burned out on love, dating, and being single. It wasn't until I read New York magazine's excellent feature on burnout that I realized my dating apathy is one of the classic signs of this phenomena. Another sign? Feeling like I have been struggling greatly for little in return.

As many of you know, I started Operation Find The Lesbians (OFTL) in January as a New Year's resolution. My goal was to get out there, wherever "out there" was, and meet other gay women. At the time I had 1.5 gay friends and a gay man + a bisexual woman did not a gay life make. So I got out there full of expectations and hit the scene with all the gusto of a marathon runner. I did online dating, the bar scene, Lesbian Club, and sleeping with friends to mixed results. You couldn't fault me for trying and I'm satisfied that at the bare minimum I achieved what I set out to do.

But I wanted something more. I wanted a girlfriend. I wanted a deeper connection with someone. This is where the burnout began. My high expectations and great effort ran into the hard wall of little reward. I think the Holly situation hastened my burnout. And even if I could walk away from her for good, what then? Go back to the parade of first dates that never materialize into anything? I'd rather take a nap with my two cats.

Monday, November 27, 2006

"You paid how much for a turkey?!"

Alright. Many things. One, a quick note to my friends. I don't do well with three days worth of alone time. Not only do I get stir crazy, but I get depressed. On Sunday night I was eating cold pumpkin pie and bourbon (a strangely delicious combination) in my semi-lit apartment ALL ALONE. I don't want to ever do that again. I had this problem last year. So when I say, "Hey, are you doing anything this weekend? I really need to get out of the house," I mean it. For the sake of my mental health, please just do something with me! I do not fare well during periods of isolation.

I'm a little broken after my three days of alone time, but give me a couple days and I'll be back to my perky self. Thanksgiving was good -- I cooked for nine of my friends. I also cooked my first turkey in addition to cranberries, cornbread, pumpkin pie, and potatoes. I fucked up the gravy, but it was a rookie mistake.

Other Things:

- Gained 15,000 pounds after spending all my alone time eating Thanksgiving leftovers.

- I did actually get out of the house on Saturday night to go see Volver at
BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) with my friend Carm. Incidentally Jay-Z was also at BAM the same night.

- Spent $116 at Crate & Barrel buying such necessary items as a carving fork, platter, and roasting pan. Wish I had gotten that fat separator and maybe I wouldn't have fucked up the gravy.

- Yes, I paid $45 for an 11.5 lb turkey and I bought it from the Park Slope Food Co-op, but it was an American Bronze variety and thus promoting sustainable eating and the craft food movement. And it was quite tasty.

- Realized that I should have picked up two other important items at Crate & Barrel such as a meat thermometer and a baster. Ah, the rookie mistakes.

- Yes, the Holly situation is fucked up and I haven't been blogging about it since I don't want to try your patience, dear readers, but we slept together again while we waited for the Thanskgiving guests to arrive.

- Another word on the
Holly situation: apparently Holly told a friend of mine during my birthday party that we've been seeing each other for the last few months. Hmmm. News to me. I thought I was single. I did go on a date with someone a couple of weeks ago, you know.

- I came out to some of my coworkers on Tuesday. Believe it or not this is a big step for me.

- I got my other cat fixed after I discovered him humping his brother.

So yeah, that's about it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

"The corset has landed."

Ways in which I and others commemorated the anniversary of my birth:

- Got taken out to lunch by work colleagues.

- Squeezed my D cup "girls" into a black corset, which finally arrived from CA at 11:30 am Friday.

- Located my black feather boa.

- Drank gin.

- Drank bourbon.

- Drank beer.
- Ate red velvet cupcakes.

- Watched an impromptu song and dance number by two friends of mine. A Swiffer pole was used like a cane.

- Made a fool out of myself, albeit relatively sober.

Awesome. No hangover this year and this birthday was by far the best in my 20s, which are normally disastrous.

Now that my birthday has passed, it's time to focus on Thanksgiving. This year marks the Second Annual Misfits Thanksgiving for those who don't want to spend the holiday or cannot spend the holiday with family. Dinner shall be cooked in part by moi, however the hitch with this plan is that I've NEVER cooked a turkey before and must figure out how to do so before Thursday. What the hell have I gotten myself into??

Friday, November 17, 2006

"Forgot to tell you . . . sad news."

When I was a sophomore in college, my parents bought me a new 1998 Saturn as an early graduation gift. I named her Saffy after the dourly studious character Saffron on the British television series Absolutely Fabulous. Not only was I was a big fan of the show, but the first three letters of my license plate was FAB so it seemed only appropriate to name a dour, safe car after a dour character. Though some may think getting a new car from my parents made me a spoiled kid, I will say that I got this gift during the Bad Time -- ie, the three year period after my parents found out I was gay and in which I barely spoke to them because of how they freaked out. I think the car was a peace offering and I was just glad to have some wheels.

I had Saffy her for over 6 years -- 6 years of driving around DC, driving back and forth between Roanoke, Virginia and home, and trips to Delaware for the beach. I even once drove Saffy all the way from Virginia to Cape Cod with my then girlfriend.

Before moving to New York, I sold Saffy. And when I sold Saffy, she had 50,000 + miles on her in addition to a scratch down the drivers side where someone keyed it. It was a sad parting, but very necessary one as no one owns a car in New York. She was sold to the daughter of my mother's coworker and I took the money and bought an iMac G5.

I was sad to learn that last night that Saffy met her end, wrapped around a telephone pole after hydroplaning in the rain. Her new owner was unhurt,* but Saffy was sadly totaled. She was only 9 years old.

* The airbag apparently never deployed! Eeek! Thankfully I never got into an accident when I had her.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"What's a crinoline?"

I think I'm on the edge of a coronary. Between stress at work, hoping that my corset will arrive on time from California, those chocolate covered espresso beans, and planning my birthday, I'm two seconds away from exploding. But not before bitch slapping someone. That someone was almost the people at, where I ordered my big mamajama corset from. They assure me that everything will arrive in time having "upgraded" my shipping to overnight.

Plan B had me running around Macy's during lunch. And anyone who's visited the Macy's on 34th Street would know that it's GINORMOUS! Do they sell corsets? Of course not. Do they know what a crinoline is? Of course not. Arrrrrrgh! They do have plenty of bustiers though.

So now I am back in the office, have Drone Zone on, and desperately seeking my happy zen place.

Oh and it's worth mentioning that my date went well last night -- as well as all my previous first dates went that never materialized into anything. I didn't get home until 11:30 pm and had way too much beer on an empty stomach. No rest for the wicked, right?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Today must be your lucky day."

Um, I have a date tonight. Seriously. Where did I meet this girl? She appeared suddenly like a magical flash on Lexington Avenue. Actually she contacted me through Friendster and liked me enough even though my Friendster profile is horribly out of date. I figure I have nothing to loose.

So Friday is my birthday. And what do I have planned for the big 2-8? A Burlesque Birthday Party! Bring on the half naked girls! And what will I be wearing? My very own corset and accoutrements. But here's the snag -- said corset and accoutrements should have arrived today since I paid for the 2 day FedEx shipping. Unfortunately when I called this afternoon, it was all still sitting in a California warehouse. Listen, people! Don't you know that I must look hot for my birthday?! So there is a chance that I might be wearing only my birthday suit for my birthday.

Monday, November 13, 2006

"All the love's alive tonight."

OFAG is moving along . . .

On Saturday I met Lesbian Club members at a Park Slope bar for drinks. I made sure I looked nice because who knows -- maybe the love of my life is going to show up. Later my friend Nina leaned in and told me when she was downstairs getting a drink, one of the new members asked who I was.

When Nina responded, she exclaimed, "Oh that's Rouge?!" before making a noise of approval, something like a oooooo! But the girl was shy and had Nina not said anything, I would have never known that she fancied me. It's nice to be fancied nonetheless.

New Girl later left, but her friend stayed behind. Both Nina and Wendy swept in and started inquiring about NG on my behalf.

"What do you think about NG and Rouge?"

"You know," the friend said, "when I first saw Rouge I thought she'd be perfect for NG."

All eyes were on me as we sat around the bar table. I squirmed under the spotlight.

The friend continued. "But I really think NG is straight even though she's attracted to and dates women. She needs a guy." Then came a list of things that were wrong with NG ending with, "Other than that she's be perfect for you!"

Uh . . . . . Way to sell me on the idea!

Friday, November 10, 2006

"You can't think like that!"

So yeah, I didn't vote on Tuesday. I know. I know. Bad. So very bad. My friend Nina has been riding me about it all week.

"I can't believe you didn't vote!" she gasped as we got drunk at a Park Slope bar on election night and watched the returns on CNN.

I hung my head in shame and stared into my sake glass. "I know. I'm usually really good, but they didn't send me my polling information and I got lazy." I also reminded Nina that we live in one of the bluest areas of the country and both Spitzer and Clinton were shoe-ins for governor and senator respectively. "If there was anyplace to be lazy, it was here."

"You can't THINK like that! That's how they win! I thought you of all people would be voting. Wendy even voted." Wendy is our mutual friend who, according to Nina, normally can't be bothered.

So yeah, didn't vote. I suck. One of the most important mid-term elections in the history of the country and I didn't take part. It will take me a long time to live this down and Nina is still giving me shit.

Monday, November 06, 2006

"Don't waste the pretty."

As embarrassing as it is to admit, I just finished the book He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys. Seriously. My friend Carolyn from Lesbian Club handed it to me over drinks, gushing over its pithy observations on love. The book was slim, missing its dust jacket, and many of its pages were dog eared. I cocked my eyebrow and gave her an incredulous look.

"But Carolyn," I reminded her, "this book is for straight women."

"You just read like it was about girls!" she exclaimed. "Dude, that stuff is spot on. It's by the people who wrote Sex and the City."

Opening the book I could feel my lesbian credentials draining like a pint glass during happy hour.

"I didn't want anyone on the subway seeing what I was reading, so I took off the dust jacket," she added.

Then why on earth did she think that I needed to read it??

Not wanting to be rude, I slid the book into my purse and thought that at best I'd leaf through a couple of pages, silently making catty remarks over the stupid things ditzy straight women do. And then I would probably pat myself on the back for being too clever for that paradigm.

Oh but wait . . . scratch that. Looks like I am part of the paradigm after all.

At only 176 pages and written in something like 12 pt double spaced, I ended up finishing the book in a couple hours. The book has a simple premise -- he's just not that into you -- and lists all the glaring ways in which he (or in this case she) demonstrates this premise. Chapter 6? Yeah that happened to me. Chapter 7? I was guilty of that. Chapter 9? One word -- Val. Chapter 10? I should photocopy it and mail it to Holly. Who knew that a book written for straight women would strike at the heart of the universality of love and all its frustrations? Who knew that "he's just not that into you" is the same as "she's just not that into you?"

So what did I learn? I learned that she's just not that into me if she's still in love with her married boss, doesn't ravish me when I'm wearing a corset, doesn't make herself emotionally available, and only expresses her feelings when she's drinking. After reading those 176 pages, I was angry at the state of my love life.

Don't waste pretty as the book says. I'm tired of being constantly disappointed by love. And I'm not going to accept anything less than awesome from now on.

Friday, November 03, 2006

"I'm kind of tired of looking at your boobs . . ."

Here's what's going on:

- I went to a screening of Fast Food Nation on Wednesday and got to watching the movie from the plush, velvet chairs of the Dolby screening room up on 55th. My review? Good acting, but the message -- often heavy handed at times -- gets lost in a somewhat messy plot. The most compelling aspect of the film was watching immigrant struggles in a Colorado town and the workings of slaughter house. Read the book, skip the movie.

- I finally invoiced my old job that I was doing freelance for. Yeee-haw! Now I can really say that I am done with gastroenterology.

- Val wrote me this morning, but it was only to request to get off my email list for Lesbian Club. She also de-friended me from MySpace, so there's that chapter closed with a loud thud.

- I really don't know what to do with my lovelife other than throw up my hands. Maybe I'll go back to my previous goal of being a slut. Or maybe it's not too late to join that praise team.