Monday, September 26, 2011

Dreamy fledges the nest

Dreamy took off for New York last week. Since then, during phone conversations in the evening after work and a weekend visit involving an epic trip to IKEA, I've had several moments in which I've asked myself, "Who is this person??" and, "Did aliens abduct Dreamy and replace him with Martha Stewart?" Here are a few examples:

Me: Hey hon, what's up? I just finished cooking and eating dinner.
Dreamy: Oh, me too!
Me: What did you have?
Dreamy: Pasta made from quinoa, with sauteed veggies like bell peppers, onions, kale [I didn't even think Dreamy was aware of kale's existence], and garlic. I started with the garlic and onions just like you taught me!

Dreamy: What do you think I should do about getting internet at home?
Me: Why don't you ask your neighbors if anyone wants to share?
Dreamy: How do I get in touch with them?
Me: Just knock on their door and introduce yourself. Or wait until you meet them in the hall.
Dreamy: Or maybe I could bake something and bring it to them as a little gift! It could be a fun project for us to do together this weekend.

[Late night text message from Dreamy:] These heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market are so delicious!!! I can't wait to get more next week.

Dreamy [repeated about 10 times throughout the weekend]: I'm just so excited about that kitchen island. I think it'll work really well in my kitchen. The blue is the right shade to go with my blue color theme in the kitchen, it's the right size, my silverware tray fits in the drawer, and I think it'll make cooking a lot easier. It's been so hard to cook without much counter space! I can't wait to assemble it.
Me: I know. You really love your kitchen island. I'm so happy for you.

Is this the same guy who needed detailed instructions for how to wash and chop carrots? Who needed constant reminders to wash his dishes and take out the garbage? And is his next request of me going to be to teach him how to knit so he can make an afghan for his new IKEA couch?? All of this is making me reflect that, much as I miss him, in the long run it is a very good thing for him to be living on his own for a while. Turns out he's got his own inner Martha Stewart just like the rest of us. He just never got the chance before to let her shine.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fickle-o-meter, part II

I opened my computer this afternoon to discover the following new entry on my fickle-o-meter:


Was printing a document this afternoon from my girlfriend's computer when this came up. Annoyed that she seems to be keeping a daily ledger of issues in our relationship and scoring my "performance."

I got a score, too: an F. Which he subsequently deleted.

Apparently it doesn't do much good to give your document a fake boring name, like "Financial records 2011," if you then forget to close the document on your computer.

The fickle-o-meter may not be long for this world, since Dreamy doesn't seem to like it for some reason. But perhaps it's not so much the actual document that counts -- after all, I hardly ever consulted my Man List -- as the purpose behind it, to remind me not to get bogged down in the moment and to try to keep track of the big picture. I am smart enough to do that without the help of a document on my computer.

Still, I couldn't help but tell him, when I discovered that he did the laundry AND the dishes today, that he might just get a 10 for the day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Fickle-o-meter

In a few days, Dreamy is taking off for New York for his year-long job. This leaves me pondering the same question I've been trying to get to the bottom of for months: Is he my future husband? Because if he is, then a year of long-distance is just a blip on the screen. And if not, it's a colossal waste of time.

I was hoping that things would become clearer over the past three months, since we started co-habiting in June. The problem is, my feelings about Dreamy have fluctuated crazily during that time. A trip to Italy involving a visit with my ex, l'Artista, made me feel for weeks afterward that I don't feel as connected to Dreamy as I once did to l'Artista. But then Dreamy was sweet, supportive and an amazing dancer during my sister's wedding, even though I had told him two days before it that I didn't see our relationship lasting past the summer. We bonded while ziplining and feeding hummingbirds during our Costa Rican vacation. Nose surgery in July that involved four days of nostril tampons made me feel a strange mixture of tenderness and revulsion. And last Sunday, as he stroked my hair while I puked following a few too many vodka shots, I felt sure he was the one.

Somehow, even though I may have felt totally differently five minutes earlier, I always feel convinced that what I'm feeling in that particular moment is a true reflection of how I really feel deep down about Dreamy. I've finally decided that to get to the bottom of this I need to start keeping records, à la my Man List. So I'm starting a new document on my computer (top-secret with a fake, boring name, of course) in which I'll keep track of how I'm feeling about Dreamy every day. I'll write a few notes as well as rate my feelings on a score from 1 to 10. I'm calling it the Fickle-o-meter because I've never felt so fickle in all my life, even when I was two and got kicked out of the candy store because I couldn't choose which candy to buy.

The crazy thing is that between when I first came up with the idea during my bike ride home and now, two hours later, Dreamy's score for today has somehow skyrocketed from a 6 to an 8, even though I haven't seen him during that time or had any communication with him. Talk about fickle! I guess I'll have to wait until after our date tonight to finalize his score for the day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Austerity Times

To deal with reduced financial circumstances, I've temporarily had to implement austerity measures. I'm hoping it won't be for long, because two weeks in I'm already missing the little perks in life, but in the meantime here are a few things I am not allowed to indulge in:
  • Bars. Drinking is allowed only within the confines of a house.
  • Eating out. But, austerity measures are not about being cheap, so if a friend treats you, you still need to reciprocate.
  • Parking tickets/towing fees. So hard to resist their allure.
  • Pottery lessons. Big frowny face.
  • Yoga? Still trying to figure that one out because I'm not sure I can live without it.
  • Clothes. If you have enough clothes that they overflow your ample drawer space AND several boxes in the basement, it's enough. (I may have slipped up a bit this afternoon when I HAPPENED to be on the JCrew website and saw some crazy sales. But I put it on a gift card, so it doesn't count.)
  • A Smartphone. I'm up for a new phone from Verizon, and had planned on joining the masses and getting an iPhone. But it'll have to wait. (On a related note, when did it become so rare to only have a Dumbphone??)
  • Gas. Hence, I am biking everywhere. Which means I am often sweaty, a bit smelly, and very buff.
  • Cheese that costs more than $8. Not totally sure I can live without that, either, but we'll see.
  • Mani/pedis and waxes. Sorry in advance for all the extra hair.
And here are a few things that can help one get through Austerity Times:
  • Friends who are also on austerity measures to plan fun, low-cost activities with and help you stick to the plan.
  • Benefactors who ship you boxes of free clothes. Because there's always a LITTLE bit more space in those drawers. Or in the basement. Or on the floor. (Thanks, D.)
  • Foraging. Rather than head to the farmer's market and purchase pricey organic berries for my annual late summer jam-making extravaganza, as I have in the past, I visited a few crab apple trees near my parents' house last week and picked away, free of charge. On the way back, my arms laden down with apple bags, I was inspired when I passed some Rugosa roses and noticed their bulging hips, and I picked some of those, too. I also found some elderberries, but at that point I was running short on time and had to stick with my first two finds (but I have high hopes for next year!). Downside to foraging: Lots of worms. Like, really lots. I'm pretty sure neither my apple jam nor my rose hip jelly can be considered vegetarian. Upside: extra protein.