Saturday, November 17, 2012

Life > Fiction

Most of the time in my dating life, things are pretty ho-hum. Nothing much to write home about, or to even think about the next day. But every so often something happens that reminds me of how crazy and silly life is, and how I could not make this stuff up if I tried.

Such an event happened last night. I headed down to Rhode Island after work, feeling woozy from a nasty cough and lack of sleep. Theradate was kind enough to tell me where to find his spare keys, so I let myself in and plunked myself down on the couch. I was too wiped to follow his directive to raid his fridge and snoop around; instead, I curled up with my New Yorker and read/dozed.

Even though I barely made it past the front door, I could see that Theradate's house is very nice. Very grown-up and light-filled and beautiful. But I wanted to wait for him to come home to see all the details. So, it wasn't until half an hour later or so that I got the full tour, including the second floor bedroom/balcony with spectacular windows. Near the bedroom is a funky little twisty passage shaped like a snail shell that you walk through to access the bathroom.

It took a moment for this to sink in. Then: "Sooooo... you don't have a bathroom door??!"

Theradate: "Nope! You just walk through there to get to the bathroom."

Those of you who have been reading my blog since my Leif Ericson fling last summer remember the trials and tribulations and many trips to Starbucks I had to take while dating him due to his lack of a bathroom door. Seriously, what are the chances that I date two men within six months that don't have bathroom doors?? Is this phenomenon more widespread than I realized? Or do I have an unhealthy penchant for men with boundary issues?

Thankfully, Theradate's downstairs bathroom has a nice, solid door with a lock on it. Such refreshingly normal, healthy boundaries.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

How about we compromise and all vote Democrat?

I wasn't too worried about the election on Tuesday. Two men were responsible for my complacency: Nate Silver (who reassured me on November 2nd that "If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can't acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that you goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.") and my Italian ex-boyfriend, l'Artista. 

When I spoke with l'Artista on Hurricane Sandy Day, 8 days before the election, he said, "Of course Obama's going to win! Don't waste your time worrying about it. That would be crazy if he didn't." My eccentric college roommate used to tease me for thinking that l'Artista knows everything, and I guess part of me still trusts him irrationally. I'm glad to say that, in this case, I was right to. 

After listening to This American Life's "Red State/Blue State" episode, which argued that our country is becoming increasingly politically divided and that we don't listen to each other because we are so certain we are correct in our beliefs, I am determined to try to reach out and bridge some of those divides. Only, there's one problem: I am completely, irrevocably convinced that I am right and they are wrong. There may be some arguments they are making that I could at least listen to, but there's just no way I can understand, empathize with, or give any credibility to a party that opposes gay marriage, uses the environment as a punch line, disrespects women, and wishes minorities would stay a small percentage of the U.S. population or at least stop voting. 

It often feels like Red State America is far, far away, and I don't need to worry about it in my day-to-day life. In my state, not a single county went red, and in my school's election -- in which I voted twice -- it was a landslide for Obama. Granted, these are five and six year olds, but they sure were excited about Obama's victory. 

Sometimes those Red Staters are closer than they appear, though. On Wednesday, one of my co-workers mentioned to me in passing that she sympathized with a little girl in her class, a staunch Scott Brown supporter who wrote him in as her choice for President. I thought my smile and quick escape were enough to send the message that I was not on the same page, but apparently not. Later in the day, as she dismantled her election display, she brought me a gift: a photo of Mitt Romney. "So sad!" she said, smiling, as she handed it to me. 

In my effort to reach out to Red State America, I have not ripped up the photo and thrown it in the trash. Instead, it sits upside-down beneath a giant mound of papers while I ponder what the heck to do with it. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Action in the bullpen

My friend complained to me this weekend that, while she learned a lot about my feelings toward the food at Oleana from my last blog post, she learned nothing about my feelings for Theradate. I'm a bit mystified by his eccentricity -- he's the most gregarious person I've ever dated, he threatened to wear a pink tutu to Oleana, and he told me that a day when he eats only three pints of ice cream is a light day for him -- but I also like him. So much so that I invited him to my 1/3 of a century birthday party last night (he couldn't come).

But I'm busy, and then he's busy, and then I'm busy, and then he's going away for five days, so I'm not going to see him again for two weeks. I'm notoriously bad at keeping action in my bullpen, but this lull between dates is a reminder that, even though Theradate texts me every day and sent me an essay he wrote (then asked for some of my writing in return even though I told him I don't write -- he sure called that bluff!) and added me as a friend on Facebook and it kinda feels like we know each other, we don't. So there's really no earthly reason why I should sit and twiddle my thumbs and send goofy texts to Theradate for the next two weeks when I've got eligible men waiting around for me to contact them on OkCupid.

So I'll be keeping busy, going on dates and volunteering for political candidates and obsessively checking the 538 blog, and before I know it Theradate will be back. And then maybe we'll go see a documentary about climate change, if he can handle it. (He gets very upset about climate change. But he thinks he might be able to handle it if I hold his hand and lie to him that everything will be okay.)