Tag Archives: body

Getting Over the “Princess Fantasy.” Slowly.

On Thursday D, as he frequently does, made dinner for me and a few of his college friends.

One of them has gone on a few dates with a girl that he likes, and all week had planned to call her the following night–Friday–in order to see her over the weekend.

The rest of us, myself in particular, took umbrage at this strategy.

“So if you want to hang out with someone during the weekend, when would you call them?” I asked the group.

“Thursday” was the immediate, obvious consensus. This suggestion provoked a response so aggravated, so extreme that even the guy in question couldn’t help but be amused–at which point the conversation turned comic.

“I don’t just think you should call her,” one guy chimed in. “I think you should marry the girl. Might as well propose.”

“You’re compatible, you’re physically attracted,” he continued, his wife making salad a few feet away. “That’s all you need. The rest you’ve got to work for anyhow. There’s no such thing as ‘the one.'”

This is a theory with which, in the abstract, I completely agree. There are lots of people one could find happy partnership with. With any of them, there would be persistent challenges. Different ones, perhaps, but challenges all the same. Sharing a life is never easy.

In other words, intellectually I know he’s right: the myth of “the one” is just that–a myth.

Emotionally, though, I’m not sure I do.

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On Haircuts, Confidence and Compliments

Among the numerous readers of my blog to whom I am related by blood or marriage, my sister-in-law, F, is not one.

So when we spoke on the phone earlier this week for the first time in about a month, she asked how my love life was going.

“Not great,” I sighed–informing her about my recent spate of rejection.

“Huh,” she responded, contemplative. “How’s your hair?”

“Kinda bad,” I told her. “It needs a cut.” I was tired, and possibly distracted by some blanket-laden homeless person on Central Avenue; I at first did not absorb her question’s implication. But then I did.

“Are you suggesting that men are rejecting me because of my hair?”

“I’m just asking,” she said. “I mean, I saw you recently so I know you’re not fat. Maybe you’re having a bad hair year.”

Let’s put aside for a moment any questions about the likelihood of bad hair lasting for an entire year, and allow me to provide some context. First of all, F and I have similar hair: she’s Italian and I’m Jewish and both of us have seriously thick, coarse and texturally schizophrenic manes to show for our respective ethnicities. Second of all, having dated my brother since I was five years old, F is the closest thing I’ve got to a sister and has therefore earned permission to tell me things no one else can.

But back to completely inane perceptions of what makes us more or less attractive.

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Is Facebook Making Life Worse?

Over Thai curries last night with a few friends, J announced that it was the evening of her ten year high school reunion.

Implicit in her announcement was the fact that she was, in fact, here in Albuquerque with us–and not in New York celebrating with her former classmates.

“Don’t worry,” she assured the group. “I talked to my friend who’s there and it’s not that cool.” According to said friend’s report basically everyone in the class is currently working in finance. Except for the former class president, who owns a bar–and also might have a job in finance.

This led into a discussion of reunion attendance generally: I’m about to go my college 5th, S is skipping hers, I skipped my high school 5th but would contemplate the 10th.

We all agreed, though, that the traditional allure of reunions–the chance to see what people are up to who you’d otherwise never know about–is pretty diminished these days.

Thanks to Facebook, we realized, we now know more than we probably ever wanted to about people from our past. We know who is married and who is single. Who works in finance and who is still in school. Who looks a lot better than they did when they were eighteen, who looks worse and who looks exactly the same (at this point, I’d have to say: most people).

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Masculine vs. Feminine, and the Laws of Attraction

When people act all incredulous that I have things to say on an almost-daily basis about dating and relationships, I’ve taken to gently reminding them how many of their conversations center on the topic.

Generally, the answer to this question is: most of them. I’d argue that basically all of us, to one degree or another, are obsessed with romantic love. We are consumed with it. Tell me I’m wrong.

I tend to think of women as being more open about this. Or, at least, engaging in more frequent discussion on the subject. The male friendships I know, on the other hand, run the gamut from constant, ongoing boys’ night chatter to waiting six months to tell one another they have a girlfriend.

The two guys I was out with last night definitely occupy the former end of this range. Especially, it would seem, when in the company of someone they suspect might post their thoughts online. Beer may have helped.

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A Bit of Body Talk

Over wine at a bar last night, I proudly proclaimed to my friend J my day’s most significant achievement: that I successfully held the Wheel posture in yoga class. (You know, the one you go into from Bridge where you’re holding yourself up on your outstretched arms and legs and feel that life is highly unstable).

“Great!” she cheered. “Has this been a longtime goal of yours?”

I considered the question, and replied, honestly: no. Or rather, yes, but only since Wednesday when we tried it for the first time and I couldn’t do it. I then explained that because of my epic and lifelong inflexibility, I am always shocked on the rare occasions that I succeed with yoga moves beyond a basic lunge.

“I couldn’t even do a summersault when I was a kid!” I exclaimed. Now the whole group of women was paying attention, and highly skeptical. Folks, I know that I have a tendency to exaggerate. And as many of you pointed out to me after that last post, I can also veer toward extreme self-depracatation. But I am not lying here: I really couldn’t do a summersault. Don’t even get me started on a cartwheel. Also, I was a moderately chubby child. I told my friends this by way of explanation.

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