Thursday, December 28, 2006

movie etiquette

The last movie I went to with a boy was 'The Pursuit of Happyness.' It was a decent movie, though it reminded me why one should avoid a movie on anything but a 3rd date or after. I spent almost the entire time wondering whether we should be holding hands or not. I know, I appear completely committed to staying 14 forever with such thoughts, but it didn't occur to me until we went in that "date protocol" is never more present than in the dark hall of a theater.

Yesterday, I went to see 'Happy Feet' with my brother and his family. I sat between my 3 year old niece, Katie, and my 5 year old nephew, Andrew. Andrew gets scared easily so I knew there would be a point when I might need to ensure he knew he was safe. When the moment arrived and the scariest tiger seal an animator has ever conjured appeared on the screen, I grabbed Andrew's hand. It made me laugh how much easier it was to reach out and hold that little hand than it would have been to grab my date's a week and a half before.

This holiday has been full of kids, as they most holidays have been the last few years. Because I've been an aunt since I was three years old, I've had to remind myself of what it means as I've actually grown old enough to not just be like an older cousin, but to be another adult (albeit a fun one), another authority figure, hopefully some sort of mentor and most importantly, a friend. Two nights ago I had Dexter in my room for the whole night so his parents could get a full night's sleep. He was up at 3, 4, 6:30 and 7:30 - but I was able to comfort him, feed him and check (almost compulsively throughout the night) to see that he was still breathing as he lay sprawled out on the other side of the bed.

I suppose I recount these things because even as I wander aimlessly through the dating game, through the so-called quest for love, I am learning so much more about life as a whole - about the results of love (i.e., kids) and what it means to be a family, to raise a family, etc. Perhaps this is somewhat out of order - or perhaps this is all necessary before I am to find the person who I might start such things with. Either way, it's fun to be an aunt, and I'm thankful for the little hands I've been able to hold, the giggles I've overheard, the funny little bed mates (last night it was Katie who fell off the bed in the middle of our sleepover and was so asleep she refused to get back on the bed and thus slept on the floor for the rest of the night) and all the time with my family I've had this holiday. Blessings abound, and as such, I'm not in want for a whole lot going into the new year.

But oh, what a year it promises to be!

Monday, December 25, 2006


The title of this post belays the absolute glory of this Christmas season. I'm writing it for that very fact - because this has been a blessing-filled holiday to the max. So much so that as the days have passed I've asked myself just what could make it better, and come up with not a whole lot as the answer. But a moment ago as I was trying to free up my memory card for my digital camera this understanding was put to the test. (You'll have to excuse my prose right now - I'm a few, em, a lot, of glasses of champage in). As I checked to see if I'd freed up enough memory I hit the "ok" button a few times and bam, all of 2006 Christmas memories erased in about 2.5 seconds. You'd think almost a gig of memory would take longer to reformat, but no.

So, turns out that counting your blessings sometimes means recognizing them in the moment and counting on the power of the experience to carry them on, rather than an actual image to jog your memory. Because I no longer have those images, or video snippets, I'm going to jot down a few so I don't forget what made this holiday so special and blessing filled. aunt Carlie and uncle Larry and baby Dexter all with the same expression of pure joy in the midst of giggles on Christmas mom and her siblings singing the cherry tree carol...singing 'Hark the Harold Angels Sing' in French for my cousin Nina's mom from Quebec...Katie spinning in ballerina circles amidst the rest of the family caroling...Hanna being the older cousin...the boys running around and dueling...Grandpa Fred (my dad) loving every brothers and their families on Christmas morning...Hanna and Dexter napping...Camille and Hanna explaining to me on video why we had eight golden retriever puppies at Christmas in a 50's apron preparing the last course...Guitar pro and Tim...presents, lots...Christmas eve service with the kids at Carmel Pres...seeing old friends for the first time since '98...carols and more carols...Dexter and more family family family...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

ha ha

A quick note to update you on the important tallys of the holiday season.

The standings:

Champagne glasses consumed since arrival in Oakland: 3
Earthquakes since arrival: 2

My fingers are crossed that the champagne consumption stays in the lead.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

the key to a happy flight...

...rests in the booklet of free drink coupons Southwest recently sent me to accompany the frequent flyer ticket I just earned after a couple years of an almost monogomous relationship with the friendly skies*. I'm of course not quite caught up at work, not quite packed and not quite done with my Christmas gift assembly/shopping - but as soon as I get up north all of that fades away as I revel in the land of my youth, the oldest of friends and my family.

In case I'm not back before Christmas - a serious round of Happy Holidays to all of you and may your celebrations be merry and bright!

*"Come fly the friendly skies" - that's Southwest, right? I want to say as a child of the television generation that I have my long-standing slogans down - but I actually signed on to Southwest to confirm and there is not a slogan to be found. Not even on their 'about' or 'mission' page. Who is running their marketing department for cris' sake? At least I'm pretty confident that with Southwest I'm "free to roam around the country."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Wow, my blog wanderings really pay off sometimes. Today I checked in on a site I love but for some reason haven't been a regular reader of. This led me to a new project of the author - a shared space for bloggers whose blogs don't fall into the typical categories of "humor" or "parenting" or "food." No labels? Sign me up! Because while I started this blog to chronicle my dating life...ahem...I don't do much of that. And even when I do, it's just a piece of the things I enjoy bringing to the blogosphere, ruminating over and getting perspective on from a handful of kindred spirits. I don't think I really fall into much of a category any more, if I ever did. Anyway - I like this indie blogger thing. I signed up. I submitted a post. I think you should check the site out - I know some of you will enjoy it and want to participate as well!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The infinite lack of clarity

I just got back* from my alma mater where I filmed a 2-4 minute discussion of how I have benefited from a liberal arts education. The drama queen in me wants to call it an emotional disaster.

My advisor is hoping to use the tapes in an upcoming 'town and gown' to stress the benefits of liberal arts - but rather than set up the taping as an informal interview, they just asked us to talk, unscripted, about our experience at our school and how our background has helped us get to where we are today. This left me on the verge of tears for two reasons:

1) I choked.
2) I have no idea where I am today.

It wasn't awful - but it is damn hard to simply talk without any notes or script to a camera (with four people watching), and attempt to summarize four years of education and four years of working since graduation. I had jotted some notes down and was feeling confident - then the camera started rolling and I talked myself in circles - trying in vain to connect classes and clubs to experiences and work - pulling it all into a nice little liberal arts ball of a life. Don't get me wrong - I have material. I've been afforded some great opportunities since I graduated (thanks in large part to my advisor) and I've pursued as many in various organizations and travel that I've come across. But how do I connect the dots and help reflect why these things are so much a part of me? Especially when I'm just about to walk away from a huge amount of them - possibly for good?

This brings me to number 2. What am I doing with my life? I have this crazy 6 month plan but it's not part of a bigger picture. Of course figuring out the bigger picture is penciled in to happen in month two - but what if it doesn't? What if taking time to dwell in the things I'm most fascinated in or drawn to makes me further confused about where I'm supposed to end up?

I finally got through to one of my favorite blogs (my work sometimes blocks it) where Leah is trying to reconcile the timeline she's always had for herself with how her life is actually working out. It freaked me out a little - not because I'm worried about my own timeline - but because I don't really have one. I have this idea that marriage and family are out there in my life - but I'm basically making a choice right now to start everything from scratch - to end up who knows where. And aside from this vague understanding that the future holds family - I have absolutely no other images or timeline I'm working around. So I'm trying to figure out how to apply all I've learned, all I've done to next steps - and everything past June of next year is one big question mark. I wish I could describe this better - how completely bizarre it is to feel like what you're working towards is somehow being challenged by your own inability to envision life with these new components introduced. An example - I think of the value of getting a business degree to be able to pursue corporate responsibility - but I don't see myself in any specific job. I know this is part of why I need to do the research - to start coloring in the ideas with tangible opportunities - but right now I just don't have the time or energy to do so (see month two).

I feel like this is the blogging equivalent of verbal throw up. It's just that every once in awhile it hits me just how safe I've become - when all along I thought I was this great adventurer. And now on the brink of something that I want to feel so natural, I am starting to run myself in circles trying to make sense of my own actions. I can't tell if I'm brave or naive - I think it's a little bit of both.

The anticipation of upcoming experiences is killing me - and yet the fear that once they come I'll be completely upended is almost paralyzing.

*this was Monday...I've since gathered myself a bit but still wanted to post the moment as these are fears I have been cycling through somewhat frequently as the year comes to a close.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Virtual Christmas

I think it was Kottke who tipped me off to the loss of Leslie Harpold last week. As a relatively new blogger I had yet to make her acquaintance - and yet in reading tribute after tribute (I'm going to refer you here as the selection of links to both her own writing and those paying tribute to her is a great introduction to her) I am dumbstruck at just how many people loved her, and what a good job she seemed to do at loving them back. Further - many (or most?) were in her life simply because they were part of an online community - the first to share their writing and stories with the world through this medium - pioneers who made it simple for someone like me to have a repository for thoughts and connect with others I've never met in the flesh.

I think I'm struck in part by her story because for her, blogging and the internet were not limited to the virtual world. She took herself to the computer but she didn't stop there. She made friends who she would visit and talk to and she was famous for her incredibly generous and thoughtful packages that many said came just at the perfect time.

I am not sure I extend even my dearest friends such thought (my constant lack of organization preventing such things as on-time packages and the like) - and I am far from offering such treasures to those within my little blog community. But I would like to take a moment and recognize that such friendships are possible and I am thankful for people like Leslie that set this community in motion and offer us late comers some insight into how to make it more real. In Leslie's honor I would love to send any of you who are interested a copy of this year's holiday mix I am giving to all my friends. Just email me your address and promise me patience as I likely won't get it in the mail until after the holidays!

And the festivities begin!

Last Thursday was all Christmas, all day. My current work lunch was during the day, and my former boss's final send off was that evening. After ten years in local elected office he has termed out, and he wanted to celebrate with all his staff, past and present, in true South County style. So we went to the Ritz.

After all the discussions about whether I should bring a date or not I secured my dear friend Eric's hand for the night. We haven't spent much time together recently and I knew he would love the party (good food, good wine, open bar) and be willing to chat it up and mingle with a bunch of people he doesn't know from Adam. He did not disappoint!

We drove up around 6:30 to holiday splendor. Getting in line behind the benzs, the jags, the "I don't know what that is but it's clearly European and likely cost more than any house I've ever lived in," we made our way to the valet and into the lobby. Trees, lights, cocktail attire abounded.

Down a winding stair case we found our little room with a veranda that overlooked the pacific. We were greeted with wine at the door, and I started to introduce Eric to the people who ushered me in to my career path (or at least the first one of which I will soon depart from). A glass of wine in hand I saw my boss, looking quite dapper, and in the awkward "hello" managed to go left just as he did the same and poured my wine down the front of my dress. An accident? Sure - but it actually shows my political prowess: always be willing to take a bullet, or a spill, for your boss. Thank God for white wine.

We wandered onto the veranda, tasting coconut shrimp and chicken satay and catching up with various people who have spread themselves throughout the County and local community. It was a treat to see how various people who had worked as a team and reported to one guy have spread out into such diverse sectors - most in leadership positions of some sort. The wine flowed, the martinis were poured - we took our seats.

Each seat of a former staffer had a lovely little wrapped CD of that night's musical entertainment - a local piano man and friend of the Supervisor's. The first course was served - smoked salmon and greens, followed by a chestnut bisque and a palate cleanser of the most refreshing champagne glace. A salad came next and then the main course - a tender beef filet with a side of mashed potatoes infused with truffle oil. It was lovely.

Drink count at this point: 1 glass white, 2 glasses champagne, 1 glass red. With all that food, you would think I'd be doing fine...


I gave a toast - because I am my father's daughter and if ever a toast is to be made I would like to be the one to make it. The Supervisor teared up with his first talk, but by his second and third he could make it through - acknowledging each of us and the contributions we made and sharing how proud and thankful he was for our service over the past ten years. In my toast (which thankfully was offered about 36 seconds before things started to get foggy) I acknowledged that I started my career with him - and recognized him for two things. On a personal note - he was my first real boss, and I learned from him to expect a level of integrity that I will always look for in those I report to. On a more broad basis - I recognized how respected he, his office and staff are across the county for the respect they offer employees county wide. It was nice to be able to offer such statements with total sincerity, and dwell a bit on my blessings for starting off in such an arena.

Dessert came and went - in all honesty I don't remember what it was, though I think it had raspberries in it. At that point my priority was on figuring out some way to serenade the group, because by God there was a piano man present, and If I don't go by Mood Indigo, then who am I? With the prodding of a former sassy co-worker we ventured to the piano and I asked him if he knew my song. Unfortunately for me (but likely for the benefit of the group), the answer was no. Instead, my co-worker, another former staffer and myself attempted to lead the group in a round of Christmas carols. I couldn't tell you which ones, I'm pretty sure I forgot a few verses and spent our stage time alternating between giggles and false-confidence induced bellowing. No curtsy needed, we returned to our drinks and I was thankful for the one remaining speech given that was clearly as much in response to the flowing drinks as our carols were.

It was a lovely send off to a lovely career.

Post Script: Apparently the Supervisor was very pleased to have extended an invite to my date as there were questions as to my ability to drive myself home. Of course if I were driving myself, I would not have allowed for the tipsy - but I too was thankful for Eric and his total worthiness in the date department.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I have spent this weekend exploring possibilities and wondering on just how much I have yet to learn. Every new experience I have I think I am applying some past understanding or experience and coming up with a new interpretation - when in fact that very experience is instead providing new perspective and changing what I thought I had already found resolution on in some previous moment.

Suffice it to say, date number 2 was yesterday. Day time dates are kind of challenging - they strip you down to you and him - there's no romantic lighting or wine to fall back on. It's still too early to really ponder this all that much - but I am trying to figure out just how early those defining moments might show up. Should I be on the look out for deal breakers or should I take it as it goes? For now I'm more preoccupied with first moves - what's my move and what is his? And if we're both overly cautious, will we miss the moment?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Butterflies (quasi)explained

Like I said in my 100th post - I love to come here and spill when something exciting comes up or there's some true romantic potential in the air. And yet...this most recent someone who has somehow made his way into my life (and let me assure you this is in the absolutely most early stages) has sparked my interest so intensely that I am absolutely terrified to go into it on here for fear things won't pan out and I'll have my own excitement to answer to when trying to come to terms with yet another "goodbye" instead of a nice long "hello." So...I'm keeping mum until I have a better sense of things and a bit more than butterflies to base my excitement on. Until then...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

one way to tell

I haven't quite figured out when you know that something isn't meant to be. Being what a friend recently described as a "hopeful romantic," I am sometimes tempted to lose site of the nuts and bolts that I know I'll need in a partner - or even the deal breakers that I sometimes try to talk myself around if there are other more attractive factors present. Still - there's a side of me that is unfailingly logical - and growing up in a house with two parents who took almost three decades to make peace with their compatibility (recognizing that it exists in certain aspects of their life and can bring great joy - and in other areas is decidedly lacking and will likely always be so) I recognize the need to let this side win out from time to time.

I do know of one thing that's like a light switch when trying to figure out whether something will work out or not. If you notice, and are annoyed by, a characteristic of the other person that is outside of their control - it's time to exit. If something as insignificant as a turn of speech, or a physical habit or trait drives you nuts - you're headed for trouble. Because these are the things that act as outlets for the other frustrations that are actually within our control - but are sometimes harder to recognize and address. So we focus on the things that are simply part of the package and wish they weren't so. And when that starts, it's time to move on.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How to impress a girl: part III (finale)

I knew I had to do it. I'd come across someone in a perfectly movie-like situation. He made me laugh and laughed at my jokes before we even met in person. He knew my hometown, and better yet, he felt more at home there than in the location we both found ourselves. I had to ask him out.

I still had some insurance policy questions so I left him a message a few days later. When he called back I was careful to mention I had three questions for him (since only two of which were policy related) - I knew this would keep me from whimping out. I got through the first two questions and the banter started to die down... "Ok, I have one more thing to ask, not related to my car." "What's up?" he said. I breathed in and did my best to ignore the shortness of breathe I was rapidly experiencing (I'm having a sympathetic experience as I write this - that's how significant this was to me). "I just wanted to see if you'd like to grab a drink sometime?" I could hear him smile. And then he told me he had a girlfriend.

He knew what I was going to ask. The chemistry was there, after all, and he was an absolute sweetheart (and true gentleman if I might add) as he told me about her. "She lives in San Francisco, doesn't she?" I asked. We'd talked about him visiting up there a lot so I knew it was a possibility. He told me he would totally take me up on the offer if he wasn't single - he'd had a great time talking and thought I was a great girl. A consolation prize, sure, but I didn't care, I knew he was being honest.

So the purpose of this latest missive is to let all you guys out there know, that if you are authentic, if you engage a woman in conversation or offer to help her out - even the most timid of us will respond if the chemistry is right. I was totally disappointed that this guy that fell into my lap was taken - but asking someone out point blank was a major step for me. And though I spent a bit of time lamenting that "all the good ones are already gone" - I'm over that. He just called about my policy and we caught up about our plans and had all the same rapport from before - and it was just another reminder that great guys are out there - even if they're sometimes already making someone else happy. So bypass the cheesy pick up lines and be real, and look for the girl whose eyes sparkle when you chat, or who even in the face of a totally stupid mistake manages to laugh it off because something about you just makes her feel good.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My 100th post

This may not be the actual 100th post on the site, but it's at the very least the 100th time I've opened up a blank box and committed something down to share with the blogosphere.

Here are some blog-oddities to ponder in recognition of this monumental occasion:

1) Why in God's name does the blogger spell check not have "blog" in its database? THIS IS A BLOG YOU ARE SPELL CHECKING AFTER ALL. I understand getting caught up on "mapquested" and "googled" - but BLOG!?

2) My friends do not find it amusing when they ask me how I am and I respond with, "haven't you read my blog?"

3) My most favorite google search that landed someone on this blog (and the tagline it referred to):

"what is the problem here? megan is an absolute pink."

The google search brought whoever was looking to this, "Megan, don't be such a dumbass." Fitting.

Other recent google searches:
"Sunday night insomnia"
(myso-calledlovelife comes up number 9)

"blog- finding the one person you need in your life and the significance of love" (Wow, that's a mouthful. You could write a whole blog about that. Oh wait...)

"Find love, friendship and freedom with Love SMS"
(That was a search from Kenya. Are my posts really this sappy?)

"flirty emails"
(the most recent exchange of which I did not misinterpret for once...more on that soon)

4) And Finally, some thoughts after six months of blogging about how it's affected my life aka what I like to refer to as THE PROCESS. When I first started blogging I wanted to run here and share all my secrets, jump up and down in cyber space when I had a date or felt sparks fly (k, that hasn't really changed). It started as a place to chronicle the transition from seeing myself as someone's girlfriend to seeing myself on my own, to seeing myself as someone who could be with someone again someday. It still serves that purpose to a certain extent, but now its so much more as well for me. It's a release. It's space to simply wander, it's a moment to glimpse into the effect of my thoughts on others - and in turn peak into their lives and see what insight I can glean from their experiences. It's teaching me how to approach myself and how to approach love - when I'm leaping too soon, when my focus is off. It gives me something to come back to and say, "that's where I was, funny - that's not where I am now." It validates the steps in between. It accepts me where I'm at. It lets me make amends when I make mistakes simply by letting me admit them - and commit to do things differently the next time around. In a word, it's been neat.

So...thanks to y'all for reading and commenting! Have any blog-oddities of your own you'd like to share?


I have the best kind in my stomach right now...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

head v. heart

sometimes the distance between my head and my heart astounds me. No matter what I do, my head is always, ALWAYS four steps ahead of my heart. But guess which one calls the shots?

How to impress a girl: Part II

Why had a random conversation with my new insurance agent set my heart so aflutter? Well, as I've mentioned, I don't come across guys all that often that seem to "get" me. And somehow, in this one phone conversation I found myself laughing, pulling wit out of the nether regions of my subconscious and really enjoying a process as mundane as getting new car insurance.

And now, I was about to go meet the guy who sight unseen had done his best to help the raving looney who called him at 6:30 p.m. for a new policy and kept him on the phone for an hour as she drove in continuous circles. I hoped he'd be cute. I wasn't disappointed. While he was no James Dean, he was tall, had a dimple or two and a mop of dark brown hair. More importantly, his friendliness and humor came across just as much in person as they did on the phone. We joked about the ridiculous dents I'd managed to grace my car with (as he documented them) and I learned he'd just graduated from law school, was living down here temporarily but planned to return to the Bay Area once he found out if he passed the bar. This was music to my ears. Here was a man with a plan, a desire to live in my favorite place in the world and a decidedly bare ring finger.

I did my best to flirt, which in my terms means be as self-deprecating as possible (I had, after all, kept him busy for an hour trying to get me to a concert for which I had tickets on another night) but to also allude to the fact that I can carry my own in a real conversation and am not your typical OC bimbo.

I wasn't going to let this meeting be our last if I could help it. And for someone who has NEVER asked a guy out point blank, that was a pretty big deal.

Friday, December 08, 2006

How to impress a girl

Spinach Dip was guest posting at [Redacted] the other day and lamenting his novice-ness when it comes to picking up girls. I suggested there are many women who would love even a bumbling idiot to come to their rescue and save them from the overly drunk and uber aggressive guy that is sure to make himself known in each and every social situation. You may be shy, but you're not that guy - so give us ladies a break and make some small chat.

This reminded me of an interaction I had awhile back and have been meaning to post about with my new insurance agent (who coincidently just called). Let this experience (which due to my inability to be brief will be told in three installments) serve as some encouragement to all you fellows who shun the traditional pick up, and perhaps a bit of inspiration to you women who are sick of waiting for the guy to make the first move (though I'm not promising a happy ending - this blog is, of course, still told by a singleton).

After an unfortunate rear-ending incident (it was dark! And raining! And a kid ran right in front of the SUV in front of me! And a fingernail-sized scratch on a Mercedes SUV apparently cost my insurance $1000+ to fix!) I have faced some steep insurance costs. After months of gathering alternative insurance offers in a hopeful little pile with promises to myself to do some research and find a cheaper option, I finally got in touch with Mercury and ended up saving myself $80 a month. Anyone who knows me knows the total elation any sort of sale or savings prompts - and this was no exception. That's almost a thousand bucks a year! But even better than the money savings was the overall experience purchasing the insurance, wholly thanks to the delightful agent who helped me.

You see, I am a multi-tasker. So when I called to set up the policy I was on my way to a concert, hoping to use the car time to take care of business. Mapquest printout and drivers license in hand (welcome to driving in The OC) I did my best to find where I was going and answer the laundry list of questions Jeff was asking me. Problem was, mapquest chose that night to smote me (even though I was on my way to a concert at a church) and the location was nowhere to be found. So I sheepishly asked Jeff if he wouldn't mind helping me out since he was at his office. Did he ever! He googled, he mapquested, he worked from memory having been in the area within the last week. I drove in circles, we laughed, my insurance policy slowly got finished and I was honestly having a great time. You could just tell he was a completely authentic and truly nice individual - but not in a sappy, co-dependent sort of way, rather in a "I'm honestly willing to do whatever it takes to help you out because you are somewhat entertaining" sort of way. I kept joking that we should be in one of the car insurance commercials, "Not only did he help me with my policy, he helped me find my way home."

The story would be great if he helped me find the concert and it ended there. But that would mean I've got more than a single anorexic hamster running itself to death on the wheel in my head, and hadn't managed to thoroughly confuse myself about the concert itself. Because I simply couldn't find the church, Jeff finally went to their website - and let me know that the concert wasn't actually for that night - it was for the following Friday (I blame the ticket company for switching the dates on unsuspecting customers). So I sheepishly thanked him, profoundly, for sticking with me (we'd been on the phone for an hour at that point), and hung my head in embarrassment. However as embarrassed as I was, there was something about the interaction that stuck with me - and I had a secret hope that when he showed up to take photos of my car the next day, the sparks I felt over the phone would be more literal...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

the not-so-daily grind

It's been a long time since I've sat at my desk and simply wanted to cry. Ever since I decided to leave my job I've been able to get through the days with relative optimism - knowing that come January 26th (it's official!) I will be embarking on a new adventure and leaving days of staring mind-numbingly at spreadsheets far behind. Today, unfortunately, a project arose that has required pulling a million little pieces together and it's stressing my last nerve. But what's really making me feel bad is that ultimately, it's not that hard of work - but somehow I'm so drained and so out of touch with actually getting my mind to function at work that I'm really struggling with it. And so all the resentment I had that led to me quitting my job in the first place is coming forward full force as I wonder why it's been so long since I've actually done anything I'm good at. Which of course makes me wonder just how easy it will be to find something I'm good at once I've left the confines of this place. And the fear creeps back in...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

lovers overheard

A moment ago my roommate's boyfriend finally triumphed over L.A. traffic and arrived at our door. I could hear them from the other room - the smiles on their faces, the joy in their voices, the warmth of the hug they wouldn't let go. A simple moment I've experienced with them countless times - and yet each time I'm touched by it. They just celebrated their first year together, and as he told me in the kitchen a moment ago, they've "never been happier." He makes her giggle and makes up for all the hugs she misses throughout the day. They spend the weekends together because they live about an hour apart, and one of them makes the trek once a week so they can have a weeknight together too. They recently started a vigorous cheese making process based on his Christmas present to her last year (a promise to do just that - make cheese). It was the perfect gift.

I lived with my roommate for a year and a half before they met. I'll be honest - sometimes I didn't know if the person she was waiting for existed. And then just before Christmas last year, this lovely little romance unfolded and I got to see a relationship start and hold in the best of ways. It's open, honest, joyful, romantic and low stress. You couldn't find a more worthwhile recipient than her - and it's almost as gratifying to see how happy she makes him as it is to see her face glow when he shows up at our place.

When it started I worried I'd lost an important ally in my singlehood. It didn't take long to realize I'd gained an example of exactly what a relationship should be, right in my front room and catering to the heart of one of my dearest friends, instead.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A single gal navigating the holiday hoopla

I have yet to spend a Christmas with a significant other. Even when I was in relationships, my family was always in Monterey, and his was in the Bay Area or Southern California. When my siblings started to couple up this really started to get to me - the holidays are simply more fun when you have ALL your nearest and dearest with you. Facing my second Christmas as a singleton, I'm nowhere near as bummed as I was last year. In fact, I'm kind of looking forward to meeting up with friends up north to hit the town, and focusing my attention at all family events on the one and only Dexter.

The only area where my singlehood is really coming into play is in regards to the "office" holiday party. While I skipped my work party due to Allan's visit - my old boss is hosting a soiree at one of the local Ritz's (this is Orange County, one simply wouldn't suffice) and it's sure to be a holiday hoot. A decade+ of political aides coming together to celebrate a local elected on his way out, and to thank him for many years of being able to say we actually had a great boss, and believed in what he did (and he's not even the same political party as I am!). My only trouble was when I got the invite I realized that this is the exact type of event to which you're normally expected to bring a date. But was I invited with a date or not? It didn't look like it, but I didn't want to risk being the only one without another half at the Christmas ball. So I emailed my old supervisor and asked her what she thought, and the ridiculousness of the situation spiraled from there.

Apparently my old boss had specifically invited me as a singleton because he knows I am, in fact, single. EVEN THOUGH everyone else will be bringing a date (except for one devoutly religious secretary and another staff member who has never married). When prodded, he acknowledged that perhaps I would like to bring a date as well, and yes, that would be allowed because I'm, well, special. A few days later, however, I got an email from the other secretary saying, "sorry, the invite is for you and you alone - but we're going to have a blast!"...I paraphrase.

So, baffled and embarrassed by failing to retain any dignity whether I bring a date or not, I emailed the current chief of staff for a once and for all take on whether I should bring a date, and whether my old boss has lost all respect for me as instead of graciously accepting an invite to a swanky party, I managed to make a ruckus about whether I can bring a date and spend more of his money on wine and spirits (can I get an amen for an open bar?).

The final response I received:

"Megan, don't be such a dumbass. You are bringing a date and that is that. There is, nor has there ever been, a can of worms. (BOSS) realized he should have invited you +1 - what are you supposed to do, drive all the way to DP and then have cocktails and drive yourself home? There's fun for you. T, B and I are hoping you come up with a Hare Krishna or bounty hunter to liven up the evening."

Man I miss that office. So if anyone knows of any good bounty hunters who are free on the 14th, let me know. If not, I'm taking a friend who enjoys good food and drink and more importantly, will be willing to drive my drunk arse home.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Are you my wife: Part deux

So the montrealite visited me this weekend. On Thursday night I left my work at 5:45 to pick him up at the train station. I'd love to insert a picture of the "vision" that met me - but blogger is currently sucking arse so I will simply direct you here instead.

Allan had just finished up date #3 with Nikki, and meeting up with Kyle and the Hitch50 guys for their wrap celebration before they took off for Hawaii. We’d originally planned for our second date to be spending Thanksgiving with my family – a kind of reversal from our first date when I got to meet his family and see his hometown – but the filming project required a crew – and the only time people were free was Thanksgiving weekend.

So he came to visit me where I actually live – most of my family isn’t here but I made sure we called upon some friends so he got to see me in my natural setting and get a taste of what life is like (at least for me) here in The OC.

We had a great weekend – lots of beach time with surfing, walks, naps, good food, movies and friends. Most importantly, we had a lot of time to catch up about where he’s at with AYMW, while I got to give him a bit more insight into who I am and what I’m all about. As you can see by some of the things he’s been sharing on his site lately, Allan is going through a fair amount of transition and life planning himself – and just as I’m looking to 2007 to bring a lot of changes and opportunities to make future plans, he is too. So we had some common ground to share – and I really appreciated the time to get someone else’s perspective on the experience. I will also say that Allan realizes he’s not where he needs to be to be in a position to find a wife just yet – hence his talk about job and location decisions. He doesn’t take this experience lightly – I can speak to that first hand.

But after date #2, where are we? Well, I think we make a good team – we share a lot of similar outlooks on travel, the importance of diversity and culture, the desire to make sure we’re getting the most out of life that we possibly can. We also have some differences – especially in regards to faith – but one thing I am certain of is our ability to discuss things and share and respect our different perspectives. What else? Well, he makes me giggle. He’s very honest, he can be incredibly silly and sometimes a bit snooty about European ways versus us Americans, but always ready with a wink to remind me that he’s really just joking (and chide me on my lack of sarcasm).

After our second time hanging out I am confident that whatever happens with Are You My Wife and our individual quests for love – we’ve both played a part in each others stories and who knows – perhaps that role could grow. Just as neither of us really knows what the new year will bring – I think its hard to say for certain what comes next. And since Allan's opened up a bit on his site - I'll be honest about a question everyone in my life has been asking. No - It's not the easiest thing in the world to date someone who is simultaneously open to dating the rest of the world. It's a challenge if you realize there's an attraction to reconcile that to other attractions that may be growing. But - at least I know I'm in good company - he's got great taste, if I do say so myself. And perhaps the bigger challenge is figuring out if there is a connection - how do you pursue it when there's an ocean in between? Something that might progress or fizzle naturally if you lived in the same area suddenly faces a lot of logistical issues. Allan has started to talk about these challenges a bit - he's also mentioned that he's come across three women in whom he sees "wife-like" qualities. Interestingly enough, none of his commentors thought I was one of them (apparently I don't fit the bill of being one of the most attractive girls he's dated!).

Regardless - Allan started this site because he was ready to find a partner and his dating life was more or less dull. I could relate. His dating life has definitely been spiced up - and as a result mine has as well (albeit on a slightly smaller scale as I've only hit two countries and dated one guy as part of AYMW). No matter what - I've had an opportunity to share some exceptional quality time with an equally exceptional person - and its been an absolute blast.

See more pics here since blogger does not heart our cute pics right now.