Tuesday, October 26, 2004

*gag alert* exploring my feelings

Good morning all, and don't forget to check out the t-shirt pix I just posted..... and check out the Mildly Unwell store for other cool designs!


I can't ever remember feeling pressure like I've felt the last few months.

Work is just insane. Every day there is a new problem, another panicky VP who has a crisis and "has no idea what to do" about it, another employee needing "just five minutes" of my time, another meeting to attend, another turf battle that I must mediate, another angry phone caller to calm down.

My day consists of one meeting after another, and I leave each one with a long list of things to do - a list I can't act on, because I have more meetings to get to. My phone doesn't stop ringing until 6pm, so sometimes I work until 11 to get caught up.

Sometimes I wonder how Ross seemed so calm, so decidedly unbusy all the time, until I realize that he simply ignored a lot of the problems that cropped up; problems that are surfacing now that he's gone.

I know I'm being a whiny-ass. I don't need sympathy. I love my job and my life. My point is that I have been stressing out a lot lately. Then there was mom dying, and the horrifying realization that I had fallen in love with a very young girl, and the resulting breakup and subsequent work-related drama.

I know, I know. Whining again.

It's been great spending time with Stephanie. She is going through a lot of the same things I am. Just like me, she's always felt that she had life well in hand. Then she got to law school, and suddenly, the other students were just as smart, just as competitive, just as motivated as she was. Suddenly the work load got so heavy that the thought of getting the flu actually freaked her out, because losing a day of studying meant even less sleep, more eating at her desk, and more panic about staying current with the new assignments that keep piling up.

It's nice to know that someone else is going through what I am. It's comforting to hear her laugh, to see her take a deep breath and relax, because it reminds me that if she can do it, I can too.

Steph and I have had some really great talks. I've secretly wondered what her situation is with her FBI boyfriend, why he travels so much, why he is so cheap, why she seems so miserable with him, and why she stays with him. But you guys know me: I'll never ask. My job is to make her FORGET him, not remember him.

Every once in a while, she'll make a little comment about "el cheapo", or "that loser". I'll smile and nod; she'll move on.

Two Saturdays ago, we talked and sent messages back and forth all day, while I was working and she was studying. Finally, around 7:30, we decided to go out for drinks. While we were talking, she really opened up.

"I am so unhappy with Paul," she says.

I don't answer.

"I mean, I really love him, and I've been with him a year, but I am so unhappy. I feel guilty because he travels for work, and it's not his fault that he can't see me, and I feel like I'm holding it against him."

"But he calls you every day, right? And he e-mails you and sends you cards?" I know damn well he doesn't. But if she is going to insist on talking about him, I might as well make him look like crap.

"Ha!" she says. "He hasn't called me in two weeks! And cards cost money, so I can forget that."

"Why the hell is he so cheap?" I say. I can't help it.

"Do you know you've already spent more on me than he has?" she says.

"Come on!"

"I MEAN it!"

"After a YEAR?" I ask, incredulous.

"Yes. He is the cheapest man in the world."

"So where do you guys eat? Soup kitchens?"

"No, he either cooks for me, or he takes me to his mother's house and she cooks for us."

"OK, so if you are putting up with all this cheapness, he must be able to lick his eyebrows."


"He must be awesome in bed," I say.

She shakes her head and scoffs, looking down at her cosmopolitan. "He has the Irish curse," she says, finally.


She holds up her pinky.

"Well, don't they say that it's not the size of the wave-"

"He hates sex," she says. "I practically have to beg him to do it...I can't BELIEVE I'm telling you this!"

"I'm listening."

"He's totally disinterested. And when we do finally do something, he usually goes limp, or he doesn't finish."

Now, guys, you see EXACTLY why I never give a shit about whether or not a girl is "taken". If I were less experienced, I would have heard the word "boyfriend" and moved on to someone else. As it turns out, she is totally sexually frustrated, and in a dead-end relationship that she is just dying to get out of. She was probably just waiting to meet someone else before she dumps this clown.

Most guys are stupid. Most guys wouldn't even try for a girl like Steph because she is with someone. All the better for me.

"So he's small and he doesn't finish. I'm not perfect, but I don't have either one of THOSE problems," I say.

"I KNOW, dummy!" she smiles.

"So that's why you got hit in the eye. You're outta practice," I say.

She laughs. "I must not be doing my job if he's going soft on me."

"Let me tell you what you do," I say. "Go to Prints Plus and get a big framed poster of The Rock, and hang it on the wall behind you, and I betcha he finishes, no problem."

"Ste-eve!" she laughs. "He's not queer!"

"Why not?" I say. "It would explain his lack of interest, wouldn't it?"

"Why would he date me if he was gay?"

"Maybe so his overbearing, dinner-cooking mother doesn't pop a cranial artery."

"Ya, good point." she says. "Jeez, it's like you know him."

"Can I ask you a question," I say.


"You said you love him. Why do you say that, if you are so unhappy?"

"Because, I just like the idea of being with him, of him having a good job and providing for me, and me never having to worry about money or a place to live. And I just felt, really, proud that he has such a prestigious job, and he's so successful..."

"So what you're telling me is that you're a golddigger," I smile.

"Yeah, a real golddigger. The guy won't take me to Olive Garden unless he's got a coupon."

What a total, complete fucking loser. But again, good for me.

I feel more and more comfortable with Stephanie as time passes. I feel like I can tell her anything. So maybe it's time to.

"Actually, there's something that's been bothering me," I say.

She looks down at the floor. "I know," she says.

"What am I gonna say?"

"You're mad that I haven't slept with you yet."

"I'm not mad!"

"You're disappointed."

"No..." now I am looking down.

"Steve, just be honest. It's ok. I know you're really angry with me."

"You gave me head. Why would I be angry?"

"You need more than head."


"Don't you?"

I actually don't know how to answer. If I tell her the truth, I'll look like a pervert. Or a whiner. Or like I don't give a shit about her, only about getting down her pants.

"I wouldn't mind sleeping with you!"

"One thing you need to understand about me is that I really need a lot of trust before I can sleep with someone," she says. "It's a big deal to me. I hope you'll understand, cause I really like you, Steve."

"I like you too," I say.

"Will you be patient for me?"


Yeah, sure. Until the next one comes along.