Monthly Archives: March 2008

Take me out to the ballgame

Tomorrow is Opening Day, which means that until October, I am officially a baseball widow. DD’s season package provides him with a built-in guys night every Friday, or at least every Friday the Tigers are in town.

But the more important significance of Opening Day is that it means summer is on the way. And while I’m not a sports fan, I still think an evening at Comerica Park is one of the best ways to pass a summer evening. A hot dog, a beer, and a warm breeze passing over you. Sitting back and listening to the cheers of a city looking for something to believe in. 

I can hardly wait.

Leave a comment

Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, S is for sports

5×365: JC

My first boyfriend, and he’s been on my mind. Maybe because my mother just saw him. All I can think is that I look back and think, wow…you were kind of a mess. And together, we were a big ol’ mess. But isn’t that what high school relationships are?

Leave a comment

Filed under 50x365, relationships

A funny thing happened on the way to jumping to conclusions

My office has been having issues with e-mail this week. Generally, I don’t pay much attention to these things, until it effects me. In this case, nothing was hampering my ability to do my job.

But to live my life, now that’s a funny story.

DD and I communicate almost solely through electronic means between our time together. E-mail and texts are our preferred ways to whisper sweet nothings into one another’s ears. Well, for me to whisper sweet nothings and for him to be the typical guy and respond to everything in the communique except the sweet nothings. But, I digress.

Since we see each other only once or twice a week, that e-communication is quite critical to the success of our relationship. So, Tuesday we were having our usual daily e-mail convo, discussing our upcoming vacay. Tuesday night, I was up late and checking my e-mail and noticed he had sent me something at 6 p.m., to which I responded back. After that, I proceeded to sit in electronic silence for three days.

I didn’t receive a response Wednesday. That afternoon, feeling slightly odd that nothing had come, I sent him a brief e-mail. The e-silence continued. Now, I know him, and when he gets busy at work, he gets rather tunnel-visioned. He forgets everything around him. But he’s never been known to not respond. Plus, we had tentative plans to get together Wednesday or Thursday, so I was expecting something. Needless to say, it was weird. But, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and didn’t bother him. Didn’t call, didn’t text, gave him his space, and figured I’d hear from him Thursday and we’d get together that night.

But I didn’t hear anything on Thursday either. By that evening, I was getting a little perturbed. Oh, OK, I’ll be honest…I was jumping to conclusions. My last e-mail to him had mentioned that I’d started a blog, which he’s not a fan of — at least the part where I write about him.) What if he was upset about that?! What if he was unhappy with me? What if he was going to dump my ass the next time I saw him?

I’m really good at jumping to conclusions.

To try to stem my fears, I called him Thursday. Got voice mail. Left a slightly passive-aggressive message that went something like “Hey, it’s me. Just wondering what you’ve been up to the past couple days. Call me.”

Usually when he’s non-responsive and receives a passive-aggressive communication from me, he immediately gets on the horn the next day and apologizes with a morning e-mail. But today, I got nada. So, as you can imagine, my gentle pondering was now full-on conclusion-jumping and general frustration and annoyance. After all, I hadn’t gotten to see him this week as planned, and now I had no idea if we were even hanging out tonight.

I had all sorts of snide comments lined up for when he finally did call. You know, to really rub it in that he was being an unresponsive boyfriend. That it was time to get off his duff and remember there’s other people in the world besides himself and that after 9 months of dating, he should be at that point.

Thank God I didn’t lead with that when he finally did call at 4:30 today. I calmly answered the phone and the first thing out of his mouth was “Didn’t you get my e-mails the past couple days?”

Damn those e-mail problems.

The next 20 minutes were spent explaining all the e-mails he had in fact sent me over the past 72 hours and that oh by the way he had stayed home from work yesterday with the stomach flu.

Wups. Obviously my well-prepared “How to be a good boyfriend” lecture didn’t happen. And in the midst of it all, he was sick and I wasn’t there to take care of him. (Then again, I wouldn’t have volunteered to be there, so it’s probably best I didn’t know about it.)

You’d think at some point I’d get over this whole jumping to conclusions thing. At least I’m beginning to improve. As I was beginning to dream up bad reasons for him not responding, I was immediately talking myself off the ledge with legitimate reasons that weren’t bad at all.

I guess it’s a process. When you’ve been hurt in relationships before, it’s natural to be rather gun shy. But as the cliche goes, time heals all wounds, and I see time working its magic with me. Someday, hopefully I’ll be cured for good. 

Leave a comment

Filed under crazy crazy, DD (aka My Man), Excuse me while I trip on myself, relationships

Epiphany

While I was talking to a coworker over lunch today, I had an epiphany. I abhor the writing process.

Yet, my career is writing. And in my personal life, I aspire to be a writer.

There I was, talking about an article I’m (sort of) working on at the office. I say “sort of” because I’ve been taking procrastination to new heights. The article’s an easy thing, just a couple pages. But I’m struggling and have been generally avoiding it for the past couple of weeks. So I’m telling my coworker about this and explaining why: “See, I have to write these two pages, and I have no idea what to write, and it’s different messaging than everything else I do, and like I said I have no idea what to write and I hate how I write and what I write when I do write, and, well, I just hate the process of writing. I love the end result, but I hate the process.”

What kind of crazy, fucked-up writer am I? To hate the process of writing, which is basically the entire practice of being a writer.

This is something I’ve always known about myself, but never really articulated until today. Upon further reflection, though, it’s so true. And I think (I hope) the writers in the crowd will agree with me. The process of writing just plain sucks. But the end result is practically orgasmic. The process — staring at a blank piece of paper knowing you have to fill it? Scary. Coming up with the right words in the right order that talk about the right thing. Tedious. The self-esteem issues that come with not thinking it’s your best work but it’s the best you can do? Exhausting. But the result? Getting in the groove and creating something really cool? Having people tell you it’s just right, that it’s funny and wise? Ah, those highs bring me out of the worst case of the blahs.

I think my problem is that I feel like as a self-proclaimed writer, everything is just supposed to flow out of me like some sort of prophesy from God. Sometimes I think that’s what people who aren’t writers believe happens. Let me tell you, it doesn’t.

Here’s a typical Supergirl-in-writer-mode experience: Open Word document. Stare at Word document. Check Facebook, MySpace, and Yahoo! Mail. Go back to the still-empty Word document and curse its very existence. Get up from my desk, find someone to talk to. Come back to my desk, stare at empty document. Again check Facebook, MySpace, and Yahoo! Mail. Maybe throw in some blogs as an incentive. Grudgingly go back to document and pen a few (in my opinion) bad phrases. Repeat above procedure until document is made up of lots of (in my opinion) bad phrases. Sit on it for an hour or day depending on the deadline, and edit it. Make it sound slightly better. Send it off and be done.

This tediousness extends to my personal writing. I stare at the document, and then abandon it for something much less scary — like reality TV. I’ve claimed to be writing a book for probably three years now. I haven’t worked on it in months, because I came to a point where the groove stopped grooving and I’m stuck. I have no idea where to go and I’m back to staring at a word document before closing it in favor of The Bachelor or Dancing with the Stars. Or I blog, because that feels like a much easier goal to attain than a 200 page book.

So, some astute readers may say…what’s the point. If you don’t like doing it, why do you do it? Or more bluntly, find a new career honey, this obviously ain’t your thang.

Well, I thrive on the end result. On seeing my words and phrases in an organization’s printed or electronic materials. Coming up with that rare witty line that makes me believe in myself. My life’s dream is to have a book published. (And to have people tell me how witty and fabulous it is.) So that’s why I keep writing, because I get such a high from the final product. Most people could care less with what people think about the sentences they write in a letter or some boring work report. But me? I live and die by those same sentences. If someone criticizes them, I fall to pieces. If someone bows down before their splendor, my ego exults from on high.

I haven’t quite figured out how to combat this hatred of the process, and unfortunately, there’s no way I can work around it. In my career, I have deadlines. That’s really the only thing that saves me there. But I’ve learned I can’t self-impose deadlines on myself in my personal writing; my excuses and love for trashy TV will just blow right through them. So I really need to figure out another way to get past it, otherwise, I’ll never get that book written (much less published!) and my ego will never reach divine heights.

4 Comments

Filed under career, writing

To hug or not to hug

It’s a funny thing about people. We all have our ways of greeting one another and there are those people in the world — aggressive greeters, we’ll call them — that don’t seem to care if their way isn’t amenable to the person they are greeting. Therefore, we often find ourselves in what I’ll uncreatively deem an awkward-greeting-scenario, or AGS.

The first example that came to my mind and prompted me to pen this blog is something I’ve been pondering for a few months. Specifically, DD’s family and my family greet one another very differently. His family: Big Polish/Italian/who knows what. They greet and bid you adieu with an embracing hug. His sister’s mother-in-law adds in a cheek kiss for good measure.

[side note] This kiss is the most awkward kiss I have ever experienced. Worse than the time I almost fell out of a car to avoid a first kiss on a date. Worse than the time I knocked my head with someone else while going in for the end of date kiss. This is because I don’t know what to do with this form of greeting. For me, it’s just too unfamilar. How hard do you kiss back? Is this a brush of the lips or a full-on friendly peck?  [end side note]

I won’t lie, even the hugs threw me off at first. I mean, the first time I met his immediate family, they hugged me good bye. The last time I saw his cousin, she got up off the couch and hugged me goodbye. What’s that about?

See, my family doesn’t hug strangers. We’re the true American, ethnic nothing, quiet and prim, family. We hug one another, sure. We may even hug a friend in need. But a random hug goodbye? Hell, no. And a random hug (or kiss! ooo that kiss is weird…) goodbye upon first meeting someone? Double hell no. That’s just how we roll. And it’s because of that upbringing that I now secretly balk at cheek kisses and full-body-contact farewells. It’s also because of that upbringing that I feel bad DD’s family has hugged me countless times, yet my parents have yet to embrace him. I don’t even think my dad has shaken his hand.

I noticed it especially this past Easter. We did lunch with his family, where hugs and kisses prevailed. Next up was my family, for a little March Madness watching. DD got up to leave, and I naturally walked him to the door and my mom followed. They made small talk, the door was reached, and everyone stood there. My mom didn’t go in for the hug. DD didn’t attempt to bring his family traditions to my household. It was just plain awkward. Of course, it didn’t help that I wanted to kiss DD good-bye but my mom decided to just stand there and it’s weird to kiss him (or any man) in front of her. This goes back to the prim and quiet trait I alluded to earlier.

Taking this out of the relationship realm and into the corporate realm, I had another AGS recently. I went to a meeting where my former co-workers work. One immediately embraced me, because that’s just how she rolls, and my nature is to just comply until it becomes natural for me too. The other co-worker, who also happened to be the person I was meeting with, just said “hello”. No hug. No handshake. It was funny, because I could tell we both were waiting for the other to make a move. In any other situation like this, I would automatically reach my hand out. But she felt to intimate of a connection to simply shake hands with. Yet, neither of us moved in for the hug, which also isn’t unusual given our friendly, but distant, relationship. We were in this weird alternate universe that left us greeting-less…and in this particular setting, I felt I should have done something more. But like I said, I comply. I follow, not lead, when it comes to greetings.

The good thing is that if I do encounter an aggressive-greeter, I usually get used to the greeting over time and it becomes second nature for me — with that person. Introduce a new aggressive-greeter and the process starts over.

If only aggressive-greeters could pick out us passive-greeters and maybe not go in for the full effect on first sight. Maybe do a little coaching or mentoring before going full speed ahead. I mean geez, the first time you sleep with someone you don’t pull out all your crazy tricks. You take a moment. Assess the situation. You’d think the same rules would apply to greetings.

Leave a comment

Filed under DD (aka My Man), Excuse me while I trip on myself, family values, miss manners, relationships

4×365: Leslie

The one I find to “have a frank discussion about sex”. We’ve only known each other a couple years, but she’s one of my closest friends and a favored advice-giver. Upwardly-mobile and the most daring dater I know, I really admire her independence (and excellent fashion sense).

Leave a comment

Filed under 50x365

A sad day for my city

While it has made national news, perhaps you haven’t heard yet…Detroit’s illustrious mayor has been charged with 8 counts including obstruction of justice, misconduct in office, and perjury. All felonies.

It’s a sad day preceded by three sad months. The whole sordid saga began in January and finally the prosecutor has reached her decision. And it’s a doozy. The mayor refuses to step down, and while I admire his “keep at it” mentality, I’m disgusted with what he’s done to our city’s reputation. Not that it wasn’t already tarnished; when I say I’m from Detroit to people who live in other states, they look at me, frown, and ask if I carry a gun. When people who live in Detroit’s suburbs find out I work downtown they ask me how I can possibly feel safe and why on earth I would choose to spend time down there outside of my work hours. I once took a friend to a Tigers game and suggested we hit a bar about a block outside the stadium after it was over. He looked at me and said “No thank you, let’s go home.” Home for him is a suburb an hour away from the city proper.

The current scandal only worsens our already bad reputation and it pains me to see that all the progress that we’ve seen the past few years is going to be thrown out the window thanks to a healthy dose of sex and texts.

But, since I have had the privilege of being exposed to the beautiful things about the city, let me share just a few things that I love about Detroit. Hopefully it combats your newly formed negative impressions thanks to our crappy-ass mayor.

  1. You can nearly always find free parking. Meters are free after 6 and since it’s not a hotspot a la Chicago or LA, there’s always one open. And if you absolutely can’t find a free meter, garages are available for $5. When’s the last time you paid $5 to park your ride in Chi?
  2. Great theater. The good people at Inside Detroit once told me that the D has the most live theater seats outside of NYC. I never would have guessed it, but I believe what they say. And our theaters aren’t boring venues, either. I’m talking old-school, 1920s movie house turned top-notch theater, like the Fox. I’m talking the largest Masonic Temple in the world, turned theatre.
  3. Great food. I really do love my food. From greasy spoons to 4-diamond experiences, Detroit has it all. And don’t even get me started on the variety. In the mood for Greek? Greektown is the obvious choice. Feel like a margarita? Hit up Mexicantown. Really want to tempt your tastebuds with a little Middle Eastern cuisine? Head to Dearborn, which is just outside the city and boasts the largest concentration of Arabs outside of the Middle East.
  4. History, history, history. Detroit was settled by the French in the 1700s. But outside of that, the architecture and buildings are amazing. Many cities have abandoned their history for a more modern look, but not us. Intermixed among the modern is the historic, making our skyline unique.
  5. I can shop ’til I drop. In just a short drive I can find myself in any store, from T.J. Maxx to Gucci.
  6. A region outside the city limits. Part of the reason we have such great food, shopping, theater, nightlife, and general entertainment is because Detroit is more than the city limits. Want to pretend you’re rich and fabulous? Stroll along the streets of Birmingham. Feel like hangin’ with the blue-collar folk? Find a dive bar in one of the many inner ring suburbs that line the city limits. Looking to get away from it all? Drive less than an hour from the city limits to one of our many Metroparks.

I could wax on about any one of these things and there are a plethora of others (great music, awesome neighborhoods, and awesome sports) that I didn’t even touch on. But I hope this has instilled some sense of interest in the place I call home. Ignore the negative, consider the positive, and explore all that Detroit has to offer.

1 Comment

Filed under Detroit, glass half full