24 July 2009

Is It August Yet?

This week has been long and full of visitors--some welcome, some not so welcome.

Saturday: a Coldplay concert with the brother, who is in town with my parents for a visit. That's Chris Martin's head on the screen. You might have to just trust me on this one.

Tuesday: the brother checks out my favorite LA bar with me.

Wednesday: came home to a missing window and a missing laptop. Now I hate my apartment.

Thursday: watched a movie made by my first crush above the pool of the hotel where my parents are staying this week.

12 July 2009

The Pizza Text

When you think about it, internet dating is a lot like interviewing for a job. You comb through descriptions you are know are exaggerations, distribute personal information about yourself that is probably exaggerated, dress to impress, and (sometimes) pray for a call back that will lead a second date/interview.

Both are exhausting and require a thick skin. It also helps if you have a good sense of humor about the whole thing, as my friend *Audrey* does. Cue the story about Audrey and her pizza text.

Audrey has been on a particular dating site for a little while now. She has gone on dinner dates, wine dates, beach dates, and hiking dates. Audrey is very smart, funny, a great listener, authentic, and--this is important--very fit. So when *Vince* asks her out for a date at a wine bar, Audrey says, "Sure. Why not?"

Upon arriving at the wine bar, Vince tells Audrey that he has changed his mind about his venue of choice. Instead of hanging out at a wine bar, they should get pizza and ice cream instead. Being the good sport that she is, Audrey says this sounds like a good time.

There they are, eating pizza (Vince = a couple of slices / Audrey = one slice) and covering the usual first-date topics. The date ends, and Vince tells Audrey that he had a nice time and that he would like to see her again. Truthfully, Audrey tells Vince that she will be traveling over the next several weeks. She suggests that maybe they meet up for a bicycle ride in two month's time when she is back in town for a weekend.

Two months pass and Vince texts Audrey about meeting up for a bike ride. That day, over lunch at work, Audrey tells the story of Vince and their pizza date to a small group of coworkers and asks for advice on how to proceed. You see, Audrey really wasn't that into Vince. She hoped that her being away for two months might allow him to get distracted and move on, forgetting about that whole bicycle thing.

A couple of our male coworkers counsel Audrey on the situation. "Don't lead him on," they say. "Be up front about not feeling a connection," they advise.

So Audrey calls Vince and thanks him for his text. She kindly explains that while she had a nice time on their pizza date, she didn't feel a connection with him. Vince says he usually gives people two or three dates before he decides if there is a connection or not. Audrey says she respects his time and thinks it is important that she is honest with him. They say goodbye.

An hour later, Audrey receives another text from Vince:

"You were very presumptuous just now. You really should go on a bike ride with all of the pizza you eat."

WOW. WHAT A GENTLEMAN. It's a wonder women aren't beating down his door.

08 July 2009

A Weight Off My Shoulders.

Thanks to a hectic work schedule, a trip east and other commitments I made even though I hadn't the time, I have neglected my writing. In this absence of jotting down notes and stories, I have missed the revelations and feelings of purpose that find me when I write. So in the spirit of hopping back on the horse, I'm tackling a subject that I rarely speak of: weight. That is, my weight.

A few years ago I read an article about a very famous fashion designer who decided to lose quite a bit of weight a little later in life. I don't recall many details about the article (there might have been something about a ridiculous lettuce diet), but what I do recall is the sentiment this designer made about his decision to alter his lifestyle so drastically that every inch of his body was impacted. In short, he said that he desired to wear smaller clothes more than he desired eating sweets and lounging around. I'm totally paraphrasing here, but that was the idea that stuck with me.

It's been about 5 months since I found that same desire, and while my results have not been so drastic as to have been chronicled in a fashion magazine, my change has been noticed by coworkers, friends and family. And of course by me.

A strange mix of guilt and pleasure whirls through my mind each time I measure my progress by way of my reflection. I find a bit of joy in seeing my arms and legs advertise the results of my crawling around on the floor each morning to do exercises with names like, "the dying bug". And I feel victorious watching the pale marshmallow-like rolls of my stomach shrink. In all this, though, there is a sadness--maybe a mourning--for the chances I let pass me by because I was too self-conscious. For the embarrassment I felt because of my body. It's easy to just be yourself; it's much harder to actually love yourself. For this I am sad: that I haven't always loved myself.

In this process of change, I have noticed that I watch people differently than I did a year ago. Before, I looked enviously at women with smaller waists. Now I wonder what battles they fight with their own bodies. It's a curious thing to be a woman in LA, in America, in Western culture. You are celebrated for losing weight and whispered about for gaining weight.

So that is where I am now. I don't have a radical diet, and I don't go to the gym anymore. Instead I opt for water over soda, salad over bread, and I make it a point to get out and walk 4 or 5 times a week. I've also started minimizing time with friends who have been a drain on my mind and spirit. It's amazing how much better you feel when you don't have a Debbie Downer constantly moaning in your ear.

A funny post soon, I promise. But for now I hope this brings a wee bit of encouragement to someone somewhere.