Monthly Archives: July 2009

Baby love, my baby love

When I was younger, I didn’t like babies.  You had to hold them up and carry them around, and they never talked back when you spoke to them (I’ve always been big on the conversation) so what was the point?  And they cried and you couldn’t do anything about it.  Whenever someone asked if I wanted to hold their baby, I’d politely decline rather than risking the inevitable resulting crankiness.  Truth be told, I was a little afraid of them, thinking that in their innocence they’d somehow see through my carefully constructed exterior to the real me.

All of this changed when my baby was born.

Okay, I don’t really have a baby.  But my friends Sarah and Andy just had their first one, and I’m absolutely in love with him.

Maybe its because I think of Andy as my husband.  In our group of college friends, Sarah has been coupled the longest and because they live in New York, Andy has always kinda been the collective husband of the remaining single women.  He’s often the only man at our gatherings, carrying stuff and killing bugs as men are wont to do.  Kind of like the only husband left in a group of widows, driving them all to the early-bird special.  The joke is that if Sarah dies first, Andy will have to sleep with us and perform all spousal duties, so it will be like they’re still married.

But back to the baby – Nicholas, the sweetest baby in the world.  He is one of the only babies I’ve ever held for a long time, and he’s very well behaved.  Even when he cries, its still really not that annoying.  He’ll stare at you with big blue eyes and you swear that he’s really listening to you when you talk to him.  And I talk to him because it’s fun, and because you’re supposed to talk to babies so they learn language skills.  I’ve had Nicholas fall asleep on my chest, and its awesome no matter who his parents are.  I’d even change a diaper, if his parents weren’t so crunchy and “good” with their cloth diapers and saving the environment…seriously, you couldn’t pay me to carry around baby poop in some wad of cotton for an entire day.  Pass the friggin’ Pampers and shut up about it.  But I digress.

Anyway, I realized recently that what I used to think about babies and kids is right.  They can see things in you, or they can sense things about you that you may not want to know.  They don’t do bullshit, so there’s no snowing ‘em.  If you’re uncomfortable or have some inner turmoil, they can sense it.  These days I’m mostly turmoil-free.  I wasn’t always happy with myself, and I’ve been through some rough shit and come out the back of it (so to speak) pretty well.  And that’s really what my love affair with Nicholas is about:  being open to another human, letting them see the real you, not being afraid to make a fool of yourself to make them laugh or teach them something.  And that’s pretty great to me.

Now, I’m going upstairs to look at a sleeping baby.

Me with Nicholas

Me with Nicholas

Look, no hands!

Look, no hands!

Nick with Tanya, his other non-biological "mother:  look at that punum!

Nick with Tanya, his other non-biological “mother: look at that punum!

More than just a pretty face…

This kind of thing happens to me all the time:  I’m out all day, running some errands, looking like who did it and ran because who am I going to run into getting my passport photo or picking up my dry cleaning.  I haven’t showered or put on clean clothes because, frankly, I’m gonna get all sweaty walking around anyway and I’ll do it when I get home.  Then, in the middle of my funky ass journey, some dude tries to holler.  Yesterday, some dude saw me at the bus stop, was overwhelmed by my beauty (I mean, who could blame him?), and decided to get out of his car and talk to me.  He started out with the usual public transportation talk: “Where does this bus go?”  Then the compliment: “You have such a beautiful smile, it made me come over here.”  Followed by the obligatory come-on: “So are you going all the way to Cross County?  I’ll get off wherever you’re going.”  Apparently I wasn’t as quick on the uptake as he’d have liked, because he made it known before returning to his car (yes, he wasn’t actually waiting for the bus at all) that he was going to offer to drive me wherever I wanted to go.

Really?

Before you think I’m ridiculous for being annoyed, that I should take it as a compliment that so many men find me attractive, realize that you can’t tell anything about a person by how they look.  I have a nice smile because my mother did, and my teeth are good because I have braces, but I could be a psycho (just look in my medicine cabinet) or a bitch (ask some guys I dated) or boring as hell (never!).  And the last time I checked, women who accepted offers they got on the corner charged by the hour…

I’m just saying, if a guy wants to date me he’s got to do more than just compliment me – I’m not that shallow and I don’t really appreciate it in other people.  And what happened to YOUR standards, Mr. Bus Stop Man?  Your only qualifications are 1) female, 2) pretty enough, 3) transportation-impaired?

Another such day, I was walking down my street carrying some dry cleaning and groceries.  It was about 2:00 PM on a weekday.  A man rode by on a bicycle, offered to help me carry my things, and invited me out to dinner.  I laughed and thanked him for the offer.  He then responded that he would take me “someplace nice”.  I told him to have a nice day and went into my apartment.  First I was amused that a man on a bicycle thought that he was in a good position to take me to dinner.  Me, an Ivy-League educated MBA is gonna swoon at some dude on a bike?!?  Then I got off my high horse and realized that it wasn’t the conveyance that annoyed me, but rather that I apparently looked to him like the kind of woman who’d just go out with any man on the street.  I should have said, “Fine, let’s go to Per Se; I hear the chef is using white truffles this season.”  Not that I’m a snob.  Alright, I am snobby about some things, but I did want to go to Per Se and I do believe you have to be prepared for what you ask for.  Just because I’m single, burdened by packages, and coming home in the middle of a weekday afternoon (read: unemployed), don’t expect to get off easy.

Recently, I was informed that men consider pulling a woman you met on the subway to be quite a coup.  Men of the World: I implore you to be more selective.  MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ride the subway every day.  Everyone rides the subway.  I’m so flattered to be considered one of the unwashed, commuting masses.  I should certainly accept a date from a stranger while simultaneously trying to avoid being coughed on by the guy next to me, or leaned on by the woman falling asleep to my left:  it’s such a romantic environment.

A friend of mine was riding the subway a few years ago, and was apparently approached for her phone number and a date by a “gentleman” sharing the platform.  She is quite pretty and if I were a guy, I’d hit on her too.  However when she declined his offers because, well, he was a stranger, he threw out this clever retort – “Well, DAMN!  Can I at least get some pussy then?”

What more can I say?

Digital rejections, faux connections

Hi, my name is Tracey and I’m a cyber-stalker.

Before you get all Law and Order: SVU on me, let me plead my case.  I’m a huge geek.  Ginormous, if you will.  People who’ve just met me would never guess because I keep it cleverly hidden with sarcasm and witty repartee, deftly sidestepping social awkwardness at every turn.  But if you knew me in high school, you’d know the awful truth.  All my classes were Honors classes, and I was in a special math and science program.  I was a band geek.  I never had a lunch period because I didn’t want to walk the gauntlet of cafeteria politics to sit alone like the outcast I was.  I didn’t date, and was 17 before my first kiss with another band geek.  My mother picked me up from school every day because some girls from gym class (damn that physical fitness requirement) wanted to beat me up for no reason.  Actually, they wanted to beat me up because I talked like a White girl, but that’s a story for later.

I say this to give context for my social networking activities.  Like most people these days, I’m on Facebook, and my greatest Facebook pleasure, other than coming up with witty status updates, is following relationships.  You know exactly what I mean.  First someone has no relationship status.  Then “its complicated”.  Then they’re in a relationship.  Later, its a relationship with a named individual – also on Facebook – and there are tons of couple photos.  “Its complicated” again, until the engagement, the ceremony, the wedding photo album and the inevitable bride’s profile pic of her in a white dress.  I LOVE IT!!!   And here’s when I become the eternal geek, the online prowler.

Getting a front-row seat for the love lives of so many people is awesome.  I love getting to see my classmates’ and friends’ happiness.  Sincerely.  But as my pool of single girlfriends dwindles while I remain unattached, I get a little wistful and resolve to kick up my social life.  Let the hunting begin!

There is a pool of single males on my friend list with whom I have varying degrees of familiarity.  The guy I dated 10 years ago and the one from last year, the one I slept with a few times, the satellite friend, the online-only friend of a friend…they’re all FBF’s.  And to the perennial nerd, the awkward socialite, they all have potential.  So the (re)mating ritual commences.  I post cute pictures of myself.  I make breezy wall posts:  “Hey you!”; “What’s up, stranger?”; “I heard from so-and-so that you were sick; feel better.”  I make a few phone calls, write a few e-mails, engage in harmless flirting with lots of e-winking and LOL.   I proffer casual meetings, post events that they may or may not attend, and tag them in notes.  Then I wait for someone to take the bait.

Its the waiting that turns me into Samantha Baker, wishing Jake Ryan would notice me.  I lurk by my virtual locker, watching how many of his friends are women, when he’s online and not commenting on my latest pithy remark — which, thanks to the new Facebook, is effortlessly on his homepage — note whether he’s been on vacation or a business trip.  I make another innocent wall post, then follow The Rules: Digital Edition in which I pledge not to comment on his status updates until he comments on mine.  Then I update my settings so that I can constantly monitor my iPhone for the e-mail informing me that My Latest Online Crush commented on my wall post.  It’s kinda pathetic.

But don’t feel too sorry for me.  Eventually I’ll start dating the latest tall, dark and handsome, and you’ll see us all hugged up together in my profile picture.