Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A date with my crush

No, EG didn't ask me out. But I'm tired of crushing on him. How do you get over a crush? Well, in this day and age, you Google "how to get over a crush." I read several articles, and my favorite tip was to set aside time to think about the crush, and not think about him at any other time.

I like this tip because it's a behavioral intervention. As a clinical social worker, I impose interventions on my patients on a frequent basis. Maybe "impose" is the wrong word, since they're voluntary patients and not mandated. But I expect them to participate in CBT and to follow through with homework assignments I give them. I would be quite the hypocrite if I were unwilling to do the same thing.

So I'm limiting the time I spend thinking about EG. I will only think about him at night, when I'm in bed trying to fall asleep. (It's also conducive to another activity, in case I want to do a little more than just think.) I did this during another crush I had -- on a married man. Obviously nothing was ever going to happen between us, but he was luscious and powerful, and I craved him. So for a long time, that man was the last thing I thought about before I went to sleep. (Or did something else.)

And today, I no longer have a crush on him. I no longer think about him obsessively, all day/every day. He's a good friend, nothing more. Which suggests that limiting my EG-fantasy time to bedtime might just get me over EG.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Silver Fox flops

Went to the gym at 9:30am today for my fitness evaluation. Learned how to maximize my exertion and caloric burn while minimizing knee strain; also picked up some good stretches. Came home, colored my hair (STILL can't get those stubborn grays 100% covered; I should probably go back to the salon in 2 weeks) and showered. Was about to iron my hair when I decided to see if I had any voicemails. (Full disclosure: I was kinda hoping EG had called me. He hadn't.)

It was the Silver Fox. He left me a message two hours before our date, telling me he had to go into work today and hoping we could reschedule. I thought that was incredibly inconsiderate and called my dating coach friend Rochel. Her voicemail box was full; I'd have to wing it.

If he's very apologetic, and asks me to have dinner with him this week, I thought, I'll do that. If he's not very apologetic and suggests we just get together for coffee, screw him. Because honestly, if he almost stands me up, then I deserve some kind of date upgrade.

I called him. We settled on Wednesday at 6:30pm. What do people do on a weeknight at 6:30pm? Well, according to the Silver Fox... they have coffee. I said, "No, thank you," and hung up.

Later Rochel called me. "You should have just ignored his message," she said, "and made him work harder to reschedule. But if he canceled plans so abruptly with you and then didn't make any effort to apologize or win you over, he's not that into you. You're not the woman he can't live without, and you shouldn't bother."

Wise words. I won't bother. Kind of sad that my awesome d'var Torah at that Shabbos meal didn't lead to any dating prospects. But now I think I know why the Fox is Silver and still single.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Should I rejoin Jwed and meet this guy?

The Silver Fox and I spoke on Thanksgiving; we're having coffee today. I just colored my hair and showered, and I need to dry and iron the hair, but I wanted to ask a question: should I meet Long Island Guy (LIG)? I'm not impressed by his profile, largely because it's fairly ungrammatical.

About me: Hello Every one. First I would say, Thanks for viewing my profile. I am very funny, romantic, I love too cuddle, swim, movies, gym, sports, car shows, volunteering with disabled kids, walks on the beach, dancing, going out, outdoors, jogging, animals, gentle, self confident, reliable, responsible, loyal, respectful, humble, serious, cheerful, sociable, hard worker and love talking with kids. I appreciate the company of honest, sincere and caring people and lots more. I am a level headed, down to earth person who is totally devoted to the one I love.

Age: 45
Location: Long Island
Build: 5'11" average
Marital Status: Single (never married)
Children: None Background
Ethnicity: Mixed Ethnic
Languages: English
Family: Traditional
Jewish Ed.: Hebrew school
Grew up in: (not answered yet)
Education: Masters Degree
Occupation: (not answered yet)
Politics: Conservative
Relocation: Not sure
Smoke: No
Jewish Affiliation: Traditional
Shabbat: Some rituals
Kosher: Kosher style/home
Aliya: Not sure

I'm looking for: Every one deserves a chance to be happy. I would love to meet a sweet and simple woman, who is fun loving yet responsible, loves the outdoors and sitting at home cuddling while watching a movie. Someone who is not afraid to speak her mind. A woman with a good sense of humor, calm, faithful, romantic, caring, sincere, spontaneous, affectionate, intelligent, which is ready for serious relationship and long term relationship that would lead to marriage and not a one night stand. Age difference is not a problem to me and if you have kids or don't have kids also. All I want is to feel love once again and to give back hundred percent to the one, who accepts me for me. Give my body, soul and heart chance to prove an honest and faithful relationship. Please only send me a message if interested and don't be a shame to be yourself. 

Why am I not enthused? LIG reasonably cute in his profile picture. But I'm a little wary of someone who doesn't answer what his occupation is. And his grammar is pretty bad, but a friend once told me not to judge men by the quality of their online writing. Also, I'm not what anyone would call "simple" or "calm."

He's sent me 2 messages. Should I re-up and contact him?

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Of course Ayelet can't just leave it alone

I am feeling my feelings very intensely these days. The funny is hilarious; the interesting is mezmerizing; and I'm so enthused about everything that I want to tell everyone about it. I feel almost hypomanic, except I'm mindful of it and more or less in control of my behavior. But I can readily imagine the out-of-control things I could easily do or say, so I feel a little off balance. It's odd, because I was expecting to get depressed with the time change, and I haven't.

The Silver Fox didn't call last night. Neither did EG. Being that I can never leave it alone, I sent EG a flirty little message:

let me know if you ever want to hang out without your kids, I might be open to that ;)

He wrote back to me an hour later:

thanks for the vote of confidence!

Ouch. I'm so bad at flirting. I sent:

actually, the odds are pretty good in your favor...

Then I went out to dinner and a movie with Miriam. The movie was awesome, but I couldn't stop thinking about EG, which irritated me. Am I the type of woman who always has to be obsessing about a man? I fear I am, which is pathetic.

When I got home, EG had responded:

With the way the market has been treating me lately whenever I game the odds to be in my favor I get slammed sideways

I know he does something with stocks for a living, although I don't really understand what. But I think there's a subtext here: he's wary of dipping his toe back into the dating pool.

I know I shouldn't encourage or pursue him, according to The Rules. I should let him come to me. I should make him chase me. Trouble is, I'm impatient, slightly hypomanic, and did I mention how impatient I am?

I'm not the stock market. I'm a lot more predictable. Fine, I'll come out and say it: Even if I don't get to play with your children, I would still enjoy spending time with you.

Cards on the table. If he's not interested, he'll let me know, and then I can start getting over him.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

EG plays it cool

I woke up today at 4 a.m. with knee pain. I used to think that my terminal insomnia was a function of light box usage, but since I haven't been using it this year, I'm wondering if it's just a function of the time change. It's annoying, because I get tired during the day. I also woke up with knee pain, which is even more annoying. I've been trying to take it easy at the gym, but apparently not easy enough. They offer a free fitness assessment and equipment orientation, which I think I need to schedule.

Since I'm up, I might as well blog about EG.

When last we heard from our hero, he had invited me to play Twister with his children last Thursday night but hadn't told me when. After I emailed him to ask, he wrote:

does 7 work for you?

I was startled, because I thought he had his children from 5-7 on Thursday nights.

won't the kids be gone by then? 

Three hours passed without a response. I wrote again:

If your kids aren't around, I think we should go for coffee, not play Twister. 

A few more hours elapsed before he responded:

I have the kids now. Meeting afterwards. I can do twister but have a busy night!

I was confused. Why would he offer to hang out if he had a busy night?

call me after you give them back

Sometimes it's best to be direct.

whats your phone#?

Guess he didn't program it in his cell phone. I emailed it to him and he called to apologize. Apparently he has his children from 5-8pm, and had scheduled a conference call to China for later that evening. He offered to meet me for 20 minutes for coffee, but I didn't think that made sense, since I'd have to walk 20 minutes to and from the Starbucks nearest his conference call.

So I went over on Shabbos, carrying my hiking pants, changed out of my dress, and we played three rounds of Twister. First me versus the boys (I won), then EG versus the boys (EB1 won), and then me versus EB1 (I won). Apparently EG was surprised I that I won, which made me worry a little that he shares his son's opinion of my corpulence. Then EG asked the kids to play in his room so we could have a grown-up conversation.

"I've been studying your bio on Facebook," EG said. That sounded promising. Doing his due diligence on me.

"I think you're a little addicted to it," he continued. "Your status updates pop up on my page all the time."

Less promising.

"A little," I admitted. "I'm addicted to all the comments I get."

"Yeah," he said, "I don't get many comments on the stuff I post."

"You only have 83 friends," I pointed out.

"True," he said. "But I don't think I want to be friends with the whole world on Facebook. I mean, I have photos and videos of my kids on there."

"I don't really post anything that personal on Facebook," I said. "I used to. Whenever I was frustrated at work, I'd post, 'Ayelet is fried,' 'Ayelet is shredded,' 'Ayelet is exhausted.' Then I ran into a friend I don't see very often, and he was surprised to see how happy I looked. So I stopped posting intimate stuff on Facebook." I didn't mention that I post the intimate stuff on my secret identity's profile.

We chatted for a few minutes, then abruptly he said he had to take the kids to shul. I changed back into my dress and we left the apartment. EG wasn't really walking with me or talking to me.

"Is Ayelet coming to shul with us?" I heard EB2 ask.

"She's going if she wants to go," EG responded. When we got to the shul I asked EG if he wanted me to hang out with them.

"I've got a Daf Yomi shiur," he said. I guess that means no. So I went home.

Sunday I visited my sister and her children; my mother was there too. It was fine, I guess; I mostly interacted with the kids, who'd missed me a lot. I need to visit them more.

Sunday night I posted on EG's wall:

Twister is fun, I'm up for a rematch anytime

He "Liked" my post and commented:

The boys had a blast! We'll organize a rematch for sure

Yeah... I don't think this is going to lead anywhere but friendship. Sigh... Maybe it's just as well. My friend Miriam has been friends with EG's ex-wife for years, and she never liked EG.

I called the Silver Fox yesterday morning, and he called back late last night. (Well, after 9 p.m., which to me is late.) He said he'd call tonight, at a more reasonable (to me) hour. Stay tuned.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Silver Fox

Friday night I went to the Jewish Center's annual Rotating Tables singles event. Basically, you have your appetizers at one table, soup at another, and main course at another, so you get to meet a number of different people.

There were only five men I'd dated at the event, which was a nice low number, although of course one of them was at my first table and another at my third. Fortunately, the lamest of them, my ex-boyfriend The Jurk, didn't sit with me at all. He's a Turkish Jew, so a friend and I nicknamed him The Turk when we were dating; after we broke up I altered one letter. My friend Miriam liked him, in part I think because he's 6'4" and she's 5'9". I wouldn't warn her off him, though -- he wasn't abusive, just a little passive-aggressive, so he might treat her better than he treated me.

At my first and third table was a handsome gentleman. I'm usually not attracted to men who look a lot older than I do (and I recognize they might not be a lot older than I actually am), but he had aquiline features, blue eyes, excellent bone structure, and silver hair. On his business card, it states the Silver Fox is "Senior Fund of Funds Custody Administrator, Global Custody" at a major banking institution. SF gave me his card so we could be in touch. We spoke at our first table, weren't sitting close enough to speak at our third, but chatted more during the dessert buffet.

What can I say about SF? He's smart, funny, and a moderate Republican. He likes Jon Huntsman and disdains Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry almost as much as I do. And he took his business card out of his wallet. So I can be pretty sure he's not shomer Shabbat. I also don't know how old he is. But he's attractive, smart, and wants to get to know me better. That seems like potential.

I haven't decided when I'm going to email him -- probably sometime Monday evening. He did look at my nametag, and I told him I was listed, so it's possible he'll call.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's up with EG?

I haven't heard anything from EG since he responded "hey good morning" on 11/11/11 to my IM "hey" dated 11/10/11. Even though I see him on FB all the time. Wasn't sure if he still wanted me to come over and play with his kids. So I sent him another message today:

Hey... do you still want me to come over Shabbos afternoon for Twister?

He didn't respond immediately. In fact, he still hasn't responded. But earlier today I posted a status update that caught his attention. I'm going to an off-site meeting on Friday. It starts at the princely late hour of 9am. So I can actually do something Thursday night, and I posted a status update asking if people wanted to hang out.

As usual, I heard from a bunch of people telling me why they couldn't hang out with me on Thursday. Which didn't help. But EG posted on my status update:

Kids & twister?

I guess that answers my question. He has his children from 5-7pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. I responded:

Thursday night? I guess that could work.

Waiting for confirmation. EG also "Liked" an article I posted about how Newt Gingrich is an insufferable fat adulterous hypocrite posing as a moralist.

I created an event on FB and invited a bunch of people -- not EG -- to hang out with me Thursday night, but so far only one has responded, and lukewarmly at that. So maybe on Thursday after work I'll hit the gym, shower, braid my hair, put on my hiking pants, and go play Twister. Which I may regret. We'll see.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Spiritual GPS

I spent last Shabbos in Brooklyn for a singles weekend. It was interesting. No attractive men, of course, there never are, but I only saw about 5 men I'd gone out with, which isn't bad. And no recent word from EG, except another email on 11/7/11:

Had a great time Saturday. The boys want to keep the haunted house up for another few weeks so other people could visit them in it. they said. And don't get me started about the new Twister addiction! Did Puss in Boots yesterday before calling it quits. Now off to another work-week...

And... silence.

But what I want to blog about is a lecture that Alona and I attended on 11/6/11. Sara Yocheved Rigler is a lecturer and author. According to her website,

Mrs. Rigler has been navigating the spiritual path since her first trip to India in 1968. She spent an intensive fifteen-year period living in an ashram, practicing spiritual disciplines such as meditation. In 1985, she made a dramatic change of spiritual path, returning to her Jewish roots. She moved to Jerusalem, began studying Torah, and became a highly committed observant Jew. 

She is very big on mussar, which Aish defines as "a traditional Jewish spiritual discipline that offers sound guidance to help you cultivate the qualities of your soul." I had read a few of her articles but really didn't know what to expect from the lecture. I basically went because Alona was going and we were going to Ozer's for lunch afterward.

Mrs. Rigler began the lecture dramatically.

"Imagine that for some reason you're in Harlem at night," she said, "and on your right you notice a very nasty-looking person with a knife walking toward you, and on your left there's another person with a gun walking toward you."

Alona and I exchanged a shocked glance.

"What if I told you that you had a button, and if you pressed that button you would be immediately transported to the Kotel, in the daytime, where you'd be surrounded by hundreds of fellow Yidden?" she continued.

I considered getting up and walking out. If I weren't on lithium, I may well have. But I kept my seat. Because Mrs. Rigler promised to give us the secret to happiness -- a spiritual GPS system we could use to navigate out of anger, jealousy, worry, fretfulness, and other dysphoric states. Those are signs that you are in Olam HaZarut -- the world of alienation. Alienation from yourself, from God, from others. It's parallel to Olam HaYedidut -- the world of connectedness and contentment. You cannot be in both worlds at once. Getting from Zarut to Yedidut is a three-step process, and it actually fits very well with CBT.

Step 1: recognize you are in Olam HaZarut. That's mindfulness. Become aware that you are upset and ruminating about something, which makes you feel miserable and doesn't solve anything.

Step 2: choose your destination. Decide that you want to be in a better frame of mind. That's basic CBT: recognizing that thoughts shape your moods.

Step 3: give. GIVE. Giving takes you from the world of alienation to the world of connectedness. And you don't have to give a lot. You can give a smile. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. This has a sound research basis as well. Altruism is known to boost mood; people volunteer because it makes them feel good. Also, taking care of others takes your focus off yourself -- and interrupts rumination.

So far, so good. But then Mrs. Rigler decided to talk about two examples of women who successfully used this GPS to make happy marriages. And that infuriated several of the single women in the audience.

The first example was of a wealthy, shomer shabbat woman who married a twice-divorced, non-religious musician. She realized that she could give a lot to him, and now she's blissfully happy. He decided to become frum, and now he learns every day and teaches shiurim. Apparently marriage pays a lot better than running after performance gigs.

The other woman was an athletic 52-year-old who married an arthritic 65-year-old. She was concerned that she'd end up like her 70something-year-old mother, who spends most of her time taking care of her 80something-year-old father. Apparently all of her mother's friends are in their 70s, and they're all exhausted from caring for their 80something husbands.

"That's exactly why you should marry him," Mrs. Rigler told her.

After the lecture, I met up with my friends Aviva and Shaindel. Both were livid.

"I would have liked to present a counterpoint to her stories," fumed Shaindel. "I have a number of friends who are stuck in horrible marriages with men who don't work and just take, take, take... and they are miserable. Since when are women supposed to work their fingers to the bone to support their husbands?"

"Don't tell me I don't give," said Aviva. "I make tons of Shabbos meals, and I invite people who never invite me back, or who need a place and would otherwise be alone all Shabbos. So don't tell me I'm still single because I don't know how to give."

And I have to say I agree with them. I'm 10000% willing to give. I'm eager to give. I'm dying to give my best to a man I love and respect, and children if we have them. But if I'm going to be changing diapers soon, they're not going to be Depends.

I've tried to utilize this spiritual GPS. Sometimes it works. There are a lot of people I can give a smile to in the methadone clinic. And today I went to another treatment facility near work and volunteered as a detox acupuncturist. Giving definitely helped. But then I come home to my empty studio, and I'm alone again. Not many people to give to here.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, November 06, 2011

How was the haunted house, Ayelet?

EG called me Friday afternoon to wish me a good Shabbos and confirm that I was coming over.

"So what time do you think you'll be there?" he asked. "About 2:30?" He sounded pretty eager. I thought that was a promising sign.

"Probably closer to 3," I said. "I could try for 2:45." Which is the time we settled on.

"I really want to thank you again for offering to hang out," EG said.

"Happy to," I said. "I know how lonely feels." We chatted about various things, including my job, our mutual affinity for Scotch, and the journal article I published a while back, because apparently EG had Googled me and found it and read it. I was flattered. Excited.

Shabbos morning I went to shul with Alona and her family for the first time in a very, very long time. It felt... weird. I don't know what I believe or where I belong, but it was easy to slip back into frum mode. But it's just as easy for me to slip out of it when I get back home and I'm alone. I will say that the lemon bars at kiddush were excellent, although kiddush was very crowded, which is stressful for me. I didn't really know too many people there, except for Alona, Batya, Eli, and Adir. I did catch a glimpse of EG, chasing one of his sons through the crowd, but I decided they looked busy and didn't call out to him.

I also saw Eric and Ahuva for the first time in more than two years. Characteristically, Eric invited me for lunch. I guess at some point I'll start going there again. And I saw the lovely Aviva.

Alona & Co. and I all went to lunch at Ozer's, along with two other people -- a single guy, Chad, and a divorced guy, Henry, that Alona and I have known for years. I actually went out with Henry almost 20 years ago, when I'd first moved to the West Side. It never went anywhere -- his decision -- but we remained friends. I hadn't seen him in a long time. I think the last time I saw him, he was married and expecting his first child. Now he's divorced with two, aged 9 and 8.

Alona needed to leave right after lunch to take her children to Shabbat gym, a program at a local synagogue. It's an indoor playground kind of place where kids can run and jump around and do athletic and gymnastics-type activities. Very important for apartment dwellers during the months of inclement weather.

"You're welcome to stay and hang out, Ayelet," Ozer said.

"Thanks, but I'm going over to a friend's," I said.

"Kind of an adult Shabbat gym," said Henry, with a grin. I was a little startled; Henry's usually extremely decorous. So much so that until he got engaged, I kind of thought he was gay. Although Henry was more correct than he realized, since I was going to crawl through the haunted house that EG built with his sons, Extravagant Boy 1 and Extravagant Boy 2.

"Not that kind of friend," I said.

I walked over to EG's apartment building and shlepped up five flights. Knocked on his door at 2:50pm -- no answer. Wondered if something had happened to EG and his children. I waited about 15 minutes, walking up and down the hallway because my knees prefer walking to standing. Finally I walked down the five flights and met EG and EB1/EB2 in the lobby. Walked back up the stairs with them, fortunately not huffing and puffing too much, and gratefully accepted a bottle of water.

"So what do you think of the haunted house, Ayelet?" asked EG.

"It's great," I said. "Can't wait to try it."

"Daddy!" said EB1. "I need to talk to you."

"Daddy's talking to Ayelet," said EG.

"But I need to talk to you now," insisted EB1.

"Give us a minute?" asked EG. "I'm sorry about this." They went off and conferred.Distantly, I heard, "It's fine, EB1. She's going to fit just fine." Ouch. But not the first time that someone's older son has opined that Ayelet is too fat.

EG returned. "Sorry about that," he said. "For some reason he didn't think you would fit in the haunted house. I told him it wouldn't be a problem."

"It won't be," I said, and crept inside. They built it from moving boxes, so I really couldn't crawl on my hands and knees; I had to hitch myself forward on my elbows and push with my knees and toes. It was very kind of creepy-cute, organized into different rooms. They had a "feather room" with a boa that was supposed to tickle the back of your neck when you crawled through. I didn't notice because my hair covers my neck. There was a jail, wrapped in fake barbed wire, and "Gadhafi's Tomb," which featured a pair of bony, bloody arms in torn sleeves.

"Those are Gadhafi's arms," said EG.

"Were they selling those under that name??" I asked.

"No, I can't remember what they were called."

After I made it through and didn't get stuck or destroy any part of it, EG and I talked, or tried to talk while his kids tried to distract us. I was more inclined to respond to the kids; I think EG is a little starved for adult conversation when he has his children, so he was more likely to tell them we were busy, and only stepped in when they started throwing things at each other -- which resulted in a time-out -- or tried to dismantle part of the haunted house.

EG and I talked about my job and the larger issue of why NYC seems to have so many homeless individuals -- or rather, such a high population of persons with mental illness. He pointed out an article in the New York Times about a state mental health hospital that was destroyed by Hurricane Irene, displacing 51 residents.

"In the whole state of Vermont, there are only 51 people who are mentally ill?" he asked.

"No, there have to be more," I said. "But their families might be better equipped to care for them. Ask me if I'd rather be diagnosed with schizophrenia in New York or New Delhi."

"You'd rather be schizophrenic in New Delhi?" EG asked, incredulous.

"Yes," I said. "People with schizophrenia in many third world countries have better outcomes, because they're more integrated into their families and communities. Often they're better taken care of than people with schizophrenia in the US, because family support is so crucial for people with mental illness to function normally.

"Most of my patients have been turfed out by their families -- not through callousness, but because their families are considered 'fragile.' Their fathers might not be around, their mothers might not get child support, unemployment rates are high, urban living is highly stressful. So their families can't take care of them, and they end up on the streets."

"This has been your professional experience?" he asked.

"And personal as well," I said. "I have a person in my family with severe and persistent mental illness. Very high functioning now, works, has a life, you'd never know they were sick. But I've been there with this person -- I've seen the hospitalizations, the medications, trying to find the right therapy -- it's really hard work. And this is with excellent family and social support."

We didn't just talk about me. I asked him about his custodial arrangements, which aren't entirely finalized, and spoke a little bit about Ivan the Terrible and his situation. EG asked me if I'd gone to shul earlier.

"I did," I said. "First time in a long time. I didn't really know that many people there; I was glad Alona was there."

"Why don't you know a lot of people at shul?" EG asked.

"I was out of circulation for a while, during my last relationship," I said. "For almost a year, I was spending most of my time with my ex in New Jersey. After we broke up, I had to figure out where I fit back in on the West Side, and I guess I'm still figuring that out."

In the clear light of Sunday morning, I'm wondering if that disclosure was unwise. I might have also scared him off by telling him someone in my family has a mental illness -- but better now than later. Much better now than later. I'd rather be honest as soon as possible.

The kids had been trying to get us to play Apples to Apples with them -- which I would have happily done, but Daddy was still starved for adult conversation. They pulled out Twister and began playing by themselves. EG invited me to watch a few rounds before I went home and they went to their 4:30 shiur. (Probably why he wanted me to come over as early as possible.)

"That looks like so much fun," I said. "I haven't played Twister in forever."

"It's hard for grown-ups," said EG. "We're not as flexible."

"Speak for yourself," I said. "I could play this if I were wearing pants." EB1 tumbled onto his tuchus, and EG embraced and praised the winner, EB2. I got up, put my shoes on, and picked up my coat.

"Thank you for coming over," said EG.

"Thank you for having me," I responded. "This was fun."

"Could you come again?" asked EB2, turning a somersault.

I was startled. "Uh, sure. Some other time, I'd love to come over. I'll wear pants and we can play Twister."

"Can you come tomorrow?" asked EB2.

"She can't come tomorrow because we're busy tomorrow," said EG quickly. "Also, you can't ask people to get together just the day before -- she's already got plans."

"I do," I said, thinking: go to the gym, come home & shower, go to the gym shoe store, go to the farmers market. "How about the next time you have them for Shabbos -- that would be November 19?"

"Sounds good," said EG. He and the boys walked me to the stairwell. "Let's walk her to the other stairwell!" said EB2. (The other stairwell is about 15 feet from the first.) "Look what I can do!" he cried, contorting himself à la Twister.

"Look what I can do!" cried EB1, not to be outdone. I indulged them for a few more seconds, then wished them all a Good Shabbos and went home.

At about 7pm, EG sent me a message on Facebook:

Thanks for stopping by, had a nice time chatting

I responded:

So did I :) how was the shiur?

Haven't heard anything. I guess we'll see.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Extravagant guy

I haven't been feeling well all week. Slightly feverish, slightly sore throat, headachy, muscle achy, and peeing roughly once an hour. I'm prone to recurrent UTIs. Not sick enough to stay home, but too sick to go work out at the gym. Which has me slightly suspicious that it's mainly hypochondria, but I don't want to go to the doctor until my health insurance benefits start on November 15. I can save more than $500 in COBRA fees if I don't need medical care until then.

So I haven't been blogging much either, but I have to write about Extravagant Guy. He's a man I dated about 15 years ago. He was a college dropout who was working in technology, so he could either be a genius or unstable. After one passionate date, which included a sleepover, he was crazy about me.

Or he was just crazy. I wasn't sure. I didn't want to go out with him again because he was opposed to oral sex. Performing, not receiving. Since I was still a virgin at that point, the prospect of not getting any oral made him drastically unattractive. And then on top of that, I thought he was crazy, because he refused to take no for an answer.

For example: He left a very sensual gift at my door -- a Body Shop gift bag with peppermint lotion, massage oil, and a wooden "happy massager" implement. Apparently items he'd been planning to use on me. Along with a wacky card, including instructions, which I wish I'd kept. Basically, he said he'd bought me the gift before I decided not to go out with him again, and when he buys someone a gift it's theirs. The peppermint lotion was "for your feet and toes." (That part I remember verbatim.)

So I thought he was nuts, and started dating another guy. About a month or two later, I received an enormous and gorgeous bouquet of exotic flowers. The kind of bouquet that costs hundreds of dollars. I was thrilled, because I thought it was from the guy I was dating. Until I read the wacky card, which I really wish I had kept. It was from EG.

He said he couldn't stop thinking about me. He'd "gone out with two other ladies" since our date but didn't like them as much as me. The stock market had been treating him well lately, so how would I like to go away for the weekend with him? Bermuda, Key West, the Bahamas... and of course I'd have my own ticket and could leave whenever I wanted.

Now I thought he was really nuts, and I called to tell him that I had a boyfriend and he should leave me alone. ("Idiot," said my sister. "You should have gone to the Bahamas.") Which he respected, to an extreme degree. After he got married and moved to the West Side, he never tried to talk to me.

But if I was ever in the same room with EG, and his wife wasn't there, he stared at me. I once went to a gemara shiur at the rabbi's house, and I remember that EG kept leaning forward and glancing at me from time to time during the discussion. I did manage to say hello to him once at kiddush, but we didn't really talk. I figured I should leave him alone, so I did.

(And it turns out that I was wrong to consider him unstable, since he's now some kind of wunderkind business mogul. Like Steve Jobs, on a smaller scale, and in my opinion a lot more handsome.)

Anyway... a friend of mine invited me to a Facebook event to support Milk Street Cafe, which is losing business due to the barricades resulting from the Occupy Wall Street protest, which block its foot traffic. I noticed that he had been invited to the event and commented on the wall. So I clicked on his profile, and the first word I saw was

Divorced

Oh ho... The wheels in my mind started turning. Clearly he's not crazy... and once upon a time, he did really like me... so maybe I should reach out to him again. I always enjoyed his company and found him bright and interesting. (And if need be, I realize now that I can live without oral sex as long as I'm getting enough of the other kind.) I was also encouraged by a New York Daily News horoscope:

With Venus in your love zone, you could be on a collision course with someone fabulous. Don’t be shy; make your intentions known. Put on your best smile, warm up your sense of humor and confidently approach the object of your desire. If you want to let someone special know you are interested, don’t be a wallflower. Exude confidence and you will get what you want.

So I sent EG a friend request yesterday. He accepted today. I went on his wall to read some of his status updates and saw this:

The best thing about being single again is you get your Sunday evenings all to yourself... The worst thing about being single again is you have your Sunday evenings all to yourself!!

I decided to comment:

let's hang out next time you're bored ;)

Ten minutes later, he IMed me:

EG: u there?
A: hi
EG: hello back
you said to drop you a line when im bored; have kids from 5-7pm then... my usual thurs eve boredom kicks in
A: so IM me or call me, I'm at home waiting for a FreshDirect delivery
EG: will do cap'n, phone#?

I gave it to him.

A: how old are your kids?
EG: 6 & 8

My heart pinged. Malchicks 1 & 2 were 6 and 8 when I knew them.

A: awesome ages! my nephew is 8, he is hilarious!
EG: yup, hafta pick them up downstairs. you going to moshe's daf yomi siyum?

Moshe is one of our mutual FB friends.

A: when is it?
EG: two or three sundays from now?
gotta hop downstairs to get the kids, ill follow up with im or phone call

My good friend Alona pointed out that EG's divorce is very, very recent. He might not be looking for a serious relationship. But either way, I figure I'll have some fun with him before I'm done with him. 
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