Busy is a word that seems imprinted on our hides these days, and I'm not so sure it's a 21st century advancement for our society. Maybe the advent of technology has impeded us in ways that make a real connection less possible and plausible.
Yes, we all have phones handy and are talking from every conceivable location, but are we really saying what's on our minds? Do we find time to connect other than through e-mails, voicemails and palm pilots? Is catching a plane more common than catching a cold? Faxing easier than letters? Do we ever do anything "live" anymore?
This week I decided to slow down the pace and catch up. It occurs to me that the men in my life are making me crazy with the push and pull stuff that goes with any relationship, even if it's under the guise of "casual" and "seeing other people."
I need a break, and I'm not talking break out the batteries. I don't even want myself. I am tired. I need more sleep. My bed misses me weighing it down. Books on my bedside table beg to be read without interruption. The yard is screaming, "Look at me, I'm turning green!" I can't remember if my girlfriends are green, so I take the time to find out.
Monday I meet Molly after work for a bite to eat at Brio on the Newport Levee. It's bustling with activity, and I'm reminded of why everyone is so busy -- we go out every night of the week, even in what used to be sleepy Newport.
Well, Newport is anything but sleeping. Wow! It's growing by the minute, and Brio is a great addition. The waitstaff is sharply dressed and thoroughly prepared to give Molly and me lots of bread and wine as we catch up on our fast-paced lives.
She agrees it's crazy we don't do this more often, but could our waistlines take it? Probably not at Brio, where the Tuscan flavors mix with the pasta as well as anchovies with a Caesar salad. It occurs to me that the atmosphere along with the food and wine beg for a dark Italian type, but I remember my vow to take a boy break and don't look on our way out to the car.
Alanna is another dear friend I have trouble keeping up with now that she's working two jobs, taking two classes, flying to the West Coast frequently and keeping track of a house and daughter. We decide on dinner at Carver's in Centerville for Wednesday evening.
Again, this restaurant is packed. We find a quiet booth and enjoy a nice glass of Beringer's merlot.
I feel myself relax and relish our friendship that allows us to discuss anything and nothing all in the same sitting. The scene around us is hustle and bustle, but the mood is warm between old pals who agree that the scalloped potatoes here are the best thing we've ever tasted. We also note that Easter is way more of a materialistic holiday than we remember as kids and that men are a necessary but sometimes frustrating part of a woman's existence.
No wonder we're tired. We should be tired. We're classic over-achievers and pleasers. Nothing would have pleased me more than the blueberry tart the waiter tried to sell us, but we refrained. Our conversation was sweet and tart with tons of humor thrown in. Plus I ate all of those potatoes!
The rest of the week the only man I worried about satisfying was my accountant. I answered his questions, and he did my taxes. It was simple. There was a form, a calculation and a bill due April 15. I can write a check or I can charge it. Too bad there isn't a formula for being single and dating.
Some days I wish my life were a little less taxing and less busy. I resolve to have more weeks like this one. Of course, I also know that the "Stop this bus, I want to get off" mentality usually is followed with "What next?"
Am I crazy? Probably a little. Am I an optimist or a thrillseeker? Who knows and who cares" I'm an April fool.
We Need to Talk
How I deplore that statement. In my life, it's been a harbinger only of something I'm unequivocally not going to like. A rift in a friendship, an admission of guilt, the impending doom of getting dumped ... you name it, it all starts with "We need to talk."
Last Wednesday, I called Bill at work to make dinner plans. Much to my dismay, he let it slip.
"We need to talk when you get home."
"About what?" I asked, my blood pressure spiking.
"I can't talk about it right now." (Translation: "It's work-related.")
"Oh. Is it work-related?" (Translation: "I hope it's not something I did.")
"You're getting your own store?" I guessed.
"You're moving?" (Translation: "Oh, shit.")
I had a hunch this might happen. Bill works for a company headquartered in Idaho. Yes, Idaho. He's wanted to move into corporate for a while. I figured he finally must have gotten the opportunity.
Turns out I was right. The position is at company headquarters, for which he would have to move to Idaho. My immediate reaction, of course, was congratulatory. Bill works very hard and deserves the advancement. The underlying question is, can I pick up and move to Idaho with him if he goes?
I try my best to be a supportive partner, but the idea of moving to Idaho just isn't high on my list. (I should also point out that the mere idea makes Cincinnati's shortcomings fade -- quickly.) In addition, I was also recently promoted and am getting some excellent experience. Leaving right now would set me back in my own goals.
The truth is we'll likely have to live apart for a while if he goes. It will be a difficult adjustment, especially after being together a year and a half and living together for six months, but we both have goals and both want the other to achieve them. If this is the sacrifice we have to make for a while, we have to do our best.
The funny thing is how this changes one's perception of his own relationship. Honestly I have gotten used to Bill being around all the time.
Thursday night we snacked at Karma during the Best of Cincinnati reception, and then I Bill treated to dinner at Carol's. That evening conjured up thoughts I hadn't had in a long time. What would I do without him around? What would it be like to live by myself again? Can our relationship really survive this? How am I going to afford living room furniture?
All kidding aside, I'm unsettled. Unfortunately, the best intentions and strongest feelings aren't immune to fear. He travels there this weekend to interview. In the meantime, we can only hurry up and wait, trying to squelch the question marks that the most optimistic people tell us not to consider until a decision is made.
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