Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
- Girl macks it to one of my strongest contenders for if-we're-both-still-single-at-40, I feel anger, and now I identify that anger as jealousy.
- Some co-worker who doesn't deserve a raise gets that raise while I continue to wait in a line, which is really more of a cluster of people in a dark corner, I feel frustration, and I know that frustration is rooted in feeling under-appreciated.
- Mom calls at 9am on a Saturday to ask how she can post something to her Facebook wall that everyone but some teacher friend can see because, "she might not think it's funny" I feel annoyed, but I know that's really just unconditional love...
- 10:43pm: Oh good I think I am aging-in-the-face at a pace on par with my female peers
- 11:07pm: No way! they all live here? Why in the world have we not been hanging out for the past half-a-decade? Oooh, did they just never like me?
- 11:10pm: Sooo, the other ten people in this conversation have a masters degree or above...
- 12:03am: Wow - you just moved out of your parents house?! Oh. And into a two bedroom apartment with your fiance...that you bought.
- 12:35am: Could this be the highest concentration of eligible men I've encountered since leaving college? Could this thus mean I blew any/all chance of getting one of them to marry me?
- 1:15am: I can never leave the East Coast, these people are all too much a part of my history!
- 1:16am: So-help-me-god if I am still having this same conversation five more years from now...I should probably move...
- 1:30am: If that DJ-who-looks-uncannily-like-an-urban-Rumplestiltskin announced that we all had to line up from least to most money in our savings accounts, how many people would join me in the "does your 401K money count?" question...
- 1:55am: KRISTIN! That's her name!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
As over-advertised, The Hook-up Conversations - my collection of 12 dating-themed monologues - were performed on Valentine's Day eve. The night turned out to be a huge success - bigger audience that we ever imagined and the type of crowd energy that can make an actor absolutely nail a performance. All of them did.
It goes without saying that a lot of work went into producing the event on the part of everyone involved. Any art is an investment and theater is one of the group-effort variety - time, money, energy - and that's all before the weird-to-define investment of self. Performing before an audience of your peers about a topic specific to your peers takes balls. You have to love and believe in it more than you care about being judged for it, and you have to be prepared to be judged for it even if it's 100% believable. You have to let go of controlling what people think of you, and that's not a gut instinct - it's barely even a learnable instinct.
Same goes for writing and presenting the pieces. Even as people were responding with laughs and silences in all the right places - an awkward live picking up of what I'd put down - I was stuck in shit-what-if-they-think-it's-dumb mode. What if it's not relatable? What if it isn't funny? What if all they're thinking is, "did this all really happen to this girl?!" or "who does this girl think she is?" or, "this is all so over-the-top."
All those fears are rooted in the fact that this kind of art - like all kinds - is you inviting that potential reaction - you putting yourself out there to be judged and evaluated. You saying to a group of who-knows-how-many - here's a sampling of the most personal stuff that goes on inside my brain; go ahead and tell me what you think of it while I stand here in the corner. Yes, the hope is for it to be enjoyed - for people to learn something, gain something, be in some way affected by what your work is saying, but you can't control that. You have to believe in what you hope to accomplish more than you care about maybe not accomplishing it.
(cue Danny-teaches-one-of-the-Tanner-girls-an-important-lesson music).
My Mom message is that it's worth it.
You cannot know what will come back at you when you stand up and say, "look, this is something I think/believe/see/wonder about and want you to see too."
My point is that the "it's worth it" isn't about it succeeding. It isn't worth it because of the potential win. It isn't about how good it feels when people clap for you and tell you they loved it. All of that is fantastic and plays its own role in why people go through all this crazy risk.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
- "I don't need someone to give back everything I'm giving - the problem was she was uncomfortable with my being a giver - she'd always tell me to stop, but that's who I am - how I'm always going to be."
- "Gay guys know other guys are gay because of the two-look look - look, pause, look again, gay. That simple."
- "I tried so hard to be a lesbian - I mean I really tried - but I just can't do it."
- "People aren't using this yet, like no one really says it, but I'm trying to work it in - the idea of 'The Dance' versus 'The Game' you know? The Game is like, well it's only been 2 days so there's no way I'm going to reach out to him because he needs to make the first move and blah blah but The Dance is more - well - I guess it's less rules and more just slowly revealing how you feel. I think people want The Dance and hate The Game."
In my mind The Game is like this expectations stand-off between two people who are both trying to maintain the upper hand. To play, you have to know the rules; you have to follow the "the way it goes" process.
Neither is going to make the first move first. Neither is going to call before the requisite three days. Neither would ever respond to an e-mail immediately because both are playing it as cool as possible sos not to give the other any edge. He'll text her, "what's up?" - she'll wait at least two hours to respond, if not more. She'll invite him to a party, he'll show up with some other girl who's, "just a friend." They'll go on one, two, three dates but still flirt openly with other people, in front of each other.
The bottom line of The Game is that it's a series of tests: how much does he care? how serious is she? how hurt could I get? And - and here's the crux of the difference between the game and the dance - 9 times out of 10 at least one player in the game is doing just that - playing. They're playing it for the hook-up, the something-is-better-than-nothing position, the fact that they started and now feel too bad to stop. Bottom line - they're not intending for whatever they're playing to end in a relationship.
The way Evangeline described it, "the dance" is less calculating - far less stand-off-ish. You do the dance because you're protecting yourself, sure, but you know how you feel, and you know what you want - and what you want is him slash her. I feel like if you had to attach a feeling or emotion to the dance it would be intrigue or mystery... whereas when it's the game it's annoying, confusing, frustrating. Mean girls play games - coy girls who know playing a little hard-to-get is part of the attraction, dance the dance.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
- This phone call/IM/e-mail/g-chat: "Hey, what are you up to this weekend? You know _______ is out of town so I wanted to see if you were around to do something." I know this is totally harmless. I know it means, I have free time without my significant other around and would love to spend that time with you. But what it feels like is, since my other half is gone I have nothing to do sooo you wanna do something? My preference: lie to me. Tell me you just want to hang out because we haven't seen each other in awhile. Later when we're together drop the "yeah _____ is away on business." I know you're trying to stack your social time for when the person you want to spend 24/7 with is away, but I'd feel a lot less like you only want to see me because they're gone if you didn't say "want to do something because ______ is gone?.
- Me: "Hey, do you want to join for dinner tomorrow night, a bunch of us are going out." You: "Sure, what time should we meet you there?" Thanks to Mrs. Lokitz my 5th grade Language Arts teacher I have an excellent command over pronouns. I know when I want to say "you" to represent "you, the person I am directly speak with" and when I want to say "you and ________" to represent you and the person you're dating. This tends to only be an issue when someone first gets into a relationship. In their head they assume and believe their new boy/girlfriend should always be invited to everything that's happening with the friend group. There's no nice way to say this so - they shouldn't.
- Lines of the following variety: God, I would NEVER go back to being single, it's impossible out there. Thank GOD I found ________, I would have killed myself if I spent one more day on the dating scene. Being set up is the absolute ONLY way to meet someone like _______. I'm not sure what someone is looking for in response to a line like this, but I tend to say things like, "yeah, you sucked as a single person" and "I would have killed myself if I were you too" and "Good to know - I'll stop asking people to set me up."
- Complaints about your boyfriend that are not really complaints but rather more ways to talk about your boyfriend disguised as faux complaints. "__________ sent flowers to my office again! I mean how embarrassing! He's so annoying. I was like stop!" Or "________ loves to surprise me with where we're going to dinner but then we get to, like, Del Posto and I feel like I'm not dressed up enough! I'm like, this has got to end!" No comment. None necessary.
- And this gem, from my sister Dani: "The need to profess love over all forms of social networking, all the time. That's the end all be all worst thing." To each their own, but if you could call, text, e-mail or just actually see each other, why would you communicate bak and forth throughout the day via Facebook wall? Could it be because it is mysteriously the only form of communication that everyone else can see...
Monday, February 1, 2010
- "Seriously - how did you do it?" I asked her over brunch a few weeks ago. I was expecting her to say that a loving grandparent slipped 10K in her bank account or that she signed one, major client buying her time for the rest to trickle in.
- "I set a date," she told me, "I told myself that by X date I was going to lose my job and so I had to be self-sufficient by then."
- "But were you going to lose your job?"
- "So you pretended your way into preparing to run a business?"
- "Sort of. I just set it in my head that I was going to be out of a job on X date and so I did everything I could while I was still at my old job to get myself set up to run my own."
- "And what if you didn't hit your date?"
- "That wasn't an option."
- "But it was an option..."
- "Not in my head it wasn't."