Love


I have a lovely friend whom we will call Marla, for the sake of this discussion.  Marla is just like us.  She is a smart, capable, attractive young woman with loads of potential and that mixture of confidence and nagging self-doubt particular to modern women in their twenties and thirties.  Marla has nice shoes that she keeps under her desk, a subscription to the Financial Times, and commutes daily and smartly to her city job at a respected bank.  With continued focus and effort, Marla is Going Places.  She also has a nice boyfriend she loves, but with whom she is not certain she sees a long-term future.  No matter; Marla is focused on her job and happy with her relaxed relationship.  She is living in the moment, and the moment is good.

And then.  Marla attends an important client event with a number of her colleagues, including several VPs.  The dinner goes very well, the drinks are flowing, the mood is giddy, and somehow, without prior intention, Marla goes back to a hotel with a Senior VP from her company.

“I didn’t mean to sleep with him,” she says.  “Even when we went back to the room, I thought we would have a drink or two and then I would leave.  We talked a little about his wife, as a matter of fact.  I never felt like he was trying to seduce me, or vice versa.  It was late, and I curled up in bed, and then…  Well.” (more…)

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Although I am not normally in the habit of paraphrasing Rita Rudner, I recently did so in an office card for a colleague’s wedding, noting that I was delighted he’d found that special person he wants to annoy for the rest of his life.  The present Boy Person and I are not nearly that far gone, but have taken great pleasure in irritating each other for the last couple of years; it’s all part of the loving foundation on which long-term relationships are based.  Whether we’re goosing each other in the stairwell, making hideous faces behind each others’ backs, or imploring one another to, please, really, just shut up, we’re never short of love or totally obnoxious behavior.

I don’t know why we find such mutual amusement in annoying each other – I don’t mean to the point of actual anger, but certainly irritation of the junior high variety.  My latest and greatest achievement is the bottle of nail biting solution I’ve brought home in an effort to curb his nasty habit.  He’s agreed to this treatment after two years of my pleas for hygiene and observations that the stubs on his fingertips look like ten little bald men, and so every other night, I get to coat his nails in highly flammable polish that tastes like a pure Everclear hangover.

And, oh, it is delightful to witness him absentmindedly snag a cuticle between his teeth, and hack like he’s coughing up a hairball.  The faces, the sputtering, the whingeing…  My enjoyment of the spectacle even surpasses the nearly-maternal pride I feel when he displays his half millimeter of nail growth (“Look!  White bits!  There are white bits on the ends!”).  Good job, baby.

You see, I also consider this just revenge, of a sort, due to an incident from early on in our relationship.  Allow me to set the scene of the crime.  (more…)

 

I am about to tell you a sweet story about my man. If you are young and idealistic, you won’t find it so sweet, you will likely think it’s depressing that my bar is so pathetically low. If you are an old bag like me who’s been cheated on a couple of times, most notably by a seriously adulterous husband who left her with faulty instincts when it comes to my first boyfriend since the divorce, you might find your cold shrivelled heart expand just a bit.

So throughout most of my relationship with Felix Unger, I have often been an anxious mess. I have always feared his emotional distance at times was because he might have someone else, even though, when I push it, it’s always the same issue — really into you, really want kids, know we’ll have to break up at some point, trying to protect myself from the inevitable pain and misery of that breakup, trying to keep things light and breezy.

But anyway, when we first started banging, Felix had a cute little painted tin box filled with condoms next to his bed. And then a month or two after we started banging, we both were griping about condoms and I said I was fine to do without them but you know, I need to know that we are either exclusive or if we bang other people, we use condoms so as not to infect one another. He gave me an odd look, but readily agreed.

(more…)

This is Adam doing something I saw a lot of as a young girl — playing lacrosse. This was taken in the mid-’70s. I used to watch him play lacrosse, but he was a lifelong pal playing with a bunch of other lifelong friends, never a boyfriend. While I might have sensed he liked me, he never told me, and he never sent any messengers to tell me, and so I never assumed otherwise.

Look at those legs!

Adam was a really cute boy, a redhead with freckles and a great smile and laugh, an amazing athlete with an athlete’s body,  great dancer, and he had a kick-ass last name that made him mysterious to me — it sounded almost Inuit. We knew each other from kindergarten on; our older siblings grew up with one another. If anyone ever picked on me, Adam had my back. A bitchy redhead named Margaret Conrad once slapped me across the face in middle school. Adam appeared out of nowhere, took her by the arm and made it clear she was never to lay a finger on me again. Duelling gingers!

When we got into high school, Adam was always lurking in the shadows, looking out for me. We got drunk once and made out; his was the first boner I ever felt, albeit over top his jeans. He still played lacrosse, I still went and watched. If he really tried to woo me, I can’t recall it. I don’t know why I didn’t make a move, but I think, when I look back, I might have assumed he was a little off. He would stare at me strangely and not speak. He would start to say something and stop. He would withdraw completely, for weeks, if he saw me hanging out with new guys. He didn’t hang out that much with my crowd. He was a slow talker, sort of stoner-ish, and maybe I wondered if he was a druggie (fool — that would be considered a bonus in later years). I didn’t know what to make of him once we got into high school, and I didn’t worry too much about it, and proceeded to go out with a complete tool named Robbie for three years. He was dumb, shallow, a cheat and lousy in the sack. To this day, I am embarrassed I went out with him. (more…)

Note: I am not snarking on this man, but would like to say that the BF's back situation is not quite so dire.

I’m heading off on Tuesday morning for five nights in Malta and a much-needed vacation after a stressful first quarter (what else is new? – oh, I mean that stress-wise, not jetting to Malta-wise – the latter is new).  Our flight is at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am, and we are requested to appear at the airport two hours in advance.  To cut down on travel stress, we’ve booked an airport hotel room for tomorrow night, and I intend to head there after work for the luxury of rising at 4:00 am rather than 3:00 am, and the avoidance of taxi/tube/train panic.  Worth £44?  You betcha.

Besides my typical packing freakout (present and accounted for, sir!), I took the opportunity today to engage in pre-vacation grooming.  I opted out of a bikini wax this time in favor of an economically advisable DIY razor-job.  While I have been dreaming of a sunshine and beach holiday, I fear that even Malta will be too chilly this time of year for sunbathing, so I don’t see any point in suffering through a wax when I will likely be clad in jeans and a monochrome tee-shirt for the majority of my visit.

Nonetheless, I have plucked, bleached, and shaved in anticipation – at the very least I am hoping for a Turkish bath and a massage, and, sadly, one wishes to conform to Western beauty standards.  But while I am responsible for my own grooming, it seems I am also responsible for that of my male vacation companion.  I’m not complaining, per se – if one was able to competently shave one’s own back, one would be something of a medical marvel.  But aside from my responsibility for sunscreen, bathing suits, itinerary printouts, and toiletries (all things he has/will forget without my prompting), I am also tasked with boyfriend depilation. (more…)

Big news, BCP Friends, so gather round.  I have an announcement.  I, Tailfeather the Neurotic, am taking the plunge.  I am throwing caution to the wind, I am running with the metaphorical bulls, I am skydiving into a kiddie pool filled with Kool-Aid.  I am allowing the Boy Person to move in with me.  I am nervous.

Never a big fan of commitment, this is a big deal for me.  It took eight months of dating before I could use the word “boyfriend” – I actually just prefer to call him my “person” or even “partner,” the latter of which is acceptable in the UK and I kind of like because it makes me think of cowboys in tight Wranglers and weathered hats.    

cowboys

Howdy indeed.  Anyway, I am nervous for a number of reasons, the principal of which is commitment-phobia and loss of freedom.  Smart or not, I think a lot of my adventures (both real and imaginary) have been tied to romantic relationships and travel.  I went to France, met a Swedish boy, and fell in love.  We were together for over two years, trans-Atlantic.  I have dated men from Scotland, Venezuela, Ireland, Honduras; I have dallied with boys from Israel, South Africa, Italy, Colombia, Croatia, Mexico, Germany, Australia, Palestine, Canada, and Queens, New York.  I met a Spaniard in Prague and traveled with him.  I have a taste for the exotic and the promises of the unfamiliar, and living in such an international city as London makes the skin on the back of my neck prickle with excitment.  My life isn’t on a set course yet, and I savor the buzz of possibility I feel here, surrounded by foreigners and the potential for new places, new experiences. (more…)

boy car

Hi, there!  My name is Tailfeather, and if you were wondering how not to pick me up, I have some handy tips for you!  Sometimes making kissy-face at me while I try to fill up my car with gas isn’t enough; sometimes it’s not sufficient to insult my accent and then try to grab my ass ten minutes later at a bar.  Sometimes, you really need to pull out all the stops in order to really, really not pick me up.  If you have no interest in intimacy, conversation, or sexual relations with me, here are some ways to go about it!:

1)  You can successfully not pick me up at 3:45 am on a night bus when I am going home from a club.  While it is creepy enough to slide into the seat next to me on a nearly deserted bus, it is even creepier to try to engage me in conversation when I am actively wrapping my arms around my purse (and my personhood!) and actually feigning unconsciousness.  This is a legitimate sign that I am unreceptive and will not be proposing that you accompany me home for intercourse.  Well done, especially if I have to feign waking up so that I can go stand beside the bus driver with my keys in my fist and a mobile phone in the other hand, in case you try to follow me.  You have done very well in not picking me up. (more…)

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