Last night I was out at a shindig with my paramour, and there was a big huge orange moon hanging above the Capitol Building. It was beautiful. I started snapping away on my phone, and Felix Unger once more emerged.

“Go to the other side of the balcony, and take it from there. No, over here. Wait, no more to your left. No, wait, back to the right. Yes! Wait, no! Yes! No. You need to get more of the heft of the building into the bottom left of the shot. Yes! Noo. Yes … wait … no.”

Fellow guests began to look quizzically at him. I put my phone down and looked at him.

“You are out of your mind,” I said. He giggled, as he often does.

A few hours later, and we are drifting off to sleep, and suddenly he is picking at my upper arm like an orangutan searching for nits. Next thing I know, he’s attempting to squeeze some imaginary thing.

“Holy shit!” I cry. “Those are freckles!”

He turns the light on and looks sheepish.

“And so they are,” he says, tenderly kissing the red mark he’s left on my arm. “So terribly sorry.”

My reply: “You are not right in the head. There is something wrong with you.” He stifles a giggle.

This morning, I wake up, and he’s naked on his hands and knees on the floor beside me, fiddling with something.

“What now, you crazy British motherfucker?” I ask in sleepy bewilderment.

“Well, the power cord from the lamp interferes with the placement of my water glass on the bedside table. So I thought if I unplugged it, then repositioned it, it wouldn’t be quite so bothersome,” he replies, a look of stern concentration on his face.

I burst out laughing.

“How did you get this way?” I ask. “You are out of your mind with the OCD.”

And he is. Since we started dating, I no longer have to clean out my hairbrushes. Twice a week, the hair is removed, no matter how minimal an amount of hair there is. Twigs and sticks are picked up from my expansive backyard and put in tidy little piles in the garage next to my wood pile. My bra drawer is reorganized so they’re all lined up perfectly. My fruit bowl is rearranged so that the oranges are on the bottom and the bananas are on top. The shoes in my closet are tidied up and straightened even if I did the same thing two days earlier. He is particularly insistent that all things hanging in the closet are hanging in the same direction. Do you know what I mean by this? If so, you may have his disease.

He simply cannot stop himself from tidying, straightening, smoothing, picking, or rearranging.

We have a daily thing going on where I send him a photo of one of my cats as he lounges around. Patrick is my paramour’s favorite cat, and so it’s become almost an art project — I even sent him shots of Patrick while he was testifying in a recent high-profile thingamajig. For the first little while, he would reply this way: “Aww, what a big fat cutie. But I think you should have tried taking it from the right, so you got more of his face.”

I would reply: “Piss off and be grateful you have woman who obliges your desire for a daily cat photo.”

Lately, he’s been very proud of  The Daily Patrick.

“You’ve really mastered the fatty-cam,” he said the other day. “The lighting, the angle, the composition — these are truly works of art.”

I stared at him.

“I am out of my mind, aren’t I?”

“Yes, you are,” I replied.

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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…)

eyes-blue-brown

Y’all, this is another one of those situations in which I am unsure how much stroppiness is warranted.  The last time I asked for your opinion was not long ago, regarding gay boys and groping, but I have to say this strikes a different level of annoyance.  Here’s how it started:  I was on the phone with my boyfriend, and we were talking about hypothetical babies, as you sometimes do, sort of as a practice run .  You know what I mean:  You sling jokingly awful names at each other (“let’s call a boy Hagar and a girl Millicent”) and rib each other on the worst characteristics with which we’ll endanger our future offspring (“let’s hope they avoid your jug-ears and my manic-depression,” or whatever).

Anyway, this good-hearted ribbing is going very well, until I ask him about his parents’ coloring.  I’ve met them a couple times, but couldn’t pin down their natural hair and eye color, especially as they’re graying a bit.  My own mother, a brown-eyed brunette, told me how surprised she was to have a blonde, blue-eyed baby, so I was drawing on my fragmented recollection of junior high biology to guess what my own spawn would look like if I chose to reproduce with the current boy (who has thick black hair, a red beard when he grows it, and green eyes).  Seriously, I recall that his father has brown eyes and his mother greeny-blue, but it seemed reasonable to ask the guy who has known them for, oh, nearly 30 years.  Could he hazard a guess?  Nerp. (more…)

You know what my dating philosophy is? Until we have the Big Talk about going exclusive – and I believe in a minimum of three months of test drives before I make a purchase – I am Single and Dating. I might be having dinner with someone else. I might be shagging them. I might be sitting at home eating pickles out of the jar with a mud mask on my face. I might be trying out for roller derby. Most likely, I am drinking. But one way or another, it’s not really any of your business.

Basic ground rules include:

1) I will not pretend that I am seeing you exclusively.

2) Nonetheless, I will not be sharing details; nor will I ask them of you (DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL, if you like your phrases catchy).

3) Don’t trample all over my heart, and I will attempt to not puncture your own with my sexy, sexy stillettos.

4) We will refrain from saying “I love you,” no matter how intoxicated on drink, drug, candlelight, or screwing we may be, because this leads to unnecessary confusion and usually crying.

5) I will always use a rubber, with or without you, and expect you to do the same. Similarly, Blowjobs are for Boyfriends (TM). We will not be oral sexing because contrary to what you’ve not learned in your abstinence-only sex ed program, oral is an expedient way to share disease and does, in fact, “count.”

6) I will not query your previous number of sexual partners, and you will not ask mine, because nobody ends up happy or wants to think of themselves as #8 or #123. And anyway, we’re both lying and we both know it.

7) Any Spare Toothbrushes Unknown to You in my possession will be hidden before you enter my abode; likewise, please ensure that any foreign bras are unobtrusively located and will not become tangled around my ankles at the bottom of your bedsheets. This is called courtesy.

8) We will not talk on the phone every day. We will not see each other every night. We will not abandon our friends, hobbies, and lifestyles to wrap ourselves in a coccoon of infatuation that is illusory, fleeting, and ultimately embarrassing. We will avoid overly affectionate nicknames and discussion of long-term plans to a) swim with the dolphins in Cabo b) run with the bulls in Pamplona c) babysit your sister’s children for a weekend d) roadtrip in a Winnebago or e) other excessively romantic and “coupley” activities. Joint trips to the supermarket should be undertaken carefully, lest I playfully chuck frozen tacos into your cart for dinner or you sweetly try to replace my Lean Cuisines with fresh pasta and zuchinni in an attempt to better my diet. Dogwalking while holding hands, while acceptable, should not occur more frequently than twice a week.

9) Babies will be discussed only in the most abstract terms possible. They may be referred to as “critters.”

10) In the event we find ourselves in Big Talk territory, we will quietly but definitively severe any remaining romantic complications and progress to Phase 2. Additionally, full sexual health screenings and subsequent disclosure are mandatory, because I believe in both romance AND chlamydia. “Love in the Time of Gonnorrhea” was not on my high school reading syllabus and will not be in my bedroom without my informed consent.

And yet, I screw up every time. I don’t abide by my own rules or consistently subscribe to my own philosophy because the water in actual relationships is a lot muddier than expected (not to mention full of snakes, undertows, and probably nuclear waste). When you fall for someone, you fall, no matter how cynical you thought you were or how prickly your exterior. More to come, but first: What are your Rules of Engagement?