Friday, June 29, 2007


After I returned to Los Angeles, I had about 3 days to get ready for the small screening and reception that I was helping to plan. I thought that this was the best possible time to try out my new found “will date” energy. I was determined to hit the ground running. As it turned out, the ground did most of the hitting.

The plan was sound. Since I was allowed to invite people, and I knew the standing invite list, I could stack the deck in my favor. I thought there were two gentleman callers of real possibility, with a third being potentially troublesome, but worth considering.

That’s three men—all seemingly single, invited to the same event, who know me (at least a little bit), who seem pleasant. Game was on!

The first responded to the invitation, and was bringing a date. Ok, fine. I eliminated him from the potential dating pool. He was probably too young for me, anyway. Also, he was probably too good looking for me. It’s not that I don’t like great looking guys—it’s just that they don’t often look in my direction when there are hordes of 23 year old models here in LA as alternate choices.

The second responded to me, but brought a buddy. Hard to work the party, work the flirt and focus the flirt in a non-obvious way around the buddy. Plus, I was sort of banned from dating him by a mutual friend a while ago, so maybe it was for the best.

The third—here would be gold. I was sure of it. Remember this guy: ?

Fine Figure of Man was on the invite list. We’ve chatted over email periodically. He flirted a little. I flirted lamely. But still, there was some flirt precedence. When I had emailed him a month earlier, he was excited at the prospect of the screening—not a surprise, he is in the movie.

I didn’t want to leave anything to chance, though. So, when I got back into town, I emailed him just to express my pleasure that his screen debut was soon to arrive.


I monitored the invitation RSVP list.


I went back to myspace, and his last log in date was actually a couple of days before I got back to LA. Hmmmmm.

Still, not to be deterred, I figured that he would just appear at the screening, and I added him to the list as a precaution. I mean, I couldn’t have him turned away on a “not on the list” technicality. Sure, the people working the door would recognize him from the film, but I was taking no chances.

And apparently, I was taking no offers for dates either because he didn’t come. He never responded to the earlier myspace missive. Official radio silence.

There are clearly a million reasons why he didn’t come up for the screening—many, many reasons, and at least two or three that would be good enough for me. But the question now stands—do I continue to casually contact him anyway? For instance, some sort of gentle and charming inquiry such as “Where the hell were you?”

Not that I want to seem clingy, critical and demanding right away—I like to save that for the actual relationship.

What say you?

Kate’s love score: 0 for 3

Kate, feeling mildly stood up, in LA

Friday, June 22, 2007

Part 2: The Weekend

Two days before I was supposed to leave town his name showed up on the reservation list. What had been an overwhelming feeling was 100% confirmed. And I was calm. Ready. And in many ways looking forward to spending time with him, as well as our other friends, in a place where time really has stood still.

Alas, the lives of its graduates have not stood still, and suddenly I was struck with the thought—what if he isn’t alone? I mean, it isn’t unreasonable that he would want to bring his “very nearly wife” to campus with him. Sure, she’d been there before, and their wedding was coming up, but still… I was ready to say goodbye. I was ready to accept all the changes. I was ready to move to friend mode.

However, I was not ready to spend the weekend with his almost wife. I was really not ready to spend the weekend in the room next to him and his almost wife. Because you know that’s how it would work. I had just figured out that the classes closest to each other would be staying in the same building. Which meant that in an act of malfeasance, the universe would have been tapping its fingers together and saying “ah, yes, I know exactly how this should go…”

Needless to say, I sent a very quick note off to a mutual friend to find out. His reply was “he hasn’t mentioned it” and then “he doesn’t know if she’s coming”. He doesn’t know? He doesn’t know? How do you not know these things? Thankfully, our delightful mutual friend offered to change rooms with me if the worst happened.

It didn’t. He came alone.

I had been on campus for about 45 minutes, when I headed back to a lounge to wait for our mutual friend, O, to arrive. I had no idea when The Ex was getting into town, but since he typically arrived everywhere at the last minute when we were dating, I figured I had at least the evening and part of the next day.

I was wrong.

I was sitting there, and I noticed someone come through the first set of doors. I didn’t see his face. But I knew. Something about the way this man moved—his stride, demeanor, something immediately struck awareness in me. I was frozen.

And there he was.

He kept walking toward the elevators, but said hello to me in passing, as any polite individual would. I sort of laughed and said “Hi” (bringing out my big linguistic guns for this one). And then, there we were. Realizing it was me, he dropped his bags, came down into the lounge and then the music swelled. We pledged our undying love and eloped.

Yeah, nice try. In the movie of my life, that will be my choice. The reality, while not cinematic, was still something I’ll replay in moments of weakness, I’m sure. It was a hug—a totally enveloping, pick me off the floor, still feel it in the morning, hug. The Ex is almost a foot taller than I am, and while the man may have his faults, he knows how to hug.

The next sentence out of my mouth wasn’t a declaration of love, or a jump into nostalgia. It was “so, I guess this answers the question of whether or not you’re coming”. It was met with humor, and a good dose of confusion as he did not realize his presence had ever been up for debate, or a subject of concern. He was, after all, off living his life while internal drama had settled in on the west coast. Apparently, he hadn’t picked up those mind reading skills that I often wished he had when we were together.

For the next three days, The Ex, O, other friends and I played. We reminisced, and enjoyed the days like real life, work, rent and aged ovaries held no concern. At one point, before the big gala, O asked me if I was going to try to talk The Ex out of his impending marriage. The answer was no. Nor was there ever a hint of impropriety.

How about awkwardness, you ask?

Yeah. There were a couple moments of that. We didn’t discuss his almost wife for the first day, or so. I could tell that he was trying to keep that low key, presumably out of deference to my feelings. I avoided it because… well, because that’s what I do. You should probably know that he and I had never discussed her. No back and forth—ever. Contact that I’ve had with him by email over the last year has been friendly, but solely focused on his career, mine, etc.

Finally, I decided that not talking about it was getting a bit silly, and it was time for me to stop flinching. So, as we were walking ahead of the group, I said to him “I’ve been avoiding the subject because I hate the idea of you marrying someone else, but tell me about her”. And with a nod of acknowledgement, he did.

And I lived.

To be honest, I do hope he’s happy, and I hope that she is amazing. I’d be hurt if this was just a timing thing. I want her to be the best thing that is ever happened to him.

So, the weekend went on. I was never back in my room before 2 am—shocking given my penchant for being tucked in by 9pm at the latest. It was fun, and for the most part, I just let the rest go.

Memorable moments?

The weekend was full of new experiences with old friends, and lots of plans, mostly professional ones, for the future. But there was one story told by a new friend, that I have to share.

This girl, who I had never met, knew O and had met The Ex, years ago (probably 5-6 years into our relationship). I have no idea where I was, probably working, but the three of them had gone with some other friends to a baseball game. When O introduced us, she said—“wait, you’re The Ex’s Kate”? At which point, all the people there who knew him, and didn’t know that he and I had dated, figured it out fairly quickly. The girl explained that she didn’t know me, barely knew him, but by the end of the game, she knew all about The Ex’s Kate. She knew I was a dancer. She knew where I had worked. She knew what I hoped to do. She knew everything about me. And she said she was thrilled to finally put a face to a name.

I didn’t really say much, other than that was really sweet to hear. But inside, there was part of my brain that kicked in and started nudging me. I’m not sure why, but I think I had convinced myself that the relationship hadn’t meant all that much to him. I mean, he was the one who finally decided to end it. Part of my brain found it easier to accept that it hadn’t mattered rather than accept that he loved me, but didn’t think it could work. So, to realize that he had been proud enough of the relationship to talk someone’s ear off about it was a bit of surprise. I think at this point, something in me started to shift.

Of course, he is still a guy, so he nearly needed to be smacked regardless of all of his exemplary work to that point. Why do boys speak? Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times over the years when things were going along smoothly only to be derailed because he spoke.

We were walking over to a picnic (O, The Ex and I) when The Ex started telling a story involving me and some campus fun many moons ago. Just as hilarity was about to ensue, he accidentally inserted the name of his almost wife into the story instead of mine. That’s right, ladies, he called me by her name. And he didn’t notice. He just kept talking. Meanwhile, I literally gasped and put my hand over my mouth to physically stop myself from vocalizing my…um…surprise. And O looked over at me immediately to see if he had heard correctly. Actually, he had that look on his face that said – If I weren’t a white, late 30 something, straight male, I’d be yelling “Oh, no, he din’t” and snapping my fingers right now.

Naturally, I demurely refrained from interrupting the story so as not to embarrass him.

Yeah, right! In my new role of friend, rather than supportive girlfriend, I so called him on it! And he was suitably mortified and apologetic. Ha! You better be buddy, if you ….

This one slightly dicey moment aside (thank goodness I was wearing my “so dealing with it” lipstick), I loved the weekend. I saw old friends. I made new contacts, and I played, which I do so little of in my day to day life. But more than that, I got something that I somehow knew I needed—more time. I had the chance to spend three and a half more days with someone I love. I was granted days of hugs, stories and friendship, and I was granted a measure of peace. I realized after days of really listening to him that he wasn’t just important to me, but that I had been important to him.

I’m not saying there weren’t some tears when we said goodbye. But we said the things that needed to be said.

And I let him go.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Part 1: The Decision

Wow. It has been a while. Where the hell have I been? Little Miss Anti-social had a packed calendar all of a sudden. While it did not include George Clooney (woe is me), it did include party planning, visiting family, shopping, spending every waking moment for 3 days with The Ex, a movie screening and the discovery of a fabulous new nail polish.

Whew! Busy times. So, what do you want to know about? LOL! Yeah, I know. I know. The nail polish. Ok, it is a barely there pink called “Jane”. I rarely go girlie, but it goes with almost everything.

Are those cyber-darts you are lobbing at me like mini-grenades? ;)

Remember this post ( I made months ago? It was a passing thought that for no reason that made sense to me at the time, wouldn’t leave me alone. The “what if” just kept swirling around me—coming over me at the strangest times. It was as though storm clouds were heading my way and the wind was whispering “something wicked this way comes”.

You see even though I didn’t know I’d see him, a part of me did know. In fact, apparently, a part of me knew back in October. My friend B said, in reference to the drama with The Ex: “Well, at least the drama is over—you wont ever see him again”. My response? “It’s not over”.

Sometimes you just know.

We are on opposite sides of the country. We have no mutual friends in each other’s respective states. Most of our mutual friends are already married. And I was certainly not getting an invitation to his nuptials (which are Saturday, for those of you playing along at home).

I just knew.

I can see the Greek Chorus swaying in the background shouting “why didn’t you just run?”

I tried not to go. No really, an actual try. Not a half-hearted, kind of “no, I shouldn’t” while giggling and madly packing. I even made plane reservations that would have made it impossible to attend. I was so stressed beforehand that I was practically sick. So when I made those reservations, I waited for the relief of a decision well made.

It didn’t come. Somehow the body knew that what was logical, mature and responsible was also the wrong decision.

Still struggling with my pent up lack of relief, I had a conversation with my friend Chloe, who is entirely to blame for all of this… oh yes, she is! She had the audacity to ask me the following questions: “Are you going to regret not going? Are you just going to spend the next year obsessing over what might have been, or what you missed?”

Sigh. This is why you should never be friends with people who know you well. Seriously, once someone knows you really well, you should ship them off to Iceland with no internet or phone access.

I made one last valiant attempt. I left it up to the universe. I’d like to point out that I do not believe that the universe has a plan for my love life, only a sense of humor bordering on malevolence. We flipped a coin. It did not land on the side of running away. Somehow, even the freakin coin knew. I suggested 2 out of 3, Chloe pointed out that the universe had already answered, and my additional frantic flipping wouldn’t count.

Five minutes later I changed all of my plane reservations. I wrote to my friends again and told them I was coming to the event after all. Then I waited for the panic to settle over me. It didn’t come.

None of my normal reactions kicked in. No frantic shopping sprees followed the decision. No binge dieting for an event that was just a week or so down the line. No emergency plastic surgery, honey blond hair extensions, or teeth whitening.

I was just calm. I knew that even though his name wasn’t on the RSVP list the week of the event, and we hadn’t spoken, that he would be there. I was as calm as I have ever been before getting on a plane – because I knew I would finally get a real chance to say goodbye.

(coming next: the good, the new and the “he said what?”)