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This was a questionnaire that was originally given to The Monkees in 1967 by Tiger Beat magazine, later used by Music Rock magazine this past year to interview Bill Murray. These are my answers.
How would your mother describe you in one word?
Firebrand. And she does.
What is your favorite flower?
Lily of the valley. Or hydrangea.
What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?
“Will you marry me?”
What word in the English language do you wish you had invented?
Where would you like to live?
I need a bumbling, chaotic city. New York, Cairo, or Philadelphia.
What is the first quote that comes to your mind?
“We not me”. The basketball girls have taken to saying that as a chant before, during, and after practices.
What animal best describes the kind of [guy] you’d be interested in?
I was going to say dog, but I don’t think the intelligence level is parallel to my standards. Maybe a jaguar?
What do you miss about your childhood?
Not worrying about money, deadlines, responsibilities. Being able to walk right into my friends’ houses and be mothered by their mothers. Sleep overs and flashlight tag.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Emma or Ella. I love those two.
What is the main fault in your character?
I’m fairly cold when dating guys, I don’t really let them get close. When I actually do let down my guard I end up falling in love too easily, too hard. It’s only happened twice though. I always end up hurt.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
Nasser and Sadat. I have a weird fascination with them.
Describe how you kiss in one word:
If you met the right [guy] today, would you propose tomorrow?
Good god no. I’m so turned off by the idea of marriage now. I’d rather date a guy for 20 years and not be married than rush into it in a day.
What in the world do you least desire?
To be predictable.
Why do you think most [guys] date you?
Honestly? Tits and ass. Plus I’m totally a “guy’s girl”. But I’m going to throw out Bill Murray’s answer to this: “Morbid curiosity”.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
I cannot believe that it has been almost a week since my last post. The holidays were, well, hectic. And trying to catch up with life that got put on hold during the holidays? Even worse.
I should probably write about the date that I had last week. We originally had plans to go out that Tuesday after class, but Brian called me while I was on the drive to class and sounded so upset. Eric’s funeral had been that day and he wasn’t taking it well- none of my friends are. He asked if we could get drinks when my class was over, and I felt like it was more important for me to be out with him than to be on a date. I talked to the guy during our break, and he asked if we could do lunch the next day then. We settled on a restaurant, and then I spent Tuesday night with Brian.
I’m going to go right out there and say it, I looked adorable on Wednesday. He was grinning like the cat that got the cream when I met up with him in the parking lot. The restaurant was one of his favorites, a Thai place in the city. We had a table right in the corner, and within minutes we were having a heated discussion about the Timal Tigers. I kept thinking about how great it was that there was a guy on my level, you know? That we had something that we were both passionate about in common. So of course this is where it goes bad.
“Was your old boyfriend into this stuff?” he asks. I know he’s referring to Peter, because on the night I drove up there my class had been teasing me endlessly. On that Tuesday I had mentioned to my girl friend in the class that I was nervous about meeting his parents, that I was never nervous about meeting parents. This guy and another of our friends walked in during the course of that conversation. “No, he wasn’t,” I say curtly, because I want to be off of this topic. I mean, who brings this up on a first date?
“Well what was he into? What was he like?” Really? You’re going to be asking me these things? I answer politely but try to steer the conversation away. Apparently I am not subtle. “I understand that you don’t want to talk about it,” he explains, “but I want to gauge how attached to him you still are.” Well knock me over with a fucking feather.
Aside from that the rest of the meal was pleasant. I didn’t really feel any chemistry, but to be honest that interlude had me thinking about Peter for the rest of the night. He kissed me on the cheek afterwards and I told him to have a great holiday, that I’d see him in class the following week.
I really cannot see myself with him. He’s incredibly attractive, witty, and intelligent, but we just didn’t have that flare. I wasn’t dying to talk to him again the next morning and I didn’t stay up all night thinking about him (I did, however, stay out all night drinking. That’s another story.)
Completely and majorly stressed. Have to turn in a 40 some page continuation grant by next Monday- met with the coordinator for the program today with two other members of my group. I was the only one that came prepped and took notes, so this means i’m the one writing all of the edits.
On top of this, I have practice in a half hour, then four hours of terrorism class. I’m hoping he’ll let us out early again (last week we were out by 7:30 and I ended up able to have dinner with Habibi) because I got an email two hours ago from a guy in my class.
I know this is random, but do you want to grab a few drinks after class today?
I wrote back that I’d be up for it, so we’ll see how that goes. Should have some stories by tomorrow!
I fell in love with this guy this weekend. Was having an absolutely horrible day, but came home to a message from a friend saying “this will cheer you up” with a link to this music. And you know what? It worked. Amazingly calming, relaxing. Give it a listen (I hope these links work!) The first one is by far by favorite- I’m going to put it on repeat to fall asleep.
Take It Back:
Just Leave It Alone:
Friday, 6 pm
I’m talking to my friend from college again, and he tells me that a guy from our college died this past weekend. I didn’t know the guy, but the friend and TBFC both did. The friend is sort of in shock, saying things like “see? Do you see how easy it is for us to die? We could die at any point.” It was depressing, but I tried to calm him down the best that I could. I also called TBFC to see how he was handling it. They’re RAs in the same building, but he took it a lot better than I expected.
Saturday, 9:30 am
With the whole change-in-coaching comes a major communication break. I haven’t heard from the new head coach since Tuesday so I give him a call. As a side-note, he was my former coach and had also written me recommendations for both college and for the current coaching position I have. I get him on the line and ask about when practices are- we start winter training this week and I wanted to figure it out with my basketball schedule. He starts rambling on about how they’re trying to hire new people, former coaches from Boathouse Row, National team rowers. I personally think he’s aiming a bit high. This is, after all, a high school program. We’re a strong program, but we’re not an elite program. We’re not a college program. He mentions that they have positions for six coaches, that he and men’s coach take two. That leaves four positions to fill. “Hi, what about me?” I ask. “Oh, you’re in the mix of people we’re looking to hire,” he responds smoothly. He keeps talking about how he’ll let me know in January if I’m hired and I am ultimately confused. I’m too busy trying to digest his words to actually ask questions and before I know it he’s telling me that I don’t have to come to winter practices. Uh, what? And then he tells me that he believes I was given more of a coaching position early on because Andy liked me. “More than two coaching colleagues should,” he said. After we hung up I tried to process all of that. I’m still trying.
Saturday, 9 pm
Sunday is friend Brian’s birthday, so I get to his house early with a beautifully wrapped box of three types of expensive beer and a card. Brian and I have been friends for years, and at one point tried dating (was a disaster) but reverted back to friends. I’m the first there, so we watch TV and he informs me that a friend of his has died this morning. I hardly knew the other guy, but it has hit Brian kind of hard. Jon (my surrogate boyfriend) and Rachel (Brian’s girlfriend) arrive. We then pile into my car (note, Brian is two beers in already) and head to our favorite bar in Philly. Meet Becky and her boyfriend there. Within five minutes everyone else has done a shot of whiskey. Within ten, Brian is holding a beer in each hand.
I’ve bought Rachel and I a bomb drink that the bar makes, Jaeger into Mountain Dew. It’s sadly my only drink of the night (am DD, after all). I figure it is now my duty to buy Brian as many drinks as I possibly can fit in him.
I lose count. Jon buys a LIT for himself and Brian, both gulp them down. This, Brian notes the next day, is his last complete memory. Brian tries to get himself a napkin, knocks over all of the straws. I start to pick them up from the floor, a bouncer is helping me. There is a five dollar bill mixed in, which I hand to the bartender when I stand up. I tell him that I think it’s one of his tips, the bouncer is impressed. “Most people would have just taken that,” he says. He insists on buying me a drink. I tell him a shot of Jack, which I then take back to Brian.
Brian is leaning against the brick post. He has gotten it in his head that he wants a cheesesteak. This desire has caused him to mumble “cheesesteak!” as the answer to any question. “Brian, do you want another beer?” “Cheesesteak!” Jon, being the delightful surrogate boyfriend that he is, placates me by playing the “How many would it take?” game with me. The rules consisted of me pointing out various women through the room and Jon telling me how many beers it would take for him to hook up with that person. I giggle with delight every time.
Sunday, 12:00 am
Jon and I take it upon ourselves to buy another drink for Brian. We decide on Knob Creek with a beer to follow. Brian is fairly incoherent as we hand him the glass, mumbling on about “whiz with” (for those not familiar, that’s the term for ordering a cheesesteak). He does the shot, cups the beer glass with both hands and is sipping. Stumbles towards the trashcan.
I close out my tab, and the bartender winks at me as he hands me a bill for 20 dollars. That’s probably a half of what it should have been so I leave a nice tip. Brian is still mumbling about cheesesteaks so we head out towards our car. Brian is spitting out the window the entire way.
Jon and I leave Rachel and Brian in my car. Brian is mumbling and spitting a lot, so we take it as our cue to get the food for him. By the time we get back to the car with three cheesesteaks in hand, Brian is vomiting on the pavement. Two cops are watching him, Rachel is holding the back of his shirt to keep him upright, I’m gagging, and Jon is laughing hysterically. The drive home is fairly calm, with a few short mumbles from Brian: “cheesesteak” and “he shouldn’t have died. Why did he die?” Everything becomes somber.
Back at Brian’s, I try to help him walk to the door. In four inch Calvin Klein heels. He nearly knocks me over, leans against my car, and starts vomiting again. We finally get him to stop, get him in the house, and he disappears to go to bed. Rachel goes to comfort him.
Open my email. Three emails from Peter. The first only has a picture of him in it. I giggle a little and close it. The second subject is “I want u”, containing another picture of him. I feel a sad longing and close it to read the third. “Sorry”, the subject says. The email apologizes, apparently his friend took his phone and thought it would be fun to email me pictures, pretend that Peter actually missed me. Oh.
Get a call from the college friend. We talk about how weird the weekend has been. I recant the adventure at the bar tonight and he’s laughing. It feels good to have him laughing again. When I hang up to go to sleep he tells me that he misses me.
It’s 1:30 in the morning and I? I am still up and completely unable to sleep.
I just got off the phone with an old college friend. He and I met in the very first days of college, forced together because my friend liked his roommate. We ended up at a party together that night awkwardly playing as beer pong partners while our friends flirted in the other room. He hardly said a word to me and of course I took that as my cue to ramble on incessantly.
Back at his room his two roommates were with their respective girls so he and I wandered to the porch of his dormitory. We stayed there for hours in the warm summer air talking about our families, our high schools, our friends at home. I told him about my problems with my boyfriend at the time (who by the way is absolutely awesome and you should check out his site), he told me about his problems with his parents. Maybe it was the excessive alcohol that night, or maybe it was the fact that we were both new to this whole life, but he was crying. And against my usual pattern, I loved that he was crying.
We ended up dating for a few short weeks, a relationship that I really can’t remember the details of. I don’t remember our first kiss, or what happened when I spent the nights there. I don’t even remember us ever breaking up. He was my first college relationship. I do, however, remember how we ended up together again the next year, my go-to guy after I had another bad breakup. And again several times in our junior year. We shared all of the same friends, we shared six packs and bar tabs. We shared bonfires in his backyard and s’mores. We share a thousand good memories.
I love making him smile, but I’ve always hated that it takes so much to get it there. During one of the times we were dating I discovered that he was ticklish on his hipbones and would tickle him mercilessly just to see him smile and laugh. Despite all of this, the guy is always seemingly depressed.
So it wasn’t a surprise tonight when we had one of the most serious conversations to date. How he is racked with depression, just as his mother is, but that his family refuses to admit to these things. How he’s considering joining the army because he doesn’t know what else to do with his life. At one point I asked what would make him happy. “I want to jump out of a plane,” he said. I told him that I’ve always wanted to go skydiving, that I’d be a willing partner for it. “I only want to go once and I won’t need a chute.” I never realized it was this deep.
So we talked, I questioned and he answered, I begged and he agreed. The things he said, well, they shook me up. To a point where I’m worried that I should tell someone. When I asked if there was anything in his life that was making him happy he said, “well you, obviously”. But I’m worried that isn’t enough. I convinced him to call the counseling center at the school tomorrow and said I’d try to come down this weekend to see him. But what I really don’t know is what to say. I feel like I want to say the right thing to flip some switch in his head, something that will make him feel completely different. I want to have the solution but it’s not my place to solve his problems.
I think I need a break from talking about my inability at relationships (though I did have a two hour talk with TBFC that will need to be relayed later). I know I’ve talked about my friend Ian on several occasions. I’ve also talked bits about my friend FaveDave. But I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about the prank war that ensued last summer between the three of us.
I’m not even sure how it started. I remember that a few years back with an incident involving Ian’s family traveling, FaveDave having a set of the keys to their house, me acquiring a mannequin from the outdoor recreation store that I worked at, and then said mannequin being left in Ian’s bed. We were young and we thought we were hilarious.
And then last summer, I was driving home from visiting Peter at Columbia in New York (completely miserable because I knew he would tell me the next day that he just didn’t feel the same about me, you know the story). When they decided to “cheer me up” by hiding in my bushes and tackling me (in all dark clothing) as I walked towards my house.
I remember exactly when FaveDave and I thought of the idea. We were walking from his apartment in the city to get lunch and were discussing Ian’s imminent departure to live in England for a year, how much we hated him and yet how much we would miss him. As a bit of a back story, I’ve always joked with Ian about how I’m going to end up dating his younger brother, Ben. Rob the cradle, so to speak. We were in college, he was still in high school. Dave and I were joking about how angry Ian gets when I joke about this, and I said something along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Ben and I started dating while Ian is away?” I can almost hear FaveDave’s genius mind cranking out the next greatest plan. “Technically, Ian wouldn’t have to know that you weren’t really dating Ben…”
Within the day our plan was in action. Before Ian had even left for England we were devising a way to make him angry, laying out all of the blueprints. We had intricate notes. After Ian finally left we sent out a mass email to our friends detailing everything, coercing people to subtly drop hints, then clam up and refuse to speak about the topic. We had Ben in on it (because what high school guy would refuse to date a cute college girl, fake or not?) and we even had Ian’s parents in on it.
In September we started small. Ian and I were talking every day and I started talking to him about this guy I was interested in. I weighed all of the options with Ian: “He’s a lot younger than me, but he’s a lot more mature than you’d think.” Never one to be discriminatory about dating ages, Ian pushed me to just let it happen. “If you like him, then the age shouldn’t be a factor.”
I pretended to take his advice, and then would tell him that I was nervous about going home to see this guy. I told Ian that my younger boy was on his high school’s soccer team (as Ben was). And Ben, in the delight of the conspiracy, had give us a copy of his soccer schedule. I began telling Ian about how this guy and I were getting closer, how we finally kissed. “Have you met his family yet?” he asked. And as I already knew Ian and Ben’s parents fairly well I explained that I knew them beforehand.
By October I was “going home” regularly to see my “new boyfriend”. Ian loved hearing the stories, and wasn’t the slightest bit suspicious. My friends were playing their parts well, talking about how they didn’t like the idea of me dating this guy but admitting to Ian that the reason wasn’t because of age. To fully press home the issue, Ben and I put matching quotes in our instant messenger profiles with each others initials after it. Ian still didn’t catch on.
With Thanksgiving soon approaching, Dave and I were deep in plans involving taking pictures of Ben and me at Ben’s soccer games. Dave even though of the idea of us stopping by Ben’s house on Thanksgiving for me to get pictures with their family, combined with me telling Ian how I would be spending Thanksgiving with my new boy’s family.
But Ian’s cleverness finally broke through one day when he put the pieces together. I still remember the email I got from him after he saw an away message that I had up saying “I love you, BR”. I opened it to read “Wait, BR as in Ben [their last name]? Are you dating my brother?” Before I had a chance to answer his email my phone was ringing. I stifled my laughter, put on my best impression of timid, and acted as though I were scared of the repercussions of him finding out. Ben faced the same scenario, as did Ian’s parents, as did many of our friends. We all played it off incredibly well because Ian was livid. Shut out everybody, ignored us all for the next day or so. Refused to answer phones, emails, messages. FaveDave and I celebrated our success.
Ben finally broke and admitted to Ian that were weren’t really dating, and Ian came back around. Ian admitted that it was one of the most involved and complex jokes he’d ever seen. We haven’t really had any of that proportion since then, but I won’t deny the fact that I’m still waiting for it to happen.
I’m going to need an arsenal of protection. Have you guys ever done anything like this to your friends?
Maybe it’s the fact that Philadelphia is finally starting to look and feel like fall, but sitting in a cozy, low-lit bar last night with Habibi was perfect. We had plans for drinks ahead of time, but my terrorism class got out early so we changed plans for dinner too.
This bar? It is perfect. It would feel cramped if there were ever more than a handful of stragglers there, sitting at the carved wooden bar. Morrocan tea lights hang over tables that, even though they are pressed against the next still manage to feel personal. Habibi is a regular; the bartender is talking to him across the room as I walk in. He smiles, we hug, and I order my usual beer.
Aside from a slight miscalculation (the waitress said that they accept my credit card- after we order it turns out that they don’t) we had a great meal. He ordered his usual burger and fries, I ordered the tomato and broccoli quiche with a salad. The food is surprisingly good; surprisingly only because I have yet to see where the have a kitchen tucked away in the building.
And the conversation? It was intense. You see, Habibi and I dated years ago. It wasn’t serious but it had moments of feeling that way. He traveled to Spain for a month while we were dating and sent me some of the most beautifully written letters I’ve ever received. In one, he sent me a dove’s feather, wrote about how the beaches are covered with doves instead of seagulls. He wrote about how he dreamed about a black-haired girl, who he supposed to be me. We had a great relationship, but we also had a sudden breakup. Not because something was wrong with us, but because he had problems in his life to sort out. We’ve managed to stay close, and I still feel like we have a strong connection from that relationship.
So of course our conversation wasn’t the typical outside-layer talk. We talked about my inability at relationships, how after the Fiance I lost any idea of what a relationship should be. We talked about his mother, about his father. Analyzed our friends. There are few people that I can speak so honestly and so comfortably with; he is one of them. Of all of my friends, it’s his advice that I trust the most. When he tells me that things are toxic, that I need them out of my life, I know he’s right.
We left a few hours later and walked down the fall streets of Philadelphia. It had just rained, so a mist was rising off of the road. And then I realized that I can’t remember a time that I’ve felt calmer, more relaxed. Even my breathing has changed. I slept completely through the night last night, a rarity for me. I woke up this morning still feeling this enveloping sense of calm. Not worried about basketball or crew, not worried about classes. Not worried about Peter or about dating, nor about how my health is. Just calm.
Setting: My dad and I are sitting in my living room watching a Jim Gaffigan sketch. He’s on his computer playing with Google Maps (his new obsession). My mom is in the other room grading papers.
Dad: Hey! Hey! Look what I did. [jabbing his finger excitedly at the screen] I found all of the pancake houses in America!
Me: Why would you want to look up all of the pancake houses?
Dad: Because what happens if you’re traveling across the country? You need to know where to get pancakes.
Me, to my mom: Mom, I think we need to get Dad into a home NOW.
Dad: [Perking up] Do they have pancakes there?
Mom: Tell him they only have waffles in most homes.
Yesterday started out great. I got up early and walked the dogs, ran a few miles and lifted at the gym, then had an amazing basketball practice. That’s when I got the call from Andy.
Andy is the head coach of the crew program, I was his assistant coach. We have a really strange relationship where we actually would go to bars after practices, hang out in our hotel rooms after their races. We’d text and email almost every day during the season. And then out of nowhere everything stopped. He canceled practices, he canceled our end-of-the-season barbecue. He stopped answering his phone, emails, texts. We couldn’t get in contact with him. The other coaches and I ended up a clean-up without him, and I texted him from it to let him know we were cleaning the boathouse. An hour into it I got a response from him saying he was at a home inspection (he’s in the process of getting a new house) and that he didn’t care if they fired him. Oh god.
So it weirded me out yesterday when we were in the secretary’s office trying to beg for money for new uniforms (Side note: They gave us the money! And for both home AND away uniforms!) and I feel my phone vibrating. I walk into the hallway to answer it and I can tell immediately that something is wrong. “I resigned,” he says. I stop listening because to be honest I didn’t really want to hear what he had to say. He gave the girls high expectations as to what their season would be and ruined it for them. I didn’t want to hear him drone on and on about how hard his work life was, how his relationship is falling apart, how he needs to find a house. He took- no, he demanded this job- full well knowing what he was getting into. “So, what are you thinking?” I’m in a hallway full of children and all I wanted to do was scream. Curse. Tell him that he’s fucked up. I explain that to him. “Are you sure this isn’t more of a personal thing, Caitlyn?” I hung up on him. Professional, right?
The other coach called me today, explaining that he wasn’t positive but that he is fairly sure that he’s going to be replacing Andy. This other coach already travels for stretches of time, is already loaded with plenty of work to do. He explains that I’m going to need to complete a ton of paperwork to become an actual coach, not just an assistant. I was hoping for at least a year of assistant work before moving up but the situation is kind of thrusting me in there.
Note to self for future reference: Never, ever, under any circumstances, hook up with your boss.