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Let it die and get out of my mind
We don’t see eye to eye
Or hear ear to ear
Don’t you wish that we could forget that kiss
And see this for what it is
That we’re not in love
The saddest part of a broken heart
Isn’t the ending so much as the start

I just got home from the Feist concert that I took my mom too for her birthday. I’m never really sure how to explain my mom and my relationship- strained at times, I guess- but we had a great bonding time at the concert. I made her a CD of Feist’s music a few months ago, and it was nice getting into the city with her alone for the evening.

During the intermission, my mom brought up Pete. I forget exactly how he was brought up. I think I mentioned something about how I was going out with T again this week, and she asked about when I was going to see Pete again. I shook my head and said, “I’m not”. “You always say that,” she countered, “but you always see him again.” My mom and I don’t have the relationship where we discuss the intricate workings of my (non) love life, so I didn’t answer. I’m not going to tell her that he said “we’re not going to date, I’m never going to come and see you, but you can come up here” to me. It was too embarrassing, made me too miserable to think about.

My mom decided to continue, saying that she thought we’d work it out. “He always comes back around,” she said. Not this time, I thought, even though I nodded. She probably saw this relationship- if I can call it that- the same way I did. In one of our last fights, I told Pete that I know him to well for this. Looking back, I know I’m wrong. I have no fucking clue who he is, what he’s thinking, what he wants. I know the image he showed me, the person I wanted to be dating. I know the idea of him that was stuck in my head.

My mind was still reeling- I’d been ignoring messages from T all night, always unsure over him whenever the subject of Pete comes along. Feist sang that song and I guess it’s always hit home for me. Time to let it die, right?

As my mom and I waited for our ride I sent a message to T: “Drinks, Thursday night.” I guess he’d been waiting for an answer, as he wrote, “Cannot wait to see you again.” So a new start?

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I’m in scatterbrained-Caitlyn mode again, so of course that means everything’s going to be in list form again:

1. My coach wants me to race lightweight again this summer. Lightweight is 130 pounds; I’m currently 138 pounds. Rowing is largely about weight. When I was a heavyweight rower in high school my coach (the very same one I’m working with now) had me bulk up to 165. When I switched to lightweight, I went to 130. In college, when I started coxing (yes, that’s the term. No, it’s not perverted) I was between 115 and 120. I’m obviously not a natural 130 so it’s going to be a trying few months getting back to that for this summer’s racing.

2. I went with a new layout on here. I kept telling Peter that it was too dreary, too miserable. He refused to help me change it. It made me feel sad when I looked at my blog and I hated that. This, hopefully, it a bit more cheery. Does anyone know how to change fonts on here though?

3. I got the internship that I wanted. It’s unpaid, but I’ll be working at one of the most prestigious offices in the area with counter-terrorism, intelligence, and homeland security. The guy that I’ll be working under is a HUGE name in the field. I’ve also been asked to come and do a second interview with the agency in NYC.

4. In the past four days I’ve met two of the most beautiful men in the world. I went to a race with my friend Rach the other day and we were meeting up with her old coach. At one point I look over and see a guy that can only be described as “my type”. I nudged her and said, “I think I’m in love.” Rach laughed, and started frantically waving to him. “That’s P,” she said. I spent the next few hours drooling. The guy rowed at a D1 school, coached high school and then college afterwards. And now? He’s in the same field I am, working for a government agency. Rach couldn’t stop laughing as we talked about inter-agency tensions between the one he works for and the one I’m interviewing with.

5. The second guy is a coach at my boathouse. I walked up to my lightweight boat yesterday and asked them to get their oars down. None of them moved. None of them, in fact, even looked at me as I spoke. I followed their direct line of vision. “Holy crap,” I muttered. The stroke seat started cracking up. Now with rowing, the girls are supposed to keep their heads directly in the boat unless we tell them otherwise- it can ruin the balance of the boat if someone is looking out. Unfortunately, high school girls are predisposed to turn every time we pass a boys boat. “They’re not cute! Get your heads in!” I shout at them. I’m known for saying that. This guy? Is the exception. All yesterday I kept warning the girls when we were coming up on his launch so they could watch him. Their faces when he smiled and waved at me? And then when he walked up and started talking to me back on the docks? Kodak moment.

6. I’m trying to talk myself out of buying this dress. It reminds me of the dress Carrie wore in Sex and the City- you know, her “sex dress”. But I’m deadly in love with it. Please, someone, talk me out of it. Criticize it. Save my wallet after the other night.

 

Note to future self: drinking and shopping is a horrendous idea. You WILL end up poor.

I had such structured plans for yesterday- wake up early to work on my SOP project, get some reading in for one of next week’s exams, finish sending out resumes, get to practice, go to class, and end the day with a nice long run. Everything went fine until I picked up my friend Jen for class.

Now Jen and I have been carpooling together (go environment!) for the past two months. Her house is right on the river where my boathouse is, so it’s an incredibly easy trip. And the girl is hysterical- when we’re together we’re constantly laughing about something. But the thing is, we’re not exactly a great influence on each other.

Last week we were driving to class when we got a call from our friend Rosie. She asked us to meet her at the bar for a quick pint before class. We’re hardly the class slackers- Rosie, Jen and I have the three top grades in the class. But what started out as one drink ended up with several drinks and hanging out with the firemen’s convention that just happened to be meeting at the same bar.

Last Thursday was similar. We went to our classes this time, and afterwards the three of us met up to go to another local bar. I stayed sober to drive, but the two of them? Not so much.

Last night I was set on getting home for my run. I saw the glint in Jen’s eye and I ignored it, refused to make eye contact. “Caaaaaaitlyn,” she started singing. I protested that I needed to get my run in. “Flllllyyyyyyers and Phiiiiiillies are on,” she added, knowing that would get me to the cusp. I grinned, she knew she had me.

I guess the point of this story wasn’t what happened at the bar (even if I was drunkenly texting T the entire time). It was what happened after. I did something that no girl should ever do.

I started shopping. Online.

This is what I (drunkenly) bought last night:

1. The Subway Sign from Pottery Barn;
2. Two Marc Jacobs bags;
3. Two pairs of shoes, one being a bright yellow pair of heels;
4. Two sets of Calvin Klein Lingerie from Nordstroms;
5. New running shorts 

It could have been worse though. I can think of about 83 things I’m glad I wasn’t drunk enough to buy. Namely, Crocs. Or the actual Christian Louboutin heels that I wanted.

 

This weekend was the kind of weekend that leaves you absolutely drained come Monday. Between the Phillies game, NYC, and a weekend of crew races, I dropped into my brand new jersey sheets for bed by 8 pm on Sunday.

On Friday I got to Elle’s house at 5 and immediately started on shots. Now Elle, as I’ve mentioned before, is moderately wealthy. Her family owns a chain of restaurants in the area that dominates the sports-and-beer industry of restaurants. I was wearing jeans and a tank top with my Phillies hat, she was wearing designer shorts, a Phillies shirt she cut, a Chanel ring and bracelet, and carrying a YSL bag. This will all come into play later, I promise.

We had planned ahead to take the train, knowing full well that we would be sipping vodka cranberry and 7 and 7s the entire way there. I was drunk by the time we reached the stadium. We bought the sixteen dollar tickets, stayed for one inning, and under the premise of getting beers (well, actually getting beers) we snuck down onto the first level. As the guard turned to check the screen, we snipped behind his back. “Now where?” Elle asked, as I casually looked at my ticket hoping the guard would think we were lost.

“Girls, we’re over here!” I looked over to three moderately cute guys pointing at two open seats next to them. The guard watched carefully as we slid into the seats, pretending that we had just been lost. An old cougar down the row scowled at Elle, who was now in her prime. We fell into our roles instantely: her as the hot but ditzy girl, me as the cute and smart one. She was interested in the tall guy, I was interested in watching Pat Burrell hit a homerun.

I wasn’t really listening to what they were saying, but when she got up to get two more beers the tall guy leaned over towards me. “So she’s not fucking Einstein,” he laughs. I shoot daggers, implying that he needs to choose his words carefully. “I don’t mean it like that,” he says, backing up, “So what are you girls doing after this?” I’m already getting annoyed by him, but I think that Elle is into him so I tell him that we’re heading to her dad’s restaurant for some beers. I should have seen it then, the glint in his eyes. “Oh yeah? Her family owns [restaurant]?”

Elle came back with the beers and there was a snap in the guy’s behaviour. He suddenly was interested only in her and I could tell she was taken aback. An inning later she leaned in and whispered, “did you tell him about [restaurant]?” I nodded, but saw where she was going with this.

As the game ended, the guys were quickly trying to make plans with us. One of the friends kept trying to throw his arm around me until shrugged him off and told him I had a boyfriend (side note: this is completely believable, as T, the guy from class that I had a date with,  had been texting me all night, telling me how he’s been into me since the day he met me. “You’re perfect, you’re exactly everything I want in a girl” he wrote).

We weaved our way out of the stadium, with the boys planning on how we’d get to the bar. The tall one was offering to drive us there, and then said “as long as you guys buy us drinks when we get there.”

Whoa.

The other friend started laughing, and goes, “So they’re all lies, right?” Elle and I look at each other and ask the same question- What lies? “Her dad doesn’t own those. She wouldn’t have bought sixteen dollar tickets if her dad owned [restaurants].” Now, Elle and I had just been talking about how she’d be getting behind-home-plate-first-row tickets in a month, and how we were going. I instantly grabbed Elle’s arm and pulled her away, walking in the direction of the train station.

“That happens all the time,” she said. “Guys find out about my dad’s company and suddenly it’s all they think about.” It makes sense, but it was the first time I’ve seen it happen. “It’s been a lot worse than that- a guy once dated me for a month until I found out he was going to the bars and demanding free food because he was my boyfriend.”

I’ve still got to go over NYC and how we almost got killed on the E, the shizz going on with T, and the races and how I almost quit coaching.

 

After this week, I completely plan on making the most out of every minute of this weekend.

1. It’s my most favorite time of the year- Phillies season! I’m heading out to my first game tonight with Elle, Mike, and Ryan. After practice (who else can say that their job consists of driving a boat on a gorgeous river in 70 degrees?) I’m heading over to Elle’s house for drinks. We’re taking a driver to the stadium, so we don’t have to worry about how much we drink.

2. After way-early morning practice tomorrow, I’m heading up to Brooklyn to spend the day with Ian. I’ve been trying to convince him to be all touristy and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with me (it’s my favorite bridge!) We’ll be heading out to a few bars with his gorgeous roommates (no joke, one of them looks like he walked out of GQ).

3. Sunday is race day for the crew team, but it’s looking to be an incredibly successful day. And afterwards?

4. I have a quasi date with a guy from my class. He’s cute, he’s smart, he’s classic. He played lacrosse at a college nearby my undergrad and even played major leagues out of college. He broke up with his girlfriend about two weeks ago, and has since been asking me out. I turned him down a few times because I’m not sure it’s a good idea. He asked me to drinks, saying that it means nothing beyond us getting drinks and talking. After we hung up he sent me a text saying, “by the way, you looked beautiful in that dress.” How can you say no to that? So drinks it is.

5. This weekend celebrates the birthday of one of my all-time favorite bloggers. If you don’t know Heidi, you’re missing out on one of Washington DC/Boston’s future big-names. Heidi, I hope you have the best birthday ever, and I cannot wait for a Phils/Nationals game! Beer’s on me.

Frank leaned in close to me, his lips an inch from my ear. “Even professor has lost just about everything he once had,” he whispered. “It happens to all of us.” I looked around the table at the motley group that had gathered. We sat at the corner table of the bar and must have looked an odd sight to the regulars: a smattering of officials in suits, a police captain, two officers, a few younger types.  Four of the men had a gun at their hip; Jen and I wore matching pearls in our ears.

We drifted back and forth from boisterous table-wide conversations to individual chats. Frank was explaining to me why he was single. “Imagine being in shallow cover and trying to explain to the perps why your girl drives a Mercedes. The lifestyles just clash.” He sighed, rocked his bottle back and forth between the palms of his hands. “What girl would put up with me walking in every other day, not telling her where I was? This career becomes your relationship.” I looked around the table at the left hands of my classmates. The ring fingers were empty, except for L’s. She had just gotten engaged this past weekend, and her announcement had brought an empty sort of congratulations from the table. We knew, and maybe she knew, that she couldn’t have the ring and the job.

“I hope you don’t have a guy,” Frank said. I shook my head, watching the Phillies game out of the corner of my eye. I usually love when the Phillies beat the Mets; this time it just made me feel empty. “You can’t have some guy in the places you’re going.” I know this; I know that if I end up where everyone expects me to go, I won’t be able to have a husband. I won’t have kids. I won’t be able to go to family parties or meet up for drinks with my friends. I’ll be lucky if they let me bring my dog.

The table resonates this: my professor was in the field for years and divorced because of it. The captain is separated; the officers are both single. The chief investigator is more fond of his gun than of his ex-wife.

Frank laughs, a hard burst that almost sounds nervous. “I can’t believe a girl like you doesn’t have a guy.” I think to this past weekend up in New York, I think to how the boy put his hand on my knee during dinner. I think to how I woke up in the middle of the night, our legs wrapped in jersey sheets, the sound of cars outside of his window, how happy and full I felt. I think of his absentminded kiss goodbye outside of his apartment. I don’t have the guy, despite all of that. I don’t want to word it, so I shrug. Let Frank figure out what he wants to believe.

 I’ve spent the past few months trying to decide if this was even worth pursuing, whether I could have the relationship and a toned-down version of the job. When I imagined the future I saw that; I saw an apartment on the river, walking the dog to the park with him. The part about him is starting to disappear more and more.

Everyone at the table is wondering if they’ve made the right choice, but no one is voicing it.

Will I be happy ten, twenty years from now? Will I be miserable knowing that the boy has found someone else to be with, someone he actually loves,  and that all I have to turn to is a job? Will I be even close to happy falling asleep alone, even with the city sounds outside of my window?

 

 

“When does compassion, when does morality, when does caring come in? I just hope that one day that people will realise that peace is a far better path to follow.”

My Opa always used to use the saying that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I thought of that saying a lot yesterday, though not used in the traditional sense.

As I was driving home from New York yesterday morning, I was listening to David Davies interviewing Desmond Tutu on NPR.  Tutu, Davies said, had been recently linked to a poll that had been conducted in America concerning the top humanitarian celebrities.

Now, if you don’t know much about Desmond Tutu you should do minimal research or read his books. Tutu has spent the majority of his life in dedication to protest. A line he said, roughly transcripted, was that in every case he was for justice, against injustice. He wholly opposed apartheid, brought together a league of churches to protest the segregation, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his related work. There is absolutely no way that you can see or hear him speak without being moved.

Davies laughed when he mentioned that Tutu had been placed third on the poll in which Americans named the top celebrity humanitarians. Ahead of him? Angelina Jolie and Bono. I felt a wave of embarrassment for all Americans when I heard that- how in the world have we named Jolie and Bono ahead of someone who spent years protesting segregation, oppression, and wicked customs? Someone who has been jailed repeatedly, had his family targeted, had his life targeted?

Now understand that I’ve had a long-standing dislike for Jolie. Aside from the fact that her acting is subpar (have you ever seen The Good Shephard? I cringe.) I hate the fact that I’ve heard “oh, like Angelina Jolie!” as a common response to saying that I want to adopt. I want to adopt an orphaned refugee, and have said that since I was six, and somehow that links me to her. A friend once argued that she brings awareness to the fact that children in other countries need to be adopted as well. That’s great, but the people that she’s swaying would only be doing it for image sake. Is that ever enough reason to adopt a child? A sudden wave of a thousand Lucille’s from Arrested Development?

I think that what I’m trying to say is that there are numbers of people that I would have placed on that list before Angelina Jolie and Bono. Kofi Annan. Nelson Mandela. Coretta Scott King. John Hume. Elie Wiesel. Woodrow Wilson. All famous names, all great humanitarians. And not known for making out with their brothers or keeping a glass encasement of their lover’s blood on a necklace. People that didn’t decide that they need an image other than “sexy but creepy”.

I think I was leaning towards hoping that the email was an apology from the night before. It, instead, was more of the same from the night before. In fact, he asked me to visit him. Offered to buy the plane tickets, pick me up from the airport.

I tried to look for the most honest way to decline- how was I supposed to make enough sense of what was going through my head? “I’m in love with a guy who couldn’t care less about me, and that has made me apathetic towards even the slight prospect of any other relationship”? For some reason, that sounds crazy on paper.

I tried to be polite and say that my schedule was too locked up with daily practices and races every weekend, knowing that he of all people should understand the lifestyle. “We’ll wait until the season ends,” he suggested.

Maybe by then I’ll have more of a grasp on all of this. The truth is, I’ve never felt like this in my entire life. Usually I’m the first one out of relationships, ready to date new people. Ian, when we were discussing it this morning, said he’d never expected me to be like this. “You’re in love,” he explained. And I’ve gotta say, this is the shittiest I’ve felt in a long time. “But what if Brad Pitt walked up to you and wanted to have sex with you for a million dollars?” he asked. I wouldn’t, metaphorically, be able to get it up for him. “You’re a fucking idiot,” Ian responded.

So for now, this girl is staying single and is not traveling to reconcile with any (adorable) ex-boyfriends. He’s great to talk to, as he’s in the same position I am post-graduation. But beyond that, I don’t feel anything.

This morning I woke up to an email in my inbox from my ex boyfriend, subject: “Can we talk about last night?” I haven’t read it yet mostly because I’m scared of what it’s going to say.

Last night had no intentions of being an ordinary night for me. My college roommate happened to be in town and I’ve only seen her at rowing events since college. (A quick disclaimer: the majority of my friends from college were either on the rowing team, had something to do with rowing, or I met them through other rowers. Several of them are still involved with rowing, either through racing themselves or through coaching.) My roommate and I (obviously) met through rowing- she was the manager and ended up helping with coaching. When we were roommates, we were dating two best friends from the guys team.

College Roommate actually came to visit my rowing practice yesterday and got to meet the freshies that I coach. We made plan when she left to call another rower and have him meet us for drinks. I called the guy, Gay Rower, who is exactly what his name states. He was openly and proudly gay, and he was in my boat during college. When I called him, he squealed and said “you girls can be my fag-hags tonight! Oh wait, is that derogatory towards myself?”

We all got together at a back-neck bar about ten minutes from my house. The first drink became our catching up: we talked about Gay Rower’s new boyfriend, we talked about College Roommates bad breakup last year and subsequent making out with my ex-boyfriend’s (her ex-boyfriend’s best friend’s) brother. They were wide-eyed when I told them that I hadn’t been with anyone except Pete since October. “But you’re a serial dater!” College Roommate protested. “Holy crap, you must really like him.” I shrugged and explained that it wasn’t going anywhere.

Another two rounds later, as Gay Rower started dancing in his seat, College Roommate’s cell phone went off. It was my ex-boyfriend calling, and three drinks in I was ready to talk to him. When she tossed the phone at me, he started telling me how much he missed me and that he hoped to see me at a race soon. He told me that he was coaching a high school program, just like I am. “Except my team would demolish your team on the river,” I pointed out. We hung up as the next round came, and I turned to trying to convince Gay Rower to do karaoke.

College Roommate’s cell phone lit up, a text message: “What’s Cait’s number?” A minute after she responded, my phone went off: “I really do miss you, I want to see you.” Meanwhile College Roommate’s was going off, with him asking her to bring me to visit him. She asked if he was serious, and he responded that us breaking up had been the worst decision of his life.

I started letting Gay Rower (who of course in a twist had a crush on my ex) text with the ex. I regretted that decision ten minutes later when he cooed, “Oh! He wants to tie you up!” College Roommate and I both grappled at the phone, her winning, laughing at the screen, and then passing the phone to me. I shrugged again and passed the phone back to Gay Rower just as College Roommate’s phone went off again. She answered, and passed it to me. “He wants to talk to you,” she said, winking.

I ended up outside on the phone talking to the ex for a half hour. Long enough that Gay Rower and College Roommate came out and grabbed me as they left the bar. We stayed on the phone while the three of us walked to the nearby 711, and as College Roommate ate a giant iced donut. College Roommate eventually grabbed the phone and said that we were getting ready to leave, so that he’d have to call me in an hour.

He did, at one in the morning. We talked about everything: college, rowing in college, rowing after college, life after college. We compared the programs we coach, the rivers we coach on, the boats we use, the rigging we have on the boats, the lengths and makes of our oars. In a rower’s world, this is the dirty talk.

And then he suggested that I come spend a week with him to scout his team. Plus, he said, he’s missed me and he hated how things turned out. When we hung up around four in the morning, he instantly messaged me. “I couldn’t say this over the phone,” he typed, “but I want to make it clear just how much I’ve missed you.” He listed the things that he’s missed about me, the mental, physical, and emotional characteristics. We talked for another forty-five minutes there until I pointed out that I needed to wake in the morning.

And so now the email. I’m not sure if I’m more scared of the idea of him saying more along those lines, or the idea of him taking everything he said back.