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Not to get all gushy over the Pittsburgh Boy again (I know it’s getting old, bear with me here), but you should probably expect him to be a regular on here for a while. He got all gushy today, told me how lucky he was to have met me, joked (at least I think he was joking…) about hopping a plane to Vegas to get married, and then asked me to be his girlfriend.

I said yes, and I haven’t stopped smiling since.

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There’s this line that’s been running through my head from that show Sex and the City (look at me saying “that show” as if I weren’t just as obsessed with it as the majority of girls I know). The line goes something like this: “Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.” And like that majority of women, I’ve always taken that line to apply to myself. I’d like to think for the most part that I’m wild, not exactly the domesticated type. When I was with the ex-Fiance, I walked away the first time he told me that he loved me. With Pete, I always tried to convince myself that I could stay distant. I took whatever measures I could not to get attached, regardless of how successful that was.

And then there’s right now. Right now I’m dating a guy who wants all the usual domesticated stops: dinners out (paid for by him), meeting the parents, going to church on Sunday. We’ve hardly been dating a month and he notions towards seriousness. Half the time I can’t determine if joking or if he plays it off as such after trying to gauge how I feel- usually I break into a deep sweat and try to remember to breathe deeply to slow my heart.

I think one of the most telling signs of all came today, when I was doing one of my anti-stress hobbies. For some reason, I’ve always found looking at houses and apartments to calm me. In college, I would procrastinate on Prudential’s website looking at estates outside of Washington D.C., cabins in Telluride, cottages in Maine, and lofts in New York City. I try to see if I could imagine myself living there, how my books would look on the shelves, and how many margaritas I’d have to skimp on to afford the place. And not to overbutter the crazy bread, but I also have a registry at Pottery Barn, where I pick the leather chairs that would go beside the arched windows and built-in bookshelves, the wine shelves that would hold my endless bottles of red wine in the room with my giant Lichtenstein print.

So today, out of curiosity, I was looking at houses in Pittsburgh. Not because I was making some unconcious connection to living there, but because I’d never really though seriously about living there until the jobs seemed to be there. Actually I had two windows up, one of my dream loft in New York City (two blocks from the river!) and one of houses in Pittsburgh. I guess it flashed in my head then that these were possible paths I could end up in, based up where I end up working. I mean, among many. But if I end up in Pittsburgh, I think that this boy is serious. I have no doubt that we could end up going to breakfasts on Sundays, splitting the paper. That we’d walk home, hand in hand, to our house with a front porch and flower pots lining the steps.

I guess my point on this is that I didn’t expect myself to be at this point. I’m not the type of girl to like the gushy parts of relationships. I hated dating the guy who always sent flowers to my dorm room, and I hated the man who insisted on paying for everything. I don’t feel comfortable holding hands or kissing in public, I don’t like talking on the phone every night or checking in every hour. I don’t like cutesy nicknames, “I miss you more!” contests, and I hate titles being thrown around so early. I couldn’t care less about meeting parents or cuddling in bed. Pittsburgh Boy likes all of these things and then some. In a way, even though it’s been so short of a time, I feel like I’m getting used to it. Maybe I’m not the wild, untameable woman that I thought I was.

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O.k. no, maybe I am. My chest tightened just writing this and I instantly reclicked on the link to that NYC apartment. And now I feel calm again. And can already imagine how I’d change the furniture and art in an otherwise perfect room.

A few quick notes from the past few days that basically sum up why I love and despise my field:

  1. I got an email yesterday morning from the agency I’ve wanted to work for since I was, oh, say three. They’d read over one of my many thousands of applications and that my application had made it to the second tier for consideration. I’d be instructed as to when my interview would be shortly. The very best part? Not only was it exactly what I want to be doing, it was in Pittsburgh. Now, as I’ve said before, I would never move anywhere for a guy, no matter how perfect he is. But if my dream job was the main platter and a sexy guy was the dessert? In a heartbeat.
    Now don’t get too excited, as I did yesterday, dancing around the office with my boss and squealing. And possibly calling everyone close to me in my phone book. Because when I got home from the office, there was another email. In summation: “Oops, we made a mistake and didn’t mean to send you a congratulatory email. You’re actually under qualified (Ed. note: I’m not!) and we messed up. Sorry for that.” So, in essence, I was on the verge of tears all yesterday evening.
  2. This morning I had the pleasure of sitting jury on a mock trial for a high school internship program. For the most part, I was surprised at how well the kids acted in the situation; one of the defense attorneys even took to cocking her neck and pursing her lips every time the prosecution’s witness stuttered over a fact. The kids tried hard with the legalese and courtroom manners, but the highlight of it all was when one of the kids representing the prosecution kept asking the defense’s witness the same question regarding guns. One of the defense attorneys stood up and shouted, “Objection! You can’t do that… can you?” at which the courtroom burst into laughter. Her co-attorney tried to remedy the situation by shouting, “Ob-JECT-shunnn! She all badgering the witness!”
  3. After a long afternoon back over in the unit, I schlepped the six blocks over to the train station to go home. I eyed three guys walking towards me, noted the fact that all of their blood-shot eyes looked like they were falling out of their sockets. Everything in my experience told me that they were crack addicts. As I passed them, the man in the middle threw himself at my feet. “Marry me!” he shouted, grabbing my ankle. I noticed with desperation that no one in the near vicinity seemed to take this as unusual. “Marry me and make me the happiest Michael* around!” I shook him off, mumbled something about how I have a boyfriend, and half-ran-half-skipped the rest of the block.

On Friday I had another minor freakout. I spent the morning in an autopsy and after leaving work found out that Pittsburgh Boy hadn’t even left Pittsburgh. “We need to talk,” he said. He went on to say that even though he’s been fairly intense lately with us dating, he thinks we should take it slower, not throw titles around. I’m definitely not a titles type of girl, but my head started flashing back to PK. Four years of moderate dating with no titles thrown around? I couldn’t take that again. I told him that perhaps it would be best for him not to come then, that I didn’t want this just to become some stagnant relationship with no clear lines. Calmly, he told me to think it over for ten minutes and figure out what I wanted. I did want to see him, so I called back and told him to come before rushing back over to a crime scene.

The crime scene was, to say the least, morbid, so I handled it by meeting up for drinks with Gay Rower afterwards. We discussed how I needed to seduce Pittsburgh boy (hadn’t I already done that?) and what the outcome of the weekend would be. Another one of our rowing friends met up with us, and the two of them walked me back to my car. I picked up a cheesesteak and black and white cookies for Pittsburgh Boy, a nice welcome to the city. Over at the hotel I threw on boxers and a movie and opened a bottle of wine.

He got there twenty minutes later and I pounced. It felt so amazing to be back with him, so natural. There have never been any nerves, any uncertainties when we’re together. We took a quick shower and then curled up in bed talking for the night.

In the morning I took him to my hometown, where we had a fantastic brunch and then wandered the main street. He was infatuated with it, and raised his eyebrow repeatedly asking how long the train is to Philadelphia and wondering if they had his field of jobs in the city. We went to the local candy store, with jars upon jars of every candy imaginable, and filled up a bag of jelly beans and gummy worms.

We made a quick stop over at the races- College Roomie was there and things were tense with her, and I wanted to spend as much alone time with the boy as possible. We stopped by my house to grab Willa and I took him to the local park, which had a few miles of easy hiking and a spot for Willa to swim. We held hands through the entire walk and he stopped every so often to pull me closer to him. I really could not help noting how natural everything felt, as if this were our routine that we’d been doing for years.

We stopped by to drop the pup back off and (through devious planning on their part) my parents were there. I hadn’t wanted them to meet so early, wanted to give him and I time to develop before scarring him with my family. He got along well with them, was at ease answering their few questions, both sides teasing me at my insistance on leaving. And then my grandmother showed up. You see, my grandmother had made clear that she wanted to meet the man that I was holed up with for the weekend. The only way that would work out would be to trick me. Pittsburgh Boy handled it well though- while I was a general mess, he calmly talked about golf with my grandmother. I pulled him out of there as quickly as I could, ignoring pleas from my parents to stay for dinner.

Pittsburgh Boy asked to see our local grocery store- they don’t have this chain out in Pittsburgh and it’s actually very impressive. We walked through the rows of artisan breads and homemade desserts and chose a dinner of eggplant roullettes, stuffed shells, and cannolis.

Back at the hotel we settled in for a long bubble bath with glasses of wine- I’m by far not this type of girl but it felt nice to relax and just talk. He ran downstairs after and grabbed even more food from the restaurant- giant pub pretzels, spring rolls, and bruschetta- while I laid our spread out on the bed. I have not felt this relaxed or this happy in a very long time over something as simple as dinner on a hotel bed over intensely serious conversation.

In the morning I felt a pang of sadness knowing that I was getting this attached to someone who probably wouldn’t work out. Writing out directions for him to get home I realized just how impossible all of this is. We’re starting off our relationship long distance, and there’s a pressure for it either to continue like this or for one of us to move. It’s true that I’ve been interviewing for jobs there, but I’ve also been interviewing for jobs in New York and Iraq and Washington. I could never move somewhere for someone else, so at this point I’m just hoping that things work out.

Writing all of this out has really cleared up why he doesn’t want to place titles on us. It makes everything more definitive, makes us feel guilty if we don’t talk for a day or if we go a few weeks without seeing one another. But I know what it is- I’d rather drive the six hours to see him than drive five minutes to the local bar to see anyone else.

I came within an inch of breaking up with the Pittsburgh boy this week. I was going through waves of realizing just how great he is to realizing how much I hate being in relationships. And then there was the whole thing where I was thinking about Pete on a daily basis, having incredibly vivid dreams that I was back together with him, finding photographs of times we were together. I lined up all of the negatives in my head over Pittsburgh boy: that he lives so far away, that he’s a Republican, that everything feels so quick. And then Pete emailed.

Pete and I talked on the phone later that evening and while it made me miss him, it also made me realize what I have now. I have a guy who is packing up and driving three-hundred miles after work to spend the weekend with me. Who specifically got a hotel room at a hotel nearby the restaurant where we had our first “date” (It’s a very, very rare chain. Four or five restaurants on the east coast. The other one was in Harrisburg two weekends ago).  He’s bought a bottle of champagne, I bought a bottle of red wine. He’s called me every single day since we met, told me how beautiful I am, how crazy about me he is. I just cannot pass this up. The day after we met I came home and couldn’t stop staring at our pictures together. I don’t want to keep worrying if the person I’m with really cares about me, or whether he just doesn’t want to be alone and is “settling” (his words, not mine).

So I’m going to forget all of that and reaaaaaally appreciate what I have this weekend: an incredibly handsome, charming, intelligent, funny man driving across the state to see ME. A weekend of romping in a hotel, of enjoying crew races and a night out on the town. As Peter said: “let yourself be appreciated, twerp.” I’m going to do just that.

And mayyyyybe I’ll post some pictures on Monday! And maybe by then I’ll have thought of a good name for the boy. Any suggestions?

I haven’t thought about this day in ages, but ever since I came across this photograph I can’t get it out of my mind. The snow, the pier, the kissing. I’m supposed to be over this, right?

One of my favorite characteristics of WordPress is a little gadjet that lets you see how people Googled to your blog. For instance, today I can see that someone Googled “cocaine stash necklace”, and that my blog was in the results. I have no idea why, but it is.

Other recent good ones:
How to sleep with my brother“: made me shudder and wince. I’m guessing the reader had blue skin and was from Arkansas.
Trashy campgrounds“: again, where is my audience?
Zionist feet“: I had no idea the kinds of things that people get off on these days.
What if feels like to be depressed“: Ouch, I’d like to think that my recent writing has become a bit more chipper.
Champagne dress, what color shoes“: Let me forward you to a nice girl named Molly, she’s much better in that department.
Cop bondage“: Seriously! When did this blog turn into Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down or Caitlyn Does Kentucky?
Trashy Jersey girl“: Hey! We’re not all trashy!
I want to talk Caitlyn“: Fine, send me an email. Unless you’re a creeper, don’t do that.

I have had people google the weirdest things to find this blog, but the one that bothers me the most? When people Google “Caitlynintherye”. II get between 6 to 20 people a day doing this and it honestly is the biggest tease. So I’m demanding (actually asking and stamping my feet until I get my way) that those few lurkers come out here. I mean, not the people who want to have sex with their brothers, just the people who search for “caitlynintherye”.

Pittsburgh, Part III

On Sunday morning I woke up and made breakfast for us- scrambled eggs with cheese and cream cheese and pancakes. Everyone else was a bit hung over and moving slowly, but we made plans to head out to Southside for the Spain-Germany Euro cup final. The first bar we went to, we met up with College Roomie’s friend, Megan. Megan and I loved the German crowd- we were packed like sardines against the bar with everyone jumping together. College Roomie, our other friend, and College Roomie’s new roomie headed across the street to another bar while Megan and I got sloshed on German beer and shots with German fans.

Afterwards, College Roomie took me and our friend up for a view of the city from the hills. The sight was gorgeous, perfect. I kind of fell in love with Pittsburgh then. When we got back, I took a long run along the trail next to the canal. It was a bit late, so the sun was setting just as I cross this gorgeous train bridge. I stopped and watched the sun set, then ran into the city and back. It was one of those perfect, sweaty runs. I burst back into College Roomie’s apartment to find that a couple of her friends- including her best friend- had arrived.

After a quick shower and throwing on a dress, I settled in for a night of heavy drinking with the friends. Jesse, the one friend, saw me sipping vodka and orange juice, grabbed the bottle of vodka, and chugged before passing to me- this did not bode well.

Within the hour Jesse and I were making fun of College Roomie’s best friend for not having made a move on me the night before. I don’t even remember exactly what I said, but I knew that it was harsh. He went outside, I think a bit angry. I had to go to the bathroom, but Jesse decided he wanted to use College Roomie’s bathroom. Since College Roomie lives in a boathouse, I decided to run upstairs and use the one in the locker rooms. Run is the operative word- I for some reason thought that running was a great idea. Turning on the lights was also seen as unnecessary, so I was running full speed through the erg room in the dark. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I ran straight into one of the ergs and broke a few toes (have spent most of this week getting x-rays on my fractured foot and broken toes). When I realized that my leg was bleeding, I screamed.

College Roomie’s best friend must have heard me and came to find me. I was close to tears, telling him how much my leg hurt, and then he was kissing me. It felt…perfect. I completely ignored the fact that my toe was jarred off to the side- I was kissing a gorgeous guy. The guy and I ended up spending all of the night together, down on the docks, by the river under the bridge. I didn’t want to think about the fact that I would be getting on a plane in a few hours.

The thing is, when College Roomie was setting us up she intended on it being purely physical. But it was hugely emotional- we spent most of the night talking about our families, our lives, our friends. It was intense and hard when he had to leave at 5 am.

I got on the plane that morning expecting to never hear from him again, but it’s been exactly the opposite. He called me that very evening and we talked for hours. “You know,” he told me, “my friends are confused as to why I’m calling my one-night-stand. But I don’t want us to be a one-night-stand.”

We talked every day this past week, texted all during the day. On the fourth of July, he called and asked me to meet him halfway the next evening, insisting that he wanted to take me on a real date. I drove the two hours to meet him halfway, crawled into bed at the hotel room he’d reserved. When he arrived a half hour later, it was like we’d been dating for months. He crawled into bed beside me, let me watch the Phillies game, and whispered in my ear the entire time. We had an amazing date out, holding hands throughout dinner and rushing back to the hotel room.

I know I’ve been all anti-dating, but this completely blindsided me. The guy is exactly everything I want- intelligent, sweet, caring, athletic. He’s a rowing coach too, so he knows how important that side of my life is to me. He also has a solid career in a similar field as mine, so we’re both interested in what the other is doing. I found myself doing things that I never usually like doing- cuddling, holding hands, letting him pay. But I loved every moment of it with him.

He’s flying in next weekend for a race and to see me, so we’ll have to see where this goes. I’m too nervous about getting my hopes up and jinxing it. Long distance relationships make me nervous, and after PK I’m fairly nervous about guys in general. I guess I’m also held back by the fact that we kind of did things backwards, not getting to know each other until afterwards.

Pittsburgh, Part II

So Saturday morning College Roomie and I went out to coach her crew team and then spend the rest of the morning getting ready for the barbeque she was having at her place. We fell back into our old college routine of bickering over who’d shower first, hovering over the mirror to do makeup, and critiquing clothes. I threw a quick mix of summertime music on my ipod for the party and we went to meet everyone.

They were…strange. You see, College Roomie has two groups of friends- ones she’s met through this online community and one that she met through rowing. The online community were all there first, and as nice as I was and as much as I tried to connect with them, it didn’t happen. Not a single one asked my name, and instead chose to talk about things that they could only understand. College Roomie was busy flirting with her new roommate and I didn’t want to mess that up, so I sat there and drank. The more I drank, the more I got annoyed with the girl sitting next to me. She kept making comments about cancer (“I think it’s karma…”), rowing (“These people get soooo annoying when they talk about rowing all the time”), and my music (“Who the hell made this mix? It’s horrible!”) For the record, the music that was on when she said that was Creedence, and she was a prick. I got up, feigned exhaustion, and went to take a nap.

College Roomie barged in to wake me up two ours later, telling me that her best friend was there. She primped my hair and mascara before dragging me out the door and back to the deck. The guy was adorable. I knew I got all red as I sat down in the circle across from him, and for some reason I was shy. I’m never shy. So instead of talking to him I focused my attention on getting College Roomie together with her current roommate. I convinced the current roommate to go for an errand run to get the materials for champong (basically beer pong with champagne in dixie cups, shooting with Skittles), and then we started a tournament of sorts when I got back. Within the hour everyone was drunk and dancing to my “horrible” music. Slowly the numbers whittled down to just College Roomie, her roommate, our college friend and me. It was raining, we were dancing out on the deck in the downpour, and pouring champagne into our mouths. The other college friend and I waited for the perfect moment and snuck back downstairs, leaving College Roomie with her current roommate. She came back an hour later smiling and giggling.

College Roomie’s best friend came back over a bit later, and we all shuffled into the car to go to a bar in the Southside. We walkd in and took an immediate shot together, then settled in towards the back with our drinks. The best friend and I talked in snippets, but mostly College Roomie and I were talking with the bachelor party next to us. By the time we’d made our way over to the next bar, College Roomie was completely drunk. She insisted on stealing the microphone from the dj to sing the wrong lyrics to the crowd. The best friend laughed as I bet her five bucks that she couldn’t get the guys I picked out to dance with her- one guy actually did and I laughed so hard my drink came out my nose.

In our drunken state, we decided the best idea would be to go to one of the boathouses and take out their large boat. We got in, and the best friend gave me a tour while we looked for the keys to the boat. I don’t know how we got to that level of flirting, but it was intense. Still unable to find the keys, we headed back over to the main boathouse.

After a quick late-night swim in the river, the best friend headed out. I remember looking him straight in the eyes as he was saying goodbye, and trying to figure out why he didn’t try to kiss me that night. We had a really good level of chemistry, and I checked it off as him not being interested. College Roomie and I finally crashed around 3 am.