I’ve wanted to post for a very long time, I swear. Actually, there’s a list of things that I’ve wanted to write about including the fact that I graduated with my Masters last week, the fact that I recently got national recognition from the company that I work for regarding the cases I’ve pulled lately, or this cocktail party that my girlfriends and I are having later this week.

But some other stuff came up.

I’m used to getting nasty comments on here. I get it: I groan about relationships for the majority of this website. After the post I wrote about my friend Chris dying, I received a comment that said he deserved to die, that god gave him leukemia for a reason. That hurt. But one of the latest ones that I got was “I think this whole thing could have been chopped down into a few short statements: Caitlyn meets Perfect Guy. Caitlyn falls for Perfect Guy, finds out he has girlfriend. Caitlyn tries to ignore, becomes obsessed. Rejection ensues.”

You’re absolutely right. It could have been summed up in that. And not to compare myself to brilliant pieces of art, but Lolita could be chopped down to “pervy old man lusts after/falls in love with his step-daughter. Has sex with her, goes to jail”. Any goddamn story can be chopped down to the basics. And then they’re no longer stories, they’re just cheap imitation summaries.

The other night I was driving along with one of my girlfriends delivering the invitations to our cocktail party. Somehow blogs came up, something about how our good friend has one. She kept talking about how cool they were, how she wanted one. “I have one too,” I told her, and showed her the link on my Blackberry. Her response… seemed really fake. I’ve known the girl for years, I can tell when she’s lying and when she’s faking. I just knew that she’d known beforehand, but that she wanted me to think she hadn’t. I played along, told her the things I loved about blogging: the ability to vent, the support you get from other bloggers, the weird connection you have to them. I email almost daily with one blogger, and caught up with friends I haven’t talked to in years on here.

To “chop things down”, as that commenter so kindly put it, I found out that two of my closest friends had had a conversation regarding my blog a bit ago. The entire thing was dripping with sarcasm, about how they could have a psuedo-political, overly emotional blog too but they’d have to fake it like I do.

That conversation was between two of my closest friends.

I guess that there are several points here, the first being that I never saw myself coming across like that here. I’ve liked having a semi-anonymous place to vent and sort out thoughts. Do I really come across like that, so overly emotional and fake?

The second part is the fact that two close friends said that. I have the option of covering a surveillance this Friday night, the night I took off to host this cocktail party with them. And really, the former is looking like a lot more fun than the latter right now.

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…but my savings account does.
One of my all-time favorite reads, the lovely Heidi, has this weekly theme that I want to highlight. The genius blogger that she is, Heidi posts a list of things every week that are gorgeous shopping finds.
I’m going to admit that I’ve gone a little overboard these past few weeks, to a point where my nosy coworker raised her eyebrow when I came in with my new shoes last week. “And how much were those?” she questioned, obviously breaching the lines of our very thin relationship.

THE MADELINE DRESS – J.CREW
I’ve been obsessed with this dress for about three weeks now and drool every time I see it (which is just about every day, in the same frequency that I check their website). Actually, I jotted this purchase down to the fact that on Wednesday, I have to go from a work lunch, to work, to my high school reunion. Actually, I don’t want to go to the latter as much, but two of my three girls are flying in that very day and that’s where they’ll be. So of course I’m going to see them- I’ll just put on alcohol blinders and ignore the rest of them. And look gorgeous in this dress.
DOUBLE SERGE DRESS – J.CREW
 A few weeks ago I went out for a shopping trip with my girl Ella. We did the whole nine yards- jewelry, lingerie, and of course J. Crew, followed with a delicious dinner. The J. Crew trip was eventful- I bought way too much but lucked out with this skirt and the shoes and cardigan below. One of my new favorite work outfits is this skirt with my white button down tucked in and my gray menswear shoes. It has this old-fashioned look that got me the nickname of “Nancy Drew” in the office.
SALINA BALLET FLATS – J. CREW
Last week I was having a great talk with College Roomie about- what else?- men. She’s been complaining about the lack of guys in her life, and I came up with what I believed to be the best metaphor (I’d had two glasses of wine first- prepare yourselves). I guess the way I relate to relationships is that they’re accessories. I have the essential clothing, with a great job, classes, and a great group of family and friends. “Guys are like the really cute ballet flats or the perfect purse- they’re not essential, but they make everything else come together just a little bit more.” In my mind, the perfect guy would be just like these ballet flats- probably the best purchase I’ve made in years. They fit perfectly, can be worn to work, to school, to the bar. With a skirt or with jeans. They are so comfortable but still look so damn cute with everything. Holy crap, that metaphor was horrible.

CRYSTAL-BUTTON COLORBLOCK CARDIGAN – J. CREW
I’m so glad I bought this cardigan back when I did. My mother made some comment about how I’m starting to dress like my grandmother, but then the very next day our future First Lady wore it on t.v. with a full J. Crew ensemble. “Doesn’t she look great?” my mom asked. I did the daughter bit of rolling my eyes, not even trying to point out that it was the same cardigan I’d just gotten on sale. The cardigan is gorgeous too, a soft cashmere blend with crystal buttons. Another piece that can be dressed up for work or worn on a dinner date with the girls. Even better, I wore it to play poker the other night with the boys with a white tank top and dark wash jeans.
A quick listing of a few other purchases that have been ESSENTIAL in my past month?
This book, by another of my all-time favorite bloggers. Ya’ll probably know of him at this point, but I still need to point out how freakin’ fantastic his novella is. And not just because the best character is named Caitlyn.
-Perle Rosee nail polish from Chanel. This stuff is addictive and looks gorgeous. I got a random compliment during a conference by my (male) boss.
-My new Blackberry. In pink. My friends will attest to the fact that I never, ever let it out of my sight. I used to laugh at the nickname “Crackberry”, but the claims make sense now. Have a random question? Look it up. Need to remind yourself of a conference call? Schedule it. I. Love. This. Thing.

I’ve had this blog for a few months short of two years, which is saying a lot for me. I can’t remember writing the first post that I wrote on here, but I can remember cringing at it a year ago thinking, “god, I’m awkward.” I remember how the formation of this blog fit into my life and, of course, I remember the particular circumstances of my relationships at the time.

I had just broken up with Country, a relationship that neither of us were really comfortable with but I stayed in for the intrigue. As I’ve mentioned before, Country and I had zilch in common. But waking up at place on the bay, climbing from bed to let my new puppy out onto the grass to pee, having him wrap a blanket around both of our shoulders as we looked out onto the fog over the water. It was a relationship so wrong for me, one that had been protested by my friends to a point where many of them ostracized me. My friend FaveDave had a different view on it: a few days after the break up, he harshly critiqued me on romantic needs. He said that not only did I always have a need to be in a relationship, but that I always had a need to be in one that had twinge of drama. I was so hurt that day, and I remember that this blog was conceived in the wake of that speech as a way for me to commiserate.

I’d like to say that it didn’t take two years for FaveDave’s words to settle in. I wouldn’t say that his first statement was true; in fact I rather much prefer times of being single. But the latter is right on target. I’ll be open about this: in the past I’ve dated lecturing professors and coaches at my college, my engaged -and now married- boss (remember that debacle?). I’ve been in love with the same guy for the past five years because of how horrible it is; the more my friends grow to hate him, the more I want to be with him. The less he cares for me, the more I care for him. Part of me even stretches to think that the real reason I stayed with Pittsburgh Boy for so long was because the distance added the dramatic flair to an otherwise normal relationship.

So I guess this is why my friends rolled their eyes at the latest one. I guess it’s also why I’ve been hesitant to write about it, knowing that my readers veer on the intelligent and highly observant side. I’ve been struggling to determine whether this is an actual thing for me, or whether it’s just because there’s intrigue. And in that same sense, it’s not ever going to happen. Because he has a girlfriend.

I met the kid in class. I think I’ve had other classes with him before but I really only remember him from this one. Physically he’s my “type”, if I ever were to have a type. He’s handsome, but probably not someone that other girls would look at for more than a brief moment. I don’t even know what the draw is for me- maybe the fact that he’s brilliant and directed towards the same field that I am. Or the fact that he’s fluent in language that I hardly knew existed prior to him telling me. And the way he became fluent? Was by doing volunteer work with the country. We went through a week of spending almost night hanging out and it was on the verge of painful.

Here’s where it links back to my need for things I can’t have: the guy is upstanding and has never, ever given me the impression that anything would ever happen. Don’t get me wrong- I learned my lesson last year and would never push for something with someone in a relationship. But the more I pushed it out of my head, the harder it fought to get back in. It’s been this delicate, unspoken tango that culminated the other day in me, in drunken stupor, telling him.

I think this whole thing could have been chopped down into a few short statements: Caitlyn meets Perfect Guy. Caitlyn falls for Perfect Guy, finds out he has girlfriend. Caitlyn tries to ignore, becomes obsessed. Rejection ensues.

I gotta say, I’ve never been so disappointed in California. I’m sure all of you know by now that in this past weeks election the state of California had several propositions to vote upon that have made national headlines. The most prominent of them was Proposition 8, which would reverse a Supreme Court ruling from May allowing gay couples the right to wed. On the same ballot where Californians voted for higher animal rights, over 52 percent voted to ban gay marriage.

My uncles were married a few years ago; almost immediately after Oregon announced the allowance of gay marriage my uncle bought to plane tickets and flew them out there. None of our family knew, though I remember shrieking with excitement when I found out that they had married. My uncles had been together over 20 years at that point, long enough that I had barely been alive when they met. In the email announcement following their marriage, my uncle joked that they had told an antiques dealer that they were getting married. “Why would you guys want marriage?” he asked, adding, “Believe me, you’re going to want to give that right back after your husband starts nagging.”

My uncle also made an amazing point in his email, one I’ve heard reiterated throughout this week: we’re not allowing a large portion of the country the rights to a basic civil liberty.  We have a country based off of equal rights and equal abilities for all citizens. We even have liberties alotted to illegal immigrants. We just voted in the first black man to presidency. And yet gay marriage is something that we struggle with every single day.

How can people still deny homosexuality, calling it a phase or an abomination? I’m sick of hearing “…but the Bible says” or the ever-popular “it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” If people are still living the Bible line by line, they have plenty of other issues to consider first. In a quick side-rant, I have an associate who is probably the best example of the anti-Christian. She drinks, curses, smokes, has a bit more than her fair share of premarital sex. And yet she resorts back to the Bible regarding gay marriage, spouting that God hadn’t intended for gay marriage because their bodies don’t “fit”.

Years from now we’ll look back on this and wonder what we were thinking. Our grandchildren will want to know how we though that homosexuality was different, how we thought that we were able to stop love by banning the religious union. I still laugh at my crazy racist grandmother for having thought that the color of one’s skin determined their character.

I’m going to bring this down to the most general idea that I have regarding gay marriage and heterosexual marriage: when you parse out the infamous images of politicians having gay relationships, or of pop stars and drunken college girls at frat parties making out, you see that they’re based upon the essential foundation of love. Gay couples fall in love, they fall out of love. They cheat and they break up; they make out on dates and care for each other when their partner is sick. They buy gifts for each other, they write songs for their lover. They love.

This week I was made lead analyst on the largest case in our corporation, which is going to be a huge undertaking. On top of that (I don’t know if ya’ll heard) but the PHILLIES WON THE WORLD SERIES! I specifically chose not to write about it during the series because I get into the whole superstition bit- last year I wrote about it and on the very same night they lost a game. Call me crazy (I am), but I couldn’t jinx it.

So to end that happy mass, today is the election. I’ve been up since 5 am with all of my info packed. I’m wearing my white J.Crew button down tucked into my red wool J.Crew a-line skirt with blue pumps. So I know I don’t have to tell all of you smart blog-land people, but get out and vote! Regardless of who you’re voting for, wait in the lines. Oh, and if you’re the rare California reader- no on Prop 8!

hope

So I didn’t want to say anything on here and jinx myself, or pressure myself any more than I already was. I’ve been training all summer and had last spring I’d signed up for my first half marathon for this past weekend.

Probably not the best of ideas considering that I’d just started a new job- an intense one at that- and was working crazy hours. Trying to plan long runs around surveillances? It’s not fun. I had a bit of a freak out last weekend when I realized that I’d hardly trained at all and had one week to prep. I considered canceling, considered giving my spot to my girlfriend.

I didn’t do either of those and instead chose to do the half. I knew I could do the distance, but my only concern was time. As long as I got under three hours I would feel fine. The worst (and most interesting) part of the race was that it was a virtual event- I would be doing it alone and posting my times instead of running with hundreds of other people.

To get right down to it, it was probably the best run I’ve had in my life. I was full of energy and my head kept wanting to go even when my calves burned. I finished the 13.1 miles in an 1:42, which is an amazing time for me.

Yesterday at work my calves were sooooore and I could hardly sit at my desk because of how tight my thighs wore. But it was kind of all worth it. Full marathon next?

So this is the second time I’ve had a bit of a blog breakdown. The last time was in January when I felt like my life was falling apart, so I’m guessing that there’s a parallel to that. I’m not going to say it was based off of that last relationship, or starting this new job. I’m not really sure what it was, but I felt like my life was nowhere near where I wanted it to be. My birthday was a few weeks ago and I turned off my phone and spent the day shopping alone.

But I’ve been feeling a ton better- work is finally falling into place after a month of working there, and I’m really starting to get confident as an analyst. It’s not exactly what I want to be doing and I know that I won’t stay here for long, but it’s a great opportunity to learn and get training.

And I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m dating a new guy, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with this guy. To be honest, it’s not something that can be serious and I’m really not at a place to be tied to anyone or anything in a specific area. He sort of came out of nowhere, told me that he’d had a crush on me since high school. Last night, after getting drunk at a work dinner and after-party, he texted me getting out of work. The restaurant he is a chef at was across the street, so I stumbled down the steps of the bar and met up with him on the street. We walked the streets of Philadelphia, bought some beer, and went back to his place to watch a scary movie in bed.

It was definitely getting close to “first kiss” range when someone rapped their knuckles on his apartment door- his friend, drunkenly asking to sleep on the couch. It ruined the moment completely, so I headed home. We’ll see where this goes…

I’ve always heard that saying “time is a funny thing” and I’ve never really understood it. My professor says it often, usually following that by a lecture on how we never appreciate time. I’ve been gone the last few weeks mostly because of time.

The first week I was sick, very sick. I had some medical issues a few years ago and my doctor thought that it was returning. Spending a weekend curled up in fetal position, moving only to throw up, and being in pain to the point of tears, I was thinking about time. I was thinking about how there was so much that I want to do, and I am always afraid that everything is going to end early, that I’m never going to have a chance to accomplish it.

That fear was coupled with a phone call, my childhood friend Alie told me about how another friend, Colleen, had died the day before. Colleen had gone to the doctor with strange pains only to realize that she had radically advanced cancer, that it would take her life. She never returned to the doctor, instead choosing to die without the painful and expensive treatments. In that very same phone call, my Alie told me that she was going in for surgery the following day to have cysts removed.

It’s scary, to think of how sudden these things could be. Colleen’s death and my friend’s sickness brought a few of us back together last night. Alie laid on the couch in pain, Lauren and I gulped down wine, and Emily rocked her year-old baby on our lap. We talked about Colleen, we talked about our relationships, and Alie mumbled, “Time’s a funny thing”.

As a grand finale, Pittsburgh Boy and I broke up today. It was rather horrible, and I really wish it hadn’t come to that, but I knew he wasn’t right for me. I also know that I can’t go any further than this, that I can’t have anything or anyone tying me to a particular place. My career needs to come first, and as I just started a new job this week in intelligence (another aspect that has taken up a huge chunk of time), I can’t have anything holding me back.

So for all of you, it’s been a long time. But I’m pretty excited to be back.

Confession: I hate getting attached to guys. I really, honestly do. Attachment means worrying, it means frustration and stress and over analyzing, all things that I do not like. But we talked on Tuesday, I had a twenty second flip out and then realized how crazy I sounded. “You sound like a girl,” he said, which snapped me instantly back to my normal self. We’ve been fine since. But I really am attached at this point, surprisingly attached for a relationship where we’ve probably spent more hours on the phone than physically together.

Another confession: Awkwardly lumping your thirty-something interviewer into the “forty-year olds” group mightnot get you a job. I was emailed a few weeks ago by a private corporation who loosely had ties to an operation I’d been working on, asking me to interview with their intelligence department. Private corporations are the way to go right now- they have the money and the resources for high level training and for technology. It may not be my dream job, but it’s the perfect job for me right now. Health benefits, high pay, close to my graduate school, amazing training… I couldn’t say no to an interview. I went in on Wednesday, showed up a bit frazzled as I’d gotten lost on the way there (Mapquest told me to take a u-turn in the middle of the road…wtf?) I am usually a phenomenal interviewer. This time? Not so much. He asked me what I would change about my prior operation and office, and I mentioned that the office was a much older office, which I described as “forty and above”, meaning that they didn’t necessarily have the technological expertise of a younger office. “Oh, so forty is old?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. I stumbled, replied that I didn’t mean he was old at all. “Oh, so you think I’m forty then?” The other interviewer was laughing so hard that people outside of our room were coming to the window to see what had happened. I don’t think I’ll be getting this job.

Other various Caitlyn Confessions:

Obama makes me giddy.
-I hate dishwashers. I’d rather wash a roomful of dishes by hand.
-I’m severely allergic to latex. The other day, my dentist used latex gloves and for the rest of the day I -looked like Angelina Jolie. A less-hot version, at least.
-I was actually excited to go to the dentist yesterday. I asked to hold a mirror so I could watch the process of fixing my cracked tooth.
-I already have a list of things that I want to buy if I get this job.
-I am extremely weird about eating. I hate watching other people eat until I get to know them, and I hate eating in front of people that I’m not comfortable with. I also eat very little, which makes people think I’ve problems. I don’t.
-I don’t really like talking on phones, with the exception of my core girlfriends.

I really forgot how hard relationships can actually be, especially those in which the people are three-hundred miles apart. Actually, I’ve never had experience in the latter part of that; I’m a bit inexperienced when it comes to these long-distance relationships.

Pittsburgh Boy and I had our first fight on Sunday night. I am not a good fighter, not in relationships at least. My first instinct is just to end the relationship, rather than try to talk things out. He said something, and my reaction was, “I need to hang up now. We’ll talk tomorrow. Bye.” After I hung up, I forgot everything good about the past two months and was thinking break up, break up, break up!

On Monday, I talked it over with a few friends. They all seemed to have the same opinion: I was being rash, I was panicking, I would be throwing away a perfectly good relationship. Ian said it best:

well all i’m saying is that you need to be honest with yourself about everything, and not to be constantly on the lookout for exit strategies, you know? it’s one thing to be careful, another to alway be ready to abandon ship. because if you really do care about him then it can be worth it to have problems at the beginning.

I know he’s right. I think I got used to looking for exits in relationships, mostly because it’s easier to break up with someone than be broken up with. But also because, for the past few years at least, I would be able to jump back into my comfortable cycle with Pete.

Now it doesn’t help that Pittsburgh Boy didn’t call last night like he said he would. Last night was the first night since we’ve met that we haven’t talked. He emailed with some excuse about falling asleep early. I sat in bed last night trying to get my head off of it by watching a movie, then going for a run when I couldn’t calm down, then coming back to bed when I couldn’t even concentrate during my run. Ultimately, I think I hate being in relationships because they make you feel this vulnerable.

Ian ended our conversation yesterday with a bit that I hope comes through today:

it’s a give and take, and in the end you just have to weigh everything against your desire to be with him. it’s easy to get mad, it’s hard to forgive. but forgiving is ultimately more important.