Hard-Won Lessons

This is a really lovely Modern Love column that came out last week:

Being a single person searching for love teaches you that not everything is under your control. You can’t control whether the person you’ve fallen for will call. You can’t force yourself to have feelings for the nice guy your best friend fixed you up with. You have no way to know whether attending this or that event — a co-worker’s art opening, a neighbor’s housewarming — will lead to the chance encounter that will forever alter your life. You simply learn to do your best, and leave it at that. Relationships are work, but so is being single.

Dating Files #11

True story. This email is completely unedited. From “twofriends4fun”. At least they were polite…?

“Hi there…so this is totally out of the blue and I really hope I don’t offend you…we are two friends …one is 29 named A and other 34 of whom you see the pix named J…AJ recently single..he is mixed but tall dark handsome and a very good lover haha…J is a hottie as you can see…those may or nay not be our regular names haha but I hope you understand we wanna be discreet…we came to the realization that we are two sexual people and wanted to share some experiences…we’ve wanted to do a threesome with a woman for a while and are finally putting it out there..you are so pretty so I couldnt resist…we are just a normal fun couple of guys looking for a friend and maybe some good times together

I hope I didn’t offend you…last thing we want is to make online dating an awful experience for you so my apologies….you are too cute so we couldnt resist

Thanks for your time and we would love to talk but if not sorry again and best of luck :)

A and J”

Poll

So, I need to take a poll. Let me set up the context first.

This dude emailed me on my dating site, and although I wasn’t super into him I replied (I am trying to be open to the universe in a positive, non-bitter way). So I wrote back and we started chatting. During the course of our conversation, he wrote this to me (edited):

“My friend made us each come up with two silly ideas and pledge to do them. My first idea is hit someone with pies and/or get hit. Second idea is read my poetry nude.”

Next thing I know, this guy wants to meet up with me before July 10 (there’s a deadline involved here) and stand naked, reciting his poems, while I throw a pie at him.

Preferably somewhere he won’t get arrested for doing this.

Now it’s poll time. What’s your vote?
A: Go for it, it’ll be a hilarious story to tell!
B: Um no, run far far away

Discount Signage

I came across these two signs at TJ Maxx today and although I’m sure they were mass produced in a factory somewhere, I actually really feel like both signs exemplify how I try to live my life. So of course I took a shady picture (super bad quality unfortunately) and am rewriting here. I don’t know the origins of the lines for credit purposes. But they really spoke to me. (Not literally. That would be crazy).

Sign #1
Be humble
Call an old friend
Sing loudly
Give hugs
Stay curious
Take big chances
Hold hands
Make a new friend
Smile at a stranger
Live for today
Choose happiness
Push fear aside
Take pictures

Sign #2
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

Mysterious

I got a text message the other day. It read:
“Help”
“Hello!”

I responded with:
“Who is this?”

And that was the end of that very odd conversation. I’m still not sure if I should be disturbed or not. I also still have no idea who it was.

April 19, 2013

*I’ve been posting occasionally over the past few days so I can remember what has been happening. It’s been an intense week.

After my last post yesterday, I was pretty stir crazy after having been cooped up inside all day. At the same time I felt nervous about venturing outside. While I was fairly sure that Suspect #2 was either still in Watertown holed up somewhere or had already slipped through the cracks and was far away, you really never know. So when I saw that local Brookline businesses were tweeting they would be open, I decided to wait for the Governor’s press conference to see what the latest updates would be.

Around 6 pm the city lifted the shelter-in-place and transportation bans, and I immediately headed to The Publick House for a much-needed drink with friends. The bar was packed with people, a nervous tension and energy in the air. Everyone was on their smartphones, constantly checking for updates. I couldn’t stop refreshing my Twitter feed to see if there were any news.

In the middle of one such refresh, I noticed posts on shots fired in Watertown. Things quickly progressed from there and we followed along on Twitter as the drama unfolded, and was finally resolved on that boat in a Watertown backyard.

Spontaneous cheers, applause, and chants of “USA” broke out in the bar. The Publick House almost immediately responded by playing Dirty Water, Sweet Caroline, and Shipping Up to Boston. Everyone was smiling and singing along. The sense of communal relief was palpable. We ordered another round of beers and toasted to the police, the first responders, the doctors, and to Boston. It was incredibly emotional; I felt overwhelmed with love for my city.

It is not over. Our world will not be the same. We still need to find out why these people perpetrated such a horrible crime against our city and the innocent Marathon bystanders. There is still a lot of work to be done. I hope that this sense of togetherness, love for each other, and community can persist in the days to come.

The world has changed

Empty Kenmore Square

I got home last night. I showered, I chatted with my mom on the phone, I went to dinner with friends and had too much to drink and stayed up way too late considering how jet lagged I was.

I woke up this morning and the world had changed. Boston on lock-down. Shelter in place orders in effect. So surreal, so crazy, so scary.

Boston

I don’t really know what or how to share right now. It’s still pretty unbelievable.

I am out of the country for work, and I was out to dinner with two colleagues on Monday evening. We stepped outside the restaurant to walk back to our hotel, and I realized that my phone had multiple emails and text message alerts popping up. I opened the first text which simply said, ‘Hey, are you OK?’ I was confused why I wouldn’t be OK, but at that same moment my coworker exclaimed that there had been a bombing in Boston.

The three of us stopped, in shock, in the middle of the crowded Old City street, staring at our phones– our lifelines to home– as people streamed around us. I started answering texts and emails, assuring friends that yes I was OK, even as more started to pour in. There was so little information to be had. We stood there numbly for some time, not really understanding what had just happened. In the cab ride home, we kept giving each other updates and passing along snippets of information. There was so little information to be had.

We got back to the hotel and got a much needed drink at the bar, all the while getting more and more updates from friends and family that they were safe, that they were OK, that they were still alive. Back in my room, I stayed up til 3 AM talking to my friends who had been there– just a few blocks away from the bombs. I obsessively scrolled through Facebook, making sure everyone I remotely knew who lived in Boston was OK and had posted something.

It was so hard to be here, in a foreign country for work, sitting alone in my hotel room, watching video after video on Boston.com, unable to view the live streaming news reports, relying on printed words on a computer screen to tell me that my loved ones were OK. It was so hard to see pictures of hospitals such as Brigham & Women’s, where I spent three days last summer when I was very sick, with ER doors (the same ER doors I’d walked through) patrolled by men with guns. To imagine the nurses that helped me and who were so kind, triaging blast victims. To think that if I hadn’t been away for work, I would have been down there with my friends, blocks away from the explosions. To remember the exhilaration I’d felt when I ran over the marathon finish line last year when I ran the BAA 5K the day before the ’12 marathon, down by Copley… and the loud cheers of watchers who were so happy for me– a random runner. To remember the excitement I’ve had for the past 7 years I’ve lived in Boston for Marathon Monday, and how this day is supposed to be about support, and love, and finding out what you are capable of, and cheering on runners, and laughing with friends, and unity.

I’m deeply saddened. But I’m also incredibly uplifted by the images and reports of those who ran towards the explosions. The helpers. The people who lent out phones, clothing, cars, blankets, homes, and comfort. The runners who, exhausted after completing nearly 26 miles, ran to the victims and started helping them. The people who picked up injured men and women and ran with them to ambulances and doctors. The volunteers who shuttled carload after carload of stranded runners to various locations around Boston. The reporters who, even as they were documenting what was happening, were busy tearing down barricades so emergency personnel could get to the injured.

I am stuck here for the next two days. But I can’t wait to get home. My heart feels incredibly full right now with love for my adopted city. Please excuse this ramble.