Thursday, September 20, 2007

Name That Date!!

I'm starting to date again after a three month hiatus. Since September of last year, I've had 4 relationships, two of them were what I would call "significant." What I've learned in the last year is that dating a guy with the same name as the boyfriend immediately previous is a really bad idea. Like, I spent six months of the year 2007 with a guy named 'Jeff,' only there were two of them. And people don't realize when you're dating the second Jeff that it's a different Jeff than the first one so when the second Jeff meets your friends after the first Jeff did, your friends look at him and go, "Oh...you're not..." and they look at me and I hold up two fingers as if to say, "this is Jeff number two." And I roll my eyes. And then later they ask how many Jeffs I've dated. And I say just the two, but I've also dated two Bobs and two Tonys. And I'm proud of it.

The person I'm going out with on Saturday has the same name as another guy I dated back in 1998 at the University of Kansas. Joe College was a pre-med organic chemistry whiz that I met in my plant physiology class. We'd meet up at the quad for coffee, and it was there, as we snuggled on the floor in the hallway by the restrooms, that he quietly confessed to having knocked his high school girlfriend up twice so they now had two children together that were being raised by his mother. Why this didn't freak me out, I know not. Joe College was naturally erotic by just being himself. He was remarkably taciturn and had a tattoo of a Gothic sun on his shoulder, smooth dark skin and a masculine scent. He always wore a henley and Pumas. I made him spaghetti dinner on Christmas Eve, and then he disappeared out of my life. Inexplicably. I never even slept with him. But he was probably the hottest guy I've ever dated to this day. The hottest.

When I dated the Jeffs, I had a tendency to refer to them by number, or by saying "old Jeff/new Jeff." I'm never doing this again. Since my relationship with Joe College was short and insignificant, I really don't feel justified in calling him "Joe number one, " making this 'new' Joe "Joe number two."

And why does dating two guys with the same name make you more likely to compare them. Like, the two Jeffs were easy to compare. Why? Because, a) they were nothing alike; b) they were back to back relationships so I had spontaneous recall; and c) they were both Jeffs. I wouldn't think it would be the same with the Joes but since I realized I dated another Joe ten years ago I've already started drawing comparisons!! I'm so ashamed!!

Its times like these I start to wonder if I have any personal integrity when it comes to guys. Or am I just a collector?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Will Trade Parking for Sex

Last November I was lucky enough to meet a guy who lived, oh, about 4 blocks from my office building. I had been paying for parking at a staggering rate of $5 per day (after 5:59 a.m. but before 2:46 p.m. Monday through Friday) and was beginning to take the bus pretty regularly. So, after I met this guy I started parking my car at his apartment and walking to work every day. This didn't work out for long because his neighbors began to notice. And, let's face it, who wouldn't notice when a fourplex apartment building only has three fucking parking spots and two of them are taken up by some humonculous vanagan driven by a 500 pound percheron???

Ahhhh, anyway.

One day we were sitting at his dinner table (four blocks from my office building) and he casually asked me if I might be interested in getting a residential parking permit. Huh? Like, are you asking me to move in? No, but he would be glad to pop in at the DOT and get me one by using his address. Yeah, duh I'd like one dude!! So he paid and got me a residential, 'B' area parking pass good for the next ten months. Score!! And then he dumped me. But it was well worth it!!!

It's almost a year later, and my ten months of free parking are up in eleven days. Seven work days to be exact. I've been parking for free for almost a whole year. So recently I've been thinking that maybe I'd like to meet another guy who lives in the area. Do they have a dating website based on city locality? Like, you know, www.fifteenthandferryareahos.com?

This one could make me rich, I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday with Pam

Today I went over to the home office for a "root cause analysis," (blah-blah speak for what-in-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you?), and I decided to stop by the cafe on my way upstairs. I grabbed a turkey sandwich, and on my way into the hallway, I spotted Pam, a woman I've known casually for a number of years at my organization. Most recently, I knew she had been re-diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic colon cancer.

I've always known Pam to be a very positive, uplifting person, but I had no idea. I sat down with her, intending on eating my turkey and excusing myself to my meeting. And it was strange because, I told her I was sorry to have missed her "return to chemo" party last Friday, and she said I was practically the only person who wasn't there. She told me the story - how when she was originally diagnosed a couple of years ago, it was because she had gone in for an appendectomy and they discovered a tumor wrapped around her appendix. Serendipitous. In her relapse, she'd become lethargic and bloated, and had gone to the doctor for iron infusions. In doing a CT scan, they discovered a pocket of fluid in her abdomen. Now, her body is riddled with cancer.

Folks with her prognosis have 30 months to live. On average. She begins chemo on Friday. All of it will be paid for except for a $15 copay for her prescription pills. She believes in the power of prayer. She told me that, a few weeks ago, when she was feeling particularly low, a coworker came into her office, asked her if she had a few minutes, and set his clipboard down on her desk and said, "I want to pray with you." He kneeled by her side and said a beautiful prayer that has held her spirit aloft ever since.

Pam is the first person I've ever known that I knew was dying. Pam is dying. And that idea hurts to no end. There is a very good chance that she will die soon. And what for? This thing that sits in her abdomen, "being disgusting," as Pam put it so succinctly.

I am an atheist, but I am going to pray for Pam. She deserves those seconds out of each day to think of her and hope for her. And she has had the courage to ask that of us. To pray for her. She asks of people she knows don't believe, that they pray for her. And not in sacrilege. Not to prove anything. Not to show us that there's a god or to teach us of the supernatural. Because she knows, that no matter what we do, it probably won't work.

She really wants to be here. And that's why she wants our prayer. And I am going to give her mine.