Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Objects in the Rear View Mirror

I thought I loved him. I was excited. To meet his parents, to go shopping with his mom, to be immersed in the family activities. More acutely enjoyed, I expect, since my own family was so far away. It was nice, it felt real.
But there were problems, just like any relationship. There was the criticism for one. The constant comments about my diet, the nagging to eat better, the reminders to not order that second glass of wine, the disapproving looks if I were to partake in any form of carbohydrate. After all, HE was the professional athlete. He knew best.
Then came the fights. The temper. They were my fault, of course. Everything was always my fault. It was exhausting, living on the edge, not knowing what would set him off, doing my best not to make him mad. But these problems were, in my mind, no different from any other relationship. He told me he loved me, so he must. And when it ended after nine months, I was sad. And I was hurt when he told me the reason: because I wasn’t “motivated”. Because I wasn’t 12% body fat. Because I wasn't working hard enough to get there. Because I spent too much time with my friends.
I cried. I cried for not being enough. I cried for not trying harder. I cried for loneliness, for yet another failed relationship. For being 25 and still single! But alas, after the tears had stopped falling I did what so many women who have found themselves tossed and tumbled on the side of the relationship highway have done and will continue to do. I dusted myself off, touched up my makeup and moved on with life.
He wasn’t one of those ex’s with whom we stay in contact. A casual text, a brief phone call, a drunken hook up. No – this relationship was deader than a morgue resident with a toe tag accessory. Never to be heard from again. Fast forward 5 years to last month when eHarmony and their 27 degrees of crazy…er, compatibility – posted none other than Footballer up on my “New Matches” list! What’s more, he “requested communication”. I was confuse. Slightly amused. Contemplating only two possible scenarios for this sudden outreach from a man I now considered to be of little more significance than a well learned lesson in controlling relationship behavior.
Douchebag Scenario #1: He had no idea who I was. Didn’t remember us dating. Just saw the red hair (a weakness) and put no more thought into the communications request. This would just make him an idiot.
Douchebag Scenario #2: He knew exactly who I was. In which case he was playing a game. Instead of just sending me an email to say, “Hi, Scarlett, it’s been a long time, how are you? Etc. etc.” he’s playing a warped, immature game of “getting to know you”.
It turned out we had encountered Douchebag Scenario #2. I don’t know why I decided to meet him for lunch. Morbid curiosity, perhaps? He looked the same. Still cute. Still built. But he was flattering. He was amorous. Complimentary even. It was absolution, pure and simple.
If any bit of my psyche still remained scarred, if any shred of my self-esteem was still bruised, if there was any hint of uncertainty left over from the misfortune of dating a man who dumped me because of my weight…it was now vindicated and then some. Because, unlike the woman who dusted herself off, moved on and continued to excel at life, this man had definitely stalled along life’s highway and was forever staring into the rear view mirror.
Forced into the ranks of the NFL-injured, he had early retirement thrust upon him and had little to no desire to move forward. And after the waitress screwed up his lunch order, I realized, he was still the poster boy for anger management, entitlement issues. Still annoyingly particular about everything. Still the ever suffering hypochondriac. Still the “my way or the highway”, “take me or leave me”, “its obviously your problem and not mine”, “my mother thinks I’m perfect so everyone else should fall in line”, “by the way, let me tell you how to live YOUR life” touting prima donna has been that he was circa 2005!
The only thing different at that lunch table was me. Not a change in weight that tipped the scales, but a massive shift in both self confidence, self worth and self awareness that I found so dramatic.
Frankly, it was so incredibly satisfying.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

REDHEAD SPOTLIGHT: Discrimination Pushes A Ginger Over the Edge

Imagine the ending of this headline: Man shoots himself and mother because of __________.
a) His crystal meth addiction
b) He was breast fed until the age of 10
c) He felt discriminated against as a redhead

Correct Answer: C

As a self proclaimed “ginger” celebrator and general reveler of all things carrot-top, strawberry-blond and flaming fabulousness, you can imagine my surprise, shock, awe and general bafflement at this story! 

Clearly this man was one book shy of a full library but seriously - What’s so wrong with redheads anyway!? 

Frankly, makes me wonder if there’s something to the phrase “beating like a redheaded step-child.”

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Suspended Sydney paramedic Trent Speering fumed that the NSW Ambulance Service was run by "degenerates" and was bigoted towards redheads before shooting dead his elderly mother and himself, a court has been told.

On June 11, 2008, the 40-year-old visited his 70-year-old mother, Monica Speering, at her home in Baulkham Hills, Sydney, and shot her twice in the head before covering her with a blanket and resting her head on a pillow, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Mr Speering then killed himself, a coronial inquest into both deaths heard today.

The day after the shootings, the Daily Telegraph opened a letter to the editor from Mr Speering detailing the reasons for his actions.

John Agius, counsel assisting the coroner, outlined some of contents of the letter in the NSW Coroners Court today.

"There are two main reasons as to why I've taken the action I have,'' Mr Agius read from the letter.

"One is that there is a lot of bigotry towards people with red hair in this workplace ... and I've copped my share in my lifetime...

"I work for the Ambulance Service of NSW and you would be hard pressed to find an organisation more morally bankrupt, and run by a bigger bunch of degenerates if you tried.''

Mr Speering went on to say that he would kill his mother and himself.

The letter triggered a police investigation but officers arrived at the house too late.

Mr Agius told coroner Mary Jerram that repeated recommendations from paramedic colleagues and medical experts that Mr Speering undergo a psychological assessment, had not been adopted.

"There are issues here about the duty of care for the ambulance service to Mr Speering as an employee ... given what the ambulance service ought to have known of Mr Speering's mental state,'' he said.

The inquest, set down for two weeks, is due to hear from numerous witnesses, including senior NSW Ambulance management.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dupont Dating Tour of 2010

Round and round the dating pond I went last week and ended up splashing about in my own bit of the city - Dupont. Literally splashing as I got caught in the rain at least once. 
The following is a brief recap of last weeks romantic (or not-so-much) episodes. 
Tuesday: BossMan
BossMan was as funny, fabulous and utterly frustrating as ever. A little table at Dupont’s own Pizzeria Paridiso was casually perfect as always. I impressed him with my knowledge of foreign beer, we caught up, laughed, exchanged work information, he paid me a compliment. We were talking about the girl he broke up with in March or April and he said something to the effect of “most beautiful girl I ever dated. But now I understand why she’s not married. Not to say that beautiful girls have to be married - yourself being a prime example of that.” Upon reflection - not sure whether or not it was a compliment or just an avoidance of insult. Most likely the later I suppose.
With this guy I’ll take what I can get!
By all standards of what makes a date, in fact, a date (i.e., sexual tension, guy picks up the check, rebutting of sexual advances in an attempt to play hard to get and look like a lady) this one fell incredibly short of the typical criteria. But if it WERE, in fact a date - Pizzeria Paridiso is, of course, a great venue. The only problem being that they do not take reservations, leaving the possibility of waiting for quite some time at the over crowded bar. Additionally, if  your entire party is not present and accounted for at the host’s stand - good luck charming your way to a table all by yourself. But other than that, I recommend the Fraoch Heather Ale, my favorite beer. Pizzeria Paridiso is one of the three bars in town, to my knowledge, that serve it. Brickskeller and RFDs being the other two.  
He promised that we’d hang out again soon and emailed me the next day with some funny links, etc. relevant to our topics of conversation the night before. I really have to get over this as it is leading to nothing but sexual frustration. 
Wednesday: Brew Master (BM)
BM and I have been dating off and on since April - with a brief hiatus in June - owing to the fact that I was basically out of pocket for the 6 week during and post Memorial Day weekend. But we had a lovely reunion over Miller Lites and 8-Balls at Buffalo Billiards
Physically speaking, he is pretty much spot on as my type - 6’4, all smiles, redhead, large-ish teddy bear type. Yummy. He manages a local Brewery and is a nice guy. I am attracted/interested…but not uber excited about this one - maybe if I see him with more frequency than every other month. 
I’m afraid I may have taken a bit of my residual frustration from the night before out of BM - I don’t think he minded though.
Thursday: Navy
What are our thoughts on a date getting HAMMERED and barely able to remember his own name let alone yours? I, for one, am NOT a fan. At some point during our post dinner jaunt over to James Hobans, he decided that he needed to prove the existence of his Irish roots by downing no less than 6 Guinesses in perhaps a little over an hour. Excessive? Indeed. Unattractive? You betcha. OH! And let us not forget the little fit of jealous rage I had the pleasure of experiencing when I happen to give one of my favorite bar tenders a hug and a kiss on the cheek upon arrival at said bar. 
Thankfully the one redeeming feature of this bizarre little encounter was his choice of meeting place. The Iron Gate. A Dupont venue located @ 17th & N St., NW to which I had never gone (gasp!) but will continue to frequent for years to come. 
It is a truly, aesthetically unique, reminiscent of a tiny bistro one might find tucked away in a long forgotten Parisian alleyway. I highly recommend the citrus hummus and the goat cheese torte - but be sure this is your first stop of the evening as it closes at 10 p.m.! I found this to be a very dark, romantic and overall amazing date venue. 
Frankly, I just hope that next time, I‘ll be there with someone less…objectionable.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Playing Office

He was beautiful. 
My second week of my new job he took over the publicity department. I didn’t fall immediately. It was slow. Gradual. At first glance he was a snappy dresser wearing wide, colorful ties and sporting a huge smile.  After a week, he was an organized, no nonsense PR guy who had been in the trenches and whom I admired professionally.
After two weeks he was the charming Italian, New Yorker with a slight Queens accent who accompanied me to the coffee shop every morning. After three weeks, he was my reason for looking pressed and perfect in full makeup and heels in every morning staff meeting.
After a month, he was making nightly appearances in rated-X, multi-orgasmic sex dreams rendering me incapable of meeting his gaze without blushing a shade of red that put my own hair to shame.
Eventually it was taking every ounce of will power I possessed not to walk into his office, shut the door and crawl across his desk as if channeling some big haired, cat-like, temptress dancing on a mustang in a hair band music video. 
It was agonizing. He wasn’t the sort of beautiful-and-knows-it, arrogant political asshole that frequents the political dives of Capital Hill and the networking dens of downtown. In fact, he wasn’t the sort of good looking man that makes you look up from your Cosmo or take notice from across the bar. He’s the kind that sneaks up on you. He’s the kind of man that may not truly knock a girl off her bar stool until you talk to him. And then BAM! Five minutes of snarkey, intelligent banter while he flashes those dimples, waxes philosophical on the Yakees, all things New York, Opera and politics and you’re done for.
I have to admit. I was obvious. I smiled too much. Asked too many questions - lingered a bit too long in his office perhaps. During the Christmas party, I even put myself in charge of desserts, baking 8 dozen cookies of various shapes, sizes, colors, textures, themes and flavors in my itty bitty kitchen. I then bought myself a new suit of beautiful black and red, had my hair blown out and visited the MAC counter at Macy’s for a 40s Marilyn, cat eye/red pout look that was truly, irresistible. 
I then skillfully strutted into his office, both red pout and Christmas cookies perfectly presented and beautifully arranged as if to say “not only will I bake cookies for our children, but I will look AMAZING doing it. 
While he did do a double take…it wasn’t quite the “throw the cookies in the air and take me now” response I had imagined.
Never have I ever put so much time, effort, MAC, Calvin Klein, Victoria Secret shaping or Jimmy Choo discomfort into unsuccessfully seducing a man! 9 months I spent on this man - and to no avail. Sigh. 
Utterly disheartening. My one hope was that after the change of Administration, he would no longer be my boss. He would no longer have a position of authority over me (professionally speaking anyway) and he would be free to express his desire with wile abandon befitting a Fabio bedecked romance novel. 
No such luck - this Republican politico is as utterly unseduceable as a Pope after Mardi Gras. I’ve learned to live with disappointment. Win some loose some.
And tonight, we’re having dinner. We’re just two old friends having dinner. He still makes me nervous, but I will do my own hair and make up and hopefully keep my rather vivid imagination in check.
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