Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The end of shock-n-awe?

It happened last night, toward the end of an unusually small Tuesday-night Bible study. Turns out temperature of 20 degrees, and wind-chill factors of 5 degrees tend to correlate with low attendance. And maybe it gave me cold feet or something. There I was, in the middle of a low-grade, passing-anecdote story (as opposed to the mid-grade, beginning-middle-end kind, or the high-grade, many-dramatic-turns type). And suddenly ... I couldn’t drop the punch-line.

Not that my feet were cold literally, of course. In fact it was the stylishness of the socks with which they were very warmly clothed that got the whole thing started.

The socks were admired, then one friend asked if I made them. “No, but I made my sweater.” At this one guy remembered that another member of our group had played The Knitting Factory the night before. No one had gone to the show, but someone had a story about friends who thought TKF was literally a knitting factory, not the multi-level live-music venue that it is.

Then the Bible study leaders described their one experience at The Knitting Factory, in which “preppy” clothes evidently proved less-than-fitting attire amidst the “kids” running around (the leaders are a late-20s couple whose work attire is forcibly quite conservative, given their jobs). I opined that the place was more of a Williamsburg scene. Which somehow made me think of Urban Outfitters. And the shirt I’d recently seen there ...

But as I began describing the shirt which I had such lust for, something happened. I looked around the mostly male group. “Well ... the one next to it said, ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor,’” I said lamely. Not quite the follow-up they were expecting to my gushing about what a great, “uber-ironic” statement it would be for me to wear the prized shirt. “So what did this one say?” they demanded. “C’mon, you can tell us.”

Readers, I know you may find this shocking — and Frasier will surely be the most horrified — but Anna may have well and truly lost her balls. Which is probably not such a bad thing, really ... Women’s pants generally do seem to fit me better. ;) ... But I couldn’t tell them. I sat there mouth half-open, on the verge of a blush, then shook my head. “Naw ... sorry.” One guy vowed to go by Urban Outfitters himself and scope the window display for answers.

Who needs mood rings?
I prefer to scope music for answers. And really, don’t we all tend to do that? After all, music, as — er — a “friend” of mine has written, can be the way of figuring out your insides. Can’t determine your mood? Flip through the radio or your CDs until you find the song that feels right. And if nothing fits the mood, you’re just a head case or it’s time to get new tunes.

Yes, long-time readers may have already guessed it. It’s the return of Spooning Fork! And in honor of the recent return to playing music through my iTunes player (long, boring story unless tech woes leave you breathless), this week I turn to my one of my very first iTunes music store purchases, Norah Jones and Peter Malick’s cover of the Dylan standard “Heart of Mine.”

Heart of Mine ‘Heart of Mine’ from New York City
Compared to Dylan’s own live version on the Biograph 3 CD, Norah’s take is much more intimate and introspective. Dylan sounds like a calloused, aging man at a bar, catching sight of that waitress he’s always had a weakness for. Like he’s trying to muster the resolve to be curt and rude to her when she comes over. But Norah sings like she’s lecturing the ever-treacherous heart that always drags her into one-sided, doomed affections. Gee, I wouldn’t know anything about that ...

In many ways, Norah sounds like a friend of mine, who’s recently been complaining that in his relationships with women he just needs to be on the prowl for sex — not engage them in any way that could possibly jeopardize the safety of his heart. Unsurprisingly, he’s bummed over a recent crush-gone-wrong that’s left him way more messed up than he’d like. A little matter of too many unreturned phone calls to the girl involved ... yeah.

It’s often such a damned liability, the way our hearts get attached to things. Of course, if we couldn’t care at all, we’d never have meaningful relationships, but then because our hearts have such accursedly bad judgment we always go and get ourselves every time hurt we fall. Which for some of us is quite often. Good thing I’ve got heartguard now, good thing. Otherwise, Lord knows how I’d be doing ...

Lots of crying in the shower, blogging out my frustration with passivity (pulls stock I-could-do-no-wrong face). But I’d never do a thing like that. No way. Just musicians. You know — because they can make a quick buck that way, singing ’bout that CRAZY behavior (dramatic “jazz hands”) of people whose get outta control. Which mine never does any more ... right, Heart? Heart?

Heart ... now what’re you up to this time?!! ... I thought I told you. Not him!