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.

Monday, January 31, 2005

A party one oughtn’t blog about, pity

Blogging, at least in this case, is a little bit like acting. People come to you for laughs, because they’re bored or need a respite from the doldrums of the work day.

On some level you hope they’re drawn to what you’re making, to the way you tell a story. But deep down (and this is where the acting metaphor breaks down), you actually hope they’re drawn — a little bit — to you. Because it’s not just a funny story or good point, but something that’s been said or done by you.

So when a blogreader drifts away, by transition, forgetfulness or mystery-of-the-blogosphere glitch ... it stings a little more than it probably should. You miss the contact, passive though it was, maybe tend to take it all a little too personally. “Why did she take me off her blogroll? Did I do something to offend?”

Pity the paranoid...
That’s the trouble with women, you see, we personalize it all, silence very much included. As the Winner told me once, men don’t see the world this way. They assume that if you and they have not spoken in six months, things are just the way — between you — that they were the last time. But women freak out. “We haven’t spoken in six months! We must not be friends anymore!” Etc.

Of course it only gets worse when said friendship is mostly carried out online. What do you do when something ends, or someone suddenly stops being online?!! What are you to assume, moreover? (Assuming being critical for women, you see, who like to brace our tender hearts for possible hurt to come. Thoroughly assessing the situation gives us the illusion of control and the sense of being ”prepared” for whatever outcome or development is to come.)

Wedding Date hasn’t been online in weeks. And I know he hasn’t checked my blog in longer. Which is all right, really. I think our contact was mostly just a build-up to the date now some time in the past. But still, I wonder: Did he take me off his “friend” list? Is he really online to others? Same thing for the Lickwit, with whom I once used to IM frequently. He’s never online these days, though I hear he’s known to chat. So are these conversations transacted by email ... or IM? Or would someone actually avoid logging in because they feared that you would contact them, but didn’t want to actually “de-friend” you?

A pity ’bout that perm. gig
Such is the paranoid world of women online. OK, maybe the paranoid world of unemployed women online. But I’m working on that. Really. Besides: as we’ve already learned, clearly my 2005 love life depends on a permanent job. More so, even, than it did a week ago. You see, just when I realized this massager thing I’d gotten could be a real boon — even a purity massager (which would, in theory, enable me to resume dating again) — I’ve gotta give the damn thing away!

That’s right, readers. Anna is as we speak preparing to sacrifice the possible success of her love life for the benefit of another. For Poster Boy has won the BRWS (as you now know), and it was clear long before the contest conclusion that he had very great need of a purity massager indeed. You see, apparently it could ward off backrubs. And in that wacky, wacky world of Christian dating ... if dancing leads to sex, backrubs most certainly lead to DTRs*.

And what do most Christian men hate? DTRs. Which as we learned from Mr. Flirty Pants, they strangely can’t seem to avoid: not their fault, can’t be helped, all a consequence of baby-mad women. So, well, Poster Boy obviously needs to fend off his hordes of backrubbing-but-sanctified hussies (or so I hear) more than I need to ... um ... um ... tote along a purity massager as safeguard against those Frisky-Hands Fritz types you just run into all over this damn city. I hear it’s quite a problem. I haven’t dated one, obviously, but – you know — I hear things.

And speaking of hearing things (pretend that wasn’t an awkward lapse in late-night blogging), just wait till tomorrow’s entry! Then you’ll finally hear all about my celebrity judge-filled Blog Reader World Series judging party.

*Define-the-relationship talk. back

Saturday, January 29, 2005

When jobs are like bad relationships

You know it’s bad when you wake up Saturday morning (er, afternoon rather) and start debating the legitimacy of a sangria-for-juice beverage swap on the “breakfast” menu.

It’s just that I made sangria Thursday night — at first as consolation that I didn’t get the San Francisco job, hence will be stuck in New York another few months. But then, in light of my new, über-freaky Jesus freak mentality, I decided a pity party was not in order. I mean, clearly if this didn’t work out, it’s for the best. I must say I was rather less than thrilled about that job anyway ... It was mostly that I thought I could swing them paying for my move.

So it woulda been like wedding the odd, little quiet man you’re bored by because he has a stable job and a good relationship with his (single) mom, that consists of going to her house every Saturday for tea and to rake the leaves. They play nothing but classical music and she always asks awkward interrogatories about the New York Timesyou’ve only skimmed over the shoulders of other train commuters. You always feel as if you’re going to sneeze, but never can. Instead she offers you another dry cookie of the kind you really hate and pours you more weak and lukewarm tea you suspect she made from dandelion leaves or the meak pots of herbs (said with the h in front) on her windowsill. Her apartment is fitted out in muted mauves and ecrus that make you feel like you’re stuck in a rest-home parlor. You just know she thinks that your favorite home-decor and fashion store, Urban Outfitter, is a leather shop in Harlem or something. Her son is just your height — no more — and has that thick-but-firm-about-the-middle body some middle-aged men get. How on earth did you meet him, anyway, and get this thoroughly stuck in his plodding life?!! His hand when he occasionally takes yours for a quiet, Sunday-afternoon walk along that one — just that one — path through Central Park is always faintly moist in a way you never could speak of but are always secretly disappointed by. Maybe Gold Bond for his gloves? On the sly, of course, as if it’s special cleaning powder.

AUGH!!!!! What a horrific future that would be! Thank God I didn’t get that job. A spinster-writer may do boring work you see, but it needs to be, say, a secretarial job of such a fashion she can carry it out with sly, retrosexual flair. You know — with the edgy, subtle spectacles of a librarian whose private life the men muse about occasionally. Who wears the staid, boring lower-Manhattan office uniform, accessorized with curious little details the staff occasionally, briefly raise an eyebrow at. But files are whisked in and out so smartly, and letters drafted so efficiently, the most a middle-aged, male supervisor can do is gently cough now and then and say things like, “Yes, very well then. Thank you, Miss Broadway. That will be all for now.”

That kind of boredom I can deal with. There’s a strange satisfaction in undemanding displays of competency. And the life has all the faint drama of a romance novel heroine’s before she’s discovered by her husband-to-be. Which, once I find a job, could possibly happen. Assuming my dream is right, of course. But why wouldn’t it be? I’m sure dreams are just as reliable guides as romance novels are. Maybe even moreso! After all, dreams are like personalized romance novels.

... Wow, so much fantasy, on so little booze or caffeine! Amazing what happens when a mind is pent up writing summaries of truly horrible deeds in other countries. Thank God today’s the last day of all that. You see, I quit this miserable freelance assignment. Decided procrastination was kicking in wayyyyy too early on the job for this to be a healthy kind of work to do.

My Wall St. temp agency has some possible work for me now, though, since I can commit to long-term assignments. Too bad I don’t fall for banker types ... just kidding.

But I did attend a fellowship for creative sorts last night, in a crowd including not just Hapless Hesitator but the Captain as well. I barely said a word to either of them, though the Captain (perhaps owing to our new buddy-buddy status) apologized for only saying “howdy.” Next time he’ll endeavor to say “hey” as well, he promised.

More about the ups and downs of the Christian meet-market next week. Meanwhile, I’ve got a caption to write. For, as we are coming to the very end of January, it is time at last for the conclusion of our “December” contest ... and the Blog Reader World Series!

Sunday evening, a wealth of talented single ... er ... talent is coming together to judge the photos submitted by our reader leaders, Poster Boy and Frasier. In addition to blog-celebrity Best Friend, we have celebrity bloggers Esther and Blogfather! Yours truly will be on hand to observe the proceedings, explain the rules, and generally laugh her ass off (well, the parts of it the cold has left intact; 18-degree highs indeed!!!!). Don’t miss Monday’s judge-a-thon wrap-up. Maybe even with photos of my Better Than Sex cake (prepared, along with aforementioned sangria, as a cold-defying celebration of closure and to compensate the judges for their services)!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Daydream receiver

I don’t know why, maybe excessive idleness on my part, but since returning from Cali I’ve had a number of dreams. Some involving cars (I was forced to drive a big one that had really bad mirrors), some involving music (that I wanted to hear again) ... almost all involving men.

This one came last Monday morning after crawling back into bed so I could qualify as sleeping in on both East and West Coast time. The first and more distinct half of the dream had a very limited cast: mostly me and the guy I was stuck on. Curiously this gentleman was played by a long-ago roommate of my brother’s, never mind that he is some years married and the father of a son — that is, in real life. In dream life he didn’t look much like himself or even the profile of an Anna Broadway crush (except blue-eyed*) ... but that’s neither here nor there, as the antiquated saying goes.

Many details now escape me, but despite a mostly friendly tenor to our relationship, I was nonetheless confident my crush-in-dream liked me too. A period of driving ensued, through a forested area. It was like we were driving to a weekend retreat and had decided to carpool. Once there, the two of us (plus perhaps a couple others), found ourselves sitting on the floor our legs crossed Indian style (there seems, mysteriously, to have been faintly Buddhist overtones to this dream, though I do not recall the use of incense, orange, or chanting).

Crush-in-dream was seated at my right, but seated far enough that when a girl came in, she was able to sit down between us ... before proceeding to grab his hand. I turned away to my left, immediately confused. Apparently I had been mistaken and this woman was his girlfriend.

Time passed in the dream, I don’t remember how, but a little while later he came up behind me, gave me a hug, and explained how the girl was just being aggressive, he’d dropped her hand after I turned away, and the reason he wasn’t dating me yet had something to do with my unemployment. Basically, he didn’t want to disrupt my life until I had the stability of a job.

Weird, huh? I tell ya, that contact-high I didn’t think I got the night before must have really addled my brain. That or heater-induced dehydration did a number on me. Also, I think I’ve started an addiction to chocolate. Surely between these varied factors there’s some sort of explanation. Or, as I’m fond of saying (in further evidence of good-girl syndrome**), that dealer of mine must be sellin’ me some mighty bad crack these days.

At any rate, the dream seems to offer me key insight. Clearly the loss of my purity ring is not the problem (I could always buy a new one). The reason I can’t date right now is that I’m not employed! (Significantly, the second part of my dream involved me figuring out a new job as part of the editorial board at a harried college daily.)

Wow ... maybe next time I’ll ask God to give me a dream in which I maintain better eye contact! Because, you see, according an article that Esther showed me, I may have really flubbed a recent date by barely wowing ’im with ma peepers. Gulp. Strangely I am brazen when the gentleman’s no keeper, but shyer than a long-cloistered Amish girl when faced with a guy who’s worth something. We need to work on that ...

But that’s OK! I just need to get a job and that’ll fix everything. (Note: Anna did not say, boob job. This blog will never advocate artificial improvements to one’s sex appeal. Except for lip gloss, hose, and underwear. But those aren’t really fake, right?!! As long as the fabric’s not synthetic, and the lip goop’s all-organic ... it’s all OK.)

[Hyperlinks coming eventually ... but who of you really click those anyway?]

*Though the Captain, as I was recently reminded, has more golden eyes, like the buttery depths of a rum hot toddy. Hm.
**In which a girl tries to talk like she’s experienced, or naughty, or both, and throws out jokingly casual references to things she’d never really do or use. A way of covering one’s tracks, and fitting in; usually adopted as social disguise in early high school.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The BRWS contest prize!

Yes, dahlings, it’s true. Anna’s changed her mind again. But this time the men are in agreement. Both Poster Boy and Frasier have accepted the “compact muscle massager” shown here as alternate prize.

Much more coming later this afternoon on how the massager — which I’ve dubbed a possible purity massager could spare many a hapless gentleman from the ensnaring and DTR-inducing tangles of casual backrubs.

And in other happy news: I’ve given the infamous taskmistress the ole heave-ho. Come Saturday, I’m a free woman again, and it’s back to blogging as usual. ;) I hope.

Monday, January 24, 2005

A Sunday lunch date?

We passed a couple bars on our Sunday afternoon drive, Hesitator and I. As a compromise on lunch cravings, we’d settled on some place near the Lower East Side since I wanted brunch and he Chinese. The menu met my demands, the ’hood nearly his.

As we passed one bar, he asked if I’d ever been there. Oh, yes, I thought. More times and under stranger circumstances than you can imagine. I was there with Ad Weasel, one crazy, crazy night long ago. Later I went back for parties thrown by the Comedian, one time seeing his friend Jose, to no avail. I am convinced that nothing good ever comes of the man you want seeing his friend kiss you dramatically, albeit in a stage scene. But there were probably other problematic factors there as well ...

Problematic factors I don’t have to deal with much any more. For as I explained to Hesitator, I don’t go to bars much any more.

He seemed surprised. Now even that one you used to frequent? Does he mean Burlesque Bar? I didn’t know my shock-n-awe had gone that far with him. No, the favorite drinking hole before that: Honky Tonk. The one the Captain took me to. “No, not even there. I just don’t do the bar scene much anymore.”

He struggled to comprehend this. That I, the hipster socialite I have often appeared to be, rarely frequent bars, the hub of any New York socialite or hipster’s existence.

Was it something with the bars? Surely she doesn’t actually miss secondhand smoke ....

Well, I said, it was more like the people I’d been seeing. My social habits changed. And then because the bars had been so connected to those social habits — those people — the bars gradually fell by the wayside too.

I suppose I should have thought to order a Bloody Mary at brunch — showing I hadn’t abolished my inner boozehound completely. Instead I turned to that other addiction, coffee, though even then resorting to decaf by the second cup. (Decaf, I think, must be the caffeine addict’s Nicorette. What you take when you purely need the placebo, but can’t stand the night-time wakey-wakey.)

But we had lunch Sunday, yes. We didn’t talk as much of work as expected, but he still paid the tab. Mostly I practiced my new hyper-Jesus-freak bit (which might as well be like Protestant nunship) and didn’t swear a single time ... that I can recall. I have to do something to hold ’em off without that purity ring, after all.

I’m sure this won’t last. At some point the other Anna will have a wild night with Tom Jones ... blasting over the disco speakers. I might not dance on bar top,* or flash my year-old piercing, but there will be good shimmy-shaking and possibly a shot or two. After all, I am informed, I did “learn to drink from a master.” So if I can’t hold my shots and still shake it, something’s wrong.

And ... well ... surely Jesus wouldn’t have been averse to some disco now and then. He hung with prostitutes and sinners, after all. I’m pretty sure their music wasn’t tame, or their hips averse to wiggles. I mean, some religious people dance, after all. I know. I was in Fiddler on the Roof once, and we had to learn a whole dance for a wedding scene!

Crazy Baptists, man. All those damn prohibitions! No wonder all the white men on this continent can’t dance. At least for the most part. I will say my blog/blond consultant did a fair number in a conga line in Cali ... Perhaps there’s hope for Anna yet: this was even at a Christian dance.

*Which, yes, I did the night I defended my thesis. But I was sober(ish), there were five of us, and the bar had a really small crowd. So it wasn’t gratuitous exhibitionism. Just a little ... cautious cuttin’-loose.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Passivists and pre-prenatal anxieties

Sometimes a cold beer just tasts so good, but this one came at more than the usual cost. You see, on account of the considerable snowfall dumped on New York City today, I had to wade through considerable snow to get to the more-cleared street — where I got the thrill of dodging flying snow from zealous sidewalk shovelers, and bounding over snow piles in places where I had to leave the street for less-cleared sidewalk.

Once I reached home, it was nearly 11 p.m. (My sleep/work habits seem to be creeping back to West Coast time again.) I realized I had yet to return a call from the Hapless Hesitator, but knowing what I do about his call routines, I felt fairly comfortable ringing.

The urgency was the need to confirm our lunch tomorrow, with sufficient warning for him to gather any needed materials before departing for church. You see, the subject of his “Can I call you today” email last week was a plan for having me do some freelance work for him. To advise him on his resume, and so forth. He offered to pay, but it was clear he hoped I’d take his offer over a meal instead of cash.

Passivities in contrast
Yes, you read that right. Hesitator has somehow tried to leverage me into working in exchange for a date with him. It’s practically a pseudo-date! At least I’ve already met his mom. One time when the King of Pseudo Dates and I spent a Saturday morning cheerfully prowling round some Phoenix bookfair, it was not until we mysteriously encountered his mother that I suspected the pseudo-date. But then things got rather fishy: the day may have even included a visit to the family home! I can only imagine the debrief later ...

You see, the pseudo-date too entails a kind of passivity. As opposed to the Mr. Flirty Pants type, however, a pseuo-dater resorts to passivity as a means of feeling out women without having to boldly declare his interest. He is unlikely to be a Mr. Flirty Pants, in fact, as he has probably experienced quite the opposite: a scarcity of female interest as opposed to the surplus from which the Flirty Pants of this world back away. The similarity is that both would doubtless claim total innocence and manifestation of “mere friendly” behavior that probably encompasses significant one-on-one time with the female in question.

But let me think about that for a minute ... the Mr. Flirty Pants really is trying to feel out the woman as well, he’s just in denial about it. And for some reason the “bites” he gets from this subtly jiggled hook mostly come from the women he’s already rejected. Or else, the interest he provokes actually causes him to reject them because of a peculiar martyrdom in which mutual attraction is somehow loathed or at least very scary.

There’s your Freud for the day. ;) In somewhat less-complicated and happier news, I am able to report that the King of Pseudo Dates is now engaged as of October. But of course he didn’t bother to tell me this, good friend that I sometimes was. No, I had to hear it from mutual friends, a married couple living in Berkeley. They were also very helpful about reporting on the children born to various married friends of ours, in some cases even supplying photos.

When your fountain of youth approaches the Drought
Mighty cheering news for a gal who was just then approaching her half-birthday, well on the way to 27. I mean, it’s not as if I’m having that infamous Freak-out of the Ovaries, but I am a practical woman. And when women like the boss-lady try to reassure me I’ve got years left, years to have children, I don’t find that reassuring.

Why? Because I don’t plan (at least, don’t want) to be a geriatric mommy case. That’s what they call it, you know. Having a baby in mid- to late-30s is akin to being in retirement. Because that’s what your ovaries are approaching!!!

And frankly, when I look at my recently re-besotted, young-50s parents, I think their plan has worked out well. They had their kids young, and now they’re approaching a mere 53 and we’re all grown up! And not just out of the house, but able to legally drink. And they were 26 when I came along.

So that’s another item on the regular-talks-with-God agenda. But I get scared by these biblical stories sometimes. The guy who waited seven years to be with his woman — and then her father said, “Oh, now, whoops! You married the wrong sister. But in seven more years ... you can have your woman.” I remember hearing once of a girl who waited seven years for her man to come around.

Love, joy, peace, patience ... open lines of communication?
And I think, Lord, I know that patience is a virtue. And I know that I ain’t got much. But you’re not too attached to that number, right? Seven? I mean ... You wouldn’t make me wait that long for love, would you? Seven years from now I’ll be nearly 34!!! How many babies can I expect to have then?!! You did say, “Be fruitful and multiply”! I’m just tryin’ to obey here. And there will be at least two of us to replace. I’m just sayin’.

But then it gets worse. Because there’s also Sarah. The one who had a kid when practically Granny Broadway’s age. By now I’m rather desperate. Look, Lord, I know You can do mighty things. And I’ll concede ... age probably isn’t what You worry most about where I’m concerned. But really ... we don’t have to go for that miracle in my life, do we? I mean, I think finding me a good husband — pretty soon — would be amazing ... don’t You? Wouldn’t that be pretty dramatic too?

... All of which I’m sure demonstrates character growth in something — communication, perhaps. That’s one of the “fruits of the Spirit,” right?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Scratch that

All right. My conscience has been pricking me so much, I’ve decided to totally delete the “lesbian” entry. If you read it yesterday, bully for you. If not, so sorry. Basically, I’m working for such a woman right now, but that detail is so irrelevent to the situation I can’t bring myself to wring blog titillation from silly details of her apartment floors and dining habits.

Some teasing just goes too far. But strategic application of lip gloss ... nevah. ;)

It’s official!

Oh yes. The hit 2004 song that I “am.” ... This was a hit last year?!!

Are You Gonna Be My Girl {by Jet}

“So 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
Because you look so fine
And I really wanna make you mine.”

And the song wizard says: “You impressed almost everyone in 2004 — and surprised yourself.” Awwww, where’s Frasier?!!
Woohoo! High fives all around!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Was Anna just a dope?

Those disappointed yesterday when I trailed a whiff of pot smoke but otherwise didn’t follow up on this tantalizing reference will today have their patience rewarded.

The Virgin Lungs Club, sorta
It was Sunday afternoon. Following my finally-we’re-just-friends chat with the Captain (complete with high-fives over our mutual abandonment of dating the freaked-by-Jesus, and consultation over a current love-life dilemma*) I went down to Brooklyn to collect some church friends’ rent subsidy. Then since I was already in their neighborhood, I called up the friends who are long-time intimates of the Geriatric Gent. We had previously planned to hang for drinks and dinner, emphasis on the booze.

One flick led to another, and I found myself hanging there through one Poirot movie after another, followed by Bond and at last a chunk of the new-and-touted Peter Sellers biopic. Midway through we were joined by the Groovey Geezer himself, who brought butter for the apple crisp I made (God forbid I should fail to bake for a possibly interested man ... I mean friends! Of course. Nothing else at all). Under other circumstances I’d say he also brought his wit, but Sunday night he so swiftly downed a magnum of merlot (nearly on his own) that all conversation was swiftly reduced to proclamations that he had “a good feeling” about 2005. And so on.

The closest to a trademark epigram came when our friend started in on her third joint of the afternoon/evening and he pronounced: “You’re smoking dope!” At which he promptly took a drag of it himself before holding out the smoking roll to me. Before I could even get full refusal out, our friend had jumped in to explain. Telling him that I’ve never smoked anything was probably our last coherent exchange of the trippy evening. Indeed apparently when he left the next morning, his thank-you note concluded by asking if Bond had “won.”

Animals, in the sack or otherwise, need not apply
By the time I finished the cobbler and returned to the table to watch the end of Bond, Gent’s eyes were nearly closed and I (mis)took his occasional mutteries for an old man talking in his sleep. Later, however, he grumbled at me for totally ignoring him. Apparently the declaration, “I am Geriatric Gent!” had been meant to restore me to a proper level of attention. Seeing as how this failed, he later felt free to growl at me, as if he were some ferile cat (no, I am not making this up).

Cross that one off the flirty-flirt list, I guess! And no more hand-holding for him either, except for shaking. Briefly. I could bring an egg timer ...

You see, if Oh-Five is all about your slogan (as the Comedian tried to assert last Thursday night), it has to be a new slogan compared to the one in Oh-Four. You might say last year’s was “Try not to bore, in Oh-Four.” Or, “Get on the floor, neglect your core, create some lore, maybe date a boor! ... in Oh-Four.” (Well, OK, I exaggerate slightly. That applies more to the first part of the year.)

But Oh-Five, baby ... I’m gonna survive without beehive, will not contrive but really thrive — all without a man to help me stay alive (unless I get a new purity ring, of course).

Something about my time out West has given me a clearer sight of things. “I’m like very zen, man” ... Oh wait. OK, no, actually I’ve become what you might call ... (pauses for dramatic silence) ... an even-freakier Jesus freak. Besides coming to grips with a less-interrupted life of, um, celibacy, that means establishing new boundaries. Subtle changes you may start to notice around here:
  • Previous partners in the flirty-flirty may get “crossed off the list” ... or put on a loose restriction. Since, you know, I no longer have the ring to help me do that (sniff).
  • Anecdotal entries may increasingly include behavior in men beyond those I’ve liked or dated (for example, Mr. Flirty Pants).
  • And Anna may start to wear high-collared shirts ... just kidding. That will never happen as long my neck remains unwrinkled. ;) It’s been far too strategic in attracting male attention. Which we all know I can never go completely without.
*More to follow later this week. In essence: can a lack of good eye contact — when it really might count — be overcome?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Her leading man must also be a character

All right, some Mac Safari customer of Mindspring has checked in so many times today, I’m starting to feel guilty. Aren’t you all on holiday?!! You’re not?

Well then I’m a most-delinquent blogger. But today I’d like to blame it on all the second-hand pot smoke from yesterday. I’m convinced that — and a light overnight snow — must account for my exceedingly lazy state today.

Plus I could also be depressed. I mean, while I had a truly terrific chat with the Captain yesterday — which, even if we never speak again, I can happily regard as closure — it’s very clear that friendship will never encompass much more than occasional hugs and casual chats. At least he’s not a side-hugger!

But it’s not just that guy-pal relationship where I’m forced to take stock of things. The fact is, my taste in men has often been rather suspect. I’ve chosen attention over substance, hipness over character. Strangely, this was because at bottom I wanted things of such particularity, I feared they couldn’t be had. Instead one acquiesces to men so far from the ideal they could never have a chance at breaking your heart.

When posh credentials gild no substance
Lately, though, I’ve decided that ideal’s not so crazy — and well worth holding out for. What does it consist in? Basically, a certain kind of character and hunger for God. One reason I’m so picky about men’s spiritual state is that I’ve gone through major upheavals of my own; the stuff I believe is hardly just received tradition, unexamined.

Frankly, I think any Christian with a certain degree of maturity will have undergone some trials and serious tests of his faith in God. If I someday get married, I want to know that guy’s faith is his own — and strongly his own; not a mere Sunday habit he could just as soon chuck when real hardship comes along. It surely will.

The grandparentals celebrate their sixty-somethingth married year this summer. But they have come this far not because of resignation or sucking it up to endure faint misery. They still tease. They still delight in each other. My grandfather has even humbled himself, over the last 10-15 years, to help out extensively in the kitchen even though the model of masculinity he was raised in would dismiss all that as women’s work a husband should leave to his wife.

The key to romantic longevity
Why is their marriage like this? Why does he have that sacrificial love? Because of their character, which they have in large part because of their faith. And it is as strong as it because of the refining hardships they’ve endured, which they handled as they did because of their foundation. In the mid-60s, when she was still a healthy woman in her 30s, Grandma was hit by a drunk driver who took off one of her legs. Perhaps 10 years later, Grandpa went through a serious spell of depression during which he was nearly suicidal (considering how much this side of the Broadways tend to conceal or privatize emotion, that was pretty major stuff). They also lost their first grandchild to crib death at three months.

I could go on, but the point is, as much as we may dislike the suffering and tragedy life brings upon us, I want to marry someone — if I marry — whose life is founded on something solid enough to carry him through those times of very great struggle.

I know. You’re thinking, “What did California do to our once-hip, witty and bawdy blogger?!!” She’s still in here, somewhere, it’s just getting too cold for seamed stockings and funky mini-skirts. ;) Besides, this semi-serious stuff is sorta like the wheat germ I like to slip into my homemade smoothies (bats lashes persuasively). Extra fiber, ya know? Hopefully you’ll barely taste it even though you’re getting some good-for-you stuff along with the fun and laughs.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Love-life, post-purity ring

Fresh blogging in the hopper ... Must first clean up the place a bit, though, and have my morning latte. Funds are low enough I’ve finally switched back to non-organic milk. Say, maybe those funky hormones will give the writing an extra kick!

Don’t forget to weigh in on my contest question for you all ...

Teaser for the coming entry:

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Hesitator gets decisive

Just when I was gearing up for an ultra sexless (even dateless) winter in this city ... I got a few pleasant surprises today. First off, apparently that Geriatric Gent will be at a monthly cocktail party on the agenda for next Wednesday. We had brief mid-holiday contact, and he told me we’d have to “have coffee” when I returned from adventures out West.

It’s decisive men like this I need to remind myself exist. Timidity and ambiguity are so much the rage in Christian circles it’s easy to make a crucial mistake. That is, to simultaneously hike one’s standards (though not one’s skirts, of course) for spiritual maturity, while lowering the bar for chutzpah. (Did I spell that one right, Esther honey??) Sometimes, for reasons indiscernible to the probing female mind, the men in Christian circles pull a shameless Mr. Flirty Pants. And we women, so addicted to attention, oft put up with it. But no more!

What is a “Mr. Flirty Pants,” you ask? Well, he’s a gentleman of charm. And probably some measure of good looks. For whatever reason he attracts a disproportional number of the female crushes in a given Christian social circle. But don’t think that he’s a player. Oh no. How could he be a player while so dateless?

How could he be misunderstood?
There was this one guy, for instance. Athletic, pre-med student, M.C. at the weekly Campus Crusade meetings ... very visible figure in the group, with lots of skill in welcoming new folks. Except that ladies in the group were inclined to mistake this for personal interest on his part. How could they know he was “just a nice guy”? That he just “being friendly”?

You see, they made the critical mistake so many girls make: they read into things. Read entire novels out of one little casual sentence. Some reference, perhaps, to his interest in having children. Just that one tiny, casual sentence.

But because he might have uttered it mid-study session ... a study session one-on-one at the girl-in-question’s house ... after he’d spent several such study sessions in her company alone ... she started to think he liked her! That he was looking to get married! She started to think she was feeling a VIBE.

And then because he started feeling a vibe — a something-more-than-friendly vibe — he suddenly became a monk-like student. Who had committed, no doubt, to a vow of isolation, in activities scholastic and, er, gymnastic.

... Until the next girl came along. And then he probably felt the right thing to do, in welcoming her to the group, was to help her study too. A noble and benighted gentleman, that Mr. Flirty Pants.

How could he possibly be to blame for all that interest, all those vibe-emitting, lovestruck women? I mean — by analogy — is it my fault men look twice at me if I happen to be wearing fishnets or hot pink pants? I didn’t mean for that to happen (whistles aimlessly, primps hair); I can’t control it if I’m attractive to them ...

He’s married now, Mr. Flirty Pants is. There must have finally been a girl who came across his path and said to him, “Look, Mister. We are not friends so you can flirt with no commitment. If it’s friends we are, then drop the flirty-flirty. But if it’s more you want, then don’t just flirt, pursue me!”

The one she overlooked
Besides, you see, as maybe-not-so-Hapless Mr. Hesitator has reminded me, there is no lack of Christian men with balls and boldness (though spiritual depth ... well, that’s a toughie). Now maybe it takes a woman of substance to transform a Mr. Flirty Pants into a bold pursuer, but who wants to waste her time on that? Quite possibly the oldest lesson women keep trying to learn is that you cannot change a man!

But since the Hesitator seems to have persistence and some marathon potential where his slightly-more-than-friendship with me’s concerned ... Well, we will have to see. He is blond, after all. And blue-eyed. And a musician. And he has learned to chomp down breath-mints! Fits the profile almost perfectly. Which is important, because you should always go for men who remind your sister of the ones you liked before. It’s like a sign: I’m being consistent!

Back to Hesitator, though. Recall, readers: this is a guy who volunteered for dancing! And he’s only a somewhat conventionally Christian guy ...

Man, I might’ve overlooked a keeper! Of course we might need to get him a keeper for all that hair he’s progressively losing ... but what is early-onset baldness in a man determined to call you? Slight desperation in his email today: Am I still in New York?!! His cell phone has been stolen! At what number can he reach me? And when I sent an answering email ... What time can he ring me today? Is sometime between 6 and 7 OK? What time will I go to bed tonight? (Anna starts to hum to self.)

Yes ... a very interesting winter this might prove to be. Ta for now, dahlings. Oh, and slight delays expected in our contest finale. Dear reader Frasier has now requested a postponement-of-game so he can complete a trip to the City of Love Most Photographed. He promises pics by the latter part of this month.

Related reading
Friend Zone, the Flipside: Blogfather’s Nondating Life: Part VIII. Friendship, post-DTR.

You came to the right place!

Google-search hit tonight:
eunuch platonic friend romance date
... That about sums up this blog, right? ;)

But down to business: don’t forget to weigh in on my contest dilemma! See below...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Contest-conclusion conundrum

I know it’s been more famine than feast here lately, but if ya’ll have not yet given up on me, I need a little help.

While there has not been much on-blog word of the thrilling conclusion to our Blog Reader World Series, I am happy to report much off-blog action. Only trouble is, both Poster Boy and Frasier seem peculiarly drawn to photos with kidlets. Which for this one-time journalist raises consent problems (among other things). Sigh.

In the interest of maintaining the PG-13 rating of this site, some compromise is called for. So far I’ve come up with three possible solutions:
  1. Ban people-inclusive photos of all kind (the approach I’ve generally taken with my pics).
  2. Select a group of volunteers prepared to vote by viewing a private flickr page, or having the entries emailed to them.
  3. Put the vote up to Best Friend, who will not be given any hints or bribes (though Poster Boy maintains she likes him better. Yeah, has she been asking you for favors, as she’s been with Frasier?? ;)).
Those are the options. Readers: any preference or suggestion? Oh, and Frasier, lest your heart begin to quake at option 3, you should happily note the following.

As of 2005, all former-crush chips’ve been cashed in or else expired. You gennelman are playin’ with your own hands and nuthin’ else to help ’em (toothy grin involving vigorous batting of lashes on AB’s part). Besides, if this contest is all about the ego-bolstering, ain’t it more of a thrill to win by skill as opposed to charm or various bribes?

Now then. I’ve got to prepare for some sharing at a Brooklyn Bible study, but later tonight I might get inspired to add a little requisite Broadway zest to this entry. ;) You know, like, tales of my hijinx in those heels that sent me crashing down the stairs in Palo Alto ... except with hot, seamed fishnets and no bruises! Teaser: said hose figure into my fateful meeting with that guy named Tom. Turns out kicking up red-heeled shoes makes a dancer of some fond-of-wallflower-status men.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Coming soon to this space ...

Updated 9-something p.m.

How Anna met that middle-aged West Coast man as predicted! (And yes, his name was even Tom.)

Right now, off to bed in my newly reassembled singleton. Still no purity ring, and the dime seems to also be in hiding. Fill in application or punch-line as you see fit; I’m too tired to be witty.

Check back later Monday, though! More tidbits from my blog-slash-blond consultant (if I can only remember our banter) and reports of a Christian dating scene actually worse than the one I’m in.

Plus, Anna ponders a new career/educational offering: a Crush-Recovery Therapy Course (CouRTe-C, for short), and life as not a matchmaker but a matchbreaker (this would actually be a good thing).

Stalling, stalling, stalling. Um, yeah. Follow-up interview in the morning, plus still catching up on sleep so there will be no blog love tonight. Sorry. I sorta blew my wad, anyway, rattling off an update on my other blog. But don’t miss the most-entertaining comment banter below! Frasier was in rare form indeed ...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

A dime a single?

7 a.m. here in soon-to-be rainy California and already I’ve discovered last night I left the light in the car door on, potentially draining the battery. Luckily it started. All these things with cars! So much to think about! At least I finally figured out how to defrost the car when the windows get foggy ... from external weather conditions. ;)

The car may have given me another gift as well. Though I still blame it for snatching up my purity ring, this morning my aunt and I realized the dime I found last night after rooting through the back seat in vain, may be a kind of replacement. You know, something to clench between my knees on dates. ;)

Off to my interview dahlings ...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Update on the Sexless in the Suburbs relocation

Updated 5:42 p.m. PCT

In truth this is barely sex- or Sexless-related at all, but for those of you who partly follow this blog as a window on my life, you may be interested to know I now have an interview Friday.

Yes, that’s right. Seems my crazy plan of writing up a 9-page marketing plan for a company I don’t even work for has paid off ... in non-monetary terms. Of course, this probably means I’ll return to New York this weekend, thoroughly confused. But I don’t have to deal with that right now. Right now all I have to do is gear up for my interview and wait on our two finalists in the Blog Reader World Series to indicate their approval of the little switch-up proposed for the final contest in the series.

Well, folks, I now have two interviews for this week. Woohoo! Company #2 rang up this afternoon, expressing keen interest in my resume. The woman even started a friendly patter about the Park Slope neighborhood, wherein she used to live!

If the job sitch is looking a bit more hopeful, however, the dating sitch is not. A thorough inspection of my friends’ backseat unearthed a dime but not the missing purity ring. Sorry, BRWS contestants, but unless you’d consent to a chaperoned date, I’m afraid it’s beer or nothing. On the upside, if I actually do get permanent employment I should be able to afford to accommodate certain boozehounds’ beer-snob leanings. ;)

Wacky web Wednesday

Oh yes, dahlings, oh yes. Guess who comes up as NUMBER 34 when you search for “high top penpals male 2005 pakistan” at Yahoo Search? This here blog! Yeah, baby, YEAH!

Oh, and ladies ... don’t miss this! It’s tampon bowling over at Man, the things you learn from California Safeways ...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


A gem from today’s job search:
Marketing Assistant, Good Vibrations
Enterprises/Good Vibrations is a worker-owned, women-owned cooperative providing access to accurate sex information and sex toys, books and videos through its retail, call center and website, to promote healthy attitudes about sex.

Good Vibrations/Open Enterprises is seeking a regular full-time Marketing Assistant to assist the Marketing department with any and all marketing department tasks. This position reports directly to the Marketing Manager with a wage range of $13.00 - $15.00 per hour.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned as required):
  • Develop & Manage list database(s) for party invitations, holiday cards, and marketing vendors
  • Maintain department files including sales promotion fact sheets, collateral samples, and photo library, as needed.
  • Copy & distribute promotional materials to stores, including discount coupons promotional flyers/postcards, signage, shopping guides, sales promotion fact sheets, etc., as directed by marketing coordinator and/or Marketing Manager
  • Monitor GV Marketing web content (press, events, sales promotions) for accuracy and timeliness.
  • Copy and distribute press materials, including press kits, press releases, quarterly editorial coverage clip books, B-Roll, etc., as directed by Marketing Manager and/or publicists.
  • Provide departmental administrative support, such as envelope stuffing/mailings, arrangement of courier services, making photocopies, securing printing services and product shipping, etc.
Job Requirements:

  • Comfort with sexuality essential
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Passion to learn marketing [Anna says, yes, that’s p-p-p-p-passion!]
  • “Can do” attitude
Education and/or Experience:

  • Must have excellent office skills and ability to prioritize tasks.
  • College educated; or one (1) year related work experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
Computer Skills:
Proficient in spreadsheet, word processing, and database office software, use of e-mail, Internet browsing and search, and data entry.

Deadline: January 7, 2005
...OK, maybe not. But man would it be a hoot to apply! On some level it is soooo tempting just to see what on earth the interview would be like. I’m almost having happy Harlequin flashbacks ... Can I chalk it up to blog research? Would it be good job-search practice? Ah, the dilemma, the dilemma ... this is almost worse than anguishing over Tom Jones!

Just imagine the conversation with the grandparentals: “Grandma, I’m moving to San Francisco. Why? Because I got work at a sex shop!!” Then again, I wouldn’t want the blame for premature heart-attack. On the other hand, my pot-smoking, surfer uncle (who just made me a very nice pre-dinner coke-n-whiskey) says, “Hey, it’s a job.”

Ethics patrol, where are you? Surely someone in my readership can provide a note of gravity here ... or is that one issue GV strives to address? ;)

‘Bodyguards,’ buns, and booze

All right, dahlings, sorry I’ve been on such extended hiatus from real blogging! Crazy times, these last two weeks have been. Sometimes I feel like my brain’s been thrown inside a blender. Not the kind with sharp, cutting blades though, mind you; more like the soft-edged “dough blades” that just toss everything around a lot. Whew!

Thank God I’m still on the no-dating bandwagon due to the ongoing absence of my purity ring. I don’t think I’d even have time to be thinking about men.

Except for now and then. ;) Take Friday for instance. Shortly before midnight my phone gave a beep, indicating a text message. And who was it from?! Hippie the Groper! Apparently he was amidst some sort of blizzard ... but still had time to wish me happy new year! It’s things like that that fairly warm the cockles of my increasingly shriveled little heart (fans self briefly).

Maybe God is my bouncer...
Why shriveled, you ask? Well from disuse you see, readers! For I’ve begun, in recent months, a somewhat radical campaign of praying that God would guard my heart. Not for me, any longer, the dashing out and pinning of pink paper hearts (secretly attached by super-strong string, of course, to my own, real, throbbing one) to the backs of hapless young men who catch my fancy. Oh no.

I’ve decided my heart needs a special bodyguard. A heartguard, if you will. And since God is clearly the best man for the job, I’ve decided to ask Him - regularly - to provide a little heart security. Keep those paper hearts hidden away where they belong until some fellow gives me one of his own to start things off. Of course I’m very doubtful any such lad who is actually upstanding, blond, hot and a Jesus-loving closet nerd (perhaps I need to look at younger men?) either exists or would be inclined to do so ... but that’s another problem.

And maybe that problem stems, in fact, from the cynicism built up after so many times having my real heart jerked around and torn up from the strings attached to all those paper hearts, yanked about and finally left in the mud by all the chaps I was hapless enough to fix on. I don’t want cynicism, and I don’t want careless love either ... hence the heartguard program.

Coffee shops the hot, new pick-up joint?
Which means that probably this blog will devolve into an occasional reportage of things like my random TM from Hippie ... and the even-more-random coffee klatsch that transpired this morning with Yet Another Old Dude (Yaod! for short). I swear, collecting these guys is easier than buying up second-hand Britney Spears singles at the used CD shop! And somehow it always happens under some vaguely job-related guise of “potential business” transactions - in which I am always a very significant, highly esteemed player. Blah, blah, blah ...

Then on the other end of things we have the greenhorn Starbucks guy who chatted me up New Year’s Eve. Come to think of it ... between that chat and today’s, the coffee shop might be my West Coast place to meet men. Except they need to be Christians. Maybe I should track down fish-adorned coffee shops? Hmmmmm.

Of buns, not quite hot or cross
But back to the coffee dude. He was brown-haired and pony-tailed and young-looking, but cheerfully entered into banter when I asked about a pastry in the display case. “Is that a ‘morning bun’?” I asked skeptically, peering at the sign. It looked more like a muffin-shaped cinnamon roll to me. “Not an evening bun,” he confirmed. Why is it, I wonder, that “cinnamon bun” is so much more fun to say than cinnamon roll?!! I got to the point: “Is it dry?”

He peered at it reflectively, pronounced a moist state unlikely, then offered me a sample to assess. I watched him pull the pastry from the shelf, wondering how exactly the “sample” bit would work. Pastry housed in paper, he handed it to me to tear off a bite. I chewed a little, made pensive (although not deliberately cute) faces, and pronounced it “passable.” At this he declared it mine at no charge.

We continued chit-chat over the latte transaction, discussing our non-existent and unexciting plans for the big evening. I said I was from New York, he mentioned he was from New Jersey. Then I went over to wait for my drink, where a weary-looking middle-aged woman was dumping out shot after shot of coffee grounds, I realized, and shaking her head at the watery stream emitted by the machine. “Sorry to have such a complicated drink,” (a grande, half-caf, breve latte) I apologized. But this was not the trouble, she explained. The trouble did, however, provide the Jersey boy an opening to wander over and hopefully joke how I might spend the New Year’s at Starbucks. I made out to be a lush, decrying the absence of actual booze among their servings.

He commiserated, the espresso machine relented, and I was on my way to a purse-smacking cross-walk jaunt to the car (a car speeding left in the rain apparently did not see me there and just missed knocking me over though its mirror hit my bag). Guess God sometimes extends His reach beyond mere heart-guarding since I have not had health insurance since the end of May.

Blog Reader World Series and Contest update
But since I must also guard against ending up on the streets as I have now claimed the final moneys in my unemployment fund, must return to job-applications. Back with a new photo for the final “December” contest soon! Oh and congratulations to new-reader Courtney. With entries only from her and Frasier, I must declare her week-3 contest caption the winner: “Anna discovers a new way to pick up men.” Nicely done, Courtney. Frasier and Poster Boy would remain at 4-3 except that I’ve decided to add in a comment-love category just to see if it’s even worth a final round. It is. During the last 14 weeks of 2004, Poster Boy averaged 2.36 comments per week (based on a total 33) to Frasier’s 1.93 per week (based on a total 27). Gentlemen, you’re tied at 4-4 as we prepare to enter the final round. Unless you’ve better ideas than beer, that’s what the winner of you will get.