Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We Are Family

As I've gotten older I've started referring to certain of my friends as my sisters.  "They're family," I'll explain when I'm describing them to someone else.  Our familiarity and shared history set them apart from newer friends, even those I clicked with instantly and fell in love with for life.  My family understands me and can often support me better than the family I arrived to via parental fertilization and a well-timed trip down the maternal canal.  You can't substitute anything for years of knowing each other.  Time marinates friendship until it's seasoned and robust.  Time is friendship's greatest friend.

There's a friend I've had since high school, one of many I've recently reconnected with.  We must be getting old because many of us are coming together now closer than we ever were in high school, cliques and social pecking orders long forgotten.  My friend Jack and I can trace our friendship to tenth grade marching band.  [Editor's note: January's reference of high school marching band in no way implies or should be construed as a statement that she was in marching band or in any way was or ever claimed to be a band geek.]  I'm pretty sure he was at my sweet sixteen, and I definitely remember his 18th birthday party - I met his cousin.  We ended up dating.  I was a dithering, hormonal idiot - but that's a discourse for another time.  Jack and I always flirted, but then, what guy didn't I flirt with?  See remark on hormones, above.  We lost touch some time after college and then reconnected at our ten year reunion.  He was married with a baby.  We were in touch for a bit but there was a nagging feeling in me that I couldn't give him what he wanted...  We never discussed it and lost touch again.

Facebook brought us back in touch a few years ago, and by this time he was divorced and living with his girlfriend.  He very enthusiastically picked up our friendship again and again I ended up putting distance between us, sensing he wanted something more and not feeling comfortable about it.  Living with your girlfriend is about as verboten as being married.  End of Friendship, Part II.

Our 20th reunion was held in August and again we reconnected.  He was still with the girlfriend though talked of it coming to an end.  It was good seeing him - he was one of many lovely connections I made that night.  We picked up our friendship again and started occasionally talking on the phone.  He broke up with his girlfriend and moved out on his own, as he'd spoken of.  I told him of blowing him off ten years earlier and apologized for it.  He told me he'd always had a crush on me, and I appreciated his honesty.  And I was flattered.  Our conversations took on more depth and frequency, and we've been texting and speaking every day.  It's nice.  Here's a man who knows me, likes me, and isn't trying to get into my pants [Editor's note: Yes he is.  But not before it's time, and not instead of getting to know January.  The way she figures it, by the time he is ready to get in her pants, she will have torn his off and thrown them out the window - so she's cool with his time frame].  We've made no promises to each other, and both of us have things to tend to in the immediate future that precede getting into a relationship.  But I've really been enjoying it.  Jack is like a brother to me.  Family.  But with this brother, we can kiss and stuff and not get that oogie feeling or be arrested for our affection.  All the dirty thoughts I can imagine are perfectly legal and welcome.  Pretty cool.

This Fall's been a bear with a lot of change and upheaval in my life.  But hanging with Jack, even on the phone, has been smooth and easy.  What a beautiful thing.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I awoke this morning at 4:27 so certain that my alarm was about to go off that upon seeing the clock I said "Oh, my!" in surprise.  Exhaustion hit me like a tidal wave last night and I collapsed into bed around ten.  I have no idea why I woke up so early, but I couldn't fall back to sleep so I went with it.  I checked my emails... turned on my lights... and got up and made a coffee (decaf, of course.  No sleepy head to be cleared).  I called my parents to wish them a happy anniversary.  I made my lunch.  And I'm about a half hour ahead of schedule for the shower.  Oh, to wake up like this every morning!  Most days it is a challenge to get out of bed.  My world in there is warm, stress-free and peaceful.  Working a full-time job as I have been has removed a bit of my daily excitement, though also removed some of my stress.  Having a paycheck is highly underrated.

This week I've been in school of sorts.  It's the School of Acceptance and I am in the thick of it, longing for summer break.  A sinus infection laid me up for several days, including Monday and Tuesday, so I missed work.  In my absence they got a temp (mind you, I am a temp of a full-time, long-term variety).  When I returned... they kept her.  And she kept my seat.  And my computer.  She is still there and is expected to stay through next week too.  And I?  I am wondering what the fuck.  At first I was panicky that they wanted to replace me.  But those insecurities were likely unfounded, as I have been treated warmly per usual and have continued to work as I regularly do.  Now it's just a matter of "what is going on?  Who is supposed to sit where?  Why do we have this other woman working with us?"  And to round out the picture, let me tell ya... she's a control freak and I hate being around control freaks.  So I've certainly got my assignment cut out for me.  I have no control over any of this anyway, so why not just go with it?  Right?

I'm working hard for the "A" here, people!  I don't even want an "A-", I won't settle for less than success.  It's going to drive me crazy if I have to endure this crappy experience and I don't glean anything from it.  In the very least, we deserve to benefit from our pain, don't you agree?

One foot in front of the next.  Time to wake up.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Like a Butter Knife

I'm having a dull moment. Just thought it best to get that out in the open right off the bat. I noticed my Twitter description ends in "Never a dull moment" and thought... well, yeah. Except these days.

These days I'm working full-time, just like I'd wanted. Granted, I'm a temp, not perm. But it's full-time and the money's decent and I work with great people – what more could a girl ask for, right? I'll tell you what: STIMULATION. Mind-blowing, neuron-stretching soul stimulation. I am in a very dull place in time. I'm actually rather calm about it, knowing this is a 'time between,' so to speak... but I wish it was otherwise.

I've been dreaming of returning to NYC. I spend slow time at work cruising the Brooklyn real estate websites. Turns out the rental market has increased in price since I left but the sales side of things hasn't that I can tell. Who knew? Just imagine if I had money equal in amount to what I owe to my credit card. I could practically make a down payment. Kooky! Instead I'm grateful for the job I have that is helping me pay down the debt, as frustrated as I can be by it in my day to day.

That's all I got for now. I do have some more run of the mill January adventures to share at some point, but I don't really have it in me right now to snarkily remark on the shock one experiences when hooking up with a guy one has known for 23 years, only to realize the faux fur throw he's got over his shoulders is actually... his shoulders. But perhaps one day soon I will.

As the Queen says, Ta Ta for now.

- January posted this using BlogPress from her mobile phone. Smartypants.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Catherine We Hardly Knew Ya

I was killing time on my lunch break today web surfing.  One article lead to another and another and before you know it, BAM my world has been turned upside down by new found knowledge.  Do you know how Catherine the Great died?

Think you know, huh?  Something about a horse?

Pish!  Catherine didn't die getting it on with a horse.  Poor unfortunate soul - what an awful rumor to have persist about you centuries after your death.  Catherine died having a poo.  Catherine the great expired while have a bowel movement, having a stroke and falling off the toilet.  Ha!  You'd think that would be a scandalous enough end to have circulating so long after expiration.  Alas, it seems Catherine's infamous sexual appetite would only be quenched in death by the rumor of an ultimate screw.  Bestiality never sounded so... deadly.

Someone should make a PSA about taking safe poos.  Now there's something that is hazardous to your health.

You can learn a lot of things on the web.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflections on the Anniversary of 9/11

I can't believe it's been ten years.  Ten years ago tonight the world was still plugging along safe as can be, blissfully ignorant... Ten years ago tonight people kissed their kids goodnight and then went to bed for the last time.  Can it be ten years since the New York skyline looked correct?  Since I could wander around lower Manhattan without losing my way thanks to the twin beacons that stood as a compass for all?  'Which way is downtown?' 'Ah, there they are.  It's that way.'  I still get that confused and look skyward for some guidance, unsuccessfully as it is, these days.

Ten years ago I was living in New York City.  A New Yorker, I was born just outside of the city and grew up along with the Towers in the seventies.  They were such a part of What Was New York, as much as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge.  They are deeply rooted in my childhood along with Big Wheel and Sit 'n Spin, Brady Bunch reruns and The Wizard of Oz playing on our small black and white every year.  Tearing them down as the terrorists did was a blow to our country, for sure.  And it knocked New York over, briefly.  We're a resilient bunch, and the tone in the city for months to follow was a more congenial one.  People made eye contact more.  The tone at first was somber, but after the shock wore off a bit we did get back to our lives, minus the innocence.  That was gone for good.

There are too many memories for me associated with the tragedy that occurred ten years ago tomorrow.  For now, I will instead think about ten years ago tonight.  My friends were still alive.  I believed I'd never be personally touched by such monstrous evil - it didn't even cross my mind.  Ignorance was indeed blissful.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

See You in September

After a leisurely Summer spent lounging on the Mediterranean with Leo and Marty (they're scamps, those two), I will be returning to my regularly scheduled blogging in September.  TTFN!

[Editor's Note:  January spent her Summer sweltering in a small one-bedroom in the valley, temping for arguably less than minimum wage, and food shopping every day to enjoy free air conditioning.  She did not spend any time in the Mediterranean with anyone named Leo or Marty.  All statements made above are creative works of the author's imagination and should be treated as such.]

January's Note:  My Editor has no sense of adventure!

...I Can Still Remember

Part II

So here’s the thing about me in high school: I kissed a lot of boys.  And when I say kissed, I mean kissed.  That’s not some euphemism for the horizontal tango.  My friend Jolie and I were practically in a race to see who could kiss more guys.  Actually, scratch that – we did compete against one another to see who could kiss more guys in one night once.  That was quite a party.  But generally (and with the wisdom of time on my side) I can say that I sought attention and affection and wrapping that up in the cute body of a horny teenager, well, there were plenty of horny boys happy to oblige.  Some of them have long vanished into the cavernous recesses of my mind.  Others I’ve stayed in touch with and some I had a falling out with back in the day and never got past it.  Jacob Miller was one of them.

Jacob was one of a group of guys I spent a lot of time with the summer before our senior year.  That was a fun summer.  Someone’s parents were always out of town and there were many late nights and sleepovers, many long conversations and much to be learned hanging with the boys.  I remember feeling like a fly on the wall sometimes.  There were more boys than girls in our group and the conversations they’d have sometimes couldn’t have been much more enlightening than if they’d actually been in the locker room.  This was a very smart group of guys too.  Jacob was really intelligent.  When we clicked in to each other we’d spend hours on the phone at night talking.  He had one of those books of a thousand questions and we’d ask and answer, ask and answer, discussing and dissecting, laughing and flirting.  Jacob has a very penetrating gaze.  When we hung out en masse he’d eye me from across the room like he was reading every last thought in my head.  He was very confident.  I found him riveting.  And one night after much circling we finally got together.  A long walk, a lot of making out and enough groping to empower a young man’s ego, I suppose, as I later found out he’d told all of our guy friends – the whole group of them – the details about what went on.  One of them let me know.  I was mortified and crushed, feeling very betrayed.   I blew him off and never spoke with him again.

Jacob was at our 10 year reunion.  I remember him staring at me from across the room.

I walked into the reunion Saturday night and low and behold, who should be hanging out right by the front door but Jacob.  Smiling, drink in hand.  Staring at me.

I’ve thought of Jacob numerous times over the years, especially once Facebook starting showing me his comments on our friends’ status updates.  In the early years after high school I imagined myself confronting him, throwing a drink in his face or slapping him.  “How could you?” I’d level at him.  “You may have gotten in to Harvard buddy but oh, you’ll never, ever get into my shirt again!”  Every time I pictured this though he would just be standing there, smiling at me.  Staring.

Determined not to spend the next 20 years haunted by this anger, I decided to speak with him.  But first I had another glass of wine.

“Hi, Jacob.  How are you?  Where are you living?  What are you up to these days?”  I thought it best to hit him up with a bunch of diversionary questions right off the bat.  We made small talk for a bit and then I laid it on him.  “Jacob, remember what went on between us?  Remember that night?”   Yes, he said.  You were spectacular.  And he stared at me.

Oh God, I’m thinking.  Did he just say spectacular?  What was that?  Did a 38 year-old man really recall his 17 year-old self – no, recall my 17 year-old self as spectacular?  You know, I never knew.  I never knew my worth.  I looked for it everywhere except inside myself, which is where it was all along.  It took this visit with that former 17 year-old boy for me to really get that.  This was… amazing.

I went on to tell Jacob that I had found out that he’d told the guys everything back then and he apologized to me.  That’s horrible, he said.  I’m sorry.  You were spectacular and I’m sorry I did that.  Well shit, if he said spectacular one more time I was going to cry or kiss him, and seeing as he’s married now with kids it would have likely been the former.  Instead I just said “I’m glad we talked.  Thanks,” smiled, clinked my glass to his, and walked off to chat with some others.  Crazy, huh?  If you had told me 20 years ago…

I had other heart-to-hearts that night, though none as unexpected as that one!  20 years without talking and then, peace.  I bonded big time with the former soccer star in our class.  These days he looks like a shaggy haired Colin Farrell.  I didn’t recognize him at first but his smile is as warm as ever.  He’s such a love.  I think after so many years, after so much of our lives pass by and so many classmates die (sad, but true, and I found out about more over this weekend), you are left with one of two choices.  One is to be bitter at what has or hasn’t happened in your life.  The other is to accept and love – your life and those around you.  I chose the latter and had quite an incredible night this past Saturday, not really in 1991.  And way better than 2001.  It was a perfect night in 2011 and I’m not going to forget it any time soon.