Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Needed: Mad scientist, good with neurosurgery, professional experience, skills and practices; questionable ethics. Willing to work for low pay , but with possible referrals if successful . Must provide own facilities. One time only, discretion a must. LIVE SUBJECTS AVAILABLE! Call now!

I just really need them to switch bodies, that's all. Is that too much to ask?

I went on date with BB tonight. ARCGHGGHACH. Futilely ( sp?), I hoped that it would be a vast improvement in person than it was on the phone, but alas, NO.

He's EXHAUSTING. There's just no other word for it. Oh, wait, yes there is: Grating. Yes, I think that will fit.

To his credit: the man is a very nice man. He's a good man- I've had two weeks of emails and phone calls to find this out. He's got integrity, he wants a relationship, he's not out to just get laid, he's actually tenderhearted and how would I put it? Trying to grow, trying to move forward, and at least partially insightful to his own shortcomings. He's polite, good to women, respectful, picks up the check. He's very intelligent (if not entirely well-spoken) and a very promising talent in his field ( I got to see some of his work tonight).

I had been going off of pictures, but in person? Helloooooooo, nurse, as Yakko Warner used to say. Tall, dark, handsome. Smells nice, dresses nice, good hair, sweet brown eyes, full lips, nice teeth, cheekbones for days.. A smile with dimples and those distinguished little crinkles men get around their eyes when they get older. The smile got me, it was a killer. You can't buy a smile like that, although many have tried.

In short, I wanted to reach over the table and just lick him from head to toe after about 5 minutes.

And then.....he started talking. *Sigh* That sound you're hearing is the death knell to any possible chance with me he might have had.'s hard to describe, but he's got a problem, like I may have mentioned before, with not shutting up when he should. It starts with that. Then it goes into not really having a knack for conversation, as most people understand that to mean. When I think of conversation, I think of this, for example :

Me: So, I read an intersting article the other day about how dogs can be taught to dance.
You: Really? That's crazy. What did it say?
Me: Well, you train them with a whistle and some Snausages, and they will do up to 10 known Gene Kelly routines.
You: Holy crap. You know, we had this dog once that could bark along to "Jingle Bells:
Me: Really? Like on the record?
You: Totally. He made this little funny yelp at the end like he was adding his own twist to it.
Me: Wow. Did you ever tape it?
You: No. He ran away before we got a chance.
Me: Awww.
You: It's okay. We got hamsters after that.

See? It's not so hard. You bring up a topic, the other person engages you. Then you elucidate. Then they add something. Then you engage them. And so on. Sometimes fun divergences happen. Sometimes, you're even so excited that you cut each other off with things you want to add. A bond occurs because you're sharing ideas and feelings. Pretty straightforward, I'd say, unless you have a pervasive developmental disorder. Right?

Wrong. Here's a sample of what I got this evening:

Him: So here we are. It's so nice to meet you.
Me: Me too! Finally!
Him: I promise: no spouting theories like I'm the only one who knows anything. No bragging. No poking and provoking, like I've done before. I promise.
Me: I think that would be nice. But you know, just relax. No worries.
Him: Yeah. Dating is so hard. I mean, people just don't listen to each other.
Me: Um, sometimes they don't.
Him: They're all into themselves and they really only want to date themselves. I mean, what are you supposed to do? Ugh. It's terrible. These women, they go on and on about themselves, and it's so annoying. Anyway. I really want to just be a nice guy. I just want to have a nice evening.
Me: ( attempting to be pleasant). I'm sure we will.
Him: So, you know, casual, I'm here, you're here, we'll chat, have a few drinks, I'll show you some sketches.... it will be good. I'm a good guy. I'm casual. I'm here, you look nice, we're in a nice restaurant...
Me: Yes. ( Wondering when the prelude is going to end).
Him: So. Are you comfortable? I want you to be comfortable.
Me: I"m fine.
Him: What's on your mind this evening? What is going on in Jessica's world? I want to know: what's Jessica's biography?
Me: From the beginnning? Or can I order a drink first?
Him: Oh, right.
Me: So, let' see here...
Him: You don't drink, right? ( tucking into his cocktail)
Me: No. I just.....
Him: That's too bad. That sucks, huh?

Yeah, at that point, I was really wishing I did drink, believe me.

I know that doesn't neccessarily read so bad, but I felt like I was on a talk show or something. Constant narration of what was happening, or what he intended to happen, followed an endless series of questions that I attempted to answer, only to be interrupted by some obnoxious commentary or opinion on the subject.

Here's another example, which, while the same thing, make one really see his kinder side, just for contrast:

Him: So then you graduated and you stopped making art?
Me: I just was really burned out. And I was tired of talking about myself, and exposing all my insides. I wanted to tell other people's stories for awhile.
Him: So why aren't you?
Me: I....well...I hope to. It's a hard balance trying to make a living.
Him: Yeah, I know. You know, you're very smart and sensitive and feeling.
Me: I guess that's probably true.
Him: And I can tell you struggle with being in a big city like this that's so cold and being so compassionate and sensitive.
Me: Well, it's a hard place to live.
Him: It is. What are you going to do?
Me: I don't know
Him: I wish I could help you. I want to encourage you. I want to really encourage you to get up and make it happen!

See the sweetness? But still, I felt like I was in therapy or something. Probing questions that are uncomfortable and awkward, and then I'm supposed to answer them? Over Honey-Braised Shrimp? It's like he doesn't know how to relax and just flow and be simple, or....or...something. Everything is this Talking About and Around Stuff, versus Real Sharing. About anything! I'm not asking about the whole shebang, I'm saying, read any good books lately? Movies? TOPICAL SUBJECTS??

Then he drinks like 3 Martinis, and that's when the real fun starts. Please note that the following comes out of practically nowhere and is in total seriousness, not jest.

Him: You know....all women really want is Josh Groban.
Me: ( confused) What??!?!
Him: They want that sensitive, drippy type. I know you all say you don't, but you do.
Me: Where are you getting this from?
Him: Experience! I've seen so many women, and talked to so many women, and they all say they don't want this or that, but they want a strong man, and yet, if Josh Groban were here, singing to you, you'd be all over him.
Me: Er, I highly doubt that. I hate Josh Groban. I don't like his voice, he's cheesy, and he needs a good haircut.
Him: Yeah, right. I bet if he were here singing "You Lift Me Up" you'd be all melty.
Me: No, I'd likely be retching into the rice bowl.
Him: Whatever. Say what you want. (Giving me a "I know better" look)
Me: BB, shut up. You think you know, but could it be that you don't? Or are we all here to fit your ideas of what you have already decided?
Him: (waving me off) Oh, now, stop. Let's talk about something else.

Like WHAT???? Fun. Good times. The only good part of the date was when he showed me how he animated, and that's when I got something REAL. He was excited and active and sharing, and I asked questions, and he answered them. We discussed a subject and bonded over the topic, and it was lovely. It was also woefully brief.

I'll spare you the whole breakdown of how the evening ended, since I can't really recall how it came up, or what was exactly said. Essentially, I tried to turn it back into a date versus a detached panel of pontification, by saying something to the effect of, what is your feeling toward this deal, me, you, blah blah blah? And I got this tirade about how women always want to know what he's feeling, and he's hard to read, and that must be frustrating? Why, yes, it is. What is it that you're looking for? Gosh, a little affirmation? If you're into me, think I'm pretty, don't think I'm pretty, what's the deal? NO, that would give away too much of his hand. No flirting, no touching, no nothing. "AM I supposed to perform some kind of action that tells you something?"

Me: BB, I've been talking to you for 2 weeks and I just spent the last 4 hours with you at dinner. I have no clue as to whether or not you're interested because you reveal nothing. And we sit here and talk about very little of substance. But you're not leaving. And I just don't get it.

I don't even know why I bothered to ask, since I was just exasperated as hell. I guess it was a last ditch effort to reach the inside of someone who isn't able to really connect with people easily. Maybe he doesn't have a pervasive developmental disorder, but he's hopelessly inexperienced and ineffective in communicating his feelings. On even the most basic level. He is so uncomfortable in the moment with things, he can't stop analyzing them or catagorizing them or trying to fit them into some sort of pre-made box. And while I see this struggle and this deeper part that is wanting to be connected, I also see a profound immaturity and indignance at having to go through the process of making the effort.

It's sad. He's actually very kind, which is something that would take awhile to notice, if you didn't know him. He's got a good heart, and really cares. But what is that worth if interacting with him is so disjointed and fractured?

I don't know. As a friend it could be tolerated and moderated. But as a date or a dating situation, it's likely to end in a homicide.

I wish I could put Jack's personality and heart and mind into BB's body. Jack is so easy to talk to, he's open and understanding, and he's funny and smart. And we have alot in common. A conversation with him might go like this:

Me: So what did you do at work today?
Him: Oh, god. There were so many new clients.
Me: Really?
Him: Yeah. I guess it's the first of the month, people are out of money, time to get clean! (laughs)
Me (Laughing) Terrible, but true.
Him: I know. It's sad, I had this one client today relapse. They wheeled him today on a gurney.I knew it was coming. He wasn't coming to group in aftercare.
Me: It happens. How did you know it was coming?
Him: Oh, you know- lack of eye contact, leaving early, then just not showing at all.
Me: He was trying not to look you in the eye so he wouldn't have to fess up.
Him: Totally. But at least he checked back in today.
Me: Sometimes it takes awhile for it to stick. I've seen it before.
Him: I know. So. Anyway, what did you do today? Did you see any good job leads?

See? The topic is semi-morbid, if you don't particularly appreciate it ( I do), but we can connect over it. Even in silly situations, it's normal, and easy, and pleasant:

Me: What are you eating?
Him: Cheese and guava pie. It's really good. Want to taste it?
Me: Not on your life.
Him: Why not?
Me: I don't like guavas.
Him: Why not? Oh, that's a dumb question: how do you answer that? You don't like them because you don't. It's hard to quantify! (Laughs)
Me: (Laughing). Yes, it is. But for the record, I think they're weird.
Him: Wait, have you actually ever TRIED one?
Me: No.
Him: Then how do you know?
Me: I don't, but I'll never do it. They're totally WEIRD looking, and they have that GOO, and....and....
(Both burst into laughter).

With BB, that would have turned into a Discussion of How Guavas Will Save The Planet, and How People Just Don't Understand. The rehab talk would have disintegrated into Drugs And Alcohol: BBs Take On It, and anything I had to say was merely incidental. See what I mean?

By now, you're bored of seeing all my date conversations laid out and the one question in your mind is: well, Jessie, you silly cow, go date Jack. What's the problem? He kisses well, you've established that! You got a few tinglies, there might be more, maybe. Give it a shot. Right?

Right.'s the thing. Jack is really, really petite. I mean, not just short and I'm shallow and I should be shot. I mean, like, I think soaking wet he probably weighs about 150 pounds and he MIGHT be 5'7". My hands are bigger than his. My shoulders are wider than his. And while I could stand to lose a good 15-20 pounds, I'm fairly average sized for a girl. A little on the tall side, but that's something I'm okay with now. But I could snap Jack in two. He's got the frame of a 15 year old boy. I'm not exaggerating.

I can't imagine it. When I do, it's not pretty. The...erm...intimate stuff, I mean. I don't know if he was sickly as a child, or just didn't grow alot, or what. I'm not going to ask.

Everytime I think of it, I think of Sassy and Rusty* ( sorry Sass- I promise it's flattering!). Sassy's about 5'4". Rusty is maybe 5'5". But Rusty is very muscular and at least 1/2 a size bigger than her in sheer volume and strength. He's bigger than ME, and I've got a good 4 inches on the guy in shoes. Granted he works out, but he's NOT this towering inferno of a guy that would intimidate the shit out of you out of mere size ( although it would probably happen from his attitude and strength.). Still, he's masculine and has the body of an adult male. You would never look at him, even at 5'5" and say, "No, he's too short/scrawny/adolescent." You look at him and say, "Hey, he's a good looking man. " Emphasis on MAN.

*side note: NO, I do not have a crush on Rusty. Not my type. But he is useful as an archetype for my illustration, here, which I hope he will forgive and take as a compliment. :)

In Jack's case, even though he's got a good two inches on Rusty, I look at him and think, "If you didn't have that cute facial hair, I'd think you'd skipped puberty." Not kidding.

So. I'm terrible and shallow and awful, and everyone can think what they want, but let's face it: you want someone you can talk to and feel safe with and enjoy their company, and that you can see yourself with in bed , that you WANT to take to bed. It's that simple.

The two just are so diametrically opposed in my life right now, it's comical.

But not really.