Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the tag “dating”

V-Day Is D-Day

It seems everyone is writing a Valentine’s Day post.  I considered not doing one, because I am one of those grinchy Valentine’s Day nay-sayers that everyone rolls their eyes about.  I would like to establish, however, that Valentine’s Day is an absolutely wretched holiday.  It brings misery to almost everyone it touches.

Since childhood, I have never had a Valentine’s Day that made me happy.  The best part of V-Day comes when you are a kid, and little enough to decorate the cool valentine box and have red and white cupcakes and skip around the classroom delivering your little messages.  Since teachers insist that valentines be brought for the whole class, the poor little geek or stinky kids don’t get left out.  Everyone gets some cards and a cupcake.  And when you’re a kid, you don’t know yet how lonely you are.

As soon as middle school hits, the bottom falls out.  Hormones start surging.  Everybody wants someone.  Most people don’t get anyone.  Everyone feels pretty much lonely and unloved.  Of course, there was the odd beautiful couple, somehow beautiful and fully formed even in the seventh grade, but how many of us really were a part of that couple?  I think most people, given the chance, would go back in time and drop a nuclear weapon on their middle school.  And at that age, the girls are swooning and wanting romance, but the boys are just thinking about sex.  And not getting any.  Hardly anyone, even in a young couple, does V-Day right.  And by right, I mean meeting the expectations of the other party involved.  Because mind reading is not common.  And most of us communicate very poorly.  And let us not forget the young GLBT.  They may just be realizing that there is something about them that is palpably different, and it sure doesn’t include receiving flowers from the prom king or queen.

Nothing gets better with age.  Most people feel lonely.  Relationships in high school and college are rarely too stable.  And it seems someone always has magical expectations, despite the rarity of being a member of a couple, that aren’t being met.  The sweeping romantic dreams of one are met by, at best, fumbling attempts to just making it through the day before someone’s head gets bitten off. 

Ahhh, and then adulthood.  You have the alone and the lonely.  Those in loveless marriages and relationships.  Widows and widowers.  Those whose lovers are far away, or in grave danger, away in the armed forces.  Then you have the bitter and the cynics.  And believe you, when I tell you from experience, that a cynic is best described as a failed romantic.  Cynics believed once.  They are angry because they were taken in, and reality never met their dreams.  For example, an emotional terrorist that I dated in my twenties showed up at my door on V-Day with a smirk.  He said, “I brought you flowers and candy!”  He was clutching a single red and white peppermint from a restaurant and a dead pine branch.  Even if you are in a lovely commited marriage, with a family, V-Day may be D-Day for you.  My husband thinks cut flowers are a waste of money.  One year, when we still passingly celebrated V-Day, he gave me several jars of mustard.  He stated they were romantic because I was doing Atkin’s diet and I could eat them with my meat.  We have since put an end to Valentine’s Day in my house.  We just don’t acknowledge it.

And don’t forget, Valentine’s Day is a holiday completely contrived to sell candies and greeting cards.  It didn’t even exist before a century or so ago.  And the old adage, about making every day a Valentine’s Day, if you truly love someone, is spot on.  You don’t just wait until one day to do nice things for each other.

And truly, most men hate Valentine’s Day.  As soon as the red and white displays go up, they start dying inside.  They’re going to have to buy something.  They don’t know what.  They will probably wait until the last minute, because they never know what to get.  And they know their partner probably has hopes for something, but human nature being what it is, they are probably not communicating their needs, because part of “romance” is that your partner “just gets it.”  And of course, most of the time, they don’t.  The wrong jewelry is bought.  Jewelry is not bought.  Chocolate is bought when partner is dieting.  And on, and on, and on.

Women are always getting disappointed.  We have high hopes that our partner will “just get it”.  We don’t communicate.  And frankly, a good bit of Valentine’s for us is conspicuous consumption.  After all, nothing proves that you’re loved more than a magnificent bouquet of flowers that the whole office gets to see.  I remember I never felt so gratified as a couple of Valentine’s when I was dating an attorney (who was otherwise a complete psycho, but had the whole gift thing down pat) sent me enormous bouquets of flowers to my office.  I had finally arrived.  I was conspicuously loved.  And when you think about that, it’s pretty damn shallow.

Then there’s Valentine’s for the GLBT community.  Just like anywhere else, there are committed loving couples giving great gifts.  And just like everyone else, for many V-Day is just being done wrong.  And then there’s the added whammy.  Many relationships cannot even be acknowledged, must less commemorated in flowers and candy.  If you are closeted, how do you answer the question about who sent you the flowers?  Saying “None of your damn business” over and over again is not any fun, any way you put it.  And you probably can’t even keep a picture of your significant other on your desk, unless you work in a very progressive office.  And you can’t bring your partner to those “fun” office picnics.

So as far as I’m concerned, Valentine’s Day is torture for most everyone.  If you have a great Valentine’s Day, congratulations and I wish you the best.  Just don’t forget, probably most everyone else is miserable.


California Or Bust

At the end of my time in college, in the summer before I started medical school, my boyfriend at the time decided to move to California to seek his fortune in the real estate business.  As he was a completely broke college student, this was rather a remarkable goal, but he was a rather remarkable guy.  His older brother had apparently gone to California and made a killing in real estate and he decided he would do the same.  Since he was not on speaking terms with the older brother, he was not going to have any help.  His middle brother was also living in California, existing as a starving actor.  My boyfriend somehow persuaded his college roomate to go along with him and become a destitute partner in crime.  Since he was rather a con man, he somehow managed to get a sucker car salesman to sell him a brand new Honda, using a fake social security number.  Allow me to say that I did NOT approve of this.  Anyhow, he and the roommate drove the new Honda out to the promised land.  I decided that as this was my last summer off before medical school, I would go out to California and spend the summer living in abject poverty for my personal amusement.

I flew out to LA where the guys were staying.  They were holed up in a little (and very expensive) apartment that belonged to his starving actor brother.  We were there for about a week before we moved out to Temecula.  During our stay, the temperatures in LA hit over a hundred degrees and we were sweltering.  I remember keeping all the lights in the apartment turned out during the day to help keep it cool.  I had my first sushi out there, before the American sushi craze started.  It was DELICIOUS.  One night we ordered hot and sour soup and it was the best hot and sour soup I had ever had.  I have yet to find its equal – it was brought right to our door in double time and the seafood in it was awesome.

We moved to Temecula and began to try some cons in earnest (at least, the two guys did).  My boyfriend had purchased an extensive infomercial on buying up foreclosure real estate from scratch and selling/trading up.  It was one of those ridiculous things that come on at three in the morning which you know is bullshit.  I laughed and laughed inside my head at those two guys trying to get (almost) free foreclosure properties from scratch.  But I observed them with great interest.  They would pore over the newspapers and the foreclosure notices and then we would drive out and visit the properties.  This was rather nerve wracking, as people who are being foreclosed upon are notoriously not happy with company, especially when that company wanted to steal buy up their property.  Fortunately, a lot of the properties were already abandoned so we never got shot at. 

My role in all this was to attempt to cook on a budget (it is amazing what you can do with Bisquick) and spruce up their decrepit apartment to make it look half lived in.  I accomplished this by sneaking plants out of the surrounding plant beds and putting them in plastic pots in the windowsills.  We were sleeping in tents in the apartment bedrooms.  I remember we would come back from scouting seedy real estate and I would read to them out of Cheaper by the Dozen.  We of course had no TV.  I ran up quite a little bill on my Amex while I was out there.  I also bought CDs to listen to in the apartment.  Somehow, we obtained a kitten, which my boyfriend named Hobbs.  I did not have anything to do with the adoption of said kitten.  He was a really sweet critter; when we would go for walks in the evening he would follow us, which worried me a little because there were mountain lions in the area.  In fact, shortly after I returned to Alabama, he disappeared.

We spent some time also enjoying San Diego – what a beautiful city.  If I recall correctly Temecula was about midway between LA and San Diego.  Some of the cheapo properties were in each city, so we drove to both places a lot.  Somehow my boyfriend managed to wreck the Honda and crunch the front all up.  So, we started driving around in his roommate’s car.  Keep in mind that no car payments were ever made on the conned Honda, and one morning we woke up and it had been repossessed.  I have never before or since been involved with someone whose behavior was so questionable, but he was a very charismatic person and had his roommate and I both sucked in.  Meanwhile, the roommate’s parents were frantically seeking him as he had just dropped out of college, which they were paying for, and disappeared.  Eventually they found him and came and took him home. 

At the end of the summer, I returned to medical school after our big loser adventure.  I kept things up with the boyfriend for a while, but as he couldn’t afford to visit me and had no transportation, eventually I broke things off.  He was not nearly so charismatic at a distance.  The whole thing was a very interesting exercise in con artists, and I am grateful that I never loaned him any money.  Last I heard, from his sister, he was still living in California and ekeing out a living, and dangerously riding a motorcycle that he had somehow obtained.

I saw him once more before we completely drifted out of contact.  He appeared unannounced at my apartment, very distraught that I was seeing someone else.  Apparently he’d thought I was going to wait around in some sort of limbo without him ever calling or coming to visit.  I seemed to have broken his heart, and all in all, it was a rather unnerving evening.  However, we parted ways amicably and I would get updates periodically from his sister.  I wonder now if he is some kind of real estate mogul.  As determined and as willing to break all the rules as he was, I would not be surprised if he were not somehow rolling in dough.  Maybe one day I’ll find out.  In the meantime, I don’t plan to seek him out.

First Date

I met my husband online, which is not that unusual these days.  We talked for a month or so before actually meeting, because he had his father at home on hospice and really could not leave him except to get groceries.  When his father passed, he called me to set up a date.

We decided on coffee.  I am a physician, and I was on call the weekend we decided to go out.  Therefore meeting for an actual drink was out of the question.  So we met at a coffee house in Vinings, which is part of Atlanta.  We had a great time chatting, and the conversation went from this to that and somehow we got to the subject of a handsome Indian doctor who had been hitting on me for months.  He even offered to wash my car (I had a Porsche then – it was fun to wash).  I wouldn’t go out with him because he was a known playa – he had girls around every corner, mostly nurses and his office personnel.  We were chuckling over this guy and his hectic dating life and his strange ways of flirting with me when I realized I had to go to the bathroom.

I excused myself and stood up and when I did – THAT DOCTOR WAS IN THE COFFEE  SHOP – in the far corner away from where we were sitting.  At first I thought he was a look-alike, but, no such luck, it was the very same guy.  I was SO mortified.  I ran into the bathroom and when I came out, MY DATE HAD STRUCK UP A CONVERSATION WITH THE GUY.  I didn’t know my future husband well enough yet to realize that he will chat up ANYONE, the busboy clearing the table, the cabbie, the maintenance guy.  And now he was talking to the VERY PERSON WE HAD BEEN DISCUSSING.  And I had no way of knowing what, if anything, the guy had heard.  I slunk over to my date and the doctor guy and pretended just to have noticed that he was there and that I knew him.  The doctor went to take a page and I literally grabbed my date and hissed, “We have to get out of here.”  “Why,” asked my innocent date.  “Because,” I whispered ,”THAT’S THE GUY.”  “Whaaaat?” said my future husband.  “That’s him?”  “Ohmygosh yes, we have to gooooo!”  We literally ran out of the shop before the guy could come back and my future husband and I collapsed with laughter against a parked car.  “I don’t know what he heard,” I wailed.  “He could have heard the whole thing!”  We were both cackling with glee and embarassment and our mutual enjoyment of the situation established that yes, he could possibly be the one.  So somehow, being totally catty brought me together with the man I was going to marry.  Girls, let this be a lesson.  You never know what may be the thing that will bring you and your partner together.  In this case, karma was all out of alignment and my cattiness over that guy served as a catalyst for a long relationship.

My Date From Deepest Darkest Hell

This was without a doubt the very worst date of my life.  That is saying a hell of a lot, because I was single until I was 35 years old, and I went on a LOT of dates.  I was living in New Orleans and doing my residency at the time, and I was tired of dating man-children with no aspirations, which is mostly what there is in New Orleans.  People don’t move to a city where you are expected to be wasted all the time by accident.  Through a friend, I met a doctor, a pediatric intensivist, and thought, a-ha, here is someone who has a promising future.  I will go out with this man. 

He was late picking me up.  He showed up at my house with not much of a plan and a copy of the movie Babe.  Babe emerged later as the only positive aspect of the date.  And we didn’t even watch it.  He forgot it at my house (since he refused to bring me home) and I got to keep it and give it to my daughter years later, when I had a daughter.

We decided we would go to an Ethiopian restaurant I had spotted on Carrollton Street.  But first, he had to go get his daughter’s purse.  He was recently divorced, and had a 19 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, who were both home schooled.  This should have been a warning to me right there.  Home schooled kids seem frequently to be whacko brats.  Anyway, his daughter had left his purse at some mob hangout Italian place on Carrollton, and he had to stop by and pick it up.  So he went in.  And left me in the car.  In the heat.  And I waited.  And sweated.  And waited.  He finally reemerged with the purse.  I don’t know what the hell he was doing in there, and I really don’t want to know. 

We finally went to the Ethiopian place.  I was covered with a glaze of sweat at that point.  The restaurant was not really overly air conditioned.  And there were flies.  I guess this is what one might expect as true Ethiopian ambiance.  And there were no waiters.  The dining room was completely empty except for another couple.  We were seated and then all trace of restaurant workers disappeared.  No one ever came back to take our order.  The only restaurant-related person we saw was somebody’s kid, who wandered idly from table to table making childish conversation and staring alot.  I finally got fed up.  I was  burning up and wanted a beer, so I went back to the kitchen and got in the cooler and got us a couple of cool ones.  That was how we got our drinks all night, by wandering back to the kitchen and getting them ourselves.  We did eventually have our order taken by someone, with about another hour wait after that.  We had plenty of beer.  The waitstaff was completely unconcerned that we were serving ourselves our own drinks.

After the frightful dinner (and the lagging conversation that you might expect if you are both roasting and starving to death), my date announced that we needed to stop by his house for “just a minute” before we continued our date.  That should have been my next warning sign.  The house was UNBELIEVABLE.  His wife had just moved out, and apparently had taken all the furniture with her.  There was nothing in the living room at all.  The kitchen table had no chairs.  There was one ratty couch, and one ratty TV in a room off the kitchen.  The kitchen itself was HORRIFYING.  It looked just like a scene out of the Young Ones.  There were pots full of leftover, unrefrigerated food with tops on them, with spaghetti and unidentified flotsam trailing down the sides.  I declare there were tentacles and googly eyes coming out of the pots as well.  There was an ancient pizza with that dried-over glazed look that reminds me of cloudy corneas.  My date nonchalantly scooped up a slice of pizza, tossed it into a meowing cat’s dish, and dumped milk onto it out of a carton on the counter.  His son was there, standing around the kitchen table with a girl who will merit further description later.  We were joined by the most decrepit and stinky dog I have ever seen – it was literally missing a leg, blind in both eyes, and deaf.  And it stunk to high hell.

My noble date left me in the kitchen with his son and the girl and said he would be right back.  He was gone so long, I was trying to make small talk with two teenagers.  Turned out the girl was a runaway the boy had brought home.  She was wanted in California for something, and had abandoned her husband and baby and moved herself out to New Orleans.  She had traded her wedding ring for a hair weave.  She and the son were planning on cutting and dyeing her hair so that the police wouldn’t recognize her.  When I realized that the weirdo boy was planning on cutting her hair himself, I volunteered.  I couldn’t even imagine how bad he would have butchered her up.  So I have aided and abetted in helping to conceal a wanted individual.  We cut her hair and were putting the dye on when my date FINALLY returned.

He was now clad only in an ancient Speedo with so many runs in it that it resembled plaid.  His huge gut hung out over the top of it.  He had on a ratty leopard print robe that concealed nothing.  With obvious satisfaction, he pulled out a bowl, dumped cereal in it, plopped down on the ratty couch and turned on the TV.  He didn’t even offer me any cereal.  He did toss some to the disgusting dog.

At this point I seriously needed some air.  I went outside by the algae infested pool to catch my breath.  The son followed me out there, and lit a cigarette.  “You know my dad’s not really divorced yet, right?” he asked me.  Gee, now there was a tragedy.  I had been really hoping to marry this great guy after this fabulous date.  The girl came out with her new short, black hair and lit a joint.  At this point, I decided to go back inside. 

Inside, my knight in shining armor was sprawled on a mattress on the floor in another room and snoring.  He tried to persuade me to climb onto the mattress with him, which caused a wave of nausea that I could barely fight back.  “No thanks, I’m ready to go home,” I said.  “Well,” he said, “I’m not taking you home because now I’ve been drinking.”  So I called a cab, URGENTLY, and took off the hell home.  When I got home, Babe the movie was waiting as a remnant of my lovely evening.  I thanked God for letting me escape from that house without being arrested or raped and turned in for the night.  The best part of all?  The guy called me up about a week later and wanted to know if I wanted to go out with him again!!!

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