Monthly Archives: October 2004

Deja Vu

Caveat: I wrote this when I was dating. I am engaged now but sometimes, I find myself still in Deja Vu – there are things that he does or says, and I think: I have been here before.

I never thought I would reach that point in my life when I would meet the same single man again. I met a guy, it did not work out, and life goes on. Then, a couple of years later, he reappears in my life. It is especially applicable if you are using on-line dating as a way to meet the man of your dreams. You truly have no idea how sad life can be until you start a dialogue or chat with a guy who rejected you or did not respond years ago. What was interesting about this one particular Deja Vu I had was that this guy did not even remember who I was until I refreshed his memory. I am good at that – refreshing the memory of a terrible witness. After all, being a litigator is an eye opening experience to how many people truly can’t remember a damn thing . It was interesting because he wrote me an e-mail and I thought, “how do I know this name? I have seen it somewhere before.” Turns out, after some thinking and checking past saved e-mails, I realized that a friend of mine from St. Louis had tried to set me up with this same guy a couple of years ago. Back then, I wrote this guy and he never wrote, called or even gave me the time of day. Well, the tide had truly turned as he was initiating contact this time.

So I wrote him and reminded him of this fact – afterall, this guy is a putz and what do I have to lose, right? After several e-mail exchanges, he finally did remember, and therein starts the Deja Vu again. No contact again – no calls, no e-mails, and the fading act, Part 2. If this is Déjà vu for you ladies, trust me, it is frightening. Some women live in cities where they get set up on dates with men they previously dated or slept with, and realize – wait, I know this guy. In a modern world where more and more people are turning to the internet for dating and eventual marriage, isn’t it possible to be a something other than a traditional “slut”? Can one be considered an internet slut? And if you are a man, an internet stud? No real sex, no threat of AIDS, no threat of meeting the other person? Repeating the cycle over and over again until you truly have either exhausted the possibility of meeting Mr. Right, or you end up meeting the same loser again and again?

I never thought I would be recycling through the internet or otherwise, but here I am. What was strange was that this was the third time that this happened to me through on-line dating. Sound familiar? Don’t get me wrong, on-line dating is not a bad way to date or meet others in your city. I met my current fiance this way but since this deja vu happened more than once to me, I started questioning the on-line dating process back then, wondering whether it really held trule love for me, or was it a temporary way to feel better about yourself and feel that there is hope out there.

If you encounter Déjà vu such as mine, on the internet or in life, do not stress. Sometimes the third time is a charm. He may be the one and the timing is now right for it, or… maybe not. Your call, but don’t let Deja Vu get you down. Recall what it was you liked or did not like about this one, why it did not work before, and use those as lessons to build something nice or … get rid of him ASAP!

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TV, Movies, and Media – good, bad or indifferent?

Hollywood plays an important role in shaping our lives. In a way, it evolves us into the society we are – good, bad, or indifferent. How many times have you quoted lines from your favorite movie, sitcom, or dramatic series? I have a friend who quotes Dr. Phil and Oprah. I, in turn, make jokes using “yada yada yada” from Seinfeld and quote what the friends on Friends would say. I always find myself in a situation that George, Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine were once involved in. Then there is the HBO drama, Sex and The City. I own all the seasons and can watch them over and over again . You can buy a shirt that says, “I’m a Carrie” or “I’m a Samantha.” I know who I am – I am a cross between Charlotte and Miranda. Countless men and women throughout the world characterize themselves as their favorite character. Hollywood: helpful or harmful? Do we see characters in our favorite sitcoms or movies, and then emulate them? Do we seek out parterns in real life who would meet the expectations of our fantasy heroes, only to be disappointed when they do not come close? Are we so enamored with our favorite characters and/or celebrities that we are forgetting to be ourselves?

Media portrays life in a pretty skewed way. For example, my favorite show is HBO’s Sex and the City. In this show, we see an attractive, single woman in her 30s who writes a sex column and still manages to buy $400 shoes, $10 cosmopolitans, fancy dinners, and maintain a rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan. In her column, she analyzes relationships, the sexual revolution, and so many other topics near and dear to a woman’s heart. We learn that being single and promiscuous in your mid 30’s to late 30’s is okay. We also witness single parenting, divorce, and how to deal with situations true to life. Four complete opposites with different personalities become soul mates. However, none of them ever appear to cook, do real work, or take on the stressors of life that most of us experience daily. But women and men alike who watch this show become disillusioned. We start becoming the characters and quoting them. One guy I dated during Season Four went as far as to call himself “Richard” from the show – ya know, the romantic, rich guy Samantha works for who tells her he loves her, romances her, buys her nice gifts, and then is caught eating another woman’s “sushi”? Is this what we are coming to? We can not be ourselves so we tell people we are characters from shows to make ourselves feel more important. Well, true to life; watch which character your guy picks, ladies. My “Richard” was not so nice to me either.

The season finale of my other favorite show, “Seinfeld” concluded with our favorite characters on trial for failure to save a man from being robbed. Four uncaring, self-absorbed friends undergo a trial for not caring about society. We can quote the season episodes of Seinfeld we loved so much – man hands, the low talker, the close talker, master of your domain, the maestro, and more. In the end, do we become the uncaring, self-absorbed, mean, and yet hilarious characters we love so much? Or, do most people know when to draw the line – fact/reality v. fiction/fantasy.

What happened to the days of reading novels for fun, reading the works of Shakespeare, or reading poetry and emulating the characters in Jane Austen’s works? What happened to the days of pacifying a crying, intolerable child with a pack of crayons and a coloring book? In the world of portable DVD players and watching TV on your laptop, how can we separate fact from fiction? What is the difference between good TV and bad TV? The key is in the eye of beholder – do we believe everything we see? Do we live our lives as ourselves and try to be better people because of something in our moral fiber, or do we become the characters we love – good, bad, indifferent?

In the ever changing digital world of media – TV and movies, we need to be mindful of what is good, bad and know the difference between a movie character and reality – after all, our favorite characters are wearing the mask of good editing, and speaking the words of great writing. We have to write our own stories and act them out according to our own moral compass.

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Why we don’t buy it

caveat: I wrote this article when I was single. I am engaged now but would never tell my single female friends this line …. Ever!

A single girl in the office recently got engaged. We all saw it coming for months, and this past weekend, he proposed. A joyous occasion right? Not exactly. Although society expects single females to be happy for their female co-workers and friends, rarely are we … Happy! Although I was excited for them on the outside, it was a facade and disguise for the pang of jealousy and anger I felt. The jealousy was directed at her and the anger at a higher source. This begged the inevitable question, “when am I going to find someone perfect for me?” Although this refers back to the “grass is greener” article I wrote, it still seems like an injustice when everyone around you is finding someone and you are not.

When I shared how I felt with a friend (not the bride-to- be), I was fed the same line that most “friends” will impose on each other – “don’t worry, you will find someone too and when you least expect it. When you are not looking. You have plenty of time and you are still young.” Most of the people, mind you, that are saying this are happily married, some with multiple children, and/or a ring on the way. I also believe that the single female friends who say this are simply talking to themselves. Perhaps, in an effort to convince themselves. By 4pm of the Monday on which she shared her news, she had planned her entire wedding. Upon hearing this piece of information combined with the “don’t worry, it’ll happen for you” advice, I ventured to down as much alcohol as I could to help me forget the day.

When I came out of my drunken stupor the next morning, I began to analyze all of this and thought to myself, “what a bunch of crap!” I don’t buy it. I do not buy the statement that we will meet someone when we are not looking or when we least expect it. Love is not coming to us because we are not looking or looking high and low, or when we are not expecting it. In fact, it has nothing to do with looking or seeking out love. It has nothing to do with being cynical or an intimidating professional, career woman. It is all about timing – being in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, women are still advising their girlfriends to give it time, to not worry and to not seek it out ’cause that’s when it will happen.

Sometimes when your girlfriend says the words, “when will I meet someone like that?” perhaps the best response is nothing at all. Just listen and be there. Don’t offer suggestions, or feed them the age-old line of “don’t worry – it’ll happen someday.” Truth is, it may not. We just don’t buy it. And let’s all face it – we are all looking because without looking, you never would have found your partner either.

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Weeds in the green, green grass

Until recently, I was a single female and often, I did the dreaded thing on Saturday nights: rent a movie, pop some popcorn, and watched alone. When I did this, I felt the inevitable pang of jealousy at all those other women who had dates, husbands, and boyfriends. I always thought how nice it would be if … I had someone! I always envied the grass in someone else’s yard and wish mine was like theirs.

Then, low and behold, we get a date – a scary one and we think, “I was better off alone, snug as a bug on my sofa, watching a movie and eating my low fat air-popped popcorn – alone!” It is the syndrome that many single females face as they approach their late 20’s and facec the beginning of a new decade. We wonder what our lives would be like with a man we love. We meet so many and then, we finally get one love in our life, and we begin to long for the days of old. Days when we could do what we want, wear what we want, and go several days without straightening our hair. The problem is not one of being needy or having high expectations. It is a problem of never being satisfied with what we have and who we are. We are always longing for more of what we don’t have instead of striking a proper balance and having it all! How can we really start to love someone else, when we truly believe the grass is always greener in someone else’s yard? What we fail to internalize and acknowledge is that there are weeds in that other person’s yard as well. It is inevitable, with the green grass, come the weeds. No matter how “happy” or “perfect” we believe others may be, there are weeds in their yard as well.

How we manage our weeds of envy, greed, and lack of satisfaction vary from woman to woman. But we have to manage them and realize that the only green grass in our lives is our own and perhaps somewhere else, a woman is happier than you are at this very moment but she too has weeds of her own to manage.

Rent a movie, grab a big bucket of popcorn and some candy. Enjoy your time alone. Do not worry about what others are doing at that moment and only take solace in your “grass.” When you are with that someone special, enjoy and cherish what time you have and the activities you do – life is too short to led the weeds control your garden, and it is a beautiful garden!

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Timing is Everything

Now that I drive to work every single day with the stress of a clockwatcher waiting for me at the other end , I realize that just like timing is key when you are on the road, it is even more important in life. In the last 2 years and 5 months of my career and dating, I realize that timing is … well, everything!

I drive like a maniac to make the light, and when it turns yellow, I go straight instead of turning left. I do this so I can minimize the time I spend at lights, while maximizing my time driving – i.e. moving. In turn, I hit all greens and get on the interstate quicker. It is a chain reaction. I realize this over and over again. Even 2 seconds early at the light, and I realize I missed that extra slow driver, the construction truck, or the accident which happens right behind me. Time is important. Driving is “small stuff” though. It is an analogy for life – everything in life is a chain reaction – events set in motion all because of “timing”.

In life, when you come to a fork in the road or a crossroad, the decision you make will affect the rest of your life – the people you meet, the people you don’t meet, the boss who may not like you, the boss who may later become your partner in a law firm, the career you begin, or the career you end. In life, like driving on the road, like missing the earlier flight, the earlier train, timing is Everything.

This certainly rings true for me because in the Spring of 2002, I reached a crossroads and made a choice which I now feel was the worst decision I made, career-wise. When this happens to you, it helps you to take stock and ponder how one choice, one road taken, combined with the timing of such a decision, can take you on a spiral – a virtual cause and effect of timing. On this path you chose, you meet those you expect to never meet, you have a boss you never thought you or anyone else in this universe should have, and in the end, perhaps this path would mark the end of one career and the beginning of another. Life is about timing.

Relationships are the same. I have heard the saying, “men are like cabs” (Sex and The City).
If you are in the right place at the right “time”, you may meet one with his “light on”. What this means is that men generally know when they are ready to be married and commit, and when they reach this groundbreaking point, if you are lucky to be in their lives and the timing is right, they will make it work. However, if your timing is off, and his light is not on – i.e. emotionally unavailable, no matter how perfect you are and how well the stars are aligned, there will be no future with this man. In short, a relationship, like a career, is all about being in the right place at the right time.

In this exciting life of relationships, careers, family, and friends, timing is everything. So, drive safe, but move forward with conviction and motivation. If you don’t get a green light at the next block and decide to turn right – who knows? You could get completely off course! But, I believe, in life, like in traffic, you can’t second guess yourself and, you have to keep moving forward. Focus straight ahead on the future and keep going. It is okay to learn from what you left behind, but important to know that your best days are yet to come! After all, you should have the “time” of your life!

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