Today is S.’s birthday.
What I have bought her:
1. A $10 bottle of champagne
2. Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov
3. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
4. A copy of the latest In Touch magazine
The gift list is like a perfect little description of her personality.
Even more descriptive of her personality is the fact that I am handing each to her in an overly casual manner, unwrapped and without fanfare. S. has experienced full on birthday terror since the year she turned nineteen and decided she was no longer young. (That was also the year she began using wrinkle cream).
Thus we are all pretending that she is not turning another year older, but is simply so sweet and wonderful that people have suddenly felt compelled to buy her things and pay for her dinner.
We are going to drink the champagne at 6, then go to dinner at a restaurant far too expensive for our salaries, our friend’s salaries and the expected intoxication levels of all.
Today is S.’s birthday.
This morning I waited for the elevator with two men in suits who did not appear to know each other. After the elevator did not come, and then did not come some more, one looked up from his Blackberry to make small talk.
First Man: I just love it when one of your stock holdings announces its profits went up 56%.
Second Man: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I KNOW.
First Man: HAHAHA.
They looked at me oddly. I smiled brightly.
Is it that obvious that I do not own any stock?
Posted by gotcha at 11:17 AM
Upon further reflection, I believe the real reason for the sudden interest in my health, appearance and vitality has more to do with the fact that my career has taken a nosedive than Re-Boyfriend’s absence.
Perky’s victory in the Battle of Who Is More Important Between the Two of Us was long suspected. (Despite her blistering New York accent, which one would think to be AT LEAST a handicap.) It was confirmed today when I brought lunch into a meeting she was actually attending. (And then dropped the paper plates. And subsequently had to pick them up. With everyone watching.)
My days are now generally spent doing bitchwork and talking to the office slacker, who has watched Zoolander and Wedding Crashers more times than me.
Fortunately, I have no desire to have my boss’ job, an indication that throwing Perky out of the way to race along the career path would probably not have been all that satisfying anyway.
Unfortunately, this is the career path I am on, and so it is a bit disheartening to be head-butted off the road.
For lack of any real progress in the office (or any real progress for which I can actually take credit as opposed to having my words repeated and mangled by Boss in company wide meetings), I have turned my restless eye to health and well-being. Everyone needs a project.
I sense this one will not last, especially since I ate a large oatmeal cookie, a package of Snackwell’s cream cookies and a bag of M&Ms for lunch. And I just agreed to go for drinks after work with the aforementioned slacker co-worker.
New project: Update my resume. Though I do not get the feeling that being a twenty-something in the workforce is much fun anywhere, I am confident that I could find a job of equal misery that would give me considerably more money. Then I could be miserable with a closet full of cute shoes and Marc by Marc Jacobs clothing. Which is not real misery at all.
Posted by gotcha at 4:34 PM
While I do miss Re-Boyfriend, I also feel that his business trip has been something of a wellness retreat for me.
In his absence, I have been to the gym two days in a row, making a total of three times that I have visited the institution. 66.67% of the times I have been to the gym, Re-Boyfriend has not been in the country.
I sleep every night, for a minimum of 7 hours, waking only to roll over and think “Mmmmm…sleep,” with the exception of last night when I woke up and thought “I have to pee, I’m fucking cold and where the hell are my pants.” Still, at no point have I thought “ahhhhh, fuck you you fucking fucker, snoreaoskjdalksj,” and felt compelled to beat the pillow beside me, proving that my rage at Re-Boyfriend when he snores is, in fact, due to his snoring and not some obscure sleep disorder. (An idea that he actually suggested.)
I smoke, at most, a cigarette a day and sometimes go a full twenty-four hours without even thinking of nicotine.
Oddly, I have also stopped buying celebrity weeklies and begun to read literary novels with a zeal I have not displayed since college when I discovered style magazines and gossip are much better remedies for hangovers.
All in all, I feel like I am a happier, more well-adjusted person.
I told all this to my roommate. She said I was going to the gym because I missed sex and that one more week of sobriety and clean-living would lead to a breakdown involving the chugging of vodka while frantically chain-smoking and flipping through the pages of Star.
She is probably right.
Posted by gotcha at 9:50 AM
1. Put on the most uncomfortable, lacy, pointy underwear you can find.
2. Look at yourself in the mirror and notice a heretofore non-present roll of fat. Pause to examine it.
3. Call your best friend and ask if she thinks your metabolism is slowing down.
4. Try not to scream when she responds by telling you about the article she read saying that people who were really skinny in their teens are more likely to be fat in their twenties.
5. Hang up when she starts to laugh.
6. Realize it is hard to look sexy and unaware when you are taking a picture of yourself in the mirror holding the camera. Resolve to figure out the timer function.
7. Take several action shots of your legs flying past the camera.
8. Fall on your last scurry across the room and yell “Nothing” when the roommate asks what the hell you're doing in your bedroom.
9. Give up, put on your pajamas, order Chinese food and watch My Super Sweet Sixteen with the roommate.
10. Tell Re-Boyfriend you cannot send him any sexy pictures because you are
C) A lady
E) All of the above
Posted by gotcha at 5:04 PM
My e-mail exchange with Re-Boyfriend has entered into even more asinine territory than my attempt at using the term "cannoli" as a double entendre.
We are arguing over who will send who naked pictures first. It started out as a mildly flirtatious exchange but both sides are now getting a bit peevish.
It is not that I actually want a naked picture of him (though I do think it would be amusing), I am just stalling. I cannot do sexy on command, even when drunk (as evidenced by post below).
Once, after a particularly eventful time on his couch, Re-Boyfriend suggested that I go into the bedroom and surprise him. "I'll be in soon," he told me.
Upon entering his bedroom, I stripped down to my underwear and then got confused. What the hell is both surprising and sexy that can be done, alone, in a bedroom with minimal time or accessories?
I couldn't think of anything, got bored, and began folding his laundry.
"Well," he said, appearing in his doorway moments later as I was matching up his socks, "This is surprising."
But CB, you say, surely you can pull it together for the two seconds required to look sexy in order to take a decent picture?
Naked pictures of me (actually, pictures of me in a bra and underwear, one must hedge their bets a little) look RIDICULOUS. My face is generally twisted in a parody of sexiness that reads more like surprised constipation. Alternately, I have been known to flash an exasperated expression that clearly says "Please God, let the picture turn out well, I am so tired of doing this."
Perhaps my face doesn't have to be in it? But in that case, why does the picture have to be of me at all?
May I never be in a long-distance relationship. I cannot even begin to fathom phone sex.
Posted by gotcha at 10:49 PM
Re-Boyfriend has been away on business since Saturday morning. Because he is in a foreign country, it is difficult for me to drunk dial. This leads to drunk e-mailing which is incalculably worse because it allows you to review, sober, what was said.
E-mail I sent Re-Boyfriend last night (note: “canoli” is repeatedly spelled wrong):
I’m sorry I missed your call. I went to dinner with [the roommate] and drank a lot of sangria. She's sitting next to me on the couch right now suggesting dirty things to say to you. She just said, “[Roommate]'s eating a canoli the way I want to eat your canoli, write it, write it.” Needless to say, I'm thinking of you and your canoli.
News from the States: Friendly’s offers a Happy Ending Sundae.
Hurry up and get back so I can stop writing stupid e-mails.
Posted by gotcha at 2:09 PM
Saturday night, I discovered that one of my male friends hires hookers on a semi-regular basis. While not hot, he is not ugly either, and he has the kind of personality that makes people excited to be around him. (Though, apparently, not so excited to fuck him without getting paid.)
As we drank beer in a dive bar on York Avenue, said friend described how he goes out on weekends and talks to girls. If no one goes home with him, he returns to his apartment to look through the directory of hookers on Craig’s List, chooses one, and has a prostitute delivered in half an hour or less.
“Whatever,” he said defensively, noting my somewhat astonished look as he related the details of his new hobby, “I’d rather have a girlfriend, but this isn’t any different than taking a random girl home.”
I nodded, but was unable to look totally comfortable.
“What? What is it?” he asked as I continued to stare at him in wonder. “CB, just say something.”
“It’s just…it’s just so lazy,” I finally exclaimed.
My friend started laughing.
“That’s your problem with it?”
I laughed along with him, realizing what an odd comment that was to make in light of all the sexual politics of paid sex.
I changed the subject.
Still, it is lazy. And it seems at unfair to all the men and women out there working for it. So to speak.
Posted by gotcha at 11:08 AM
We had a rather large meeting yesterday to discuss several problems with the company, ranging from “Why is there never any diet coke in the vending machines?” (thank you, older administrative assistant from the fourth floor) to larger, more immediate issues.
About fifteen minutes into the meeting, a very stern woman pushed back her chair, placed her hands on the table and began, “There is a problem with _______. Some of the factories have reported shrinkage. We need...”
I stopped paying attention, as I realized that someone to my left had just emitted a sort of smirking noise, presumably at the word “shrinkage.”
I turned to see Silent Man looking frantically around the table, searching for someone with whom to share the joke “shrinkage”, lest he feel completely moronic for being the only six-year-old present.
When he found no one (and carefully avoided my gaze), he pursed his lips in a tight little circle, smacked them together once, and stared at the legal pad in front of him for a bit in order to recover. The speaker continued describing the shrinkage problem, oblivious to the tiny, one-man disturbance she had caused.
Though I am happy Silent Man experienced an awkward moment, I am also rather alarmed it did not even occur to me to laugh at the term “shrinkage”. What an unwelcome sign of impending maturity.
Posted by gotcha at 9:48 AM
Sometimes I (sort of) jokingly say that I am the man in my relationship with Re-Boyfriend. Now there is pseudo-scientific proof.
An article in Sunday's New York Times (yes, I have just gotten around to reading it), "You Want It Clean? You Clean It!", examines housekeeping as a gender war. On opposite teams we have women desperately wanting to clean but feeling they shouldn’t and men knowing they should but not caring.
A quote from the article: “Of the men I interviewed, it wasn't so much that they didn't want to do the housework as that they didn't notice that the house was dirty…They didn't see it or smell it. It just doesn't register the same way.”
A quote from me: “You just have to tell me when you want me to clean. I have no problem with doing it, I just never know when it’s time.”
A quote from the article: “Yes, it is true that society still assumes this to be women's work. And yes, it is true that many men do all they can to avoid their share. But it is also true that many women are guilty of what sociologists call ‘gate keeping’: building a fence around a territory, be it vacuuming or child care or grocery shopping, and defending it as theirs. They set the standards in that realm, and they set them high.”
A quote from a conversation with Re-Boyfriend as I ironed my shirt:
CB: What? Why are you staring at me?
Re-Boyfriend: Can you…can you just…
CB: You want to iron my shirt don’t you.
Re-Boyfriend: You’re just doing it wrong.
CB: No, no, it’s fine, it’s my technique, you’ll see—
Re-Boyfriend: JUST LET ME IRON THE SHIRT.
A quote from the article: “In other words, men wish women would change just a little bit more and accept that, though their mothers cleaned and stored the dishes after dinner every night, it is not wrong to let the dishes air dry next to the sink overnight.”
A fact from life: While perhaps not “after dinner every night,” Re-Boyfriend does indeed dry and store the dishes immediately after washing them while, in my apartment, dishes sit in the drying rack until they are used, washed and returned to the drying rack. That is just where they go.
I have always thought I was mildly messy and Re-Boyfriend was mildly obsessive-compulsive. It had not occurred to me that he is, in fact, a woman. I learn so much from The New York Times.
Posted by gotcha at 11:24 AM
Re-Boyfriend is going away for business Saturday morning. He’ll be gone for two and a half weeks, back for two days, then gone for another week.
In two and a half weeks I can:
- Become impossibly glowy, toned and healthy by going to the gym on a regular basis.
- Get uninterrupted, wonderful sleep.
- Buy complicated underwear for Re-Boyfriend’s return. (Although tube socks and messy hair seem to turn Re-Boyfriend on more than anything actually involving effort so perhaps “basic and girlish” should be substituted in for “complicated”).
- Clean my apartment.
- Read in bed.
- Lose weight due to the loss of my dinner partner and drinking buddy.
However, the last time Re-Boyfriend left town I had the same relaxing scenario in mind. Instead, I met men who paid for a very long vodka-fueled evening going from “cool” club to “cool” club while I flipped my hair around and tried to imply that I had a trust fund.
Not wanting to go home at 4am when all the bars closed, I followed a couple of new found friends to a strip club, where I stayed long enough to realize it didn’t serve alcohol. “Why would you want to come here if they don’t have alcohol?” I asked the man to my left, ignoring the bare stripper-ass in my face.
I walked home to my apartment, stopping along the way to buy cigarettes and tell the man behind the counter all about my strip club experience. “It was my first time!”
Once home I called Re-Boyfriend (approximate time: 6:00am) and told him about my night.
“Should I be worried?” he asked.
“Fuck you!” I told him, suddenly belligerent. “Why are you even awake? You should go to sleep.”
“I did go to sleep. I’m waking up. Why don’t you go to sleep?”
And that was when Re-Boyfriend was gone for just one weekend. Who knows what wonders two and a half weeks can hold.
Posted by gotcha at 10:30 AM
Yesterday Re-Boyfriend’s best friend had his annual review. By 9pm he was very, very drunk in celebration of a raise that is almost beyond my comprehension. The theme of the night was “Drinks are on me!” which he shouted to not only friendly faces, but strange, suspicious ones as well.
After buying a group of four frightened-looking girls a round of shots, the best friend led me outside (aka joined me while I had a cigarette) and began to explain, in drunken depth, Re-Boyfriend’s love for me.
“Like, he really loves you. He really loves you, I mean, like a lot.”
Mistaking my “You’re drunk” look, for my “I’m skeptical,” look, the best friend continued.
“I mean, so much, you have no idea. I mean, like, he seriously wants to marry you. He, like, he just wants to marry you. Seriously.”
Just then Re-Boyfriend came outside.
“I’m going to take off man,” the best friend said as he shook Re-Boyfriend’s hand.
“Where are you going?”
“To get laid.” Translation: To spend way too much money on strippers. Close enough I suppose.
Best friend leaned in to hug me, and whispered “Remember what I said.” I laughed in his ear.
He pulled away, looked me in the eye and said, seriously and slowly, “Close the deal,” patting me on the shoulder for emphasis.
Though I adore Re-Boyfriend’s best friend, I hate when men assume that all women want to get married to whomever they happen to be with at the moment. And I really hate it when marriage is treated like a prize for women to win.
The best friend ran out into the middle of the street, nearly causing several accidents but also getting a cab in under five seconds.
“What did that mean?” Re-Boyfriend asked me.
“I have no idea.”
Close the deal my ass, like Re-Boyfriend is a company I am trying to buy. Or a parent company I am trying to convince to purchase my tinier, needier company.
Posted by gotcha at 3:47 PM
I am aware that this has become a full-blown obsession but I have to report this development:
As I passed Silent Man in the hall today, I said “Hi, how are you?” He proceeded to move his lips in manner that resembled speech, but no actual noise was made.
Is this a step forward or backward?
And in reponse to comments:
1) Silent Man is middle-aged and balding, which I have never taken to be a sign of vigor.
2) The title Company Bitch refers to being a bitch of the company, as in one who primarily does bitchwork. It does not refer to my workplace attitude, however accurate the term "bitch" may be in that sense as well.
Posted by gotcha at 1:06 PM
I have just discovered a possible explanation for Silent Man’s behavior.
Today I am wearing Alice & Olivia gray pants that are very flattering and were bought on sale. Their one flaw is that they button as opposed to zipping, snapping, or anything else that can be trusted to stay closed. (Much like my duvet cover).
About ten minutes ago, I dropped my pen. As I leaned over to pick it up, I noticed one of the buttons on my fly was undone, clearly revealing the lacy pale blue panties I had picked out this morning.
I had not been to the bathroom in several hours, so if one assumes that the missed button was a product of my negligence, I had been flashing the office for, minimum, two and half hours. If one assumes that the button undid itself, due the undependable nature of its closure, then flashing time could be anywhere from ten minutes to the entire work day.
Interestingly, I am also wearing a pale blue shirt, most likely leading others to wonder if I always color coordinate in that manner or if this was, in some sense, a happy coincidence.
As an isolated incident this does not go far in explaining the overall pattern of Silent Man’s behavior. However if it is a heretofore unnoticed chronic problem maybe Silent Man just doesn’t feel like speaking to the office flasher.
I am trying to calculate how many times I have worn these pants in the past month in order to determine how likely this is.
Posted by gotcha at 4:23 PM
I was thrilled when, an hour ago, a bit of business came my way that required me to stop into Silent Man’s office (Ha! I thought. Just let him try to get away!) and ask him a very specific business-related question which required an answer.
Victory, I felt, would be mine.
I knocked on his open door, and hovered in the doorway, waiting for the usual “Yes?”, “Come in,” or even the abrupt “What is it?” Instead I got his usual silence.
I continued towards his desk, paused at a respectful distance, and asked him for the e-mail address of an outside contractor. My question hung in the air for an uncomfortable amount of time, until Silent Man finally said, to his computer screen, “I just e-mailed it to you.”
“Thanks,” I said, smiling even more brightly than usual, in an effort to lead by example. Silent Man refused to look up from his computer.
I think it highly unlikely this silence is a product of a crush and far more probable it is born of an irrational hatred.
Posted by gotcha at 12:24 PM