Category Archives: Gentlemen Friends

Do you have?

  • A giant latte to get you through the rest of this crazy Thursday?
  • A birthday cake to bake for someone very, very loved?
  • A lovely boyfriend to run away with this weekend?
  • A royal engagement ring replica to wear during a 2am viewing party because you are OUT OF CONTROL EXCITED about the impending nuptials across the pond?

I do!

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Filed under Gentlemen Friends, Obsessions, WedCentral

Today…

…is the day before the day I get to see the guy who makes me feel like this:

Like, all the time.

I am beyond excited for a weekend of skiing, cigar smoking, family dinners, and a whole lotta face time with my someone!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend, too.

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Terrible

This weekend was fabulous. Wind in your hair, shine in your shoes and a smile on your face fabulous.

Or, to be more correct, I suppose it was rain in my hair, red Converse sneakers, giant grin on my face, and the sun in my soul (even though it rained all weekend) fabulous.

Someone came to town, and boy howdy, do I wish he were able stay. There was cooking. There was kissing. There was giggling. And there was dancing. Lots and lots of dancing.

There was also, inexplicably, bowling.

Per the fabulous D, my mostly companion and partner in, not so much crime, but general what the fuck are they up to now?, please enjoy yet another tiny, beautiful movie, here.

My mom watched this movie yesterday. When she called to see how my weekend with Someone had gone, she casually mentioned watching D’s movie, and then informed me she had two comments regarding said movie. Comment one, was that Someone was very handsome, and quite a smooth bowler to boot (both true). Comment two was, “Hilary, you really are a terrible bowler.”

Truth again.

But I am even more terrible at being inside my own life at the moment. Because Someone is gone, and there is all this room now, in a bed too big, kitchen too hollow, chairs too empty, I am one and should be two, kind of way.

My friend E sometimes says, in moments of girl hysteria, that she is just too much for herself.

I am always too much for myself. Too much talking, too much laughing, too much singing, dancing, giggling and noise-making. Too much for anybody else to handle, so I’ll just take care of everything myself, thank you very much.

But now, I have found someone who can not only handle it, but who revels in it. Who also talks and laughs and sings and dances and giggles and makes a lot of noise. A lot of noise. It’s a little like living with a small tiger, actually. And despite the fact that I am often bursting at the seams of my life, it has been shockingly easy to make room for him in it. I always assumed that relationships require serious Tetris in order to work: you move here, I slide here, this job goes, this hobby stays, these words get to stay, these need to be silenced, wiggle, wiggle a little more, shake it really hard to test it, okay.

But this wasn’t Tetris. This wasn’t even hard. This is…it. It just is. I just know. And it wasn’t even a matter of making room, it was simply letting him fill up the place in my life that has been waiting for him all along.

So, yes, I am a terrible bowler. Though, I will have you know, not that it matters, not that you care, and not that it makes any sort of difference or adds to the dramatic value of this story in any way, that I did once get a strike during this particular bowling match. Ahem. I am also terrible at math, getting out of bed in a timely fashion, letting go of grudges and playing the guitar. I’m over it.

But I also love him terribly, which, for now, cancels out my being terrible at anything else, because all I need is this.

And that is just giant grin on my face fabulous.

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Filed under Family, Gentlemen Friends

Happy today…

…because the weather is crisp and sunny here in San Francisco. Trail runs and bike rides ahoy this weekend!

…because my department was able to pull off a surprise 50th birthday ice-cream party for someone who very much deserves it.

…because I finally, FINALLY found velvet pants petite enough for my non-long legs. And for 32 buckaroos, no less. Thank you, Banana!

…because beer, a burger and a long chat with a friend hit the spot tonight.

…because the new (old? I have no idea!) Cee-Lo album is essentially the love child of Mayer Hawthorne and Diana Ross, and it has me shakin’ my groove thing all around the hacienda. Seriously. In love. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?

…because my phone blew up tonight with the sweetest text messages from someone. Someone will be visiting San Francisco in the very near future, and planning our weekend itinerary has been so much fun. Food + wine + cooking + hiking + theater + snuggling are all on the agenda, and we plan on taking our to-do list very seriously. Long distance is for sucks, but someone is doing a really excellent job of it thus far. Which only makes me miss him more. Le sigh.

Why are you happy today?

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Filed under Friends, Gentlemen Friends, Work

Carrots and Resolve

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about carrots. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about this lovely blog post, about the produce guy at the farmer’s market (who, I should add, makes fun of me for how excited I get about carrots), about the sunshiney way carrot orange makes me feel, and about little babies who eat too many carrots and have little orange noses because of it.

One day I will have a little baby with an orange nose, because no offspring of mine is going to get through life without a deeply felt and rhapsodic love for vegetables, I feel certain.

Because carrots are occupying my thoughts so intensely, I have decided that tonight is going to be all about carrot cooking and consumption, and darn it, I’m excited!

Take that, produce guy!

I hope you had a really wonderful end of the year. This autumn was so lovely – I felt a sense of fullness that I’d never quite experienced before.

Isn’t it nice to still be surprised by how we feel? Just when you think you’ve experienced 98% of emotions a human is capable of, your own internal odometer of feeling stretches a little bit more. A little bit sadder, a little bit happier, both valuable.

It may have been that I finally felt (and still feel) settled in San Francisco – this is home now. Or the fact that I both adore my job and I know what I’m doing now (usually). Maybe it was Europe and spending time with LP, who continues to be a grounding influence in my life, even when she’s far away. Or maybe it’s the fact that someone else has come into my life – someone we aren’t going to talk about now – but who has been on the periphery for years, on the horizon for months, and who has finally come into my life to take off his jacket, sit by the fire and stay. And for many, many reasons, I’m glad.

The interesting thing about all of the lovely moments of fullness, however, is that the time between can be chaotic. There are days at work that frustrate, long flights to London with drunken Icelanders, small earthquakes, roommate nonsense, and the fact that my someone lives 1,268 miles away. (He checked.)

I don’t do well with chaos. I wish I did. I would love to say that I thrive on it. But the truth is that moments of panic, tears (not even usually mine!), and running five flights of stairs in high heels are just as stressful to me as they sound to you.

So one of my goals for the New Year (“goals” sound so much nicer and friendlier than “resolutions” don’t you think? A goal is just something you reach for…) is to embrace the chaos. Learn to let some little things go. Theater will still happen if I don’t check everything off my list at work. Dinner parties will still be enjoyed if I don’t starch the napkins. This blog will still be a semblance of me and my life if I re-design it, or start adding pictures on a regular basis (gasp). Life will go on, even if there are shoes on the floor, my hair is wild and curly, and I have not ROY G. BIV’ed my bras.

No, really. I do that. It’s sick.

Other goals for the year:

Big Stuff:

Continue to write + make it a priority. Always a goal, but I have so many ambitions that I sometimes get intimidated and don’t even start. I’m choosing some external projects with actual deadlines to help me along.

Listen better. I realized recently that I start a lot of sentences with “I” and that needs to change.

Focus. I can’t even finish this post without switching my music, checking the New York Times online and my watch. I used to be able to sit for hours at a time under a tree devouring books. Somewhere I have gone awry, and I refuse to blame technology for the fact that I am just an over-user of technology.

Medium Stuff:

Run a half marathon with my brother.

Organize my room.

Continue with flossing.

Fun Stuff:

Take a trip with friends…Costa Rica is in the works!

Surprise someone (or “someone” perhaps?!) on their birthday.

More spontaneous play/picnics/bike rides/trips to the park.

Wear more dresses. Dresses are good for a girly girl soul like mine, I’m just sure of it.

What are your goals for this year? I’d love to hear!

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Filed under Gentlemen Friends, Thinking

Letters From The Bay, Week 58: Jorts, of course

Dear Universe:

You saucy minx. Acting all like you’re just going to go your way and I’ll go mine, and then all of a sudden you’re all WHAMMY! Here you go lady! Early Christmas for you.

Yesterday? Yesterday alone was one for the books. Don’t act like you didn’t plan this whole thing:

“Um, hello, do you like my bike?” a lispy voice said next to me. “I found it in my garage, and tho I thought I’d take it out for a thpin! Do you like it?”

“Um, yeah,” I said, glancing over, looking at the voice, who was tall, with salt and pepper hair winging out from underneath a dirty baseball cap. “It’s very…” I let my voice wander while I looked for the bike he so wished to show off, and when I saw it I could not even help myself. “Oh wow. That bike is… Wow.”

Universe, as you know, the voice was a tall Spanish man, and he was riding a bike made for an ADD 12 year old. Girl. Circa 1987. It was truly a confection of awesome: banana seat held up by giant silver springs, metallic pink paint job with tiny embedded sparkles, big wheels, a low, curvaceous handle bar. If this bike were a person it’d be a twelve dollar tranny. Hot, in a big, messy girly-man sort of way. You planned that just for me, didn’t you Universe? A gem, you.

“Yeth, I thought it was interethting. But I’m going to Burning Man nexth week, tho I thought it wath okay!”

“Well, I think at Burning Man just about everything’s okay, so you probably don’t have anything to worry about. Unless the naked hippies light it on fire, but you won’t have lost much, right?”

“Ha!” laughed the Spanish man. “Ha! Oh ha! You’re funny, you know that?”

Duh.

“My name is Antonio and I come from Thpain and I am only 39. I uthed to be a lawyer, but now I work in a rethaurant becauth I didn’t want to take the bar. If it meant okay, now I make loth of money, sure, but it dothent mean that, you know?”

“Oh, I see,” I said. “You’d like to make a lot of money for no effort?” Much like his little speech, Antonio was sounding increasingly like an internet scam. I was expecting him to offer me a discount on Viagra next. What about that, Universe? My birthday present, you say? That’s fine. I can wait.

“YETH!” he emphatically replied. “I don’t want to work tho hard! You know juth what I mean!”

You and THE ENTIRE WORLD señor, I thought to myself.

“Yes, I do. I’d like to make a lot of money while napping, which is like putting in negative effort, but I guess we can’t have everything, right?”

“Oh you are so funny! How about if I take your number and we go out sometime?”

Mmm, how about not?

“I’ll give you my e-mail address, but that’s as far as I go,” I told him, trying to lead him in the direction of expecting to be let down the next day, if not right here at this awkward juncture on a bench underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

“Well okay. Maybe you come to see me at work thometime? Or maybe you come thee one of my showth! I do thand-up comedy!”

That would be ironic, as you have said nothing funny the entire time we’ve been talking, but I didn’t expect you to be funny, which makes you not ironic, and instead, just one more San Francisco creeper, albeit, of the Spanish variety.

“Oh really?” I said out loud. “Well you’re very funny!”

Good Lord I’m a horrible liar.

“Thankth! You too!”

Duh.

As we said an awkward good-bye, Antonio stood up and reached over to shake my hand. As he did so, I noticed he was wearing jorts. For the uninitiated, jorts = jean shorts. Of course he was.

So, let me get this straight, Universe – a 39-year old, graying man with a lisp who works as a waiter and wears jorts? AND has a sweet ride of the hot pink beach cruiser variety? All of my very own?

In the words of my Lutheran ancestors, what wonderous love is this, oh my soul.

You know just what to get a girl for early Christmas.

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Filed under Gentlemen Friends, It's awkward now, Letters from the Bay

Letters From The Bay, Week 46: Pink paint and man time

I need a little more woman in my life.  I’ve come to realization that, for the last few months, my life has been all man all the time here by the Bay.  D, man friends visiting from out of town, my man roommate, dear coworkers, The News, and now my brother…I feel like it’s too much man here in the city.

Some would argue you can never have too much man, but when fart jokes are hilarious and you end every statement with, “that’s what she said…” – even completely random statements like, “I think I’ll go to the grocery store now.” – you start to see how this could be true.

Because here’s the thing about men, lovely though they are: they are not the same as women.  At their best they are commanding, yet graceful, like giant cats.  Comforting, satisfying, protecting in a way that women usually are not. At their worst they are rude, stern, sometimes awkward.  They fumble around emotional moments, cheapen the beautiful, and roughen up your day in a way that can be messy and incredibly frustrating.

Women make things easy, smooth.  They listen and really hear.  They protect you from heartache, and sometimes from yourself.  Women love wide and deep and encompassingly, in a way that I’ve never yet known a man to do.  Yet.

I miss my real friends. My woman friends. My sisters, my soul mates, my partners in crime, the keepers of my life’s memories and experiences.  My best friend lives 5,350 miles away (yes LP, I google mapped you) and the rest of the KDs are scattered all over the world.  I miss them, and sometimes man friends just won’t do.  Even when they’re at their best, as most of the men in my life are 99 percent of the time.

Today’s experience: typing to the sound of paint rollers.  The News has moved out of our house and out of my life, and his replacement is a lovely new roommate.  Who is a woman.  One who is painting The News’s former room two brilliant shades of pink.

The News, for all of his good qualities, is also just a man.  One who is selfish, and who doesn’t listen, and who is only interested as long as things go his way.

New Roommate is fantastic, and soon, we’re going to plan a dinner party together.  One where we will talk, over wine, about things that are of interest to everyone, and we will listen to each other, and we will really hear, and we probably won’t tell any fart jokes either. It will be the start of a beautiful friendship, even when things don’t always go our way, and I think right now that sounds just perfect.

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Filed under Friends, Gentlemen Friends, Letters from the Bay, Thinking