December 29, 2006

End of year wrap-up

The past two weeks have been great. Though as a ski trip, my holiday to Ontario was a total bust (thank you, global warming) it was never the less a nice, relaxing break. And this week at work has been quiet and charming, leaving me with a sense of calm for the first time since June, really. The dating life proceeds apace, with ups and downs, but more up than down. And I’ve managed to make it through another Christmas season without ending up in jail for strangling one of the many – MANY – people who just cried out for a good strangling over the past few weeks. There is nothing like the Christmas season to inspire people to be the exact type of annoying that goes furthest right up my ass, and truly I expect one year to just snap. But not this year my friends… not this year.

Ontario was a lovely summer wonderland, where I biked and hiked and rode horseback in jeans and t-shirt, just like it was a lovely September day. Except it wasn’t. It was the end of December, the longest day of the year, and it was supposed to be cold and snowy. I knew I was taking a risk planning a trip early in the season, but I thought the distance north would mitigate that danger, while I also counted on our powerful modern snow making abilities. A strategic gamble.

As I left the airport and saw there was no snow on the ground, I wasn’t worried, because I knew I was heading up to the mountains where there was sure to be plenty. But an hour later as I approached the bare, brown mountains, I knew I was in for some trouble. They can’t actually make snow when it’s warm, and it was 45 – 55 degrees and had been raining the week before. The mountain actually closed, the first time they’ve ever done that, because they just couldn’t keep even one trail covered enough to make it worth anyone’s while.

I felt for the poor people whose livelihood depends on the ski season, though it wasn’t enough to make me sit there – the only customer in the bar – for “Live Band Night.” When I saw I was expected to carry the responsibilities of an entire audience alone, I turned right around and walked out. I did my part for the Canadian economy all week long, but damned if I was gonna sit there to be serenaded.

Despite my fears that traveling Christmas weekend would be nightmarish, I made it through the airport and home relatively easily, and just in time to be blindsided by my current ladyfriend, Amy. Apparently sometime between when I left and when I got home she decided we needed to clarify our relationship. As in all conversations with upset women, when they say we need to talk, of course they mean “you need to say the one thing that will make me feel better, but you damn well better not accidentally say any of the hundreds of things that will upset me.” I fumbled around with mild assistance from her until I finally sussed out what was bothering her. She was looking for some reassurance that things were proceeding well between us, and I had failed to provide any.

Though I waffled a bit during our initial conversation, I think I successfully provided some of what she was looking for when we had dinner a day later. Actually, I was very surprised by the whole thing because to be frank – and I told her this – I really didn’t think she liked me all that much. I had the distinct impression that she was of the mind that “this is fine for now, whatever it is” but I had no inkling that she was thinking we had long-term potential. We are comfortable and enjoy each other’s company, but she and I certainly aren’t experiencing a whirlwind romance. So I was caught off-guard by her sudden concern about the state of our relationship and whether it was growing.

Taking new relationships too fast has ruined several promising ones in my past, yet while I’m trying to slow things down, I find myself dating women who feel very strongly that they need to speed things up. Not that Amy is that way, this weekend not withstanding she's pretty laid back. I’m talking more generally about single woman age 35-40 - they are often in a hell of a hurry. So while I’m willing to just let it be what it is I don’t expect her to be equally sanguine, and the result is the odd and uncomfortable turn we appeared to have taken.

But we had a very nice dinner and were talking openly and easily with one another. At one point, when we were both getting a little frustrated, she said “I know I’m expecting you to know exactly how you feel about me when I don’t even know how I feel about you.” Once she said that, the tension deflated nicely, and there was room for both of us to just be ok with how things were.

We’ll see what 2007 brings. I’ve a number of predictions for 2007, both personal and political, which I’ll write up sometime and post. You won’t see any 2006 wrap-up though, everyone else is doing that, you don’t need mine.

Have a healthy and happy new year everyone!


At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Elise said...

How about dating divorced with children, or single women with children? They, in my experience as a friend of some, tend toword going very slowely in relationships, for the sake of their children and their already established routines.... Happy New Year Dan! I just spoke to half of the happy couple we helped create 9 New Year's Eves ago. What a rush of memories.


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