Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm a (minor) Blogebrity!

I am thrilled to say that my little online journaling project is getting some love in the blogosphere! I was just added to the Blogebrity list. It's a list that compiles blogs which have really entertaining content. If you scroll down the page, you'll see my little Blogebrity badge. If you click on it, you'll wind up at the Blogebrity home page; click on "The List" in the upper left hand corner. Scroll down "The C-List" - I'm listed under the G's for "Ginger".

Alas, dear readers, I'm only on the C-List right now. But I'm a new blogger and Freak Magnet gets fairly light traffic. I'm thrilled that my little blog is already getting noticed out in cyberspace. I plan to conquer the internet and crawl my way up to the A-List, crushing other blogs as I go! How very Hollywood of me.

Just wanted to share the news, and say thanks to all my readers! Keep checking back, and I promise I'll keep you entertained.


Scent of a Woman

He wanted her to smell like me.

Doug and I had been friends for years. We'd met when I was dating his best friend, Chris. My relationship with Chris was short-lived, but Doug and I stayed friends. We had a similar goofy sense of humor, sharing a love of MTV's Liquid Television and Bill Plympton cartoons. We'd drive with the windows down in the blazing, humid New York summer, yelling the lyrics of Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi" at the top of our lungs (badly). We could hang out and talk for hours, making each other laugh nonstop and never getting bored. That's how it started, anyway - two people who enjoyed each other's company, doing just that. Then, as so often happens, one person starts developing decidedly non-platonic feelings for the other. In this case, it was Doug.

I really cared about Doug, knew and loved his family, really enjoyed spending time with them. I know from experience how much it sucks to have unrequited feelings for someone. I tried to tread carefully; I even tried to rationalize the possibility of getting more involved with Doug. He was a good guy, funny and smart. But it just wasn't there for me. There is no rationalizing a lack of attraction for somebody that you otherwise adore. I was in the classic "it's not you, it's me" scenario, and Doug didn't want to take no for an answer. I told him I couldn't go beyond being "just friends"; he told me that he could see us getting married. I made it clear that I wouldn't be thinking about marriage for years; we were only college-aged. He told me that he knew we'd get married eventually. He was a heat-seeking missile that wouldn't be dissuaded, so he would dismiss every reason I had to opt out of a more serious relationship. Things started to get tense between us. When our friendship had been platonic, I had felt listened to, like my opinions had weight. Once Doug became sexually attracted, he seemed to negate anything I said that he didn't agree with. He wanted to be together, even if that didn't work for me. I became even more stubborn because I didn't like being so disregarded.

I wouldn't budge; I knew it was the right decision. School years came and went. Doug and I would still hang out during breaks, but it wasn't quite the same, though we both tried hard enough. The underlying tension was still there, even when we were in our old haunts, laughing and catching up. He'd occasionally drop a joke about us getting married. I'd reply with a quip about planning to join the convent like a good Irish Catholic girl. We dated other people and kept in touch, always wishing the other well.

Then Doug did something that threw me. He called me up to let me know that he had a new girlfriend. "That's awesome, Doug, I'm thrilled for you!" I said. I meant it; he was a good guy. He deserved someone special in his life. Then he said something that freaked me out.

"Yeah, she's great. She looks like you!"

"She what??" I had no idea how to respond to that one. I tried to laugh it off. "Well, everybody has a type."

"No, I mean she really looks like you. Same hair, and built like you. Small boned." He sounded excited; triumphant, even.

"Oooo-kay..." Don't get me wrong, he had the right to date whomever he wanted. I wasn't going to flatter myself that Doug was dating my doppelganger because of unresolved issues between us. Readers, I am not Da Bomb, a perfect woman that a guy should obsess over; I'm just an ordinary chick trying to figure her shit out as she stumbles through life. Besides, it's true that everybody has a "type" that they like. I just love black haired, blue eyed guys, for instance. Something about that combo just does it for me, but that's not the only kind of guy I've dated. Doug liked my type, that was all. I would overlook this strange feeling in my stomach and be happy for him.

Then the conversation got really weird. "So," he said, "I wanted to get the name of that perfume you wear."

"Why?" There goes my stomach. I already knew the answer.

"I'm going to buy it for her."

I couldn't believe he was saying it! "Doug, do not do that."

"Do what?" he asked, in his most innocent-sounding little boy voice.

"What you're doing. You want her to smell like me!"

Silence at the other end of the line. Then: "Well, I like how you smell."

Here's the thing; Doug already knew what perfume I wore. Why was he calling me to tell me this? I felt badly for his girlfriend, whomever she was. Smell is the sense that's most closely tied to our emotions. So my gut reaction had been right. I wasn't flattered; I felt like shit. I was angry at Doug, too. I told him that no woman wants to be treated that way; that he should want his new girlfriend for the ways in which she was unique; the ways in which she wasn't like me. Doug wasn't hearing that; he'd become accustomed to not listening to me.

"I do want her to smell like you. I like your smell."

He probably bought the perfume, for all I know. I stopped wearing it altogether - the smell of it quickly soured for me. I hated abandoning my signature scent, but I got over it and eventually found another one that I liked even more. It is possible to move on and fully appreciate The New, even when you've been attached to The Old for years.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Love and Marriage

I've never been married. Two of the guys I've been involved with were very into the idea, but I said no both times. I'm certainly not anti-marriage, but I've seen good, bad and ugly ones, and the whole concept of intertwining my life so completely with another person scares me. My parents, who had a good marriage, provided a terrific example for my sister and I to follow - particularly because they were open and honest about the tremendous amount of effort, compromise and love that it takes to stay married. Those of you who have already jumped into the deep waters of matrimony, I salute you.

Despite the fact that "marriage is a boat with a 50% chance of sinking" (my dad's words), getting married is expected, considered "normal" in our culture (unless you're gay, God forbid! ~sarcasm~). No question, marriage comes with its joys as well as its difficulties. But the institution itself is status quo, accepted as something that you "just do" when you're grown, one of the final rites of passage into adulthood (until the kids come, which is also expected). My saying "no" to marriage thus far has caused considerable head-shaking among many of my elders, and some of my peers. But it has really been a no-brainer for me. First of all, I've got ants in my pants, as my mother used to say. Up until this point in my life, I've been tremendously restless, needing to be constantly on the move and meeting new people, discovering new places. I also feel deeply that there's a light that has to dawn, a new awareness within me, a feeling of "eureka!", if you will - that will tell me that my life will be better with this particular man in it. That just hasn't happened to me yet.

I'm not afraid of such an intense feeling taking me by surprise, and I'm not afraid of it never coming at all. I'm always amazed when people suggest that I'd be "happier" or "complete" if I were married. I always reply, "Compared to whom?". My family taught me that if you want a marriage to work, you have to enter it already whole. I'm plenty happy, and although I really mean that, just saying it makes me feel like I'm defending myself, which is silly! I've got a great job, wonderful friends and a terrific family. I travel, volunteer, write, and dance. I laugh loudly. I'm grateful for every day. Marriage is, to me, a different lifestyle, not a superior (or inferior) one. It's not for everybody. I still don't know whether or not it's for me. When I go on a date, I'm not auditioning a husband. I'm looking for somebody that I can really connect with, that I can be a better person with. When I find that, maybe marriage will follow. Maybe not. I'll take it one day at a time. So many things in our lives are beyond our control - we can never truly know how we'll feel about today's choices later in life. The fact that nothing in our lives will stay the same, and that we only have today, are our only guarantees.

Whew! I just wanted to post this little marriage quiz for your enjoyment. But after taking it myself, I started to think, and this post turned out to be a little longer than I had expected! Check it out: many of the answers may surprise you! I'd also love to hear from the married and single people out there. What are your thoughts? Please comment!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Online freaks

I make no bones about the fact that I'm an online dater. By no means is that my only method of finding men to go out with - I've met guys at work, at clubs, through friends, on the street, at the supermarket, while volunteering. I've been set up; I've gone on blind dates, group dates, and double dates. By the time you're in your 30s, you've experienced almost every dating situation ever devised by humanity.

Some people think that online dating is impersonal and weird, but it's a godsend for those of us with busy lives. It's beautiful in its simplicity - you put your profile and pictures up, and voila! People with similar interests email you.

That's the theory, anyway. Truth be told, I've met plenty of nice guys since putting my profile up on a certain popular nationwide dating site. But the freaks, they always find me. Which brings me to the number one reason that I appreciate online dating: screening. If a potential date seems nuts, I simply delete him. No muss, no fuss; no excuses and no explanations. No worrying about feeeeeeeeelings, since I've never even met him. That may sound cold, but readers, I swear that I am not a callous woman, and have only used my powers for good. Here are just a few specimens whom I've deleted:

From a guy called "Ben":
hi please give me one chance!!!
"Hi how u doing, look im really good guy, and Ive been here in usa, for the last 10 years, but right now, I need a litle help, what happen is that I dont have a legal papers to work here, Im looking for some one to marrie me to help me to get my legal status, please consider this offer, I can give a new car for payment, Im desperate to fix my legal status, well if u want to talk more about it, send me a massage at thanx for your time, hope u do good."

Isn't that romantic? He's already proposing and we haven't even met! What do you call that - "love at first non-sight"? Is a new car supposed to cover the cost of a lifetime of fidelity and commitment? Am I, like the car, a product to be exchanged? He didn't even post a picture so that I could take a look at the kind of nutjob who would email such an insane request to a complete stranger. Sorry Ben, you will not get that one chance. Hope u do good. DELETE!

From a dude with the very suave screen name "Qualitybrides":
Just a quick Hello
"Hey Girlfriend, What'z Up? Quality here close to U! LOL Yah Just around the corner! (maybe) So, East Coast Huh? Well, I'z born & raised here in Cali & finally get a chance to travel all over! Thanks to my JOB! LOL I love the East Coast, Maybe cuz not enough time over there. Hey, Said just a Quick Hello, So give U a chance to respond! Que No? LOL Quality here at; waiting! LOL"

Que no? Oh, I'll tell you que no. First of all, you call yourself "Qualitybrides". I can imagine how this date would go. Ginger and Quality agree to meet; Ginger shows up to have drinks with Quality; Quality slips a roofie into Ginger's martini; Ginger is forced into Quality's car and is subsequently kidnapped by an international sex trafficking ring. Sex traffickers get to travel all over, thanks to their JOB! LOL! Well, Quality, thanks for the offer, but I choose to DELETE! LOL

From a kid in Egypt called "Wafa":
hi angel for u
"hi Ginger my name is Wafa from egypt iam 23y old ilove to meet u some day and i love to spek sent your email my mail i love art & musc & sport & spek to matura woman iam here for search sweet angel haert it can be u see u soon ;- )"

My poor Wafa. You seem like a sweet, romantic young thing, and gentle souls like yours are increasingly hard to come by in this hardened and cynical world. But as my profile clearly states, I don't do long distance, and YOU LIVE IN EGYPT. Besides which, even though I could barely understand a word you wrote, I have a feeling that "matura woman" translates into "mommy issues". I love art & music & sport too, but I'm going to have to DELETE. Please don't be sad. ;- )

From someone who calls himself "Fry":

Um, Fry? I'm getting the feeling that you've *maybe* had a few bad online dating experiences. It's happened to me too; I sympathize, I really do. SO STOP YELLING AT ME! DELEEEEEEEEEETE! HAVE A GOOD ONE!

From "Willy":
"Wow, Are you for real? You will have to talk me into doing the things I don't like to do that you do. Man I hope I said that right. I am the 5th generation carpenter in my family and I want to do something else. The Illegal immigrants have ruined the construction industry here in America. I play guitar and sing in a country band. And I hope to do some acting. And finish my education. And I hope to be a cook. And I am a writer I have 3 film Ideas. And I am a poet. I assure you I am a gentleman my Mom taught me."

Well Willy, you may think you're gentleman, but you are also a racist with an identity crisis. Your mom should have taught you to relax. Yes, I'm for real. DELETE.

And finally, from "Reggie":
"just wanted 2 say hi...u said u were creative...i need help. go 2 my website and tell me what u think!!"
Soul Food

Ok Reg, here's what I think; a man who would introduce himself to a strange woman in this way does need help - the kind that comes in pill form. But if I ever want to learn how to cook oxtails, I will definitely look you up.

Till then, DELETE!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day!

Hello lovelies!

I hope that each and every one of you had a fantastic Valentine's Day, sans freaks. Yours truly didn't take any chances; I spent my evening in a bubble bath, with only a book and a glass of wine keeping me company. That's a good threesome! Hee hee.

This post is just a little bit of fun for you all. Check this out! Enjoy your new "sexy" names, naughty readers.

Monday, February 06, 2006

My San Fransisco treat

Some women get Rice A Roni. I've got the following story:

It was July 2005, and it was unbelievably hot - one of the hottest summers I've ever suffered through. The temperature soared into the high 90s at least four days out of the week, and the air was uncharacteristically humid for Los Angeles. At the last minute, I had decided to make the most of my July 4th holiday weekend by flying to San Francisco to visit my singles scene Supertwin, the fabulous Tabitha. I landed in Oakland airport early on Friday afternoon. Tab picked me up and we headed back to her place; she lives in a small town about a half hour's drive from the city. Our first day hanging out was pretty standard issue. We had lunch, shopped a bit, went to the movies, had dinner, and walked the Iron Horse Trail afterwards to burn a few calories.

On Saturday morning, we headed in to San Fransisco. What a city! It's as windy as all get-out, but gorgeous. I wasn't prepared for the sheer size of it; I had always pictured it as a west coast version of Boston, but in reality it's much, much larger. A bit of trivia: it's actually the fourth largest city in the state of California. Apart from its steep hills, the city features an eclectic mix of architectural styles. Victorian houses share the same space as skyscrapers, and the city is flanked by the natural beauty of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

We parked in a garage near Broadway and Hyde, and began the long walk up to Stockton Street, to have brunch at Moose's. Tab and I both miss the walking city atmosphere of Boston, so whenever we get together, we push each other to walk everywhere. We figured we'd work up an appetite before starting the day. Moose's is one of the best-known restaurants in the city, most recently for making an appearance in the flick Just Like Heaven. The movie makes the restaurant look like a young, happening spot, but when Tabitha and I sat down for brunch, we were vastly outnumbered by octogenarians. It didn't matter; our waiter was funny, and the food was amazing. I had french toast stuffed with peanut butter and bananas, with strawberry compote. Delicious!

Next on our agenda was the Coit Tower, a 210-foot landmark dedicated to the city's firefighters. My thighs were screaming as we huffed and puffed our way up Telegraph Hill, passing cars that were literally parked at 45 degree angles. I started to understand why real estate is so hard to find in San Francisco; it must be so hard to move into these buildings, people just don't ever move out!

The tower itself is amazing. We had a half hour wait for the elevator, but it was worth it for the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Pier 39 and Treasure Island. Dear readers, if you have not seen these things, you need to see them at some point. Absolutely worth the trip!

Afterwards, we decided to get back down Telegraph Hill by taking the Filbert Steps, a picturesque, three-block long set of stairs with well tended gardens and art deco buildings scattered along the way. A few flights down, we stopped between two houses while I took photos of some trees and flowers. Suddenly, Tabitha freaked and started to bolt down the stairs. "Oh, no no no no. Oh my god. Not okay. NOT OKAY!"

"Hey!" I took off after her and stopped her one flight down. "What the hell is going on?"

"There is a guy..." she shook her head. "A guy. There is a...not okay. Oh, god, EW. Ew, ew, ew. He's in the window right up there. Didn't you see him??"

"What guy? What window?" Tabitha pointed, but refused to move. I headed (unadvisedly, I admit) back up the stairs towards a small blue house that stood right next to where I had been taking pictures. The house's front door opened right onto the stairs; the living room's curtains were open, and anybody could easily see inside.

There was a thirtyish guy standing right in front of the floor-to-ceiling picture window. Completely naked. Well, that's odd. What the hell is he doing standing there nake.....? Oh, no.

Oh, yes. He was jerking off. Spanking the monkey. Choking the chicken. Flogging the dolphin. Punishing the Pope...and looking directly at me.

A lot of women have a story like this tucked in their mental Rolodexes. The Picture Window Wanker was not, in fact, the first time that I had been exposed (ahem) to public masturbation. When I first moved to LA, I was taking a walk through Hancock Park around 9am and saw some landscaper abusing himself on his client's front lawn. He made a point of making eye contact with me, too. Readers, what is up with that? Please fill me in. There's nothing wrong with being penis proud, but, gentlemen of the world, would you kindly keep it in your pants? If a woman wants to see it, she will let you know. I really wanted to ask both of these guys, what are you getting out of this, exactly? Is it the thrill of being caught? Is this impulse a result of Catholic repression? Were you dropped on your head as a baby? What?? Of course, a sensible woman does not attempt to start a conversation with a man who's got his dick in his hand, so all of my questions are, sadly, still unanswered.

One thing I have been able to figure out is that these guys get off on the horror and shock of the females they flash. But by the time a woman is in her 30s, if she's seen one dick, she's seen them all. Unless it can sing "You Will Be My Music" in Frank Sinatra's voice, it's really not going to shock me all that much. As my Nannie (mom's mom) once told me, "They're all the same under the foreskin." Yes, that quote comes directly from my pious 80-year-old grandmother who never, ever misses Sunday mass. She takes no prisoners and is one of my heroes.

So, during the brief moment that I stood face to face with Wankster, my mind reeled. What can I do to freak this guy out as much as he thinks he's freaking me out? I turned around to walk away...then I turned back, made eye contact, smiled and waved, just to see what he would do.

He kept right on wanking, but he waved back...with his free hand.



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