Tag Archives: relationships

San Francisco Missed Connections: Tales of Two Muni’s Passing in the Night

imageI’d say I have about three to four missed connections on a daily basis, people who know that I know that they know that something special is going on between us but we’re too shy and across the street from each other to say anything about it. It can be heartbreaking, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why craigslist missed connections exists. It is the number one way for you to mimic online the experience of shouting your love feelings into a well in the middle of the Idahoan prairie or putting a love letter into a glass bottle and then throwing it into the recycling bin on trash day.

Though I’ve never posted anything on the missed connections board before, I thought I’d go ahead and try it out here for tone and style. Also, I just want to get real here. Missed connections happen. If you think I missed you, please leave a note at the UCSF Flight Attendant Study Terrace. Then, let me find you. In the meantime, see if you’re one of the below:

Cuff links and cologne – w4m (Duboce Triangle)

You might not have seen me but I smelled you the second you got on the N Judah at the Noe stop. You sat next to me and I was enveloped in your cologne like a letter in an envelope. Your cuff links spoke to me like sprinkles. Your circle glasses reminded me of Mrs. Trelaway. Let’s go walk our dogs together.

Whole foods hottie – w4m (Portrero Hill)

Your hair has blonde highlights and your bulging biceps are tattooed. I saw you reach up to pull your hair back and it was like I was looking at Atlas reaching up to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. You looked back and your jaw line smote me. I could listen to you talk about cheese all night.

You brushed my bangs away and stole my heart – w4m (Inner sunset)

You looked down at me and smiled and I thought I knew you so I smiled back. Then you brushed my bangs away and I realized I had no idea who you were. Whiskey on your breath and confidence in your gaze, you engaged me in conversation, refusing to give me your full name so I could look you up on LinkedIn. I don’t have a job anymore, so I don’t care about that stuff. Your name was Pablo, and my name is yours.

T-mobile support line flirt – w4m (Inner Sunset)

I called to change some info on my T-mobile account. You told me your name was Devan and that you were in Florida. We chatted for minutes on end. I was eating cherries and you said you wanted some, and I knew exactly what you were talking about. You have my number…give me a call.

Sketch artist at coffee shop – w4m (Mission)

I was sitting at a coffee shop and you were drawing faces on your sketch pad. I think we are in love. If you think you know who I am, tweet at me.

Balding data architect with twinkling eyes and a penchant for recreational marijuana – w4m (SOMA)

We met at a company holiday party. We ate the shrimp. We laughed, we danced, and then the carriage turned back into a pumpkin and I went home to the Inner Sunset. You taught me to say that people “write Hadoop.” Nerd. If you want to take this where it needs to go, send me an email from my own account.

Magician with chestnut eyes – w4m (Colorado, summer 2007)

You were in high school and I had just graduated. You had very nice eyes and showed me a magic trick near the pool. Then walked away into the night. I kept the torn card for a long time. What are your secrets?

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Dating Tactics We Learned from Animals: The Spider

Two spiders are hanging in the corner of my ceiling right now. Yesterday, Tim was the only one. I have named the new spider Laptop, after my sister.

Tim and Laptop rarely move, yet the cobwebs never stop growing. Until I wake up one day and realize I’m dangling from the ceiling and that an army of spiders is about to turn my insides into goo and digest them, I will leave them to their spider ways and think about how their lifestyle is related to human dating.

Spiders are repulsively patient. To my knowledge, Tim only moved once in the past two months. A tiny bug had flown into his carefully yet poorly located trap and Tim was eagerly cocooning it in thread, rubbing his limbs together greedily and saying “oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!” Except for that five minute movement-bender, he usually sits in the corner and does nothing except for think spider thoughts, which are too vile to record here.

Though I can’t say it’s a boring and meaningless life, I will say it’s not the life that I’ve chosen for myself. There are some, however, who follow the spider’s way when attempting to snare a potential mate, friend with benefits (e.g. baked goods), or mother.

The spider-mimicking-human, or SMH for short, expends only a minimal amount of effort when attempting to trap prey. Just like a real spider, the SMH is often truly interested in the prey, but he or she is simply unwilling to leave their wifi-outfitted cobweb corner. Instead, the SMH prefers to wait until the prey comes of its own accord.

For this reason, the spider method only works if the prey has sufficient reason, motivation, or desire to visit the SMH’s web more than once, sometimes as a result of mutual friends, free food, or cuddly pets. After the prey has visited a few times, and the SMH has “a special feeling,” it’s time to pounce. Without warning, the SMH completely wraps him in SMH silk, making his escape impossible.

The SMH then drags the prey to her room, where she will make him listen to songs that she likes on YouTube and discuss past relationships before she injects him with venom that turns his insides into goo and devours them noisily without using a utensil.

The spider method of dating is not pretty and usually ends in disappointment for both sides. On the one hand, the prey is eaten, and on the other, the SMH has a hollow corpse that must be eliminated. For these reasons, the spider method is not a recommended way to date someone.

It’s better to get their number and then do things together. Virtual relationships through gchat are also acceptable alternatives.

Join us next time on Dating Tactics We Learned from Animals for our discussion of cardinals and blue jays!

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How to Tell Your Partner About the Black Hole You Just Created

a photo I just took in my laboratory

Telling your partner you accidentally set the earth on an irreversible path to destruction is not a comfortable subject. However, if you care for them, then you understand that he or she deserves to know they have roughly three minutes before being swallowed up into an abyss of infinitely dense spacetime.

The ideal way to address the subject is in a romantic environment, while walking on the beach at sunset, gazing into each others’ eyes after a fancy meal, or watching the lights twinkle on in one of the world’s great cities.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely you’ll be in any of those situations. In reality, you’re lucky if your loved one is even close enough to your laboratory so you can run up and tell them the news in person.

But, if you have the good fortune to be addressing them in person, the first thing you should do is look deeply into their eyes and reaffirm how much you care about them. At the same time, remember the black hole is expanding as you speak. Be brief.

Once you make your feelings clear, lead into the subject gently by saying, “You know that secret particle accelerator I’ve been working on? Well, it turns out that just seconds ago I created a very small black hole. It’s not dangerous now, but–this is the scary part–in three minutes it’s going to engulf the entire earth and swallow all of us into oblivion. There’s a way to reverse it, but the internet’s being weird so I can’t look it up. I’m telling you this because I really care about you. On the bright side, we won’t have to get the transmission fixed. Let’s just spend these last few minutes together.”

Keep in mind that the most difficult part of telling them will not be the black hole itself, but the fact this hole will suck up the entire earth and end both of your lives. Also, make sure they know this is not a joke.

They may or may not have a chance to respond, but if they do, it will likely be garbled nonsense because of the mental shock. They may laugh, say I love you back, or feel a vague sense of gratitude and admiration that you had the guts to tell them in the first place.

You should be grateful for their confusion, because it will allow you to spend your last moments together in relative peace, regardless of what your relational status was beforehand. It will be like the time your puppy was adorable and sleepy after she got spayed. The most important part is that you enjoy your last few moments together.

Should you have to send a text message instead of telling them in person, use the bad news sandwich method, putting the unpleasant revelation of the black hole between two happy bits of news. Here’s an example: I love you and I’m so sorry but I just created a black hole in my laboratory and the earth is going to be destroyed. :(. No need to worry about making dinner tonight. Love you always.

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Open Letter to the Brown Upright Piano in Our Living Room that I Played for Eleven Years and then Abruptly Abandoned Upon Graduating from High School

an actual photo of a piano drowning in heartbreak

Hey you. It’s been a while hasn’t it? How have you been? You look good– I noticed your new picture frames; they go really well with the Bach bust and the fake plant, and I’m not just saying that. I mean it. I would never lie to you.

Well I guess there’s no point in avoiding the subject, so I’ll just come out and say it. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry that after the thousands of hours we spent together over the years I just left you like you meant nothing to me, like you were something I was ashamed of and wanted to forget. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for those wonderful years we had, only to have our relationship ripped away from you without warning. All those days we spent frolicking in the sun, meandering through hidden forests filled with magical creatures, exploring alien planets, visiting ages long past. While the rest of my family was tortured with the endless repetition that is piano practice, we were somewhere else entirely, floating above imaginary canyons colored fuchsia and turquoise, never scared when we were together. You have to know I’m telling the truth.

And I’m sorry for all of those holidays I spent at home while visiting from college, when I would avoid looking you in the eye. I’m sorry about the way I would whisper of what we once had and act embarrassed when anyone brought it up. I’m sorry. I didn’t know how to deal with all of it, with the way my life was changing and the way it seemed you would no longer have a part in it.

At some point we have to admit these things to ourselves. You knew I wasn’t a brilliant pianist. Don’t try to deny the truth. Sure I practiced a lot, and sure I was “advanced” and perhaps my teacher’s best student, but I didn’t have the shimmering gold talent it takes to be a real concert pianist. More importantly, I didn’t have the passion. I tried to tell myself I loved playing, and I think I believed it. Sometimes it felt so real, as we were tramping through the villages of Eastern Europe in a mythical spring, stars falling around us as we twirled upward into the night.

But at the end of the day, it was a ruse, a lie I was telling myself.  I didn’t have the passion it took to be excellent, and the love I had for playing came from a love of being the best. I know all this now, but at what cost! Oh my dear piano, you have to know it wasn’t your fault. There’s nothing you could have done. But know this: we still had everything, for a time, those beautiful early mornings in winter, the world dark and frozen outside but us warming ourselves with the glow of quarter notes, the quiet afternoons when I was alone at home and could play as loud as I wanted in front of the only audience that truly mattered: you and me.

I will always remember you, even if I forget how to play entirely, even if my parents sell you to a lady named Fern without telling me. I will always remember you and me, a girl and her piano, and how life seemed better together. I can’t forget something that’s a part of me.

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I’m Using Someone Else’s Toothbrush

Who is using my toothbrush now?

Warning: This is bizarre.

It starts out just like a regular tooth brushing session. Wearing socks, I step into the bathroom and turn towards the mirror. For roughly a minute, I examine my face for new developments, leaning as close to my reflection as possible. Finding everything accounted for, I stand back up and reach for my toothbrush. I wet it, squeeze toothpaste onto it, open my mouth wide, and then set it against my right lower molars. The brushing begins.

And then it happens. I am suddenly and completely convinced that the toothbrush I’m using is not my own. It’s someone else’s. I’m using someone else’s toothbrush. Who is it? What if they find out? What if it’s my roommate’s and she walks by and sees me because I don’t shut the door when I’m just brushing my teeth? Would she be mad at me? Would she say nothing, walk away, and then leave a note by the sink asking me not to use her toothbrush. Would she bring it up

over dinner and say “Hey, you can totally use my toothbrush, but just make sure you ask me beforehand.” or would it be more like a roundabout story of how in her family, everyone always used their own toothbrushes and she guesses it’s just a personal thing but could I please not use her toothbrush anymore? Would she start taking her toothbrush out of the bathroom and shutting it in her nightstand? What if I went into her room and took it out of her nightstand and she saw me using it again? Would she ask me to move out or would it turn into a kind of game where she hides her toothbrush around the apartment and I keep on trying to find it? Would she ask me pointblank when she saw me with my toothbrush in her mouth, “Are you using my toothbrush?” And what would I say? “Oh I thought it was mine?” Is that even true? Am I some kind of psychopath that lies about my brushing habits, but not in the usual, “Sure, Dentist, I brush and floss two to three times a day,” but in a “Oh that’s so weird I completely thought it was mine” even though I doubted it was mine but went ahead and brushed my teeth anyways. And how can I even doubt whether or not the toothbrush was mine unless our toothbrushes look exactly the same, but mine and hers don’t because hers is blue and mine is white so I have no excuse but still I find myself wondering whether or not I’m using the right toothbrush? What does that say about me?

So there I am, alternately staring in the mirror at myself  and at the toothbrush, and I have the distinct and unmistakable feeling I’m using the toothbrush of a stranger. I feel this even though I know for a fact the toothbrush is mine. I can see my roommate’s toothbrush in the blue glass that also holds our identical toothpastes, but we don’t care about the toothpastes because apparently those are fine and socially acceptable to interchange. But if you interchange toothbrushes, that’s just weird.

Is it because the bristles of a toothbrush explore the most intimate nooks of one’s oral cavity, massaging the crevices of one’s chompers and their gummy nest, inserting itself in all those places where the day’s gluttony lingers, shooing bits of taffy and apple peel out of their hiding places, scrubbing the tongue down including that part in the back that looks weird and kind of hairy because of the taste buds? Is it because of all of that?

Though I know for a fact the toothbrush I hold is my own, the doubt still plagues me. I miss my old toothbrush, the one I lost about a week ago. It was green and awkwardly sized in the fashion of a big crayon, but I had gotten to know it over the course of many brushings and felt I had reached a special place with it. But now it’s gone. And in its place is this cold piece of plastic that doesn’t understand me and doesn’t even seem to care. Maybe my roommate’s toothbrush would be nicer to use after all. Would she care if I did use it, just a few times, just until I got to know my new toothbrush better?

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