Sheesh, New Year's Eve. I've been invited to a bunch of parties, but what I'd really like--to be perhaps shockingly frank--is to have someone nice (but not just anyone) with whom I could enjoy a nice dinner and good sex. But, being the sort-of prude that I am, the idea of propositioning anyone (like cough, the Baby Fireman, cough, cough) for such a thing seems, if not impossible, at least distasteful.
Do I need to loosen up? Does that need to be one of my New Year's Resolutions? Do I need to carpe some diem before I find another gray eyebrown hair?
On to the promised NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS FOR MAURA KELLY, yes?
1) Continue to live flirtatiously! BUT I think it would be wise if I can do this AND YET LET GO OF MY DESIRE FOR ANY GIVEN FLIRTATION TO HAVE A CERTAIN RESULT.
Well, I can't control how another person will react to me; I can only control my own behavior. Moreover, I think I should do my best to live every day, every moment (even the private ones) with a mindset that is "flirtatious"--and by that I mean playful, confident, optimistic, desirous of meaningful human connection. That all the time will make every interaction I have a lot more enjoyable for both myself and whomever else might be involved ... and if something does come of the exchange, well, great! But if not, no big deal.
Which is to say: EVERY INTERACTION I HAVE SHOULD BE FLIRTATIOUS, AND YET AN END IN ITSELF, RATHER THAN A MEANS TO AN END.*
Guys ... am I making sense to anyone but myself here? Are you with me on this?
2) Have better posture. Mainly because, as I've observed in my mirror, when I stand up straight, I look skinnier and my boobs look bigger.
3a) Spend 5-10 minutes a day studying my vocabulary. I've been keeping a little notebook of new words, and sometimes I take it to the gym with me (where I will quiz myself on the nautilus machines) or on the subway. (Favorite of the week: gallimaufry=hodge-podge.)
3b) Spend an additional 5-30 minutes a day expanding my knowledge in some way. I'm not exactly sure how I'll do this, but probably by reading more books, above and beyond fiction.**
4) Get started on a new book project. I have two big ideas--one for a non-fiction book, and the other for a fiction--and though I'm eager to get started on both, I'm also a little scared to undertake another great project, since I still don't know what's happening with the first novel yet.
5) Maybe exercise a little less. Because, really, is seven days a week necessary?
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ONE OF MY BFF'S SUGGESTIONS ABOUT DATING RESOLUTIONS I SHOULD MAKE
In addition to those resolutions above, of my own making, my friend Harry Berkeley has suggested a few additional ones that he thinks I should undertake.
1) "Maura: You've got to take charge when you're interested in someone. And I'm not talking about giving him subtle hints or sending emails asking what he's up to, how his day has been, etc. Be up front and confident about pursuing a guy if you like him."
[My response: Fair enough. Although the immediate rebuttal that pops into my brain is this: How will I know when I like a guy *enough* to decide he is worthy of me putting my neck on the line in order to pursue him?]
2) Don't obsess when you're awaiting a response from someone who got your number at a party, or someone you've been out on a date with.
[My response: Who, me? But all right, all right, fair enough. At the same time, short of taking a Xanax, how does one stop obsessing? The only thing that has ever worked well for me is either having a very busy dating life, a very busy social life, or a very consuming--and interesting--work life. Or, ideally, all of the above. Which is to say: Keeping one's self busy is the only way to avoid obsessing. And don't ever try to write a novel if you don't want to obsess--because sitting at home by yourself staring at your computer only encourages OCD.]
3) NO MEN UNDER 30! They're not going to be up for anything serious, and even early 30s is perhaps too young--go for an older dude for once! They're more up to your maturity level.
[My response: Hmmm. Maybe this is right. But ... CAN I LIVE WITHOUT ANOTHER BABY FIREMAN EVER AGAIN? I don't know!]
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All right, all you incredibly lovely lovelies out there ... have fun tonight, and be safe. (No drinking and driving, please! And use condoms, even for blow jobs! And eat your vegetables!) Here's hoping that all of us have a happier, healthier, more flirtatious 2010.
*Incidentally, speaking of means and ends ... I happen to be reading a new pretty interesting non-fiction book, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do, in which there's a chapter devoted to philosopher Immanual Kant. Kant believes--I think I have this right--that having a moral+honest motive in any action is always more important than any consequence that action might have; that it's important to value individual rights+dignity (rather than subsuming an individual's rights to the good of a group or society); and that we should never treat another person as a means to an ends because humans are rational beings who therefore (b/c they are rational) deserve respect. In general, he thinks we should never be guided by thoughts about what a certain action will beget or produce, but rather that we should always be focused on whether or not that action is good per se, in and of itself.
**I was planning to resolve to do this anyway, but my inspiration was reinforced last night, when I read The Whole Five Feet: What The Great Books Taught Me About Life, Death, and Pretty Much Everything Else. It's a very conversational little book about what one very down-to-earth and smart young writer learned during the year he spent reading some of the most classic books of all time--written by the likes of Plato, Homer, Milton. Shakespeare and old Ben Franklin (himself rather a master of resolution-making). This book probably isn't for everyone--and I found the first chapter or two a little slow. But if you'd like a very pleasant, very accessible guide to a lot of the most important literature that's ever been written, please give it a go.
-Hap: Where are you from? I'm sorry that you broke up with someone--and so recently!--but hang in there. It sounds like you've accomplished many great things this year. It's all going to be okay.
-Camera Shy! You're a writer too, hmm? And there I thought you were a photographer. I wonder what you write. All right, sister, thanks for the encouragement--and here's to big years for both of us in 2010!
-Edwinna: You're so loyal and wonderful--I really appreciate your steadfast support. (Oh, and KK made the terrible errand I had to do so much more fun.)
-J.V.: Very right, you are. And I'm shaking my pom pom over here for you, too! Because I get the feeling that you, like me, are always on the look out for ways to self-improve ... and that maybe you're a little hard on yourself sometimes. (But what do I know?)
-D: You don't dye, do you?
-Jenny: What an incredibly sweet note! I'm touched that you feel emotionally invested in my life--that really means a lot. And I suppose I'm expressing certain universal emotions here in the blog--feelings of self-doubt, loneliness, fear, the desire for acceptance and love--so maybe it's not just me you're feeling more invested in, but your fellow humans in general. Well, maybe I'm getting carried away, but regardless, it's clear you have a big heart.
-love love love-