March 15, 2004

 boyfriends: ray 

ray. 1999 - present.

ray doesn't want me to write anything about him, which i understand. i do want to tell the story of how we met, though... it's been told so many times, i can't imagine he'd mind.

it was halloween, and i'd been invited to a costume party thrown by my then-boss. also invited was an ex-boyfriend of hers... ray. i showed up dressed as a highway, and he had his face painted like a skull. ray noticed me right away.

he was sweet, and came and talked to me in the kitchen. he made me laugh, and he says i flirted with him by twirling my hair with my fingers. at one point he complained that the skull makeup was irritating his "delicate wink areas", which i thought was incredibly cute, and next thing i know he'd excused himself and left the room. he came back about 10 minutes later with precisely one-half of his face makup washed off.

he didn't explain this, but i remember wondering if he removed the makeup just so i could see what he looked like. we continued to chat (i honestly don't remember talking with anyone else that night) and the party started to thin out. ray excused himself again, and suddenly i was one of the last people at the party. i asked my friend mary if she was ready to go, and we left... without saying goodbye to ray. (if he was still there, i didn't know where he was.)

it turns out he was in the bathroom again, washing the rest of the makeup off his face.

when i got to work the next morning i asked my boss and sarah (who had been friends with ray for ages) about him. my boss warned me against ray (i guess their breakup had been bad), but sarah encouraged me. finally, my boss gave me his contact info and i emailed ray right away, blurting to him that i thought we should get together again.

he immediately wrote back, and we went on a date a week later. 4 years later we're living together. and i am happier than i've ever been.

Posted by xta at 6:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2004

 boyfriends: "T"

i dated a few people right after i got to north carolina. nothing serious, but that was fine. i was into exploring a new area of the country, new friends, new music... new everything. this was the early 1990s, and it was the period in my life that produced most of the significant changes. my mind opened in ways i couldn't have possibly imagined. serious relationships were far from my mind. i was concentrating on me and my happiness. i was getting to really know myself --finally-- and it felt good.

"T". late 1990s.

i have lots of pictures of "T", but i feel so badly about this relationship in so many ways that i don't want to identify him, photographically or by name.

through a common hobby, T and i were around each other quite extensively. i was absolutely not attracted to him. he was dour, cynical and sarcastic, and i was bubbly, happy and free. i guess T was attracted to that about me, though, and he asked me out... over and over again. i repeatedly declined. i recall being pretty honest about my refusals, telling him he brought me down. i was happy to discover that he was in therapy (as was i, incidentally).

we'd email a lot, and over the course of a few months i noticed a distinct change in his personality: he started to sound optimistic. i finally accepted one of his invitations, and next thing i knew we were having dinner together.

after dinner we went back to my house. i was a little tipsy on wine, and feeling happy in the beautiful spring evening. while T was in the bathroom i grabbed a blanket, giddy, and went outside and spread it on the ground in the moonlight. i just wanted to absorb the sky and enjoy how good i felt. T emerged from the house, wrongly interpreted my horizontal-ness as an invitation, and he started to kiss me. i was surprised, but i only protested a little.

that night started a 2 year relationship. (i think it was 2 years... i actually have blocked a lot of this out.) the beginning was really easy for us... it was all magic & beauty. we'd travel a lot, look at art and enjoy music together. he met my parents and went with me to my high school reunion.

but his intellect combined with his latent cynicism ended up slowly driving me away. he was analytical and i was emotional. it became too difficult for me to reconcile our personalities. and i think that down deep i just really wanted to be free.

we went to couples counseling for a while, but rather than help bridge whatever divide there was between us, the sessions only made me see the chasm more clearly. after one particularly rough appointment i stood in the parking lot with T, crying my eyes out, and finally told him i had to break up with him. i remember saying some mean things, too, to make him get the point, and to this day i deeply regret saying them.

T hated me for a long time after we split. i don't fault him for that... i could have handled our break-up in a more adult manner. i was so glad when he finally decided to answer my emails, but it took months & months.

we're friendly now. i don't know what he thinks of me, deep down, but we're friendly.

Posted by xta at 10:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2004

 boyfriends: erich p. 

like an idiot, i continued to make poor boy-decisions in high school. i probably shouldn't reveal any more of these fleeting lurid tragedies... many contain memories i really don't want to relive in detail, but more than that there are just some things that i shouldn't be publicly blogging. i'll just stick to the big relationships from here on. there are only a few more.

that said, even my freshman year of college was filled with questionable entanglements... i was getting numb to the idea of ever having a real boyfriend again. i was at a pretty low place in my life.

then erich came along.

erich p. sophomore year of college.

erich was a newly-arrived freshman at college when we met. he played french horn, too, and we sat next to each other in wind ensemble that year.

to be honest, i have no idea what drew him to me. by now i felt like a shrunken version of myself. given my bad experiences over the previous few years i didn't have a lot of interest in a relationship... i just wanted to disappear from everyone's sight. but erich didn't know that and he would lean over and write cute notes on my music folder during rehearsal, then he would walk me home. every day.

all of my friends teased me about erich. he was like a little puppy dog that would follow me around everywhere i went. he was very innocent and pursued me with a naive fervor like i'd never seen. still, i wasn't very interested... not interested in anyone, not interested in him.

he wasn't dissuaded.

when valentine's day came, he schemed with my roommates and decorated my bedroom with red roses, candy and a big white stuffed bear. i couldn't believe the trouble he'd gone to, especially since i hadn't been giving him any sign that i was even interested in him romantically.

but this valentine's present... it was so grand. so sweet. i learned that erich even pleaded with a shop owner to convince him to sell that big white bear, since it was the biggest one in the store and a central part of their valentine's display. i felt i had to reward erich in some way for his efforts, so i gave him a quick kiss. but he latched on, months and months of pent-up affection waiting to spill out, and turned it into much more of a kiss than i was intending.

erich & i ended up dating for 2 ½ years. midway through that period we even moved in together. it was the most serious relationship i'd ever had, and i came to love him more than i thought possible. we played like we were grown-ups in our suburban chicago apartment, and i took on the domestic role with enthusiasm. we were everything to each other. he was devoted to me, and i relied on that devotion.

but i guess that's too much adult stuff for two kids in their early 20s, and eventually he grew restless and distant. i suppose i shouldn't have been surprised when he told me he was leaving, but it never occurred to me --even with our relationship slowly dissolving around us-- that he could have ever had eyes for anyone else.

i felt like the world had caved in on me. even though it had been stagnating, our relationship had been so good for so long; his departure came as a shocking blow. add to that my unhappiness with my less-than-fulfilling job downtown (which required a soul-sucking, one-hour train commute each way)... and i decided i'd just had enough. it was time to leave. i had graduated, i had a degree, and i needed a change. besides, the thought of living in the same town with erich anymore was just too much to bear. so i left, and i came to north carolina.

Posted by xta at 9:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2004

 boyfriends: kerry 

kerry. junior year of high school.

if the whole thing with brian left me feeling a little lost, then this escapade sealed the deal. kerry was one of the biggest mistakes of my life, and the epitome of Me Being Bad. i have no photo of kerry, and that's probably for the best.

kerry's girlfriend, lynn, was my best friend. she & i were in marching band together, and we spent all of our free time tooling around town in her old white chevy... i remember the blue leather interior like it was yesterday. lynn & kerry had been dating for quite a while, and there were rumors of an impending engagement.

sadly, whatever scent i had been giving off at that time in my life snared kerry, too. he started hanging out with me when lynn was working... we'd go to garage sales on the back of his motorcycle, or i'd visit him at work (he was an EMS in training). pretty soon he was wanting things to become physical.

big warning signs in my head were flashing "BAD IDEA! BAD IDEA!" but i felt helpless. one night, in a rainstorm, we had sex on my mom's front lawn and i felt like i had finally lost control over who i was.

both of us vowed to keep it a secret from lynn. i held up my end of the pact, though it killed me. a couple of weeks later, though, kerry caved in and i got a furious phone call from lynn.

"did you sleep with kerry??!?"

as if it were my idea.

so many things were flying through my brain... how did she find out? what do i say? did kerry confess? am i being entrapped? should i deny it? my heart was beating outside my chest.

in the end, my silence did me in. "the fact you're not saying anything tells me everything." she slammed down the phone and i never spoke with her again. i tried calling her back, but her mom always answered and told me lynn didn't want to have anything to do with me.

from what i heard through the grapevine, though, she & kerry went ahead and got engaged. i would have loved to hear his version of the story... what kerry told her that made her think that he was an ok guy to marry. i suppose he made me out to be an evil, conniving seductress, so hell-bent on sex that i was willing to betray my best friend.

and part of me wonders whether that wasn't true. just a little bit. but a bigger part of me realizes that i was just a mixed-up kid, making bad decisions.

Posted by xta at 2:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 11, 2004

 boyfriends: brian v.

brian v. junior year of high school

it was my junior year and i had actually known brian for years and years. since 8th grade, i think. i was the best french horn player at my high school and he was the best french horn player at the rival high school, so he & i ended up at a lot of regional music competitions together. we also sat next to each other in a prestigious state youth orchestra.

brian was totally, utterly hot. he was also incredibly smart... my age, but 2 years ahead of me in school. he was a little cocky, but damn... that was also attractive. most of the other boys i knew were weird, insecure grabbers. brian was suave and confident.

suffice to say, i'd had a crush on brian since i met him. that crush grew with a white-hot intensity over the many years we knew each other. when it finally hit its peak i happened to be oozing that scent that was drawing all kinds of bad boys to me, so it's no surprise that brian was sucked in, too.

he never became my boyfriend, but we would date. i mean, i guess that's what you would call it. he would come pick me up at my mom's house, and for some unknown reason (maybe she was dazzled by him, too) she would hand him the keys to her RX-7. brian and i would go speeding down dark indiana roads and i turned to jelly right there in the passenger seat. we'd stop occasionally and make out in a playground or deserted parking lot, and one time in a fit of passion i told him i wanted him to be "my first."

it didn't happen right away, but it did happen. he was already in college and had the benefit of a dorm room. we were watching pink floyd's "the wall" and then suddenly we weren't. i was being deflowered while on tv faceless children marched into a meat grinder. at some point brian got up, turned the tv off, and put a thompson twins record on the stereo instead.

the whole experience was surreal. brian wasn't a boyfriend, but he was someone i'd been attracted to for a long time... so in that sense it was a fitting culmination. but because he wasn't a boyfriend (and he wasn't the kind of guy to settle down with one girl) i had to watch him date other friends of mine, which really hurt.

brian & i had sex a few times after that, but it didn't really make me happy and i didn't know why i kept going back for more. i felt like i was lost.

still... even today, my heart flutters when i look at that picture.

Posted by xta at 1:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 9, 2004

 boyfriends: jeff d. and derek w. 

jeff d. and derek w. sophomore year of high school.

so after sweet fred, i went back to rebelling with risky behavior. don't get me wrong, i was still a virgin... i was simply anxious about being a virgin.

jeff was in the band, too. he was really cute, but he was totally goofy in a dorky way. he played drums, but had no sense of rhythm. i think a lot of girls were simultaneously attracted to and repelled by him. i was one of them.

i think the onslaught of male attention that year was causing a number of guys to take interest in me. i must have had a scent. i could tell that there were boys who were curious, but jeff caught me by surprise.

during a break in band practice one night, he asked if i wanted to go down the hall to get a drink of water with him. i said "sure!", feeling happy for the attention but also slightly apprehensive; he & i had never really spent any time alone before.

we walked the long, deserted hallway and got to the water fountain. he took a drink. then i bent down and took a drink. and as soon as my head popped up he grabbed me by the shoulders, drew me to him, and gave me my first french kiss. it was totally startling, and frankly kind of gross.

still, i had been kissed by a cute boy and after i got over the shock i was not unhappy that it happened.

clearly, though, jeff ran off and told his best friend derek, because not a week later derek was inviting me up to the catwalks above the stage for a little rendezvous. i don't think i can bring myself to share the details of that tryst... i walked away in a daze, feeling a bit violated, a bit more experienced, but still a virgin.

things were beginning to move really fast.

Posted by xta at 2:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 7, 2004

 boyfriends: fred m.

even though alan warned me against it, i did fool around with leroy a little bit. but leroy reminded me a little of david lee roth and his advances were way scarier than alan's... it totally freaked me out and i didn't stick around with him very long.

it's worth noting that i was not a very happy girl during this period of my life. my dad had remarried and i was not getting along with his wife at all. she & i would shout and fight every day. the guys i flirted with during this time were definitely "bad boys". and there were a lot of them. not at all good for me. take that, dad!

but then i met fred.

fred m. sophomore year of high school.

fred played baritone in the band. we had lived in the same complex of townhouses for many years when we were younger, but didn't realize it until we started dating in high school.

he was the funniest guy i had ever known. he laughed all the time. he made everyone else laugh. but he wasn't a clown and he wasn't self-depricating... he was just sweetly funny. it was a delight to be around him. he wasn't great-looking, though, so i think he was as happy to have a girlfriend as i was to finally have sweet boyfriend. we both felt pretty comfortable with each other (while, of course, still being totally awkward teenagers).

i remember thinking "this is my first real boyfriend." i liked him a lot. a lot. so much, in fact, that i was honestly really physically attracted to him. a lot of guys had scared me with their advances, but with fred i wasn't frightened. i even felt a little secure.

we'd go over to his house after school, then on the way up to his room we'd tell his mom we were studying (do they ever really fall for that??), and then lie down on top of each other --fully clothed-- and just wriggle around in a way that felt really good. we carried on this way for probably 3 or 4 months. it was sweet. he even took me to a dance.

i don't remember how it all fell apart, but i'll bet that i pushed him too hard. i do remember having an argument with him after band practice one night, which ended with him shouting at me in the parking lot. i probably complained that he wasn't spending all of his free time with me or something... i was always doing that.

when we finally broke up, i cried and cried.

Posted by xta at 12:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 5, 2004

 boyfriends: alan l.

alan l. sophomore year of high school.

there's a big gap in my love life between 3rd grade (david) and 10th grade (alan), and i'm not really sure why.

actually, i did have a frighteningly obsessive crush on my band teacher all through middle school; that must've sucked up all of my young hormonal lust for a couple of years. (in fact, when i went digging through all of my treasure boxes to find my boyfriends' love notes, i also came across countless hall passes that my band director had written to get me out of study hall every day. i may have had a foolish, madly consuming crush on him, but he was definitely an enabler.)

oof. i should probably do a whole entry on that band director, but i'm getting the shakes just thinking of the trauma that whole period caused me.

so back to alan:

alan was 2 years older than me. i was a naive little sophomore and he was a very experienced senior. we lived in the same subdivision and it was hard not to notice him in his bright orange nova. he was friends with my best friend, lynn (who later de-friended me in the most dramatic way; that story comes later); i'm pretty sure she was the one who introduced us.

again, this relationship started off with notes written back & forth. i knew he wasn't the brightest bulb in the box, but he had a car and he was older and therefore more exciting... so who cared how smart he was?

the notes he wrote were pages full of nothing. (the one above is far & away the most substantive of those i've saved.) they're not nearly as palpatation-inducing as david's, oh-so-long-ago. (though this one says "i guess you can call our relationship as we are dating," whatever that means. i suppose i had cornered alan into defining what we were doing. typical.)

so, our 'relationship' consisted primarily of me hanging out at his house, which was always creepily dark (and his mom was never home). i really didn't like being there very much. i felt kind of unsafe for some reason. not that he'd ever hurt me, but i was just uneasy about... well, you know.

i do remember driving around the neighborhood with him once. it was dusk and my parents were probably wondering where i was. he parked down the street so that my dad wouldn't see the orange car. we sat there in silence for a few minutes, awkward, before he slid towards me on the bench seat. i remember him kissing me, but it was sofast and then i was out of there and walking quickly back towards my house. it was my first real kiss and it was slightly traumatic.

reading his other notes in my treasure box, it seems like alan and i just stopped "dating" without cause or explanation. one of the notes warns me against a friend of his, leroy, who was "a ladies man"... so i guess alan and i just drifted apart as i became interested in other guys.

i do remember that alan got one of the lead roles in the school's production of "the music man" that year, and that i was proud of him.

Posted by xta at 2:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 3, 2004


so, lisa has been blogging about her fluevog collection, and sarah has been blogging about her collection of tights. so i've decided to blog about my collection of boyfriends.

it'll be more than just boyfriends, i think... i'll also feature the guys that provided significant milestones in my sexual development. (suffice to say, "my first" was never a boyfriend, but is still worthy of mention. alas.)

also, i can't guarantee this will be a daily thing. this whole process might send me back to a shrink if i go too fast.

so, with that... here we go.

david s. 3rd grade.

it was one of those beautiful romances that begins with a note. "i love you. do you love me?" i answered yes. and that was all there was to it... we were boyfriend/girlfriend.

in 3rd grade, that's all you need. a contract. we were too young to go on dates, but it seemed enough to just be able to say "david is my boyfriend." we lived too far apart to even see each other after school, and neither of us would have really known what to do as boyfriend/girlfriend anyway. i don't even remember playing with him at recess. all my girlfriends would just giggle, "chrissy's got a boyfriend! chrissy's got a boyfriend!" and i would smile with proud contentment.

but then my family took a vacation, and when we came back i heard that david had kissed pam. he denied it with another note. his fear of rejection is evident as "love" has now descended into "like". also the yes/no thing is becoming predictable, david.

i don't remember responding to his note. but i remember fuming. a lot. i was so upset that he kissed someone else (he hadn't even kissed me yet!) that i sat right down and wrote a letter to kasey kasem. i listened to "america's top 40" every week and thought he'd surely take pity on me if my story was sad enough.

so i told kasey that i was in 3rd grade and while i was on vacation my boyfriend kissed another girl... and would he please dedicate "torn between two lovers" for me on next week's show.

clearly i didn't grasp the concept of the song, and i never heard my dedication on air.

that campaign helped ease my broken heart a bit, but what cheered me up even more was the letter i got from david --in the mail!! not just a note!!-- just a few days later. i mean, look at that... he loves me very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very much!!

i was on cloud nine (check out the heart!! and no yes/no question!) but even being such a good wooer i really couldn't really trust david anymore and things were never the same.

interestingly enough, though, david was part of my life all through middle school & high school. we were in band together... he was the best trumpet player and i was the best french horn player. he even went on spring break with our big group our senior year, but by then he was born-again and he hid all of our liquor while we slept.

Posted by xta at 8:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack