Return on Investment
I won’t lie. The Dave Palumbo “lose those last 10 pounds of fat” diet (eating every three hours, keeping your carb intake under about 25 grams a day, and doing just a tiny bit of exercise) lasted a solid ten days. I have better will power than most people, but it was just more effort than I was willing to put in, too many restrictions and conflicts and deadlines… the return on my investment just wasn’t there. Thursday afternoon after work, my ketone-addled brain walked into Dreamcakes and ordered a 4-pack of cupcakes, including a decadent caramel sea-salt one which I wanted to smear all over my face. I demurely sat at a table, opened the wrapping on each one with dainty fingers, and five minutes later, those cakes were *gone*. Sigh. Maybe some other time, I’ll be ready. Right now, I’m treading water until I come back from Labor Day weekend in New York City, which promises to be three days of anti-Paleo debauchery, drowning in chocolate ganache and various manifestations of the deep-fried cheese arts.
My workouts have been haphazard and unplanned for the first time in months, a jumble of do-what-I-feel-like 15-20 minute impromptu sessions, on an empty stomach:
– Friday: 30 handstand pushups (I’m actually getting good at these!)
– Saturday: 10 minutes on the elliptical, 50 burpees
– Sunday: uphill 200m sprints x5 at Railroad Park
– Monday: hang power cleans 30 reps at 95 lb
I can’t help but think that my lack of obsession with the diet has something to do with my successful-so-far courtship of The Terrorist, with whom I spend a good part of the weekend at our local film festival. We started out Friday evening, grabbing some groceries and cooking dinner at my place, which was pretty hot and romantic, and I certainly got to show off a little bit of my culinary skill. We drank some wine, kissed again for a little bit, and headed for the opening night film at Alabama Theatre, one of her favorite venues. I put my arm around her a couple times, and she didn’t seem to mind, I guess. We headed back to my place to tear into a pint of ice cream and talk some more, and that led to a bit more making out, but nothing further than that, which I didn’t seem to mind… I guess I have to let her pace the whole “getting physical” thing, right? Does that mean I can’t give it a little nudge every so often?
The next day, she texted me to let me know she was checking out a couple more movies with her friend, and invited me along (good sign, yes?) Her friend (who happens to work at my hospital) and her boyfriend and the two of us had a fun, relaxed lunch together. We didn’t end up doing much else other than watching a lot of movies that weekend, which is certainly important to her and the way she grew up as an only child and the way she passed the time on sweltering, lonely summer nights inJordanandIsraelduring her business trip exiles. But movies, one stacked after another after another, aren’t quite conducive to conversation and building a romantic connection.
In fact, maybe you could argue that I have gone about this whole business all wrong, and the initial fogging-up-the-Beetle-windows lust is dead and gone, never to be revived again, and I’m completely powerless to ever have the kind of intense, passionate relationship I want with any woman, The Terrorist being just another example of my futility. I’m tempted to go so far as to say that at this moment, I don’t think she feels the least bit of attraction for me, not because of anything I did in particular, but just because I’m historically terrible at stirring those emotions in women, whether I’m actively trying or actively not trying. All I want is for this to work. Somehow. Take it any direction, I don’t care, just *something* other than ooh, I’m going to be your friend and don’t even think about trying to kiss me again, because that ship has sailed and you screwed it up by being you. I have a hunch how/when this is going to end, and I worry that my predictions, as they most often do, are going to come true.
Then again: there are two psychological theories (I don’t know the fancy terms for them) that I learned about recently, which I’m trying to use to guide my thinking (or lack of it). Call it cognitive behavioral therapy, just happening 24/7 in my own head:
1) Negative thoughts snowball and become giant avalanches. If you don’t squash them when they’re small, they expand upon one another and roll over you.
2) When you try to guess the intentions behind something someone said or something they did, you’re wrong 99% of the time. Like, dead wrong. So, brain, shut the hell up about The Terrorist and let things happen naturally (or whatever your perception of naturally is.)
I know there’s a balance to all of this, and for too long I’ve been Mr. Clingy-Needy-Make-Things-Happen-Fast, so obviously, the idea of detachment and letting things come to me at their own pace is a bit stressful. For example, I haven’t heard from The Killer all week? Should I just brush her off as someone who was never interested to begin with, based on that evidence? The same story applies with some of these girls on match.com, who were obviously interested enough in me to give me their numbers and schedule dates and blah blah blah, only to back out on them a bit later. So, abandoning my old needy behavior patterns, I decide to put the ball in their court. Why don’t *you* call *me* when you have a free night? Is this even a good idea? Do I stick to my guns and let them come to me? Or do I keep extending myself with offers of drinks this day or drinks that day? The return on investment, once again, *very* low.
Next time: the “Worst Blind Date Ever” series continues – I had to apologize to the bartender at the end.