Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"That Girl"?

I have not yet measured to see if my desk chair really is directly over my dining chair, but I've noticed that the chaise on my loft where I sit to read and often write is directly over the spot on the sofa downstairs where I sit to watch TV. I would say that I'm drawn to particular locations in my house, but I think it's more that the layout of my house doesn't leave a lot of options for arranging furniture. My bedroom is in the part of the house that's one-story, and I've yet to find myself with a strange urge to lie down on that part of the roof.

While procrastinating yesterday, I decided to research a particular factual point in the book, just in case. It was something I'd gone through myself, but things may have changed in the past 20 or so years, so I thought it was best to be safe because it's the kind of detail that most wouldn't notice but that would throw some people who did notice right out of the book. Unfortunately, even going to the official source didn't clear things up. So, if you got a Texas drivers license as a teen (under 18, as it's a different system) within the past five or so years (or know someone who has), help me out here: to get a license (provisional) at 16, do you still have to take the driving test -- the one where you go to the DPS office and have to drive a scary state trooper around? The DPS web site makes it look like you just have to complete driver's ed, and apparently pass some kind of driving test in driver's ed, and then you just take that certificate to the DPS office to get your license when you turn 16. It's not a major point in the book I'm working on, but it will affect one scene and the set-up for the rest of the story, so I might as well do the tweaking now.

My house is now pretty much de-holidayed (I tend to hold out to Epiphany), with everything put away. I still need to vacuum up the fake pine needles and bits of garland. Normally, I feel like my house looks very naked once all the garlands are gone, but now it just looks right. While I was working, I had on a Dr. Phil show about "Are You That Girl?" talking about dating mistakes women make. Considering that I am absolutely terrible at dating, I thought it couldn't hurt. Unfortunately, although I am apparently not "that girl," I still don't know what my problem is. Unless I'm entirely deluded about myself, I'm exactly what the men on the show say they want, but I still have that pattern (when I actually do have a date) of having two really great dates with a guy I really think I might like, during which the guy talks about things we ought to do together in the future, and then I never hear from him again and he doesn't respond to my attempt to contact him (I mean, one friendly, casual e-mail or phone call specifically following up on something we discussed, not in a stalker type "why haven't you called me????!!!" sense). I would think that if I turned him off completely, there wouldn't be the second date, and if the second date made him change his mind, he wouldn't be ending the date by saying something about seeing that movie the next weekend. Unless, maybe, they've realized that we've figured out that "I'll call you" is code for "I'm not interested and you'll never hear from me again," so they had to escalate to making specific plans to give the brush-off that doesn't sound like a brush-off. There must be something about me that allows a guy to be enthusiastic in my presence, but then that either bothers him later when he thinks about me or else makes him totally forget about me. Or maybe it has nothing to do with me, and it's just that every man I go out with meets his ideal woman immediately after our second date, and that's why they forget about me.

Incidentally, in case you're curious, the "That Girls" who turn men off they mentioned on the show are the one with the obvious "I want to get married, NOW!" agenda, the insecure doormat, the desperate "I'm nothing without a man" girl, the career girl who can't talk about anything but work, the one who loses herself when she gets into a relationship, and the one who just wants attention. It was all from some book this guy who was once The Bachelor and who is a doctor wrote. He seemed reasonably sane, and I did recognize the types, though it was a bit of an overgeneralization. Plus, those are the women I usually see having boyfriends, so apparently it's not a huge turn-off. I'd love to write a "don't be that guy" book, but I have zero credentials for that kind of thing. I'm not a doctor, have never been on a reality show (probably the most important factor in getting that book published), and I haven't had a date in years.

Ah, well, enough deep thoughts on that subject. I need groceries.

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