Monday, October 31, 2005

Doing "The Thing"

Best Available's Deirdre Cooley has abandoned us and gone off to movie locations in other states, because she is, to quote Bridget Jones, "extremely busy and important." Before she left, she took me out to dinner for my birthday, and the one of our code phrases reared its ugly head.

You know how it is. When you're friends with someone -- close friends -- you develop your own little language, to which the rest of world just isn't privileged (unless one of the friends is a big mouth with her own blog... tee hee...). With Deirdre and me, it's... "The thing." It's the thing women tend to do when we are attracted to someone, in those stages before we know whether they are attracted back. It is the dissection, the analysis, the post-mortem, the reinterpretation, the folding, the spindling the mutilating of every e-mail, every look, every word exchanged from the desirable party, in order to suss out the "hidden messages." The conversation usually presents itself thusly:

"I'm doing 'the thing.'"

"Okay. Shoot."

"So, I was talking to him today, and he said the strangest (cutest/funniest/nicest) thing...."

And so begins the odyssey of what he said, and how he looked when he said it, and whether he meant what we hope he meant, or whether we're just reading way too much into it all.

We've both been doing "the thing" lately. She calls me with tales of hers and I call her with tales of mine, and we spend time doing the forensics ("Okay, just exactly what was his body language when he was saying this to you?"), like little bitty Margaret Meads, translating each gesture and intonation of tribal beings whose language we do not speak. Then we come to the conclusion ("Oh, no. He's definitely interested in you."), because what else can we say to each other. We're direly interested in us, so why wouldn't he be? Is he some kind of fool?

After a couple of years of enforced solitude, refusing to do "the thing," because being alone was safer and easier than caring about a man's tone of voice, or the exact inflection at the end of his sentence, I am now back in "thing" territory. And, as I confessed to Deirdre, as we sat in a movie theatre, waiting for the movie to start, it all makes me kind of nauseous.

"Yeah," she replied, "but it's a good kind of nauseous."

A good kind of nauseous? Uh-huh.

Anyway, I was on the phone with him today. And he said the strangest thing....



  1. Girls please. Go (run don't walk) and get the book "He's just not that into you"
    DEAR GOD I wish I would have read that a bazillion years ago. It would have haulted all dissecting and speculation for good. I'm definately giving it to my daughter. Maybe her generation can be the one that didn't waste time. Lord knows I'd like a few years of my life back.
    (Note: I am in no way suggesting any man you like is not into you. NO, he'd have to be stupid and/or gay. Gupid. But it does help you understand the male species and what certain actions or inactions mean. And God knows it is about time they produced a manual. Just sayin)
    And Oh case I forget...
    HAPPY BIRTH-DAY DEAR CATHARINE (Leader of the best Jazz-punk rock-reggea-blues-infusion band on the blogesphere)HAAPY BIRTH-DAY TOOOOOOOOOOO YEWWWWWWW.
    That is why I am not the singer of the band. But it is the thought.

  2. No, no... see... it is highly possible -- perhaps even likely -- that he's just not that into me. The thing about "the thing" is we're not even at the "into you" stage yet. The really twisted part is that we're still at the "gee, he's kinda cute -- I wonder if he likes me" stage... and we're still doing "the thing."

    In a couple of months (well, for me anyway, due to exigent circumstances that prevent a relationship as yet), I'll know whether or not he's into me, then I can decide from there.

    So... see... that's where "the thing" comes in....

    And thanks for the b-day greetings... (I liked how you fit all those syllables into the second to the last phrase.)


  3. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, I get it.

  4. 2faced11:31 AM

    and i will be hearing about him at lunch tomorrow YES????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  5. Happy Birthday, Catharine! Hope it's been a good one!

    And damn...that gupid thing made me laugh out loud. Here's to hoping that the guy in the center of "the thing" isn't gupid! :)

  6. Oh, Dear. You've gone and put it out there.

    She's right, I'm afraid. We do That Thing. But in our defense, it's not a conscious thing... I consider it a VBT (Very Brave Thing) that we are able to verbalize this uncontrollable Thing that we do. See? By the time Catharine and I are TELLING each other about the Thing, it's already done. It's been pondered and mulled. Hopefully putting it into words will put it in perspective. I know half the time when I tell it, I realize how mountainish I'm making the molehills out to be. And given what Rhonda's saying (and she's right, you know)... that men are wired ENTIRELY differently than we are, That Thing is more an exercise in Exorcising That Thing than in actually practicing it.

    On the other hand, it's kinda nice when someone else hears That Thing and agrees. Yes, we prefer to FEED THE PRECIOUS. We loves our precious...

    Okay - I must be reeeeeaaaaly tired. Stop me now, I'm just babbling.

  7. My God. She's right. She's virtually incoherent, and yet, right at the same time.

    Which would be why we preface every conversation by saying... "Okay, I've been doing 'the thing' again..," as if to say, "Stop me before I become a danger to myself or others."

    Aw, love. Fucking hell.