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.'"
"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....