Snowflakes in France

Reflections of a 20-something woman in publishing

Month: February, 2009

A practical debate

Now that you are privy to my inner-most feelings for Jon, I have to admit that the practical side of me is just itching to cause some kind of conflict.

It began to gather troops when he said, “When we live in the same city, would we be living together or separately?”

My immediate answer was separately. His was the opposite.

My live-in rule is simple: I’d like to live by myself at some point, and I will only live with a man I’m dating if we both intend to marry each other.

Of course it would be great to see him every day, snuggle up next to him as I fall asleep, go grocery shopping and pet hunting together.

But it’s a bit of a drastic step to go from seeing each other on weekends to living with each other. And all those statistics about how most people who live together don’t end up marrying…well that’s a downer.

Then again, how many people who date in general end up marrying each other? How many people last through a long-distance relationship? The rent would be cheaper, especially in either of our high cost-of-living cities. And it would be nice to come home to someone I cared about, as opposed to two strangers I happen to live with.

So you can see how my practicalities are arguing with my sensibilities (in the olde sense of the word). In the end, I think it all comes down to one question.

If we were to live together, do I lose my bargaining tool for marriage?

A fair, practical question. But then again, do I need a bargaining tool? I’m 100 percent sure he wants to marry me and intends to propose at some point down the line. And I’m 100 percent sure that I intend to say yes when he does.

I think I just agreed with idea of living together. Please tell me I’m not crazy.

You just know

I’ve been avoiding this post. Partly because I’m hesitant to admit it in writing, but mostly because I’m afraid that when I do, it will sound cliche and ordinary.

But Kitty says that I must, that after writing about all of the struggles and frustrations of dating, I owe it to myself, or at least to her, to write about something that keeps me grinning and that makes all the past struggles worth it.

I’ve always thought that ‘love at first sight’ was a bunch of bollucks. How could you possibly find yourself in love with a man you’ve never spoken to? That you made eye contact with at an opportune moment? Ridiculous, really. But I have always been a bit intrigued by the variation my mom uses.

“How did you know that Dad was the one?” I would ask her.

“When you meet the right person, you just know,” she replied. This did not quite answer my question, but it had enough romantic mystery for me to accept it.

I’ve pursued love, wondering what it was like. Created it out of nothing just to know the feeling. I’ve been dragged into love, and I’ve loved people who haven’t yet learned to love themselves.

But this is different. On our first official date, I traveled to Boston on Dec. 12 to be Jon’s date at a Christmas party. As I rode back to New York City, I replayed the weekend in my head, and the phrase ‘You just know,’ kept ringing through my thoughts.

He’s smart, funny, ambitious, compassionate, and in my mind devilishly good looking. But I could say that about a number of guys. It was something about the way we interacted, in conversation, on the dance floor, snuggled up on the couch. When I think back on that weekend, I mostly remember laughing. I was either smiling or laughing the entire weekend, and I think he was too.

I immediately came home and began a list of reasons why I love him, worried that by the time I had assured myself of actually being in love with him, I would be too caught up in the overall feeling to be able to pin it down to specifics.

And then of course, he conveniently adheres to all the qualities my mom silently requires: Catholic, from a similar type of family, parents aren’t divorced, has a college degree, has a full-time job, has career goals, has a social life.

He is a man I would want to come home to after a long day at work. A man I’d love to go out dancing with in Manhattan on a warm Saturday night. A friend I could stay up talking to all night. Someone I can take home to my friends and family, with the hope that they will love him as much as I do.

We’ve fallen in love, just as I knew we would after that weekend in December. And we’ve been in exactly the same place in the relationship every step of the way. From the moment we met each other, to our first date, to where we are now, two months later. I have to wonder if there’s something in that ‘Love at first sight’ thing after all. Not sight with your eyes, but a different sort, a sight that comes from your heart, a sudden recognition between two people who will make each other happy.

Now if only we lived in the same city… (don’t worry, we’re working on that one.)

A Woman Distracted

“If you don’t have anything bad to say about a relationship, you shouldn’t say anything at all.”

– George on Seinfeld

OK, so that’s only part of the reason I haven’t been updating this blog. Because who wants to read about how nervous I was to say I love you, and then overjoyed when he said it back? Or how excited I am about the Valentines Day gift that I bought him?

But aside from my lovely distraction, who unfortunately lives in Boston, I have been absorbed in other things lately, and these things I’m going to share.

1. I’m writing. Well obviously, you’re thinking. But really, I submitted an essay to Skirt! magazine and I plan to submit at least one piece each month. Essays, memoirs, short stories, who knows — You might read a novel of mine someday. It all has to start somewhere.

(http://www.skirt.com/ “Women’s online resource for opinion, poetry, fashion, resources, fun and irreverence.”)

2. I’m reading. Did you know that there are magazines out there for young women whose cover stories have nothing to do with how to please your man or how much weight Jessica Simpson has gained? Check these out ladies:

Bust, Pink, and a couple writers mags

My new favorite magazines: Bust, Pink, and a couple writers mags

BUST – “For women with something to get off their chests” I picked up thismagazine thinking that it would cater to extreme fringe feminists who are on the brink of rejecting gender altogether (From an outside standpoint, I admire those women, but if this mag was targeted at them, I wouldn’t fit the audience.)

Instead, I found trendy craft and fashion ideas, a news piece on why women are paying more for health care, feature stories on Cowgirls — the first American feminists, and great reviews on newly released CDs and books. Basically, your typical women’s mag without all the stories that make you feel like crap. And do you honestly need to read another article about 69 ways to make your man gasp in bed? Although BUST does have a One-Handed Read in the back, a nice touch to complete the frank and honest publication.

PINK – “a beautiful career, a beautiful life” is a business mag for women with style. With articles on how to handle your hefty bank account when you get married, how to get the most out of your heels without killing your feet, and a feature on the similarities between online job hunting and online dating for those women who are feeling a little out of touch with their flirtatious bar-crawling days.

This one is heading in the right direction, but it’s small. And by that I mean thin. The story ideas are huge — my fav was the highlight on the 13 women who are leading countries right now. And despite the stories on shoes, the suggested designer bags for laptops and the pink font everywhere, PINK keeps a business voice. It’s a nice blend of serious talk with a fun attitude.

3. I’m planning. I’ve got a file cabinet now and I’m trying to decide what should go in it besides my W-2 form. If I keep reading and writing, I might be able to actually put it to use. So, off I go to write something brilliant. I’ve got to be fast tonight because that boy I mentioned will call in about an hour…

p.s. I’m not sharing him

The balance between paper and screen

OK, you’ve caught me. I’m guilty! I took nearly a month off. And not only that, I did it to submit to a print magazine.

The shame!

But even as I read in TIME magazine about Kindle and the success of other online publishers, and the growing popularity — and even success — of self-publishing among writers, I neglect my blog to write for “more important venues.”

Why? Because I still go to the bookstore to buy a book that I read about inThe New Yorker or Publishers Weekly. Because when I read submissions guidelines for magazines, they suggest that I read the print version before submitting. Because people like to read ink on paper!

So I submitted to Skirt!, a women’s mag dedicated to promoting stories and lives of women. Not sex and scandal.

I walked into Borders this weekend (a former employer, but now it almost seems an underdog in the book publishing biz as there is only one branch in NYC!), and I bought two women’s mags, PINK and BUST, because I’d never read them, but I knew they were not just targeted toward real women, they are about real women.

Sure, I’ve seen those mags on the internet, and I heard about them on news radio, but that just led me to the print.

Call me old-fashioned, but the internet is the new filter, the new watchdog. Editors and journalists don’t have to dig so deep to find the new big story, the latest bestseller, because bloggers and other internet junkies have already done the preliminary research for them.

I love blogging. But honestly, who reads this? My friends — new and old — and my stalkers — crazy and business-related.

So I submitted to Skirt!, and I promise to attach a link to a bunch of posts if I actually get published.

But in the meantime, I will only say this — I’m in love. The kind of love that I would marry for. And if I write again within the next week, that’s what I will write about on this blog. Let’s hope that I do, because what kind of print mag would print that cliche crap?