Archive | March, 2012

HBOhhhh No

31 Mar

Long time no post – sorry for the lapse!  This next post is not so much a “story” as it is a recent personal reflection.  Coming off a six-week stint of dating a really great guy, I was feeling a little bummed earlier this week after we mutually agreed that the “connection” just wasn’t there.  It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized my TV-watching may be to blame!  

The beginnings of this story date back to exactly one year ago, when I met someone who whisked me off into a whirlwind romance.  The night I met him through a friend of a friend, we were out at a bar and there were Jameson shots involved.  He was loud, obnoxious, and 8 years older than me…but somehow, his overly forward nature and flirtation had me intrigued.  Three days after we met, he called to set up a date, and things went from 0 to 60.  I was hesitant about his extreme immediate interest (how could he like me without even knowing me yet?), but I was having fun and told myself that maybe this is how “older men” date – they just “know when they know.”  Within one month, we had been out for dinners, out for drinks, to the comedy club, and to an early season baseball game.  I met his friends, I met his co-workers, and I went out of town with him for the weekend to celebrate his friend’s birthday.  There was a Bachelor-style fantasy suite (okay, there were not roses strewn about, nor was there a hot tub, but still) and there was filet mignon.  This romance ended as quickly as it began, but in the midst of all that, we discovered that we both wanted to find out what the whole Mad Men craze was about.  Towards the end of our month-o-luv, I had season 1 of Mad Men as first in line in my Netflix queue.  Disc 1 arrived, and we cozied up under the down comforter to watch Episode 1.  After the weekend away, we arrived back in the city and promptly watched Episode 2 that night.  Like Don Draper, my whirlwind romance man was tall, dark, and handsome.  Unlike Don Draper, my whirlwind romance man was loud, obnoxious (yes, yes, I knew this from the start)…and proved himself to be a pretty cruel individual. The “relationship” ended, and I was left with Episode 3.

My DVD player taunted me from the other side of my room – “Watch me, watch me!  You need to finish this disc before you can get another one!” (I am a cheap Netflix subscriber with the one-DVD-at-a-time plan.)  Those Mad Men writers already had me hooked, even before Don Draper’s secret past was revealed!  Although it was clear that my whirlwind romance man was a complete ass, the whirlwind romance nature of that previous month left me feeling glum about its end.  It almost felt like Mad Men was part of that month, and I had to purge it from my life.  Thankfully, my DVD player’s taunts won out, and I bravely pressed play.  By the end of Episode 3, all thoughts of Mad Men’s relevance to the whirlwind romance vanished.  I saw something in that dowdy-yet-sassy Peggy Olson – I knew she was going places – and I had to see her through.  Four or five months later, I finished all 4 seasons and was waiting with baited breath, along with the rest of the Mad Men fans, for Season 5 (yes, I was on my couch for 2 hours last weekend).

Fast forward one year, and here we are today.  I joined an online dating site a few months ago and went on my first date with Chris in February.  This was not a whirlwind romance, for which I was glad, as I now know most of those are the rule rather than the exception to it.  Chris was a really great guy who did everything right.  He called instead of texted, asked me out to dinner dates rather than “meeting up out”, and remembered things we had discussed on previous dates (i.e., I don’t like seafood, and my favorite ice cream is cookies-and-cream…very important.)  However, after going out for six weeks or so, we came to the mutual realization that things just weren’t clicking.  We both acknowledged appreciation for having met each other and frustration that “it” wasn’t happening despite the fact that it’s rare to come across a genuinely good person.  With that, we parted ways.  There I was, lying down in bed under my down comforter, with a very familiar feeling.  About to press play on the DVD player remote, I experienced a sudden hesitation.  What was this feeling about?  And then it clicked.  While dating Chris, we discussed our respective must-see TV shows.  I mentioned that I had just caught up on all available seasons of True Blood and commented on how much I enjoy HBO-type hour-long dramas.  Chris mentioned his love for Six Feet Under and strongly suggested I watch it.  So, towards the end of the short time we dated, Six Feet Under took first place in line in my Netflix queue.  I watched Episode 1 on my own.  Chris spent the afternoon with some friends and me on a recent Saturday afternoon, and then he and I came back to my apartment afterwards and watched Episode 2 together.  Sure enough, we stopped dating just after that.

Lying in bed under my duvet cover, about to watch Episode 3 of Six Feet Under, I came to the realization that I suffer from HBO Drama-Inflicted Romance Disorder (yes, I realize Mad Men is on AMC…but it may as well be an HBO drama).  As a psychologist, I am strongly considering proposing this disorder to the writers of the upcoming DSM-V, the newest edition of the diagnostic manual for psychological disorders.  Despite my awareness of being afflicted with this syndrome, I pressed play and soldiered on.  I am happy to report that I recently finished Episode 7 of Six Feet Under and am eagerly awaiting the next disc’s arrival.  Although this is a drama centered around the death of a new person every single week, I won’t let that get me down.  I’m sensing a Peggy Olson-like perseverance in Claire.  This will tide me over, at least until the DVD release of Season 4 of True Blood when I can start relying on Vampire Eric to keep me company during my single days again.