Friday, March 24, 2006

Snuffleupagus & My New Boyfriend

i had two -- count 'em, TWO -- dates last night.

(of course i'm still with Ish, just play along, okay?)

:::Date The First:::

remember how when Miranda got TiVo* she referred to him as her new boyfriend? and remember how that made perfect sense? (i mean, she was spending all her free time with him, he was always there for her, he even recommended shows she might like, etc...)

well, everyone, i would like to tell you about MY new boyfriend. his name is...um...well, i actually have no idea what his name is. but he is a sweet man and he came to me directly from heaven.

and alabaster cleaners.

i finally, FINALLY heeded the most brilliant advice EVER from my dear friend ericha, whose last name i do not know because this is the blogworld but who is dear nonetheless, and i called a place called alabaster cleaners here in san francisco.

now, i was hesitant to contact them for two reasons. first of all, i live on the third floor (of three) and there is no elevator. so i always feel guilty with delivery services of any sort because even though that is what i'm paying for, i hate making people walk up three flights of stairs just to, you know, bring me things.

and i always think that by the time the delivery people get to my apartment door, they have a certain "what are you? too lazy to do this yourself?" look in their eye.

and i probably think this because it's accurate. i AM too lazy to do it myself which is precisely WHY i'm paying to have it delivered. but hi, guilt.
[and also i totally WOULD run down the stairs to meet the delivery people if there was any way i could communicate this to them, but i can't because my building doesn't have an intercom.

instead, people who want to be let in just hit a buzzer, which sets off this skin-crawlingly awful MMMNNNNNNNAAAAMMPT buzz sound in my apartment that is surely waking the dead. i probably have all sorts of pissed-off ghost spirits haunting my place now.]

what? how did i get to talking about ghosts? who knows. crazyness. moving on.

the SECOND reason i haven't contacted the alabaster cleaners is that i also assumed that coordinating delivery and pick-up would be a bitch, in that i leave early and often come home very, very late and surely they won't be able to accommodate me.

BUT! FINALLY! faced with the impossibility of soooooooo much laundry to do, i gave in and gave them a call. what could it hurt? and so they said they'd be happy to come pick my stuff up "whenever" i wanted. we picked 8 p.m.

and lo. at 7:50 p.m. on wednesday, my new boyfriend rang my buzzer. while he was making his way up the stairs, PinkJaime helped me lug my six, considerable-sized shopping bags of laundry into the hallway (while trying to stop the cats from escaping).

and then...it was so simple.

this smiling, pleasant, friendly man asked if i had special instructions. (i didn't.) he asked if i had any drycleaning needed. (i didn't.) he then asked me to fill out a client form while HE emptied the contents of the bags into his one, special Cleaners bag. i asked how much it cost and discovered that delivery and pick-up is free with a $15 minimum order, and that laundry is only $1.00 per pound. he asked how i heard about them and i told him about my dear friend ericha (whose last name i couldn't "remember" because i "met" her through my blog and nevermind, i'll let you know later) and he said OH! in THAT case you get a first-time 15% discount and so does she!** meaning the laundry is costing me $0.85 per pound. plus no delivery fees.

is that not amazing? AMAZING. THIS is why i live in a city.

but ohmygod, you want to know the best part? my boyfriend then RETURNED my laundry to me a DAY LATER. LAST NIGHT. and when i called to confirm (and change delivery times) yesterday morning, my boyfriend knew who i was just by my voice.

i am completely in love.

and also? with the clean laundry.


voila!

:::Date The Second:::

almost 5 years ago now -- summer of 2001 -- my marriage had just ended. i was living alone in our house in connecticut, working from home and being very, very lonely. my friends didn't live nearby anymore. my parents and youngest sister were living in new hampshire and my other sister was in boston. my mom was sick.

it was NOT a good summer.

i decided i needed to go somewhere and do something. as you know, i picked SF.

but between when the separation began (mid-June) and selling the house (end of September) and moving to San Francisco (mid-October) there was a whole lot of sitting-around-miserable-blogs-had-not-been-invented-yet-woe-is-me-ing going on. i spent a lot of time online.

one of the things i did online was go in search of people who lived in san francisco so that i might actually KNOW someone when i arrived. it's how i met El_Gallo, in fact.

it's also how i met Snuffleupagus***.

Snuffles and i began with something of a typical online courtship. emails, IMs, photo-sharing, eventual phone calls. he didn't live in SF but visited there regularly, and so we loosely planned that we would sort of date that way. i'd move to SF and we'd see each other once a month or so, when he was in town.

except that by the time i did actually move to SF, his job had changed and landed him in a completely different part of the country. it ended up being 7 months before i ever even met him. and over those months, we'd stayed relatively close. we'd talk when we could -- but it was always random because he travelled so frequently and so far (always off to europe). and by the time we did meet, we were both seeing other people.

so over the last five years, it's been like that. we chat online when we can. we email now and then. we chat on the phone when there's occassion to -- holidays, birthdays, just because. otherwise, we see each other once, twice, maybe three times a year. and every time we meet, it's the same thing: we share mutual respect and admiration, good conversation, excellent meals, and -- sure -- sexual tension. the kind of tension that comes from two people who could have been pretty good together, maybe, if, when, but.

last night i got to see him again, and it always amazes me how meaningful it is to have someone like him in my life. you know? where every time we see each other, we have an opportunity to reflect on where we were in life when we met, where we've been each time we've been together, and where we are now.

among other things, i spoke a lot of Ish and of writing. he spoke a lot of his wife, of how it's been living in europe with her, of his recent job offers. of their trying to get pregnant.

we eventually ended the evening at one of my favorite places in the city -- an ostentatiously gay bar with a very friendly staff and clientele and awesomely good and strong drinks. and, true to form, i definitely drank too much, so indicated by my discovering glitter lotion in my purse and promptly smearing it all over both his cheeks, because what could be more appropriate than a very corporately dressed business guy with glitter all over his cheeks?

this IS san francisco, after all.

perhaps for our next outing i shall ply him with false eyelashes and a boa.




* Carrie: You've traded Steve-o for TiVo

(what? like you can't recite them all? please.)

** hi, Ericha! please tell them you were the one who referred me! you will get 15% off too!! yay!!!

*** i used to call him Snuffleupagus because while i have had this long, personal, and sometimes intense relationship with him, no one i knew had ever spoken to him or seen him. no one in his life knows much about me, either. it's just this funny, quirky digital relationship we have. he did eventually meet a bunch of my friends a while back and that meeting was utterly surreal.

12 comments:

  1. oh, neatly folded! and i bet it has that warm comforting fabric softener smell. this one is a keeper.

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  2. I WANT THAT CLEANING SERVICE! i would pretend to myself that with my broken foot it was "too hard" to go into the basement and do my own laundry, when really.... hello, laundry done for me? and delivered? HECK YES! always and forever! true love. sigh.

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  3. But I thought... I thought you were at the library...

    (mock furrowed brow)

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  4. Am ready to throw my washer and dryer out the back door and call those people.

    That is a lie. I love laundry too much. But could they possibly do things like take my car away, clean it, get the oil changed, and bring it back?

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  5. I so need that laundry service. I could change my laundry room into a library! Does anybody know of a service like that in Texas?

    Hey, isn't that the Sex episode where she watches the British show about the landlord hooking up with a renter? I wonder if that's a real show.

    I just noticed my word verification is "urpms." How did they know?

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  6. Ericha2@comcast.net12:49 AM, March 25, 2006

    Hi K!

    YAY! YAY! YAY!

    Didn't I tell you they were amazing?! I love the guy who does their deliveries...he's always so sweet and happy. Always a smile, even if there are 3 bags of laundry with special instructions and it's 10:30pm on a rainy night. Ahh....love.

    I moved to Santa Clara and they don't cover my area *pout* but I'm going to call them tomorrow to see if they'll apply my 15% savings to your account. I'll let you know.

    In all seriousness, though...I'm very glad I could help you "sort out" (yes I went there) at least one of your problems.

    To everyone else, I think they only cover the city of San Francisco and some close outlaying areas (no further south than South City or Burlingame).

    Happy weekend! (I still have to work both days. BLAH.)

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  7. I love that you did this. However...going back a few months ago, I mentioned that my only beef with these services is that your jeans come back folded so that there are creases down the middle. Did yours? Umm...knowing where you live (because you told me), the gay bar...was it that little drag bar kinda across the street? If it was...love that place...and the glitter would have been puurrfect.

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  8. Um, will your new boyfriend come "visit" me in Boston?

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  9. i'm in utter awe of your first date there. wow. they must have that in nyc, right? whinger almost sold me on the flip n fold, but i really might have to find a "professional" in my area!

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  10. Ok what A GREAT SERVICE. Between my husband and me I would pay quite a bit to have someone do my laundy (sans g-strings of coarse I just could not go there)
    Whats the name of the company?

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  11. One of my exes used to send his laundry out. At the time, I'd never met anyone who'd done such a thing. It seemed like the height of extravagance. I asked him why
    he did it. He said: "when I get my laundry back, all clean and folded and wrapped neatly in blue paper, I think to myself: it doesn't get any better than this."

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  12. Dear Lord, what I would do to have a laundry service like that. Seriously, i am so lazy about doing laundry

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