Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Summer has officially arrived, readers… and nothing rings in the season better than a New England Clambake!  This past weekend my dear friend Karen graciously hosted a smorgasbord of epic proportions.  She and her boyfriend literally prepared 30 pounds of muscles, 20 pounds of potatoes, hamburgers, hotdogs, lobster tails and some side dishes […in case we got puckish.]  For dessert we had cookies and pies of all assortments...  And fret not; we had plenty to wash it down with!

Before the gluttony commenced however, Karen informed me that there was someone I should meet. 

“He’s an AMAZING musician, Al… seriously I think you guys would click.”


“NOT LIKE THAT!” she assured me, “I just think you would make some good music together, that’s all.”

Sure, Sure I thought.  I could feel the cynicism coursing through my veins.  I just wanted to eat and drink and visit with old friends…NOT be bothered with impressing a total stranger. 

Well…that was until I saw him.

Tall, broad and handsome:  in walked Music Man clutching a guitar.

By now I’m sure you’ve realized what a sucker I am for the artistically inclined.  The talent, confidence and subtle [I’m-a-mess-but-don’t-worry-I’ll-just-write-a-song-about-it] mystique seem to draw me in like a masochistic moth to the flame.  All in all however, I was resisting the weakness in my knees.  Sure he was cute and sweet and funny and friendly and we sounded really good together… but c’mon… I wasn’t sold.

“So who’s your favorite singer?” he asked.

“Gotta be Sarah Vaughan” I answered, anticipating the normal I don’t know who that is reaction.

“Oh my God, she’s amazing isn’t she??” he shot back.


Before I knew it, it was 5 AM and we were still talking.  At this point, I was about ready to buy that moth a fire-proof vest and be done with it.  But suddenly, all I could think about was HOW MUCH he reminded me of my most recent ex.

My most recent ex is a talented musician in a newly disbanded group.  It was a big love filled with laughter and compatibility, but we were ultimately doomed by the emotional issues at play.  That double-edged sword of creativity had beheaded us… and for the first time all evening I was able to see the striking parallel.

Of course, you wouldn’t know it by Nice Alex!  She breezed right in and chalked this red flag up to fearful nonsense.  “This man DESERVES a chance” she asserted.  "He's not your ex and he has nothing to do with him."

Am I excited to have met someone with SO much potential?  Of course!  But still, in my gut I wonder “How serious is a red flag?”  

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Obviously, someone has declared this the week of cyber incrimination.  It’s true! Over the past seven days, we were all inundated with tales of "abducted" bloggersbackfiring Facebook traps and yes… even Weiners.  In the face of all this stupidity, it’s difficult not to judge.  “How could she have fallen for that?” we wonder.  “How could he have been so dumb?” we ask.  “How can I be such a hypocrite?!” I quake.

For those of you playing catch-up, allow me to rewind.

On the last episode of “Alex is a Train-Wreck,” we bid farewell to a semi-beloved character---Mr. Wonderful.  Seemingly compatible he was, but ultimately on a much different track than your protagonist:  I asked him to slow down and he didn’t.  While he was anxious to speed the dating process (among other things), I was tapping the breaks.  Unfortunately, the result was a slight emotional collision. 

As I always do, I sat down to blog of my adventure; only this time, I was met with a very alarming comment:

You do realize that your date has probably Googled you by now and is reading all your blog posts, right?”

Naturally, this has been a concern from the beginning.  However I thought with the right amount of poise and tact, I could somehow express my sarcastic views without crushing anyone.




Yeah… you’re right:  Naive. 

By now, Nice Alex was paranoid with worry.  “What if this anonymous blogger is Mr. Wonderful himself---disapproving incognito?” Though it was unlikely, it was possible---and it paralyzed me with Single Girl Guilt.  “Oh no!” thought Nice Alex, “now what?”

This blog brings me (and hopefully you) so much pleasure.  While it seems to have opened a dialog for other cynical daters, it simultaneously allows me to selfishly connect my own dots.  However, I am now faced with a very serious question:  Can an earnest search for love ever be conducted in the public eye?  Or, like Congressman Weiner, will my “over-exposure” eventually lead to an impromptu resignation?

Plagued by these questions, I went upstate for a family gathering.   The festivities eventually led us to a rinky-dink bar for some live music and drinks.  As the cute bartender mixed my usual vodka cranberry, he struck up a friendly conversation.  We exchanged names and basic information.

“What did you study in school?” he asked.

“English and Mass Communications.”

“English and Mass Communications.” He repeated, trailing off.

“Yeah… I guess I wanted to be a writer or something,” I said smiling.

“How’s that working for you?”

“I’m in finance.” I chuckled, raising my glass.

Laughing with me, he asked “So do you write at all?”

I had a choice.  I could allow this cute bartender to think I was just a girl who drank vodka cranberries, and lived in Westchester, and visited my family upstate on weekends, and worked in finance, and who maybe once wrote poetry…


“Yes, actually---I write a blog.”

After explaining a little bit more, I rejoined my family for a couple tunes.  I left prematurely to get a little sleep; and when the cute bartender didn’t ask for my number, I knew---the blog was too threatening.  Though it pained me to consider it, perhaps The LABOR of LOVE would simply have to go.

You have one message

“Hey Sissy!  Just wanna make sure you’re okay, give us a call when you get home.  Also… after you left that bartender guy followed us into the parking lot and asked us to give you his number.  He’s kinda cute, Ali… just sayin’!  Alright talk to you soon!!”

And so… I write.

Friday, June 3, 2011


The other night, I had a dream fit for a Disney film!  My vision told the story of a petite, slightly awkward princess living in an enchanted land.  Each day, a Wonderful man would stand at the foot of her palace gate and call upon her.  He showered her with lovely gifts and charming compliments, until one day the young princess was coaxed from her castle.  From that day forward, the two took long walks along the water and talked of beautiful things. 

One day, the Wonderful man boldly invited the young princess to his garden.

 “It’s beautiful,” he bragged, “a garden fit for a Queen!” 

But the shy princess declined, insisting it was much too soon to see his land.  The next day the Wonderful man tried again. 

“Please princess,” he implored.  “The fruit is so beautiful and the flowers, so fragrant.  I know you will love it.”

But the princess simply shook her head saying “In time dear sir, in time.” 

Upon the Wonderful man’s third invitation, the princess could sense a desperation in his voice.  “Please!” he asked again.  “You have many royal things to do my beauty, but my heart will soar if only you’d take a peek.” Finally, she agreed.

They walked and walked until they reached his garden wall. 

“Close your eyes” whispered the Wonderful man as he led her by the hand. 

Ten steps later, he allowed her to view his craftsmanship.  She slowly opened her eyes, anticipating a breathtaking site.  But much to the princess’ horror, the Wonderful man’s garden was not at all how he described!  It was overgrown and unkempt; displeasing to the senses and generally frightening.  When he tried to draw her near, the princess simply turned and ran.


In a cold sweat, I woke up.  What did this dream mean?  I immediately scoured the memory of my last date with Mr. Wonderful for clues.

It’s true---our rhythm was different.  There was something off, something strange:  Redundant conversation, small talk about the weather; and multiple PDA attempts to fill the gaps in conversation.  It was odd and slightly discouraging, but I clung to the hope that it was just a fluke.  So, chalking it up to nerves, I agreed to a post-dinner stroll.

When the situation still proved to be…hairy…I decided I had to say something.         

“You told your mother you met someone special?” I asked, attempting to clarify what I’d just heard.

“Well I have!” he said, smiling.

“Okay… I have to get something off my chest” I began, gazing into his big, worried eyes.  “Look, I like you.  We have a lot in common and you seem really sweet.  The thing is…I’ve been through some change this year, and I really need to trim this back... you know… take things a little slower.”

“Oh.”  He replied.

Fully recovered from her coma, Nice Alex arose to whack me repeatedly over the head with a rolled up newspaper.  "All this poor boy did was like you and now you’re criticizing his pace?!" She cried.  But I could only think of Carrie Bradshaw as she told Aiden (the most perfect man ever written) that he was suffocating her with his eagerness and certainty.  Rationally, Aiden was everything Carrie wanted and needed, yet emotionally, she sensed it simply wasn’t right.

Now---it’s easy to rationalize when you have a team of writers sitting around a table, concocting your Mr. Big; but like Carrie, I struggle with the question:  How do you know when it’s right?  Is commonality and comfort a sign of compatibility, or is it a sign that your counterpart isn’t challenging you enough?  Is fear an indication that it’s not working---or is it the past coming to scare you away from something real?

I’ve not yet decided how I’ll handle Mr. Wonderful, as I don't believe he is truly capable of taking a step back at this point... but the question is daunting:  Did the petite, awkward princess run because she was afraid of her past---or because she saw too much too soon?