lullaby babe

In ALL, DATING & MATINGby Stephanie Klein34 Comments

Carriage_3Valpak makes me shrug.  It’s a flick of the wrist into the recycle bin of my apartment lobby.  RCN, Verizon, and Bank One promotions are unnerving, mostly because they contain some personal information which requires me to tote them upstairs to discard down a trash shoot.  Bills are really nothing more than paper to me; I rarely even open the envelopes.  They’re nods at being a hard copy for my records, you know, if I were the type to actually keep records.  I don’t even have a checkbook.  I’m all about e-banking, e-everything.  Except mail. Mail is nice.  Let me tell you what’s not nice.

I’m on a date.  It goes well, the kind of well where he ends up in my lobby, near my mailbox, waiting because I’ve said, “Oh, before we go up, let me just get my mail.”  He offers to hold something.  This is nice, being drunk with a male while I fetch the mail.  Then a sobering moment will suggest itself, right there beside my college newsletter.  Pottery Barn Kids.  Posh Tots.  HearthSong.

This wasn’t a first date. Second.  Or third.  We were past casual.  He’d read the Monarch Notes to my life.

“Um, Stephanie, why do you get children’s catalogs?”  He asked causually, because that’s what you do when you’re past casual.  And, as fast as that, I’m sober wondering why I haven’t unsubscribed to both of them.  The catalogs and the man.

“Oh, I dunno.  Let’s think.  Maybe ’cause I had an abortion.  Wanna ask me anything else?”  I know he isn’t being mean; he is being a guy.  He had forgotten.  He smiles, a shoelace dangling from his mouth.  He doesn’t mention how his foot tastes.  Instead, he turns quiet and sober.  I know he feels bad.  Well so do I.   Grab a chair.  It seems Pottery Barn Kids makes a lovely mini lullaby chair.   

I take his hand and lead him upstairs.  He reads me a bedtime story with the light of a nightlight.  Not all is lost.


  1. Note to self: don't subscribe to children's catalogs until actual birth of said child.

  2. hmmm. I get "children's catalogues" because I've been the auntie that spoils my niece and friends' kids… wonder what guys who've seen those at my house have thought?

  3. How about any of these for a response:

    1. "I am Past-President of the local NAMBLA chapter, and this stuff makes for great holiday gifts"

    2. "Because someday I hope to have a child with that 'special someone' and I like to think about that time now"

    3. "You writing a book?"

    4. "It comforts me"

    5. "Why do you care?"

    6. "(yawn) Oh geez, would ya look at the time!"

    7. "None of your f^%*ing business! GOOD NIGHT!"

    Someday SK, someone will just know why, and it won't need questioning. He'll just know.

  4. "Yes, that's right, I receive children's catalogs because when I'm not glued to Lifetime Television, I like to obsess over what their rooms will look like and what clothes they'll wear. Just look at this darling alphabet mobile." Sigh. "Okay, wanna go have S3X now?"


  5. i don't think you were really looking for alternatives suggestions as to what you should have said…i think that you said what was in your heart and on your mind…for that you should be proud and applauded. there isn't enough honesty out there. and the people who are saying you were wrong and should have considered an alternative…i don't know, i just don't agree.

  6. What does having an abortion have to do with babies? I thought abortions have to do with fetuses.

  7. Wow – did you really say that? If so, I admire your guts. Seriously.

    I probably would've said something like, "I am such an idiot, I bought a baby shower present online and forgot to uncheck the part that says 'put me on your mailing list'."

  8. "someday, someone will just know why"? you open your mailbox, pull out a bunch of catalogues with items for kids, and the guy asks a simple question. But he is supposed to "just know" why you actually get those catalogues? If he is even a moderately normal guy, he really doesnt give a fuck why you get them. It was probably just a natural reaction, small talk if you will (i can hear the replies now, "SK doesnt need guys who would offer up small talk") and harmless if you ask me.

    Instead, he gets made to feel extremely uncomfortable (and for no reason, i might add). Its ok to lie if it will spare someone elses feelings, ESPECIALLY if the truth is of a very personal nature, and generally considered an uncomfortable topic for everyone except those very close to you. everyone can disagree, but i think there were a number of suitable alternatives to "i had an abortion".

    and just as an FYI, i bought one thing for my godson, and get about 10 kid related magazines/catalogues a month. So, it wouldnt have been unreasonable to just say "oh, junk mail". THEN if the guy pressed, then you let him have it.

    i really hope the guy turned around, walked out, called his friends, and started the conversation with "man, you wont believe this one".

  9. The abortion had nothing to do with the catalogue. Both seperate decisions on your part. How about "Because, I like Pottery Barn"?

    You just got yourself un-laid for no good reason.

  10. Have all you people gone mad? Do you feel some strange compulsion to support our blogging friend no matter what she does/says ("proud and supported")? Let me say what no one else has: Stephanie's comment was mean spirited. No, sorry, Stephanie's comment was just downright mean. Get your insecurities under control. Control your verbal impulses. Get some perspective. Moderate yourself.

  11. Why is it so important for you to announce to everyone that you've had an abortion?

  12. Okay, I had to revise this post. Sometimes I change details to protect the guilty. Clearly, in this case, it just painted the wrong picture. This happened at the start of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend (we dated for a year).

  13. Ow.
    Although it kind of happened unexpectedly in the lobby, you didn't have to put it here, too. You have a special kind of bravery.

  14. I don't expect you to revise your post again, this is just for future reference. Saying someone "feels badly" means they are bad at feeling. Judging from the tone of the post and your way with words ("shoelace dangling" is superb), this very well could be what you meant anyway.

  15. OK, so let's go back to you "dumping your friend".

    I know you Steph. Well, at least I knew you. You are a socialite. You have tons of friends. I can not imagine how many of them are truly close ones, because the real friends in your life can be counted on one hand.

    You seem to be a "quantity over quality" friend accumulator. You did not suddenly come to a conclusion that you did not like this woman. You never did like her. Because of this, it would not have ever been possible for you to have ever been close friends at all. You may have both been getting something out of it, but friendship was not it. So why even give it mental bandwidth? Do you really care what she'll think? Do you really care what we'll think? How do you know that she even considers YOU a friend?

    Your best bet is to just keep "going hollywood" and you can just blame it on that. I don't think you need to tell her anything at all. Just stop encouraging people whom you do not really wish to be around you. Resist the temptation to socialize just for the sake of socializing. Heck, I dare you to forgo your next hamptons outing and spend the weekend in the city by yourself. Can you go an entire weekend with no cell phone, no crackberry, no bar, no movie, no "dee-lish" edibles?

    Can you be alone?

  16. If she said what was safe, if she said what was expected, then she wouldn't be a writer. She'd be a reader. Like all of you.

  17. If the date is going well and he's in your lobby, obviously you had a good time. So why ask, "Wanna ask me anything else?" I don't think anything's wrong with your in-your-face honesty or what you said, but from the tone of it, it sounds pretty mean and kind of uncalled for.

  18. Johnny you fool. If you read any of her previous posts you would know she most certainly can.

  19. i like the second version better, it makes more sense to me. i can't imagine not unsubscribing, though. fictionlized as the internet can be (is?), who knows how long it had been or how often the catalogs came… but still, it seems like you were putting yourself through something. or maybe i was just raised catholic and everything looks like penance tonight.

  20. For those of you who don't know, I'm the economist at the University of Chicago who argues in his book "Freakonomics" that one of the reasons crime has gone down over the last decade is because women are having more abortions–particularly abortions of the type of "unwanted" child that is at an increased risk of becoming involved in crime later in life. Given my findings, I believe we owe our good friend Stephanie much thanks for keeping one more criminal off our streets.

  21. I must say Steph that is one hell of a response to a simple question. And while I’m invoking the freedom that comes without having any influence or gravitas on your life at all – I do suggest that you turn the situation around. What if you were standing in his lobby, saw an Ikea catalogue, and said something like "Why do you get Ikea's catalogue (I like that lamp. No the blue one)?" And he replied with something along the lines of "Uh, STEPH!! Remember?! Because my mother is a Swedish drug addicted whore whom I've never met and this is my only way of feeling connected to her!! (You're right, that lamp would go wonderful in my bathroom)"

    The statements we make may be true (that's a lie) but don't you think others’ feelings should play a part in your brain-to-mouth dialogue? If you do not feel this way, may I suggest that you take a trip down memory lane to high school, or elementary school, or fat-camp (sorry, pleasantly plump camp). Haven't we all been hurt or scorn at the hands of someone bigger, more attractive, smarter, or really really good at tic-tac-toe (You know who you are! To this day, I'm terrified of the pound sign; try dialing customer service and having a nervous break down every time!)? I suppose we have. I suppose we have…

    If we have all been hurt at one time or another then shouldn’t we have a tolerance for being hurt? We are all adults after all. So WHY DO YOU ALL CARE WHAT SHE SAID to the man? He obviously didn't care, and if he did he got over it rather quickly – it’s that whole ‘being an adult thing’ I was just talking about. Sometimes you say things like that as tests, to see if the other person can handle your neurotic side that you (normally) keep bottled up like hot sauce in a pressure cooker (I'm still cleaning up the kitchen after that one).

    So get over it and applaud her for saying something so bold like that. However, you should also applaud him for taking it like a man and not running home to his $3000 tropical fish and his Ikea catalogues. Besides, everyone knows that huffing a can of Ready-Whip and watching the Swedish Chef on The Muppets reruns is the only real way to connect with an estranged drug addicted Swedish whore of a mother.

    –Hi mom. I love you. Please write back.

  22. You have GOT to be kidding me. Holy crap people. You don't know when this happened to me. It was a long time ago, when I was really bitter and upset. Angry. He knew it, understood my snapping at him (which is absolutely what I did) had more to do with the anger I harbored for my past mistakes than his slip up.

    It never stops amazing me how easily some readers can snap at me… mostly because I realize… it's not my issue. It's theirs. Lesson learned a long time ago when I was busy hating everyone but me.

  23. … and goodnight to the old lady whispering "Hush."

    Good thing your Field & Stream had arrived the day before…

  24. I'd venture to guess that you say to yourself, "You have GOT to be kidding me. Holy crap people," each and every post. I know I do.

  25. I'm not commenting on this, but to "Dr. Steven Levitt" – if you're going to impersonate someone, at least put the correct url for the email. U of Chicago is ""
    People are dumbasses.

  26. Stephanie, I didn't really have a clear picture as to when this happened to you, until you added in your first comment explaining more. Then when you edited the post and commented the second time, it got even clearer. Part of my confusion might have related to the fact that you didn't file it in memories, which is totally understandable. Lack of context. Then again, I really didn't in my comment it looks like. I just feel bad that you ever had to go through that.

  27. just curiouse do stephanie looking for a guy that has more balls? like point out that she needs to get over it. And that there's no reason for her to be upset over past decisions, cause you made ur choices with what u know at da time.

    One has to get over da past mistakes to live and move on. and take control of ur emotions don't snapp at ur love one…if there's love

    what ur mean by:
    "mostly because I realize… it's not my issue. It's theirs. Lesson learned a long time ago when I was busy hating everyone but me. "

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.