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Jewish Journal

On Writing on Love

by Tamara Shayne Kagel

March 10, 2011 | 2:59 am

The Santa Anas have been blowing and this is never a good sign for me. Sometimes L.A. gets these hot winds that blow in during the winter.  It’s weird because it’s warmer than it should be at night in a desert climate, but also so blustery that it’s miserable to be outside. I always go a little crazy when the Santa Anas blow and this week has been no exception.

I love writing and I’ve been loving writing this blog. But some times writing it is easier than others and this week it’s been hard. And not for lack of material. My mind is spinning with tidbits and tales from men and life over the last few days but writing it means making sense of it all and this is the daunting task. I’ve been up late every night trying to thread a theme through it all like Ira Glass, but he doesn’t have to do it about himself and so I feel like he’s got a leg up - plus he’s got a whole staff. This also means I’ve been no picnic to live with. Any week that starts with a Monday morning where your carpool and your roommate are in your room telling you, you’ve overslept and can you be ready in ten minutes is not going to be a good week.  I’ve also gone through an entire carton of Diet Dr. Pepper which wasn’t mine in the first place in order to help fuel me while I was working but without much to show for it except stealing my roommate’s soda. 

All this is to say, I’ve been feeling a little low this week. I thought it might have to do with my writing or the lack of certainty in my future plans beginning in a few months or the fact that I accidentally ended up at the website of an ex, but I actually think it has to do with the fact that I might like someone and that would mean that would mean I’m waiting to hear from him. Me - waiting for him?

I’ve been on a lot of dates in the last few years. While this can take up much of my weekends, it rarely effects my work during the week. But this week, I’ve found myself distracted, wondering when I’ll hear from him or what we’ll do when I see him next - if I see him next. We’ve only been out a few times and each time I’ve been surprised by how much I like him and how much more I want to talk to him and how much more time I want to spend with him. AND I’M FREAKING OUT!

I am usually exceedingly disciplined (don’t ask how quickly I can drop five pounds) but this week, I can’t focus, I can’t finish my writing, when I get a text - I’m hoping it will be him. This is all making me a complete mess. I am totally unprepared to deal with liking someone now. Dating is one thing - dating fits into my schedule and keeps my parents from shelling out too much guilt and allows me to pursue my busy fun-filled life. Liking someone is something I am completely unprepared to deal with. Liking someone means being vulnerable to how he feels. Liking someone means not focusing on my work. Liking someone means there is something I want that is not under my complete control.

Over the holidays this year, I got a bit tipsy at a family gathering. My dad said something along the lines of “Tamara needs to be in control so much that even when she’s drunk she’s still in complete control.”  I thought this was a compliment at the time, but in retrospect it seems really sad.

I do like to be in control a lot.  And I rarely let myself get drunk for this precise reason. Which overall, I hope is a good thing. But I probably do need loosen the reigns when it comes to a few things in my life.  Perhaps, I keep men at bay, so that I always have complete control over our relationships. If I don’t like anyone that much, there’s not much to risk. But by liking this boy, I’m putting the ball in his court. I can’t make him like me. He could never call me again and there is nothing I could do about it. But I can’t do anything about that either because I can’t stop myself from liking him. I’ve grown up in a world that told me that if there was something I wanted, anything at all, I just had to go out and get it. Work hard and I would get my rewards. Most of my life this has been true. But of course when it comes to matters of the heart, we all know that we can’t control how someone else feels about us.

So I’m stuck here, wanting something I’m not sure if I can have, listening to the Santa Anas, waiting for someone else to make a move…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tamara Shayne Kagel is a twenty-something fixture on the Los Angeles scene currently living in Santa Monica.  Currently, Tamara is a successful freelance writer (just ask her...

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