Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Fine Line

with 5 comments

Total Black: $157.36
Total Red: $225,563.13

Today was one long day at the theatre.  I worked there from 11am to 10pm.  I hawked in the morning.  Then attended a mandatory training.  Covered an event after that hosted by Boston University and finally wrapped up the night ushering at Avenue Q.  And despite having seen that show countless times, different parts of it still speak to me depending on the day.  Tonight, the final scene of Act I hit home.

Act I ends with the song There’s a Fine, Fine Line.  The character, Princeton, comes face-to-face with the reality of his life.  He’s unemployed.  He’s lost his direction and focus.  He and Kate Monster had been dating, but now he’s feeling suffocated.  So he tells Kate Monster that he can’t date her any longer; not until he figures out his purpose, what he’s been put here to accomplish—an underlying theme of the show and simultaneously this character’s Achilles heel and redeeming grace.  When Kate Monster realizes she’s being dumped, she sings this song.  Tonight it reminded me of my antics of late with Drunk Texter.

This morning, while hawking, he and I resumed our playful banter.  I had mentioned this blog to a few of my coworkers at the theatre back when I first started, him included.  I referenced it today, probably in some asinine effort to impress him.   During a lull in the conversation, I mentioned my progress: debt down, hits up.  When I first referenced the blog to him I don’t think I had topped 5,000 hits.  When I mentioned the blog’s at over 40,000 to date, he quipped that maybe my efforts will be turned into a movie, just like “Julie & Julia.”  Months earlier I had explained that backdrop to this blog.  I liked that he remembered it.  In response, I teased that he’d have to decide who would play his part and he asked if I had mentioned him on the blog.  At some point I asked how big a role he’d like to have in this movie.  And, as if to snap my heart in two, he replied, all doe-eyed and bashful, “a big part.”  So I told him he could have as big a part as he wanted.  And there it ended.  We reverted back to silly chatter.

This guy doesn’t like me.  He’s had months.  And even if he does, he’s taking way too long to act.  And, as Kate Monster says, “there’s a fine, fine line between reality and pretend. . . .  And there’s a fine, fine line between love and a waste of time.”  Clearly, I’ve been wasting my time somewhere between that fine line, lost between reality and pretend.  In my head I’m steadily making progress with this man.  He’s slowly being won over to my side.  Seeing all I have to offer.  Coming to appreciate me.  Because I’m a steady incline not a spike.  Once I get guys to take an interest, they stick around.  Some for too long and then I can’t shake ’em again.  I don’t stop traffic though.  Maybe I’m too shy.  Not sure.  Traffic stoppers are one part looks and three parts attitude.  It’s hard to stop traffic carrying this yolk on your back.  But this guy isn’t being won-over.  Instead I’m just being led on.  Because a few hours later, a new man was standing in my place, talking with Drunk Texter.  A new hire on the tech staff for the theatre.  Someone whom he had spotted while he and I were chatting.  From what I’m told, in the theatre world typically the tech people (sound board operators, lighting, stage hands, etc.)—the men in those positions tend to be straight and the women gay.  On the house side (ushers, managers, etc.) it’s more the opposite.  And as for performers, well that can go any which way, right?  But, the new guy, a tech guy, well, though he’s a bit rough around the edges: a chain linked his wallet to his belt buckle (really?  I did that fifteen years ago); and a metal stud below his lower lip (yeah, piercings too.  15 years ago bud)—but from what I’m told, the new tech guy is gay.  And Drunk Texter liked him.  That’s when I realized we had crossed that fine line.

See, Drunk Texter never gets excited about me like he did about today’s fresh meat.  If anything, whenever I arrive at work he’d get nervous or apprehensive.  He doesn’t engage me in conversation unless we’re alone and he has to, like in Puppy Love when we were stuck together in line waiting to get into a club.  Sure, he’ll respond if I talk to him, but he doesn’t initiate conversation.  No suggestion that we grab lunch together during our breaks or do anything together at all, especially outside work—a chance to get to know each other better, even as friends.  And any of the times we have gone out together, like in Jollification or And More Jollification, and definitely in Later Night / Early Morning—any of those times, he barely spoke to me.

Commenters to the blog have referenced my thick skull in other contexts, usually finances related like cutting cable, for example.  At least I’m consistent, eh?  Looks like it’s taking a while to get this message through: he’s just not that into me.  As Kate Monster says, “I guess if someone doesn’t love you back, it isn’t such a crime.  But there’s a fine, fine line between love and a waste of your time. ”  Now I see that fine line.  That line “between what you’ve wanted and what you got.”  And I too, for my own sanity, have to “close the door and walk away.”  I don’t have the time to waste on him anymore—whether he knows what he’s looking for or not.

5 Responses

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  1. I realize I’m posting this comment before you post your entry, so it will almost definitely have no specific relevance, but here we go anyway.

    I forget what you said your monthly rent is (I’ll say $2000) and I you just mentioned somewhere that taking a sick day cost you about $300.

    If a sick day is $300, you’re looking at $1500 per week, let’s say $1800 for a 6 day work week. 52 weeks in a year, if you could maintain that, would give you $93,600 annually before taxes.

    If we knock off a quarter of that (probably should be more, right?) for taxes, that would leave you with about $70,000.

    Take out your $24,000 for annual rent and you now have about $46,000.

    With you iPhone, internet, food, massages/whatever, would it be safe to say another $10,000 per year living expenses? If so, now you have $36,000.

    I went to and used their amortization calculator for what’s next:

    If you consolidated $230,000 of debt right now at 7% and paid the entire remaining $3,000 per month your debt would be paid off in 8 1/2 years.

    Adjust the numbers where you need to, if you’re interested in being more accurate, but either way, this isn’t a one-year fix for anyone, so don’t become too emotionally attached to that time frame.



    March 8, 2010 at 09:43

  2. I hope you are serious about letting go of the “drunk texter” fantasy. I am going out on a limb here and play psychiatrist, so bear with me. Ready??

    You mentioned being adopted. You mentioned not feeling like you have things in common with your family, and the fantasies involving your biological family, as well as your disappointment when you met bio mother. Now we are going to add to that the fact that you are gay. My darling, this is truly an indication of, among other things, very low self esteem. You are trying to find a place to belong, and think that if someone or something wants you it makes you worthy, but you choose people and situations that are not right for you, because you don’t feel deserving of better. Vicious circle! You want validation from the places you work, from the people you love, even your commenters. I would be willing to bet that when you mention lovers that stick around far too long, that you were bankrolling those lovers. And I would be willing to bet that if “drunk texter” were to say that he needed money, or a place to stay, or the shirt off your back, you would give it to him just to try to make him love and validate you. OK. So what exactly is it that attracts you to this man? His wit? No, he’s not funny. His charm? Not charming at all, as far as I can tell. If I were to meet him, what would I see, or what would you tell me about him, that convinces me that he is a good person, and that he deserves to be with you??? Would you say that he was good enough for your very best friend? Or someone you care about? If your best friend called and told you the story you just posted, you would say “run!” You are a good person, you are worthy of a good job and a NICE person to love you, of better things. You don’t have to buy love, you don’t have to try to impress someone in order to gain love, and you certainly do not want to start a competition between yourself and other theater geeks! Take a step back and ask yourself what it is that attracts you to this man? I am willing to bet that you will not like the answer. We all have failings and missteps, and yet, we pick ourselves up and move on. This does not make you a bad person unworthy of someone good to love you. Stop messing with the freaks, or prince charming will come and you will miss your chance while you are at the club with a loser! One last thing…I think you subconciously sabotage your life because you do not think you deserve happiness. You do, you know. xoxo


    March 9, 2010 at 15:51

  3. “Now we are going to add to that the fact that you are gay. My darling, this is truly an indication of, among other things, very low self esteem.”

    What the heck does being gay have to do with low self esteem?

    Drunk texter is hot, flirty, and ummmm. . well probably more, but c’mon.


    March 9, 2010 at 17:21

  4. Prescient. And painful. But true. Well…mostly. 😉 You’re right in that I carried many of my exes. And you’re right that I’d give Drunk Texter the shirt off my back if he asked. But not solely because I’m attracted to him. I’d do that with anyone who asked me for help. I’m a joiner; a doer. I can’t count the hours spent working for free.

    You raise an interesting dilemma: how would I pitch this guy to a friend? If someone asked me to sell them on him, there’s not much I could say. Because I don’t know that much about him. He’s an actor. He’s 27 years old. He’s dark and handsome. Not a lot more I can say. Guess that’s why I mentioned in Puppy Love that I don’t understand the pull sexual attraction has over us. But does anyone?

    Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the pep talk. And the straight talk—no pun. 😉 Just been tarrying a bit too long in this rut. Time to move on. Better things to come.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    March 9, 2010 at 17:29

  5. I see the point you raise. But I don’t think Concerned meant it like that; that being gay necessarily means low self-esteem. Rather, I think Concerned just meant that it’s another element to consider.

    But you’re right in one sense, Matt. Drunk Texter is hot and flirty. Hard to not get confused by his mixed signals. My “problem” is that I end up wanting to date and get to know a guy, instead of going for that quick fix. If only I could be a bit more cavalier. Love ’em and leave ’em, eh? But that’s just not me.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    March 9, 2010 at 18:09

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