Cruisin’ for a Brusin’

by Jane Moneypenny

“That’s a beautiful photo!”

The middle-aged woman next to me exclaimed when I popped open my laptop on the plane. I grinned and explained it was from a recent trip to Greece. Then I stared at the photo some more and thought of how damn lucky I was to finally go to Europe.

Back in the spring when I was planning the trip back to STL for the wedding and to get the rest of my stuff, I realized I had enough AA miles for a free round trip to SF. I’ve never been and it’s a city spilling with culture and great design companies. An old high school friend, CC, is moving out here for Stanford law school, so I convinced him to come out early to look for an apartment. Since all my friends would be at work during the week, I would have a site-seeing partner.

We’re staying with my first college friend, L. I introduced her to my neighbor J freshmen year and commented they should date. Seven years later, they’re living together in this cute apartment in SF. They took us out to Santa Cruz Boardwalk yesterday and it was a spectacular time. I’ve never seen a real boardwalk and as usual, my enthusisasm overtook the day as we ate fried twinkies and rode wooden roller coasters. Unlike New Orleans or STL, the weather was in the 60-70s. Gorgeous, beautiful and just the right amount of relaxation. If this is life in SF all the time, I could sure get used to it.

Right before we fell asleep (I slept on the hard floor the night before and he got the air mattress; I’m not sure how that worked out. I made him trade.), CC and I suddenly got into a conversation about how when he’s around me only, his ego seems to get bigger due to my awesome ego-crushing abilities. I’ve been told by many men that I seem to have this talent for bringing them back to reality and never stroking their ego. I guess it’s gotten annoying at times, so I fell asleep feeling guilty.

Maybe that’s why so many guys see me as the buddy and not a real girl. Having dated (and gotten hurt) by so many self-absorbed arrogant guys, I seem to naturally react to all guys with large egos by swiftly crushing them. And now I’m a bully. Damn. The older I get, the more I’ve learned to control my emotions and not show all my cards. For awhile in college when going through that rough patch, I was known for not being afraid to show how I felt and lost a lot of friends that couldn’t understand or deal with my emotions. But those closest to me, I am who I am and you’re going to get the honesty. But maybe I need to dial down the ego-crushing.