Alicia has been seeing a guy.
ALICIA: He's not a friend or the ex of a friend.
At least some people are listening to me.
ALICIA: I can't wait to tell you about him.
Although soon, I won't be listening.
ME: Alicia, I need you to not talk about him.
ALICIA: You're kidding, right?
Why do people always ask me that?
Alicia and I were eating lunch at the Steeple, where I was still in a quandary over the "no dating ex's of friends" rule. It seemed like in a state as small as Rhode Island, steering clear of degrees of separation would be harder than it...okay, well I guess it's pretty obvious that it would be difficult.
ALICIA: Hey! Back to me!
While I pondered, I decided to give Alicia her latest lesson.
ME: Alicia, don't be that girl that only talks about the guy she's dating.
ALICIA: But I'm excited about it!
ME: Is that all you're excited about?
ALICIA: Kevin, I'm a paralegal. I eat take-out. I see seventeen movies a week. Yes, that is all I have to be excited about, sorry.
ME: I just think when you talk about a guy a lot, somehow, he senses it.
ALICIA: You mean you think he can feel me being clingy even when he's not here?
ME: Straight guys are funny like that.
That night I took Alicia out for AJ's birthday party, and had her put her conversation aversion skills to the test. Not only did I not want her to talk about the guy, I was hoping she could improve her chatting overall.
Here's how she did:
AARON: So Alicia, what have you been up to lately?
ALICIA: I've been reading up on Iran, fascinating country.
AARON: Wow, good for you.
I told her, when in doubt, mention Iran. Nobody wants to know anything about Iran, but people are impressed when you say you're interested in it.
AJ: Hey Alicia, been seeing anyone new lately?
ALICIA: I might be.
AJ: Ooohh, deets?
ALICIA: He's a great guy. I don't want to jinx it. How have you been?
The turn-around, always works.
ANTHONY: Hey Alicia, I hear you went out on a few dates with my friend Steve.
God, everybody really does know everybody.
ALICIA: Kevin, you didn't prep me for this.
ME: Go with your gut.
She turned back to Anthony.
ALICIA: Tell me he loves me.
Remind me never to tell her to go with her gut again. Next time I'll have her go with a kidney.
ANTHONY: I know he thinks you're really cool. I don't know if--
ME: She was kidding--haha--someone refill the chip bowl.
I took Alicia out onto AJ's fire escape.
ALICIA: I know, but I can't help it. I'm excited. And I'm never excited. Why can't I just be excited about being excited?
ME: It's fine to be excited about a new relationship, but you don't want to alienate your friends by forgetting they exist just because some new flashy boy came along.
ALICIA: I wouldn't do that!
ALICIA: Okay, yes I would.
ME: Just like anything else, it's all about balance.
ALICIA: So I promise to try and balance, I can gush a little.
ME: Oh what the hell, it's a birthday party after all.
Five minutes later...
ALICIA: So I think his right toe is supercute!
AJ: Where's Iran?
That's why we save 'Balance' for the last lesson.