Day Eleven   /   lettering by Debbie Millman

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
Sigh.

What did y’all do together?
Our friends Lotta and Jonathan were hosting an Easter potluck dinner with “the family.” That’s the nickname I gave our group of friends. We joke that I’m “Grandma”, since I’ve been known to go to bed super early. Tim named himself the “Slutty Sister.”

TextMessage_Jessica_Family

Did anything interesting happen?
Earlier today, I went to see the NYC 1993 show at The New Museum and the Gutai show at the Guggenheim. Gutai was a Japanese artist group led by Yoshihara Jiro. They did a large body of experimental work together in the 50s and 60s including paintings, installations, exhibitions, and films.

Guggenheim-2

After the shows, my mind was racing with new ideas that Tim and I could collaborate on. I wanted to share a little of this inspiration with him, so I picked up several books for him at the museum gift shop. I thought it would be nice ‘thank you’ after the sweet video he made me the other day.

I gave him the books on the cab ride to Brooklyn and started to tell him some of my ideas. As he opened the gifts he became irritated, and tried to pick a fight. Not the reaction I was hoping for! He said my fluctuating mood was stressful. I was a little tense leading up to my big photo shoot the other day, but have since been upbeat and happy. His own moods fluctuate quite a bit, too. Yesterday he was happy, today he’s crabby. Anyway, I was able to calm things down, but it definitely killed my mood. At least the dinner was wonderful! We feasted on asparagus pie, ravioli, and lemon cocktails.

Right after we finished eating, a few things happened in succession. First, a wave of exhaustion hit me. I didn’t sleep at all the night of the Adobe shoot, and I only slept a few hours per night for the rest of the week. Secondly, I’ve been getting these terrible headaches lately, and it became unbearable after dinner. Next, I started to mull on Tim’s reaction to the gifts from earlier in the evening. And lastly, I got a text message from that ex who broke my heart last year:

ParsaText

My heart sank. I thought I was over him, but I guess I’ve been holding on to hope. All I wanted to do was go home and crawl under my covers. Everyone was having such a great time, and I didn’t want to kill the mood. I pulled Lotta aside and let her know what was going on, and then I left.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
Tim can be grumpy and moody. I don’t hold it against him, though. We can all get that way.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I stress because I give a fuck. Whether it’s in my work or my relationships, I’m very passionate. When I care about someone, I tend to care and empathize with them very deeply. Tim is starting to enter this “I care about you” zone, so I internalized his crabby mood. I let it get to me.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
Later that night, I decided to call Tim and tried to talk to him directly about what he was feeling. He’s been over thinking everything, and sending me mixed signals. He’s both interested and scared to become intimate, yet he’s still being flirtatious and showing signs of wanting more. Why is this so difficult? The back and forth is confusing, and I’m tired of playing guessing games about what he wants. He said he had had a few too many cocktails, and that he’d prefer to talk about everything in the morning.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
I shouldn’t internalize the moods of the person I am with so deeply, it’s been a source of stress in my past relationships.

Additional comments?
All our friends at the dinner party were couples. I watched as they exchanged kisses, teased each other, laughed with each other, etc. I can’t deny that I felt a little envious.

Day Eleven   /   lettering by Sabine Dowek

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Oh boy.

What did y’all do together?
Our friends Lotta and Jonatan invited us over to their place for an “Easter Feaster” dinner party with some other friends of ours, three other couples.

Email_Lotta

Did anything interesting happen?
Jessie and I shared a cab on the way over there. I was already in a crabby mood from my day, and I ended up picking a fight with her. The last couple days she’s been stressed, and when this happens, I can really feel that energy. This can be frustrating for me, so I think I took it out on her. Anyway, Jessie, was in a great mood and she was inspired from museum hopping all day. She even brought me a bag of gifts. It was very sweet. I’m sorry I was being an asshole.

timletter2

Presents_02

After the cab ride, I figured it couldn’t get worse. Well, it did. Things were great until dinner, when everybody started asking us about the project. Jessie seemed uncomfortable talking about it, and she became very aloof. She eventually left without much explanation to anyone. Now, I’m at the dinner party feeling like the bad guy, and everyone is asking me why she left. D-R-A-M-A.

Thirty minutes later, she called me to say that we needed to “stop playing games.” What does that even mean? I’m not playing games, I’m being cautious! As I keep reiterating, I’m not interested in leading her on or hurting her. Can’t we just hang out, be cool and see what happens naturally? I told her that we should discuss this tomorrow, since we had both had too much rum cocktail.

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
Lately, I feel like her mood can sway at any given moment. I know she’s stressed from her headaches—and my uncertainty is not helping—but her moods are draining me.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
She made a comment at dinner, jokingly saying I’m “controlling.” I know I was a jerk in the cab, but now I’m controlling? It didn’t make me feel so good.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
Not good. She seems very affected by this project. She wants more from me, and I feel pressured about it.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
Everything.

Additional comments?
All I could think about was that line from The Real World, “When people stop being polite and start getting real.” Yup, here we go.