four years ago today: "I'll have to re-think this being-your-friend thing"

Hanna's comment, when I asked her to look this conversation over and approve it for posting, was: "good god, you are a clunky flirt ... just...wow ... it's amazing." The only thing I can offer by way of defending myself is to point out that at that point I hadn't yet consciously realized I was interested in flirting, or even at all capable of it! As before, third party names have been omitted and clarifying editions are in brackets. All other text is original to the conversation.

dorm room beds aren't the best for cuddling
(September 2007)
Online Chat with Hanna Date: 2007/9/12
1:13 PM
me: the internship site [for choosing archives internships] is up and running!
Hanna: oh, thank goodness!
anything you can't live without? ;)
1:14 PM
me: um . . . nothing quite THAT inticing
My top three choices so far are:
Hanna: drumroll
1:15 PM
me: 1) BPL [Boston Public Library], a photo project with the Leslie Jones collection, "part of a pre-digitization phase."
Hanna: awww...the bpl....
me: 2) Mass. Dept of Conservation and Recreation, organizing and indexing plans and maps, including some Olmstead stuff [this was the one I was eventually offered, and accepted]
Hanna: nice,nice.
1:16 PM
me: and 3) the New England Conservatory of Music, a personal collection of one Victoria Glaser, now 94, whose collection they would like to make accessible for research
Hanna: oooh, nice. all good choices!
me: I also looked at the Boston Athenaeum, just because the space is so worthy of drooling over
1:17 PM
[me:] but the whole concept of a subscription library . . .
so hoity-toity
Hanna: yeah, S (who used to work here) went on and on and on about how much she loved the athenaeum and her internship there. she said they had the best pencils ever.
1:18 PM
me: haha
well, that $220/year membership fee has to pay for something!
the thing I wasn't so sure about with their internship (aside from the elitism)
was that they weren't so specific about what projects were available
1:19 PM
[me:] so you're just picking the site, not the project
Hanna: right, right -- warning there, though. when i signed up for my 438 internship the project i got at the site was totally different from the one they advertised.
i don't know what would have happened if i'd raised a stink about it.
me: ah
good heads up
1:20 PM
[me:] so S liked the athenaeum?
(aside from the pencils?)
Hanna: oh, yeah, she loved it.
apparently it's a gorgeous space and i guess some of their collections are to die for.
me: have you ever talked to anyone who's worked at the BPL?
1:21 PM
Hanna: thinking
no, i don't think so.
1:22 PM
[Hanna:] i know one of the girls in my management class this summer was just going to start working there when the class ended, but we didn't stay in touch after the semester was over.
me: oh well
1:23 PM
Hanna: :( sorry.
me: :)
don't worry about it
just thought, you know, if you had any insider info . . .
Hanna: ;) only that they can't hire anyone who doesn't live in bosto.
1:24 PM
me: ah . . . well, that's good to know for future reference!
Hanna: yup, pretty much!
did you see the collection at harvard that's olmstead's stuff?
1:25 PM
me: no . . . hmm
I kinda skipped over the Harvard entries, since V made it sound like those were really popular
Hanna: mmm, true. but if you don't ask, you don't get! ;)
1:26 PM
me: yeah, but I have this pathological aversion to taking choices away from other people :)
I always want to take the choice that no one else is interested in, so I don't spoil anyone's plans
1:27 PM
Hanna: well...yes, so, okay philosophically i have to say that is highly altruistic of you.
and therefore i cannot disapprove.
me: :P
Hanna: or even argue really.
me: I'm not saying it's a GOOD thing
Hanna: :)
me: I mean, for me personally
1:28 PM
Hanna: no, i know. and in this case it might be a bit of overkill, really. it is just an internship after all. it isn't like you're doing something really serious like taking the last m&m or something.
me: haha
(looking at the Harvard internships)

the Plans Library at the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation
(October 2007)
 1:29 PM
[me:] they have a lot of cool ones related to horticulture this semester, don't they?
Hanna: yeah -- the glass flowers collection one might be cool. have you seen that museum yet?
me: noooo . . .
must plan to go someday [I still haven't been!]
1:30 PM
Hanna: on a sunday -- if i remember right, mass residents get in free before noon -- or after noon -- or something like that. it's on their website.
me: again, good to know!
now you have confused my choices ;)
1:31 PM
Hanna: whoops!
but i added something to your field trip list so that's got to be a good thing.
me: yeah, I'll have to re-think this being -your-friend thing
(field trip list--always a plus!)
1:32 PM
Hanna: see? there you go. the one balances out the other. ;)
1:33 PM
i'd also like to know how this internship out in northampton counts as being on mass transit.
are they confusing the t with greyhound?
me: good question
1:34 PM
[me:] some of the ones on the list looked a little sketchy, access-wise to me!
I mean, yeah, if you had 3 hours to commute!
Hanna: yeah! my 438 class had internships on offer that were up in southern nh and maine.
1:35 PM
me: okay, those may be great sites, but how many of us have the time and/or resources to go out there?
Hanna: exactly.
1:36 PM
[Hanna:] and they were very cool internships, but i don't know if anyone took them in the end.
me: how sad :(
1:37 PM
Hanna: i know we had a couple of distance commuter students, but i think they wanted to go to repositories in boston because of subject interests.
1:38 PM
me: so what are you thinking of?
1:39 PM
Hanna: there's one at bc that just says 'a chance to do higher level processing and finding aids' and i just really want to get into the bc repository because they're supposed to have a good irish collection... [she did, and they do]
...and then the one at harvard about making a kind of harvard cliff's notes study guide because it might be fun to work at the harvard repository...
me: yep, yep
cliffs notes?
(which one is it?)
Hanna: hang on --
1:40 PM
"...[to] create a guide to biographical and genealogical resources about people associated with Harvard..."
and then the one at tufts in their digital collection because i nearly applied for a job there.
1:41 PM
me: the H one sounds like it could be rather OED [Oxford English Dictionary] in length!
well, all good options, yes?
1:42 PM
Hanna: yeah, i think so. and they're all on mass transit in places i know and open m-to-f since i can only work on the fridays.
me: :)
yeah, that's sort of how I sorted them as well
1:43 PM
Hanna: i hate the time crunch thing. i was working out my scheduling last night and nearly gave myself a panic attack.
me: yeah
if I end up working at NEU, my schedule is going to be pretty colorful this semester!
Hanna: :)
1:44 PM
me: plus, I'm still in the mode of catching up from all the transitions
so I feel like sleeping about 10hrs/night
I know it won't last, but it makes me feel very . . . unproductive
1:45 PM
Hanna: i know how you feel.
it's also because it's turning chilly and dark earlier and so on...
me: yeah :)
that was my problem in Aberdeen
getting dark?
time for bed!
in the summer
I never had to go to sleep :)
Hanna: :)
1:46 PM
[Hanna:] i just have an awful time getting up in the morning. it's dark and chilly -- this is what my feather comforter was designed for, people! why am i leaving it?
me: yeah, while I've never been a sleep-in-until-noon sort of person,
1:47 PM
[me:] I never have been able to happily get up before it's light out
Hanna: oh, no.
1:48 PM
[Hanna:] when it's light, i can get up -- but getting up before the sun does not work for me.
me: exactly
which presents problems for those of us
living so far north of the equator
or wherever would mean
we wouldn't ever have to get up
before it was light out :)

Sunrise across the Fens (September 2007)
1:49 PM
[me:] well, speaking of productivity . . .
Hanna: oh, overrated.
me: I think I'm going to sign off and go out for a walk before I face classes this afternoon
Hanna:  hehe -- oh, okay, in that case, not overrated. i hear it's gorgeous out!
1:50 PM
me: it is!
Hanna: oh, bah. well, go on then -- you enjoy that beautiful weather! :P
me: mm
I'll try to send you some karmic sunshine, or whatever
1:51 PM
Hanna: hehe. thanks! and do enjoy the walk -- boston's really lovely in the fall.
me: bye
Hanna: wave


  1. I wish I had kept the chat in which I told my true love I was in love with him. There were Plato references. I didn't keep it because I was in the process of moving out from my former marital home and paranoid about my privacy.

    I'm sure I was just as clumsy as you. Later on Stephen said, "You don't really flirt. Your version of flirting is, "Hey, I'm in love with you!""

    I don't think that's actually true, it's just that until I said that, he simply wasn't perceptive enough to know I had been flirting. ;-)

  2. @The Goldfish oh, god yes. during the roughly two years between this chat and when Hanna and I actually became lovers there were some EPICALLY clumsy pronouncements of interest on my part. I don't think Hanna really knew what to do with someone who was all like, "So I'm not really sure what I'm doing here as I've never propositioned someone before but I'd be interested if you are interested!" We did a lot of agreeing we were interested and then not doing anything about it before I finally (in Hanna's words) "fell on" her and made my interest materially impossible to ignore :)