Give Me a Break
Admit it. We all have been in a position where you were sitting at your desk working feverishly and all of the sudden you receive an email and it is more work being piled on. Nine out of ten times you are saying something along the lines of, “Come on, give me a break.” Or you are all packed and ready for your trip and discover that you have left your passport on the nightstand, you look up to the sky and just say, “You have got to be joking me.” There will be many moments in life where you don’t want to take any responsibility for your misfortunes and its much easier to blame the universe, the person behind the counter or even God. After all our trials and tribulations you have to ask yourself sometimes…When will the world just let go and give us a break already?
These past two weeks kicked my ass from a dating point of view. Between the Engineer pulling a Houdini act and the guy that wanted to diaper me after we were married; I suddenly found myself looking up to the sky and saying, “Give me a break already.” In hindsight, I have no one to blame but myself. I blame myself for thinking that after the first few dating disasters of the New Year that this week the universe would finally be throwing me a quality guy. Turns out, the universe is still laughing at me or maybe it is laughing with me; I haven’t decided yet.
Last Monday as I was sitting at my desk working feverishly I received an email from none other than, Mr. Engineer. The email was definitely one of those, “You have got to be kidding me,” moments. I was doing my best to just forget about him, forget the amazing first date we had and just accept the fact that he was gone and not coming back for a second. When I read the email I knew exactly what he was trying to do. He said that he thought he was doing the right thing by contacting me and telling me that he is thinking of me and misses me. I walked away from my computer and had to think about how I wanted to respond. I was still angry about how he just never showed up for our date last Saturday with no explanation whatsoever and then for him to think that he is doing the right thing by sending something like this? No. In fact…this is a “Hell No” situation. I wrote back telling him that while it was kind of him to tell me those things; it still doesn’t make up for the fact that he left me in the dark with regards to our date or when we would even be seeing each other again. Finally, we went from email to text messages. Once again, he was apologizing for disappointing me and that maybe his work is just too intense right now to date anybody. I told him I really do hope his work situation improves and once again he has disappeared.
That night, I began exchanging messages from this guy on OKCupid. He seemed rather nice, lives in Astoria and was about to go on a vacation the following week but he wanted to meet for a drink before he jets off for his trip. I told him that the following day would work sometime around 7:30. We picked a wine bar that was close to my apartment for it was a rather cold evening and I didn’t feel like traveling. When I arrived at the location, it was so packed and I got a text message from him saying that he was waiting on the corner of 54th Street and Ninth Avenue. Back in the day when this all started out; I used to get excited about these online dates and draw up this crazy fantasy based on the three photos that was provided and the email exchange we would have; that this was going to be an amazing experience. Now, the anticipation is gone and all I am hoping for is that this person isn’t a freak and that he looks somewhat like his photos. I didn’t even recognize this date standing on the corner. I finally walked up to this random guy that somewhat resembled his photo and it turns out…it was him.
The minute I saw him, I made a snap judgment that I was not attracted to him. It was rather rude of me and since the wine bar that I chose was packed; I suggested we take a look at another one just across the street. That one was crowded as well. Finally, the date suggested that we go to, Ardesia; a wine bar that he really enjoyed. This year, I have been making an effort to not go to all my old stomping grounds for dates for a theory that they might be jinxed. I figured…New Year = New Spot. Well, Ardesia, just happens to be the place that I went to last Thursday with the guy that wanted to diaper me. I didn’t say anything to my date but in my head all I could think was, “Of all the wine bars in Hell’s Kitchen, we would be going back to the scene of the crime.”
As we walked to the wine bar, I learned that he isn’t sure of what he wants to do next with his life. He just graduated and received his PhD. In the meantime, he was working retail right on Fifth Avenue. When we got into the wine bar, I did my best to think of this as a brand new experience and that this date will not be like the one from last week. The wine was poured and so began the date or as I like to call it, The Tennis Match. Most people out there still don’t quiet grasp the concept of dating or conversation for that matter. I am not sure why but it leaves me dumbfounded. Dating or conversation is like a tennis match; back and forth until someone wins this game. If I ask you a question, it is then the other person’s turn to ask me a question and so on and so forth. This is not a game of squash where it is just one person in the room and no one there to play with. This date was clearly playing a game of squash and I was simply there to observe.
He went on and on about his passion for the movie, The Lord of the Rings. How when he was writing his thesis; that movie was the only thing that would get him through it. How this movie speaks to him on so many levels and finally about half way into his rant about the movie, I noticed he was itching. He was itching ALL OVER; he was itching his head, his hands, his arms and his chest even. I wasn’t sure if he was allergic to something or maybe he had lice or that he was nervous. Either way, it was kind of freaking me out. I did continue to listen and finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I said, “I hate to cut you off but now might be a good time to tell you that I have never seen this movie.” It was as if I told him that I shot his puppy. The disappointment on his face was enough to cut the date short. We had two glasses of wine and he was relieved because the bill came out to be cheap. He was very concerned about cost. He walked me to my corner and said goodbye. That night he said he had a nice time meeting me and that maybe we could do lunch before he leaves. I didn’t know how to respond that night other than telling him it was nice meeting him as well and to have a nice trip. I went to bed that night telling myself that maybe the universe is trying to say that I need to give myself a break from dating because I keep getting these people with no chemistry.
On Wednesday, I woke up to a nice email from yet another person from OKCupid. This one was older than me, had a house upstate and seemed to have it together. He even suggested we meet that night because the rest of his week was crazy and it turns out that mine was also going to be busy. So, while I had just told myself the night before to just take a break; I agreed to meet him anyway. What made me happy about this date was that he actually recommended the place we go to. Finally there was a guy out there that put some effort into the date rather than these guys that say, “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?” He suggested we meet at this South African wine bar called, Xai Xai. I not only appreciated his efforts but also liked it because it was so close to my apartment.
We agreed to meet at 7:30 and for some reason these days every guy I go on a date with is either early or on time. So, just as I was leaving my apartment; I get a text message that he was already at the bar and that he was able to get us a table. When I arrived I noticed him before he noticed me sitting a table that was all candle lit and what would have been the perfect set up for a first date if only I was attracted to him!!! The minute I saw him I felt like the world was laughing at me for not listening to my gut instincts and just was saying, “Told you so.” So, here I am, don’t really have the money to be going on yet another date, a date that I will probably end up having to pay half the bill and I am not attracted to. Now, is when I simply went on auto pilot. I felt terrible for not being able to get it up for this man who is actually on the normal side. He played a pretty decent game of the tennis match. I would listen to his story and he would ask me questions. The entire time all I could think was if only I was attracted to him this would be going well. He seemed to have it together except that I wasn’t smiling or laughing. In the back of my mind all I could think about was even if this man was drop dead gorgeous…I am not smiling. He also confessed that he isn’t much of a social person and I am done with non-social people. It just doesn’t fit into my world. When the bill arrived and we split it; I was so happy to know that my apartment was only a few blocks away. I had a feeling that he liked me. I could tell by his questions and how the conversation was flowing. When he walked me to my corner he said he would like to see me again. I smiled, gave him a hug and told him it was very nice meeting him. I went to bed that night and told myself that I will not have anymore dates for several days. No talking about dates, no setting up dates, and no responding to people that want to go on dates. For the next several days, I was going to live a date free life.
I woke up the next day and felt great knowing that I made that promise to myself and that I could on other areas of my life. I focused on work, friends and didn’t look or respond to men not even once. I felt liberated. All I could think about was how I was going to leave to my friend’s house upstate for the long weekend and could be totally disconnected from the world. Of course, once I got back to the city I would have to get back on the saddle but the next few days…I was free.
My time spent upstate was just exactly what I was looking for and needed. I even stayed behind to write and read while the rest of the crew went to look at houses and properties. I took my personal time (which I rarely get) to actually “give myself a break.” I did everything I wanted. I watched a movie, the phone was off, and I took a nap and read a book. I was starting to feel like myself again.
That evening at the country house, we would be hosting several people in the area for a nice meal. I love those kinds of moments where all your friends come together for food, drink and conversation. The company that evening would consist of mainly couples. I am always fascinated with couples, how they work, how they communicate with each other and how they came to be. I managed that evening to also bake a cake from scratch and to my shock…it was a hit. By the time everybody left the dinner party we all were exhausted and ended up going to bed shortly after.
Sunday had come and my friend and I were headed back to the city. Of course, when traveling with me, there will always be some sort of disaster and true to form; when my friends dropped us off at the train station; the train was delayed for an hour. While we waited we grabbed a beer and before you know it; we were on the train heading back to Manhattan. That evening I knew wouldn’t be some epic evening; I wasn’t even looking for one. I just wanted to make sure that I was able to enjoy a night out. I met up with my friend in Chelsea and there we saw a few friends of ours at Boxers. Once we left that bar, we thought it would be a good idea to go to the place to be that night…Cielo. The line was pretty much wrapped around the block. It was freezing and after standing in line for fifteen minutes; we gave up. Ended up going to Barracuda for a few more beers and I was home by 1:30.
Yesterday will go down as one of the craziest experiences so far in 2013. I was scheduled to have a date with this guy in the evening. Around 11 a.m. he sent a text saying that he will need to reschedule due to him having his kids that evening and if we could reschedule. I told him that my calendar is fully booked and so he suggested that we meet for happy hour that day…in New Jersey!!!! I SHOULD have listened to my dating instincts and stayed in the city but he said it was only a twenty minute bus ride from Port Authority. He gave me directions but at Port Authority, somehow, I got lost. Finally after having two people get me to this bus; I was on my way. I told a few friends of my whereabouts just in case I got murdered. As I was riding the bus to a town called, Edgewater, I thought to myself that this was really going above and beyond for a great first date.
The date began texting me asking where I was and to let me know that he was waiting for me. I was to get off on a certain stop but as my luck would have it. I missed the stop by three stops!!! Now, I had to get off the bus and walk back for I had no idea when the next bus would be coming. This was already turning into a “Give Me a Break,” situation. As I was walking to the bar, there it was…my nightmare. I seriously cannot make this up. It was a goose. A goose was standing on the sidewalk and I am deathly afraid of any type of bird. It was as if I was in a country western film and we were at a stand-off. I had a choice and I chose to walk around the bird until he raised his wings and began to chase after me!!! Now, I am running down the sidewalk being chased by a goose that also happens to be shitting at the same time he is chasing me. I out ran the goose and finally saw my destination. I was to meet this date at a bar called, The Crabhouse. It was now 5:00 pm and when I walked in the place, he was the only one there so I recognized him right away.
The first thing he said to me was, “I am so sorry. I thought I gave you proper directions. I am paying for this entire evening.” I sat down and finally began our date. I won’t go into details about him because I won’t be seeing him again but suffice to say the drinks at this bar were three dollars and I didn’t eat at all that day and let’s just say…I was shit faced. We both were actually. I wanted to get home so badly but was too drunk and I had no clue where I was. My phone was dying and I quickly realized that I was screwed. After the drinks, he suggested we get some more vodka, grab some food and go back to his place. He didn’t have his children that night. It was only 8:30 but it felt like it was so late and I agreed.
I suddenly found myself sitting in his car while he went inside the store to get the alcohol (which neither of us needed) and he suggested we go to McDonald’s for dinner. This was turning badly each step of the way and I had no one to blame for this but myself. We get to his place (again, I have no idea where I am) and it is a disaster. Toys are everywhere and what freaked me out the most was that he had these hamsters. Three cages that had all these hamsters in his living room making those noises and as we sat eating our greasy junk food; all I could think of was what an idiot I am.
He excused himself and came back in track shorts and a t-shirt and suggested we make out. Now we are making out on his couch, the hamsters are on their spinning wheels and I don’t have the foggiest idea why I am even doing this. I probably still could have gotten home by a bus but I certainly didn’t know what or how to get back. We finally go back to his bedroom and have sex. Well, I should say…I had sex but he couldn’t finish because he was too drunk. So, he passes out and I am sitting there wide awake now. My vodka buzz had worn off and now I was left with the harsh reality which was that hamsters never stop spinning on that damn wheel and I am in one of the dirtiest apartments I have ever seen. I didn’t sleep at all last night nor did he. He kept getting up to use the bathroom, to sleep in the living room and then back in the bed with me. I ended up sleeping in all my clothes. Finally, around 5:30 this morning, I get up and go into the living room to tell him that I want to go home. He said the buses don’t start running express until 7 am. I go back to the bedroom and try to catch some rest but it doesn’t happen. Instead he comes into the bedroom and wants to make up for what he couldn’t do last night. I wanted to say, “Give me a break,” but instead he ended up having sex with himself while I acted like I was asleep. Finally at 6:45, I got up; he gave me directions on how to get to the bus and this morning in the cold winter temperatures I found myself standing in front of a 7-11 waiting for the #158 bus to take me back to the city.
As I was on my Bus of Shame, I couldn’t help but think of how crazy of a thing I just did. Going to some random place in another state, spending the night with a total stranger and allowing myself to get that drunk with someone I don’t even know. This was an act of someone in their twenties; not in their thirties. It wasn’t only the cold weather that jolted me back to reality but as the sign on the bus said, “Now entering New York,” I knew that I will never go to another state for a date again.
As I sit here writing this entry, processing everything that has happened over the past twenty four hours, I must give myself a break. I think a lot of times we all must allow ourselves to just take a break. Pull over and let the other cars go by or not shove ourselves into an over crowded subway cart because there will be another train right behind it. By giving ourselves a break and allowing others to go ahead might not be a bad thing; for we never know if our next big break is just around the corner.