"Update" NYC

Hope Floats

It’s amazing how much we all rely on hope. We hope for so many things in life. We hope for good weather when we go vacations. We hope that we get that job that we interviewed for. We hope for finding true love. All this hoping that we do, is for things that we can’t control. I guess that’s why it’s called “hope” because it’s something that we believe in rather than something that is tangible. We hope for so many things in life, it got me thinking…why do we keep hoping?

Ever since my last entry, the concept of “hope” appeared instantly everywhere I turned. Mainly because ever since my last entry, myself and my entire family were consumed with my brother-in-law’s cancer condition. Since the day my sister called me to tell me the results back in early December, the word “hope” was in every sentence I spoke, every text I sent or received; it was everywhere. However, it became very clear to me that I wasn’t sure if I even know HOW to hope. What exactly was I hoping for? Was I hoping that he would no longer be in pain? Was I hoping for him to have peace? Was I hoping that my nieces wouldn’t be greatly affected by all of this? The list of “hopes” I had been saying were becoming overwhelming, almost to the point where I wanted to shut the word “hope” out from my vocabulary.

However, as they say, we still must go on. Over the past month and a half, somehow-someway, I managed to get through the holidays, start a brand-new job last month and for the first time ever…I’m living alone. There are moments where I feel excited about how this new year has started and then there are moments where I shut my excitement down because I know the intense pain that my family is going through.

Everyday before I leave my apartment, I meditate and give gratitude for everything that I have. Not just the physical things but for the people that I believe in and have hope for. However, ever since early last year, my meditations went from a five-minute session to much longer. Maybe that comes with getting older and things just seem to get harder rather than easier. Either way, when I’m meditating, the word “hope” sneaks it’s way in there.

In the midst of starting a new job, adjusting to living on my own and helping my family out each day the best way I know how…it was time to get back out into the dating world.
I admit, I was nervous to go on a date because I hadn’t been on one in over a year and I wasn’t sure how to sell myself. If my date asked me, “How are things with you?” I honestly wouldn’t know how to answer them without scaring them away.

So, I began chatting with this man from a dating app and things were going alright and we agreed to meet for some wine last Friday. Of course, this is online dating, so I began to see some red flags even before we met. There was the example of when I asked him what line of work he did, his response was, “It’s under wraps at the moment.” Or when I asked him what time we should meet and he responded with, “9:40”. Who meets at 9:40?? Why not make it 9:30, 9:45 or even 10:00 but 9:40? I just chalked it up to the fact that maybe he was on a train that got him into the city at a certain time.

The main reason why I agreed to still meet my date was because I’m in no position to judge someone and I was rusty at dating.

Last Friday, the night of the date, I’m in my apartment blasting the music that I wanted because it’s my own apartment and there it was again…hope. I found myself “hoping” that the date would go well. That after all these years of bad dates and even false hope that this was going to be the date that ends all dates. A lot of pressure, I know, but it was what it was.

I got to the Lela Wine Bar in the West Village at exactly, 9:40 and my date was nowhere to be found. I looked at my phone and there is a text from him that said he was running about ten minutes behind. I actually smiled because I had a hunch that 9:40 was too good to be true.

He finally arrived and I felt instantly guilty for what my initial thoughts were. He was bigger than his pictures. Again, I’m in any position to judge but there was a little bit of false advertising there. We hugged, sat down and looked at the wine menu. He had never been to this wine bar before and so I did the ordering and he said that he didn’t have a lot of money.

We each got a glass of wine and we both nursed that one glass for about an hour. In that hour, he did ask me how I was and I shared a little bit but when I asked him how he was, I wasn’t prepared for what I got.

For starters, when I asked him about his family he told me that his parents split up because his dad likes to cross-dress and that led into what line of work he does. He’s a part-time ice-skating coach. The other time that he has, he wants to be a method actor. He wanted to talk more about his family and so I let him go on. I chimed in when it warranted but for the most part, I sat there and let him unleash what he had been holding onto. I did ask the question, “Do you have many friends in the city?” I knew the answer just by how much he was revealing and when he told me that he hadn’t. I knew what he needed more than a date was a kind and friendly ear. So, that’s what I did. I listened, I gave him some advice on how to meet new people and I paid for his wine. We walked to the West Fourth subway station together and hugged goodbye. By the time I got home, he sent me a message thanking me for being such a good listener.
While the date didn’t end with the results that I was “hoping” for, nonetheless, I got excited about getting back out into the dating world.

As the start of this week began, my family had such an emotional roller coaster from being told so many things about how my brother-in-law is doing. How he’s going to be. How he might be.
I admit, I’m new to this cancer thing. I’m not sure what to say, what to do, how to act and so worried that I will also say and do the wrong thing to my family.

As of today, what our family has is “hope”. Turns out this “hope” thing is bigger than I imagined. It’s what keeps me and others out there, from going insane. It’s what helps people cope with intense situations. It’s what gives us a sense of a bigger picture out in this world. And lastly, it provides us with a belief system that no matter what your religion or beliefs might be…Hope is universal.

This upcoming Friday marks the one-year anniversary of a dear friend I lost. I miss him every single day. I think about him every single day. I know that each day he’s looking out for me, my friends and family. That feeling alone is what some might call…. hope.

Before I end, I want to thank you all for reading and supporting. Also a huge thank you to all that have donated to my families GoFundMe page. The amount of grateful tears that have been shed is unthinkable. For those that still want to share the link, here it is below:


Never Give Up On Hope

The Mission

I believe that everyone is born into this world with their mission. Our missions very in so many ways. There are people that are brought into this world to give art, to teach, to give peace, to give love, to help in the medical field or to be a financial tycoon. The mission list is endless, which is such an amazing thing.

We will spend our entire lives working on our missions. I guarantee that we will all fail at times in our missions and all we can do is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move onward and upward. I consider myself rather lucky because I’ve known, from a very young age, exactly what my mission is. I was brought here to help bring peace and love.

Since my last entry, like all my entries of recent, unfortunate news found its way back into my life. A week after my last entry, I wrote about my uncle who was diagnosed with cancer and was told he would have a few months to live. Unfortunately, he passed away a week later after my last entry. He was someone that since day one of his life, he was a troubled soul. He battled with addictions and constantly made one mistake after another. After he passed away, I wondered what on earth would his mission in life be? I realized that it wasn’t any of my business to wonder what his mission in life was because it was HIS mission and not mine. Instead, I sent out empathy to those he left behind and how life doesn’t always deal us a fair hand. My grandparents are still alive, which means they lost one of their children. I can’t imagine, no matter how old you might be, what the loss of a child does to the soul. My only hope is that peace and love will be put upon them when they are ready to accept it.

In the midst of all of this grief, three weeks ago, I got a random text message from an old coworker. The message was asking me if I was looking for a new job. I wasn’t necessarily happy at my current job and so, I responded with, “What do you have for me?” From there, I was brought in the very next day for an interview that lasted almost two hours. By the time I got back to my current job after the interview, I got a call from the recruiter and he made me an offer. Things were moving way too fast and I wanted to make sure I was making the right choice because I have only been at this current job for only seven months. I told the recruiter, I needed a day to think about it and that I would get back to him the next day. However, I did mention what I wanted regarding title and my worth because what he offered was nice but I knew there was more to be had. I went to bed that night not sure if I was being too aggressive or even if this was the right job for me.

The next day around noon, I got my answer. They offered me the title I wanted and the salary that I was asking for. Is it my dream job? I can already tell you that it’s not but it’s a job that I hope I will do a in. I start the first week in January.

Even though this year has been one of the most challenging and depressing years of my life. I tried my very best to stay connected to my mission. The one thing that kept me going when times were dark this year was that my entire family was coming to New York for Christmas. My nieces, which I’m very close with, my parents, my sister and her husband, my brother and his husband. Even my parents, whom haven’t been here in twenty years were all coming to MY CITY. There is nothing like New York during the Christmas time and to be able to share that with all my family and friends was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

This past Tuesday, I was at my spin class and when I got out, I saw there was several missed calls from my sister and a text message that said, “Please call me. It’s urgent.” I called and was standing in my gym’s lobby in my sweaty clothes when I called her back. She was in hysterics and told me that her husband was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer. My heart sank to my feet. I didn’t know if I said the right things to calm her down because I honestly can’t recall a single word I said during that phone conversation. I’m sure I said a lot of words like, “strong” “believe” “hope” “pray” but I couldn’t be certain. My entire memory of that conversation is gone.

I got off the phone with my sister and my mind went to a million places. My nieces, who are only ten and thirteen, the financials that will come with the medical bills, what is it that I could do from New York to make this entire situation be better for my family. I came up with nothing that night. I was dreading going to work the next day because I already knew that I was going to have nothing to give to the world much less my job.

Ever since I got the news, I haven’t seen any of my friends, I spent this past weekend alone. However, I managed to connect with my nieces, talk to them on their level and did my very best to give them hope, peace and love.

By the end of this past weekend, I knew I had to be the one to make the decision about the family visit to New York. When my oldest niece, who is obsessed with New York, told me that she wants to be with her dad during this Christmas; I knew what the right thing to do was for them and that was to cancel New York. It broke my heart into a million pieces but nothing hurt my soul deeper than hearing my niece try and comprehend what cancer is.

I spent all of yesterday with phone calls, text messages, Facetime and every other form of communication on canceling the Christmas trip and ensuring to my entire family that, “I got this and I will fix it.” My only hope is that I come through on my promises. I am strong but I’m also human. So, now the plans have changed and I got the entire family now to go to Colorado to spend this Christmas with my brother-in-law. It was the right thing to do, as painful as it was. That’s the funny thing about doing the right thing…it doesn’t always make us feel good.
Over the course of this year, there was a ton of loss. In both the physical and non-physical aspect. And over the course of this year, I know that I have fallen short on my mission from time to time. Mainly because I was presented with certain life events that I had absolutely no experience in and didn’t know how to handle them.

We are each brought into this world with a mission. Your mission can be anything you want it to be. I hope that those that area reading this, take your missions and do right not only for yourself and loved ones but to the world. Thank you for your constant support and as the holidays approach us…be loved.

Better Days

It’s been two months to the day since I last wrote. I’d like to tell you all that over those past two months that I’ve been in a deep, committed relationship and each day has gotten better as we get to know each other. However, it’s been the opposite of that. No dating, no dates and not so much as a random stranger smiling back at me. I’m not upset about it at all, in fact, if anyone did try to get to know me over the past two months, I wasn’t emotionally available anyhow. The truth is, over the past two months, I’ve simply been hoping for “better days”. Not just for me but for everyone I know.

I live a good life. I know this fact and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t acknowledge and show gratitude for the life that I live. I live in the greatest city in the world, have the most amazing friends anyone can ask for, I get to experience events that most people only see on television and I have my health. Over the past couple of months, I’ve had to really focus on my health. A couple of months ago, I was so stressed from life that I noticed I was losing chunks of hair. My doctor determined it might be thyroid related and that I needed to really scale back on the stress (if only it were that easy). So, I did my very best to try and avoid any stress that came my way. For the past couple of months, I felt like I was Wonder Woman using my deflective bullets to ward off any sign of stress that was coming my way. However, sometimes even imaginary bullets cannot protect us from life’s setbacks.

Back in late September, our family finally decided on a date on when we would be having the memorial for my grandmother who passed away this July. We would all be coming together in the beginning of October to spread her ashes in a small town in Arizona, in which she was born. I found my grandmother’s request rather poetic. Full circle, if you will. From the town you were born to where you lay for the rest of time. I had not been to this town since I was a teenager, so I wasn’t sure what to expect or what to even feel. But I did tell myself that this memorial isn’t about me but rather about my grandmother and respecting her wishes.

Weeks leading up to me traveling to Arizona, I was fortunate enough to get to see Madonna perform her show in Brooklyn several times. I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with friends and finally it was time for me to travel to Arizona. It was the day for me to travel to Arizona, a state that I basically loathe but again, this wasn’t about me. As I was getting ready the morning of my flight, I felt that I was taking longer to get ready and that I was running the risk of missing my flight. I wasn’t sure if I was purposely taking my time because I didn’t want to go or the fact that I’m a natural disaster when it comes to time management. Regardless, I felt that I was confident enough that if I took an Uber to the train station that I would be getting to Newark airport with enough time. Turns out…I didn’t have enough time. I got stuck in traffic, the trains were delayed and as I got to the Delta terminal and spoke with the clerk, she told me that I was too late to check in and that I will be put on the next flight. She also, managed to squeeze in a snarky comment about being on time the next time I flew.

Suffice to say, I did make the next flight and I did make it to Arizona. My family planned it so that we would have a few days of family time before we would all than go to perform the memorial. It was my dad’s birthday and I made him a cake from scratch (with my mother’s supervision, of course). He appreciated it but I also knew that deep down, he was hurting. It was one of the few instances where I saw the sadness in my fathers’ eyes. It turns out, that the morning of his birthday, my grandparents called my father to tell him that my uncle (his brother) had gotten the results back from his doctor and my uncle has stage four pancreatic cancer. It turns out, my uncles “better days” were numbered. It was tough but we all encouraged my father, who hasn’t seen his brother in years, to go and visit him in Seattle where he lives.

I’d like to say that the trip to Arizona was drama free but me missing flights, my uncle’s devastating news, my parents car broke down while I was there and I was a little nervous that by the time my grandmother’s memorial was to take place, that there would only be anger left to express. However, the morning of the memorial, my entire family was ready bright and early and onto the three hour drive we went. The drive to this small town, was a mixed bag. There were moments on the drive where we sat in silence and moments of when we tried to talk to make things lighter.

It took the family about fifteen minutes to find the cemetery where we were going to be spreading the ashes but once we did, there was a sense of tranquility that surrounded us all. None of us really knew what to do or say but once the family began to speak about my grandmother, the tears began and the final release happened. I hadn’t cried about my grandmother, not once, since she passed in July. As the song, The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand ended (a song she wanted played at her service), a monarch butterfly fluttered around us. The butterfly continued to flutter by us until we all hugged and got back in the car to head back to my parents’ house. As we began to drive away from the grave site, I was able to finally let go, say goodbye and only focus on the fond memories and “better days” that I got to experience with my grandmother.

I’d like to say that the day I was set to fly back to New York went smoother than when I left but I would have no such luck. I was taking the red eye from Arizona which means that no one in my family wanted to drive me to the airport that late at night, so I ended up taking an Uber to the airport. I gave myself plenty of time to get from my parents’ house to the airport when as I was in the Uber, just looking out the window, I wanted to send a text message to a friend when I realized that I didn’t have my phone with me. I was thirty minutes into the drive to the airport when I started to freak out and the driver said, he would turn around for me. The driver was so kind and patient and said that I wasn’t the first person that has done this before. I ran to my parents’ door and they were all getting ready for bed and I just grabbed my phone and ran back inside the car. When I got to the airport, I only had forty minutes before they were to board. I made my flight and I made it back to New York in one piece.

The past couple of weeks since I returned from Arizona has been spent me trying to get back to a normal, stress free life. It hasn’t been easy, our family recently learned that the doctors told my uncle he only has a few months to live. A very close friend of mine lost his aunt and is in great mourning and I have to go back to the doctors this week and get more work done to make sure my thyroid is alright. Such is life I guess.

This past Saturday, I was at a favorite Irish bar of mine called, Swift. I was sitting at the bar with a friend of mine and he said, “Our better days are behind us now. That’s sad.” After I hit him in his arm for saying such a heinous remark, he did clarify that he meant that we can’t do the things that we used to. Unfortunately, I did have to agree with him on certain things that we’re simply not able to do like we used to do. For some reason, I took his remark that my “better days” are behind me all together.

Most of my yesterday was spent thinking about “better days”. As this year starts to wind down, I couldn’t help but really over analyze just how intense this year has been. There was a ton of great loss from people passing from this earth, friendships that shifted, health that has become compromised. The list goes on and on and some can simply say that this is “life” and to get over it. However, even if it is what “life” is about, the losses and the gains, it doesn’t mean that this year has been easy on anyone.

I guess all we can do is try to be the best versions of ourselves that we possibly can be. Treat each other with kindness, respect and love. And with all this kindness, respect and love that we spread to the world, that “better days” will be sent upon us all.


“Merecer” what does it mean? In Portuguese the translation means…DESERVE. Ever since my last entry (which was all the way back at the end of July). A lot has happened. Some good. Some bad. I guess you can say, it’s called LIFE.

In my last entry, I wrote about my grandmother passing. I really haven’t had time to process this, which I know sounds absurd but LIFE hasn’t exactly given me the proper time. She didn’t want a funeral. She wanted to leave this world rather quietly. So, in October, I will be going to Arizona to spread her ashes per her request. It sounds a little morbid to say but I’m looking forward to do this for her because she wanted this and she “deserves” to get what she requested.

Which leads me to the word I came across recently, Merecer. I’ve never lived the life of, “I work hard. Therefore I deserve this in return.” I live my life by really trying to be the best person that I can be, give to the world, show gratitude and pray that one day we will all be as one. I know that might seem rather naïve given our state of the world but I will never stop believing in the goodness in the world.

Back in late July, after my grandmother had passed, I got a call from a friend that I don’t see often or even communicate with that much. He asked me if he could see me one day after work and when I asked him why. He said, “My father had a mini-stroke.” Instinctively, I told him that I would be there as soon as I could. Than another part of me sighed because I wasn’t sure if I had anything left to give to the world. At that point, I was drained emotionally and physically. But this wasn’t about me, this was about a friend in need.

I stayed with my friend till after midnight that night, listening, nodding and feeling his pain. I went to bed that night praying that no more bad news should come to anyone’s way. I woke up the next morning and felt something on my pillow. It had been a significant amount of hair. I panicked. Freaked out and cried. The stress of the entire first half of this year was really effecting me. I called a friend early that morning and they gave me advice. Since then, I’ve been back and forth with doctors and they all said it was stress related and that I need to remove the stress from my life. If only it was that easy. However, with that, I’ve put off on going back to the doctors to find out if there is anything medically wrong because I knew that there was more emotionally charged events coming my way and I didn’t want to add any more stress to my body.

A few days after my hair incident, another very close friend of mine asked me to come to his apartment early in the morning. We only live a few blocks from each other so I just threw on a baseball cap and walked the three blocks to his place. When I walked inside, he had his laptop open and was ready to get down to business. I wasn’t sure what exactly he wanted to do because a few weeks earlier we were just casually talking about taking a trip to Europe.

Before I knew it, in his apartment early on that Sunday morning…we booked our flights to Lisbon! Just him and I. No one else. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into but we knew that we needed to get away. Do something for ourselves. Celebrate our upcoming birthdays. We were making every excuse to justify this trip when the reality was…we “deserved” it. Once we hit the send button there was no turning back…we would be Lisbon bound at the end of August.

After we booked the trip, I felt guilty because I probably shouldn’t be going on this trip from a financial stand point but more often than not…you have to say “fuck it” and live a life that is filled with experiences and adventures.

The following Thursday after we booked our trip, I was on a ferry heading toward Fire Island for a week. Yes. I know. It sounds like a glamorous life and for the most part it is but this particular trip wasn’t exactly going to be filled with beach, booze, boys and fun under the sun. Some friends and I were going to Fire Island for the week to spread our friends’ ashes. The friend that had passed away back in February of this year. It was going to be a very special and intimate event that included his family coming all the way in from the west coast to be there for it.

It took many hours of walking around to find the place that we wanted to do this. We also knew that it wasn’t exactly “legal” to be doing what we were doing but if I was going to get a ticket it would be worth it.

His family arrived on a Sunday and hours before their arrival my stomach was all tangled up. I wasn’t sure how this event was going to go down. I didn’t know if they would like the spot we picked out. Would they like the food at the restaurant we picked? Would there be any drama? But once they walked in the door to our house, gave us all hugs, all my heavy emotions washed away. I took a deep breath and smiled.

Once the ceremony was completed, we all went back to our house and shared stories for a bit before everyone headed back. We did right by our friend that passed. I felt his spirit there the entire time. His family was so grateful and loved every minute they got to spend with us.

Once we got back from the city after Fire Island. I was only in the city for another eight days before I was running down 53rd Street to catch an Uber that was waiting for us to take us to Penn Station.

I still couldn’t believe it. We were going to Portugal!!!! Did either of us do any research on where we were staying or what we are supposed to see? NOPE. I’m not a planner nor is my friend. So, we both had zero clue as to what to see and do. Thankfully we had friends send us emails prior on where to go and what to see, so I did manage to print those out and read them on the plane but I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be enough.

We arrived in Lisbon in the morning and the weather was amazing. We got to our hotel that just so happened to be on the “Fifth Avenue” of Lisbon… Hotel Fontecruz Lisboa. We were greeted by water that was infused with fruit. Our room faced the street and it was stunning. We didn’t waste any time with walking around. Followed by a nap to get acclimated. We were refreshed and ready to see and do.
For the next few days in Lisbon, we did everything that a tourist is supposed to do there. We saw castles, churches (even took the sacrament) and our trip was turning more into a spiritual journey than anything else.

It was toward one of our last days in Lisbon when a simple Uber ride turned into something amazing. Our driver wanted to show us something special after we had finished another visit to another castle. My friend and I looked at each other and agreed to go along for the adventure. Our driver pulls up to this place called, Cabo da Roca. It’s along this cliff that overlooks the sea and there is a huge cross. My friend and I just stood out looking into the sea, not saying a word, both wearing our sunglasses. A few minutes later we both realized that the other one was crying. My tears were for so many things. Tears of sadness, tears of loss, tears of gains and tears of happiness. It was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen in my entire life.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye to Lisbon and we got into another Uber that was taking us to a part of Portugal called, Cascais. I had even less knowledge about this place that we were going to and it wasn’t until the driver pulled into our hotel that I realized that I didn’t deserve to be here. My friend booked a five star hotel and spa resort that overlooked the sea!!! What? Who? When? How? Those were all my questions to my friend, as people rushed to our car to open our doors and take our luggage. We stayed at, Hotel Cascais Miragem.

For the next several days, all we did was swim in a pool that overlooked the sea, worked out, had spa treatments and ate at nice restaurants. We were at this hotel during my birthday. As the emails, phone calls and text messages began to flow in, everyone kept asking me how the trip was going. I kept telling them how stunning everything was from start to finish. Every single response back was, “You deserve this.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond to this because I don’t think I deserve anything. Much less living the way I was living in Lisbon. All I knew was that I was lucky to have been with a friend that is very special to me. To have seen the amazing things that I’ve seen and that I have such an amazing support system that feels that I “deserve” this sort of trip.

It’s always bittersweet when you end a vacation. You know it’s time to come back home, get back to your routine and live the normal life that you had before you left. But this trip really got under my skin. Maybe it was because of the year that I’ve had so far with its intense up and downs. Or maybe it was simply because Lisbon is an amazing place to visit. Or maybe. Just maybe…I deserve it?

I’m still not confident to feel that I’m a person that deserves anything but I am confident enough now to know that everyone deserves a vacation every now and again. To recharge those batteries. To spend time with loved ones against a beautiful backdrop or simply to find yourself again after you’ve been lost for so long.

Merecer. Deserve.

Poet Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

True Colors

It was a typical Monday last week at work. I was slammed with meetings and like I normally do, I left my phone at my desk rather than taking it with me into conference rooms. It’s a pet peeve of mine when I’m in a meeting with other coworkers and they are on their phones not being present.

It was after my third meeting of the morning and it wasn’t even noon yet when I managed to get back to my desk briefly to check my phone when I saw I had several missed calls from family members. I knew what the missed calls were about. Seeing that all my family lives on the west coast, they are not calling me on a Monday morning to give me good news. I didn’t even need to listen to the voicemails that were left behind because I knew what had happened…my grandmother had passed away.

No one was shocked by the news, as she has been in hospice for the past two months. What did shock me was just how intense this year has been for me and everyone around me. It seems like the theme for this year has been loss, death, tragedy with one hit after another. Just when I think we are in the clear with bad news, something else happens. I suppose I can chalk all these sad events as “life” and get on with it. But, given all that my friends and family (myself included) have endured; it would be nice if something went positively for a little while.

Not every day is a bad day but the bad days are certainly out weighing the good ones. Since my last entry a month ago I have had some wonderful experiences with celebrating World Pride filled with many colors, visits to Boston to see my good friend, and several trips to the beach with friends. Those events alone should keep me going and strong and for the most part they do. It just seems that lately, all any of us are faced with these days is something devastating. I want desperately to change everything I can. I want relationships that are broken to be mended again, no more death and no more drama but what I’ve learned, this year particularly, is that our bodies, our minds and our souls can only do so much.

When I got the news of my grandmother passing that day at work. I didn’t even cry. Even after I got off the phone with my mother who was very upset. I felt it was my job to be the strong one and on this very day that I write this, I still have not cried. I know she is gone. She was a big part of my life but for some reason, my body is not allowing me to release any emotions. I’m sure it will happen at the most unconventional time but there’s nothing I can do to control that either.

For the rest of last week, my job was telling me to take a day off but I worked. I worked at my new job that I’ve only been at for less than three months and I know it’s not the right job for me. However, I made this choice and I need to suck it up for a bit till I find my next chapter. I did finally listen to my coworkers and took last Friday off.
Last Friday, I got up, cleaned the apartment. Burned some sage, went to the gym and afterwards I took myself out to lunch. Just me, my thoughts and after lunch I decided to go to church. On my walk to a church on 42nd Street, I had my music on and randomly the song by Cyndi Lauper, True Colors, came on.

It’s a song that does not appear on my phone whatsoever but there it was. I listened to the lyrics closely. I thought of my grandmother. She was a complicated woman, didn’t allow many people in her life and those that she did; she loved them but could also be very cruel to (including myself). What I remember the most about her was that she was a woman that had many colors to her.
When I was very young and my obsession with Wonder Woman began; she knew I was different than the other little boys. She let me play with my lasso, she would let me spin around and she even let me walk around in red boots. As I would move onto my teenage years, she was my biggest cheerleader with anything that I would try. She encouraged my dance classes, she knew that I was going to move to New York City at a very young age and she was behind every decision I made. She didn’t need to embrace me being gay given her old school ways but she embraced every single color that I brought to the table.

If only the world that we live in could embrace each of our colors that we bring. I know that it’s easier said than done to accept someone for who they are (the good and the bad) but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. Our true colors is what makes us. It’s what makes the world diverse and without acceptance than there will never be harmony. I encourage you all out there to try and accept everyone’s true colors.

Same Old, Same Old

It’s very easy to get into the same old routine. A lot of us get up every Monday morning, get ready for work, and sit at our desk counting down the seconds, minutes and days till Friday. All so we can do it all over again. We are all guilty of it. Some of us are in a position to shake things up and some have to provide for their families which doesn’t allow them the liberty to throw caution to the wind. However, there will be certain events, moments and realizations where we are hands are forced and we must make a change.

It’s been a month since my last entry and in those weeks since I last wrote; so much has happened. I’ve never really been one to live my life in the “same old, same old”. I actually embrace change and like to shake things up. However, the first half of this year hasn’t allowed me much liberty to do so. Ever since the loss of my friend back in February, this year has certainly taken a toll on me. Once we had the memorial back in May, I knew that I had to redirect the energy and start making things happen.

So, a few of my friends and I went to Las Vegas for Memorial Weekend to celebrate my friends’ fortieth birthday. In those three days that we were there, I managed to win twenty dollars on a Wonder Woman slot machine, see Janet Jackson in concert and ride in a helicopter from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. During that trip, I noticed that I was finally starting to feel like my “same old” self again but I also knew that I had changed. I was different on the inside on how I viewed certain events and moments. Thankfully, that change was for the positive. I hadn’t felt that light in several months. I was so grateful that the trip happened when it did.

We landed back in New York from Las Vegas on Memorial Day. I was ready to be back in the city, I actually enjoyed unpacking my suitcase because, now more than ever, I was ready to start a new chapter. That new chapter being, is that in the midst of all the sadness over the past several months, I also started to look for a new job. After a few weeks of job hunting, I accepted a new job and started the Tuesday right after Memorial Day.

A little less than three weeks into the new job and I feel rather comfortable. Is it my dream job? No. Am I grateful for a new chapter? Hell yes. This new job also, couldn’t have come at a better time with where I am in my mindset. Out with the old and in with the new.

Now that I was feeling “lighter” in life and the new job was under way. It was now time to get back into the dating game. I knew that I had to get back into the land of the dating and there was no time like the present. So, about a week ago, I dusted off the dating applications and started to take a peek at what was out there. Turns out, the dating applications are the “same old, same old”. People not taking it seriously, only wanting to hook up and completely leaving a conversation the minute you want to know more about them other than what they want to do in bed. I was beginning to get frustrated when I began chatting with an age appropriate guy. He was 45, worked in finance, lived in my area and we were exchanging friendly messages when he asked to meet for a drink last Friday.

I hadn’t been on a date in a very long time, it’s like riding a bike. However, even the most graceful bike rider can fall off from time to time. I met my date last Friday. He was already waiting at the bar for me since he was coming straight from work. I told myself that if the date went well that I’d suggest going to get dinner and if the date went bad; I had my friends ready to send the emergency text message to get me out.

I walked inside and he was waiting right at the door when I walked in. The first thing he said to me was, “Wow, you’re better in person.” However, he came so close to my face that I felt his breath on my face and let me say, he was not fresh. I thanked him for the compliment and he got a table while I went to the bar to get my drink. I had already decided that based on appearance and breath that this was going to be a one drink minimum date but when I sat down, I wasn’t prepared for how things were going to turn out.

We did the standard first date song and dance. Talked about jobs, how long we lived in the city and what area we live in. Once we finished with the pleasantries, the date took a turn. We are both on our second drinks and he said, “I do have something to share with you.” A sentence you never want to hear on a first date. I was expecting him to tell me that his job is moving him to a different state or that he’s on a gluten free diet. Instead he said, “I’m married.”

He went into detail how he married this man in order for his husband to get his papers. They met several years ago and that while they lived together as a married couple, the husband has a boyfriend and that boyfriend sometimes sleeps in their apartment. The married couple share a bed but are not intimate with each other (they haven’t been in years). As my date went on and on about his husband and their unique living situation, I could see in his eyes that he actually is in love with his husband.

After he was done telling me his story, he asked me if I wanted to grab a bite to eat and I declined. Right around the time of me declining the dinner invitation; I got the emergency text message from my friend. Our waiter came around and asked us if we wanted another round, my date wanted another one but I said that I needed to go for a friend needed me. Before I left, I gave my date my observation of him possibly still having feelings for his husband. He sat there and didn’t speak. Finally he said, “Yes. I do love him. It’s hard seeing him with someone else and I’m out here trying to move on.” I told him that I could tell he has a big heart for he did get married in an effort to have his husband stay in America. But that his life will most likely remain the same unless he changes things and speaks from his heart. I hugged him goodbye, met up with friends at a bar and told them all about what had happened.

The next day, I woke up and ready for the weekend. I already knew I had fun plans to see my friends for dinner and drinks at night but while I was shopping I got a text message that I wasn’t expecting at all. I was waiting on the subway platform when I felt my phone vibrate and there it was…Mr. D.

I hadn’t had any communication with him since last November when he pulled another one of his stunts on me and I vowed that now that I’m forty; I will not play these games anymore. I didn’t even open the message right away. Last year, the year before and they year before that. If I had received a text message from Mr. D. my heart would’ve skipped a beat and I would’ve also responded right away. Instead, I noticed that I didn’t have that reaction that I normally had when he came back into my life. I got off the subway at Union Square and decided that it was time to see what he wrote. However, along my subway ride, he sent another two messages. I stood there in the middle of all the Union Square protesters and read all three messages. It was asking me how I was doing, that he misses me and if he can be in my life again. Lastly, he sent a photo of a pair of shorts that he knew I hated when he wore them but told me that he kept them because it makes him smile. I didn’t respond. I haven’t responded and I won’t respond.
Mr. D. is still living the “same old, same old” life and repeating his patterns and I’m simply not that person anymore.

So, here we are. It’s a Monday, most of us are sitting at our desks counting down the seconds, minutes and days till Friday where we can start the “same old, same old” again. It’s amazing how even a little change can make a difference. So, rather than live the “same old, same old” let’s all take this week to take that “same old” life and make a new one!

Roller Coaster

Hopefully, by now, we have all experienced what it’s like to go to an amusement park and ride on a roller coaster. Generally, there are two types of people out there when it comes to roller coasters…those that seek the thrill in them and those that fear them. But the one thing we all have in common when it comes to riding the roller coaster is that we all must wear that safety bar around us to protect us from getting hurt. After this past couple of intense months, I guess that’s why they say that life is like a roller coaster…

The last entry was about my body literally breaking down due to all the stress that life was throwing my way. I’m happy to report that as of today, with several doctor visits and rest that my body is in much better condition. Something that I’m very grateful for and thankful for all the support that I got along the way.

Also, since my last entry back in early April, I’ve been fortunate to have had some amazing highlights that have helped balance out the low points that have occurred this year. A month ago, I took two of my friends to Lincoln Center to see the one and only…Lynda Carter aka WONDER WOMAN perform at the Jazz Center.

Two weeks later, I left my job early, got on a subway that took me deep into Brooklyn and sat in a chair waiting for my tattoo artist to prep me. I had decided a month prior, that to honor my friend, Panda, that had passed away back in February that I would get a tiny tattoo of an actual panda in his honor on the inside of my foot. I wasn’t nervous and for some reason, it didn’t hurt at all. It felt like he was with me the entire time. I left knowing that I did something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

That very same day, I changed clothes and rushed down to the Chelsea area where I would have the highest of privileges to see another close friend of mines’ movie showcased at the Tribeca Film Festival. He produced it and as I saw his name appear on the big screen, I could not have been prouder of him. The film is called, After Parkland, and what an impact that movie made.

A few weeks after those amazing experiences, my good friend, Feathers, asked me to attend a concert with him. I agreed knowing that we’d be seeing Cher, but I had no idea where we’d be sitting. After a party bus took us from the city to Brooklyn Barclays Center…we walked into a side entrance and had champagne before the show while Better Midler was behind us casually talking to someone. Once the show was to start, we entered, and I quickly realized that we were going to be sitting THIRD ROW from Cher. It was an insane experience but for me, it’s always been about who I am with and the fact that I got to do this with one of my oldest and dearest friends meant the world to me.

Two days after hanging out with Cher in the third row, I found myself putting on a maroon suit, placing my custom-made gardenia boutonniere on and getting ready for a very, very special event. I was invited to attend the GLAAD Awards that evening, and I wasn’t sure if my body was going to handle all the excitement. All I knew was that Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna were going to be in the same room as me. I was going to be breathing the same air as them and I did not feel worthy to be there. The evening was spent with amazing friends, the speeches were touching, and I was on cloud nine.

I went home and quickly got out of my monkey suit and went down to the East Village to celebrate a friend’s birthday. No matter how tired I was, I wouldn’t have missed that for anything. By the time I got home that night, it wasn’t that late, but I was drained. I knew how lucky I was to be on this earth. To have the people that I have in my life and how fortunate I am to live in such an electric city.

Now, with all those events, that is when I really discovered the “roller coaster” meaning. Here I was, feeling better with my body, running all over town with these unbelievable events and at the same time, helping plan my friend’s memorial. It was months in the making, tons of opinions, tons of revisions, tons of text messages and of course…ups and downs with emotions.

The memorial was this past Saturday, however, the weeks leading up to it were exhausting. I can only speak for myself but ever since my friend passed away, it was like a roller coaster ride that I desperately wanted to get off. However, I got on the ride, put the safety bar on, and I continued my very best to climb to the top where I knew, eventually, that I would be able to go down this insane ride and move forward.

But this ride came with much more than I knew I was bargaining for. I discovered new things about this wonderful person that he never shared with me over the past twenty years. I was honored to meet his family and how they became an extended family to me. I discovered that as hard as I try to bring peace that sometimes I will be faced with failure in doing so. And that I can’t control anyone else’s’ roller coaster ride other than myself. I will never give up trying to bring peace, but I must learn that it will not always turn in my favor.

The night before the memorial, I had taken the day off. I needed it and I was allowing myself to come to terms that the roller coaster ride that I had been on for the past couple of months was finally reaching the top and I was needing to prepare myself for the drop. I got up, cleaned, ran errands, went to church and lit candles, took myself to a movie, followed by a spin class and the day ended with a date! My first date in several months. I hadn’t even thought about a date because I was consumed with everything else.

Suffice to say, the man I went on the date was very nice but not THE ONE. That was alright by me because I needed to dust myself off and get myself back in the dating game. Toward the end of the night, my date asked me what I was doing with the rest of my weekend and I told him that I would be attending my friends’ memorial. He said, “Oh, well, that explains why you look so tired.” I couldn’t be pissed at him because when I looked in the bathroom mirror at the wine bar that we were at…I did look tired. I was tired of everything. I walked him to his subway station, and I walked home forcing myself to get some rest.

On Saturday, I woke up not even knowing how to describe whatever it was that I was feeling. I went to a spin class and right before the class started, I prayed for Light to give me the strength to get through the class and to make it through the hours ahead. It was one of the best classes I had in a long time and I left feeling a little lighter. A few of my friends’ and I got to the venue ahead of time and began setting up the memorial service, as I watched everyone working so hard, I felt Panda’s presence. I knew he was monitoring us, making sure that we did everything right.

Finally, it was time for guests to start arriving. By the time his family had arrived, everything after that was somewhat of a blur. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much in my life. It was waves of tears, laughter and a million conversations. We had speeches, singers, stunning floral arrangement, candles, pictures of him everywhere and people came in from all over to celebrate his life. By the time I blew out the last candle after it was all said and done; I could barely comprehend what we all just pulled off. The family told us it was one of the most beautiful things that had ever seen. Once I heard that from them, I knew we all had done right by our friend.

When I woke up yesterday, I thought I would be lighter but instead, I felt like I had still a bit more to go on this roller coaster ride. I didn’t leave my apartment, I responded to a few text messages, called my mother for Mother’s Day and that was about all I could do.

Today, however, I feel like I’m in a better place. It took so long to get here but I’m grateful that I finally arrived. The roller coaster ride is starting to drop me down and I’m ready to climb the next hill.

Roller coasters were designed to provide thrill, excitement and that stomach-flip feeling. I guess we can say that is also what life is about. For every thrilling moment, we must face a stomach-flip moment. I can go on and on with the puns for the “ups and downs” that a roller coaster provides but the one message I do want to get across is to wear your safety guard, never stop climbing the hills and never stop searching for the thrill!!

All Systems Down

Let’s face it. We live in a world where all systems are a go each day. From the time we wake up till the time we put head to pillow. It is non-stop all the time and when you live in a city that never sleeps, chances are you are going at an even faster pace than most. We rely on vacations to rejuvenate ourselves, but the reality is, we tend to need a vacation from the vacation we just were on. It’s very rare these days that you hear of someone just “resting” because there is always something that needs to get done. But what happens when your very own system that you work rather hard on maintaining starts to shut down on you?

Over the past eight weeks, I have had the unfortunate experience of having four people pass away in my life. That alone is enough to make anyone want to wave their white flag and retreat back to home base and take a moment to breathe, relax and process. However, time was not allowing me to do so. I had responsibilities to myself, my friends, my family and over the past eight weeks, I admit that I haven’t been taking care of myself the way I normally do.

Two Monday’s ago, my week started off like everyone else’s. I got up, showered, went to work but something was “off” with my body. I discovered that I was having a hard time gripping even my cup of coffee and I was having a hard time forming sentences…but I pushed through. The following day, my body was getting worse, but I went to work and finalized a friend of mine’s apartment that had passed recently. It was tough and while I was emotional about it, I didn’t think that what was happening to my body had anything to do with my body’s reaction. Wednesday, I worked again and took a meeting after work with a former co-worker to discuss the potential of me coming back to my previous agency. She had mentioned that I didn’t look like I was doing so well, and the reality was that I wasn’t. By the time Thursday presented itself, I could barely walk because my leg muscles were in spasm, I barely had a voice and my speech was really causing me frustration. I had drinks with a friend at the Waverly Inn and he noticed that I wasn’t my best and suggested I go to Urgent Care. I promised him by the end of the evening that I would go.

On Friday morning, my day started off like everyone else’s. I got up, showered, went to work but by the time I was at my nine-a.m. meeting, the room had gone black and I fainted. I was put in an Uber and headed to Urgent Care in Tribeca. On my way, I messaged another friend of mine to inform him what was going on. I didn’t tell anyone else because I didn’t want anyone worrying about me. I knew I was fine, but I wasn’t. You don’t faint at a conference table if you are fine.
Turns out that given the amount of stress that I’ve been under and taking on way too much that my nerve system was shutting down. I was there for about an hour, explained to the doctor all that has been happening in my life and I remember him looking at me with disbelief. He prescribed me some antibiotics and recommended to me that I go to this wellness-spa place that has therapeutic water exercises and to not do a single thing over the weekend. You would think that after that happened to me, that I would’ve taken the rest of the day off but I haven’t taken a day off since mid-March when I had to rush to Arizona to take care of my dying grandmother (she is now in hospice). Technically, that really wasn’t a day off given the circumstances, but I haven’t been resting. So, after the Urgent Care visit, I went back to work to finish out the day.
I went home that evening, told my parents what happened and told my friends that I’d be out of commission the entire weekend. I didn’t tell them the full details because I did’t want anyone worrying but I knew that I needed to listen to my body.

The next morning on Saturday, I got up, had coffee and moved very slowly. I showered and decided to walk over the wellness-center and got there by eleven-a.m. It was me and bunch of elderly people moving very slowly in the ninety-five-degree pool. I spent over three hours there and I could instantly feel like my body was reacting very well not only to the medicine but to the water. For the rest of the weekend, I took it easy.

This past week, I focused on my mental state. I took the medicine like I should. I didn’t workout and I did my best to be in bed at an early hour. Toward the end of this last week, I was able to see some friends for dinners and whatnot and I told them face to face what had happened. Naturally, they were annoyed that I didn’t tell them what I was going through, but I felt I was doing the right thing because everyone I know has been going through so damn much.

Just yesterday, I met up with a friend and we had brunch. It was my first brunch that I had this year and I could tell that she was sad. She was sad about a mutual friend of ours that had passed. She let out all the pain that she had, and I was just glad that I was there to catch the tears. Toward the end of the brunch, I told her that starting this upcoming week, I’m all about getting back to being happy and that she should try it for herself as well.

I woke up this morning and I was smiling. Even though it was a Monday just like always but there was something different. Maybe because today is going to be a warm day, maybe it was because my body is starting to feel like it’s old self again or maybe it was because I got to see some friends this past weekend or a combination of it all. What I do know was that I’m very grateful for this state that I’m in.

I have a lot of people out there to thank for their love and support. I’m a very fortunate person and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t my blessings.
Let’s face it. We live in a world where all systems are a go each and every single day. From the time we wake up till the time we put head to pillow. However, we are only given one system and that system we are one-hundred percent responsible for. How we treat our system is what we get back. I learned a valuable lesson that yes…life will continue to throw some crazy ass shit our way and sometimes it will happen all at once. When these things do occur, it’s perfectly o.k. to step away, breathe, reboot, recharge and do whatever it takes to ensure that our systems do not shut down.

I know that this year has started off rather tough for so many and all I can say to this is that I hope all of you out there are treating your systems the best way you can and that I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.

Only Love

It’s been seven weeks since I’ve last written. It’s the longest I have ever gone without writing and it felt strange. I would like to tell you that my time away was due to me falling madly in love with someone new or that I was traveling to someplace gorgeous. Instead, I’ve experienced some of the worse weeks of my life and the pain continues.

This blog is about my dating life and finding that true love. However, this week’s entry will be not about dating but about the power of love.

Five weeks ago, I was woken up at the early hours of the morning to understand that I lost a very close friend of mine in a tragic accident. Anyone that knows me or has ever read this blog before knows that my friendships are my greatest loves. It’s one of my greatest accomplishments that I have these amazing relationships with these amazing people. I am very fortunate and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t acknowledge what a gift it is that I have such friendships.

Over the years, I’ve come across people that are lonely and are depressed because they don’t have anyone in their life. I’ve never felt that emotion because, again, I know how fortunate I am to have such a unique situation to have friendships that have such longevity.

However, when I got that call, my world turned upside down. I have never experienced this sense of tragedy and wasn’t sure what to do next. The amount of adrenaline that runs through your body when you are that shaken is something I cannot put into words. I hope that no one ever has to experience that because it is awful.

I didn’t think it was possible but ever since that tragic day, my friendships took an even deeper connection. It’s the love we have for each other that bonded us over the past several weeks and even when we were tired, we carried each other through it.

Grief is something that I’ve never had to deal with in my life. I’ve been a witness to others grieving and naturally, everyone handles it differently. Some people do all they can to escape reality, some people wallow in the sadness and so on and so forth. During this trying time, all I wanted to do was to make sure everyone else was doing alright. Knowing that everyone else was alright was how I handle my grief. During these sensitive times, what I learned the most is to let everyone grieve the way they need to and to let your loved ones know that you will be there on the other side.

As I was in the midst of dealing with the loss of my friend, I got news that my grandmother took a turn for the worse and is severely sick. It was something that seemed simple and normal but for the past three weeks, she’s been in the hospital. I felt bad that I was unable to be there for my family but my family here in New York needed me and I wasn’t about to abandon them in such trying times.

Just this past Sunday, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to see my grandmother. The tickets were expensive, the idea of taking time off from work seemed impossible and every excuse was running through my mind. As I was sitting on my couch gearing up to get ready for a baby shower for a coworker that I had planned way before any of this news had happened; I was texting with a good friend of mine about everything that was going on.

Toward the end of the text messages, he mentioned to me something about him having a lot of travel miles. I don’t know how any of that works but before I knew it…I had a ticket to Arizona to see my grandmother and I leave this Thursday. My grandmother and I are very close, she was the first woman to buy me my first pair of Wonder Woman boots at age five (yes, my obsession with Wonder Woman runs that long).

I love my friend for doing this for me and he knows that I would do the same for him.
After the past several weeks, I didn’t know the love I have for my friends could go any deeper. They are my family. My insides. They know me better than even my own flesh and blood. I am amazed at every single one of them. I am honored that they allow me to be a part of their family and I am grateful every single day that we’ve come across each other’s paths.

New York City might be my first love, but the city and I would have a completely different relationship if it weren’t for my family here.

There are so many ways we think we can do to save ourselves. We can shop till our credit cards are maxed out, eat comforting food, have a cocktail or travel to a place that takes our worries away. However, ONLY LOVE can truly save ourselves. The love you have for yourself, the love you have for the people in your life and the love you have for people you haven’t even met yet.
This entry is dedicated to my friend…Panda. Your infectious laugh will forever be in my heart, your smile I will think of when I am down and need to be uplifted and your friendship I will carry with me forever.

The Dating Game

The Dating Game was a popular television show that debuted on television on December 20th, 1965. I think we all know the premise of the show but for a friendly reminder it went a little something like this…

Three bachelors/bachelorettes are placed on one side of the partition while the contestant that is looking for love asks questions without knowing what they look like. In the end the contestant selects the bachelor/bachelorette solely based on how well they liked their responses to their questions. The couple goes on a date with the hopes of finding true love.

Here we are in present day and fifty-four years later, we are still playing the Dating Game. Which got me thinking…will we ever win at this game called “Dating”?

New Year. New Me. Sound familiar? Of course, it does, because we all have been given a clean slate with a new year to be filled with nothing but hope and promise. This is also when, in the dating community that those left single from the previous year vow to themselves: “This is the year that I’m going to find love!” We dust off our online dating profiles. We try a different exercise regime, change our hairstyles and try to fix what we think was wrong in the previous year.

As you can imagine, with everyone out their trying to update themselves, when you are ready to throw your dating line into the pool of singles; you’re bound to get some bites on your line. Which is exactly what happened to me last week. So, are you ready to play The Dating Game???

Contestant #1:
This gentleman and I began chatting online the first week of the new year. He presented himself as a very nice guy, which I found attractive. Given that everyone was fresh from coming back from the holidays, it was tough at first to find a time to meet but we settled on last Tuesday.

He suggested we meet in my area of Hell’s Kitchen, which I was fine with. He said his favorite bar was, Ninth Avenue Saloon. I’m a big fan of dive bars, so I agreed to meet him at 7:00.

This was going to be a first for me. I was going to be going out with someone that was much older than I am. This contestant is fifty-seven years old to my forty. I wasn’t sure that we’d have much in common, but he looked great for his age and who the hell am I to judge?

So, I arrive, and he is waiting for me all the way in the back of the bar. He stood up from his chair and gave me a hug. He offered to buy me a drink, but I thanked him and said I could get one myself. Was I physically attracted to him when I met him? No. But I certainly wanted to talk to him and get to know him before I dismiss him purely based on looks.

He had his Bud Light and I had my vodka soda with a splash of cranberry juice. It was time for our date to begin. His opening remarks was that he loves coming to this particular bar but only during early in the week because during the weekends it gets too crowded for him and he can’t hear anyone. He went on to tell me that he can’t run much anymore due to both of his knees giving out and that he’s taken up swimming for that’s good for him now.

I asked him what he did for a living and he told me that he works at a private school part time but doesn’t like kids (huge strike for me) but most of his time these days is taking care of people’s cats. I guess you could say he’s a “cat-sitter”. He said he has about six different cats that he watches for people while they travel.

I wasn’t sure where to go with any of the information he was giving me. I found myself asking questions like, “Is there any particular cat you fancy more?” I was working overtime with this date and I asked him about his hobbies, and he said, “Well, I love to dress up like Dolly Parton.” He got out his phone and showed me all the various costumes he’s done over the years. I was impressed with his dedication and we talked about that for a bit.

My second and last drink was done and when he asked about getting dinner I declined. It would be cruel to lead him on but I did tell him was that I had a nice time getting to know him and if he ever wanted to grab a movie as a friend that I’d certainly be open to it and that is the truth.

We hugged goodbye. He went downtown to Chelsea to take care of one of his six cats that he takes care of, and I walked home.

Contestant #2:
Was the very next evening after contestant #1. We agreed to meet around six right after work since he lived downtown in the same area that I work in. I didn’t want to go all the way uptown only to turn around and come back. He said earlier that day that he would figure something out for us to do.

Around two o’clock that afternoon he sent me a screen shot of an invitation. I would be attending an “Meditation and wine tasting” event at the Ludlow House. I thought this was rather interesting first date. Meditation and wine…both things I enjoy but I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get to know someone this way. I agreed and the event was slated to start at six-thirty.

I met him in front of the Ludlow House and we went inside. I think he was trying to impress me because of it being an exclusive membership-only establishment. Little did he know that I had been there before, and I know someone that works there. However, he did ask me to this event and so I played along as he was showing me around the place.

We went inside this room where the event would be taking place and right off the bat, I see my friend. We hug and she tells me she is working another room but to say goodbye to her when I was leaving. My date said, “Oh, I didn’t think you’d know people here.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that comment, but I shrugged it off.

The set-up for the event was a bunch of picnic style tables, crystals placed on the tables along with candles and glasses of water. We sat with several people and therefore it was really hard to try and make conversation with him since we also needed to engage in the other people seated at our table.

However, I did learn that his job was a sommelier. I could tell that he wanted to explain to me what that was but I told him that I knew what his job was because I have several friends in the hospitality industry. I wasn’t sure if my date felt that I wasn’t cultured enough but when I told him that I have lived in the city for over twenty years, he understood that I have seen and done many things. These exclusive membership-only places never did impress me. What impresses me is manners and he was starting to not have them.

I did my best to focus on the reason I was there and that was to meditate, get to know this guy and have some wine. We meditated and then it was time for the wine tasting portion. In between the wines, we got to know each other a bit more. The only things we really had in common was that we both moved here from Seattle. Other than that, he kept trying to impress me with wines, with his travels and when I excused myself to go to the restroom, he tried to give me directions in such a pretentious tone that I just cut him off and said, “I’ve been here before, I’m all set.”

The event was over, and he wanted to stay longer even though all the patrons had left, and the staff was wanting us to leave. He kept talking to the staff and not me. He kept asking them if they had any openings to work there. It never occurred to me to ask him if he was working at a specific restaurant, so I asked him and he said he was, “currently looking for a home.” This was not only a first date but a networking thing for him. I told him I wanted to say goodbye to my friend really quick and when I came back he was given a free bottle of wine.
On our walk to the subway he asked me if I wanted to go back to his place, crack open the wine and make out. I declined and took the F train back home. I did thank him the next day for letting me attend the event with him but that is where I left it.

Contestant #3:
Contestant three was the following Thursday evening. However, this was a different type of date for I didn’t meet this guy from a dating app but this was a set-up from a good friend of mine.

My friend had done her research on the guy. She sold him to me as someone that is tall, likes to wear baseball caps and is employed. I bought what my friend was selling and I told her she can give him my number. We had begun texting during the holidays and last Thursday was finally when we were able to meet.
During out texting we discovered that we live only one block away from each other. Since this was more of a casual date and we had a mutual friend in common, I wanted to go as low key as possible. So, when he suggested we meet at Rise Bar for happy hour, I was relieved.

We got seats right at the bar and he was attractive, he did wear a baseball cap and I did learn that he is, in fact…employed. He drank much faster than me but still after about three drinks in, I wanted and needed to slow down. I didn’t want to get too drunk, but I also wanted to have my wits about me.

I wanted my wits with me because while I began drinking water and he went onto his fourth drink, I noticed a guy staring at us from across the bar. This guy wasn’t giving us a pleasant look at all. In fact, it was a look of hatred. My date didn’t notice at first but I finally said to him, “Do you know this guy that is staring at us drinking the Amstel?” All my date said was, “Oh shit. That’s my ex-boyfriend from a year ago. He still has feelings for me and he’s drunk. This could get ugly.” Great. I get the fact that we all have exes roaming the city but this guy had a look on his face that I was messing with his territory.

The ex began to walk toward us and I asked my date flat out if he still had feelings for his ex. He assured me that he didn’t but also said that his ex has a temper and had also just sent him a text asking for him to talk outside of the bar.

That was my cue. I don’t want any drama this year or any year for that matter. I told my date that it was nice to meet him but that I’d give them their space to talk and I left. I got a text later that evening from my date that said, “Thanks for meeting. Thanks for giving me the time to talk to my ex. Suffice to say, he stayed the night.”

Well, there you have it. I played the Dating Game and I didn’t select any of them. I wasn’t devastated by not connecting with any of them. The rest of the weekend was spent with my friends and I couldn’t have been happier with that outcome.

I will always play the Dating Game because I know that one day I will win. Just like all the other single people out there trying their best, playing the game and winning. Each time we play the game, that just brings us closer to the grand prize. Good luck contestants!

Love! Valour! Compassion!

We are at the point in the year where we are to reflect on the past year that we endured. Looking back at all our highs and lows and hoping that the year ahead is filled with nothing but promise, positive opportunities and great health. It’s always exciting to know we are about to be given a clean slate, a brand-new year to not only make a difference for ourselves but maybe make a difference for someone else.

Everyday before I leave my apartment, I mediate. I send my prayers out to my friends and family, I let the universe know how grateful I am for what has been given to me for I know, all too well, that it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. I work overtime to not take what I have for granted.

Last Monday, I woke up and checked my banking account. On my screen, the statement read: $0.33. I only had that much money in my checking account to last me for a week. It was no ones fault but my own because I’m terrible at balancing my checking account. At first, I was very hard on myself, but I quickly forgave myself. Because even though I’m a forty-year-old man that should have his life all in order there are times that I will fail at being an adult. However, I knew that five days later, I would get a paycheck, pay my bills and get right back on track. I also knew that there will most likely come a time again when my statement might read: $0.33. That’s going to be alright because I know that I do my best and I will be successful on certain days and not so successful on others. I had to show myself some compassion.

The next day, was very cold in the city. I felt like the weather fit my mood and as I was leaving my fancy, over priced gym that evening; I walked by a woman standing on the corner. She was only in a sweater and tights. What really broke my heart was that she had no socks or shoes on. I was six blocks away from my apartment when I walked past her, and she was asking for money. I literally had no money to give this woman but instead, I ran to my apartment as quickly as possibly could, grabbed a shopping bag and filled it with socks, a blanket and a jacket. I went back outside to the corner I found her on, but she was gone. I walked a few blocks up and down to see if she went to a different corner but I couldn’t find her. I walked a few more blocks toward my apartment still carrying the items I had for her when I saw someone fast asleep on the freezing sidewalk. I left the bag right next to person and walked away. I’m not sure if it helped that person but I can only hope that it did. I went to bed that night thinking how I might only have $0.33 in my account, but that stranger had nothing.

The rest of the week was challenging but I just knew that Friday would present itself before I knew it. True to form, Friday arrived and I was back on track. I was all set to see a concert that evening but a friend of mine sent me a text message saying he wanted to see me and that he was having a holiday party. I could’ve gone to the concert and went by his place afterwards, but something told me that I would have more fun being around love and friends than a concert. I was so happy that I went with my decision for I had such an amazing night surround by Love! Valour! And Compassion!

On Saturday, I might’ve had too much Love! Valour! And Compassion! For I did wake up with a slight hangover but there was too much to do before the holidays that I ran all my errands, saw a movie and met up with a friend of mine before calling it an early night. As we all know this time of year is so fun to be with everyone but takes a toll on the old liver.

Also, on that Saturday amid running errands, etc. I began messaging a guy from a dating app and that messaging quickly led to me giving him my phone number. Throughout the day, we were sending each other messages and when we both were talking about how busy your schedules were for the holidays, we agreed to squeeze in a few hours to meet the next day. I was looking forward to it. I kept thinking how it would be nice to end the year with a nice first date, but I knew that was a tall order to wish for. Ever the optimistic, I still threw a wish out into the universe asking for a pleasant first date.

Yesterday’s weather was disgusting. There was no other word to describe it. It was windy, cold and rain was coming down and wasn’t letting up for the entire day and night. I had so much to do for a Sunday. Gym, get ready, cram in some last-minute holiday shopping, a date and I also had a dinner with a friend scheduled after my date.

Half-way through the day, I knew that my friend would understand if we rescheduled our dinner for the weather was just not great and I had no idea if my date was going to go well or not. Thankfully, he understood and that was one thing I didn’t have to stress about.

After the gym, after getting ready for my date, it was time to do some shopping. One of the items I bought, was actually for myself and it was a candle (this candle will come into play here very soon). Finally, it was time for my date. We agreed to meet at five since at the time, I didn’t know if I was going to reschedule dinner with my friend or not.

I picked a bar for us to meet at in Union Square since I also thought that the dinner I was to have with my friend, was in that area (anybody that knows me, knows that I’m terrible with directions and maps. Turns out, my dinner was in the West Village not in Union Square). I get off the subway with my shopping bags and there’s a text from my date saying, “The bar you picked doesn’t open till six.” OK. I didn’t think a bar would be closed at five, but I saw my date waiting in the rain in front of the closed bar. I introduced myself and apologized for picking a place that was closed and for him waiting in the rain. I knew of a bar a few blocks away and we walked to a place called, Barn Joo.

I wasn’t in this establishment for more than five minutes when I dropped my shopping bags on the ground and shattered the glass that held my candle in. My date just sat and watched me with the staff to make sure that there was no glass anywhere for the patrons to accidentally step on. Finally, it was my turn to sit down at the bar. I sat down and told him that it was nice to meet him and all he said was, “Your hand is bleeding.” I looked at the top of my hand and there was a cut and I was in fact…bleeding. No idea how I got the cut since the staff at the bar wouldn’t let me near the broken glass. So, I sat at the bar with a napkin covering my bleeding hand. I wasn’t bleeding all over the place, but it also wasn’t an attractive look.

After that, he and both compared stories of broken bones (I had more than him) and all the crazy things that we did as kids. Over the course of two glasses of wine, I learned that he’s a kindergarten teacher for a school in the Weest Village. I mentioned that I volunteer with a program for under privileged kids and he was aware of the program. He loves to travel, is divorced from his ex-husband and has thirteen tattoos. We both laughed a lot, I was extremely comfortable around him and toward the end of the date as we were finalizing the bill, we agreed to see each other this Tuesday right after work because we both have parties afterwards to attend to and after that we aren’t free till next year after the holidays.

He walked me to the corner of fourteenth street and kissed me. It was in the most dramatic way with the rain, us under an umbrella and I really liked the way he kissed. He went onto run errands for his kids’ school program and I went home. He sent a text message a few hours later saying he had a great time and was looking forward to this Tuesday. I replied that the feeling was mutual.

Another year is ending, and another is about to begin. No one can predict what our future is going to unfold for us. What I do wish for everyone is that they never stop showing love, never stop showing their valour and above all else; never ever stop being compassionate to yourselves, to your loved ones and strangers.

I leave this last blog for the year with a quote from a French idealist philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Thankful Heart

What does it mean to be thankful? Does it need to be given with gifts? Does it need to be shown with endless affection? Does it only need to be said on special holidays? Like the way people mourn, I feel that we all show our thankfulness in many ways and at different times. Regardless of how you are thankful, I just hope that we show it, not just for ourselves but for the world.

Seeing that this is the Monday right after the Thanksgiving holiday, I know that many are walking around in a fog. Getting ready to go back to work after being off for a few days, stumbling to find a cup of coffee that will hopefully jolt them back to their work mode. However, I know a few people out there that are without jobs now and would give anything to get a steady paycheck again. So, even though we are having a tough time going back to work, I guess we should all be thankful that we have one.

Like most, I was very thankful for the Thanksgiving holiday. I was looking forward to having a few days off and being surrounded by friends. It was the week prior to Thanksgiving that made me so thankful for where my life is, that I knew I wasn’t going to take any of my days during the holiday break for granted.

About two and a half weeks ago, I found myself scheduled with two dates with two different men. They were men that I had met before when I was trying my “friends with benefits” phase. I had thought that they all had disappeared since, after a few times of meeting both of them, the communication stopped. However, we all know that they always come back and true to form…they both did, in fact…come back.

It was two Thursday’s ago and the weather in the city had taken a nasty turn. It was our first storm of the year and there is no other way to put it, other than the fact that it was a total shit storm. Snow, rain, and wind were going in every direction, so I figured that my date was going to cancel. To my surprise, he confirmed that we’d be meeting a wine bar that is near both of our apartments.

I arrived first at the wine bar and only waited a few minutes before my date arrived. He arrived not properly dressed for a winter storm at all. No hat, no gloves, just a hoodie, and sneakers. His hair was drenched, and his shoes were also wet. I should also mention that he was coughing up a lung the entire time. After he warmed himself up, the first thing he said to me was, “I hate New York.” He’s only been in New York a few months and comes from Washington D.C.

He went on and on about how dirty the city is, how he doesn’t understand the congestion all the time and he went on and on about the negative aspects regarding the city. I wasn’t saying a word because it was starting to annoy me that he was talking such shit about a city that I love. I kept drinking my wine and he kept going on how he’d love to live anywhere else but in New York. Finally, it was my turn to speak and I said, “So, when do you think you will be leaving?” He laughed and said, “I like you. You’re a spitfire.”

My date began coughing aggressively. He said that he can only have a second glass of wine because he thinks he is coming down with something. I was rather “thankful” that he could only get through another glass because I was wanting to go home, take a hot shower and get under the covers. My date kept trying to touch my leg and even go higher and I kept pushing his hand away. After we settled the bill, he asked if he could walk me home and kiss me. I looked at him as he was putting his fleece jacket on and said, “You have been coughing so much and just told me you might be getting sick. You are not kissing me. I can get home myself.” He looked defeated and given his situation of still wet hair and soaked jeans, I told him he could walk me to my building but he’s not coming up and definitely not kissing me. He agreed.

We walked for two minutes and were at my building. We were literally standing inside my building as people that live in my building passed us by and he asked, “Can I please kiss you?” I shook my head no and he asked, “Well, can I grab your ass?” How did we go from a goodnight kiss to grabbing my ass? I thanked him for the evening and suggested he get going. He said, “Ok. I will ask one more time. Can I kiss you?” I said, “Fine. You can kiss my cheek and that is it!” So much for that, the man took my coat and pushed it down so that the side of my neck was exposed, and he licked my neck. Not in a sensual way but like a cat cleaning themselves.

I pushed him off and said, “Did you just lick me?” He said, “Yeah. Don’t you think that’s hot?” I said no and opened my building door and he shook his head and as he began to walk down some of my stairs onto the street, he slipped on some snow and landed right on his ass. I do not have a soft laugh and I just started laughing so loud. He got up, kind of laughed and began to walk to his apartment. A half hour later he sent me a text message and said, “Well, if people falling down makes you laugh. I fell again on the way home.” I responded back with, “Thanks for that. I laughed again.” That was the last I heard from him.

The next day was Friday and I had a date that I was rather looking forward to. We had already been on a few dates and he knew my situation of wanting to be just friends with benefits. He came with some baggage that I didn’t want to take on and I was clear with that right when we met. So, after about two weeks of scheduling, our date was going to consist of meeting after work for happy hour and going back to my apartment. Plain and simple. No muss and no fuss. That had been the original plan for the past two weeks of our schedule.

I was at work that Friday, the day of the date when I got a text message from him. It was one of the first messages that I had ever gotten in my dating career that was like this one. My date told me that he ended up having sex with someone else a week prior to our date and THAT sexual partner had contacted my date to tell him that he contracted syphilis. My date went on to tell me that he went to the doctor and also had syphilis as well and that he just got the shot in the ass.

My date wanted to be honest with me and tell me his news since our plan for our date was to be intimate. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I figured this guy might need some humor injected into his day since he had just received a shot in the ass. Not to mention, the message he sent me must’ve been embarrassing enough to send. So I just said, “Thank you so much for letting me know. I really do appreciate the honesty and for not subjecting me to anything. However, if you would’ve just waited one more week. You would’ve been with me. Had fun and our fun wouldn’t have required a shot in the ass cheek!” He smiled back and thanked me for being understanding. He asked if I still wanted to meet him and I said, “No. I’m good.” That was the last I heard from him.

In both dates, I was very “thankful” that they played out the way they did. The first date, I was thankful that I never have to see him again and I got to see him fall on his ass after he licked me. And the second date, I was very “thankful” for his honesty and for not jeopardizing my health.

The time after those dates were filled with nothing but wonderful experiences. I got to spend Thanksgiving surrounded by the most fantastic human beings.

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, not sure there is any time left for these zany dates that I get to experience but I do know that I live my life with a Thankful Heart.

I’m thankful for so many things that I would need more than a blog to let the world know. But do know that I’m thankful for all of you. And I leave you with lyrics from a Muppet song as titled, “Thankful Heart”

“With a thankful heart, with an endless joy
With a growing family, every girl and boy
Will be nephew and niece to me (Nephew and niece to me)
Will bring love, hope and peace to me (Love, hope and peace to me)
Yes and every night will end, and every day will start
With a grateful prayer and a thankful heart”

What You See Is What You Get

People can change all the time. True. It might be harder for some people to want to change, to find the right tools on how to change or even acknowledge that they need to change. However, it got me thinking about this word, “change” and if people are even capable of changing. When it comes to people, is it as simple as…What you see is what you get?

A few weeks ago, I started my experiment with trying to develop a “friends with benefits” situation with several men since the dating pool had begun to dry up. I was on a good streak for a couple of weeks until mid-October when, one by one, they all disappeared. It was as if, they all knew about each other, huddled together and agreed that they all should stop seeing me. Seeing that I was the one that initiated this experiment, I thought that I was also going to be the one to end it on my terms. I’m aware that when there is no emotional attachment that the risk of someone “ghosting” is even more likely to happen than to someone you’re in a real relationship with. However, there was a part of me that was expecting a minimum of a text saying that they are moving on. Now that I’m right back to where I started from, I don’t think I will be trying this experiment again. Truth be told, I’m not really designed for the “friends with benefits” way of life. I have always been that way and I guess that is a part of me that is not supposed to change.

As the rest of October continued to move on, I found myself with little time to myself. I attended a friends’ wedding, continued my volunteering for underprivileged children during the week and preparing for one of my favorite holidays…Halloween. However, not all was work because two dear friends of mine took me to see a Broadway show. It wasn’t just any Broadway show, but a show based on my favorite movie of all time…Pretty Woman. It was a very precious experience for me to go with them to see the show and as someone that doesn’t go to see Broadway often; it was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Not one to ever lack any drama in my life, I found it ironic that the very evening that I saw the show that as my friends’ and I were having cocktails discussing the show; that I got a text message from my past. It was a text message from Mr. D. a man that I hadn’t seen in almost two years and the last time messaged I got from him was when he hoped that I was having a good birthday in Spain. His message that night after the show was asking me how I was doing and what I was up to at that moment.

Mr. D. had always been someone that, What You Saw Is What You Got. What he was; was someone that is emotionally unavailable, confused about his sexuality and dragged me along for the ride. Over the past couple of years of limited contact, I took great responsibility in knowing that he isn’t the only one to blame for my heartache. I was also responsible for my own heartache because time and time again, I allowed him into my life. And each time that I did; he proved that he wasn’t worthy of my time or my heart. I’m very much over him, I’ve let him go and have forged ahead and that took a great amount of work on my part to do so. However, I’d be lying to say that each time his name appears on my phone, email or otherwise that I don’t feel a hint of nostalgia.

Mr. D. was someone that in our past together, I had watched the movie, Pretty Woman, with. He knew that this was my favorite movie and I don’t know how this man does this, but he knows exactly when to message me at a time in my life that I’m happy or haven’t given him a thought in a long time. However, I was on such a high from seeing the show with my friends that I messaged him telling him that I literally had just gotten done with seeing the show. He responded back instantly saying that he hoped I had a great time and that he remembered that it was my favorite movie.

A few more cocktails with my friends that night and a few more text message exchanges with Mr. D. and he asked me if I had any plans of visiting Boston soon. He knows one of my closest friends lives there and that I often visit Boston to see her. It turned out that I had plans already to see my friend in Boston in a couple of weeks from when he messaged me. He asked to see me only to “catch-up”. I told him that I wasn’t sure if it was such a good idea given that I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in almost two years. He mentioned that he has “changed” and that it would be great to see me. I didn’t answer yes or no that night but told him I would think about it.

The next day, I mentioned my Pretty Woman text message exchange with Mr. D. to my friend in Boston and she knew that I was past having any feelings for him but also knew that he’s just someone that is going to constantly pop in and out of my life. She said that it turns out that the weekend that I was going to be getting to Boston that she and her husband are seeing a show on Friday night and won’t be around and that it might be the perfect time to have a dinner with Mr. D. for this so-called “catch-up” meeting.

I messaged Mr. D. and said that I’m open to meeting him and that if that if he had any free time in the evening when I arrived that we could grab some dinner and “catch-up”. He was so excited that he said, “I will be there sunshine”. I didn’t respond.

The beginning of last week had arrived. It was the week that was going to lead me to see Mr. D. for the first time in a couple of years. I messaged him around Tuesday of last week to confirm one more time that he was still available to meet on Friday evening for dinner. He said, “You bet!”

The next day, I messaged him a few dinner spots since I know he isn’t much of a planner. No response. No response last Wednesday. No response last Thursday. Suddenly, I had a feeling that even after a couple of years of him being out my life that maybe he hadn’t changed and was back to his old ways again.

Friday of last week and I’m on a bus heading to Boston. I’m so excited knowing that I’m going to be seeing my friend, her husband, and their two boys. I knew that at least that visit was going to be amazing. Somewhere between New York and Connecticut, I message Mr. D. asking him what his deal was. He hadn’t responded to any of my dinner options, nor if any of the times I provided him would work.

Finally, he responded. He told me that he was sorry for doing this to me but that his “friend” got last minute tickets to see the show, Hamilton, and that if I wanted to see him between the hours of 5-6 p.m.
I knew it. I knew the asshole was going to pull one of his stunts that he was notorious for. He always changed the plans, he always made it fit around his schedule and granted he thought this was alright because in the past; I allowed it. I’m not that person anymore, it took years to get here and now that I’m forty; I sure as hell wasn’t going to let this man get away with it. I just responded back with one word: “No” and I hit send.

As the bus arrived in South Station in downtown Boston, I had been there plenty of times before to know where I was going. I shopped around to get some toys for my friends’ kids and decided that since my friend and her husband were also seeing a show that night; that I should just find a cheap hotel and take myself out.

I knew Mr. D. well enough to know that he hates confrontation so I wouldn’t be expecting an apology or anything else from him for the remainder of my trip. Which was fine with me. I walked the streets of Boston with a smile on my face because a few years ago, had Mr. D. done this to me; I would’ve been devastated. Now, I didn’t care. Not even in the slightest. It was such a relief to have that feeling that he no longer had over me.

I checked into my hotel and barely gave myself anytime to process what the hell I was doing before I was getting myself ready to go out for the night. I got ready, got in an Uber and he took me to one of the only gay bars in Boston, Club Cafe. Ironically enough, it was also the gay bar that Mr. D. took me to several years ago. I ordered myself a cocktail and took in the scenery. It wasn’t long before guys started talking to me and asking me where I’m from. Apparently, it’s a small gay community in Boston for they knew right off the bat that I wasn’t from around their neck of the woods. I stayed long enough to get a buzz and went back to my hotel room.

The next morning, I woke up, showered and went to the area of, Brookline. As soon as I got to my friends’ house and saw her oldest son looking out the window; I knew my day was going to be special. Before I even put my bag down, my friends said, “So, how did it go? How was the visit?” I told her, “It didn’t happen because he went to see Hamilton instead.” She sort of laughed and looked at her husband and said, “We were also at Hamilton last night.” They told me that they didn’t see him at the show but had they; they would’ve kicked his ass. Not necessary but it’s nice knowing you have people that will do that for you.

The rest of the day was spent holding her newborn son, playing with her eldest. Gossiping so much that her husband went to take a nap and us staying in our sweats the entire day. Never once mentioning Mr. D. because there really was no need to. I know him better than anyone and I knew he was going to get cold feet, that he was going to do something to mess things up and that he wouldn’t do anything to fix his wrongdoings. He decided to go see some show instead of spending some time with someone that he hadn’t seen or heard from in two years. What I saw, was what I got, and I knew it.

Yesterday morning, I had breakfast with the kids and took a quick shower before needing to catch my bus back to New York. When I got out of the shower and was packing, my phone lit up at 9:30 a.m. and it was from Mr. D. and it said, “Can I please see you today?” My response at 9:32 a.m. back to him read, “No. I have tickets to Hamilton.” He never responded and as of today, he still hasn’t, and he won’t.

As today’s entry is the day before the midterms, it is time for a change. I think we can all agree on that. People are capable of change. People can make a shift in what is wrong and turning it around into something right. Not everything we see is what we get. Especially when we know that with great work comes great results.

The Bachelor

I’ve never seen a full episode of the television show, but I understand the premise. A guy is, in theory, searching for love from all these available women. They go on many dates and in the end, he will choose one special woman and they will live happily ever after. I would assume in this show that it might get hard for the bachelor to select just one woman since he has so many options. Is having so many options helpful or is it pushing us further away from what we’re looking for?

Last entry I wrote about having, FWB’s aka Friends With Benefits. Ever since that last entry, I went from having no men to not having enough hours in the day to schedule them all. In the beginning of this experiment, before I even met anyone for anything, I had to weed out the crazy guys that were responding to my profile. Once I got through that process, it was time to select my bachelors. I decided to go with just three bachelors since I felt anymore would be gluttony.
With that being said, it was time for me to figure out how to juggle the bachelors, work, friends and everything else in between.

Bachelor #1:

I had met this Bachelor a few times at random parties and he always wanted to go out on a date, but I wasn’t sure that I liked him enough to go on dates with but also wasn’t completely turned off by him either. So, when I ran into him two weeks ago at a bar, I sent him a text message and I explained that I wasn’t open to dating but open to this, Friends with Benefits thing. He agreed and then began the annoying part of scheduling to see each other in a hectic city like New York. We finally agreed on two Sunday’s ago. I was coming back from my friend, Feather’s, country house in Pennsylvania and that would be a perfect way to end the weekend.

I met Bachelor #1 at Rise bar for one drink before we realized we both didn’t want to be there for it was too crowded for a Sunday afternoon. We walked a few feet and went into this cute wine bar and sat right in front of the window facing Ninth Avenue. I wasn’t nervous about being seen with him but just didn’t want anyone I knew walking by but I agreed to sit there. We barely ordered our wine when someone I knew walked by and started talking with me while Bachelor #1 sat there. I made the conversation quick and the guy walked away. It was back to my bachelor who was trying to make this meeting last longer than I wanted to. He wanted to talk and talk and after the wine, I found myself being more aggressive than I had been in awhile. When the bill arrived, he wanted to get something to eat but I was just buzzed enough that I suggested we go back to his place. He smiled and agreed.

On the walk to his apartment, he wanted to put his arm around me but that was too romantic for me, so I sort of motioned my body away from his. Once we were inside his apartment, things began to heat up quickly. It was nice and just what I was looking for. However, Bachelor #1 had some issues in the bedroom. He was excited but couldn’t make it to the finish line. I was trying to be patient and even compassionate, but he confessed that he was nervous because he’d been thinking about us in bed for a long time and now that it was finally happening, he psyched himself out. As I was getting dressed, he wanted to cuddle and that, again, was too romantic for me. I told him that I needed to get home for it was technically a school night for me. Not sure if I will see him again, I know that yesterday he was texting and wanting a redo. I declined.

So far, playing this Bachelor game wasn’t looking so good for me.

Bachelor #2:

This bachelor is someone that I had been messaging for only about a week, but his schedule was just as bad as mine. Not to mention he just moved to the city only but three weeks ago. He was completely opposite from Bachelor #1. This guy is forty-nine years old and from what he told me, is that he works for the government.

He doesn’t know the city that well and I discovered that he only lives around the corner from my apartment, so I suggested we go to this wine bar, Bar Veloce. Last Thursday after my yoga class, I got ready and met Bachelor #2. It was still very warm in the city for it being October, so I wore shorts.

We arrived at the same time and sat right in the front. I was wondering why each time I’m going on these meetings that I’m being sat in front of the window as if I’m being put on display. Thankfully, no one I knew walked by for this meeting.
The wine was ordered, and when I finally looked at him, I realized he was taller than I remembered him telling me. He paid me a ton of compliments right away and before the wine was poured, so I felt like it wasn’t just the wine doing the talking. By the time we finished our first glass, I learned a lot about him.

He confessed that he divorced his wife about four years ago. They both met on some government trip in Africa. During their time in Africa they adopted two children and they have joint custody of the young kids. The ex-wife lives in Washington D.C. where he travels every other weekend to be with his kids. Suddenly, I realized that is also wasn’t turning into a Friends with Benefits meeting but rather a regular date.

I needed to turn this date back into what it was originally designed to be so when he said I had nice legs, I said, “You can touch them.” He did, and his hands never left my legs and we were back on course. He had to leave early the next morning for D.C. and so when we finished our bottle, he paid and asked to see me again. He wants to wait till after all his furniture is delivered because all he has right now is a suitcase of clothes and an air mattress…not really sexy but completely understandable.

So, we walked across the street and began making out like crazy. It was my second kiss from a different man in seventy-two hours.

Bachelor #3:

Friday night. I had taken the day off to spend the day running errands and getting ready for Bachelor #3. This guy was my third time meeting him. Over the past two weeks, we met a couple of times for drinks. He was the first Bachelor I met/interviewed, and we really hit it off. In my mind, this was going to be the meeting where we took things to the next level. I had hinted via text that I was wanting a very fun evening and he said that he liked the element of surprise. So…I had to let nature take its course and not to get too excited about what could happen.

He suggested we meet at the bar, Industry. I hadn’t been there in awhile, so I agreed to it. The plan was to meet for happy hour and “take it from there.” When I walked in, I didn’t see him right away, but I had passed him when I walked in. We hugged, and it was rather nice to see him. As we were walking to the bar, I told him that I would be buying the drinks since the last time we hung out, he took care of the drinks. On our way to the bar, I ran into someone that I knew from a previous job I had worked at. We chatted for a second and then when I went to the bar, the bartender was an ex of mine. Thankfully, he and I ended on very good terms and I got my drinks for damn near free.

Bachelor #3 and I began talking about our jobs and one round led to two and after the third, I was rather drunk. I don’t know why I got drunk so fast, but I did. Bachelor #3 suggested we get some food in me and so we walked down Ninth Avenue and went for burgers at, Five Napkin.

Over dinner, I don’t know what possessed us, but we ordered another drink and over dinner we just were having such a good time. I was laughing, eating fattening food and was not wanting the night to end. I was impressed when the bill came, and Bachelor #3 offered to pay and said I could get the next time. I did want a next time because he’s so much fun.

We walked up Ninth Avenue and he offered to walk me to my apartment even though his apartment is before mine. I told him that it wasn’t necessary. In hindsight, I should’ve brought him back to my place but instead he pulled me onto the side of fiftieth street and gave me such a kiss that my knees became week. He was the best kisser out of the other bachelors. We kept kissing before I realized that was drunk, making out and being tacky. It was fun but also not something I like to be doing in public.

By the time I got home, Bachelor #3 was saying how he had a nice time and also how good the make out session was. I wanted to invite him over, it was only a six block walk for him but decided to wait it out. I do know that if there is a next time, we are skipping the burgers and fries!

On Saturday night, my friends and I were walking to the movie theater and I was explaining my week to them. They were impressed at my activity, but I wasn’t. It’s just not who I am, and I’m not programmed to be doing all this juggling. Even when I’m in a, Friends with Benefits situation. Not sure how much longer I will be playing this role of the Bachelor but so far, it’s been fun and exhausting.

I guess that’s also what this Bachelor stuff is about. Balancing or rather juggling. I’m not an excellent juggler, hell, I can barely walk and text at the same time. There are people out there that can handle having multiple people in their lives but call me old fashioned…I’m just a one person at time kind of guy.


“LOL”, “SMH”, “NVM”, “LMK” the list of acronyms that we’ve created to communicate is now becoming endless and, at least for me, almost impossible to keep up with. And since I rarely post anything on social media, don’t even get me started on all the hashtags. Yes. I admit that I sound like an old fart and depending on the day, I guess you could say that I am. Now, that I’m officially in my forties, there is a certain level of entitlement. However, with that entitlement still comes a level of responsibility to keep up with the times. Which leads me to one rather interesting acronym…

” FWB” otherwise known as: Friends with Benefits.

In my last entry, I was just about to leave for a ten-day vacation (or rather it turned into an eleven-day vacation since we missed our connecting flight and had to stay an extra day in Barcelona) to Spain. Friends from New York, London, Italy and even Chicago were going on this trip to celebrate my birthday. Before I left, I was already feeling very fortunate with all the birthday wishes, parties, etc. that I wasn’t too stressed out about the fact that I was officially a forty-year-old man.

The trip itself, was fabulous from the moment we arrived till the day we left. Bars, beaches, food, laughter, more bars and meeting so many new people. By the fourth day into our trip, most of my friends had all had sexual adventures… all except for me. I wasn’t sure if Spain wasn’t into me or as one of my friends bluntly put it to me, “You need to pay attention.” I admit that I really don’t pay attention to others when I’m out with my friends. I tend to focus solely on them and not pay any attention if any flirtatious moves are coming my way. In the middle of the trip, I was determined to make sure that I wasn’t leaving Spain unless I had an adventure on my own. Wouldn’t you know, the minute I started “paying attention” to my surroundings; I met someone almost instantly at the wee hours in Ibiza. It was just what I needed. I was thousands of miles from New York, from work, from all my responsibilities and it felt so amazing to be that disconnected from reality.

Once that happened to me in Spain, I told myself that when I returned to New York, that instead of trying to find a relationship that maybe what I need right now is a, “FWB” moment. However, before I left Spain, I wanted to try my hand at this “meeting” new people one last time. On our last night in Barcelona, I began chatting with this man that was staying at a nearby hotel. He asked me to meet him at the rooftop of his hotel for a drink to see if we had “chemistry”. I agreed to it and wasn’t entirely sold on this scenario, so I asked some of my friends to come along for support. The deal was that if I liked the guy than they would leave and have dinner. If it was a bust than we all would leave and go for dinner.

My friends and I get to the rooftop of the hotel. I wasn’t nervous but also wasn’t sure to what to expect. I told him that I would be bringing some friends and he didn’t mind that at all. We all had our drinks and finally he arrived. He fit right in and get this…he is also from New York. So, there we were, just a bunch of New Yorkers in Spain having cocktails and sharing stories of our trips. I was attracted to him, thought he was attracted to me and just as I was about to tell my friends to leave and that I’d meet up with them later. The entire thing shifted once this guys’ friends showed up and it became some odd meeting. Suffice to say, my last night in Spain didn’t turn out as I had planned.

In all my years in New York, I’ve never actually really had a “FWB” before. I didn’t know how to go about obtaining one, how to keep one or how to maintain one. I know that my single friends have them, but they seemed to have their “FWB’s” already locked down.

As soon as I got back to the city; I decided to take matters into my own hands and contact someone that I had gone on one date with two years ago. We didn’t make it as far as dating goes but every now and again we would text each other to see how the other was doing. I told him that I was back in New York and he said, “Great! Let me take you out for your birthday.” I was blunt in my response by telling him that I’m interested in turning our communication into a “FWB” situation. I was surprised when he said that he was more than happy to make that transition. However, he still wanted to meet for drinks and now dinner. From what I’ve heard over the years, the “FWB” scenario usually doesn’t involve food or beverage but I decided to go with the flow and so I agreed to meet him two Friday’s ago.

I was on the tail end of my jet lag from my trip but was determined to see what my new potential “FWB” had in store. After work, I squeezed in a quick workout and got ready to meet him for dinner, drinks, etc.

During dinner, I was working overtime to make sure that this dinner was solely to ensure that afterwards we’d be going back to his place. No muss and no fuss. However, as dinner continued, I realized he was wanting more from me than just what I was proposing. By the time the bill came and we both paid our share; I knew that this wasn’t going to be my best “laid plan”. He suggested we go for a walk since it was a nice night and get ice cream. I politely declined for having dairy after dinner and thinking there might be sex afterwards just didn’t seem like a good idea. He walked me to my door and asked to see me again. I told him I’d text him my schedule once I knew. So far, this “FWB” was not working in my favor.

The next night, I was attending a dinner party for friends of mine that have decided to move to Australia and give life a try down under. It was a bittersweet gathering but during the dinner, it was nice to see a table full of amazing people. Eating, drinking and laughing. It really made my heart feel full.

As last week started, I was feeling defeated in the “FWB’ department. I, once again, thought I should get one of these relationships a jump start. I got online and before I knew it, once I put out that I was looking more for a “FWB” rather than a relationship; suddenly my inbox was full. It was there I realized that most people these days aren’t really looking for a solid, romantic, monogamous relationship but rather something they don’t have to put a lot of work into.

So, after careful consideration, I selected someone that I wanted to meet first before creating a “FWB”. When I suggested that we meet for coffee or a drink, he laughed and asked, “Why would we meet for a drink first?” It was there that I told him I would never bring a stranger into my home without knowing them first. Then I said, “The situations of a Friends with Benefits has the word “FRIENDS” in it. At least we can meet for a drink before going straight to bed.” He suggested we meet this past Wednesday at the bar, Therapy.

Last Wednesday, 8 p.m. and my potential “FWB” is already waiting for me at the bar. He was having some IPA beer and I ordered my vodka soda with a splash of cranberry. Right off the bat, he looked pretty darn close to his photos and he instantly paid me a compliment. We began chatting and it went effortlessly. We talked about where we both are from, favorite movies, friends, work, family, etc. After the first drink, we ordered another one.

Finally, it was time to get down to business and I asked him if he thought it was odd that I asked to meet him first. He said, “I’ve never met someone like this with an agenda.” I told him my reasons and gave some examples of how crazy my dating life is and how it’s just better to meet in person. After I gave him two examples he understood why I would want to meet someone face to face before anything else.

I asked him point blank what is sexual status was and that is where he confessed to me that he is HIV positive but that he’s undetectable and always has safe sex. He said he understood if I wanted to back out and leave. I put my hand on his forearm and said, “First and foremost, thank you for your honesty. So many people can lie and not deal with the consequences. And secondly, I will need some time to think about it, but this is exactly why I wanted to meet beforehand.”

I told a few friends of mine about what I was doing that night by meeting this guy and they sort of laughed at the way I was going about things. However, with that simple conversation that I had with this new guy; I found out more in two cocktails than I would’ve had he just shown up at my front door.

After our two-drink minimum meeting, he agreed to walk me to the corner and asked to see me again this week. I agreed but I told him that it wasn’t going to be a meeting about sex. Not because of his sexual status but because I wouldn’t mind getting to know him a bit more. He said that he’s been single for awhile for he still isn’t sure how to present his story. All I told him is that he doesn’t need a “story” to tell but rather just let the truth speak for itself and be honest with anyone that he might be sexual with.

So far, I’ve been up to bat twice with this “FWB” and struck out. That doesn’t mean I will give up but rather maybe I even met a new “friend” and am able to help someone out. It wasn’t the path I thought I was going to go down but hey…if you can help someone out even just by listening than I’ve done my job.
Turns out…this “FWB” thing is almost just as much work as a traditional relationship.

Whatever relationship you create for yourself, I hope that it’s filled with tons of “LOL’s”, that you never have to “SMH” and above all the acronyms out there that you fill your relationship with honesty and love.

39 Going on 40

Today is my birthday. Today is also the day that I turn forty. About a month ago, I was really struggling (like most) with the fact that I was letting go of my thirties and entering a new decade. I wasn’t and still not sure what to expect from the reality of it all.

Last month when I was struggling with letting go of my thirties, I was in the midst of a downward spiral and was having very negative thoughts. Thoughts like, “Will I ever be clear of my debt?”, “Will I ever have a successful career?”, “Will I ever own my own home?” and of course the one question all us singletons ask ourselves, “Where the hell is this ever- elusive soulmate?” As I was asking myself these questions, I got frustrated with myself for these were the same damn questions I was asking myself when I turned thirty, when I turned thirty-five and now that I was leaving my thirties; I was digging deeper into my depression.

I worked very hard over the past month to pull a Cher-Moonstruck slap across my face to make me realize how trite my problems are and that I have so much to be grateful for. As soon as I got out of my funk, I began to clean house. Starting with Mr. D. who did contact me again two weeks ago via text message and I never responded back (and still haven’t). I decided to not hangout with that Nurse that I had a few dates with because there was no chemistry. I felt lighter and stronger knowing that I was going to be starting my forties with a clean slate at least with the regards to men.

Also, over the course of the past couple of months, I knew I wanted to give back to the world. Maybe not the world but certainly to do something that could change or shift a child that is less fortunate. I did extensive research on foundations in Manhattan that helps under privileged children. The problem was that a lot of these foundations need help during the day when I’d be at work. Finally, I found a foundation called, Read Ahead. Once a week, during your lunch hour, you can read to children, become a mentor and help shape a child’s life. This was it! I LOVE reading and I LOVE children. I filled out an application and got a bounce back email that told me I might not be selected due to an overwhelming response. I figured I would let the universe do it’s work and if I was meant to be a mentor than great and if not…I was certain I’d find something else to help children.

My next challenge was beginning to plan my New York City birthday bash. So many of my closest friends offered to help plan, set-up, etc. but I didn’t want to burden not one soul with this party. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to have a Wonder Woman themed birthday. Now, that I was an adult, I could do whatever I wanted and that is what I wanted. I wasn’t sure what to do since I’m not a planner by nature (I can barely book a flight on my own). I started early in the month with buying the easy things, contacting the amazing people I have in my life. How many people can say that they know someone that owns their own bakery? I was so fortunate and when I decided to book the bar, Rise, I just walked in, spoke to the manager and he agreed, and it didn’t cost me a penny to reserve a section in the bar. It might’ve helped that my opening line was that his bar was going to make a ton of money since my friends like to drink.

As the August weeks began to speed by, I was secretly wanting them to slow down, even though we were in the middle of a Mercury retrograde where for two and a half weeks, we can blame the sun and the moon rather than ourselves for the shitty things that were happening to us. I wasn’t prepared for all that was happening and all that still needed to happen. While all of this was going on, I also had a new roommate move in and wanted to make sure her transition to New York was smooth and that she liked living in my apartment. Thankfully…that did work out in my favor. She’s moved in and even used tools that I didn’t even know I had to put her furniture together.

Finally, it was last week of August, and I had only but five days left to finalize all the details on my party. Details including confirming the bar space again, having Feathers and his husband come over mid-week to make sure my costume looked perfect, coordinating the cake from, SweetHaus bakery in Brooklyn and finding a place that blows up balloons.

It was last Thursday night when I finished with the gym and went down to the Dream Hotel in Chelsea where I met up with two close friends of mine that flew in from Minnesota just to celebrate my birthday. We were able to have quality time since we all knew that the day of the party there would be limited time to have a proper conversation. I left them around ten-thirty since I had an early work call the next day and I was starting to feel good about this party coming together and well…even turning forty. If both of those amazing people could do amazing things and be forty…how hard could it be?

Last Saturday, the morning of the party and I was up early. I worked out and ran to Party City to get balloons blown up. Got home and showered. My doorbell rang, and it was this amazing make-up artist named, A. Love, that I met one day while shopping at Sephora. He came to my apartment and sat me in the living room and began doing my make-up. My new roommate and I couldn’t help but laugh for while I was getting my make-up done in our living room, she was in her new bedroom putting together a bed frame with all these tools. I hugged A. Love goodbye and thanked him for the make-up session and it was time to get into my custom-made Wonder Woman costume. I asked a friend of mine to come to my apartment early to pick me up even though the bar is just around the corner from my apartment.

When I walked in the bar, a few friends of mine were already there in shirts they had made with my name and age on the back of the shirts and Wonder Woman on the front. If this was any indication on how the afternoon was going to go than I was already one lucky son-of-a bitch. They helped lay out the table cloths,set-up the balloons and I was nervous about not having the cake when I got a text saying that the cake was being brought in from Brooklyn and my friend in the city would be delivering it. Two minutes later, friends that I hadn’t seen in so long showed up. And for several hours, I saw amazing people that are in my life and has been for many years. They came in wearing Wonder Woman hats, shirts, capes and everything in between in support of me. Suddenly, all those questions I plagued myself earlier in the month were thrown out the window for I was surrounded by an overwhelming about of love.

As if the party couldn’t get any better…in walked my friend with the cake. It was amazing, and it was even better than I was envisioning. It was stunning, and I began to tear up. Finally it was the last of my tears when my friend asked me to open his gift that he had wrapped so beautifully. When I opened it, it was this well-crafted Wonder Woman doll that he had been knitting for the past two months!!! After being in the costume for all those hours, not eating and running around like a maniac; it was time to quickly change my costume. My friend who knitted my doll walked me to my apartment to change quickly. It was in my bedroom that he said there was gifts from my amazing friend, Feathers, for me to open. I opened it and it was a framed record that Andy Warhol did for Madonna back in the eighties! It was so awesome, and it’s already hanging up in my living room. The party continued but seeing that it was a happy hour event, everyone was hungry and began to go off in different directions. I was so happy and grateful by the time I went to bed that night that I could barely comprehend what was just around the corner.

I leave tomorrow with friends from New York to go to Spain for ten days. In those ten days we will be covering Barcelona, Stiges and Ibiza. Do I know what is ahead of me? Mostly some sight seeing, TONS of dancing, hangovers and friends coming in from Italy, London and Chicago to meet me there to celebrate.

However, I think the sweetest news I received was yesterday when I was working and got an email telling me that I had been accepted into the Read Ahead mentoring program and I begin my training right after I return from my vacation!! I cannot wait to meet the children, hopefully enrich a child’s life and develop a close bond.

Will the questions that plague me return? Of course, they will, they are just delayed with all that his happening at the moment. It doesn’t mean that any of them will come true and maybe some won’t but other amazing things can and will happen.

We all put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we have to achieve certain milestones at certain ages in our lives but I guess what matters most is who you are surrounded yourself with. How you treat others and most importantly how you treat yourself!

Lost Connection

Whether its in the form of technology or actual human interaction; staying connected is one of the hardest things to do these days. I find it so ironic because we have all these technological ways of staying connected with texting, emails, Facetime and all this social media that yet when it comes to facing someone face to face often we can feel disconnected, disappointed or even lost.

As Mercury Retrograde began last week (yes, I believe in that stuff), I felt the shit in energy instantly. Communication in my work place became hostile, my phone was acting up and I felt rather disconnected from myself. I was doing my best to not let the negative energy in, but I was in a grumpy mood, so much that my coworkers said I should try to find time to take a day off soon. I took their advice and booked a trip to Boston. Not to see Mr. D. who lives there (that is not happening) but to see my girlfriend who is having her second child in a few weeks.

All throughout this rough week I was having, I somehow managed to stay connected with the nurse that I had been on a few dates with. We were texting pretty much everyday and we had finally scheduled our fourth date for this past Saturday. He had to cancel the previous Saturday due to bites on his ankles. Truth be told, I was wondering if our fourth date was going to be as magical as our second date had been with the boat ride in Central Park and talking endlessly. There was only one way to find out and that was to go on the date.

By the time last Thursday rolled around, I was over it. I was wondering how my mood was going to change. That morning, I was at work when I got a call from my bank asking me if I was purchasing five thousand dollars’ worth of sporting goods in the United Kingdom. Someone had gotten a hold of my debit card and thankfully the charges didn’t go through, but I still had to get a new debit card and sort that mess out.

Hours later, I was having a phone interview with HBO and Vice Media for they wanted my take on the #MeToo movement and potential to be a part of their documentary. Which that topic really gets my blood going, so I was in rare form by the time the interview and the day was over with. Thankfully, I had fun plans to meet a friend of mine to catch up at Bar Bacon, where we ate our feelings.

Our office closes early on Fridays (work permitting) so I was so excited that my work allowed me to leave early. I shopped, got a haircut and worked out. After my workout, I went to this bar called, Swift Hibernian Lounge, it’s an Irish bar. I got there to meet my friend and his roommate happened to be there as well. Our goal that night was to try different bars and as soon as I sat down at the bar; I knew I was in for a fun night.

We stayed at the bar for several drinks and while we were there, we met some actor named: Mac. Don’t know anything else about him other than his wife was at some burlesque class in Brooklyn and he was free for the night. He told us he had to walk his dogs but for all of us to meet at this other bar called, Blue and Gold Tavern. It wasn’t that late and I was going to two different bars that I had never heard of. We arrive at the tavern and it was filled with a funky crowd and I was digging the vibe.

I played pool (I lost) and the drinks were so cheap at this dive bar that none of us had any troubles buying round after round. By the time more friends had joined us, I was rather drunk. However, I don’t know who suggested it because we had lost Mac and my friend’s roommate and now it was just the queens left in a dive bar in the East Village. We thought it was a good idea in our drunken stupor to go to, yet another bar called, 7B. When we got there, we could barely get through our drinks but somehow a bunch of potato chips were at our table and we were devouring them. We all said goodnight, but it was such a perfect way to start the weekend with my good friends, staying connected to them and meeting so many strangers.

The next morning, I woke up only feeling slightly hungover which surprised me. However, I knew I had to pull it together because it was date four with the nurse. I went for a run, cleaned the apartment, did laundry and by the time I finished all of that, I realized I still hadn’t heard from my date with what we were doing.

I decided to reach out to him and an hour later he said he was feeling “sleepy”. I didn’t know what that response meant. Was he canceling again in order to get rest or was he just telling me his current mood. I responded with asking what he wanted to do or if he had anything planned. He didn’t. Sigh. It was up to me to take control, so I suggested a movie since that was what we were supposed to the last time before his ankles got bitten (by the way I still have no idea what sort of bites these were), I chose to stay disconnected from that topic.

He thought seeing a movie was a great idea and I told him to meet me at the twenty-third street theater at four. It was one of those very intense humid days in the city and the idea of seeing a movie in an air-conditioned theater sounded amazing. I know he wanted to see, Mamma Mia 2, so that is what I suggested, and he seemed happy. I just knew that I was going to have to grin and bare the movie since that is not something I wanted to see.

Before I met my date, I was texting with some friends of mine and they were grilling me about what number of dates this was, if he was a good kisser and as I was answering them; I realized that it was date four and I hadn’t even held his hand much less kiss the man. Not that I’m a slut but by date four, I would’ve at least known if the man was a good kisser or not. I was seriously hoping that the date I was about to go on that I would find out the answer to my question.

When he arrived at the theater, I realized that I hadn’t seen him in two weeks and when I did; I felt nothing. In fact, I felt disconnected. I chalked it up to the fact that I was a little tired from my night before and was hungry for I hadn’t eaten that day. He got the movie tickets, I got the snacks and I started to feel more relaxed.

Once the movie started, I thought for sure he was going to hold my hand but I didn’t even get an accidental bump to my elbow much less any hand holding. After the painful movie, it was only around six-thirty and he asked what I wanted to do. He is always talking about liking this bar called, Gym, and so I suggested that. Not that I needed alcohol but figured a beer could at least bring some life back to this date. He said, “I’m not in the mood to drink today. Hope that’s ok.”

It was more than ok and so I suggested we go for a walk on the Highline. That is a place that can always strike up conversation and its great people watching as well. We walked and most of it was spent in silent, so much for my theory of conversations happening on this walk. As we were finishing our walk, he suggested we go to dinner. I was shocked that he wanted to go to dinner since I was bored out of my mind and I was certain that he was going to pull the excuse of needing to walk his dogs in order to get off this boring ass date.

He asked me what I was in the mood for, I wasn’t very hungry, but I know that any Mexican restaurant seats you down quickly, you get your chips and salsa and tacos all within the hour. So, I suggested we walk to eighth avenue and find a place that has available seating. We sat down, ordered and for a second I thought he was going to order a margarita but instead we both opted to stick with water. All I wanted to do was finish this meal, contact my friends to meet up so we can have a post-date meeting.

After we settled the bill, it was only eight-thirty and he was already sleepy. I offered to walk him to his subway stop and to my surprise he asked me what I was doing next Sunday. I was floored that he wanted to see me again after the snooze-fest that we were on. I told him that I’d need to check my calendar and I’d let him know. I also didn’t want to fully write him off just yet. I wanted to sleep on things and be sure I was making the right choice. However, if only one date out of four was good, the chance of the fifth date being a success wasn’t looking that great.

We hugged goodbye and when I got off the subway, I instantly sent a message to my friend to meet me at the, Ninth Avenue Saloon, to give him the details on my less than successful evening. As I waited at the bar for my friend to arrive, my date sent a message saying he had a lovely time, as usual and that he really wanted to kiss me, but he had taco breath. What the hell? Did I just read that message? I just sent a smiley face back to him. I didn’t know what else to say, I just felt so disconnected from the entire experience. I had just a couple of drinks with my friend and went home to sleep on a Saturday night by eleven.

Yesterday, I woke up, went to spin class and when I was done with a clear mind; I knew that I was done with the nurse. I sent him a message that said it was nice meeting him and I wished him the best. Many hours later, after I shopped and after I took myself to another movie, he responded. First he sent me a picture of a lamp? Then he said he was shocked by my message but was doing his best to respect my feelings and didn’t want to get too attached because…get this…he might be moving since New York isn’t agreeing with him. That was the first time I heard about him moving. It was clear that we both were disconnected with each other. He did ask if I was still free on Sunday for he’d like to do something as friends. I felt guilty and agreed to it.

When we lose connection with something or someone, it can be frustrating, disappointing and even challenging. In a time where staying connected is so important we must always remember that it doesn’t take a smartphone, a selfie or a post to know that the only connection that is important is what’s in your heart.


In a world where everything moves at a click, a swipe left or right or an insert of our debit cards. We are fully programmed now that everything we want in life will happen in just a few short moments. And when the things we want don’t happen instantly; we become frustrated. Never do we get frustrated with ourselves but for the person across the store counter or at an app on our phone that doesn’t provide us with enough “likes” to make us feel important. As technology continues to evolve and we become less and less in need of actual human interaction…what are we all anticipating for next?

I associate the word anticipation with another word = Anxiety. Now that there are so many pills to take do deal with our anxiety does that mean we no longer anticipate? I still live a life where I don’t need pills to deal with my anxiety rather I go for a long run, meet a friend for a bottle of wine (I was never going to say just a glass of wine) or mediate. I know that as serious as mental health is that some people cannot rely on the old school ways to deal with heavy anticipation but until my time comes; I’m going to stick with what I know.

Over the course of the past two weeks, my anticipation for something bad to happen felt like at an all-time high. I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself about turning forty in a few weeks, work has been challenging and I just felt like I didn’t have a grip on anything.

The last time I wrote, I had written about a nice second date I had with the retired Navy man now turned nurse. He took me on a boat ride in Central Park, we seemed to have a lot in common and when he asked me out for our third date; I was excited or rather anticipating it to be as thrilling as the first two had been.

Two Wednesday’s ago, and it was time for our third date. He suggested we go to the restaurant, Cafeteria because he loves the macaroni and cheese so much. I agreed to meet at that location even though I hadn’t been there in years and I just wanted to get to know him more not overdose on macaroni and cheese.

He was already waiting outside for me when I arrived for our third date. We sat outside, and I could already tell that this date wasn’t going to be like the last two. Either he was tired, I was tired or we both were but the spark wasn’t exactly there, but I worked my ass off to make it work. What we both did wrong was over order at the restaurant. I’m not big on appetizers and then an entrée for its just too much food but we did anyway and by the time we tried to finish our entrée’s; we both were exhausted.

We settled the bill and he suggested we get some ice cream at a place called 16 Handles. I had never been there before either but now we were eating ice cream or was it yogurt? I can’t remember what it was but under the unflattering fluorescent lights; we ate our desserts. After we finished, I wanted to go home and throw up because I don’t usually eat like that. We walked to the subway and he went downtown while I went uptown. On the subway platform while I was waiting for my train I got a text message from him that said, “Ready for date four?” Despite my food coma; I knew that I wanted to see him again or at the very least hope that date four we could have some fun that didn’t involve all that food. I responded with, “Hell yeah.”

At the start of last week, the nurse suggested that we go see the movie, Mamma Mia 2. I had never seen the first movie and I really wasn’t excited to see the second one but the fact that he made plans and a suggestion, I decided to go along with it. When he asked if saw the first one, I said, “Isn’t that the movie where Meryl Streep is a slut, sleeps with three different guys and spends the rest of the movie trying to find out who the baby daddy is while singing Abba songs?” I was on the right path, but he asked me to see the movie before we saw the second one. I had my homework assignment. Thankfully, I didn’t have to see the first movie because a friend of mine explained the entire movie to me before our spin class last Friday; the day before my fourth date.

Backing up to last Thursday, I was at my desk working when I got a text message and when my phone lit up, I wasn’t “anticipating” the name I saw. It was from Mr. D. I swear that this man knows exactly when I go on dates with anyone for that is when he decides to appear in my life. The message from Mr. D. asked how I was doing and said he got a message from his dad that involves a lot of legal work and if he could talk to me. I didn’t’ respond right away and while in the past my stomach would flip (both the good and the bad flip) whenever I saw his name appear in my phone; this time there was no flip.

As soon as I got home from the gym last Thursday, I contacted my friend back in Boston and all she asked me was, “How does this make you feel?” and I was honest. This was a man that I loved very much, we have a ton of history together and of course, I’m going to see if his father is doing alright but nothing else. However, I wasn’t going to respond to Mr. D. that night. Let him anticipate my response.

So, after my friend explained Mamma Mia to me, after my spin class: I told Mr. D. that he could call me but not till last Sunday evening because I had too much going on with my friends on Friday night and my fourth date on Saturday that I didn’t want any of his words affecting my time with people that I wanted to spend time with.

Last Saturday morning, I woke up with excitement and yes…anticipation for my fourth date. I went to the gym, cleaned the apartment and began to get ready for my date. I sent him a text message asking him what theatre and time I should meet him at and an hour later I get a message from him that says he’s, “bedridden”. My first thought was, “Who the hell says bedridden anymore?” My second thought was, “Here we go…the big cancelation.” I was compassionate and asked what his ailments were and if there was anything I could do. He said that his ankles are elevated and that was it. Another hour goes by and he sends me pictures of his ankles that look like they were bitten by bugs. He has yet to officially cancel our date but instead, we are going back and forth with his health diagnosis. I began to lose my patience and finally asked if he needed to cancel the date. He said yes and that was it.

I went on about my day and yet another hour goes by and he sends a rather annoying message to me saying, “You know what a better date would be, is if you came over and rubbed my feet for me.” That did not sit well with me at all. We haven’t even kissed yet, I’m finding myself always being the one to reach out and his messages come back in an hour to two-hour intervals. I don’t think so. I told him that is hard no for me and that I will not go over to someone’s apartment I barely know and I sure as hell am not rubbing your bug bitten feet.

Thankfully, around the time I hit send on that last message that a friend I hadn’t seen in a while said she was in my neighborhood and wanted to day drink. Done! I changed my clothes, went downstairs and proceeded to get nice and drunk while laughing that my date canceled on me because of his bug bitten feet.

On Sunday, I was so happy to not only have some time to myself but that normally I would be filled with anticipation from a call from Mr. D. but instead, I was fully distracted with my own life. My date only sent me one message that day that said, “Well, I survived the night. “I didn’t respond. What was I to say?

Another friend of mine sent me a message asking me how the date went and when I told him he said that I need to give him another chance. Even though I didn’t want to (he knows me so well) that it wasn’t his fault about his feet and that he does seem to be a nice guy. I agreed to go on another date and as of two hours ago, we agreed to go on a fourth date. Mama Mia…here I go again indeed.

True to form, last Sunday, the day that Mr. D. was to call I was already fast asleep when he tried calling me at ten-thirty. He just left a message that said he was sorry for calling so late but was at the beach with friends that I had known from our past together. He said that he will be calling me on Monday (yesterday).

Last night, I got home from the gym, showered and snuggled up with a book. My phone lights up and it’s two text messages from Mr. D. the first was telling me he’d be calling me around ten and the second was a picture of him from the beach.

The phone rang, I answered, and it was a voice I hadn’t heard in a year and seven months. He said, “Wow, your voice still sounds the same, I like that.” I quickly changed the subject and asked him about work. He told me the job that we both used to work at had fired him while he was in Boston and he got a new job that he doesn’t care too much for and mentioned that he might go into designing furniture. When I told him that I no longer work at the agency we used to work at all he said was, “I know. I kept tabs on you for a long time after you left. I asked everyone we knew where you went but since you didn’t tell anyone, I couldn’t find you.” Once again, I didn’t want to go down memory lane and changed the subject as to why he wanted to talk in the first place…his father.

He told me that he’s been back to Seattle (where we are both from) twice this month due to his stepmother having his father change his will so that she gets everything when he dies; including Mr. D.’s childhood home. Ever since I met, Mr. D. he has always expressed his love of his childhood home. I could tell he was upset about that, but he went on to tell me that he’s lawyered-up and that he is working on taking over the mortgage of the house and will now be having a mortgage payment on top of rent each month on the penthouse apartment that we picked out together in Boston.

Once he was done telling me that, he thanked me for helping him all those years with his addiction and that he now sees a psychiatrist and is on meds for balancing out his anxiety. Something he would’ve never done had I not pushed him to do so.

There was nothing left for me to say. Of course, he asked to see me in person, but I said that wasn’t where I am anymore. He said he understood but he threw in one more curveball before we said goodbye. He said, “Hey I saw that Pretty Woman is coming to Broadway. I know that’s your favorite movie…who is taking you?” Thankfully, I have some friends that want to take me when it opens so I said, “I have friends taking me.” Which isn’t a lie. He said, “Well, I’m glad that your friends are taking you for I know how much you love that movie and every time it’s on T.V. I think of you.” His last sentence to me in the past would’ve sucked me right back into our pattern instead, I laughed and said, “It’s getting late and I have to get some beauty sleep.” He laughed and said, “It’s nice to hear your voice. Goodnight.”

I anticipated me staying up half the night last night analyzing the phone conversation that I just had. Instead, I fell fast asleep and woke up this morning not feeling a thing. I’d be lying saying that it wasn’t nice hearing his voice but I’m very happy, excited and filled with positive anticipation over what my next chapter is going to be. I will never wish him, or anyone ill will but it’s time for new things. New adventures. New experiences and lastly a new decade for me to enter.

In a world where everything moves at a click, a swipe left or right or an insert of our debit cards, maybe it’s healthy for us from time to time to just sit back and let things happen on their own. Let the universe provide you with what you need not necessarily what you want. After all, I think the world did just fine before “liking” something on the internet meant that you were valued. I wish we could go back to when manners, compassion and a life without anticipation was cherished. I don’t think we will be able to go back in time so, therefore, maybe we can all try and “anticipate” that through positive thinking that our lives are going to get better for only love can truly save us from anything.

Change of Luck

I’m not one to believe in luck. I believe in hard work, determination, ambition and perseverance in order to make things happen in your life. However, we all know people whether they are our friends or coworkers that things for them seem to come a little easier. We can be envious of those people at times, but I always think that those that don’t work hard for what they want never truly appreciate the things they have when it’s simply handed to them. It got me thinking that when it comes to anything aspect in our lives whether it’s work or even love…when does our luck change?

Last week, I wrote about my discovery with reality and how when faced with it; has the potential to break your heart. Also, with that lesson, it can help us move forward. Which is exactly what it did for me. I don’t regret any of the choices I made with going to Fire Island because it helped me move from the fantasy of someone to the reality.

As soon as I wrote last week’s entry, I had to hit the ground running with my next obstacle. That obstacle being the need to find a new roommate for my apartment. My current roommate, whom I rather enjoyed living with, was diagnosed with being bipolar and decided to move back home in order to be closer with his family. While it will be sad to see him go; it’s all for the better.

Last Tuesday, after work I had three potential roommates to interview. Out of those three, only one I felt was suitable to live with. A woman in her forties, that would be working near my apartment and the crazy part is that she is currently living in Florida and wanted to do Facetime (which I’ve never done before) to see the apartment. We ended up talking for a half hour and by the end of the call she expressed her interest in the room and living with me. The only catch is that she’s not set to move to New York until September and I need someone for August plus I was hesitant to give her the room without her actually seeing the apartment along with me meeting her.

The next morning, I told her my concerns and two hours later I got an email from her saying she asked her company to fly her up to New York for the weekend in order to finalize her living situation and she was coming to meet me on Saturday! Part of me really wanted this roommate situation to work out only because her name is Cher. I was excited for this potential new roommate situation but with my “luck” I wasn’t about to put any eggs into any basked just yet. I would have to wait till we met before anything would be solidified.
Which leads me to last Thursday. I had been chatting with this new guy for about three weeks and about two weeks ago he asked me out. This date was on my calendar for two weeks and I was reluctant at first to go. Mainly because this date had only moved to the city since last November and I feel like he still needed to do so much before fully committing to the city. However, he looked good on paper. He works as a nurse, in his mid-forties, was in the Navy, has dogs and lives in Soho. All in all, he came across as someone that was very mature and had his act together.

We met at eight-o-clock at this new wine bar in my area called, Bar Veloce, in Hell’s Kitchen. He was waiting for me outside the wine bar and instead of shaking my hand, he gave me a hug. He warned me before the date that he might be on the shy side and I told him that I’m not that shy and I’d do my best to calm him.

As “luck” would have it, I was instantly attracted to him and he was taller in person (6’4) and had manners. He told me he can’t drink a lot of wine because it gets him drunk very fast. So, he ordered himself a pinot grigio and I got a glass of rose. We sat down, had one glass each and talked for over two hours.

He told me how excited he is about living in the city and that there’s so much that he wants to see and do. He was expressing interest in all of these tourist things and I kept telling him how I never been to the top of the Empire State Building or even seen the famous Christmas show at Radio City. By the end of the date, he asked me what my Sunday looked like and when I told him that I was free; he asked to take me to Central Park, so we could row the boats at the Boathouse (another thing I’ve never done before) and I said yes.

By the time Saturday rolled around, I was rather excited to meet Cher. She showed up to my apartment right on time and we sat down in my living room and talked for about an hour before I showed her around the area. We walked down Ninth Avenue before stopping in for a glass of prosecco. One glass turned into two and for the next hour we laughed and talked about our lives. Before she left, she wanted the apartment and gave me money and I gave her keys. I was so thrilled and relieved that the roommate situation was settled.

I didn’t have much time after she left before I had to get ready to meet my friend in Brooklyn at his apartment. He was cooking a homemade Indian dish and afterwards we would go out. It had been a couple of weeks since I saw my friend so it was nice to catch him up in all that was going on. After the delicious meal, we went to a few East Village bars and I was home by two a.m.

Yesterday, I slept in, had some coffee and my date was already texting how excited he was to teach me how to row a boat. I must admit that I was impressed that a date was even confirming that the date was still happening. The plan was to meet for brunch followed by Central Park and I wasn’t sure if the date was going to end after that or not.

My date was punctual and I impressed myself by showing up on time. We hugged and walked down Ninth Avenue and popped into a Mexican restaurant for a small bite to eat. During the meal, he noticed my Wonder Woman tattoo and that’s when he really geeked out on me. Turns out, he’s an even bigger fan than I am. We split the meal and began our journey to the park.

This guy was a lot of “firsts’ for me. I’ve never been on a date with someone from Texas (southern accent included), never been on a date with someone with red hair and never been on a date with someone that paid attention to everything I had shared with on the previous date and retained it all.

We got to the Boathouse in the park and he insisted on paying for the boat since he asked me to go on this adventure with him. I said that I wanted to try and row the boat first. He laughed and said, “A city guy trying to row a boat? This outta be good.” With his southern accent, it was funny hearing him say these things. He knew everything that was needed to know about rowing a boat. I got in the wrong way and had to start over before we even left the dock. Finally, we were off and rowing.

I was a disaster. I kept going the wrong way, I hit three other boats and couldn’t grasp the directions of how to properly row a boat and was getting frustrated. I was rowing for about a half hour and finally gave up. We quickly switched seats and he just laughed and once he started rowing that is when we moved so quickly and with ease. I was having such a nice time, I couldn’t stop smiling.

After the boat ride, it was rather humid and he said he wanted to go somewhere to cool off. I took him to my local bar, Rise, for his first ever, frozen cosmopolitan. Over our first drink we both admitted to each other that we were having a wonderful time. I even allowed him to take a selfie of us (which I hate doing). After our first round of drinks, I asked if he wanted another one and he said yes. When I got to the bar, some random patron motioned me to come over and he said, “May I buy you a drink?” I told him that I was with someone and that it wasn’t necessary. The man insisted, and not only did he buy me a drink but also bought my date one. My date said, “I should bring you whenever I go out if you get people buying you drinks.”

One round of drinks led to three and before I knew it, I was feeling rather tipsy. We left the bar and walked to yet another Mexican restaurant where we shared a plate of nachos and tons of water. After our snack, he asked to see me again this week and I agree to let him have my only free night this week for our next date.

When I got home, I showered the boat ride off me and when I looked at my phone there was a text message from him with just an image of a heart. I couldn’t help but think that maybe my luck was changing. In the time span of forty-eight hours, I got a new roommate and had not one but two successful dates with the same person and was booked already for date number three.

Maybe luck does factor into the changes in our lives or maybe just maybe…after tons of hard work and determination that life will throw you some good fortune. Best of “luck” to you all!

Reality Bites

I’ve been debating on whether or not to write about this past weekend. Mainly because the topic isn’t about receiving any sympathy but rather an experience I had. It’s certainly an experience that everyone has gone through. As an adult, I thought for sure that I’d be past this experience once high school was over with but alas, that is not the case. Turns out, that we will forever have these sorts of experiences for the rest of our lives. How we deal with them is an entirely different situation.

I freely admit that I’m not only a hopeless romantic but that I often live in a fantasy world. I’m not ashamed of it nor will I apologize for it. I like my life filled with color, love, kindness, compassion and only with a smidge of reality. I think I can speak for many out there that our current “reality” state of the world isn’t the greatest. Even before our world went to shit, I still lived in my fantasy world. Often times, I would ask myself, “Why can’t my life be like a movie?” Well, the reality is…it can be but sometimes these “movies” won’t always be romantic comedies but can be dramas or worse…nightmares.

About a month ago, a friend of mine that lives in San Francisco invited me to stay with him in Fire Island this past weekend. This “friend” of mine always boarded on flirtation and its’ been going on for over five years. We have never actually spent consecutive days together because usually when he swoops into town, he’s overbooked with trying to see everyone here (including seeing me). And like any storm, it comes in and leaves just as quickly.

However, when my friend invited me out to stay with him, I realized I hadn’t communicated with him in months prior to getting his message. His message came with a caveat that he recently ended his relationship and was back on the market. I wasn’t sure what that actually meant for me, but I wasted no time popping into my “fantasy” world and thinking that timing was everything. Here I am…about to turn forty and the guy I’ve had a crush on for several years is single and coming to New York? What were the odds?

I told him that I’d come out only for a day because I couldn’t really afford a week out on Fire Island plus I had no idea who his housemates were. What if they didn’t like me? What if I didn’t like them? I couldn’t risk spending all that money only for it to blow up in my face. Naturally, the minute I agreed to visit just for a day, that is when the city went into a massive heat wave and suddenly I was regretting not spending time by an ocean while the city began to melt.
For the past three weeks since the invite came through, I had been somewhat mentally preparing for my visit. I hadn’t seen him in years and since neither one of us are that active on social media, we rely on texting here and there. Plus, whenever he’s in a relationship, I back away because I don’t want to come between anyone’s relationship and let’s not forget that the man lives clear across the country.

With all my mental preparing, naturally, all my friends were curious as to whether we were going to sleep together or not. To be honest, the idea of sleeping with him never occurred to me. Not because I don’t find him attractive, he literally checks off almost every single box for me but because I like him. It might not make sense to most to not want to sleep with someone that you live. But I don’t really look at him as some object but rather someone that truly makes me laugh every single time we hangout and going from my “fantasy” world to my “reality” had me concerned about ruining our friendship.

By the time last Friday rolled around, it was starting to sink in that I’m seeing someone that I haven’t seen in a few years and I wasn’t sure how I was going to act. My reality was starting to override my fantasy. I was definitely over thinking things. This could turn out to be one of the greatest days of my life. Why was I going to let a few worrisome thoughts?

I left work on Friday early and was walking to the subway when I felt my phone vibrate. I looked at the screen and there his name was…Mr. D.!!!! I hadn’t text messaged or spoken to him in a year and a half. I pulled off the busy sidewalk and read the message. It was him telling me that it was his birthday. He was literally fishing for me to respond in order to get me back into his life. I know him very well and his games. However, I chose not to play anymore. I decided that awhile ago with him. I put the phone back in bag, walked down into the subway station and took a spin class hoping that it would exhaust me of all my busy thoughts that were spinning around in my head.

Saturday morning and I had to get up early to catch a train that would get me to Fire Island by noon in order to maximize my time. When I got there, my friend wasn’t there to pick me up like he said he would. Finally, after waiting for fifteen minutes, he said he over slept. I know that if you over slept and its past noon on Fire Island that means you didn’t go to bed from the night before.
Sure enough, the minute I saw him, he looked like hell. He hugged me, apologized for making me wait and began to show me the house. He kept saying to me, “Wow. It’s really nice to see you. You look good.” Whew. I was starting to think that I was going to be having a VERY nice day.

As he was showing me the house and introducing me to his housemates he told me the reason he overslept. He told me that he accidentally slept with one of his housemates already and it was only day one since he got to Fire Island. Thankfully I was wearing sunglasses for I knew that if he could see my eyes, he might see the slight disappointment that I was feeling. However, I put on the performance of a lifetime. I laughed, made a witty comment and quickly changed the subject. I had to get this derailed train back on track.

The housemates were so sweet and inviting toward me. I couldn’t have asked for a nice bunch of fellas to spend the day with. We drank and ate by the pool, laughed and then all decided to walk along the beach. As my friend and I walked along the beach alone for a bit. He began to tell me about the reasons why his last relationship had ended. He said that he cheated, that his next relationship should be an “open” relationship. It was there that I truly realized that my friend didn’t know me at all. He was saying everything that I’m not looking for. After the walk, it was time to get ready for a party that was just a few houses away. I wasn’t properly packed for a party but thankfully on Fire Island, all you need is shorts, sunglasses and a smile.

We got to the party, my friend was paying close attention to me and it was like the party where all the giants decided to hangout. Everyone was so tall, so good looking and don’t get me wrong, I loved what I was looking at. However, the reality was, I didn’t look like these guys. Suddenly, I felt like I was back in junior high where I was the odd man out. However, I was an adult now and I wasn’t going to let a bunch of giants make me feel small. However, the situation was different because my friend and I started to make out (fantasy was becoming a reality) and then this man who was literally six feet seven inches came into the party and it was like the record stopped. Everyone wanted a to be near him and it turns out he was near me. I made the clever comment of asking him, “How’s the air up there?” He laughed and said to me, “I’m staying in your house tonight.” Turns out this giant was friend of another housemate in the house and brought him in from the city.

My friend, (who is also super tall), me in the middle and the giant on the other side trying to dance at a packed party. It was as if both of them picked me up off the ground and moved me to the side because they instantly had a connection. It was more the, “I had too much vodka connection” but hey…a connection is a connection. I had to leave my fantasy world and get back to reality. The reality being that this wasn’t going to be the best day of my life but rather my wake-up call to send me back.

Once again, I put on a smiling face and you wouldn’t even know that I felt slightly cast aside. I didn’t let that stop me though. In my vodka haze, I found a nice gentleman to talk to and before I knew it, I was being tapped on my shoulder that it was time to leave and head back to the house.

The day was slipping quickly between my fingers and I had to start thinking about which ferry I was going to take in order to get back to Manhattan. As I was looking up the ferry schedule, that is when both giants told me that they want me to stay the night. I agreed. Made a drink and got ready for the tea dance.

At tea, I saw familiar faces from the city and did my best to act like nothing was bothering me. I did a great job not dealing with my reality because here I was, on a beach that I love very much surrounded by nice people. These were champagne problems and I decided to snap out of it. Who knows where the night could take me.

The night took me to more drinking, more dancing and more realizing that this fantasy of mine wasn’t going to become a reality. It was now getting late into the night and I realized that both my friend and the other giant went off to my friends’ room. So, there I was lying on a couch, in a house I didn’t really know and did my best not to let any emotions override me and forced myself to fall asleep. I also put together that my friend that I was visiting had slept with two different housemates in less than forty-eight hours. Before I tried to force myself to sleep, I knew that my fantasy of my friend was forever ruined.

I woke up on Sunday morning so early that I wasn’t even sure I had actually slept. I just knew that I didn’t want to face my reality. I was done. Knowing that in a few hours, I would be seeing everyone emerge from their rooms, giving a play by play of their evening while sipping on coffee. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to do it and I didn’t deserve to be put through that.

So, I grabbed my bag that only had a pair of underwear, sunscreen and my Wonder Woman beach towel and quietly snuck out of the house and waited patiently at the dock for the ferry to come and take me back to the city. When the ferry finally came, I had no idea when the train would be arriving to take me back to the city. When I got on dry land, I asked a stranger when the next train would be coming. He told me that it wouldn’t be coming for another hour and a half!!! That means I would be waiting on a train platform for all that time. No cell phone (my phone had died), no book (I finished the book I was reading on the way out to the island) and no friend to bitch about all that had transpired in less than twenty-four hours.

As luck would have it, the guy I asked about the train schedule, suggested we get a few other guys and share an Uber. Which is exactly what we did. We all took an Uber back to the city and while the ride was odd (just a bunch of strangers in a car, driving back to the city). I didn’t even bother looking at the time at all until my phone was charged once I got back home. Turns out, I was home by 10:30 a.m. which means I must’ve gotten up around 7 a.m. to get back around that time.

It wasn’t till afternoon that my friend contacted me and asked why I left without saying goodbye. I deflected, thanked him for having me out and how nice his friends were. The rest of the day, I starred at my television while it was on but never really processing what I was watching. I was tired, and I was accepting my reality.

Our reality can be ugly at times. Getting old, bills, break-ups, breakdowns, etc.

Then there are times when the world we live in can seem like a fantasy. Growing old with someone, paying off your debt, marriage, kids, etc.

Sometimes our fantasies are just that…fantasies. They can cheer us up when the world seems dark. They can provide a sense of hope when you feel like giving up. However, we must never forget that when our reality bites that there will come a day when we will live out all of our fantasies.

Shine Your Light

We each have a light that shines within us all. Yes…even the darkest of people have this light. I like to think of each of our lights as a gift, a gift that we should never take for granted. However, there will be many times in this life when our light goes dim or even sadder…goes completely and totally dark. It will be a constant battle throughout our lives where we must fight to never let our light burn out. Easier said than done, this much I know but that doesn’t mean we should never stop the battle. Sometimes we will lose this battle and other times we will receive our victories. This week’s entry is one that I’d never thought I’d have to write.

Right after my last entry, it was the week of May 21st and while I was prepared for the news it’s still painful when you receive it. A friend of mine passed away. I’ve known this man for many years and boy…did he have light. He could really light up any room he walked into. When I met him, he was dating a very close friend of mine and through their relationship; he was a permanent fixture in my life. Over time, their dating relationship had ended and he went on to not deal with his demons that were eating away at his light.

That same evening that I got the news that my friend passed away, my mother contacted me to tell me that my grandmother was in the emergency room having heart problems. Hours went by before my mother told me that they were putting a pacemaker into my grandmother. Suffice to say, that day I didn’t feel like shining my own light.

When I woke up the next morning after receiving all that terrible news, the sun was shining brightly through my bedroom window. Without any hesitation, I grabbed my phone and told my friend who had lost his ex-boyfriend that the sun shining is God’s way of telling us that he’s alright now. No more demons. No more pain. No more struggle. Peace and Light were shining down onto us.

By the time the end of that week was approaching a farewell was set up in our friends’ honor and unfortunately, I would be missing it for I was boarding a plane to Arizona to be with my grandmother.

I arrived in Arizona and I was going to be there for a week. I usually never take more than a day or two away from work but they understood and found coverage while I was out. While I would be staying with my parents, my aunt from San Diego also came down to help lighten some of the “grandmother” load. My week would entail me helping interview potential outside assistance to help with my grandmother moving forward.

It was a long and challenging week. Even before the pacemaker, my grandmother was tough, mean, rude and sometimes even cruel; mainly to her relatives. So, even though she only had the surgery a week prior to my arrival; that pacemaker didn’t slow her mannerisms down in any way.

Over the course of the week that I was there, I helped clean her apartment, witness her have a breakdown in the Arizona heat and I think the thing that opened my eyes the most was her pain. We are so programmed to focus on babies, puppies and anything that is cute and young. But what happens when you become a senior? Who is left to take care of you, especially if you have no loved ones nearby? When you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning, it can make for a very long day and those days can turn into months and years.

As a family, we all felt confident in one particular nursing home for my grandmother. When we arrived, they treated us and my grandmother with such kindness and respect. I glanced around at all the people living there with their walkers, wheel chairs and moving at such a slow pace. Some of the people were alone, others were talking among themselves and it just broke my heart that these people are preparing for the end. That after all they had gone through in their lives that this is where they are going to end. It sounds morbid and dark but I was doing my very best at the nursing home to find some sort of light. But I couldn’t. I looked at my grandmother sitting at the table with us as we ate our complimentary nursing home lunches and couldn’t help but think if she was having the same thoughts as me. This was, of course, after she hit my elbows for resting them on the table (I forgot my manners).

I opted to not tell my close friends just how much I was struggling with all that was happening. I figured someone needed to be strong. I have yet to shed a tear for any of the things that has happened in the past two weeks. Mainly, because I haven’t had the time or any real moments to myself to process anything. However, I cherish my role in being there for others, whether they are people I love or strangers. If I can help anyone find their light or prevent them from going into the darkness than I’ve done my job as a human.

I arrived back into the city and typical me, I had a date lined up already. It was a third date with the guy from New Jersey that I’ve been on a few dates with already. This date was on the special side for he was inviting me over to stay the night at his place in a town called, Bayonne, New Jersey.

Saturday afternoon, I went to spin class got ready to jump on the Path train that would take me to New Jersey. The commute was rather painless and easy. Once I got there my date was waiting for me in his car. I told him prior that I wanted for him to drive me around show me this town. He took pride in his town and it was nice seeing him get excited about what he was showing me. We had no real set plans after the tour and I told him that relaxing is probably what I needed more than anything. I did pack a light overnight bag just in case this afternoon date turned into a sleep over.

When we got to his place, he showed me around and proceeded to tell me that the reason the spare room in his apartment had no furniture in it was because his ex-boyfriend had moved out a few months ago. Great…already having the “ex-boyfriend” talk and I hadn’t even finished the tour of the apartment yet.

We watched the Subway Series game and while the game was on in the background I thought for SURE that he was going to make a move. He didn’t. Instead we ordered take out from a diner, watched the game and when that was over he wanted to go back to his bedroom. Finally, something was going to happen. I excused myself and washed my face and put my products on and got into my sleep-over clothes. He was already in bed and had the show, The X-Files, on. I hadn’t ever really seen that show before, I knew the premise but never saw the show. Anyhow, finally he decided to make a move, finally things were heating up but things cooled off rather quickly. Before I knew it, he was one of those guys where it was “all about him” and no attention was being tossed in my direction. I brought up the TV show that was playing in the background for every time I glimpsed at the TV screen there was some alien’s guts being blown up or some weird shit. I asked him to turn the TV off because it wasn’t very romantic. He didn’t. Finally, it was over and so was he. He kissed me on my forehead and turned the other way. It was past midnight.

I woke up yesterday morning and he got up and started making me breakfast. I really just wanted to grab my bag and have him drive me to the nearest train station but I wanted to be polite. He went all out with this homemade breakfast…eggs, bacon, potatoes, fresh fruit and he even buttered my toast. As we sat and had breakfast that is when he really began to share stuff about his life. He told me that he identifies as bisexual, belongs to some Freemasonry club just for men, needs a little medical assistance keeping his penis awake and worse of all…is a Trump supporter. At this point during breakfast, I couldn’t wait to get back but he asked me if I wanted to take a quick shower first before he drove me to the train station. I declined but did want to brush my teeth and splash some water on my face before we left. As I was in his bathroom freshening up, I noticed his shower curtain was pulled back just enough for me to see something shiny inside. I looked inside the shower and there…suctioned cupped onto his shower tiles was a metal dildo!!! Yes folks…you read that right. A metal dildo just suctioned on his shower along with some Pantene shampoo and body wash from CVS drugstore. I wanted to take a picture but I didn’t have my phone with me.

In the car, I did my best to act like I had a good time because the truth was, I didn’t have a horrible time just wasn’t what I was expecting. I wasn’t treated that way I deserve to be treated. I left my city and went across the Hudson River hoping that maybe this guy, just for one night only would be able to help bring some of my light that I felt wasn’t burning as brightly as it once had.

When I began walking home from the subway to my apartment after my Bayonne adventure, I knew that the only person that can bring my light back is me. I’m beyond fortunate to have such an amazing support system both here in the city and back on the west coast. Most people out there have nothing. However, even those that you think have it all might be very lonely behind closed doors.

We each have a light that shines within us all. Yes…even the darkest of people have this light.

It’s our responsibility in this chaotic world to help anyone when you see their light fading away. It’s a gift that we are given. The ability to help, to share, to give without receiving. We are truly blessed with this light and I’m the luckiest person in the world to have people in my life that have the ability to shine so bright. I have never ask for much but I do ask that you shine your light as brightly as you can and help others in need.

Modern Love

For me, it all started when Julia Roberts responded to Richard Gere’s question in my favorite movie, Pretty Woman. He asked her what she wanted from their relationship. Her response has stuck with me for the past twenty-eight years. She said, “I want the fairytale.” She was a modern woman living in a modern world and yet she wanted something classic and traditional. Ever since then, I have been on a quest to find that classic and traditional,“fairytale”.

Over the years, I searched for that specific love. The one where you meet, you fall in love and live happily ever after. Little did I know that while I was living in a fantasy world that the rest of the world had a different approach to finding true love. I resisted for a very long time to jump onboard to online dating. Then when I did, I discovered that there is nothing but freaks out there. Now, granted, I know couples that have met online, have fallen in love and are living their own versions of “happily ever after” but as of today, that has not happened for me. Of course, it’s no longer about Match.com, eHarmony or even OKCupid. Those websites are now outdated and it’s about dating apps. And these dating apps, promote themselves as to help you find your mate but instead it’s more about finding your next hook-up that is hopefully within a certain amount of feet away from your apartment. So, what is one supposed to do when they still believe in “happily ever after” versus a “happy ending”?

Last Monday I had a first date with a new guy that I met on a dating app. We had been talking for over a month and he was very hesitant to meet me and I was rather hesitant to meet him as well. His reasoning for his hesitation was because he had just ended a long-term relationship and wasn’t sure if he was ready to meet someone that is more about “dating” rather than “hooking up”. I was hesitant to meet him because I was over men meeting me and asking me if I will go back to their place after two cocktails. However, over the course of the month of messaging back and forth, we both decided to put our hesitations aside and meet for a few drinks.

I decided to pick a place that was close to the path train since he lives in New Jersey. We met at, Gym Bar, right after work. I told him they have a pretty decent happy hour and that I’d only stay for a few drinks since it was a Monday. Naturally, by the time I got off the subway, there was a message from him that read, “Late”. I was five minutes late but he had told me earlier in the day that he was very nervous about meeting me. I guess after all these years, my “getting nervous” for a first date have all been desensitized.

He’s a rather big guy standing at 6’3 so it wasn’t hard to find him when I entered the bar. He recognized me right away as well. We did a very awkward hug and he said I smelled very nice. For a Monday, I was surprised that there were no seats for us to sit but after our first drink, some seats became available and that is where we ordered our second drink. He had offered to take me out to dinner but again, after a ton of failed first dates, I tend to not agree to dinner on a first date because 99% of the time I don’t want to have dinner with my dates. So, instead, we had a couple of drinks and those couple of drinks led to more than I was anticipating.

We discovered a lot of things about each other and I found myself having a nice time. Was I 100% attracted to him? No. Could I see myself seeing him again? Yes. Will I see him again? Yes. In fact, we are seeing each other tomorrow for dinner and drinks. After several drinks and both of us walking out feeling pretty good about the evening, he walked me to the subway and gave me a hug. He then proceeded to text message me a play by play of how long it was taking him to get back to New Jersey.

The next day I found myself on a fourth date with a different guy that I met also on a dating app. Picture if you will the character, Stanford, from the show, Sex and the City. Each time I went on a date with this guy, he wore a colorful blazer and some sort of pocket square to match and he is bald. Now, why would I go on several dates with someone that looks like this guy? Because I believe in giving everyone a fair shot, we also had nice conversations the last three times and at the end of the day…who am I to judge?

However, each time we have gone on dates they are ridiculously expensive. He works for a luxury brand and likes to make it seem like he’s got money. Which I am sure he does well for himself but I could barely keep up financially when we went on these dates and so when we had our date last Wednesday I made sure to not let him pick an expensive place. Not to mention, on all four dates, he had yet to kiss me. I wasn’t exactly wanting him to kiss me but I wasn’t sure as to why he kept asking me out and not making any sort of romantic move.

We ended up going to this restaurant in Chelsea called, Cookshop. Not expensive, reasonably priced and I enjoy their food. True to form, he was outside waiting for me in a pink sports coat and matching square pocket when I arrived. We sat down and began to update each other since it had been two weeks since we last saw each other. Dinner was nice and seeing that it was still early, it was time for him to make his move. I thought for sure that he was going to invite me back to his place but instead, he wanted to go to a wine bar for another round. I agreed and we were at a quiet wine bar on Tenth Avenue. After we polished off a bottle, I could tell that both of us were feeling buzzed. Not drunk but just “happy”. He walked me a few blocks before he said, “Let me get you a cab.” That was it. I was done. I had hit my limit with “Stanford”. I got in the cab and when I got home he said sent me a text message telling me that he had a nice time and that wanted to do it again.

I replied with telling him that I only had an o.k. time and asked him point blank if he was even interested in me. We must always be careful when we ask a question for we might not always like the response. He fired back rather quickly and said he does find me attractive and is a very sexual person and wasn’t making any moves on me out of respect. However, his final sentence to me is what stung just a little. He told me that I’m not “boyfriend material”. I thanked him for his honesty and he suggested we become “friends” or develop a “friends with benefits” situation. I told him that I have enough “friends” and that I also have enough “friends with benefits” that I don’t need another. The next day, he sent another text message asking me how my day was. I never responded.

Yesterday, I was at the bar, Julius, in the West Village celebrating my friends birthday. I was surrounded by wonderful friends and one friend, in particular, pulled me aside and said that I need to be “adored” and that I deserve this. In all my years of dating and living with boyfriends, I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone that adored me. They loved me in their own ways but never once was I close to achieving the “fairytale” that I had been searching for. As I was talking more with my friend he asked me what I wanted and I said, “Marriage and kids.” He came back and told me that I have been saying that to him for years now and nothing is happening with it. It was there that he said I’m a “modern” person. I wasn’t sure what that meant exactly but while I’ve been looking for this traditional and classic romance that I’m not any of those things. I’m not traditional. I’m not classic and I am modern.

In a world where relationships are more “open” and that everyone is designing very specifically how they want their relationships to work. This is the modern world filled with filters, apps to make you look like bunny rabbits and while none of it makes sense to me, this is the way things are now. While I will still dream of one day having my own “fairytale” come true, I guess there no harm in finding that modern love.

I’m Here

It’s been nearly two months since my last entry. Some have asked if I’m going to end the blog and others have asked if I’ve stopped writing altogether. The answer to both questions is: NO. Writing will always be a part of who I am but sometimes life does get in the way. However, when life does get in the way, it creates a path to be creative.

So, what have I been doing in the past two months? Too much to cram into one blog entry but the highlights I can give are as follows…

I’ve been to Boston to visit my dear friend and her family. I did a less-than-twenty-four-hour surprise visit to Minnesota to surprise my friend on her fortieth birthday. Visited Feathers’ at his country house in Pennsylvania and with all my travels, I’ve also managed to get a promotion at work, get my first ever assistant and not to mention: Employee of the Month.

However, in the rare-spare time that I have; I completed my manuscript for my memoir. If anyone out there understands how hard it is to write than they also understand how hard it is to find a publisher unless you’re a politician or a celebrity. It took years to write and my only hope is that this dream of mine of having my memoir published, also doesn’t take years to come to fruition.

In the meantime, while I have been feverishly busy at the start of this year, I also took a break from dating. I hadn’t been on a real date since January and I wasn’t in any rush to go on another bad date. However, about a month ago, I met someone on OKCupid and we have been messaging ever since. We tried a couple of times to schedule our first date but each time we attempted to set a date; the other one was busy. Finally, two weeks ago, we found a date and time that fit both of our schedules.

The date occurred last Wednesday. I picked this cute wine bar that I love, Lela Bar. It’s down in the Village and on certain nights of the week; they have a live jazz band playing. I admit that as I was at my apartment getting ready, I felt out of practice with how to date. After going on a thousand dates, you’d like I could just hit my auto-pilot button and carry on. However, I was nervous that while I enjoyed our messages that the actual live date could be a complete let down (which they often are in this digital dating world we now live in).

Our date was at seven-thirty and true-to-form, I was running about five minutes late. He sent me a text telling me that he had already gotten us seats in the back of the bar. When I entered the bar, he stood up and waved at me. I was relieved that he looked somewhat like his photos.

He was hungry and I’m very reluctant to order food on a first date since I don’t know if it will ever turn out to be a “one glass of wine and leave” situation. Instead, I agreed to order a few appetizers and he informed me that he’s a vegetarian, which isn’t a deal breaker for me. We ordered our appetizers, order the bottle of wine and finally, it was time to get to know each other.

I learned that he was in a long-term relationship that ended last year. He’s in the process of selling his apartment back in Chicago and once that is done, he will be able to live in New York full time. So, for now, his schedule is that he works in New York, Monday through Thursday and in Chicago Friday to Sunday. He confessed that his relationship ended amicably, which I was happy to hear since most of mine end in some Greek-War-like tragedy. He works as a consultant and does rather well for himself, at least that is how he sold himself.

As the date progressed, I still wasn’t sure if I was fully attracted to him but I was having a wonderful time talking and I found myself revealing more about myself than I usually do on a first date. When I realized that I was allowing myself to be so open and honest; I discovered that not only am I having fun but I’m on a “normal” date. Before I knew it, it was past ten and I knew that we both had to be up early the next day for work. I excused myself to use the restroom one more time before leaving the wine bar. When I got out of the restroom, he had paid the entire bill. He said, “I will get this time and you can get the next.” I smiled, put on my coat and we walked outside. We only walked one block down Houston street before I needed to go in the opposite direction to catch the subway. We hugged, kissed goodbye and agreed that our next day would be next Tuesday.

As I sat on the A train, I wasn’t sure what had just happened. I had managed to have a nice time, with a nice guy. I thanked him again via text for a nice evening once I got home and was finding myself looking forward to getting to know someone brand new.

Now, for every great date experience, you must have the bad dates to appreciate the good ones. I already had on my calendar for a date this past Friday. This date was a repeat guy that I went on my last date with this past January. He was a guy that had recently had gastro bypass surgery and back in January had some excess skin removed post-surgery. Even as I write this, I knew I shouldn’t have gone on this date but I did feel a certain amount of empathy toward him.

We hadn’t seen each other or communicated since his skin removal procedure and he confessed he was ready to get back out into the world. So, on Friday of last week, I met him at seven-thirty at a Mexican restaurant near my apartment. The weather was amazing in the city that evening and it was as if everyone in the city had decided to roam the streets. It was packed and when we got inside the restaurant it was too loud for him. So, we got up and left and tried a new restaurant called, Woodlot.

I wasn’t sure if he was drinking at the time, because the last time we met he couldn’t drink in preparation for his surgery. When the waiter arrived at our table, I ordered a Manhattan right away. He followed my lead and ordered himself a bourbon. We spent most of the evening catching each other up on what we had been doing in the last couple of months. After dinner, we walked a bit down Ninth Avenue and I noticed that we were heading in the direction of his apartment. I wasn’t going to let him take me back to his place that easily, so I suggested we stop in one more bar for another bourbon.

As we sat on our bar stools, it must’ve been the bourbon doing the talking for he was talking a mile a minute. What made me sad was that all he talked about was his mother’s cooking back in Mississippi. All the fatty, delicious foods that he could no longer eat. I listened and showed interest the best that I could but deep down I knew that while he had his surgery he mentally still was that old-self and no surgery could cure that.

We went back to his place and quickly began making out on his couch. He was a good kisser, I will give him that and a cute face but I wasn’t physically attracted to him. He suggested we go back to his bedroom and I went. It was on my own free will that I went back to his bedroom because it wasn’t about me but making him feel good about himself again.

Suffice to say the minute I walked into his room, I realized I was getting myself into something that I wasn’t into. You see, the bedroom was painted in this bright fire engine red color, the bedding was all in Tom of Finland (for those that don’t know what that is, don’t Google it, it’s not suitable for work). Yet, I ignore the red walls, I chose not to look at the sexual bedding and went along with this make out session. As the make-out session continued, I looked over to my right and on the nightstand, was something I had never seen in my dating career.

On his nightstand was this beautiful bowl and inside this beautiful bowl was nothing but Magnum condoms filled to the top along with travel size lubricant. I didn’t know what to think but again, I continued. However, as I was continuing, I knew that was present in what I was doing but then I didn’t hear him make any sounds for a bit and when I looked at him…he was asleep. He was in such a deep sleep that I was the white of his eyes rolled back up inside his head.

That was it. I had done and given all I could and I got up, put my shirt back on and then he decided to wake up due to the noises I was making to gather my belongings. He apologized and said he had been up early that morning and wasn’t used to drinking. I do understand that people get tired but when you have a half-naked person in your red covered bedroom along with your bowl of condoms, you had better be present. As I was putting on my coat, I looked at him, just standing there in a white t-shirt, his Spanx-like underwear and excess skin everywhere and I did feel guilty for letting it get that far. However, anyone that has a bowl of condoms can’t be hurting too bad in the sex department. I left and had the option to meet my friends out for a drink but wasn’t ready to share my evening with anyone and decided to go home, take a hot shower and go to bed.

So, there you have it. I’m here. Still living the crazy life that I’ve carved out for myself. Thanks for all the continuous support and I promise to write more often from here on out.

Liar Liar

New Year. Clean Slate. Endless possibilities. Resolutions. All sound familiar? Of course, it does because for most, that is what the New Year represents. It represents a chance for us to start all over again with 365 days to make a difference in our lives. Anything from losing weight to starting a brand-new career, we all have the capabilities of achieving anything we want. However, when it comes to love that can be just a bit trickier.

January 1st tends to be the day where mostly everyone is hungover from their New Year’s Eve’s festivities and I’m certain that everyone is also dreading going back to work after having several days off for the holiday break. I was no exception on the first day of the New Year, except I wasn’t too upset about going back to work and I was excited that the next day, January 2nd, I was starting the New Year off with a brand-new date!

I had been chatting with this guy since December but with the holidays it was hard to schedule a time for us to meet, so we agreed that we’d meet right after the New Year. The city was going through an intense winter blast and since we both lived in the same area we settled on a wine bar that is across the street from my apartment to avoid having to travel in the frigid temperatures.

During our chats in December he told me he was twenty-eight years old, which I thought for my age (I’m turning forty this year) I thought was a bit young for me. However, he did tell me that he was a doctor and he did seem to have this life in order, at least via text. So, that was a big reason as to why I agreed to meet him in the first place, he had a career and appeared to have his life in order.

At the wine bar, I opted to sit at the bar rather than get us a table. Something told me that this would be more of a date at a bar rather than some romantic even spent ordering appetizers and bottles of wine at a table. As I sat at the bar, five minutes turned into twenty and at the twenty-minute mark, he sent a text to me saying he was almost at the bar. I was highly annoyed that he had me waiting almost a half hour without any message saying that he was running late.
He finally enters the wine bar and I’m instantly not attracted to him. He was losing his hair and not that it bothers me about someone but in the photos that he shared, he did have hair in them. I decided to make the most of this situation but once again I was instantly turned off when he didn’t even apologize for being late but started off with, “I’m just someone that is always late. Some people like it and some don’t.” To which I responded, “I’m one of those people that don’t.” A bit of an awkward pause and then I suggested we at least get one glass of wine.

We did the normal first date questions of, “Where are you from?” “How long have you lived in the city?” and then came the topic of jobs. He asked me specifics about what I do for a living and I explained to him what it is that I do. I then asked, “You mentioned you are a doctor…what type of medicine do you practice?” His response was, “Oh, I’m not really a doctor. Rather, I’m a forensic autopsy technician.” I wasn’t sure if he was a liar at that moment but I was thrown off by the occupation. This dude was not doing a good job of selling himself to me. Showing up late, not having the proper hair on his head that he showcased and now not being a doctor but rather someone that works on dead people. In my dating career, I had already gone on a date with a funeral director that picked me up in a hearse, so I wasn’t looking forward to adding this to the roster.

I wasn’t sure how to turn this date around but I went the route of asking him if he had any travel plans set for the New Year. He said, “I want to go by myself to Antarctica for they have this place where I can witness an autopsy on a killer whale.” Ok. So, I could ask how the weather is and somehow this was guy was going to find a way to interject the word “autopsy” into the conversation.
It was my last attempt to salvage this date and so I asked him if he had any siblings. I told him about mine and how my nieces mean the world to me. I said I really enjoy children and his response was, “Sometimes I have to cut open little children that are found in dumpsters.” That was it. I was done. He could tell that I was pissed off and he said, “I’m sorry but I’m obsessed with death. Everyone is either born in two ways. C-Section or vaginal but everyone dies so differently and I’m fascinated by death.” As he was talking, I motioned the “check please” sign to our waiter, paid for my glass and walked away.

As I walked across the street back to my apartment, with looking behind me to make sure Mr. Autopsy wasn’t following me, I understood why he lied on his profile. How on earth do you make his occupation sexy? When I went to bed that night, I told myself that this wasn’t the tone we were going to set for 2018.
Over the next couple of weeks into the New Year, I focused on finessing my book, spending quality time with friends and finalizing plans for my fortieth birthday. However, I did begin to talk with a new guy that messaged me and I thought this guy was certainly better suited for me.

Date Number Two described himself as forty-two, six-foot-two, single and lives in the city and rather close to me as well. Again, we had been chatting for weeks but our schedules were rather difficult to settle in on a date so we decided to play things by ear.

It was this past weekend and on Friday was a birthday party for a good friend of mine and our entire group had a rather late night, so my Saturday was a slow one but still I managed to be productive. I was chatting with Date Number Two on Saturday where he told me that he will be traveling for work a great deal coming up and that hopefully, we can finally meet. I wasn’t feeling my best on Saturday so I told him to contact me on Sunday and see what our schedules look like.
Yesterday, was my typical Sunday spent taking a spin class, writing and watching football (yes, I really enjoy football). He messaged me as the Patriots had just won (sigh). He said, “Well since they won, how about we go to Rise bar and commiserate together?” It was the perfect message, I was in the mood for a beer so I agreed. I told him to give me thirty minutes and I’d meet him at the bar.
I arrived at the bar and he was sitting down with a seat reserved for me. Before he even stood up, I noticed that this man did NOT look like he was forty-two years old. Then he stood up to greet me and this man was also NOT six-foot-two, he was more like five-foot-ten. Two strikes on this date and I hadn’t even sat down yet. Yet, I told myself, I refuse to let this be the tone of 2018.

He was drinking white wine and I opted for a beer. I sat in silence thinking to myself how am I going to politely say what I really wanted to say and that was, “Liar Liar.” He started off by saying, “I can tell you are not pleased, can I ask why?” Perfect. There was my in to tell this man what I really thought. I said, “Well, for starters, you are not the height you mentioned in your profile. Secondly, I don’t want to assume, but while we are at it, I don’t think you’re forty-two either.” I didn’t apologize for calling him out but I was rather annoyed that he lied to me. I get that everyone will tell a white-lie here and there but to lie about your appearance knowing that one day you will meet this person is baffling to me.

“Would you have said yes to meeting me if I was honest with you?” Is what he asked me and I responded with, “No. But that was my choice to decide and now I am here. Let’s just finish this drink and we can move on.” He agreed and that was when he decided to let his truth out. He doesn’t live in the city full time but lives in Princeton, New Jersey in a house that he and his former husband used to live in. His husband passed away four years ago. He went onto explain that it’s been hard meeting friends and is now ready to start dating. He also told me that he’s a grandpa now to kids that his husband had in a previous marriage and that is why he keeps the house in New Jersey but is retiring in two years and will sell the house. Him unloading all his life on me went on for awhile and after my annoyance of his lying settled down, I knew what he needed was a friend not a boyfriend. I nodded, I smiled and showed compassion to his situation.

After my beer and his two glasses of white wine, I told him that I wanted to get home for I had work the next day. He asked if he could see me again, for he wanted to take me to New Jersey so he could build me a fire and cook for me. I declined the invitation and wished him the best of luck. Before I left he asked me, “What would you do if you were me?” I said, “Stop lying.” I walked around the corner to my apartment and I knew why my date lied to me. I get it. What I don’t get is what does the person that lies thinks will happen in the end?

All lies catch up to us in one form or another. While some lies can be harmless others can cause a major ripple effect on others we care about. I guess the best thing we can do is be mindful and above all else…truthful.

Absolute Certainty

Pliny the Elder, was an ancient Roman philosopher who wrote the quote on “certainty” and it goes: “The only certainty is that nothing is certain.”
I love that quote because it’s rather relevant as to where we are today. I think it’s safe to say that the path we created for ourselves isn’t exactly the path that we currently are on. You can make a plan, do your best to stick to it but, life, as we know it, will throw curveballs along the way to keep us on our toes. At times, it will be very hard for us to stay on course but as long as we don’t veer too far off than there should be no reason as to why we can’t accomplish the things we set out for ourselves.

It’s been over a month since my last entry and this entry will most likely be my last for the year before I set out for traveling for the holidays. So, what has happened in the last month? Like most out there, life has been consumed with work, holidays, parties, shopping and finding time to date.

Since my last entry back in November, the guy I was going on a few dates with, left for Australia for work for an entire month. In that month, there was the occasional text message and he came back to New York in the last week of November. When he got back, he spent about a week moving into his new apartment and trying to get that organized before he wanted to see me. I was in no rush to see him, mainly because I still wasn’t sure if there was even a future there for us. So, we ended up meeting for dinner two Friday’s ago. We met at an Italian restaurant where I thought I’d be more excited to see him but when we sat down, I remembered why I was so on the fence about him. It’s because he leans more toward the negative side of most subjects, whereas I, tend to be too optimistic.

As the waiter handed us our menus, he told me, “I can only have one drink tonight because my surgery is in two weeks and I can’t have any alcohol in my system.” I wasn’t disappointed in only having one drink but in my mind, I wanted more to get through the meal. However, we each ordered one glass of wine and I nursed that glass for as long as I could. We spent most of the evening talking about his experience in Australia and how he is prepping for his surgery. A quick refresher on the surgery he is having…he had gastro bypass surgery over a year ago and now his next surgery (which is happening this Wednesday) is to remove the excess skin.

Over the course of the dinner, I noticed that I wasn’t smiling but doing my best to be polite and asked him questions on his surgery and smiled at photos he was showing me of koala bears. Once the bill was settled, I thought for sure he was going to ask me back to his new apartment but instead he said he had a lovely time, wanted to see me again once more before his surgery and that his apartment wasn’t ready for company yet since he had just moved in and boxes were everywhere. We hugged an awkward hug goodbye and I ended up meeting friends later for drinks.

That date was two weeks ago and in that time, I was also texting with a new person I had met. I was hesitant to even be messaging with him since he is twenty-eight years old and my initial instinct was that is too young for me. However, I began to exchange messages with him and seeing that he is a physician, I felt certain that there would be a higher level of maturity given his profession. So, against all my initial instincts, I went along with two weeks’ worth of text messages and I appreciated the messages because never did it lead to it being sexual but rather questions on work, family and things of that nature.

Last week literally started off with a bang when an attempted terrorist attack went off at Port Authority here in Manhattan. Thankfully, no one was severely injured and I managed to avoid that subway stop all together. What I did find nice was when that all happened, the physician reached out to me to see if I was alright. It was there that I told myself to take a chance and ask him out for wine. I asked him out for this past Thursday and he said, “Great!” There it was, a new date, someone brand new and for the first time in a long time…I was excited. I picked a new wine bar in my area and he was thrilled for he had also never tried it. The two days prior to the date, I was busy with work and every night I had a dinner with friends to attend to.

This past Thursday, I suggested we meet at eight in the evening. That would give me enough time to finish work, workout and then to get ready. So, during my work day, I figured I would contact the physician to confirm. I sent the text and I heard nothing for hours and by the time my work day had ended, I still hadn’t heard from him. I still stuck with my plan for after two weeks of deep text messaging, I still felt certain that our plans hadn’t changed. I convinced myself that given his profession that he isn’t always attached to his phone and that he was most likely running around after work like I was in order to make it by eight.

Eight o’clock and I’m sitting at the wine bar. No sign of the physician. No message. No phone call. It was a Thursday evening at a wine bar in Hell’s Kitchen, it was busy. I felt like a fool just sitting there not ordering anything so I ordered a glass of red wine while I waited. By the time I finished my glass, I knew that I had been stood up. I placed the tip on the counter, grabbed my coat and went home. Normally, I would be down on myself for not following my instinct and never even messaging someone young like that but I knew why I did it in the first place. I did it because it was nice to be paid attention to even if it was just via text messages. Someone asking how your day is going, someone wishing you a nice evening or someone telling you how excited they are to meet you. I fell for the lines and I will do it again because regardless of how many times one can be faced with disappointment I know and believe there are still good people out there.

Thankfully, the next day, I already had plans to go to my friend, Feather’s country house. It was just what I needed to be distracted, to be lazy and to not be in the city. For two days, I stayed in sweats, drank, ate and laughed endlessly. When we got back to the city yesterday afternoon, I had plans to go over to the guy’s apartment who is having surgery this week. I felt like I needed to see him one more time before had this intense surgery. He doesn’t have a lot of friends and so I asked who would be taking care of him, if he needed anyone to pick him up from the hospital, etc. He told him he hired a nurse for a week to do all that stuff but was grateful for my offering. I’m sure I would make a terrible nurse given my phobia of all things medical but the offer, I told him, still stands.

He showed me his new apartment that has a terrace, etc. After the tour of his apartment last night, I thought with certainty that he’d want to at least make out but instead he wanted to order chicken. Yup. After not seeing me for over a month he wanted to order take-out chicken instead. So…we ate chicken, watched a movie and after the chicken, after the movie…he was tired. I had no track of time so when I looked at the clock it read: 8:30. I could go down the list of possibilities as to why nothing ever happened between us but I was glad that nothing happened physically between us last night because I’m very certain that there isn’t a romantic future between us. He’s about to go through something very life changing and we simply aren’t on the same page. I wished him a nice holiday, a successful surgery and hopefully he will enjoy his new skin. The fact that I’m saying, “I hope you enjoy your new skin” is something that I never imagined I would be saying in my dating years. I went home and knew that I will most likely never see him again.

Ironically enough, on my way home from the date, I was listening to my music and the song, “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Croft came on. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud like a crazy person. That song was a song that Mr. D. and I would sing to each other all the time. The other ironic part of this story is that today, December 18th, was the last time I ever saw him or spoke to him. It’s been exactly one year today that I ended things with Mr. D. once and for all. Do I think about him? Only from time to time. Do I miss him? Of course. Do I know that we are wrong for each other? With absolute certainty.

Like anything in our lives, jobs, relationships and even health. There are no certainties but only opportunities. Opportunities to be better people, to treat others with the upmost kindness and respect and most importantly to treat ourselves with love, forgiveness and light.

Just a quick note to thank all of you readers from all over the world. Your dedication and support is never taken for granted. I am grateful for each one of you and will do my best to provide you with more stories in 2018! Peace, love and happiness to you all.

Spring Cleaning

It’s been over a month since my last entry and since that last entry I’ve done some personal “spring cleaning.” What I mean by that phrase is that, like anyone else out there, we tend to get busy. We get busy with work, family, friends and our love lives. We get so busy at times that we forget to focus on the main person that matters the most…ourselves. It’s been one of the main reasons why I haven’t written because I got “busy” with other things that I forgot to focus on myself. And it wasn’t until this past month that I’ve been gone from writing that not only have I refocused my priorities but did some “spring cleaning” with some of the situations and people that weren’t working out in my life.

Let’s start with the Ex-Cop that I’ve been hanging out with since this past August. In my last entry, I was already teetering on whether or not I should continue to date him. Mainly because he was much older than I and had experienced certain things in life that I have yet to reach. While that reason was a major factor in my thought process there was another factor that came to play. It happened after a night of drinking with him and when we went back to my place. So, that night, we came back to my place and as we became intimate I discovered what the “curse of the Irish” meant. I thought it was one of those old wives tales (and I’m sure that it is). However, in this instance with this specific Irish man that I was with…the legend was accurate. I had never seen anything that small and so I did my best to be polite, act like I was too drunk and went to sleep. A few days later, we met to talk and I told him that I just don’t see a romantic future for us (I never mentioned anything about his “curse”). He understood and this conversation happened in mid-September. Since then, he has asked to see me for drinks, as a friend, but my schedule just hasn’t allowed but I see no reason in the future why we couldn’t. However, having that conversation led me to want to begin the process of cleaning house with whatever and whoever was not serving a real purpose in my life.

Next up was a former co-worker of mine. During our time of working together, he had always been boarding on the flirtatious side. In fact, back when Mr. D. was in my life, they didn’t get a long at all. My coworker and I had remained friends outside of the office. He and I had shared many experiences together. I’ve met his family, he has cuddled with me and he was there many times when Mr. D. wasn’t. He and I were certainly more than friends but I never pushed for it and always wanted to have him as a friend rather than anything else.

It was only a week after I let the Ex-Cop go, that I was meeting my former coworker for drinks at the bar, Industry. Over drinks, we were updating each other on our current jobs, family and our dating lives. It was right around the time of his third whiskey drink that I could tell he was starting to get drunk. I was starting to tell him what had happened with the Ex-Cop when he stopped me and said, “Just so you know…you and I are never going to have sex. Just want you to know that.” I looked at him with disgust and anger because while that topic was nowhere near what we were talking about at that time. I was also never the one that pursued him. He was the one that would send me videos of him playing guitar shirtless or wanting me to come to his apartment in Queens. As soon as those words left his mouth, I responded back with, “I think I should go home now.” He knew he had gone too far and that I was pissed. Some might say that I overreacted but given our history together and all those years of him playing with those hidden messages…I had hit my limit with men that play games. He asked to walk me home and I told him that I didn’t need anyone walking me home. That was the last time I saw him. Since then there has been no communication on my part. He has sent several text messages but little did he know that “spring cleaning” was well into play.

Which leads me to my latest dating adventure. Around the same time that I was hanging out with the Ex-Cop, I also got reacquainted with someone that I dated back in January of this year. He is a nice guy, tall, has a good job, lives a mere four blocks away from my apartment and when we are together we have a nice connection. We have been on several dates and each one tends to fall into the same pattern of one of us picking a restaurant, followed by going back to his place to make out and me going home (never staying the night). Now, the kisses are fantastic and yet every time I suggested that we go to the next level; he would shy away from the idea. In the beginning I thought to myself, “Am I slut?” which even I laughed at that question for, if anything…I’m a prude. Finally, after the sixth date, I asked him if there was something wrong. I should know by now that if you ask the question that you should be prepared for the answer.

I guess the first thing that was told to me was that he was still “technically” married to his husband. I also learned that the husband lives in Atlanta with their dogs but they are no longer together but haven’t gotten divorced yet for tax reasons. I guess we all stay married for different reasons. The second item on the confession list was that he asked me if I was a “chaser.” I didn’t understand what that meant nor had I heard that expression. I asked him to explain what he meant and he said, “Are you attracted to chubby men?” I told him that I hadn’t really thought about it but in regards to physical appearance the one thing that I, personally, am attracted to is height (this guy is 6’3). I asked him why he would ask me if I was attracted to chubby men because he was not chubby at all. Turns out…he was more than just “chubby” but he was recently obese. He confessed to me that he was almost going to die due to how much he weighed and went ahead with gastric bypass surgery late last year. Since he had gotten that surgery, his husband no longer found him attracted because the husband was a “chaser” and therefore the relationship faltered due to the fact that this guy altered his appearance.

By now, most people would’ve grabbed their bags and exited but I stayed and listened. I stayed and listened for it turned out he really needed someone to tell this all to. After the confession of his marital status, after the confession of having the surgery there was still one item on the list that puzzled me. Why didn’t he want to be intimate with me? Once again, I had no trouble asking that question and the result was that while he had the surgery, he hadn’t taken care of the excess skin from that surgery. He is self-conscious about being naked. The minute he told me that, I told him that I was the same way about my body. Maybe not to his degree of reasoning but I told him that everyone at times feels that way about themselves. I asked him if the thought about having the surgery for taking care of the skin and he did tell me that he is speaking with doctors about it. He asked if I was turned off or had any further questions for him and I told him that I think I asked enough questions and now I wanted to take some time to think about it.

This particular discussion happened in September. Since that discussion, he and I have been on several dates and he even scheduled his surgery for late December of this year. Have we been intimate? No. Am I wanting to? I would only want to do something that personal when both parties are ready. I can wait and it turns out that I will have a to wait a bit longer for he left for Australia for the entire month of November for work this past Friday. I told him that we can see where our lives are at when he returns but I also plan on being open to any possibility. He respected what I said and hoped that I will wait.

Turns out that once you get started on “spring cleaning” that it can be hard to stop. Sort of like once you start organizing your closet…it feels good to see the finished product. While the calendar month might say it’s November it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t begin your own personal “spring cleaning” and focus on the most important person…yourself.

Giving it a Chance

When we were children our parents often tried to get us to do things that we didn’t like. We refused to eat our vegetables and didn’t want to go to bed at a certain time. We didn’t know at the time but what they were doing for us was for the better. They knew that vegetables were needed to make us stronger and getting rest was beneficial for school the next day. Yet, as kids, we didn’t know that. All we knew was that we weren’t getting our way and refused to giving things a chance. Now, as adults, we have free reign to do whatever we want-whenever we want and there are still moments in our lives where we simply must give things a chance that just might benefit us in the long run.

The last time I wrote, I was still on the fence with what to do with the guy I had been on several dates with…The Ex-Cop. Each date had been wonderful, polite, romantic even. Yet, there was “something” that was blocking me from allowing myself to want to move forward. I knew that I should give him a chance because he is a good guy, has manners, is a family man and would treat me that way I deserve to be treated. After our last date, I wanted to force myself to think about what exactly it is that is stopping me from allowing this man into my life.

My reasons weren’t because of attraction because I am attracted but it was bigger than that. It was because he got to live a life that I had hoped would one day happen for me. He was married and he has children. Seeing that we are seventeen years apart in age, I wasn’t sure he would even want to discuss children and seeing that he’s only been out of the closet since this past December, I also knew he had a lot of life to live. So, after our last date on Labor Day, I needed some time to myself to think about what I wanted and not be afraid to have a discussion with him the next time we saw each other.

Two Saturday’s ago, my friend who had appendicitis was recovering and asked me to come over to keep him company. Part of that recovery was showing me the city via the water taxi. We took a water taxi on the east side and road it to the Dumbo area in Brooklyn. There we saw how beautiful Brooklyn Heights has always been. It was such a great day and I could tell that my friend really needed to be out and about for his recovery. Afterwards, we went back to his place, talked and I had to leave early because the next day I was going back to a different part of Brooklyn, Park Slope, to meet another friend of mines newborn baby girl.
While I was in Park Slope visiting the baby another friend of mine met us in a park with her nineteen-month-old son whom I adore. While I was there, the Ex-Cop was texting me and asking me if I was having a nice time with all the kids. We had already planned our next date which was for the next day. I told him that I was looking forward to our date and he replied quickly with, “Is it Monday yet?”

I woke up the next day after spending time with the kids feeling like I was coming down with a cold. I know those playgrounds are just one big petri dish but I stocked up on medicine for I knew I couldn’t cancel on my date because the next evening he was leaving for Ireland for a football game with his friends.
For our date, we met for a few drinks before heading to dinner. I told him right off the bat that I was coming down with a cold and he understood. Over dinner he could tell that something was on my mind and so he asked if there was anything wrong. There it was…my time to ask him the question that most would say is far too early to ask but I knew that if I didn’t; I could run the risk of spinning both of our wheels. So, I said, “I know you have children that you love very much and I know that you’ve noticed that I spend a lot of time around children. That being said, I do want children one day. I know that you’ve had them already, you’re older and so I’m wondering if you can see yourself one day having more children?”

I was waiting for him to say that he was shocked at the question or possibly tell me that the question was inappropriate given that we haven’t even slept together yet but instead he told me, “I have noticed you like children which is one of the things I like about you. I love getting to know you and spend time with you and I’d like to see where things go. So, I could see myself having more children one day.” He was drinking beer at dinner and I was having tea but it was there that I thought I might need to give things a chance if I could just allow myself to. He walked me home and gave each other a hug since I didn’t want to get him sick before his trip. Since then, he has text me from Ireland and I hope to see him this week when returns.

This past Friday, I was out with my friend dancing at the bar, Industry. It was one of those nights where we both needed to let our hair down after the first full work-week since Labor Day. We were doing shots and dancing. While on the dancefloor, I noticed a tall guy that looked very familiar to me. Turns out, he was a guy I went on a few dates with back in January. I went over to him and tapped him on the shoulder and he recognized me instantly. I could tell he was drunk which was odd because from what I remembered back on our dates…he didn’t drink. I wanted to get back to my friend so as I was turning to go back to the dancefloor, he asked me if he could take me out again. He said, that back in January he felt like I wasn’t interested in him so he never contacted me again, which was odd because that’s exactly how I felt about him. We hugged and he said he would contact me the next day to set up a time to meet for dinner.

Yesterday, bright and early, I got a text message from the guy on Friday night asking me if we were still on for that evening. I told him that we are confirmed and that I was looking forward to catching up. It’s funny that he and I live only five blocks away from each other and yet I’ve never seen him around. He wanted to go to Arriba Arriba for some dinner and margaritas. He was waiting for me when I arrived and we got a table outside. We hadn’t seen each other in nine months and so we had to get reacquainted. Over dinner, I re-learned that he works as an accountant, is from the Midwest, has two dogs in Atlanta with his ex-husband and confessed that he really liked me on our dates but wasn’t sure how to pursue me. After dinner, he paid because he said he was appreciative that I accepted another date with him and because that is what gentleman do. I thanked him and said that since the evening was still young that if he wanted to grab a drink across the street that it was my treat. He agreed and once inside, I promptly ordered two whiskey drinks (I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to go from tequila to whiskey).

As we were seated at the bar, I noticed in the corner of the bar was a guy I had dated a few years ago. That relationship didn’t end well so I wasn’t sure how or if things were going to get uncomfortable. My current date noticed that my focus had shifted and I confessed to him what was happening and he said, “Well, let’s kiss and make him jealous.” I took a big swig of whiskey and we began to make out at the bar and it turns out this date of mine is an excellent kisser. When I finally decided to come up for air, I noticed that my ex-boyfriend had left. It wasn’t a mature act by any means but damn…that kissing was just what I needed. My date and I finished our drinks and that led to the famous question that he asked me, which was, “Want to come back to my place?” No response was needed because I had taken him by the hand and started walking. We got to his place and no words were needed, I didn’t even do my usual routine of excusing myself to the restroom to look inside the medicine cabinet. I didn’t care because all I wanted was to make-out like I was in high school, which was exactly what we did for an hour. I stumbled to find my socks and as I was putting my shoes back on, he asked me out again and I told him that I would let him know once I knew my schedule. As I was walking home, I was glad that I gave him another chance because regardless of the outcome…I was having fun.

This morning, I’ve confirmed that my next date is this upcoming Sunday and I have no idea what to expect. I also am not sure when the Ex-Cop returns from Ireland and what that future holds there either. What I do know is that I’m giving it all a chance and if something turns out for the better than that is great and if not…well…at least I tried.

Taking a chance on someone is a risk but taking a chance on yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself. There will be times that the chance we take doesn’t always turn out in our favor but if you never take a chance than nothing will ever happen. I encourage you all this week to take a chance on yourself!

Baggage Claim

As we get older and each year passes, more often than not, we will accumulate what some will call “baggage”. This so-called “baggage” is otherwise known as our past and present. This “baggage” is what we carry around for our entire adult lives. It consists of losses, gains, love, hate and everything in between. There will be people we come across that has more “baggage” than others and it’s our responsibility to figure out if this person’s “baggage” is something that we can handle or comfortable with bringing into our lives. When it comes to “baggage” …what do we claim and what do we check-in at the front door?

Two weekends ago, I did something I never thought I would do in a million years. My good friend and I rented a car and drove from New York to a land called…Ohio. We were attending a wedding for mutual friends of ours and we had no idea what to expect. I drove most of the way and on that drive, I got to know my friend even more. We laughed and talked the entire nine hours it took and shared some of our own “baggage”. We both discovered that while Ohio has lots of beautiful farm land; it is not for us but the wedding was one of the most beautiful weddings I had ever attended. On the drive, back to New York, I realized that in a couple of days it would’ve been my birthday. I was having a hard time processing this birthday since I was doing the cataloging of my life and what I’ve accomplished and things that I haven’t. It is a pressure that I’ve put on myself and part of that pressure was associated with my own baggage. Was I letting my own baggage stop me from achieving some of my personal goals in life? The answer to that question is…most likely. I just wasn’t sure how to fix it.

Last Tuesday, the day of my birthday, I was flooded with cards, text messages, phone calls from all over and while it made me feel rather special I just felt that there was something missing. The day of my birthday was also cold and rainy which is unusual for New York this time of year. I managed to get myself in such a funk that I turned down every invitation that day and instead took myself home and spent it alone. Right before I went to bed that night, I told myself that I needed to check my own baggage at the door and it was time to move forward.

The days following my birthday I told myself that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and that is exactly what I did. I celebrated a good friend of mines birthday at the Standard Grill and the next day had drinks with another friend and by the time Friday rolled around; I had a group of friends meet me in the West Village for drinks and our usual social antics.

This past Saturday, I woke up feeling good and excited. I managed to take my favorite spin class, followed by an afternoon of beauty and then it was time to get ready for my date. My date was with the retired cop that I had met a few weeks ago, at the bar, RISE. He was someone that also came with more baggage than I was used to. He was older than me, had an ex-wife, three children and has only been out as a gay man since this past December. So, with all of his baggage plus mine; we certainly had a lot to discuss over dinner and drinks. We met for drinks first and that was followed by dinner at this new Italian restaurant that he picked for us.

His moves towards me were something I haven’t experienced in a very long time. Every time we would leave a place, he would let me go first, open the door, kiss me hand over dinner and pay compliments. He is also someone that listens to every single detail of what I’m saying and I pay him the same respect. It sounds odd that this behavior should be common and not come as a surprise but as dating these days is based on swiping left or right; it’s refreshing to sit across from someone that is an adult. During dinner, as we were going into further details about our lives, the entire setting was romantic. The food was delicious, the cocktails were amazing and we had two lit candles set out our table. As my date tried to reach for my hand (a gesture that I was unfamiliar with) I was startled and pulled my hand back and as I did, I knocked over one of the candles and hot wax went all over the table. Unfortunately, some of the hot wax went onto a patron’s shoe at the next table. They weren’t upset at all but laughed at my clumsiness and all was well with our table and the shoe. After dinner (which he paid for in honor of my belated birthday) we went to Atlas Social Club for a few beers and while I was there, I ran into people from the wedding in Ohio. My date said, “Everywhere we go, you seem to run into someone you know.” The particular night, I did happen to run into someone in each of the places we were going to but I think it put him at ease knowing how social I am.

After the drinks, it was cold and rainy so we walked up Ninth Avenue to my apartment where I asked him if he wanted to come up and dry off. I knew that he had to be at his parents’ house early the next morning for some Irish football game was playing and they were watching it together. He came up and we hung out for an hour before he needed to leave. It felt nice with him there and before he left, we agreed to have another date on Labor Day. This date would also include him bringing an overnight bag for I invited him to stay the night. I wasn’t sure what I was doing but sometimes in life; it’s alright not knowing what the next moment will bring.

I woke up on Sunday feeling lazy, so I had my coffee and read a book before I needed to get ready for my friends’ baby shower in Brooklyn. It wasn’t your typical baby shower since it was filled with booze and playing the game, Cards Against Humanity. It was still a beautiful shower and I can’t wait to meet my friend’s daughter!

Yesterday, my friends and I were originally going to go to Long Beach but none of us could get our act together so we all had a picnic at the pier and we were out there for hours before I needed to leave them to get ready for my date. I got home, quickly got ready and as soon as I finished getting ready, my doorbell rang. I opened the door and my date was all dressed and ready to go. He dropped his bag off, gave me a kiss and a hug and we went to a bar where I introduced him to the Cosmopolitan drink. We had three drinks at the bar before going to a Mexican restaurant where we would get margaritas.

Over dinner, we went into further detail about our lives and as we were sharing, I was starting to realize that my baggage was heavier than his. Here was this man that had gone through all these life changing events and there was a part of me that was jealous that he got to experience the marriage, the kids, etc. However, he got to experience these things because he is older and made those specific choices. He has no regrets and it was refreshing to hear that. After dinner, which I paid for this time, we walked back to my place and got ready for bed. I already knew that I didn’t want to do anything too intimate because over dinner he took my hand and said, “I could see myself falling for you.” All I could muster up in response was a smile. I still have no idea about the future with him and if we were to be intimate that would complicate things for both of us and I couldn’t do that to someone. Instead, we got ready for bed, cuddled and talked till we fell asleep.

This morning as his alarm went off on his phone, he got ready for work and I tried to fall back asleep but I couldn’t. My mind was going in a million places and I guess that is common when you let someone sleep over for the first time. I won’t be seeing him for a week due to his travels and my schedule but at this point I can say that I’m looking forward to the next date. I’m open to getting to know this person.

So, that is where we are at. I’m a week into my life as a thirty-nine-year-old and still learning, processing and adding items into my bag or “baggage”. Our “baggage” is something that will be ours to own till the end. How we present it to the world is entirely up to us. What we chose to share and what we chose to keep private but regardless of how you handle your “baggage” the most important thing is to be proud of it, own it and claim it.

What’s My Age Again?

“It’s not how you look, it’s how you feel!”, “Age before beauty.”, “With age comes wisdom.” I think it’s safe that for those getting older that we’ve heard or read these quotes time and time again. These quotes exist because it’s to help those who are struggling with their ages. Or in some cases, it’s to tell the world to fuck off because you have walked the walk and no longer care what society says about getting older.

I haven’t written in several weeks not because I didn’t have anything to write about but rather because I’ve been allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of feeling blue due to my birthday that is looming. I was doing, what most do and that is cataloging all of things in my life that hasn’t happened or that I haven’t achieved all before I turn forty next year. Usually, I love my birthday but this year, I’ve been having a rather hard time processing it all. However, last week a certain event occurred that had me feeling a little bit better about my situation.

Last week started off like any other week for most…having a case of the Monday blues. I didn’t want to get out of bed and I certainly didn’t want to go to work. When I arrived to work, it seems like everyone had the same sentiment that I did. Every coworker was in a bad mood and I just chalked it up to the fact that Mercury Retrograde had just begun and that it was going to be a bumpy ride for the next couple of weeks. I finished work that day and skipped the gym and went straight home and locked the door. I wasn’t sure how the rest of the week was going to turn out but I wasn’t liking the way it had started.

The next day already appeared to be getting better because I was having dinner at DOMODOMO, this delicious sushi place on West Houston with a friend of mine that I don’t get to see very often. After a great conversation, delish food and a bottle of wine, I was starting to feel like myself again. Especially since my friend could relate to the feelings I was having about my birthday. We parted ways and I wanted to feel like a kid again, so when I got off the subway at my stop, I spotted a Mr. Softy Ice Cream truck and properly ordered a vanilla ice cream cone and walked back to my apartment with glee.

By the time, Thursday rolled around, I was in excellent spirits. Work had gotten better, the weather was amazing and after the gym that day, I was filled with so much energy that I decided to go to my local bar around the corner from my apartment, RISE and have myself a drink. As I was standing at the bar, I did notice a handsome older man doing the “look back and back again” toward me. I smiled at him and he smiled back and once he did that I knew I had to be the one to introduce myself because he appeared on the shy side. Before I did that, I needed a shot of confidence otherwise known as tequila. I thought he wasn’t looking when I did the shot but turns out he did because when I said hello he said, “What was that shot for?” I was busted but I was honest with him and told him that I needed it in order to talk to him.

The first thing I noticed about him was his piercing blue eyes and his thick Bronx accent. He introduced himself and said that I was very cute. I thanked him but also said that the word “cute” is for describing puppies, babies and people under the age of twenty-five. He laughed and assumed I was in my twenties. When I told him my age he said that I looked good and when I asked him his age, I was a little bit taken aback. He said, “Well, I just turned fifty-six.” I did my best to not show a reaction because I assumed he was in his late forties and my mother is only a year older than he is. Granted, my mother was very young when she had me but I was still taken aback by his response and I was also a little bummed with myself for judging someone so quickly just because of the age difference.

As we continued to talk, I discovered several things about him that I was both fascinated by and a few things that I need to watch out for. He is a retired cop, he has been divorced from his wife for almost two years. He has three children and one of his children literally lives two buildings down from my apartment. He told me that he helped her move in recently and that his daughter and I have the same building management. He thanked me for being so comfortable with his story and did confess that he is still new to this lifestyle. As soon as he told me that, I knew that this man needed to go out and explore what it’s like living the life as a gay man. The positive side to all of this is that his children know and accept him.

The evening continued on and before I knew it, it was almost eleven and I needed to work the next day. He walked me outside and asked to see me again and I told him that I would like that. That is when we started talking about our crazy schedules and I told him that I can do this past Sunday evening and he said he’d let me know the next day. Before we parted ways, he said, “What do you find sexy in a man?” I told him that I find manners incredibly sexy, someone tall and a guy that can pull off a baseball cap. He smiled and I walked to my apartment. As I got inside and began to wash my face, I realized that it was exactly eight months to the day since Mr. D. and I had any form of communication and while I admit to missing him from time to time, I was certainly over the heartache.
When I woke up on Friday, the city was extremely humid and it was rather unpleasant to be out and about. I got out of work early, went to my spin class and I got ready to go over to my friend’s apartment on the east side to have a nice relaxing air conditioned evening. On my way to my friend’s apartment, I got a text message from the guy I met on Thursday evening saying that he’d like to see me Sunday evening for dinner. I told him that it would be very nice to see him and look forward to Sunday. I spent the rest of the evening catching up with friends and having a nice time.

Saturday, I woke up slightly hungover but I needed to push through and so I went for a run to sweat out the alcohol and the rest of the day was spent cleaning the apartment before I needed to get ready for something that I wasn’t sure I should even be doing. My ex-boyfriend that I used to live with, contacted me a few weeks ago, asking me if he could cook for me in honor of my birthday. At the time that he asked me, I was feeling rather vulnerable and I agreed. He lives in Astoria and he had sent me a text later in the day saying the trains were not running and that I would need to take an Uber. I responded back with, “This is what happens when people live on the countryside.” When I arrived, he was already preparing this meal he had planned. He was making clams, vegetables and tenderloin pork. In all the years that I’ve known him, he has never once cooked so I was impressed by all his efforts. He has an enormous patio and we sat outside, drank and talked but no matter all that he was doing, I didn’t look at him the same way. I was no longer that person and I was proud of myself for not letting myself get caught up in the moment. As the evening wore on, he got drunk and I held my own and it was as if I had been sent back ten years ago when we were living together. I took care of him and I was left alone to figure things out. It was late by the time dinner and drinks were done, so I did end up staying the night but I literally slept in the clothes that I arrived in. Yesterday morning, bright and early, I was heading back to my apartment and telling myself that might be the last time I ever see him again. There was a part of me that was proud of myself for growing up and starting to act my age.
When I got home yesterday morning, the first thing I did was wash my face, brush my teeth and shake off the previous evening. I took another spin class, came home and get ready to meet my friend for brunch at El Centro. We sat outside and it was perfect weather for margaritas and catching up. After brunch, we jumped in a cab and headed to the Christopher Street pier to layout in the sun. We only lasted for about thirty or forty minutes before we went to the Rusty Knot for a few more drinks before I had to excuse myself to head back home so I could get ready for my date.

I arrived at the bar at seven-thirty and he was already waiting for me. He looked just as handsome and he was very happy to see me. He asked if I wanted to sit down and we sat at a table and updated each other on our weekends. Part of me knew just by the look on his face that he was having a good time but the other side of me also knew that he really wants to see all that his new life has to offer. He deserves that because from the way he talks about his children, his respect for everyone around him…he is a good guy. He talked with great passion about how he grew up, his amazing childhood and the pride he has about being Irish. I was captivated by his words and his charm. He constantly paid me compliments and while there were men all around us, he stayed focused on me. When we finished our drinks, it was time for us to head to dinner. When we got up from our chairs, he reached in his backside and pulled out a baseball cap and put it on, smiled and said, “I remember you saying you like guys in baseball caps.” His baseball cap said something about being Irish with a shamrock on it. It was adorable and when started walking down Ninth Avenue he grabbed my hand and said, “Do you mind if I do this? It feels so good to be able to hold a man’s hand.” Normally on a first date, I don’t feel so comfortable doing this but with his smile, eyes and that baseball cap; I’d be a monster to tell him no. So, I grabbed his hand and it felt rather natural…for both of us.

We got to the restaurant, ordered a drink and waited for our table. As we were waiting for our table, he was so attentive, funny and made fun of me for not owning any pots or pans. When the hostess at the restaurant told me that our table was ready, he got up first and then I got up but when I looked up at him; he hugged me and kissed my forehead and then we walked to our table. As we sat down he said, “I have to say that I like your face but it was also nice looking at your backside too.” Just goes to show you no matter your age…boys will be boys. The dinner conversation was a pleasant surprise and I found myself not concerned about the time at all until I looked at his watch and discovered that it was past ten-thirty. We both had to work early this morning so we asked for the check. When the bill arrived, he said, “I am paying for this. I don’t want to hear a word from you.” I thanked him and told him that I would get next time if he wanted there to be a next time. He said that there certainly will be a next time.

As we left the restaurant, he kissed me and I thanked him for a wonderful evening. He grabbed my hand once again and he walked me to my apartment building (seeing that his daughter only lives two buildings down, he’s very familiar with my street). We kissed passionately for a little bit in front of my door before I told him to drive home safely. I got inside my apartment and fell asleep so quickly. I woke up this morning and saw that he had sent me a text last night telling me he got home safely, that he had a nice time and was going to bed with a smile on his face.

I woke up this morning feeling good and wanting to see him again. This meeting certainly happened when I wasn’t expecting anything and I know it was only one date but damn…it was a good date. Which, as we all know, is rare.
Age can mean many things to many people. We can let our age define us or we can let our age be just a number. The late, Coco Chanel said, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” With those words, all I can say is that I hope you all let your beauty shine.

Say What You Need To Say

I never thought I’d be a person that would hear a John Mayer song and it be spot on with where I am in my life. Yesterday, I was riding on the Q train heading toward Soho when my iPod (yes, I still use an iPod) randomly played the song called, Say. My initial question to myself was, “When did I download this song?” and then I told myself to listen to the lyrics. And with that, so begins this week’s entry…

Two weeks ago, I found myself reconnected with a former boyfriend. Mr. B. and we had spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon reminiscing of the past, discussing our present lives and the future. By the end of that date, I thought to myself that I might have a summer romance on my hands. We had agreed to see each other this past Saturday to spend more time together and I was very much looking forward to it.

Last week, started off like so many with having the Monday work-blues and powering through it. About halfway through the work week, I decided to take this past Friday off because I had an inkling that it would be in my best interest to do so given my Thursday night plans.

On Thursday, while at work, I got a text message from Mr. B. saying that he officially resigned from his architecture firm and that he graciously accepted his new position in Washington D.C. He then said that he had several apartments that he had in mind to look at and wanted my opinion. When he told me that, I was suddenly blasted back to a few months ago with Mr. D. where I found myself roaming the streets of Boston helping him find his apartment. Granted, these men are polar opposites but the overall theme was rather similar. I responded back with wishing him the best of luck, that I’d be happy to give my opinion on his apartment selections and that on Saturday I would make sure that we had a fantastic time in the city.

After work that day, I met up with a couple of friends of mine down by the Bowery, for we were going to be seeing, Beth Ditto, in concert that night. When we sat down, we quickly ordered a bottle of rose and when the waiter offered us appetizers we all declined. After we finished the first bottle, we thought it would be a good idea to get another with no appetizers. We left that bar and walked over to the venue and when we got there, we had no idea that other friends of ours would be at the show. Before I knew it, a shot of tequila and a beer was placed in front of me. We all enjoyed the show immensely and after the show one of my friends had to leave because she had work the next day but my other friend and I decided it would be a good idea to mosey over to the Standard Hotel in the East Village. Along the route to the hotel, we found an abandoned piano where I began to play in my drunken state along with showing off my ballet moves. I couldn’t tell you what time it was nor where I was at but the pictures and videos that I got the next day proved that I had a good time. Once we got to the hotel bar, we knew the bartender and proceeded to get more shots, more beers, and drunker. Suffice to say, I was nervous by not knowing how I got home but thankfully I got home safely with all my belongings intact.

The next day, as you can imagine, I woke up with a pretty bad hangover but I pushed through. I ran errands, I even took a spin class to sweat out the toxins I had put in my body the night before. That evening, I was to attend a picnic but due to the nasty weather, it was canceled. I forced myself to go to bed early that night so that I could be rested and ready for Mr. B. the next day.
When I asked Mr. B. what he wanted to do earlier in the week for our date, he didn’t really have any plans so I asked him if he wanted to see a movie and afterward we can enjoy the weather and walk around the city. He loved that idea but also asked if I would stay the night with him. He lives way uptown, right before the Bronx begins and while I wasn’t sure about what “staying the night” meant, I agreed to it because I wanted to experience this summer romance of mine.

I met Mr. B. at the AMC theater on 42nd Street to see, Wonder Woman (my sixth time seeing it and his first). When we got to the theater, he told me he hadn’t seen a movie in a theater since we dated, which was five years ago. After the movie, I had purposely already packed an overnight bag so we didn’t need to go back to my place since we were heading downtown. I decided to take him to my friend’s restaurant that he manages, The Spotted Pig, since I knew I could get us a table and it would be nice to be downtown and somewhat close to the water, should we want to see the sunset.

We arrived at the restaurant and was greeted by my friend. We were also greeted with delicious drinks and snacks. As the afternoon wore on, my friend and his partner invited Mr. B. and me over to their apartment to their rooftop to watch the sunset. One Uber ride later, all four of us are on the rooftop, drinking rose and catching up. Somewhere around nine at night, it was time for us to catch a Metro North train at Grand Central to head uptown toward his apartment. Along the train ride, I was starving and so we ordered a pizza that we’d have to pick-up along the way.

When we arrived at his apartment, he had a stunning view of the Hudson River. We sat, ate our pizza, talked, listened to jazz and watched the boats pass by in the dark night sky. It was nice but there was something missing…my desire to be with him in any intimate way. I knew he wasn’t the type of guy to force himself on me to get his way and I had the opportunity to say what I needed to say. What I needed to say was that I shouldn’t be with you sexually because I feel that it would mean more to him than to me. He had already confessed earlier that day that even though he is moving in a few weeks that he is confused about his feelings for me. It was clear that we were not on the same page. He was hoping for more and I was thinking it was a summer romance that had an expiration date associated with it.

So, when we went to bed that night, I used the excuse of being tired and he cuddled me. The next morning when we woke up, he was looking at me in a way that told me he was having feelings for me again. I had already agreed to go with him to his favorite brunch place and so, at 9:30 in the morning on a Sunday I found myself on somewhat of a hike to this place called, The Indian Road Café. It was a cute spot and over brunch, we danced around the topic of our future. I told him that once he got settled that I would come and visit him because more than a boyfriend he would need a friend out there. He is moving for all the right reasons and I couldn’t be happier for him. I was presented, yet again, with an opportunity to say what I needed to say but I didn’t. Not because I was afraid of what I needed to say but because I didn’t want to hurt him. Especially since I knew we both had a nice time together but the reality is that he is moving and once he is there he should focus solely on his new chapter and not an old one.

After brunch, he walked me to the subway stop on 215th Street and we hugged for a long time. Later, he sent a text message thanking me for showing him such a good time. I told him that I would see him one more time before he moves and I meant that.

It’s never easy to say certain things when it comes to matters of the heart. Whether what needs to be said is a good outcome or not. Mainly because what is being said isn’t just affecting you but another person. When we take into consideration how our words and actions can change the other person more than you are concerned about your own well-being. That is when you know that you care more about the other person than you do for yourself. It’s our own way of showing compassion.

I leave this entry with a lyric from the song, Say, because it was this particular lyric that got me thinking about my words in the first place:

“Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open”

Come Again?

Over the course of this life, we will come across several people that will serve as significant reasons that they were brought into our lives. Some reasons will be to further your career while others to learn the lessons of love. Most of the time, we meet this specific person for that moment in time and set them free. But what happens when they come back? Do we let them back in our lives or do we leave them in the past?

I haven’t written in weeks not because I didn’t have anything to say but rather the opposite. There was too much to say and too much going on. I was stressed with work, working late nights and not being fulfilled with it. Not to mention the bigger issue was the need to find a replacement for a new roommate in my apartment. Between fielding the weirdos that were responding to my Craigslist advertisement or finding the time to show the room while I was working long hours; I was beginning to become unhinged. Finally, about a week ago, I met a very nice man who decided to take the place and I’m very happy to report that it’s going smoothly with the transition.

Once I was able to put the roommate search to rest, I was able to focus on seeing my friends that I hadn’t been able to see due to all that was going on. Two Sunday’s ago, a couple of close friends and I managed to pull ourselves together, meet at the Long Island Rail Road and take the train to Long Beach for some much-needed beach time. We arrived at the beach by 11 a.m. and stayed for several hours. I thought I applied enough sunscreen on my body but by the time we were leaving to head back to the city around 4 p.m. I had burned my back, my face and my legs. I got home that evening and applied a great deal of aloe on my body and knew the next morning would be a painful shower.

My fourth of July was probably the tamest ones I’ve had since I moved to New York. Mainly, because of the fact that it was on a Tuesday and I had to work the next day. My very close friend and I decided to keep it low key and went to the rooftop of the Ink Hotel on 48th Street and had pink drinks while we watched the sunset. Afterward, we went to dinner and I was in bed before the fireworks even went off.

Last Thursday, I was at work and received a text from my ex-boyfriend, Mr. B. He was the ex-boyfriend that I dated for a few months several years ago. I ended the relationship and his rebuttal at the time was to send all the things I had ever bought him to my office on my birthday. He is known among my friends and I as…the Birthday Bomb. His text message to me was asking me if I was free that evening for a happy hour but I wasn’t but suggested we meet this past Sunday if his schedule allowed; which it did.

By the time this past Friday rolled around, I had already worked over 70 hours and I was exhausted, so I did something I don’t ever do; I stayed in that night and was in bed by 10. The next morning, I woke up and accomplished so much before it was 10 a.m. I had cleaned the apartment, did laundry and took a spin class. Later that afternoon, I went to Brooklyn to see a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in years. He wanted to see me because he had something to share with me in person. I was curious to hear what he needed to tell me and when I got off at the Dekalb Avenue stop in Brooklyn; I quickly realized what he wanted to tell me. This is a man that has a highly demanding engineering job and leaves him little time for a social life. I barely recognized my friend because he had gained so much weight.

After we hugged, he suggested we go get some wine. We walked to a cute wine bar and I let my friend do all the talking. He said that over the past year or so that he was working late nights, eating bad food and going to sleep and not exercising. The weight piled on quickly, he got depressed about it and felt like there was nothing he could do. I continued to listen and when he was done, I told him that I would help him in any way I could. I could get him a discount with a trainer at my gym, we could try and work out together. However, this is a man that has a ton of money and so he told me that in September he is moving to Paris, hiring a highly acclaimed personal trainer to live with him and will be gone for a couple of months till the weight is off. I told him that I was very proud of him for taking control of his life, most people call on Jenny Craig and buy a ten-class yoga pass but moving to Paris is another option if your wallet allows. After the wine, he asked me if I wanted to meet his younger brother and girlfriend. I figured since I was already in Brooklyn, I might as well. So…we walked to Brooklyn Heights to this restaurant called, Friend of a Farmer.

As we all sat at the table, I realized that I had never met any of my friend’s family members before. Now, the younger brother was much younger (22 years old) and his girlfriend was the same age. It was cute to see “young love” and hear all about the adventures they had planned for themselves. After dinner, we went back to my friend’s apartment and that is where things got odd for me. All four of us were sitting around, drinking wine when the younger brother pulled me aside and told me that my friend has confessed to him that he has feelings for me. I wasn’t sure what to do at that point but when my friend returned, I told him that I needed to get back to the city (it was already past 10). He walked me down to his lobby and asked if I was alright; I lied and said I was fine. Which in hindsight, I didn’t lie because I was alright. My friend had never actually confessed his feelings and I had just met his brother for the first time so I wasn’t sure if someone was lying or the truth just hadn’t come out yet. Either way, I was happy to return home safely to my apartment and for the second night in a row, I was in bed by a descent hour.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the city. No humidity, not a cloud in the sky and I was finding myself looking forward to seeing Mr. B. I hadn’t seen him since May when we reconnected after not seeing or speaking to each other for years. Our plan was to start off at the bar, Rise, which is around the corner from where I live and go from there. We sat at a table and before I even had my first sip, he said that he had news he wanted to share with me. His news was that he got a job offer in Washington D.C. at an architecture firm and would be moving in the next four to six weeks. I was very happy for him since I knew he wanted to move back there to be closer to his parents (his dad is ill) and he wanted a change of pace from the New York City life. We clinked our glasses and had a few more drinks there before I suggested we go outside and get some fresh air.

We walked down Ninth Avenue before stopping in for some dinner. Over dinner (and a couple of margaritas) things began to take a turn on the meeting and for the better. The turn it took was that it went from us updating each other on our lives to an actual date. It turned romantic. We held hands, we were both smiling and everything felt safe and familiar again. It was so strange to be having these feelings again for I hadn’t really had them ever since Mr. D. left over six months ago to Boston.

After dinner, the sun was beginning to set and I suggested we go toward the West Side Highway/Hudson River to watch the sunset.

Along the walk from the restaurant to the river, I was starting to feel rather tipsy but thought it was a good idea to pop into a bar for a beer. We ordered our beers and stood outside and sipped slowly. As we were standing outside, we looked at each other and before I knew it, I became a rather tacky person by making out with someone on a sidewalk in broad daylight. We didn’t finish our beers because the sun was starting to fade and so we rushed over to the river and sat on the grass and we both were laughing at how comfortable this experience had been.

When the sun was out of our sights, we began to lay down in the grass and make out. I am not one to do these kinds of acts nor is Mr. B. but there we were acting like young kids with no responsibilities. We must’ve been there for hours because when he asked what time it was, it was past ten. I walked him to Time Square where he had to continue onto Grand Central Station to catch a Metro North train back to Inwood. Before we left, we agreed to see each other as much as possible till he leaves.

As I walked home, I realized what had just happened. Mr. B. is back in my life again, for only four to six weeks and while I’m probably too old for this but I think I might have a summer romance on hands. Mr. B. came into my life at the right time. He’s met my friends already, he understands my ways and we both know that this is temporary fun.

I certainly don’t know what is going to happen now that I’ve let someone back in my life but for the first time in a very long time…I’m excited to see where it goes.

Lost and Found

I believe it’s safe to say that every single person in this world experiences that feeling of not certain of where you are in your life. This feeling tends to range anywhere from your love life to your career. It’s a feeling that can be frustrating and depressing. The unfortunate part is that no matter how much of a support system you may have the only person that can help you…is you. So, how do we go from being lost to found?

For the entire month of May, I ended up living with a roommate in my apartment that had little respect for me, my belongings and my home. Normally, I would’ve had zero qualms of asking a person to leave my home after that sort of behavior but seeing that I had managed to get myself into a sticky financial situation that required me to have a roommate; I felt that I had no choice but to keep him. Those that live-in New York City or have ever had to live with someone other than your partner or a family member can certainly relate to this frustration. It also leads to the feeling of being helpless which no one likes to be. I felt like there was nothing to do except to wait out the month before I informed the current roommate that our living situation wasn’t working out. However, it was the past four weeks like I needed to get through that was my challenge.

Fortunately, for me, I managed to keep myself rather busy in May that included things like spending time with friends, a wedding ceremony, attending an event with Sarah Jessica Parker and let’s not forget getting the privilege to see the movie, Wonder Woman, ahead of the world. The unfortunate part for me, was that by the time the month of May was coming to an end, I forget to tell my roommate that he wasn’t going to be staying with me once the month was over with. I felt guilty for not giving him two weeks-notice, therefore, it was looking as if I would be spending yet another month with him. I did my best to not let it get to me but it was starting to depress me more than I led on to those close to me.

I decided that at this point there was nothing else I could do and I was going to suck it up for the next four weeks and give him proper notice to move out. So, when I came back from my friends, Feather’s, country house on Memorial Weekend; I decided to try and have a positive week ahead. I already knew that my week entailed meeting a friend of mine for drinks last Wednesday and this past Saturday going to see, Wonder Woman, again with some of my friends. I was looking forward to experiencing that with my friends because it was all I could talk about for weeks. I even bought little tiaras and bracelets for us all to wear as a cute surprise and I was even going to dress up in costume. I had bought all the tickets weeks in advance because going to a movie in New York is such a production.

Last Wednesday, I was going to be having drinks with my friend. A couple of years ago we had dated and when we dated it was nice but at the time he was very dedicated to his job that left him very little time for a relationship. Then one night while we were dating, he was to come over to my apartment after he was done with work and he never showed up. He also never contacted me again. You might be asking, why on earth would I be seeing him after he treated me that way. I knew the reason why he left and it wasn’t work it was because of how he was starting to feel about me and he got scared. Not an excuse, I do know that but I know that I have certainly done that to someone in my youngers years. It was my way of saying that karma came and bit us both in the ass so let’s start with a clean slate…as friends.

So, back in March, when I started my new job, I was also redecorating my apartment and I ended up going into the store, CB2, which is near my office. As I was shopping, I heard my name and turned to see my ex from a couple of years ago, standing near the register. Turns out, he was a manager at the store. We made small talk for a little bit, I left the store and returned to the office. Moments later, I got a text from him saying how good it was to see me and how nice I looked. A few weeks later, he asked me for drinks and even said I could use his discount (I said yes to both). Over those drinks as we were catching up, he informed me that he has a daughter now that he shares with his friend in Virginia. I was happy for him and as he was showing me pictures of his daughter on his phone, I could tell that his daughter helped him find his way in life. While he can’t see her every day, he is certainly present in her life.

So, this past Wednesday, when I agreed to meet him for drinks, it had been a month or so since I last saw him. He kept organizing drinks and at the last minute would cancel due to work or one excuse over another. It didn’t bother me that he was constantly needing to cancel our plans because I knew that he had a lot on his plate and I know that I’m not the easiest person to schedule something with either. So, I knew he meant business when on last Wednesday he said that he wasn’t canceling and even was going to pick the place where we’d be having wine.

After work, I met him at a wine bar in Midtown and unfortunately, the place he picked out was filled with tourist and not my cup of tea. I suggested we go somewhere a little less crowded so that we could actually have a conversation. We stumbled on a wine bar on Ninth Avenue and ordered a bottle rose since it was a warm day in the city.

He began telling me about a Broadway show that he had just seen before meeting me and by our second glass of wine, he invited me over to his apartment this upcoming Sunday to watch the Tony’s. Now, I’m not a big Broadway/theatre person at all but I got the sense that he was nervous about asking me which I wasn’t sure why he was so nervous; I said yes to him but he couldn’t get mad at me if I asked “who is who” during the award show.

By our third glass, he told me that he wants to hit the “restart” button with regards to us. I asked him to explain what exactly he meant by “restart.” He told me that the reason he had been canceling all those times in the past weeks was because he was nervous about me. He apologized for how he just left a couple of years ago and asked me if I was open to “restarting” things with him. I told him that I was completely thrown off guard and that I was under the assumption that we were meeting as friends and that I needed some time to think about all of this. While it was flattering to be thought of that way, I wasn’t prepared at all for this sort of discussion. I told him that I’d still attend his Tony Award party and that seemed to put him at ease. Then he asked if he could kiss me. As he asked me this question our waiter passed by asking us if we’d like another glass and he said yes and the waiter told me that I should kiss him. We kissed and it was nice but I was still in my head swirling with all that he confessed. After our last glass, we hugged goodbye and he asked for one more kiss and I gave him my cheek. I got home and wasn’t sure what all had transpired and my feeling of being “lost” continued on.

The next day was the first of June and so I sent a friendly reminder to my roommate that rent was due and he could leave a check or Venmo me at his earliest convenience. Hours and hours later, I get a text message back from him that informed me that he moved out, moved to Buffalo and that he’s sorry to leave me in the dark. He thanked me for everything I had done and wished things were different but that the city wasn’t working for him. I wrote back, “best of luck.” Now, I needed to find a roommate and fast. I put out an ad on Craigslist, contacted my friends and it was back to the drawing board.

I couldn’t wait for Friday because our office was closing early which meant that I could shop for Saturday’s movie experience and there was only one store I could get what I was needing and it was in Queens. I got on the subway, went to the store and since I knew my friend lives in Queens, I decided to pay him a visit after my shopping experience. On my walk to my friend’s apartment, I heard my name being called out which sounded like it was coming from across the street I was on. I looked around and there was different ex-boyfriend except this ex was someone I used to live with. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears and I walked over to him for he was in a bar that had its windows open which was why he yelled my name. We hugged, made small talk but thankfully I had the excuse of needing to get to my friend’s apartment so I left him after only a few minutes of awkward small talk. I spent the rest of my Friday at my friend’s apartment drinking whiskey, listening to records and feeling…lost.

On Saturday, I woke up so giddy because I just couldn’t wait to see the movie with my friends. I went to spin class in the morning then more shopping for odds and ends and got home to begin getting ready but before I started getting ready a few friends of mine contacted me a few hours before the movie saying they couldn’t make it. I became a little depressed, I knew it was silly to feel that way over a movie because I knew they wanted to be with me but forget other obligations they had. I put too much pressure on myself to make the experience a “wonder”ful one but I decided to leave my party favors behind, not get dressed up in costume and see the movie with my friends that were able to attend. In the end, I had a fun time seeing the movie again, my friends loved the movie and they were so thankful that I organized it all. Afterwards, we went to my friend’s apartment that lived close by and we ended up drinking for hours and talking about anything and everything. I had to leave at a descent time because I had candidates coming over to see the apartment the next day.

Yesterday, I woke up, did laundry, hit the gym and came home to see the first person of the day with hopes that one of these folks would make for a descent roommate. The first person to show up was so kind, thoughtful and we ended up talking for an hour before I even realized we hadn’t gone over the details about the apartment. After we went through the details, I just knew this was someone that I could live with and he felt the same. He said he wanted the room and gave me the money right then and there. I gave him a set of keys and he moves in a few weeks. The ironic part was that he has the same name as Mr. D. (I swear I cannot make these things up). However, overlooking the name alone, I got such a warm and positive vibe and hopefully I will not be experiencing any worse roommates for a long time. I spent the rest of the day doing something I love doing…reading. I finished my book and started to feel somewhat at peace.

As this week begins, I am determined to put that feeling of thinking I am “lost” and will work on how I can be “found.” It’s up to me and no one else and anyone else out there feeling this way…you will find yourself; we always do.


In a time where our world moves so rapidly that most days we have our morning coffee to-go rather than sipping it slowly as they do in the Folders commercials. It’s hard to find the time to slow down, smell the roses and appreciate the things we already have since most of us are programmed to keep moving. Our world is now measured by how many “likes” you get on a post or how many followers you have on your Instagram account. While there isn’t anything we can do to go back to a simpler time, we still have the capability of showing appreciation for not only the materials things we possess but also for the intangible.

Last week, I met with an ex-boyfriend that I dated five years ago and while time had moved us on and we both were on different paths with him moving to Washington D.C. and me staying here. I appreciated that mature discussion we had over cheap beers. He was very honest with me, what he liked and didn’t like about dating me. It’s rare these days that two adults can sit down, have a discussion without anyone getting upset and learn from the past. In some cases, with a reunion, you’re also able to apologize for hurting someone. So, after that meeting last week with my ex; as we walked to the same subway station; we agreed to see each other again.

Given how my life had been going recently, I was feeling rather sorry for myself and I needed to snap myself out of my funk before I would bring everyone around me down as well. I had dinner with a friend at, Galli, last Wednesday where we both could update each other and while some topics had the potential of bringing us down (health issues, bad roommates, bad dates, etc.) by the end of the meal, I think we both helped each other. I went to bed that night feeling grateful, loved and filled with excitement for the next morning was going to be epic for me or shall I say “wonder”ful.

I took last Thursday off because one of my dearest friends set me up with one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. You see, ever since I was five years old, I had a major obsession with the, Wonder Woman, character. Now that the actual movie is coming out in a few weeks, my friend, invited me to a private screening on Thursday morning somewhere in Midtown. I picked him up bright and early at 9:30 and there we walked to a building off Sixth Avenue. I hadn’t been this excited for a movie since Sex and the City and so when we got into the theatre with only me, my friend (who had to leave to go back to the office fifteen minutes into the movie) and a few journalists…I couldn’t believe the experience I was privileged to have. The movie was amazing and afterwards I realized that I had the entire day all to myself. I took advantage of feeling like I had the city to myself while everyone else was at a stuffy office. I walked from Time Square all the way down to the Village and back again. Took myself out to lunch with just me, a book and a glass of rose. As I sat with my book, my rose and the city; I looked at my calendar and discovered that it had been five months since I had any communication with Mr. D.

I know he is someone that I should no longer be thinking about and I’m in a completely different mindset now but I was proud of myself that after all these months; that I didn’t have a moment of weakness and contacted him. I was having such a perfect day and just knowing how far I’ve come over the past couple of months; proved to me that I was on the road to feeling completely happy.

The next day, I was back to work but I had a pep in my step and it had to deal with the warmer weather, the fact that I got to see that movie and because I was in a state of appreciation for the things in my life. After work, I walked along the Westside Highway and met up with my ex to Chelsea Piers where I suggested we go bowling. I should’ve known better that it being a Friday on a nice weather day that it would be crowded and it was. We had a drink at the bar as we hoped that a bowling lane would become available and it didn’t. So, we decided to take a walk from Chelsea Piers to 42nd Street and try again at bowling at another alley. When we arrived there the entire bowling alley was closed due to a boxing fight that night. I decided that it wasn’t in the cards for us to bowl that night and took him to a dive bar where we could cool off with a beer.

As we sat there, we began to talk some more and flirt and it was an innocent flirtation. It felt nice to flirt with someone rather than it be about sex. I wasn’t interested in him that way any longer, our time had passed and it was about wishing someone well on their next adventure which he is very excited about. After the beer, we both realized that we were feeling tipsy and I suggested we grab some dinner. We had dinner and afterwards he walked me to my corner where we hugged, had a quick kiss and I went to bed at a descent hour for a Friday night.

The next day, I woke up and knew that I had so many events in one day that I wasn’t sure how I was going to swing it all. My first mission was spin class with a friend and after class, we parted ways because I didn’t have very much time to get ready. Met my friend at 4:30 at The Monster where we were waiting for another friend to arrive before we walked to Bleecker Street to attend a house warming party. I didn’t know the host of the party but the minute I walked in, someone ran up to me quickly because about a year ago, I had a one night stand with someone and ever since then, he’s been trying to get back in touch with me and I keep declining. The first thing he said to me was, “I guess it takes us bumping into a party for you to get back to me.” My two friends that I was with, looked at me and I gave them a look that said, “I will fill you in later.” All three of us quickly grabbed glasses of champagne and proceed to watch this party as the guests all knew each other and I stood against the wall watching as the whispers slowly began to go around the room that I was “the guy” that one of the guests had a one night stand with. Thankfully, we were only there for an hour before my friend and I needed to go to Brooklyn to attend a wedding reception.

In the cab, I told my friend about the one night stand and we both were already feeling the champagne run through our veins because we were giggling at everything as we crossed the Williamsburg Bridge. Once we got to Brooklyn, we took our time finding our way to the wedding reception which was being held at our friend’s gorgeous apartment. We arrived and the party was in full swing and it was decorated so elegantly, the bride and groom looked happy and we stayed long enough for some food, drink and the speeches. Afterwards, my friend and I had to excuse ourselves and go back to the city for a different friend’s birthday party in Chelsea. When we got back into the city, we stopped at yet another friend’s apartment to pick up some more friends of ours before heading to, Rebar, where the party was being held.

We got to the bar and the birthday boy was already there and that is where we began to drink more and everyone showed up and it was great to have us all in one area which is so hard to do these days. I was doing my best to pace myself because I didn’t want to be too drunk for the next day I had another event that I was excited for. Next thing I know, shots are provided, everyone raises their shots and that is when I noticed the entire party switched from being tipsy to drunk…including myself. I decided that before another drink passes my lips that it was in my best interest to say goodbye which is exactly what I did.

Yesterday morning, I woke up and I thought I was going to be in bad shape but I wasn’t considering all that I had done the night before. I started the day off right with some much-needed coffee followed by a run. I showered and walked from my apartment down to Milk Studios in Chelsea for I was lucky enough to attend a question and answer session with non-other than, Sarah Jessica Parker and New York Magazine. As I sat there paying close attention to the discussion, I couldn’t get over the week I had just had the privilege of having. Who else gets to say that they saw a movie before the entire world does, to spend quality time with an ex and have amazing friends to spend an insane Saturday with. Once the session was over with, I had the rest of the day to myself and I walked around the city with such appreciation. I looked at the city slightly different as I walked back to my neighborhood. By the time I got home, I was exhausted but in a good way. Exhausted from having such a wonderful time.
As a new week begins and like most, are getting excited for Memorial Weekend; I couldn’t help but think of all the many, many things that I’m appreciative for and that includes the readers. Take some time this week to show appreciation for something or someone in your life!

The Effect

My last date was three weeks ago and it wasn’t very good. The date started at 6 p.m. and was over at 6:52 p.m. I spent 52 minutes of my time with a man that showed up in seersucker jacket, glasses that were not clean and the dirtiest finger nails I had ever seen. I also spent 52 minutes with a man that only talked about sci-fi movies and pork. Two of my least favorite subjects. I sat there, smiled politely and nodded as if I knew about the movies he was talking about or the many ways you can cook/ eat pork. As we said goodbye that began the start of a slight depression.

I hadn’t written in weeks because I couldn’t figure out what to write or if there was anything to write about. Over the weeks of not writing, I had to find a new roommate (which he is a total disaster) and patiently wait for the Mercury Retrograde to end which I felt had a huge impact on how my life was going. Of course, over these past several weeks of not writing, I have had some fabulous moments with friends that included BBQ’s, celebrating the Kentucky Derby and being our normal crazy selves. Even with all the good times I was having there was something missing and I couldn’t figure it out, until last evening.

I dated this man five years ago. Five summers ago, to be exact. I even wrote about him in this very blog. We dated for several months and had a good time together and in the end, I broke it off with him because despite of the fun times we were having, we also had nothing in common. I believed that with nothing in common, our future didn’t look that bright. This was also the man that when I broke up with him, on my birthday, he sent a package to my attention and in that package, was everything I ever bought him. My friends coined the term, “birthday bomb” after that incident.

A year ago, I messaged him via Facebook messenger when Facebook suggested we become friends. Seeing how bad I am with technology, posting statuses, taking pictures and still using an iPod. I thought he never got the message and he was still mad at me for ending things years ago. Turns out that I was wrong.

This past weekend, my ex-boyfriend messaged me saying that he never saw the Facebook message and wanted to see if I wanted to get together for a drink to catch-up. I thought that after several years of no communication that there was no reason why we couldn’t catch-up with each other to see where our lives have taken us.

When we dated, he was a man that was wanting to be an architect, introverted and I thought I could help him break out of his shell, see the city through my world, meet my friends and he would teach me how to slow down and enjoy life rather than being in a state of constant chaos. That’s why I was surprised when he chose the bar, Nowhere, to meet yesterday after work. Maybe over time he had changed and I was going to be surprised by his evolution and there was only one way to find out…

I arrived on time and he was already waiting for me seated at the bar. He looked pretty much the same except he had more facial hair, which I commented on. He told me he remembered how I would suggest to him about growing a beard when we dated. I told myself that it was a Monday, that your meeting your ex-boyfriend for the first time in five years and to stick with beer and not go crazy. We ordered our beers and began to update each other on our lives.

One of the first things he told me was that he saw me last summer walking down the street with a suitcase looking like I was in a hurry. I asked him why he didn’t stop me to say hello but he said I looked like I didn’t want to be bothered so he chose not to reach out. After that confession, he informed me that he’s still working at the same architecture firm back when we were dating. But he did tell me that he’s been promoted and received his architecture certification.

He went on to say that after I broke up with him that he took his heartbreak and anger toward me and put it to studying for his certification and 13 months later after hard work and studying…he became an architect. I learned that by me breaking-up with him the effect on him was to not sit around and be sad but to make one of his dreams become a reality. I told him I was proud of him and that he must be happy at the firm. He told me how funny the timing was because he had literally just sent his resume to an architecture firm in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

We continued with our cheap beer and we even did a shot of whiskey and as the evening progressed that is when the true confessions started to come out. I learned that I broke his heart when I ended things, that he hadn’t dated much since me and that I had a huge effect on his life. I let him go on with his confessions before I told him that back then I went with my gut instincts of believing that our lack of not having anything in common would hinder us from becoming a successful couple. I also pointed out that even though I may have ended things that I couldn’t forget how he sent me the “birthday bomb”. The look on his face when I reminded him about that incident told me that he had completely forgotten what he had done to me. He said, he did that to me because he was angry that I broke his heart and that it was slightly immature at the time. He had a few more confessions to make before we were finally in the clear.

He confessed to me that when I returned a tank top he had left at my apartment when we broke up that he walked away from me and threw it in the trash can because he said it smelled like me and didn’t want to have anything around him that reminded him of me. His last confession was something that I knew might’ve been an issue for him back when we were dating and that was our lack of one-on-one time.
When we were dating during the summer, I wanted him to be a part of my life and a major part of my life is my friends. As we sat at the bar, he remembered every single one of their names and the nicknames I have for them. He asked about them all and how they are doing currently. As we reminisced about all the moments we had during our time together, I was realizing that all our dates included me, him and my friends. It was rare that we ever had a date that involved just the two of us. He said that while he loved getting to know my friends that he felt like he was dating me and twenty other people. Granted, he said my friends are like no other people that he’s met and they are sweet, kind and generous but that he wanted to spend more time getting to know me. It was a problem that I know I have at times where I want my friends to be a part of my relationship as much as I am a part of theirs. It’s hard to cancel plans with friends to tell them that you want to spend time with your boyfriend because my friends have the answer to that, “just bring him along.” However, now that I am older and only somewhat wiser, I know that if/when I date again that I must make time for my relationship in order for it to ever work.

As it was getting later and we both needed to get home, I was delighted that we got together to catch-up, have a few laughs but to learn just how much of an affect a person can have on another. I had no clue how I helped push him to better his career (he did say I was bossy) or how I opened his eyes to the see a different world of living in New York. As we walked from the bar to the Union Square subway station, we decided that while he is here still living in the city before potentially moving to Washington D. C. that we should hang out a bit more. We hugged and kissed goodbye and I went to bed last night feeling better about life.

People will come and go in our lifetimes. It can take years to finally figure out why that person came in and out of your life. However, we all must be aware of how we treat others because you never know the effect that you will.

Third Time is NOT a Charm

They say that after a couple of failed attempts to make something successful that by the third time it’s sure to have a positive outcome. As we all know by now, that’s not always the case especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Which had me thinking…why do we keep going back for more?

I am certainly someone that has gone back more times than I should’ve, especially when it comes to romance. So, with that in mind, it should come as no surprise as to what happened to me last week when I thought I was being a good friend to an ex that led to a moment I wasn’t expecting.

After finishing up my fourth week at my new job, I was starting to get confident with what I was doing, learning the employee’s names and understanding the work that I was assigned to do. With my new job falling into place, I was also spending a lot of time and money on updating my apartment. Luckily for me, I have connections. Those connections are otherwise known as, Feathers and his husband. A couple of weeks ago, I had them both come over to tell me what I needed to buy at Home Depot to achieve the look and feel that I wanted for my apartment. I wrote everything down and took myself to a store that I know nothing about. Thankfully, while I was at the store, a very nice employee helped me through my entire list and laughed at how clueless I was. I bought my first ever hammer, nails and even a screw driver set. I had never owned any of those things before and always relied on my super in my building to change a light bulb.

While all the new job and apartment stuff was going on, I had been texting sporadically with my ex-boyfriend whom I used to live with ten years ago. I had written about him back in February of this year when he had contacted me out of the blue on New Year’s Day. I hadn’t seen him in all those years and back in February we had agreed to see each other. It was our second attempt to try and see if there was still any chemistry between us and for me; there wasn’t any spark left. I got the feeling that he wanted to try and see where things were going but at the same time I didn’t want to assume anything.

After our meeting, back in February, I hadn’t seen him since. There was the occasional text here and there, usually him contacting me first but it was either work related or him asking how my day was. I did know that he would be turning 40 last week and so I offered to take him to dinner to celebrate. He had confessed earlier that he didn’t have anything planned and didn’t like celebrating his birthday so I insisted that we at least have dinner to acknowledge the big event. He agreed and we settled on meeting last Wednesday the day of his actual birthday.

The day before our dinner, I had sent over some restaurant recommendations and we settled on, Mole, over on Jane Street. He asked me if we could meet on the earlier side since the Rangers were playing that night and he lives in Astoria. Since it was his special day, I agreed to his request and made a reservation for 6 p.m. (a time that I never eat dinner).

He was already waiting for me at the bar in the restaurant last when I arrived. He told me that he had already had a few drinks with coworkers before meeting me and I didn’t think anything of it. He settled his bill at the bar and we sat down at a table. The city was having nice weather that afternoon and while I wanted to sit outside, he wanted to sit inside and so we did. Once we sat down, I realized why he wanted to sit inside and it was because that is where the television was going to be playing the game.

I made him switch seats with me so he wouldn’t be able to get distracted with the game. If I was taking time out of my life to take him to dinner as a friend than I deserve his full attention. We ordered our margaritas and I told myself before I even arrived that I was only having two drinks. Over dinner, we talked about work, how life feels at 40 and our friends and family. He also invited me to attend a birthday party that his friends were throwing for him the following evening. Thankfully, I already had plans and I knew who was going to be at the party. There were friends of his that know Mr. D. by association and I just knew that it was not in my best interest to attend so I declined his invitation.

As the birthday dinner progressed, I stuck to my two-drink minimum and my ex-boyfriend continued without me. The restaurant was starting to get full and a couple was seated next to us. We had finished our meal and the waiter had cleared our table. Now it was just me, my ex-boyfriend, my water and his last margarita. He wasn’t drunk but I would say he was tipsy and as I discovered his mental state, he said to me, “Your left hand looks naked.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that and so I replied to him, “What do you mean? I never wear anything on my left hand.” He said, “Give me your hand.” I gave him my hand and still wasn’t sure what was happening next. I did notice that the couple that was sitting next to us stopped and began to pay attention to us.

My ex-boyfriend, whom I hadn’t really seen in ten years nor communicated with was now holding my left hand and said, “I think we should get married. I still have feelings for you, I have money and we could make this work.” I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not because this was a man that wanted to meet earlier in the evening so he can rush home to watch a hockey game and now he’s proposing marriage? Maybe in his mind he was thinking that us seeing each other for a third time would be the charm that would land him my hand in marriage.

I pulled my hand out of his and did my very best to tell him no without getting him upset. The couple sitting next to us went back to their conversation but you could tell that they were dying for us to leave so that they could talk about what they had just witnessed. I was dying to leave and forget this entire evening ever happened and it was right about that time that the waiter brought over the bill. Even though the evening didn’t follow through as I had imagined, I paid the entire bill because I was the one who invited him out for his birthday dinner and I was also the one that turned down his marriage proposal. So, there you have it, I had ended things with this man for yet another time and I was also out $150 bucks of my single person income.

As if things, couldn’t get any more awkward between us, he wanted to take the subway to 42nd Street together where he would transfer to continue to Astoria where he lives. We sat on the subway in silence and when we got to 42nd Street, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and said goodbye. By the time I put my key into my door, I got a text message from him. It said that he looks forward to our future together and hopes that I will change my mind. I didn’t have the energy to tell him that there is no future and so I just wrote back, “Have a good night.”

I haven’t heard from him since but I know I will…they always come back. I do know that if/when he does come back I will tell him that there is no future and that being friends isn’t probably the best for us either.

The next day, after my disastrous evening, I had Feathers and his husband over to my apartment so they could paint it for me. I offered to help paint but was shot down after they saw how bad of a job I had previously done. As they began painting, I told them about my evening and they were in shock and said that this kind of stuff only happens to me. I laughed it off and decided that there was nothing else left for me to do about the situation.

Ever since the beginning of this year, I’ve worked rather hard on moving forward. In every sense of the meaning because already this year I’ve said goodbye to Mr. D., I found a new job and now I was updating my apartment. I was grateful to have such amazing friends that want to help make my home look good and create a place that I want to return to.

In the end of this past week, I knew I did the right thing with all that was thrown at me. Maybe the third time wasn’t a charm for my ex and I but that doesn’t mean that something wonderful isn’t around the corner to experience.

Where to Begin

It’s been over a month since I last wrote. I wasn’t writing because I didn’t have anything to write about but it was because there’s been so much going on in my life that I didn’t have time to put my thoughts into my writing. It had me thinking that with my life being so chaotic that will there ever have enough time to write again or will anyone care? What made me want to write again was because a reader clear across the world (China to be exact) asked me what was going on with my life. This is a person that I’ve never met before but apparently waits for my next chapter to discuss with his friends about my life in New York. So, for that reader…this one is for you.

Where to begin? I think I will begin with the biggest news that has happened to me and that is; I got a new job. The job did not fall into my lap but rather it came to me with the help of a former coworker. There were so many reasons for me wanting and needing to leave my old job. Upper management wasn’t treating me properly and even though Mr. D. had left and moved to Boston, I could still feel at times like he was still present which I didn’t care for. It was time to move on and once I put my mind to looking for a new job; it was only a matter of two weeks before I got the offer, a promotion and a nice increase in salary. After I told upper management that I was resigning and officially put in my two weeks’ notice; that was the last time they spoke to me. For the following two weeks after my announcement, they acted like I never worked there. The worse part was on my last day of work when I asked human resources about a time for my exit interview and they no idea that it was even my last day. My bosses dropped the ball and they never said goodbye or thanked me for being there for three years. There was no question about it; I had made the right decision to leave the agency and it was certainly time for a new beginning.

With a new job under my belt, I decided to continue this new path of new beginnings. I only took a couple of days off between my old job and starting my new one. On one of those days, I decided to go shopping for new furniture. In the twenty years that I’ve lived here, I never had the opportunity to buy brand new furniture that would be mine and mine alone. It felt liberating as I was shopping for couches, end tables and lamps. In a city like New York, where it can be treated as one big adult playground without any real responsibilities. It’s only until you decide to try and be an adult where you see the city from a different perspective. I felt good about the choices I was making and more importantly they were my choices and no one else.

Two weekends ago, I went to Boston to visit my best friend, her husband and their baby. It would be my first Boston trip without Mr. D. and after all the trips with him over the years, I had a good grip on how to navigate the city. On my bus ride to Boston, it was surreal knowing he was there, knowing he was up in his penthouse apartment that I picked out and how I wouldn’t be seeing him at all. And older version of myself would’ve most likely contacted him, seen him and started things back up again with hopes of change. However, my fingers didn’t even want to look up his contact information. Instead, I read my book and got excited to see my friend whom I hadn’t seen in months. The visit was short and sweet but we managed to cram in a lot of baby time and once the baby was with her parents, we bar hopped which was also fun. I came back full of life and ready to tackle my new job and anything else that life had in store for me.

This past week/weekend, everything was starting to fall into place. I was learning people’s names at my new job, my couch and end table were getting delivered (and put together since I can’t be trusted with a hammer) and I also began chatting with a new guy that I met on Tinder. He was the oldest man I had chatted with (51 years old) and my main reason for entertaining the correspondence was because his sense of humor was fantastic via text. He would send me “dad jokes” and was persistent on meeting me in person but I had so much going on that I wasn’t free for awhile. However, I did let him know that this past Sunday I could potentially move something around and meet for a coffee. He lives in my neighborhood, so I knew of a bunch of places to choose from should he want to meet on Sunday.

After having a semi-late night with my friend on Friday, I told myself that I must have a productive day on Saturday. So, I got up early and took myself to a store that I have only been to once and it was torture for me…Trader Joes. There is one on the Upper West Side, so I figured that would be one where everyone is more civilized and not so chaotic like the other ones in the city. I got to the store at 10 a.m. and began placing things in my shopping cart and as I was shopping I got a craving for spaghetti. I figured that is something I can make and not burn the apartment down. I wasn’t paying attention as I got to the aisle where the marinara sauce was and I don’t know how this next part happened but I grabbed a jar and it slipped from my hand and shattered! An employee there said to me, “Don’t move, I will be back with a mop.” I stood there for a few minutes as customers walked by and gave me their side-eyes and one kid even laughed and pointed. The very nice employee cleaned up the mess and offered me a wet paper towel to wipe off the sauce from my shoes and legs. I put my groceries back, left the grocery store and realized that there are certain stores where I just don’t belong.

Yesterday, I woke up and one of the first messages I received was from the guy whom I had been chatting with for about a week or so. He was asking me if I’d like to go to brunch with him. I was hesitant to agree to a brunch on a first-time meeting and he was also the first person I’d ever met from Tinder (an app that I wasn’t sure how to navigate). However, we had been chatting for over a week, he was in his early 50’s and who the hell am I to judge? So, I told him that I could do a brunch but that I wouldn’t be drinking and he agreed for us to meet. He picked a little place on Tenth Avenue not too far from my apartment and when I arrived; he was already waiting for me at a table.

He stood up as I got closer to the table, gave me a hug and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee for me. Everything was going along rather smoothly for a first meeting. He was making jokes, telling me about how he moved here from Cincinnati about a year ago and still getting used to the “city” ways. This man had an apartment in a nice building, good job, well-spoken and as we began to talk about travel that was when things took a turn. We were well into an hour of the brunch when he told me how much he loves going to different beaches. Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love summer and beaches, so I was excited to hear about his enthusiasm for beaches as well.

“Would you like to see some pictures of some of the beaches that I’ve been to?” He asked with a big grin on his face. He motioned for me to move my chair so that I’d be sitting side by side to him. As he opened his phone and began showing me pictures of sunsets, white sand and clear oceans, the pictures began to take a turn. Next thing I know there were pictures of him completely naked on beaches, naked on rocks and naked under waterfalls. I looked at him and said, “Those pictures aren’t really necessary.” He then asked, “After brunch do you want to go back to my place and get nude? I love being nude.” I declined the offer and he got upset with me because he mentioned how in the past when he’s shown his nude pictures to dates that they tend to go back to his place. I just told him that I’m not one those other guys. I moved my chair back to the other side of the table and motioned for the waitress to send over the check. I wasn’t sure if he was pissed or embarrassed or both but he paid for the entire meal and I went home.

As this week begins, I can’t help but be grateful for where I am now. New job, new furniture, great friends, family, readers and the city even with it’s nudist.

Past, Present and Future

There is a quote by the American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson that reads, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” I enjoy that quote because often times we tend to blame our past and what has happened to us previously to justify the things we say and do in our present. Which got me thinking…how much does our past shape our present and future?

For me, my past was quickly becoming my present and it all started on New Year’s Day. Like most people around the world, on that specific day, I was moving rather slow because of New Year’s Eve and spending it with my friends. As I was sitting on my couch being lazy, I got a text message from a number I didn’t have programmed in my phone. It was a message wishing me a Happy New Year. When I responded to the message and told the person that I wasn’t sure who it was, the message I got back was from an ex-boyfriend that I not only dated but lived with almost ten years ago. I wrote about it in my last entry and how I went to his apartment a couple of weeks ago and ended up spending the night with him.

Ever since that evening, he has been texting every single day. It wasn’t aggressive texting but the occasional text message asking how my day was, etc. I didn’t think too much about the messages because they were always friendly and never romantic. Then, about a week and a half ago, he sent me a message right as I was getting ready for bed. He asked me if I wanted to spend Superbowl Sunday with him and even meet some of his friends. My friends and I hadn’t made solid plans for that Sunday and I figured that I’d be going to my ex’s apartment, meet his friends and go home. So, I agreed to go over to his place. He then responded with, “Great. Make sure to make some of your homemade guacamole.” The one thing I can make without burning the apartment down.

The next day at work, I got news that they were changing a lot of what I’d be working on and I wasn’t too thrilled with that announcement. It angered me because they were giving me more responsibility for the same pay. So, I decided to take some days off and I specifically asked to take the Monday after the Superbowl because I figured I was going to want to let my hair down and shake off some work aggression. It was also that same day that I ended up getting a call from another advertising agency telling me that they’ve been trying to get in touch with me but wasn’t sure how to reach me but someone in the industry gave them my information. Now I have an extensive interview next week and this is a position that will get me more money and a promotion. Things were starting to finally fall into place for me.

Last Friday, I told my friends that in an effort to try and keep my apartment for one more month to myself without a roommate that I’m going on a strict budget. Budget is a word that leaves a bad taste in my mouth and frankly, I’m not very good at saving so when I told my friends of my news and they were very supportive. That being said, that evening, I met up with a friend of mine first at a bar that does a cheap happy hour. So, we had our two drinks and another friend of mine sent a text message asking me to come down to a friend of ours apartment for a group of people were coming together. Got in a cab and headed down to Chelsea and next thing I knew a bunch of my friends and I are drinking prosecco, laughing and having a great time. I told myself that I wanted to be home by midnight because I know the later at night it gets the chances of me having a productive next day is rather slim. As I was sitting amongst my friends, I got a text message from my ex and he was telling me how excited he was for Sunday and then asked me if he could see me the next evening as well. I wasn’t really sure what to say or if it was even a good idea to be revisiting anything with me ex. I told my friend whom had met him all those years prior and he told me, “You are going to do whatever you want to do. I’m not sure it’s a good idea but do what you have to do.” I told my ex that I would see him the next evening. He said that he’d make plans for us and keep me posted. Another glass of prosecco later and next thing I know; I’m being dragged to a bar with my friends past 3 a.m. When I got home, I knew that I was going to regret staying out so late.

Saturday morning, I woke up and wasn’t feeling my best even though I knew I had so much to do. I challenged myself that not only was I going to make homemade guacamole but I was going to try and make these cookies from scratch based on a recipe that my sister sent me. I went to the grocery store, bought all these ingredients and came home and began to prepare to bake. I even had to buy mixing bowls, measuring cups, etc. because if I was going to do this, I was going to do it properly (not to mention that I don’t own any of these baking items). I was excited and I was following the instructions to the letter but somehow, the cookies didn’t bake properly and some got burned and after several attempts at getting the cookies right; I folded the towel and gave up. My cookies were a huge fail and while I was trying to bake, my ex had sent me a message asking if I could be ready, bag packed and outside my door by seven in the evening. I told him that I hadn’t made the guacamole yet and that things weren’t going as planned with my day but he said he would change that all around and to be ready by seven.

I wasn’t sure how to process all that my ex was saying for he was being sweet, romantic and putting in effort. Ten years ago, when we dated all he cared about was sports, chicken wings and drinking. I told him that I would bring the ingredients for the guacamole and I would make it at his place later on. I threw away my disastrous cookies and decided to go for a run at my gym before I needed to get ready for whatever my evening was going to present itself with. After my run, I was a sweaty mess and as I was exiting my gym there stood my very first boyfriend I ever had when I first moved to New York. I was eighteen years old at the time and he was thirty-three. Back then, my parents weren’t too thrilled with the age difference but I think they were still upset that I left the house at eighteen that anything else I did after that wasn’t going to thrill them anyhow. I dated him for three years until I turned twenty-one and once I left him I only saw him one more time in the city many years later. It would be my luck that I would be seeing him just as I was leaving my gym not exactly looking my best. He recognized me instantly and came over to say hi. Right next to him was his husband and I had heard that he had gotten married and this was my first time meeting the husband. I didn’t know what to say so I let my ex-boyfriend do all the talking. He told me they live in the same area of Brooklyn that we used to live in all those years ago and he still works in the banking industry. He then said how I don’t look all that different from when I was in my twenties. I thanked him (even though I assume he was just trying to be polite) and I shook both of their hands and left. I couldn’t believe what my day was presenting to me. Two ex-boyfriends that I lived with in my past now presenting themselves all in the same day? This was too crazy even for New York standards.

With seeing both exes in one day, I got to thinking on my walk back to my apartment from the gym, if I was actually moving toward my future or stuck living in my past? I didn’t have much time to go down the path of thinking in the past because my ex-boyfriend was going to be picking me up in an hour. I quickly packed a bag, got ready very fast and as I was putting the groceries for the guacamole into a bag, I realized I bought a bad batch of cilantro and so I needed to run to the grocery store before he was going to be at my doorstep. I had only two minutes to spare but everything fell into place and he arrived in front of my building at seven.

He was very proud of his new car because it was just that…brand new. It had all the bells and whistles but he knows none of that stuff impresses me even though he was trying to show me all what the car could do. When I asked him where we were going he said, New Jersey. New Jersey? I asked him what the hell was in New Jersey and he said he was craving some restaurant called, Bonefish. I had never heard of it but apparently it was descent seafood and now I was on my way to New Jersey with my ingredients to make guacamole sitting in the back seat of his new car.

On the drive to the restaurant he told me that he made reservations. To some, making reservations isn’t a big deal but my ex never once made us dinner reservations or did anything all that romantic, so when he told me that, he looked at me and said, “This is the 2.0 version of me.” I smiled, listened to his stereo that was blasting The Lumineers and decided to just relax, stop processing and see how this “2.0” version differs from the original that I knew ten years ago.

The dinner was lovely including the conversation. He said, “Don’t you worry about anything tonight. Order whatever you want. This is on me!” I was taken aback by it all and I was slowly beginning to see him in a different light. After dinner, we drove back to his apartment in Astoria and once we got inside his place, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted anything to happen, everything was happening a little too fast for me and I needed to slow things down before I was going to repeat my past. We sat on the couch, watched some television before I suggested we go to bed to sleep only. He agreed and said he was tired anyhow because it was already two in the morning.

Sunday, he got up before I did and I needed some more time in bed to myself. I knew that I was already locked into spending the game with him, meeting his friends that he talked so much about and that I was off from work the next day. That was all I knew and for the time being, that was all I wanted to know. I got out of bed and he had already gone outside and bought fresh bagels and even made us coffee and once again, he was surprising me by all that he was doing. I’m not totally naïve to understand the reasons why he was doing all these things was partly because he is wanting us to get back together again, to prove to me that he’s changed and above all else, to make up for the past.

We had a few hours before his guest were to arrive and so I needed to get cracking on making my guacamole (which turned out amazing thankfully) and while I was doing that, he was watching the Rangers game. It felt a little like we were playing “house.” It was just like it had been in the past with him on the couch watching a game and me in the kitchen trying to be domestic. However, in the past when we lived together, I didn’t know I was too young and wasn’t ready to be living that life nor was he. We went too fast and as quickly as we moved in together, we moved out just as quick. I didn’t want history to repeat itself but it had been ten years and people do change, so should I embrace this “2.0” version or let it go yet again? It was a question that I couldn’t allow myself at that time to think about but knew that I was going to need to address it sooner rather than later.

His friends began to arrive one by one and they all were really lovely people. I enjoyed meeting each and every single one of them. They were also very friendly toward me as well. I noticed that I wasn’t really getting drunk, which I was alright with but I did notice that my ex was drinking heavily. I kept telling myself that this is his special night, he’s around his friends and me and he even took the next day off as well therefore he can do whatever he wants. After the game, most of his friends left because they all had to work the next day. There was one couple that stayed behind, a man and wife. The husband was paying a lot of attention toward me throughout the evening but I didn’t think anything of it because this was my first time meeting these people. It was now just the four of us, my ex was getting very drunk and it was the kind of drunk that always made me very nervous back when we were dating. He would get aggressive and say and do very stupid things.

All four of us were sitting on the couch and the husband was sitting next to me and at one point he said to me, “You are really beautiful. I’m not gay but I just wanted to say that.” I knew my ex very well and I knew that he wasn’t going to like hearing what his friend just said to me. True to form, he got upset and started saying mean things to his friend. Right then and there, I saw that my ex hadn’t changed at all. There was no “2.0” version but rather this version was simply ten years older and hadn’t gotten any wiser. I didn’t acknowledge what the husband had said to me and began talking with his wife while my ex and the husband were getting defensive with one another. I knew exactly how to act around my ex when he got aggressive and if I ignore him than he would calm down which is what he did. His friends left quickly after that extremely awkward moment thankfully the guys resolved whatever they were discussing. Once they were gone, it was late and I just wanted to go to bed. My ex had a different idea and wanted to have sex but after I saw that he hadn’t changed at all, the idea of him even touching me left me wanting to never see him again. I acted like I was exhausted and wanted to pass out which once he hit his pillow, he quickly passed out.

Yesterday morning, I got up around nine in the morning, splashed cold water on my face and gathered my belongings. Just like our past together, he woke up the next morning not remembering anything, asking me what he had said and done the night prior and I simply couldn’t get out of there quickly enough. He was surprised when I was leaving so fast because he said he wanted to spend the day together but I told him I had too many errands to run and needed to get going. It was my perfect opportunity to tell him that I wasn’t coming back, that it isn’t a good idea to start anything back up again and that I’ve moved on but after ten years and two visits, I no longer wanted to be a part of his life.

I can only speak for myself when I say that there are times when I wonder if I’m moving forward or do I just keep reliving the same life over and over again. I know that I’d certainly probably move a lot quicker to my future if I stopped entertaining my past but regardless of where you are in your life, if you don’t deal with your past, it will come back and present itself to you so that you actually can move forward once and for all.

Each path we take in life is based on our past, present and our future. Some paths we take may lead to a bad place and other times our paths change our entire way that we see ourselves. This leads me to yet another quote by, Ralph Waldo Emersion and he writes…

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

If I Could Turn Back Time

There will moments in our lives where we will utter questions like, “Should I take the job?” “Should I move to another city?” “When should I start my diet?” and “What will happen if I stay in my relationship?” Some people call them the, “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’s” but I like to think of them as, “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

The New Year was already off to a rather bumpy start for me and as each day has gone on since January 1st, it wasn’t looking any brighter. My roommate was a month behind on rent and three months behind with utilities and I was covering all the expenses while he was looking for a job which in turn was hurting my bank account. I wasn’t sure what to do with the situation but every couple of days, I would ask my roommate how his job search was going and what his plans were for paying me back. Last week, he finally snapped and told me to stop asking him about his situation. After he snapped back at me; I finally decided that it was time for him to go and that I needed to seriously think about what I wanted to do next with my apartment. Do I keep my apartment that I’ve lived in for the past nine years or do I let it go and find a place of my very own? Given the timing and everything else that was going on with my life, the idea of trying to find a new apartment in two weeks was simply too much for me to tackle. So, in turn, I paid rent for February and will have my apartment to myself for a full month before I decide what my next plan of action will be.

Work has also been really terrible for me ever since I returned back from the holidays. Working fourteen hour days with no end in sight, which I know I’m not the only one that is plagued with the question of, “Do I start looking for a new job?” I will say, that the only good thing going on with my current job at the moment is the fact that Mr. D. is no longer here. For the past two weeks since he’s been gone, there has been a tremendous weight lifted from my shoulders without having to worry if he’s going to walk by my desk or try and find an excuse to talk to me at the office. There is my silver lining when it comes to this dead end job.

I would be lying to myself if I said that nothing was going right with my life at this time because it really isn’t. However, I’m doing my best every single day to get things back on track. They say that most people are looking for a great home, that fabulous career and of course…that perfect mate. It’s rare that everyone has it all but what happens when you really don’t have any of those things going for you? It really can send a person down a scary path but with each passing day and week; all I can do is keeping trying until all the stars align back up again.

So, work and my home life have been complete and utter shit and regarding my love life; I haven’t been ready to deal with it due to Mr. D. finally leaving once and for all. However, on New Year’s Day as I was leaving my apartment to go meet friends for brunch, I received a text message from a number that I didn’t recognize. All it said was, “Happy New Year!” I replied back with, “I’m sorry; I’m not sure who this is.” Two seconds later, I get a message back saying that it was my ex-boyfriend from ten years ago!! An ex-boyfriend that I used to live with, an ex-boyfriend that I loved so much and more importantly; an ex-boyfriend that broke my heart. We exchanged a few more messages and they were mainly messages where he informed me of where he was living at the moment and it was his last message that left me perplexed. He asked me if I wanted to come and see his new apartment. I didn’t answer right away because I really needed to think this one through. It was ten years ago and people do change. I had to laugh because back in May of last year when Mr. D. let me go to California all by myself (the trip that he was supposed to go on with me and instead went to a wedding with his ex-girlfriend) that my ex-boyfriend was at the same exact wedding that Mr. D. was at. Small world and at times I can only think that “this stuff only happens to me.” Over brunch, I talked to my friend about it and asked her what she thinks and she suggested I see him just to check things out because if I didn’t, I would ask myself a million questions. So, I told my ex-boyfriend when I was free and that I’d like to come and see his new apartment.

So, this past Friday was the evening that I would be going to see my ex-boyfriend after ten years of not seeing or speaking to each other. Of course, the entire day was a big mess for me. Work was insane and I could barely keep up not to mention that my roommate was harassing me via text messages because he wasn’t sure how he was going to pay me back the money and he was coming across rather aggressive and I finally told him that I would speak with him face to face once I got home from work before needing to get ready to see my ex.

The conversation with my roommate went better than I expected because I told him that he needed to be out by this Saturday, he gets no security deposit back and once he understood that I had hit my limit, he went quietly to his room. Finally it was time for me to get ready because I was already an hour late to meet my ex.

I hadn’t been to this part of Queens in at least six years but I was told by my ex to text him once I arrived at the Queensborough stop on the N train that was bound for Astoria. It was an area that I wasn’t familiar with at all but he told me that he would pick me up at the Astoria Boulevard stop and would be waiting for me where you purchase Metro cards. I arrived at the stop where he told me to get off and two minutes later, I was standing in front of him and it was only awkward for a second and then he said, “Come here and give me a hug.” We hugged and as we pulled away he said to me, “I remember you always smell so good. Now come on and let me show you the country.” He knows I always refer to anything outside of Manhattan as “the country.” He only lives a block away from the subway and so I didn’t get to see much of Astoria but all I could think about was, “Where the hell was I and what exactly was I doing with him?”

We got to his building and he showed me his new truck that he purchased and showed me around his building. I could tell that he was trying to impress me but he knows that those kinds of things never did impress me. I don’t care about vehicles or the latest gadgets but he knew I did care about how clean he kept his apartment and whether or not he was eating healthy (his diet in the past consisted of buffalo wings and beer).

When we got inside his apartment, it smelled good which I thought was very odd for him because he could care less about candles. The first thing he said to me was, “Look, I bought candles just for your visit.” It was sweet, we hugged again and with that one hug, I suddenly felt all those old fond memories of him again. We continued the tour and before we actually sat down to catch-up, I asked for a drink, not because I was nervous or anxious but because of the rough week I had. He made our drinks and we sat down on his brand new couch. Everything in his new apartment was brand new from the television to his coasters, I could tell that he was really proud of himself and I congratulated him on all his success. Time had been good to him as far as his career and finances had gone.

During our first and second drink we covered the topics of our friends, family and careers. His life from a social aspect had remained pretty much the same, some friends had gotten married and had children and he became a first time uncle. By the time our third drink had presented itself, it was there that we decided to cover the subject of our love lives.

He asked me if I had been on any dates in the past ten years or had been serious about someone. I actually laughed at the question because I figured we both had been on dates in the past decade and so I told him that I had dated and been in relationships since we ended. When it was his turn to answer the question, he said, “I haven’t been on one single date since you left me. I’m happy with my life for the most part but I didn’t want to date anyone else. I’ve hooked up with random people but there was never anyone like you and so I’ve left things the way they are.”

We both agreed that we were too young when we moved in together but that we did have a strong love for each other and that since we’ve been apart there really hasn’t been any person that could match with what we had. I only thought about it for a brief second that what if we could turn back time and would we even have pushed through our rough patch in the past and ended up still being together. I knew the answer and the answer would still be no. We wouldn’t be together because we both had a lot of growing up to do. In many regards, he was still the same exact person that I loved and that was also a bad thing because the red flags that were there in the past are still there. So, I knew that this first “meeting” that we were having was also probably going to be our last.

I was now four drinks in and I told myself that I needed to eat something or else I was running the risk of getting sloppy, so I asked him to order us a pizza. While we waited for the pizza to be delivered he said that he wanted to show me something. We walked over to his bedroom and he opened his closet and what was inside was something I wasn’t prepared for at all. Inside his closet was everything we had ever bought together while we lived together. There was a blender, framed art, a very expensive blanket and when I asked him why he kept all of this stuff for ten years he said, “Because I just couldn’t part with this stuff. Those were very happy times for me and I figured that maybe one day that everything would work itself out again.” I didn’t say anything just stared at all of those memories and remembered all the good and bad times. He gave me a look that I knew what was going to happen next…he kissed me.

When we pulled away, I don’t know if it was a combination of the drinks, him, me or the fact that everything felt familiar and wonderful but I wanted more. We kissed until the pizza arrived and as we ate our dinner, we began to laugh at how comfortable everything felt. It was getting late now and I wasn’t sure if I was going to go home after dinner or more importantly; did I even want to go home.

Turns out that I didn’t even have to think for myself because he said, “I hope you stay the night because I have no intentions of letting you go tonight.” He left me in his living room and went to his bedroom and when he came out, he brought me a pair of his boxers and a t-shirt to wear and said, “Go change and come to bed.” Inside his bathroom, I splashed cold water on my face, changed my clothes and went into his bedroom where he was already waiting for me in bed. I fell asleep in his arms just like I always had done all those years ago.

We woke up the next morning bright and early for he had to drive upstate to a friend’s house and I wanted to leave as quickly as possible to avoid any awkwardness. He offered to make me coffee but I declined, got dressed and he hugged me one more time before I left and said how nice it was to see me and if I ever wanted to see the “country” again to give him a call. It was the perfect way to part and I was grateful that he was there for me to make me feel a lot of positive things. There was no point in dwelling on the past because it was ten years ago and I knew I wasn’t the same person any longer. I surprised myself when I didn’t want to turn back time and think of all the wonderful times to make me think that we had a future together. He served his purpose and that was to make me feel like someone wanted to be with me.

We will always reflect, look back and ponder that “what ifs” in our lives and we usually tend to do this when our lives are turned upside down. It’s when our lives are good, when everything falls into place that we never tend to look back at our past. We can never turn back time, nor should we want to, we should all do our best to stay in the present and look forward to our futures.

Release Me

It’s that time of year again where everyone is given a clean slate, to say goodbye to the previous year and hello to a new one. That time of year where everyone is filled with hopes, dreams and desires and the potential to make it all come true. However, the release process of letting go of the previous year isn’t always as easy as one might think. Which got me thinking…are we ever releasing the previous year to embrace the new one?

I had taken several weeks off from writing due to my last interaction with Mr. D., the holidays and the overall desire to release 2016 altogether. After visiting my family in Seattle and coming back to New York to celebrate New Year’s; it felt so good to be back in the city that I love. However, I was instantly greeted by my roommate’s news and he informed me that rent would be late, not to mention he was already two months behind on the utilities. It was news that I wasn’t prepared for nor was it news that I was financially capable of covering. My heart goes out to my roommate because his mom has cancer and he was visiting with her. I wasn’t sure how to handle the entire situation but it has put me in a huge financial crisis that I hope will get resolved sooner rather than later.

Toward the end of the holiday break, I decided that it might be time to dust off the dating apps and see what is out there. If I was going to move on from Mr. D. there was no time like the present, so I logged on and instantly found myself having communication with several people. On New Year’s Day, I agreed to meet one guy at this restaurant near my apartment called, Bar Bacon. A restaurant that serves only food and drinks that is bacon infused. It wasn’t exactly my kind of place but I agreed to go nonetheless. I arrived a few minutes late but I was surprised that my date actually looked better than his pictures. We sat at a table and he only ordered water and brussel sprouts and instantly went into detail on his life and how he’s at a certain point in his life where he doesn’t care about anything or anyone and would rather just be at home watching television. It wasn’t exactly how I wanted to be greeted on my first date in a rather long time but I was polite and listened as he went on about his life. I wasn’t exactly having a terrible time but I wasn’t smiling either and by the end of the evening, he suggested we go see a movie the next day. I accepted his offer thinking that maybe it was just “first date” jitters that had my date all over the place.

The next day, the weather in the city was a mix of snow and sleet but we still managed to meet on the corner of where I live and walk uptown to the movie theatre. I decided that since the previous night he had paid for our evening that I would pay for the movie tickets. It was crowded at the movie theatre and we had time to kill before the movie started and so we went to Starbucks for coffee. Over coffee, he decided to tell me that he is still technically “married”. There it was…the moment in the date where the other person decides to drop their baggage off on your door and you are left with deciding if you want to deal with it or not. That news came earlier than I expected but still I decided that I wasn’t in any position to judge without first hearing all the details. I listened as he went on to tell me that his husband lives in Atlanta and he resides here and that they are only staying married for the insurance. While it wasn’t necessarily a big issue as to why he was still married, I did decide that it wasn’t something that I wanted to deal with. I have just suffered through enough emotional drama with Mr. D. that I wasn’t ready to deal with another person’s just yet. So, we went to the movie, he tried to hold my hand but I acted like I had to itch my nose. After the movie, he walked me to my corner, we hugged goodbye and I never heard from him again. So far, we weren’t exactly off to a great start in the dating department or the roommate department for 2017.

It was time for me to deal with my work situation now and last Tuesday was my first day back in the office after being gone for over a week. It was also time for me to deal with Mr. D. as it was his last week in the office and I already knew that his last day would be the next day. I just wasn’t sure to what extent he would be exiting. Would the agency have a party for his departure? How would I react to his leaving and would he even say anything to me? We hadn’t spoken any words or had any form of communication since the next day after the wedding fiasco over two weeks ago, where I told him that we were over once and for all. Everyone involved in my life and this saga said that he’d be back but I was and still very angry with him that I no longer want any part of this man in my life. On top of my odd first date, the roommate situation, I found out that my job was having major changes and it was affecting everyone involved, it was as if I was still living in 2016.

I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling a sense of uneasiness. That uneasiness came from me not knowing how I was going to react to Mr. D. leaving once and for all. As soon as I walked into the office that morning, there was a breakfast gathering in Mr. D.’s honor. I didn’t attend even though I was invited and just told a coworker that I had too much work to do to be able to attend. Throughout the entire day, Mr. D. came by my desk several times, just looking at me and not saying a word. It was his last go-around by my desk that he asked a work related question to me and normally I would answer; instead I put my headphones on and looked at my computer screen acting as if I didn’t hear him. He walked away like a lost puppy dog but I didn’t care. I know why he would think that I would break down and given in because I have done that in the past but there was no way that I was going to do that this time. I was releasing him from my life and while I was heartbroken on the inside; I displayed an emotion of anger and disgust. It was getting toward the end of the work day and Mr. D. was still running around the office and knowing him so well; I knew that he was going to swing by my desk again to see if I was there. So, I snuck out of the office early without anyone noticing and left without saying goodbye to Mr. D.

A few people asked me if that was really how I wanted to end things with Mr. D. and my point for leaving without a proper goodbye. That maybe I would be wishing him well in Boston but he simply doesn’t deserve any kind of kindness. The fact that you could do the things that he has done to me over the past two and a half years and expect me to let everything go and be supportive is something that I simply can’t and won’t do.  I gave him everything that I had; including my heart and what I got back was someone that is still confused, lost and disrespectful to me. It took me longer than anticipated to get to this emotional and mental state but it felt good to finally be able to release him. He will be back; he always will but how I handle his return is up to me. Time will tell but now that we have actual distance between us; I feel like I am ready to move on.

The next couple of days at the office were strange because I was so used to him being in the office even when weren’t speaking to each other. I walked around our office as if nothing had happened and a few coworkers came up to me and asked how I was doing but I acted like I had no idea what they were talking about. Even some friends of mine asked me how I was holding up, I told them I was doing ok or that I was happy given the circumstances but when I was home, I was crying. It was hard to hold in the tears or emotions while working but as long as no one knew what I was going through than I was fine with dealing with the letting go process all on my own.

By the time last Friday rolled around, I was ready to go home and hide under the covers. I was also in the scariest financial position I had been a part of in a very long time. With me having to cover rent and utilizes for my roommate till he figures things out (which he promised would be at the end of this week), work being very disorganized and the end of Mr. D.; I wasn’t in any position to be around friends. On my walk home from the office that evening, I thought of how I should spend what little money I had left to my name. I took my ten dollars and walked into my local bar, Rise, for a glass of wine.

The place was somewhat crowded and I was standing with my glass of wine waiting for a seat to become available. I was ignoring everyone around me, I didn’t want to be talked to but just to sit, breathe and have my glass of wine that tasted better than I ever could remember. Finally, a seat was becoming available and as I was making my way to the seat, someone else was trying to steal it from me. Next thing I knew, some guy was telling the other patron that the seat was already taken by me. This stranger pulled the chair out for me and I sat down. I turned around and thanked him for helping me grab the only seat in the bar and he nodded and said it wasn’t a problem. I turned around and faced the bar while this stranger was behind me.

I felt a tap on my shoulder a minute later and it was the stranger that got me my seat. He said, “Please don’t think of this as a pick-up line but do you come here often?” I began laughing and said he needed to ask a different question if he was going to try and start up a conversation with me. He said that it was actually his first time in the bar and was asking because judging how the bartenders were attentive toward me that he assumed that I was a regular. It was there that I noticed that this stranger was kind of cute and thus began a conversation that lasted for a few hours. Given my lack of money and me sipping on my wine slowly to make it last longer, I discovered that this stranger was paying attention only to me and not paying attention to other guys that were surrounding us. I can tell that this stranger was also tipsy but offered to buy me a few more glasses of wine. I didn’t eat that much earlier in the day so the wine was hitting me fast but I didn’t care; I was having fun.

Four glasses of wine later, I was feeling good and he was feeling even better than I was. It was only 9:30 in the evening but we agreed to end the evening because he had to get up early the next morning for work. I asked him what subway train he needed to take home and it was near my apartment; so I offered to walk him to the subway station. In front of the subway station, he leaned in and kissed me and before I knew it; I was making out with this stranger in the middle of Columbus Circle. He even picked me up and swung me around and I was smiling the entire time. He asked for my number and said he would message me when he got home.

To my surprise, this stranger did message me when he got home and said that his sweater smelled like my fragrance and that he found that to be hot. It was a pleasant surprise to the end of a rather shitty week. As of today, we have our first official date tomorrow and I’m actually looking forward to it.

As we start this new week, I’m finally starting to have those feelings that most feel at the beginning of a new year. Filled with hope, passion and desire and as Meryl Streep said last night so eloquently at the Golden Globes, “Take your broken heart and turn it into art.”

I Hate You, I Love You

Our emotions can force us to go from zero to sixty at a moments notice. One minute we are full of love and in the next second, we can go from love to hate. All it takes is one phone call, one conversation, one text message or one look and your entire world can either be uplifted or can come tumbling down.

It was exactly seventy one days ago when Mr. D. and I were sitting at a restaurant having dinner where he was, yet again, apologizing for the way he handled our California trip back in May. He begged and pleaded to have me back in his life and like every single time in the past, I allowed him back in. Also, during that dinner, I had mentioned that I had a wedding to attend and he asked if he could go with me. Mainly because he knew the people that were attending the wedding and said it would be fun. I had a plus one to this wedding and he would be my date.

In those seventy one days, Mr. D.  and I had gotten closer than we ever had. There were some rather intense conversations and raw emotions that were shown from the both of us. I had managed to convince him to go seek therapy and he’s been going once a week and I also managed to help him find his new apartment in Boston.

Ever since he told me that our Boston office approached him for a job opportunity there, I’ve been mentally and emotionally preparing myself for our goodbye. I told myself that all I wanted was one last night to have a wonderful time together and then I would say goodbye forever. I figured that once he moves to Boston, he will start a new chapter and I will be able to do so as well. So, the evening that I wanted for us to have as our “last night” would be the wedding. I figured we would be surrounded by friends, food, dancing and love and what better way to have an ending to what has been the most temperamental relationship I’ve ever experienced than with this wedding.

Three weeks prior to the wedding, Mr. D. and I were at a bookstore and he purchased a book on how to heal your life through art. On the cover was a painting by a German romantic artist named, Caspar David Friedrich. The painting is entitled, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. After seeing that painting and realizing how similar this painting is to Mr. D’s life about a lost man, I thought it would make a great Christmas gift if I had a printed piece of the painting framed for his new apartment in Boston. I did some research and found the piece and had it framed and it arrived two weeks ago and my plan was to give it to him after the wedding. I knew he would love it and I couldn’t wait to see the expression on his face when he opened it.

It was last Wednesday morning and I sat down at my computer when I saw an email from Mr. D. and the subject line of the email read: “Hooky?” When I read the body of the email, he was asking me if I wanted to leave a couple hours early from work to play hooky and maybe go see a movie. I asked my coworker to cover my work and I told Mr. D. that playing hooky sounded like a lot of fun. To which he replied, “It will be decadent to have the movie theatre all to ourselves.” All day at work I was so in love with the idea that there is someone out there that knows my love of going to the movies and now he has planned a fun afternoon in the city.

We left work around three in the afternoon and headed over to the Kips Bay movie theatre where we would be seeing the movie, Manchester by the Sea. He bought the movie tickets and I got our usual snacks of his popcorn, my peanut M&M’s and the diet coke that we always share. At one point during the movie, he even fed me my candy; it was moments like that where I really did love this man. He is certainly flawed but we all are. After the movie, he had to go back to the office and I had errands to run. On the walk back to the office, I told him my game plan for the wedding that was taking place this past Saturday. I told him that I’d stop by his apartment first with my clothes and his gift; we would get ready, head back into the city for the wedding to then come back to his place to unwrap the gift and the next morning I would go home. He agreed and was on board with my plan. When I got home that night, I sent him a message that expressed how much fun I had playing hooky and how it was moments like that where it would be hard not to miss him when he moves.

A few days later on Friday, I had a holiday party at a friend’s apartment and I promised myself that I needed to leave by midnight for I didn’t want to be too hungover for the wedding the next day. Suffice to say, I didn’t get home until almost four in the morning! I knew I was going to hate myself the next day but it was nice to be around my amazing friends.

Saturday, the day of the wedding, I was on pins and needles for most of the day because there was something inside me that was telling me that Mr. D. could cancel or do something horrific to turn my plans into a total nightmare. To my surprise, he sent a text all excited about the wedding and when I’d be coming over. I told him I plan on being at his apartment by four thirty in order for us to quickly get ready and to be at the wedding venue by five thirty.

The weather outside was gross because the night prior had snowed, so the white snow was now black, the streets had puddles wherever you went and I had to not only carry my suit that I was going to wear for the wedding but also this huge painting. I got a cab and naturally, traffic was insane and I was running a little bit behind. When I finally arrived at Mr. D.’s apartment he was already half-dressed for the wedding which meant I really needed to get myself into gear in order to make good timing for the wedding.

He was so curious about the big box that I had brought. He wanted to open his gift right then and there and I told him that we’d open the gift after the wedding but he kept on insisting on opening it right then and there. I gave in and he opened the box and he was beyond touched by the gift. He gave me a couple of hugs and said it was one of the most thoughtful gifts he had ever received.

Now we were really going to be late for the wedding, so we got dressed, grabbed a cab and somehow, someway we managed to arrive with fifteen minutes to spare. The first person I saw when I got inside the venue was my best friend and her husband. I just knew that this evening was going to go just like I had imagined it. Mr. D. was already fitting in nicely with all of my friends that has met before including some new friends. The ceremony was lovely; the venue was gorgeous and after the couple said their “I Do’s” it was onto the cocktails and appetizers. During that time, I was talking with friends and looked over to see Mr. D. talking with the husbands and it was really such a wonderful feeling to see everyone getting along. I couldn’t ask for anything more from the evening. Every single thing was falling into place.

After the dinner, it was onto the dancing and our friend even got to DJ for us all. Half way through the dancing, Mr. D. pulled me aside and said, “Hey, I’m going to get going now.” I was tipsy at this point, so I thought he was joking with me. There was no way that he would leave me at this wedding, there was no way he was going to disappear after my friends had been so welcoming to him not to mention the food and drinks he was enjoying. When I asked him if he was being serious and he said that he was, I asked him to stop outside for some air.

Out on the street, I asked him point blank, “Are you leaving me and this wedding to go be with someone else?” To which he said, looking down at the ground, “Yes I am.” My loving feelings for this man went from love to hate in a matter of seconds. I don’t think I’ve ever been that angry with him, even after all the other stunts he has pulled on me in the past. I said, “You knew about this wedding for months, I asked you days ago if you could give me just this one night and you said that you would.” He tried to explain to me that even though we act like we are dating that we are in fact not. That was it, I was shaking with anger that I told him to leave immediately, to go inside and say goodbye to my friends and get the fuck out of my face. I, foolishly, remembered that I left my bag at his apartment thinking that I’d be back after the wedding. He said, “I can stay for another hour if you want.” There was no way that I even wanted him to stay another minute much less another hour, I didn’t want any favors or pity from this man. What I wanted was for him to leave me, my friends and my life forever.

He went inside while I stayed outside trying to compose myself because I knew that in a matter of minutes, I was going to have to back inside the wedding and explain to all of my friends what had just happened. He came back outside and tried to hug me goodbye but I told him to not come close to me. He walked away and I went back inside.

Once I was back inside, I, unfortunately was a mess. I excused myself a few times to go to the restroom in order to cry and I had the best support there because I just wasn’t sure how to present myself at this wedding. Many drinks later, I found myself with my best friend at a karaoke bar where I drunkenly left my phone and had no idea what time I actually got home.

Yesterday morning I woke up and the first thought to myself was, “Did this really happen to me?” After two and a half years, after all the shit that this man has put me through and after all the endings and making up that this was going to be the way that he is going to leave my life. I had to wait till the karaoke bar opened at three in the afternoon in order to get my phone. I got my phone thankfully and of course there was a slew of messages from Mr. D. asking me if was alright, asking me what time I would be by his place to pick up my bag and more importantly, asking me if I’ve calmed down because he misses his “dear friend and wants him back.” My anger had not changed in the slightest and I told him that I would be at his apartment by three thirty.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to act, what I was going to say or do once I got there. I knocked on his door and when he opened it he had the nerve to ask me how the rest of the evening was and how much fun he had at the wedding. I looked at him as if he had three heads and I came to realize just how off balance this man actually is. I put all my belongings in my bag and he said, “Wait. Where are you going? Stay.” I looked at him with the angriest of eyes and said, “I hate you. We are done and you are to never contact me again.” He was starting to talk again when I slammed his door as hard as I could and walked away.

I will never speak to this man again and come January fourth which will be his last day in this office…I will never have to see this man again. Over the past two plus years, this man has given me love and given me grief. Every single act that he has done to me; I was never filled with hatred toward him but rather sadness, disbelief but never hatred. I now, FINALLY, have feelings of hatred toward him and I’m perfectly fine with that. I didn’t shed one single tear and probably will never again.

I apologized to myself last night because I allowed this man to be in my life for way too long. I gave him every single part of my heart not to mention helping him out with trying to be a better person. I think the part that hurts the most is that there was never an apology for leading me on, never an “I’m sorry” for acting like someone that loves you to only be capable of doing some rather despicable things to someone you supposedly “love”.

For those that have supported me and those that haven’t, I thank you for sticking by me and for allowing me to go on this journey no matter how many red flags everyone warned me about. I’m not sure I will write for the rest of the year given all that has happened and all that I need to process, so I do hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season ahead. Here is to a hopeful 2017.


It all began three Sunday’s ago. I received a text message at 9 a.m. from Mr. D. asking me to meet him at his apartment at noon. I was hesitant to agree to meeting him because I was dreading telling him all that I had planned to say. I had been rehearsing it over and over in my head for weeks. And as we all know, whenever we try to say to someone that we’ve been rehearsing, it never goes out according to plan.

I got off the subway and began the quick walk to his apartment. When I arrived at his building he was already standing outside waiting for me. He looked like he had just been to war. His hair was a mess and his eyes were blood shot. He didn’t say a word but hugged me for a long time. When he pulled away he began telling me, how much he loves me, how he respects me and never wants to disappointment me and that he doesn’t know what to do. He had talked to me like this many times before but there was something about this time that didn’t allow me to look into his eyes because I knew that once I did I would begin to cry. I was looking down at the sidewalk and cars passing by and he continued on with his speech. When he was done, he said, “Will you please look at me?” When I did, all I said to him was, “I’m cold.” We went inside his apartment and for the first time, instead of him sitting next to me like he always has in the past, he sat on his bed and I sat in his chair.

He looked at me, took a deep breath and said, “Do you still love me the way I think you do?” I was very honest with him and told him that I was still in love with him and how could I not be when everything that we’ve gone through has been like a relationship minus the sexual act. We fight, we make-up, we travel, we communicate and we do all the things that couples do, including supporting each other. He didn’t say a word for a few minutes and just sat there. He said, “I guess I shouldn’t have asked that question just now because I bought us tickets to see a movie that is starting in fifteen minutes.” We grabbed our coats and once the movie started, he would whisper things into my ears and acted like we were dating and all I could say was, “This is why I think we are in a relationship because we act like this.”

After the movie, we went back to his place and that is where everything I had been rehearsing for weeks finally came out. You see, for the past month or so, I’ve kept it under wraps from most people in my life that he was offered a position in our Boston office. It would require him to move from the city and it would also require him leaving my life once and for all. He and I had been discussing it for weeks. I have even gotten him to start seeing my therapist because there are things that I simply can’t help him with.

After telling him how I feel and him confirming to me that he feels the same way, I said, “This is going to be hard for me to say and hard for you to hear but I want you to move to Boston.” He looked surprised and asked me why I’m telling him that and I said, “Because I want to move on. I need to move on and I cannot go another year with what I fear is going to be like the previous two years.” He said, “I don’t understand why we can’t be friends?” It’s a simple response to a difficult question and that is, “Because we are not just friends and we never were and never will be.” We sat in silence and the silence was so loud that I asked him to turn his television on so we can just breathe for awhile. After a couple more hours of back and forth, I said that I should be going. I didn’t want him to walk me to the subway like he always does. He said, “I want to walk you because I want to make sure you are safe.” We walked to the subway with having solved his next chapter in life and me being left with figuring out what to do with mine. I couldn’t breathe for the rest of the evening but I knew that for the both us that we are doing the right thing.

Over Thanksgiving break, I was in Arizona visiting family for the first time in twenty years and he was visiting his dad in Seattle. We messaged every single day and he sent me pictures of him as a baby, showed me what his dad looks like and shared images of the house he grew up in. It was yet another layer of how much he wants to share with me and yet we are heading toward one of our biggest obstacles yet.

When I returned back to New York, something in me had shifted. I continued to ask myself why I hadn’t cried or showed any sort of emotion over the fact that Mr. D. is going to be leaving permanently. Was I over him? Was I finally able to accept this ending or will it hit me when I least expect it?

Last Thursday, I was at work and Mr. D. was at another office working on a presentation when I got a text message from him. He was asking me if I’d be willing to meet him at my favorite bookstore at 7:15 because he wanted me to take him to therapy and to talk before his session. I met him at the bookstore, bought a book and he suggested we grab some tea across the street. Once again, he appeared to have a look of stress written all over his face. I told him that he now needs to get behind his choice regarding Boston. I told him that he doesn’t have much time to find a new place given all that is happening with work and other obligations. He looked at me and said, “Do you want to go to Boston this weekend with me?” Interestingly enough, my best friend that lives there, it was her sisters’ wedding and I was already invited to the reception but I had originally turned it down because I wasn’t sure what was going on with our situation. Mr. D. said he would get us a hotel and that we would leave the next day. He then said, “I really could use your help with finding a place and we can make it a fun weekend.” I nodded and I walked him to his therapy session.

On Friday, I left my apartment with a packed bag and head full of uncertainty. I got to work and for some strange reason, Mr. D. was rather excited about the weekend. We left on the 5:30 bus that was heading to Boston and for the next four and a half hours, we would be forced to talk about the elephant in the room. In the beginning of the bus ride, I could tell that his mind was all over the place and he kept looking at his phone and texting. I asked, “Who the hell are you texting and why is it making you so uneasy.” I knew exactly who was texting him but I wanted him to say it because I at least deserve that much. He said, “You know who it is.” It was his ex-girlfriend texting him and was rather upset with him because yet again, he was pissing her off.

The bus was silent except for Mr. D. and I speaking and so that meant the entire bus heard our conversation. It wasn’t a pleasant conversation either because I told him that this weekend was hard enough as it is and if he doesn’t put an end to the texting that I’m turning right around and going back to the city. Enough was enough and I don’t want to see that phone again with her name appearing on the screen. He didn’t look at me and instead he looked out the window. I wasn’t sure why he wasn’t looking at me and I said, “Will you look at me?” He turned to me and his face was covered in tears. His tears were out of anger because he said he feels like all he does is apologize to everyone that he upsets including me. I told him that the way to solve this problem is to make sure that your words match your actions. He’s done it to me a million times and clearly he does this to other people in his life. You can’t tell me what I want to hear and then turn around and act the opposite. He cried a few more minutes before I knew I had to take control and change the subject. I told him that we need to focus on setting up appointments with apartment buildings and figure out our game plan. I also asked him to tell me where we are staying but he said it’s a surprise. The rest of the ride was spent being productive and trying to make the most of our delicate situation.

We got to Boston around 9:30 and when we got into the cab all he told the driver was the cross streets of where the hotel was located. In the cab ride, I kept hounding him to tell me the name of the hotel and he wouldn’t. Finally, we arrived on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and on the corner was a gorgeous hotel. It is the, Eliot Hotel. We walked in and as we were checking in, the hotel staff informed us that they are upgrading us to their suite! Mr. D. just looked at me and said, “We always have the best of luck!” We got into the suite and it was gorgeous and I began to fill my bag with the hotel toiletries.

Even though it was semi-late in the evening, Mr. D. suggested we take a walk around the area to see the holiday lights. We walked around, went to a wine bar and began to get really excited about the next day. We went back to the hotel, ordered a pizza, watched a movie and talked till 2:30 a.m.

Saturday morning, we got up bright and early for our first appointment to see an apartment was 9:30. The first apartment we looked at was a disappointment, the second one I actually liked but he wasn’t in love with. After the second apartment we looked at, I could tell that Mr. D. was getting frustrated but I calmed him down and he suggested we walk through this beautiful park. Along the walk, he put his arm around me and says, “I love you. Thank you.” I didn’t respond but just let the sun hit my face and smiled back at him.

We arrived at our next appointment and the minute he and I walked into the building, the staff somehow fell in love with both of us. They assumed we were a couple and we didn’t correct them. We spent 45 minutes with the leasing agent and as we were debating on the five apartments that was shown to us, the leasing agent said in my direction, “I have one more apartment to show you if you want to take a look…it’s on the top floor.” I knew what he meant, he meant the penthouse. I looked at Mr. D. who didn’t really want to look for fear that it will be out of his budget but I put on puppy dog eyes and said, “We are here. We might as well take a look.” He smiled, agreed and before I know it, we were hitting the elevator button that read, “PH”.

We both walked inside the apartment and instantly I knew that this was the one. I did my best to hide my excitement for this beautiful apartment but there was no stopping me. I loved it and I wanted Mr. D. to take it. As painful as I knew that I would not be the one living with him; I also knew that he deserves to have a home that he gets excited to go to. We shook everyone’s hand as we left, the leasing agent, the doorman, the gym attendant and everyone kept asking if “we” were going to take the apartment. Mr. D. said to everyone, “It’s looking like this building will be our new home, we now just need to pick which one.” When we exited the building, we both smiled and said at the same time, “This is the one!”

He took me to the Lenox Hotel lobby where I had wine and hot tea for him. Over our drinks, we discussed all the options for which apartment he wanted to go with. The table next to us interrupted us and said, “You guys are such a cute couple and I think you should get this sweet guy the penthouse. He deserves it.” They were referring to me because I kept begging Mr. D. to take the penthouse. Mr. D. laughed and also didn’t correct them over their assumption of us being a couple.

We had several hours to go before the wedding reception so we ended up going to his friend’s apartment where they offered us a place to stay for the night. We had their place to ourselves and in the drive to the apartment his phone rang and he didn’t pick it up but I noticed it was one of his admirers calling him. When we got inside and got situated, he said he was going outside to make a phone call and to also pick up some wine for his friends as a thank you for letting us stay the night. My attitude changed quickly because I knew exactly who he was going to call. I said, “I need you to leave for awhile and you make that phone call but before you do; I want you to take a look around and see who exactly is here with you. Not her but me. I am the one here. You are the one that asked me to be here and not her. Why am I the one here and not her?” I felt my tears start to build and he told me he wouldn’t make the phone call if I didn’t want him to. I told him he is going to do it anyway, so he might as well do it now. As soon as he left, I began to cry the hardest I had cried in a very long time. He wasn’t even gone three minutes before he was back inside and he didn’t even take his coat off but hugged me as I cried inside his coat. He held me for a long time and when he let go, it really hit me how hard it is that this man is no longer going to be in my life. Once again, it was hard to breathe.

Back in another car and we were heading to the wedding reception. As we got out of the car, he asked if he could have a cigarette before we were to go inside. He reached inside his coat pocket and pulled out his cigarettes and a piece of paper fell out of his coat pocket and landed face down on the sidewalk. He said, “Pick it up.” I wasn’t going to pick it up at first because he was fully capable of picking it up himself. Then he said to me again, “Go ahead and pick it up.” I picked up the piece of paper and flipped it over and on the other side was a picture of us from April of this year when we he took me to the Boston Aquarium. I stood there with our picture in my hand and just looked at him. He smiled and told me that he had been carrying it around since April. I didn’t know what to say. There were no words and I handed him back the picture and he put it back inside his coat pocket.

We got inside and everyone was excited to see us both at the reception. We laughed, we danced and for a couple of hours, I was able to put everything aside and breathe. Another night with us going to bed at 2:30 a.m. and we were so exhausted but before we went to bed all he could say was, “Thank you.”

Yesterday we woke up and we agreed to take a 3:30 bus back to the city. Since we got up early, we decided to see the apartments that we narrowed it down to (penthouse was off the list) one more time before we were to meet his friends that let us stay at their apartment for brunch. Once again, when we got to the building, the entire staff was excited to see us back and one of them even gave me a hug and begged me to move into the building.

Mr. D. spoke to the leasing agent and said, “Please show us the apartment that I spoke to you about this morning.” I had no idea that he even called the leasing agent and it must’ve been when I was in the shower. We got inside the elevator and the button that was hit was, “PH” for the penthouse. I got inside the apartment and Mr. D. looked at me and said, “I applied for this place!!” I was in shock because he kept telling me how he was against it and that it just didn’t seem right to be a single person living in such a big space but he said it just feels like his home.

His friends met us at a local bar called, Sevens, there we talked about the apartment and his friend looked at me and said, “You must be sad. I know you are going to miss him and I know he is going to miss you.” I just smiled and agreed with what he told me. On the bus back to the city, I saw Boston getting smaller and smaller and I began to cry. He held my leg and said it’s going to be ok. I’m not sure at this moment how it’s going to be ok but I know with time and distance that in the end, it will be ok and that it will all be over.

Over the past three days, I had to make sure that I took the time to “breathe.” Not literally but metaphorically. It was important because of the emotional roller coaster that I’ve been on. A roller coaster that is coming to an end finally and I only have three weeks left with him before he is gone forever.

Enough is Never Enough

When it comes to our goals, careers and relationships there comes a point in time when things just don’t seem to ever go our way. We contemplate with the idea of “giving up” and accepting our losses and moving on. However, when we are passionate about something in our lives, the question remains…When is enough…enough?

Like so many, the start of last week had everyone glued to all forms of media. Everywhere you looked, our world had one thing on their minds and that was who we were going to elect to be our next President of the United States. It was all anyone could talk about, think about and be concerned about. And by Tuesday evening, we all were aware of the outcome.

Wednesday morning, I woke up with the feeling of mourning. It was a feeling that I’m not too familiar with and therefore was left with the uncertainty of how to go about my day. I did my best to keep my feelings and opinions to myself because there were so many people out there already expressing themselves. I was in contact with my parents separately and in my household my parents were divided on how they felt about our next President.

When I got home that evening, my dad called me and was rather angry with me. He felt that I had put ideas into my mother’s head and it was causing a great deal of friction between the two of them. An hour later on the phone with him, I convinced him that she is entitled to her opinion just as he with his opinions and that there simply is not a great deal left for either one of them to do. Enough was enough and that they loved each other and they should focus on that rather than their political beliefs.

That evening, after the phone call with my dad, I tried to curl up with a book. However, not only could I not shake the phone call with my dad, the noise outside my apartment kept me from calming down. I only live a few avenues away from the Trump building on Fifth Avenue. I could hear helicopters flying above my apartment building and the chants from the protestors on the street. It became very clear that the world certainly hadn’t had enough with its current state of affairs. They were mad, disappointed, shocked and scared.

On Thursday, I woke up and before I even started my day I had to make sure that my parents were going to be alright. I sent them a rather lengthy email pointing out their reasons that they are even together, their evolution as a couple and what their future can hold. Thankfully, the email was well received by both of my parents and I hope it only brought them closer and not further apart.

Later on that day, Mr. D. and I were messaging about something also rather important. After two and a half years of knowing exactly what he needed, I had finally convinced him to go see a therapist. The past two weeks, he had opened up and shared certain things that were even out of my jurisdiction and I didn’t feel comfortable with giving him my opinions because it needs to come from a professional. Knowing that he’d never take the time to do the research on his own to find a therapist that fits his needs; I took it upon myself to offer him my therapist.

I spoke with my therapist and the professional woman that she is; she told me that she cannot reveal to me what he says in his sessions and vice versa. I explained to her that the reason he is going is not to benefit me but rather to lead someone who is lost to hopefully find peace.

Toward the end of the work day, Mr. D. asked me if I can take him to my therapist since he has no idea where it is or what she even looks like. Naturally, I agreed to only take him to introduce each other and I would leave and no wait till his session was over with. As we stood outside the office he said, “I feel like I’m being dropped off at school.” To which I said, “You act like a kid sometimes, so I can understand why you feel this way.” He smiled and said, “Ok. Let’s go.” We got inside the building and he said that the building looked very familiar to him because years ago, he came here for couple’s therapy. I just smiled and said, “Look how well that turned out. Now you are back in this building and it’s certainly a different scenario.” I introduced Mr. D. to my therapist, wished them both good luck and went home.

An hour or so later, I got a text message from Mr. D. telling me that he made a real connection with her and that he is going to go back. A few more hours later, my therapist sent me a text message and thanked me for the referral. I felt like I did my good deed for the week because I brought two people together that can hopefully better a persons’ life.

On Friday, everyone in the office was exhausted and I knew it was all because of the election and everyone still feeling a sense of confusion. I also knew that it was the day that Mr. D. would be telling me whether or not he was going to make the move to our Boston office. At the end of the day, he informed me that both agencies were giving him the run-around and that his heart is leaning toward staying in New York. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it because I know that the mass opinion from everyone is to move on already. Enough was enough. I told him that as long as he is behind his decision than it’s the right one.

That evening, I met up with former coworkers to celebrate their new apartment in Little Italy. I lost total track of time and when I did realize what time it was, the clock read, 1:45 a.m. I excused myself, left everyone still in full swing and got myself home because I was completely exhausted.

I was looking forward to Saturday evening because several friends of mine and I were going bowling. We all decided that after the week we all had that a game of bowling and competition was what we needed. We met at Port Authority and only managed to play one game because they were booked for the rest of the night with other bowlers. Afterwards, we tried Lucky Strike only to realize that they had a long wait for a lane for us to bowl. After accepting that bowling wasn’t in the cards, we went to the bar, Rise, where we met up with more friends. I could only stay for a few more drinks and needed to call it an early night because I had plans the next day to spend time with my friend and her baby.

Yesterday, I woke up with the feeling of excitement. I ran some errands before jumping on the subway to the Park Slope area in Brooklyn. I met up with my girlfriend and her baby son who is a year and a half. We had brunch and caught up with each other. It was literally the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. After the visit and giving my friend some much needed “mommy relief” I went back to the city and took a much needed catnap. When I woke up, I refreshed myself and jumped back on the subway to head to Brooklyn but instead of going back to Park Slope, I would be going to Williamsburg. I was seeing Mr. D. again that evening.

I brought over a bunch of romantic comedy DVD’s, candy and he was providing the popcorn and drinks. Before we got to the movie, he explained to me all that happened with the therapist visit and with how he was feeling about his Boston situation. After our update, we decided to watch the movie, Friends with Benefits, and had such a good time. When I looked at the clock on his DVR, it said that it was a little past 11 p.m. I grabbed my coat and put my shoes on because I knew this week was going to be rather busy with work and it was getting late. Like he always does, he also put his shoes and coat on and walked me to the subway. We laughed the entire way to the subway and when I got home he sent me a message saying he had a delightful time as always.

As our country is about to go through some rather dramatic changes and people continue to fight for their beliefs, it made me think of this amazing line from another romantic comedy starring my favorite actress, Julia Roberts, in the movie, The Mexican. She is asked the question about her relationship with Brad Pitt on when enough is enough. I leave you with what is said…

Samantha: I have to ask you a question. It’s a good one so think about it. If two people love each other, but they just can’t seem to get it together, when do you get to that point of enough is enough?

Jerry: Never.

Inside Out

For most of us out there, we let our emotions steer our choices in life while others use a more logical approach to life. It’s always challenging to find a balance between your emotions and your logic when making important decisions for yourself. Whether you are a logical person or someone that thinks with their heart the common thing we have with these decisions is our ability to have any kind of emotions that come from the inside out.

On Monday of last week, I was at my desk working when I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize but I knew that it was coming from a local New York area code. I answered it and it was an agency claiming that I owed them a certain amount of money from a credit card I opened last year. Instantly, I knew that it was related to my identity theft case from last year and I began to tell them what had happened to me. I wasn’t expecting the response from the other person on the phone when they told me that they aren’t concerned about my identity theft but that they want their money and they will be coming to my apartment or my place of employment the next day between the hours of 3-5 p.m. to serve me papers and that I better be obtaining proper identification when they arrive. My emotions ran from anger to terrified because I was exhausted with fighting this battle with trying to regain my identity back. I told them that they can come for me whenever they’d like and the reason I was comfortable with saying that was because they had no idea where I worked and are under the assumption that I live in Brooklyn since that is where my identity was stolen.

Unfortunately, with that phone call came another message that I wasn’t anticipating on receiving. My family contacted me and said that my grandmother, whom I’m very close with, suffered a minor heart attack and was in the hospital. Once again, my emotions got the best of me and it went from sadness to nervousness because in my mind there is a small piece of me that feels my grandmother still has a long journey ahead of her. By the time that Monday had ended, I was beyond the point of exhaustion.

The following day, the guy from D.C. that I had been on a few dates with asked me to go to the movies with him later on that evening. I figured after everything that I had been through on Monday; a movie was the perfect distraction from my reality. Throughout the work day, I admit that I was on edge because I was nervous that at any point the people that threatened to serve me papers was going to appear either at my job or my apartment. I decided to tell my office building to not let anyone in the building if they asked for me and thankfully they agreed to my request.  Before I left, I was telling a coworker of mine about my identity theft situation and she suggested that I Google the local phone number that called me, I had no idea you could Google a phone number and when I did, it turns out that the number was associated with fraud. I reported the incident to the police and it is now being investigated.

After I left work that day, I went to the gym before I needed to meet the guy from D.C. for our movie date. When I got out of the gym, I noticed I had a text message from Mr. D. and I read the message and he was telling me that he heard from my coworker about what happened with my identity theft and he said that if anything else like that happens to please contact him and he would help any way he can. I responded back and thanked him for his message and also mentioned that my grandmother was sick. I was surprised at his response for he said that he would offer to pay for a plane ticket for me to visit my grandmother in Arizona. I declined the offer but his generous offer was something I wasn’t anticipating. We messaged back and forth for awhile and when I asked him how he was doing, he wrote back that he wasn’t doing so well and was having really negative thoughts. Mr. D. normally does not share that kind of information about himself and I could tell he was severely depressed. I suggested that we meet later on in the week to talk and he said that would be perfect. It was now time for me to rush out of my apartment and meet my movie date in Time Square. As I walked to the movie theatre I realized that I was rather drained from all the events that happened in the past 24 hours. Also, on my walk, I told myself that I would not be spending the night with D.C. guy because I was simply too emotionally drained and probably wouldn’t be the best company to be around. As we sat there watching the movie, Madea’s Halloween movie, I let everything go for two hours and it was nice.

By the time Thursday rolled around, I was feeling much better about everything because no one showed up to serve me papers and I never heard from the fraud people again. The guy from D.C. messaged me during the day to see how I was doing and suggested I come by his apartment that evening to watch a movie and stay the night. It was pouring down rain that night and it was the perfect evening to stay inside and keep out of the nasty weather. As we sat on his couch watching a movie, something inside me said this might be the night that we take things to the next level. I wasn’t sure if he was in that same mindset but I figured it was worth a try. After the movie, we got ready for bed and I knew that it was now or never to try this with him.

I did my very best to connect with the D. C. guy but suffice to say, it was in the top five of worse experiences in the bedroom. There was no chemistry whatsoever from my part, I worked double-time to make it happen but let’s just say he came up very small and when we kissed it was like kissing my own hand. I did end up staying the night (mainly because it was still pouring rain outside) and when I woke up the next morning, I told myself that I needed to end things with D. C. guy.

It was going to be the first Friday in eleven weeks where I didn’t have plans and I was rather excited about it. I wanted to recharge my batteries and focus on the weekend ahead but I got a text message from a friend asking me to come with him to happy hour at this bar called, Posh, a bar that none of us had been to in years. I told them that I would only stay for a few and that I would go home afterwards. When I got to the bar, I had to pee really badly but someone was already in there. I knocked on the door a few times because this person was in there longer than five minutes. When the door opened, I was surprised to see D.C. standing in the bathroom doorway. What were the odds of bumping into him at a bar I hadn’t been to in years? I had to laugh at the situation and we said a polite hello to each other and he was with his friends on one side of the bar, while I stayed on the other side with mine. As he was leaving, he told me to have a good weekend and left. As soon as he left, my friends told me that they really didn’t see me with him anyhow. I stuck to my limit and had my few beers and went home where I was in bed by 10:30 on a Friday night.

The next day was spent running a ton of errands and followed by going to my friends’ apartment for some catching-up before heading to his favorite bar, The Eagle. I made sure I got myself home at a descent hour because I was trying my best to save money where I can.

Yesterday, I woke up and started off with a lazy Sunday and Mr. D. sent me a text message asking to meet at 5 that afternoon so we can catch-up. A couple of hours later, I got another text message from him and he said, “Let’s meet at the Strand at 5 p.m.” I had no idea he even knew about this store (which is one of my favorite stores in the city) and when I asked him why he suggested this place; his response was, “Because I know you love books!”

I decided that since it was 75 degrees in October that I would walk from my apartment to Union Square, the walk was going great until about ten minutes before I arrived at the bookstore when a huge thunderstorm swooped in and drenched everyone. Mr. D. arrived right on time, drenched from the rain and we began to look at books, he showed me books he used to read as a kid and I convinced him to buy them and when we walked out, he said, “I can’t believe I just spent 50 dollars on books.”

We ended up at some sports bar where I drank wine and he stuck with his iced tea. Over our conversation, we covered our jobs, our friends and family and finally I turned the conversation to the reason why we were meeting in the first place…his mental state. I could tell that his emotions from the inside changed and was now showing up on his face. I told him that I was there to listen and whatever he tells me will be with no judgement. He spoke for a good half hour about the thoughts he’s been having and I sat there and didn’t say a word. When he was done, I told him that I think he really should go to therapy. He agreed which is a big step for him because he doesn’t like to spend money on anything and regardless of the outcome; this man needs help that I can’t provide him.

We met at 5 o’clock yesterday and before I knew it, hours had passed by and we both decided to call it an evening. When the bill came, I suggested we split it and as we were signing our checks, he said, “Leave a five dollar tip.” I said, “How did you know I was going to ask that?” and he said, “Because you ALWAYS ask what tip to leave. This way, I just beat you to the punch.” I loved that he knows my odd ways and I know his and while I know our future together is slim to none, it was nice that I had someone for a few hours that made me happy, made me smile, made my emotions feel…well…fantastic. I got home and told him that I got home safely and thanked him for the relaxing afternoon. He responded back with, “Thank you! You really are a gem.”

Our emotions play such a big part of how we interact with ourselves and with the world. You can tell when someone is happy or angry just by the look on their faces. Everything that we hold inside eventually comes out for the entire world to witness and all of that is driven by our emotions. Some people have better control of their emotions than others but however you roll the dice…our emotions always come from the inside out.

Fantasy Island

Living in the real world each and every single day can be a rather exhausting thing to do. That is why there are such things as movies, television programs, music, vacations and all mediums of entertainment to take us away our reality. And when we are taken away for that period of time we forget about our bills, mortgages and jobs, our reality shuts down and we are at peace with the world. Then our fantasy ends and we are thrown back into our day to day lives. What happens when we try to fit our fantasy life into our reality?

For the past two years, I’ve fantasized what my life would be like if Mr. D. ever came to terms with who he actually is. Would we be happy? Would I be happy and would I finally get my happily ever after? Its questions like that that most would classify as living in a “fantasy” world. Because the reality is that when it comes to relationships it’s never like what we see in the movies.  I’ve tried for a very long time to bring my fantasy world into my reality and in most cases the situation ends up blowing up in my face.

Last Sunday, I had a date with someone that I had met in Washington D.C. over a year and a half ago. It was a nice date and a date that was filled with conversation, a slight touch and a kiss at my door. Was I shaken to my core the way I see it in the movies? No. Was I glad to be going on a date after all my Mr. D . drama? Absolutely. I knew going in that this date was a stepping stone for me to begin the healing process of finally moving on from Mr. D., which was why I agreed to a second date later on in the week with this new guy.

He was polar opposite compared to Mr. D. (which is a very good thing). He didn’t work in my industry (he’s a lawyer), he was one of the tallest guys I’ve ever gone on a date with (6’4) and had excellent communication skills (unlike Mr. D.). Last Tuesday morning, I woke up not feeling my greatest. I knew I was coming down with a head cold. So, I piled on all my meds because I wanted to feel better for Wednesday, which was the night of my date.

On Wednesday, I got a text message from the new guy saying he was looking forward to having me over. Our date was going to consist of him cooking me dinner and us watching the final presidential debate. I tried to convince myself that I was feeling better all throughout the day, drinking green tea with honey, taking Vitamin C and taking medicine which I don’t really like to take. After work, instead of going to the gym, I went home to try and take a little nap before going over to his apartment where he was making a homemade meal for us.

I woke up from my nap, showered and before I left I thought it would be a good idea to take some cold medicine just so I could feel better. I arrived at his apartment which he is renting till the end of November and which is also a five minute walk from my apartment. When I walked in, there was a beautiful display of brie cheese, apples, walnuts, crackers and a bottle of wine waiting. We sat down and proceeded to eat, drink and catch-up. He could tell that I was sick but in my fantasy world, I convinced myself that I was feeling amazing. Before dinner was even ready, we had polished off one bottle of red wine. Another bottle of red wine was opened and we had a delicious meal of salad with homemade dressing along with homemade marinara sauce, spaghetti and grilled chicken. I couldn’t believe the amount of effort he put into the meal and I was truly grateful. When we stood up from the kitchen table, I felt myself feeling a little woozy, I chalked it up to having too much red wine but I had forgotten that I took two cold medicine pills before I left my apartment. We sat on the couch and got comfortable to watch the debate. Sitting on the couch was the last thing I remembered from the evening.

The next morning, I woke up to an alarm noise that I had never heard of before. When I jumped up out of bed, I screamed because I had no idea where I was. I looked over to my right and there my date was trying to turn off his alarm on his phone. I asked what happened and why I was just in my t-shirt and underwear. He said that the minute we sat down on the couch, I began to say words that didn’t make sense and that I fell asleep on his stomach. He said, I began to fall into a deep sleep but kept repeating the sentence, “Make sure to set the alarm for seven.” While I was asleep, he watched the debate and after it was over, he said I was in no condition to get home, so he picked me up and took me to his bed where he undressed me and tucked me in. He assured me we didn’t do anything sexual and I knew he was telling the truth. I apologized and he laughed and said not to worry and he walked me to his door and asked to see me on Sunday.

As I walked home, the brisk morning air made me feel better and while I didn’t wake up with a hangover, my body knew that it had taken too much medicine. It wasn’t my most romantic date but it certainly wasn’t my worse and I felt more embarrassed than anything. I got ready for work and when I got to my desk, I sent him a text message apologizing again for me passing out. He reassured me that it wasn’t a big deal and he actually had fun even though the only thing I did was eat and pass out on him.

After I felt better about my actions from the night before, I began to focus on work. As my reality world would have it, I was in a meeting with Mr. D. that day and when the meeting was over with, Mr. D. took that opportunity to say to me, “Just so you know, I’m still looking for a keychain for you. I want to find the perfect one because you deserve it and I love nothing more than to see you smile.” My fantasy world wanted me to jump across the table and hug him and thank him for thinking of me like that and it’s those kinds of words that I love to hear. My reality world knew that he is not really looking for a keychain, he just knows that I love all things that are romantic and saying those words to me will keep him in my radar and more than anything it’s a manipulative tactic that he’s been using on me for the past two years.

This past weekend, I went to Feathers’ country house in Pennsylvania and it was just what I needed. We ate, drank, played games and got rest. When I got back home yesterday afternoon, I had only one hour to get ready and meet this new guy for our date. Our date was going to consist of me taking him to one of my favorite wine bar, Lela Bar, which on Sunday’s has a live band that plays jazz. I picked this wine bar because earlier in the week he had expressed his love of jazz and the other reason was because a year ago, Mr. D. and I had gone to this wine bar together and had an amazing experience.

I was running a few minutes late and when I got out of my building; my date was waiting for me. I wasn’t sure if it was the fact that I was running late and a tad frazzled that I wasn’t as excited to see him or was I getting inside my own head at how I was going to this wine bar where I had such a wonderful experience with Mr. D. I decided to push my fantasies aside and focus on my reality. My date and I got on the subway and headed to the West Village. Thankfully, when we arrived at the wine bar, it wasn’t that crowded and we got two seats in the back.

On the date, I found it very hard to have a conversation with him. I felt bad for comparing him to Mr. D. but I was guilty of doing so. I looked around at the bar and all the other couples around us were having conversations, laughing and touching. I was working overtime on trying to find out more about my date. He told me, “You can ask me anything, it’s just that I’m not that good with starting the conversation.” Not exactly the most romantic words you want to hear but I did my best with what I was given. We ordered wine and snacks and listened to the band. After the wine, after the snacks and after the band was done with their set, we decided to head back to his place.

When we got inside his apartment, he went straight for the couch and wanted to cuddle while he watched a movie. As he watched the movie, I did my best to make a move and the best I got was kisses on my forehead and lips but nothing beyond that. He simply wanted to cuddle and when the movie was over with, he said he wanted me to stay the night and I agreed because that was the boldest move he made all evening. When we got into bed, he turned the light off, cuddled me and that was it. I wasn’t sure what was missing but I decided to just focus on the cuddling part and reminded him to set the alarm for seven.

The alarm this morning went off at exactly seven and I bounced up immediately to splash some water on my face and he was a gentleman in the fact that he walked me to his door, hugged me and said he would message me later on today.

We all get caught up in our fantasies, whatever they might be. It’s perfectly ok to dream, to be optimistic and to want something greater in life what is the harder part is trying to fit these dreams and hopes into our reality.

When One Door Closes

It’s been said time and time again that when one door closes that another one will open. However, they never say what is to happen after that new door opens. We are to assume that because the first door was unsuccessful that the new door will be filled with all the success in the world and that we finally get what had been working so hard for. I can’t help but think about all of these “doors” and do we ever get what we wish for after the first door closes?

Last Monday started off like any other work week filled with meetings, deadlines and just trying to stay afloat without sinking. It was the next day that I was excited about; it was my twentieth anniversary of moving to New York. After work that day, I went to the gym, came home and took myself out for a glass of wine. Just me and the city and as I sat there I thought about all the doors that had opened for me from the minute I landed at JFK airport twenty years ago. I was a teenager with big dreams and a ton of luggage. Many years later, I still have those big dreams and while my luggage is now more a metaphor rather than a reality, I am grateful for every experience and every wonderful person that has come along my way over the years. Many doors were closed on me but there are still so many to open and look at what is on the other side of them.

On Wednesday morning, I was locking my apartment door when my keys fell to the ground and my favorite keychain of a palm tree broke. It was a silly keychain but I liked it a lot and when I got to work that morning, I ran into Mr. D. and told him about it. He smiled and said, “I have to go to California in a few hours for work and I will find you one. I know how much you love palm trees.” I told him that it wasn’t necessary but that it was a nice thought. I went back to my work and a few hours later, Mr. D. sent me a slew of text messages from the airport because he was delayed. The messages were sweet and while they are words I like to read; I couldn’t but think of how he’s said time and time again all of these words to me and it’s rare that I see the action to match.

After work that evening, I met a good girlfriend of mine for drinks and over those drinks she listened to my latest Mr. D. drama and in the end she really said what last week’s blog was all about and that, “it is what it is.” There are a ton of things I can do to change the situation but the biggest one is to leave this place of employment and never see him again. Until then, I will just need to do my best to move on. When I got home that night, I washed my face, tucked myself into bed and when I woke up the next morning there was a text from Mr. D. that was sent 1 a.m. my time and it was him saying he’s doing his best to find a keychain for me along with a picture of a palm tree from his hotel. I didn’t respond. Not because I didn’t want to but I wanted to see if his actions were going to match his words.

The next evening, I was able to meet with two amazing friends of mine that I never get to see but only a couple of months a year. We met in the East Village at, Bar Veloce, and over a bottle of wine we updated each other on our lives and it was amazing to see them grow and continue to be amazing people. After we said our goodbyes, I came home and was greeted by more text messages from Mr. D. including him saying he was looking forward to attending a concert with me on that upcoming Friday. He had been more attentive in this past week than he had been in a long time. I wasn’t sure if he was coming around or maybe it was the California beach air but I was excited about seeing a concert with him.

On Friday, I knew he had flown in late the previous night from California and therefore I didn’t see him at the office till mid-afternoon. Finally, around 2:30, he sends me an email saying that he can’t attend the concert because he doesn’t have a lot of energy in him and to please don’t be mad at him and my only response to him was, “I figured as much.” I knew that he was going to pull another one of his “I want to go but can’t commit and therefore I’m going to leave you hanging until the last minute and beg for your forgiveness.” He didn’t care for my response to him and pleaded with me not to upset and said “I love you” yet again. I didn’t respond and to this moment, I haven’t responded. The back and forth with him has always been exhausting but the fact that he thinks he can throw the “love” word around and expect me to live off the crumbs that he throws my way is the most insulting thing he can do. I’d rather him just be a jerk that he tends to be and leave the “love” word out of the conversation.

I sent a mass text to my friends and thankfully a few of them said they were in for the concert and that they’d see me later on that evening. We did a little pre-game at this bar called, Sidebar, and there was a drunken rich man that bought us several rounds of Patron shots and by the time we left to the concert venue, we were feeling rather good.

The band is called, We Are City of the Sun, and they were playing at Irving Plaza. My friends and I were well into the concert and after about an hour of watching the band, a mutual friend of ours saw us in the audience and came down to say hi since he was in the VIP section. Our friend asked us if we wanted to go upstairs with him to the VIP section. Naturally, we all said yes and proceeded to watch the concert from a much better view. Before I knew it, our friend was asking us if we all wanted to meet the band after the show. Naturally, we all said yes and after the concert we met the band members, told them what a great job they did and all proceeded to go to the Standard Hotel in the East Village for a nightcap. As we were at the bar drinking wine, I realized that when Mr. D. shut the door on going to the concert with me that he left another door to be opened and I had a much better experience with my friends and meeting the band!

I woke up on Saturday morning not tired or hungover but on the happier side of things. I must’ve still been on a high from having so much fun the previous night and I knew I had fun plans ahead of me that evening. I met my friend at his apartment for some much needed catching up before heading down to Chelsea for our first stop of the evening. We stopped at, Black Door, for a birthday party where we literally only stayed for one drink. Next stop was Barracuda where the crowd was insanely attractive so stayed for several drinks there before heading back to Hell’s Kitchen where we hit two more bars. Given all the travel and whatnot that evening, I still managed to call it an early night and didn’t feel in any drunken state.

Yesterday, I was running errands in my neighborhood when I noticed a man that looked awfully familiar to me. When he got closer in my sight, I realized it was a man that I went on a date with a year and a half ago when I was in Washington D. C. with friends of mine over Memorial Day weekend. He told me that he’s staying in the city for a month checking out the work situation because he’s a lawyer and thinking of switching firms. We did the polite banter and finally he asked me if he could take me to dinner or drinks sometime and I wasn’t sure what came over me but I said, “You can see me later on this evening if you’re schedule allows.” He smiled and said, “Sure. I still have your number in my phone.” I walked away and suddenly I was getting excited about a date. Something I hadn’t done in months.

I didn’t have much time to rush down to the East Village to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, to see a friend of mine do her comedy act before I needed to get back uptown in order to meet my date for dinner. My date was waiting for me by the time I got to the restaurant and thankfully we got a table right away. As we sat down and order our margaritas, I decided to dive right in and get to know this person all over again. As I began asking my millions of questions, he smiled and said, “Now I really remember you. You are the guy that talks a lot.” I laughed because he is right…I do talk a lot and I ask a lot of questions.

Over dinner I learned that he is still single, rented an apartment for a month near me and was having a nice time in the city so far. He apologized for being on the shy side and throughout the dinner confirmed that he was having a good time. After dinner, we went to a bar across the street for one more drink and I didn’t want to have a late night so when I said that I should get back home, he offered to walk me to my door. During the walk, he asked if he could see me again this week and I agreed. When we arrived in front of my building he gave me a big hug and we kissed for a few minutes before I went upstairs to my apartment. I went to bed that night feeling lighter than I had in a while.

Like anything in this life, we don’t know what the future holds; it’s as unpredictable as the weather. What we do know is that if we don’t take any chances than nothing will ever happen to us.

Alexander Graham Bell, the man who is credited for creating the telephone had an amazing quote and it’s what I leave you with this week:

““When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

It Is What It Is

The saying, “It Is What It Is”, is defined as a way to accept a person or a situation for what it is without any validation. It’s something that we can’t necessarily explain or want to explore, in short, its fancy way of saying, “I don’t care.”

Since my last entry a little over a month ago, I’ve traveled to Colorado to see family, had a birthday, spent time with friends, said goodbye to summer and began welcoming the fall season into the city. While there haven’t been any new dates since my last entry, I turned my focus on two rather important things. Those things being that I’ve been working intensely on my book with my editor and trying to find a new job. The finding of a new job, as we all know, isn’t exactly an easy task. I’m grateful for the job I have now and enjoy the people for the most part but at the end of the day, the main reason I should leave is because of Mr. D.

Try as I may, just when I think I’m strong and doing well, Mr. D. magically appears, whether that is physically or metaphorically. Over the past two plus years, I’ve been called a fool, gotten into intense arguments and even received a slap in face ala Cher in Moonstruck from friends and readers while trying to defend my relationship with Mr. D. It’s now gotten to the point where I’ve just come to the conclusion of, “It Is What It Is,” until I’m able to not physically see this man every single day of my life.

Over this past month, I’ve been working with two headhunters in order to find a new job that I can put some passion behind. About two weeks ago, I thought I was on the right path to finding that perfect job. It was for a job working for a major fashion corporation and I had two phone interviews and a face to face and by the time I left that office building, I felt fairly certain that I got the job. I was pre-meditating on how I would tell my current employer and most of all, how I would break the news to Mr. D.

After a week of following up and communicating with my head hunter, I was informed that I didn’t get the job because I was too expensive. I guess it’s better than hearing that I was under qualified. I was rather depressed about not getting the job and felt like I was stalled once again but, “It Is What It Is.”

It has been four weeks ago now when our office had yet another fundraiser, I was unable to attend due to a deadline that I had to meet at the office but the next day our entire agency was greeted with a gift basket and writing pen for having such an amazing turnout for the fundraiser. An hour into the office being open, I get an email from Mr. D. out of the blue and the subject was entitled, “Pen?”

His email was asking me if I left that pen on his desk and that it was so sweet of me to do. I responded back with letting him know that it wasn’t me that left that pen for him and that all employees received the same exact pen. He told me that he was having a bad work day and I told him that I hope his day gets better. Thinking that would be the end of the conversation, his next response to me was, “I love you.” It was three words that had a very big impact on me. Yes, it can be looked at as him manipulating me or being cruel because he knows I have feelings for him but I know him and I know he doesn’t function like that. I didn’t respond and instead I hit the delete button and did my best not to think of those words for the rest of the day.

The weeks following after Mr. D.’s confession to me I became very busy from a social perspective, so busy that it was hard for him and I find a time to have dinner. A dinner that he asked me to shortly after he said he loved me. I admit that there was still resentment toward him after what happened between us back in May with regards to our trip to California. Even though he apologized via text message and email, it is more powerful when you are able to say it to someone’s face. So, the communication between Mr. D. and I began again. Not how it used to be where every single day there was some sort of interaction but the occasional text or the water cooler conversation at the office. It wasn’t until the last week of September that my time was up and he wanted to get something on the calendar for dinner. I told him that I wasn’t going to be free until this past Thursday and he said he would make himself available. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel and if I was going to have any emotion toward him for that matter but I contacted my best friend in Boston, who has met Mr. D. several times and I confessed everything to her. I asked her, “Are you disappointed in me?” Not because I wanted her to say something positive and say something like, “I’m always on your side” but I just wanted her to be honest. She told me, “It is what it is and you do what you have to do.”

I took her words and knew that the reality really is just that and there is no real explanation at this point. I was damn near positive that nothing has changed for Mr. D. since last May and nothing probably ever will as far as him processing his feelings for me but there I was, last Thursday, ready to hear all that he had to say. That evening after work, I finished my work before him and told him I would be at a bar across the street from our office waiting for him. He messaged me a few minutes later asking me to meet him at a different bar in our area for we needed to show face at this agency event. I didn’t want to go to the event because I didn’t want the office talking about us however; I knew that he was right in that we needed to be present there because the event itself was a big deal. I get to the event and immediately began drinking wine for I was nervous about the entire evening and how it was all going to play out.

He finally shows up and he makes a beeline right for me and puts his arm on my back. I quickly move myself and continue the conversation that I was having with another coworker. We didn’t stay long at the event and we left heading toward downtown. After walking for about fifteen minutes, we agree on the bbq place, Hill Country. There was a line of people ahead of us and we didn’t have any reservations. I could tell that he wasn’t in the mood to wait so I said that I’d see what I can do and try and convince the hostess for a table for two. I went up to the hostess and the first thing she said to me was, “Sweetie, you smell amazing. You have a reservation?” I said, “Turns out that I don’t have a reservation but it would be really amazing if you could get me and my friend a table for two.” She had me lean in closer and said she could get in trouble for this but to move quickly and someone would sit us down. I got us the table and as we sat down, Mr. D. said he’s impressed that I can charm a lot of people with just being who I am.

I opted not to drink for the rest of the evening and get to the reason why we were even having dinner in the first place. I told him that before we can even order dinner, I needed to know, in detail, what happened with California. He took a big sip of water and began to apologize again for doing what he did to me. He said that he was never with his ex-girlfriend and to this day they aren’t an item but he said he really wanted to be in Disneyland with his “life partner” and that is where I stopped him. I said that I’m not sure what he means by referring to me as his, “life partner” and he wasn’t sure how to explain himself either but that he expressed profusely at how much he regrets how he handled the entire situation.

The topic changed from “life partners” to me telling him that I was very close to leaving the agency and I confessed to him that I am still ready to leave and if I do leave, he and I will most likely never see each other again. He wasn’t sure how to process all of that and he said that our Boston office has approached him to move back to Boston and he wanted my opinions on it. We spoke about his potential move back to Boston but in the end, I know he’s going to end up staying in New York…at least for now.

After dinner, which he paid for, we began walking toward the subway and that is when he asked if I wanted to come over since it was still early. I nodded and we rode the subway to Brooklyn. He showed me the new things he bought for his apartment while I did my best to be impressed with his new purchases; I was trying to find evidence of another person being there…I found none. We sat on the couch and he became rather playful and started tickling me. I stopped him because something about it felt like I wasn’t ready for all of this to be happening yet again. I told him that it was getting late and that I needed to get home. He said he wanted me to get home safely and called me a car to which he wanted to pay for. As we were standing outside of his apartment waiting for the car to arrive, he hugged me and while he was hugging me he thanked me for allowing him to do his best to explain himself and said how amazing I am and how he is fascinated at how even strangers respond so positive toward me. I didn’t say anything expect I did thank him for dinner. The entire drive back to the city, I was filled with mixed emotions. One great evening doesn’t make up for anything that has happened in the past and I doubt he will ever work on his confused feeling towards me. I got the apology that I needed to move forward.

The next day at the office, he thanked me again for hanging out and said he had a lot of fun. I didn’t hear from him much over the weekend, expect on Saturday evening when he knew I was attending a wedding reception and asked me if I was having fun.

Tomorrow, October 11th, 2016, marks a very big day for me. That day is the day I moved to New York City twenty years ago. In those twenty years, I’ve been lucky enough to see and do so many amazing things and have such unique people in my life to share it all with. Throughout every curveball that life has thrown my direction the one thing that has been constant was my love for this city. Like any relationship, we have had our ups and downs but both us have put in a lot of effort in order to make it work. I could go on and on the many reasons I still love it here after all of these years but instead I guess all that is left to say is…”It Is What It Is.”

Cruel to be Kind

It’s been said that there will be times in our lives where we have to do or say something to a loved one that is for their best interest no matter how hurtful or painful it might be to hear or do. Most often, it is referred to as, “tough love.” And with this so called, “tough love” there will be incredibly awkward moments, frustrations and at times heartbreak. Which got me thinking…is it really better to be cruel in order to be kind?

It’s been another couple of weeks since I’ve last written the blog and naturally with that, life has had some interesting events in store for me. Three weeks ago, our agency had a company bowling event in Times Square. I was actually having a rather good time and thankfully I had managed to keep my distance from Mr. D. I was actually bowling rather well and holding the highest score when I wasn’t paying attention, Mr. D. had managed to find his way and stood right next to me while I was bowling. He congratulated me on my score and wanted to continue a conversation. I thanked him and decided to move to a different team to bowl. It was cruel and a smidge rude but I was drinking, having a good time with my coworkers and I didn’t want the agency talking about our interaction.  After the bowling commenced, our agency ended up going to some disgusting bar called, Latitude, and it was there that another straight co-worker began talking to me. That didn’t sit very well with Mr. D. and next thing I know, I was sandwiched between Mr. D. and this other drunken co-worker who was confessing to me rather loudly that he likes my ass and tends to watch while I walk away in the office hallways. This particular co-worker than grabbed my ass in front of everyone and once he did that, I grabbed my bag and left the party and took my ass home.

The following Tuesday, our agency was having a fundraiser for a co-worker that passed away tragically a few months ago. All the money that we were raising was going to his son that he left behind. Given how upsetting the reason for us all coming together was, there was still a happiness that filled the bar that evening. I wasn’t too keen on the location of where we were having this fundraiser because it was the bar that Mr. D. and I would frequent back when he drank and back when things were good between us. However, I knew this wasn’t about me but about my co-worker, so I managed to smile and do my best to enjoy the fundraiser. I wasn’t there but an hour before Mr. D. showed up and he managed to stay on the other side of the bar.

As a plate of chicken wings (which he knows I don’t eat) came by from a waiter, he rushed over and said, “I know you just love those.” I just smiled and tried to be kind because we were in front of co-workers. He then went onto say, “Why don’t we go downstairs and say hi to our favorite bartender for old time sake.” I knew he asked me this question in front of other co-workers in order to avoid me making a scene and so I said that I would go but only for five minutes. We got downstairs and of course, our bartender recognized us and we caught up with her for a few minutes before she needed to tend to the other patrons. When she walked away, it was just Mr. D. and I and he said, “So, what did you think of that photo I sent you a few weeks ago from Boston? I knew you’d never respond but it made me think of you.” I, once again, found myself just wanting to be kind rather than telling him that him sending photos like that from our past actually hurts me rather than makes me feel better. I told him that it was nice and we than sat in silence before he asked how my summer was going. I told him that I was having a great summer and he confessed to me that his beach house that he took me to last year sold and that his summer wasn’t actually going so well. He also went onto say that the last weekend he ever spent in that house was with me and that it was a great weekend for him. I just smiled and said, “I really need to get back upstairs to the event.” He said, “I’m not going back upstairs and I’m going to go home but it was really nice talking with you.” I smiled, grabbed my bag and went back to the fundraiser. Inside, my feelings were thrown off but outside I smiled and sometimes in life that is what we need to do.

The next morning when I got to work, I spoke with my boss and asked to be removed from any accounts that he works on and asked to be moved to a different account. It was also in that moment that when my supervisor agreed to move me to a different account that I also contacted my head hunter and said I’m ready to see what else is out there. Things are never going to change between Mr. D. and I. And I will never be able to move forward from him, if I’m constantly running into him at the office and company events. I asked my best friend if she thought I was giving him too much power that I would actually leave my work because of him. She asked me, “Do you love your job?” to which I answered, “It’s alright. I don’t love it but it’s not bad.” She then said, “Well, if you don’t love your job than you leaving isn’t giving him power; it’s about you finding a job that you actually love.” I knew I had made the right choice by contacting my head hunter and beginning the process of finding something new.

Since that last agency event which was two weeks ago, Mr. D. and I have managed to not have very much interaction with each other and things have been manageable from a work perspective. However, in addition to work, I also needed to work on my dating life. I had been chatting with this guy from a dating app and after weeks of correspondence and trying to figure out a day and time to meet, we came to the agreement to meet for our first date this past Saturday.

The previous night before my date, I had a rather long night that consisted of meeting friends at Le Bain at the Standard Hotel, followed by a pit stop at a friend’s apartment which led to us all ending the night at The Eagle. I didn’t get home till 3:30 a.m. and therefore I was rather tired on Saturday but I knew that after weeks of communication that I needed to get my act together for my date. My date suggested that we meet at this Mexican restaurant called, Hell’s Kitchen, which is close to my apartment. We met at 7:30 and when I first saw him, I wasn’t instantly attracted to him physically but he also wasn’t unattractive either. I could tell right away that he was nervous but I did my best to calm him down as we sat down for drinks.

After our first drink, he suggested we order some appetizers and possibly another round of margaritas. I was having a descent time getting to know him and then things took a turn that I did not see coming. I asked him, “So, tell me a little bit about your family. Where are you from and do you have siblings?” I think this is a rather standard first date question, at least for me, and my date decided to open up to me because as he said, “You seem like a nice guy and I feel like I could tell you anything.”

My date proceeded to tell me that his parents were swingers and that his dad fell in love with the other woman that he was swinging with. His parents divorced due to that event and he is not close with his siblings. It was there that I tried to shift the conversation away from family and talk about work.  It was another bad topic; he works as an admin at a hedge fund in midtown. He got the job because he moved to the city with his ex-boyfriend and shortly after he got to the city, they broke up and so a friend got him the job. He told me that the boyfriend and him used to get into intense fights and it was there that I told him that we should stick to lighter topics.

He excused himself and went to the restroom, while he was in the restroom, I sent a text message to a friend that lives nearby and said we need to meet for drinks because this date is ending very soon. When my date came back, he said, I should tell you that I’m on Adderall at the moment. I told him that if it helps you throughout your day than you should listen to the doctors’ orders. This poor guy just wouldn’t let up with confessing everything to me including how he hooks up with his roommate from time to time. Finally he asked me, “How do you think this date is going?” It was there that I discovered why at times, it is better to be cruel in order to be kind.

I decided to change this from a date to a little bit of therapy and provide him with tips. I told him that over sharing the way he did is probably not the best for a first date and that there are other ways to let your date know the many things that you’ve endured but telling a date that you hook-up with your roommate, that your parents are divorced due to infidelity or that you are currently on drugs is for sure a no-no. I told him that this date isn’t going to lead to a second date but that if you ever need help or guidance on how to conduct yourself on a first date than don’t hesitate to contact me. I knew the poor guy didn’t have many friends nor did he have someone in his life to help him. We settled the bill and we hugged goodbye. I quickly ran over to the bar, Ninth Avenue Saloon, to meet with some friends to laugh at my dating experience. It was at this bar, that we ran into other friends of ours and I met a rather nice guy that led to me thinking that we were flirting with each other. I messaged him yesterday and have yet to hear anything but after that heinous date, it was nice to know that I still had it.

Yesterday, was one of those fantastic “me” days where I did exactly what I wanted. I shopped, read a book and even took myself to a movie and it was the perfect way to end a rather insane past couple of weeks. As I began to get settled in for the night with a good book and my night creams applied to my face, I heard my phone vibrate. When I looked at my phone, it was Mr. D. I hadn’t seen his name appear in my phone since he sent me that photo a month ago. When I saw the message, it was another photo. This time the photo was of a beach and palm trees. I knew he was in California due to work. He also knows how much I love palm trees and the ocean. It was late, I was vulnerable and I wrote back. I just thanked him for sending over the photo and that it looked nice wherever he was at. He said, “This photo is all for you!” I didn’t respond and shut my phone off for the night.

I don’t know where things are going to go. I do know that he can’t come back into my life and that I’m doing all I can to move forward, to make better things happen and that I need to get better at being cruel at times to others even though it might be hurtful at the moment. Those hurtful moments, I hope, will only lead to happiness.

There is a sentence in William Shakespeare’s, Hamlet, that says…

I must be cruel, only to be kind: Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.”

Where Have You Been?

It’s been a little over two months since my last entry; the longest I’ve ever gone without writing for the blog. Before we go into all that has transpired over the past couple of months; I would like to thank all the readers out there for their constant emails. Whether you were asking if I was alright or if the blog was being canceled all together and I hope I’ve done my best with responding back to all of you out there. I’m very grateful and appreciative for your concerns and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t know how lucky I am for the readers.

The last time I wrote was after my return from California in which Mr. D. never showed up and I was left three thousand miles to figure out what I was going to do next and thankfully I had friends and family to lean on while I was there.  Since my return from California, I can report that I haven’t communicated with Mr. D. whatsoever.

I do see him five days a week and for that first month after my return, it was hard for him and for me. I was so angry with him that I wanted to throw a heavy stapler in his direction. I know that nothing good ever comes from being angry and so I simply acted as if I wasn’t upset even though every time I saw him whether that was in the hallway, him walking by my desk or even in the bathroom; my heart was broken. By the time the second month of no communication with him, I was doing better with not feeling as if I wanted to cry or yell.

And over that time, there were so many moments that I missed with him. Like attending his best friend’s wedding in Boston or even his birthday (which I was invited by coworkers but I declined). While this time apart from him has been hard, I’ve managed to keep myself rather busy.

While I’ve been away from the blog, several things have occurred…I managed to get a third degree burn on my ankle when trying to help a friend cook (thank you burn unit of Beth Israel for its healed nicely). Aside from that I’ve also managed to see Beyonce in concert, rode roller coasters with friends in Hershey Park, which roller coasters are not for me and met my best friend’s new born baby in Boston (ironically enough that weekend I was visiting, Mr. D. was attending his best friend’s wedding). There was the celebration of PRIDE and of course my usual of visits to Feather’s country house and beach times in Long Island. However, the most important thing that I’ve done in my absence from the blog was I finished editing my first draft of my book. It’s taken over two years to write and took several weeks to edit but the first draft is done and my next step is to find a publisher and once that is done than I will feel like I’ve actually accomplished something with my life.

Seeing that this blog is about my dating life and its adventures that come with dating, I can say that I’ve been on two dates in the past two months. The first month after Mr. D. and I stopped all communication, I was in no mindset to get back out there. However, with much encouragement from my friends, I decided to get back out there. They set-up a Tinder account for me (that app is not for me) and I’ve dusted off the OkCupid account not to mention I’m always out and about in the city. So, there you have it, I was putting myself back out there and I wasn’t sure what exactly was out there after spending so much time and energy waiting for Mr. D. to get his act together.

It was the Friday of Fourth of July weekend and my friends and I decided to do a little happy hour at the bar, Rise, near my apartment. We were all having a good time, me with my pink drinks and my friends with their beers. One of my friends decided to go to the restroom and that left me with my other friend but I did notice a handsome older gentleman looking in my direction. After a few glances back and forth between each other, he finally introduced himself. He introduced himself as, “J.T.” to which I responded with, “What does J.T. stand for?” and he said that doesn’t like to give out that kind of information. I laughed in his face because I thought that was a rather silly response from someone his age.  We began to talk in between me trying to pay attention to my friends and we had exchanged phone numbers along the way. He excused himself and went outside because he said he had to take a call that was coming in. Two seconds later, I felt my phone vibrate and when I looked at it, it was a photo of him, not a nude photo but just of his face. I responded back with, “Handsome” and two seconds later, I get another message from him and this time it was a picture of his penis. From the bar, I could see him standing outside on his phone. I didn’t respond to the photo of his penis because I thought it was tacky that he sent me that in the first place. He came back inside and apologized for being so crude and I brushed it off and continued to talk with him and my friends. He and his friends left the bar and he said he would call me to ask me out on a proper date. I wasn’t sure if I believed him or not but I felt like I was officially back in the dating game.

The next morning, I woke up and there was a message from him asking me out for that night. I haven’t been on a brand new date with guy on a Saturday night in a very long time. I figured that since it was a holiday weekend and I’d be seeing my friends all weekend long that I should give this date a chance. I agreed and he suggested we meet at Rise bar again at 7:30 and from there we can go to dinner.

7:30 and he was waiting for me at the bar when I arrived. We ordered our drinks and sat in the corner so that no one could bother us. It was there that we started talking about all our normal first date topics. Topics like, jobs, where both of us are from, family, friends, etc. After our second drink, he took a turn and while he was asking me normal questions, he began to whisper to me all sorts of dirty things he wanted to do me sexually.  When he first did the whisper thing to me, I asked him to repeat himself and he acted as if he didn’t say anything. I told myself that maybe I’m hearing things and didn’t ask him to repeat himself.

It was time for dinner now and we went to try a new Mexican restaurant just down Ninth Avenue. As we walked the few blocks to the restaurant, I felt myself smiling because it was nice being on a date with a handsome man that was paying attention to me and I told myself to just go with the flow and see where the evening takes me. We got to the restaurant and we were seated in the outside patio where I was placed under the air conditioner. Being the princess that I am, I was too cold and my date asked management to move us and I thought that was what a true gentleman would do.

Drinks were ordered and when the waitress brought them to our table, my date asked the waitress if she would take our picture because it was our first date. I looked at him like he had three heads. First date and we are taking pictures? I wasn’t sure if he was being romantic or was on the bus to crazy town. I agreed to the picture and smiled as I held up my giant margarita that came in a pineapple.

During dinner and drinks, we continued our date and our polite conversation. However, I noticed that my date was beginning his whispering of sexual things to me. He would ask me things like, “How long did you dance for?” And then would whisper something like, “I really want to take you back to my apartment and see you naked.” I asked him point blank if he had some sort of sexual tourettes because he kept this going on for the entire night. Finally, dinner was done, we settled the bill and as we left the restaurant, he grabbed me and kissed me on the busy avenue. He then told me I was really cute and smelled amazing and that he is in the mood for dessert. He suggested we grab some cookies from this bodega and grab a cab back to his place. Maybe it was the margaritas, maybe it was the fact that this man was paying attention to me or maybe I wanted to see how far his sexual turrets was going to go but whatever the reason was…I agreed to go.

We get to his apartment and it looked like a frat house there was empty beer cans, clothes everywhere and I couldn’t imagine what the bathroom was going to look like but I really had to pee. The bathroom was so gross but I didn’t care, I really had to go. When I got out of the bathroom he was already on the couch with a huge bong in front of him. He asked me if I smoked weed and I said no because there was certainly no way I was going to do anything with a guy I just met. We sat on the couch and began making out, I needed a distraction because I was worried about how dirty everything was around me. We came up for air and that is when he took a hit from his bong and when he came around to kiss me, he blew the smoke in my mouth. I began to cough up a storm and asked him for water, thankfully, he had a brand new bottle of water in his fridge for I wouldn’t take water from any of his glasses. I told him not to do that again and we began to make out again and then the smoke he blew in my mouth hit me. I began to laugh and not feel sexy and I could barely keep my head up. I got really sleepy and my legs began to feel like rubber. He suggested we go to his bedroom where we could lay down. I agreed even though I didn’t feel right with sleeping at his place. When he got me to bed, he told me he has to be up early because he is going with this group to a nude beach in my fuzzy state of mind, I knew this guy wasn’t going anywhere in life because I found out that he’s unemployed and only cares about his weed and guys. I told him that we are not having sex and he didn’t like the response and got up and put a towel between us on the bed. He said I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to walk home or take a cab and I ended up falling asleep while he was still doing his sexual tourettes to me.

Around 3 a.m. I noticed he got up and when I looked down the hall, there J.T. was in his glory. I watched him as he was naked walking around his living room, eating cookies, smoking weed and carrying around his laptop that was playing porn. Where the hell was I? Why is this my first date after being in hiding for so long and I noticed that I still wasn’t feeling like myself, so all I did was tell him that it was late and that I was going back to bed. He didn’t care and so I fell back asleep until 7 a.m. when I woke up and grabbed my shoes and snuck out the apartment and did the walk of shame.

On my walk home, I realized that the dating world hadn’t changed much and it didn’t look like they were going to change anytime soon.  I knew I had a date that upcoming Wednesday with a guy that I’ve known for years. We went on a few dates two years ago and then his job transferred him to Los Angeles and now he was coming back to the city for good. He suggested we meet at this cute place called, Kilo, which is also right by my apartment. He sent me a text message earlier on the day or our date to wear shorts because he really likes my legs. I responded back with, “I will see what I can do.”

I was running late and showed up a few minutes late and he was waiting for me. I hadn’t seen him in the two years that he’s been on the west coast and when I arrived, he looked like a totally different person. He had gained a lot of weight, went somewhat bald and was wearing an American Eagle polo at the age of 35. He had just gotten a major promotion and a fat raise from his company and just bought an apartment on the Upper West Side, this guy was making things happen for himself. As I sat there, he didn’t ask me one question about myself and so I sat and listened to him go on about his work, his apartment and everything else that revolved around him. He did all the ordering including the rose wine that we were drinking. Finally he began to complain about New York and how he hated the heat during the summer, the prices, etc. I couldn’t take it anymore and I just said, “Than why did you come back? Was it just for the money?” He said that the money was the only reason he came back. The date lasted a total of fifty minutes and when the bill came, he looked at me and said, “You got this?” I suggested we go half but he said he forget his cards at the office. Now I was stuck with a bill that was close to two hundred dollars and I was sitting across from a sweaty, fat, balding man that was still wearing clothes geared toward college students. I paid and left him there and decided that maybe getting back out into the dating scene isn’t exactly the right time for me. Since that date, there was been no others and there is nothing on the horizon. I’m alright with that because if there are still the dates that consist of guys like this than I’m perfectly content with waiting patiently until something worthy comes along.

This past Friday, my friends and I managed to get out of work early and head to Grand Bank, which is a boat along the Hudson River where you can have drinks with a bunch of preppy people. We had one beer and aside from the motion sickness from the boat that we were feeling, it wasn’t our scene. We decided to go to the bar, The Monster, for a few beers and as we were leaving the bar, I felt my phone vibrate. I pulled my phone out and there it was, a name I hadn’t seen appear on my phone in over two months, Mr. D.

I opened the message and there was no text only a picture. A picture of a street we used to walk down in Boston. A street where we joked with each other that we would live some day and where I’d get my very own washer and dryer and a street that he knows I love and a street he knew I’d have a reaction to. My friends instantly knew that something was wrong by my face. I told them the truth and they wanted to take my phone right away and block his number for good. They asked me why I still have his number and why I just won’t block his number once and for all. I didn’t really have answer because it was such a shock to see his name appear in my phone. I put my phone away and spent the rest of the evening with my friends. I still haven’t responded to Mr. D.’s message and I won’t. I’m not sure what he was trying to do with sending that picture and while I care about what is trying to do; I know that I can’t let myself get involved for the millionth time only to get nothing in return but heartache.

As you can see, there is never a dull moment, how can there be when you live in the greatest city in the world? I promise not to be gone for that long of time again but sometimes we need to take a break, collect our thoughts, recalibrate and get back out into the world and that is where I’ve been.

Straight Talk

Normally in these posts, I try to let the readers into something I’ve learned, discovered and maybe even have repeated in my life. It’s been weeks since I have written and the reason for that is because so much has happened that these “life lessons” I try to share along with my dating life has changed. So, for this week, there is no lessons, no discoveries and while I have repeated some mistakes this will be all about giving it to you straight.

Since my last entry, I left you all with my trip to Boston with Mr. D. with everything running smoothly and it continued to run on that straight and narrow path even once we returned to our reality. Our reality was that we were both working on this major pitch that would take place in Southern California. Over the course of those weeks, we worked long hours and then it dawned on me that since he will be in Southern California that we should make a long weekend out of it before the actual pitch was to take place. I brought the idea up to Mr. D. and he instantly got excited and told me that this was a fantastic idea. As soon as he was on board with my plan, I had a friend of mine who is good at finding deals, begin to search flights and car rentals for me. She not only found a cheap flight but a cheap rental car as well. Since we were on such an excellent path of finding deals, I contacted my family and friends out in California; they also got excited at the idea of me coming out west and opened up their homes to Mr. D. and me. Finally, there was one more element of surprise for this trip…Mr. D. and I would be going to Disneyland!!! Anyone that knows me knows how much I love princesses and Disney related things. I had a very close friend of mine score us two free tickets to Disneyland. The minute I saw the tickets enter my inbox, I told Mr. D. about it and his response was, “This is fucking awesome!” It was settled. The plans were as such: I would be leaving this past Thursday and leaving the following Tuesday while Mr. D. would be flying in on Friday and leaving on Tuesday as well with the team after the pitch.

Several days prior to my flight, there was so many text messages and emails that went back and forth between Mr. D. and I and the level of excitement of this trip for both of us continued to grow. It would be our first trip out west, it would be his first time meeting some of my family and even meeting some friends of mine. I couldn’t believe how smoothly everything was falling into place, this kind of stuff never happens for me. There is always something that goes wrong and as each day was getting closer to us leaving, we were growing closer due to us working so closely together and not to mention the overall anticipation of a trip in sunny California.

Then on last Tuesday after work, I sent him a text message saying that tomorrow was my last day in the office and to get ready for our trip out west was fully confirmed. He responded an hour later that read, “We may have a problem.” I instantly responded with, “What’s the problem?” He didn’t reply back the rest of the evening. Ironically enough, I was having dinner with the friend of mine that night that managed to score us the two tickets to Disneyland. I wasn’t sure what the “problem” was. I was hoping that Mr. D. would’ve been straight with me. Tell me what the problem is and maybe we could fix it together. I went to bed that night and was worried that something terrible was going to happen with our trip.

The next morning at work, I was speaking with another coworker that was coordinating the team’s travels for the pitch. She said, “Everyone is confirmed and ready to go except for Mr. D. He told me that he might need to change his flight due to a wedding this weekend.” I did my best not to have a reaction because it was bad enough that people in the office already suspect that something is going on between us. I walked away and told myself to not overreact because I know that Mr. D. would never do something like this to me given how hard I worked to make this trip happen. As I was walking away from my coworker, I bumped into Mr. D. and he had a look of panic on his face and said, “I owe you an explanation and I’m going to make this right. Let’s chat outside in an hour.”

An hour goes by and we are outside on the sidewalk of our office and I started off with, “I shouldn’t be hearing about some wedding from a coworker…what is going on?” He said, “I got my dates mixed up and I promised a friend that I would be their date to a wedding on Saturday. I want to go to California and be with you. I’m going to make this right, I just need to find a replacement date for her and we will be set.” I went into detail with him of all the planning, the money I spent and even how my friends and family have opened up their homes to us so we don’t have to stay in hotels. By the time we got back into the elevator heading back to our office, he looked at me and said, “I promise I’m going to make this right.” The rest of the day, we worked very hard on the pitch and it was my last day in the office for I was flying out the next day. I didn’t hear from him that night and I chalked it up to be that, “no news is good news.”

I got up bright and early the next morning and made my way to Newark Airport to catch a 7:30 a.m. flight. The entire trip from New York to San Diego went off without a hitch. When I landed in San Diego, I picked up my little rental car, a bright red Toyota Yaris and sent a picture to Mr. D. to show him our little car for the trip. I put my seatbelt on and I was off and driving with me heading to my aunt and uncles’ home. Barely ten minutes into my drive, I got a text message from Mr. D. it was telling me that he is deeply sorry that he will NOT be coming on this trip, that he made a commitment to the wedding and that he wishes he was with me.

The real insulting part was that he said he sent me $250 dollars to offset any expenses for the trip. I pulled my little red car over so quickly and was shaking. It took me a few minutes to process that I just got dissed three thousand miles away. As the cars zoomed by me, I pulled out my phone and told him that I didn’t want his fucking money and that I couldn’t believe that he did this to me and that we are officially done with our relationship. My body wouldn’t let me cry because my anger and adrenaline were outweighing my sadness. Here I was, clear across the country that would’ve been an amazing trip with someone that I loved. I was going to be going to the “happiest place on earth” and now I had just ended something with someone rather important to me. He responded back quickly begging me to please take the money and that again, he’d rather be with me but he simply sucks at planning. I didn’t respond and got myself back on the road and continued to my relatives home.

When I pulled into their home, I called my sister to tell her what had just happened because she wanted to know if I arrived safely. As I was telling her about my situation, she told me that our grandmother that we hadn’t spoken to in well over twenty years died. I couldn’t help but laugh inside because it wasn’t that I was emotionally attached to this grandmother, it was the simple fact that when something goes wrong with me, it goes majorly wrong. I told my sister to feel no guilt about this grandmother passing and that I needed to go and face the music with my family.

I walked into their home and on their kitchen island was snacks and drinks…all of which Mr. D. liked because she asked ahead of time of what he likes to eat and drink. One of my aunts’ first questions was, “Where is Mr. D.?” I sat down and told her the entire story of what had happened along with our entire history together. My uncle instantly wanted his address to go and kick his ass but I told him that wasn’t necessary and that I just needed to wrap my head around the fact that I’m sitting in San Diego and solo. That evening, we had dinner and I went to bed early.

When I woke up the next morning, I wrote Mr. D. an email telling him that when I woke up, I thought that this was all a bad dream and that none of this really happened to me. That there was no way that he would ever do this to me. No possible way that he left me on the other side of the country to deal with the humiliation in front of my family and friends. That this person that he is going to this wedding with must really have a hold on him because he gave up an entire mini-vacation for one day at a wedding where he doesn’t even know who is actually getting married. In my closing of this email, I told him that we are done, no more friendship, no more flirting, no more trips and that I highly doubt that this person whom you are going to this wedding with has done as much as I had done for him over the past two years.

I had told my friends in Los Angeles of what had happened and it turns out that not only my friends that live in Los Angeles told me to come and see them but I had two friends of mine from New York actually staying in Los Angeles as well. It was there that I decided to get in my little red car and drive the two hours to see them. I told my family that I’d be back on Sunday and they understood given my situation.

Along the drive to L.A., I noticed that Mr. D. had responded to my email. I chose not to pull over on the highway and read it, even though my emotions wanted me to. Something told me to keep on driving and deal with the email once I arrived safely.

My friends from New York were staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel and were checking out later on that afternoon. I drove into the hotel, gave my car to the valet and saw my friends. They told me that we were going to the pool at the hotel and to relax. As they were packing up their suitcases, I took that time to read the email from Mr. D. The email started off with, “Dearest…” and it went on for four long paragraphs that contained sentences like, “I lay awake at night thinking of how I hurt you” or “I know I should treat you better than you deserve, it’s all I know how to do” and it continued on and on and it was the last paragraph of the email that broke my spirit. It said that he loved me and that he is confused as to where to put me in his life. He closed with knowing that there was no possible way that we could ever reconcile our relationship and that knowing this he will always have a heavy heart and that he will miss me.

I never responded to the email, there was nothing left to say, we had said everything we needed to say. It was over. I didn’t’ cry. I told my friends that we were over and they were impressed at my pride and at how I was handling the situation. We gathered our belongings, checked out of the hotel and lounged at the pool where we saw Mary J. Blige and Adam Levine. After getting some sunshine on our skin, we drove to our friends’ house and dropped our bags off. I had to, once again, tell them the story of what had happened to me and it was there that I knew I was lucky to have these people in my life and that I wasn’t alone. We went out to dinner that night at, Taste, and afterwards we went to West Hollywood where we went to several bars. It was good to see people, to meet new people and to be distracted from my reality back in New York. As soon as we got back to their house, I went straight to bed. I think I was emotionally exhausted.

The next day on Saturday, which would’ve been the day that Mr. D. and I were to go to Disneyland, I knew there was no way that I could go. I couldn’t fathom the idea of me roaming around the grounds of the park with families and couples and me with my thoughts. Thankfully, my friends had a back-up plan for us and that we would be attending a pool party hosted by a woman whose husband had several MTV awards and Grammy’s throughout the home. I met some lovely new people that instantly wanted to befriend me and at periods where my mind wondered, they brought be back down and told me to have fun, which I did end up having a lot of.

On Sunday morning, I offered to drive my friends from New York to the airport and then I would make my way back down to San Diego to spend more time with my family. The drive back to San Diego felt longer than I had remembered. I wasn’t sure if it was because I knew the trip was coming to an end or that I had too much time on my hands on the drive to think. I finally arrived at my family’s house and no one was home at the time and so I grabbed my book, sat in the sun and read until they arrived.

This past Monday, was my last day in California and I decided to make the most of my time. I drove to the beach, sat at the ocean and did my best to meditate but there was too much distraction going through my head. I sat there and finally decided to shop a little while I waited for my cousin and her boyfriend to arrive at the restaurant where we’d be having lunch. As I was waiting for them to arrive, I began to look through Facebook and began scrolling when I saw a photo. That photo was of two friends of mine that attended a wedding; in that photo sandwiched between my two friends was Mr. D.’s ex-girlfriend. The same ex-girlfriend that two years ago, I helped him end things with and it was the same ex-girlfriend that Mr. D. told me so much about (and not in a good way). The same ex-girlfriend that Mr. D.’s entire friends deemed as horrible. I was angry, yet again, because he never gave it to me straight as to whom he was going with to the wedding. Now, I had to find out via social media. It was a huge slap in my face and with that slap on my face; I decided to be straight with Mr. D. I told him that thanks to social media that I found out who exactly he went to the wedding with. He replied with saying that he’s sorry again and that I’m important in his life. I told him to please leave me alone once and for all and that he needs to stick with his choices.

I sat in the San Diego airport reading a book and waiting for them to begin the boarding process and out of nowhere it hit me. My eyes began to fill with tears; tears that I couldn’t hide from the public, tears there were flowing out faster than I could even wipe up with my tissue. I rushed to the bathroom to splash cold water on my face to try and calm myself before I boarded onto a six hour flight. I finally contained myself and sat in my seat and tried to force myself to take a nap. Somewhere over the Midwest, the sky was dark, the plane was silent and it occurred to me that both Mr. D. and I are both in the sky flying back to New York. I smiled because there was nothing else I could do as it was funny at how we were both in the sky, different planes going to different airports…so close yet never making the full connection.

So, there you have it and here is the “straight talk” of it all. I fell in love with someone. Someone very conflicted with his life, someone that I know loves me back, someone that I thought I could fix but couldn’t. I didn’t fail in trying but I did fail in letting someone get so close to me that I knew had a huge potential to break my heart (which he did). I’ll be fine, I don’t regret meeting him, I don’t regret allowing him into my life and I don’t regret thinking that one day we’d end up together. Love makes everyone do things that they normally wouldn’t do and that is a beautiful thing because that means people are trying to love, people are trying to get close and people still believe.