Actions Speak Louder Than…
Words. They can do so much for us. Words give us hope, disappointment, excitement and sadness. Just think of the some of the words that you have heard or read that has changed your life forever. “Will you marry me?”, “We’d like to offer you the position,” “I’m pregnant, “Things aren’t working out,” “I want a divorce.” With words, it is endless as to how powerful of an impact they can have. Remember back when we actually waited for something called, a letter? We all waited for the post man to deliver whatever news we were expecting. Yes. We actually “waited” for something to happen rather than having to have it happen to us instantly. Those words written in that one letter would make or break someone’s day, month or even year. As someone that uses words to make a living, I couldn’t help but wonder if we have become a world where we are all words and no action.
The beginning of last week was off to a rather negative start. I had a nice date last Sunday with Mr. Jones. His last words to me were, “Reach out to me tomorrow and we will do something.” I did my job. I reached out to him the next day via email. It wasn’t anything long; very short and sweet. I thanked him for a nice time, saying we should get together again and to let me know what day works best for him. As I sit here and type this. I still have not heard one word from him. I know he has received the email because he is attached to his iPhone. I will be damned if I am going to reach out again. In this case, his lack of actions are not lining up with his words. It was the beginning of what would become my week of anger and also my contemplation as to whether or not I should sign myself up for anger management.
As I was at work that Monday, I just sat there trying to write and I couldn’t. I was blocked. I knew exactly why I couldn’t do my job. I was angry not only because I hadn’t heard from Mr. Jones but because I was allowing him and the situation get to me. It wasn’t even him particularly, it was all of it. It was the fact that another weekend had gone by and not a single peep out of Mr. B. (except for his constant updating statuses on Facebook). By the time that afternoon rolled around, I knew that I did not want spend the upcoming weekend in the city surrounded by couples walking around with their pumpkin spiced lattes and over hearing them say things like, “Oh, honey, I don’t are which movie we see.” I knew what was wrong. It wasn’t Mr. B. or Mr. Jones or any other guy that was ignoring me. I was finding myself becoming bitter and no one wants to hang around a bitter person. Once I realized that, I decided what I needed most was some time away from reality and nothing recharges the batteries more than a long weekend at your friend’s country house. I immediately broke out my phone and sent a text message to Feathers. I was in luck, he responded right away and not only said that I should take Friday off and we all leave after work on Thursday but he must have sensed that I needed a laugh because he also told me to come over after work that day and we would eat at Dallas BBQ and go see the movie, Pitch Perfect. It was the “Pitch Perfect” ending to a rather fucked up Monday.
Tuesday and nothing, nada, zilch out of both guys. Suddenly I realized that their lack of words was also matching their lack of actions. Today’s world has settled for text messages over phone calls and it is scary that only when someone calls that we immediately think there is something wrong, rather than someone just calling to say hi. I am just as guilty these days of texting over making a phone call. These days when someone sends you a text message in the middle of the day to ask how you are doing, it as if your entire day has just been made. It actually isn’t even romantic, not even the slightest. It is just what we are accustomed to now and we have accepted it. Romance these days no longer exists in beautifully written letters or someone knocking on your door with a fist full of roses. Instead, romance comes in an email, someone telling you they liked your photos on your online dating profile and maybe that kind stranger that will hold open the door for you. Where is the effort? Better yet, if your words that come from your Smartphone’s are implying that there will be some sort of follow through, I have to ask…where the fuck are the actions? For example, when someone says via text or email, “Let’s hang out soon” “I had a great time, let’s do this again” “Looking forward to seeing you again.” Yes, it is very open-ended but where is the follow-up? Why is it that we have to be the ones to reach back out again and feel like a jackass to determine when you will be hanging out again? Maybe it is an ego trip for most to think that they have someone chasing after them rather than having the roles reversed. Either way, I am done with it. We all have busy lives and no one, I repeat, no one is ever that busy that they can’t make time or to see a person again. I have said this a million times and if you have time to update your Facebook status, Tweet, change your picture on your Grindr account than you have time to reach out to another human being. If you aren’t getting any communication than I guess you know where you fall in their priorities. Message is in fact received.
On Wednesday, I was going to be seeing an old coworker/friend in Chelsea, at Flight 151. He is straight and recently just got done through finalizing his divorce. Like Mr. B., he is also a single parent of a young boy. We immediately ordered beers and an appetizer. He is someone that I see maybe two or three times a year, so it is always nice to have a proper catching up. As soon as he asked me, “So what have you been up to?” The flood gates became open. I let it all out. I let a little bit of my anger out and he just sat there and drank his Michelob beer rather quickly. I think he was expecting me to by my usual cheerful, happy go-lucky self but instead he got the side that I usual reserve for myself in the privacy of my own apartment. I asked him, once I took a breath from all my talking, how he was doing. Turns out, he needed an ear as well, for he gave it to me right back. He unleashed all his anger toward dating, drinking, work and life. I think we both needed this. It was a major release and the fact that the beers were only $2.00 certainly helped both of our situations. I have always said that dating in the gay world doesn’t differ much at all compared to the straight world. People still are left in the dark after a great first date, wait for the phone to alert you of a message from that special person and are still genuinely perplexed by peoples actions or lack thereof. We walked and talked a bit more till we got to Penn Station, where I dropped him off and I continued my walk home. When I went to bed that night, I still wasn’t exactly relieved of my anger. I think because while I was able to release some of my angst, nothing was actually resolved.
When I woke up on Thursday, I finished getting ready and packed for the long weekend. I didn’t even care what I was packing, I threw all my dirty laundry in my suitcase and made sure that a pair of sweats was in there because that was probably going to be my outfit for the next three days. A pair of grey sweats, a t-shirt and comfy socks. That was it. I didn’t have to try to impress myself, the city or any guy. I was going to the country where the only thing I would need to impress was the deer’s. I left work and brought my luggage and a smile down to Chelsea so I could pick up Feathers, his partner, and the dogs. As Feathers and I walked down 21st Street to load up the car, we both got in and when Feathers turned the key, the car would not start. Not wanting to flood the car, after a few failed attempts, we called Feathers partner to try and see if he knew what the hell was wrong. As soon as Feathers partner saw us, his first words were, “The Johnson curse continues.” Translation of that phrase means that if you travel with me chances are something will go wrong. So, we thought maybe we should get someone to jump the car but you try and find someone in New York City that will take time out of their busy lives to try and jump start you. Go ahead. Give it try sometime. Finally, we all decided that this car needed to be taken to a garage. We called the tow truck service and it was all just a mess. After finally figuring out that no garage would be open that late in the evening to work on the car, we called it a night with dinner at Dallas BBQ (two times in one week) and said that the next morning, bright and early, we would get the car fixed and get the hell out of the city.
Friday morning and I heard it hitting the window. Rain. Of course, now not only would we be trying to get this car fixed but it would involve rain. The car dealership would be giving the car a full examination so, since we knew we all had time to kill; we decided to see the movie, Frankenweenie, at the 34th Street movie theater. As we got out of the movie around 1 o’clock, we thought we should give the car dealership a call and see if maybe the car was ready. As luck would have it…she was ready to go! Feathers and I went back to his apartment to pack things up. His partner picked us up and loaded up the car and off to the West Side Highway we went. The drive up was flawless, which was shocking, I was expecting more craziness to happen. When we arrived, I couldn’t get my sweats on fast enough. Comfy clothes, wine glass filled to the top, watching a scary movie that followed with some video games, it was perfection. The city, the drama with all the guys and all of life’s woes were so far away, I didn’t even need to bring them up. I went to bed that night in peace.
Saturday morning, I woke up first. I love doing that. I made the coffee, started the laundry and went into my usual housewife mode. I know that Feathers and his partner always have some outdoor project that they work on. You will probably never see me with a shovel, that doesn’t mean I won’t lift my own weight around. So, while the boys were outside digging, pulling, lifting and doing things that they have all said to me, “Please go away. You will fuck it up.” I stayed inside and baked cookies (don’t get too impressed, it was the frozen kind), did their laundry, folded and put it away. Cleaned the kitchen, swept and even managed to begin writing a few articles. It also gave me time to reflect. Here I was, hours away from the city, no cell service and unreachable. It was nice. I didn’t need to look at my phone if there was a message from anybody, in fact, I didn’t even care. It was nice not to care, even if it was only for a few days. Everything would have to wait till Sunday evening. My batteries were finally beginning to get recharged. That night, we did the same thing we did the previous night. We had wine, food, laughs and I was greeted with another peaceful rest.
Sunday morning and once again, I was the first to wake up. I went downstairs, had a big cup of coffee and finished the book I was reading. I was so grateful that not only was I able to get out of the city but that I was able to be with friends to do so. We watched a few episodes of, I Love Lucy, packed up the car and back to the city in just a few hours. After Feathers dropped me off, I had to the choice of contacting friends to see what kind of trouble I could get into but something told me to save it for later in the week and to relish in the relaxing weekend. I am glad I listened to my own advice for once. I ran errands, cleaned the apartment and prepared myself for the week ahead. I also did something I never do and in light of actions speaking louder than my words, I called someone. Yes. I called a first date that I have this upcoming Wednesday. Rather than the emails or text messaging, I decided that if I am going to write about people hiding behind their words and showing no action, that I should walk the walk. I am glad that I did. We talked on the phone for an hour and it was as if we were already on our date. By the end of the conversation, he told me he was looking forward to our date and that we are going to have fun regardless of what happens. I sent a text message to my best girlfriend and she praised me for even making a phone call and while I told her that I still have zero hope that this date will be the end of all first dates, she responded with a quote from the TV show, 90210, a show that I never watched as a kid but it was about the SAT’s and it goes like this, “Hope for the best, expect the worst.” Not too shabby for a show that starred Shannon Doherty.
I woke up this morning before the alarm. I was eager to get to work; I was looking forward to putting on the iPod on and making my way to the office. I just had so much to write, my fingers could barely keep up with my thoughts. My excitement even had me skipping the most important meal of the day…coffee! As this week starts, I hope that we all take some time to think about how our words can really make an impact on one another. Getting out of our comfort zones and really taking responsibility for all that we do and making sure that we are not just all words and no action.
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