We are already going into the second week of the New Year and everywhere you turn there are commercials with Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson telling us about their weight loss programs, every magazine on the stands are telling us different ways to become a better person and all of us are just doing our best to get adjusted back into the work field after being on holiday for so long. With all of these “New Year” programs and resolutions, most of us are looking at this as our clean slate. We can start fresh again. The past year is behind us and now we are faced with the cold winter months ahead. We take these months as a way to go into hiding with hopes that by spring we will have our new minds and new bodies to show off to the world.
As for me, I was more than ready to come back to the city. After my trip back west that plagued me and my entire family with the flu and pink eye. I was ready to embrace the new year, the bitter cold weather and ready to tackle anything that will come my way. However, my luck, if you want to call it that had me not getting home so quickly. You see, my flight back to New York was on a red eye. I am not the most organized traveler and so there I sat at my parent’s house thinking of how great it would be to find a flight earlier leaving from Phoenix so that way I could get back to the city earlier. Well…I guess maybe there was someone looking out for me because when I called the airlines to see about a different flight, the customer service representative informed me that I had already missed my flight because it was earlier that morning!!! I couldn’t believe it…this was now going down as my fourth flight that I have missed due to my lack of not paying attention to the details.
So, began my quest now to find a flight as quickly as possible for the next day would be the day before New Year’s Eve and I needed to be back in the city. I finally found a flight that was leaving that night and would be getting me into Newark the next morning. I didn’t care just as long as my ass had a seat on that plane (of course it had to be the last seat on the plane). It was an expensive lesson for me to learn but I will no longer take red eye flights OR I will have someone review my itinerary with me over and over again. As I sat in the Phoenix airport (with plenty of time before my flight this time), I decided that I should have a beer to relax my nerves and as I sat there sipping my Bud Light, this guy came up to me and started chatting with me about the flight. I couldn’t tell if he was gay or not, I wasn’t attracted to him at all but it was just nice to be paid attention to. After awhile of small talk, this guy (who lives in Brooklyn) asked for my information. There was a part of me that didn’t feel like giving him my information and so I lied and said I was in a relationship. He laughed and said, “I am not gay but was thinking of swinging both ways and thought you would be a good guy to try it out with.” I didn’t know what to say for part of me was flattered and other part of me was in no mood to be anybody’s teacher. So, I said that it is best that we just leave it as is and I wished him a safe flight. Wouldn’t you know that this guy was on my flight and seated two rows in front of me and throughout the entire flight would turn around and give me some creepy smile and then turn to face the front. Even though I wasn’t tired, I pretended to be asleep every time I noticed his body shifting.
When I landed at the Newark airport at the ugliest hour known to man…5 am. I didn’t care, it wasn’t as glamorous as Dorothy clicking her heels three times and getting home but I was home and in a few hours I would be seeing my friends all of whom I haven’t seen in weeks. I got home, unpacked only to repack a smaller suitcase for I would be heading to Feather’s country house that afternoon to celebrate New Year’s. I met my friends at the, John Dory restaurant where we would all be driving from there to the country house. When we finally arrived in Pennsylvania I was more than ready to drink and be merry. It was the last hoorah of 2012 and I was surrounded by some pretty amazing people, not to mention a ton of snow.
On New Year’s Eve, we all got up at a descent hour, refreshed and ready to go. So, all eight of us crammed into a car and drove to the local bowling alley where we quickly became the highlight to all the patrons there. As we proceeded to mock one another, get drunk and bowl it occurred to me that I didn’t have a care in the world at that moment. I no longer cared about spending so much money to get home, I didn’t care that work was just around the corner or the fact that there wasn’t even one prospect of romance in my life. I was with my friends and that was all that mattered.
That evening as you can imagine was filled with nothing but food, games, booze and laughter. There was something different in me though, I discovered that this evening wasn’t about what the previous New Year’s used to represent. Back in the day, it used to be about staying up as late as possible, hitting all the hot spots and wearing a killer outfit. Now, as I am older, all I wanted to do was be around the people I loved, no expensive clothes, no hot spot and I didn’t even care if after midnight we all went to bed. Of course, there is still that party person inside us all, so, yes, I did get drunk and so much so that when I was walking out onto Feather’s deck, I managed to slip on a piece of ice and fall flat on my back. Now, it wasn’t just me that fell because my friend was ahead of me and I took him down with me. I couldn’t stop laughing, even though I knew there was going to be a bruise somewhere the next day on my body but damn if it wasn’t fucking funny. After we all kissed and hugged each at the stroke of midnight, I had about another hour in me and I took myself to bed.
Waking up on New Year’s Day and not being hungover or filled with regret was something new for me and I welcomed it. Once we packed everything up and got in the car heading back to the city I was looking forward to getting some cell service to check all my messages. I got a bunch of “Happy New Year” messages but there was one from a guy I had been chatting with from OKCupid. He finally asked me out for a date that upcoming Thursday. I was excited…my first date in 2013!!! NOW, before we go any further, there was a big red flag with this guy. Over our exchange of messages that went from the website to finally texting. He mentioned that he just got a PA. He had told me that he worked downtown as some web developer, so I assumed that PA stood for Personal Assistant. Turns out folks, that is not what he was referring to. PA in his world meant that he just got a Prince Albert aka he got his penis pierced. I had no idea what this dude was talking about and when he asked if I wanted to see it; I said no but let’s just focus on meeting up for wine on Thursday. That Thursday, while at the gym in preparation for our date, I finished and when I got to my locker to check my messages. There it was. The message I had a feeling was coming. His message to me said that he was sick, we need to postpone and that he will contact me later. I just replied with two letters, “OK.” And as of today, I have not heard from him. It is fine, I am not really sure I could get used to the fact that his penis had accessories anyway.
While I was bummed that 2013’s first date for me turned out to be a bust. I wasn’t going to let my freshly clean slate get dirty just yet. I decided to not even let that cancelation date count. No way. I wasn’t that interested and it probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway. However, as my luck was starting to turn, I met another guy on OKCupid. Our emails became so interesting. I found myself eagerly awaiting the next one. They were witty, silly and made me smile. There was nothing that screamed: FREAK, MURDERER or PRINCE ALBERT. After several email banters, we went from the email to texting and finally he asked me out for this past Saturday. I was so excited. I was glad that he asked me out and that he seemed to be looking forward to it as well. We didn’t know what we were going to do but that was fine by me.
Before we get to the date, we must talk about my Friday. During the day at work, I was in the restroom and when I came back my phone had said that I had a voicemail. No one calls me and I didn’t even know how to check my messages. After Googling how to check my voicemail, I sat down and listened to my Saturday date tell me funny things. I was shocked. Someone actually called another human rather than texting, tweeting, Facebook or email. I called him back a few hours later due to work and it was so odd for me to actually talk to someone else on a phone.
That Friday night was marking a big and important birthday for a friend of mine. Several of us would be going to, Indochine, over on Lafayette Street for a celebratory dinner. I could tell that as the food, the wine and everything was being passed around that the birthday boy was indeed grateful for his many fortunes. He gave a touching speech and after dinner, a few of us went to the Boiler Room for, you guessed it…more drinks. I called it a night somewhere around 3 am; for I didn’t want to look like hell on my first date with this new guy.
Saturday afternoon. My date and I agreed to meet on the corner of 16th and Eigth Avenue and we would figure out what to do from there. I showed up a bit late and he was waiting for me in a Starbucks. To my delight, he looked like his photos; his personality matched his emails and text messages. He was energized, funny, goofy and silly. We instantly started our smartass banter with one another. He didn’t take my shit and I didn’t take any of his. I was finally having fun on a first date.
He said to me, “You are a writer. You have no money. I am taking you out to lunch. No excuses.” And so began our walk toward the west side and with us ending up at The Standard for lunch. Our table would be a bit of a wait and so he knew how much I love hot chocolate, so we sat at the bar and had two hot chocolates. It was there that I learned that he is an engineer (not the kind on the railroad but the geeky kind). He is from Ohio, has a complicated family and we even hit on our past relationships. It was crazy how fast this was all going. At times my head was spinning just to keep up but for some reason, I didn’t care. I wanted to know more. Finally our table was ready and the conversation continued so smoothly that I barely even touched my food. I did find out that as a young man he was in the military and also married to a woman (no children) but he was divorced by the time he was 22. So, he is someone that is very comfortable in his own skin and knows who he is. This dude wasn’t hiding anything. He was putting almost all his cards on the table and it was something I found instantly attractive.
After our brunch (which he did in fact pay for and insisted on), he jumps up and says he needs a vacuum and wants to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond. Anybody that knows me; knows I hate these kinds of stores. They are filled with a bunch of couples bitching at each other over a fucking blender and too many carts are all around you. I told him how I feel about this store but he insisted we go and so I let out a big sigh and went into the store. I helped him pick out this very fancy vacuum and some other cleaning products. I told him we are not walking around Manhattan carrying this damn vacuum so he agreed to have his stuff delivered to his apartment. As we stood in line to get his items delivered, there was a woman in line in front of us that was listening to our conversation and laughed at how we bantered with each other. She quickly became our friend and it was very sweet how she was complimenting us.
Once the Bed, Bath and Beyond episode was behind us, I suggested we go to my friends work for a quick drink since he was working that afternoon. So, we walked over to the John Dory, he met my friend and I thought he might feel like it was all going so fast but the entire date was moving at the speed of light anyway. He had a glass of red wine and I had bubbles. We talked some more and there he asked what I was doing later that night and if I wanted to meet up later. Excuse me? Did a guy just ask to hang out later on while still on the current date? That has never happened in my dating history and it turns out that all my friends were otherwise occupied that night and so I agreed to meet him later. We didn’t have a real plan except that he would contact me once his family dinner was done.
A few hours later and I was standing in front of the Best Buy in Union Square waiting for my second date to begin. Two dates in one day. Who the hell was I? When he arrived I suggested we just walk over the bar, Nowhere. We didn’t care for the atmosphere, so after a drink there, we went to Phoenix and had a couple of drinks there. He wanted to bar hop since he said he doesn’t really go out in the East Village or to gay bars for that matter. So, I put on my tour guide cap and we then found ourselves at Boiler Room. It was there that I was secretly hoping he would kiss me. I hadn’t thought about anything like that all day long because I was too busy laughing and having a good time. Maybe it was booze or the fact that I was really digging this entire experience. Right when my thought of him kissing me was happening, someone walked into the bar that he recognized. Not an ex of any kind but a friend of an ex and suddenly he suggested we leave. Before we left, I took the time to tell him that I don’t do drama. If he had any unresolved issues, etc. with anyone than we can call it a night. He said we could stay but I had to put myself in his shoes and even though I have no issues with my exes, I would probably feel uncomfortable myself being in that situation. So, we grabbed our coats and as we exited the bar, he was suddenly hailing a cab. I assumed our night was going to be over but apparently he had other plans. We got in the cab and he told the cab driver to take us to Hell’s Kitchen. I had no idea why on earth he would want to go all the way by my apartment when he lives in Brooklyn.
In the cab he asked where we should go. I told him, that maybe we should go to Hardware for he had never been there and we could hear each other talk. We didn’t even finish our drink at the bar (they were not that good) and he then suggested we call it a night. I was actually tired myself and feared that this date could end up with staying too long at the fair and ending on a bad note. It had been a busy day for the both of us. Before we left, I asked him why on earth did he want to come all the way up to my neighborhood and he responded with, “Because I wanted to make sure you got home safely.” I didn’t know what to say. No one has really done that for me. I didn’t even know if he was lying or not or was it just drunk talking. I decided to think that he meant it. We hugged goodbye and he got in a cab. I went home and fell asleep peacefully.
On Sunday, I got up feeling rested and happy. So far, even though we are only in the first weeks of the New Year, things were looking alright for me. My plans had fallen through so I took that time for myself and I ran errands, had coffee and did some writing. I did exchange a few text messages with The Engineer and as of now, no second date has been planned and even if it doesn’t ever happen. It was fantastic to have met someone that made me laugh and I had a fabulous first date in 2013.
If only in life we each could control our clean slates and only keep the happy and positive things while being able to erase the ugly experiences that life will constantly deal us. Turns out, we don’t get that kind of luxury for we need those awful experiences that happen to us in order to remind us to appreciate the wonderful things that life will give us from time to time. We are all in control of what is written on our slates, here is hoping that all of your slates is filled with nothing but happiness and love.
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