Most bruises are caused when you are not paying attention to what you are doing, you lose your balance, you bang yourself against the nightstand and then there are the times when someone or something causes you to get a bruise. You know instantly when you are hit that you end up saying to yourself, “Boy that one is going to hurt,” and sure enough…the next day you are left with a bluish-purple mark from the incident. I couldn’t help but wonder when it comes to the non-physical, if the bruises we receive from our relationships are any different from when we are struck and left with the marks on our skin?
Last week was it for me. I had hit my limit with regards to dating. I simply couldn’t do it anymore. After last Monday’s episode in New Jersey that left me being chased by a goose, sleeping in a filthy apartment and trying to find my way home in two degree temperatures. I was left with a rather big bruise to my belief system in relationships and my heart was actually broken. When I finally made my way into the office that day before I even got started on my work I went online and canceled everything. I closed out all dating accounts, and even got on my email and began to correspond with all my potential dates I had lined up for the week and told them all that I couldn’t go on any dates with them…all but one. A lot of people after reading last week’s entry contacted me and I was flooded with advice. While it was a funny episode of what happened to me last week; it was also rather a sad situation. No one should have to experience or go through so much crazy shit just in order to make an honest connection with another person. I was getting advice from every direction, from readers out there to friends and instead of listening I almost became angry. It also occurred to me that as the “He is out there. Don’t give up,” or “Stop dating for awhile. It will happen when you least expect it” and so on and so forth, what occurred to me was that the people that were giving me all this sound advice were people in relationships. How quickly they forget that I was there for them before they met their partners and I was there helping them as they stumbled their way through their own dating escapades. Once you leave the single world and enter the dating world; it is very easy to forget how rough it actually is out there and how easy it is to get on the soap box. Advice is wonderful and what it means is that people out there actually care enough about you to not want to see you get hurt. But seeing that no one is an expert on dating because even when you are in a relationship that doesn’t mean the trials and tribulations stop. All it means is that you are now faced with different obstacles to overcome. In the end of all of this, it doesn’t matter if you are single, in a relationship, just ending something or beginning something new it is all about appreciation. You can love someone but do you actually appreciate this person? Loving someone can actually be the easiest part in a relationship but letting someone know that you appreciate them…that can be rather tricky.
By Wednesday, my dating bruises were starting to heal themselves. I felt amazing and relieved that I didn’t have to worry about any dates for the week and I was able to focus on other parts of my life. However, after canceling all dates for the week, as I mentioned, I kept one for the week. There was something that told me to keep this particular date because we had been chatting for about two or three weeks from Match.com but due to his work schedule and mine, we had kept this past Wednesday on the books. To my surprise, this guy was actually someone that chose the time and place of where to meet. It wasn’t me doing all the heavy lifting and deciding on where to go, etc. I had mentioned to him that I lived in Hell’s Kitchen and so he decided that we should meet at the bar, Therapy at 7:30 for some drinks and if we got hungry that we could get some snacks there. As I was walking to the bar, I got a text from him telling me that he grabbed a booth and is seated by the window. When I walked in, I instantly knew who he was and thankfully he looked just like his photos. We ordered our drinks and instantly began, for the first time in a long time, a stimulating conversation. I was impressed. This guy knew how to play the dating tennis match. For every question he asked me, I asked him right back and this would continue for about three or four drinks. By the time our second cocktail was in our system, I discovered that I have more in common with this guy than I was expecting. He loves the beach just as much as I do. Has a great sense of a work ethic and while we come from completely different backgrounds; he actually found my journey to New York fascinating. Somehow, the topic of marriage and weddings came up and when we both said that our ideal would be on a beach; it was there that I thought to myself, “This is how most first dates should go.” Not talking about marriage necessarily but being mature and grown-up enough to actually have a conversation about your future without someone running for the hills. After we settled the bill, he asked when he could see me again and even said that he had a great time. Again, this is how most first dates should run; acknowledging the good time you just had and confirming the second one. We walked to the corner of 52nd Street and Ninth Avenue and hugged goodbye. He got a cab and I walked home.
The next morning on my walk to work, I got a text message from him saying it was nice to meet me and wishing me a good day. Maybe it was timing, maybe it was the fact that I let all the dating stuff go or maybe just maybe…the bruises from my past dating escapades were starting to slowly fade away. Whatever the case was, while it was way too soon to tell if I liked this guy or not, one thing was for certain and that was that I appreciated a fabulous first date.
By the time the weekend had presented itself; I was more than ready because I knew it was going to be just what I needed. Friday, the weather in the city was messy. It was a mix of snow and rain and the last thing anyone wanted to do was be out and about. I did manage to go to a friends’ apartment and there we had a bunch of wine and talked till about midnight. I didn’t want to get too drunk for I knew that the next day was going to be a major shit show.
Saturday, up early, gym, errands and then it was off to a fundraiser at The Park for the Abzyme Research Foundation. I was so excited for this event because I knew that everyone was going to be there and plus it was a great excuse to drink at 4 in the afternoon. The entire evening was perfect, everyone was in good spirits and people that I see all the time and some faces that I don’t get to see enough were all in attendance. After the event, we went downstairs to have a nice meal and off we went to crash some house parties, next stop was picking up a friend at his apartment, which led to us forcing him into a cab to go to another friends’ birthday party he was having at his home. Time definitely got lost on me for before I know it; we left the party (which was already late) and decided to go to Hardware bar for one more drink (because that makes perfect sense after drinking straight for ten hours). After our final drink, we all said goodbye and as I walked home I was so happy because I got all I wanted so far from the weekend.
Yesterday I was anticipating the hangover from hell but oddly enough I woke up feeling just fine. That was something I was most grateful for because later on I was to have my second date with the guy from Wednesday. After clearing everything off the DVR, going to the gym and him actually calling me to let me know that he wanted to go to this restaurant in the West Village…I was more than ready to see where date number two was going to take me. He selected a place called, Betel. It is on Grove Street and Seventh Avenue South. I had never been there before and I was looking forward to it. I got off on the 1 train on Christopher Street and I was proud of myself because I was actually running right on time. When I got to the corner of Grove Street, I wanted to make sure I had everything in my wallet (the ID, the debit card, etc.) well, as I was making sure I had all my belongs there it went…down the street grate…my debit card!!!! I screamed as I saw it go down and now I have no cash on me and now no debit card and I am looking at the restaurant where I am sure my date is waiting for me. I didn’t know what to do, plus I didn’t want him thinking that I was lying or making an excuse. So, I let out a big sigh and entered the restaurant. He was already waiting for me and at the time, we were the only two people in the joint. Before he even got up from his seat, I told him what had just happened to me and he laughed and said that I can get him the next time.
As we sat down and ordered our drinks, it dawned on me that I was already having such a wonderful time already. Usually on second dates you somewhat fear that it is like a great movie trailer that has all the jokes upfront and the actual movie sucks but thankfully for me it wasn’t. We updated each other on our weekends, he did the ordering and both the food and the cocktails were amazing. Toward the end of the meal, he confessed to me that he was having a great time and asked me if I was as well and I didn’t need to lie or hide behind anything because the fact was…I indeed was having a good time. Seeing that it was still early, he suggested we go to this little bar that is just across the street from his apartment. We grabbed our coats and walked to the bar. He had mentioned to me that this bar is like his home away from home and they all know him there. Once we were seated, I had to thank him again for the lovely dinner and promised him that next time was going to be one me. After our second drink he asked me if he could kiss me. At first I was taken aback because it had been awhile since someone actually asked to kiss me. After we kissed, he told me that he had wanted to do that for awhile. It was a sweet confession and the bar was closing and as the bill was being prepared he said that since he lives just across the street that I come up stairs with him because he really wants to make out. By now, the alcohol was certainly doing all the talking for him. I told him right away that, “Yes. I will come upstairs with you but we are 100% not having sex of any kind.” He laughed and said, “I know. All I want to do is make out.” It felt all very high school and the only thing missing was a Jansport backpack. We went up to his place and immediately began to kiss. It was intense, it was hot and I made sure to keep my shoes on the entire time. I wasn’t going to let my body or the alcohol do any decision making. Of course, like any male, he wanted me to stay and I had to keep telling him that I couldn’t. Finally after an hour of rolling around, I pushed myself off of him and said that I needed to leave. When I went to the bathroom and looked at my face, it was red. Not from being flushed but because of his beard. I had beard burn all over my face and it stung like a mother. We had a laugh about it and he asked when he could see me again. So, this upcoming Friday, Mr. M. (as we will call him) and I are hanging out this Friday. I got home, washed my beard burned face put a lot of moisturizer on it and was again, very appreciative of the second dates outcome.
This morning as the coffee cart lady was making me a cup of java; I got a message from Mr. M. telling me that he had a great time; sorry for the beard burn and that he is looking forward to next time. It was a fantastic way to start the work week. It is those little things in life that can help heal the relationship bruises.
Bruises occur when a part of the body is hit and the tissue underneath are crushed but the skin doesn’t break. I couldn’t help but think about how symbolic this entire bruise thing actually is. If you think about it, our entire life experiences are all about bruises. We lose a job but then that bruise is healed the minute we get another gig. We get divorced and that pain that occurs throughout the entire process but when we find love again all the bruises has vanished. Bruises are ugly both physically and metaphorically; there is no cure on how to get rid of them all we can do is ride them out. Maybe in life that is what we have to do with our life bruises…just ride them out until it heals itself.
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