It was just announced last week that for the first time in 60 years that more people moved to New York City in 2012 than those that left it, bringing an estimated population to an all time high of over 8.3 million. As someone that is part of that 8.3 million that reside here, it is a city that I love, respect and admire. And like any relationship, we fight, we have disagreements, we get on each other’s nerves but at the end of the day, it is a relationship that is not only my longest but also my most successful. As I was walking around the city this weekend, I really paid attention to it and what I discovered is that we all know that this city is old but everywhere you look something is always under construction. It seems like every other block has some scaffolding, an avenue is being dug up or a building is being restored. Once I really looked around at all the construction that goes on in this city, I couldn’t help but wonder how we all, in our own lives, are all in a state of being under construction.
By the time last week had started, I could tell that I was coming down with a cold. I knew exactly why I caught this cold and it was due to the previous week of me having some sort of event every single evening and it finally caught up with me. I did all I could to prevent it on Monday with the green tea, the Zicam and Nyquil but I was too late and so when I woke up on Tuesday it was in full effect. I got up, showered and went to the office. The screen was spinning and I couldn’t even write a sentence, so I sent my self home, got under the covers and had re-runs of the Golden Girls on in the background to make me feel better. I was determined to get better by Thursday for I had so much going on for the weekend.
Being the determined person that I am, by the time Thursday had rolled around, I wasn’t 100% but I was damn close. That evening, I was meeting some old coworkers from my last job for drinks at this cute little wine bar called, Wine Escape, in Hell’s Kitchen. I was the first to arrive and within minutes, they all started to pour in. It was so exciting to see them, for we don’t get to see each other too often due to our schedules and since most of them keep up with me through this blog; it was actually refreshing to hear what was going on in their lives. What I was so grateful to find out as everyone began updating each other, is that each of them was madly in love with their boyfriends & girlfriends. It’s not that it is unfathomable to think that everyone is happy and in love but in a city like New York, it is rare that everything seems to fall into place when it comes to relationships. Some are moving across a country for love, while others are looking into moving to Brooklyn to start a new chapter. By the end of the evening, it really made me appreciate having these wonderfully talented and loving people in my life and in a way…gave me hope for my future.
There are certain things in life that get me excited still, like the latest issue of InStyle magazine, that first day after all those cold winter months when it is a perfect 80 degrees or on that rare occasion, the excitement of a first date. After my not so successful dates with that guy from that dating event a few weekends ago. There was one guy at that event that I never got a chance to speak with since it was so chaotic for me. So, I contacted the host of the event and asked him if he could get in touch with this one particular guy for me but I only knew his name and that was it. The contact information was exchanged and thus began some friendly emails, which then led to texting and finally him asking me out to actually meet. He apologized for not even knowing or remembering me from the event and so I sent him a picture and after some back and forth with schedules. We agreed to meet this past Friday. The place we settled on was, Xai Xai, which is also in Hell’s Kitchen and close for both of us, since this is both of ours neighborhood. I got off work, did the gym and got ready. I was a little apprehensive of this date because suddenly I was starting to think things like, “What if he looks at me and thinks I am ugly.” Or “What if he sees me and realizes that I wasn’t the person he tried to remember from the event.” I decided to push those negative thoughts aside and go through with this date, because it was something that I was looking forward to. As I was walking to the wine bar, I remembered I forgot my chapstick at home, so I went into a Duane Reade to quickly buy a new one. Maybe it was my nerves or the fact that I am clumsy person by nature but while looking for the chapstick I was in the aisle that had a big display of toilet paper and I accidentally bumped into it and next thing I know, there is toilet paper rolls rolling down the aisle. I ran to the counter and told the clerk about what I did but also explaining to her that I was going to be late for a date. She laughed and told me to go and have a good time. I never did buy the chapstick and instead rushed over to the bar. When I arrived, he was standing outside waiting for me. He was actually even more handsome than I remembered and he said hi and gave me a hug. So far, we were off to a good start. It started with him having enough manners to even open the door for me.
We sat at the bar and immediately began talking. We covered the usual of what we did for a living, where we were from, how long we have lived in New York and even talked about our families. For the first time, in a long time, I found myself on a date with someone that actually knew how to carry on a conversation. Not only did I ask him questions but he also asked me questions. Usually it is me asking all the questions and never getting anything asked about myself. There was mild flirtation and I flattered myself a little to think that he also found me attractive. He told me he has a weakness for fried food but doesn’t allow himself to go crazy but one thing he does love is chicken fingers. I found that confession rather endearing and put that in the vault for later. After we finished our wine and snacks, I suggested we go for one more drink since the next morning he had to be up to go to Philly with some friends of his for a boys weekend. I told him my love of dive bars and he proposed us going to Ninth Avenue Saloon. We went in, he bought us our drinks and we talked a bit more. This time we talked about our types, preferences and even how we view relationships. We have more in common on how we see relationships work than I thought; which was also very promising. After we finished our drinks, we grabbed our coats and went outside to say goodbye. I thanked him for a nice time; we gave each other a kiss on the lips and hugged. When I got home, I thought about just letting it go and seeing if he would contact me first but I decided not to play these childish games and sent him a text message thanking him again for meeting up and if he ever wanted to do it again to let me know. He responded back with thanking me for a lovely evening and that he is most definitely up for meeting again. All in all…dare I say this, it was the best date in 2013 for me.
I woke up on Saturday feeling so filled with positive energy and did the usual of coffee, the paper, gym and even though it was a weird weather mix of snow and rain, I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world. I even did something I never do which was that I took myself out to lunch. During my lunch, I sent a text message to the guy and told him to have an amazing weekend with his friends and that depending on when he gets back on Sunday, maybe we could meet at a local diner and grab some chicken fingers. He responded later with saying he is looking forward to his adventure and that he loves the idea of meeting up on Sunday.
Later that evening, I met up with my friend at the bar, The Monster. It was close to where he is house sitting and plus we had to attend this party, that I accidentally accepted on behalf of both of us. This party we were not looking forward to at all for a number of reasons but the main reason being that we knew it was going to be boring but we needed to pay our respects. We arrive to the party with two bottles of prosceco and not a clue of what we were getting ourselves into. I suggested we get there on time, smile, shake hands and then leave to enjoy the rest of our evening. As predicted, it was not only boring but awkward. We were pretty much the only single people there and the only two people that were not in the medical field. Still, we smiled, shook hands with strangers and were polite but as soon as our first and only drink was finished; we excused ourselves, grabbed our coats, hugged the friend and back onto the street we went. It was one of those nights where you could tell it might be one huge bust but you still pushed through because you were determined to make the most of it. So, we picked up a friend in Chelsea, did Gym bar and Barracuda. Afterwards, my friend thought it might be fun to go back to the Monster to go dancing downstairs. Turns out…he was wrong. It was pretty tragic downstairs and so after one beer we left and again, determined to not let this evening be a total bust we agreed to one more drink at Julius. For me, that was the highlight of the entire evening because it was just my friend and I laughing and talking. We called it an early(ish) night and I found myself home by 2:30.
I woke up yesterday feeling slightly fuzzy, I guess I drank more than I thought but thankfully there was coconut water and Advil in the house to cure the fuzziness. Got showered, dressed and off to Brooklyn to help my friend prep for a brunch that he was hosting for the occasion was a celebration of love and a birthday. It was quite apparent that everyone that was showing up also had a similar night for everyone was in some state of fuzziness so we all pushed through with our bubbles and delicious food. I knew I had to stop drinking early so that I wouldn’t show up to my second date looking like something you find in a dumpster so I caught a ride home with a friend back to the city. I got home, took a quick cat nap and showered to wake myself up again. As I was walking down Ninth Avenue, I once again, found myself apprehensive except this time my apprehension was more about him liking me, or me liking him or what if we run out of things to talk about. I picked the Galaxy Diner because I knew that not only did they have chicken fingers but also one of my faves…curly fries. He arrived, a hug and a kiss and once again, him being so polite to open the door.
We sat down at a booth and another thing I love about New York City is the diners. It’s just a fun, cheap and comforting experience. Immediately I asked him how his weekend went and as he went into detail about it, I once again, realized that I am already on a second date and having a nice time. He asked me about my weekend and remembered so much of what I shared with him two days prior. It’s hard to get a read on body language when you are sitting at a booth in a diner but I got the sense that he was comfortable and in turn, made me comfortable. We talked about our phobias and even started to touch a little on our past relationships. After our meal, we talked a bit more and since we were both so exhausted from our weekends we settled the bill and chatted just a few more minutes outside. Another hug and kiss and back home I went. As I walked back up Ninth Avenue, I looked at how chaotic the avenue is right now. All the construction going on, how I heard from my date, that they estimate it will take years before it is all fixed and back to normal again. It was there that I thought about my own construction and how long it has taken me to get to the point that I am in my life. Regardless if this guy contacts me for a third date, (while it would be amazing). I can’t put any expectations on it and instead all I can think about is that there are still quality people out there and that great dates still can happen to people out there.
In life, we all suffer from sort of damage, whether that is going through a break-up, losing a job or suffering through the loss of a loved one. All these things are daily occurrences because that is life. It is part of our own construction and when these unfortunate events happen in our lives, it is our own responsibility on how we will rebuild and just how tall we want to grow. I certainly don’t know a lot about construction but I do know that nothing ever starts out from the top down. It all starts with a solid foundation and then you build up. We are all under construction, our buildings are never finished but as long as you have a solid foundation…your own personal building can be as tall as you make it.
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