Every single day of our lives we make choices. Sometimes we are fully aware of them and other times we make these choices without thinking. For instance, the route we commute to work each and every single morning is our choice but we don’t even think twice about it because it is part of our routine. However, the choices we make over things like taking that job, ending that relationship or buying that home are choices we contemplate, analyze and drive ourselves crazy over. We rely on magic eight balls, flipping a coin, therapists and our loved ones to help us make important choices in our lives that I couldn’t help but wonder, if we are even capable of making a decision on our own?
As the beginning of last week started, I told myself that as I was choosing what to write for this week, that I would put my money where my words were going and decided to make all my decisions and choices all on my own. No crutches. Turns out, it is a lot harder than you think.
I found myself on unfamiliar grounds when I decided to meet up with an ex-boyfriend of mine last Tuesday. I dated this great guy back when I was 22 years old and over the past twelve years our relationship had been reduced to a friendly wave or kind hello mainly on Fire Island during the summer. So, when we both agreed to meet last Tuesday at the bar, Therapy, neither one of us really knew what to expect or say for that matter.
As our first drinks arrived, we did your typical small talk with updating each other on our lives with work, family and since he follows the blog, he knows all too well about my dating life. By the time the second drink came around, I could tell we were becoming more relaxed and our topics grew deeper about our past/current relationships and our futures. Finally, after the small talk it was time to talk about the past; something we never really did after I ended things.
Not really thinking that after all these years that revisiting the past would end up causing some deeper thinking but there it was. There was a confession from him, that right when I ended things is when he began falling in love with me. I had no idea at the time and again, I was 22 years old and didn’t know left from right. It is always an interesting feeling to hear someone tell you these things when you really had no clue. It is also an even more interesting feeling to think that you broke someone’s heart that you really cared for. After all the confessing, which included me telling him that when we dated it was almost too good to be true and that is why I freaked out and ended things, that I knew I made the right choice back then to end things. I would have never experienced the things that I have been fortunate to see and do and the applied for him. However, the part that stung me the most was when the topic of children came around. I told my ex that I was in the early stages of getting my ducks in a row to have a baby and he told me that he and his partner are also in the early stages as well of adopting a baby. There it was. The life I could have had all wrapped up in a bow. The great guy, the apartment in the city, the house on Fire Island and now the baby. It was there that I knew that the choice I made to end things for he was getting the life he also wanted with someone that he loves. We hugged goodbye on the street and by the time I got home, I was happy for him and happy for his future. Mine wasn’t exactly as planned but then again, nothing has been since I arrived here in New York. We sent a message to each other that we will not wait another twelve years to have a drink and I
went to bed that night hopeful for a brighter future.
Last Monday, I was working when I was contacted by my editor and was shocked when I saw what he had written me. He said that the people at Sundance Productions contacted him and wanted to meet with me to discuss a project. I told him that I could be free on Wednesday anytime and so we settled on 5:30. My gut instinct told me that this meeting was all too good to be true and that things like this don’t happen to people like me. I assumed that they wanted to meet with me to clean their bathrooms or something along those lines.
By the time Wednesday presented itself and I was walking to their offices on Ninth Avenue, I realized that I was so frazzled that I failed to bring any of my writings, a pen, a piece of paper and all I had on me was my gym clothes. It was too late to rush back to my apartment and so I just sucked it up and went to the 10th floor of the office.
I walked in the tiny office and suddenly became nervous because I noticed inside their glass conference room was all my work. They had printed my Yahoo! articles and several of entries from the blog. My work was clipped on a corkboard with specific sentences highlighted and marked up, unfortunately I couldn’t see what was written and I feared that they were bringing me to give me their opinions on how bad of a writer I am.
Once I told the receptionist who I was waiting for, a man appeared from behind a cubicle and as he was walking toward me to give me a hand shake, he said, “Wow. I didn’t expect you to look like this.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by his comment and he could tell by my face that I was confused and he quickly corrected himself by saying, “I just didn’t think you were going to be this handsome and with such a great smile.” I have been told worse things about myself so I was relieved by his words. He motioned me to come into the conference room and as we were walking in the room, I was able to catch a glimpse of what was written on the corkboard and it was all positive.
As we sat down, I was still a ball of nerves and there was an attractive older woman sitting at the table. She introduced herself and handed me a pamphlet, a pen and a bottle of water. Turns out that she is an up and coming actress and that she wants to write a book about dating and so for the next two hours we discussed my thoughts, ideas and all my views on dating. She loved everything and kept saying that she has the ideas but just doesn’t know how to write. That is where I was to come in. They want me to write the book but put her face on it. That news didn’t come to me until after two hours of me giving them my puns, my ideas, my funny quips and a rough outline for the book. Once the meeting was done, she confessed that she had other people to meet but that if I wanted the job that I could have it. I told them both that I would need to think about it. There really was nothing to think about, I knew what my choice already was. If I was going to write this book for a pretty face than all this hard work that I would be doing would have my face…pretty or not. I sent them the decline to their offer this morning.
So far my week about making choices was going smoothly and I felt proud of every single choice I made regarding both my past and my future. When Thursday rolled around, I was feeling pretty confident and decided to meet some girlfriends of mine that I haven’t seen in an actual social setting in over seven years. They are friends of another ex of mine. An ex that I made the choice to leave and start a brand life for myself and an ex that I know is no good for me. But since they were his friends to begin with, he got them in the separation.
We all decided to meet at the wine bar, Medi, over in Hell’s Kitchen. It was really nice to hear how these wonderful women have progressed over the years and what they are doing with their lives now. After two bottles of wine, it was time to address my ex. They informed me that he isn’t doing so well with his life and that his problems have overtaken his relationships even with them. They hardly see him or even hear from him. It was the same problems he had when we were together and after hearing that, it broke my heart that nothing has really changed for him. I wanted nothing but the best for him and still do, I loved him and while I know for a fact that I made the right choice to leave him; nothing can ever make you feel good about hearing that someone from your past doesn’t seem to have that bright of a future.
The next day, I woke up not having fully shaken the news of my ex and his issues but I knew there was nothing I could do to help him even if I did reach out to him. I decided to let it go, pack my bags and get ready to head over to Feathers country house for the weekend. As per the norm, the weekend consisted of laughter, talking and too much red wine.
On our ride back to the city yesterday, I received an email from another old flame and there was no subject but in the body of the email all it said was, “I just want you to know that I hope you find true love and all that you are looking for.” I hadn’t heard from this person in years and it caught me totally off guard, I didn’t even tell Feathers about it as he drove. I responded with thanking him for his kind words and wished him well. It was also nice knowing that even your exes are rooting for you. Just goes to show you that even the tough choices we have to make in life can actually reward you with something positive in the end.
Yesterday afternoon I had a coffee date with a new guy. I didn’t know much about him other than he was a management consultant and I wasn’t too keen on his name (I’m a name person). We agreed to meet at 5:30 at the coffee shop, La Bergamote, in Chelsea. As I walking to the place, I received a text message from him saying he was outside waiting for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I made the choice to meet this person and so I needed to suck it up whether it was going to be a good date or a bad one. When I got closer I could see my date standing outside, and he was dressed…well…how do I put this…European. The jeans had a lot of details on them, the cologne was thick and the shirt was extremely tight on him. Aside from the fashion the major thing that I noticed on this man was the work that was done on his hair. His hair transplant looked as if he had done it himself with a needle and thread. The other reason why this man looked European was that he was Russian. Not that I have anything against Russians but this man was one angry Russian.
He shook my hand and in his thick accent told me to sit in the corner. I felt like I was in the military and my drill sergeant was telling me to drop and give him twenty push-ups. I knew right off the bat that this was a date that was going to end as soon as I finished my iced coffee. He, on the other hand, decided he wanted to order many beverages. He ordered a latte, mineral water and a mimosa. I did my best to not look at his hair and just listened to all he had to say (which I barely understood).
As I mentioned, he is an angry man and went into great detail about his love of dogs. He told me that while it may seem harsh but that he feels it is easier to pull the plug on a human being than a dog. I didn’t even respond to him but just gave a nod. I thought by me not feeding into the story that he would change the subject but he went into detail about how he adopted this dog that’s eye was falling out of its socket and that he is responsible for bringing it back to life. In short…he thinks he might be a dog whisperer. I had already finished my iced coffee a long time ago and didn’t know how to get the hell out of this date because he was working three drinks simultaneously. It was getting to the point where I wanted to help him drink the beverages faster so I could go home. Everything I said, he was against and had a big opinion on and so I accepted my defeat and agreed with everything he said and when I excused myself to use the bathroom, all I could do was wish that he was paying the bill and that I could run away. Thankfully, he did pay the bill and I wasn’t exactly set free for he wanted to walk a little bit to 23rd Street which is where I told him I needed to catch the subway home. He tried to lean in for a hug and kiss and I blocked him quickly with a handshake. This was a choice I made that didn’t need any over analyzing; this was hands down a terrible date.
Choices. We live in a country where we have so many options…Small, Medium, Large. First Class, Economy, Coach. We should never take for granted that we have the right to make whatever choices we want in our lives. The most important thing to think about when making a choice is not only how it will affect you but how will impact the others around you. Even the choices we make by accident are just as impactful as the ones we make from our own free will.
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