"Update" NYC

Wasted Time

We do it every single day of our lives; we put off something that could have been done today. We are all guilty at one point or another for taking this time we are given for granted. We just assume that tomorrow will bring another opportunity to reply to that email, start that diet, look for a new job or even tell someone how you feel about them. Then comes the day when the opportunity is missed and all we are left with is the “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s.” In a time where our world is moving at such a rapid speed, I couldn’t help but take the “time” to think…Why do we waste the time we are given?

After Labor Day and after saying goodbye to Fire Island, I was then left with starting the week knowing that I was officially a person in their mid-thirties. There was nothing I could do that would change my age, I needed to embrace it and be mature about it. I have too many good fortunes in my life to sit and wallow of the possessions I don’t have or the things I haven’t accomplished yet. That is what I would consider, wasting time.

Usually in New York, the very next day after Labor Day, our weather changes dramatically. However, we have been lucky enough to still be experiencing summer like weather. I can tell that the New Yorkers here are holding onto this weather for dear life. We know at any day now, it will be time to debut our scarves, fingerless gloves and boots. However, for now, we will continue to eat outside, stay out as late as possible while still wearing short sleeve shirts and even be lucky enough to attend a rooftop dinner party.

That was certainly my luck last Friday. A friend of mine was hosting a dinner party on his rooftop in Brooklyn and my only responsibility was to bring the bubbles, which I gladly did. I arrived and was asked to do my best to decorate the table with candles and lights. I wasn’t sure I did a good job or not but once the proseco started going down, I don’t think anyone noticed what a shitty job I had done. Everyone was having a good time; we were drinking, laughing, eating and even playing hopscotch. After all the booze was literally drunk, most of us decided to take the train back into the city and continue the evening. We all headed over to the Phoenix Bar to support our friend who was DJing that night. The place was packed and at this point I barely remember even having a beer there. After about an hour there, the remaining people in the pack decided to have one more at the Boiler Room. When I looked at my phone and saw that it was 3:30 a.m., it was time to say goodbye and I took my drunken ass home. I kissed my friends goodbye and told the cab driver my cross streets.

Saturday morning and woke up with a pretty good size hangover. I looked at my phone to see the temperature outside and noticed that it was going to be a gorgeous day in the city. As I sat on my couch, channel surfing and taking naps here and there, I couldn’t help but get annoyed with myself. Here it was, probably one of the last nice weather days that the city would be seeing for awhile and I could barely pick myself up off the couch to take a shower. Talk about wasting time. I chose the sauce over being able to enjoy the weather. Don’t get me wrong, the night before was a blast but I just didn’t know when to stop.

I had already committed myself that evening to attend the launch of one of my oldest friends’ website launch. He is in the running (and currently in first place) to win this prize to help launch his company through Martha Stewart herself. If you can, please take the time to vote through this link, I know he would be so grateful: http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/80216?xsc=SOC_AM_NomFB

As I was getting ready that evening, I thought about how proud I am of my friend. I knew him when he was really young and he did everything you were supposed to do when you are young and living in the city. He made mistakes, saw some amazing things and fell down several times, only to be able to pick himself back up again. Sure, there was time that he wasted but now, here we all were, getting together to celebrate his hopeful future.

I didn’t know many people at the beginning of the party and so I just sat down and started talking to random people until my friends that I knew showed up. Once my friends showed up, we gathered by the food and the wine and began to catch each other up. Maybe it was the fresh air, as the party was being held on his rooftop, or the fact that there was an endless supply of wine but suddenly my day long hangover was a thing of the past. Several hours and several bottles of wine later, we all said goodbye to our host and a few of us decided it was still early enough to hit up a few bars in the neighborhood.

I should have called it a night after the party but instead I found myself at Flaming Saddles, watching some cowboy (I use that term very loosely) dance on top of the bar to some country song. This was of course, after a shot and a beer. Once we all realized this wasn’t the place for us, we came to the choice of paying an old bar a friendly visit…Barrage. It was a bar that was popular in the late 90’s and early 00’s; a friend of ours had been there recently and said it was cute again. So we walked over to see if time had treated this bar well. We ordered our drinks and sat at a table, I could barely tell if anything had changed, my brain was certainly at that fuzzy point. Before I know it, we are finishing our drinks and heading across the street to the very tragic bar, Ninth Avenue Saloon. When we order our beers, I noticed that the same guy that was at Flaming Saddles who kept giving me “the eye” was now at the Saloon. Of course, this guy wasn’t someone I wanted talking to me. He was creepy looking and actually looked like a serial killer. He saw me and I did my best to not make any contact with him for the night. Another friend of ours ended up joining us at the bar and I knew at this point that I was drunk, once again. I excused myself to the bathroom and when I walked out; there he was…the creepy guy. He kind of cornered me and asked me for my phone number. I told him, “No. I have a boyfriend.” He didn’t believe me and said, “Where is he then?” I told him that it was none on his business. He then said he wasn’t going to let me by him unless I gave him my number, I knew the guy was drunk out of his mind and so I gave him a fake number. He tried to lean in and kiss me but I by passed him and told my friends that we needed to leave immediately. Never a dull moment and so after my debacle, we all were hungry and ended up getting a table at, Empanada Mama. Delicious food, especially at that late of an hour and so after our snack, we all said goodbye and there was another night of pure entertainment under my belt.

Waking up on Sunday morning with yet another hangover on top of the fact that my allergies were killing me and quickly realizing this was going to be another wasted day. I had deadlines due and I couldn’t even make them. My brain was mush and I even had to cancel my plans that I had that day. The only thing I managed to accomplish was taking a shower and getting right back into my pajamas. Once again, I found myself getting pissed at myself for wasting another fantastic day of weather and not being able to even work. I realize that not every single day can be a day where we accomplish monumental things but it was two days in a row where I didn’t accomplish anything other than destroying my liver. Unfortunately, the only person I had to blame was myself, no one was forcing the red wine down my throat. I wasted the day, went to bed early and vowed to myself that I would take it easy as the new week would begin and to not waste time.

It was finally time for me to shake the dust off, strap on a pair and go on my first date as a 35 year old. I had been talking with this guy from OKCupid for several weeks now. We had plans to meet the previous week but his work got in the way and so we finally managed between our busy schedules to meet yesterday. I was actually looking forward to the date because I was finally ready to try and get to know someone again and there was nothing blocking me mentally from going on this date.

We decided to meet at Bar Veloce on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea at 7:30. I was only running a few minutes late but he did send a text saying, “I am here. I am the guy in the yellow polo.” When I arrived, I spotted him immediately. As I got to the table, he even stood up and didn’t sit till I was seated. It was an interesting move and I didn’t know how to take it, so I just sat my ass down. He said he hadn’t looked at the menu yet because he wanted to wait for me. As, we pondered over the wine list, I took that time to discover that he was much more handsome in person than his photos, which is always a plus for anyone that does this online dating thing.

The wine was chosen and he went to the bar to order it. He brought back the bottle along with two glasses and began pouring my glass first. I could tell already that this guy had some serious manners under his sleeve. Instantly we began talking and at points we were even talking over each other. I found myself laughing, smiling and having a good time. He told me about his job, which is something that involves technology and teaching (still fuzzy on that one) and how he was raised in Oklahoma. When he took out his phone and showed me photos of tornados and donkeys or was it a mule? I have no clue how to tell the farm animals apart but it was endearing to see him light up over his country side. He certainly is a bit country and I am a ton of city. I knew right away the reason why he moved to New York over a year ago. He was surprised to know that I knew how he always wanted to live here and the main reason why he moved here was due to a relationship. Maybe it’s a gift or the fact that I have been doing this for so long but we decided to not go into our dating history just yet. Thank God.

As the evening continued, I could tell he might actually like me as well. There was the occasional grabbing of the hand while he was telling a story or the knee that touched mine and lingered longer than normal. We both were having an excellent time and both of us weren’t afraid to express it. He even said several times how refreshing it was to talk to someone that has a strong opinion and that was smart. Smart? I never get smart. Funny? Yes. Silly? Always.  But never smart.

Once the bottle of wine was empty and we looked at the time, we decided to call it a night while we were both still ahead of the game. He had a long commute back to Brooklyn and was teaching today and the last thing I wanted was another hangover.

When we exited the bar, he asked which train I was taking and I told him I would probably grab a cab but I would walk with him to his train. He told me along the walk that he would like to see me again and my response was simply, “I’d like that too but the ball is in your court.” Maybe it is my new age or the fact that I had become exhausted with chasing unavailable men but the bottom line is, if you want to see me again, there needs to be some effort. He smiled and on the corner of 14th Street and Seventh Avenue, he gave me a long hug and told me to get home safely. I ended up taking the subway after all, and was just really pleased how the entire night unfolded and how I handled the ending. When I got home, I decided to send him a thank you text, since he did pay and was a total gentleman. Then I turned my phone completely off and fell asleep.

I woke up this morning and was greeted with a text message from my date saying he had a good time and looks forward to seeing me again soon. Whether “soon” is this weekend or next month, I had a nice time and that is all I know.

What I do know is that waking up this morning, in New York City, knowing that twelve years ago was a day that would change the world forever. I was brought back to thinking about wasted time. The loved ones that were lost and the people that were left behind to pick up the pieces, all probably wish they had more time to love and be loved. Before 9/11, we all took everything for granted from how carefree our flying was to our own countries safety. It took a tragedy for us to realize that time is a gift and not an obligation.

Not every day will be a day that is filled with success. Not every day will be a day that is filled with sorrow. What we can do every day is do our best to not waste time. It shouldn’t take a tragedy, an indiscretion or even a joyous moment for us to let someone know how we feel about them. Time is something that should never be wasted but rather treated with the upmost respect.

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