It happened about three weeks ago. The event that most American citizens dread when they open their mailboxes, only to see the envelope that informs you that you’ve been selected for jury duty.
For most, we find this civil duty a pain in the ass. There is the process of having to take time off from your job, you can be sitting there for hours before you are selected and then of course, you are stuck in a room with the most random people.
However, as I sat there waiting to be selected last Wednesday; I couldn’t help but notice the correlation with the law and relationships. Are we all just a bunch of jurors out there waiting to be selected for finding our mate?
The guy I had been hanging out with for the past several weeks, was going through his process of dealing with his dad’s sudden illness and try as I may; I was doing my best to be supportive. Constantly checking in to see how he was doing. Seeing if he needed anything from me but I also noticed that I was the one always reaching out to him. Never once did he ask me about my day or even bother to thank me for checking in on him. I was beginning to slowly lose my patience with his inconsistent communication.
So, on Tuesday, I agreed to go on a date with a new guy that I’ve been chatting with since last November. We met at the wine bar, Medi, in Hell’s Kitchen and he was waiting outside for me in the rain when I showed five minutes late. I wasn’t sure if the attraction was instant for me but I certainly was ready to meet this man face to face after all of these months.
We sat, had two glasses of wine and shared our coming to New York stories and after our two glasses; we decided to call it an evening. He walked me to my corner and we hugged goodbye. I wasn’t sure if he was interested in me and I wasn’t even sure I was interested in him. The deliberation process was happening as to whether or not we would see each other again. However, by the time I finished washing my face and brushing my teeth; I received a message from him telling me that he had a great time, thought I was cute and wanted to see me again after the Easter break. I still wasn’t sure about my verdict but apparently his was already determined.
On Wednesday morning, bright and early, I found myself riding the subway all the way downtown to jury duty. I was ready to be there for awhile and so I packed my books and phone charger. As I sat there and observed the room, it amazed me how many walks of life there was there. From the youngest to the oldest of people. After the video on jury duty and a very long introduction from a woman on how the process works; it was time for the selections to commence.
One by one, our names were called and brought into different rooms to determine if we were a right match for the cases. That is when it occurred to me that the selection process is a lot like dating. Every day, first dates happen and you meet each other to determine whether or not you want this person sitting across from you to be your next relationship.
We present our cases on the date, then there is the deliberation and finally the verdict. Will this person call us again? Or will our case get dismissed?
After several hours of being bounced from room to room to see if I was a match for any of the cases that day. It was decided that since I already served on two trails already that I got dismissed and don’t need to serve again for another six years. I was relieved not because I didn’t like performing my civil duties but because I don’t like being responsible for determining someone’s future.
That evening, I was having a second date with a guy I had a great first date with two Saturday’s ago. We agreed upon a Thai restaurant in Chelsea. I, once again, found him attractive, polite and engaging. He was not drinking that evening because he is wanting to get his body in better shape in time for summer. I was also relieved because I wasn’t in the mood to drink either. As we talked over our steamed dumplings, I couldn’t help but notice that I was sitting across from someone that only wanted to talk about themselves. It was about his job, his family and his anticipation for his share on Fire Island. I think I might have said two sentences the entire time. Here I was, sitting across a man that is about to turn 40 in two weeks and he still hasn’t learned how to carry on a proper conversation.
After we settled the bill, we walked up Eighth Avenue to where he lived and then he showed me his building and invited me up. I listened to my gut instinct and declined the offer and blamed a pressing deadline. He kissed me goodbye and an hour later he sent me a text saying he had a good time. While the physical attraction was there, I was still wasn’t sure what my decision was going to be as to whether or not I wanted to see him again.
Thursday morning and I was still rather upset that the last communication I had with the guy I had been hanging out for the past several weeks; wasn’t reaching out to me. It was then, that I logged onto the dating app where we met and there he was. He was online and it was there that I realized that the amount of time that it took for him to log on, etc. that he could’ve reached out to me. I knew where his priorities were and I wasn’t one of them. I decided to send him a text and he responded right away.
I told him that I don’t think this will work based on how we communicate with each other and he took it easier than I was expecting. He said he knew it was coming and that he just has a lot going on with his work and family issues. The ending was very civil and he told me that he does like me a lot and thinks I’m one of the nicest people he’s ever met. I don’t think our case will be re-opened but I was glad that we both reached a mutual verdict.
It was a smart decision on my part to take last Friday off. I had so many errands to run and I was able to get those things done that you can only get done during the week. However, the thing I was looking forward to the most was that evening I was going to my friend’s apartment for a Shabbat dinner. It was intimate and it was nice to actually catch-up with everyone. It was the perfect way to ease into the weekend. We had dinner, wine and dessert. Afterwards, a few of us went to Barracuda for a couple of beers before realizing how exhausted all of us were.
Not waking up on a Saturday morning with no hangover was amazing. I hope to make this trend if I can because I got a lot accomplished. However, I did manage to find myself in a rather delicate situation. I woke up early, got the coffee and the paper and I got a message from this guy named…Guy. We had been chatting for several weeks and we always wanted to meet but it was solely based on lust and not for an actual date.
He asked me what I was doing at that very moment and I told him that I was relaxing. He told me to take a shower and come to see him for he had a few hours before he needed to get back to his paper that he was working on. I didn’t have anything planned until later in the afternoon. So, I did what he asked me to do and I showered and got directions on how to get to him. He lives in Long Island City and while it’s not far from my apartment, the idea of traveling never enticed me.
I arrived to Long Island City around noon and while you can see the city; I still felt somewhat far away. No one knew what I was doing, hell, most of my friends were probably still asleep and here I was on my way to some stranger’s apartment. Thankfully, he looked like his photos and we immediately began doing what I came to do. After a couple of hours, all was said and done then he looked at me with really big eyes and said, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry for what I’ve done to you.” I wasn’t sure what he meant exactly until I saw my body reacting to his beard and my chest had red marks all over. Then he looked at my left side of my neck and then he began laughing. I immediately jumped out of his bed and ran to the bathroom mirror where I saw not one but two rather huge hickies on both sides of my neck. He was still in bed laughing and I was freaking out for I had a suit fitting later on that day and a party to attend.
Quickly, I grabbed my phone and sent a text message to a few friends to see what was the remedy was for getting these things off of my neck. The “Guy” was rather helpful with trying to brush the hickies out with his toothbrush and we were trying every possible scenario to get them removed but my skin was only getting more agitated. Finally, he looked at his cell phone and told me that I should get going. I wasn’t sure why all of the sudden he was rushing me and then I asked, “Are you having me rush because you are expecting someone?” He looked at me with a rather guilty expression and said, “Yes. My partner is on his way from D.C. and will be here at any minute.”
As I grabbed my bag and he told me once again how sorry he was for giving me these love bites; I wanted to be angry at him for him not telling me about his romantic status but it was my own faulty for going there, for allowing things to happen and I had no one to blame but myself for my situation. When I walked out of his building, I looked at my phone and there was a text message from the guy I had dinner with on Wednesday. He had reached his verdict and it was him saying that he wasn’t interested in me romantically but wanted to be friends. I found it so ironic that as soon as I finished a disastrous tryst that I get this message.
I jumped on the subway back to the city and did my best to cover up my neck. I was grateful for the fact that evening I was going to a party where I would be surrounded by friends and not meeting anyone new. Of course, my friends being the smartasses that they are; gave me hell for love bites. I was hoping that by the next day, Easter that they would be gone.
Easter Sunday, it was perfect weather and most of us were all going to Brooklyn to celebrate. I was looking forward to seeing the Easter egg hunt with the kids and eating. I was impressed that all of us showed up on time and of course, the amount of booze that was present was insane. We ate, we drank and then something else happened. Something unexpected, a guest showed up to the party and he was tall, handsome (in my opinion) and he brought his dog.
The first thing he said to me was, “You look familiar. Do you go to Fire Island?” He didn’t look familiar to me at all but after talking it out, we realized that I did meet him on Fire Island several years ago. The second thing he said to me was, “Judging by your neck, it looks like you had a good time with someone.” There was mild flirtation throughout the day and with the cocktails flowing, we both got more and more comfortable with each other. I wasn’t sure if he was interested in me until he suggested that we commute back to the city together. All my friends gave us the eye and it was their way of saying, “We approve.”
He and I walked to the subway together in our drunken stupor. On the subway ride, he gave me his business card and I wasn’t sure if he gave it to me to be polite or what. The ball is in my court to reach out to him and then I guess I will get my answer as to whether or not he was actually into me or was just being kind.
We all judge and it’s something we need to be conscious of. Each time we present our case while out there in the world, whether that is a date or a job interview; we are responsible for the verdict. Knowing that we are our own best lawyers will hopefully determine one day, hopefully not too far away, that we can stand up and say that we won our case!
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