"Update" NYC

Comparison Shopping

Commercials, email blasts, coupons and the constant advertising from every spectrum; are all around us 24 hours a day/seven days a week. They are all trying to sell us something faster, something cheaper and something that we all must have. When you wake up in the morning and check your email. Your inbox is filled with more places trying to get you to buy something than there are emails from actual loved ones.

There are millions out there that will only use one credit card in order to achieve miles to fly around the world. People who cut out coupons from the Sunday paper in order to get the best deals for their families. We are all programmed to do what the retail world refers to as, “comparison shopping.” We do that with restaurants, cities, stores and we all have been guilty to comparing people against one another. Which got me thinking that with all this comparing…are we really getting the best deal?

I, for one, am certainly guilty at doing my fair share of comparison shopping. I will commute to another part of the city knowing that there is the same exact pair of shoes cheaper by a few bucks in order to save money. However, did I really save because I still needed to spend money on the metro card to get there; my time was used unproductively by dealing with delays on the train and a crowded store. Did I really get a better deal or is this just all in my head? The fact is…we are all guilty of comparing things at one time or another.

On Monday, it started off wonderfully. I was still on a high from that past Sunday where I met up with my ex for the first time in years. That was the Sunday that we not only reconnected with one another but discovered that we both were single and that there was still something between us. I couldn’t wait to write about it. I couldn’t wait to share it with my friends and I couldn’t wait to see him again. He was certainly someone that I never compared to any other guy. Mainly because he isn’t like any guy I’ve met before. This on one hand is a fantastic experience and on the other hand…terrifies me.

That Monday after work, I rushed home to get a work out in before meeting my friends for a movie. We were seeing the movie, The Book of Life, which is a cartoon about the Day of the Dead and afterwards we went to Nowhere Bar, for a drink. When we got out of the movie, I noticed a text message from the guy. He was checking in on me to make sure I took my vitamins because he mentioned that he felt a little off and he didn’t want me to get sick. It was sweet of him to check in on me and I assured him that I was just fine.

At the bar, as my friends and I were drinking our cheap beers, I began telling them how great my Sunday was with the guy. Seeing that my friends knew my history with him already and how great he was the first time around that we dated and how I fucked it up royally. My one friend looked at me, grabbed my face and just when I thought he was going to tell me something sweet…he slapped me. He told me not to fuck it up this time. He was one hundred percent accurate. I can’t and don’t want to fuck this up. After the beer, after the slap, we all walked to the subway and said our goodbyes. I didn’t need to comparison shop when it comes to my friends, as they are hands down the best deal in town.

Tuesday after work, I found myself at the Baby Gap. I was shopping for my friend who’s baby needed tights and whom I was visiting with that evening. When I arrived at my friend’s apartment, I instantly made eye contact with his baby girl. She is about six months old and utterly adorable. Over a few glasses of wine, we updated each other on our lives. He was all about parenthood and I was about dating and happy that my life was getting back on track after the tough year it had already been. Our lives, if we compared them are vastly different but in this situation; it is perfectly alright because I believe that we are both where we are supposed to be. I held the baby for about a half hour while at the same time sniffing the top of her head to get that amazing baby smell. I left their apartment, jumped in a cab and instantly sent a message to the guy to tell him about how nice my evening was. He wrote back in a very positive way. He wished me good night and it was in fact a very good night.

Thursday and what felt like a very long week, was ending on an even higher note. I was meeting a sweet girlfriend of mine for happy hour at Gym bar. We got two seats right at the bar, put money on the table and began talking non-stop while drinking beer and doing shots of Fireball. The patrons around us must have thought we were crazy because we were laughing and gabbing without taking a breath. She expressed how happy she was that I’ve reconnected with my ex, mainly because she remembered how nice he treated me. I guess it might be a little bit of human nature to compare because of all my dates that I’ve introduced to my crew; he has always remained as one of the nicest guys that I foolishly messed up with. He was actually one of the few that they actually approved of. It’s hard to get approval but it’s not because my friends are mean but rather protective of me. After our happy hour, we rode the subway together with her getting dropped off at Penn Station and me riding the rest of the way home.

I usually have a rule of never pulling my phone out when I’m intoxicated for fear of either dropping it or sending message that I shouldn’t. However, I couldn’t resist messaging the guy. He knew right away that I was tipsy based on the typos in my messages. However, in those messages, we determined that Saturday would be our next date. I stopped messaging him for I didn’t want to embarrass myself, wished him a goodnight and forced myself to get a good night rest.

Based on how many shots and beers I had the night before, I thought for sure I’d wake up with a slight hangover. Instead, I woke up feeling fine and ready to tackle the day. I got all my work done and that evening; I was meeting two amazing friends of mine at Arriba Arriba for margaritas. They hadn’t been too exposed to the restaurant and so I made sure that we all got the biggest size margarita to gain the full experience of dining there. Over drinks, we updated each other on our lives and once again, the guy was brought up and received a glowing review of how amazing he was the first time around. It was very clear to me that everyone in my circle liked and approved of this guy for me.

After the dinner and drinks, we walked across the street where I took my friends to Atlas Social Club and met up with one more friend of ours for a couple of drinks. I told them all that I could not have a late night. That I needed to be fresh and alive for the next day was my date and I didn’t want to look or feel like road kill. We all said our goodbyes around 11:30 and I was so proud of myself that I didn’t allow the influence of alcohol get in the way of my date the next day.

Saturday morning and things were getting accomplished at a rapid pace. I did the laundry and cleaned the apartment all before noon. Around 11 a.m., I received a message from the guy about details on our date. He mentioned how he missed my face and couldn’t wait to see me. It was one of those messages where I read it more than once just to make sure that it was actually sent to me. I told him that I could be at his apartment any time after six. We agreed on 6:30 and with that time table; I made sure to get everything I needed to get done settled. I did pilates, got a facial, shopped for Halloween and even squeezed in a quick run at the gym.

During our first courtship with each other, on one of our first dates; he brought me a tropical plant. He knew I liked tropical things and still to this day; he’s the only man that has ever done something like that for me. So, with that in my mind, as I was getting ready to jump on the subway to his apartment; I stopped off and bought him a dozen white roses. I should also mention that in my bag along with the flowers were my toiletries and a change of clothes. We didn’t discuss me staying the night but I took a chance.

I arrived at his apartment a little bit after 6:30, flowers and tote in hand. He saw the flowers and was instantly touched. I told him the reason behind the flowers and I think he appreciated them even more. We kissed, hugged and it felt amazing. He displayed the flowers, opened a bottle of wine and there, on his couch, we updated each other on our weeks. While, we had been in constant contact with each other all week; it was nice to hear about his week in person. We didn’t have any real plans that night but I did have a friend that was having a gathering at a bar in the village and he actually knew my friend; so he kindly accepted the invitation.

We quickly got ready and as we were getting ready; I mentioned to him that I brought my toiletries and a change of clothes assuming that I was going to stay the night. He said, “I wanted that to happen all along. I’m glad you are staying.” With that, we kissed, got in his elevator and grabbed some pizza before a long night of drinking. In the cab ride, he asked me how many kids I wanted. He’s always known of my desire to be a parent one day and he expressed that he wants a team of his very own.

Arrived on the corner of Hudson and Charles Street where I made sure to first say hi to other friends of mine that were having dinner across the street from the bar where we would be drinking at. Everyone said their hellos and my date and I walked into the bar, Bayards Ale House. The bar was packed due to the baseball game but luckily, they had a spot in the back where we could actually hear ourselves talk. My date knew mostly everyone there and so, it was relaxing knowing I didn’t have to worry about him carrying his own. The entire evening up to that point was effortless, calm and for once, I wasn’t freaking out.

After a few drinks there, my friends and I wondered over to Pieces and there we ran into more friends of mine and we all drank and watched a Halloween contest. Finally, around 3 a.m. it was time for us to go home. My date and I jumped in a cab and headed home. In the ride back to his apartment, I thanked him for being so kind to my friends and told him how great they all think he is. He told me that he was pleasantly surprised at how fun the evening was and how great my friends are. It was music to my ears.

We got ready for bed and he gave me one of his shirts to sleep in. Once we were in bed, things began to heat up between us and while I should’ve let things happen naturally…my mind got in the way. We paused and there we had one of the most intimate conversations I’ve ever had. While those words are private between us; I can say with all of my heart that it brought us much closer. There were vulnerable confessions on both sides of the conversation and with that; I knew that something was certainly going to develop between us. We held each other that night until we both fell fast asleep.

It was one of the most peaceful rests I’ve had in a very long time. Waking up next to him, with him holding me and with us saying good morning to each other was something that I could easily get used to. I wasn’t sure about his plans for that day but I hoped that his day was free because I wanted nothing more than to spend a few hours with him doing absolutely nothing. When I asked him what his plans were, he told me, “Nothing. What did you have in mind?” I told him that we should allow ourselves to have a lazy Sunday. No work, no socializing; just us, food, movies and cuddling. Which is exactly what we did till around 6:30 when after our second movie; I had to get home. As I was getting ready to leave, we both thanked each other for a great weekend and even tried to figure out when we would see each other next based on our schedules. However, it was right before I was to leave that I said, “I’ll miss you.” He said that he would miss me too and I believed him. In fact, I’ve believed every single word that he has said to me since the first day we met. I left with a heart that was filled and when I walked outside feeling fresh air on my face; I was alive.

I ended up bumping into a friend of mine along my walk home and we walked the entire way back to Hell’s Kitchen.

Finding that great deal or discovering that item for a cheaper price are all great for our wallets. However, when we begin to compare people in our lives to our past or even our present, there’s a very simple rule to live by. Would you want that done unto you? The answer is no. We aren’t items of clothing or high-tech gadgets, we are humans. So, instead of looking for the next best person to walk into your life, recognize the great people that are already in your life and stop comparison shopping.

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