Mix and Match
There are so many wonderful things on this earth that go perfectly together that you can’t even imagine what life would be like if they weren’t together. Things like, chocolate and peanut butter, mimosas with brunch or Rockefeller Center without the Christmas tree. It’s these things that when they come together bring such joy and comfort to our lives. Yet when it comes to matters of the heart, we tend to be more cautious of who we let in before we decide to mix and match. If only our loves lives were as easy as putting peanut butter and jelly together…
For most, last week was going to be a short work week before heading off to spend Thanksgiving with their loved ones. As for me, my work week was starting off with yet another fourteen hour day. I was quickly realizing that this current job and me where not mixing well together. Between my personality and the work itself, this job was becoming a means to an end rather than advancing my career. My work wasn’t suffering but my emotions certainly were. By the end of that Monday, I told myself that I will finish out the year and come early next year; I will be looking for my next chapter.
While the job was making me depressed as each day went on; my office crush was having the opposite effect on me. Even though we work in the same office, on the same floor; I was doing my best to avoid him like the plague. Yes. I was acting like I was in high school, hiding behind lockers so my crush wouldn’t see me. However, that was exactly how I was feeling about this office crush. I just knew that if I saw him, I would say or do something completely stupid and any interest that he might have in me; would be tossed out the window. For instance, last Tuesday, I managed to not see him once and toward the end of the day; we were walking by each other and he said, “Hi” and kept walking. As I tried to look back to see if he was looking back at me; I ran into a coworker head on and his papers went flying. It’s those things that I tend to always do and am working hard so that he doesn’t see that side of me.
On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, the city actually decided to have a wintery mix with the weather. There was rain and snow falling from the sky and the temperatures were on the frigid side. As I was one of the only people in the office that day, I did get a message from my office crush. He was working from his family home in New Jersey. He asked how the weather was in the city, if I was going to be leaving early that day and somehow we even got on the topic of relationships. He asked how long ago my serious relationship was. It’s a question that I also like to avoid like the plague but I had to be an adult and answer the question truthfully. To my surprise, he wasn’t taken aback at how long it’s been and when I asked him the same question; he gave me a vague answer. The vagueness about his response was that it didn’t allude to whether or not he is gay (which I still have no clue if he is or not). I decided not to press the issue via text messages and wait until I would see him next. We both dropped the relationship topic and went onto to more frivolous things. I haven’t met anyone in my life that is such an enigma to me. I wasn’t sure if we were ever going to mix and match but I did know that I liked him, he made me smile and that was alright for the time being.
Later on that night, I met up with my old roommate and dear friend. We started at the bar, Atlas, where we both were drinking vodka with Red Bull; just to get our energy up. It was only Wednesday but we both had a rather long work week. After Atlas, we decided to go to, Industry, where we switched to beer and after awhile we decided to call it a night. Seeing him and catching up was the perfect way to start the long work-free weekend. I went to bed that night and slept the hardest I’ve slept in a long time.
Thanksgiving Day. My only assignment was to bring booze but I opted to also bring my favorite, Hawaiian Rolls to my friends beautiful apartment in Brooklyn. I knew that I would be on dish duty along with helping watch my friend’s baby while she cooked away in the kitchen. I was looking forward to seeing everyone, celebrating and giving thanks. Everyone showed up on time, the food was delish, the supply of booze never ran out and the spirit of Thanksgiving certainly filled the air. Finally, around 2:30 a.m. it was time for us to call on Uber to take us back to the city so we could take our fat asses to bed. If the weekend had ended right then and there; I would’ve been satisfied because everyone was happy. However, we all were very lucky because we had three more days of festivities ahead of us.
Friday, I woke up and did something I’ve never done before. I shopped on Black Friday. I went to the gym, did laundry and was accomplishing so much that I was even surprising myself. What also surprised me was that my office crush and I were still messaging with each other over the weekend. We asked each other how our Turkey Day’s went and what we had planned for the rest of our weekends. I didn’t forget that I invited him to my friend’s party on Saturday but was too nervous to remind him about it for fear of possibly mixing business with pleasure. So, instead, I told him about how excited I was to be going to my friend’s concert that night in the East Village. He told me to have fun and then brought up the Saturday night party all on his own. He told me he would do his best to attend even if it was on the later side. I didn’t care when he showed up just as long as he did.
Later on that Friday night, I was meeting one of my best friends at Lil’ Frankie’s for a much needed recap on our lives before heading to her boyfriend’s concert. She is one of the people that I mix very well with. We finish each other’s sentences and there are times when all we have to do is look at each other and we both know what the other one is thinking. We were there with two other girlfriends of ours and of course, the topic of relationships quickly came to surface. While I listened to my girlfriends bitch, moan and contemplate over next steps of what to do with their boyfriends/husbands; the only thing I could contribute was my advice for my own dating life was rather bleak. I had an office crush and that was it. I felt rather small at a place called, Lil’ Frankie’s. After we settled the bill, we got a cab to the bar, Otto’s Shrunken Head.
As the band, The Walk-On’s, jammed out on stage, I looked over at my friend and she was so proud of her boyfriend. It was a look that I hadn’t seen on her face in awhile and that made the evening all the more special. After the gig, we all went to the front of the bar to continue drinking and congratulating the band on an excellent set. We all sat at a big round table with our beers and I wasn’t paying attention until I looked around at the table and I discovered that I was the only single person sitting there. Suddenly, my anxiety filled my mind. I wanted to get away as quickly as possible, it was a good thing the party was slowing down anyhow but I wasn’t matching with this mix of friends. I felt like the odd one out and none of them did anything to make me feel the way I was feeling. It was all me. I gave everyone a hug goodbye and the cold brisk air that night quickly sobered me up. I hailed a cab to take me home. I couldn’t wait to wash my face and start a new day.
On Saturday, I woke up feeling much better about myself and just chalked up my mini-panic attack on alcohol and insecurities. Plus, I really needed to pull myself together because the same people the night before; I was also seeing later on that night for our 11th annual Friendsgiving. This time, things would be slightly different. I was bringing my office crush with me and we would both be outside of the work environment and maybe I could see if he’s even slightly interested in me or not. The plan was that he would catch a bus from his parent’s house in New Jersey and rush over to Friendsgiving, which ironically enough, was only five minutes away from his apartment in Brooklyn.
I arrived with my champagne and assortment of meats and cheeses. I was rather proud of myself for I never go to grocery stores but I stepped up my game this year. I was getting updates from my office crush saying he was on the bus home but wouldn’t be arriving till almost 10 p.m. I was fine with that and so was everyone else. As we waited for him to arrive, we had our meal and even started on dessert. He finally showed up and everyone was, of course, very welcoming toward him. A few friends of mine are these big nerds (as I call them) and they all began to geek out on the Star Wars stuff (which I’ve never seen one Star Wars movie) and so he was fitting right in. While they were chatting about that, I was with the wives/girlfriends talking about sex. Finally, it was time to play the game, Apples to Apples. My office crush sat right next to me and as the game went on, I noticed he was flirting with me. Of course, I lost the game and he won but he did say at one point during the game, “We make a good match.” I found that ironic seeing that we are total opposites. He’s on the shy side and I’m outgoing. He’s soft spoken and I’m a loud mouth. He likes Star Wars and I have no clue what that stuff is. A little after midnight and the party was winding down. We said our goodbye’s to the host and began walking to the subway. He walked me to the subway, which coincidentally is directly above his apartment building. We hugged goodbye and when I got off the subway in the city; he asked if I got home alright. It was a short time hanging with him but I was thankful that he made the effort to see me and meet some of my friends.
The next day, we sent a few text messages and had plans to see a movie but he forgot he had dinner with a friend that night. It was kind of a good thing because I actually wanted some alone time. I needed a day to myself. No entertaining, no stress of my relationship status and I could go where I wanted to go. So, I did what I do best…I shopped. I wandered the city for hours until my feet were actually hurting. I had such a wonderful weekend surrounded by the most amazing people yet I still felt like something was off. Walking the city, seeing the different people, the buildings, the lights helped me find my center again. I have always known that the city and I was always a good match but every now and again; even the best of combinations can find itself off course.
The mixing of matching of things in life takes time, patience and perseverance. I’m sure if you ask every scientist out there, when they are mixing their elements, nothing ever came out right the first time. Maybe that’s exactly how our lives are. No one ever gets things right the first time. We have to keep experimenting with different things in order to find that perfect mix to match with.
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