Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Every morning millions of people get up in the morning and do the same routine in order to make a living. In order to survive and in order to provide for their loved ones. Sometimes it’s hard to break the pattern of doing the same thing over and over again. I like to call this the, “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” syndrome. We do the same things over and over again and before we know it; it’s as if we are living our lives like robots. Repeating the same day over and over again and possibly even repeating the same wrong choices over and over again.
I started the week off contemplating what I was going to do with the guy I had four dates with that was also going through a divorce. Do I trust my instinct which was telling me that I wasn’t fully attracted to him and that once his divorce is final; he will want to see what else is out there? Or do I continue to go on more dates with him and see if eventually I can get on board with what he was offering me. I had done this in the past with relationships where I tried to force something that wasn’t there and even dated someone in this delicate of a situation. In the end, it never works in my favor. I decided in an effort to not repeat any of my old patterns, that I would need to end things before another date was scheduled. The next question would be when I was going to do this because he was on a business trip on Monday and Tuesday and I didn’t want to do that to him then. I decided to let him focus on his business trip and when he came back to the city; I would end things.
I received a text from him late Tuesday evening saying he was back in the city and asked how I was doing. It was so nice of him to ask and I decided I’d wait till the morning to respond to him because it was already past 11 p.m. and I was turning in for the night.
Wednesday morning and I was greeted with some sad news of a coworker losing a relative. For some strange reason, it really made me upset and I couldn’t focus on dealing with the guy I was going to let go. So, I shelved it for the time being and immersed myself in my writing for the rest of the day. That evening, I was meeting friend of mine at Momofuku for a light dinner and dessert. Plus, it was a great opportunity for us to catch-up since I hadn’t seen him in almost a month. We updated each other and he even got me a gift from his travels. The dinner and conversation was a nice distraction from all that was going on around me and we had managed to talk past 10 p.m. When I got back to my apartment there was a text from the guy asking me again how my day was. I knew I had to address our situation first thing the next morning.
On Thursday morning, I got up, lather, rinse and repeated my morning with the exception that I needed to make sure I ended things with the guy. Even though we only had four dates, I had a feeling he was far more into me than I was with him. I wasn’t sure how he was going to take the news but I got into the office a little early, sent him a text asking if he had time to talk and he said he’d rather just text message. So, I sent an honest message that I think he is a great guy and that there simply isn’t a romantic connection for me. Whenever you send a message like this, your heart beats a little faster with not knowing exactly how the other person is going to respond. Seeing that I’ve been on both sides of this before, I had hoped that he was going to go the mature route and appreciate my honesty. Luckily, he did respond just the way I had hoped. He told me how thoughtful, nice and funny I was and how much he respected me for not wasting his time. He said, he wanted to show me that there are nice guys out there in this world and asked if we could be friends. I told him how much I respected him and accepted his offer to remain friends.
Once that was done, I was able to shift gears and focus on my happy hour that I was going to be having with my office crush. We had messaged throughout the day about where to go, what time, etc. He suggested we meet at this bar called, The Tippler, located in the Chelsea Market. We settled on meeting at 5:30 because we both only had a few hours before we needed to be other places that evening.
I admit I was nervous about meeting him for a few reasons. My last office crush, a few months ago, from the same agency, totally blew up in my face when he told me that I was “too old”. Plus, this current office crush, I wasn’t even sure if he was gay or not. I only told two coworkers what I was doing and with whom I was doing it with that evening. They both assured me that he was gay. My other hesitation about meeting this office crush was that I was hoping that this would be different; that my lessons that I’ve learned from the past when it came to office relations would no longer be like my past.
I was at the bar at 5:30. I was there exactly at 5:30 and at 5:31 I was promptly ordering my first glass of proseco. He arrived smelling like a cigarette and my first thing that I said to him was, “Did you just lick an ash tray?” He laughed and said he’s trying to quit. He ordered a dirty martini and then we began our conversation. At first, it started like normal co-worker topics. We talked about who we hang out with at the agency, who we don’t like, how long we’ve worked in the industry, etc. Then after my second glass of proseco and him switching to beer, we got into, what felt like more date topics. We discussed our families, friends and how long we’ve lived in the city.
Then, onto my third glass and his second beer, we were feeling slightly buzzed and things took a different turn. He asked if I was seeing anyone and I said that I wasn’t. I asked him the same question and he responded with, “Yeah. Her name is Vicki and we’ve been hanging out for about nine months now but I want to break-up with her because she’s horrible in bed.” I wasn’t expecting that answer at all. Not after he had told me that I smelled amazing, not after he said how “cozy” it was that we were having a happy with just the two of us. I wasn’t sure what to do next and so I asked questions about their relationship. Turns out, he wants her to be more like a character in, Fifty Shades of Grey and I wasn’t sure how to handle that. So, I did what I do best, I listened to him go on and on about his relationship and gave him dating advice on how to either change things or end things with his girlfriend. By the end, I had four glasses of proseco and it was time for us to leave. Before we were leaving, we both had to use the restroom and inside the bathroom, he wanted to continue talking. Even saying things like, “I’m really glad we did this.” Or “You are so fun and easy to talk to.” He said things that straight men never say to anyone, not even to a queen. I took it all in stride but once we were outside walking toward the subway, I broke my pattern. I wasn’t going to repeat anything. Meaning, that I wasn’t going to go down the path of trying to help a confused straight man find his way or even continue to have a crush on this man. It was very clear to me that he had some issues that he needed to work on and I wasn’t about to be the teacher. He went in for a hug goodbye but I kept my hands in my pocket and I took the subway going uptown and he went downtown.
The next morning, my coworker that knew about my so-called happy hour, wanted to get the scoop on what had happened. When I told her, she was in shock about all that he confessed to me. Not more than two hours go by and she told me more scandalous news about him and the news did not put him in the best of light. Suffice to say, the lesson has been learned, the pattern will not repeat itself and I am glad that I dodged this bullet.
By the time Friday had rolled around, I was exhausted from all that had occurred. I was invited to join the same coworker that knew about my happy hour to meet some of her friends at, Sotto, in the West Village. I was only able to stay for two drinks and then I had to go home to drop off my bag and head back downtown to meet some friends of mine.
We decided to stay in Chelsea and pre-game at my friend’s apartment before going over to Barracuda for a few beers. It was there that we were all standing in the corner of the bar and some guy behind me started talking to me. I was trying to pay attention to him but at this point in the night, we were all a little drunk. I went back to focus on my friends and then we all agreed that it was time to leave. I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was the guy that was talking to me. He asked me if one of my friends was single and if he could buy him a beer. I told the man, “Sure. Buy him a beer and he is single.” So, they sat down and had their beer, while my other friend and I had one more beer and made sure that our friend was alright talking with this guy. We left my friend at the bar with the guy talking and I thought for sure that I had made a love connection for my friend that night. The next morning, there was a group text that informed us that the guy was studying to be a priest!!! I don’t know how I forgot about this little piece of information but when I read the text, I suddenly remembered he told me he was in seminary studying to become a priest. We all got a good laugh but I really need to pay closer attention when someone tells me things like that.
Later on that night, some of the single boys in our group had agreed to go to this party being held at Elmo. The theme of the party was, “BYOG” which means “Bring Your Own Gay.” It was a party that a mutual friend was a host for and thought it might be a good way for us to meet someone new. We all went and once inside, I already knew that there was no one for me but that didn’t mean I was going to let my other friends do their searching. Turns out, it was a bust for us all. We stayed for about two hours before leaving and heading to, Julius, where we sat down and all had a few beers before all calling it a night and going home. I was glad that we tried something new but I think that will also be the last time we attend one of those parties.
Yesterday, the weather in New York took another turn and presented itself with a mix of snow and rain. It was one of those days where if you didn’t need to leave your apartment, that you should just stay inside. I had a second date scheduled with a guy but around 2 p.m. we both decided to reschedule. I was glad that I did, for it gave me a chance to watch the entire series of Empire and see what all the hype is about.
It’s never easy to break a pattern, routine or even change how we run our lives. There is something comforting about the “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” syndrome. It provides a certain level of comfort and provides a sense of dependability. However, it’s when we change our patterns; quit repeating our mistakes that we are then allowing ourselves to move forward.
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