"Update" NYC

Just Like a Pill

We all have some sort of addiction or addictive personality trait in us. Some of us are addicted to booze, drugs, sex and if you are like me…shopping. How we manage our addictions is quite another story. We can let it cripple us, we can rely on our addictions so heavily to make us feel better that we are actually destroying ourselves in the process. To get that high that only our addictions can give us; only to come down from that high and be left with the damages. Those damages can range anywhere from losing all your money to a heartbreak. If only there was a pill that we can take to make everything better but then again, if we took this pill to make us better…is that just forming another addiction?

Last Monday started off with me commuting to work with my office crush after I stayed the night with him. I told myself that I wasn’t ever going to spend the night with him ever again and after a wonderful and some might even say, romantic, Sunday evening with him. I couldn’t resist the invitation when he asked me to stay with him.

My week also started off with readers of this blog calling me words that I already knew about myself. I got called things like, “weak”, “disappointing”, “embarrassment” and the list continued. I’ve been called worse things in my life but they still sting. Not because I don’t have thick skin, you don’t survive living in this city almost twenty years and don’t come out being stronger for it. It’s because I was already feeling these things about myself and now they were being confirmed in black and white. A human being will continue to make mistakes, disappointing choices and even embarrassing ones at times. Yes. We should learn from our past choices but like any addiction; there is a process you need to go through before you are healed.

My office crush was my addiction. There is no pill to take in order to purge someone from your life. I did know that what I needed was distractions and I had put myself on hiatus from the dating world ever since my office crush and I began to develop these emotions toward each other. I needed to put myself back out there, see what was waiting for me on the other side and begin to go on dates with men that actually knew who they are in life. It was barely a day or two of putting myself out there that I had three dates with three different men lined up for the week. It was a high, that for awhile, only my office crush would give me and now I had three men eager to go on dates with me.

That Monday afternoon, I found myself starting to finally get excited about a date. I met this guy at a party in 2013 and we had exchanged phone numbers at the party and even were texting for a bit after our meeting but our schedules never lined up to actually meet over the years. So, when I saw him on OKCupid a week ago, I dug up his number and decided to put my best foot forward.

He asked me to meet him at this bar/restaurant near my apartment called, Thalia. He was already waiting for me when I arrived. He ordered a dirty martini and I ordered a glass of chardonnay. I was attracted to him and I wasn’t sure if he was attracted to me and so I did what I do best…I talked. He told me about his job, how he recently bought a country house in Vermont and after our first drink, he said, “I have to admit that you are far more attractive than I remember and you are really intelligent; which is refreshing.” It was just the boost that I needed after feeling so insecure earlier in the day. He asked if I wanted another glass (duh) and so we ordered another round and I made the cautious choice that it would be my last drink as because I did enjoy his company and didn’t want to come across as a drunk. He did confess that he has a bit of a foot fetish. I asked several questions regarding this foot fetish thing and all he said was that he admires a nice manicured foot. I was expecting something far freakier but that put my mind at ease. After our second drink, he asked me out for that upcoming Friday and I graciously accepted. I felt like I made a tiny step toward letting go of my addiction and doing something that would better my dating life.

The next day, I was meeting a guy I had met the week prior while having a drink at the bar, Barrage. When I had met the guy the previous week, I wasn’t instantly attracted to him but I also knew I was in no position to judge anyone based on looks, so I agreed to a second meeting. He wasn’t much for planning, so I took the wheel and suggested we meet at the same bar we had originally met at. Once again, my date was waiting for me when I arrived at the bar. The minute I saw him, I felt bad for judging someone so quickly but I wasn’t attracted to him. However, I was there, I made the commitment to meet him and I figured I could get through one drink and make polite small talk; which is exactly what I did with this date. He had a beer and I had a cosmopolitan and we made the polite-small talk. He said that he was currently doing airbnb at his apartment and was sleeping in his office. I thought he was joking at first but he wasn’t and he wasn’t joking either when he asked me if I wanted to see his office after our drink. We all know what that is code for and I wasn’t about to go to some strangers office to see where he works/sleeps. He asked me out again and I politely declined and wished him the best.

On Wednesday, I realized that my office crush and I hadn’t even communicated since Monday morning and I was alright with this actually I wasn’t alright with it. I missed him I missed him making me laugh. I missed him making me smile and I missed him making me feel good about myself. However, I didn’t miss the back and forth struggle between us.

I had a date that evening that I was focused on and it kept my mind from wondering back to my office crush. I was meeting a guy I had been chatting with for over a week. He was rather nice via text and I was actually looking forward to meeting him face to face. He had confessed via text his love of Mexican food and margaritas, so naturally, I suggested we meet at Arriba Arriba after work.

When he arrived, I felt a little deflated. He was bigger in size than his pictures led on and I felt like he was on an audition. He went on and on about how he wishes his dream of being on Broadway would come true, how he sings every single day and how it annoys his neighbors and he never once asked a question about me. When the date was over with, I was starting to walk in the direction of my apartment and he wanted to walk with me. I allowed it to happen but he kept trying to hold my hand and I continued to pull away. Finally, we reached the corner of where I live and he went in for a kiss and I motioned my face so that he just was able to kiss my cheek. He asked if we could meet again over the weekend and I told him I would need to check my calendar. Even though I knew I had no free time whatsoever. That night, he sent a text saying how cute I was, how funny I am and how he can’t wait to see me again. I didn’t respond until the next day when I told him I’d be more than happy to meet him again but on a friendship level. He didn’t like my message at all and said that he had enough friends and thanked me for meeting with him.

That night after the date, I did hear from my office crush. He sent a text telling me that he is doing laundry and he knows how much I like doing laundry (inside joke between us). However, I chose not to respond. It was a message that didn’t render a response and I was becoming mentally exhausted from three dates in a row and doing my best not to head toward my addiction.

By the time Friday had rolled around, I was rather proud of myself for going on these dates, for avoiding seeing or communicating with my office crush. I wasn’t feeling good about myself but when you are trying to quit something, you tend to feel rather bad at first when you are purging something from your body and soul that you’ve been addicted to. It’s a process, just like anything else. You have to go through the steps in order to achieve your ultimate goal. As sad as it makes me, I know that my ultimate goal is to no longer have my office crush in my life.

So, that Friday, I was going on my second date with the guy from last Monday. We agreed to meet on Friday because he was going to be traveling for work this upcoming week/weekend and I didn’t have any free time either. We met at 7 p.m. at the bar, Barrage, since he was coming in from Hoboken and needed to stay on the west side.

We ordered our drinks and there he told me that after our drinks, he was doing his friend a small favor. The small favor being that he had to manage the front door of this event called, The Short List. The Short List is a monthly party that caters to gay men who are on the shorter side and their admirers. It was being held at, Southern Hospitality, in the basement of the restaurant. He said he would only be gone for about an hour and that I could either meet back up with him or I could attend and he would pay for my admission. I figured I would go because this was something I wanted to see with my own eyes.

The system works based on your height and that determines the amount of your cover to attend the event. For example, if you are 5’5, your admission is five dollars. They had a ruler out to determine your height and I watched as the short men and their admirers entered the event. To my surprise, there were a lot of men in attendance and as my date finished his duties of running the front door, I saw some of my friends walk in. It was official…I couldn’t go anywhere in this city without running into someone I know. We all got a good laugh at the situation; introductions were made between my friends and my date. After everyone was introduced, we finished our drinks and my date suggested we leave and go for a quick appetizer and a drink before he needed to head back to Hoboken.

We ended up back at Arriba Arriba, mainly because it was late and my date was craving nachos. Over margaritas and nachos, we flirted, we talked and I found myself having a nice time. Was it as nice as the times I have when I’m with my office crush? No. However, I knew that wasn’t the point of this date. The point is that I wanted to get to know this guy that was sitting across from me better, I knew it was best for me and I also knew I was getting drunk and needed to slow down. After we settled the bill, I waited outside for my date’s uber car to arrive. He put his arms around me to keep me warm because I was cold and then his car arrived. He gave me one more kiss before he drove away. I’m not sure when I will see him due to his travels and my schedule but I would certainly be open to seeing him again.

On Saturday, I took full advantage of not having a hangover and cleaned my apartment from top to bottom, worked out and then took a much deserved nap. I woke up feeling refreshed and eager to see my friends. We were seeing a play that was being acted by drag queens and the topic of the play was, Grey Gardens. At first, I was sitting all by myself because I bought the ticket incorrectly and then my friend sent me a text to sit by him since there was an empty seat. Thank goodness for that because I was seated next to some interesting characters that kept on saying how “delicious” I smelled. I wasn’t even sure what that meant.

Once the play was over with, we went to a bar next door called, The Globe. There was about fifteen of us, laughing, drinking and gossiping. It felt really nice to be surrounded by all of them. After the Globe, we took a cab to Phoenix and once we were done there, we ended the night at The Boiler Room. At that bar, I was feeling slightly drunk and secretly missing my office crush. I sat down at a table and I wasn’t there two minutes before a really attractive man sat down next to me and I knew what was going to happen next. My friends were all trying to push me to talk to the really attractive man. I couldn’t do it and I was too tipsy to even present myself in any kind of proper way. Also, I pulled one friend aside and said, “This man is way out of my league. There is no way in hell he would go for me. Let’s change spots.” My friend wasn’t having any of my bullshit and told me to sit back down. Which I did and then another friend of mine began talking to the really attractive man and that was my cue to leave. I grabbed a different friend that lives a few blocks away from me to share a cab and go home. Besides, it was 3:30 a.m. and nothing good ever comes out of that witching hour. When I exited the bar and was heading toward Second Avenue, a woman whom I had never seen before said something in my direction. I turned around and asked her what she said and she said, “I just have to tell you. I think you are really beautiful.” Then she asked her friend to confirm and her friend agreed with her. It took a complete stranger to make me feel slightly better about myself. I went to bed that night feeling descent about my choices, where I was in my life and began to get excited about where my next chapter might take me.

Addictions are never to be taken lightly. They are stronger than we can ever imagine. If we allow them to get the better of us; they will. If we don’t take control of the situation; it will take over. Life isn’t about popping a pill and wishing that the pain will go away. Life is about getting through your tough times with hard work, determination and if you have amazing people in your life to support you…well…that’s just fabulous.

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