"Update" NYC

Third Time is NOT a Charm

They say that after a couple of failed attempts to make something successful that by the third time it’s sure to have a positive outcome. As we all know by now, that’s not always the case especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Which had me thinking…why do we keep going back for more?

I am certainly someone that has gone back more times than I should’ve, especially when it comes to romance. So, with that in mind, it should come as no surprise as to what happened to me last week when I thought I was being a good friend to an ex that led to a moment I wasn’t expecting.

After finishing up my fourth week at my new job, I was starting to get confident with what I was doing, learning the employee’s names and understanding the work that I was assigned to do. With my new job falling into place, I was also spending a lot of time and money on updating my apartment. Luckily for me, I have connections. Those connections are otherwise known as, Feathers and his husband. A couple of weeks ago, I had them both come over to tell me what I needed to buy at Home Depot to achieve the look and feel that I wanted for my apartment. I wrote everything down and took myself to a store that I know nothing about. Thankfully, while I was at the store, a very nice employee helped me through my entire list and laughed at how clueless I was. I bought my first ever hammer, nails and even a screw driver set. I had never owned any of those things before and always relied on my super in my building to change a light bulb.

While all the new job and apartment stuff was going on, I had been texting sporadically with my ex-boyfriend whom I used to live with ten years ago. I had written about him back in February of this year when he had contacted me out of the blue on New Year’s Day. I hadn’t seen him in all those years and back in February we had agreed to see each other. It was our second attempt to try and see if there was still any chemistry between us and for me; there wasn’t any spark left. I got the feeling that he wanted to try and see where things were going but at the same time I didn’t want to assume anything.

After our meeting, back in February, I hadn’t seen him since. There was the occasional text here and there, usually him contacting me first but it was either work related or him asking how my day was. I did know that he would be turning 40 last week and so I offered to take him to dinner to celebrate. He had confessed earlier that he didn’t have anything planned and didn’t like celebrating his birthday so I insisted that we at least have dinner to acknowledge the big event. He agreed and we settled on meeting last Wednesday the day of his actual birthday.

The day before our dinner, I had sent over some restaurant recommendations and we settled on, Mole, over on Jane Street. He asked me if we could meet on the earlier side since the Rangers were playing that night and he lives in Astoria. Since it was his special day, I agreed to his request and made a reservation for 6 p.m. (a time that I never eat dinner).

He was already waiting for me at the bar in the restaurant last when I arrived. He told me that he had already had a few drinks with coworkers before meeting me and I didn’t think anything of it. He settled his bill at the bar and we sat down at a table. The city was having nice weather that afternoon and while I wanted to sit outside, he wanted to sit inside and so we did. Once we sat down, I realized why he wanted to sit inside and it was because that is where the television was going to be playing the game.

I made him switch seats with me so he wouldn’t be able to get distracted with the game. If I was taking time out of my life to take him to dinner as a friend than I deserve his full attention. We ordered our margaritas and I told myself before I even arrived that I was only having two drinks. Over dinner, we talked about work, how life feels at 40 and our friends and family. He also invited me to attend a birthday party that his friends were throwing for him the following evening. Thankfully, I already had plans and I knew who was going to be at the party. There were friends of his that know Mr. D. by association and I just knew that it was not in my best interest to attend so I declined his invitation.

As the birthday dinner progressed, I stuck to my two-drink minimum and my ex-boyfriend continued without me. The restaurant was starting to get full and a couple was seated next to us. We had finished our meal and the waiter had cleared our table. Now it was just me, my ex-boyfriend, my water and his last margarita. He wasn’t drunk but I would say he was tipsy and as I discovered his mental state, he said to me, “Your left hand looks naked.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that and so I replied to him, “What do you mean? I never wear anything on my left hand.” He said, “Give me your hand.” I gave him my hand and still wasn’t sure what was happening next. I did notice that the couple that was sitting next to us stopped and began to pay attention to us.

My ex-boyfriend, whom I hadn’t really seen in ten years nor communicated with was now holding my left hand and said, “I think we should get married. I still have feelings for you, I have money and we could make this work.” I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not because this was a man that wanted to meet earlier in the evening so he can rush home to watch a hockey game and now he’s proposing marriage? Maybe in his mind he was thinking that us seeing each other for a third time would be the charm that would land him my hand in marriage.

I pulled my hand out of his and did my very best to tell him no without getting him upset. The couple sitting next to us went back to their conversation but you could tell that they were dying for us to leave so that they could talk about what they had just witnessed. I was dying to leave and forget this entire evening ever happened and it was right about that time that the waiter brought over the bill. Even though the evening didn’t follow through as I had imagined, I paid the entire bill because I was the one who invited him out for his birthday dinner and I was also the one that turned down his marriage proposal. So, there you have it, I had ended things with this man for yet another time and I was also out $150 bucks of my single person income.

As if things, couldn’t get any more awkward between us, he wanted to take the subway to 42nd Street together where he would transfer to continue to Astoria where he lives. We sat on the subway in silence and when we got to 42nd Street, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and said goodbye. By the time I put my key into my door, I got a text message from him. It said that he looks forward to our future together and hopes that I will change my mind. I didn’t have the energy to tell him that there is no future and so I just wrote back, “Have a good night.”

I haven’t heard from him since but I know I will…they always come back. I do know that if/when he does come back I will tell him that there is no future and that being friends isn’t probably the best for us either.

The next day, after my disastrous evening, I had Feathers and his husband over to my apartment so they could paint it for me. I offered to help paint but was shot down after they saw how bad of a job I had previously done. As they began painting, I told them about my evening and they were in shock and said that this kind of stuff only happens to me. I laughed it off and decided that there was nothing else left for me to do about the situation.

Ever since the beginning of this year, I’ve worked rather hard on moving forward. In every sense of the meaning because already this year I’ve said goodbye to Mr. D., I found a new job and now I was updating my apartment. I was grateful to have such amazing friends that want to help make my home look good and create a place that I want to return to.

In the end of this past week, I knew I did the right thing with all that was thrown at me. Maybe the third time wasn’t a charm for my ex and I but that doesn’t mean that something wonderful isn’t around the corner to experience.

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