"Update" NYC

The Effect

My last date was three weeks ago and it wasn’t very good. The date started at 6 p.m. and was over at 6:52 p.m. I spent 52 minutes of my time with a man that showed up in seersucker jacket, glasses that were not clean and the dirtiest finger nails I had ever seen. I also spent 52 minutes with a man that only talked about sci-fi movies and pork. Two of my least favorite subjects. I sat there, smiled politely and nodded as if I knew about the movies he was talking about or the many ways you can cook/ eat pork. As we said goodbye that began the start of a slight depression.

I hadn’t written in weeks because I couldn’t figure out what to write or if there was anything to write about. Over the weeks of not writing, I had to find a new roommate (which he is a total disaster) and patiently wait for the Mercury Retrograde to end which I felt had a huge impact on how my life was going. Of course, over these past several weeks of not writing, I have had some fabulous moments with friends that included BBQ’s, celebrating the Kentucky Derby and being our normal crazy selves. Even with all the good times I was having there was something missing and I couldn’t figure it out, until last evening.

I dated this man five years ago. Five summers ago, to be exact. I even wrote about him in this very blog. We dated for several months and had a good time together and in the end, I broke it off with him because despite of the fun times we were having, we also had nothing in common. I believed that with nothing in common, our future didn’t look that bright. This was also the man that when I broke up with him, on my birthday, he sent a package to my attention and in that package, was everything I ever bought him. My friends coined the term, “birthday bomb” after that incident.

A year ago, I messaged him via Facebook messenger when Facebook suggested we become friends. Seeing how bad I am with technology, posting statuses, taking pictures and still using an iPod. I thought he never got the message and he was still mad at me for ending things years ago. Turns out that I was wrong.

This past weekend, my ex-boyfriend messaged me saying that he never saw the Facebook message and wanted to see if I wanted to get together for a drink to catch-up. I thought that after several years of no communication that there was no reason why we couldn’t catch-up with each other to see where our lives have taken us.

When we dated, he was a man that was wanting to be an architect, introverted and I thought I could help him break out of his shell, see the city through my world, meet my friends and he would teach me how to slow down and enjoy life rather than being in a state of constant chaos. That’s why I was surprised when he chose the bar, Nowhere, to meet yesterday after work. Maybe over time he had changed and I was going to be surprised by his evolution and there was only one way to find out…

I arrived on time and he was already waiting for me seated at the bar. He looked pretty much the same except he had more facial hair, which I commented on. He told me he remembered how I would suggest to him about growing a beard when we dated. I told myself that it was a Monday, that your meeting your ex-boyfriend for the first time in five years and to stick with beer and not go crazy. We ordered our beers and began to update each other on our lives.

One of the first things he told me was that he saw me last summer walking down the street with a suitcase looking like I was in a hurry. I asked him why he didn’t stop me to say hello but he said I looked like I didn’t want to be bothered so he chose not to reach out. After that confession, he informed me that he’s still working at the same architecture firm back when we were dating. But he did tell me that he’s been promoted and received his architecture certification.

He went on to say that after I broke up with him that he took his heartbreak and anger toward me and put it to studying for his certification and 13 months later after hard work and studying…he became an architect. I learned that by me breaking-up with him the effect on him was to not sit around and be sad but to make one of his dreams become a reality. I told him I was proud of him and that he must be happy at the firm. He told me how funny the timing was because he had literally just sent his resume to an architecture firm in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

We continued with our cheap beer and we even did a shot of whiskey and as the evening progressed that is when the true confessions started to come out. I learned that I broke his heart when I ended things, that he hadn’t dated much since me and that I had a huge effect on his life. I let him go on with his confessions before I told him that back then I went with my gut instincts of believing that our lack of not having anything in common would hinder us from becoming a successful couple. I also pointed out that even though I may have ended things that I couldn’t forget how he sent me the “birthday bomb”. The look on his face when I reminded him about that incident told me that he had completely forgotten what he had done to me. He said, he did that to me because he was angry that I broke his heart and that it was slightly immature at the time. He had a few more confessions to make before we were finally in the clear.

He confessed to me that when I returned a tank top he had left at my apartment when we broke up that he walked away from me and threw it in the trash can because he said it smelled like me and didn’t want to have anything around him that reminded him of me. His last confession was something that I knew might’ve been an issue for him back when we were dating and that was our lack of one-on-one time.
When we were dating during the summer, I wanted him to be a part of my life and a major part of my life is my friends. As we sat at the bar, he remembered every single one of their names and the nicknames I have for them. He asked about them all and how they are doing currently. As we reminisced about all the moments we had during our time together, I was realizing that all our dates included me, him and my friends. It was rare that we ever had a date that involved just the two of us. He said that while he loved getting to know my friends that he felt like he was dating me and twenty other people. Granted, he said my friends are like no other people that he’s met and they are sweet, kind and generous but that he wanted to spend more time getting to know me. It was a problem that I know I have at times where I want my friends to be a part of my relationship as much as I am a part of theirs. It’s hard to cancel plans with friends to tell them that you want to spend time with your boyfriend because my friends have the answer to that, “just bring him along.” However, now that I am older and only somewhat wiser, I know that if/when I date again that I must make time for my relationship in order for it to ever work.

As it was getting later and we both needed to get home, I was delighted that we got together to catch-up, have a few laughs but to learn just how much of an affect a person can have on another. I had no clue how I helped push him to better his career (he did say I was bossy) or how I opened his eyes to the see a different world of living in New York. As we walked from the bar to the Union Square subway station, we decided that while he is here still living in the city before potentially moving to Washington D. C. that we should hang out a bit more. We hugged and kissed goodbye and I went to bed last night feeling better about life.

People will come and go in our lifetimes. It can take years to finally figure out why that person came in and out of your life. However, we all must be aware of how we treat others because you never know the effect that you will.

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