In a world where everything moves at a click, a swipe left or right or an insert of our debit cards. We are fully programmed now that everything we want in life will happen in just a few short moments. And when the things we want don’t happen instantly; we become frustrated. Never do we get frustrated with ourselves but for the person across the store counter or at an app on our phone that doesn’t provide us with enough “likes” to make us feel important. As technology continues to evolve and we become less and less in need of actual human interaction…what are we all anticipating for next?
I associate the word anticipation with another word = Anxiety. Now that there are so many pills to take do deal with our anxiety does that mean we no longer anticipate? I still live a life where I don’t need pills to deal with my anxiety rather I go for a long run, meet a friend for a bottle of wine (I was never going to say just a glass of wine) or mediate. I know that as serious as mental health is that some people cannot rely on the old school ways to deal with heavy anticipation but until my time comes; I’m going to stick with what I know.
Over the course of the past two weeks, my anticipation for something bad to happen felt like at an all-time high. I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself about turning forty in a few weeks, work has been challenging and I just felt like I didn’t have a grip on anything.
The last time I wrote, I had written about a nice second date I had with the retired Navy man now turned nurse. He took me on a boat ride in Central Park, we seemed to have a lot in common and when he asked me out for our third date; I was excited or rather anticipating it to be as thrilling as the first two had been.
Two Wednesday’s ago, and it was time for our third date. He suggested we go to the restaurant, Cafeteria because he loves the macaroni and cheese so much. I agreed to meet at that location even though I hadn’t been there in years and I just wanted to get to know him more not overdose on macaroni and cheese.
He was already waiting outside for me when I arrived for our third date. We sat outside, and I could already tell that this date wasn’t going to be like the last two. Either he was tired, I was tired or we both were but the spark wasn’t exactly there, but I worked my ass off to make it work. What we both did wrong was over order at the restaurant. I’m not big on appetizers and then an entrée for its just too much food but we did anyway and by the time we tried to finish our entrée’s; we both were exhausted.
We settled the bill and he suggested we get some ice cream at a place called 16 Handles. I had never been there before either but now we were eating ice cream or was it yogurt? I can’t remember what it was but under the unflattering fluorescent lights; we ate our desserts. After we finished, I wanted to go home and throw up because I don’t usually eat like that. We walked to the subway and he went downtown while I went uptown. On the subway platform while I was waiting for my train I got a text message from him that said, “Ready for date four?” Despite my food coma; I knew that I wanted to see him again or at the very least hope that date four we could have some fun that didn’t involve all that food. I responded with, “Hell yeah.”
At the start of last week, the nurse suggested that we go see the movie, Mamma Mia 2. I had never seen the first movie and I really wasn’t excited to see the second one but the fact that he made plans and a suggestion, I decided to go along with it. When he asked if saw the first one, I said, “Isn’t that the movie where Meryl Streep is a slut, sleeps with three different guys and spends the rest of the movie trying to find out who the baby daddy is while singing Abba songs?” I was on the right path, but he asked me to see the movie before we saw the second one. I had my homework assignment. Thankfully, I didn’t have to see the first movie because a friend of mine explained the entire movie to me before our spin class last Friday; the day before my fourth date.
Backing up to last Thursday, I was at my desk working when I got a text message and when my phone lit up, I wasn’t “anticipating” the name I saw. It was from Mr. D. I swear that this man knows exactly when I go on dates with anyone for that is when he decides to appear in my life. The message from Mr. D. asked how I was doing and said he got a message from his dad that involves a lot of legal work and if he could talk to me. I didn’t’ respond right away and while in the past my stomach would flip (both the good and the bad flip) whenever I saw his name appear in my phone; this time there was no flip.
As soon as I got home from the gym last Thursday, I contacted my friend back in Boston and all she asked me was, “How does this make you feel?” and I was honest. This was a man that I loved very much, we have a ton of history together and of course, I’m going to see if his father is doing alright but nothing else. However, I wasn’t going to respond to Mr. D. that night. Let him anticipate my response.
So, after my friend explained Mamma Mia to me, after my spin class: I told Mr. D. that he could call me but not till last Sunday evening because I had too much going on with my friends on Friday night and my fourth date on Saturday that I didn’t want any of his words affecting my time with people that I wanted to spend time with.
Last Saturday morning, I woke up with excitement and yes…anticipation for my fourth date. I went to the gym, cleaned the apartment and began to get ready for my date. I sent him a text message asking him what theatre and time I should meet him at and an hour later I get a message from him that says he’s, “bedridden”. My first thought was, “Who the hell says bedridden anymore?” My second thought was, “Here we go…the big cancelation.” I was compassionate and asked what his ailments were and if there was anything I could do. He said that his ankles are elevated and that was it. Another hour goes by and he sends me pictures of his ankles that look like they were bitten by bugs. He has yet to officially cancel our date but instead, we are going back and forth with his health diagnosis. I began to lose my patience and finally asked if he needed to cancel the date. He said yes and that was it.
I went on about my day and yet another hour goes by and he sends a rather annoying message to me saying, “You know what a better date would be, is if you came over and rubbed my feet for me.” That did not sit well with me at all. We haven’t even kissed yet, I’m finding myself always being the one to reach out and his messages come back in an hour to two-hour intervals. I don’t think so. I told him that is hard no for me and that I will not go over to someone’s apartment I barely know and I sure as hell am not rubbing your bug bitten feet.
Thankfully, around the time I hit send on that last message that a friend I hadn’t seen in a while said she was in my neighborhood and wanted to day drink. Done! I changed my clothes, went downstairs and proceeded to get nice and drunk while laughing that my date canceled on me because of his bug bitten feet.
On Sunday, I was so happy to not only have some time to myself but that normally I would be filled with anticipation from a call from Mr. D. but instead, I was fully distracted with my own life. My date only sent me one message that day that said, “Well, I survived the night. “I didn’t respond. What was I to say?
Another friend of mine sent me a message asking me how the date went and when I told him he said that I need to give him another chance. Even though I didn’t want to (he knows me so well) that it wasn’t his fault about his feet and that he does seem to be a nice guy. I agreed to go on another date and as of two hours ago, we agreed to go on a fourth date. Mama Mia…here I go again indeed.
True to form, last Sunday, the day that Mr. D. was to call I was already fast asleep when he tried calling me at ten-thirty. He just left a message that said he was sorry for calling so late but was at the beach with friends that I had known from our past together. He said that he will be calling me on Monday (yesterday).
Last night, I got home from the gym, showered and snuggled up with a book. My phone lights up and it’s two text messages from Mr. D. the first was telling me he’d be calling me around ten and the second was a picture of him from the beach.
The phone rang, I answered, and it was a voice I hadn’t heard in a year and seven months. He said, “Wow, your voice still sounds the same, I like that.” I quickly changed the subject and asked him about work. He told me the job that we both used to work at had fired him while he was in Boston and he got a new job that he doesn’t care too much for and mentioned that he might go into designing furniture. When I told him that I no longer work at the agency we used to work at all he said was, “I know. I kept tabs on you for a long time after you left. I asked everyone we knew where you went but since you didn’t tell anyone, I couldn’t find you.” Once again, I didn’t want to go down memory lane and changed the subject as to why he wanted to talk in the first place…his father.
He told me that he’s been back to Seattle (where we are both from) twice this month due to his stepmother having his father change his will so that she gets everything when he dies; including Mr. D.’s childhood home. Ever since I met, Mr. D. he has always expressed his love of his childhood home. I could tell he was upset about that, but he went on to tell me that he’s lawyered-up and that he is working on taking over the mortgage of the house and will now be having a mortgage payment on top of rent each month on the penthouse apartment that we picked out together in Boston.
Once he was done telling me that, he thanked me for helping him all those years with his addiction and that he now sees a psychiatrist and is on meds for balancing out his anxiety. Something he would’ve never done had I not pushed him to do so.
There was nothing left for me to say. Of course, he asked to see me in person, but I said that wasn’t where I am anymore. He said he understood but he threw in one more curveball before we said goodbye. He said, “Hey I saw that Pretty Woman is coming to Broadway. I know that’s your favorite movie…who is taking you?” Thankfully, I have some friends that want to take me when it opens so I said, “I have friends taking me.” Which isn’t a lie. He said, “Well, I’m glad that your friends are taking you for I know how much you love that movie and every time it’s on T.V. I think of you.” His last sentence to me in the past would’ve sucked me right back into our pattern instead, I laughed and said, “It’s getting late and I have to get some beauty sleep.” He laughed and said, “It’s nice to hear your voice. Goodnight.”
I anticipated me staying up half the night last night analyzing the phone conversation that I just had. Instead, I fell fast asleep and woke up this morning not feeling a thing. I’d be lying saying that it wasn’t nice hearing his voice but I’m very happy, excited and filled with positive anticipation over what my next chapter is going to be. I will never wish him, or anyone ill will but it’s time for new things. New adventures. New experiences and lastly a new decade for me to enter.
In a world where everything moves at a click, a swipe left or right or an insert of our debit cards, maybe it’s healthy for us from time to time to just sit back and let things happen on their own. Let the universe provide you with what you need not necessarily what you want. After all, I think the world did just fine before “liking” something on the internet meant that you were valued. I wish we could go back to when manners, compassion and a life without anticipation was cherished. I don’t think we will be able to go back in time so, therefore, maybe we can all try and “anticipate” that through positive thinking that our lives are going to get better for only love can truly save us from anything.
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