What You See Is What You Get
People can change all the time. True. It might be harder for some people to want to change, to find the right tools on how to change or even acknowledge that they need to change. However, it got me thinking about this word, “change” and if people are even capable of changing. When it comes to people, is it as simple as…What you see is what you get?
A few weeks ago, I started my experiment with trying to develop a “friends with benefits” situation with several men since the dating pool had begun to dry up. I was on a good streak for a couple of weeks until mid-October when, one by one, they all disappeared. It was as if, they all knew about each other, huddled together and agreed that they all should stop seeing me. Seeing that I was the one that initiated this experiment, I thought that I was also going to be the one to end it on my terms. I’m aware that when there is no emotional attachment that the risk of someone “ghosting” is even more likely to happen than to someone you’re in a real relationship with. However, there was a part of me that was expecting a minimum of a text saying that they are moving on. Now that I’m right back to where I started from, I don’t think I will be trying this experiment again. Truth be told, I’m not really designed for the “friends with benefits” way of life. I have always been that way and I guess that is a part of me that is not supposed to change.
As the rest of October continued to move on, I found myself with little time to myself. I attended a friends’ wedding, continued my volunteering for underprivileged children during the week and preparing for one of my favorite holidays…Halloween. However, not all was work because two dear friends of mine took me to see a Broadway show. It wasn’t just any Broadway show, but a show based on my favorite movie of all time…Pretty Woman. It was a very precious experience for me to go with them to see the show and as someone that doesn’t go to see Broadway often; it was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Not one to ever lack any drama in my life, I found it ironic that the very evening that I saw the show that as my friends’ and I were having cocktails discussing the show; that I got a text message from my past. It was a text message from Mr. D. a man that I hadn’t seen in almost two years and the last time messaged I got from him was when he hoped that I was having a good birthday in Spain. His message that night after the show was asking me how I was doing and what I was up to at that moment.
Mr. D. had always been someone that, What You Saw Is What You Got. What he was; was someone that is emotionally unavailable, confused about his sexuality and dragged me along for the ride. Over the past couple of years of limited contact, I took great responsibility in knowing that he isn’t the only one to blame for my heartache. I was also responsible for my own heartache because time and time again, I allowed him into my life. And each time that I did; he proved that he wasn’t worthy of my time or my heart. I’m very much over him, I’ve let him go and have forged ahead and that took a great amount of work on my part to do so. However, I’d be lying to say that each time his name appears on my phone, email or otherwise that I don’t feel a hint of nostalgia.
Mr. D. was someone that in our past together, I had watched the movie, Pretty Woman, with. He knew that this was my favorite movie and I don’t know how this man does this, but he knows exactly when to message me at a time in my life that I’m happy or haven’t given him a thought in a long time. However, I was on such a high from seeing the show with my friends that I messaged him telling him that I literally had just gotten done with seeing the show. He responded back instantly saying that he hoped I had a great time and that he remembered that it was my favorite movie.
A few more cocktails with my friends that night and a few more text message exchanges with Mr. D. and he asked me if I had any plans of visiting Boston soon. He knows one of my closest friends lives there and that I often visit Boston to see her. It turned out that I had plans already to see my friend in Boston in a couple of weeks from when he messaged me. He asked to see me only to “catch-up”. I told him that I wasn’t sure if it was such a good idea given that I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in almost two years. He mentioned that he has “changed” and that it would be great to see me. I didn’t answer yes or no that night but told him I would think about it.
The next day, I mentioned my Pretty Woman text message exchange with Mr. D. to my friend in Boston and she knew that I was past having any feelings for him but also knew that he’s just someone that is going to constantly pop in and out of my life. She said that it turns out that the weekend that I was going to be getting to Boston that she and her husband are seeing a show on Friday night and won’t be around and that it might be the perfect time to have a dinner with Mr. D. for this so-called “catch-up” meeting.
I messaged Mr. D. and said that I’m open to meeting him and that if that if he had any free time in the evening when I arrived that we could grab some dinner and “catch-up”. He was so excited that he said, “I will be there sunshine”. I didn’t respond.
The beginning of last week had arrived. It was the week that was going to lead me to see Mr. D. for the first time in a couple of years. I messaged him around Tuesday of last week to confirm one more time that he was still available to meet on Friday evening for dinner. He said, “You bet!”
The next day, I messaged him a few dinner spots since I know he isn’t much of a planner. No response. No response last Wednesday. No response last Thursday. Suddenly, I had a feeling that even after a couple of years of him being out my life that maybe he hadn’t changed and was back to his old ways again.
Friday of last week and I’m on a bus heading to Boston. I’m so excited knowing that I’m going to be seeing my friend, her husband, and their two boys. I knew that at least that visit was going to be amazing. Somewhere between New York and Connecticut, I message Mr. D. asking him what his deal was. He hadn’t responded to any of my dinner options, nor if any of the times I provided him would work.
Finally, he responded. He told me that he was sorry for doing this to me but that his “friend” got last minute tickets to see the show, Hamilton, and that if I wanted to see him between the hours of 5-6 p.m.
I knew it. I knew the asshole was going to pull one of his stunts that he was notorious for. He always changed the plans, he always made it fit around his schedule and granted he thought this was alright because in the past; I allowed it. I’m not that person anymore, it took years to get here and now that I’m forty; I sure as hell wasn’t going to let this man get away with it. I just responded back with one word: “No” and I hit send.
As the bus arrived in South Station in downtown Boston, I had been there plenty of times before to know where I was going. I shopped around to get some toys for my friends’ kids and decided that since my friend and her husband were also seeing a show that night; that I should just find a cheap hotel and take myself out.
I knew Mr. D. well enough to know that he hates confrontation so I wouldn’t be expecting an apology or anything else from him for the remainder of my trip. Which was fine with me. I walked the streets of Boston with a smile on my face because a few years ago, had Mr. D. done this to me; I would’ve been devastated. Now, I didn’t care. Not even in the slightest. It was such a relief to have that feeling that he no longer had over me.
I checked into my hotel and barely gave myself anytime to process what the hell I was doing before I was getting myself ready to go out for the night. I got ready, got in an Uber and he took me to one of the only gay bars in Boston, Club Cafe. Ironically enough, it was also the gay bar that Mr. D. took me to several years ago. I ordered myself a cocktail and took in the scenery. It wasn’t long before guys started talking to me and asking me where I’m from. Apparently, it’s a small gay community in Boston for they knew right off the bat that I wasn’t from around their neck of the woods. I stayed long enough to get a buzz and went back to my hotel room.
The next morning, I woke up, showered and went to the area of, Brookline. As soon as I got to my friends’ house and saw her oldest son looking out the window; I knew my day was going to be special. Before I even put my bag down, my friends said, “So, how did it go? How was the visit?” I told her, “It didn’t happen because he went to see Hamilton instead.” She sort of laughed and looked at her husband and said, “We were also at Hamilton last night.” They told me that they didn’t see him at the show but had they; they would’ve kicked his ass. Not necessary but it’s nice knowing you have people that will do that for you.
The rest of the day was spent holding her newborn son, playing with her eldest. Gossiping so much that her husband went to take a nap and us staying in our sweats the entire day. Never once mentioning Mr. D. because there really was no need to. I know him better than anyone and I knew he was going to get cold feet, that he was going to do something to mess things up and that he wouldn’t do anything to fix his wrongdoings. He decided to go see some show instead of spending some time with someone that he hadn’t seen or heard from in two years. What I saw, was what I got, and I knew it.
Yesterday morning, I had breakfast with the kids and took a quick shower before needing to catch my bus back to New York. When I got out of the shower and was packing, my phone lit up at 9:30 a.m. and it was from Mr. D. and it said, “Can I please see you today?” My response at 9:32 a.m. back to him read, “No. I have tickets to Hamilton.” He never responded and as of today, he still hasn’t, and he won’t.
As today’s entry is the day before the midterms, it is time for a change. I think we can all agree on that. People are capable of change. People can make a shift in what is wrong and turning it around into something right. Not everything we see is what we get. Especially when we know that with great work comes great results.
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