"Update" NYC

Same Old, Same Old

It’s very easy to get into the same old routine. A lot of us get up every Monday morning, get ready for work, and sit at our desk counting down the seconds, minutes and days till Friday. All so we can do it all over again. We are all guilty of it. Some of us are in a position to shake things up and some have to provide for their families which doesn’t allow them the liberty to throw caution to the wind. However, there will be certain events, moments and realizations where we are hands are forced and we must make a change.

It’s been a month since my last entry and in those weeks since I last wrote; so much has happened. I’ve never really been one to live my life in the “same old, same old”. I actually embrace change and like to shake things up. However, the first half of this year hasn’t allowed me much liberty to do so. Ever since the loss of my friend back in February, this year has certainly taken a toll on me. Once we had the memorial back in May, I knew that I had to redirect the energy and start making things happen.

So, a few of my friends and I went to Las Vegas for Memorial Weekend to celebrate my friends’ fortieth birthday. In those three days that we were there, I managed to win twenty dollars on a Wonder Woman slot machine, see Janet Jackson in concert and ride in a helicopter from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. During that trip, I noticed that I was finally starting to feel like my “same old” self again but I also knew that I had changed. I was different on the inside on how I viewed certain events and moments. Thankfully, that change was for the positive. I hadn’t felt that light in several months. I was so grateful that the trip happened when it did.

We landed back in New York from Las Vegas on Memorial Day. I was ready to be back in the city, I actually enjoyed unpacking my suitcase because, now more than ever, I was ready to start a new chapter. That new chapter being, is that in the midst of all the sadness over the past several months, I also started to look for a new job. After a few weeks of job hunting, I accepted a new job and started the Tuesday right after Memorial Day.

A little less than three weeks into the new job and I feel rather comfortable. Is it my dream job? No. Am I grateful for a new chapter? Hell yes. This new job also, couldn’t have come at a better time with where I am in my mindset. Out with the old and in with the new.

Now that I was feeling “lighter” in life and the new job was under way. It was now time to get back into the dating game. I knew that I had to get back into the land of the dating and there was no time like the present. So, about a week ago, I dusted off the dating applications and started to take a peek at what was out there. Turns out, the dating applications are the “same old, same old”. People not taking it seriously, only wanting to hook up and completely leaving a conversation the minute you want to know more about them other than what they want to do in bed. I was beginning to get frustrated when I began chatting with an age appropriate guy. He was 45, worked in finance, lived in my area and we were exchanging friendly messages when he asked to meet for a drink last Friday.

I hadn’t been on a date in a very long time, it’s like riding a bike. However, even the most graceful bike rider can fall off from time to time. I met my date last Friday. He was already waiting at the bar for me since he was coming straight from work. I told myself that if the date went well that I’d suggest going to get dinner and if the date went bad; I had my friends ready to send the emergency text message to get me out.

I walked inside and he was waiting right at the door when I walked in. The first thing he said to me was, “Wow, you’re better in person.” However, he came so close to my face that I felt his breath on my face and let me say, he was not fresh. I thanked him for the compliment and he got a table while I went to the bar to get my drink. I had already decided that based on appearance and breath that this was going to be a one drink minimum date but when I sat down, I wasn’t prepared for how things were going to turn out.

We did the standard first date song and dance. Talked about jobs, how long we lived in the city and what area we live in. Once we finished with the pleasantries, the date took a turn. We are both on our second drinks and he said, “I do have something to share with you.” A sentence you never want to hear on a first date. I was expecting him to tell me that his job is moving him to a different state or that he’s on a gluten free diet. Instead he said, “I’m married.”

He went into detail how he married this man in order for his husband to get his papers. They met several years ago and that while they lived together as a married couple, the husband has a boyfriend and that boyfriend sometimes sleeps in their apartment. The married couple share a bed but are not intimate with each other (they haven’t been in years). As my date went on and on about his husband and their unique living situation, I could see in his eyes that he actually is in love with his husband.

After he was done telling me his story, he asked me if I wanted to grab a bite to eat and I declined. Right around the time of me declining the dinner invitation; I got the emergency text message from my friend. Our waiter came around and asked us if we wanted another round, my date wanted another one but I said that I needed to go for a friend needed me. Before I left, I gave my date my observation of him possibly still having feelings for his husband. He sat there and didn’t speak. Finally he said, “Yes. I do love him. It’s hard seeing him with someone else and I’m out here trying to move on.” I told him that I could tell he has a big heart for he did get married in an effort to have his husband stay in America. But that his life will most likely remain the same unless he changes things and speaks from his heart. I hugged him goodbye, met up with friends at a bar and told them all about what had happened.

The next day, I woke up and ready for the weekend. I already knew I had fun plans to see my friends for dinner and drinks at night but while I was shopping I got a text message that I wasn’t expecting at all. I was waiting on the subway platform when I felt my phone vibrate and there it was…Mr. D.

I hadn’t had any communication with him since last November when he pulled another one of his stunts on me and I vowed that now that I’m forty; I will not play these games anymore. I didn’t even open the message right away. Last year, the year before and they year before that. If I had received a text message from Mr. D. my heart would’ve skipped a beat and I would’ve also responded right away. Instead, I noticed that I didn’t have that reaction that I normally had when he came back into my life. I got off the subway at Union Square and decided that it was time to see what he wrote. However, along my subway ride, he sent another two messages. I stood there in the middle of all the Union Square protesters and read all three messages. It was asking me how I was doing, that he misses me and if he can be in my life again. Lastly, he sent a photo of a pair of shorts that he knew I hated when he wore them but told me that he kept them because it makes him smile. I didn’t respond. I haven’t responded and I won’t respond.
Mr. D. is still living the “same old, same old” life and repeating his patterns and I’m simply not that person anymore.

So, here we are. It’s a Monday, most of us are sitting at our desks counting down the seconds, minutes and days till Friday where we can start the “same old, same old” again. It’s amazing how even a little change can make a difference. So, rather than live the “same old, same old” let’s all take this week to take that “same old” life and make a new one!

Roller Coaster

Hopefully, by now, we have all experienced what it’s like to go to an amusement park and ride on a roller coaster. Generally, there are two types of people out there when it comes to roller coasters…those that seek the thrill in them and those that fear them. But the one thing we all have in common when it comes to riding the roller coaster is that we all must wear that safety bar around us to protect us from getting hurt. After this past couple of intense months, I guess that’s why they say that life is like a roller coaster…

The last entry was about my body literally breaking down due to all the stress that life was throwing my way. I’m happy to report that as of today, with several doctor visits and rest that my body is in much better condition. Something that I’m very grateful for and thankful for all the support that I got along the way.

Also, since my last entry back in early April, I’ve been fortunate to have had some amazing highlights that have helped balance out the low points that have occurred this year. A month ago, I took two of my friends to Lincoln Center to see the one and only…Lynda Carter aka WONDER WOMAN perform at the Jazz Center.

Two weeks later, I left my job early, got on a subway that took me deep into Brooklyn and sat in a chair waiting for my tattoo artist to prep me. I had decided a month prior, that to honor my friend, Panda, that had passed away back in February that I would get a tiny tattoo of an actual panda in his honor on the inside of my foot. I wasn’t nervous and for some reason, it didn’t hurt at all. It felt like he was with me the entire time. I left knowing that I did something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

That very same day, I changed clothes and rushed down to the Chelsea area where I would have the highest of privileges to see another close friend of mines’ movie showcased at the Tribeca Film Festival. He produced it and as I saw his name appear on the big screen, I could not have been prouder of him. The film is called, After Parkland, and what an impact that movie made.

A few weeks after those amazing experiences, my good friend, Feathers, asked me to attend a concert with him. I agreed knowing that we’d be seeing Cher, but I had no idea where we’d be sitting. After a party bus took us from the city to Brooklyn Barclays Center…we walked into a side entrance and had champagne before the show while Better Midler was behind us casually talking to someone. Once the show was to start, we entered, and I quickly realized that we were going to be sitting THIRD ROW from Cher. It was an insane experience but for me, it’s always been about who I am with and the fact that I got to do this with one of my oldest and dearest friends meant the world to me.

Two days after hanging out with Cher in the third row, I found myself putting on a maroon suit, placing my custom-made gardenia boutonniere on and getting ready for a very, very special event. I was invited to attend the GLAAD Awards that evening, and I wasn’t sure if my body was going to handle all the excitement. All I knew was that Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna were going to be in the same room as me. I was going to be breathing the same air as them and I did not feel worthy to be there. The evening was spent with amazing friends, the speeches were touching, and I was on cloud nine.

I went home and quickly got out of my monkey suit and went down to the East Village to celebrate a friend’s birthday. No matter how tired I was, I wouldn’t have missed that for anything. By the time I got home that night, it wasn’t that late, but I was drained. I knew how lucky I was to be on this earth. To have the people that I have in my life and how fortunate I am to live in such an electric city.

Now, with all those events, that is when I really discovered the “roller coaster” meaning. Here I was, feeling better with my body, running all over town with these unbelievable events and at the same time, helping plan my friend’s memorial. It was months in the making, tons of opinions, tons of revisions, tons of text messages and of course…ups and downs with emotions.

The memorial was this past Saturday, however, the weeks leading up to it were exhausting. I can only speak for myself but ever since my friend passed away, it was like a roller coaster ride that I desperately wanted to get off. However, I got on the ride, put the safety bar on, and I continued my very best to climb to the top where I knew, eventually, that I would be able to go down this insane ride and move forward.

But this ride came with much more than I knew I was bargaining for. I discovered new things about this wonderful person that he never shared with me over the past twenty years. I was honored to meet his family and how they became an extended family to me. I discovered that as hard as I try to bring peace that sometimes I will be faced with failure in doing so. And that I can’t control anyone else’s’ roller coaster ride other than myself. I will never give up trying to bring peace, but I must learn that it will not always turn in my favor.

The night before the memorial, I had taken the day off. I needed it and I was allowing myself to come to terms that the roller coaster ride that I had been on for the past couple of months was finally reaching the top and I was needing to prepare myself for the drop. I got up, cleaned, ran errands, went to church and lit candles, took myself to a movie, followed by a spin class and the day ended with a date! My first date in several months. I hadn’t even thought about a date because I was consumed with everything else.

Suffice to say, the man I went on the date was very nice but not THE ONE. That was alright by me because I needed to dust myself off and get myself back in the dating game. Toward the end of the night, my date asked me what I was doing with the rest of my weekend and I told him that I would be attending my friends’ memorial. He said, “Oh, well, that explains why you look so tired.” I couldn’t be pissed at him because when I looked in the bathroom mirror at the wine bar that we were at…I did look tired. I was tired of everything. I walked him to his subway station, and I walked home forcing myself to get some rest.

On Saturday, I woke up not even knowing how to describe whatever it was that I was feeling. I went to a spin class and right before the class started, I prayed for Light to give me the strength to get through the class and to make it through the hours ahead. It was one of the best classes I had in a long time and I left feeling a little lighter. A few of my friends’ and I got to the venue ahead of time and began setting up the memorial service, as I watched everyone working so hard, I felt Panda’s presence. I knew he was monitoring us, making sure that we did everything right.

Finally, it was time for guests to start arriving. By the time his family had arrived, everything after that was somewhat of a blur. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much in my life. It was waves of tears, laughter and a million conversations. We had speeches, singers, stunning floral arrangement, candles, pictures of him everywhere and people came in from all over to celebrate his life. By the time I blew out the last candle after it was all said and done; I could barely comprehend what we all just pulled off. The family told us it was one of the most beautiful things that had ever seen. Once I heard that from them, I knew we all had done right by our friend.

When I woke up yesterday, I thought I would be lighter but instead, I felt like I had still a bit more to go on this roller coaster ride. I didn’t leave my apartment, I responded to a few text messages, called my mother for Mother’s Day and that was about all I could do.

Today, however, I feel like I’m in a better place. It took so long to get here but I’m grateful that I finally arrived. The roller coaster ride is starting to drop me down and I’m ready to climb the next hill.

Roller coasters were designed to provide thrill, excitement and that stomach-flip feeling. I guess we can say that is also what life is about. For every thrilling moment, we must face a stomach-flip moment. I can go on and on with the puns for the “ups and downs” that a roller coaster provides but the one message I do want to get across is to wear your safety guard, never stop climbing the hills and never stop searching for the thrill!!

All Systems Down

Let’s face it. We live in a world where all systems are a go each day. From the time we wake up till the time we put head to pillow. It is non-stop all the time and when you live in a city that never sleeps, chances are you are going at an even faster pace than most. We rely on vacations to rejuvenate ourselves, but the reality is, we tend to need a vacation from the vacation we just were on. It’s very rare these days that you hear of someone just “resting” because there is always something that needs to get done. But what happens when your very own system that you work rather hard on maintaining starts to shut down on you?

Over the past eight weeks, I have had the unfortunate experience of having four people pass away in my life. That alone is enough to make anyone want to wave their white flag and retreat back to home base and take a moment to breathe, relax and process. However, time was not allowing me to do so. I had responsibilities to myself, my friends, my family and over the past eight weeks, I admit that I haven’t been taking care of myself the way I normally do.

Two Monday’s ago, my week started off like everyone else’s. I got up, showered, went to work but something was “off” with my body. I discovered that I was having a hard time gripping even my cup of coffee and I was having a hard time forming sentences…but I pushed through. The following day, my body was getting worse, but I went to work and finalized a friend of mine’s apartment that had passed recently. It was tough and while I was emotional about it, I didn’t think that what was happening to my body had anything to do with my body’s reaction. Wednesday, I worked again and took a meeting after work with a former co-worker to discuss the potential of me coming back to my previous agency. She had mentioned that I didn’t look like I was doing so well, and the reality was that I wasn’t. By the time Thursday presented itself, I could barely walk because my leg muscles were in spasm, I barely had a voice and my speech was really causing me frustration. I had drinks with a friend at the Waverly Inn and he noticed that I wasn’t my best and suggested I go to Urgent Care. I promised him by the end of the evening that I would go.

On Friday morning, my day started off like everyone else’s. I got up, showered, went to work but by the time I was at my nine-a.m. meeting, the room had gone black and I fainted. I was put in an Uber and headed to Urgent Care in Tribeca. On my way, I messaged another friend of mine to inform him what was going on. I didn’t tell anyone else because I didn’t want anyone worrying about me. I knew I was fine, but I wasn’t. You don’t faint at a conference table if you are fine.
Turns out that given the amount of stress that I’ve been under and taking on way too much that my nerve system was shutting down. I was there for about an hour, explained to the doctor all that has been happening in my life and I remember him looking at me with disbelief. He prescribed me some antibiotics and recommended to me that I go to this wellness-spa place that has therapeutic water exercises and to not do a single thing over the weekend. You would think that after that happened to me, that I would’ve taken the rest of the day off but I haven’t taken a day off since mid-March when I had to rush to Arizona to take care of my dying grandmother (she is now in hospice). Technically, that really wasn’t a day off given the circumstances, but I haven’t been resting. So, after the Urgent Care visit, I went back to work to finish out the day.
I went home that evening, told my parents what happened and told my friends that I’d be out of commission the entire weekend. I didn’t tell them the full details because I did’t want anyone worrying but I knew that I needed to listen to my body.

The next morning on Saturday, I got up, had coffee and moved very slowly. I showered and decided to walk over the wellness-center and got there by eleven-a.m. It was me and bunch of elderly people moving very slowly in the ninety-five-degree pool. I spent over three hours there and I could instantly feel like my body was reacting very well not only to the medicine but to the water. For the rest of the weekend, I took it easy.

This past week, I focused on my mental state. I took the medicine like I should. I didn’t workout and I did my best to be in bed at an early hour. Toward the end of this last week, I was able to see some friends for dinners and whatnot and I told them face to face what had happened. Naturally, they were annoyed that I didn’t tell them what I was going through, but I felt I was doing the right thing because everyone I know has been going through so damn much.

Just yesterday, I met up with a friend and we had brunch. It was my first brunch that I had this year and I could tell that she was sad. She was sad about a mutual friend of ours that had passed. She let out all the pain that she had, and I was just glad that I was there to catch the tears. Toward the end of the brunch, I told her that starting this upcoming week, I’m all about getting back to being happy and that she should try it for herself as well.

I woke up this morning and I was smiling. Even though it was a Monday just like always but there was something different. Maybe because today is going to be a warm day, maybe it was because my body is starting to feel like it’s old self again or maybe it was because I got to see some friends this past weekend or a combination of it all. What I do know was that I’m very grateful for this state that I’m in.

I have a lot of people out there to thank for their love and support. I’m a very fortunate person and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t my blessings.
Let’s face it. We live in a world where all systems are a go each and every single day. From the time we wake up till the time we put head to pillow. However, we are only given one system and that system we are one-hundred percent responsible for. How we treat our system is what we get back. I learned a valuable lesson that yes…life will continue to throw some crazy ass shit our way and sometimes it will happen all at once. When these things do occur, it’s perfectly o.k. to step away, breathe, reboot, recharge and do whatever it takes to ensure that our systems do not shut down.

I know that this year has started off rather tough for so many and all I can say to this is that I hope all of you out there are treating your systems the best way you can and that I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.

Only Love

It’s been seven weeks since I’ve last written. It’s the longest I have ever gone without writing and it felt strange. I would like to tell you that my time away was due to me falling madly in love with someone new or that I was traveling to someplace gorgeous. Instead, I’ve experienced some of the worse weeks of my life and the pain continues.

This blog is about my dating life and finding that true love. However, this week’s entry will be not about dating but about the power of love.

Five weeks ago, I was woken up at the early hours of the morning to understand that I lost a very close friend of mine in a tragic accident. Anyone that knows me or has ever read this blog before knows that my friendships are my greatest loves. It’s one of my greatest accomplishments that I have these amazing relationships with these amazing people. I am very fortunate and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t acknowledge what a gift it is that I have such friendships.

Over the years, I’ve come across people that are lonely and are depressed because they don’t have anyone in their life. I’ve never felt that emotion because, again, I know how fortunate I am to have such a unique situation to have friendships that have such longevity.

However, when I got that call, my world turned upside down. I have never experienced this sense of tragedy and wasn’t sure what to do next. The amount of adrenaline that runs through your body when you are that shaken is something I cannot put into words. I hope that no one ever has to experience that because it is awful.

I didn’t think it was possible but ever since that tragic day, my friendships took an even deeper connection. It’s the love we have for each other that bonded us over the past several weeks and even when we were tired, we carried each other through it.

Grief is something that I’ve never had to deal with in my life. I’ve been a witness to others grieving and naturally, everyone handles it differently. Some people do all they can to escape reality, some people wallow in the sadness and so on and so forth. During this trying time, all I wanted to do was to make sure everyone else was doing alright. Knowing that everyone else was alright was how I handle my grief. During these sensitive times, what I learned the most is to let everyone grieve the way they need to and to let your loved ones know that you will be there on the other side.

As I was in the midst of dealing with the loss of my friend, I got news that my grandmother took a turn for the worse and is severely sick. It was something that seemed simple and normal but for the past three weeks, she’s been in the hospital. I felt bad that I was unable to be there for my family but my family here in New York needed me and I wasn’t about to abandon them in such trying times.

Just this past Sunday, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to see my grandmother. The tickets were expensive, the idea of taking time off from work seemed impossible and every excuse was running through my mind. As I was sitting on my couch gearing up to get ready for a baby shower for a coworker that I had planned way before any of this news had happened; I was texting with a good friend of mine about everything that was going on.

Toward the end of the text messages, he mentioned to me something about him having a lot of travel miles. I don’t know how any of that works but before I knew it…I had a ticket to Arizona to see my grandmother and I leave this Thursday. My grandmother and I are very close, she was the first woman to buy me my first pair of Wonder Woman boots at age five (yes, my obsession with Wonder Woman runs that long).

I love my friend for doing this for me and he knows that I would do the same for him.
After the past several weeks, I didn’t know the love I have for my friends could go any deeper. They are my family. My insides. They know me better than even my own flesh and blood. I am amazed at every single one of them. I am honored that they allow me to be a part of their family and I am grateful every single day that we’ve come across each other’s paths.

New York City might be my first love, but the city and I would have a completely different relationship if it weren’t for my family here.

There are so many ways we think we can do to save ourselves. We can shop till our credit cards are maxed out, eat comforting food, have a cocktail or travel to a place that takes our worries away. However, ONLY LOVE can truly save ourselves. The love you have for yourself, the love you have for the people in your life and the love you have for people you haven’t even met yet.
This entry is dedicated to my friend…Panda. Your infectious laugh will forever be in my heart, your smile I will think of when I am down and need to be uplifted and your friendship I will carry with me forever.

The Dating Game

The Dating Game was a popular television show that debuted on television on December 20th, 1965. I think we all know the premise of the show but for a friendly reminder it went a little something like this…

Three bachelors/bachelorettes are placed on one side of the partition while the contestant that is looking for love asks questions without knowing what they look like. In the end the contestant selects the bachelor/bachelorette solely based on how well they liked their responses to their questions. The couple goes on a date with the hopes of finding true love.

Here we are in present day and fifty-four years later, we are still playing the Dating Game. Which got me thinking…will we ever win at this game called “Dating”?

New Year. New Me. Sound familiar? Of course, it does, because we all have been given a clean slate with a new year to be filled with nothing but hope and promise. This is also when, in the dating community that those left single from the previous year vow to themselves: “This is the year that I’m going to find love!” We dust off our online dating profiles. We try a different exercise regime, change our hairstyles and try to fix what we think was wrong in the previous year.

As you can imagine, with everyone out their trying to update themselves, when you are ready to throw your dating line into the pool of singles; you’re bound to get some bites on your line. Which is exactly what happened to me last week. So, are you ready to play The Dating Game???

Contestant #1:
This gentleman and I began chatting online the first week of the new year. He presented himself as a very nice guy, which I found attractive. Given that everyone was fresh from coming back from the holidays, it was tough at first to find a time to meet but we settled on last Tuesday.

He suggested we meet in my area of Hell’s Kitchen, which I was fine with. He said his favorite bar was, Ninth Avenue Saloon. I’m a big fan of dive bars, so I agreed to meet him at 7:00.

This was going to be a first for me. I was going to be going out with someone that was much older than I am. This contestant is fifty-seven years old to my forty. I wasn’t sure that we’d have much in common, but he looked great for his age and who the hell am I to judge?

So, I arrive, and he is waiting for me all the way in the back of the bar. He stood up from his chair and gave me a hug. He offered to buy me a drink, but I thanked him and said I could get one myself. Was I physically attracted to him when I met him? No. But I certainly wanted to talk to him and get to know him before I dismiss him purely based on looks.

He had his Bud Light and I had my vodka soda with a splash of cranberry juice. It was time for our date to begin. His opening remarks was that he loves coming to this particular bar but only during early in the week because during the weekends it gets too crowded for him and he can’t hear anyone. He went on to tell me that he can’t run much anymore due to both of his knees giving out and that he’s taken up swimming for that’s good for him now.

I asked him what he did for a living and he told me that he works at a private school part time but doesn’t like kids (huge strike for me) but most of his time these days is taking care of people’s cats. I guess you could say he’s a “cat-sitter”. He said he has about six different cats that he watches for people while they travel.

I wasn’t sure where to go with any of the information he was giving me. I found myself asking questions like, “Is there any particular cat you fancy more?” I was working overtime with this date and I asked him about his hobbies, and he said, “Well, I love to dress up like Dolly Parton.” He got out his phone and showed me all the various costumes he’s done over the years. I was impressed with his dedication and we talked about that for a bit.

My second and last drink was done and when he asked about getting dinner I declined. It would be cruel to lead him on but I did tell him was that I had a nice time getting to know him and if he ever wanted to grab a movie as a friend that I’d certainly be open to it and that is the truth.

We hugged goodbye. He went downtown to Chelsea to take care of one of his six cats that he takes care of, and I walked home.

Contestant #2:
Was the very next evening after contestant #1. We agreed to meet around six right after work since he lived downtown in the same area that I work in. I didn’t want to go all the way uptown only to turn around and come back. He said earlier that day that he would figure something out for us to do.

Around two o’clock that afternoon he sent me a screen shot of an invitation. I would be attending an “Meditation and wine tasting” event at the Ludlow House. I thought this was rather interesting first date. Meditation and wine…both things I enjoy but I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get to know someone this way. I agreed and the event was slated to start at six-thirty.

I met him in front of the Ludlow House and we went inside. I think he was trying to impress me because of it being an exclusive membership-only establishment. Little did he know that I had been there before, and I know someone that works there. However, he did ask me to this event and so I played along as he was showing me around the place.

We went inside this room where the event would be taking place and right off the bat, I see my friend. We hug and she tells me she is working another room but to say goodbye to her when I was leaving. My date said, “Oh, I didn’t think you’d know people here.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that comment, but I shrugged it off.

The set-up for the event was a bunch of picnic style tables, crystals placed on the tables along with candles and glasses of water. We sat with several people and therefore it was really hard to try and make conversation with him since we also needed to engage in the other people seated at our table.

However, I did learn that his job was a sommelier. I could tell that he wanted to explain to me what that was but I told him that I knew what his job was because I have several friends in the hospitality industry. I wasn’t sure if my date felt that I wasn’t cultured enough but when I told him that I have lived in the city for over twenty years, he understood that I have seen and done many things. These exclusive membership-only places never did impress me. What impresses me is manners and he was starting to not have them.

I did my best to focus on the reason I was there and that was to meditate, get to know this guy and have some wine. We meditated and then it was time for the wine tasting portion. In between the wines, we got to know each other a bit more. The only things we really had in common was that we both moved here from Seattle. Other than that, he kept trying to impress me with wines, with his travels and when I excused myself to go to the restroom, he tried to give me directions in such a pretentious tone that I just cut him off and said, “I’ve been here before, I’m all set.”

The event was over, and he wanted to stay longer even though all the patrons had left, and the staff was wanting us to leave. He kept talking to the staff and not me. He kept asking them if they had any openings to work there. It never occurred to me to ask him if he was working at a specific restaurant, so I asked him and he said he was, “currently looking for a home.” This was not only a first date but a networking thing for him. I told him I wanted to say goodbye to my friend really quick and when I came back he was given a free bottle of wine.
On our walk to the subway he asked me if I wanted to go back to his place, crack open the wine and make out. I declined and took the F train back home. I did thank him the next day for letting me attend the event with him but that is where I left it.

Contestant #3:
Contestant three was the following Thursday evening. However, this was a different type of date for I didn’t meet this guy from a dating app but this was a set-up from a good friend of mine.

My friend had done her research on the guy. She sold him to me as someone that is tall, likes to wear baseball caps and is employed. I bought what my friend was selling and I told her she can give him my number. We had begun texting during the holidays and last Thursday was finally when we were able to meet.
During out texting we discovered that we live only one block away from each other. Since this was more of a casual date and we had a mutual friend in common, I wanted to go as low key as possible. So, when he suggested we meet at Rise Bar for happy hour, I was relieved.

We got seats right at the bar and he was attractive, he did wear a baseball cap and I did learn that he is, in fact…employed. He drank much faster than me but still after about three drinks in, I wanted and needed to slow down. I didn’t want to get too drunk, but I also wanted to have my wits about me.

I wanted my wits with me because while I began drinking water and he went onto his fourth drink, I noticed a guy staring at us from across the bar. This guy wasn’t giving us a pleasant look at all. In fact, it was a look of hatred. My date didn’t notice at first but I finally said to him, “Do you know this guy that is staring at us drinking the Amstel?” All my date said was, “Oh shit. That’s my ex-boyfriend from a year ago. He still has feelings for me and he’s drunk. This could get ugly.” Great. I get the fact that we all have exes roaming the city but this guy had a look on his face that I was messing with his territory.

The ex began to walk toward us and I asked my date flat out if he still had feelings for his ex. He assured me that he didn’t but also said that his ex has a temper and had also just sent him a text asking for him to talk outside of the bar.

That was my cue. I don’t want any drama this year or any year for that matter. I told my date that it was nice to meet him but that I’d give them their space to talk and I left. I got a text later that evening from my date that said, “Thanks for meeting. Thanks for giving me the time to talk to my ex. Suffice to say, he stayed the night.”

Well, there you have it. I played the Dating Game and I didn’t select any of them. I wasn’t devastated by not connecting with any of them. The rest of the weekend was spent with my friends and I couldn’t have been happier with that outcome.

I will always play the Dating Game because I know that one day I will win. Just like all the other single people out there trying their best, playing the game and winning. Each time we play the game, that just brings us closer to the grand prize. Good luck contestants!