Archive | May, 2011

Red Flag # 3: The Stressful First Date

31 May

This is just a sampling of the things that were revealed to me by the ex on our first date.  You know, after the age “discrepancy” scenario.

1) Biological mother giving him up so that he may be raised by his biological father and his wife. (Yup, pops was cheating on his wife with mama ex).

2) Crazy exGF #1: who “broke his heart” even though she was exasperating, and crazy, and blah blah blah…

3) Crazy exGF#2:  He was “subletting” her old apartment in the city, even though they had been broken up for about two years.  She was living in another apartment, in another borough, and taking care of his dog, who had been injured and,  yadda yada yada.

4) Childhood abuse – after divulging this information, I responded with “I am so sorry” – to which he responded, “I do not need your pity…”

 

5) Past unplanned pregnancy with a “girl friend but not GF” that (supposedly) was on the pill – subsequent abortion.

Now you may ask – why in the hell did I ever agree to go out with him a second time?  Why did I not run out during this first date screaming?

You see, I was already of the mindset, “well this is going nowhere”.  In fact, after the madness during dinner, I was ready to call it a night.  I felt that clearly this dude was not ok, and was not even all that interested in me.  His affect just seemed more interested in hearing himself talk.  And during dinner, he barely looked at me, was constantly scanning the room, and rubbing his temples as if he was stressed, and jangling his legs restlessly under the table.  I remember thinking, “Well, I am just going to enjoy my drink and these here nachos (yup.  Nachos are the reason why I wound up dating someone with a personality disorder;)….) as best I can!  It is Friday, and I am tired after a long week of work…”

But this is where things changed.  And now I realize it was because he could sense that I was about to toss him back into the pond. (Yucky, scummy, murky pond!)   He excused himself to go to the bathroom, and when he returned, his demeanor had completely transformed.  He suddenly was quite attentive.   I had to go to the bathroom as well, so when he got back to the table, I got up to go.  He said, “make sure you check out the pics in the bathroom – I think you will really like them.”  I remember thinking “ok, this is a big waste of time.”  But he was right, I did like the black and white photos decorating the bathroom.  And that gave me pause for some reason.

When I got back to the table, he was full of compliments for me,  giving me accolades left, right and center – for being such a good listener, and nonjudgmental, how I had such great energy and beautiful limbs and just had this ease and aura of peace surrounding me (blah blah and MORE BLAH)…

And…..I was hooked.  I was lapping it all up like a guppy out of its tank, I hate to admit.  See, I had some deeply entrenched insecurities that even I was not fully aware of at the time.  But a predator, a good one, can easily spy these little “openings” that can lead him (or her) to prey.

Advertisements

The Red Flags I Chose to Ignore: Number 2. Or 34. Actually, 39!

27 May

So after the emails back and forth, and a plan to meet, and then a disappearance on the X’s part and then an email on my part to say that I was looking forward to meeting upon his return (can you say, desperate goyagrrl!) and yadda yadda yada – we make a date.

And within about 15 minutes of our first date – it is revealed that the X is not 34, but 39.  A good, full, five-years younger than his listed age.

When I point out this discrepancy, the X says “Really!  Are you sure?  I must have made a mistake in clicking on my year of birth in the profile!”  And, although deep, deep down, I did not believe that response, I said to myself, “‘well, it is possible…

Because I was pretty naive.  I mean, really.  WHY? Why would anyone blatantly lie about their age?  Especially a guy – an attractive, employed (ha!  that flag waves in the wind a little farther off, my fine-feathered blog friends), intelligent (double HA!) man who looks young for his age anyways.

Again, I swallowed some more misgivings and apprehension and continued with the date.

Like repeatedly eating spicy, stomach-acid-producing foods when you have an ulcer, all this cramming of my own JUDGEMENT OF SOMETHING BEING TERRIBLY WRONG down caused the most serious case of psychological and emotional indigestion I have ever experienced.

The Red Flags I Chose to Ignore: Numero Uno

27 May

I began this blog as a way of dealing with the constant anxiety I was feeling as my relationship with the ex was heading towards marriage.  I thought the anxiety had to do with me – that there was something wrong with me, that I could not “adjust” to a new phase in my life because I was somehow “flawed”.  (It did not help that the X was constantly implying that as well, as opposed to taking any responsibility for his more often than not strange, disturbing, and destabilizing behaviors).

I realize now that the anxiety, actually the constant dread that I had been feeling in the pit of my stomach pretty much from the moment I met the X was my body’s way of saying to me – “Look!  Look!  Listen to me!  You KNOW that this person is seriously disturbed. RUN RUN RUN away as fast as you can, NOW!!!!!”

But he was saying the right things, and presented so well…

Actually no.  The flags were there from date one.  Frankly, I was just tired of dating and desperate to be in a relationship.  I was 36, had been single for most of my adult life (what I like to call a “serial single-person” as opposed to “serial-monogamist”) and wanted a partner, dammit!  And babies, maybe in a year or two.  And some love to come my way for a change.  I wanted someone to pick ME!!!!!

Red Flag # 1 – The Beginning

The first email I received from the X actually did not sit all that well with me.  He made a joke in it that was, in my opinion, not funny and kind of in poor taste.  Also, according to his profile, he was a bit younger than me ( he stated on his profile that he was 34….and I was not into the younger guy thing, even by a couple of years…)   Also, he did not list “long-term relationship” as an interest – rather it was short-term dating, activity partners and casual sex.   I, on the other hand, had short-term dating and long-term dating as my interests.

But by then in my online adventures and dating life, I was so frazzled by my lack of  success that I had started to  question “Maybe I am being too picky?  Too judgmental?  Not giving people a chance?”  I replied to his email, and he replied right away on IM (something I was never into before) and before I knew it, I was intrigued.  And felt pretty good about the fact that I was being “open”.  Only in retrospect do I now see that it was more like “open to madness.”

So…the joke.  It went something along the lines of “A person of Asian and white descent is a Twinkie…what do you call a person that is Mexican & African American?”  or something like that.   Mind you, according to his profile he self-identified as Latin/Hispanic & Black/African-American.  I found it oddly offensive, and it just did not sit well with me – the whole Twinkie thing.  I thought it was a strange way to reach out to a person you do not know.  But, I pushed all my misgivings deep deep down, and forged ahead, against my values.

I responded with “I do not know, Black Beans?  Cute?”  He responded with a “ha” and then made some comment about my background.  I cannot remember too much about those early emails that transpired after that.  But I do clearly remember feeling discomfort in that initial interaction, and like I was in territory that did not feel “right”.  But I kept telling myself  “oh, you are just being too rigid, loosen up.”  So, I engaged.

Plus, I did find something endearing about his photos and his quirky profile.  For example, instead of writing an essay in the ‘about me’ section, he drew a train and wine bottle using lines and hyphens and other punctuation marks.  Now I see how manipulative, smart, and sneaky that was – no info, no need to reveal, lots of room for the other person to place her projections & hopes.

I am giddy.

21 May

OK.  Mortification over.

On my way home from my best friend’s daughter’s 3rd birthday party, I crossed paths with a very attractive young man.  He smiled at me. I smiled back.  And then I realized, it was…..

Jake Gyllenhaal.

He is even more attractive in real life, for REALZ!  And tall.  And dreamy.  I so heart him now.

I am mortified.

18 May

Up until this past Saturday, the most mortifying thing that ever happened to me occurred when I was 14, on my way to my first day of high-school.  I was walking along with a friend (Pal A), on our way to pick up another friend (Pal B), and set off to our new school together.

Earlier that morning, I was feeling nervous.  I had always been anxious on the first days of school, but I was able to have some cereal and get myself ready for school with relative excitement and minimal jitters.  Pal A and I took the bus to Pal B’s house.  And as Pal A and I were walking down the block, I threw up all over myself.

It literally came out of nowhere (well, not nowhere) but so suddenly, that I did not even have time to turn and bend-over to vomit on the sidewalk.  Instead, it was all over my new uniform.  Some even wound up on my face and hair.  Pal A was stunned.  I was mortified.

I felt like the girl from the Exorcist.  And the smell – sour milk and undigested Rice Krispies.   Just what one needs on the first day of school when encountering teenagers one has never met before, wanting to make a good first impression (which was already going to be pretty difficult as I was pretty geeky looking to begin with).  Lovely.

Fast forward 25 years.  This past Saturday I had a few people over for dinner.  One was my very good friend, The Salty Academic (TSA).  The other guest was a friend from France (Frenchie).  The final guest was actually the friend of the husband of a friend, recently arrived to town, and leaving for another country on Monday (Poor Guy, aka PG – you will find out why later on.)  I had never met him before this dinner (keep this in mind).

If you at all follow this blog (and if you do, you may not want to anymore after reading this post) you know that I have quit smoking and to ensure this, I have thought about becoming a teetotaler.  Over the past few weeks, I have toasted a birthday with a glass of champagne, and had a glass of wine with dinner for Mother’s Day.  No smoking, though.

I figured I would have wine with dinner – I had cooked a slammin’ pasta puttanesca, there was salad, and bread and cheeses and desserts and coffee and good conversation.  After a while, Frenchie left, as he had just arrived from Paris and was exhausted.  Maybe an hour later, TSA left.  I actually was getting sleepy and even though PG is quite cute, I have made the decision that I am no longer the girl-that-hooks-up-with-the-random-cute-boy-that-is-from-out-of-town-and-leaving-soon-for-romance-that-leads-to-nowhere (trust me, I have been down that road SEVERAL times over).

I am not sure if PG was at all interested, but after a while he left.

And I was kinda relieved.  Because in all honesty, if he had tried to kiss me, I may have kissed back.  And I was a wee-bit tipsy, but more than anything I was tired and FULL.  I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and just as I was changing into my pjs, the phone rings.

PG was lost, and sounded slightly confused and on the verge of crying.  He asked if he could come by and hang out for a bit more.  I said sure, and that he could crash on the couch if he was feeling too drunk and tired to get on the train back to Queens.

So, PG comes back and we get to talking over nightcaps of vodka-tonic (my brilliant idea).

Did it give me pause that he called me asking to come back?  Yes.

Did I smoke cigarettes?  No.
Did we hook up?  No.

See, all of a sudden I found myself very drunk (ummm – did I forget to mention that I have been on Sertraline (generic Zoloft) for years, am finally coming off of it slowly, and that I have a slight suspicion that this tapering process is actually leaving me very intolerant of alcohol, so that even moderate amounts maybe f*cking with me more than usual?), standing in my living room, trying to play my didgeridoo (This is not a euphemism, I actually do have a didgeridoo and began playing it as an attempt to manage my sleep apnea back in the summer.  That’s for another post…), and thinking “oh no, I have been here before, and I do not want it anymore” (i.e. cute as he is, I am done with being “the girl-that-hooks-up-with-the-random-cute-boy-that-is-from-out-of-town-and-leaving-soon-for-romance-that-leads-to-nowhere”).  And then it happened.  Or at least, this is what I remember.

I went into the bathroom and proceeded to vomit profusely.  In my sink.  I tried to clean up as much as possible.  I do not think I did such a good job of it.  Then I tore off all my clothes and got underneath the shower.  But see, earlier that day, the super had (FINALLY) come to fix my bathroom ceiling, which had been in the process of caving in, so the shower rod was off, and there was plaster everywhere, and all the things that are usually in my bathroom were not.  So when I got into the shower, water went EVERYWHERE, soaking everything.  When I got out, I held on to the tower rack for what seems like forever, swaying.  And then I realized I had no robe to put on.  Just my soaking t-shirt, underwear, jeans and a small towel.  I put the shirt on, wrap the towel (barely) around my waist and proceed into my bedroom.

This is where the TRUE horror begins.  As PG (now you know why he is PG) comes in and I blubber that I am really sorry, so sorry blah blah drunken mess blah.  I MAY have grabbed on to him (to stabilize myself) while on the edge of my bed.  He may have seen me partially nude (from the waist down) and I passed out.

He MAY have cleaned all the puke in the sink.  He DEFINITELY stayed and slept on the couch, brought me water, and washed ALL of the dishes and pots and pans from dinner.

I am mortified.  This could have been a lot worse – like REALLY bad.  I was in a completely vulnerable state, with a stranger.  I am embarrassed, as I am a grown-ass woman.  I did not even pull these sorts of shenanigans  in college.  I was the friend that took care of other friends in these situations.

And I felt guilty, because PG was a bit morose and in need of a good conversation.  He may have been sad about leaving NYC. Who knows?  He probably got over it.

What did I learn?

* Vodka is no longer my friend

* In fact, no alcohol for me, at all, as I cannot gauge when even a moderate amount will send me over the edge

* Nice men do exist, and will take care of you, even when you puke and are disgusting

*Nice men will even give you a hug the next day, tell you not to worry about it and to put the “nasty parts” out of your mind, and thank you for dinner because he had a great time, and will give you a concert ticket to see a band as they cannot use it now that they are moving to Europe

* I feel bad that he wanted to talk and was sad about stuff, but at the same time, I do not – it is too complicated.  I really am done with complicated.

* Mortification knows no age

* I am petrified of what others may think of me after reading this.  Including myself.

Why is it rainy and cold?…and now it is sunny.

10 May

It is May!  I can deal with Spring showers – but it is cold outside.  I had to wear my coat this morning.  I am not feeling this weather….

I actually started writing this last week.   But today, it is beautiful, sunny, and warm in NYC.  I take this as just another little sign, evidence of how nothing is static, and the only constant is change.  I do not know why it has taken me almost 40 years to finally allow something so simple and obvious to just sink in to my being, and not be fearful of  it.

Yes, things get shitty – but then they get better, and then they get shitty again.

I just do not want to waste time anymore – you know?  The last decade of my life went by in a flash, although I remember the moments that dragged on forever.   Take for instance last year, when I moved out of my flat after I ended my relationship with the X.  I felt like I was living in Williamsburg for MONTHS!!!!!!!!

In reality, it was more like 3 weeks.

When you are suffering, depressed, anxious, grieving. etc…. you just try to get by. Each second is an hour, each hour a week, each week a month.  You try wading through molten lead.  With a sack of potatoes on your head.  And concrete bricks attached to the soles of your feet. To get one step closer.