The New M.E. Generation











I opened my closet door and asked myself what I was so nervous about. I’m at home in my own domain, meaning I should take hold of what happens this night.

I decided to go for a simple dress and be comfortable. Also something not too dressy in case I needed to assist with the cooking.

This guy arrived on time with bags of food and a recipe he downloaded. As in true college fashion, he came with jeans and a shirt.

Before he got down to business, I gave him a quick tour of my place. When he saw my living room TV, he made a comment of how small it was for him and that he would never be able to live with it.

I felt like replying, ‘likewise with your big ass TV’. I feel mine is a reflection of my simplicity and he of a big ego or perhaps insecurities he needs to divert off from others.

When he saw the one in my room, which was inherited from my past life and is a cross between the traditional models with a flat screen before the full transition occurred, he said, ‘whoa, this is a really old TV!’.

Hmm, the one who’s feeling old now is me.

“No, it’s not that old. Beside, I like it. I can play movies and the colors are still good,” said I.

Why am I explaining my TV situation to him? And why is it such a big deal? It’s a household item that once it breaks down, I can get a new one anywhere for a great price.

I admit it’s my primary source of entertainment and connection to the outside world, but I don’t treat it as my life depended on it.

I am trying not to get upset by his remarks, but it’s starting to, especially because I’m at my own house, so I shifted my attention to the cooking.

He was to prepare breaded chicken with pasta. He wanted to follow the recipe exactly and from what I could read, it seemed pretty healthy.

I let him take over the kitchen to do his thing, all I did was stand close by and provide him with what he needed.

I stood at the kitchen doorway and tried my best not to be anxious about someone new invading my space and in control of something as simple as making dinner.

But it was inevitable for me to be micro-managing everything, like washing all items used so they wouldn’t pile up in the sink, putting things away, and cleaning the counter.

I was somewhat tired when all was prepared and we sat down at the table to eat.

It has been quite some years sitting face to face at a table having dinner at home. I then remembered how I much I enjoyed doing that in college. It’s a memory that was almost forgotten.

It was a feeling like watching an old episode of a show that you used to love. Question is: will this night and situation ‘get cancelled’ after it’s over or will it be worthy of a ‘re-run’?



A couple of weeks went by (I think) before we contacted each other again. I don’t know who did first and for what reason.

I have usually remembered the sequence of events related to previous dates. But, this time, there are just empty blanks on my mind.

If my memory serves me well, I would bet I text this guy the next day thanking him once again for the previous evening.

Overall, the date wasn’t extraordinary or bad, but good enough to apply my manners. I believe his are not the same as mine, but hopefully they will communicate how I would like to be treated.

I believe I text him on a Saturday just inquiring how he and his studies were doing. He replied that he had a friend in town that he was to take out with other friends. I told him that I was glad to hear and for him to enjoy the night.

The next time he resurfaced, he offered to come home and cook. When I read the text, I got surprised and anxious. I think it has been no more than 2 times that a guy has come over and done that in all these past years.

Even though I’m used to my space and doing all by myself, I know my social life should improve and doesn’t hurt someone else doing something for me once in a while. But allowing others in my home is like opening a door to my mind and emotions. And people taking control of the situation, including using my kitchen utensils, is something hard for me to let go off as silly as it may sound.

Also, I am a simple person. I don’t need expensive things to be comfortable. I own what I think I need, take care of it until it’s time to part of them, and like my surroundings to be clean and organized.

Because I consider myself a minimalist, I think once you step in and look around my residence you can define who I am as a person rather quickly. Of course, it all relies in what the other person’s frame of mind is, but hopefully their analysis of me should be a general positive one.

This guy proposed to bring all the food and cook. I only had to supply the drinks and kitchen. I don’t know who will be doing the cleaning afterwards, but the arrangement sounded fair.

The whole thing was to be happening that night, so I hurried to put my whole place together (as I always do, visitors or not) and go out to buy the drinks.

Then off to choose the clothes that completed the ‘look’ of the day.

Question is: will the universe serve me justice tonight?



The balcony had two railings: one facing the street and the other the pool area. The dry and wet areas were quite nice, good enough to hold any major gathering.

“So how many parties have you held there?” asked I.

“I’ve had some, but not what you’re thinking,” replied he. “They’ve all happened during the daytime and quietly.”

“No skinny dipping?”

“No! Don’t know what you’re thinking of me, but I know how far I can go. Besides, I’m renting here with someone else and applying to med school. I don’t want any negatives to affect those.”

Good, he’s being smart and nowadays anything bad eventually surfaces, especially on social media. In my time you could pretty much get away with what you did. Whatever one learned about it was thorough ‘word of mouth’. Depending how old the story was when it reached your ears, chances were the real version was totally different from what really happened.

“What about you? How much do you party?” asked he.

I gave him a puzzled look. “No, not really,” answered I and looked away towards the pool area.

“I don’t believe that. You’re a pretty girl and sure there’s other guys interested in you.”

“No, not much activity on that either.” I would look at him briefly, but quickly turned my sight away. Thinking about my current state of affairs regarding my social life was not something I wanted to do.

“Reality is I leave work late. By the time I get home, eat, shower and watch some TV, the day is gone. Then on weekends you have to take care of laundry or food shopping. I always have something to do.

I try to meet with my girlfriends, but they have their own life and responsibilities, so you do the best you can.”

I was listening to myself talk and questioned who was I really trying to convince here. For better or worse, this is my present situation which is as a result of my own decision of how to live it.

“Why are you looking away making weird facial expressions? Did I say anything wrong?” asked he.

“No, it is what it is.”

I looked at my watch and drank whatever was left of my wine. I knew he had studies to do the next day, so I used that as an excuse to go home. It was the best thing for me to do before I got sadder.

We agreed to ‘keep in touch’ as a way to end the night. At that point I didn’t really care if that happened or not.

I avoided the thought so much, I didn’t analyze whether this date had been good or bad.

Now that’s a first.



“I promise I won’t bite,” said he while I kept considering his offer and sporting a poker face. Hell, this is not the first time I’ve heard this and won’t be the last.

I was torn as to what to do. I thought that if I declined, I would get upset later for not giving myself the opportunity of exposing myself to situations even though I’ve had them before.

Then, if I do decide to give it the go ahead and the results are bad, question is, which of the two will I regret the most? Even if I decide to go, that doesn’t guarantee that the outcome will be good.

“Fine, wine it is,” replied I.

I followed him in my car and his apartment wasn’t that far. I parked outside the building as instructed. It was one of those locations in the area I remember seeing going up every time I drove to work.

My insecurities sort of started to get activated. It’s not bad where I currently live, but it is an older structure and not as fancy as this one.

The apartment itself was not that big, but nice. It had 2 rooms, kitchen, living area, and balcony. He had a male roommate and the place was definitely a college/bachelor pad. At least it was a place that was mainly clean and organized, good enough to feel confident of safely drinking some wine from a glass he had.

I sat down on the sofa, which had in front a massive TV. It was a little bit intimidating looking at it. Not even growing up at home was there ever one this size and forget about those in college; the rooms could only accommodate so much. People had to basically sit very close to be able to view the screen.

Even if I presently had the money to buy one, I wouldn’t. I don’t see the value of owning something like this and prefer investing the money in something else that has more of a long-term value.

It also made me think, how does this guy (or maybe his roommate) get the money to buy it? I started feeling out of place and thinking this guy and I were really in 2 different worlds that were becoming more distant by the minute.

What the heck was I expecting? Sorry, I’m not in college any more and I’m not winning this battle of the sexes any time soon.

“Hey, you want to sit in the balcony?” asked he.

Good idea, perhaps a neutral zone is the next best move.



We kept on chatting and eating the pizza. It certainly took me back to my college days when I didn’t have that much money and sometimes would split it with another guy when our budgets didn’t allow us to go outside of campus on a date.

No matter what day it was or what was happening, it always tasted good. It was one of those few moments that I would treat myself to something I liked.

It was nice that I was now being treated with something as simple as this and was still making me feel good.

That also made me remember the few guys I dated in college. Not everyone had a car, so the easiest thing to do was order a pizza for delivery.

Waiting for it to arrive was usually the ‘make or break’ moment because that’s the time you would talk about yourself and pretty much figure out what the guy was made of.

It was ironic that I was experiencing the same emotions over a food as I was doing tonight.

I believed we stayed for one more hour and decided to call it a night. We didn’t agree on anything happening next.

I thanked him for the evening during our walk back to the cars. He repeated the thing of walking in the inside of the sidewalk. But this time I took him by the arm and moved him to the outside.

“I was taught that guys should walk on the side that faces the street so they protect the woman,” said I to which he gave me a puzzled look for obviously not having any knowledge of this etiquette rule.

I really didn’t care if he liked it or not. I wasn’t doing it to be a show off or pretend I was better at him on certain life matters.

I did it because I wanted to determine if he was worth any more of my time once I got on my car and left.

He didn’t make any comment about what I said, so we kept walking as if nothing had happened.

We got to our cars, which for me signaled the end of the night.

“Thanks again, it was a lovely evening,” said I.

I didn’t say anything else. I was not making the same mistake as before of chasing guys or trying to define the situation immediately.

“Would you like to have a drink at my apartment? I’ve got wine,” said he.

Ok, that I wasn’t expecting. This made me remember of ‘want to hang out at my dorm room for a while?’

Oh boy, this question is as scary as a Halloween horror movie. Trick or treat?



“I think your friend will be fine,” said I. “It’s good that you care about him. What he needs, and pretty much everyone who serves, is our support. My opinion is that they give way too much for this country, but we don’t pay them back the way they deserve.

And in regards to them coming back ‘changed’, I’ve pretty much met every type of guy on the book. They all have some sort of lingering issue, so dealing with one from the military shouldn’t be that much different. I’ll give it a try if the situation presents itself.”

“It takes a lot of courage to do that,” said he.

“You can’t give up on the hope of finding a partner. What I’ve learned throughout the years is that you’ve got to look at people for what they really are from the beginning. We tend to judge them based on our reality and when they don’t turn out as expected, we reject them.

That’s the problem with us women. We’re expecting to hit it right from the start and then we’re breaking our heads questioning ourselves where did we go wrong, when we should have looked at what was standing in front of us and accept their way of being for what it is.

You can pretty much figure out someone quickly and determine of they’re worth any of your time and energy. If your gut feeling tells you no, it means it’s time to move on.

The secret is to know when to apply your intelligence and emotions accordingly in your favor.”

“So what do you think about me so far tonight?”

“I think you’ve been very transparent.”

“So nothing to be concerned about just yet?”

“No, nothing that raises a red flag. You’re also still young. You haven’t gone through some experience like I have that make you change your outlook on life. I’ve pretty much seen everything already. Nothing surprises me any more.”

“Well, I hope I don’t disappoint you,” said he.

I kept looking at him and everything seemed to start falling into place. At least he was trying to be polite.

“Hey, you want to eat something? How about a pizza? They have some on the menu.”

“Sounds good to me. Love pizza.”

He seemed glad to see that I had tastes like those of a guy. I may be older than him and may have changed on some things, but I’ll never give up on a good plate of food. Top that with remembering my college days, even a better taste to go for.



“You studied journalism and then went to medicine?” asked I in a very contradictory tone. “They’re total opposite careers. How did that happen?”

“Like I said, I’ve always wanted to do many things although my final goal has always been to be a doctor and I know how to get to that, which I’m currently doing.”

I was listening to him, but my mind was wandering back to the past. Truth was, I felt envious of him. It was one of those moments where I felt I wished I could go back in time and experience his life.

I try not to think about it, but every so often I wonder what my life would be today if I had done it all differently. For sure, I wouldn’t be sitting with this guy questioning myself as to what am I doing.

“So, how’s your experience with the dating site?” asked he.

“Well, it’s an outcome that I wasn’t expecting. I’m getting contacted by many 20 and 40-something guys. Barely any in their 30’s.

Those my age look really old or worn out in comparison to me. Then those in their 20’s are good looking, but I want something long term.”

“So why did you agree to go out with me?”

“I just wanted to have an experience just like you. I know this is not to lead to anything. You and I want different things.”

“I plan to keep visiting it. I don’t do it full-time, just when I feel like it. I’m also getting contacted my military guys.”

“You shouldn’t get involved with those,” said he very seriously.

“I have a very good friend who is about to go serve. I know for a fact that they don’t come back the way they were. I respect him, but wished he wouldn’t do it.”

“You know what, everything’s a risk in life. Having a relationship with someone in the service is not the norm and the distance in-between even more. But I do know that there’s no way they could cheat on me and they’re very appreciative of people being supportive of them. Besides, I’m not involved with any one of them right now. Just considering that option if it were to happen.”

“I still think you shouldn’t do it.”

“And how much do you know about having a serious relationship? Have you ever been in one at that level? If there’s someone who has learned about this the hard way is myself.”

Of course, this guy looked at me with a face that he hasn’t been in one. The way he has described his life clearly shows he has concentrated his efforts in his future career.

And talking about what I should or shouldn’t be doing upset me. I’ve lived my life for others and now will do what I think is right for me, and will be responsible for the outcomes that my actions will bring.

After all, isn’t that the way life should be lived?



After sitting down and ordering a drink (a beer because I felt that would be more of a college level thing than wine which is more of an ‘adult’ choice), I decided to put aside the first few details of the night that had bothered me. I wasn’t expecting to be a totally awesome night, but at least one that I wouldn’t later regret.

This guy and I started a conversation and the most obvious topic for me to discuss was his experience with the dating site.

“I’m still trying to figure out why you got interested in me,” said I. “I’m sure there’s other women aiming to have a career like yours in what you’re studying. The school is pretty large overall, so the options are endless.”

“True, but, I’ve always tried to experience many things. I’ve never done only one thing throughout my life,” answered he. “For example, I did my undergrad in journalism and after graduation, I traveled abroad to get exposed to new people and cultures. I wanted to do that before getting totally dedicated to medicine.

Yes, there are girls who want the same goals as me, but they either want a commitment early on or don’t want to get involved at all. Right now I want neither. I’m just experiencing things, that’s all.”

When I heard the part about his travels abroad after college made me feel sad. I miss my college days, but I never had the money to travel for Spring Break or anywhere else after school.

I never really knew what I wanted to do during my first few years after graduating. Sometimes I feel I wasted those years, until deciding to do a Master’s degree. I had this great need to challenge myself and aspire to make something better of my life.

A few years later, and during my first job (in the field I was actually studying), it was when I met my ‘x’.

I know you will probably think, “and the rest is history”. It sure was, but when I look back, I remember achieving positive things, but tangled in-between with these bad memories.

Getting married was definitely a milestone, but the following years weren’t so great. The relationship was difficult and some situations were unbearable to sustain, and my career wasn’t that great either.

I did manage to graduate and achieve other personal things, which I make an effort to keep present for my positive wellbeing.

Then came the divorce and other years of rebuilding, of not knowing how I was going to survive on my own, of was I ever going to find another love in my life.

And there I was, sitting with guy number (what?) that I met online, wondering one thing: what number is he, or life in general, going to pull on me now?



I got on my car and tried to keep calm while driving. The 20-something guy suggested a place to meet that I’ve heard before, but never been to. We were to meet outside of the location and take it from there, in case the place wasn’t worth staying.

I got there about 20 minutes later. I parked on the other side of the sidewalk of him and he got off the car first.

‘He doesn’t look that bad,’ I thought to myself. He actually looked better in person that his photos, which is not usually how it goes. But, hey, if you post a photo of you sticking your tongue out during Spring Break week, your hope is that the real thing is way better than that.

He greeted me politely and still seemed well mannered from what I perceived from his phone voice. So far, so good?

“This place looks kind of dead to me. We should probably go somewhere else,” said he. He was right, not much activity was going on.

“There’s this jazz bar not far from here that has a nice ambience. I think it’s a good alternative for drinks and the music is good. We can even walk there,” said I.

The first sign of how our worlds were different was when we were walking on the sidewalk. Where I come from, the man walks on the side that faces the street so they protect the women from any dangers that may occur.

I didn’t say anything because I didn’t wanted to start the night ‘on a bad step’, or sounding perhaps like his mom, whom I bet is probably more or less my age. And that would make me feel old, which I didn’t want to go there. Besides, I have barely seen anything else of him, so I have to give it a chance.

We got to the jazz bar and found a table outside. It was pretty filled up and the music was playing. But, again, he didn’t display a behavior I’m used to, like a guy helping a lady sit on the chair.

Is it me being too old school or just too picky with any guy, period?

Looking back, I think many of the past guys were quite immature for their age, Or maybe I have been too critical of all of them.

Whatever I’ve lived in the past, I’m in the present sitting at a table with a young guy who I don’t think has any clue of what basic etiquette is.

Either I liked it or not, I felt as if I had a mirror with my own reflection telling me the truth of this moment: He’s way out of my league or, for a lack of better words, I’m too old for him.



et cetera
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