The New M.E. Generation











“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?

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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.



My stress, unfortunately, didn’t level down. I always get like this when it’s a first date, although I was not trying to define it like that.

Heck, I could approach it as a night out, casual encounter, meeting, anything that wouldn’t make me think about what would or could happen next.

The way I select what to wear is so nerve wrecking, it’s almost like a self-defense mechanism so I don’t go on dates. Because the guys I’ve met haven’t been mostly unworthy, I’m already conditioned that it will always fail.

Maybe that’s the clue for my failures: I’m already giving it a verdict before the ‘trial’ happens.

So, I open my closet and first decide on pants or a dress. If I do on pants, then it’s the decision of the top. This means playing around with the ‘cards’ I have by putting the clothes on my bed. Once I like something, I try it on. If it works, I wear it. If not, keep trying options.

If all fails for me, then I try the dresses that I have and pray something will click and, more importantly, that it fits. Yes, that’s another factor. Because I don’t go out on that many dates, the clothes I usually have for that sit on my closet at times without being worn.

This means that when I try them on, they could not fit me any more for having gained weight or, if they do, they might be clothes that I decide at that moment it’s time to part with.

The second happens every so often with my wardrobe. I get on this mood that certain items remind me of a particular life period that I just want to forget, so I quickly take them out of the closet and place them in a bag to be donated.

It’s a cleaning process that makes me feel lighter, allowing my emotional space to heal and that of my closet to be filled with new things that reflect the present me.

I started looking at all my dresses and nothing was doing it for me until I looked at a strapless, black, a-lined model I’ve had for years. Of all the items I currently have on my closet, this is probably the oldest of them all. It’s been with me way before my marriage fell apart.

Why have I kept it, especially when it belongs to ‘my past life’? I know I go through a cleansing every so often, but this one always fits me no matter the weight I have, it has a timeless style and, most importantly, always makes me feel pretty when I wear it. It somehow manages to make me forget the history behind it and look at myself in a new light.

After this major undertaking is resolved, then it’s the shoes and accessories. I put them all together, switching choices around until the ‘this is it’ factor occurs.

Last step, unbelievably the less stressful of all, hair and makeup. They’re equally important, but I guess the other elements are what really reflect who I am as a whole. Once I’m all dressed up, I do a final inspection on myself that all is in order and I’m ready for the night.

I liked what I saw on the mirror, but will he like it?

I checked myself one more time and a thought came to mind: ‘Take it as if it was an adventure’. Don’t know where that came from, but I took a deep breath and left.

Was that you, universe?



This guy returned my call around 3-4pm that Saturday. He sounded like he was running 100 miles a minute. He explained that on Saturday afternoons he works as a personal trainer on a gym and was still at that, but wanted to touch base with me before it got later in the day.

Well, that’s nice of him, I think. It was a weird feeling having so much politeness from a young guy like him. Wait, let me rethink this again. Many of the guys I’ve met started out as that, being well mannered and behaving the way I like guys to do.

But after the first encounter, their true beings slowly, and surely, emerge. Reality is they were very smart. They somehow managed to figure it out and mold their personas to make it appealing to me. It is so well crafted, I actually believe there is a possibility that I have finally met a good guy.

So, why am I fooling myself? This guy is probably trying to lure me into the sack. But I’ll give him credit that he works out and knows that if it’s such the case, he better have something worth my attention.

Hearing his voice felt fine. It was one of those occasions when you get a good vibe in the first few minutes of talking to someone.

The only thing that raised a red flag was that he had a ‘jumpy’ tone or talking perhaps a little too fast for me. But this is no surprise since his schedule is filled to the rim. He probably needs that adrenaline rush to be able to pull it all off.

He suggested meeting at 8pm at a bar of my choice. In other words, he was leaving it for me to decide.

I liked that because I was still keeping control of the situation. Meeting him up at the location is an example of that. And, of course, I was not going to put myself in a situation that I know I shouldn’t be.

But I lost control of my thoughts when he asked me what bar it would be. I couldn’t remember the last time I was in one with a guy all by myself.

And what would I talk about? What do I really have to say to him? Is this all going to end sort of bad like my other experiences?

Let’s calm down and control my anxiety level. Let me think about (or put my energy) into something else, like, what am I going to wear?

Now that’s a stressful situation!



Surprisingly, he replied a few hours later. ‘I don’t mind what you said. I actually want to meet you. I haven’t mentioned it before because I want to be available when we agree on it.’

I thought his reply sounded reasonable, so I felt the next step would be the right one: asking him for his number.

This would allow me to text him whenever I felt it was time to go out with him, if I got to that point. I could also control the situation and test his patience. I wanted to see how serious he was and how long he was willing to wait for the meeting.

So not wanting to come across as desperate, I waited until the next day to ask for his mobile. He gave it to me about 2 weekdays later around some odd hour when I was already sleeping.

I waited about a week to go by and emailed him on a Saturday morning about just having drinks that night and each traveling to the location separately.

He declined, as he was supposedly complicated that day. Not caring if it was true or not, I waited another week and did the same. This time he wrote he was available.

I then called him that day around 12pm to secure a plan for the night. I then realized I hadn’t given him my name.

He text back to meet at a bar some time after 8pm and that he would call me after finishing work to discuss.

All right, let’s wait and see if he actually follows what he says. And if he does, then I will slightly reschedule my afternoon to include some walking, resting and doing my hair.

Yep, no matter what, you have to look your best, because if not, you’ll end up crossing paths with all the people you don’t want to, especially those of ‘my past life’.

And if it happens with this guy, the gossip will surely reach the ears of some very particular people, which I wouldn’t mind.

Even if this outing ends in nothing, being seen with a much younger and cute guy is starting to sound like a good idea.

Interesting thought considering those people probably never expected much of me after the split. Fact was, they never cared to really know me, so it would be a total shocker.

I would love to see their faces, but, actually, no. I hate putting up a show for whatever the reason. What matters is that I’m living life the way I want to, with all its challenges and adventures.

At the end of the day, I’m the one who’s dealing with all the good and bad, the ups and downs, and all the responsibilities that go with it.

Getting back to dealing with this 20-something, no worries here.



‘So I guess you wouldn’t be interested in meeting me? Seems that your previous experiences weren’t good’, read his message.

For being written at such an early morning time, the depth of the content surprised me. I think any other guy would have already suspended communication.

But, above all, it was what he questioned that hit me. I know he meant the younger men, but has there been someone really worth remembering?

My mind went blank right away thinking on this.

Yes, that’s how bad these relationships have been. There may have been positives on them, but it’s not really something that I would share with others, not even for gossip or as a learning lesson.

I also know each person deserves a break and be treated differently, without using other people as comparison to decipher them.

And he approached me, which is totally different from me chasing others in the past.

But, again, is this worth engaging at, even via emails?

‘It is not if I want to meet you or not, but whether it’s worth doing it. I guess we will never know until we go out’, replied I.

I sent the message and sometime later I regretted what I said. I checked my message and he hadn’t responded to it.

‘Disregard what I said before. It sounds as if I was imposing on you. Seeing each other depends if we both feel comfortable in doing so. I’m totally fine if it doesn’t happen’.

I hate to admit that I have a curiosity to meet him, but it’s probably more for the ‘thrill of the adventure’, which in my world has always led to crash and burn.

So, am I taking the jump or not?



Another 2 days went by before I got another reply, this time around 4am and still on a work week.

I wondered again if he was getting up or going to bed and what his whereabouts were. In other words, were you at home or, most probably, somebody else’s place?

Back in my days when I was doing my undergrad and living on campus, if you returned very late to your room, it had to be that you were either at the library (that was the main excuse everyone used) studying or writing a paper, or at the computer center.

Yes, I said the computer center. That’s where people went to type their papers before personal ones became a normal thing to have. And the place was open (I believe) until midnight or beyond.

If those 2 locations weren’t it, then it meant you were probably having some sort of relationship with someone else and managed to spend the night with that person. You either convinced the other roommate to go sleep somewhere else, or that other person slept in your bed with the roommate there as well.

Doing the second was no easy task, as having roommates was difficult per se and meant losing more of the little space and privacy you already had.

Then there was the situation if anyone called you. It was one phone paid by many and the calls were usually from parents, family, or significant others living at school or not.

The calls would mostly occur after 10pm as they knew all classes were done for the day, you already had dinner, etc.

But, that was not always the case. If you took the call, you had the misfortune of telling the caller that your roommate wasn’t there and that you didn’t know where she was, either that was true or not.

It was an uncomfortable situation because you always sounded as you were lying and hiding something.

Then there was the task of having to call them back and explain yourself. After saying ‘you were studying’, things would quiet down until the same scenario happened again.

Yes, it was a time that keeping track of others was no easy task, but is it that different now? Not really, except that all devices are personal and mobile, and you have total control in how you manage them.

In a way it’s harder as no one else knows what you’re doing, that is, if you keep it quiet to yourself.

So what am I thinking right now? That he probably had some chemistry with a girl in his biology class and decided to take it beyond the books. After all, he’s young, good looking and has goals for the future. What girl wouldn’t like that?

This got me thinking; this guy got my attention not necessarily for his merits, but because it’s making me remember my time in college.

That was a special time, as I finally got a chance to be on my own and started to discover who I really was, just like when I became single again.

The negative part is the age difference, which is making me feel old, and that feeling is not good at all.

I may have reversed the effects of what I’ve gone through, but there’s no ‘time’ capsule for the other half of the equation.

You have to swallow it no matter what.



I think I got a reply 2 days later, at around 2:57 am.

What? Dude, do you get to sleep at all? I know you’re in graduate school with hopes to go into medicine, but this is not exactly healthy.

Personally, I can’t recall when I was ever up until those hours when I was in college, undergrad or post-grad. As much as I had projects or tests, it got to a point tiredness would take over.

The last time I was awake or went to bed at those hours was for New Year’s.

‘So you’ve done this before?’ read his reply. ‘I’m not looking for anything other than just to get know you better. But maybe you’re not interested.’

This sounds so generic and thoughts that were drafted of whatever brain activity remained when you were up or about to crash on your bed, whoever’s that may have been.

And this part that you’re not looking for anything, it’s not true, since it was you who contacted me first. With that schedule of yours, I doubt you are willing to put time aside to ‘just get to know me’.

Now what? Should I continue the conversation or just ignore it?

Won’t hurt to reply. Besides, we don’t know who each other is in regards to anything personal, so I’m safe.

‘It doesn’t have to do with wherever I’m interested in this or not. I’ve lived that and don’t regret it. My goal is to find someone more of my age for a long-term relationship. If you want to get to know me, maybe I can do that’.

Talking about being unclear, my response surely was worse than his. Am I really going for this again although I want something else? Was is it about this guy that’s shifting me in the other direction?

Getting attention, being told that I’m pretty by a very young guy, the thrill of adventure, doing what I’m not supposed to be doing when I should have learned already, because like so many others like me, we need a dose of drama that fuels our lives.

Side effects to follow.



et cetera