The New M.E. Generation

The bar was quite a nice place to sit down and enjoy the night, as it allowed to being more relaxed and less formal from sitting at a table. There was even music playing. I was feeling surer of myself already.

“Do you want to have a drink first and then move to a table?” asked he.

“I’m fine staying and eating here. The ambience is quite nice.”

When it was time to order the drink, I made the mistake of asking for a mixed one, which I normally don’t.  I thought because I had munched at home I would be fine.

But when I tasted it, damn, the effects really hit me hard inside, like in my stomach, and how it felt was not good. It was like a bomb. Then the second one touched ground.

“So,” asked he, “tell me about yourself.” (Small talk here it comes.)

“Well, I’ve been single for a couple of years now…”

“Shit happens.” (That’s not nice! I was very disappointed by his comment, but I wasn’t going to show it.)

“Yes, it does,” said I. I said it just to keep the conversation going.

He then asked me what I did for a living, fun and else. I answered that my life was not that different from others. I work, get home, exercise, make dinner, clean up, go to sleep, etc., and take care of things during the weekend.

Regarding fun, I would usually meet with my girlfriends for a drink and maybe share an appetizer or two, either at a bar or someone’s home. There were all inexpensive and simple, allowing us to chat and share an update of our lives.

On the other hand, this guy had nothing in common with me, other than he didn’t have children. He’s never been married, works hard and equally plays so, which I already knew. Whatever conversation followed did not have much substance, so the best effort was made to keep the night as enjoyable as possible.

I kept drinking so I wouldn’t have to talk much and cover my angry face, but eventually it caught up with me. My stomach was getting upset too.

How can this date be saved from sinking? Food?

It’s been a few years since I became single. I can finally say that I have reached the peace and tranquility I greatly yearned and needed.

All the past experiences I lived with all those guys has been a great lesson for everything related to my life.

I thought I had dealt with all my personal and emotional issues when one in particular came to surface in a recent reconnection: my looks.

I received an email from someone from my college that wanted to connect with me in a professional network site. He has sent me about two previous invitations, which I quickly deleted.

On the third one, though, I kept the invitation on my profile for a while until I thought to myself, ‘why not?’ Maybe I’ll get some benefit from this, like a job connection perhaps?

So I accepted the invitation and decided to send an email to this college alumnus to once and for all (hopefully) have a recollection of who this guy is.

“I’m sorry,” said I, “but I don’t remember you. Could you refresh my memory of how we know each other?”

“You were dating my friend Raad.”

‘Who?’ I thought to myself. Oh, no, what have I gotten myself into? I think this is going to take quite a few emails and deep thought for me to remember, if that happens.


A few weeks later I received a surprising text message from Jeffrey: ‘How are you? What are you doing?’

Whoa! Where did this come from? Is he back? If he is, why is he looking for me? I took my chance in calling him and, lucky me, he answered the call.

“So, you’re back?” asked I in a tone of voice pretending nothing had happened.

“Yeah, I’m on the road taking care of business. Did you move?”

“Actually, I did while you were away. Are you close by? Can you make it over here?”

Lucky me, again, he did make it to my new place. When I greeted him at the entrance of my building, he was still looking as good as I remembered. He seemed to have rested somewhat. He also had a face of not entirely being happy to be back in town, a.k.a., back to reality.

He sat in my sofa and I on a chair. I did not bring the question of the reason for his break-up text and now him contacting me again.

“So…how was it? I asked.

“Great! Saw my friends, spent time with my family. I was saddened when I had to leave.”

“And…were you nice or naughty over there?”

Jeff opened his eyes wide, looked down and grinned a smile of ‘gotcha.’” “Yes, I was naughty with two ex-girlfriends of mine.

‘Lucky them,’ I thought. Why can’t I? Yes, I will admit, I felt sort of jealous. What did you expect?

I rolled my eyes up and smiled as well with a look of not being surprised at all. I mean, of course it was bound to happen. He is on an unhappy relationship, he manages to get away from it for a few weeks, and finds former flings willing to provide what he’s lacking. It’s obvious you’re going to for it! Hmm, doesn’t this sound familiar?

“So, what are you going to do now?” asked I. He gave the usual ‘don’t want to talk about it’ look. “It’s not only about your relationship. I meant your life in general.”

“I don’t know. Been thinking of moving back home permanently on my own.”

“Oh? What will you do with your business?”

“Not sure about that either. The only thing I truly know is that if I became single again, I’ll stay like that for a good long time.”

Jeffrey and I kept chatting for a while. And when he left, we said good-bye to each other as we always did before: no agreements or discussion wherever we would talk or see each other again or anything.

We would always say ‘see you later’ or ‘nice seeing you’ as if there would be a next time.

But that no one knew. We have taken each encounter as it came, without thinking about in the present or for the future.

I closed the door and kept on with my life, like nothing had ever happened.

I got home and took a look at the piece of paper in which Jeffrey had written his phone number. This was the first time I had experienced this situation after becoming single again, so I didn’t know what to make of it.

I don’t recall thinking or feeling anything in particular. It didn’t even hit me that it was a ‘cougar moment’ or a young guy showing interest in an older woman.

I didn’t even question myself if there was any slight possibility of him calling me, what his intentions were, if I should take the first step in approaching him, or whatever else in between.

Back then I was so overwhelmed by my whole situation that my mind was stuck in analyzing anything. I was basically taking one day at a time in overcoming this ‘bad moment’ I was living.

I put the number away in a place that, in case I wanted to find it, could do so.

It had been an enjoyable evening. For a few hours I almost forgot my reality. But this same one had left me exhausted, so all I just wanted to do was to get some sleep.

{November 9, 2008}   The Bostonian 5 – Date flick

Ross picked me up and we drove to the movies. We decided to see the Eddie Murphy comedy flick, ‘Meet Dave.’ You know you can never go wrong with one of those. Could it be any safer than this?

I may have been out of the dating loop for many years and may not presently know how to approach certain things (like ‘my number or yours’ issue), but I certainly was not going to get in an uncomfortable situation.

This meant opting for a movie that would ruin the night like a chick flick, man flick, extremely violent or political film, or movies that involved sex or nudity (unless you want to ‘hit the sack’ with the other person or are already engaging in that).

My life has had too much drama in the last year. It’s an election year and I’m OD’ed on politics already. I’ve been single ever since (what’s his name) left me. He was all I knew for 15 years of my life. I never cheated. I never looked at another man.

I wanted this date to be as simple as that first one with (him). Back then he came to pick me up at home, met my mom, then went to the movies, and at the end of the night (he) brought me back home. He held my hand and kissed me goodnight at the door. His eyes were glowing with joy. I floated on air. It was a beautiful courtship.

I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

My other girlfriend, Madelyn, called me early on a Friday morning. “I want to go out tonight, and since you read the ‘Weekend’ section top to bottom, get a scoop of what’s happening tonight and call me back.”

Madelyn is what I call ‘the third part of the equation.’ Dina, her and me worked together three years ago in an ad agency, and we all remained in contact throughout the years after I left the company.

We started hanging out more after my break-up. We basically became the female Latin version of the Rat Pack.

I’m reading the section, looking up for things that stand out of the ordinary besides dinner and a movie. I try the ‘Live Music’ column. There’s this entry for a Latin band playing ‘salsa’ music at a bar starting at 11pm. It also reads ‘Free.’

I called Madelyn back. “Got it.”

A few days later I get a text message from Erik. He basically wrote to say hello and let me know he was going to be away for a week or so on a business trip.

‘Oh, a world traveler,’ I thought. So I started thinking what it would be like living abroad, single, or traveling the world for work.

Hmm, single, traveler. Maybe I can do that too; go places I always wanted to be. How about that?

I read the text message one more time and I asked myself what should I do next. Should I respond to this message, should I call him? Or, do I wait for him to contact me again?

I respond to the text with something straight to the point as ‘have a good trip’ and ‘call me when you get back.’ And he does. Oh my…

et cetera