The New M.E. Generation











The last incident left me very upset, but again, I wasn’t letting this ruin my days for long. I instead was taking everything as a lesson, as to how to take control of situations, and not allowing any guys play games with me.

So, once my emotions had come down to normal, I started the third round of looking and swiping. But this time I was also using another website, hoping it would increase my chances of connecting with someone.

Nothing happened the first few days, until I spot a profile on the second site of a former colleague of mine, which I will refer to as Cameron. The username displayed was created combining his first and last name, so I knew this person was legit.

This guy was already working at my current employer when I started, but although we were on the same floor, and sometimes collaborated on projects, I barely knew him professionally, even less personally.

I hadn’t even turn my first work anniversary when the company announced they were ‘making changes’ (or laying off people), and he unfortunately was among those that were let go.

From the time that happened to seeing his profile now, I would say no more than a year had passed, if I wasn’t wrong. So seeing him gave me the impression that he had bounced back at work and life, and was now ready to give love a try.

In spite of all these considerations, I analyzed if it was worth approaching him or not. He wasn’t exactly my type, but felt there could be potential to at least become friends. Maybe someone just to go out and have fun with every so often, or perhaps be a sympathetic ear.

So I went ahead and sent him a message, which read: “Hey Cam, is that you??”

The next day he replied: “I’m sorry, but I don’t remember where I met you.”

To which I then said: “What do you mean you don’t know?? It’s Emma from work!”

“Emma, of course!!”, said he then.

I don’t recall how long we texted before he gave me his phone number, or if it was me the first one that suggested meeting for a drink , but I do recall his comment of, “there is no other way; we have to get married.”

I guess he was trying to find humor in this semi-awkward situation of basically having no relationship at work, to accidentally coming together again, and still being in the dark about each other.

This was the first time that a guy had made such a comment, which really caught me off guard, and made me react with a ‘WTF?’. So instead of freaking out as I usually do when I sense this might be a mistake, I only responded that, “I don’t know about that, but a beer will do for me”.

The next event was that we got to talk on the phone first before meeting (don’t know who called first, but most probably me), as I had to wait for the next free weekend he had without his kids. And he sent me a friend request on social media, to which I accepted.

I took a look at his profile and it was very plain, which stroke me as being very odd. It had only one photo of him with his daughters, a few of himself in other stages in his life, plus other stock images that had nothing to do with him. His online friends were also few.

This made me confused because he worked as a copywriter, meaning he’s a creative person who has good imagination for writing compelling copy for ad campaigns. And when you consider social media, which is the perfect vehicle for people to really speak their mind and express themselves in endless ways, this profile represented a contradiction of what I thought a profile like a person like him would look like.

I even went as far as checking his professional profile and it was equally lacking depth and substance. It only stated the job title, companies worked for, the amount of years at each one, and awards earned. His profile photo was a selfie at a sports game.

There were no recommendations from other colleagues, or bullet points detailing what he did at each position worked. It made me wonder if this is how his resume would look like, and if so, how he has been able to get any job in the first place.

There’s also the possibility that there’s not much activity in his social profile because he might be going through a difficult situation, like a breakup.

I’ve seen it before of others literally stripping their page almost bare of anything related to their past relationship and ‘disconnecting’ for a while, until they felt emotionally ready to go back to the digital world.

Still, I made the effort of not overanalyzing or coming to conclusions too early when we haven’t even gone out together. Unfortunately, from past experience, something have always happened, sometimes even early in the game, that clearly proves to me the whole thing is destined to be doomed.

I know I’m being negative, but I rather be prepared and not have high expectations, than getting hit with a low ball.

The strategy will be this: we will meet for a drink and see how it all goes. Game on!

 

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The next morning I rushed to work as usual, so it didn’t give me much time to speak to my friend, which was great to avoid last night’s situation. It was a long weekend and celebrating my birthday, so that’s what I wanted to concentrate on.

Work finished early around 4pm and I rushed home, as we were having dinner with a couple friends of mine whose wife is also a graduate of our school.

My then friend helped me choose my clothes, something he had done before. I didn’t feel intimidated or upset about his opinion after all these years, something that with other guys I’ve not been that easy with.

We met my friends at the restaurant and it was nice to be out with a guy and another couple, which hasn’t happened in a long time.

As we were having drinks at the table, my friend grabbed my hand and held it with both his on the table. “Are you okay babe?” asked he. I reacted surprised, as I wasn’t expecting it. I replied with a ‘yes, I’m fine’, with a face that I was happy with all that was happening. I let him hold my hand until food was served.

After dinner, the couple invited us to their place for additional wine. They also have a pet parrot; I then remembered that my friend’s mom had one that lived cageless and was infamous for what it would do or say.

When I asked him about it, he said it has passed away about 6 years ago. I also remembered about 2 small dogs that had vegetable names like ‘yucca’ and ‘onion’ because of their hair color.

He explained that when his mom decided to move was able to place them with other families. What I didn’t remember was that there were many other pets in the backyard, including turtles, which I don’t recall ever seeing. It sounded to me like a zoo and baffling that my memory had failed me on this one.

At one point when my friend was away from all us, the wife said to me, “OMG, you can totally tell he only has eyes for you by the way he looks at you. He’s totally into you.”

I was caught off guard again with her comment. Her husband and her have been good friends all these years and their opinion was important to me. I didn’t agree with them always, but knew that what they said to me they did because they cared.

The question about the possibility of being in a relationship with me came to mind again. But I replied to my friend something to the extent that I didn’t like his constant moving and that bitch ex of his was still present in his life. She looked at me as in ‘take advantage of the here and now’.

My then friend was claiming he was really over the bitch and had taken her out of his social media profile. He even said that ‘he wasn’t going to hide anything,’ meaning being quiet about posting photos or comments, including one image of us in a friendly hug. He was now ‘a free man’, able to do whatever he wanted and wasn’t going to care what other people thought or said, including his so-called ex.

I was enjoying the moment and was looking forward to much more the next few days. That was the ‘now’ that I was feeling, besides that voice in my head that kept circling like a major warning that something bad would happen.

Little did I imagine that the actions and photos of that day, and the following ones, would have so much impact in my life, even today, and he would be the one to blame.

Let’s say that I never pictured the after events that came from him. If there’s a ‘poster child’ for lies and betrayal, his image would be front and center. Smile, you’ve been framed!



While the two guys and I talked about the past days of high school, the guy sitting next to Dina is really working her into his conversation. How committed was he? He had his hand on her thigh.

Say what?? When did that happen? Guess remembering the past got me disconnected. When I come to think about it, yes, it did. It actually made me feel young to be remembered for who I was way back then. Back then when I was just myself, Emma.

Even more, who would have thought that this chance re-encounter made me forget my present reality? To top it all of even more, the guy is still sitting, by himself, at the bar, still staring at me.

I shared a drink with my former alumni when we all noticed that the bar was about to close for the night. I turned to Dina and asked her if she was ready to leave (with him or myself was fine by me). The ‘hand in the thigh guy’ was not letting her go, so I asked Dina what she wanted to do. She chose option #2; he was to accompany her home.

I then asked the guys to give me their business card or something with the hope of keeping in touch in the future.

As soon as I said good-bye to the two guys, the ‘guy at the bar’ jumped from his seat and asked me if he could have my phone number.

Aaah…I was so completely caught off guard that the only thing I could respond was, “could I have yours and I’ll call you?”

He wrote it on the back of the business card, quickly introduced ourselves, and off we went (Dina and me, ‘hand in the thigh guy’ included).

We all walked to my car and I noticed that these two were holding hands. ‘Nice,’ I thought. Wonder what will happen to Dina and me. Well, in my case, that all depends if I make the call.



et cetera