The New M.E. Generation

It’s the end of a workday on a Monday, and I am wishing it were a Friday. I’ve worked so much in a single day I feel I’ve completed work for five. I need a drink, badly.

Dina is out of town, so I contacted Madelyn instead. She felt the same way, so we decided to have dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Our first order of the night was a Margarita and a beer, followed by dinner.

As the night progressed, I see a man come in and sit at the opposite side of where we are. I stared at him from time to time, and I could see that he’s also looking back at me.

This man had dark hair, blue eyes, and he seemed to be in a more appropriate age range for me. From what I could observe, he was definitely not in the ‘under 30’ category.

When Madelyn and I had pretty much finished our meals, the waitress came to our table and brought us another beer and Margarita. “The man at the other table sent you these,” she said. We both looked at him and smiling, raised our glasses to thank him.

When the man finished his meal, he came to our table and asked us if he could join us. We gladly complied. He introduced himself as Fernando.

During our conversation he disclosed that he’s from Spain, divorced with kids, in his 40’s, and that he has never done something like buying a drink to women he doesn’t even know. We both confessed that neither had we, but that his action was very flattering to us.

I was in Spain once when I was about seven years old. I almost returned there for my honeymoon, which I regret very much not doing so. This is a country I would really like to visit again sometime in the future.

I thought to myself how nice this guy was and how much I would like to get to know him more. But, wait, what if he was actually interested in Madelyn?

We are all pretty much done for the night when Fernando excused himself from the table before getting the check.

“Wow, sweetie, you made quite an impression on that guy,” expressed Madelyn.

“How can you be so sure? Maybe he’s interested in you, or maybe both?” I replied.

“No, it’s you. I noticed how both of you were looking at each other. Besides, I’m not interested in any relationships at this time, you know that,” concluded Madelyn.

When Fernando returned, we all started wrapping up for the night. I then got nervous; I wanted to contact this guy again, but after my last encounters with ‘those two guys (Erik and Ross),’ I was really at a standstill of what to do here.

Fernando paid his bill, thanks us for the nice time he shared with us, and left. He didn’t ask for a phone number from neither of us nor we provided ours. I watched him leave and I regretted it badly.

Madelyn saw how upset I was with myself. “I could tell you would have liked to see him again. So why didn’t you say something?” she asked.

I didn’t answer her but I did to myself, ‘because I’m scared of finding myself in another disappointing situation where I end up getting hurt yet again.’

{November 14, 2008}   The Bostonian 10 – Remember?

We returned to campus after lunch. Annette and I were to walk around campus on our own, so we had to say good-bye to Dr. S in front of his office building.

After all these years of waiting for a reunion and a quick lunch, it was once again time for me to depart. I mean, what are the chances that this reunion might happen again?

I hugged Dr. S the same way I did back when he hand me my diploma and started to cry. I’m as confused as on graduation day and scared what the future holds for me.

“Remember that I thanked you for believing in me?” I said to Dr. S. “That is something that has always stayed with me. You don’t how much that has inspired me.”

“I remember,” he said. “I’ve never forgotten it. I still have the picture of that moment somewhere in my office.”

“What’s going to happen to me?” I asked him.

Dr. S kissed my forehead. “I know exactly what you’re going through, and I assure you that you will come out of this just fine.”

I avoid saying good-bye and I’m having difficulty letting go. When you’re in college one is in a comfort zone you just don’t want to loose because the real world is hard to come by.

My marriage was the same; a fish bowl that I in part created to be safe and risk-free so life could flow uninterrupted. More than ending a relationship of many years, I didn’t want to let go of the security that had always guarded me. I was afraid of facing the real world again on my own, with no one there to hold my hand.

{October 27, 2008}   Costume Change 8 – Party time!

I met with Dina and two other girls in a house and we all drove together to the party. Dina was a Candy Corn Witch, followed by Paris Hilton and a Cat.

We parked our car in a lot across from the venue and walked to the check-in point that allows you to enter the museum. The party is held in the indoor center courtyard of the mansion and its gardens. Part of the outdoor area is covered with tents.

The party had already started when we were finally checked and the place was filled with every imaginable outfit you could think of. You name it, it was there: short, long, sexy, skimpy, politically correct or not so correct, and whatever else in between.

I was very excited and nervous to be attending the party for the first time. It was also the first occasion that I was at an event without my ‘x’. I somewhat struggled with the body issue, but after seeing outfits that showed way more skin than mine, eventually I was able to get over it and enjoy the night.

I also thought I would cross paths with my ‘x’ sister-in-law, but she was nowhere to be found. Funny, she never missed these parties for anything in the world. It seemed that now the roles have reversed; I am single and she’s married. She probably fell into the marriage trap or maybe her beloved brother reminded her that these parties ‘are for young single people,’ which she is not anymore.

A former classmate of mine, Rob, found out I was living in the area and contacted me. I’ve been reconnecting with an assortment of people throughout the months and it was very pleasant to see him again after so many years.

Rob picked me up and we decided to have some drinks. We are sitting at the bar having a great time. Some time later, he excuses himself from the table and while he was away, I started looking around at the other people, when all of a sudden (record scratch sound in my head), I see, Erik?

OMG, he’s sitting right on the opposite side of the table. And I’m wearing the same dress that day I met him! Is this for real?

I kept staring at him and he seemed to have briefly stared at me. He is sitting with a pretty girl, looking very cozy with her. I could only wonder if that’s the girl he talked about in his message.

When Rob gets back, we kept talking about school, then life. I don’t mention the Erik incident.

“I remember you were very shy and always sitting quietly at your desk,” Rob says.

He’s been divorced for some time and it was inevitable that the conversation would shift to this topic. I still needed to talk about this and I presented him with questions he can’t all answer.

“It takes time to heal, you know. Believe me, you’ve gone through the worst part already. One day you will look back and remember this conversation. What you need to do now is get your life back on track. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

‘You’ll be fine.’ That’s what everyone is telling me. But, will I be?

Just before we called it for the night, I see Erik finishing his drink, getting the check, etc. Before he gets up from the chair, he does what confirmed to me he was ‘that guy’ – he kisses the girl’s hand, just like he did when I first met him.

I called Dina the next day. “Remember the Swedish guy?” I dished out every detail, including the part about the dress.

“I don’t believe it. It’s so funny!” said Dina.

“It sure was, in every sense of the word,” I concluded.

I finally laughed for the first time in a long time.

Yes, maybe my friends are right. I’ll be just fine.

Shortly after my divorce became official, I moved on my own for the first time to a one-bedroom apartment. My friend Dina, hoping to keep my spirits up during this transitional period, invited me to go with her to a lounge where she was to meet other friends of her.

She was also concerned about my wellbeing considering I was weighing close to 100 pounds. This was less than what I weighed when I got married, which was around 115. People were also telling me that I looked sickly for my 5’4” petite frame.

I started getting ready, and after doing my hair and make-up, I opened my closet and stared at all my stuff from top to bottom, left to right, completely clueless of what to pick. “This is worse than a Project Runway challenge!” I thought to myself.

My self-confidence has been shattered and I don’t feel pretty. None of my clothes can help me feel better about my interior, even less the exterior. I stood there for the longest time until some divine intervention ascended upon me and made me decide to put on a dress.

This is basically the first time I was going out as a single woman. I’m excited but more nervous than anything. I don’t know how I managed to pull myself together and leave my apartment.

I picked up Dina at her place and head to the lounge. I don’t disclose to her how I’m feeling.

The place was pretty packed when we arrived and had to walk around to find her friends. The band has already started playing and most people are dancing.

I got a drink and my vision wandered around the lounge and people. I noticed this guy close to me dancing who I thought was part of Dina’s group of friends. He’s wearing a long sleeve shirt, khakis, and square frame glasses, which, in my opinion, made him look like a geek of some sort. I don’t notice much chest hair on him either which lead me to believe he’s somewhere in his 20’s. In other words, younger than me.

I keep looking at this guy when, out of the blue, he takes my hand and starts dancing with me. Dina looked at me as if all was under control.

“What’s your name?”
“Are you Swedish?”
“No, (I wish. You wish.) I’m Latina. And you?”
“Erik from Sweden.” (No kidding.)

As the night continued and whatever conversation the noise allowed for, I learned he was working in investments and, as I correctly guessed, he’s way much younger than me, 28 to be exact.

What now, am I going to pull a Demi Moore here?

A couple of hours later, Dina says it was time to go. I stare at Erik like the world was about to come to an end, and the million-dollar question popped in my mind, ‘should I give him my number?’ I don’t recall what happened, but he did get it. Before I leave he takes my hand and kisses it. Ohh…

As we’re driving away I say to my friend, “I can’t believe that the first guy I got picked up by was a geek!”
“No, he didn’t look like one!”
“Oh yes he did, totally!”

What happened next was exactly like a scene from a sitcom: I get a call at my mobile. And there we were, two women (or better yet, girls) jumping up and down, screaming our lungs out inside a car.

“Shh..! Hello?” (sexy tone)
“Hi, this is Erik. Just checking on you.”
“Well, thank you (trying not to laugh)! It was nice meeting you. Talk soon.”

“He wanted to make sure you gave him the right number,” says Dina.
“I know.”

So this is M.E., Emma Marques.

I arrived to ‘the city’ in mid July 1995 from the Caribbean with a husband and a dog. I had a dream home and all I ever wanted. During my ‘other years’ I completed a post-graduate degree and worked in Communications.

Fast-forward 14 years later when my significant other decided to take the road less traveled and left me.

Now here I am on my own, trying to figure out how things work out as a newly single, childless, divorced woman.

I’m living for M.E. This is my time, this is my generation.

So here we go…

et cetera