The New M.E. Generation

Now I was the one who dropped the bomb.

“What do you mean?” said Alex very surprised. The roles were reversed, as he didn’t see this one coming.

“It’s simple. If I no longer go out with you, I’ll proof to you that I’m not with you because I don’t want to be alone or that I need anything from you.”

Alex didn’t know what to say (role reversal again). “You don’t have to take such a drastic measure.”

“Well, it’s the only way that I know. And I’m in no position in trying to proof you wrong when I don’t think anything will work while I’m still seeing you. My feeling is nothing that I do will be good enough.”

“So what happens now?”

“If you still want to see me, I will continue as your friend. But if I have to modify my behavior or act in a way to prove your point, forget it. I have been true to you and myself throughout this time, and I’m not going to change.

I did that far too long when I was married; having to proof, what, when I hadn’t done anything wrong.”

“Sounds to me you’re not facing this situation” said Alex.

“Sounds to me you’re not dealing with your insecurities and are throwing them at me. You think I’m the one with the problem. It’s always easier to place the blame on other things or people.

What you should do is ask yourself why you are with me and maybe you will find the conclusion to this whole situation.”

We kept our ‘conversation’ and I definitely was not going down ‘without a fight.’ Strange, though, I felt very empowered and confident on my position. I wasn’t questioning myself on anything I was saying or doing.

Why am I with him? Maybe because I needed to finally see how much I’ve grown; that I don’t need anyone to question me or make myself doubt of who I am; or that I need someone next to me to feel good about my whole existence or fill a space within me.

That I don’t want to be alone? True, who doesn’t? But, you know what? I’ve been getting along like that just fine.

What started as a beautiful, sunny beach day is now looking like it’s going to bring in some rain.

Dina and I get to the hut where the kayaks and sailboats are located and, once again, to my surprise, we’re the only ones there. I had forgotten it was still somewhat early in the morning.

But, who cares? It was now as if both of us had this water sport all for ourselves.

We walked in looking for whoever was in charge of running this show, and were greeted by a Brazilian guy who was playing some samba music in his CD player. As soon as he saw us walk in, he started dancing, and we joined him laughing. Cool! Maybe I can compensate for what I missed last night.

Since the day wasn’t that great with the wind, this dude suggested starting with the kayaks, which was perfect.

Dina and I sailed as far as we felt we should have, but it ended maybe sooner that wanted when we got hit by the rain.

We took the kayaks back to shore and waited for it to stop (about 5 minutes later) and then told ‘guy #4’ of the day to give us a lesson in sail boating. There still wasn’t enough wind to make it happen, but gave it a try anyway.

Dina and I are concentrated on the lesson, and even practiced what the guy preached when, out of the blue sky, the guy drops a bomb.

“And where is your husband??”

Dina’s jaw dropped and had a face of ‘you just did not say that!!’

“My what??”

I stared at this Brazilian; my eyes opened the widest possible and my face turned redder than the tan I was trying to get. My body temperature rose higher than that forecasted for the day.

I felt like kicking him out of the boat even if it meant loosing control of the boat and drifting away.

He quickly realized his big ‘oops’ and had no idea what to say to save the day.

I got mad for a split second and responded something to the extent of “My husband? Ah, he left me.”

But, you know what? I’m not letting anything ruin this time for me. So I quickly forgot the whole thing and put on a smiley face.

Now guy #4 is really freaking out. He probably thought I was in a psycho mode or something.

I don’t know how he did it, but successfully managed to get our attention back on the lesson and wrapped it up. We slowly, but surely, returned to shore.

Dina and I looked at each other. Now what?

“Let’s do lunch!”

‘OMG, look at those blue eyes! They’re as crystal as the sky,’ I thought to myself. I noticed them when I met him that night at the event, but now staring at them at daytime were quite hypnotizing.

“Hey (I kissed him on the cheek like Hispanics do), how are you?” I said while hugging him with one arm and holding my purse with the other. “I’m so happy to see you,” I added.
“Likewise,” said he.

We’re still facing each other and engaging in small talk when he asked, “want to get something and sit down?”
“Sure,” I answered.

While standing in line and talking, I couldn’t help noticing his clothes and shoes. He was wearing a t-shirt with some beach related imprint, long Bermuda shorts, and tricolored, ankle-high Converse sneakers.

I sensed a bohemian, laid back vibe from him, something in the lines of an ‘over 30’ ‘surfer dude.’

We get our coffees and sat down. I was getting ready to share my story about searching for him, when he pulls out something from his pocket.

“Look, this is my new mobile,” he said. (Oh, so that’s why he never called me. He lost the data when he transferred the sim card to this one.) He showed me all the features and kept on talking.

‘Man, he talks more than us women supposedly do,’ I thought to myself. Even worse, I was loosing my train of thought.

I waited enough time to pass by so he could get his points across when I finally courage enough to talk.

“Um, listen, I wanted to tell you why I came looking for you…” I said to him. As simply as I could, I explained how I had regretted not getting his number the night we met, that my girlfriend was the one who motivated me to do the search for the station in the internet, what happened to me when I got there, and how I eventually got to him.

Nicely enough, he sat there and listened to every word I said and smiled. Those darn blue eyes never wandered away. It was like he was staring right into my mind and soul.

I’m trying to get my points across, which I did, and we even exchanged phone numbers (finally!), when he drops the bomb.

“Do you want to go to my place?” he asked.
(record scratching sound) “What? Now??” I asked back.
“Yeah, now,” he concluded.
“Ah… I guess so.”

OK, the first episode of Emma the Adventurer is about to begin.

We decided to go for a drink after the movie. I offered to buy the first round at a bar; Ross neither answered yes or no.

Once again the location made me felt like I’m back in college, so I shifted the conversation towards this topic.

He tells me that he worked his way through school, but has not yet completed his degree. He taught English in Venezuela. He moved to ‘the city’ to basically get away from the cold Massachusetts weather. His last job didn’t work out as planned. He’s in the process of reorganizing his life.

‘Reorganizing his life, interesting. Sounds just like me,’ I thought to myself.

He also sounded younger than me. OK, it’s my turn to drop the bomb.

“How old are you Ross?”
“30.” (record scratching)

The bomb got dropped on me instead.

What is going on here? Am I looking that young? Am I really that pretty or are these men just looking for something else? Let’s get this straight; I’m almost old enough to be this guy’s mom.

I started hyperventilating again.

‘Please don’t ask me how old I am. Please, please, please!!!’ I said to myself while breathing in fast speed ready to deliver a baby. I’ve never had a child but this was definitely the closest I could get.

My inner voice then talked to me, “Emma, think quickly!! Do something!!!”

A millisecond passed and I’m staring at Ross with my eyes wide open like deer’s in the headlights.

Another millisecond passed when I finally reacted. I turned to the bartender and shouted, “Two more beers please!!”

I then turned back again looking at Ross. “And these ones are on me!!”

It’s 2007, about a month since my then spouse had left me, when Dina calls me.

“Do you want to go to the Halloween Bash at the museum?” she asked.

“I sure do! I’ve always wanted to go to that!”

If you are really serious about dressing up, this is the party to be and be seen. I finally got my wish of having the opportunity to attend this event.

The following weekend I headed straight to the costume store where the first bomb was dropped. My mind is set to get the sexiest outfit I could possibly find.

I came across a one-piece sailor suit and (awesome!) they have my size; X-Small. I put it on and come out to look at myself at the big mirror outside the dressing room.

A young girl in her 20’s looks at me and says, “Where did you get that?? It looks so cute on you!!”

The salesgirl agrees with her. “Yeah, I really like it on you!”

I thanked them both and looked at myself again. Wait a minute, wasn’t this the same costume my ‘x’ said made me look fat five years earlier? You know what, I actually look good in it!

Yes!! I have nailed the costume and it’s all mine.

I changed back into my clothes, got a pair of matching stockings, and headed for the cashier.

I walked past where the costume was hanging. There are only a couple of them left.

I did get my wish of dressing up for a Halloween party years later in 2004, but not for the big one.

My then spouse and I had just completed remodeling our house and he wanted to celebrate his birthday, which is very close to Halloween, in a combined costume-birthday party.

“When I was a kid, my birthday parties always celebrated both, and they were a lot of fun,” he always said.

We planned the event in much detail and were thrilled about our first major party in our newly remodeled home. Shortly before the actual date we were only missing our costumes.

So off we went costume hunting. We made a first stop at a vintage store that sells them during October and I tried on a short dress in a size Small that required long white stockings. I came out of the dressing room and he stares at me for a second. He makes a facial expression in which he moves his lips up to clearly communicate of his disapproval.

Then he dropped the bomb. “It makes your thighs look fat.”

I looked again at myself in the mirror. I know I have a Latina body, but am I really that big? I’m still pretty much on the same weight when I married him (115 pounds).

This body issue had been escalating throughout the years, but I never thought he would insult me this way. He also hated doing shopping of any kind and is getting restless. He wanted to leave.

“Forget it! Let’s go.” I tell him very angry.

I’m sitting on the car and kept repeating myself that it was his party, his birthday. He had also briefly separated from me a year earlier. Deep inside I knew I was not happy with my marriage, but I was desperately trying to stay dressed up for the part of a married woman. Even though the show almost ended the year before, I was determined to stay on this character, no matter what.

A few hours later I get a response from Erik via three text messages.

“I can see that you’ve been trying to reach me. I should tell you that I met somebody. I think you are very nice and hope that everything works out for you.”

What just happened here? Does this mean I got dumped electronically? Is this a new trend?

I’m completely baffled by this whole thing. I stare at the ceiling totally confused, depressed, sad, angry, and whatever other adjective I could add to it.

I’m having a fit. I need some crisis management.

I decided to call another friend of mine, Valerie. When she gets her nervous breakdowns she calls me.

Getting a hold of her is another challenge. Getting hit by lighting is more probable than her answering the call. She’s also been married three times.

“I know what you’re going through, it happens to everyone,” she says. “Besides, he’s the first guy you meet after the split. Trust me, you will meet many others and maybe one of them will be the one.”

I start feeling a nice groove within me when she drops the bomb.

“And one day, believe it or not, you will have sex again…”

I hear a record scratching in my head.

“Ah, what were we talking about?”

et cetera