The New M.E. Generation











Day 1: I make my entrance into the world and it’s not that welcoming.

Why? Because ever since I was born, I’ve had this love-hate relationship with men that, until recently, been able to finally figure out.

For starters, my brother was the first grandchild and male born from my mom’s side of the family (there’s my aunt and uncle as well), which remained like that for about a year and a half. He was a big baby, with really blond hair, and looks that equaled any child from royalty.

Me? Not so much. I was an average size, with brown locks, and cute, I guess. There were also 2 other grandsons born the same year as me. In the end, the headcount was 6 boys, 2 girls.

My earliest memories of my brother and me was that I always walked behind him. Staying the weekends at my maternal grandparents’ home, he would say, “stop following me!!”

He also had a good appetite. Not me. I guess I figured out that by not eating I was finally getting the attention away from my brother. It worked so well, rumor has it my family would go to church to ask that I put some food on my stomach.

When it was time to sleep, we were both placed on the same bed on a room right across that of my grandparents. My brother though, he didn’t like that, and would cry because he wanted to be with them. I would look at him like, ‘what’s wrong with you?’

One time he got off the bed and wrote a note to my grandparents. He then knocked at their door (me beside him, off course); it read that he wanted to be with them. I guess it worked with my grandmother, as we ended at their bed. Honestly, I would been fine being left sleeping on my own.

Came Sunday morning, he would walk to the third room to watch cartoons and I would be doing the same thing. I looked up to him on anything I would do, even when my baby teeth were falling out and I needed encouragement to give them that last push.

What he did manage not to do was have falls. I had a talent while playing that would make me hit my chin bad enough that required going to the hospital for stitches.

One time it happened at night. My grandmother all nervous sat me with my pajamas on the hood of the car while trying to put my shoes on. My shirt was stained with blood and felt embarrassed for all the commotion I was causing, so much I wanted to hug my grandmother and calm her down.

Once at the hospital, I looked at the male doctor right into his eyes, letting him know that I was in full control of myself. I didn’t cry or make any noise while lying down on the bed. My stare was so strong, he covered my eyes with a light cloth before stitching me up. I still saw everything he did.

Interestingly, I don’t recall having anyone next to me giving me comfort or even holding my hand.

Like my brother said when he accompanied me when I arrived to college for the first time, and was about to board a cab to go to his own school, “You’re on your own kid.”

Memo to myself: there will be a lot more falls and stitches to come. So get ready ’cause they’re going to hurt, a lot. Here we go…

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{December 26, 2016}   The Swipe 14 – Not unusual

“Hi, nice meeting you finally,” said I to Bob while shaking his hand and kissing him on the cheek. I sat down with him on the reception area of the bar/restaurant to wait to get a table.

“You look nice,” said he to me. “Thanks, you too,” replied I. I was glad he complemented my attire. What he was wearing may have been simple (dark trousers and a white long sleeve shirt), but it suited him well.

Something that did get more of my attention was that he was wearing a long gold necklace that he kept inside his shirt. I did my best to keep my vision on him, and not down this shirt. But I have to admit I was curious to see what was at the end of it, don’t know why.

I mean, I’m personally not against men wearing necklaces, tattoos, piercing, or earrings. But if it is with somebody I’m involved with somehow, then they will bother me, and my attitude for them hasn’t changed with time.

From all those I only wear earrings, which is socially and culturally accepted for women. But I only have the traditional one hole per ear. If I was to wear anything else on my ears, it would be something that wouldn’t require more piercing.

Where did my distaste for the above mentioned started is a total mystery. After all, I like things that are related to creativity and expressing yourself (like fashion). Unfortunately these don’t sit well with me.

I agree that you have to see beyond what’s outside a person, but even if a guy is the best one in the world, I know it will become an issue with me in the long run.

Bob and I kept talking for a few minutes and then were seated in the bar area at one of those tall tables. The ambience, decor, and people was nice. Bob was more impressed as I was with the location.

“I’m glad you like this place,” said I. “I hate recommending places to people and then turn out to be disappointing.”

After each got a drink and continued with the conversation, Bob says to me, “I have a couple friend of mine who lives in the area.”

Oh, oh. It’s time for me to reveal my secret.

“I have a confession to make,” said I to Bob while looking at him with a revealing smile on my face. He looks at me as if I was about to say something that would change the course of humanity.

“That couple you’re talking about, I know who they are. They’ve been my good friends for years,” said I. “But they don’t know I was to meet with you tonight.”

Bob was really surprised at what I said, and even more when I told him the reason behind me swiping right when I saw his profile on the dating app.

He told me how he met my girlfriend’s husband at work, that he had been at their home for dinner on several occasions, and other things I already knew about my friends.

The night went along very well, a lot more than I expected, even as far as getting selfies of us together. We even ended up late in the evening eating Cuban food at a famous restaurant that he hadn’t been to before.

The night even got an additional twist when another colleague of Bob showed up at the restaurant with a woman, and they got seated right next to us.

Before Bob said hello to him, he mentioned to me that the guy moonlighted during the weekends as an impersonator of a 60’s Welsh singer. The guy is so into what he does, that his mobile ringtone is that of one of the artist’s songs.

Even more, the guy doesn’t silence his phone when it rings, so the song comes up full blast for the whole office to hear. Then all the guys start shouting, “shhh, turn it off!!”

When Bob finally greeted his colleague, the guy introduced the woman he was with as ‘his wife to be’. Bob then introduced me to them, also saying ‘my wife to be’.

I quickly turned and looked at Bob with total surprise (as in WTF??), and reacted without thinking by hitting him softly on his shoulder, with a look on my face of ‘get out of here’.

I don’t know why Bob made the comment, but if he wanted to impress both his colleague and me (maybe show off), he surely achieved that.

The third twist of the night was that Bob’s colleague said we should go see him perform the next night at some club I’ve never heard before. I thought to myself, “hell no!” Bob didn’t say anything about it, so I guess he felt the same way as me.

I think the night ended around 3 a.m. I was in his car and he drove me all the way back to the mall’s empty parking lot, and followed me home just before hitting the expressway for him to go home.

I can’t recall what was specifically said before getting into my car, but I’m sure I thanked and hugged him for the nice time we had.

The part about saying that ‘we should speak again’ was probably added to the mix. I mean, it’s a given that this would be said.

If you’re wondering how I would describe this first date with Bob, I could say that it was fun and different. Fun because I went to two places that I enjoyed being at. Different because Bob treated me well and he stood apart from other guys I’ve met.

And, yes, I think it would be worthwhile to meet with him again. And, no, it doesn’t translate that we will do the club thing.

If I need to be entertained by an artist, it would be with the real one. But in this case, the ringtone will work just fine.



Fast forward another few years and it was Christmas. My friend Madeline was spending the holidays and New Year’s with her family up my state and invited me to join them for the week.

My then friend was also spending time with family, but not a planned one. His mother back home was having issues with her health. So he took whatever vacation, personal, sick days he had left to be with her. From what he was telling me, his sister was taking turns being with her as well.

I had known long enough that he and his sister did not get along. He always resented that his mom had more affection towards his sister than to him.

The tension between these two was so bad they couldn’t be at the same place at the same time.

How much? One time I was at their house and on top of a table there were about 10 or so photos of her and only 1 of him in the corner of the furniture, almost covered up by all the other frames.

I remember he saying to me, “all these photos are of my sister and this small one is mine.” It was a simple shot of him on college graduation day, standing at school entrance, smiling, and wearing a suit.

I don’t think his mom attended the ceremony (his sister did not obviously), because the mom detested her ex-spouse and couldn’t be where he was at the same time as her. She couldn’t put aside her way past personal matters and concentrate on her son’s achievement.

Even in important moments like this, if it had to do with him, she wouldn’t go the extra mile. But for her daughter, she would endure hell and back if needed to. The way each one was treated was incomprehensible and nauseating to me.

I felt sorry for him. He had achieved so much and what did his sister do to deserve so much attention? According to him, she hated her life back home, and after her first year of college decided to get married and go live abroad.

So she never even completed college and at one time took the tuition money to buy herself an expensive watch, which wasn’t questioned either by the father who was helping her with school.

It was a feeling that I shared that no matter how good one could do, it still wasn’t enough.

But her sister? It seemed that marrying a guy to run away from it all (and who had a moronic face on top of that), having a home and kids (and not working even if her life depended on it) was the way to go.

Having the situation that the mom’s health was at risk created another challenge, because they had to work together to get her the medical treatment that she needed.

The question was if they would be able to put their differences aside. Sadly, I learned the hard way that he was worse than me when it came to forgiveness, letting go and moving on with life, even more of saying, “I will never be or do something like that”.

Let’s say that besides not practicing what you preached, it’s about repeating other people’s way of existence and becoming a creature that not even your loved ones (repeat, loved ones) want to be with.



So what happens when a friendship goes wrong?

And I’m not talking about any guy previously mentioned that I’ve tried to do things right.

Believe it or not, I’m referring to my high school friend. Of all people, he’s the one that I felt has betrayed me the most.

So how did it all happened is unclear to me, but will try to figure it out.

Our friendship started during our early teens. My earliest recollection was that he started hanging out with my brother at home. Of all the guys that would come around, he was the only one took an interest in me.

I wasn’t into him in anything at first. With only 13 years, my parents were divorced, my mom went back to work, and I was responsible for many chores at home.

Like all Hispanic cultures, my brother was doing whatever he wanted, including giving attention to his buddies instead of me. Top that with being a freshman trying to navigate school and life in general with no one to lead the way.

My memories included him talking to me every time he would be home, mostly about how I was doing. He seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me and that I were fine. I felt at ease with him and that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.

As I later learned, his father had a pharmacy in my neighborhood and that he worked there after school, and the mom had a beauty salon at the building where my dad had his office.

When I had nothing to do, I would walk to the pharmacy with the excuse of having to buy something. I would chat with him for a few and then headed back home. He never got upset with me while there and would always find the time to talk to me. I would later get my hair done with the mom and became a client for several years.

Curiously I never had an emotional interest with him. I never once felt like kissing or hugging him, or display any affection towards him.

After some time of friendship, he conveyed to me very politely that he had some interest in me. I felt very flattered, but never pursued him in any way any more than what we were sharing already.

He respected my way of being, including my feelings towards him, and became the only person I allowed to enter my world as a whole.

He had everything going on for him and I chose not to pursue him romantically. Sounds familiar? Yep, my love/hate relationship with men has run deeper that I thought. And sadly, being then or now, it sure feels the same.



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.



‘For a lack of a better word, you were hot!’ said he. (Could you please expand?) ‘I wasn’t the only one thinking this way. I would say that was pretty much the consensus of the guys living on my dorm floor as well.

I know they were envious of me dating you, especially my friend who encouraged me to contact you. Every time he has asked me about you, he would always say just that.’

Which dorm was this? I have no recollection of any of this. How many times was I actually there?

‘What I remember about you was that you had a beautiful face, fit body, great smile, and because you had a different cultural background than the majority of the people on campus, you were exotic and made you stand out.’

Hmm, being fit? That’s one thing I have to disagree. I do remember gaining some weight and taking it off was quite difficult, which made me insecure.

Also, I was into doing my make-up and having my hair styled. But my clothes at times weren’t the best for my body. I think I was more into the comfort part than being fashion forward. So if I was perceived as having a nice body, my efforts in looking good were indeed paying off.

In regards to standing out, I thought I was just average or blended with the rest of the girls in school. It’s true that my background made me different, but I never used it to get attention from others.

But with all my insecurities and else that I had before still impressed this guy, then there was something about me that indeed made me different.

Or, was it something else? Was it all my looks? Was there more between me and him?

I presented this question in my next email.



‘Third connection’ and I remained as online friends and would comment each other on whatever situation we would write about.

One time, though, I got responses from other guys when I only asked him for an opinion. Halloween was coming up and was contemplating a few alternatives for wardrobe. Among them was one that had an air for ‘sexy’ but wasn’t too revealing, just fitted and short in length, long enough for me to consider suitable for my weight, body type, etc.

So when I posted a picture of the costume, I got more responses than what I bargained for, from single to married men. More of a ‘chain reaction.’

“Would love to see you wearing that,” said third connection.

“You can model that to me any time,” said another friend.

“Thumbs up to that,” another guy said.

“No, I vote for something more sexier,” a fourth guy said.

What is this? I only wanted to get comments from one person, and in turn I got an avalanche of responses. And whatever I liked it or not, it had to do with my looks and how others perceived it, even including as it relates to my level of sexiness.

Now I was not only dealing with defining how pretty I considered myself, I was asking myself if I considered myself sexy and how much.

“Ah, what are we talking about here guys?” asked I.

“You’re hot,” said third connection.

“Ditto that,” said one of the other three.

“Yeah!!!”

“Major hottie!”

Oh my goodness! Now I’m creeped out as to what to wear and post it online. Well, I hate to say this, but I enjoyed the brief attention I received from them guys. It’s still flattering to hear from others how great I look or would do wearing whatever I decide to wear.

I know they mean no harm and want the best for me. And I know that they’re also trying to encourage me into doing something that is new for me or perhaps not used to do.

They’re trying to take me out of my shell and find (or find again) that fun side of me that some of them remember me for.

I think it’s more about taking risks. Not that I hadn’t in the past, but now it is all for me and only me. It’s about standing in the spotlight and being admired for all those who love and respect you. Shine on.

 



et cetera