The New M.E. Generation

I didn’t wake up in such a good mood the next morning. Although I had come to a conclusion about what happened last night, I’m still dwelling on it. I couldn’t get a hold of George or Mark, so I decided to talk it over with Dina over the phone.

“I honestly don’t find anything offensive in what he said. It seems to me that’s how he is and expresses himself,” said Dina. “I also think you’re taking things way too personal.”

“I just didn’t like it, period. I’m having such a hard time dealing with anything related to guys since my break-up,” I told Dina.

“I suggest that, for now, you figure out what you want in regards to him,” concluded Dina.

I ended my conversation with her and just when I’m deciding whether or not to speak to Edward, sure enough he called me.

“Are you still mad at me? I apologize for whatever you’re upset about,” he said.

“My anger has nothing to do with you. This divorce has affected me in such a way, I’ve created a wall in front of me so I don’t get hurt again,” I said.

“Emma, our former spouses left us and we are both carrying a lot of baggage on our shoulders right now,” said he.

“At least you have your kids. What do I have?” I said.

“I love my kids more than anything, but there’s moments when I don’t even have time for myself. What you have is no attachments, a chance to start with a clean slate,” said he.

“I guess…”

“You and I have to give ourselves the chance of being with someone else if that occurs,” said Edward.

“I’m not interested in you right now if that’s what you’re implying,” I answered.

“Are you then asking me to step out of your life?” asked he.

“Just be my friend, if that’s possible,” I concluded.

After this conversation, Edward and I saw each other one more time at another Halloween party at a couple’s house he is friends with. A girl that attended was so all over him, that you could tell, if given the chance, she would have hit the sack with him.

“Tell me what you’re thinking,” Edward would ask me when the girl detached from him from time to time.

“You tell me. What are you going to do about her?”

“I don’t know. After all this time, it’s flattering to get this much attention,” he concluded. (How about taking her to your place and getting it over with, duh!)

Around midnight I sat by myself on a patio chair that gives a view of the house’s whole backyard. I felt traveling back in time to those years when I held the Halloween parties at my former residence. Too many memories crossed my mind and sadness engulfed me. It had been far too many costume changes for me already.

‘I don’t want to feel these sad emotions any more,’ I told myself.

I then looked at Edward. He’s dancing very close with the chick and really enjoying himself, or so he seemed. Um, I could be in her shoes right now.

I then left the party without saying good-bye to anyone. It’s time for me to exit this show and look forward to a new character in my life.

The day of the 2008 Halloween party finally arrived. It had been raining the whole week and it looked like it was to continue for this event.

Dina came to my place to dress up and we helped each other with our make-up and costumes. I decided to stay with my Elektra costume; Dina’s black and pink pirate suit looked cute and feminine on her. We were to be picked up by Dina’s friend, Melanie, and drive together to the event.

I also invited a guy who I recently became friends with, Edward, to join us. We were introduced through a relative of mine who attended college with him. He is recently divorced like me, but with children, and I thought the party could be a good distraction during this transitional period in his life.

The three times we’ve seen each other have basically been meeting up somewhere. Things have evolved well so far and I’m hoping that we could at least remain friends. If there is a possibility of anything else in the future, I’ll let it happen by itself. In other words, I’m not pushing or expecting anything from him or life in general.

We agreed to meet later in the evening; he had his kids for the weekend and had to wait for the babysitter to arrive.

Melanie picked us up and she’s wearing as costume a female version of Robin Hood. (Isn’t this an action hero character?)

We arrived at the location and parked the car in the lot across the venue. We’re walking the grounds towards the event’s entrance when it starts to rain again. Luckily Melanie had brought an umbrella and the three of us are cramped together under it trying not to get too wet.

We arrived at the check-in point about 10 minutes before the event officially commenced, and all attendees are also standing in line crunched together under umbrellas as well. At 8pm sharp people were allowed to go in. The party was again held in the indoor center courtyard of the mansion and gardens. Part of the outdoor area was covered with tents as the year before.

As the night progressed, as well as the rain, more people got compacted in the covered areas, and puddles formed underneath the tents. It made it difficult for people to walk around, which took the fun away of admiring other people’s outfits, as well as the chance of meeting and socializing with others.

At moments it got to so bad, that I got separated twice from Dina and Melanie while we were trying to maneuver around people to reach one of the bars to get a drink. Even worse, there was no DJ or live music; it was prerecorded. Last year’s party had both, which provided alternatives for all tastes and ages.

You mean to tell me that I spent time and money to make it here and this is the entertainment? I’m not a happy camper and I’m making every effort to make the best of this night.

About two hours into the party Edward calls me on my mobile. I could barely hear him, but he had arrived and is looking for me inside the mansion. I tell Dina and Melanie that I’m going to find him and separated a third time from them. It’s pouring really bad and had to literally push people aside to be able to walk through.

I’m upset again. I can barely move and don’t know what Edward is wearing; he said it was a secret. How can I honestly find him in this tidal wave of people?

‘I could really use some superhero powers right now!’ I told myself. Can this night from hell become any more horrifying?

“This year we’re dressing up as female superheroes,” said Dina. “You can’t be Wonder Woman or Batgirl so you know.” (Oh boy!)

So what else is out there that serves as a positive role model? How about a female politician? Hey, it’s 2008 and an election year. That’s something to consider if anything else fails. Ok, it’s time to call my boys.

Survey says… (ding!) George: “Well, there is that idiotic Fantastic Four character, whatever her name is. Or you can try one of the Star Trek ones.” He enclosed photos for me to review.

“George, I’m not a Trekkie fan and these costumes are full bodysuits, meaning they’re going to be SUPER hot. I was sweating buckets last year. Besides, I don’t have the boobs to fill up neither of those chests.”

“I heard push-up bras work wonders.”

“Yeah, on Wonder Woman.”

Survey says…: Mark: ‘Cat Woman.’ Here we go again with the bodysuits.

“Mark, it’s too hot! Believe me that in this party, the ‘coolest’ outfits are those with the least material.”

“Ok then, Little Red Riding Hood.”

“What?? She got rid of the wolf in the story, but that doesn’t classify her as a superhero. Besides, that’s more of a couple’s costume.”

“I know, but there was this time when a friend of mine dressed up as her…”

“And you played the role of the wolf over the phone and engaged in an interesting conversation.”

“You got it. I will say this, if I was single, I would go to this party with you like we did back in the days. (HOOOWL) We would have so much fun!!!”

And I would live happily ever after.

The next day Steve inquired about me at work.

George had explained to me that his desk and that of Steve’s are closely located to one another. Steve has the habit of speaking to him while sitting at his desk, with his face so close to his work, his voice sounds like he is deep inside a hole.

George is deeply concentrated on a design when he hears a weird voice calling him.

“Oh, George…”
“Do you know where your friend is?”
“Somewhere in the city, that’s for sure.”

About an hour later…
“Has your friend called?”
“No, but I’m sure she’s just fine.”
“Just checking…”
“I appreciate your interest Steve.”
“Any time.”

About another hour later…
“Do you know anything about your friend?”
“No, Steve, but I assure you you’ll be the first to know when that happens.”
“Please make sure you tell me.”
“I’ll hold your word on that.”

When George and I are heading home, he tells me the Steve story, and I’m amused at my 15 minutes of fame.

“Emma, you don’t realize it, but you are a very beautiful person in every sense of the word. That guy left you because he couldn’t appreciate you for what you really are.

There is a reason why this all happened. I can’t answer that for you, but what I can surely say is that you deserve better than him.

I know there’s so much for you out there and that, one way or the other, you’ll get where you need to go.”

I started crying and turned my face to the window so he can’t see me doing so. “I know, George, I know.”

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.

{October 7, 2008}   The Swedish Massage 7 – Mark

I’m still struggling with this whole experience the following day. I kept calling people searching for answers.

Why am I still dwelling on this?

I go down my list of names and decided to give it one last shot with my other boy, Mark.

I’ve known him since I was in college in Connecticut. He was the best friend of this guy who dated my Junior-year roommate, and at that time he was working in a city about an hour away from campus. We all made a road trip to Canada on a Thanksgiving weekend and from that time remained friends ever since.

I would invite him to go with me to any event occurring on campus, especially Halloween parties. He was the ultimate party animal.

He also cared about me and looked out for my best interests.

He’s the one you can call and talk about anything. I mean, anything, including the three letter ‘s’ word. He definitely gives new meaning to the words “Bed, Bath and Beyond.”

“He offered you a Swedish massage? How exactly did he say it?” asked Mark.

“What’s this, a call to a 900 number? You sound more interested in what he said than what I have to say. Besides, you’re married.”

“And you think by us having this type of conversation constitutes cheating?”

“This is not what I called you for Mark.”

“You know, there was this time when a female friend of mine gave me a call because she was having problems reaching, you know, and I helped her get there, about five times during the conversation. This doesn’t mean I did anything wrong.”

“You engaged in phone sex? That’s what almost happened to me! I called you because I need your help.”

“Well then, go get that Swedish massage you decided to skip. Another female friend of mine says they work better than Yoga. And you definitely need one.”

“Enough said!”

{October 5, 2008}   The Swedish Massage 5 – George

Some time passes without me knowing anything about Erik. I tried calling him with no luck. I then decided to call one of my boys, George, for help.

George lives in Washington DC and we’ve known each other for over 20 years. Our moms have known each other since their childhood. They were the ones who introduced us back home when I will still in school during one of my breaks, considering a career in Communications. At the time George was working in Advertising and them moms thought it would be good for me to have a chat about this with him.

George and I clicked from the moment we met and became fast friends probably because our lives coincided in many things. We are both children of divorced parents; we are inclined to express ourselves creatively like in photography, writing, or drawing. We enjoy comedy movies or other mediums that help develop our creative minds.

We were never interested in each other romantically which allowed us to bond and stay as friends. Our friendship has been so true that we would call each other after bad dates or relationships to seek support and advice. We had the confidence to cheer each other if we accomplished what he called a ‘violá’ (achieving with the other person what one was hoping for), or say straight forward if we knew the other person one of us was with wasn’t worth any of our time and effort.

We also knew that, whatever we decided to do in life, staying in our homeland was not where we could achieve it. The US was the gateway to pursuing our career dreams. George eventually decided to go back to school and study arquitecture. He was accepted in a school in Arizona, got married after graduation and moved to Texas. He was later offered a position in Washington DC and relocated.

In other words, George knows my personality inside and out. He knows where I’m coming from even before I finish my thought. I can’t think of anyone else who knows me as well as him. He has become my unofficial life coach.

“I would hate to be in your shoes right now Emma. Dating is not what it was when you and I were both dating.”

“I was with the same person for 15 years and he was all I knew. I honestly don’t know what to do.”

“All I can tell you is that I know that you’ll figure it out along the way and that you will be just fine.”

et cetera