The New M.E. Generation











{November 21, 2016}   The Swipe 9 – The great divide

The dinner at Cameron’s place ended in a good note in spite of the traffic jam setback. We continued talking on the phone whenever possible, and he even came twice to my apartment for dinner on the only free day he had of those 2 weeks he was busy with his daughters. He was even nice enough to bring some food for both.

Ironically, when these weeks were up, a long weekend came along (meaning he would be totally available for me), but I already had previous plans to go on vacation during this time, making me feel again that the universe was trying to tell me something.

“I can’t believe it,” said he, “I’m getting 2 weeks off from my daughters and you’re going to be traveling.”

This may sound very movie-like, where the female character decides to ditch the trip last minute and, along with the significant other, turns the time into the most romantic one ever, all ending with the most cliche scene you could ever conceive.

But I know better than that. It’s not worth giving up your plans in this day and age for any guy, even less in the very beginning of anything. It’s true that you definitely need to ‘make the effort’, as he very well said. But all at its right time (like after my vacation).

Hey, maybe the universe is warning me not to give away too much, too soon, with him.

Still, I tried to add some positiveness to the situation by telling him that, “I will miss you”, to which he replied, “no… you will have so much fun, you won’t think about anything else”.

‘Ok, if you say so,’ I thought to myself. ‘I’ll just wipe you out completely from my thoughts’, which didn’t happen entirely.

I wasn’t planning to mention him to the people I stayed with, but when asked if anything romantically was happening with me, I decided to share a photo of him and say how well things have gone so far.

They weren’t that impressed with him. Maybe they decided to hold off on the comments since it was so early in the game. Or maybe they saw that this didn’t have much of a chance, like pretty much what has happened before with so many other guys. Whatever the reasons, it wasn’t a warm welcoming.

Actually, it wasn’t even lukewarm, but more like cold. So much that I didn’t even text or called Cameron during the 4 days I was away.

I don’t recall talking to him or meeting with him upon my return. What I do remember is that I met up with Dina for Sunday brunch. Turns out we had a trip planned for the following month, and I had some documents I needed to personally hand to her.

I was unsure about commenting her about Cameron, but knowing her well, her usual remark of ‘tell me about your boyfriends’ would be part of the order of the day, as sure as the side of bacon I always get.

“Actually, I’ve being seeing a guy called Cameron,” said I to her. I explained my connection to him and how he learned about our friendship after seeing her photos in my social media.

Dina was surprised at my revelation, confirming the interview story (“I met with him and he said he should have been the one doing the interview. Apparently he was brought to the U.S. with that job he had, but it wasn’t long before he realized that all that was promised and/or offered to him wasn’t happening”), the encounters at the kitchen (“it’s funny how he always brings this huge bowl of salad for lunch; that’s basically what he eats every day, ha ha ha”), and that they don’t really speak to each other.

Dina was more excited than I was; I have been keeping a low profile all along, knowing this could all end one day to the next. She is the first to tell me not to take things so seriously, but she’d have had some relationships in the past (no marriages or kids yet). I haven’t had one that I could account for.

She says she takes things in stride and not so personal when her love affairs end, and that I should do the same. She may be right, but I’m at least 7 years older than her, and at my stage when I’ve started the big 5-0 decade and menopause, you don’t take things so lightly any more.

“It will happen this year”, have said she in other occasions regarding finding love and having a family. I used to think this way before reaching the 2 previously mentioned milestones. Now I know that the older you get, the more difficult things get to be.

Worst part is that they change you (for better or for worse), which has made me become somewhat distant from Dina, as I believe I no longer feel and think the way we used to. Now I relate more to other women who share the same experiences as I do.

And speaking of change and Cameron, I wonder how this applies to him. Is he willing to make the necessary ones for his own wellbeing, and that of his daughters, to overcome the divorce, or is he thinking he doesn’t need to because the cause of the failure of the marriage supposedly falls entirely on the wife?

Is he in denial that the divorce will actually happen? And after the affair with the 24 year old, what adjustments will he do for future relationships, if that? How will all these affect me?

Oh Lord, I need another vacation! So happy that it’s happening very soon!

 



“A good fortune awaits you at the end of this year or the beginning of the next. A good development,” said the spiritual woman. “What type of development?” asked I. “That you will have a job, health, will travel,” replied she.  “That’s having good luck. Some people don’t have a job or might be sick in a hospital. There’s people in this town that just want to run you over.”

“You’re a woman with luck. You didn’t have children because destiny didn’t want you to,” continued she. “We drag with us the last stage we had on earth. There’s people that did bad things in their last one. Now you pay for what you did before. We come to reap what we sow.”

“I see a very good end and start of the new year, said she. “You will remember that I told you so. A good year primarily with health, work, developments, activities.”

“I also see that you’re going to meet a short guy,” continued she. Dammit! She’s referring to a rebound guy I briefly dated that dumped me about a month before this trip. Won’t get into details (that’s for the next story), but will say I did get to tell him how I felt about it all.

“Right now you think about love,” said she. “Yes, because I wish I had someone,” replied I. “There’s one you know that has a light tanned skin. And there’s the older man. I don’t know if this one is blonde or gray haired. They will come to help you ‘trotar en el caballo’ (ride the horse) as some would say,”continued she in a laughing tone. (Ride in what sense? Sound so politically incorrect.)

“I’ve met many men, but none lasts,” said I. “In here nobody cares about anyone. Nobody wants anything with anyone; nobody gives anything to anyone,” said she. (Sad, but true.)

“Like I said, favorable changes come your way towards the end and start of the year,” continued she. “Lots of men.” “Oh, okay…” said I unsure as to whether to feel joy or scared. “That’s good, isn’t it?” asked she laughing again. (I guess so…) “But ‘the one’ won’t happen yet, right?” asked I.

“What I want is to have a home with someone…,” continued I. “Not be alone when you get to be old age. That won’t happen,” said she. “You will have much success, many developments in your life; that’s what the cards are showing. This is how the end of your life will look like. You will achieve what you want,” continued she.

“Instead of lacking one, you will have two,” said she. “What, kids?” asked I. “No, friends. They’re interested in you, but just want to have fun, drink, conversation. (She holds up the two cards with male figures that represents them.) They will give you some distraction and you won’t be alone. There’s one that’s a liar, tells lots of lies,” continued she. (Are we back to my ex-friend who definitely is?)

“All the guys I meet, they tell you lots of stories. They’re with you and then disappear. They end up giving you all these excuses. No one wants to be in a committed relationship,” said I. “No one wants anything with anyone. Nobody wants to be responsible for you. Nobody wants to give you anything. To get something from you or get confortable with, yes, anything else, no,” said she.

“You will be better off next year. It will be an adventurous one,” continued she. “That man with the grey hair, he’s waiting for you. You know his mom who’s from another country.” (Wait, are we talking about my ex-friend and his mother? He’s not old, but the grey hair, excess weight, and else makes him look way older beyond his actual age.)

“That old man, he’s from abroad. This is the one. He has a tanned skin, but not so dark. Has good hair. He’s the one whose got your back. You know him.” continued she. (I do? Does she mean American?) “There’s some old men who want to get comfy with a younger woman. We get to a point in our lives that we open up ‘las tendederas’ (the clothes line; that we put ourselves out there). There will be two guys with you at the same time, the young and old one.” (Hip hip hooray?)

“And you mentioned that I have a friend who is isolated who will come back. Isolated means that he’s in a bad environment?”, asked I.

“Being isolated is one thing. It means that he’s in a location far from you,” replied she. (That may be so, but truth is he has chosen to isolate and distance himself from those who cared about him and only associates with people that only share his views. And that bitch is in part responsible for it. He’s not in a healthy environment at all.)

“You have thoughts about love. Which one do you love? That one you don’t see? The old one?” asked she.

So confused about who’s who here. I’m not seeing anyone and not interested in seeing my ex-friend again. If it’s someone new, then I will have to wait and ‘see’ what the fuzz is all about.

My bestie believes this guy will one day reappear. She’s willing to listen to him, but I’m not, especially if he comes back looking for us after he breaks up with the bitch. That’s the only way it will happen because he now knows my bestie and I are friends. So that game of lies and playing around with us like he did before is over. Everything now will be under our rules.

The reason why I’m not interested in listening to him is because he always told me that ‘uno no es plato de segunda mesa’ (one is not a second serving table), meaning, no rebound guys, or guys that date and dump you, later wanting to come back with you after they had been with someone else.

My feeling is that if I allow him to talk to me, he might say he was wrong, etc., but will quickly turn things around to blame me for ending the relationship, preach his religious fanaticism and all else, to which I will abruptly end the conversation and block him again.

On the other hand, I might let him. I want him to see that him not wishing me well (or ‘te veo mal’) for not doing what he demanded I should do, including forgiving my ex-husband, has turned out the opposite way: my life became better without you.

I may still be missing a significant other, but have lived life on my own terms, forgiving only myself, and with no regrets. My inner peace has increased and find joy in doing things that challenge me, like traveling to Cuba.

I will tell him, “you’re the one who’s wrong. All that negativity and bad wishes didn’t affect me a bit. I don’t care what you have to say now or later. I don’t need you. Please go away.” I will close the door on him and whatever else that represented this long gone friendship. I will apply to him exactly what he taught me.

I’ve learned my lesson well and will only hope that he does as well.

 

 

 



As time progressed, my bestie and I tried to make fun of whatever this guy and the bitch posted, even as insignificant the post would be, as it was perhaps the only way ‘to get back’ among ourselves to all this guy has done.

For example, clothes. One time there was this photo of both wearing an item of clothes in red, for Valentine’s, of course. He a long sleeve shirt, she a dress.

“That is so idiotic wearing almost the same thing as your significant other,” said I. “And that multi-color tie looks so 80’s! He looks like a waiter in some seafood restaurant. And that dress of hers looks sooo cheap! It’s one of those that not even the thrift stores want it because it won’t sell.”

“More like a casino dealer to me,” said my bestie. “Had it been me, I would never let him go out looking like that. And that shirt is not new. I remember seeing it when I was helping him pack for his move and I asked him about it. He refused to part ways with it like so much other stuff he had. He kept arguing that it was his OCD, blah blah blah. But that’s what happens when you let yourself be influenced by people who don’t have any class; you become like them.”

There was another photo of him at work wearing his mechanic uniform of a blue short sleeved shirt and shorts (that were held in place by a dress belt and the waist folded a few times), white socks and special black shoes (which the front part were worn out and had lost color).

“OMG, he’s so fat he looks like a stuffed sausage,” said I. “And what is that of using a dress belt with his work clothes? What did he do? Buy a ‘one size fits all’ pants so he could use it during all of his weight fluctuations?”

“And those shoes,” said my bestie, “I can understand that you may not want to buy new ones if the current ones are still good. But, please, get yourself a bottle of shoe polish and cover up those scratches. Even the dollar stores sell those.”

I think the funniest photo was one time he received a professional certification for completing a job. He was with the bitch and wearing a long sleeve black jacket, a lime colored polo shirt, and khaki pants.

“Those pants look so big on him; the legs area are really wide. And his hands are so swollen! He must have gained more weight,” said I. “When I first saw him he was somewhat chunky, but nothing bad. The next time he was really thin with a worn out face. He said it had to do with all that he was going through with the breakup and else. The following one he had gained it back, plus more. And his clothes, he seems to be using the same ones over and over.”

“He definitely has gained weight,” said my bestie. “And, yes, he looked bad when he lost it. He looked like someone who just came back from war. When I was with him during his move, he wasn’t taking care of himself. He wasn’t eating, the apartment was dusty and disorganized. It was such a sad place to be physically and emotionally.

And that jacket, pants, and lime polo, he’s had those for the longest and wears them constantly. You can tell they’ve been used far too many times or are out of style because the colors have faded. They’re those he should have started giving away and getting new ones little by little. I miss the days he always dressed so nice. He has turned cheap on that and other things, unfortunately.

Regarding food, he used to take me out to eat and would insist in sharing a plate to save money, or he would take home anything leftover. I understand that it’s not good throwing food away, but if it’s less than a few bites, just leave it.

At least she looks better dressed than him.”

“Next to him, anything that she wears looks good, even on her worst days,” said I. “She looks as bloated as he is. Those pants of her as so tight, they’re about to burst any moment now.”

The ones bursting with laughs were the both of us. Same say laughter is the best medicine. It may not cure all the bad feelings we may still have, but for today, it was just the right dose.



It was still early in the morning the day after St. Valentine’s and had no plans or guy to spend it with.

So what’s a girl to do? Go shopping, of course!

Hey, it’s the most wonderful time to do that, considering there’s bargains for merchandise left over from the holidays. So I decided to go to a store close to me that I’ve been to before, which was advertising great markdowns.
I went straight to the back part where all the clearance items were. I liked what I was finding and listening to.

The in-store background music was all American as the store’s image is. The tunes sang about having good times, how much love a person had for their significant other; all with messages intended to make your shopping as pleasant as possible.

Heck, I was even singing the songs in my head. I got into such a really good mood, that not even the crowd at the store bothered me.

Next step was the dressing room. There was a line, but I didn’t have to wait that long, which was great.

I got inside one and was so immersed in trying out my clothes, that I became unaware of all other noise around me. That is, until something very strange happened.

A song with a Latin beat started playing. It got my attention because my mind was already tuned to songs in English, so it took me a few seconds to adjust to listening the lyrics in Spanish. What was even weirder was that of all times I’ve been to this store, I’ve never heard any songs in Spanish before.

I know I live in a very populated Hispanic community, but I know as a fact that many businesses hire the services of companies that provide background music. This means that the songs have been pre-selected, so you have no control of what is to be streamed.

As I continued listening to the song I realized I’ve heard this one before: <em>“Your love is yesterday’s newspaper that no one else cares to read about. I loved you, but now I don’t. You’re now part of my memory album.”

WTF?? Was this the universe talking straight at me? This is not exactly a love song, but more of a guy telling his significant other that he loved her at one time, but because she was ungrateful to him, he’s moving on and doesn’t want her in his life no more.

Ouch! That’s a big statement. It was pretty much what I lived with the beach guy, but in reverse, and it resonated heavily with me. It was almost as if this relationship had just been played out loud.

Then the song ended and the American ones continued. I was so baffled that I had to sit down in the dressing room to analyze what had just happened. I was still wearing the stuff I had picked out to try on.

Why did this happen, especially when I was alone, inside the dressing room? Maybe the universe altered the music in some way to let me know that yes, I did the right thing the night before.

Maybe if I had been on the store floor I would have missed the song. I needed to be there between those 4 walls to really get the message of what had happened then and now.

I stood up and looked at myself on the mirror. It was as if I was staring at another person; I felt different but in a good way.

That girl from the past was also yesterday’s news and just as the lyrics said, I just don’t want you any more.



A couple of weeks passed by after the ‘daughter’ incident and everything seemed to go back to normal, that is, when I stayed away from writing anything on his profile.

I was keeping it low as much as I could and was just putting posts which content was pretty plain and harmless. They pretty much reflected the sentiment of what other people would say.

I could see that there were other females posting, so I thought this all unintended attention would eventually go away. But that’s not what was happening.

I learned through an email of him that the wife and daughter were still wondering who I was. I couldn’t understand why me of all the other women.

But him saying that I was an old girlfriend, combined with my apparent good looks, I was standing out way too much.

To be honest here, I didn’t find myself being above the other women I saw on his profile.

I did make positive comments on his daughter’s photos. She has been blossoming into a beautiful lady and I was happy for him.

He had always been concerned about giving her a stable home environment and the love she really deserved, two situations he felt he didn’t have when growing up.

I know pictures may speak more than a thousand words, but can be easily deceiving, but my feeling was that his daughter was indeed growing up to be what he had worked so hard for.

But my other feeling was that his attention was more devoted to the daughter than the significant other. Mix that with my presence online and his past stories that things between them are not that well, and you have a conflict that all points to him.

It blew out of proportion in such a way that one day I got an email that I knew would inevitably happen.

‘Hey, I am going to unfriend you. My wife has been questioning much about you. Please don’t take it personal. I am still your friend and I hope we continue to be. I’m not cutting ties here completely, just for a while until things calm down. I know you will understand.’

When I read it, I was upset that I was going through this again, but now thinking that I was fed up of being looked at as if I was a bad person who is complicating other people’s lives.

I have arrived to such a point in my life personally and with guys that I really have no patience for situations like this, even when I know what the truth here is.

I mean, I still appreciate and feel for him, but my emotions towards him completely come to a halt. I have been dragging on this situation with him for far too long and it’s time to close this chapter and move on, just like he has done.

No tears, no regrets, no questioning of decisions; just keeping him as part of my past and leaving it there.



“Hello” and” Hello, you!” was what we said to each other while hugging at the top of the stairs.

I got slightly nervous and didn’t know what else to say besides, “sorry about the wet floor. It always happens when it’s windy and pouring rain”.

I welcomed him into my apartment; he noticed I usually leave my shoes at the entrance, so he did the same. His were very beach shoes. I didn’t like them; thought he would wear something dressier, besides a polo shirt and jeans, to see me.

The other thing that struck me was the big belly that he had. Couldn’t believe this was a guy whose physique was the envy of anyone back in the day. And now seeing him like this, as someone who ‘gave up’ on this aspect of his life, doesn’t correlate with a person I always saw as successful in anything they would set out to do.

But the most shocking thing of all occurred when I looked at him from head to toe and asked myself, ‘has he always been this short?’

I’ve never considered myself that small, more of an average height, but had always wanted a few more inches. In comparison to me, he had less the inches that I wanted to gain. Standing face to face, the disparity was obviously visible, and for the first time ever, I felt tall.

He sat down at my sofa and I on my chair. I had no idea where to start the topics of conversation, so I started with his divorce. It was still ongoing and as messy as I remembered him telling me about it.

He believes that all that really happened is that she had a mid-life crisis and now she’s doing all that she never did until today, like having a younger boyfriend, traveling, give him a hard time.

Yep, sounds sort of my story. Instead of my ‘x’ having menopause, he had ‘peckerpause’, as in thinking life was leaving him behind like a train and needed to reproduce right away. He kept the one who immediately opened her legs and gave him what he wanted.

I have made some travels and dated more than one younger man. It hasn’t been exactly great, but quite an experience indeed.

This guy also told me about his kids and how close he is to them, his parents and sibling, and how, in the future, once his kids are all grown up, would like to work abroad.

Wow, some things never change. His family was always close to each other and now he’s the same with his kids. And him planning going international, no surprise either. What he envisions, he always gets.

And while I was listening to him, that same insecure feeling I felt back then slowly resurfaced to the top. Here I am with no significant other or kids, and not exactly close or distant with my scattered family. But, worst of all, I have no idea or plans of what my future will or should be.

I’m just living life day by day and don’t give much thought about what will, or should, happen next.

I know there’s nothing wrong with that or should feel bad about it. But with this guy, as I said before, some things will always remain the same, no matter what.

Not even a historical moment like this one can fix it.



Another 2 days went by before I got another reply, this time around 4am and still on a work week.

I wondered again if he was getting up or going to bed and what his whereabouts were. In other words, were you at home or, most probably, somebody else’s place?

Back in my days when I was doing my undergrad and living on campus, if you returned very late to your room, it had to be that you were either at the library (that was the main excuse everyone used) studying or writing a paper, or at the computer center.

Yes, I said the computer center. That’s where people went to type their papers before personal ones became a normal thing to have. And the place was open (I believe) until midnight or beyond.

If those 2 locations weren’t it, then it meant you were probably having some sort of relationship with someone else and managed to spend the night with that person. You either convinced the other roommate to go sleep somewhere else, or that other person slept in your bed with the roommate there as well.

Doing the second was no easy task, as having roommates was difficult per se and meant losing more of the little space and privacy you already had.

Then there was the situation if anyone called you. It was one phone paid by many and the calls were usually from parents, family, or significant others living at school or not.

The calls would mostly occur after 10pm as they knew all classes were done for the day, you already had dinner, etc.

But, that was not always the case. If you took the call, you had the misfortune of telling the caller that your roommate wasn’t there and that you didn’t know where she was, either that was true or not.

It was an uncomfortable situation because you always sounded as you were lying and hiding something.

Then there was the task of having to call them back and explain yourself. After saying ‘you were studying’, things would quiet down until the same scenario happened again.

Yes, it was a time that keeping track of others was no easy task, but is it that different now? Not really, except that all devices are personal and mobile, and you have total control in how you manage them.

In a way it’s harder as no one else knows what you’re doing, that is, if you keep it quiet to yourself.

So what am I thinking right now? That he probably had some chemistry with a girl in his biology class and decided to take it beyond the books. After all, he’s young, good looking and has goals for the future. What girl wouldn’t like that?

This got me thinking; this guy got my attention not necessarily for his merits, but because it’s making me remember my time in college.

That was a special time, as I finally got a chance to be on my own and started to discover who I really was, just like when I became single again.

The negative part is the age difference, which is making me feel old, and that feeling is not good at all.

I may have reversed the effects of what I’ve gone through, but there’s no ‘time’ capsule for the other half of the equation.

You have to swallow it no matter what.



{September 9, 2013}   Take Me Back 20 – Picture this

I recently checked my profile page and saw Johann vacationing with his wife in Europe. In the photo, they were sitting together around a fountain.

Heck, I felt jealous, not necessarily because I wished I could be with him. But the location looked awesome and the sky was crystal blue. Photos can surely say a thousand words.

I also asked myself when was the last time I took a vacation, even more with a significant other.

I couldn’t answer the question because it has been so long. So much it felt like I have never experienced it. You look at something and try to capture what the image projects and wonder how it would be if it were you.

I kept looking at the photo and those of others and realized how I’m somewhat living my life through their eyes.

Johann has what I want to have: a spouse, family, home of my own, and even pets.

He’s surely a very lucky and fortunate guy and he probably doesn’t even know it.

And what can I do about it? I’ll just create my own mental photo of the guy I want and the place I want to be with him, and let the universe take care of it and ‘post it’ when it happens.



{September 2, 2013}   Take Me Back 19 – Sing it to me

This process of putting the pieces of the past together has been a great mental exercise. It’s still strange, though, that there have been bits missing. How is it possible that I don’t remember all about Johann when he was such an important part of my life?

I’ll tell you this. One day I was driving to work and the radio station played a song that woke me up more than my alarm does.

The song was one among many of the music that I had mailed him in the past. I don’t remember specifically about the rest, other than they were primarily love songs.

The lyrics of this one always reminded me of him. It sang about this man who constantly has to travel for work and this separates him from his loved one.

He knows that what he does is not how life with a significant other is supposed to be, but he reassures her that, no matter what happens, he will always be faithful to her.

The song continues in that he asks the same of her, to not stray, and that whenever he gets to see her again, he feels joy in discovering her over and over.

I identified with the song because Johann and I had a friendship and love for each other that was not the standard. He was always traveling and I would get to know him more with each new letter received. Even more, he was faithful to me all the time he was in the navy.

Using this song in the present, it was the ultimate joy that we got to reconnect and know each other again.

There are no expectations here other than to stay together as friends and that we may live our lives for others and ourselves accordingly.

The only part of the song that may not ‘repeat’ is seeing each other. That’s a hard one and will take a lot more than just singing the blues for it to happen.



et cetera