The New M.E. Generation











I know I’ve said many times over that the best thing for me to do is stay away from people that are not good for me, especially guys that just drop off radar for no apparent reason.

Every so often I’ve broken my own promise of doing so. Case in point, Ivan. He’s one of the few that once in a while I send him a text. Chances of response are slim; calls are not really worth the effort. Sometimes he replies, sometimes he doesn’t, and if he does call, the conversation is limited to no more than 5 minutes, if that.

So if it is so complicated, why do I reach out to him? Good question.

I recently started calling people I haven’t spoken to for some time and his name always comes to mind. But this time I decided to text. This way would just do it and forget about the rest.

“Hey Ivan, what’s going on?” is all I wrote.

A few days later, while at my lunch break, the phone rang; it was him.

“Emma (—-)”. I couldn’t understand the second part of what he was saying. It sounded like ‘ciao’.

“Why are you saying ‘good-bye’ to me?” asked I.

“No, I’m saying hello in my native language.”

“Oh, ok; I wasn’t expecting your call.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve been working so much and my employer got sick, and it has been crazy…” This is not the first time I’ve heard this. I was getting a stomach ache of just listening to him. In fact, it’s the norm for him; working until he drops, with no fun or something good to talk about.

“I can sense in your voice that you’re really stressed out. Surprised you didn’t say you got sick yourself.”

“I just need to seriously take a vacation. But you think they would care about me or how I feel??”

“No, they don’t, unfortunately.” And it doesn’t just include work, it refers to many people in general. “You know, you don’t have to go very far to disconnect. It’s just a matter of really resting and not having to worry about anything else.”

“I know. I used to be more fun, had more of a social life. Now I just want to go home and sleep.”

“There’s nothing wrong with doing that,” said I. “Besides, you don’t need to fulfill other people’s expectations, only yours.” (Silence from him.) “So, are you dating anyone?”

“Ah, yes, no; going out with somebody. She’s been very helpful with me with an investment I’m trying to do.”

“Sounds like you feel obligated to be with her because of that.”

“Well, she’s a good woman overall. What about you?”

“I tried that website you told me about and got a lot of too young guys just wanting to sleep with me. And the ones my age look really bad.”

Ivan started laughing. I think it’s the first time I hear him do this. “How about church?” asked he. “Where I go there are many single guys.”

“Mine is full of families. Your town is another market; it’s party central.”

“Listen, I have to go, but we should get a coffee or something some time.”

“Ivan, you know how many times you’ve told me that? I’ve given up on you.”

“I know, everyone has given up on me.”

“I meant that most probably you and I won’t get to see each other again. You’re a good guy. You just have to stop living life for others.” (Silence again.) “Don’t do as I did and found myself totally lost when I got divorced, with no sense of who I was.” (More silence.) “Like I said, you’re a good guy. And I call you because a supreme force gets in my head telling me to do so. What can I say?”

Ivan was speechless and I felt that his anxiety sort of calmed down. The words I had said flowed out in a way as if it was someone else delivering them through me.

After hanging up I knew the universe was the one to blame. Ivan is going through a never-ending difficult time and was emotionally in a desperate need for some sympathetic support.

It was almost as he needed a miracle. You know what, it actually did.

Advertisements


The days went by and no sign of Ivan. To be honest, I was caught up with finishing the work year and looking forward to the vacation days that I forgot about him. It had been hectic at work and really needed some ‘me’ time. I just wanted to enjoy the holidays and end the year in a good note.

It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve that he resurfaced just as he said he would.

“Hey, I’m back in town and my sibling is visiting. What are you doing tonight?” text he.

I was surprised he actually contacted me, but even more that he invited me to celebrate this day with a family member.

“I actually have plans for tonight. But would love to meet up with you and your sibling some other time, perhaps tomorrow?” answered I.

He didn’t reply to my text. I was getting ready for the night, but also nervous that perhaps I was missing on an opportunity to see him, so I text him again.

“Maybe we could meet later after midnight?” text I.

Why not? I am the one complaining that nothing happens with guys and that my social life needs to improve. So then let’s do something really out of the norm for me. These moments happen rarely and this day only once a year.

No reply. Guess he was expecting another answer? Now what? Switch to ‘desperate mode’ and call him.

But, he went back to his old self: no answer. I left a voice message summarizing what I wrote, that would love to get together with him and other person, either tonight, tomorrow or whenever convenient for him, and to please call me back.

Of course, that didn’t happen. I got somewhat upset, but quickly put it aside. This end of the year, I wasn’t allowing any guy to make me feel guilty about anything.

It has really been many difficult years, but slowly and surely, I’ve grown personally and spiritually to levels it has taken me plenty of effort to achieve. And I just wanted the next year to be better than before.

That I’ve hadn’t had a guy next to me at midnight ever since being single? True, but I know it won’t be forever.

Some people have come and gone and I have lived through the best and worst. May still not have a clue about the future and how I will get there.

But I am here still and at peace with myself, and tonight this is all that matters to me.



{December 22, 2014}   Love At First Site 26 – I blue it

My table is not that big, so as much as you try to avoid the other person is not possible.

I complemented him on his cooking skills and wanting to eat healthy. I tried to engage in ‘small talk’ as much as possible. I was making eye contact as I was trying not to look away from the reality here: he’s still and will always be old enough to be my child.

I didn’t think about the cougar thing; I knew getting involved with him would get me nowhere and would unbalance my emotional state that I have worked so hard to reinstate.

The comment about my TV’s wasn’t just one that hit a nerve, it was also one that the universe was throwing at me so I would be aware of what to expect from this guy if I allowed for anything to happen beyond this night.

The message is that there will always be something that will remind me of the age difference and thus feeling ‘old’, trigger some other negative emotions, and who knows what else. There’s the other detail about him that his plan is to leave the city to go to med school somewhere else.

I know that (maybe) we could be friends or I should keep my options open regarding anything social. But, am I really interested in investing time with him when I should stick to doing that for myself? I may sound selfish, but in the end it’s all about me.

I kept the mindless conversation going and tried not to think about the big elephant in the room, so I kept looking at his very blue eyes, which began to mesmerize me.

I thought that maybe I should complement him on that as well. But after I say that, what next?

I guess this is what it feels like when ‘you’re having the blues’?



A couple of weeks went by (I think) before we contacted each other again. I don’t know who did first and for what reason.

I have usually remembered the sequence of events related to previous dates. But, this time, there are just empty blanks on my mind.

If my memory serves me well, I would bet I text this guy the next day thanking him once again for the previous evening.

Overall, the date wasn’t extraordinary or bad, but good enough to apply my manners. I believe his are not the same as mine, but hopefully they will communicate how I would like to be treated.

I believe I text him on a Saturday just inquiring how he and his studies were doing. He replied that he had a friend in town that he was to take out with other friends. I told him that I was glad to hear and for him to enjoy the night.

The next time he resurfaced, he offered to come home and cook. When I read the text, I got surprised and anxious. I think it has been no more than 2 times that a guy has come over and done that in all these past years.

Even though I’m used to my space and doing all by myself, I know my social life should improve and doesn’t hurt someone else doing something for me once in a while. But allowing others in my home is like opening a door to my mind and emotions. And people taking control of the situation, including using my kitchen utensils, is something hard for me to let go off as silly as it may sound.

Also, I am a simple person. I don’t need expensive things to be comfortable. I own what I think I need, take care of it until it’s time to part of them, and like my surroundings to be clean and organized.

Because I consider myself a minimalist, I think once you step in and look around my residence you can define who I am as a person rather quickly. Of course, it all relies in what the other person’s frame of mind is, but hopefully their analysis of me should be a general positive one.

This guy proposed to bring all the food and cook. I only had to supply the drinks and kitchen. I don’t know who will be doing the cleaning afterwards, but the arrangement sounded fair.

The whole thing was to be happening that night, so I hurried to put my whole place together (as I always do, visitors or not) and go out to buy the drinks.

Then off to choose the clothes that completed the ‘look’ of the day.

Question is: will the universe serve me justice tonight?



The balcony had two railings: one facing the street and the other the pool area. The dry and wet areas were quite nice, good enough to hold any major gathering.

“So how many parties have you held there?” asked I.

“I’ve had some, but not what you’re thinking,” replied he. “They’ve all happened during the daytime and quietly.”

“No skinny dipping?”

“No! Don’t know what you’re thinking of me, but I know how far I can go. Besides, I’m renting here with someone else and applying to med school. I don’t want any negatives to affect those.”

Good, he’s being smart and nowadays anything bad eventually surfaces, especially on social media. In my time you could pretty much get away with what you did. Whatever one learned about it was thorough ‘word of mouth’. Depending how old the story was when it reached your ears, chances were the real version was totally different from what really happened.

“What about you? How much do you party?” asked he.

I gave him a puzzled look. “No, not really,” answered I and looked away towards the pool area.

“I don’t believe that. You’re a pretty girl and sure there’s other guys interested in you.”

“No, not much activity on that either.” I would look at him briefly, but quickly turned my sight away. Thinking about my current state of affairs regarding my social life was not something I wanted to do.

“Reality is I leave work late. By the time I get home, eat, shower and watch some TV, the day is gone. Then on weekends you have to take care of laundry or food shopping. I always have something to do.

I try to meet with my girlfriends, but they have their own life and responsibilities, so you do the best you can.”

I was listening to myself talk and questioned who was I really trying to convince here. For better or worse, this is my present situation which is as a result of my own decision of how to live it.

“Why are you looking away making weird facial expressions? Did I say anything wrong?” asked he.

“No, it is what it is.”

I looked at my watch and drank whatever was left of my wine. I knew he had studies to do the next day, so I used that as an excuse to go home. It was the best thing for me to do before I got sadder.

We agreed to ‘keep in touch’ as a way to end the night. At that point I didn’t really care if that happened or not.

I avoided the thought so much, I didn’t analyze whether this date had been good or bad.

Now that’s a first.



I think I finally called Ivan around 11pm on a weekday. Sometimes he does answer and when he does, he sounds like he just got out of hibernation.

He’s in this world, but so tired I can tell by his voice that he wished he were ‘in a place far, far away’.

Well, I don’t blame him. Don’t we all feel this way sometimes?

Starting with me, I’ve thought about this many times. Even some people have encouraged me to do so. They have suggested that I should consider moving to another state and start over.

They all ask me the same question: What is holding you here?

I may not have much of a life here with my so-called job, few friends and family, and almost non-existent social life.

But I’ve made of my space the best thing possible, enough to make my daily time worthwhile without putting too much thought into it.

I won’t deny there are moments when I totally despise every part of it and wonder what my future holds. I also know that others have it worse than me and I have much to be grateful for.

But, I have visited other cities and, for some reason, none have given me that indicative that this is where I should be.

I have made of my current location home and it seems it will be that way for a while. In a weird, inexplicable way, I sort of like it here.

Is it really or is there something else? Am I fooling myself when the real reason behind all this is that I’m scared of making another drastic change?

Not sure. Some years have passed since I became single again and feel pretty good about myself, so why not go for it?

Maybe that extraordinary experience that I’ve been waiting so much for could actually happen soon. And if I leave, it won’t.

Fine, call me a dreamer or whatever crosses your mind. I think it’s not time, not just yet. When will that be, if that?

I’ll just say, I’ll give it some more time.



I didn’t mention the long weekend again to the ‘beach guy’ until the day before I was set to leave. The message was more like a reminder, as I was not expecting much response from him. I had even told him to call me and he didn’t do that either.

My friend arrived two days before departing. I checked my emails one last time before leaving and, finally, a message.

‘When are you leaving?’ asked he. ‘About to go; TTUL’ said I. But, wherever or not we would meet, that was still up in the air.

While driving, my friend noticed my seriousness. This was supposed to be a vacation away from the usual routine that surrounded my life. I tried to avoid discussing my mood by saying that I was concentrated on what I was doing.

Although we have been friends forever and spoke occasionally, there was a lot of catching up to do with my school friend, especially the topic of men. And with a 3-hour road trip, what better time than now to discuss it?

“The pattern that I see on these guys that you meet is that you’re not their priority,” said he. “They know that you’re alone and don’t have much of a social life. So whenever they’re done with their day or when a date goes wrong, that’s when they decide to call you.

None of them are worthy of you, including that one you’re hoping to see. The way he behaves with you is another example of what I’m trying to tell you.

He only sends you emails and we’re on our way and still couldn’t give you an answer? What is that?

He says he’s busy with work, kids, and whatever else in his life. He may not tell you, but what he’s saying is that he’s not that interested in you.

You should handle this like when you’re standing in line to send a package: NEXT!!!”

I knew he was right, as always. He’s one of those few guys in my life who had earned the right to tell me how it is.

We changed topics several more times during our travel. We finally got to our destination and I couldn’t be happier.

I didn’t touch the ‘beach guy’ subject again. I kept my phone close to me hoping for a call. I even thought about checking my emails, but decided not to.

You know what? It’s time to ‘log out’ from that and ‘log in’ into my vacation.



“I’ve been single for a while now and I envisioned my life being something totally different from what it is now,” wrote I. “ I was confident I would have a boyfriend for sure and probably be remarried, sharing a home together.

I’m also not happy with my job. I work a lot which doesn’t leave me with that much time to have a social life; that in turn makes meeting a guy even less of a chance.

In general, I’m frustrated. I am making an effort in turning my life around but it has not worked the way I wanted.

So I feel alone, stuck, upset and much more about everything in general. What can I say? My life sucks. Hopefully this will answer your question.”

“I’m surprised you are telling me all this,” said he.” “I remember you being very happy, funny and cheerful.

I respect that you may not want to get into details about what happened to you before, as those stories I’m sure are plentiful and not always pleasant to go back to.

I only hope that you eventually get what you’re seeking.”

He remembers me for all that? Really? What I recall is that I wasn’t that much present in his life, but, hey, if I made such a good impression, that’s good.

I’m still wondering how I was able to be that during those years. My parents had divorced and I was a teenager in high school. It was a very difficult and confusing time dealing with all that. I didn’t know how I was going to pull through, but I knew I would, somehow. Sounds sort of  my life now.

And probably I gravitated towards him seeking what I was missing in my life that time.

Oh, gawd, why am I still on ‘repeat’ mode? Why can’t I just go ‘forward’ and never ‘rewind’ again?

 



After the ‘Jesse’ incident, I decided to take some time off for myself. This meant still having a social life, but avoiding encounters of any kind with men.

I just wanted to go out with Dina or else and have a nice, quiet time like on her birthday bash, or just having a drink while chatting the night away.

And this I certainly did, for a while. But after some time had passed, I started to feel lonely.

It was good to have given myself some space to recover, but felt my life had become monotonous. Going out with the girls was fun, and being able to enjoy the outings my way was even better, but there’s as much as one can do.

Yeah, I wanted to meet a guy. But, more than that, I wanted to have a serious relationship; something long-term, a boyfriend; something that has not happened since I became single again.

But the old, conventional way has not worked for me (bars, through acquaintances, friends, accidental meetings).

So, how am I going to make it happen? There’s only one choice for me now.

I’m going online.



et cetera