The New M.E. Generation

A couple of days after, Ivan called me around 2pm and said that he had a ‘window’ of time between 4 and 6pm, and then again sometime after 8 or 9 in the evening.

The first break was because he would drive home his employer home so she could change clothes for an evening event. While he waited for her, we could have a drink.

After getting the call to pick her up and drive her to the event, I would wait for him at the bar for his return (if I agreed to do that), and then spend some time with him while the activity concluded.

Sounds confusing? I was. I’ve never has this type of date before. But, hey, isn’t this what I signed up for, a new and different dating experience?

‘Why not?’ I thought to myself. What could I loose? I’ll give him credit that he did keep his word of calling back and making some time to meet with me with such a hectic schedule.

I hung up with him and started to get ready right away. I didn’t have much time and, on top of that, I was going to hit rush hour, which meant a longer delay for me.

Ivan and I agreed to meet next to a store and then drive together to a bar. But, even though I left my home rather quickly, traffic got really bad. He called me about two times to know where I was.

Damn it! Why can’t thing just run smoothly? Is life putting my patience to the test again?

Finally! I arrive to where he told me to be. Just when I parked, he calls again.

“I’m here, where you at?” asked I.

“I think you are right behind me,” said he. (Whoa! How did that happen?) He stepped out of the car first. (Hey, he’s cuter that in the photos!) “You look cute.” (Same here!)

I was really nervous and didn’t know how to react. “Thank you!.. So, where are going? How much time do we have?”

“We got some. Follow me.”

I think I did well for a ‘real life’ first impression. I hope I can keep it up the rest of the night.

The next day, as soon as I got my day going (breakfast, reading the newspaper), I went straight to my computer. Hope any of those guys I sent a message responded to me. (Anxiety rising.)

Whoa! How many communications have I received? Who are all these guys? How did they get a hold of my profile??

Oh, damn! So that’s what having your profile as ‘public’ means (duh!). What was I thinking? Nothing; it means not really understanding how this dating program works.

And I don’t think any of the guys I sent an email to even responded to me.

Am I reading right? A 23 year old who wants to ‘score’ with a cougar? Is this Jesse by any chance?  (No, thank goodness it’s not!!)

And what is this other? A fifty something guy who simply wrote, ‘Hey hottie!’ Euuu, what is he thinking? It’s the complete opposite from the young one. This one wants to get a ‘young hen.’

Aargh! Help!! This is not what I was expecting. But, I don’t know what I was expecting… Maybe this was not such a great idea.

So, what am I supposed to do now? Guess I should respond? Perhaps delete some of them (like those two before mentioned ones? What’s the protocol?

I don’t think there’s any rule that I should take any immediate action (or is there?). More decisions to make.

I know; I will worry about it tomorrow (or the day after that, or so).

Dina and I finished our ‘quick stop’ or ‘brb’ and are walking towards the door to leave when these two guys crossed my path.

“Aren’t you Emma?” said one of then. I responded with a puzzled ‘yes.’ “Don’t know you if you remember us, but we attended high school together.”

OMG! What a surprise this was. I couldn’t believe that after so many years after graduating, these two still remembered me.

“How did you guys recognize me?” asked I.

“You still look the same,” said one of them.

Well! That was the best complement I’ve had in a very long time. If after all I’ve gone through these two still think I look great (ah, I guess that ‘s what they meant), damn, I must be doing something right. Man, my ego went sky high.

I was still standing in the hallway in total awe when them guys asked if I could have a drink with them before I left.

Dina took a seat at the bar and everyone else stood. Lucky me (and her), a guy sitting next to Dina started talking to her. Even better, he looked cute and someone that maybe Dina could be interested in getting to know.

I was even luckier that from where I was standing, I had a direct view of the first guy who had been staring at me the entire night. He was still alone and now that I was talking to these two guys, he wasn’t moving from his chair.

I noticed that his look was one that, yes, he was interested in approaching me, but was waiting for the right moment to make it happen.

This is great! He’s probably thinking that I am in demand.

Whoa! Is everybody going to be lucky tonight?

A few weeks later I received a surprising text message from Jeffrey: ‘How are you? What are you doing?’

Whoa! Where did this come from? Is he back? If he is, why is he looking for me? I took my chance in calling him and, lucky me, he answered the call.

“So, you’re back?” asked I in a tone of voice pretending nothing had happened.

“Yeah, I’m on the road taking care of business. Did you move?”

“Actually, I did while you were away. Are you close by? Can you make it over here?”

Lucky me, again, he did make it to my new place. When I greeted him at the entrance of my building, he was still looking as good as I remembered. He seemed to have rested somewhat. He also had a face of not entirely being happy to be back in town, a.k.a., back to reality.

He sat in my sofa and I on a chair. I did not bring the question of the reason for his break-up text and now him contacting me again.

“So…how was it? I asked.

“Great! Saw my friends, spent time with my family. I was saddened when I had to leave.”

“And…were you nice or naughty over there?”

Jeff opened his eyes wide, looked down and grinned a smile of ‘gotcha.’” “Yes, I was naughty with two ex-girlfriends of mine.

‘Lucky them,’ I thought. Why can’t I? Yes, I will admit, I felt sort of jealous. What did you expect?

I rolled my eyes up and smiled as well with a look of not being surprised at all. I mean, of course it was bound to happen. He is on an unhappy relationship, he manages to get away from it for a few weeks, and finds former flings willing to provide what he’s lacking. It’s obvious you’re going to for it! Hmm, doesn’t this sound familiar?

“So, what are you going to do now?” asked I. He gave the usual ‘don’t want to talk about it’ look. “It’s not only about your relationship. I meant your life in general.”

“I don’t know. Been thinking of moving back home permanently on my own.”

“Oh? What will you do with your business?”

“Not sure about that either. The only thing I truly know is that if I became single again, I’ll stay like that for a good long time.”

Jeffrey and I kept chatting for a while. And when he left, we said good-bye to each other as we always did before: no agreements or discussion wherever we would talk or see each other again or anything.

We would always say ‘see you later’ or ‘nice seeing you’ as if there would be a next time.

But that no one knew. We have taken each encounter as it came, without thinking about in the present or for the future.

I closed the door and kept on with my life, like nothing had ever happened.

I called Jeffrey’s number and, to my surprise, he answered almost immediately. Not that much time had elapsed between his call and mine, so it was expected that he would recognize my number.

“Hey, Jeff, how are you? So nice of you to call.”

“Yeah, like I said, I was on your ‘hood, on business actually, and remembered you lived here, so I decided to call.”

“Oh, and what kind of work do you do that takes you into the nighttime?”

“I have my own line of men’s clothes.”

“Wow, you’re a designer!”

“I’m trying to. For now I’m concentrated on custom-made shirts designed with different styles.”

“Sounds to me that you’re well on your way. Would love to see your work.”

“Well, I’m working on my website, so hopefully you should be able to do so soon.”

I was curious to get ‘the real deal’ on his marital status so I finally asked him about it.

“So, hmm, what’s going on with you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Your friend at the bar said you were in a ‘complicated relationship,’ which means?”

“I’m married.”

“Whoa! But you’re so young. How long have you been?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

Jeff’s tone of voice quickly shifted from nice to somewhat upset. I had touched a nerve that obviously hurt very badly.

“Listen, I don’t know the details of your relationship. But I will say this: I invested 15 years of my life to one guy who, at the end of the day, left me because ‘he was unhappy.’

If the two of you are having problems, but still want to make it work, by all means go for it. I’m going through a divorce and it’s totally miserable.

But if things are so bad, it’s better to end it, and not let 15 years go by to restart your life. Do it while you’re still young.”

I was lecturing this guy and felt like crap. I felt old and that my life was headed towards a dead end.

Jeffrey was still sounding bad over the phone so the only remaining thing to say to him was to offer myself as a ‘sympathetic ear’ wherever he needed to talk to someone.

Now listen to myself! My husband dumped me, I’m fresh into a divorce process and I’m giving relationship advice? Who am I kidding? (Myself.)

The conversation ended in a sort of sour note and I was more concentrated on how depressed and lousy I felt than of wondering if any communication between Jeffrey and me had any remote chance of occurring again.

Has this ‘cougar moment’ come to an end?

The three of us arrived at the lounge around 9pm and the place was pretty much filled-up already. It was the first time I was at this place and got a good impression of such.

It had an indoor area with a bar, sitting room and dance space, plus a balcony area with an additional bar. I suggested walking around the location to familiarize ourselves with it (and check out the guys, of course).

I lead the way and walked first; when I entered the room I glanced around at the people standing at the bar or balcony rail when (whoa!), the sight of a particular guy basically stopped me in my tracks.

I looked at him and my jaw dropped. He was tall (very tall, way over six feet), with a fabulous ‘fohawk’ hairstyle, an awesome body and facial features of a runway model.

I don’t know how long I stood there staring (probably just a few seconds, but it felt as if I had gotten frozen in time) when I snapped out of it.

“How about if I buy a round of drinks?” asked I in an effort to staying around and keeping close watch on this guy. I didn’t have a plan in mind to approach him (I wasn’t thinking anything, seriously. This was the first time for me that I went out). I just wanted to (I don’t know) enjoy some ‘eye candy.’

Everyone got a drink and I stood in an angle that enabled me to speak to everyone, but still keep an eye on the guy.

During my conversation, I tried to look at him from time to time. Lucky me he was standing sideways, which helped me being not so obvious with my behavior.

Some time later the guy started walking away with another guy and passed me on my right side. I looked at him and gave him a big smile. Part of me expression was my amazement of how tall he was (over a foot taller than me). But, damn, this guy is so adorable.

I wanted to follow this guy so bad, but I was with this two girls.

So, what do you do now? I kept talking while analyzing the situation internally until a thought came to my mind.

“Hey, why don’t we take a walk and check out the rest of the place?”

“Stephan, how old are you?” asked Dina. (No! What did she just asked now? Honestly, sometimes she’s worst than me.)

“What? Whoa! That’s some question you just threw at me!” said he.

Dina is looking at him expecting an answer. The situation has cornered this guy and he is forced to reply.

“I’m 30.”

“Oh,” said Dina not so enthusiastically.

Once again, I intervened. “I see that you’re with some friends? Do you come here often?”

“I try to, but my schedule doesn’t make it easy.”

“I know exactly what you’re talking about,” I replied.

The drinks are finally delivered to Stephan. “Listen, I have to get back to my friends, but would like to speak to you again,” said he while looking at Dina. (Yes! My effort worked.)

Dina doesn’t answer but I do for her. “Yeah, maybe we could all meet again in the future. Dina, give him your contact info.”

She takes out her business card and writes her mobile number.

“Thanks,” said he. “Enjoy the rest of the night.”

“Likewise,” I responded.

Dina is still silent. It’s obvious this whole experience is not sitting well with her.

Now what? Please don’t tell me this movie remake has all the elements to bomb at the box office once again.

I can’t remember what else the technician asked me after the ‘preggie or not’ question. I was still getting over it when shocker #2 of the day occurred: he hands me a pamphlet about HIV/AIDS.

(Whoa! That I wasn’t expecting, getting this pamphlet that is.)

“You knew the blood test also included this, right?” asked he. (Ah, no.) I didn’t need to give him an answer; my face said it all.

“Feel free to ask me any question,” said he while continuing to fill out the lab report.

I was still speechless. I started reading the pamphlet and my mind had a quick flashback 15 years back when my then fiancé and I were applying for a marriage license. To get it, we had to undergo a medical test, which included that for HIV.

When the clerk at the Registry told us, we instantly looked at each other like we had just gotten frozen in time, and stayed like that for a minute or so.

It was an ‘out of body’ moment in which two people are about to get married to each other, but felt more like you’re about to ‘tie the knot’ with a total stranger you know nothing about.

The silence finally got broken when my former ‘significant other’ said, “We’re still going to get married no matter what happens, right?”

“Yes.” (I think my ‘yes’ when he proposed was more assertive.)

Yep, a lot did happen while married: the good, the bad and the very ugly. And, unfortunately, all the bad eventually outweighed the good, to the point that there was nothing to be possibly done to salvage it, no matter what.

et cetera