Archive | July, 2010

Should I just keep walking?

31 Jul

I ran into one of my ex-fiancé’s best friends on my walk to work yesterday.  I wasn’t sure if he saw me and as much as I wanted to just keep walking, I didn’t.  I took off my sunglasses, looked him in the eye, smiled and said hi.  With the “oh my god” and giant bear hug he gave me, I thought to myself, “good, this isn’t going to be weird”.  But it totally was.

To explain a bit more, this is the friend that I was probably the closest with.  He used to come over to our place for dinner pretty regularly.  We would have email chains between just the three of us.  He was single so he would always share a room with us whenever we went away as a group.  He used to call me “sis” because, as he insisted, I was going to be his official, yet figurative, sister after the wedding.  I had thought we were really close but in the days and weeks following my broken engagement, I took it personally that he didn’t reach out.  Looking back, I get it; it was an uncomfortable situation for everyone, especially our friends.  I always knew I would eventually start to run into people but any other one of my ex-fiancé’s friends would have been easier; this was a tough friend to have the “first encounter” with.

So there we were on the corner of 46th and 2nd.  He told me I looked great three times and asked about work four times.  The tension was pretty unbearable and my heart was beating so fast, I thought an anxiety attack was just seconds away.  When my voice cracked, just a little, he finally broke the awkwardness and said he didn’t want things to be weird between us.  I said the same thing and told him I really understood how uncomfortable the whole situation was for him and the rest of the crew.  And then we talked like two normal people.  Normal people that were good friends for almost five years and now knew they would be, at best, acquaintances…but normal people nonetheless.

I felt overwhelmingly sad for the rest of the day thinking not only about him but about all the other friends that I lost in this mess.  After five years my life had naturally become intertwined with every detail of my fiancé’s and that included our friends.  Although not vindictive or harsh, invisible lines have been drawn and everyone knows which side they are on.  I don’t doubt that his friends will give me a hug and want to know what’s new when we run into each other but for the most part, I know I will not have these people in my life anymore.  And it doesn’t matter where I am in getting over my relationship and broken engagement, that fact will always make me a little bit sad.

This particular friend told me yesterday that he had been following me on Twitter so he knew what I had been up to since everything happened over Memorial Day weekend.  It might be silly or superficial but I immediately felt a wave of relief.  He didn’t reach out weeks ago because it wasn’t appropriate given those invisible lines.   Whether it was intended this way or not, I did get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I didn’t, in fact, fall off the face of the planet to everyone.  I am a far less frequent visitor to their world now, but overall I do still exist in some small way.

Remembering a special friend

30 Jul

I know it is often difficult to look beyond our own lives and the circumstances that have brought us to where we are, but I felt guilty last night wallowing in the details of my broken engagement after learning earlier this week that someone I was once almost inseparable with passed away much too soon.  My friend Andrew, undoubtedly a genuinely good guy and a wonderful, thoughtful human being, is no longer with us at the age of 29.

If you knew us back then, Andrew might have seemed like the “third wheel” to my college relationship…but my boyfriend at the time and I definitely played the part of third wheel an equal amount of the time.  When other people would see any of the two of us without the third, they’d ask “where’s the third?”  I don’t know how we got that way but it was a natural and comfortable relationship for us.

I have hundreds of memories of Andrew; the most distinct, and the way I will always remember him, were the trips home to Buffalo for long weekends and holiday breaks.  Andrew and I would load up his car with dirty laundry and his techno and reggae mixes (yes, a weird combination!) and make the four hour journey home just the two of us.  We would tightly wrap scarves around our necks and crank up the heat…something we both loved…until our faces were flush and we felt like we were in a sauna.  We would talk about anything and everything; sometimes it was about our futures and relationships, other times it was just celebrity gossip or Binghamton news.  The topics were endless and nothing was off limits in the privacy of that warm car.  I knew for years afterwards that Andrew had kept my secrets, exactly as I had kept his.  Andrew always insisted on taking the back roads to make the trip more interesting.  Our favorite game to play in the car was “which is the ugliest house you’ve ever seen?”  It sounds so silly, even to me as I’m writing this, but I’ll never forget that insanely grotesque hot pink house with green shutters…we knew each and every trip it would be crowned the winner but that didn’t stop us from playing anyway.

I sadly lost the overwhelming majority of my contact with Andrew in the years following graduation.  When the relationship with my boyfriend ended I often used to wonder if Andrew felt pulled in two directions, like the child of divorced parents.  I deeply regret this.  I like to think that I learn from my mistakes though and while I cannot even begin to compare the two situations, in recent weeks I have become even “bester” friends with those that I would have told you six weeks ago were my very best friends.  Good friends are now better friends.  Acquaintances and colleagues have become friends.  And I have no intention of letting go of any of them.

Thinking about Andrew last night, I know he is wherever the very, very best of us go.  And he is probably in a warm car, heat cranked; reading Kierkegaard with a techno mix pumping; thinking up his next big contribution to the world.

I have a stalker. And it’s the bridal registry department at Bloomingdale’s

28 Jul

Dear bridal registry department at Bloomies,

Please stop emailing me every day with suggestions for my bridal registry.  It’s not very nice and doesn’t make me want to shop with you anymore.  I was never registered with you even when I was engaged so you are just flat out being mean to me.  Williams-Sonoma and Bed Bath & Beyond do not do this to me.  If you continue this rude and pesky behavior, I will be forced to have one of my friends contact you, and let’s just say that Macy’s and Crate & Barrel leave me alone these days after having to deal with her.  Yes, that is a threat.

Although I have already done this on several occasions, I requested to come off your email distribution list again today.  I will be forced to take further action if you dare send me another email.  And I mean business this time.

Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Me

Who needs a man? I’ll just flirt with the cable guy

26 Jul

My parents will be so proud.

In my defense, I love TV and needed to have the cable set up in my new bedroom ASAP.  It started with an innocent visit to the RCN office to pick up a DVR.  One of my guy friends would come over to set it up for me and life would immediately feel a little bit better.  But then things got complicated in cable-land.  Turns out I couldn’t get an HD DVR anymore.  I could get a regular, non-HD DVR but have you seen my TV?  This TV deserves HD.  So my only other option was TiVo…honestly, I didn’t even know what that meant.  The woman behind the counter told me it was going to cost more each month and that it was complicated to set up so I would need to pay the $125 installation fee.  What?!  No way.

Based on my appropriate but frustrated response, the woman behind the counter got someone who could explain the set up to me in the event that I wanted to try it myself.  Hello, RCN technician supervisor! I think he must love TV too because after explaining my plight to him, I left his office with the TiVo upgrade at the regular DVR price, free installation and a priority after-work-hours appointment for the next evening.  He even apologized that he couldn’t get one of his technicians to my apartment after work that day.  Apology accepted.

All is now good in cable-land as the technician visited earlier this week with my precious TiVo.  I offered him a glass of iced tea and a smile…and he was nice enough to program everything for me and give me a quick TiVo tutorial.

My ex-fiancé used to deal with this kind of stuff but I clearly should have been in charge.  Something tells me that he had to wait a few more days than me for cable at his new place!  Not that it’s a competition or anything…

One step forward, two steps back

24 Jul

In doing a quick Google search to see what would come up for this phrase, YouTube gave me a terrible country song by Desert Rose Band and “Not Meant To Be” by Theory of a Deadman.  That’s actually an appropriate mouthful if ever I’ve heard one.  An online dictionary provided this definition: “something that you say which means every time you make progress, something bad happens which causes you to be in a worse situation than you were to begin with.”  Yes, that sounds about right.

The two steps back most recently manifested themselves as two days out of the office, which was the result of a very unpleasant interaction with my ex earlier this week.  I went in both days hoping I could throw myself into work and not think about things but I was literally shaking with nerves.  Thank god I have my own office, and two great bosses, because I just sat at my desk typing away and crying.  On the second day I couldn’t stop throwing up. I knew it was time to throw in the nervous towel and go home.  At least then I could cry and be sick in the privacy of my own apartment (you know, that strange place I live at now).

Nothing should surprise me anymore but I can’t believe that this is who I’ve become at work. I struggle to get through a full day most days and even when I do, it’s tough to concentrate and get things done.  I’m not nearly as social as I used to be, avoiding the kitchen and other public areas, fearful that yet another person is going to ask me about the wedding.  Ironically enough, work is one thing that my ex-fiancé and I had very different views on.  He thought I worked too much and was too devoted to my job.  I thought it was weird he worked 9 to 4 and by “work” I mean maybe got 2 hours of actual work in and then preceded to email and call me about 40 times each day.  And that’s not an exaggeration. So why, with him gone, can I not just throw myself back in?

Probably because I can’t throw myself into anything anymore.  And maybe I shouldn’t want to.  One day at a time!  I knew coming out of this that I was never going to be the same person I once was but there are some pieces of myself that I don’t want to give up.  And maybe I don’t have to.  I just need to clear my head and find those pieces.

I’m writing this on my way to the beach with the crew.  Hopefully a day of fresh air, sun and sand will help give me some clarity on this most recent debacle.  I guess it certainly can’t hurt…and the MFLM tan will still rock at least!

That’s how they roll in Nantucket

21 Jul

One of my very good friends vacationed in Nantucket last week and brought a great souvenir back for us…the “Life is Good” cocktail!

We decided to “unveil” the cocktail earlier this week during the launch of a new tradition – Intervention Mondays.  Yes, what I am saying is that we decided to go through an entire bottle of vodka while watching “Intervention” on A&E.  If you think this is weird, ironic or somehow “off”, I should probably mention that this particular friend is a rehab counselor, adding to how ridiculous (aka ridiculously awesome!) this new tradition is.

If you want to try the “Life is Good” cocktail, which I HIGHLY recommend, here you go:

½ glass Stoli Raspberry Vodka

½ glass 7-Up or Diet 7-Up

Splash of cranberry juice

Splash of Red Bull

We’re taking recipes down for other “Intervention Monday” cocktails so let me know what you’ve got!  We’ll be sure to send our cheers your way when it comes to the point of the show where we all yell “Time for the intervention!!”

Home Sweet Home?

19 Jul

 

So I am officially out of our UES apartment and things are tough, in a good way, for me.  It finally makes everything that has happened feel REALLY real.  At our old apartment I would catch myself thinking “oh, fiancé isn’t home yet”…duh me, he’s not coming home.  Clearly not the best way to live post-broken engagement; so logically I know this is a great next step.

There are some other big pluses to my new living situation:

  • I am an 11 block and 1 avenue walk to and from the office.  This equates to a 14 minute commute that does not require public transportation.  Even through my emotional haze, I recognize that this is a dream come true.  City of New York, you can shove your $89 unlimited monthly MetroCard…I don’t need it anymore!
  • My closest friend is 5 blocks away.  Which means I don’t go 24 hours without seeing her, much to her boyfriend’s detriment….soooorry friend’s boyfriend!
  • I’m in a great doorman building with enough room for myself, a few friends and a few cocktails.  I have huge windows with a great view of Tudor City, the UN and the East River.  And my new roommate seems really cool.  At first I panicked that my room was so small but seriously, who needs to waste time cleaning that big UES apartment?
  • Living in midtown is amazing!  I can pretty much get anywhere I need to within a 25 minute walk or with a cheap cab ride.  (Ok, except the West side but who wants to go over there anyway?)
  • Football season is almost here and McFadden’s, the Buffalo bar, is three blocks from my new place.  I think that just about says it all.
  • We already have our top three drinking holes identified for during the offseason.  First, Perfect Pint on 45th St – the Irish bartenders LOVE us and hand over full reign of the juke box, no questions asked.  Next, Bravest on 38th St…it reminds me of a townie bar at home.  I don’t know if it’s the friendly bartenders, the diverse clientele or the $2.50 Bud Lights but I love it.  Finally there’s Keats, also on 45th St, which I haven’t actually been to yet but it’s close to the UN and full of handsome diplomats from what I hear.  Hey, a girl can window shop can’t she?!
  • I have INCREDIBLE friends.  Period, full stop.  They helped me move this past weekend and I can’t thank them enough.  Physical lifting aside, they were the support I needed, along with my parents, to close the door (literally and figuratively!) on that chapter of my life.  After loading the truck that first night I looked around the almost empty living room at my friends eating pizza on outdoor furniture and the floor…and made sure to fully breath in the scene.  I made a mental note that the next time I start to feel sad for myself, I am going to remember this very moment.  THESE are the people you want to surround yourself with in life.  THESE are the people that I want to spend the rest of my life with.  I know I don’t feel it much these days, but I am actually a pretty lucky person.

With all the great things about my new ‘hood, it’s no wonder that when reality has hit the last few nights and I realize that I am climbing into bed by myself in a strange apartment, I cry for maybe 90 seconds and then got over it.  I’m not going to waste tears when there are positive glimmers slowly emerging from this debacle.  It’s just not worth it.  And I’m single now so I need my beauty sleep anyway!