Ten days to ‘look back in anger’

27 Feb

Ten days ago I had a perfectly unplanned Presidents’ Day weekend ahead of me.  Following an 8:30 am spin class with one of my girlfriends, I had absolutely no commitments or “must do’s” to speak of.  But then just like the Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends of past, my ex-fiancé managed to leave his ever regrettable footprint on yet another one of my holiday weekends.  In learning what I did last Saturday, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the past ten days have been, to say the least, a bipolar experience of sorts…

Saturday: As the dizzying realization of what my best friend had just told me started to wear off there was clearly only one viable option for the day: get stupidly drunk with my friends.  Two bottles of wine and one shower (for me) later, the two of us headed out my apartment door for the closest bar, but not before she text our friends to meet us and to “…bring your boxing gloves”.  (Side note: only with this crew would someone actually show up with boxing gloves.  Pink ones.)  Turned out to be a group effort to get me through the day and despite the tears that may have convinced those around me otherwise, I was numb to the reality of what this long-desired answer actually meant.  I told myself I would figure it out tomorrow as I thew back another shot.  And then again as I cried into my Trader Joe’s frozen risotto back at my apartment…oh, my poor brother.

Sunday: I woke up Sunday morning with a feeling that I haven’t experienced in well over a year, if not longer.  Before I even opened my eyes, the feeling that something is abysmally flawed yet dreadfully true took over.  Then, like it did so many times so long ago, reality flooded my consciousness.  Slightly hungover from both the alcohol and my emotions, I took a sleeping pill, put on a sleeping mask, and pulled the comforter over my head.  Waking up hours later, I reached for my iPhone and quickly replied via text to the 16 missed texts and 12 missed calls.  I just needed one day to allow myself this type of self-empathy and hurt.

Monday: Having no problem making a 7 am spin class on the holiday (because I technically did not go to sleep the night before), Beyonce’s “Best Thing I Never Had” taunted me during the morning’s final high-resistance hill.  Now more tense than when I started what was intended to alleviate my stress, I hopped on the treadmill and just kept going until I knew I had sweat every little bit of moisture out of my body.  Ha, I’d show those tears!  Brunch followed by a few drinks (okay, several…”I didn’t have FIVE mojitos!“) with the girls and I went home relieved that the emotion that had accompanied what I had learned just 48 hours earlier was gone.  Now of course it wasn’t that simple but at least I fell asleep Monday night believing it was…

Tuesday: Back at work Tuesday morning, I told my team what I had “discovered” over the weekend.  They had been there through the worst of it and they deserved this less-than-fairy-tale-ending.  Jaws dropped, eyes welled, profanity ensued.  And then I threw myself into work.  It wasn’t until later that night when I was fighting with my key to unlock my apartment door, tears streaming down my face, that I realized how difficult holding it together all day had been.

Wednesday: Working late for an upcoming business trip that would take me from New York to DC to Boston on Friday, I got home in time to watch just one thing on my coveted Tivo before I needed to call it a night.  No new episode of Criminal Minds (damn!) but Dateline seemed like a solid backup.  Tonight’s story?  An update on the former Survivor producer who stands accused of murdering his wife at the Moon Palace resort in Cancun.  A resort that my ex and I had visited with his parents during our own search for a wedding location that wasn’t.  Um, really Dateline?  Don’t you know I’m having an emotional week?  No thanks.  I’ll pass.

Thursday: By Thursday it was clear that the most inescapable aspect of this entire situation had returned to my life.  With a vengeance.  I just needed out of my own head for a few minutes.  To turn off my own thoughts momentarily.  To retreat to a place in which I don’t try to figure out how I didn’t see it.  To stop revisiting every moment that the three of us spent together.  I literally needed to escape myself.  And amidst this constant state of thinking, it really hit me: how completely and utterly fucked up this entire story is.  (Sorry mom- I know you think I’m an intelligent person who can come up with a better word than this but for once I really cannot imagine a better descriptor.)  I mean, this is the type of story you hear about.  Someone you know knows someone who knows someone this happened too.  Or maybe it’s someone you know who knows someone.  Or maybe even someone you know.  But it’s never supposed to be you.

Friday: Despite the fact that it was for work, I couldn’t have been more excited for a 6 am car service pick up and 8 am flight out of LaGuardia.  Ten hours later, our day in DC was behind us and I was sipping a cocktail at the airport, excited to be Boston-bound for two days.  After a delayed flight turbulent enough to almost warrant the dropping of oxygen masks, we arrived in Boston.  Checking into the Hotel Commonwealth, my original reservation was upgraded to a master suite.  Three rooms overlooking Boston all to myself.  As I excitedly text my brother and two girlfriends while simultaneously dancing around a suite twice the size of my apartment back in Manhattan, my brother said it all: “Sometimes the universe finally works the way it’s supposed to”.

Saturday: Spending all day on campus at BU, we unwound with a few drinks Saturday night at a lounge connected to our hotel.  Determined to call it a night as soon as the evening of networking ended, I somehow – in what is probably a post unto itself – ended up on a date.  Yes, a date.  I know.  I’ll spare you the long version but around 10:30 pm I found myself sharing Asian fusion and a lychee martini with someone I had been introduced to earlier that evening.  Someone that a mutual acquaintance insisted I had to have dinner with.  I guess it’s good practice…?

Saturday bonus: my mom called my ex-fiancé “an asshole” on this post.  She NEVER swears.  This is a victory for all of us.

Sunday: Whenever I fly I love looking out the window as the plane approaches New York.  Over eight years later and I still get excited to be landing in New York.  Not this time though…because I was dead asleep until the jolt of the wheels hitting the runway woke me up.  Back at my apartment I dumped my luggage everywhere and crawled across my bed.  Hours later when I finally convinced myself to get up for a glass of water, I tripped over the bags that scattered every surface – my suitcase from the trip, an oversized purse that could be mistaken for a suitcase, unpacked laundry, gym bag from the previous week.  I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry as one thought took over: I am literally drowning in my own baggage.

Monday: With one more day out of the office for the third recruitment event in four days, I of course woke up with a severe sinus infection.  Later in the day I also realized I hadn’t posted that week’s #febphotoaday photos.  In the interest of looking back in anger, satirically of course, I used mine and the girls’ favorite line for anytime something goes wrong: “You know whose fault this is.”

Oh, I think we all know whose fault this is.

Wait, are we still talking about the sinus infection…?


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