wine 5

Tina Weighs In.

“Okay. I have to stop you right there.”

“Yeah,” I said with a laugh. “I figured as much, Kanye.”

“I need a glass of wine for this.”

“Yeah, I figured that too.”

“Or a bottle,” she muttered.

I sighed. I’d just revealed to Tina that My Ex had come to visit.

And she was not happy.

This was not a surprise.
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…One.

I was ready.

At least, I had been ready. That morning.

Now that evening, I was sick with anxiety.

I’d spent the day cleaning my apartment, getting a much needed, much resented manicure, and drinking an exorbitant amount of coffee to keep me going. I was too nervous to eat but by 9pm, I was becoming dizzy from lack of nourishment and excessive caffeine, so I shoveled in a handful of Fritos.

Of course, that was when the downstairs buzzer went off.
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newtons-cradle

Three…Two…

And so that’s what I did.

I went on Date Eight, Date Nine, Date Ten and Date Eleven. I stuck to the promise I’d made to Lux, and when I met guy I liked and he asked me out again, I went.

But as much as I tried to keep an open mind, still, my head just wasn’t in the game.

In fact, one guy put it perfectly when he said, at the end of our date, “I enjoyed meeting you Tracey, but you didn’t really seem there.”

He was right.

Which is why I never wrote about any of them.

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Five…Four…

“You know what you should do?”

“What?” I asked, as I warily eyed the contents of her enormous cup. We were in a conference room waiting for McKenzie so we could have an events brainstorming session for the Office Health & Wellness CommitteeLux was on a cleanse and the sight of her green juice was making my stomach turn, as I recounted my own experience with a juice cleanse. I took a sip of coffee to try to settle myself.

“You should put an ad up on Craigslist for guys to come audition to be your boyfriend!”  She said joyfully. “It’ll be great! We can list what you’re looking for and then have them all come and compete with each other to show why they think they’re best for you!”

I cocked my head to the side. “That has got to be the most ridiculous, and dare I say, dangerous idea you’ve ever come up with.”

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Date Seven. Or, Date Six, V. 2.0.

“Oh no, oh no, oh no,” I thought. “This is too much.”

As we followed the hostess to our table, my gaze moved around the elegant glass domed room that was criss-crossed with large metal piping that ran from the floor to the high ceiling. Oversized art deco chandeliers hung throughout the space, giving off a comforting glow. Our cozy table for two was set off to the side, with a crisp white linen tablecloth and two delicately arranged napkins.

My immediate thought was, “Fuck. I am so underdressed.”

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taylor swift 3

Jigsaw Puzzle Singles Event: Mother/Daughter Edition.

“Why hasn’t anyone tried to puzzle-piece us yet??” Tara cried, as we collected our drinks at the bar.

I laughed. “Relax, we’ve only been here five minutes.”

She sighed.

“Now remember,” I instructed. “We’re undercover. No mention of the blog, okay? Undercover.”

“Undercover,” she repeated, nodding. “Right. No mention of the blog.”

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orphan black 2

Sick Day.

He was almost to the door. Soon, he’d be gone.

I called after him. “Hey Marc, wait!”

He turned back to me. “Yeah?”

I began rummaging around in my wallet. “Can you get me a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups while you’re there? Like the family-size pack?” Marc was off to Duane Reade to up our stash for the Office Gum Culture Task-Force. I found a 5 dollar bill and waved it at him. “But I mean, the mini-size, but in the family bag?” I sighed and shook my head. “Sorry, I’m not feeling well. I’m not making a lot of sense.”

He approached my desk and took the cash. “Sure, no problem.”

“Thanks,” I said. Then I turned back to my computer and tried to focus.

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reception 4

And Celebrate, We Did.

Thalia and Sean laughed lightly together as they hung the NQAC banner on the back wall of the Overlook second-floor patio for our One Year Anniversary Party. Sean was balanced on a chair and Thalia was unspooling wire to him as he fastened it around the nails they’d pounded into the wood.

Marlie and Bea chatted amiably at one of the tables. Marlie was folding the table-tents that Thalia had created which displayed our specialty drinks and announced our prizes. The graphics looked so professional and perfect, it made me shake my head in bewilderment. Bea was unfolding the white paper flowers which were to be placed in the pink cubed vases that would then be set out on the ten or so tables that scattered the space.

Jack and his team from Solerno and Lillet were calmly setting up the the two reception tables. White table cloths floated in the breeze and they weighed them down with their cute tote bags, which were to be gifts for all our guests. They then set up a red-framed chalkboard on which one of the girls carefully wrote out the drink specials.

The mood was serene yet festive, and filled with measured anticipation.

Clearly, no one but me could see the obvious:

WE WERE IN CRISIS MODE.

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Breathing Room.

“Oh my god,” McKenzie said, as I stepped up to her desk. “How was the party?

“It was so, so fun,” I said.

“Aw, I’m so glad,” she said, then she pointed at the little pile by her laptop. “Thank you for the coasters.” She hadn’t been able to make it to the party because she’d had to go on a last minute work trip. This annoyed us both. So I’d left her some NQAC coasters I’d had made for the event, so she could feel like she’d been a part of things.

“You’re welcome,” I said. “They’re so cute, right?!”

“So cute!” she said.

“I didn’t put many out at the bar because I just wanted to hoard them for myself. Not a very strong marketing plan on my part.”

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Living, Working & Dating as a 40-Something Single in NYC

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