Thalia is not a big drinker, so when I hang out with her, I’m not either. But this night was an exception. We’d met at our friend’s restaurant for happy hour and our friend had us do some tastings of drinks she was considering putting on the menu. We’d had a few Sauvignon Blancs, a few Proseccos and one Coconut Froth concoction in a cute little green glass.
So, as I made my way home that night, I found I was a little tipsy. When I arrived at my apartment, I set about organizing my gym bag for the next day, fed the cat and then turned on the TV to catch up on ‘Scorned: Love Kills’. I had three listed in my DVR. How did I get so behind?
This should be my priority.
But as I settled into the couch, I found myself in a wine-induced state of restlessness. I felt agitated. I got up to do some dishes. As I waited for the water to warm up, I realized what was bothering me. It was Bradley.
Although I’d wrapped things up publicly, I still felt unsettled privately. I turned off the water and went to the refrigerator to get a Bud Light, as I still have the mistaken belief that beer is the great equalizer and will sober me up.
I opened the beer and leaned against the sink. I stared at my computer. I knew the wise thing to do would be to just let it go. Clearly, he wasn’t interested.
“Fuck that,” said the beer. “We’re going to resolve this. Tonight.”
So I sent him a little note. Nothing special, just a check-in and saying I’d hoped he’d had a good time in Mexico.
Then I got back to the dishes.
After about ten minutes, I got a message from him. He was apologetic for not reaching out sooner but he’d been busy at work since Mexico. He’d enjoyed meeting me but had started seeing someone else since we started chatting. So it wouldn’t be appropriate at this time to meet up again. He hoped I’d understood and wished me the best of luck.
I am probably not doing it justice – the note was actually very nice.
I was surprised at my reaction. I felt really, really upset. Again, not so much about him personally but why had this other girl gotten to meet a great guy and now was dating him? Why hadn’t that happened to me? I swallowed back my tears and wrote a cheery, “Thanks so much for letting me know!! I really appreciate it! Good luck!” Then I took a sip of beer and texted Zeke, “SCREW THIS ONLINE DATING I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE SCREW THIS!!” Then I went on Twitter and posted a rather morose tweet – not funny and morose, just morose.
The next day I woke up to find myself with a screaming headache and one less follower on Twitter.
So, it was with a certain sense of heaviness and drudgery that I dragged myself to work that day. I rubbed my temples as my computer logged on. How would I make it through this day? I was so tired. I was so, so tired.
Then Floyd stopped by my desk and persuaded me to kick around with him the exercise ball I keep at my cube for visitors. Then Marc, the other Co-Founder of the Gum Culture Task Force came by and we talked about the lack of intriguing new gums in our stash and we came up with a shopping list for the weekend. Then we watched his dog, Kiwi, on the Kiwi-Cam and he sighed, “Ugh, my wife has been talking about getting outfits for Kiwi lately. I don’t know how I feel about that.”
“Yeah,” I said, as Kiwi rolled over on the couch and put her paws in the air.
“I mean,” he continued. “Pajamas are mandatory, of course. It’s been so cold.”
And that made me laugh.
Zeke emailed me to check in and make sure I was okay. I said I was. Then he said he’d call me over the weekend so we could catch-up. He signed off with, “You’re okay, Trace.”
That afternoon, the Fun Committee convened and we discussed the appetizer menu for our next Happy Hour. Then I rolled out the Big Wall Calendar I’d bought so we could map out all the events for the year. They would prefer to use Outlook, like anyone who is relatively technologically knowledgeable. But I like a Big Wall Calendar. So they indulged me on that.
Then at the end of the day, I walked to the kitchen to get my 40th seltzer and noticed that someone had filled the office of my co-worker, Kiran, who was working from home, with spare chairs and had even put two up on his desk. They’d then put a sign on his door that said, “Chair Graveyard.” I shook my head and smiled.
That night, I went to Wade’s for dinner where he made an incredible Mexican feast from scratch and his boyfriend, Jack, made fresh margaritas from actual real squeezed limes. Our friend Bea, who is one of the snarkiest, wittiest and kindest people I’ve ever met, joined us and we played with Jack’s dog, Lola, while telling funny travel stories. At 10pm, I left.
As I settled into the subway seat and pulled out my iPod, I thought about Bradley. I didn’t feel as sad as I had earlier. It just wasn’t meant to be. What can you do? I then thought over the events of the day. And then I thought to myself, “You know what? You’ve got it pretty good.” I placed the headphones in my ears and leaned my head back. I closed my eyes.
I’ve got it pretty good.