Everyone who’s ever met The Cat has agreed she’s pretty much the cutest thing they’ve ever seen.
It’s the truth.
I’m not just saying this because I live with her.
I don’t really know what turned things around for My Ex. Actually, that’s not true, I do know. But that is not my story to tell, so I won’t. But I will say this. Ever since that call in July, he has never wavered. Not even once. There was no back and forth or indecision.
But as we’ve all seen, I’m not the easiest person to “date.” I can be insecure, needy. I can get paranoid, I can drink too much. Sometimes all those things at once. In the beginning of the three months before his visit, I was so nervous he would change his mind that I would regularly get hysterical and freak out and and accuse him of ‘playing me’ and shriek things like, “I won’t tolerate this! I won’t!!”
Then, the next morning I would call him up and say in a meek voice, “I’m sorry.” And then in an even meeker voice, “Are you still coming?”
And his response was always the same: “I’m still coming, Tracey.”
“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 Committee. Lux 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.”
“Bud Light, huh?” he said. “That’s kind of a white-trash choice, don’t you think?”
I laughed because he was trying to be funny and also because, it’s true. But still, this innocent comment did nothing to help ease my feelings of self-consciousness.
I was way out of my league at this place.
I was already sweating. I swiped the back of my hand across my brow and then took a sip of Bud Light in the hopes it would cool me down.
It did not.
“Not even a bootycall?”
“Not even a bootycall.”
“So you got nothin’?”
“I got nothin’,” I said, shaking my head.
“That’s a damn shame,” said Sean, as he took a sip of his Guiness. “No one to drunk-text.”
“Nope, no one to drunk-text,” I sighed. I took a sip of my Bud Light. “Well, except My Ex, of course. I drunk-text him all the time.”
Sean gave me a look.
“This was a bad idea,” I said to Thalia as our cab rushed downtown. Well, ‘rushed’ maybe is an overstatement. It was Saturday night in Manhattan, so ‘steadily crawled’ might be a more accurate description.
“Why do you say that?” she asked, as she pulled out her lip-gloss to reapply.
“It just was, ” I said and slumped back in my seat.
Tara, our former Summer intern from NYU, who was now a full-time employee at our company, had been sitting on the exercise ball at my desk, when I’d started looking into Speed Dating events. Speed Dating had been the winner of the Reader Poll a few days prior, so I knew I had to get on scheduling it before too much time passed. Otherwise when I wrote about it, people would be like, “Poll?? What poll? What in the Horatio is she talking about??”
I’d always had a vision of how it would play out when I’d meet him face to face. I’d be looking fabulous, perhaps in a pair of tiny black leather shorts, a fitted top that showed a hint of cleavage, yet was still classy, and to-die-for overpriced heels. My legs would be firm, tan and stubble-free. My hair would be long and blowing around me like a Clairol commercial. My makeup would accentuate my features to the most alluring degree but not be overbearing or garish. My nails would do Lux proud. I’d strut over to him to the tune of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Fighter’ and I would get in his face and say everything I’d ever wanted to say.
I’d make him admit the truth. Finally.
As Christina sang out, “Thought I would forget, but I remember. Yes, I remember, I’ll remember!” I’d turn on my stiletto heel and leave him in a puddling mess of his own tears.
As it turns out, it didn’t go as planned.
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.