This is How I Spent My 28th: Back to the Psychic Healer

Colorful cupcakes with sparklers

On my 28th birthday I took the day off work. I awoke at 6:30 a.­m, went through my leg routine, spun it out and burned more than 450 calories at the gym. I stood in the Crunch restroom blow drying my hair in my bright colored, floral romper while passersby stared at me and admired my outfit, complimenting me on how pretty I looked and asking what the special occasion was.

“Today is my birthday,” I responded to a girl who asked.

“Happy Birthday! How old?”

“Twenty-eight.”

“You’re a baby.”

Twenty-eight is a baby, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not ready to be considered “old” by society’s small minded standards.

I had asked my parents to go to a birthday breakfast with me at one of these nice restaurants I enjoy going to but don’t get to visit often. I looked forward to it. The plan was to leave at 10:30. I was not surprised when my mother took her time and we did not leave until 11:30 – a mere hour before my dad needed to catch his train to work.

I sat in the backseat of my parent’s car, stressed out and anxious that we would need to rush and I would be the cause of my dad’s missed train. This situation felt too far out of my control. Even though it’s my birthday my feelings don’t get considered. They never are.

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Moving Backwards: The Struggle is Real

On Cinco De Mayo I posted a photo of myself on Instagram. The picture showed me at twenty-one proudly standing in front of the camera in my dorm room. My bra hung out of my too small top, red hair shone, body fifteen pounds thinner.

A red heart appeared on my photo. I decided I wanted an answer from the person who liked my photo. I clicked the message icon and typed “What happened to you?”

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I did something cruel, painstakingly awful and heartless today

No confirmation text the day of. I give him credit for his blind faith in a girl he met for seven minutes.

This morning I woke up at 6:45 a.m. then pushed my body back to sleep even after I reminded myself I needed to go to yoga. Instead of taking care of my physical health and mental sanity I laid there in my fleece pajamas, empty, heavy, unhappy, thinking negative thoughts.

I needed to shower, brush my teeth, kiss my sweet golden retriever puppy good morning. I slipped down the staircase, dragged my soulless body onto the couch and watched murder mystery docs – the second story so interesting it forced me to miss the 10:30 a.m. yoga class I desperately needed.

At 10 a.m. I thought of reaching out to him and letting him know I would not be able to make it, yet again. But I had already blown him off one other time when my car died and I had to spend the entire day at a car dealership.

Zombie-like I laid there, watched shows about terrible people and felt like a terrible person unable to pull myself from this heavy funk.

When the show ended I went upstairs to take a nap. I slept for a couple of hours, when I woke it was 3 p.m. I checked my phone saw a text from 1:58 p.m. “OK I’m here.”

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Boys have done this to me before and from experience I can tell you it is gut-punching painful:

Twice I sat in my room for hours staring at my phone waiting for texts to further solidify the plans we had made and neither ever replied or showed.

One time I had a plan with someone and texted to confirm that day and he never replied to me again, ever. Disappeared.

Another time I went out with someone, he asked for a second date and a kiss. I said yes to the second date, no to the kiss and he disappeared.

The 100th time one guy texted me telling me he had to work overtime the night we had a scheduled date and then I never heard from him again.

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Of course I felt (and still feel) completely terrible about what I did to this innocent person today. Especially as I have been on the receiving end of this and it’s very cruel.

To put it simply, I simply cannot date anymore. It’s become painful for me. Look pretty, smile, giggle, listen, energy and effort. All for dudes who never stick, they don’t care for me. I either cut them off or they cut me off or it’s mutual and I can’t do it any longer. It’s killing my hope, faith, and happiness.

I met the one from today at a speed dating event over one month ago. He, being the 5th and final match from the event (judging by how the other dates went I did not want to waste my time again). I blew him off several times for valid reasons:

  1. my car died
  2. wedding
  3. packed schedule
  4. i cant date anymore
  5. how many times can i tell this guy no?

He even told me, “You seem like a busy person with a lot of obligations but I would still like to go out with you. How about Friday or Saturday?”

I could have told him, “I’m too drained/heartbroken/tired to put up this facade for another guy who is going to disappear on me anyway and I don’t think it’s fair to you to schedule a date with me when I’m not 100% in.” But I can’t say no to men.

That’s been my thing lately. I can’t say no to them. It’s like I don’t care much about my single status anymore. I tried for years and nothing sticks – rejection and disappointments. So I focus on myself and fall into physical things with men in moments when I crave the intimacy. Then it becomes empty and I don’t even want to do it yet I still cannot bring myself to say no.

I’m numb to feelings. I’m numb to trying. I just want to be friends with a guy. No dates. Definitely no sex. Just friends, talking and getting to know one another. This whole speed dating, online dating, even forcing a physical intimate relationship with a guy who doesn’t value me as a person. I don’t have the energy or the care for it so I go along and don’t say no when deep down I’d much rather go out with other friends.

I did a terrible thing today. I blew off a guy who I had a scheduled date with, made him sit in a restaurant alone. Treated him like he isn’t a person and doesn’t have feelings. Didn’t even give him a heads up like, “I’m sorry. This isn’t fair to you. I hope you find a wonderful girl someday and I don’t want to waste your time.” I just stayed silent. Didn’t show, didn’t reply to his text. I disappeared on the guy. Just like all the other guys have done to me.

I’m sorry, guy. Truly. If I hurt you, I didn’t mean it. I simply cannot date anymore and I’m sorry I couldn’t verbalize that to you.

I Dine Alone

Friday nights spent half-watching reruns of The Office while half-texting until my fingers hurt. Instead tonight I drove my old white Mitsubishi to the Thai restaurant in town. Had to ease my craving for drunken noodle, calm my sour mood.

Immediately, I ordered a Thai Iced Tea. I never even knew what that was until my ex-boyfriend introduced me back in 2013. I traveled to Stony Brook to buy the special tea leaves from an Asian market once, purchased condensed milk then made it for him at home, used way too much condensed milk. He told me so. But I didn’t listen.

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Trust in Your Journey – Part I

Four years of higher education landed me a job at a local deli where I was hired on the spot because the staff “liked my look.”

Five days a week I arrived (most of the time late) for a 7 a.m. shift. On a Tuesday, Jack Johnson played softly in the background as I set up the bagels in the front display case. I grabbed a plastic tub with two industrial sized sticks of butter and stuck it in the microwave. Three large loaves of Italian bread from Lakewood Bakery were placed on the cutting board before me, I slathered each loaf with a generous (yet not too generous) glob of softened butter. I hacked away at the bread with a sawing knife and wrapped the pieces up individually in cling wrap.

During the lunch rush one of the women who “ran the books” entered the restaurant area and watched as I stuck a piece of buttered bread on a business man’s red serving tray. I felt her staring at me. She reached a skinny, tanned hand into the basket of bread and lifted one up, she shook the bread in her fist as she uttered each syllable.

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When Reality Strikes

A voice, a non existent mystery; facial features, a 2D image viewed on a cell phone; height and build, not a way to tell.

Typed font on a little blue lit screen. Two weeks of build up – life, family, careers, Manhattan – day in, day out, for 14 days.

“Are you on the train?”

“How was your day today?”

“How is your night going?”

“Have any fun plans for the weekend?”

Face-to-face with a live human being who moves, speaks, breathes – a sly smile here, intense eye contact, lively hand gestures engrossed in conversation.

Two strangers connect to one another with senses that experience real things.

Thoughts buzz – Did I talk too much? Did I bore him, do we “get” one another?, What does he think of me? Do I smell? Am I annoying? Does he find me as attractive in person as he did when he liked the 2D photo of me?

Have I told him far too many intimate details of my day to day life, nothing left to say and nothing left to guess, no mystery, no interest, no spark, nothing in common, defunct attraction …

The fleshy realness of another human being. An alcohol infused evening, in bed by midnight on a Thursday.  The night ends. Silence from the other end.

Time, effort, suspense – a lovely evening puffs into thin air like it never happened.