twelve steps to happiness

I’m still doing and I’ve met someone who I think may be interesting. Yes, interesting has different connotations either positive or negative and I’m deliberately vague. His name is Marc, he’s an artist and a builder, which I love because I have a thing for creative guys. I won’t bore you with our first few dates except to say that we seem to enjoy each other’s company. Eventually I invite him to a play my friend is performing in. He tentatively accepts my invitation with the caveat that he may need to go upstate. I extended the invite on a Saturday for the following Friday. It’s now Thursday and I haven’t received a confirmation from him either way. I’ve put a girlfriend on standby and I need to tell her something. I send him a text and…nothing. The worst thing you can do is let my imagination take over. I knew it, things were going too well. I wish he would’ve just said no instead of going deep cover. At least I thought things were going well. Geez, I can’t even trust my own judgement? The answer is the sum of squares! Okay, the last thought slipped in because I was in statistics class while mentally beating myself up. My cell phone chimes alerting me to a new text message. It’s him. He apologizes for his late response and can attend. He’ll call me later this evening to discuss. Life is good. I can give my full attention back to differential equations.

True to his word, he calls me around 10:00 p.m. It’s a really nice two-hour conversation and the first 90 minutes are pretty mundane. The last 30 minutes consisted of him trying to talk me into coming to his apartment. Now, this is a virtual minefield with me. A booty call? Really? It’s 11:30 p.m. at night and he wants me to get dressed and go out in the cold NYC air. I’ll run a hot bath to warm you up. What kind of man would let a woman ride the rails this time of night by herself? Take a car service. I have to work tomorrow anyway. I live ten minutes from your job. I’m not paying for a car service. It’s my treat. Besides, I’m going to see him tomorrow night at the play. But I want you now.

This goes on until I say, without question, no, I will not go. I can hear the smile in his voice. “C’mon. Be spontaneous.” I hang up.

You know how everyone has her/his personal kryptonite? That one thing which exposes your vulnerability regardless of your superhuman strength (or in this case resolve)? He hit it whether by design or in error. It’s my lack of “going with the flow”. I’ve been working on this for a couple of years. You know, loosening up. I like information and lots of it. I want to know how, when, why, where, who and it would be nice if it’s written with a detailed explanation. I don’t do well with spontaneity. I need a gameplan.

He texts me: “Call me when you’re on the bridge.”
I ignore him.
He texts me: “I’ll meet you downstairs.”
I ignore him.
He texts me: “Do you like mango or passionfruit scented bubblebath?”
I text him: “Passionfruit”

I arrive at his apartment apprehensive and excited. I’m congratulating myself for living in the moment. I mean, what’s the worse that can happen, right? He meets me in front of his apartment and escorts me up the three flights of stairs that I believe can only be found in NYC pre-war buildings or the Statue of Liberty. The glow of his computer screen casts a green hue throughout his room. Note, I didn’t say apartment because that would be too generous even in Manhattan terms. It’s a room but his artistic touch is seen throughout and it’s homey. He explains that he’s been playing poker in an online tournament while waiting for my arrival. We sit at his desk as he “dumps” his hand but the other players think it’s a strategic move and he wins the round or whatever it’s called in poker. He tries it again and again, he wins the round or whatever it’s called in poker. He jokes that I must be his good luck charm and suggests just shutting off the computer. I’m relaxed and tell him to finish it out while I get comfortable. Now, if you’re like me, you’re not familiar with the world of online poker. If this is the case, check out a recent 60 Minutes segment

Four hours later…

He plays in this tournament for four hours straight! Did I mention he begged me to come to his spot? Did I mention that he paid for the car service? Did I mention that I feel like a nutcase? What just happened? Luckily, I have plenty of time to ponder this question since Marc is lost in his poker game. I can’t make this stuff up.

I’m asleep when he finally finishes. He wins $800 for his effort which still doesn’t explain why I needed to be there. This is so absurd that I’m not mad just completely confused. As I get ready for work the next morning I can’t resist asking him yet again, why did he call me from my apartment to watch him play poker. The crazy part is he doesn’t understand my frustration. I never get a reasonable answer which is my fault for thinking that one even existed.

I think it’s time for me and to call it quits. Next up – eHarmony.


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