December 23, 2013

Standing Still




Last year this time I was going through a really rough break up. I put everything on the line: my job, my city, and changing who I am, but it wasn’t enough. Alex lived at home, drove his mom's car and had no clue what he wanted in life. The only things he showed interest was getting drunk with friends and getting high at electronic concerts. Alas I was severely depressed when things ended.

Initially I didn’t plan on going home for Christmas, but I flew back to Victoria, BC last minute at a hefty airfare price of $1200. It was my mom's idea and she was right. I needed my family more than ever given my circumstance.

One of my good friend back home is Nathan. I’ve known Nathan for over 10 years. He always send me messed up stuff, such as sketchy politicians, and illness and diseases that mentally mutilate people and torture them to death. Nathan plays piano for sketchy politician's parties, and teaches kids piano to make a living, which isn't that far off from dealing with illness and diseases. Throughout the years we’ve liked, unliked and disliked each other. We hooked up, and we’ve gone MIA for months and years at a time. We live in different cities, but when we meet at Christmas we have a good time catching up, and sometimes, if we're both single, we have a good time hooking up.

Last Christmas was no different. Nathan and I scheduled to meet up. I wanted to hook up because it was familiar territory, I was depressed, and I wouldn’t be ‘upping my number’ since we’ve already done it. And hey, sex is no worse for you than doing crack cocaine.

The morning before our meet up I searched for a razor around my house for an hour and found none. It’s hard to imagine a house with 4 women and not a single razor but it happened. I walked to Pharma Save and picked up a pack of the cheapest razors. It was $7. I cringed at the cashier counter. That’s a lot of money for a booty call.

Then came the condom situation. I didn’t want to spend anymore money as I already spent money on razors. 'Can't one thing just work out for me today?!' No. That's like demanding  someone to find you attractive. It doesn't work like that. I've tried. So I asked my younger sister Patti for one.

“I don’t have any.” Patti mumbled, and went back to reading her book.

“How can you not? You have a boyfriend!”

“Well, I’m not the one who has to wear them... But you can walk to his house and ask him.”

“I am NOT walking to your boyfriend’s house to ask him for a condom!!”

“Well, you’re too cheap to buy your own. What other options do you have?”

She was right. And it wasn't that I was too cheap to buy condoms. Fine. I was. But I was mad at myself for spending $7 on razors. And then I had to buy condoms?! I’m a woman. I smell nice. I don’t and shouldn’t have to spend money to have sex. It’s the principal.

Then came the car dilemma. My parents only have one car and Patti already shottied it that night. Eventually I got the car for a $20 bribe and a whole lot of begging. Nothing you can’t buy with money other than your dignity.

That night I met up with Nathan. We went out for drinks. We walked around downtown with all the Christmas lights. We went for a walk down by the ocean. The tides were out and it was full moon. The air was crisp and the beach was covered in seaweed. Then at the end of the night, he told me he just got a new girlfriend.

$40 plus an entire day of planning for nothing. For the first time, I understood exactly how guys feel on a date.


-
In late January of this year, Nathan texted me that he broke up with his girlfriend. But that December night triggered something in me. It was an end of something, a chapter that might be titled “When Nathan and Julie Passed the Ball Back and Forth”.

Just like most of our friends in our 20’s, times change and people move on. People lose touch when they get in their first serious relationship, get married, or when they have a baby. They can be your best friend, but spontaneously disappear when they get engaged. They’d mention all the cool stuff they do with their significant other, or bombard you with pictures of their kids and their new life. And they always come back to reminiscing about the old days that seem so far away now.

I was always too occupied to grow an adult relationship. I was focused on jobs, school, having fun, anything but developing a meaningful relationship. It did not escape my attention that while the pattern of returning to old flings as a safety net, I was figuratively standing still in my relationships while most of my friends have grown out of the dating scene and the spontaneous drunken stupors. Time is unforgiving and everything good eventually comes to an end.


-
A few weeks after Nathan's text I received a message from PlentyofFish.com, from a username “COLONNYAY”. It was Alex.

Alex’s username was “COLONNYAY” – the name derived using a spinoff of his last name. I gawd out loud. Because what type of girls do you attract with a name “COLON N YAY”? He'd be better off on a homosexual dating website or an online colonostrophy support group.

And then I saw it. All that time I blamed myself as the reason for losing him and all the time I blamed myself for the failed relationship, it wasn’t me. It was him. He just didn't “get it”. Like me, Alex was also standing still, and he was completely oblivious to the world around him.

I said hi back. He asked how I was doing. Then for the first time, a guy whom I once would have done anything for, I realized that I had zero interest in him. I realized that I really don't care if a telephone pole fell on his face or if he got hit by a bus. So instead of replying back, I chuckled at his profile and permanently de-registered on POF that night.

It was that night that I knew I was finally over him, and that I would be just fine on my own.


I lost faith in a lot of people, including people I thought were my friends. I didn't trust anyone anymore. I felt like an empty shell and I was miserable. Everything that were once important and valuable to me bored me: my job, my closet, my designer bags and shoes, and my blog. Most mornings instead of getting up I wanted to crawl into a hole and permanently melt into a puddle.

I was going to give Ottawa one more year while planning my escape route to permanently move away for a fresh start. Then one night I came across this guy's online dating profile on OKCupid.com. He wasn't what I pictured 'my perfect guy' would be. I met up with him because I felt I had nothing left to lose and needed something to entertain my mind. I'm glad I did. Because that guy's name was Zach.