Have you ever had the experience of running into an ex or someone you used to date on the street, and then deduce that he or she is somewhat drunk and then begin to listen to him make all kinds of confessions about you that you had never heard before?
Really? Cool! Because that just happened to me, too.
Last night, my friend, Janet, and I had what I like to call a “flow” evening–an evening where nothing was planned at all, but we truly carped the heck out of that diem. These evenings are magical, and if you haven’t had an evening like ours, I don’t care how old you are–go and do it. You don’t need to stay out as late. You don’t need to go to fancy places. Just find a place you and your friend love and go there. And then let the day or evening unfold, allowing yourself to be inspired by the interesting people you observe around you, or the food you eat, or the weather, or the smells in the street. Just STOP. Pay attention. Love life. Invest in your five senses. DO life, and move wherever you feel led to move.
So back to the story. We were going to have sushi–just sushi–after a fun afternoon of shopping.
We get to 45 degrees on Mass Ave. We devour sushi.
“Are you tired?” she asked me.
“Nope,” I said. “Strangely not.”
It was 10:00, but the sushi gave us new energy and life to continue to let the night unfold. Janet was wearing work-out leggings. I was wearing jeans and a top with a hoodie that I would not wear if I were going out. We were on Mass Ave., where all the women around us are wearing high heels, lots of makeup, short skirts, etc.
“I’m not sure if what I’m wearing is appropriate,” I said. “But….I really don’t care. I’m almost 40. I don’t give a crap about these things anymore. I’m done being uncomfortable or feeling like I have to dress a certain way to stand out. Who the heck cares?” My martini had given me energy to start on this diatribe of how I no longer give a crap about fitting in.
“Let’s go,” she said.
And as a little side note–my friend, Janet, is a gem. She really is. She is one of the few people I know who can flow like me. She actually taught me a lot about how to flow. I have learned that a life lived without flow is not a life worth living. Flow is actually listening to your heart and allowing yourself to be led by what inspires you in your surroundings. I didn’t learn this until I was in my 30s–until I allowed myself to learn this.
But, back to the story. More on “flow” tomorrow.
We decided to go to Union 50, which is a bar up the street that everyone keeps talking about. We went in, and it was packed–packed like fricking sardines. And some of those sardines smelled sweaty and drunk. I couldn’t move without being sandwiched between two strangers. It was like a horrible traffic jam, but with people.
Janet and I looked at each other. We weren’t “feeling” this trendy place, and decided to walk out.
As we walked out the door, I literally bumped into a familiar face.
“I know you!” I blurted out without thinking through how I actually knew him.
The man’s eyes slightly widened. “Oh, yeah! How are you? How’s life?”
This man was a man who I went on about four dates with, about a year and a half ago. We never were an item, obviously. But he was memorable–a captain in the military from Savannah, Georgia, but originally from California. His parents were from India. He smoked cigars and had taken me to a cigar bar downtown on one of our dates.
I introduced him to Janet, and we all three started chatting.
His speech was kind of slurred, so I deduced he was somewhat inebriated.
As he was talking, I suddenly realized that I had remembered him as being tall, dark, handsome, and charming. But now, he was only tall and dark. Not so handsome. And he was talking incessantly like a car motor revving itself up.
“He’s actually kind of annoying. But why do I remember being so smitten with him?” I asked myself.
Please know that I am not criticizing the gentleman, because I’m certain that my former dates may be saying similar things about me. I am simply intrigued by the fact that our memories can play tricks on us. It could be that he has changed since we went out, but I don’t think so. I think I’ve changed. Time and space had suddenly allowed me to view him completely differently.
Our “let’s try to date” hats had come off.
As we started to talk, he felt compelled to rehash everything that happened between us, which was quite entertaining.
These were the facts he stated about me that he remembered:
1. I was a teacher, and I was a really nice person. And my name was Elizabeth. I had a daughter.
2. I had a cat who freaked him out.
3. I liked to eat healthy and ate organic meats and vegetables. He said he remembers eating a handful of organic walnuts in my kitchen when he had come over to visit me once. He said I was the first person to teach him about GMOS.
4. That we stopped seeing each other because we wanted different things. Namely, I had wanted to see him on a regular basis, while he had wanted something “casual” since his lifestyle only allowed for that.
Here is my rebuttal that I said (in my head, mostly) to those statements he made:
1. I am a teacher and I have a daughter, but my name is Emily. The nice part is debatable at times.
2. True. My cat does this to people.
3. True. I remembered him eating walnuts in my kitchen. I hadn’t remembered talking about the dangers of GMOs with him, but that sounds like something I would do.
4. True. I was surprised he was able to clearly articulate this while drunk.
What struck me most about the entire interaction, though, was that he seemed to remember me quite fondly. He went into detail about the whole GMOS discussion in particular, and implied that he had often thought about learning that from me during the last year and a half.
When we stopped seeing each other, I didn’t know why exactly at the time. I just knew we weren’t meant to be. He was able, however, to articulate the exact reason why WHILE DRUNK.
It wasn’t about me. It was never about me. Nor was it about him, really.
We just wanted two different things. I felt badly that I hadn’t remembered him so fondly, but I think that was because I had thought he had sort of disappeared on me and gone away without telling me why.
But rarely do we get these kind of explanations. And this was only four dates–not even a real relationship or anything–four dates. It wasn’t like he owed me any real explanation. In life, you just have to accept that God or the universe has something better planned for you–explanation or not.
I just simply had been given the interesting gift of an explanation last night. It was a gift I had no longer needed, but it ended up qualifying as a distinct reassurance that I can trust that life is happening FOR me–not to me. And that things are always working out for me. Relationships have fallen apart for reasons that I haven’t always understood, but I can continue to trust in the divine nature of God’s protection from things that are not meant for me.
I wondered if maybe the whole purpose for our paths crossing was for me to teach him about GMOS. I wondered why I had liked him. I wondered why he was eating my walnuts. I wondered what my cat had done to him specifically.
I was thankful for this little gift of knowing that he remembered me fondly, and that I could now clearly see he wasn’t a bad guy or anything like that. He just wasn’t the guy for me. Most of all, I’m thankful for the gift of the reassurance that when things fall apart, it’s always for the greater good.
More on the night that flowed tomorrow.