Feb 13, 2016

Make No Mistake

Hello LucyUncorked friends! 
Happy Galentine /Valentine's Day weekend.  Cheers to a ridiculous Holiday! Hope you and your loved one(s) are staying warm and cozy & letting each other know you love them!  

Anywhoo--as most of you know, I am currently consulting at LEGO (we're hiring, btw!) and now have a 30 mile commute to and from work. (which I am strangely enjoying) Because I am spending more time in my little rebuilt Volvo, I have been listening to a lot of Pandora Radio. (I had to break up with Sirius because of way too many technical and customer service glitches) In fact, as I write this, I am listening to the "Loves Stinks" Radio station. It's hysterical.  Currently playing."She Hates Me" by Puddle of Mudd.  

So, I've been listening to all sorts of music. On one particular day, I heard quite a few Taylor Swift songs and I noticed something.  She always seems to reference her exes as "Mistakes".  Mistake this, Mistake that.  I got to thinking......Have I made any relationship "mistakes"?  Or even just dating, or casual seeing "Mistakes"? Hmm...bring on the 35 minutes of self reflection on 91 North.  The reflection now happens every time I hear a Taylor Swift song--but I do have a lot of relationship and/or random history to get through.  

Mistake seems so......harsh. Harsh and negative and ouchie. I look back through the decades of boyfriends and dating and I think.....would I consider any of the men who have wandered in and out of my life as a mistake?  

Let's start with my high school boyfriend.  Definitely NOT a mistake.  Not only was he a nice Irish boy, he was way more responsible, captain of the football team, and boy, did he try mightily to keep me on the straight and narrow.  Nice guy and his mother LOVED me.  I believe he is now a happily married CPA living somewhere in Massachusetts. No doubt I would have driven him insane and I would have poked my eyes out if we had lasted.  Fond memories there. 

College was more of a collage of casual.  Lots of funny stories.  No mistakes are coming to mind. People I wouldn't have kissed sober? Yes, plenty of those. Guys with mullets?  A few.  But still, nobody sticks out as a mistake. I guess the closest I came to mistake was a fraternity brother who had a long term girlfriend and a raging drinking problem. For some reason, I loved him. I think he loved me.  Just behind alcohol and that Alpha Phi sister.  Meh-that was a blip, but I learned I don't like trying to charm spoken-for men.  Taught me that I deserve a little better than that. Look back at those college experiences and recognize I was super self-unaware and really a bit clueless.  I had a problem liking guys who liked me...I think maybe I was just.....scared. 

The New York decade...Like the mecca of fabulous people.  A never ending fountain of smart, ambitious young men, usually in suits. (I'm dating myself, obvi) Good times.  I spent a lot of this time with one guy in particular. He was tall, smart, employed and I dug him. He ended up moving to my neighborhood, which made things convenient. Huge bonus was that he came with awesome friends.  I mean, I loved his friends.  I loved him, too--but was, of course, petrified to let him know.  Frozen, scared, self-unaware girl.  I was so focused on being the prettiest, most fun, most agreeable version of myself, I kind of got lost.  I remember clearly a moment when he told me, "I wish you would just say what you feel!". Hmm, if I did that, therapists across the East Coast would have nothing to think about. We had some really fun times and lots of laughs, but I was largely unable to communicate my feelings.  I was focused on him, to put it mildly. I pissed a lot of my girlfriends off during this time. The ones that stuck around for me are, simply put, saints.  He ended up fucking (sorry, but there's really not a better word) a friend of a friend in the bathroom of a NYC bar while I was there, so needless to say, that situation ended.  But did I mention his friends? They were a great group of fun and talented guys, and I am happy to say I am still in touch with many of them. I smooched a few of them, too.  Those were definitely not mistakes.  They were tons of fun. A silver lining.  And tall guy went on to stay in my life and he's a married father of two living in New Jersey. Married someone more Catholic than even my family, which I found super funny.  I was even invited to the wedding.  I didn't go, of course---that would have been weird, but was he a mistake? Nope, not him either. 

New York part two--the dawn of internet dating....Even MORE ways to meet men. I loved that about New York. So big, lots of inventory, and new products coming to the shelves daily.  Relationships began and ended...all happening every day. You'd never know who you'd meet. A few random standouts--the guy I met at a fundraiser who spilled a glass of red wine down the front of my white t-shirt...He was cute, funny and most definitely mortified.  We went for a nightcap (with me looking like I had a bullet lodged in my chest) and I didn't give him my number. He literally got my number through a friend of a friend.  I liked the gumption. I went out with him for awhile.  When I told my parents about him they thought I said his name was "Monsignor" so that's what we ended up calling him. (however disturbing that would be) Funny because he was totally Jewish and told me on my our first date that Jesus was just a really good carpenter. I laughed and recognized right then that his Mom, from Israel, was never going to dig me, so best I approach this with a lighthearted attitude. He was cultured, fun, liked doing stuff in the city, and was five years younger than me. Seemed like a big gap back then. He loved Phish, lived in the Bronx, and (yikes) had black satin sheets.  (for real--I can't make this up) He was quite the conundrum but not a mistake.  

Then there was Suitor.  I was never in to him, but he was so.......NICE. I mean, he just dug me. I, unfortunately, did not dig him.  He planned elaborate and thoughtful dates. Was a Giants fan. Came from a nice family.  My friends knew him.  I yawned.  He didn't drink, so I drank more. I didn't even give him a chance, really. Not that right timing. Funniest part of this story is that he ended up marrying my sister's husband's cousin.  Yup--I would see him at parties and family events.  Not regularly, but enough to be reminded that I was not nice to him.  Not proud of my behavior during that time, but it all worked out for the best.  He's happily married, lives in Maine and has three kids. Again, not a mistake. Taught me a few things about treating people how you'd like to be treated.

Connecticut has been slow.  Not as many funny stories. Probably because when I moved here in my early thirties, everyone was married.  Lots of CT on CT marriages here.  It took me awhile to get used to the homogeneity.  I mean, people married people from high school up here.  I didn't really get that, and I also thought they were all crazy for marrying so young. I've met great friends here, but boy, I would not recommend this place for a single girl from the City.  I did work at ESPN for a time, though, and you cannot beat that environment for meeting men.  Most of them were just starting their careers and were 100 years younger than me, but it made me happy to be recruiting and moving men in to CT from all over the country.  CT residents, you can thank me later. 

My most recent situation also has not been a mistake. Not a completely traditional or normal relationship, maybe not a relationship at all. Who knows.  A former co-worker and good friend. By the time we started our thing, he had wisely moved to New York. So, we've never lived in the same place.  Which I find positively ideal and loved my independence. He understood me, put up with me and definitely did not put up with my bullshit.  But, I guess part of me was finally ready to have a plus one, and former coworker man did not want to go public with a plus one. I don't know, I guess--sometimes I wanted that plus one, and sometimes I didn't.  But I think overall, I wanted that security and commitment more than he did.  Not marriage commitment, just stability commitment.  It made me feel badly that our mutual friends didn't even know we had been together for like 3 years.  That dragged on me.  Brought up feelings of inadequacy.  So finally, it was just time for it to end. He continues to be a dear friend.  I'd say we are both in good places.  I learned a lot. Definitely not a mistake.  

And finally, those random funny events/stories/situations that have come up in the past few years....the cook from Cheesecake Factory, the wedding photographer, the dude from St. Kitts. (my friend Sally will have to let you know if I am forgetting anyone--she is usually with me) All brought laughter and fun to my life, so again, no mistakes there.  

It's been fun reflecting on this so close to Valentine's Day. I'm a lucky girl for sure. Holy Moly, I've been lucky. I've met some of the nicest guys, and have learned so much.  While I don't have a Valentine this year, I continue the search for the perfect balance of commitment, companionship, and adventure. Oh, I know it will come.  I am positive.  I just keep my ears and eyes open for fun and frolic, and the men often follow.  Happy weekend to all...and remember.....#NOMISTAKES

Until next time.....

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