Fourth of July weekend, 2005* I was going through my divorce when a few girlfriends convinced me to come out with them and a group of guys in town from out of town. My ex had called earlier that week (I hadn’t been taking his calls for over three months) and he decided to leave yet another voicemail stating that if I ‘wanted him back, I’d have to call him within the next 24 hours or else he was going to move on and get engaged again.’ Oh don’t you threaten me with a good time.
What he’d always used as a manipulation no longer had any power over me and in fact had the opposite effect. Again, I’m not a psychologist, but using the tools learned in therapy through cognitive learning and applying to current or past situations, he had more than one of the criteria of sociopath. His sister who has a degree in psychology also called him that, which was something that stuck with me over the years. I’m not calling him a sociopath, that’s something best left to professionals, or for others to determine off of fact based evidence over time.
Armed with my restraining order against my ex-husband tucked inside my Chanel clutch that held little else I decided to wear my ‘wedding dress’ out to signify the ending of era and the beginning of a new. My ‘wedding dress’ was a light blue backless Prada dress. I was married in Vegas with an exit sign in the wedding photo. Remember I look for signs in everything and that was foreshadowing if ever I saw it.
I walked into a bar in North Scottsdale called Devil’s Martini (now a McDonald’s-still hallowed ground) nervously excited and not sure why. It very quickly became clear why though. I was introduced to two best friends who worked together. More accurately one worked for the other. One made it known he made the money and the other made it know he was funny. Funny wins out over money any day in my book. And one had more in common with my ex husband than any of us knew at the time (hint: not funny)
It’s often been discussed that I had a choice to make that night and depending on who tells the story the choice I made is either right or wrong. I disagree, the choice was already made for both us before we even walked in that night.
I was out with one of those girlfriends who is miserable unless all the attention is on her and the idea that two of the six or so guys were attentive to me caused a disruption in the evening. She demanded to be taken back to her car to go home (because you know, there are never cabs outside of bars-never).
Before I left, I said I would be right back, I wanted to drop my friend off, and Jason (funny) said he wanted my number in case I didn’t come back. I told him if he was there when I got back then was written in the stars. He insisted that since his card holder was Prada and my dress was also Prada it was written from the fashion gods, and we should not disappoint them. (cheesy-yes, indicative of the times-yes, still funny-yes). My friend the entire ten minute drive to her car told me that I’d look ‘desperate’ if I went back. Mind you this is a girl that gave out blowjobs more often than handshakes, so there’s that. When I am secure in myself, I have noticed it makes others feel insecure.
I walked back into the bar to find Jason talking to a girl, or rather a girl talking to him and oddly adjusting her shirt. This girl had already flashed him her tits (subtle) but he ran grabbed me by the arm and said to the girl, “This is the girl I was telling you about and this is who I want to get to know I told you I’d talk to you until she got back, she’s back.” She looked over and me and said, “She’s not even that cute.” Charming slut, wasn’t she?
We left soon after to their condo and I told him on the way, “We aren’t sleeping together and way to hedge your bets in case I didn’t come back.” He said, “You already told me about five times tonight that we aren’t sleeping together and if I wanted to get laid I’m pretty sure the girl that went all Bourbon Street on me in there would have.” I was leaving the condo and heading home and he asked if he could come with, “You can come but,” he interrupted and finished my sentence , “we aren’t sleeping together. Quit trying to use reverse psychology to get me to sleep with you already.”
Jason did come up with a very clever way to speed up the date clock though. Since he lived in out of town and I lived in Scottsdale, traditional dates were a little harder to do, so he came up with every text counted as one date and every phone call counted as five dates. The next time I saw him, about 15 days later, we’d already been on about 150 ‘dates.’ See why funny wins over money?
For the better part of a decade we tortured each other and anyone around us. He went on to get married and then life threw us both some curve balls personally and professionally. We’d not been in contact for over four years and sometimes the stars align and people are brought back into your life just when you need them the most. We wouldn’t expect (nor do we have to right to have anyone who knew us as we were) to understand there is a vast difference in who we are now, but there is. While I liked who we were, I love who we’ve both become.
‘Timing’ is something I thought women told themselves to deal with getting dumped just as I always thought mid-life crisis was a negative where you traded in your spouse for someone half your age and upgraded the mini-van and ego to a yellow Ferrari. If life has taught me anything over the last few years, anything I thought I knew I didn’t. When we find strength we never knew we had, take accountability, and try to make the world a better place, then I think everyone should have a mid-life crisis.
Almost ten years later and we’re both starting over, he’s rebuilding and I’m rebuilding while I’m still tearing down (a girl needs room to grown). Two broken halves don’t make a whole anything and we’re trying something we hadn’t before, friendship. And, I’ve never been prouder to call him my friend and love the person he is today more than I ever did the person he was. The ship has likely sailed for us romantically but again the last few years have taught anything is possible, especially if you know how to hit a curveball.
*it was either 2004 or 2005-I’m old and math is hard.