In gearing up for my big birthday party, I had many, many parties.

On the day before my birthday, I hung out with PRX, FM, and about 8 other people. We bowled at the hipster place, had dinner and played trivia at our favorite neighborhood bar, and then sang karaoke until midnight at a beloved dive.  The boys then serenaded me with happy birthday right after the clock struck.

On my actual birthday, I spent the afternoon in the pool with FM and his best friend W, who was visiting us.  Hours bobbing, laughing, and teasing FM.  PRX ultimately joined us and we decided to just throw clothes on shower quickly and head downtown for my traditional champagne toast at the restaurant in our city’s best hotel.

Except it was PACKED…

Instead, FM and PRX and I grabbed a cab and walked to an excellent, elegant restaurant that has a great deal on champagne.  W and another guy friend joined us and we had an amazing time.  Great food, great fun, tons of pictures.  W then headed back to his hotel while the four of us headed to a party where more friends met up.  It was intended to be a very small gathering as my big part was set for days later, but it was really really fun.

FM, in particular, was wonderful. He whispered to me from time to time, “are you having a great birthday, baby?” Um, yes. He was so sweet and very affectionate.

Okay, so the next day was my dinner with BFD and PRX to try out a restaurant we might like better than the “best restaurant in town” he’d taken us to the week before.  We drove out to his place in the hills and then he drove us to the restaurant even deeper in the hills.  The meal was flawless and we had such a great time.

BFD had offered two weeks earlier to host a dinner for ten people for my birthday, which was generous and ridiculous.  After this amazing meal (another in a long string of amazing meals), I told him I wanted to cancel it and we agreed he’d cover me and everyone else would pay for themselves.

Our night was wonderful. He gave us books from his library to read. He was incredibly charming. We made plans for adventures.

The next night, PR took PRX to the “best restaurant in town,” to which she’d never been before BFD took us and another of our friends there last week.  As FM was out of town, C came over for a fun evening of girl talk and champagne by the pool, in which a lot of our neighbors joined.

Then, Saturday was my small dinner and big party. PRX had asked me ahead if she could bring PR. I had always assumed that PR would join her at the big party, but I was surprised he wanted to come to the dinner. Of course I said yes, as I’d wanted PR and BFD to meet as PR is the type of person — brilliant, creative, wildly successful — who BFD should know.

Dinner was amazing. I went with BFD, and we arrived, somewhat ridiculously, on a motorcycle. (It fit the theme and I wore jeans under my very cute dress.)

We planned for 8 people and ended up with 11. BFD was charming and gracious and he loved getting to meet a few of my friends, who, like him, are successful businessmen and private equity or venture capital investors. They are all younger and work in tech, but the respect of them to him and vice versa was great.

I sat between W and BFD, with PR a couple of people away on the other side of the table.  W and BFD talked motorcycles in the way that hyper-competitive wealthy men do, and PR Jr and BFD and I talked food, including my favorite restaurant. This is where the something interesting happened… I asked PR what he’d thought of [my favorite restaurant to which we were supposed to go on our third date].  He looked at me and said under his breath so only I could hear: “I haven’t been. I am supposed to go there with you.”

Which is completely weird, as it’s now PR, Jr.’s favorite restaurant, and completely weird, as wtf are you talking about.

[We’d discussed the restaurant for weeks when we were seeing each other because it had been closed for holidays when he’d asked me to dinner there the first time.  Instead, we went to a great restaurant and then I changed before we went to a couple of shows downtown.  It was an excellent date.]

I had a blast at dinner, and BFD asked W for his business card, which among tech executives is a source of definite amusement (“No, but we’re connected now”).  After dinner, I walked back to the bike with BFD who kissed me passionately and then rode off, while one of my friends drove me and W to the party.

The party itself was a blast. We’d already had enormous quantities of wine at dinner, so when the 10 of us arrived, the party had already begun. Overall, there were probably 45-50 people there.

I hung with my friends, but cliques developed as people floated in and I spent most of my time with PR and W. Although let’s be a bit more accurate… I spent most of my time with PR. We were sitting together at the bar most of the night as the party happened around us.  He kept my glass filled with mostly club soda and the vodka he drinks. He was utterly charming, but our pairing left most of our friends with questions, which they’ve been following up about for a few days.

We had a wonderful time, and it’s clear that he likes me still.  It’s also clear he’s still dating my very close friend PRX.  And that I am sort of dating my ex BFD.

It’s a little confusing right now to be honest. I walked up to my girlfriend RA’s table during my party and told her, apparently, “I have to tell you something. . . I think I am dating all of my exes.” Sigh.

I am not.

I am not actually dating any of them.

I am sleeping with FM on occasion, but that’s about to stop forever. (Or for a while, as he’s engaging in a long distance relationship and he’s flying out to see her this week.)

I go to dinner 2-4 times a week with BFD. About a month ago, we had to acknowledge I am his best friend and I have become his constant companion.  He still loves me.  I still love him, but he’s sort of convinced we’re better off as friends.  He’s not necessarily wrong.  We’re better together than we were when we were actually together.  We are more honest, more open, more loving now than we ever were before.

He has talked around us reconciling, but he tends to be inarticulate enough that I am not entirely certain what he was saying.  He was saying it’s a bad idea for us to start sleeping together again (at least, I think that’s what he was saying . . . his lack of pronouns and use of weird slang means I have no idea).  Which means, of course, that he’s been thinking about it.

I am technically dating LP — yes, again — but I’ve not seen him for weeks, since the last time we had dinner.  He’s been away working for weeks and at first he checked in regularly, but I’ve not really heard from him in like a month.  I invited him to my birthday stuff and never heard back.  Not a birthday greeting, nothing.  Not unusual, unfortunately.  Also, not acceptable.  He is still as handsome and awesome as ever, but he’s just not present enough, and I deal with men who travel nonstop and are workaholics.

I have my adorable guy I met in the spring who reached out to me on my birthday, randomly, while he was traveling out west.

And I do feel attractive and desirable to the men I would want to date.  But, at this point, I am single.

Because I am single, all of my friends are concerned about my relationship with PR.  Frankly, I am, too.  He has made overt expressions of interest and PRX, who he is dating again, just moved three hours away.  I have gotten lectures each day since my party from RA (“you shouldn’t do that to PRX, but I know you probably will”), C (who said to me in a ladies room without my saying a word about him or PRX: “I will stop talking to you if you do it, which will only be for like a week, but I will be really mad.”), and one of my best guy friends (“I know you have a certain moral flexibility, but you should not go there.”).  Each of these comments arose from people who watched us interacting at my big party.

He and PRX left abruptly after there was some drama between PRX and her best guy friend’s ex-girlfriend.  I wasn’t paying that much attention, as PR and I were having what was described to me as “an intimate conversation.” I have no idea what we were actually talking about.  I do know that as he was leaving he hugged me tightly and then kissed my cheek.

So, my scandalous behavior was hanging out with a guy I used to date as his girl, who has become one of my dearest friends, was 30 feet away. Also, kissing my ex-boyfriend in front of my friends.

It was all innocent on its surface, but my friends know me, know him, know all of them, well enough to look a little deeper.  And a little deeper, it’s a bit confusing.

For now, I am sticking to the surface.  My exes are my exes, my friends are my friends.  If I think too much about how much BFD needs and wants me in his life, or how many overt expressions of interest PR makes in public, or how I have been sleeping with FM for months, then it all gets confusing.

My birthday week was amazing.  BFD spoiled me with dinners and fun and a spa day.  FM spoiled with a great dinner and an excellent night. My friends showed up and hung out and had fun.  Everyone kept everything light and happy and fun and I definitely appreciate how much different my life is now from just a year ago.  Better friends, more fun, better life.

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