The hardest commitment is making a commitment to myself.
Committing to someone else is easier to say — and do, for a time, anyway. But committing to myself — real, fundamental commitment is much harder.
I have decided to be a better person, to take more control over my life, and to exert myself more, to hold myself to a higher standard. The real standard. To be my best me.
The situation with the Bon Vivant — the commitment I made to him — was actually a commitment I made to me. It went beyond my relationship with him.
And, obviously, it outlasted it.
I am making real changes and taking more control. This weekend was a perfect example.
On Friday, TB, my girlfriend the Tattooed Brunette, invited me to be her plus one for a show at a famous downtown rock club. The band I had heard of, but never seen, and it’s not my kind of thing but I love spending time with her and figured “how bad could it be.”
I texted LP at 5 pm because he and his ex each frequent that club:
Me: Going to [club] tonight to see the [band]. Any chance I’ll see you there? 4:59 PMLP: What time? 8:40 PMMe: Be there around 1045. 🙂 8:41 PMLP: Ah I will try 8:41 PMLP: Don’t know the [band] but heard the name 8:42 PMMe: An old [description]. Should be fun. Plus. I’ll be there. 8:42 PMLP: 🙂 8:43 PM
It was sort of random. Though we’ve been speaking even more this week, I wanted to launch a beacon saying I am going to be on your turf, so warn me if I am going to see you.
I was not inviting him, but that’s how he took it. Which is sort of awesome.
TB had friends playing in midtown first, which is closer to her uptown digs, so I volunteered to take a bus up. I could have cabbed, but I am beginning to enjoy the adventure of the metro bus system beyond my normal “get on at my building, exit at BV’s building 7 minutes later.”
The midtown place was comfortable with good food and great coffee. We both opted for coffee and no alcohol, which is unlike the shows we often attend. She is not a big drinker, and she’s a tiny person (like 5’2″). The bands were good, and one of the performers switched his set up to play TB’s favorite songs so we could head downtown to the rock club.
I was rather convinced I’d not see LP. He’s time shifted rather early and frequently in bed by 10. This show didn’t even start until 11. Still, I texted him again when we were finally there.
Me: Just got to [club]. Text me I you’re here or nearby 10:47 PM
When I walked back in TB was talking to a tall handsome dude who looked like a 40 year old embodiment of the J Crew catalog. Nicely done. I operated as her wingman talking to his friends for a while.
We grabbed drinks here: she had a whiskey and I had a vodka soda.
The show: awful. We waited as long as was polite before leaving. We giggled to each other that thanks to her pixie hair cut and tattoos, we were “the hottest lesbian couple there.” Which we were, thanks mostly to her. (For months after I met her, I assumed she was gay, and PR certainly had the same reaction when he first met her, hoping he’d be able to get us both.)
Looking around the audience, it struck me how many of the men there resembled the Bon Vivant, but my heart did not stop when I thought I saw him. In fact, I really didn’t care.
After we left and said goodbye to her friend who’d guestlisted us, we walked the two blocks to the chic hotel bar, where she had never been. (She lives uptown, hangs mostly in midtown or east in the hipster district, and the chic hotel bar has a reputation as filled with rich assholes. Which is completely true.) As we walk, we bump into another of my surprisingly handsome guy friends. This one — about 6’2, Asian, tennis player, who I’ve known for about 15 years. he picks me up — literally — and swings me around and of course he is heading to the CHB, too. He escorts us to the Chic Hotel, laughing as we go. After we arrive, we part ways, and I point out the various scenes present and then walk her into the central nerve center, which is packed to the gills. She’s a little overwhelmed as there is just so much happening. Booming music coming from a dj, so many men. This room is darker with a bright bar on the edge and the best bartenders. Standing at the bar — my two guy friends S and P. S is a ridiculously well-educated lawyer who worked at my old firm; P is a very successful political consultant. The consultant: biracial, handsome, and I’d date him. In fact, I was afraid I’d inadvertently made a pass at him one night, drunkenly, about a year ago, but C always assured me I hadn’t. I’ve known them both like 8 years, and my relationship with them is sisterly. They loved my ex-h A.
Anyway, S&P are always there, which is among the reasons I feel so comfortable there, even if I am solo. I teased them about last week’s bacchanal, when I saw them briefly on Saturday night post-show and they were each covered with beautiful women in short skirts. P asked why I hadn’t joined them at their table and I reminded him he had “three women on his lap.” He laughed and said, there is no way it was more than two and that he would have happily opened up space for me on his hip. (It was indeed two.) They had bottle after bottle of champagne, a few bottles of liquor, and seemingly no regrets.
S, who I know better than P, and who I’d introduced to the BV when we were still together, seemed a little “off.” Well, to be honest, he seemed a little coked up, which I supposed should not surprise me given the venue and the lifestyle and yet it did. I am used to my music friends using and my tech friends smoking weed, but this is something I’d never seen recreationally among my core group. Or perhaps I just never understood it until the Bon Vivant. S definitely seemed to be on coke, which is fine. It’s a choice if done recreationally. I’ve not noticed it from him before, so I think this is new. Then again, I’ve not paid attention.
[This is not a place for a nuanced discussion, but I’ve known recreational users, former recreational users, and I’ve known addicts, just not recreationally among my core group of friends. I dated someone who was addicted when I was in my late 20s. He was a retired pro athlete, another man always idle, spending his days playing golf. When I realized some three months in, I ended things with him. He still struggles with it. It’s more complex than I’d understood, especially as it’s used. My personal experience with it: it’s not my thing, but I don’t think it’s a big deal.]
S leaves us at some point for the evening. TB and I stay with P at the bar. P is ordering our drinks and P and TB have a vibe. It’s nice. The music is great and P and I are singing along and we’re all laughing about karaoke performances. P pauses to buy albums on his phone as we’re hearing a lot of great stuff. We are in the most private room in CHB, and I become emboldened (after a second drink of the night and a lot of caffeine), to see if the Bon Vivant is here. BV is here as often as I am, as we both have friends who live in the building and it’s sort of the intersection of a lot of different scenes we’re a part of. I also have tons of friends who’d never set foot in the place, but that’s part of the charm, too.
I head to the unisex hallways of bathrooms, and then glance into the four other rooms. No BV. No members of BV’s extended entourage. Safe. I head back to P and TB and they are discussing art and travel. It’s really a fun night. P and I each order a second cocktail for me, which means now I am on cocktail three here. Though I ate dinner at the midtown coffeehouse, I am seriously tipsy. Those things happen. It’s among the reasons I do not drive when I am drinking. We have cabs, and I live a $10 cab ride away.
The CHB closes and we head off to TB’s car, which is parked about three blocks away. P, being the gentleman — and playboy — he is, refuses to allow us to walk back to her car. He drives us. The valet hands us each a bottle of my favorite water as we wait the seconds for them to hand P his keys. His car was already in front. Of course.
It’s that sort of treatment that makes the CHB so excellent for frequent guests. They really do take excellent care of us. We pay for the privilege. Or, in my case, someone else does, but there are reasons it’s our home away from home. It’s comfortable earlier in the evening and it’s a party later. It’s safe and protected. Also, it has the best bathrooms in town. And I am always likely to see someone I know, and handsome men I wouldn’t mind knowing.
P drove us back to TB’s car and then she drove me home. She’s the best, really. It’s funny that we met because she was Hot Blonde’s best girlfriend and I was C’s and we sort of switched our pairing at some point in the fall. I am still closer to C, but TB and I make sure we spend time together about once a week, usually at music shows. We both have friends and former (and future) beaus in bands. Though we have different taste in music, we both enjoy the music scene. (Amusingly, my taste in music is far more outre than hers, despite my “Hamptons barbie” wardobe. I drag her to punk shows, when I am wearing pink python driving shoes. She takes me to roots/blues./acoustic stuff while wearing cute cropped black leather jackets and motorcycle boots.)
Saturday morning . . . was a little rough. Especially because I think I was still drunk. Oh, and I texted friend of a friend at 240 am. And FM, who was hooking up with someone in our building, which I found mystifying. Oops.
I grabbed breakfast tacos from the market and settled into the sofa to rest and recover.
At 11:10 am, I got a text from LP.
LP: Sorry I was tired and crashed. Was it fun? 11:10 AM
Me: The show was terrible! TB and I left after about 45 minutes. I looked super-cute though. 😉 11:18 AMLP: I bet 11:19 AMLP: You always do 11:20 AMMe: You’re sweet 11:20 AMLP: Nah just observant 11:21 AMMe: Now you’re making me blush 11:22 AMLP: 🙂 11:24 AMLP: You deserve to be appreciated and feel good 11:25 AMMe: You are making me feel quite excellent. 🙂 11:26 AMLP: Good 11:26 AMMe: Hard to type with the beaming… 🙂 11:28 AMMe: Despite the awfulness of the show, I would have loved to have seen you last night. Miss your handsome face, etc. 11:30 AM
Me: Random: the [show] taping I attended with C before we met you for dinner at [resto] debuts tonight on [channel].4:34 PMLP: Funny 4:46 PM