Being single is still weird for me, and I am not particularly good at it. I am very good at being in relationships that are bare wisps when I am out doing all the same things I do normally, but there is no need to randomly hook up with someone or date or balance dating vs sex because I have something else filling that void.
Now, being completely and utterly single for perhaps the first time ever, which is a lie, but one we will go with, I am making some dumb decisions.
And today, I have to deal with some consequences.
I talked to RA last night who said “Dammit, [Planner]!”
And to C — although not the whole story — and to the Software Developer — who high-fived me. In fact, C and SD and I each shared parts of the end of the night, and it is clear it all went sideways really, really fast.
But, let’s back up . . .
I am writing this on Friday morning, but the tale begins on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, I am supposed to go to a party for a launch of a new product SD worked on. I am really excited about it, until I realize it was something he worked on for PR’s company and that PR will be there. Since I spent the night with PR, I have been giving him distance and acting like a complete and utter idiot. We’ve been talking more via text but in person, I am holding him at arms’ length. Because I am dumb . . . and frankly still embarrassed.
I tried to get everyone in the world to go with me. C said she would, but she ended up bailing for work. Ultimately, FM was going to be downtown and said he was going. Okay, cool. I meet up with him about 90 minutes before the party and I go to a bar I don’t like. It’s not my kind of place and it’s what I consider one of BV’s bars. (He’s out of the country, so I am walking around town with no fear of seeing him.)
I am feeling good. I’ve dropped 5 pounds — from 122 to 117 — and I feel like I look like myself again.
At the bar with FM, I am drinking club soda, and then switch to water as I am getting obsessed by sodium. I am also getting obsessed by how weirdly my body is reacting to things. I am hungry all the time. All of the time. I am eating more and more frequently and losing weight. I am hair-trigger angry. I am aware of all of these things and they’re freaking me out a little. They are making me think . . . something is definitely different, and omg am I pregnant. That part is not an obsession. That’s a fear that makes me say aloud to FM when we have switched to the Chic Hotel Bar as we await the start of the party upstairs “I will be sweating it out for a couple of more weeks.”
FM gets loud — and obnoxious — and yells “I don’t care if you think you’re pregnant.”
I am appalled.
I mean, it’s outrageous and then, the volume. I glance up, and walking 20 feet away are two friends of mine — a man I consider my little brother and his best friend.
I try to speak to FM, but he’s loud, so I leave him and walk into the inner sanctum bar to see Little Brother and LBF. They are an interesting pair. They are successful — LB as an entrepreneur, LBF as corporate executive. They both live life to the absolute fullest and are notorious playboys. As with everyone I know, they’re also in a band together, that’s terrible, and yet quite popular. I’ve been watching them play nearly a decade.
I don’t know LBF well. He’s quite cute though, and I had always considered him sort of out of my league. Honestly, I don’t know why, but he’s my little brother’s friend and bandmate and I just never thought of him as more than “yeah, he’s really cute” way.
So, LB turns to me and says, what are you drinking and I tell him champagne, because . . . that’s how I roll . . . and they are drinking cocktails and I tell them about the party upstairs and we talk about the show they just attended. They tell me how great it was, and I laughed because, yes, it was a super big deal, but I heard it was terrible and self-indulgent. They laughed and asked how I heard that already since they just walked out of the venue and I told them [social media]. Which is true. Nothing like real-time feedback. They also admitted yes, it was bad, but whatever. We’re having a blast and I mentioned I was a little anxious about rolling into the party solo because of the PR thing and they want to come with me until they realize it’s upstairs outside rather than upstairs in the building. LB also teases me about the guys I date and we talk about their ethnicities, including the one that BFD and LBF share.
The room we’re in starts to get loud, so we walk to the next one and bump into a bunch of their friends. LB sits down by a woman and LBF and I are talking. It finally occurs to me that he is flirting with me, and there is a definite vibe happening.
LB leaves before I realize and returns with a shots for us. That no liquor thing is going really well . . .
I take it, and they decide they’re going to dinner at my second favorite restaurant in town, but I have to hit this party.
I steel myself wish them goodnight and leave.
As I walk across the plaza to the outdoor staircase, I spot BandMate and in front of him . . . PR. Awesome. By which I mean, “not awesome.”
It’s not that I don’t want to see him, but I am still being super-weird in his presence. Of course, PR, Jr. is also there and the four of us take up positions by near a bar, without really committing to the party. I know a few people there who are young entrepreneurs in the tech scene and they come up and greet me warmly and I introduce them to the guys.
I make one of them pitch his new startup to both me and PR, interrupting one of PR’s conversations to do it. I mouth the words “I’m sorry” out of the vision of the guy speaking. It’s funny, but it’s part of my world and the guys rarely see it.
Overall, we’re bored out of our minds, but PR’s product is amazing. We let one of the kids demo it and PR is clearly proud of the work he’s done. He should be.
As we leave, BandMate decides to go home (it’s about 1030) and PR says mostly, I think, to PR, Jr., let’s grab a beer. I ask if it’s okay if I tag along and he says sure. He picks up the first round and I make an ordering error. I pick a high alcohol beer because I do not know anything about such things and it’s a mistake. It’s my third drink, but alcohol is affecting me oddly. As we start to leave, PR, Jr., who lives near my hood agrees to drive me home. Sweet. We have a conversation in his car, which is when I realize I am completely hammered.
Next morning, my weight is down again and I am feeling okay. I am not that interested in going out, but SD is finally going to be back in town and finished with a project, so I figured why not. Also, I needed to see C to catch up after her trip and the bar where I met BV was having its second anniversary. As I know I am not really drinking, it all seems like a good plan.
The problem with being obsessed with my weight — and by my weight I mean both my body and the numbers on the scale — is that I am being extremely focused on my eating. I am avoiding carbs completely and it’s all going well.
I go to the new spot with FM and C and I am drinking water. We are waiting for the party to start and eventually FM wanders off to grab pizza before drinking more. Smart. I head to C’s bar next door for a glass of wine. It’s meh, but I am skipping liquor, mostly. Until I am not.
We catch up on her boy and her trip and it was more meaningful to her than it was to him and she’s a little freaked out.
We finally wrap up and head to the party. We make our way to the bar and the drinks we normally drink are free. Sigh. Okay, fine, when in Rome. I glance across the oval bar and see Little Brother and Little Brother Friend on the other side. They smile and raise their glasses to us. Eventually we all make our way through the crowds and connect up. We bump into random friends and our party expands.
LB and LBF start buying drinks and I am fuzzier on what happens as it happens. SD shows up at some point, along with two female friends in from out of town. Our party within a party is now at about 10. We walk back to the first place where we had started and I have no idea what happens until I am making out with LBF in a cab.
The funny thing about it is that even when I am doing sort of dumb stuff, I am doing it with people I know and like who are people I’d be dating anyway. I am not hooking up with random strangers. I am not making out with dudes I would not otherwise date. Instead, I am doing silly things with men I have or would date.
I end up passing out on the floor at LBF’s house and he drives me home the next morning. He lives in a beautiful place in my neighborhood — of course. I am quite embarrassed, and still drunk, when he drops me off at 8 am before his 830 conference call. In fact, I apologize to him late yesterday afternoon and he’s gracious about it all.
Thursday is a big day here. There are two huge parties: one is the reason I turned down an invite from N to go to the Caribbean for a week and the other is 2k people hosted by C. The first party is really a work function for me. Essentially, it’s an open house and a chance to meet a lot of people doing some interesting things. Also, free beer and food.
I start off drinking sugar free redbull because I do love my caffeine and the wicked hangover I’ve battled all day means I skipped coffee. I see some friends immediately who are there collecting on the free stuff. That’s not why I am there, and I strike up some conversations with guys I need to follow up with over the next few days. Very good stuff.
PR, Jr. had texted me earlier to find out what I was doing, but hadn’t followed up. Still, I wasn’t surprised to see him there. We had done this party together the year before and it’s the best. It’s also good to have someone to hang with through it. He’s very talented, which is why PR keeps hiring him, and he has a unique perspective. He’s a complete and utter hipster, which I find amusing, too. He tells me about a party he wants to check out before he heads to one PR is funding. The PR one is a no-go for me, location-wise. I am needed on the west side of town and it’s far east.
I eat nachos at this party, concerned about my need to keep my food levels topped off. I am trying to be smarter, and trying not to worry about what I will see on the scale tomorrow.
PR, Jr. and I decide we’re going west via shuttle to check out another party. YM and a friend of his tag along. SD is supposed to meet us, but he’s still asleep in his loft across the street from this building. YM and friend are annoying as hell. I am working — and possibly looking for a new job — so I am rather focused on the task at hand and not the free stuff.
Although, the food at the next party is amazing, essentially, it’s steak wrap and I end up having two servings of it. So good.
The next party rocks. It’s smaller, with a dj in a suite of offices, but all of the people who work there are tall and athletic in the same way all of the people at the last party were short and doughy. PR, Jr. gets to geek out about one of his passions and it’s awesome. For whatever reason, I have decided to tell people what I actually do for a living, which means they all *really* want to talk to me. Still, they are respectful.
We have a blast here, and I walk outside and see an old friend of FM’s who relocated to the west coast and a couple of others I recognize. It’s awesome catching up with them, even briefly, and it’s the kind of thing where you know you’re going to see the same people every day for days as we’re all in this same thing together.
We try to get to the next party, and we walk as it’s only two blocks away. They had shut down early for whatever reason, so we make our way to the next site, while PR, Jr. leaves us for PR’s party. I go to C’s and it’s insane, but in great ways. All of our people are there — RA, FM and his new girlfriend, SD, C, and about 2k other people. I end up having a couple of important business conversations and I am feeling better and better about myself and my life and how I am able to explain who I am and what I do, which is influencing who I am and what I do.
I am in the zone, and it’s just great. Also, I am talking to a guy who is so attractive it’s a little shocking. Like movie-star handsome, great body, entrepreneurial, and he’s the kind of man whose personal magnetism is clearly behind his success. He’s got “It,” in spades, and it’s intriguing to observe. He is fascinated by me, as people who hear my bio typically are — it’s not that I am wildly impressive, but I have done some unusual things, any one of which would be the subject of some interest.
We talk for 30 minutes or so, which at a party like this is remarkable. He gives me his card and we follow up later that night. It’s work-only, but he’s an intriguing talent. That ability to draw people in completely is rare.
After we decide to part company, I end up hanging with SD for a while. Over the course of the party, C and SD and I each reconstruct part of our night before and are shocked by where each of us ended up and with whom. Except not really shocked. C ends up with my Little Brother driving her home. Though I have not yet gotten the full story, I assume he made an aggressive pass and she rejected him. I ended up with Little Brother Friend, making out with him in a cab, and then at his house. SD ended up with two women friends of his in bed.
My night necessitates a trip to the pharmacy, which is still freaking me out and influenced how I mothered and monitored my group of drunk friends.
I drink often. I do not typically drink a lot. And I do not think I have a drinking problem. I am perfectly happy in a bar not drinking. I do, however, have an eating problem. When I get crazier with the alcohol, it has to do with my failure to eat enough. It’s that simple.
Switching from cocktails — though, obviously, I’ve backslid a few times this week, makes it easier to control the amount I am drinking. The Chic Hotel Bar makes their cocktails ridiculously strong, but a glass of champagne is a glass of champagne.
My body has been metabolizing liquor strangely and it’s bad. I am aware of it, and attempting to compensate.
Because of what I do for a job, I am out at events and parties and bars all the time. My work happens in social settings. I have to be out, to be conversant in what’s happening, etc. I am fine in those settings skipping drinks, but sometimes, it’s not possible. I am keeping things in check through vigilance, but I have done three incredibly stupid things in the last month — lost my phone, slept with PR, and spent the night with YBF. Granted, I only really regret losing my phone. The night with PR was always going to happen and probably will again. YBF was a bit unexpected before this week, but not unexpected after we saw each other on Tuesday.
After all of the madness of the past three days, I am kicking my own ass for having been with YBF — I am somewhat mortified by two things that happened, and not that it happened. He’s someone I’ve known for years, someone I’ve always liked, and, we’re both single. It’s not a big deal. And, yet, still mortified.