Simply Solo Spotlight: The Rabbit Hole
I’m really excited about today’s Simply Solo Spotlight because it is written by a blogger that I just recently discovered, and already love. Myra writes the blog My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours about her hilarious life after getting fired from her job and having to move back home with her interesting (to stay the least) parents. One of her posts was Freshly Pressed a few weeks ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I hope you enjoy this guest post and definitely stop by her blog for more great stories!
Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rabbit Hole
On day 56 of living at home on Long Island with my crazy parents after becoming unemployed and in possession of a Pit Bull no landlord wanted to accommodate, I made the decision to give Match.com another try. You see, my birthday is next week, and I thought I would leave the door open for the universe to provide with me with the ultimate birthday gift: a boyfriend.
I must have sent about thirty messages to various guys – but received absolutely no response. This depressing fact was exacerbated by the arguments between my parents about where the car keys went, their trips to Wal-Mart to make money off of buying things with coupons and then returning them for full price, and seeing the occasional person I went to high school with and hated. The misery was accumulating like pieces of a snowball turning into a definite mass. But then…the Match message from Rohit. Handsome, articulate, and gainfully employed.
After a witty email interchange, we made a plan to see each other on Wednesday night. My plan was not to tell him that I actually didn’t live in the city anymore. And definitely not tell him I was living at home with my crazy father who wears things he finds in the garbage and my overly-lipsticked mother who sports iguana-patterned tracksuits from Target and thinks her only purpose in life is to get me married. How unattractive would that be? I would pretend I still lived in my Upper West Side apartment in New York City and made my living as a full-time writer.
It didn’t help that the day of the date, my parents drove me to the train station looking like two Weeble Wobbles in search of yet another Wendy’s for a free Frosty. My self-esteem was not at an all-time high. On the Long Island Rail Road, I kept repeating affirmations and listening to Frank Sinatra on my iPod, because it, for some reason, makes me feel very sexy.
I showed up at the Dove Parlour in the Village (my choice based upon a Google search for romantic bars in the area), and was the first one there. I immediately ordered my go-to drink, an apple martini, in high hopes that it would quell my nerves. For a grand moment, I felt sassy, elegant, confident and cool. When he walked in, I thought he was okay. Not bad. Handsome enough. 5’9”, dark hair, deep eyes, a certain presence and originally from India (my weakness).
Well, we talked for what seemed like hours and what I loved most was the mutual respect that seemed to exist between us. Unlike so many other guys I dated who never asked me anything about myself, he was curious and asked me so many questions. He told me about his soccer games and his trips around the world and his motorcycle. At this point, I wasn’t sure if he liked me or not. He wasn’t sitting all that close and gave me no real indication of how he felt.
After my second, buzz-inducing appletini, I excused myself to find the ladies’ room. I remember looking in the mirror and feeling so many different things – like a Fed Ex package containing old clothes, new cookies and your favorite book. I looked in my reflection and thought “fierce.” But, I also saw the sadness behind my blue eyes, now well defined in black liquid and Smashbox mascara. All parts of me present in the mirror, like a patchwork quilt – a fun, quiet, happy, sad, fierce, weak, gorgeous, ugly girl always in search of something.
I returned to the couch, where he was watching me walk back, sat down and said, “Where were we?” He then leaned in and grabbed my hair – every last flat-ironed strand of it – and kissed me with electricity. I was hooked. That was it. We didn’t stop kissing and talking and joking and it was magical and amazing and I was convinced that this was the beginning of a relationship at last.
He walked me to the 1 train. But then, in what I was anticipating would be a passionate request for a second date, was instead a request to come back to his place. I said, “That’s not how I roll.” (Which I then, and to this day, thought was hilarious). He promised “nothing will happen,” and I said, “Another time.” I felt very subtly, the way you feel very subtly your shower is on the fritz, but pretend not to notice because you just want this shower to be a good one, his affection go a bit cold.
I told myself it was nothing, that I always over-think everything, that I sabotage things with my negative thinking. And so, being tipsy anyway, I rode the LIRR home with my face against the window, warmly remembering his kiss – the look in his eyes – the way he kept saying, “We are so similar.” I felt lucky and finally hopeful about the possibility of a relationship for me. About time. About fucking time.
As much as I tried to play it cool, I couldn’t. I sent him a text the next day to say, “Nice meeting you. I look forward to seeing you soon.” He eventually (hours later) responded with a monosyllabic, shortened “thx, u 2,” sort of thing. That was it. Silence.
And that was where the familiar free-fall down the rabbit hole happened. The hopes that had built up like a big crystal disco-ball with enough joy and radiance to light up a Bar Mitzvah hall had dropped and smashed into a million pieces. This familiar pain, this darkness, had practically rendered me paralyzed in an empty chill. It wasn’t so much about the disappointment, but why this pattern? Why every time? It was as if the motto or repeated mantra of my life was “Things never work out for me.” I had a ghostly feeling in my ribcage.
Sometimes when you hit a rock bottom, whether it’s big and physical or a momentary one in your soul, you stop, give up, and in so doing, leave a little crack for something to come in. In this case, that something was the idea that maybe my fear of losing what little I have is actually keeping it away.
I was so tired of this recurrent grief and drop-through-the-floor feeling, that this time, out of desperation, I started asking myself questions, Does this really have to mean that I’m not worthwhile? That my life is shit? That life’s cruel joke is that I can’t have love and will never be able to know why? Or was I somehow setting myself up to lose?
It was FEAR that was keeping me from having all I wanted. When I would meet a guy who I somehow knew was wrong, even when I didn’t admit it, I would keep holding on out of fear of losing him – of losing my fantasy of “having someone.” And then, my fears would manifest – the way fear always does. They would abandon or reject me. So I’d go through life with clenched fists, like pauper who believes a bird in hand is better than two in the bush. I would do the same with money, career opportunities, or anything that brought me happiness, a rare commodity. I made every situation that appeared in FRONT of me, the THING that needed to be permanent. I went for instant gratification like it was the only crumb given to me at the big buffet for everyone else.
So, sitting in my room in the house I grew up in, with seemingly nothing going right for me and just pictures of my elementary school self and old soccer trophies to stare at, my tears started to dry and my mind started to lighten up.
Just because it doesn’t work out with THIS one, doesn’t mean that there isn’t another, better one around the corner who will appear when I’m ready. When I start living from faith rather than fear. When I start trusting that inner voice that says, No, Yes, Just walk away, Wait til next month, Trust me even though you have no f-ing idea how this will show up. When I start loving and accepting myself DESPITE the shitty circumstances that appear in my life.
This guy was very sexy and it’s such a shame. But, hey, I’ve got an incredible soul that I can listen to and actually start respecting. I can stop thinking I’m all alone and start walking with a sparkly bounce of mojo, because I’ve got myself and an inner guidance system that won’t ever let me down. I’ll have to break from my old habitual thoughts. It takes balls to do things differently. But, if we’re not here for the challenge, then what are we here for?
And so—with the great pain of falling down the rabbit hole came a great gift. I’ve got ME. Maybe this was the universe’s idea of a birthday present.