How to lose a guy in 7 days

It was the shortest relationship I’ve ever had.

Laughable, almost.

***

I don’t like to put a timeline on my life. I don’t like to say you should arguing with your S/O over how many pillows you should have on your bed at age 27. Or you should be making x amount of money at the age of 30.

I don’t believe life should or can be lived that way.

Life comes and goes as it does. People enter and exit whether we want them to or not.

***

Men should be so lucky to date me. I tell my friend in full confidence over $10 vodka sodas at Union Market. I mean it, I really do.

And not in a “I’m too good for everyone which is why I’m single” sort of way. In a way that I’m aware of the qualities I posses and I know someday I’ll find someone who complements in a way that I see fit.

Sometimes I get impatient is all.

I wasn’t as self-aware a year ago. As I have talked about many times, I had been exiting a toxic thing, my career was in shit, I was lost living life in an endless fog and every one else was to blame for my problems.

From there, I started to take more control over my life and the decisions I made. I was more proactive instead of reactive. Thought with more logic and stopped putting my mental health in the hands of someone else. Life got exponentially better.

***

The story was so eerily similar and triggering I can’t explain why I stuck around.

Well, maybe that’s why I did. The story — the characters, the setting. It was practically the same.

Two men. Same occupation, covered with tattoos and realities they couldn’t face. Subconsciously, I wanted to fix the problems they had. And in retrospect, maybe I wanted them to fix mine too.

He was creative. Passionate. Edgy.

Two drinks in and his hand touched my thigh. I told him I didn’t like PDA. As we walked to the next bar, he pulled me to the side. I know you don’t like PDA, but this outside of the bar, so does it count? He put his hands around my neck as he kissed me. We’re awesome, he whispers in my ear.

The emotions were intense from the beginning — on both ends. He was vocal about how he felt, forward if you will.

I go away for a few days, our texts were frequent. He informs me of a “primary partner” in his life. I inquire further. He labels it as “progressive.” I’m skeptical and a bit taken aback but I don’t really know him all that well, who am I to judge?

We are so awesome together, Beth.

The red flags become brighter, but I’m already wrapped in. Besides the chemistry in the bedroom, there’s something more here too. I wasn’t sure I was looking for something serious, but he was insistent that this was where it was going.

It feels weird to bring this up on the second time we hangout, but I can really see this going somewhere Beth, I like you so much.

We’re outside. It’s 1:30am. The night is still warm, the ground wet from the rain fall. I tell him I feel the same way. Because I did. I did feel the same way. I rest my head on his shoulder. It feels right.

I ignore the hours and hours in between text messages. With our work schedules, it was inevitable. I didn’t need to text him all the time anyways. I ignore the times he “forgets” about our plans and the false promises to spend time together outside the confines of our apartment bedrooms. I ignore the verbal warnings from not one, but two women about his past behavior.

He passes them off as “crazy.” I nod.

I call him out for being a narcissist. I’m kidding, but like not really actually at all. I can practically sniff a narcissist from a mile away at this point.

I’ll spare you the countless bickering and back and forths we’d get into over him being sketchy. Gimme a break dude, I’m fucking working. Do you even work? How do you have this time to text? I ignore this blatant disrespect for my job and ignore. However, when I don’t answer him…y’all know how this game goes.

I confide him with details about my previous relationship to explain why communication is important to me. He seems to be completely understanding and supportive.

We progress. Or at least I pretend that we are. Our feelings for each other are intense. One moment we’re having this incredibly engaging conversation, the next moment we’re having mind-blowing sex and the next moment we want to rip each other’s heads off.

Have you forgotten about the primary partner yet? Ah yes, by this point he has completely ended things with her. For me…apparently. Similar to my previous relationship, she has mental problems too. However, she’s “supportive” of us. She wants him to be happy.

Here’s where things get good. Strap up ladies and gents.

We had just finished yet another night of arguing. He comes over before work, I’m crying. He knows he has me. A string of lies and false promises spill from his lips. We kiss goodbye.

I finish a spin class. I haven’t heard from him in a few hours, I’m assuming he’s busy. I go to the store and pick him up a coffee to surprise him at work. The establishment is empty. I walk to to the back where he works and I pause.

I’m horrible in awkward and tense situations. We all say nothing. I poke him. I know who she is and she knows who I am. My head sweats, I break the silence with a hello and a swift exit.

He races me to the front door, what’s up babe? no hug or kiss? I explain to him I’m upset but I’m not about to talk it in the middle of the sidewalk. He looks at me confused. Nothing is going on babe, you know we’re still friends, she came here to help me with work stuff.

I put my head down and walk away. I cry for a second time before the night falls.

I find a random alleyway and sit down and continue my cry sesh. I’m caught up in this shit againFuck. I think about the hell of the year I had and the progress I’ve made this far. My hands sit on my head. My mascara stains my white shirt. I think about the breakdowns I’d have in the corner of my room. Single stream tears erupt into never ending currents. Strong and forceful. You ok over there? A random passerby inquires. Yea, thanks. 

I lie.

I forgive him, because that’s just what I do with guys like this. I forgive. I forgive them without ever forgiving myself.

I can’t quite remember the timeline correctly, but within the next couple of days I am his girlfriend. I thought that may be the solution to all of our problems. Well, I knew it wasn’t but he asked me, and I said yes.

The term “girlfriend” holds some sort of validation to me, still. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been someone’s “girlfriend” in years. Or perhaps when he said it, it held more weight because he had been convincing me since basically day one that I was the only one he wanted.

Or maybe I was just convincing myself.

I know what you’re thinking. Beth, he’s a fuckboy, why are you falling for this shit?

I said it earlier, I like to fix people. I think I can fix people. Ok, I know I can’t fix it all, but I get some sort of high from being the positive part of someone’s life. It’s selfish, really. It’s like I think I’m less fucked up then them, so being around them makes me feel better.

Yeah, I know it’s fucked up.

I tell my mom and sister about him, then my friends.

I could’ve predicted the next series of events if I really dug deep…I just didn’t know it would be so soon.

7-8 vodka sodas deep, I am drunk. I want my boyfriend to meet up with me, he’s being non-responsive and sketchy. I knew in my gut something was going on. In a sad, drunken slur I give him an ultimatum.

What is going on? Why are you always so sketchy? If you don’t meet up with me I’m never going to see you again!!!!

His ex picks up his phone. She knows about me and sounds sweet (I know this is weird). I’m silent. He’ll never give you what you need, Beth. I learned this very early with him. You’re not special. 

Him and I meet outside in a public place. My make up is fucked up from the tears and my hair is a hot mess from the humidity. I want to change my shoes because I have been in heels for 6 hours. We sit down and start to talk.

Suddenly, his ex turns the corner. She sits down on the ground in between us as I stay silent. This situation is sobering me up REAL quick as I’m waiting for a camera to come out from the bushes with a producer screaming YOU’VE BEEN PUNKED!

They start to engage in a rather loud argument about their fucked up shit they have going on. I chime in. Apparently he had just asked her to be his girlfriend moments ago but is now denying it. He also claims we have been dating for a day (wrong, it had been approximately a week…to get technical). I call him out. I quickly find out he cheated on me. Twice. He’s confused. As am I.

The cigarette smoke blows from her mouth.

I told her I wanted to be with you, Beth. She acknowledges this. We’re on the same page for a very, very brief moment.

There were so many words happening at once. She claims to be on my side and stands up, for me. I don’t really know her and not totally understanding her intentions, but I also decide I’m too drunk for this shit. I stay silent. He asks her to let us talk, she stays.

I should have just gone home, but I wanted to talk to him, only him. I’m still attached. He gets up in anger, claims he’s going to pick up some other chick and leaves. I watch him go and sit in a whimpering, pathetic cry.

I call out for him (Jesus, this is more of a reality show than I thought), and she’s still there. I politely ask her to leave. She goes. I meet him down the road a bit of the ways. The drama continues. We talk about us briefly, but he realizes that she took all of his shit in her car with her to Maryland or somewhere…like, everything he needs for work the next day. I laugh internally and then let out a snort. I can’t help it.

He’s freaking out, I’m a drunk, well now a pretty sober, mess and so much shit just happened that I’m unsure what to do next. I should go home, I really should. But I also know that I need comfort. And I know for SURE my drunk ass does not have the will power to just go home in this state. For Christ’s sake, I had just exited a reality show stint.

We lie in bed and he tells me he is falling in love with me..I hesitate. He takes a swig of  whisky and brushes the ash from his cigarette off the sheets onto the floor. It’s 4am. I tell him I’m no longer his girlfriend. We have sex. It’s meaningless. He sleeps past his alarm the next morning. Somehow, this is my fault.

I wish this was the end, I really do.

I leave his spot the next morning.

Your ex just walked into my spot. We’re about to take a shot together. 

I freeze in the middle of the street. My phone lit up. Ok, ok, cameramen, where the HELL are you?

What? I respond.

He knows about our past. I expect him to be cordial and not fight my battles, but I am at a loss for words.

I expect him to act the way that any good person would, but then again I am understanding that he’s well, kind of a shitty person. Ok, I knew this all along…but we already went over this. I call him.

Why are you freaking out? Want me to fucking kick him in the balls? Like what the fuck Beth?  I’ll call you back. 

I’m at home. Writing this makes me realize how many times this man brought me to tears…fuck, man. The next text brings me to a full blown anxiety attack.

It’s a picture of him and my ex that he sent. To my phone. Followed by a *heart faced emoji*

Note: we’re talking about the same dude who told me he was falling in love with me like 12 hours before.

I slam my laptop I sit in the corner of my couch infested with dog hair that I had failed to vacuum this morning while covering my face. Hyperventilating. I grab my journal and start to write. It’s not working. I rip the journal page out and throw it on to my coffee table. My dog sits and watches this unfold and puts his head on my lap.

I find comfort in my friends.

He then sends me a string of texts attacking my character as laid out my ex boyfriend (a source worse than Wikipedia). I want to disengage. I want to block his number and not participate. I feel the need to protect my reputation to people who never actually mattered in the first place.

I’m protecting my reputation to two men who still, to this day, have yet to admit their faults in the situation. I’m protecting my reputation to two men to have such a false and narrow view of the world that they probably never will.

I’m protecting my reputation to essentially, two narcissists , two people who will never apologize, because to the world, they are superior. <–click for a link to a great article and perspective on narcissism.

Are you still hanging in there? We’re almost there.

Mmmmmmmk here’s where I get REAL pathetic. Yeah, I still talked to him after all this. He knew all the right things to say. I was still upset and had a glimmer of hope that I could open his eyes that I could be good for him…oh, Beth. You’re so cute.

About a week later he brings up the reality-show pilot — Love Trifecta, I’m calling it. I’m at fault for the whole thing apparently. Jokes on me! Apparently there WERE people filming, I am now “the drunk chick screaming at *** in front of the ***.” I’m scolded for ruining his “brand.” I know this is not true. I snort out in laughter, because although I was drunk, this was simply another deflection tactic. Everything’s my fault, remember?

A) He’s not that important and this ain’t Hollywood. B) I wasn’t causing the scene. C) No mention of the whole cheating thing though!! Did they catch that on video!?!!?

Ok, ok, I’m not going to be petty, this was just one of the many things that has now turned into an “eye-roll” incident for me. Note: this was only brought up after the fact I suggest we talk about the fact that he cheated on me.

I call him out for being an ass. He says all the right things. I’m brought back in.

We feel so strong together. 

What I’ve wanted has never changed. I want you. Just you. 

Passing your building right now. Miss you!!! 😦 

Ya know, generic shit that I continue to call him out for in a string of frustrating texts.

So, shit ended.

You guys are still here? Damn.

***

Per usual, I never know how people are going to react to these kinds of posts. If you’re an avid reader, you know not this is and will never be a “bash your ex” blog and I hate that I still give this disclaimer after all this time, it just feels necessary.

Writing helps me work through things, and you guys seem to like it. Life in the dating world as single-something is entertaining, and unfortunately, I think there are more people than you think who have been through similar shit.

As for me, I’m ok. Pretty great actually. It’s amazing what cutting toxic people out can do for ya! Although I’m not proud that I diverted back to old “habits,” if you will, I was able to catch on and detach myself much quicker than before. If there’s a silver lining to any of this, is that this relationship ONLY lasted for about a month (well, officially a week), as opposed to on and off for a year.

While things still lingered on a bit through text after it “ended” I was still doing my own thing. I knew how to exist without him. Ok, yeah, the entirety of “us” was about 90 days — but an intense 90 days!

That right there is important. Whether or not you have a significant other, ya gotta be your own person — have your own dreams, alone time, opinions, etc. etc. Yeah, its cliché, but you know how a cliché becomes a cliché?

I acknowledge that there are still things I need to fix about myself. I write all the time about self love and confidence, but here I am identifying all the red flags from the second date and still going for it. I know it’s problematic and it scares me too. It’s not a habit I want to fall into simply because I don’t like the type of person I become when I’m with toxic people. I don’t want to be the person who lets men get in the way of my own shit,  but I recognize that I can be that person.

With this guy, I knew he wasn’t The One. He had “I have a lot problems I don’t want to deal with so I’m going make self-destructive decisions instead” written all over him. It mad me ask myself, “What things about myself do I not want to deal with? Is my ‘self destructive behavior’ men like this?” Possibly.

 

***

He was saying all this shit to have sex with youYou’re dumb.

Mmmmm. Maybe. But I did take him home on night one, and I think he knew he didn’t really have to try that hard. I even offered casual sex! To which he was “saddened and offended by.” Anyways, I could spend forever searching for these answers that I’m not even sure exist.

It was only 6 weeks, you crazy.

Maybe. But my story remains the same. I was crazy for him because he was crazy for me too..or so I thought. I’ll never know what was genuine and what was total bullshit. He claims it was all “real” but I think reality is still a fragmented construct he has created in his own head.

I find myself asking “Why?” a lot. I know the problem starts with me. I know that I need to identify exactly what in my life triggers me to fall weak to this manipulative behavior. While the sex was great and we had glimmers of happy moments together, that was sort of it. I don’t like drinking whiskey out of the bottle at 4am. I don’t like talking about all of his big career moments without one mention of mine. I don’t like waiting around, wondering when his text will come…if it ever does. Simply put, I don’t like the person he is.

I was more sad about the fact that I had fallen victim to yet another person like this rather than losing him. There are plenty of “hims” out there. I know this. In the same way that I wasn’t special to him, he wasn’t all that special to me.

I haven’t lost faith. If anything, it gives me more stories to tell you guys.

So, I’m just moving along. Swiping left and right (mostly left), having safe (and consensual!!!) sex with cute dudes, finally sorta kinda developing abs? Idk, life hasn’t been so bad to me.

Like I said, you’d be so lucky to date me. 

Just ask my mom!

2017 Year In Review

​​​11:26pm.

​It’s dead in here can I pleeeeease get cut?

I grab my bag and run to the bathroom. Black heels and a red dress. A quick attempt at smoky eye. I snag my bar key from the top of the sink and stuff it in my coat pocket.

Bye everyone! Happy New Year!

I run out of the door and into the grey Toyota Camry. 11:41 pm.

So, I know there’s like, speed laws or whatever, but I need to make it by midnight. Step on it! I laugh, but I’m also, like, so serious.

I watch the digital clock intently like a slow motion Times Square ball drop in the Uber. My palms are sweating. “Ringing in the New Year” seems like such a frivolous thing, except this year I have someone waiting for me. –

I arrive with 8 minutes to spare. Greeted with a kiss.

I’m so happy you made it. You look amazing, Beth.

The bright, LED display counts the seconds down.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Happy New Year, beautiful.

***

The weather is cold. I find myself slipping into a seasonal depression of sorts. I’m 23. I’m supposed to have my life figured out. I’m supposed to be sitting in an office, starting a 401k at a job with coworkers who go to happy hours and throw lavish holiday parties.

It’s 9am.

My eyes struggle to open after a long night of bartending the night before. I reach for my phone beneath my pillow.

Right swipe.

While your skills are impressive, we regret to inform you that we have chosen to pursue other candidates.

I pull the crumpled paper from my nightstand and cross off another job prospect. I pull the blanket back over my eyes.

I press my hands against my eyes. Don’t cry.

***

We both wake up with a crippling hangover. Beth’s birthday festivities won. We lost.

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I crawl into Kat’s bed. Our eyes are smothered with dark eye makeup. We are not well.

The Diner? Kat suggests.

Yes.

We practically crawl up Kalorama Road to 18th Street. The hill is too much today.

It’s noon.

Coffee and lots of water, pretty please. We cry for help. The bartender observes our creature-like appearance and can’t help but laugh.

Our food comes out. We stare at it and poke at it with our forks. The food is almost as unappetizing as the Bloody Marys served to the man next to us.

We attempt to piece together the day. We have questions. Lots of questions.

We grab a napkin and ask the bartender for a pen. Let’s map out what happened.

The napkin is full of scribbles and mixed drinks. This leads to more questions.

Why were we drinking pre-batched Old Fashioneds out of a punch bowl at 10:30pm at Johnny Pistolas?

Kat runs to the bathroom. 10 minutes later, I follow. Nope, we are definitely not well.

 

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***

I knew what my Mom was going to say as soon as I felt my phone vibrate.
I didn’t want to hear her say it. I even debated not answering and holding it off for a few more hours. I wanted to hug her one last time. Tell her how much I loved her.

I love you too, Mom.

I picked up the photograph sitting on my night stand. Nona in her fifties sitting at The Capitol building. Dark brown hair and a pink dress paired with black ballet flats.img_8202
I hold the photograph in my hands. The way her face wrinkled when she laughed. Her soft hands and silver hair cut on Tuesdays by the women of Supercuts.

This time is goodbye. Eyes fill. A tear drops on my naked chest.

I love you, Nona. I place the photo back on my nightstand. 

My mom paints her backdoor yellow in her memory. I buy a sunflower and place it on my window sill. Her favorite color is a reflection of the person she was. Vibrant and beautiful.

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***

I’ve been waiting over 2 months.

I thought applying early action meant early-we’ll-accept-or-deny-you. Tell me already, would ya?

I re-read my personal statement. Perhaps my best work. Emotional. Provocative. A difficult subject to write and read about but a conversation worth talking about. My writing style.

After all, I don’t have 2 years of PR experience as they recommend. I needed to stick out.

I latch onto this decision as if its my last chance to prove to myself that I have a handle on my life.

I need this.

Request for a phone interview. This is a good sign.

We’d like to talk to you about your personal statement. A concerning tone. The conversation starts.

I hang up the phone and replay everything back in my head. It sounded like they wanted me to apologize and scramble to take my words back. Perhaps rewrite another statement. I didn’t know exactly what they wanted.

Maybe I should have apologized, but I didn’t.

I don’t write to offend, I write to bring light to issues that may not be comfortable to talk about, but that should be talked about. I can’t change the narrative on my own, but I can contribute. And that’s what I do. You asked me how ethics play into my everyday life, and that’s how.

Kindly,
Beth

I hit send.

It’s a Tuesday at 8am.

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into Georgetown University’s Public Relations and Corporate Communications program.

I’m singing “Every Other Time” by LFO at Nellie’s karaoke with Staci in celebration.

And you told everyone that I was gay…okay.

Our mics go quiet. Staci and I look at each other. Oops.

***

He is the topic of conversation between my journal and I as of late. An emotional roller coaster of stories and mixed feelings. Pages written with shaky hands, crooked letters and tear stains followed by pages of sappiness and hand-drawn emojis.

You should publish your story, Beth. Staci encourages.

I compile my journal entries, attempting to piece together what we were. The story doesn’t make sense. It’s fragmented.

He, the man I fell for. I, the one that tried to stay away but couldn’t. The end.

No, it’s more than that.

My hands hover over the black plastic keys of my laptop.

The blue “Publish” button sits in the right hand corner of my WordPress screen. I guide my mouse pad.I am paralyzed in this moment.

Click.

I don’t know what is going to happen next. The uncertainty is nerve-wracking, yet I feel free. 

I feel free.

Thank you for writing this. I can relate. Hugs from Nigeria.

Thank you for sharing your story, Beth. I don’t know you, but you have given me a newfound voice. Thank you. X

***

Can I have a Tanqueray and tonic please? He blows cigarette smoke from his mouth, dressed in a plain gray t-shirt and jeans. He seems to know the staff.

That’s Adriel, he works here too. He just got back from traveling for a month.

I head out the front door to head home after my first training shift.

We’re going to Exiles next door, do you want to come? Oh, it’s him again. He seems friendly.

Sure.

It’s 10pm on a Tuesday. I have work to do tomorrow, but I find myself in the back patio of a bar with a vodka soda in hand and a round of Jameson shots on their way.

I peak around at the rest of the staff that has joined us. I observe the varying personalities. Everybody is so different, holy shit. But it works.

Like a puzzle with a picture that is discombobulated, yet the pieces still fit together in an oddly perfect fashion.

Conversation is loud, whiskey shots continue. I laugh harder than I have in months.

A picnic table filled with my soon-to-be family. My dysfunctionally perfect Local 16 fam.

Editor’s note: Not gunna lie, being totally 110% honest, dead assssss serious u guyz are the best. 😉

 

***

We’re in Newport, Rhode Island. The matching “Aloha Beaches” tank tops are folded in my duffle bag.

I try to forget about the texts exchanged the day before. I work hard. I’m smart. I know these things. This will be a relaxing weekend.

Your value is not always noticed, nor acknowledged by others. I realize this in a string of tears on the front steps of the cottage as night falls. My sister rubs my back.

I’m sorry, I know this weekend is supposed to be about you, I apologize.

It’s okay. Just know your worth, she tells me, know it and own it.

I stand up for myself. After all, who else will?

I learn a dream job is hardly a dream when you lose sight of what your worth. I learn my worth. 

I leave WeWork with my head held high. Onward and upward.

***

I have an idea. A really good idea.

Google, how do you start a small business? What’s an LLC? Can I afford that?

I design my logo. I don’t really know what I’m doing. My entrepreneurial spirit kicks in. It’s me, my laptop and an iced coffee. It’s August. It’s hot outside. The condensation drips from the plastic cup onto my fingers.

I need to send a proposal to a potential client. Welp, this template looks good I guess. Not sure what all of this legal jargon means but whatevs.

I start to receive inquiries from word-of-mouth and email. Is this happening? Am I actually doing this? Am I in over my head?

I’m not sure.

Hi, I’m Beth. Founder and social media storyteller at Socially Attractive by Beth.

beth

***

Staci, can I wear my Birkenstocks? 

Yeah! Who cares? She replies.

I practically live in these glorified Jesus sandals, but how can you not?

Ugh. I debate with myself. I feel like most people are going to show up in business clothes after a long day at work and there I’ll be with my Birks and Herschel backpack.

Do I want to give off the earthy-crunchy vibe? Is there a dress code for this thing? Whatever. Birkenstock’s it is.

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I swipe my card and enter the building. Find your name tag and grab a notebook on that table right over there.

Damn, a leather notebook on day one. I guess I’m getting my money’s worth.

So, I was right. Most people are dressed in business-like attire, but I don’t totally stick out. It’s all good.

Tell us about yourself! We’re going to go around and have people give their name, hometown, and a fun fact!

Icebreakers. I roll my eyes.

I tell everyone that I despise pickles.

“Hey, I’m Evan. I’m from Connecticut and my fun fact is that I was born in Colombia.” A man chimes from the other end of the auditorium.

Turns out four other people in our program are also from Colombia.

Oh my gosh, they all came up to me afterwards and started speaking in Spanish and I have no idea why the f I said that as my fun fact because I don’t speak a lick of Spanish.

We stand next to each other in the circle of awkwardness of strangers and laugh. He makes fun of my Birkenstock’s. I don’t know him, but I have a good feeling about this one.

Meet Evan, the star of my Snapchat stories. The eyes behind all of my top Instagram photos. My fake boyfriend and favorite coffee date.

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***

I’m holding a grudge.

He reaches out, but I ignore his phone calls and e-mails. I don’t remember the last time I we spoke beyond a text that was hardly five syllables.

Ignoring takes effort.

How’s he doing? I ask my sister. I pretend I don’t care that much.

He asks about you a lot, Beth. She encourages me to let go of the past. I tell her I can’t.

The past hurts.

I remember waking up in bed alone with puffy red eyes and a broken heart. I don’t tell her that all I wanted was a hug from Dad. I don’t tell her that I want to fix things because I don’t know how to.

I hold a grudge because I think it’s easier than confrontation. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m not sure.

He continues to reach out, I respond from time to time, slowly opening the door of a relationship that has been in the dark for over a year. His surgery went well. He now has 83% hearing in his left ear. A 60% increase. I tell him I’m happy for him. A smile wipes across my face and a tear falls from my eye.

The past starts to slip from my tight grasp. Light seeps through the door crack.

I remember mornings that he’d make his homemade egg McMuffins on a lightly toasted bagel. Stops at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way home from basketball games.

Extra large extra cream extra sugar for me. Hot chocolate for this basketball star. He pats me on the head. I look up at him and smile.

I choose the good memories.

***

I don’t know if I’ll have someone waiting for me on New Year’s Eve this year. I’m not sure if 2018 will be the Year of Beth or the Year of WTF is Wrong With You????!!??!

Let’s hope the latter won’t be the case, but I don’t know. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that life is a journey of fuck ups, triumphs and unexpected twists and turns. Accept these fuck ups and triumphs for what they are and move forward. Eyes on the prize. 

What’s the prize? I haven’t a clue. But it’s there. My eyes are on it, I’ll tell ya.

2017 was a year full of struggle followed by amazing opportunities. I’ve met the most beautiful (and well, ugliest too I guess) people along the way — a tribe of people that will be with me for the rest of my life. 

I can’t tell you what 2018 holds. I know resolutions are super cliché or whatever, but aren’t they sorta, like, required? Maybe? No?

I’m going to attempt to focus on the present. Focus on the things I can control and change and deal with my emotions however they come. I’m going to work on new relationships, and foster the ones I already have. Let people in even when I don’t think I can. I don’t know the best place to start achieving these things, but I’ll just take it day by day.

I guess homemade egg McMuffins and a hot chocolate from Dunkin’ Donuts on Christmas is a good place to start.

 

***
Catch ya on the flip side, 2017.

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Oh. Maybe I should try and be less basic this year and chill on the Snapchat. What do you guys think? I’m just gunna leave these here and you can be the judge.

 

 

 

I am a storyteller.

I am a storyteller. 

“What’s up with a pretty girl like you being single?” he asked in a drunken slur.

“Umm, idk! You know men these days!” I replied four vodka sodas deep, “just not ready for a boyfriend I suppose.”

After a brief make out sesh at the bar before I realized I wasn’t in college and sloppy make outs aren’t really my thing anymore, I called myself an Uber.

“How was your night?” Taj with a 4.87 Uber driver rating asked me.

“Meh, it was ok,” *deletes drunk text to ex boyfriend*

“You’re going home awfully early! The night’s just starting for some people.”

I hit the side button on my iPhone. The screen lights up to read 12:15am. He’s not wrong.

I fumble with my keys before getting to my apartment. With 6% battery, I receive a FaceTime call from an ex (well, sort of ex). My finger hits the red button. I have season 5 of 90210 to finish, I don’t want to FaceTime.

I strip down to just a bra and underwear and hop into bed. I’m too lazy to turn the heat on, so I pull another blanket over my naked body.

“Hey, I miss you. What are you up to?” My phone lights up. Oh, hey, random bar guest that I briefly dated. Haven’t heard from you in a few months. I plug my phone into the charger and shut my laptop.

I stare at the ceiling. I don’t know if it’s the Tito’s keeping me awake or if it’s something else. I switch a Podcast on, Sleepy Time. It’s supposed to help you fall asleep.

Eyes blink. The ceiling lies ahead.

I pull out my brown leather journal and open to a bank page. “This is Why I’m Single” I scribble at the top of the page.

I continue to write. Bullet note-ing the shit out of why I’m single. Pathetic? Maybe. I’ve already started the list in my head, so writing it out isn’t much different. Here was the start of my list:

  • I’m busy.
  • I’m tired.
  • I’m not pretty enough. Stfu.
  • I’m overly ambitious for most alpha males.
  • I don’t have time.
  • I don’t feel like dating.

The list continued, basically listing every reason under the sun that you could think of. For about 20 minutes, I beat around the bush with excuses until the vodka sodas caught up with me and I started to nod off.

The next morning I opened my journal to that page. Rolling my eyes at my pathetic-ness I opened my phone and realized that I had also drunkenly deleted dating apps.

I nearly ripped the page from my journal and tossed it in the trash at second-hand embarrassment from my sober to drunk self. The list started back at me, why don’t you just admit the real reason?

For months I have been pushing away men who have shown interest, dropping the ball on Bumble dates, not feeling sexually attracted to people that used to spark my interest.

I’m just not, well, interested.

No, you’re just not ready.

It’s a sign of weakness to admit when you’re just simply not ready to do something. Whether it’s moving to a new city, moving careers, or moving on from a previous relationship. Society always expects you to be ready to take the leap.

Do I have guys lining up to be my boyfriend? No, lolz. Absolutely not. Not my point, though. My point is that, yeah, I do feel sorta weird having another guy in my bed. I do have trouble connecting with other men so I avoid first dates and “grabbing coffee” like the plague. Is shutting any opportunity a sad attempt at dealing with my past? Maybe. I’m not sure. All I know is that I’m just not ready. And I should be OK with that.

I lost myself for a while, trying to get over everything and attempt to piece together everything that had happened. And frankly, I’m still working on it. Slowly, but surely.

The next statement is about to come straight from the single white girl anthem song but the fact of the matter is, I’m working on myself. Working on things that I have control of. My blog, my book, my health, my sanity, my future. Things that have remained a healthy constant the past several years of my life.

A couple of months ago, I had a news outlet reach out to me asking me to publish my story. They wanted to interview me about it and feature it in a series of articles they had been working on.

I wasn’t ready. I politely declined. 

Was I scared? No. Nervous? Not really. I don’t have any other explanation for it other than the fact that I just simply was not ready. I wasn’t ready to rehash it. I wasn’t ready to talk about it again. I wasn’t ready to admit to myself and to others that I’m still damaged from it.

Damaged.

This blog was born out of the pure fact that writing helps me understand things my brain can’t quite figure out. For months I have been beating down this idea of feeling “damaged” from my past. Forcing myself to pretend that I’m over everything, that every moment of sadness isn’t valid. I fill my time with 70 hour work weeks, random guys, and night’s out with friends, barely giving myself anytime to breathe. To write. To understand my feelings and validate them on my own terms.

I joke with my friends often and tell them I’m going on a “30 Day Dude Cleanse.” It never lasts long, as I’ve found myself using guys as a distraction from the fact that I, Beth Cormack, might be a slight emotionally damaged. Who, me? Damaged? Nahhh.

I don’t know the answer to it all. I know “time heals all” blah blah blah, and that’s something I’ve been trying to do. Just giving it time. Staying busy. Letting the days pass by and knowing that each day, a piece of my past is less relevant than the day before. Assuring myself that there are bigger and better things out there for myself. These things I know and I understand.

But, is it better to pretend the past never happened or to acknowledge it and embrace the feelings that come along with it? Or is there even a right answer to that question?

I don’t know.

Relationships have always been difficult for me. Sure, I “date” people, but usually don’t let it continue beyond just that.

We all have experiences in our life that have influenced the way that we are today. While some people are more comfortable with sharing these things, I am not.  Sounds funny coming from the girl who practically broadcasts her life on a blog, however, there are anecdotes about my life that I keep to myself — ones that I’m not sure will ever even make it into this blog. Anecdotes that help people understand why I am the way I am.

There are a select few people who know these stories. I have been molding this circle of people who know these things my entire life. It’s been working. I have a perfectly constructed “circle of trust,” if you will.

Well, had.

When I was thinking to myself, why did this relationship leave such a strong ripple effect? The answer was hard to come by at first. In retrospect, it was never a healthy relationship. While there were many glimmers of happiness, they were only temporary, glimmers that were to be whisked away by the wind at any moment.

I lost myself.

I started recalling memories of long nights lying next to each other in bed, pillow talking until the sky turned orange. Drives down the highway with my hanging out of the window and his hand relaxing on my leg.

I realized something.

I let him in. I let him in the close circle that is so hard to break through. My circle, once so tight knit and carefully constructed is now a strangely reconfigured shape I can’t ever mold back into what it once was. My circle is damaged.

Damaged.

I’ve been working on refocusing my mind to things I do care about. People who make me better rather than drag me down. I haven’t been putting too much pressure on myself to go on first dates I don’t feel like going on. I haven’t been blaming myself for feeling “damaged” at times, because, yeah, life is debilitating and damaging at times.

My perfect, carefully constructed circle is not what it once was. By choice, I let somebody else in on the stories of my past; stories that I usually use as a part of my shield of self-protection and I can’t take it back. He knows my stories, and I wish he didn’t. He knows me. And at times, I wonder if I ever knew him.

That’s the scariest part.

I am a storyteller.

These are stories I do not tell. 

No, you cannot use me to cut the line.

I don’t hide the fact that I landed a pretty sweet gig after college. It started with a risky move away from home, continuing into brutal understaffed nights as a waitress, then to long days of working in the office prior to my brutal understaffed nights as a waitress until I finally landed into a salaried position at one of the hottest new spots in the District.

Follow me on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform you can think of. You won’t have to scroll down too far to find a post about my workplace. Event planning and marketing for a 4 story bar with a 360 degree view of the city on a glass atrium rooftop is super Insta and Snap-worthy. Sorry about it.

I worked hard to get to where I’m at…and maybe had a little bit of luck on my side too. The days are long, the emails are never ending, and the event hosts are sometimes overly demanding. I meet and talk with dozens of new people every day, but that’s my favorite part of the job. And I have a ~super cool~ business card.

We attract varying demographics. I have helped planned events ranging from Boston Marathon fundraisers, 150 person masquerade parties, to 20 person debate watches (it’s DC, remember?) We never charge rental fees as we want to welcome any type of event into our venue. That’s *~the motto~*

Before I bore the sh*t out of you, let me get to the point of this blog.

The point of this blog is a lesson for my readers. I’m sure most of you are kindhearted individuals, most of whom are perfectly lovely people who I’d love to get with brunch with sometime and share many laughs over bottomless mimosas and bloodys.

Alas, I’m sure there are some people out there who would benefit from this.

And so I begin:

How To Not Be A Sh*tty Person 101

Our line at the door on the weekends is outrageous. We pack every floor to capacity and we’ve only been open for a month and a half. Not to brag. But, seriously. You cannot seriously expect to show up at 11pm on a Saturday night and immediately have a cheap rail drink in your hand. Using the “I know the owner line” won’t work and probably will never work.

So, thus, trying to use the “I know the events coordinator” line DEFINITELY won’t work. I’d like to envision myself as that important, but, I’m at the same entry-level-struggling-to-make-rent point in my life that you are most likely at too. My desk is just a fully stocked bar while yours may be a cubicle.

Attempting to drop a name at the door doesn’t make you a douchebag, I appreciate the hustle. Your time is valuable, the last place you want to be is waiting in line when you’re at the height of your buzz in the middle of the winter (why nips were invented). I get it.

Here is what makes you a douchebag:

“Hey Beth, I noticed that you have a really cool new job. My friends and I are looking for somewhere to go tonight. Are you going to be working?”

Hey! So great to hear from you. I haven’t spoken to you since the last time we slept together…in September. Remember that? We went on a few dates in the fall. I wasn’t super into you, but I think I tried texting you the day after I stayed over and you weren’t really having it. Then we stopped talking. The end. I debated responding something snarky when you texted me in the thick of Jonas, but then realized I didn’t really give a sh*t. So, sorry for not responding. Yes, we were open during the snowstorm. I know it’s a little late now, but I hope you and your friends found a warm spot to hang out!

“Hey! What’s up? I hope you’re doing well and sorry this is totally random, but are you working tonight?!?”

Hey, nmjc!! Hbu??! Sorry just seeing this text now. It was 11:30pm when you sent it, I’m assuming you were waiting in the line that was roughly 100-people deep in the freezing cold. The last time I heard from you were legitimately drunkenly screaming profanities at my house on the way to the bar last semester of college. And I think the last time we actually spoke was when I confronted you about that time you told everyone I had an eating disorder without talking to me about it first. Lol. Smgts! I know we used to be friends–well friends is a loose term–but it’s totally great to hear from you. How ~totally cool~ that you moved down here too! Let’s catch up sometime. We can chat about the time you made my first semester of junior year miserable.

These are messages I’ve received the past couple of weeks. I looked at phone in both instances and couldn’t help but laugh. Honestly, it’s kind of entertaining seeing people outwardly be shitty and try to hide it the fact that they are in fact being shitty.

“Hey Beth, I really could give two shits about you, but can I talk to you real quick? Just for a sec. Just needa get into this bar first. Then I’ll go back to being shitty.” Like, just admit the fact that you are in fact being shitty.

Ok, I’m bitter. Whatever. 

I deal with difficult people on a daily basis, as I’m sure you do too. I can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t expect to always be the girl who gets called back after a sleepover at a guy’s house. I don’t need to be liked by everyone. However, respect goes a long way.

Perhaps I’m ranting (ok, definitely ranting). Perhaps I was too naive to believe that this stuff goes away when you reach the age of almost-23. Perhaps I’m to blame for your shittyness–oh wait, no, that’s totally on you.

This is what I really wanted to respond when you texted me:
Hey. It’s nice to hear from you. How are you doing? I do work at a bar, thanks for noticing! I hope at some point I meant more to you than a $7 Bowman’s rail drink. I feel sorry for you that you are waiting in this crazy line while I am able to get in without a problem. Really, I’m sorry. However, your pathetic attempts at superficial friendliness to skip a 30 minute line is rather entertaining. I would say ‘I hope all is well,’ but I actually don’t really care. Sorry. I wish you nothing but a declined credit card on the cheapest beer we have.

So, no, you cannot use me to cut the line.   

Moral(s) of the story: Kindness goes a long way (even longer than our U St line on the weekends). People will always use to get ahead (literally and figuratively). And although you may only be important to drunk 20 somethings, at least you’re leaving your mark somewhere (and that’s pretty effing cool).

 

Featured image: Taken by Aaron Green