My conscious search for goodness began following a dinner date I had with a guy who was clearly toxic. At the beginning of this tale of ick (we met first at the bar), he pushed me to do S.E.V.E.N. tequila shots one after another after another. JUST KIDDING. And though it wasn't poison of the purely physical variety, what follows did initially (if only just for a blip) have a negative effect on my mind before I actively shaped the experience into a rather pivotal and more upbeat direction.
The background for the date goes like this: We met on-line and exchanged pleasant, direct and witty email banter for about two weeks. During that time, I did however think it a tad odd that he said if we met and hit it off he wouldn't go out with anyone else that he would date me exclusively; he felt like there was that much potential. I was kind of miffed as to how he could know this having never met me in-person. That said, he pursued me with intensity (which of course was appealing right up front but then became questionable and even borderline desperate though I tried as most healthy daters do: To stay "open"). In our correspondences, he cited he was "separated." (Note to self: I'm wondering about the nuances of this definition; Merriam Webster or the relevant resource how about weighing in). In my view, most that are separated and looking to establish a new relationship are physically separated from one's spouse and are prepping to be ready (physically and emotionally) to meet another. And if there are extenuating circumstances I assume (I know: Don't ever assume anything) that the person in pursuit would disclose those circumstances particularly when there had been a dialogue created about such matters. Generally, I tend to steer clear from separated men waiting until they are more "in a place" to be "in a place" (so to speak).
And yes during our dinner, I find out: He was "separated" but "lives" with his "wife" -- so um, doesn't this technically make him "married?" (O.M.G). However, one can imagine he didn't (quite) see it like that. When he indicated his separated status to me (that he was living at home with his wife), during the date and not prior (a total "WTF"), I actually felt a bit (ahem) manipulated and uncomfortable. In fact, I could no longer "hear" his words and started to tune him out. (Yep: All I saw was his mouth moving back and forth on a bobble head with the proverbial Charlie-Brown-teacher-WA-WA sound going full blast inside my brain).
He never picked up on the fact that I had (110 %) disconnected. Matter of fact he kept plugging so to speak. He continued: "Would you ever consider a move out to the burbs?" Cut to a dream sequence -- more fittingly a nightmare -- a charming sight: All of us together "nice-n-cozy" under one roof. Can you say: HBO's Big Love but minus Bill Paxton (fun times). Then at the end of the evening he added: Let's keep in touch -- as I'll be "fully wrapped" on this "divorce thing" in a few months. I smiled politely and said "Nice to meet you: Buh bye" (even though I found the whole premise of being out with a technically married man insulting and waste of time). I walked into my building, said hi to the doorman, got into the elevator -- irritated and disheartened -- and shook my head at the utter ludicrousness of it all.
Then as if that head scramble (or more accurately mind f***) wasn't debacle enough, he emailed the following day... 5 times and I never responded. (Kind of has that Swingers -- the Vince Vaughn movie -- feel to it, right?). He wanted to let me know that I won't be the "one who got away", that I'm still "his fave" and that clearly "fate has united us." And the best of the bunch: I woke up today and am having "Kim withdrawls" (yup you read right) and I had "a revelation" that I will be getting an apartment in NYC and wanted YOU to know.
[Fun fact: Every girl wants the guy she likes to say he is having "withdrawls" from her. But expectations for sharing this are a bit later than (uh) post date #1. And generally, the remark arrives organically in an intimate moment and is unequivocally a mutual thing].
Annoyed I blew several hours on a Friday night to go out with this man who was (indeed) married but divorcing "soon", I attempted to give the Heisman to all feelings associated with morphing into my own version of SNL's Debbie Downer and turn my thoughts instead to more positive things. Sounds corny but I made a concerted effort to, as my Mom and best friend say: "Turn lemons into lemonade". This led me to yoga. And to step back post class and realize that in addition to work, family and friends my life included many other healthy connections; some of the most enjoyable ones made during visits to the Jamba Juice bar when engaged in conversations re: wheat grass, my side immersion. Sometimes I spin a favorite made-up quote back to myself: "When the going gets tough, the tough turns to wheat grass."
At these juice bars, occasionally I ask people who also take shots of the stuff why they like it. This couple mentioned they "do it" often (wheat grass shots) as it gives them a jolt of energy, clears their skin and makes them happy. The same couple added they made another elixir of radishes and other vegetable bits in the Vita-Mix. And that it burned going down through their digestive tract but that radishes cleanse the system much like wheat grass and perhaps even more potently. My preference was in favor of such exchanges, ones enmeshed in living well versus the stuff of twisted truths and toxicity. And actually, I heard that this green tonic also purifies one's blood acting as a detoxifier. (So boy in the burbs be gone. Tee hee).
In fact, this little known and un-sexy liquid (liquid gold as it's called) has over time made it's way into the mainstream. My understanding is it started to catch-on in the early 1970's because of it's purported healing properties. Apparently it's nutritional value (one ounce of it) is said to be the equivalent of 2 pounds of leafy green vegetables. And in more recent pop culture, it appeared in an episode of Entourage where the show's star Vince tries the grass to impress his vegan girlfriend and in Sex and the City Samantha hooks up with a raw food restaurant waiter.
As for me, I will continue my journey pointed in the direction of gratitude (how overly "Oprah-like but nevertheless true) relishing the sheer blessings in my life. And like the exquisite, pitch-perfect Eddie Vedder song "Just Breathe": "I'm lucky that I can count on both hands the ones that I love". I suppose armed with the purity of those chosen few whom I cherish and some green stuff, I will continue to meet and attract interesting, well-meaning people. And who knows maybe my next guy will spring from the juice bar pool of possible suitors. There are actually parallels to the liquid gold and a hot prospect. In fact a shot of wheat grass, a shot of Don Julio, a shot of Jack and a great prospect each net the same psychic effect: They ALL have the potential to make one feel downright g-i-d-d-y. So when the icky aftertaste of the shot and the bad dates subside, somehow ("somewhere over the rainbow"): I know my ONE (aka dater's nirvana) will arrive -- because that's just how he rolls. And that indeed sounds mighty appealing to me!
Kim Jacobs lives & works in New York City and does shots in between dates.