"What happened? Did you burn the meatballs?" said Barbie.
"No," I laughed. "I started knocking on doors and found a neighbor who was home. She called the super and he wasn't there, but thankfully his girlfriend was home and let me in. Crisis avoided and dinner saved."
"That's good," said Barbie.
"I put the meatballs in the oven, went to take out the trash. The switch flipped on the door as it slammed shut behind me and I locked myself out! I had candles burning and company coming. No shoes, no phone. I figured, it's Christmas, no one's going to be here, including the super, who has my spare key. I'd already set off the smoke alarm once with the potatoes earlier. I was envisioning myself running barefoot down the sidewalk to a bodega to call the fire department. Which reminds me, I don't have renter's insurance. So I forgot to call you. How are you?"
"Let's see ... Mike and I went on vacation to Memphis together."
"That's nice." I said.
"It was," she said. "And we got to see Will and kids."
"I need to visit Will and meet his new baby. How were the kids?"
"They were great, sweet and cute. Mike and I had fun, but we've been fighting lately. I'm feeling disconnected from him. He did bring his son is over to meet me. He's 9."
"That's a pretty big deal," I said. "What have you guys been fighting about?"
"I care about him and we have passion and a connection, but sometimes I feel like I can't be myself around him. He can be critical ... bringing in stuff from past relationships, like he doesn't trust me or accusing me of something I'm not doing.
"We will have a great night together and then I don't get to talk to him the next day. Something's going on, like he's with someone else. Relationships are hard. I'm trying to work on myself and be the best person I can. Dating teaches you a lot about yourself."
"That's a good attitude," I said. "One thing I notice with dating older men ... at least some of the ones I've dated ... if they've been married before, they feel like they already gave their all to someone and what did it get them? Hurt. So now they have this attitude like they're not going to give you anything, but then they expect you to be there for them whenever they need.
"Yes!" she said.
"I'm giving 100%, and I deserve it too. But it sounds like you have the right attitude."
"Thinking it is one thing and implementing it is another," said Barbie. "What's happening with the men in your life?"
"Rediculousness," I said.
"For New Year's my friend Scarlett came to visit. We went to Sojourn with another friend.
"I've been doing pretty well getting over Dominic. He still reaches out like he wants to work on things but then there's no follow through, so it's more disappointment. I met someone new actually and it seemed like something might happen there.
"He told me on our first date that he's not the typical guy, that he's not going to wait three days to call.'
"He called me everyday, tried to see me everyday, and we saw each other a few times a week. This went on for a couple weeks. But something was off on New Year's. We'd already discussed ending up at Sojourn that night, so naturally I thought I'd see him. But at 7pm he texts me, 'Happy New Year in case I don't see you.' Then at midnight he texts me, 'Where are you?'"
"That's weird," she said.
"I didn't respond."
"There was this guy at the bar, Christopher. He's 50, divorced, good-looking, obviously does well for himself. He's there every night with a different woman, but he usually comes over and hits on me anyway.
"One time he said to me, 'ask me anything you want to know.' I said, 'Have you ever been married?' 'Divorced,' he said. 'How long were you married?' 'Cup a cawfee,' he said. 'What does that mean?' I said. He just kept saying 'cup a cawfee.' This went on for ten minutes.
"I said, 'forget it. You can't even hold a conversation with me.' He said, 'you're difficult. I like difficult.' I emasculated him for another hour since he wouldn't leave me alone. I made fun of his corduroy pants, his jacket. I said, 'who wears tweed?' And, 'you're not my type. I like guys who work out. You don't look like you've lifted a weight in a century.' At the end of the night he asked for my number, and I thought, 'if he can put up with all of that, why not?'
"His friend was cracking up the whole time, but I woke up the next morning in a wine fog thinking, 'why am I so mean?!'
"Big surprise, he never called, not that I wanted him to."
"You're crazy, girl," said Barbie.
"That was a few months ago. On New Year's he came up to me, shook my hand and said, 'hi, I'm Christopher.' I said, 'yeah, I know. We've met. Many times. And each time you act like you don't know who I am.
"He said, 'I know. You just gave me such a hard time that night. Let me buy you a drink.'
"Later he strategically stood by our table for the ball drop count down. It was sweet I guess. At midnight he leaned in and gave me the classic French kiss. It wasn't great. Wide open mouth, deep tongue. Am I starring in an after school special?
"The rest of the night he flirted with my friend!"
"Of course Dominic reached out again on New Years. He texts me Happy New Year at 7pm."
"Did you text him back?" said Barbie.
"I did, after three weeks of ignoring him. Then I heard nothing back from him until 2am ... which I predicted on the nose.
"'Dominic texts me now at 7pm,' I said to Scarlett. 'He doesn't ask to see me or ask what I'm doing. But when the night is over, he'll text at 2am asking to see me."
"Wow," said Barbie. "You date a lot ... it seems like there are a lot of single men and women in New York."
"Yeah," I said.
"Just keep dating," she said.
"What are my other options?"
"So did you end up seeing Sorin on New Year's?" said Barbie.
"Yep. He showed up around 12:30am. Introduced himself to my friends, and said, 'I texted you earlier. I see you don't want to talk to me.' And walked away."
"What?! Then what?"
"Nothing. That was it. All night. Against my better judgment I went outside later to try and talk with him while he was having a cigarette. I said, 'what's going on? We just talked on the phone for an hour and a half the other night. Now you have nothing to say to me?'
"He barely looked up from his phone and said, 'I tried. You don't want to.' That was it. I walked back inside. And another one bites the dust."