The End of an Era


I'm feeling like the Mad Men Posters as I sit alone in my apartment drinking my third juice of the day.

I am a juice monster at the end of the world. I sat under a sign which read “Columbia Commencement 2015”, and I can’t believe I’m about to watch my sister walk down the heralded way into adulthood. My graduation was a blur of alcohol and wishing I wasn’t going and lying in bed next to my sister and wondering, “Should I just end it all?” Now I get to play the opposite role on the opposite side of the bed.

When my ex-boyfriend graduated, we went over to one of his friend’s houses and I remember seeing all the moving boxes stacked up like a 3-D maze. The maze eventually lead to pizza in the kitchen (obviously the only reason for me to be there). A feeling of transience covered up by trying to get the last cheese slice and look cute while I nomm-ed my face off. Everyone seemed sad, and perhaps my ex-boyfriend was sad, although, we were going to do long-distance so there wasn't much to be sad about, right?

Flash forward three years to yesterday. I have scheduled to see my ex at a coffee shop (although we ended up ordering food). The minute we got our food, I began crying. “There she is!” And there I was, crying into my salad for nearly the entire two-hour time frame. On and off, of course, because I DO HAVE DIGNITY. We didn’t finish the chips and guac, because both of us didn’t want to look like a fat-asses. Every time I got up (to get water, to go to the bathroom, to get more dressing), I wondered–does he think I look fatter? I finally asked, “Do you think I look fat?” And he said he didn’t think I looked fat. THE CLUMSY DETECTIVE UNCOVERS ANOTHER CASE.  I wonder if it makes both of us feel better that I cry when I see him because it means our relationship still matters. He has a new girlfriend who he described as “kick–ass”. I thought, “Operator, Operator.”  I reiterated that I had dated no one since him and would likely die alone. We had a good laugh about that one. When we hugged goodbye, it felt like a blessing as both of us walked good directions into the finally warm NYC day.

It is a sad and freeing moment when you realize that you are no longer the “one that got away”; that your former person has found another person that they ACTUALLY are happy with and like better than you and would be a better fit for long-term and it is all good!  All of a sudden, I realize, “OMG, I'm not going to get a text back all the time.”  And the endless highway of life looks longer and longer; the horizon line seems to disappear into the distance; wipe your hands on your pants and get back on social dating apps, Alex, cause there's a sucker born every minute and one of them could be my new boyfriend!

But then….

I met all these cool, smart, savvy, aspiring, talented girls and then I meet their boyfriends. All of them seem to be  these overweight boys with yellow teeth who seem to be potential alcoholics and “Wouldn’t it be better to live a life of monastic devotion to your fine self?”   Perhaps, you are sensing superiority from the lonely, and I AM SUPERIOR, BECAUSE I AM LONELY, AND I HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING TO CLUTCH ONTO BEFORE I GOT TO SLEEP WITH UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT ON. Of course: I don’t know these guys: they could be upstanding, awesome dudes with lot of interesting ideas and great careers and incredible respect for their female partners! However, I notice a trend of women being willing to date down.   Physically, the “Dad Bod” is praised, while no one seems to want to see the “Mom Bod”, much less date it.   When a straight guy is spotted on OKCupid, the thought primarily in my mind is, “What’s the insecurity here?” Because no secure straight guy in NYC would have to deign for internet dating apps, the world is their stock exchange. So, it's cool I'm single, right?


Author Profile

Alex Spieth writes a Web Series called [Blank] My Life (http://www.blankmylifetheseries.com). She frequently works with Tele-Violet and Irondale Ensemble. 2013 Grad of Carnegie Mellon University.

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