A few nights ago at dinner and over several very delicious cocktails, my cousin decided to go Siskel and Ebert on me after reading my blog and suggested that I should write about my divorce since I have referred to it twice in my blog already. She’s one of those passionate women, the ones who talk with their hands (and eyes) and have an exaggerated tone of voice when making a point.
“But where do I even begin?” I shrieked, my own hands up in the air falling dramatically on my lap, clearly starting to feel the affects of my Russian mule. “To be honest, I don’t even know if I’ve fully dealt with it yet dude”, I lamented to her. Looking back at me, lips pursed, and with a tone of a really concerned friend, she responded with “ah, no girl, you really haven’t”. All she was missing to get the point across was a waive of her index finger at me. So since that talk, I’ve decided I’d use this platform to begin the process of sifting through my shit. I find that sharing (and being vulnerable) is part of the healing process. So let’s dive in. And before I do, I’d like to foreshadow a bit and tell you that he and I are still friends and even hang out from time to time. Our relationship over the years has taught me many lessons, one of them being that there are some people in your life that are more than friends or lovers, they are your guides.
That’s a photo I took of my ex-husband on our trip to Arizona in 2015 (and for those of you wondering why I’ve kept photos of my ex AND am still posting them, well, that’s because 1 – he and I are still friends 2 – I’m damn proud of my photography skills which I wanted to show off and 3 – this photo has a lot of meaning to me)
I met my ex-husband at Hunter College (NYC) when I was 20 years old working part-time at the Audio Visual Department. At first sight, I was immediately appalled, not only at his appearance (his hair was orange and he had a damn Mohawk) but also at his bombastic and overly confident nature … err scratch that … let’s just say he was very arrogant and cocky. In addition, he possessed what I did not: fearlessness. He rode a Harley, smoked cigarettes, painted murals and other artsy shit, and he traveled ALONE. I was straight out intimidated by this guy. I remember going to great lengths to make sure he and I didn’t run into each other because it would result in awkwardly long conversations where I’d feel myself melt under the excruciating heat of his charm.
Since we worked and went to school together, the universe had made sure we crossed paths on several occasions. One of those occasions was him telling me ever so non-nonchalantly that he’d be leaving to Hawaii to pursue his studies there. Did I mention he was also very adventurous and spontaneous? I would learn later that he came equipped with many other McGuiver-esque qualities that came in pretty handy and that had taught me a thing or two about putting up picture frames or how to make perfectly sunny-side eggs for example. Okay trailing off here. Fast forward a year later, I see him – no wait, I see his orange head of hair – outside of Hunter North (one of the buildings at Hunter College) smoking a cigarette and playing hackey sack with one of our mutual friends. This was when I found out he was back in NYC and that his current relationship had ended on a very, very bad note forcing him to pack up his shit and move back home (he’s actually from Buffalo but Manhattan was home to him). Long story short, over the next year, he and I started hanging out more and I began to find myself more and more smitten with him.
When I came to the awareness that I was crushing hard on him (even getting jealous once when he brought some chick to a party with him only to leave dramatically on his motorcycle – oh how I wished I was that girl – but in no way would I ever get on that motorcycle! I was too scared), I made my move. Here’s a little fact about me: when I’m interested in something (or someone), I go for it. I’m very persistent and if the person is available, I will approach them. Must be the Capricorn in me. Anywhoo, so I informed all of our friends that I had a thing for him and asked them to participate by promising to me that they’d always invite me out when they knew he would be there. This way, my presence would end up casting a spell on him and he’d fall madly in love with me (it is what sort of happened actually).
Fast forward a year, I was now working at MAC Cosmetics as a makeup artist (in addition to my job at AV plus another part time job at the dental office – what can I say? I was born a workaholic – I’ll talk about the work hustle another time, in another blog) and had ended up using the makeup artist card as a way to collaborate with him on some projects – you can also add photographer to his resume. We actually never worked together but it got my foot in the door when he and I went for drinks to discuss our possible collaboration (this makes me laugh so hard because we both knew what we were really after). That evening I saw another side of him – a more romantic, generous and pretty humble side. After some disastrous dating stints and failed attempts at romance with other dusche bags, I knew right then that this was the man I’d want to date. He was the one that was qualified to be my boyfriend. Only did I know, that I’d be sitting across the table from my future husband …
… Okay so I’m noticing how novel like this is becoming and because there are soooo many different aspects of our relationship I’d like to cover, I have decided to break it up into several blog posts. So my friends, I’ll see y’all back in part two of the story!