I met a boy at a party a few years back. Let’s just call him Yogi. It was the party of a co-worker and I went with several people. It was a Sadie Hawkins theme and we were all dressed as high school stereotype. My “date” and I were dressed as the gothic kids.
At this period in my life, I wasn’t actively seeking a boy to date. But I was at a party and automatically went into single lady mode and narrowed in on a particular blonde boy lacking a female on his arm. We ended up talking by the punch bowl. It couldn’t have been more high school if we had tried. It was the most boring flirting I can remember ever doing but he was pretty cute, great blonde hair, good body, nice smile. He was doing a mediocre job of making me laugh but I had resorted to just flirting with him at this soiree and either giving him my number or second basing it. We talked out on the fire escape to get some privacy and he kept leaning in like he was going to kiss me…but didn’t. It’s one of the most awkward situations to have this guy leaning in like he’s going for and you make your move and he pulls away like it’s a game. True, I did giggle and think it was fun at first but after three times, it’s time to grow a pair of balls and get it over with.
We shared a cab home and I gave him my number. We went on a few dates after that. He took me to this little hole in the wall wine bar and we got to know each other more. I was realizing quickly we had nothing in common. I left the dates always feeling inferior and desperate. Yogi never really gave anything away and was extremely condescending at times. At the wine bar, it was clear I didn’t know as much about wine as I do now. Instead of educating me in a fun, flirty way, he did it in a superior way, where he acted like I should know how to detect the subtle notes of a pinor noir. I had no idea what that meant.
For example, he made me breakfast one morning. It was some sort of multigrain, superfood toast situation with almond butter. It was basically dirt toast. It was grainy, flavorless, and dry. The almond butter did not help, even after I piled it on. When I didn’t eat all of it, Yogi asked me if I liked it. I said “No, I’m not much of a health nut.” And he asked what I ate for breakfast. I answered Poptarts. He laughed and then stopped and said “Wait, you’re serious? That’s disgusting.” RUDE. Poptarts are delicious and perfectly suitable for the poor, starving actress that I was at 24. Well, that I still am. I do eat better now. Though we usually have Poptarts in the apartment. It’s fine.
My friend from high school was playing a show at Arlene’s Grocery. I asked Yogi if he wanted to meet me after work and we’d go down together. He seemed excited about it. When I left work and saw him outside, he was with another guy. Yogi introduced the guy as a friend from out of town who was visiting and Yogi didn’t know he was in town til earlier that day and had now made plans to go drinking with him and a few other buddies. He asked me if I wanted to go. Hurt that he seemed to have forgotten our plans, I said I was going to the show because I promised my friends and it was totally fine if he didn’t want to go. He felt bad and told his friend we’d meet up with them later. I don’t even remember the friend’s name because I did not end up meeting up with him later.
We took the train down to the Lower East Side. He was quiet on the train and I asked him what was wrong and he said he was fine and that I looked really pretty. Naturally, I knew this because I had planned to look awesome. I thought it was winning. We were walking to the bar when he stopped on the corner.
“I’m leaving you here.”
“Wait, what? Like you’re gonna go meet your friend?”
“No. Like I’m leaving you here. I don’t want to see you anymore.”
“Um. I don’t understand. You came down here with me.”
“Yeah. I know. I was going to call you last night and do it but I didn’t. I should have because now this is awkward.”
It started to rain. I’m not even kidding. Standing on the street corner, being dumped, in the New York summer rain. The Lower East Side has this yellow and red glow to it sometimes with the heat and the neon lights. I felt it was too bright. Revealing everything that was happening, like everyone could see. I was trying not to cry but I didn’t understand what was happening. I had just gotten dumped a few months earlier, this could not be happening again. Was I defective? Was I doing something wrong? Yes, I was.
“You’re just…too much. I told you I didn’t want a relationship and you’re acting like I’m your boyfriend. I can’t go everywhere with you, my friends are more important. I just don’t want to do this. So I’m gonna go.”
“So you’re just leaving me here. You came down with me knowing you were going to dump me?”
“Yeah. Don’t call me. Have a good night.”
And he left me there. He was right. He did say he didn’t want a girlfriend and I was getting attached as I always did back then. I was so desperate for a boyfriend even though I kept saying I was doing great being single. I was lying. I had ended a serious relationship I had believed was forever so that’s what I was looking for. Forever. My forever had crashed down over me the year before and I was still struggling to get out of the debris. I was dragging the pieces with me, putting them into every new relationship I was having, trying to make them fit. It was immature and pathetic. I was lonely and sad. BUT I did not deserve to be dumped on a street corner. WHO DOES THAT??
I went to the show and met up with my friends. I cried as soon as I saw them. Bless my high school friend Tom Delonge*. He let me cry in his arms as we said hello and did nothing but give me his full attention and patience all night. Him and I had dated briefly in high school and have always remained friends. Delonge came back to my apartment after and we sat up all night on my fire escape and talked about our lives, dating, and what I was doing wrong. He gave me back my confidence a little that night, convincing me that I was worth more and I just needed to let everything go.
I did eventually let everything go. And now the street corner dumping is one of my favorite boy stories to tell. I mean, he really just left me there. I was standing in the rain in my sundress, coated in yellow and red glow, thinking “Wow. This is a scene from a movie. Someone film this. Seriously.” I watched him walk all the way around the corner before I decided to go into the bar. I remember before I started crying, I laughed. You know that kind of laugh where it just escapes you almost like a cough and you stand there, slack jawed, not able to form words. But, as usual, I just turned around, walked into the bar, and drank some beers from with my friends.
It’s also my favorite story because I found out later, Lincoln, my boyfriend, was at that party. He was dating someone else at the time, a girl I was also friends with so we aren’t sure, but we think we may have been introduced. I actually found a picture on Facebook where you see me talking to Yogi and Lincoln’s about 6 feet away from me. He insists at the time if we had met, it wouldn’t have been good for either of us. He was going through something similar to me and neither of us was ready for something serious. Fortunately, when we did meet at another party, we were less crazy and were able to fix each other.
I’ve seen Yogi since then and I still don’t know why I was so attached. He was cold to me, confusing, it was obvious he didn’t like me and I didn’t really like him either. So why was I so upset? I just want to slap my past self in the face sometimes. But it wouldn’t have made me the girl I am now. It wouldn’t have given me another heartbreak that was guiding me towards a solution. I was looking up from the bottom of the well and every time my heart shatter, I was sinking further down. It wasn’t until I was completely submerged with no air that I realized, I needed to start swimming. And that’s when I met my soul mate.