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Every year, for the past four years, I’ve hosted an annual holiday party. Ironically, I started it with a First Annual Holiday Bash because I wanted it to become one of my holiday traditions. It would be the one time of year I gathered with my closest friends and spent time with them around the holidays to show just how much I truly appreciate their friendship.
From its first year, it’s been a big hit. An invitation one year is no guarantee of an invitation the following year. I always make sure I surround myself with the people in my life I care most about. If within the following year I fall out of touch with someone, I don’t extend an invitation.
Earlier this year, my friend reached out to me to plan weekends in December. She knows of my party and wanted to make sure I wasn’t hosting it the same night she was celebrating her birthday. We both picked dates and put it to bed.
Months later, I found out I was being evicted from my apartment since my landlord finally sold it. Our eviction date was November 30th; eleven days before the planned date of my holiday party.
This was one tradition I was not ready to relinquish, not matter what it took. Some of my friends look forward to the party a full year in advance. I make an incredible spread (not allowing anyone to bring any food of any sort), and everyone fasts for an entire day leading up to the party.
This posed a serious challenge. I would have to move into a new apartment, get it settled and cater for about forty people in ten days — A near impossible feat. However, my determination is not to be underestimated.
When I sent out my Evite, my sister immediately criticized the invitation of N. She was shocked to see I would invite him, but she also didn’t have the full story.
Apparently over the course of my short relationship with N, I mentioned my annual holiday party. As the holiday season was drawing nearer, he asked for the date of said party: “When is your holiday party so I can put it in my calendar? I’m trying to attend as many holiday parties as possible without missing one.”
Did he just invite himself to my holiday party?! I mean, he was on the maybe list, I’ll admit that. But I had no intention of inviting him in the first round of invitations.
This isn’t because I was holding a grudge over our failed relationship. It was mainly because I was disappointed in him. Considering we lived across the street from each other, I thought I’d at the very least be seeing him periodically. However, since our last discussion about our failed relationship, I hadn’t seen him once. I still had never been to his apartment considering I basically walked past it every day. He never put in an effort to be my friend following our breakup, so I no longer felt the need to attempt myself. I’d given up.
When he invited himself, I had to quickly think of the best and most dignified way to deal with the situation at hand. I started with honesty. “Oh.. Are you invited to my holiday party???” I quipped. “I’m …. just gonna go… f*ck myself…” he responded. I successfully made him feel uncomfortable, but then lightened the blow. I couldn’t do much. My hands were tied. I’m not rude enough to tell him he can’t come, but I wasn’t sure I really wanted him there either. “HAHAHA. Just giving you sh*t. Sending out the Evites today…”
When others friends learned of his attendance, they weren’t happy. I was confused by this. I didn’t think anyone would care. When we were dating, my friends loved him. Everyone approved and expressed this to me. He was a very charismatic guy to be around and played nice with all my friends. It was one of the biggest things that attracted me to him.
However, when he crushed me at the end of our relationship, everyone’s opinion of him quickly shifted.
I have to admit, I don’t know if my opinion wouldn’t have shifted so drastically. If he didn’t do anything to hurt me, I would see no need for malice toward him. I wouldn’t be his best friend, but I would certainly be civil.
This wasn’t the case with my friends. In an overwhelming show of support, they all rallied against him and attempted to convince me to retract my invitation.
I was blown away. I never experienced anything like that before from my friends. I was truly touched.
However, I would not be able to fulfill their requests. I was not capable of uninviting him. I also felt it gave him the satisfaction of thinking he still had an effect on my life. I’d completely moved on. It took a long time, and I went through a lot of turmoil to get to that point. But, I didn’t need him to know that. (Not quite sure if he’s still reading the blog…)
One friend, J, was particularly poignant in his disapproval. “I’ll crack his head open.” I told him I was going to be civil, but I wasn’t going to pay much attention to him when he arrived. “Honestly, I think its risky having him there. Especially since he is a drama oriented person.” He pointed out that N may bring up the blog in front of Smiles just to p*ss me off. “Good point… Going to have to tell him not to mention the blog,” I added. “He may leave early since no one really wants him there.”
K and some of my other friends expressed their lack of interest in interacting with him, and he didn’t really know many others. J responded, “If I have anything to do with it he will leave early.” I couldn’t believe how passionate J was getting about this. He’d never even met N. “Look I’ll be civil… but if he gets out of line you let me know.”
One of my other friends who witnessed my rebound in Martha’s Vineyard, Shorty, made the following suggestion: “You should warn him that your friends aren’t really fond of him so he doesn’t feel bombarded if people are mean to him.” “No one will be mean to him, but they’re not going to go out of their way to be nice,” I speculated. “Haha. I might be mean if I happen to end up talking to him :),” she finished.
I couldn’t believe how much my friends were rallying behind me. To be honest, I thought they all thought I blew things out of proportion when it ended. I thought they all looked at me like I was crazy for being so emotionally broken up after dating someone for a month and a half. He really did break me down a little bit, and I still feel some of the lasting effects of that relationship, as much as I would like to put it in the past and forget it. But, I thought they all thought I was being melodramatic. Apparently, they validated my sentiments.
On another level, N wanted to bring his new boyfriend. I’m sure he’s a sweet guy, but I’d never met him. I didn’t want him at my holiday party. It wasn’t the time or the place to meet him. Selfishly and childishly I also wanted the upper hand. I wanted N to see me happy with someone else, Smiles, while he didn’t have his security blanket to hold onto. I know that is very immature, but in the dating world, I am still a teenager. I’d like anyone to disagree with me they wouldn’t want to do the same thing.
So, I told him he couldn’t bring him. I explained he situation, and I think N accepted my reasoning. It was going to be an interesting night regardless. Many variables were bouncing around, and no one could predict the night, even if some of my friends wanted to start a pool of bets on how early in the night N departed…Follow @onegayatatime
Monday morning, I woke to the sound of my alarm clock. The night before, N entertained the idea of taking the day off or working from home, however, this morning, his tone changed. He rushed to get ready for work since he was late, as usual. While he got dressed, everything from the night before slowly bubbled up in my brain. My disposition changed as I realized the hell my relationship was in. He gave me a kiss goodbye, and I gave him a forced smile as he walked out the door. I could tell by the expression on his face he knew how I was feeling.
Besides feeling like someone ripped my heart from my chest, I was feeling even sicker than the day before. My stomach was turning. I had so much work to do that day, but I couldn’t fathom going into the office. All morning, I was back n forth to the bathroom. I also realized sitting at home all day by myself with just my thoughts for company would be THE WORST thing possible for me at the time. The distraction of work would be a good for me, but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t know if I could make the walk to the PATH, let alone make it through the whole day, so I called in sick.
All morning, I curled up in a ball on the couch watching TV. I tried to eat a bowl of cereal, but after four bites, I felt nauseous. I really did a number on myself that weekend. I drank very heavily both Friday and Saturday well into the morning, as well as a few cocktails on Sunday, which was because I thought a little hair of the dog might help. NOPE!
After a while, I tried to fall asleep, but sadly all I could do was think about N. I started to tear up again, but refused to let myself cry. Finally, out of exhaustion, I fell asleep.
After some time, my roommate’s girlfriend came by. She was packing their things for their move to a new apartment. I needed someone to talk to, so I told her what happened. She gave me her take on the situation and offered advice. I didn’t fully agree with her on some things, but I knew she was right about most of it. It just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I knew in my brain I needed to break up with him — the guy in which I had zero trust to be faithful to me. But, my heart was not in sync. It still wanted him — this great guy I met and integrated into my life so easily. I was torn. I knew if I just had hard proof, it would be the closure I needed to get over it and end things with him.
Nevertheless, I didn’t think our conversation was over. I didn’t have all the answers I needed, and if I was going to be treated like a second string booty call, this relationship was over. I asked him if he would be around that night since he couldn’t spend the day at home with me. He responded by telling me he completely forgot, until his roommate reminded him, he was going to her brother’s graduation party and would be spending the night. I would not see him for at least another 36 hours.
A big red flag went up in my head. Since I had no trust in him whatsoever, I began stalking him on Grindr. Was he meeting up with a man? Grindr would tell me how far away he was. I knew his job was 6 miles from my apartment. At one point that evening, he was 10 miles away, and then it jumped to 33 miles away. Of course, my brain racked over what the pit stop was. Did he stop at a Grindr friend’s apartment on the way to the party for a quickie? Who knew? This is was I was reduced to.
I was driving myself insane, so I took my frustrations out on someone who was bothering me for some time, Gatsbie69. The week before I met N on Grindr, I met what seemed to be the perfect guy for me also on Grindr. He was 28, and his name was Tim, or so he said. We talked for hours between Grindr and AIM. He emailed me numerous pictures of him and his hot body, but something never quite added up. Long story short, we discussed our lives and interests and matched up quite well. I was excited to meet him, except he always had an excuse why he couldn’t. Over two months, I did some research and came to find how much of a fake he was. I couldn’t figure out what he was getting out of this arrangement, and in my agitated state, I ripped into him that night on AIM. He denied the accusations, but with little fervor. When I finished telling him what an awful person he is, I made sure to make a full report to Grindr for impersonating someone else.
I needed to get out of my apartment. I was driving myself crazy. I texted my friends to see what everyone were up to. I didn’t care what it was. I just needed a distraction. K finally answered. I told her how much of a wreck I was. I explained my lack of appetite during the day (K knows how much I love to eat, so she knew how out of sorts I was), so she invited me over for dinner. I jumped at the invitation. I was at her apartment in five minutes. She made lobster ravioli, and I was able to stomach four of them. So if you’re keeping track, I had four spoonfuls of cereal and four raviolis. But, I couldn’t help it. The thought of food made me nauseous. At this point, I knew it was more than just a hangover. I was causing myself so much emotional distress; it was beginning to affect my digestive system.
I was stronger than this. I didn’t do this. This is not who I am. Why was I letting one boy’s folly tear me down? It was ridiculous! But, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake it.
After dinner, I laid on her couch watching TV with her. We didn’t talk, but it was just nice to be with someone and watching mindless TV. She doesn’t realize it, but she really helped me that day. I haven’t felt that depressed in a long time, and I really needed a friend to be there. Thanks K!
When N posted pictures of the party to Facebook, I knew he actually went to the party. When it started to get late, I walked home. I didn’t want to keep K up, and I knew it would probably do me good to get more sleep.
When I got back to my room, I hopped into bed. My California King never felt so empty as it did that night. I know I didn’t want N in my bed that night, but I also know I didn’t want to be alone either. The nightmarish thoughts that were my love life ran though my head until I was finally able to doze off to sleep.Follow @onegayatatime