Fate is something I have come to believe in whole-heartedly over the past year of my life. There have been so many times..so many moments where one small and seemingly insignificant act/decision/event has forever altered the course of my life. For better and for worse. Now I use this term “worse” very loosely, for at the time in which I am going through something painful or difficult, it seems as though I’ll never be able to recover from it. Why me? I always seemed to ask. Why? I don’t get it..I am a good person. I smile at old people, pay my bills on time, always use my turn signal, help frazzled mothers in the grocery store and always..always donate $1 in Petsmart for animals in need. Honestly, what the hell? I know I’m not perfect, but I try to do the right thing 99.9% of the time. Can’t a girl catch a break?!
Now I know this sounds all “poor me..my name is Julia and I’m throwing myself a pity party. And yes..there’s cake,” but damn it, sometimes you just need a second to wallow. And when I say a second..it could really mean a few days…depending on which Pandora station you have it set to. Once you have had your second, (If it’s the Bon Iver station, we may be talkin’ more like a week here. Just a warning.) you realize that all of these hurts, these setbacks, these “are you freakin’ kidding me??” moments have happened for a reason. If you just rolled your eyes at those last three words, cut me some slack here. I know it’s cliche and when a particularly perky girl..maybe wearing a cardigan..says it to you, you kind of maybe want to punch her in the throat. While at the time, this may be satisfying, you should probably refrain. Little miss Ann Taylor Loft might not be entirely wrong here. As much as it pains me to say it, she’s actually right. Shit happens. Sometimes that shit hurts a lot..but inevitably, it leads you down a path I truely believe you were always meant to go. At the time, you don’t get it. You are too close to it. You can’t see what is ahead and therefore can’t understand the role this hurt or disappointment has played in your life.
You, my lovely people, have been in the front row, eating popcorn and Junior Mints as I have had one disappointment after another. The men in this blog have irritated me, let me down, hurt me and at some moments just plain left me baffled. They have also taught me about myself, given me beautiful words, sweet moments and at times, a tiny spark of hope. At the end of the day, with a little distance and perspective, I can see now that I was never meant to be with those guys. They weren’t right, didn’t fit and thank goodness things didn’t work out because no matter how much I want to find my person, I won’t settle for a square peg jammed awkwardly into a round hole.
Meet Clay. 28 years old, dazzlingly handsome in a Ralph Lauren Polo ad kind of way and hands down the smartest person I have ever had a conversation with. I’m kind of ashamed to say, that because of his looks, I thought he was going to be a complete idiot. The phrase “dumb blonde” had come to mind and boy oh boy did he prove me wrong. But while he was smart and good-looking, he was flakier than a damn French pastry. He would text me almost non-stop and then I wouldn’t hear from him for a week. I’d leave him alone and then magically, he’d re-appear like no time had passed. We talked for more than a month over text until I was almost annoyed enough with his flakiness to give up on him completely. When was this guy going to ask me out?! It literally took a month and a half but finally it happened. Whew. We agreed to meet at an amazing Greek restaurant called Stella’s. Dinner was incredible. We drank wine and talked..about EVERYTHING..we stayed there for five hours and every time he put his hand on my arm I swear I could feel the air sizzle. At the end of the night, he gave me a hug and mentioned going out again. It never happened. He texted for weeks, we planned to go out to a new restaurant and then..only 2 hours before we were supposed to meet up, he cancelled. Something had come up and he needed to raincheck. We never talked again. Sigh. Goodbye Clay.
Meet Rich. 31 years old, one of those outdoorsy people that like to climb mountains, kayak through whitewater and do events with names like “Tough Mudder,” “Spartan Race,” and “Warrior Dash.” He was cute, worked as the spokesperson for Richmond International Raceway and seemed like a sweet and sincere guy. Our first date was at a small local restaurant. I bet there were a total of five tables in the whole place, but it was adorable, my sandwich was creative and delicious, and Rich was good company. I wasn’t sure if I felt a spark, but when I talked to my girlfriends about it..they urged me to give him a few more chances. Everything else seemed to be going well with him, maybe the spark just needed a little time to ignite. On our fourth date, he said he wanted to cook dinner for me. He showed up with fresh arugula from his garden, a bowl of some sort of amazing cold pasta thing he had put together and a bag of homemade pizza dough. The days before our date, Rich was starting to lay things on pretty thick. I could tell he really liked me and wasn’t afraid of telling me. Instead of making me feel excited and happy though, it just made me slightly sad and uncomfortable. He showed up for our date and the moment he stepped in through the front door, I knew. I just knew…and it sucked..and it hurt my stupid heart a lot, because here was this guy..an amazing guy. A sweet, respectful, good person kind of guy..the guy who brought me 6 different kinds of birch beer because he heard me mention one night that it was my favorite and I could never find it anywhere anymore..the guy who brought organic treats for my dogs (the fancy kind that have to be kept in the fridge and smelled so good, I kind of wanted to try one)..Rich checked off so many boxes and it broke my heart a little that when he kissed me, I couldn’t feel what I so desperately wanted to. I felt so badly the moment I realized that spark was never going to come and it was that very moment he walked through the door. It’s slightly embarassing to admit, but I felt so guilty and sad and disappointed that it actually physically manifested in the form of a serious stomachache and actual tears. The poor guy was completely thrown. It was the hardest conversation I have ever had to have with someone.
After these last two experiences, (and all the ones prior) I had had enough. I honestly was just worn out and thoroughly discouraged. I decided to go on to the dating website and deactivate my profile. Clearly this whole online dating thing was just turning out to be a total disaster and no way was I ever going to meet my guy on a place like that. When I logged in, I could see that I had a new message. “Oh why not,” I thought and clicked on it. I told you at the beginning…fate…it’s a tricky thing.
His name was *Bennett.
*name changed because my mother, in her infinite wisdom, suggested that some things are better left private. And so he now is named after one of my favorite spicy female (ironic eh?) characters created by Jane Austin.