Dear 30 Year Old Self
Dear 30-year old self,
It will be the first weekend in November. You are going to be 2 months into the finalization of your divorce, after spending 2-years requesting a divorce and refusing to date anyone until it was final. You are going to put on your little silver dress which will adorn your new and improved size 4, lean, tight, fit and toned body. You are going to step into your fish net stockings and your black alligator stilettos with the chrome heel. You’re rocking your pixie cut and your new carefree attitude as you head off to a fashion show. You’ll sit front row, VIP, with a swag bag and there will only be a few in attendance once you arrive. However, after a few moments, you will meet the gentlemen to your right, who are sitting at the end of the runway. They call themselves photographers and head of a magazine.
After the show, you will have small talk with one of the gentlemen and you will exchange numbers. Amid speaking to the attractive, nearly 7-footer, you’re going to slip, stumble backwards and almost take a fall, in the most literal and figurative way. The same gentleman who sat at the end of the runway, who you are engaged in conversation with, will demonstrate sharp reflexes as he instantly reaches out to save you from the embarrassment of falling while in your tiny silver dress. He will extend his arm and catch you. You will thank him and notice his smile. Pearly whites and broad shoulders will draw you in. While you stay to enjoy the after party, with other friends and make acquaintance with other attendees, you will anticipate the call from the gentleman who reached out to catch you earlier, whom you’ve given your number to.
He will waste no time. He will call you 24- hours later to suggest hanging out and spending time together. You’ll accept his advancements and extend an invitation. You will invite him over for drinks, on the heel of his suggestion that since you’re doing nothing this evening, “Maybe we should do nothing together.”
You’ll open the door and welcome him in, speaking silently to yourself that you made no mistake in giving this one your number, as he looks just like you remember. You will share drinks on the sofa for a few, while watching TV and chatting about the show, the after party and life in general. You’ll share similar background stories, but he will omit one important thing just before you ask him if he wants another drink.
The next morning, he will still be in your home. He will stay for another night. After-which, he will invite you over to his home to continue getting to know each other. You’ll make a run to the gas station, suggesting that the two of you eat breakfast first. That will become the hilarious hallmark conversation for the next 10-years, as to how you had the audacity to recommend eating breakfast at a gas station.
You will invite him to your hometown 3-weeks later to meet your family at Thanksgiving. You will share some amazing moments while collecting a lot of memories together. You will take a couple of trips together in which you will determine that something is going on that doesn’t add up. You will be a little gullible and naïve. He will even tell you this at times, as you ignore the obvious, allowing him to get away with things that only a fool would. There will be good times, tough times, explosive times, a lot of secrets, a lot of disappearing on his part and a lot of lies. You will ignore all the flags at first, and long enough to get in too deep. But then, you will begin to see all the writing on the wall that you missed, as it begins to illuminate and emerge from the darkness that covered it, while the lights were off.
After the paint has dried, it begins to peel. That is when you’ll discover that he also has two more children by a third girl. You will ignore that as well, and determine that it happened during a break up, but the mathematics shows that it happened a day or so after the break up. Things are adding up. But you’re already 10 years in.
What I would like you to know is that once you step into the fashion show, it is important for you to know that the handsome, nearly 7-foot gentleman to your right, who says he owns a magazine is also married. He’s separated of course, and he lives apart from his estranged wife, but he also has a 16-year old son and a baby on the way by his mistress. Should you engage in conversation, you will become another name in the little black book. Though you will last 10 years in the game, you need to know that this is all it is to him: A game. There are things you will never know about him, even after 10 years. There is a part of his life that he will never bring you into, even after 10 years, because he knows it will expose the rest of the writing on the wall.
You should know that should you decide to have small talk, leave it at that and leave it at the fashion show. I know…he’s attractive and he’s saying all the right things but he’s not saying anything at all. Do not exchange numbers and do not invite him over.
If you feel yourself about to take a fall, reject his advances to catch you and just take your fall gracefully. The embarrassment from the fall in your tiny silver dress will result in everyone seeing your underwear, but will be no match for the embarrassment that you will see in 10 years, should you allow this man to catch you.