Worth the Wait: The End of an Era

It’s been five months since I last wrote about The Handsome Grown Up that you came to know and love this spring. If you don’t feel like reading through the whole story just yet (you will soon, if you haven’t already), we met on this very day many years ago. We flirted, we dated, I worked like hell to fuck it all up, and yet he still stuck around. When last I spoke of The Grown Up, he was driving away from my house as I drunk cried myself to sleep. Make no mistake – I was the one being an idiot. It was the drunkest I ever got in the presence of The Grown Up…and we dated for a long-ass time. He called the next night, after I panicked like a teenage girl for about 12 hours, and all was fine (except for the lost wallet from my fall at the bar).

I’m going to fast-forward a little bit though because dating life is pretty much, you know, normalcy, and I can’t imagine you wanting to sit through all the ins and outs of a relationship from yesteryear…and quite frankly, it’s time we brought this story to an end.

The Grown Up and I dated solidly for many years. We met each other’s families. We traveled a bit. We fell madly in love. He made me laugh more than anyone on the planet, and I was surprised how much time I could spend with him and not want to kill him. After that first date, I never went home, much to the chagrin of his incredibly understanding roommate. He always told me, “Home is where your cheese is” because after our first weekend together, he bought me a bag full of fancy cheese. But he was wrong. Home was where he was. He was everything.

I waited a long time for this. And now it's the End of an era

He is everything.

He is the first page of my book and the last. He captured my heart and never once dropped it. He encourages me to follow every last one of my dreams, no matter how ridiculous. He pushes me to be my better self. He IS my better half, and without him, I wouldn’t be where I am.

So when he asked me to be his bride, the only answer I had for him was, “Yes!”

When he asked me to be his bride...I said yes.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to Make Your Boyfriend Hate You

If you’re new around here, you may want to start The Grown Up Story from the beginning. But you may not, and that’s okay too. This story stands alone.

The Grown Up and I had been dating for approximately a month when I decided to bring him along to a birthday party for a friend of mine, Brad. He was several years my senior-we were celebrating his 30th birthday, and it was kind of a big deal.

My girlfriends and I had spent the previous year hanging out with Brad and his group of friends, drinking, flirting, drinking, drinking, and more drinking. It was a group of hot messes all dealing with their own version of relationship anxiety (each of us were battling our own volatile demons from relationships past), and in order to forget about them, we drank. A lot.

Recipe for disaster - new boyfriend plus bar.

By the time The Grown Up came around, we were all starting to drift to our own spaces and rebuild the worlds that crumbled to bring us together. So I hadn’t actually hung out with this group in a few months. But was anticipating a shit show of a party-one we’d been talking about for a year, and so of course, I RSVPed yes for both The Grown Up and myself.

We arrived for dinner at an upscale bar in the suburbs, where we sat near one of my most lovely, cheerful friends who was SO giddy with excitement to meet The Grown Up. She squee’d and oohed and awwed because he really was smart and wonderful as I had described to her. She told me, as good girlfriends tend to do, I deserved someone this amazing,  and I believed her.

Unfortunately, she would not be joining us for the second half of the evening. And none of my other girlfriends had decided to join us for the epic birthday party to end all birthday parties. So I had a grand total of two actual friends (the birthday boy and his bestie) and several acquaintances to hang out with me and my new boyfriend on a party bus downtown to a bar in Wrigleyville.

Why was I the only one who couldn’t see this was a recipe for disaster?

So we hopped on a party bus, and the Grown Up made quasi friends with some of the guys in the group. If you recall, on our first date he revealed he wasn’t good with people, but it felt like he was doing a pretty damn good job with them from where I was sitting.

When we got to the bar, though, all hell broke loose. There was drinking on the party bus, and then we had a table just off the dance floor reserved for bottle service. For those of you who may not know, bottle service is when they have full bottles of liquor at your table for your group’s consumption. Needless to say, I got pretty fucking drunk. The Grown Up wasn’t a big hard alcohol drinker, so he had a couple of beers, but nothing crazy.

I dragged the poor man on the dance floor and rubbed up on him like a horny college student. We danced with my friends, and some of the girls in the group became my dance floor besties, grinding on each other in a fight to be the sexiest group of girls under the colorful LED lights. We weren’t. The music seemed to get louder, the smoke thickened around us, and the room started spinning. I was there, but I wasn’t.

Eventually, The Grown Up returned to our table. I followed, realizing that I wasn’t being the generous, sweet girlfriend that I wanted to be. He seemed, frustrated, but I didn’t know how to respond. So, I apologized. For what, I don’t even know. Was I apologizing for being drunk? For him not having a good time? For not knowing everyone in our group? For my friends who weren’t entertaining enough for him? I just knew I felt awful. And drunk. And feeling awful and drunk is never a good combination. So  I drank more. I sat down on an elevated booth bench that extended out past the booth and The Grown Up stood in front of me, trying to make conversation over the music. It didn’t work out well.

Somehow, whilst sitting (SITTING) on the booth bench, I managed to fall over. I wish I could tell you how. I really really do. But I couldn’t. And I fell. Off the bench. Onto the floor. Like a complete asshole. I wasn’t even showing off that time. I fell down, and The Grown Up helped me up as I apologized. Again and again. We collected my purse, and the items that had fallen out of it. The Grown Up was growing increasingly frustrated, and we couldn’t just…leave because we had taken a party bus to get there. We were slaves to the party schedule.

We left the dance floor area, and proceeded to sit at a table downstairs, where I continued to apologize profusely for my errors. The Grown Up tried to chat with me, but I could tell that I was irritating him. I thought I was going to start crying right then and there. But I didn’t. I braved through the awkward last 45 minutes with my boyfriend of less than a month and got on the bus. I continued to apologize until the moment I passed out in The Grown Up’s arms on the bus, about 2 minutes into the drive home.

On the drive home, The Grown Up was almost puked on. Someone DID puke, just not on him. Someone almost spilled beer on him. He ended up helping clean the bus a little bit. He gave extra money to the person who organized the party to tip the driver extra. And I slept. Like an asshole. And kept apologizing when I woke up.

We left the bus and The Grown Up drove me home. I was supposed to sleep at his place, but he took me home instead. I panicked. And apologized even MORE.

I was a hot mess. I felt sick to my stomach. I had really fucked things up, this time, I was sure of it. What was I thinking?

The Grown Up told me to go inside and sleep it off, that we’d talk the next day. But I couldn’t understand in my idiot drunken stupor what was going on. Was he breaking up with me? I didn’t know. But I was terrified.

Eventually, I went inside. And cried myself to sleep.

I really hoped he would call the next day.

How do you handle problems when you’re drunk? Have you ever freaked out about your relationship because of something you did or said? What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done while drinking?

Click the image for the final story in the tale of The Grown Up.

I waited a long time for this. And now it's the End of an era

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Was Working as a Waitress in a Cocktail Bar…That Much is True

Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a girl who waited tables at an Irish bar where people were mostly dicks. She also spent a few weeks running pub trivia, which is where our story begins.

(Oh hey, that girl is me, and I’m about to switch to the first person).
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I may not have loved waiting tables, but I really enjoyed running trivia. I was able to create questions and make really bad jokes in front of a crowded bar. They gave me a microphone. For several uninterrupted hours. Weekly. It was a beautiful thing. And I’m pretty sure I drank for free.

One night, mid-December, while emceeing trivia, a pair of dudes I had never seen before jumped into the trivia game. I didn’t take much notice of them until trivia was finished when the shorter of the two came up to me and said, “Hey! What are you doing, now? Come have a drink with us!” He was bright and shiny and happy…and offered to buy me a drink. Obviously, I joined them. I walked over to their table, and some of my regular trivia guys came over with me. Bright and Shiny was super chatty and hilarious. I loved him immediately. He ordered a round of drinks while his friend was in the bathroom.

When the taller, quiet guy returned to a fresh round of drinks, the trivia girl, and her posse, he seemed…perturbed, to say the least. But he was handsome. So very handsome. He mentioned something about it being late and having to work in the morning, and I just smiled at him and probably teased him, just a little. I didn’t have to work in the morning thanks to my server job, and so it was fun for me to play around with those who had dreaded corporate jobs (I was setting myself up for a karma ass kicking).

Bright and Shiny started telling me why they were at the bar. The two of them were planning a trip to Ireland the following spring and thought an Irish pub to be the perfect setting to do so. I mentioned that I was going to go to Ireland one day and the  bright and shiny guy said, “Hey! Why don’t you come with us?”

I laughed. “I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off.”

“No, seriously, I have a bunch of miles and stuff…if I helped with your flight, would you be able to pay for other stuff?” He looked so sincere and smiley. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking.

Honestly, to this DAY I’m still not sure I heard that right.

“Uhhhh…”

Every fiber of my being was screaming, “BE WILD! DO SOMETHING CRAZIER THAN YOU’VE EVER DONE!”

I looked at Handsome and Bright and Shiny. They looked nice enough. They seemed really cool. And they sure did have me laughing all night.

“Dude, that sounds crazy. And amazing.”

I considered for another minute.

“I’ll think about it.”

Would you have gone? What’s the craziest thing you’ve done after meeting new friends for the first time?

Did I go on the adventure of a lifetime with these two random dudes? Click the pic below to continue the story and find out what happened next:

When I like like someone, I internet stalk them

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!