Happy New Year to me and to all.
Last night was an eventful New Year’s Eve. I recently moved in with my current lover of the past year. I have been completely enveloped in the whole moving process, all the change and plans then new plans of it all. I forgot I had to attend a party and figure out a dress, oh goodness and shoes! The shoes are important! After a long time of trying dresses on pinning and unpinning then settling on an item of clothing that was basically painted on my curves–I thought “now I am ready”.
What I was not ready for was the onslaught of emotions and confusion upon getting to the festivities. There was someone in attendance who I had not seen in years. Who I suspected I’d never see again because this boy moved to the west coast and was barely involved in my best friend’s life anymore. Needless to say, he came on a random visit after about 5 years and decided to grace my best friend with his presence. He was her best friend from high school and it meant nothing to me except whenever he came to town whilst were in college… He was always rather odd and flirtatious with me. Yes, some nights ended with kisses but it wasn’t any sort of romantic making out. No, this was not some guy that got away. This was a guy that went away and that was perfectly okay because his behavior was off-putting and my strange pull in his direction was in plain words: weird.
Not a good weird. Have you ever had someone talk to you as if they knew everything about you, but they didn’t and the more you proved them wrong; the more they became fascinated with you but not in a “wow, let’s get to know each other”… It turns out to be a “hmm, let’s play a mind game” kind of way? Well, ok, this is what J does. J does that to me yet he is best friends with my best friend so what can you really do?
But this time, I wasn’t going to kiss him and this time, I did not care about playing this game. I was bringing my lover who talks to me how I want to be talked to. Who kisses me not to control me or make a point. My beau kisses me because that’s what we both like and enjoy. It’s both selfish and selfless, it’s for him and I alone.
However when I first arrived, I was not worried about kisses. I was worried about the fact I was frozen to the bone and I was more than fashionably late–less than 40 minutes to midnight to be exact. I hugged my best friend, ignored J, got myself and my people sorted before saying ok. I am ready to say hello and deal with your shenanigans. Naturally, J didn’t hide his approval of my outfit. I had this secret satisfaction or perhaps not so secret. Who gives a damn. Whereas before I’d blush at the attention at my naive 19 years, I am now 26 and not impressed with nods and eyes full of admiration. But as the night wore on and drama ensued, J got to have his chance alone with me.
I have to admit, I was worried. Another game? I am too old for this crap but drinks were poured and questions were asked. I didn’t want to be caught in that web that J spins whenever he comes around. Especially now when I could lose someone so dear. I know myself, I know I am changed but I can be susceptible. I am human and I have weaknesses.
“Still so cute, M.”
I gave an eye roll and a mumbled thank you.
“Are you happy?”
I looked at him and wondered why he should care. “In this moment, I am but I want to make sure that B is happy too and she is not.” J laughed and it was not funny to me. “She’s always happy, you think she isn’t. I know her, she is.” I narrowed my eyes because this was not sure, my best friend was hiding away in the bathroom most of the evening. My best friend, an alpha in a room full of strangers, was avoiding a party… in her lovely flapper outfit inspired by Great Gatsby? No, she was not happy. “And I know her, J. She is not ok right now. She is happy sometimes, no one can be happy all the time.”
“That’s the saddest thing I ever heard you say, M.” I looked at J because I hadn’t finished my thought but he assumed much about me. I said nothing else because if he had let me continue and not write me off, I would have explained my new take on happiness. It related to Brené Brown and her idea of happiness in contrast to joy. Her book The Gifts of Imperfection influenced me greatly, in her writing she talks about how happiness is attributed to what happens to us whereas joy comes from within us. Basically, happiness is this fleeting feeling and joy is something that doesn’t necessarily go away. I wish there was a better word for joy to be honest.
The word “joy” seems so curt and unfeeling. I like how Brown talks about gratitude. I like the word “gratefulness” better. Anyway, I felt that B was unhappy in the moment but that didn’t mean she did not have a legitimate good life. She loved herself and her life, she simply did not love this moment. This particular party on this night, her emotions were overwhelming and she was not pleased. There was no pleasure there. J could see it however he liked.
My knowledge was that she was not ok and I wanted her to put her worries aside for a moment to join me. I wanted B to ring in the New Year with a drink and a giggle with me. It wasn’t happening and instead I was busy helping her in the bathroom… sitting in a tub and listening to her while she sat on the sink explaining the overwhelming pressure of being in a relationship.
J joined us sometimes with very little wisdom I might add. His detachment that used to mystify me in college now bored me to tears. He had little to no insight. It was like asking a sociopath to feel something. All he could do was provide drugs or a drink. I leaned in this bathtub and listened, my snow boots on because I had just come in from seeing fireworks and didn’t bother putting my heels back on.
If someone asked me whether I know nothing or everything, I would say nothing. I know little about love, relationships, the right decision or not. I get in messes, I make mistakes, but I love myself despite these flaws. Back then with J, I didn’t.
So later when he commented on a midnight kiss.
“I didn’t kiss anyone on midnight, M. Did you?”
“I did.” I reflected on the kiss I shared with my lover, S. I was thirsty for more kisses with S after that midnight smooch.
“I didn’t think about it.”
“Maybe it’s because you’re weird. You can kiss someone else.”
I retorted and returned to the living room to find my S. I had felt that thrill once with those kisses I gave to strangers like J, that mini trust I had that his or her lips wouldn’t betray me because I didn’t give love and neither did they. But now I had kisses for people I trusted. For S, for my niece and nephews. For my family, for my close friends. I had no more kisses for J. Thank goodness.
I didn’t say bye to J when I left. I didn’t say hello to him either now that I think about it. He was probably waiting. But I am not waiting for anyone anymore.
I always was impatient.
I can kiss S at midnight, once a year, twice a week or everyday if we choose it. I prefer sincere lip locks.