Recently, I visited one of my favorite cities, the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado. I was stoked about getting my work-ation underway. The trip also presented a unique opportunity for me to visit neighborhoods I’d been stalking on Trulia. My dream goal is to move the family out there real soon. Just before my trip, I booked some clients, so having a nice, quiet apartment, sans my little guy, overlooking the city, for the long Labor day weekend was ideal. There was a pool for inspiration breaks, and free breakfast Sunday AM to feed and fuel a nap after pulling an inspired all nighter. The luxury apartment fell into my lap as I reached out to my network for chances to link up and catch-up. Aren’t friends the best? One former coworker was leaving Denver as I was arriving and so she bestowed her gem of an apartment upon me. Ugh, so awesome when life works out that way. All you have to do is put it out there. Anyway, I secured the accommodations, and some girl time with my expecting-momma and frequency-twin a few towns over. Now, all I needed to secure was the entertainment.
I had anticipated going to Denver weeks earlier, in the beginning of August, but instead attended a blogger conference. My expecting momma was hosting a happy hour at local a bookstore in Denver and I wanted to surprise her. But plans just hadn’t worked out. Once I knew I was headed that way I made sure to let my Denver boo-thang know I was visiting. We weren’t talking much lately. We really fell off each other’s radar around the New Year. I was just so busy with writing and releasing the book. Our last face-to-face encounter in December also left me with a bad taste in my mouth. We both got entirely too intoxicated and confrontational. So I decided to let the situation-ship die down and give myself time to reflect on what it is I needed and wanted in a healthy relationship.
Labor day weekend presented the perfect amount of time and freedom to travel so I booked a trip Denver asap. Before I knew I’d have a place to stay, Denver boo offered me a his place to stay. I was hesitant but not in the position to drop $500+ on accommodations so I graciously accepted.
Immediately I contemplated the awkwardness and resistance I’d have to stave off in an attempt to stay carefree and jovial. It was so important for me to guard my mental, emotional, and sexual energy. When the opportunity to stay at my friends place presented itself I was so relieved to know I had a safe place to retreat to if need be.
Nonetheless, I was excited to see him once again and he I. We made plans to see the third leg of a three day stint of his favorite band. The phenomena known as Phish. Ehhh, I like their stuff but I’m not so obsessed that I’d spend more than a few hours in their presence. I was going with a Phish veteran. Needless to say we stepped into the freezer (Phish fans will get it). Anyway, the festivities were fun, enough, can’t say I’d do it again but I enjoyed his and his friends company, raging, enjoying adult beverages, and just vibing out. No work, no baby, no responsibilities. Just music, just escaping. But momma, can’t hang and so I skipped the after party. To be fair, I broke night delivering a clients copy the night before so I wasn’t on my ‘A’ rage game. I woke up the next morning rested, lazy, and looking for a nice rejuvenating walk, and ramen spot. Something about broth and slurpy noodles comforts the soul. As I got ready, I remembered I packed an overnight tote, just in case I ended up raging with the Phish crew, and left it in his car. So I didn’t have my make-up bag, a decent outfit, or my toothbrush kit. All the items I needed to feel human again. I took a shower, put on my sweats and Wu-Tang tee, combed my hair, finger brushed my teeth, mouth washed and hit the town.
I was oddly agitated. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was I hungover? Still tired? Out of my comfort zone? I couldn’t put my finger on it. I stumbled upon a quaint bookstore near Union Station and the 16th street Mall, and walked inside after my lovely ramen lunch. I ordered an ice coffee, searched the aisles, and landed on Ta-Nehisi Coate’s, ‘We Were Eight Years in Power’. I curled up in an armchair and got to reading.
Ahhh, the perfect….Monday? It sure felt like a Sunday. Then a text came through. It was Denver boo rallying from the night before, heading to a local brunch/watering hole. He extended the invite, “Want to join us for a beer?” My initial response started off with: “Not really. Think I’ll cap off the day here at the book store and walk back to the apartment…..” I deleted the response and typed several other turn downs. I eventually landed on ‘Sure, what’s the address?’ I really wanted my bag, and I felt bad for ghosting the night before.
I took my time, purchased the book and Uber pooled to the spot. The moment my eyes locked onto his body, slumped on the bar top, sipping a beer, my demeanor moved to annoyed. Not going to lie, this transition, happens a lot for me with men. But usually after we’ve been in each others presence for more than a day. I’m a girl that likes her alone time and sometimes the mere presence of someone consistently can annoy me. This was different. My body was acting purely on muscle memory. As if to tell me ‘you don’t want to be here, why are you here?’ My mind played back a few instances the evening before, and other evenings in the past, that didn’t sit well with me, but under the euphoria of the music and the booze, I had been able to push those discomforts aside.
It’s easy to say that he’d been acting like an overgrown f-boy in the past but was I ignoring the fact that I too was being a bonafide f-girl. One of the main reasons I’d stop talking to him, besides the blow-up months back, was his incessant complaining and need for support during two rough times. One a falling out with his brother’s family in law and the other a pretty bad fender bender that left his car totaled and him out of work for quite a while. Although I did lend an ear or text when I had the energy. I found it draining, and decided that it was just best to fall off all together. He was only necessary in times of fun, partying, and lavish dinners. I did not sign up for lows. Good-times only please!
At first, the separation was truly in an effort to conserve my energy and time for those treating themselves, others, and me with the utmost respect. But it’s a whole new thing, when I let all those moral standings go out the window for a so called ‘good time’. I was adamant about not sleeping with him this trip, and although I almost faltered, I stayed strong and didn’t give into my urge. I would only be using him for a false sense of intimacy and that would be unhealthy for both of us. I realized I was just as capable of being painfully dismissive and self absorbent as he was.
We were able to have a really in-depth talk afterward and hash out some pains and find some clarity in our dispositions. We are good for communicating when it matters, but unfortunately only after a few drinks and wee hour jam sessions. EXHAUSTING! That let’s me know there is a capability for at least a decent friendship. But as far as a true romance, I think it’s unfair to think he or any man is purely there for my entertainment, a faux sense of intimacy, and a convenient romantic tryst or booty call. Which ironically, wasn’t even on his radar. I discovered this when I turned in for a disco nap, to find he cleaned his spare room for me to stay in, unbothered for the weekend. It can be so easy to point the finger and find fault in the other person. But are we just fitting people in for their convenience and generosity? Are we as women so quick to call men out on their bullshit, when it’s us who are asking men to change who they are and then resentfully use them for a false sense of intimacy or adoration? Sometime’s it’s important to check yo’self before you wreck yo’ self and be honest about your behavior.
There’s no doubt I have some feelings for this person but they should not be conditional and based on whether he can ‘entertain’ me or express unwavering ‘wokeness’. He has some momma and daddy issues but who doesn’t. I won’t get into that this post. Moreover, if there are non-negotiables on my or his end we should not be willing to flex the rules, knowing damn well we would never commit, in order to pretend and feel some sort intimacy. As women, we shouldn’t stick it to all men by being dismissive and calculating to a unknowing man. We show our true power by loving and living in our principles and never settling for less than, and never letting the ones we love settle for less than either, even when that less-than is us.