LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): Expect more than a few questions throughout the day from colleagues, customers and friends. Your social energy is on point, and you’re almost certainly seen as the right person to ask.
I hate drama. Even in movies. Give me “Devil Wears Prada” Meryl over “Sophie’s Choice” Meryl every time. The problem is women can be overly dramatic. Something happens when we hit fifth or sixth grade. Random comments become fodder for killing a friendship. And we never grow beyond that. Why can’t we be (a little) more like men, sit down, watch a hockey game and forget whatever the heck it was that pissed us off? Sure, I’d go crazy if my life revolved on memorizing players’ scoring stats but a dispute about Henrik versus Ovechkin, while intense, isn’t going to doom a relationship. (Talking favorably about the Toronto Maple Leafs is an entirely different matter when you live on the West Coast.)
Nadia and I hadn’t spoken since Sunday night when I mentioned that seeing her boyfriend Bradley once in a weekend was plenty, thank you very much. Best to take dumbasses in small doses. So when Nadia called during her lunch break today to INSIST we go for drinks—just me and her—I braced for an ugly showdown. Hard to focus on work the rest of the afternoon. (Thankfully, the office pace would have made a sloth on antsy as Carmen’s quadruple chocolate cake put everyone in a sugar coma.) While they crashed, I shook.
Women’s intuition is overrated. Or, at least, mine is. Might as well return the damn thing and redeem it for a complimentary packet of Starbucks instant coffee. I’d expected Nadia to attack me as soon as I saw her perched on a stool at the bar at Cactus Club. She’d already ordered my standard lime margarita, no salt, a kind gesture that set me off my defensive game plan. And then she startled me more with the first words out of her mouth: “Bradley’s an ass, isn’t he?”
Dem’s choppy waters we’re headin’ into! What do you say when a friend is down on her boyfriend? It’s always such a risk. I lost Gloria by agreeing with her when she started ragging Milo, her loser of a husband. In the moment, she was grateful for my honesty and support. For two weeks, we were best buds. Then they reconciled and I was unceremoniously shredded along with the divorce papers.
I played therapist, responding with “Why do you say that?” Thankfully, Nadia had plenty of her own evidence. So much so that it was pointless for me to jump in. Her examples were much more offensive. Bradley calls her into the bathroom when he’s taking a shit just to freak her out. (The fact he never flushes after either number was disgusting enough.) Bradley yells in her ear when she’s on the phone too long (in his opinion) with her mother. (The fact Nadia’s mom is going through chemo only makes his infantile Notice Me behavior all the more egregious.) Bradley is relentless about the five pounds Nadia’s put on since Christmas.
I wanted desperately to say, “So why are you still with him?” Instead, I asked, “What are you going to do?”
To my astonishment, Nadia said, “I don’t know.”
As we left, she hugged me and thanked me. And I felt like the worst friend ever.
MARTY WAS HAVING A SLOW DAY SO HE CALLED ME FOR DRINKS AT 2. WE WOUND UP HITTING MALONE’S DOWNTOWN. SURPRISINGLY CORPORATE CROWD FOR MID-AFTERNOON. VANCOUVER IS NO TORONTO WHEN IT COMES TO WORK ETHIC. MARTY SEEMED DOWN, WHICH IS RARE FOR HIM. HE’S USUALLY THE ONE TRYING TO SNAP ME OUT OF A FUNK. STILL, IT WAS LIKE A GAME OF 21 QUESTIONS TRYING TO GET HIM TALK. MARTY’S ALL ABOUT SPORTS STATS, STOCKS, REAL ESTATE PRICES, WOMEN’S MEASUREMENTS. HE’S AN OPEN BOOK WHEN IT COMES TO NUMBERS. FEELINGS? NOT SO MUCH.
AFTER THIRTY MINUTES OF FISHING AND REELING IN NOTHING, IT CAME DOWN TO WOMEN. MARTY, THE GUY WHO STILL SCORES A COUPLE TIMES A WEEK, WAS TIRED OF ONE-NIGHTERS. “LAST TIME I DATED A GIRL MORE THAN A WEEK? COULDN’T TELL YA. I HAVE ONCE OR TWICE, HAVEN’T I? I WENT OUT WITH CONNIE FOR A WEEK AND A HALF OR TWO, DIDN’T I?”
“WHO?” WRONG RESPONSE. MARTY PUT HIS HEAD ON THE TABLE. I’D ONLY UNDERSCORED THE PROBLEM.
“I THINK I MIGHT PERHAPS POSSIBLY BE SORTA READY TO MAYBE START SOMETHING LIKE A RELATIONSHIP.” WELL, THAT WAS PUTTING IT ALL OUT THERE. HOW BOLD!
OK, BABY STEPS. HE’D ALWAYS SAID RELATIONSHIPS WERE FOR WIMPY-ASSED GUYS WHO MISSED THEIR MOMMIES. HE COULDN’T EXACTLY COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY HE ENVIED THE WIMPY ASSES NOW, COULD HE? THERE WAS NO CHANCE TO ASK ANY KIND OF FOLLOW-UP. MARTY SWITCHED IMMEDIATELY TO LAYING INTO ME ABOUT BEING “THE PICKIEST HEMORRHOID OF A CONDO CLIENT” HE’D EVER HAD. FROM THAT, WE WENT ON TO GIVING OUR SCOUTING REPORTS FOR THE CANUCKS GAME. STILL, BY MARTY OPENING HIS RELATIONSHIP WINDOW JUST A CRACK, I SENSED THAT MY FUCK ’EM & LEAVE ’EM PAL WAS LOOKING TO GROW UP, EVEN SEE WOMEN AS MORE THAN THEIR MEASUREMENTS.
IT JUST GOES TO SHOW, CHANGE IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE…EVENTUALLY.