If you read the blog post I just made (see below), you'll know that yesterday was not the most fun experience. And since I relish fun I can't let the weekend begin with that entry highest on this space.
Plus, you have to hear this one.
As soon as I got in my car I checked on who had called during the "dumping chat." Through the sobs (which I readily acknowledge were less about losing Mr. Right Now and more about the idea of having to start over, of losing what I had thought would be some great adventures ahead for us, etc.) I heard a voice from my past and my present but not my every day.
A few weeks ago, I had told this guy (the one on the voice mail) that we would have to re-negotiate a consulting gig I was going to do for his church in New Jersey because I was choosing to go on a trip. Yep, I chose Mr. Right Now over a job, over a commitment to a friend who I felt I'd always tried to accommodate and for once I wasn't going to. I offered several options to Mr. New Jersey but he would have none of them. We concluded our conversation with my resignation from the gig, his stated and obvious distaste for what I was doing, and my sense that I had tried to find the win/win and, though I don't like disappointing, I had finally chosen a "me first" option.
So to hear Mr. New Jersey's short message to call him was startling. The course of our friendship would have suggested that it would be months before we'd talk again and even then, I knew I'd be the one to have to call and make amends.
I returned his call immediately. The receptionist apparently remembered me from last year when I spent a weekend at this church and with great enthusiasm greeted me. When Mr. New Jersey answered, I launched into what had just happened in the dump chat.
He waited while I cried. He then asked all the right questions, tried to lessen the blow by doing a bit of name calling (totally not necessary but somehow cute), and, even started checking airline specials to see if I could hop on a plane and come to the city (he's a boat ride from NYC) this weekend so he and other friends there could console me with great food, great music and great theater.
I thanked him but told him that my weekend was already committed -- I'm hosting a kickass dinner party for my dearest friend at my other dear friends' house with all my wonderful friends and his surrounding us. Then I asked if the church would still want me.
"Absolutely," he said. And proceeded to book my flight for the gig I'd declined. Without knowing Mr. New Jersey and the fact that he has never been plagued with my dilemma of putting self last, you can't totally appreciate what happened next.
"So let's talk about what you want me to do there," I offered, sniffing loudly.
"Not now. We have time for that. Let's concentrate on you," he responded.
And that was enough.
So I got him to answer a few questions. We made some sketchy plans and by the time the phone call was coming to a close, I had a paying gig to make up for the lost weekend trip and the promise of some fun in Manhattan!
With plans in place, I started to conclude the call when I realized he'd been the one to first call me.
"Wait," I said. "You called me . . . What did you want?"
"Never mind," he replied.
"No really, what was it?"
"You won't believe me so it's ok."
"REALLY, what was it?"
"Ok . . . I called to check on you . . . . "
(I hope he didn't hear the intake of breath I offered up in shock.)
"I knew you would think that I'd be angry with you for quite a while about what you did and I just wanted you to know we were going to be ok."
"Well, you're right . . . I figured it would be months and me to make this right. I gotta give you credit. You're growing up, aren't you."
"Guess we all are . . . uh, Karen, you do know I love you, don't you?"
"Yeah, I do. Thanks."
A much nicer ending, don't you think?