After turning Christmas around successfully, I was optimistic for the rest of the holiday season. After all, I’ve survived Christmas, so New Year’s day should be a piece of cake or rather, a glass of champagne.
Day after Christmas
The Monday following Christmas was more promising than the actual holiday. My best friend was in town for the holidays and we were getting together for a girl’s happy hour. There’s nothing that can cure a case of loneliness like laughing with your girls. Women have an innate healing energy. A circle of women can rejuvenate any being in a matter of seconds. Honestly, I think it’s some mystical power bestowed on us as the gatekeepers of life. Well, I needed some magic from my circle bad.
My best friend, two other ladies, and I met at Nacho Mama’s, a bar known for Hubcap Margaritas and south-of-the-border cuisine, in Canton, Baltimore. There was no way this night could be ruined with tacos and alcohol involved. Once we were seated, the girl talk began. We all go around one-by-one updating each other about our lives. One girl is getting married. Another is considering having children with her boyfriend. And, another is trying to juggle life away from home and building a new home with her boyfriend. Then, there’s me.
Girl 1: “How’s work Jasmine?”
Girl 2:“Yea, you’re always working.”
Girl 3: “How’s work?”
Me: “Work is fine.”
In that moment, I wished I had something better to say. Work is fine. I see these ladies only a couple times a year and through the little glimpse of my life they see on social media, apparently, I’m always at work. There’s no wedding planning, there’s no plans of baby-making, and there’s no home-building. In that moment, I realized I was “that friend.” You know the girl who is never in a relationship. She works a lot because she would more than likely spend her free time on her couch. Her friends tiptoe around conversations about her love life. She’s super successful, but you still pity her because what does all that success mean if she doesn’t have anyone to share it with. In that moment, I felt like the character Molly from Issa Rae’s Insecure on HBO. Molly is a black accomplished lawyer who slays, might I add. However, we see her struggle and stumble through her love life.
How many of us are Mollys? Most times, I am working. It’s that simple. I am on a very narrow path to build a legacy. Hard-working, successful black women are, often, compromising there personal life for their careers and then, ending up in awkward conversations with our peers. And, let’s not talk about stumbling around in our love life. I fumble around in my love life blind-folded, while balancing a stack of china tea cups on my head.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
The morning of new year’s eve, I didn’t wake up in my own bed. We talked about stumbling around and there is someone I keep tripping over. We will call him, “my friend.” If I could downgrade this relationship to “friends with benefits,” I would, but there’s far more to the story. One day, I’ll tell you the whole story, but for now I’ll divulge enough information for this post.
The night before, we went to grab pizza and have drinks at local restaurant, Joe Squared. We had a discussion about how we should try to take things more seriously. Years have gone by and we both agreed we were getting too old to continue any non-committal games. I wanted to invite him over for New Year’s brunch because my family were asking after him. My friend knows my family very well because we had a relationship a few years back.
My friend and I agreed to meet up later for a New Year’s kiss. I went home to spend time with Jeremiah. I don’t believe in spending time with other people when it’s my time with my son. Later that evening, I decided to go to bed early. I figured missing a New Year’s kiss wouldn't hurt anything and I would just see him tomorrow.
The next morning, I woke up to a few missed calls and text messages from my friend. We chatted for a few and then, I had to rush off to a shoot I had scheduled that morning. After my shoot, I called and invited him to my father’s New Year’s brunch. It seemed like an opportune time to manifest the conversation we had the other night. He said he would come over after watching football. As you can imagine, hours and hours passed and no friend. Finally, I broke down and called. We ended up in a huge disagreement. He wasn’t coming.
In that moment, I realized that I lived out an entire episode of Insecure. My life is like a sitcom starring me trying to sort out these awkward situations. If I was watching this all play out on the television screen from Christmas Eve to now, how serious would I take these situations? In hindsight, it is important for me to write the series of events out. It allows me to understand everything in retrospect. You survive the holidays by living through the holidays. Don't take moments so serious.
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