Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

I’m Just Not a Big Fan of Holidays

It’s Monday and it’s Memorial Day.  Usually on Mondays I write posts for the Best Date Spots section of the blog. But I’m not going to do that today.  I figured I’d use the holiday as an excuse to mix things up.

I’m not a holiday fan, in general.  Although I do love the way the city clears out on three day weekends (New Yorkers come in two flavors, those who go away on the weekends during the summer and those who revel in the fact that our streets/bars/restaurants are slightly less crowded while our neighbors are away.  I am very much in the latter group.). Memorial Day weekend is one of those holiday-less holiday weekends.  Yes, Memorial Day is a real holiday.  But no one I’ve ever met actually does anything to celebrate it.  We just have the day off of work and if we’re lucky get to spend it at the park or the beach.

I’ve spent the last couple/few years trying to forget my worst Memorial Day ever.  The day I finally ended things, really ended them, with one of my worst boyfriends ever.

I’d tried, initially, to break things off during Mother’s Day weekend.  But he’d made it impossible for me to do it.  He sat on the floor of my apartment and cried.  Not about me and our relationship but about all of the bad things that had happened in his life in the past decade (one of which was his current marital situation, an ongoing divorce battle with a woman who was making things a lot harder than they needed to be).  He cried for a good hour solid.  Cried and drank.  A whole bottle wine, as I recall.

I’d never actually seen a guy cry before.  Not like that.  And I just couldn’t say, “Tough shit, those are your problems not mine.  Now get out.”  Even though that’s exactly what I knew I should say.  So I let him stay the night and then I let him try and make things up to me.

Try.

We actually had a nice night together, the night before Memorial Day.  I remember us going to one of my favorite local restaurants and being really relaxed with each other for the first time in weeks.  Since that disastrous trip out to the North Fork.

The next morning we woke up and I made us breakfast and we were just hanging around my place for a while.  He overheard me on the phone, finalizing plans I had for later that day to see a movie with some friends.  And then he said, in a really pitiful way, that he hadn’t seen a movie in ages and that he’d like to go see a movie.  And so I asked him if he wanted me to change my plans and go to the movies with him instead.

He said yes, he would.

I offered.  I know, I offered.

Hours later he said he was going to pop back to his place to drop off his bag and meet me at the movies.  And then he never showed up.  I sat there in the lobby of the movie theater waiting for him and he never showed up.

A couple of things here – back then I had the kind of job that required me to have a work cell.  And I did get a lot of work related calls on it, even over the weekend.  I didn’t have a personal cell as I thought it ridiculous to have two cells.  It wasn’t unusual for me to leave my phone home, or for me to turn it off for a whole day when I didn’t want to deal.  It was how I coped.  And the guy knew that.  He knew.

Anyway, when I got home from the movie theater there were messages on both my phones (landline and cell) from him telling me that he wasn’t coming.  That something had come up with the ex and blah blah blah.  And it didn’t matter.  I’d finally had enough.  I called him and told him.  And told him that I meant it and probably that all of his stuff was going in the trash.  We never spoke again.

So now this is the first thing I think of when I think of Memorial Day.  A guy who wasn’t very nice to me, who left me sitting in a movie theater lobby, alone.

Nah, I’m not a big fan of .


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13 to “I’m Just Not a Big Fan of Holidays”


  1. Alicewillbe says:

    I can relate to some of this. Male equivalents of “damzels in distress” (i.e. depressed men) have a way of pushing my mommy buttons and I feel I have to protect them. But at the same time they are horribly self-centered and ultimately repulsive. It’s quite a quandary. I work on my weakness for wounded puppy types as much as I can. Not easy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think you should be able to celebrate holidays, even if you had a bad memory from a previous one. Just because you broke up with a jerk on Memorial Day doesn’t mean you can be looking forward to a long weekend. Just get over it, move on and enjoy life.

    AB

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let me start out by saying that I really enjoy your blog.
    But I was disappointed that you focused so inwardly about your dating stories on this Memorial Day and talked about it being a holiday-less holiday without mentioning its real meaning.
    Memorial Day brings sadness to most of us in this country is related to the soldiers (both men and women) who sacrificed so much for us. I was surprised that you had no words about this in your blog.

  4. marlowedh says:

    Hi Simone,

    I’m sorry that you have such a bad memory haunting you today. Thank you for sharing it. I’m surprised that there are people who think others can “Just get over it, move on and enjoy life” or that feelings can be regulated in such a way that you can suppress strong emotions and replace them with others, because it is a certain day of the year. That strikes me as incredibly naive and a little if not unnecessarily judgmental.

    I hope you have a good day, holiday or not :)

  5. Simone Grant says:

    -Alicewillbe
    Welcome to the blog. I’d never really dealt with the wounded puppy thing before. When he and I first met he came off and confident and secure. But then as he got to know me better, or perhaps as I got to know him better, all of the insecurities and issues came out. And I just felt bad for him. Even though staying in the relationship was bad for me, I stayed because I felt like leaving was a bad thing to do to him. I don’t think I could ever let myself be put in that position again.
    -AB
    I’m sure there’ll be a time when Memorial Day weekend comes around and I don’t think of this. But for now the wounds are still fresh. It was an awful time of my life and he hurt me pretty badly. I don’t have the magic wand to make those memories go away.
    -Anonymous
    I didn’t mean to insult anyone. I have family and friends who’ve served in the military and know that this day means something. But this isn’t a big celebration day like the 4th of July or Thanksgiving, which is what I meant by the holiday-less holiday weekend. And I don’t mention anything other than dating and relationships in this blog. Heck my mom died in September and I didn’t mention that until months later, when it started to affect my dating life. This blog is what it is, a dating blog. I make no apologies for that. If people find it monotone, well…
    -marlowedh
    Thanks so much for understanding. I try not to dwell too much on exes and the bad things that have happened in bad relationships past, but some days are harder than others.

  6. wowsers says:

    Maybe think about the people protecting your freedom on memorial day — not your relationship issues.

  7. pansophy says:

    Are people really going to a dating blog and complaining that they aren’t reading something about the meaning of Memorial day!? Okay, here’s my contribution then…

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/22/woman.pilots/index.html

  8. MichaelVInNYC says:

    With regard to “wounded puppies”, it’s actually even more complicated, I believe, than what Alicewillbe describes.

    The deal is, a man will always appear to be at his strongest in the early phases of a relationship. Part of this is a conscious desire to appear impressive. Part of it, though, is simply a result of the fact that, when we’re on a date with a new woman, we’re often so damn proud of ourselves just for making it so far, that we behave with an elevated sense of self-worth. This is not necessarily a bad thing; “elevated” doesn’t necessarily mean “inflated”, and we all want to be with a partner who will help us bring out the best in ourselves.

    Sadly, this feeling almost never lasts. Once the newness has worn off and we begin to get comfortable, we let ourselves be vulnerable around you, and we’re a little more open with our insecurities and hang-ups. It’s ironic, because clearly one of the things that attracts you to us in the first couple of dates is our confidence and composure. But that confidence is driven by the very fact that we are seeing a new woman.

    Now, naturally, some of us have more hang-ups than others. Unfortunately for you ladies, there’s really no way to know if a man is a sane human being with normal ups and downs, or if he’s a total depressed basket-case, until you’re already at a point at which you’ve already invested yourself into the relationship and you’d feel guilty turning your back on him. We know the point at which that occurs. That’s exactly the point at which we often start to show you some of our proverbial scars.

    The best part about this is that it induces a cyclical effect. If you do start to pull away from us when we show you our vulnerabilities, then we get a lot less comfortable. Which means we lose our sense of complacency and realize that if we want to keep you we’ll have to fight for you. So then when we go out with you we get that first-date rush again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Guys, am I right? :)

  9. Devon aka Dru says:

    He’s a dick, for sure. I think we all have one in our lives that have been like him, confident and charming, and then you find out he carries more luggage than a celeb and their entourage. And they always cause us bad memories that take a long time to heal. I’m glad for your stories; shows us that none of us are alone in these experiences!

  10. darkheath says:

    MichaelV has explained this pretty well. The thing is, this kind of highlights the complications of dating a woman. It’s cyclical, it’s shrouded in a bit of hypocracy and makes it hard to stay out of this “Catch-22″ situation.

    Women are attracted to strong, confident men. There’s no doubt about that. Women will then complain about how there’s no communication, no show of feelings & not enough attention being paid. Once a certain comfort level is reached, some of that can be shown. Sometimes a guy needs his woman for support as much as the other way around. But it’s quite obvious that woman don’t really want to see that side of him.

    Here’s a simple fact… guys who are ALWAYS the strong & confident-type, you can pretty much count on them being generally self-centered with their needs coming first. That’s the way it is. Along with their strong & confident nature comes a strong & confident knowledge that they can just get someone else if you leave or get pissed off at them.

    I like to look at relationships as “partnerships”, with both people doing equally for the betterment of the partnership. If one needs support for some crying time, the other needs to be there for him/her in their moment of weakness.

    Now, I’m not saying all this to defend this particular guy. I read the previous Mother’s Day post, and this one, and it’s quite obvious that he just was not ready to move on yet and the relationship had not reached that point. That’s fine, both party’s just need to realize that. But I did want to point out the “confident/no feelings – too many feelings/not confident” quandry.

    cheers,

    david

  11. Simone Grant says:

    -pansophy
    Apparently there are some people who love to wag there fingers at others.
    -MichaelVInNYC
    That’s a lot to think about. Not sure I know what to say. Hmm.
    -Devon aka Dru
    Well, that’s why I’m out here, airing my dirty laundry. I want everyone to see just how common this stuff is.
    -darkheath
    I know I don’t want anyone who’s strong and silent all of the time, but rather a partner. In this case, I’d been “supportive” of him for a while. Most of our relationship had turned into him venting about how lousy everything was and me being a sympathetic ear. That’s not a partnership, though. That’s just dysfunction.

  12. StephanieRae says:

    wow I love your blog. I found it through stumble and was bored last night and read a ton of pages, it’s insightful & really entertaining… and stumble turns up such pretentious bullshit dating stuff sometimes. anyways, i love it, i’ll definitely be checking back :)

    about memorial day, i hate it too, but mostly because all the liquor stores are closed. and i have at least one bad memory associated with every holiday, so i try to just appreciate the day off work and pretend it’s just any day. easier said than done, but it helps sometimes. hope it turned out ok.

  13. Simone Grant says:

    -StephanieRae
    Welcome to the blog and thank you so much for your lovely compliment. I hope you will be back often. The more the merrier. I hope your day turned out OK, too.:-)