Tag Archives: Just Friends

Enter Stranger

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Halloween night 2010 was Kaima’s going away party.
To say I was a hot mess would not begin to cover how I was feeling.

I remember plenty from that night, including meeting a rather good-looking individual and being struck dumb by the way he said my name. “Kiki. Wow. That’s an interesting name. It’s nice to meet you, Kiki.” Beyond that, I remember him spending the rest of the evening talking to a brunette. Not that it mattered much, Kaima was leaving and my heart was broken.

As I struggled with the pain of losing him and moving on with my life (Enter A Certain Stubborn Bear), I forgot that moment when a stranger said my name.

Exit A Certain Stubborn Bear.

Enter fresh loss. And pain. Enter being BRAVE. Enter being alone. Enter YOLO.

And one day, while serving at church, Enter Stranger.

He said my name again. We might have talked for all of 5 minutes max, but I was again struck.
This time I went hunting for the Stranger on Facebook. To no avail. He was hidden from me and, apparently, lost forever.

Off and on I would remember to look for him at church, but that was more off than on and he again faded into a dim memory.

And then I decided to be Intentional this year.
And I decided to start dating.
And Facebook decided to send me an email, “Do you know these people?”

And there he was: The Stranger.

I thought about it, and finally decided to send him a message. I asked if he wanted to be friends. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to be friends with ME? However, he had never found me on Facebook and, let’s face it, I’m pretty easy to find so I had to check first.

Of course he wanted to be friends (he’s not an idiot).

 

The Dentist

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I was at work translating a benefit summary (the list of medical/dental/vision procedures covered by one’s insurance) and I came across a word that I had NO IDEA how to say in Spanish.

Root Canal.

So I checked a few online translators, but I was fairly certain that “endodoncia” wasn’t quite specific enough for what I wanted.

I asked a Spanish-speaking co-worker. He didn’t know either.
I asked the people in our call center. They didn’t know.

I became determined to find out the word.

I remembered that O.D. Churroman had a cousin who was a dentist so she MUST know. Yet another reason to be bummed that he was still not speaking to me.

LIGHTBULB!

That one Colombian friend of mine that I casually blew off all of last year because I wanted to stay just friends! He was a dentist! Perfect!

I called.

(The following conversation took place in Spanish, but has been translated for the non-Spanish readers.)

The Dentist: Alo?
Me: Hey, chico! How are you?
The Dentist: Hey! Kikita la Cubanita! It’s been a while! Where have you been?
Me: I know! I’ve been working. Speaking of work, I have a question… how do you say “root canal” in Spanish?
The Dentist: Transamiento de conducto.
Me:  Perfect! Thank you so much!
The Dentist: When am I going to see you again?
Me: … soon!
The Dentist: Monday?
Me: I have plans.
The Dentist: Thursday?
Me: I have drums.
The Dentist: 2013?
Me: Sounds great!

When you love what you do, you’ll go that extra mile. ūüôā

¬ŅY Ahora Qu√©?

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I was dying to go dancing.
I knew where I wanted to go, but it was just far enough that just going and hoping to find people to dance with was not necessarily something I wanted to risk.
On the other hand, I knew there would be a live band and I knew some “friends” (SEE: Exs) would be playing so it’s not exactly like I would be ALONE alone.

I asked a friend, but he couldn’t come.
I asked a buddy I knew was there all the time, but he wasn’t going.

So I went alone.

When I walked in, my attention was immediately captured by a dancer I’d never seen before. And I decided I would dance with him before the night was over.

I found my “friends” and sat down with them. Of course, they were sitting with the Cuban from a few weeks ago who had proposed to me¬†and his girlfriend. She was so quiet and barely looked me in the eye. I wondered if she hated me under pure suspicion of what had transpired a few weeks ago. Shrugging it off, I sat and chatted happily and then my “friends” got up to play, so I got up to dance.

During the next break, I made my way back to the table and … what was this? The dancer I had lost track of was sitting there! PERFECT!

After being introduced, I found out that not only was The Dancer a Cuban, he was the BEST FRIEND of the Cuban with the girlfriend. Awesome.

My “friends” got up to play again, the Cuban got up to dance with his girlfriend and I was left alone with The Dancer.
That was when The Challenge came up:
The Dancer: You drove 45 minutes for this?!?
Me: Sure, why not?
The Dancer: I would never drive 45 minutes for anything. Especially not this.
Me (to myself): Uh huh, we’ll see about that.
Me (to him): Ok, well, let’s dance.
The Dancer: You’re boyfriend won’t get jealous?
Me: First of all, he’s not my boyfriend. Second, even if he was, no… he likes to share.

Half a dance later…
The Dancer: Ok, maybe I would drive 45 minutes for THIS…
Me (to myself): I win.
Me (to him): Good to know, but don’t get any ideas of driving anytime soon…
The Dancer: How soon is soon? What are you doing tomorrow?
Me: I’m busy. And soon is, at least, March.

The night ended with a text informing me that I had no idea what I was missing, but hopefully I’d be willing to find out soon. If I had a nickel …

My plans for Friday night fell through, right along with my Saturday night plans.
I had been dying to go dancing at a Cuban place in Hollywood and had convinced a buddy of mine to be willing to make the drive with me on Saturday night, but he ended up having to work.

I sent The Dancer a message on Friday night saying that I might be available, but would let him know in an hour.
I admit, my intentions had been less than honorable. I really just wanted to win again. I had no intention of going anywhere Friday night.

He won.
He said he was going to a Cuban place in Hollywood and would love for me to meet him there.
Damn it. I hadn’t planned for that one. It was the one thing I couldn’t say no to.

It was another magic evening.
The girlfriend and her Cuban boyfriend were there and she was suddenly my best friend.
I was being introduced to all kinds of people and everyone found me to be the amazing person I am.

The Dancer and I danced and talked and it was great.
And the more we talked, the more amazing it was.
He even said that wonderfully cliché line of: Where have you been hiding all this time?

So I was winning, until he answered his own question and¬†things took a turn for the worse: That’s right, you’ve been behind a cloud of darkness.
Me: Excuse me?
The Dancer: Don’t try to tell me there was nothing going on between you and that negro¬†last night. [Negro as in the Spanish word for “black.”]
Me: Well, not last night, but once upon a time, sure. That was years ago, though.
The Dancer: How could you do that? You are so much better than that. Don’t tell me you’re actually attracted to negros?
Me: Seriously?
The Dancer: I’m sorry, but I don’t eat where a negro has eaten. I’m giving you this one chance because there’s just something about you, but consider yourself SUPER lucky!

I was instructed to text when I got home safely and that he would call me the next day, which surprised me since he didn’t seem to be able to get past my past.

And I guess he didn’t have the guts to tell me that to my face, because he never did call…

I can’t help but go back and forth between feeling irritated at such stupidity and totally ashamed of my choices from 5 years ago.

¬ŅY ahora qu√©?
So, now what?

He Dropped Me

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It was a long day.

I had an early meeting. I had projects to finish. I had projects to start. I had Cuban coffee to drink.

Somehow my boss convinced the VP to go to lunch at my new favorite Cuban place (Bella Cuba) and so what is usually lunch at my desk became two hours of not being at work with the added bonus of the VP mentioning how much “Kiki LOOOOOVES chocolate” (and he wasn’t talking about my eating habits – though how he learned about that I’m not sure because all three people I’ve dated since being at the company have been … *ahem* vanilla).

As I was finally leaving the office, LATE, the wind howled and stole the last drops of caf√© that were in my cup… and proceeded to spray them onto my favorite pair of white pants.

I hurried home to change into a pair of less favorite jeans so that I could hurry to the cd release party of an African girlfriend of mine.

I called an old BFF to make sure he was going. He was. We walked in together, but then an ex of his pulled him away just in time for me to see the ex-girlfriend of an ex of mine. She was absolutely thrilled to see me and demanded we take a picture together. Why not? Now there is a permanent record for me to review and wonder how the hell I ever ended up following an act like hers…

After the picture, I turn to greet a few other old friends and then see the pregnant wife of another ex. Of course, she has no idea of my ex status because when she and I met everyone thought I was with my BFF (when, in fact, it was his roommate I was with… ish). She is super sweet and absolutely adorable, but I get the sense that she’s not entirely thrilled to be pregnant and is worried that her mixed baby is going to come out less-than gorgeous. After hugging her and catching up a bit on her and then on everyone else who has had babies lately and everyone who was about to have babies, I found my old BFF again and we went looking for seats.

He had someone he wanted me to meet and started steering me in that direction. Of course, the friend he wanted me to meet was sitting right in front of the pregnant wife and her husband (my ex).

The break-up conversation that led to this ex becoming my ex was simple, to the point (something along the lines of “Kiki, you deserve better than what I have to offer you right now“), and we stayed friends. Since this was several years ago, certain things shouldn’t bother me, right? Of course, right!

My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: KIKITA!! It’s wonderful to see you! You’re beautiful! Do you know that? Really! You are so beautiful, and you have a beautiful heart and are just an amazing and beautiful person. Have I told you how beautiful you are?
Me: Not today…
My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: Come! Sit with us!
Me (to myself): You have GOT to be kidding me right now.

It was a spectacular concert. And the sound was done by the awesome Cuban guy from my church because the world is really that small and my night wasn’t weird enough.

Meanwhile… on my phone…

Dance Buddy: Hey there sexy lady! What are you up to?
Me: At a concert having a weird moment.
Me (to myself): I’m sorry, who gave you permission to call me “sexy lady”?
Dance Buddy: Oh, sorry to hear that baby! Just imagine I’m there dancing with you.
Me: Ha!
Me (to myself): Baby? Seriously? And this whole time I thought he was gay…

After the concert, but before leaving…

My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: Kikita, you know you need to have a mixed baby.
Me: Yeah, ok. I’ll get right on that.
My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: Why not [your old BFF]?
Me: That will never happen. Beyond not being attracted to him, when I turned 25 and freaked out about getting old, I asked him to be my back-up plan. If I turned 30 and didn’t have any prospects, I asked him to have a kid with me. Of course he agreed, but then we spent the next 6 months discussing baby names and were never able to agree on anything. So, even if I WANTED to have a kid with him, which I don’t, we could never name it.
My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: You are too much. Poor guy. He’s really awesome.

A little while later, some other individual came up to introduce himself to me. We ended up having quite a bit in common, including a penchant for learning new languages. My Ex With The Pregnant Wife  overheard us going from Arabic to English to Spanish and was kind of amazed.

My Ex With The Pregnant Wife (to the new guy): Kikita is an amazing woman. She’s really quite brilliant. Kikita! Have you ever tested for your IQ? She likes to pretend she’s not very smart because she’s blond, but really she is brilliant.

I guess the sales pitch worked because when some of the other girls asked if we could all go to a nearby dance place (which just happened to be my Sunday night hang-out), the new guy was happy to come along. And fearless about dancing even though he wasn’t very good.

My old BFF pulled me aside: Kiki! You have to dance! I’ve told everyone what a great dancer you are!

No pressure.

Luckily, one of my Sunday night buddies was there. He’s a bit odd, but fun to dance with so that’s all that really matters. We were dancing, but joking around a lot, too. Somewhere in the middle of the dance, he dipped me. No one ever dips me, which I understand, there’s a lot of me to dip.

Well, this kid dipped me, and then we kept dancing.
And then the song ended.
And he dipped me again.
And I am not sure exactly what happened…

He might have tripped me.
Or I might have lost my balance.
Or he wasn’t supporting me…

Whatever the reason, I found myself on the ground… sort of.

I really don’t even know how it happened. I was on the ground, so I knew I had fallen (or had been dropped).

But the kid hadn’t fallen on top of me.

And then he did.

And I didn’t think it was possible, but I fell MORE.

And I think we sort of rolled…

And I couldn’t stop laughing.

He dropped me.
He dipped me.
And he dropped me.

I’d never been dropped before….¬†Well, not LITERALLY dropped.

Obviously, all the exs of the evening had dropped me at some point…. figuratively speaking.

The lesson: You are going to get dropped and even if it doesn’t hurt too much at the time, you’ll still find bruises.

 

Abuela Duty

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Last Saturday…
Him: I had a dream about you last night. You were very flexible… So, what are you doing tonight? Want to go to Pedrito’s Posada with me?
Me: I’m on abuela duty.
Me (to myself): And I’m not that flexible.

 

On Monday…
Him: What are you doing for New Years?
Me: I think I’m going to Palm Springs.
Him: Who is he?
Me: There is no “he.” Debbie invited me.
Him: How am I supposed to get my New Year’s kiss if you’re in Palm Springs?
Me: You wouldn’t get one. I don’t kiss at midnight.
Him: I’m heartbroken now. It was the perfect excuse to kiss you… What are you doing tonight?
Me (to myself): Staying away from you, it would seem.
Me: I’m on abuela duty.

 

Today…
Him
: I miss you too much already*…. Can I just propose and get it over with? This way you can be around more…
Me: Stop it. Wait… I forgot that it’s Friday**. Yes, go ahead.
Him: I got some chickens, a cow couple of goats and some pigs. I think that should be a good thing to present…. Besides I have been saving myself for marriage and you would be my first. Estoy se√Īorito.
Me: I don’t believe you… about the chickens.
Him: I think your grandma would appreciate that kind of live stock that I am presenting to get you. A few people are coming over for dinner tomorrow, you should stop by. You could even stay the night if you like.
Me: Thanks, but I have family stuff and will be on abuela duty.
Him: You’re always on abuela duty.
Me (to myself): She is the best excuse I have when “I just don’t want to” won’t work.
Me: Yeap.

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*Already? I can’t even remember the last time I’d seen him. And this was the first ever that I was hearing about him missing me. Granted, he invites me over all the time, but I rarely go.

**There were three Fridays in September where various individuals asked me to marry them for various reasons. I had shared the stories with¬†this friend of mine,¬†he found it hilarious and tried proposing the following Sunday. I explained I only accept proposals on Fridays so he waited for the next Friday. Today’s story marks the third time he has jokingly proposed. I am starting to worry.

Vegas?

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Him (who is more commonly referred to as “El Loco”): Oye Kikita! Que bola?

Me: Not much. Just working.

El Loco: Want to go to Vegas?

Me: Sure! I love Vegas! When?

El Loco: Well,¬†I’ll be in L.A. tonight, we’ll leave Wednesday and then I’ll bring you back next Tuesday. Vegas is going to be a huge party this weekend!

Me:¬†Ummm… Yeah, thanks, but I have to work. :-/

Not So Happy Halloween

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I have no idea what happened.
One minute I’m out dancing having a great time, going home, ignoring a mild headache, eating, and going to bed in the wee small hours of the morning… and the next minute I’m waking up with a pounding headache and can’t keep anything down.
Not even Alka Seltzer.
Not even just water.

And while my body was rejecting the sip of water I had taken, I wondered if my eyes were going to pop out of their sockets because it felt like they might.
They didn’t.
I had to call in sick.
I hate calling in sick, but I haven’t eating since Saturday night/Sunday morning and have yet to drink more than a couple of sips of water at a time.

The good news?
I was able to take the call from an old girlfriend of mine and catch up with her.
It wasn’t until we got off the phone 20 minutes later that I realized how much I’d missed talking to her.
Hopefully, we’ll get together for dinner sometime soon.

Meanwhile, I’ll go back to watching TV so that I can go back to work tomorrow.