The summer of 2012 was an interesting time for me. There were two contestants on board, the Painter and the the Smoker.
The Painter was hot, but he wasn’t asking me out. That was a problem, because I didn’t want a hook-up, I wanted a boyfriend.
Considering that the Smoker had asked me to be his date to a wedding, the Painter got put on the back burner, and put on simmer.
Despite the wedding date with The Smoker was as long as it was, I still enjoyed myself immensely. It even made me feel what it was like to have a significant other again.
~ We mingled.
~ We canoodled.
~ We held hands.
~ We laughed.
And even though we enjoyed our date together, whatever we had quickly went down the drain as soon as he read the blog post about our awesome date.
I couldn’t understand why he would be mad. I kept him anonymous, as I always do with anyone I write about, and I thought that the blog post was fun, positive, and kinda flattering to him. Wasn’t it?
But besides that when his brother first introduced me to him as “the girl who blogs about all her dates,” wasn’t that a giveaway that I’d most likely be blowing about our date?
When me and the Smoker discussed the fact that I blogged about him and why, was the very moment I realized he didn’t get me.
He wouldn’t get me, either.
And if he didn’t get me, then it would never work.
That’s when the Painter got put back on the front burner, where my lust for him once again started to come to a boil.
But I knew that having lustful thoughts, would only mean trouble. On top of that, the Painter told me I couldn’t write about him at all. I couldn’t win!
Painter was a bad boy and as Oprah Winfrey always said, “Bad boys are bad for a reason.”
Instead of going with my intuition, I kept reverting back to that first time me and the Painter took an afternoon walk in the woods, where he opened up to me and I thought it was the beginning of a friendship. He even praised me for being so easy to talk to.
I kept hoping for that day to repeat itself, but it never happened. He only wanted to hook-up and nothing more. How do I know this? Because he told me so.
I should have been done with him right then and there. Instead, I justified a hook-up by listing in my head all the reasons why it wouldn’t be such a bad idea and why I shouldn’t feel guilty:
- It would be a good way to pass the time while waiting for Mr. Right, as it was turning into a long, drawn-out daunting experience.
- I missed having sex.
- I am a grown woman who can make her own decisions.
- Sex is fun.
Why couldn’t I just go and have sex? I always practiced safe sex, so why not?
I needed help with this question so who better to ask than my friend PPD, who had given me the nickname “Sex and the City.” Her advice was exactly this:
“Girl, I’m going to change your name in my phone, because you can’t be ‘Sex and the City,’ if you ain’t getting none.”
Little did she know, I hadn’t been getting any in a while. I wanted to change that, but first I had to stop the constant battle with myself in my head.
And just like that, my decision was made for me: I needed knee surgery–and I needed it like yesterday.
Was I starting to see a pattern here?
Was there a common theme to all of my dating madness and frustrations?
Oh, you want to have a summer fling with Mr. Hot Painter Guy?
How about a tall order of knee surgery instead?
For two years, my knee had been giving me problems and causing me a lot of pain.
Fortunately, after seeing a few specialists, they there was a simple solution to making my knee pain go away.
All I needed was surgery.
The moment I booked my surgery, my priorities on dating and hooking up changed. All of a sudden, the excitement of having a summer fling quickly faded, and meaningless sex was, just meaningless, and pointless.
What I really wanted was my boyfriend (who, clearly, didn’t exist) drive me the day of my surgery and take care of me. That’s what mattered. Not some hot guy, who I knew would never in a million years be there for me.
I kept thinking to myself, didn’t I deserve better?
Wasn’t hooking-up just setting myself up for more disappointments and frustration?
Now having sex with a hot guy was the last thing on my mind. The thought of having surgery took front and center stage. I was also a little panicked. Anyone who had been single, as long as I have, will understand that facing something like this alone, completely and utterly sucks.
Who would drive me?
Who would take care of me?
Who make sure I am okay when I’m all hopped up on drugs and uttering nonsense?
Who would take off work for 24 hours and watch over me?
Who could I trust?
The day of my surgery, it was Nathan, my brother, who took care of me. The day was pretty easy–at least for me it was. I checked in, kicked Nathan out of my hospital room, changed, and I passed out as soon as the nurse administered my drugs. I don’t remember anything after that.
When I woke up in my recovery room, Nathan was there waiting for me.
“Nathan, how long have you been waiting here?”
“A while,” he said looking at me like he saw something he didn’t like. “Umm….you’re starting to look a little green, Carrie.”
I felt green and very nauseous. I looked over at my nurse, who was also in the room with us, and before I could barf all over the place, she administered something into my IV. which made me instantly go back to sleep. Unfortunately, for Nathan, it also made me go back to sleep for another hour and a half.
It was a long day for Nathan.
Once I was awake and talking again, the nurse instructed me and Nathan on how the inflatable ice-pack contraption, now Velcro’d around my knee, worked. The ice-pack wrapped around my knee connected to a long tube that ran from the blue cooler sitting on the floor to the Velcro ice-pack. The instructions were easy. If I felt my knee starting to heat up, all I had to do was raise the cooler above my need. It was a brilliant invention.
When I got home, I quickly found out that the hassle of walking around with a water cooler was actually well worth it. The feeling of the ice-cold water settling in and around my hot knee was incredibly pleasant, but in a weird way. I remember telling Nathan that it felt like I was peeing my pants every time I raised the cooler.
It was the only analogy I could come up with.
The first few days following my surgery weren’t all that bad. I was taking my pain killers as directed; every 4-6 hours to avoid feeling any kind of pain-not that I was actually having pain.
My doctor encouraged me to walk as much as possible and, as long as I had my trusty ice-cooler attached to my knee, I didn’t have any problems.
Until day four.
Day four, my knee was feeling pretty good, but the rest of me was not. I felt horrible and sluggish. In fact, I didn’t even want to be in my own skin. I felt like crap. Literally. Four days of pain killers apparently will do that to you. How was I to know?
I decided to tell Nathan.
“Nathan, I haven’t pooped in four days.”
“And I had Chinese food two days ago. I feel like crap, Nathan, but I can’t take one.”
“I’ve never heard of it. Whatever you’ve got, just bring it over,” I pleaded.
“Well, I don’t know if they call it Ballerina Tea because you’ll be thin as a ballerina, or because you’ll be tip-toeing to the bathroom like one.”
MORAL OF THE STORY: Sometimes life hands you an unfortunate event to bring us clarity. In my case, it was having to go through something scary like having my knee surgically Roto-Rootered. The recovery time would take weeks, therefore, any hopes of having a summer fling got ruined.
I thought I was having bad luck again.
But I wasn’t having bad luck. Actually, the surgery was a God send. In the nick of time, I received some much needed clarity on what was truly more important in my life. It wasn’t having a temporary fix on my love life. What I wanted, and have always wanted, was to find someone who, like my brother, I could really count on and who really loved me, for me. I also realized that counting on something unnatural just to make myself feel better, like pain killers and hooking-up, would only cause unpleasant side effects that in the end, would only make me feel like crap.