Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Can't buy me love

"Hello stranger." That's what the man in the black leather jacket said as I was entering my garage. Who would have thought that in the middle of Hell's Kitchen at 10:00 p.m. at night, I would run into an ex-boyfriend. In a city of over 8 million residents, it would be my luck to bump into another ex that bit the dust. It has been about 9 years since I remember sitting in Union Square telling this guy "it's not you, it's me." Here he was, looking exactly the same, and I was wondering if he thought the same about me. This ex was the last of the Mohicans. Not only was he the last unemployed guy I dated. He also happened to be the last Hispanic guy I dated. Hispanic, unemployed, I can see the hate mail piling up on this one! The truth of the matter is, like a drug, I got a taste of the little luxuries in life. And before I knew it, I was addicted. Before I could stop myself, I was making dinner plans at a 5 star restaurant on Park Ave with the director of my company, and breaking the heart of my handy man on 14th street. What had happened to me? I was hooked. It took years of fancy dinners, diamond rings, lavish vacations, and many broken hearts later for me to realize that it was not worth it. This break up 9 years ago took me down a road of endless lies, and countless accounts of infidelity. You see, all these high powered men had no choice but to shower me with gifts, because their conscience was eating them alive. Since handyman, they all had cheated. Not because I was not good enough, but because they could. They could get away with it, because there were so many other women out there like me. Who would overlook the flaw of being unfaithful, so long as it came with an "I'm sorry" and a Cartier bracelet. What I learned is, all I have to show for it is a jewelry box full of things I will never wear, and an expensive pallet for good food and clothes. Things I learned now, I can easily buy for myself. What I could not buy was the look on handyman's face as he told me about the new construction job he got on Liberty street, and how he wanted me to meet his girlfriend of four years. Handyman had it all. So I stand here wondering...Is the new BF exactly what I needed all along? And even if he isn't, at least I will be able to walk away having learned that the most expensive gift in the world can't be bought on Fifth Ave. It can be found right here in Hell's Kitchen.

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