And Sometimes, You Forget Your…

I considered two things Saturday night at 8:40 p.m., while walking down Broadway: I’ve either gone crazy or I’m actually brilliant. I poured myself out of bed, where I was nestled in a very over-sized t-shirt that draped past my knees, because I realized that I was out of wine on my “Lindsay night in.”

Big problem.

I left in the rush of courage you can only get after a few glasses of red-wine, and with the eager intent of getting to the liquor store before it closed. Though I was still a bit exhausted from the day I had — a dog walk 5K with Lucy (yes, I’m ridiculous) and a free concert in Central Park with Stevie Wonder, John Mayer and more (yes, I’m lucky) — I knew a proper and relaxing evening in required refreshments, and ideally, cheese. Lots of cheese.

I quickly threw on my raincoat and infinity scarf, whipped my hair up and put on flats, grabbed my keys and headed down the stairs. It wasn’t until I was half-way down the block, rushing because the big silver gates guarding the Cabernet come crashing down at 9 p.m., that I realized I forgot pants.

Yes, I’ve lived in New York almost four years, and I forgotten everything from my wallet to my phone, but never, have I ever, forgot to put on pants.

I stopped hastily and buttoned up my red jacket in a hurry, feeling well exposed in front of strangers. A homeless man asked me for some change, a little girl flew past me on her magical scooter and a group of 20-somethings clicked by in their sky-rocket heels, leaving me in the dust of their perfume and cheap nylon. An elderly woman pushed her way across the avenue, unaware of the speed around her, and a man walking his dog didn’t notice a thing, completely plugged into his iPhone’s illuminated screen.

And there I stood, 25, single, pantless, walking to spend $20 on a wine and Vermont Sharp Cheddar on a Saturday night.

I considered heading back to my apartment, but I knew I didn’t have much time to waste. The city never sleeps and it certainly doesn’t wait for you to get your act together to appease to your demands. (Or to put on pants when you forget them.) And so, after checking half a dozen times that my ahem, backend, was not on display, I carefully walked two blocks, holding together the bottom of my jacket, to pick up my goodies.

After texting a few friends that I thought I’d officially hit rock bottom, I plugged in The Princess Bride (my favorite movie of all time), poured some of that well-earned wine and prepared to bury my embarrassment in my down comforter. But thinking about my pantless dance on the Upper West Side, I couldn’t focus on a movie, and instead, I just had a nice, long, hard…

laugh at myself.

The thing is, it shouldn’t be that surprising that I forgot to put on a piece of clothing. In fact, I’m frankly stunned it hasn’t happened before. From the way I walk to how I work and everything else I throw myself into, I move, really, really fast. I’m always in a hurry to get somewhere — to my job, to finish everything assigned to me, to get to happy hour, to leave happy hour, to write this blog, to publish that one, to be super-duper successful, to train for a half, to run the half, to go on a date, to meet someone, to fall in love, to do this, to do that, to go, go, go.

And with all this going, I often forget about the little things.

Like that even if my friends are spending nights in with men they love (and love them dearly back) on the weeknights, I get the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, without having to consider anyone. Or that my Sundays are often spent lounging in the grass in Riverside Park, sipping coffee, reading The Times while Lucy runs in circles, chasing tennis balls she can’t actually pick up. Or that I can get lost in anything, an incredibly good book, a nice, hour-and-a-half run around the reservoir, the not-so-winding streets, without having to worry about the kids, or the playdates or a house that needs cleaning. Or my ability to spend what I want on what I want, without thinking about mouths to feed or a joint-rent to meet or a savings account that someone else sees. That while I may not know where I’ll go or who I’ll meet, when it will all come together or how it’ll work out, I know that I’ll waste it all, if I rush through it.

And if I keep up this pace, I might be considered a little batty, walking the streets of Manhattan without pants. Or maybe I feel liberated? Free from the reigns of too-tight skinny jeans or yoga pants that have yet to get stretched? The crisp, fall air gushing it’s way across the avenues, sweeping through my raincoat and long, long t-shirt with the old, old dirty black flats?

Nah, pantless in New York isn’t fabulous or flattering or life-altering or something that triggered some powerful message in my life. Instead, it was just kind of, really, fun. And sometimes, that’s better than anything else.

Today, I Pick Me

I’m afraid that every man I ever date will always pick another woman over me.

There, I said it.

As someone who is pretty self-confident and considers herself successful, independent, and attractive – it is so hard to admit feeling inadequate. And this fear that swells up in my heart and my eyes frequently is a big one to overcome.

Part of this journey is noticing trends, both in my past and in my current thinking, and one thing I’ve always battled is not feeling “good enough” or “pretty enough” or “cool enough”. I know I have alluring qualities and I’m easy to be around, but when it comes to hooking a  guy and keeping his interest, I tend to feel like there is always another girl out there who does it better.

With all of the men I’ve dated (Mr. Faithful, Mr. Rebound, Mr. Fire, Mr. Curls, Mr. Buddy, and most recently Mr. Idea), they all found and fell in love with another girl shortly after things ended with me. For some it was a month or two, or a few weeks, and with one, only a day. Knowing that these men who I’ve given parts of myself to, both literally and emotionally, can just move on to the next gal without batting an eyelash has made me feel so invisible. And even more so, like my love, my presence, my feelings were just disposable.

I’ve made a vow to not bash anyone – male or female – on this blog, but rather talk about what I’ve learned, instead of what I resent. However, the women who have followed after me have been completely opposite of me. Given, I don’t know them very well (or if at all), but they look and act differently. They have totally dissimilar interests or goals or ways of speaking or looking at life.

While I don’t think there is anything wrong with these women, and if I actually spent time with any of them, I may hit it off and we’d be the best of friends (though I doubt it) – what does it say about me that men I’ve loved or dated, have made complete 360’s in the post-me gal they choose to date?

And what about the fact that all of them have not only started dating another woman, but fell madly in love with them, too? Or for the ones who wouldn’t agree to commit to me, they suddenly can be exclusive with someone else?

While I’ve made progress in this journey and feel more in-tuned with who I am and what I want, and especially what I deserve – I still compare myself to most girls and I still wonder, “When a guy could have any of the beautiful women who grace and strut the streets of Manhattan – why, oh, why, would he pick me? And if he does, won’t he just pick someone else later?

I think the new question I need to be asking myself is: “Why do I think it’s about him chosing me?

I’m not a pro on relationships (honestly, I don’t think anyone ever truly is), but to be “successful” in a relationship, you have to pick one another. I think that magical, mystical, and unbelievable passion is there at the beginning, but after a while, and especially when you’re married – you choose to stay in love. You choose to preserve the reasons and the feelings and the memories of why you agreed to be together in the first place. And while those men I dated chose me at some point, over the course of the relationship, we stopped chosing one another, and they inevitably picked another one out of the single-lady-fied line. And eventually, I picked someone else, too.

It’s not about deciding to go to another girl over me or not being good enough – it’s a matter of the difficult choices we make in life and in love every minute, moment, hour, and day. It’s not me. It’s not her. It’s not him. It’s just the natural progression of being in, falling into, and getting out of a relationship. And though I realize this, I think I’ll have to still aim to be genuinely happy for each of them…one day.

A part of me knows that I’ll chose someone one day and he will pick me, too – a larger part of me has decided against selecting a man right now. Because my life isn’t defined about what happened in my past or what man is in my life. It’s not about the girl with the long, brown, hair and pretty smile. Or the woman who takes the place in the bed where I used to lay. And it’s not about why the man decided to walk away or allow me to leave. It’s not about them – it’s about this woman, right here, looking back me in this mirror, in this tiny NYC apartment.

And today, this woman picks herself.