by Karen Russo
Part 1: Bathroom Notes
week I was returning home after watching the season finale
of a favorite reality show at my cousin's when my friends,
Kaz and Sassa, rang and invited me for drinks. The invitation
came shortly after I had left a voicemail for The Man
who had recently taken my heart, thrown it on the ground,
then drove over with his BMW.
When I arrived at the restaurant, my friends introduced
me to a man they had mentioned a few weeks earlier. He sat
down next to me and promptly drank an entire bottle of Chianti.
I sat, slowly sipping my Maker's and Coke (which my friends
had promptly shoved into my hand) when I suffered a lightning
bolt to the brain: This was a set up. Sure enough, my friends
left and I was alone with the guy.
He was very funny. Laugh Out Loud Funny. So funny that I
thought I would wet my pants if we did not leave the bar
and get to my apartment as soon as possible, which is what
we did because the bathroom in the bar is disgusting. Plus,
my apartment building was next door so the walk to my own
private thrown was only a few extra steps.
So we enter my apartment, but instead of me rushing to use
the toilet, I listened to my answering machine messages
and he used the bathroom. Then he walked out. And then I
walked in. And then I shrieked. I had completely forgotten
the self-affirming notes that I had written on pieces of
colored paper and duct-taped to my mirror so I was forced
to see them and get over The Man.
These notes contained embarrassing feelings that were expressed
only to my therapist. Phrases too embarrassing to admit
existed. "Fuck him!" "Have some integrity!"
and, my most humiliating, "What are my needs, wants
and desired?" covered my bathroom mirrors. All of these
were placed next to my favorite greeting card that illustrated
two women standing next to a doghouse with the word "Fuckface"
written above the dog. "I named him after my ex-boyfriend"
one woman said to the other.
These were phrases that I was embarrassed to read and think,
never mind share with a man that I had invited up to my
I walked out of the bathroom, repeating "OMIGOD!"
and apologizing, trying to explain. He laughed at me. "I
wasn't going to say anything
For some reason, he still wanted to mess around. Probably
because he knew I was damaged goods and easy prey. He even
offered to play the three-minute game, in which both parties
get undressed and if, after three minutes, no one's interested
in sex, he'd leave. I declined the offer. I couldn't believe
it; if I were him, I would've run like hell. Or so I'd like
to think. According to my affirming notes, I need some integrity.
stay tuned for more next month.....