My friend had been waiting for me downstairs. It was 11:40.
“How long have you been waiting?”
Shit. Here is my pet peeve: I can’t bear having people waiting for me.
“Didn’t I say text me when you are here?”
“I texted you when I was five minutes away.”
I bit my tongue and I knew I should stop right there. But I couldn’t. I lost it.
“I got your text about an hour ago about getting dim sum. And you were giving me less an hour when I just got out of the gym. I was at the grocery store. To be honest, I feel ambushed. But I don’t want to reschedule.”
“Didn’t we say we were meeting today for dim sum?”
“Yeah. I thought we were sticking with the original plan. 1 o’clock. I was waiting for your call last night to confirm.”
“If you weren’t sure. Why didn’t you call?”
“I was editing my podcast.”
“Which I’m sure you haven’t listened.”
“No, I haven’t yet.”
“Then don’t promise that you would as I quote, ‘I’m gonna listen to it today.’ blah blah blah. Now it’s a week later.”
“You just have to win this, don’t you?”
“Just be honest.”
“I have a million of other things to do today. And I’m not feeling particularly well. Why don’t I just drop you off back to your place?”
He was not joking. I stopped.
When we were on the freeway, he asked, “So you feel overwhelmed. Why?”
I thought he wanted to listen. Big mistake. By the time I realized it, he was off the ramp and into the street.
“Where are we heading?”
“I’m taking you home.”
“Are you fucking serious?”
“Just because I haven’t listened to your podcast doesn’t mean I have to ruin my day being around you berating me.”
The car was still moving, but I unhooked the seat belt. “Pull off. I’ll call a Lyft.”
I started crying, “When was the last time I ever stood on you? Never. Do you hear? I never reschedule. You know why? Because I don’t want to. Because I know every meeting now means one less before I’m out of your hair forever. If you don’t want to listen to my podcast, don’t say you will. It’s not a fucking assignment and I’m not grading it later.”
“No. It is.”
“If it brings you no joy, don’t do it. Please. I’m not some needy kid screaming for your attention. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Give me some clarity. That’s all.”
“I pity the man that you’ll marry.”
Full disclosure: The tears paid off. We had dim sum. Several hours later, he called and said he enjoyed my interview.
I rubbed my chest. It still hurt.
PS. A psychologist is my guest for this week’s podcast.
You may find it interesting if you’re wondering these things:
a) Is it too late to pivot?
b) How does a psychologist deal with her life crises and rock bottoms?
c) I want to try counseling, does it mean I’m abnormal?
d) What does it take to be a psychologist?
e) all the above.