i wish i hadn’t taken this job.

Something weird happened.

On my first day of work, I realized that I didn’t want to work with jewelry. I wanted to work in interior design. It’s what I love and what I’m passionate about. As I was going through my onboarding, it dawned on me that I was not excited about jewelry and even though the office was beautiful and everyone was really nice, I was not excited about the new job.

I was thinking, “Great. I made the wrong decision again.”

During my lunch break, I checked my phone and saw that Scott had called and texted me and Mike had texted me. Y’all remember Mike? I was dying to know what he wanted so I opened his message first.

“Hi. I hear you’re in NYC. Let’s meet for lunch,” he said, staying true to his cold and demanding self.

I said back, “Hi Mike. You heard correctly – I live here now! Here’s my schedule…”

Scott had texted me, “Hey! How are you? I know you’re in the market for a new job and I think Mike is looking for someone so I told him to reach out to you. I’m not sure what the opportunity is, but it’s worth looking into. We are missing you here in Chicago…” He continued on telling me about the office and his dog.

How funny that the moment I realized I wanted to be back in interiors, I potentially had an opportunity back in interiors.

My first day was fine though. Quite boring and everyone was dying to meet me. And that’s fine and all, but I didn’t remember a single person’s name.

When I got home, Brady was home. He was on a video conference call and I debated lifting my shirt and flashing his colleagues. But I didn’t.

When he was finally off his call, he immediately wanted to know how my first day went.

“It was fine, but Mike and Scott texted me. Mike found out I’m here and has a job I might be interested in,” I said.

Brady’s jaw clenched. “Scott texted you?”

“Just to tell me about Mike.”

“Okay.”

“So I’m having lunch with Mike on Wednesday. People at work have already put lunches on my calendar for this week. They’re so annoying,” I said.

“Okay,” Brady said again. He went in the kitchen and started pulling things out to make dinner.

“I hope it’s something good,” I went on. “Like I was so bored today when I was learning about what I’d be doing.”

“You probably want to figure things out. I don’t recommend hopping from job to job until you find something you like. Maybe you shouldn’t have left your job if you weren’t sure,” Brady said.

“I mean, of course I shouldn’t have left if I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t know and I definitely didn’t expect Mike to reach out to me,” I said back defensively.

“Just figure out what you want to do, Reese. You don’t want all these random holes in your resume.”

He sounded like my dad.

“Oh my God, Brady, where are the holes? I had my job for two and a half years and before that I was with my last company for over two years also. Why are you lecturing me like I don’t know this? You just got a new job, why can’t I?” I said.

“I’m sorry, I’m not trying to lecture you. I am trying to help.” His voice softened. “I just want you to have a career you are proud of.”

I rolled my eyes and stormed off. Scott was still texting me and we texted for a little bit. I’m still mad he didn’t give me a reference even though he said he would.

Brady came and found me a little while later.

“Do you want to go out and find something for dinner?” he asked.

“Fine,” I said back, realizing I was a bit hungry.

We got sushi for dinner and then Brady suggested we stop somewhere else for drinks. We went to a nearby sports bar to drink tequila and watch football. Afterwards, I could tell Brady had a lot to drink because he followed me into the bedroom while I was taking my coat off and grabbed my jeans.

“Can I at least take my jacket off before you start molesting me?” I pretended to be annoyed, but obviously I didn’t mind.

“I can’t help it,” he said, kissing the back of my neck.

I turned around and we kissed for a bit before I decided that Brady deserved a blowjob because he’s just so cute. His penis gets so erect when we are fooling around – like more than I’ve ever seen on another guy and I like that.

Suddenly, he yanked me off my knees by my arm and pushed me over the side of the bed. In one swift motion, he pulled down my jeans and pushed right into me. I had to grab onto the bed to catch myself. He immediately came.

On Tuesday, Heidi took me to lunch. Tons of people were adding things to my calendar and coming over to my desk to chat and I was overwhelmed by all of it. One of the girls who works on my team came up to me and started talking about Chicago and my previous job. I didn’t remember telling her any of it or talking to her at all previously. I even said, “So sorry, what was your name again?” at the end of the conversation. She didn’t seem to like that, but what was I supposed to do?

I stopped at the grocery store after work so I could make pho for dinner. By the time Brady got home, dinner and dessert were both ready and the house was clean and the laundry was done. It was 10pm.

“Dinner looks amazing,” he said as he was putting his laptop and coat away. And then he came over to me. “But you look even better.”

I peeled him off since he was literally stuck to me like a leech. “None of that yet. You have to try my pho.”

“Okay,” Brady said reluctantly.

We ate and I told Brady about work. Well, complained.

“There are literally no men in the office. Which is totally fine, except not fine at all. Everyone wants to be my friend and it’s like a big sorority house. I hate it,” I said.

He laughed. “Shouldn’t everyone wanting to be your friend be a good thing?”

“It’s not! I haven’t had a chance to even fucking think because everyone has been hounding me,” I told him.

After dinner, we headed to the couch to do naughty things. Blow job, sex, and then sex again. And then we watched Love, Actually.

I didn’t prepare for my lunch with Mike on Wednesday mostly because I was thinking about having sex with Brady and his perfect penis.

We met at a little French café a few blocks from my office. It was small and Mike and his assistant were sitting at a tiny table in the corner. I could tell before even hearing them that he was barking orders at her. Aw, I kinda missed him.

I approached the table and the assistant waved at me as a greeting. Mike didn’t even look up or stop talking and just nodded at the empty seat across from. Always so charming, that Mike. A server came over and I ordered a frisée salad even though neither of them were eating.

A few minutes later, after I’d drank an entire glass of lemon water, Mike finally seemed to notice I was there.

“Reese, hi,” he said, glancing up at me. “Good to see you. How is everything?” It seemed so forced, like it pained him to ask how I’m doing.

“Everything is going fine. I love being in New York. Thanks for asking,” I said back.

“Okay. Yeah, glad to hear. Where are you working?” he said, pulling out his phone to multitask while making small talk with me.

I briefly explained my new job and let him know my feelings about all of it. When I mentioned that the job was not in décor and interiors and I wanted it to be, his head shot up.

“If that isn’t what you want to do, then what do you want to do?” Mike asked me.

I took a moment to think before giving an answer. I thought about how happy I was at my previous job with Diana. I loved what I was doing back then.

Before I could articulate that, Mike said, “I’m not sure if you heard but I’m heading an award winning commercial architectural design and firm. We – well I -need someone to take over a mid-level role. My first thought was Scott, but of course, he is not relocatable.”

“Right,” I said.

“Then he suggested you. I had a feeling you’d end up here at some point. The job is everything you’ve done before, I’m sure it pays more than what you’re making now and it’ll be reporting directly to me.”

I almost laughed at him saying “you’ll report to me” as if that was some sort of added benefit.

“I don’t know if you’re interested, but I think you should be,” Mike continued. He asked his assistant to send a job description to me and she nodded without looking up.

“Yeah, I’d love more information to consider this,” I said.

“Essentially, you’re in charge of all of our corporate projects. We work with corporate offices, restaurants, hotels, luxury apartments, car dealerships, that kind of thing. Your role is to see each project through completion,” Mike said. He instructed the assistant to send me a portfolio.

“That sounds nice,” I said. I liked the sound of the job, but I didn’t want to make any sudden movements.

“We have to get going. Please email me if you have any questions,” Mike said abruptly.

I hadn’t even gotten my salad yet. Like thanks for inviting me to lunch and then not even treating me to said lunch. Mike and his assistant left and I texted Brady letting him know what happened.

“Is it something you want to do?” he asked.

“Of course!” I replied.

“And you’d work with that guy again?”

“Mike?”

“Scott.”

“No, I’d be working with Mike. It’s a totally different company.”

“Okay. Go for it if you want.”

I sensed Brady was unamused with my continued job search so I continued my lunch in silence.

Mike’s assistant called me that afternoon.

“Hi Reese, it’s Samantha. Mike wanted me to reach out to see if you have any questions,” she asked.

I hadn’t even had a chance to read through the job description she’d sent yet.

“Hi, not at this time. I might later though. I can email him if I need anything,” I said.

“Okay. He also wanted to know when you’d be able to start?” Samantha asked. “It’s no rush, but he said he wants someone by Christmas and he’s talking to a few other candidates….?”

“Probably soon, Sam. I’ll let him know, okay?” I said.

“Okay, Reese. Thanks!”

Mike’s always been super aggressive so I wasn’t surprised that he was having his assistant put pressure on me.

I went back through and reviewed my contract that I’d just signed on Monday and tried to figure out if there was even a way out of it. The bonus hadn’t hit my account yet, but as far as I could tell, if I quit, I’d have to pay it back. Gladly!

Since Brady didn’t seem to want to talk about careers with me anymore, I texted Scott.

“Working with Mike is very, very tough. But I think you’d learn a lot,” he said.

“I’ve worked with him before,” I pointed out.

“Not very closely. You worked closely with me and I worked closely with him,” Scott countered. I rolled my eyes.

“The office I work in is full of women and they ramble and gossip all day long. It’s like being at a Sunday brunch with 5,000 girls everyday,” I said.

“I don’t know what that’s like but I can imagine.”

“Today one of the girls in my office had a meltdown because she’s turning 26 and has to get her own health insurance. Everyone crowded around her and consoled her for like two hours. I told her that her hangovers would also become more debilitating and it would be much harder to lose weight and everyone looked at me like I’d committed a crime.”

“I can’t lie, I wish you were coming back to work here you me. Your absence is noticed, that’s for sure,” he said.

That seemed like a good place to end the conversation and I didn’t text back. Brady worked late again so I spent the evening writing a resignation letter to Heidi. What? You have to be prepared.

The next morning, I woke up to three messages from Mike.

One said, “Have you thought about the job, tease?”

And then he said, “I mean Reese.”

And then he sent me a picture of the dark-ish sky from a window. In the reflection of the window, I could see Mike and his big shoulders taking the photo. He looked kind of hot in the reflection.

“View from the office,” he captioned.

I didn’t get a chance to respond because Brady came out of the bathroom in just his towel looking like he wanted to get some.

After a super quick hookup and a shower, I texted Mike back, “How much are you paying?”

Blunt, but what was the point of beating around the bush?

When Mike didn’t respond, I was afraid I scared him off, but then Samantha emailed me.

“Mike wanted me to send this to you. Please let me know if you have any questions.”

Attached was a job offer with a starting date of 12/17/18 and a benefits packet.

I didn’t reply and focused on work all day. I was still just doing training, but shockingly I’d gone to two meetings in the morning and had a lot to say during them. I always have a lot to say, but still.

With all that was going on, I forgot about the big Christmas extravaganza until my mom sent me a screenshot of their flight confirmation.

“We can’t wait to see y’all!”

So then I was super worried everything that was obviously going to go wrong. Plus I needed a fabulous dress to wear.

Brady worked on Saturday again. That was fine, Lola and I needed to catch up anyway. We met up for a boot camp class at 10am and then headed to brunch. I told her all about my work situation.

“Mike sounds like an arrogant prick. I’m obsessed with him,” she said.

“I assure you, he sounds more intriguing than he really is. The job sounds so fun though! I wish I hadn’t taken this job,” I said.

“Just tell them you’re not coming back. Like yeah, maybe you wasted a little bit of their time, but who cares? People have done worse,” Lola advised.

“What about my contract and signing bonus?” I asked.

“Send it to me. I’m sure it’s really easy to get out of as long as you pay back the bonus. Plus, I’m sure they aren’t going to want you around for a whole year if you don’t want to be there. You’re doing them a favor.”

She was right.

After brunch, we ran some errands (shopped and tried on clothes) until Brady texted me letting me know he was coming home from work. So I rushed home because I’d been thinking about fucking him all day.

I showered and put on yoga pants and a white cropped sweater and waited for Brady to get home. He finally walked through the door and I jumped on him before he could put his things down.

“It’s good to see you too,” he laughed, pushing me off slightly.

“I’ve been waiting for you all day,” I pouted.

“Have you?” Brady stepped around me and sat his bag and jacket down on our entry table.

“Yes, I missed you,” I said, throwing my arms around his neck.

Brady peeled me off and gave me a quick kiss. “I told some friends we’d meet them for dinner and I need to shower.”

Ugh.

I let him go shower while I procrastinated getting ready. I still had plans of hooking up and I didn’t want to ruin my dinner outfit. When I heard the shower turn off, I barged into the bathroom. Brady was stepping out of the shower, obviously naked, reaching for his towel. I threw off my sweater and unhooked my bra while he started to ask what I was doing. But then he realized and didn’t have any questions after that. We had sex facing the foggy mirror and it was amazing. Brady and his magical penis. I needed another shower after that then I got dressed in black jeans, a satin button down and a Helmut Lang bomber.

We met up with Zeke and some of their other friends at a bar in Brooklyn. The bar served food, but it wasn’t exactly “dinner” as Brady described. The group started off with the three of us plus two other guys, but slowly started growing until there were about ten of us. I ordered tater tots and a salad because I was starving and then I got annoyed because Brady wanted to share my food. If you’re hungry get your own food, bro.

We ended up staying out until 4am and I wasn’t prepared for that and was yawning all night. Brady was chugging beers and even taking shots and I could not roll my eyes hard enough. I chatted with Zeke mostly and he told me a graphic story about doing anal with some girl.

When we got home, we sat on the couch before going to bed. Drunk Brady started talking.

“I think you’re amazing and I want to be with you forever, but I’m afraid I can’t give you what you need,” he said.

“What?” I said back, not expecting this conversation.

“You need someone who is around all the time and I like to work. Work is my hobby and I enjoy being there.”

“You enjoy being at work more than you enjoy being with me?” I clarified.

“No, but I have to. In order to be where I want to be, I have to put in a lot of work.” He kind of fell into me and I pushed his drunk ass off.

“I don’t want to talk about this right now, you’re drunk,” I said. I got up and changed into pajamas and when I came back out to the living room, Brady was passed out on the couch with Tucker.

The next morning, Brady was up and ready for the gym.

“Do you want to talk about what you said last night?” I asked, glaring at him. I started changing into my gym clothes without bothering to shower.

“Sure. What do you want to talk about?” he said back and it became apparent to me that he didn’t even fucking remember.

“Do you remember the very first time you broke up with me? You said, ‘I can’t be what you need.’ You said that to me last night,” I said.

Brady nodded.

“You obviously don’t realize how badly that hurt me. Is that what you’re doing again? You dragged me all the way to fucking New York City with you only to decide work is your number one priority. You could have left me in Chicago where I was perfectly happy.”

“That’s not-” he began, but I interrupted him.

“I’m so sick of your goddamn games, Brady. I’m sick of wondering what you’re doing and thinking because you’re a closed off little mute who won’t tell me anything. Oh, except that I need to figure out what job I want so I can be taken seriously by your family.”

“I’m sorry.”

Of course he was. I went and brushed my teeth and combed my hair. We didn’t say anything as we walked to the gym. I thought that maybe I was overreacting, but the whole thing was so frustrating. It felt like he was blaming me, like I had these crazy, unattainable needs. Just don’t work 20 hours out of the day – I think anyone would ask for that.

I was so mad that I actually worked out at the gym.

When we got home I showered and when I got out it sounded like Brady was cooking. I found him in the kitchen making breakfast – a little avocado and egg sandwich because I’m somewhat vegetarian at the moment.

“Hungry?” he asked, watching me poke around the kitchen.

We sat and had breakfast, talking about everything except what we should’ve been talking about. I’d all but accepted Mike’s job offer and I was excited about it and didn’t care if Brady didn’t approve. I didn’t approve of his work life either. So we talked about the new job and how exactly I was going to leave the new job I’d just started.

“I want you to be happy and if taking this new job will make you happy, I think you should do it,” Brady said.

“I am. You know what else would make me happy? If my boyfriend actually wanted to spend time with me instead of working,” I said.

He nodded and looked down.

I took a deep breath to calm myself because I felt like going off again. He is so fucking frustrating. We didn’t say anything for the remainder of our meal.

I put on a movie and we sat on the couch watching with Tucker. Halfway through Coco, Brady grabbed my hand.

“I’m sorry if I haven’t been clear about how I feel about you,” he said. “I want to spend every second with you and if I could, I would.”

I just stared at him.

“I’m not trying to be selfish. Are we okay? I can’t imagine being here without you.”

“If you aren’t trying to be selfish then why are you?” I challenged. “I’m obsessed with you, Brady, my life literally revolves around you. It’s a slap in the face when you work so much and even volunteer to work more after I dropped everything and moved here to be with you.”

I felt kind of bad that I was bringing up the fact that I moved to New York because he asked me to, knowing that I’ve wanted to move here forever.

“I know. I will make time for you, I promise.” He kissed my hand.

Okay. If that’s what Brady was claiming, I’d wait to see if he kept his word. He was home when I got home on Monday and came home at 7:30pm on Tuesday! And immediately jumped my bones as soon as he saw me both times. And he came home with McDonald’s on Tuesday so maybe he really does care.

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should i kill him?

Brady worked late last week. Not even just late – like crazy late. He promised to come home early on Mondays, but he didn’t walk through the door until 10:30pm on Monday night.

I looked at him like he had five heads when he walked into the living room where Tucker and I were watching a movie.

“Wow, so much for working from home on Monday nights,” I said.

“I’m sorry, I had a lot to catch up on from the weekend. I’m going to try to get off early tomorrow though,” he said. He put his stuff down and made a beeline for the bedroom and didn’t kiss me or anything which I think is rude.

So I followed him.

“Was work okay though?” I asked, sweetly.

“A bit of a bitch, to be honest. Anytime we work with benzodiazepines, it can be unpredictable,” he said.

“Benzos?” I clarified. Back over the summer when I was secretly texting that Xanax-addict musician, I learned the term.

“Yeah. But the team I work with is very good.”

“Oh, like who?” I asked.

“Like Andrea. She helps me out with a lot of paperwork and note taking,” Brady said and then he walked out of the kitchen.

“Let me see Andrea!” I said, innocently. I continued following him.

“Why?” I could tell he was getting increasingly more annoyed, but it’s like, I need to see who you are working late with every night.

“I just want to see her. Please.”

Brady sighed. “I don’t have a picture, Reese.”

“You have Facebook,” I pointed out. “I’ll grab the iPad. Please, please can I see her?”

I was begging to see a picture of Brady’s coworker because he loved her and I had no shame about it.

I pulled up Facebook on the iPad and instructed Brady to log in. A few minutes later, Brady handed the iPad back to me, looking unamused.

“Cute!” I exclaimed, meaning it. Andrea’s photo was a professional black and white headshot and she had what looked like dirty blonde shoulder length hair, with trendy beach waves in it. She was wearing some sort of dark lipstick that was apparent even in her black and white picture.

Brady walked into the kitchen and I continued scrolling through her page. I quickly discovered that she has a hipster looking boyfriend with a big, disgusting beard and they had a ton of pictures traveling together. And girls don’t cheat on their boyfriends so I decided she is a nonissue.

I was more interested in the unopened message he had. With Brady occupied, I clicked the message and saw that it was from Brittany. Houston Brittany! This bitch. Before I could open it, Brady came back around with his bowl of cereal.

“How was work for you?” he asked.

I sat there with him while he ate his dinner, telling him about all of my opportunities I had going on. I’d told him about everything while we were on our way to Houston, but I wanted to talk about it more to see if he had more insight. Plus, my interview for the social media position was unexpectedly cancelled.

“I think you should move on from there. Even if they do decide to move you into that new role, it sounds like it’ll just be putting a bandaid over things for now. We don’t know if you’ll like the new office more and it’s a risk. I want you to be happy though,” Brady said.

Later, Brady fell asleep on the couch and I took the time to get back into his Facebook messages. There was a brief moment where I felt bad about what I was doing. How I needed to trust him especially after realizing that I had jumped to conclusions about both Kim and Andrea. But luckily that feeling passed and I proceeded to snoop anyway.

The most recent message from Brittany said, “Lol, let me know when y’all make it back home!”

I scrolled up and saw that the original message was from Sunday morning at 3:00am. Around the time when we were all leaving the club.

“You know Christian is the ex, right?” she said. The last time they spoke before that was a long time ago.

At 10:00am, Brady said back, “Really?”

“Yeah. I’m not sure how long it lasted though, Reese never talked to me about it,” Brittany said.

Like, what a bitch. Christian could hardly even be considered a fling. I barely even hooked up with him.

Then Brittany said, “I know they slept together, but I’m not sure the exact details. Just wanted to make sure you knew.”

“Haha, well obviously he’s far from the only other guy she’s slept with. Thanks for the info though,” Brady said back.

I was furious! What was Brady trying to say? And fucking Brittany! What was her issue? I immediately texted her, “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull by telling Brady about Christian, but nice try. He already knew.”

Brittany called me and I sent her to voicemail.

“Reese, call me before you freak out,” she sent me.

I ignored her and since I was already in Brady’s messages, I decided to continue snooping. Obviously Brady isn’t really into social media so there wasn’t a whole lot to see. But I did find a message from 2009 where he asked a girl to come over. Asshole.

I was seething. I blocked Brittany and then I went through and deleted as many random friends and photos as I could. Too far? I don’t give a shit. No one uses Facebook anymore anyway.

When Brady finally woke up to get in bed, I launched into him.

“Did you and Brittany have fun talking shit about me?” I demanded.

“What are you even talking about?” he said back.

Christian obviously isn’t the only other guy she’s slept with!” I repeated.

“Oh my God, why are you yelling at me? She’s your friend! I was defending you. What did you want me to say?”

“Literally I don’t want you to say anything at all, especially not to me. Fuck you,” I said. I got in bed and didn’t talk to Brady before falling asleep.

You know that exhausted feeling you wake up with after a night of debauchery? I woke up feeling like I’d just robbed a bank and performed at a strip club in front of everyone I know the night before. Thinking about my little Facebook rampage, I felt kind of guilty.

Brady appeared at my side, kneeling by the the bed.

“I love you,” he said, putting a hand on the side of my face in my hair. “I’m going to try to be home early tonight, okay?”

I nodded. He kissed me and left. If only what he said was true.

When I got to work, I saw that one of my marketing leads who I was going to meet with later in the day cancelled our meeting in Google. That was weird. All day I waited for the updated calendar invite, but it never came. Ooookay, so I guess I was no longer in the running for that job. Whatever then.

I stayed at work a little later than normal (5:45pm) and then headed home expecting Brady to either be there or be on his way. After feeding Tucker, taking him out and even running around the park a bit, Brady still wasn’t home.

“ETA?” I texted him at 7:30pm.

“Not sure. Still lots to do, but I’ll let you know, baby,” he said.

Ugh. Don’t fucking call me baby. Especially when you’re being an asshole.

The fucker didn’t come home until 10:30pm. Again. I didn’t even say anything to him when he walked through the door. I did my nighttime routine and then got in bed. When Brady joined me, he wrapped his arms around my waist and tried to pull my close to him.

“Did you you have a good day?” he whispered in my ear.

I ignored him, pretending to be asleep. And then, because I was still mad when I woke up, I waited as long as possible to get out of bed so I wouldn’t have to talk to him.

Later that morning, I got a message from the girl in marketing who I was supposed to interview with.

“Hey, sorry about canceling the interview. I had a time conflict. Are you available to meet tomorrow?” she asked.

Was this a joke? I literally had 2 days left and had obviously mentally checked out. But whatever. I told her we could still meet. I’d entertain her a bit.

Gabby and I walked to Chopt for lunch and I told her what was going on with the position and interviews.

“Obviously you aren’t going to take the job if they offer it to you though, right?” she asked.

“I mean, the timing is super off. My last day is Friday and they want to meet with me on Thursday. Unless they conjure up an amazing offer in two days which I highly doubt, I am leaving,” I said.

“If you don’t end up getting that job, I wonder who they will choose,” Gabby pondered.

“They’ll probably go external,” I said.

Gabby’s face seemed disappointed. Wait. Did she want to be considered for the role? The poor thing is sick of being a receptionist and wants to put her degree to use. Maybe after I get comfortable in my new job I can find her something at my company.

On Wednesday night, Brady came home at 10:45pm. It was finally time to confront him.

“What’s going on at work that keeps you so late?” I asked as politely as I could.

“I’m working on divvying up some responsibilities so I don’t have to work as much. There’s a lot to do and at this moment, I am the only one able to do it. But eventually I’d like to pass some responsibilities onto other people. That takes time and training,” he explained.

It honestly sounded really stupid.

“Okay, so tell me about your timeline of when all of this is going to happen and you can come home at a decent time,” I said

“Well, as soon as possible obviously.”

“That’s not that answer I am looking for,” I said.

“It’s the only answer I can give you right now,” Brady said, getting defensive. I wanted to slap him.

But do you know who was home at 6:00pm on Thursday? I came home needing a drink. I had my interview with the marketing woman and to put it politely, it was a complete waste of my time. It seemed like she’d never conducted an interview before and I basically dominated the whole thing. At the end, I even said, “If you have someone else you think would be a good fit for this role, by all means, hire them. I already have another job lined up so..”

She looked surprised, but said okay.

I was measuring the fourth tequila shot for my drink when Brady walked in. Aggressive? Yes, but it was Thirsty Thursday.

“Oh my gosh, hi! You’re home so early,” I greeted him.

“Yeah. I still have some work to do this evening,” he said.

I felt guilty that he was home for dinner and I had no plans for what we would eat. Usually I eat silly things for dinner like chik’n nuggets with mustard or a plate of homemade nachos.

So I ordered a pizza for us and annoyed Brady for the majority of the evening. He came home at a decent time on Friday too. We went out for drinks to celebrate my new job and stuff and proceeded to stay out until 4:00am getting fucked up and dancing. Brady revealed that he was working on Saturday despite not being “scheduled.”

“Why would you volunteer to work when you don’t have to? It’s bad enough you work weekends sometimes anyway,” I said.

“I just have some work I want to catch up on. It’ll only be a few hours, don’t worry,” he said.

And honestly, it was nice to be able to sleep in and not have Brady waking me up for the damn gym. Tucker and I finally rolled out of bed at noon. I was bit hungover and starving and texted Brady to see what his ETA was so I could decide if I should wait for him to eat.

He didn’t reply right away so I took Tucker on a walk around the neighb. Brady finally responded saying, “Not sure.”

What the fuck ever. I decided to grab lunch on my own. Something weird happened while I was out. Brady’s mom texted me.

“Hello. I understand Brady is working so I am reaching out to you. We’d like to invite the two of you over for dinner this evening, if you are available,” she said.

How sweet.

“Of course. What time is dinner?” I said back.

“Whenever is convenient. I know Brady likes to work late.”

“Should we bring anything?”

“Just yourselves. We are looking forward to seeing you.”

I immediately texted Brady, “Your parents invited us over for dinner. So you probably need to get off work soon.”

He didn’t reply right away, but I felt like I needed to mentally prepare myself for the evening ahead. I cleaned the whole apartment, found a cookie recipe on Pinterest, texted Brady, ran to the store to get the ingredients for my white chocolate cranberry cookies, baked burned the cookies, threw them out, showered, texted Brady, picked out four outfits and curled my hair.

Brady finally waltzed in after 8:00pm. I was sitting on the couch in my underwear with my hair and face done.

“Where have you been? Why haven’t you texted me back?” I screamed.

“Relax. I just talked to my mom. I just need to change and then we’ll head over,” he said, rolling his eyes at me.

I followed him. “Just so you know, it’s super inconsiderate of you to volunteer to work today even though you’ve already worked a ton this week. And then you decide not to come home until almost 8:30. It’s like you are purposely trying not to spend time with me and Tucker.”

Brady sighed. “You know I wish I was home with you guys more. I don’t even know why you’re doing this right now, Reese.”

I quickly got dressed in jeans, Alexander Wang booties and a modest sweater. Brady and I took an Uber to the Upper East Side to his parents’ apartment, packing a bottle of red wine we had at the house so didn’t turn up empty handed.

Brady’s parents have an apartment in New York City because they are here for work so often. They have a corner unit off Park Ave with a bomb ass view. I’m not surprised. Also not surprised with how little they did with the interior. If it were me, I’d do a midcentury mod vibe with rich colored wallpaper, funky shaped lighting, intricate framed mirrors and tons of plants. But it’s not me and it’s them, so everything was white and grey and obviously expensive, but boring.

Dinner went on as normal, the parents talking to Brady about work, about housing (What do you have planned for your condo in Chicago?), about what he’s (we’ve) been doing on for fun in the city.

Suddenly, Brady’s mom said, “Reese, I emailed your mother. We are having a Christmas celebration in Massachusetts and we thought it would be a nice gesture to extend the invitation to both your mother and your father. If they are still working on their relationship, of course.”

“Wait, what?” I said, out loud.

Brady’s mom looked at Brady and he looked like he’d been caught red handed.

“I’m sorry, I forgot to mention that to you,” he said to me.

“Oh my God,” I said.

“Your mother hasn’t gotten back to me, but I hope they can make it,” Brady’s mom continued.

Y’all know what I planned on doing for Christmas? Waking up with Tucker and Brady, making a huge and disgusting breakfast (pancakes, bacon, biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, crepes, mimosas, etc) and opening all of our gifts in the living room alone. Then we’d have sex a few times before getting up and showering and then maybe we’d consider some sort of contact with the outside world. I did not plan on socializing with anyone’s family, including my own.

“I figured Brady would want to spend the holidays with you, and I thought to myself that you must want to see your own family as well. Hunter, Dominique and the kids have already made travel arrangements to join us, along with my sister Katherine and my mother…” Brady’s mom went on.

I was so furious I couldn’t even make eye contact with Brady. I was afraid if I did, I would start laying into him and that would not be a good look in front of his parents.

“That sounds really nice,” I said, with angry tears in my eyes. I was mad that Brady knew about this and didn’t tell me and also that it was all happening so fast and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to prepare myself/my crazy parents.

Brady could sense how mad I was and tried really hard to make small talk in the Uber home.

“I really want to strangle you,” I blurted out. “Like, you’re so annoying. Why didn’t you think it was important to tell me about your mom’s huge plan for Christmas?”

“I’m sorry, I honestly forgot. I only found out recently, also. I wasn’t deliberately trying to keep it from you,” he said.

“Maybe if you didn’t smoke so much fucking weed, you’d remember to tell me things,” I said.

Brady didn’t have anything else to say after that.

So yeah. My mom confirmed that she got the email and was discussing details with my dad because they’d love to see me and Brady again for the holidays, according to her.

“I don’t know why she thought to invite us, though. Is Brady proposing or something?” my mom asked.

I literally laughed. “He wouldn’t dare.”

Standard

blackout wednesday.

I was excited for my presentation. Sometimes I like to show off. And I was really proud of my design. For the occasion, I wore black high waist ankle pants, a cropped navy blouse and my go to work mules.

Since I already knew I was quitting no matter what, I decided to schedule my interview for Wednesday morning. Normally I take work more seriously.

The receptionist set me in a late glass enclosed conference room when I arrived. I was thinking, “Just how many people are going to see my presentation?”

Turns out, four. Frank, Angie, an older VP named Bill and a younger guy from the marketing team.

“Before you start showing us what you can do, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?” Bill said.

Oh. Again. I tried not to sound bored as I have my typical spiel, including a ton of details and answers to upcoming questions they might ask. Everyone stared at me with blank expressions. Bill asked a few interview questions, kind of basic, like what systems I was proficient in, the biggest team I’ve led. Then I got up and did my presentation. It was pretty long as again, I’d tried to cover all the questions they might have.

At the end, Bill said, “Here’s what I like about it. I like the overall look. The colors, I think, are great and work well with the overall concept. I think it is appealing for a multitude of people. What do you guys think?”

They all had nice things to say and I stood up there beaming. Then Bill says, “Here’s what I don’t like.”

Oh.

“I don’t like that every element of the design has thought behind it. I think the design itself is simple enough, bu all the back story and meaning weighs it down. Does that make sense?”

Everyone nodded even though it didn’t make sense. What the fuck? Your little brain couldn’t handle my thought process? Annoying.

After the interview, Angie wanted to meet with me again. We headed down to the lobby to have coffee. We took our coffee (tea) to a little two seater and sat. She asked me my salary expectations and I told her, adding $10,000 to my current salary. You can’t be too greedy.

And then she asked me what my current office is like.

“Its similar to your office. It’s an open concept like it is here which is nice for collaborating with other teams. It’s pretty laidback. I like that everyone is willing to help each other with everything. Everyone has great ideas,” I told her.

She nodded and then leaned in close. “This is a predominately male office. It can be intimidating and I want to make sure that’ll be okay with you.”

I couldn’t picture myself in an all male office. Who would I grab coffee with and complain to? Who would I alert that Sephora had new product launch? What if all the men had a crush on me and I fell into temptation?

“I don’t think that would be an issue,” I let her know.

After the interview, I sent Frank and Angie an email thanking them for the opportunity and stuff. The proper after interview protocol. Surprisingly, Angie emailed me back immediately thanking me and sending a winking face. She was probably just pumped that there was a possibility that another woman would be joining the office.

On Thursday, I met up with Lola after work. I needed some career advice. We braved the snow to go to a packed hotel bar. I told her about the jobs and had to basically scream because the place was lit.

“Honestly, they both sound really cool. I’m really into the second one though. I feel like you would really have freedom to do whatever you wanted and that’s important,” she said.

“Should I accept the first job offer? What if I don’t get a job offer from the other one?” I asked.

“Yeah, accept it. If you do end up getting the other offer and you want it, rescind. Fuck them. Don’t sign anything yet,” Lola said, taking a gulp of her whiskey ginger.

So I accepted the offer. Heidi was thrilled. I still wasn’t quite sure which job I wanted and whether or not I’d even get an offer from the other place. But I told her that I’d start December 3rd.

That weekend, one of Brady’s friends was in town and Brady said he could stay with us. It’s bad enough that Brady is never home to spend time with me, and now I had to share him with Raul.

When Raul got in, we dropped his stuff off at the apartment and headed to dinner. Raul and Brady spoke in Spanish the whole time. I was sitting there bored and even my food wasn’t entertaining me.

Finally, I interjected and said, “What are y’all talking about?”

Brady just stared at me and Raul said in his cute little accent, “We are simply discussing my job prospects here.”

“Oh, me too! What jobs are you in the running for?” I said, excitedly.

“He’s a pharmacist, Reese. He’s looking for pharmacist jobs,” Brady said, sounding exasperated.

“Sorry for wanting to be included,” I said back, offended that he’d been so rude to me.

They continued talking and I sat there glaring and being bitter. After dinner as we were walking to the next place, Brady tried to grab my hand and I snatched it away.

“Did it make you feel better to exclude me from the conversation at dinner and then yell at me when I tried to talk?” I asked.

Brady had the nerve to roll his eyes at me. “I haven’t seen Raul in years and I really don’t need you taking over the conversation and trying to make everything about yourself.”

“I’m not!” I exclaimed, shocked and appalled that he’d even said that.

We walked to a bar where I sat on my phone the whole time. Fine. If Brady didn’t want me talking, then I wouldn’t. I texted Kendra, Carly, Preston, Luke, Lexi, Ava, Nick and Lola. Lexi was the only one who texted back right away, letting me know that she was out on a date and she really thought things might go somewhere with this guy. After she told me his name, I spent the next thirty minutes stalking him on the internet so I could find a reason it wouldn’t work out.

I felt Brady slide a hand into my lap. I looked up at him.

“Hey hey. I love you,” he said, barely even looking at me.

“Why don’t you tell me that again when you actually mean it,” I said.

Brady laughed but then went right back to talking to Raul. Cool.

The next morning, Brady wanted to show Raul the gym and woke up mega early to go.

“Can’t you wait like an hour? It seems unnecessary to go this early,” I groaned.

“Reese, it’s 9:00,” Brady said.

I got up and put on my workout gear then the three of us walked to Equinox. They wanted to lift and I wanted to do cardio so I told them I’d meet back up with them after.

After 30 mins on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the stairs, I was actually ready to go. To kill time, I went and got a fresh juice. There was a gentleman there also getting a juice who insisted on talking to me. My RBF failed me.

Just as the guy was going into an tangent about his work on Wall Street, Brady and Raul rounded the corner. Thank God. I hate finance guys.

“Finished already?” Brady asked me.

I nodded and handed him my half finished juice. “I got you something.” He accepted my gift.

We took Raul to some touristy things during the day which was awful. The only thing that got me through it is that we stopped at bars after each attraction so I consumed a lot of drinks. I was happy.

For dinner, we went to an Italian place and shared four dishes. I was mostly excited about the extensive wine list and consumed a bottle on my own. By the time we got back to the apartment, I was sleepy and drunk and wanted nothing more than to get in bed with Tucker and ice cream.

Brady put on some music and he and Raul started getting ready to go out. They showered and ironed shirts and took shots of tequila.

“Reese, how long do you think it’s going to take you to get ready?” Brady asked me as I sat on the couch with my ice cream.

“I don’t think I’m going,” I said.

“Really? Okay,” he said, immediately accepting my answer and walking off.

Uh, okay. I thought he’d try a little harder to get me to go with them, but obviously not. Whatever. All I could think about was my new silk pillowcase anyway.

Brady and Raul woke me up out of my sleep at around 4:30am. They were being loud and laughing and I rolled over, waiting for Drunk Brady to join me.

A few minutes later, I heard him stumbling into the bedroom. He kicked off his shoes and got undressed and then got into bed. I could hear his phone vibrating with messages from one of his pockets.

“I wish you came out tonight. I love you,” he said.

“I was actually sleeping really soundly before you came home. Please don’t annoy me,” I said.

Brady ignored me (or wanted payback for all the times I annoy him) and started telling me stories about things that happened at the bar.

“And then this guy, I think he was gay, came up to us and blah, blah, blah.”

I actually fell asleep during his story and Brady woke me up so he could finish telling me. Like dude.

The next morning, I woke Brady up by wrapping my legs around him. It’s my way of telling him I want sex. He rolled over and declared that he felt like shit.

Not my problem.

I climbed on top of him and started grinding slowly on his crotch area until I felt him get hard. Brady didn’t last very long and didn’t indicate that he was going to finish, I literally just felt it.

I got up and showered and when I came back to the bedroom, Brady seemed to want to redeem himself. Before I could get dressed, he pulled my towel off of me and started sucking on my boobs. I grabbed his hair and moaned – it felt so good. He got up and bent me over the side of the bed and we proceeded to have sex again, loud enough for poor Raul to hear.

While Brady was in the shower, I decided to go through his messages so I could see who had been messaging him the night before.

The most recent one was with Sydney.

“Did you make it home?” she’d asked.

“I’m home 🙂” Brady replied.

“Good! Tell Reese I said hello and that we missed her tonight!” Sydney said.

Wait. I couldn’t tell if she was being condescending or if she actually meant that. It’s hard to tell in text message form, right? If she was being real, then that was very nice.

The next thread was with an unsaved 310 number.

“Where are you tonight?” the number asked.

Literally four hours later, Brady responded, “I’m at Nitecap 🙂 Leaving soon.”

What was with all the smileys? Brady is obviously not an emoji person. It’s like someone else was texting people from his phone.

The number said, “Meet me in Turtle Bay. Bring Zeke.”

Later, the person said, “Have a good night, Brady!”

Super unclear if Brady had met up with whoever this person was, but I needed to get to the bottom of it. I saved the number to my phone and synced my contacts to my Snapchat. I quickly found out that the culprit was a person named “Kim” with a blonde bitmoji. My heart raced excitedly. I don’t know if I was excited for potential drama or if I thought I’d finally caught him cheating once and for all.

We spent the day out again, showing Raul our favorite places. They were a little hungover and moving slow, but I wanted to day drink.

“Three Bloody Mary’s and three shots of vodka with a splash of lemon on the side, please,” I told the server at the second place we went to.

“Reese, please,” Brady groaned.

“What?” I said back innocently.

And the two of them drank their drinks and took their shots so I don’t see why Brady pretended they didn’t want them. After Raul left for the airport, Brady decided he had work to do. And I did not feel like sitting around waiting for him to be finished so I invited Gabby out for drinks nearby. She bounded in with her red hair in a high pony wearing black heeled booties, a plaid dress and a leather jacket.

“I’m meeting Kevin after this,” she greeted as if explaining her outfit.

“Oh yeah, I forgot about Kevin. How’s he doing?” I said.

“Good.” She began blushing. “He’s really busy with work though. Like, he works 16 hours a day. It’s crazy.”

“Welcome to my life. Brady works a lot too. It’s actually awful.”

“But he always tries to find time for us. Even if it’s last minute like tonight.”

Girl. I wanted to tell her that it was last minute because he thought of her as an afterthought, a backup plan for when his original plan fell through. But what did I know? No need to push my pessimism onto her. Or does that make me a bad friend? I just try not to give unsolicited advice.

I put my two week notice in on Monday.

“Aw, man. Seriously? You just got here,” Brett groaned.

When he asked where I was going, I told him that I had a couple of different opportunities which is true.

Sarah and Michelle didn’t take it quite as well. Before I’d even had a chance to tell either of them myself, Sarah chatted me.

“If you didn’t want to work here, why didn’t you just tell me? I can’t believe you have been looking for a new job.”

Oh. So she was taking it personally. I decided not to respond – if she wanted to talk about it, she could be an adult and talk to me in person.

Michelle wanted to talk about it in person like a grownup. She came and found me at my desk on Tuesday morning.

“Reese, hi. Do you have a moment to meet with me?” she asked.

“Um, sure. One moment,” I said back. I actually had all the time in the world. All I was working on was Brett’s project, which needed a complete overhaul because the way he was reporting it was terrible.

Michelle pulled me into an office and we sat down.

“So I was surprised to hear that you are leaving,” she began.

“I understand. Honestly, I’ve been job hunting for a while. I am grateful that I was able to transfer here, but the sales manager job is just not the direction I want to go in my career…”

“If you’d just told me that, we could have found a place for you here, Reese. There are plenty of opportunities outside of sales,” she said gently.

Ah, exactly like Brady had said.

“Really?” was all I said back.

Michelle nodded and asked me about my careers plans and what I wanted to do. I told her, putting an emphasis on product development, but also marketing.

“We don’t have anything open in product development right now as you know, but we are about to open up a new position in social media marketing. We are looking to ramp up our paid ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram and also collaborate with influencers,” she explained. “So we need someone to take over that side of the business and I think it would align well with what you want to do. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?”

“Well, yeah. It does.”

Michelle pulled out her iPad and said, “Let’s get an interview scheduled with the marketing team.”

So I have an interviewed scheduled this week. It happened so fast that I didn’t even get a chance to think about if I actually wanted the job she mentioned and if it was enough to get me to stay.

With all that was going on with work, I almost forgot that Brady and I were going to Houston to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I snuck out of work early on Wednesday because I still needed to pack. Brady had only packed half of his stuff so I also finished packing for him. Do you see that? A wife.

I slept the whole way there while Brady did work on his laptop and when I felt we were landing, I woke up excited for Blackout Wednesday.

“Let’s drop this shit off at my parents, get ready and then hit the streets,” I said.

I didn’t have specific plans for us, but I love showing Brady around where I came from. It’s quite different than his WASP-y upbringing and obviously more fun.

My mom was waiting for us just outside the terminal. She looked cute in hip ripped jeans, a black cape thing and a pair of black strappy heels that I’m pretty sure were once mine. She had a side swept bang going on and was wearing glasses.

“Since when do you wear glasses, Mom?” I greeted her.

“I need them for reading and driving. These are Dior,” she said, proudly. They were pretty cute, I’ll admit. “Brady, so good to see you! You look fantastic. Have you been working out?” She pulled him into a hug.

I smirked.

We hopped in the car and my mom drove us home.

“What are y’all doing tonight? We should go to dinner, that might be fun,” my mom said as she let us into the house.

“I’m taking Brady downtown. It’s Blackout Wednesday,” I let her know.

My dad wasn’t home yet. He was wrapping up a ton of work before the holiday.

“I can relate! Brady works as late as possible every single day. I even had to pack for him,” I said, smiling affectionately at him. He didn’t look amused.

My mom ordered pasta for us to have for dinner and left to go pick it up. I offered to give Brady a tour and took him around my parent’s place. My mom has great style and opted for lots of random prints, neutrals and pops of jewel tones. Like Moroccan inspired, but way more glam. It’s super cute. She turned the spare bedrooms into three guest rooms each with a different theme. One was millennial pink and gray -very on trend, one was tan and white and looked like a rustic farmhouse and another was navy and turquoise with deer antlers on the wall. I opted for that one because it has a 70 inch television in it.

Brady and I showered and got ready then headed to a cocktail lounge downtown. A couple drinks in, Brady started getting cute and grabbing my waist and kissing me and telling me how beautiful I am. I thought it was the perfect time to bring up Kim. After more research, I’d discovered that she lived in New York, but was from California somewhere. Her Instagram was wide open and each of her pictures had over 1,000 likes despite only having 900 followers. Something’s fishy there. She’s cute. Kind of skinny with a big head. Her LinkedIn tells me she works in a clothing store so I’m not sure how Brady would know her.

“Did you hang out with Kim the other night?” I asked.

Brady looked confused. “Kim who?”

“Blonde Kim.”

“Ohh,” he nodded like he got me. “I didn’t hang out with her. Why?”

“Who is she?” I demanded. I was happy that he said he didn’t hang out with her, but he could easily be lying.

“A friend. Well, not even a friend. She is romantically interested in Zeke and I know her because of him.”

Y’all remember Zeke? The nympho with tattoos all over his body? I have a secret crush on him kinda. But Kim can have him if she wants him.

“What are you then, the fucking matchmaker?” I said. “Why would she be texting you?”

Brady laughed and I made a note to keep tracking this further.

The next morning, I woke up in the navy and turquoise room. Brady had his arms wrapped around my body like he was afraid I was going to escape.

“Morning. Are you feeling okay?” Brady said, sensing that I was awake.

I just nodded, knowing that my breath probably smelled like I’d given a homeless person a blowjob.

“I love you,” he said, nuzzling my neck.

I didn’t know why he was being so sweet again, but it was weird and I hopped up to shower and brush my nasty teeth. I vaguely remembered throwing up in the bathroom at the bar the night before.

I came back in the room in my fluffy white bathrobe my mom had gotten me and Brady was sitting on the side of the bed. Now that I was clean, I felt like I could actually speak.

“Sorry if I was a hot mess last night,” I said.

“Don’t worry about it. Um…” Whenever Brady pauses like that he needs to say something, but is nervous about it. I braced myself, wondering what I’d done wrong this time. “I was thinking about you said last night. About how you feel like our relationship has plateaued.”

Oh, did I say that? I didn’t even realize I felt that way until he brought it up. But yeah.

“I don’t want you to feel like that, but I think I understand why you do. I realize some of our friends are in completely different places, but in my opinion, we have a lot of other things to figure out before thinking about possible next steps.”

“Possible next steps”? What was this, a job interview? Only Brady.

“Okay. So what are you saying?” I asked.

“We just moved together and I don’t think we have settled from that. And I believe that is a big commitment. I hope that is enough…for right now.”

I wish I could have had a recording of my face. Because what the fuck?

“It’s not just about commitment. I don’t even want to be engaged. What I’m saying is we’ve already gotten into this routine of you working late everyday and then working when you get home. I’m lonely! We hardly ever talk or do anything together. If I would’ve known it was going to be like this, I would’ve stayed in Chicago where people made time for me.”

Brady’s face fell and I kind of regretted saying that. But y’all know me, I don’t back down.

“I’m really trying to make more time. I guess it is harder than I anticipated,” he said quietly.

We spent the day out with my parents and then instead of trying to slave away for dinner, my dad just made a reservation at a really nice steakhouse. My maternal grandparents joined us.

At dinner, my dad said, “So Brady, tell us about your new job.”

And when Brady started telling us, talking about what he does on a day to day basis, the team of medical professionals he works with, the patients who sometimes receive experimental treatment, but are so grateful for anything, made me realize that I’m so concerned about him not ever being home that I don’t even know anything about his work. I am such a bitch.

“You don’t test that crap on animals? What if it kills somebody?” my grandpa said. He rarely ever speaks and this is what he decided to say.

Brady laughed. “I assure you, nothing we administer would ever hurt anyone.”

They all started having a conversation about the FDA. My mom and I just kept looking at each other and then she asked if I’d tried any of Kim Kardashian’s perfumes.

After dinner, we headed home and drank. My parents are getting along really well these days and my mom seems to really want to be a good wife. She always texts me asking what she should say and do in certain situations. Like, “Your dad’s company is having a dinner with the execs. What should I wear that is sexy for him, but not too sexy because all of his colleagues are there?” and “I gave your father all of my money this month. I didn’t go shopping at all. I hope that makes him happy,” and “Your father and I haven’t slept together in three weeks, do you think something is wrong?” Mother, please.

On Friday, we went to a show at the theater with my parents after doing a bit of shopping. I told some of my friends I’d meet up with them on Saturday. I wasn’t super pressed to hang out with them, but when Brittany found out I was in town, she called me and let me know that they had a table at a club and we should stop by. Lucky for her, I’d brought a clubbing outfit (black dress, chunky heels and no jewelry).

Brady and I got dinner and pregamed at a bar before heading to the club.

“Try not to flirt with Brittany too much tonight,” I instructed on our way in.

Brady grabbed my hips and pulled me close into him. “You don’t have to worry about that.”

Inside, I found Brittany and Co at their little table in VIP. She was standing up dancing wearing a sequin tank top and a pair of American Apparel adjacent disco pants. Okay girl. She saw us and waved, but didn’t bother getting down to greet us. Brady and I made drinks and danced around the table for a little bit. Brady was way more drunk than I was and kept putting his arms around my whole body and swaying.

Eventually Brittany sauntered over with a drink in her hand.

“Hi, beautiful!” she greeted me with big hug. She reached over and hugged Brady next. “I’m so glad to see y’all!”

“Same! How are things? How have you been?” I said back. I haven’t spoken to or seen Brittany in forever. She started her own real estate company and posts about the luxury high rises she has available on Instagram all the time. She replies to my stories all the time, but we don’t ever really talk.

“Things are so good. I miss you, girl.” She leaned it close to me. “Christian is here.”

“Oh, ew!” I said loudly. Do y’all remember Christian, the music producer who thought I was a prostitute? Obviously she didn’t hear how that whole thing went down.

“Tell me about your real estate thing,” I said, to change the subject.

Over the music, she told me about her work, how she’d done it so she could have financial freedom and a flexible schedule. It sounded like one of those multilevel marketing presentations. My eyes began glazing over.

On cue, Christian and his entourage made their way over to the table. There were like fourteen of them, but Christian led the pack. I obviously wasn’t going to say hello and he did a double take when he saw me.

“Christian!” Brittany called, gesturing for him to join us. She is so petty.

He walked over slowly, taking a sip from his plastic cup.

“Hey, how have you been?” he said to me, hugging me with his free arm.

“This is my boyfriend,” I said when we pulled away. Christian put out his fist for Brady to pound it.

“I miss our group!” Brittany whined.

Group? What group? I literally laughed.

“You been doing okay though?” Christian said to me.

“I’ve obviously been completely fabulous,” I said, flipping my hair over my shoulder.

He smirked and put his drink out to cheers me. As he walked away, Brittany leaned in close to us and exclaimed, “He’s soo cute.”

Like, he’s okay. Definitely dropped down a few points for thinking I sell my ass for money.

When we got back to my parents’, we were happy and giggly after finding tacos on the way home. Back in our turquoise room, Brady immediately pushed me back on the bed and began kissing me. He pushed my dress up and crouched down in front of me. Brady loves to eat pussy and that is one of his most redeeming qualities.

Is it rude to hook up at your parents’ house?

Standard

i’m my own person.

After sending my project in at 6:45 on Friday morning, I didn’t hear anything back immediately. I was proud of what I’d come up with and expected Frank to reply instantaneously singing my praises.

Brady and I planned to leave for Philadelphia after work that evening and I busted my ass finishing up all the work I needed to in order to leave by 5:00pm. We still needed to pack and drop Tucker off. When I got home, I checked my phone to see that Brady had texted me.

“I got called into a meeting this evening and I still have some auditing to do. Not sure what time I’ll be home, but it’s going to be late,” he said.

Ugh. I’d worked hard to ensure I left work at a good time in order to stick to our plans and I was annoyed that he wasn’t doing to the same.

“Okay? What does this mean then?” I said back.

“What if we leave tomorrow morning instead? That way we aren’t rushing. We wouldn’t get there until way late tonight anyway.”

Of course. I didn’t respond and instead texted Lola to see what she was up to.

“Drinking with Kellen’s cousin. Come through,” she replied, including an address in Park Slope. I changed into jeans and booties and called an Uber.

When I arrived at the row house, Lola answered the door.

“Hey! You made it,” she greeted me. “Give me one second to grab my things and then we’ll go.”

I followed her inside through a tiny, but charming apartment with exposed brick walls and minimalistic black and white furniture. There was a tall guy standing at the kitchen island, one who I could tell was covered in hair all over his body. He was cute though and looked really Italian.

“Michael, Reese. Reese, Michael. I’ll probably see you next week at the birthday party. Have a good night,” Lola said as she picked up her Stella McCartney Falabella crossbody and maroon suede trench from one of the barstools.

Lola was acting so weird. And where was Kellen? I thought we were all supposed to be drinking together.

Michael took a sip of the glass in front of him and gave Lola a little wave. Outside on the sidewalk, she pulled out a pack of cigs from her bag and offered one to me.

“Ugh. I should’ve known that was a bad idea when Michael invited me over without Kellen. But I thought he just wanted to drink. I didn’t think he would get the wrong idea,” she said.

“What happened?” I wanted to know.

“He just kept making inappropriate comments. Acting like something was supposed to happen between us because I was there alone. When I told him you were coming, he said ‘three’s company’ all suggestively.”

“Did you really think it was a good idea to go over there by yourself?”

“I didn’t think anything of it. He’s my boyfriend’s cousin! I was counting on him to do the right thing.” She took a drag. “I hate that a guy and a girl can’t hang out without the expectation of something happening. Like why would it? You’re my boyfriend’s cousin! Men are so gross.”

I realized that she was absolutely right. Why would she think hanging out with the cousin would be anything more than hanging out? Why would she even think or know that the guy was going to be inappropriate?

We stopped at a quaint wine bar and ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir and some almonds to snack on. I told her about how frustrated I was with Brady and his latest antics.

“Working late?” Lola repeated. “The classic excuse. Are you buying that?”

“He’s always worked a lot of crazy hours. In fact, the first night I met him, he was working and it was a Friday night,” I said, feeling kind of defensive of Brady.

“Mmhm, I bet,” she repeated, popping an almond in her mouth. “And let me guess, he’s screwing the blonde bimbo assistant too?”

I told her about Sydney – how she weaseled her way into everything including moving to New York at the same time as us. I told her how I felt the first time I heard Brady talking to her, how affectionate and delighted he sounded.

“Honestly, I don’t know. I have a guy friend at work who I talk to and text all the time. He has a girlfriend and I have a boyfriend and there’s nothing there. I mean, nothing. It’s nice to have someone to complain to, you know? I’d never move across the country with him,” she said.

“I get that. It’s just the way he talks to her. And she’s always invited to everything. She’s just annoying,” I said.

“But if Brady wants to spend time with her, it’s more of an issue with him than her, right? Like, why does he want to hang out with her so much? Knowing you hate her. He’s willing to risk his relationship with you to hang out with her. That’s the issue.”

After we polished off the bottle of wine, Lola suggested a jazz bar a few blocks away. We had a couple of drinks then decided to head home.

When I got home, Brady was sitting on the couch with a beer in silence.

“Oh, you’re home,” I said, looking at the time. 11:30pm.

“I am. Where have you been?” he said.

“Out with Lola. We found a cute wine bar in Brooklyn.” I stepped into the kitchen to find food and saw that there was a white takeout bag in the fridge.

On cue, Brady followed me into the kitchen and said that he’d brought home dinner. Then I felt bad. Obviously, he’d come expecting me to be there so we could have dinner together. I felt like such a bitch for assuming he wasn’t trying and he was.

The next morning, Brady crawled out of bed at 7:30am. He wanted to hit the gym before leaving for Philadelphia.

“Do you want to come with me?” Brady asked, standing at the end of the bed, fully dressed.

“Not really,” I said, but knew I needed to. “But I’ll come. Give me five minutes.”

We walked a few blocks to Equinox and went our separate ways when we got inside. Brady prefers to lift, but I really just need cardio. I want legs that look like Kendall Jenner’s.

We finally hit the road at 11am and arrived at around 1:00pm. Carly answered the door of their cute, new townhouse with Baby Sloane in her arms. Sloane was super cute with her wispy hair and polka dot pajamas and pink glittery binky. I literally screamed when I saw them.

“Oh my gosh, hi!” Carly exclaimed, pulling me into a hug with the baby. They smelled like laundry. “We are so glad you’re here. Hi Brady!”

We all filed inside where Chris was making lunch for us. We sat around the dining table with its Pottery Barn-esque table setting. I demanded to hold Sloane and help her eat.

“Gladly,” Carly said, passing the baby over to me.

Carly and Chris told us all about what’s new with them – Chris recently got a promotion hence why Carly is able to stay home with Sloane. She’s joined a Mommy Meet-Up group to meet people and does yoga-lates every morning at 5:30am before Chris goes to work.

“You should try it, Reese,” she said. “It has helped with my energy level and mood.”

Whatever. I’m not about to wake up at 5:30am to do anything. After lunch, we bundled the baby up and put her in a stroller and then took a walk around their cute new development neighborhood where a bunch of other new couples were also walking around. We ended up at a little restaurant for drinks. Sloane sat on the table kicking her little boots out.

Carly saw how much fun I was having with Sloane and said, “Do you want one?”

“Of course. Not like, right now though. I can take Sloane on the weekends if you want,” I replied.

Carly grinned. “I’d love that actually. As much as I love being with her 24/7, it would be nice to have a break.”

“Do you think you’ll go back to work?” I asked.

She wrinkled her nose. “Eventually, I’m sure. I am happy with the way things are going now. Chris just started his new position and I want to wait until he’s settled into that before doing anything. We are still figuring out our routine.”

There was a pause and then I asked something I was genuinely wondering. “Are you happy?”

If y’all remember, Carly was second guessing things hard before she got married. She even got on Tinder.

“You know, I am. I feel like I settled down and into things really fast, but I’m not mad about it. It’s really fun actually.”

“How?” I had to know. Staying home and talking to a baby all day did not seem fun to me. And she even said it herself; Chris can be really boring.

“Well, it’s nice to know I have a partner for life. I definitely don’t miss wondering if I’m ever going to meet my person and being super insecure.” She looked at me apologetically like she hoped she wasn’t offending me.

“Do you think Chris is your person?” I asked, curious.

“Obviously I do. I wouldn’t have married him if I didn’t.” Carly paused. “Do you think this one is your person?”

I followed her head nod to Brady, who was sitting across the table taking a swig of beer.

“I don’t think I have a person,” I told her.

She looked surprised. “Really?”

“Yeah. Like, I’m my own person. I don’t feel like I need someone else to complete me.” I was actually surprising myself with what I was saying. Maybe it was my defense for what Carly had said previously. But I love myself.

“So you don’t want to get married?” Carly asked.

“I mean, I do of course. I want that. But I’m not like, insecure or anything. I love being with him, but I’m also okay with being alone. I don’t need another person to make me feel whole. I’m enough by myself. Is that bad?” I said.

“Kind of.”

We were silent and I wondered if I was being a hypocrite. But honestly, I haven’t thought about marriage in forever and I obviously haven’t brought it up to Brady either. I think I felt pressure before – everyone was getting married and I finally found someone who likes me as much as I like them – but now I think I just want to be happy.

That evening, Carly called the babysitter (Chris’s cousin) over to watch Sloane so we could have a night out. Carly and I got ready in her private powder room downstairs, the one Chris let her splurge to customize. It has a crystal chandelier, pastel floral wallpaper and apothecary jars everywhere. Very cute and very Carly.

I put on an olive green jumpsuit, a Sherpa coat and clear mules. Carly and I made festive drinks consisting of vodka, ginger ale and cranberry juice and had finished several of those before leaving for the bar.

When we got into the dark bar, Carly grabbed my hand. “This sounds bad, but it feels nice to get out of the house and I don’t have to worry about my crying baby.”

You know how some moms go out and check their phones constantly because they are worried about their child? Carly is not that mom. Mama was thirsty for a night out. Carly drank like a fish for an hour straight and I struggled to keep up. We’d lost the boys somewhere near the entrance and were loitering near a window. I was shooing guys away, but Carly seemed desperate for male attention. It was just like old times.

“I’m gonna come visit you in the city soon,” she promised. “This is soo fun.”

We talked about Kendra and Preston. Preston was engaged, set a wedding date, pushed the wedding back and is now seeing someone new I believe. I can’t keep up with him. Kendra never replies to my messages, but sends daily pictures of Mia which I love and appreciate.

The next morning, Carly and I woke up in the shabby chic guest bedroom together.

“I hate myself,” she declared.

We peeled ourselves out of bed and took turns showering before brunch. Brady had slept on the couch since Carly and I took over the guest bedroom.

“Why didn’t you just sleep in the bed with Chris?” I asked and they both gave me a look like that was not an option.

Brady still had work to do prior to work Monday so we left to come home right after brunch. I slept in the car the whole way home.

Frank emailed me first thing Monday morning.

“Hi Reese. We’d love to have you stop by the office and present what you came up with to our team. Are you available anytime on Wednesday?”

So I thought about my presentation all morning – what I’d say I was inspired by, how I would bring every element of my design back to the company’s core values. I created a note in my phone of all the bullet points I wanted to cover.

That afternoon, Heidi emailed me.

“Reese, we are thrilled to offer you the manager of product development position you applied for. Please review the attached job offer and let me know what questions you have. I can’t wait to hear from you!”

I felt a one thousand pound weight being lifted off me. Finally. A way out of this hell hole. I opened the attachment and saw the salary (which I was satisfied with) and sign on bonus (which wasn’t much, but was well, a bonus).

I replied letting her know that I was honored and I’d get back to her as soon as I could with a decision. I knew I wanted to probably take it, but I also still had the other interview and I was still very much interested in that job too. I wondered how long I could take “deciding.”

When I got home, Brady was not home as promised. I was so excited to tell him about my offer and the new potential job and I felt like he was the only person I wanted to talk about it with. Maybe he is my person.

When he got home an hour later, I bombarded him with all my news before he could even put his stuff down. He settled on the couch next to me with his laptop bag.

“If you had both job offers in front of you, do you know which one you would take?” he asked me.

“Well, no. I think I’d feel the same way. Both of the jobs excite me, but I feel like I don’t know enough about the second job or company. I definitely have more of a connection with the first company, but the second job is way more intriguing.”

Brady thought on it for a second. “Why don’t you ask them to give you until Friday to make your decision? That way you will have already gone through with the second interview and will have a better idea if you’re even going to like the other company and if they like you.”

Friday seemed like a long time to keep the job offer waiting. I told Brady this.

“If they don’t want to allow you that long to think, then if I were you, I’d accept.”

I waited for him to elaborate, but that was it. He got up and asked what I wanted for dinner.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m super excited for my interview tomorrow, but if I got both offers, I really have no idea what I’d do. The thing that is swaying me most is that I have a good connection with Heidi and working with people you get along with is so important.

Standard

enjoy masturbating to my selfie.

I’d applied for another job that I was so excited about, but I hadn’t heard back in so long that I figured they weren’t interested. But then I got an email the other day inviting me to complete an online assessment. I think online assessments are complete bullshit, but I still did it. Literally five minutes later, they called me to schedule an interview.

Without giving away too much, it’s for a company that is not known for apparel launching an apparel and accessories line. The job is lead that launch in terms of creative direction, licensing, design, marketing, etc. It sounded like a really big job and I was honestly shooting for the moon by even submitting my resume. I was genuinely surprised when they even wanted to bring me in for an interview.

After speaking with the recruiter, we scheduled my interview for Monday after work.

Valerie emailed me on Monday morning.

“Hi Reese,

We’ve spoken to all of your references except Scott. We can’t seem to get ahold of him. Is there another reference you can provide?

Thanks!”

I’d already spoken to Scott and asked for permission to use him as a reference. He’d happily agreed and said that the job sounded like a perfect fit for me. But apparently he didn’t actually want to help me after all. So I gave them another reference while thanking Scott for literally nothing at all.

The office I interviewed at was at a big brick building in Chelsea. I had to be buzzed in by the receptionist and I waited in the lobby for the recruiter to come fetch me. The lobby was small and cute with fresh flowers everywhere and a small desk area that housed the receptionist. Over to the side was a fully stocked coffee shop/bar.

“Please help yourself to coffee or tea,” the receptionist told me.

I thought about it, but it looked like the bar offered ceramic mugs rather than an accident-free paper cups. I decided not to risk it.

The recruiter came downstairs and got me – a cute brunette with a leather jacket draped over her shoulders. She led me upstairs to a glass enclosed office. I noticed that the office appeared to have that open concept like my current office has with everyone’s desks lined up in rows. There were huge picture windows lining a side wall, letting in a ton of natural light. All of the walls were brick and I noticed several mobile white boards filled with ideas scattered everywhere.

“Can I get you anything to drink? Coffee, tea, water? Kombucha?” the recruiter asked.

Okay, fine. “I’ll have a water.”

She came back with a glass of water and let me know my interviewer would be with me shortly.

“Shortly” ended up being 20 minutes. Eventually a cute middle aged woman sauntered in. She had a black lob, chunky heeled mules, and again, a leather jacket draped over her shoulders.

“Hi Reese. Thank you so much for coming in to meet us today,” she said. “I’m Angie, the director of marketing here. Why don’t you start by telling me a little bit about yourself?”

There’s no such thing as a “little bit” about me and I launched into a full rundown of my education and work background. I always have a lot to say. Angie smiled and took notes in her Moleskin and didn’t interrupt my spiel.

“And what are your career aspirations?” she asked next.

Ah, the one thing I didn’t cover. I didn’t give her a specific role, but told her what I liked doing and what I want to be doing eventually.

Angie closed her notebook. “And what questions do you have for me?”

Uhh, all the questions! Since it seemed like there was a huge chunk of the interview missing (where was the introduction?) I spent the next hour and a half asking her questions (Can you tell me more about the role? Who would I be reporting to? What were their goals for this project? What team was bringing this to life?) I’ve never had an interview like that.

Once I’d asked every question I could think of, Angie asked, “Do you have time to meet with one more person today?”

Knowing that the walker had taken Tucker out just a few hours prior, I said I could. She left and a couple minutes later, a tall bald man joined me in the little conference room.

“I’m Frank! How are you?” he greeted me with a strong handshake. Before I could answer his apparent rhetorical question, he said, “Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?”

Again? I went back into my spiel, but a condensed version because Frank didn’t seem like he wanted to hear my fluff. And he was taking notes and watching me with a steely gaze the whole time.

Once I was finished, he said, “We’d really like the person in this role to be creative and innovative which it seems like you are. We are asking candidates to do a take home project. We want you to create a top, bottom and and an accessory that is all a part of a cohesive line. We ask that you to come up with a logo and a tag line that would be used throughout the marketing in conjunction with the ‘launch.’ Do you think you can handle that by Friday?”

Ooo, a project. I let him know that Friday was plenty of time and I was excited about the challenge.

“Good,” Frank said, getting up to leave. He slid a card across the table to me. “Email me when you are proud of what you come up with. And I’m available if you have any questions.”

I left the interview really excited for a chance to prove what I could do. I don’t have any experience designing apparel, but the project was really about what design/logo was on the clothing, not so much the actual silhouette. And I could fumble my way around InDesign and Illustrator enough to create something amazing.

Brady was already home when I got home. He was sitting at the dining room table on a video conference call on his laptop. A warning would have been nice because you could clearly see me walking in in the background of his screen. But maybe it’s a good thing. Let the gals know he’s off limits.

Brady came and found me folding laundry after his call.

“Hey. I might be able to work from home on Monday evenings,” he said.

“Okay,” I replied, not exactly sure where he was going with this.

“So we can spend more time together.”

Wait. That was cute.

“But if you’re working, we won’t be spending time together,” I pointed out.

“I’ll be able to get more work done with less distractions and it’ll eliminate my commute time. I’m hoping by the time you get home, I’ll be wrapping things up and we will have the whole evening to look forward to.”

I smiled like a maniac, touched that he’d put so much thought into it.

We got changed and went to an Italian restaurant nearby for dinner.

“Would you want to go Philadelphia this weekend?” Brady asked.

“Hmmm, I dunno. Why? Do you want to go?” I replied.

I haven’t spoken to Carly in a few weeks because she’s just so busy. She posts pictures and videos of the baby on Instagram everyday talking about how happy and lucky she is to have such a perfect daughter. She’s one of those “I can’t believe my little princess is 5 months old. She loves applesauce, morning snuggles and being the sweetest angel in the world,” kinda people. But then she’ll randomly message me and Kendra in our group chat complaining about how tired and overwhelmed and miserable she is. She isn’t even back at work.

“Chris mentioned it and I thought it might be a fun trip. It’s up to you though. If you’d rather stay in the city, we can,” Brady said.

“No, I think we should go.” I figured it’d be nice to see a friend and especially a friend like Carly because I really do miss her. I feel like we’ve grown apart the past few years and it’s sad, but since we are less than two hours away from each other now, maybe we can rekindle our friendship.

On Tuesday, Brady texted me letting me know that he was going to watch the election results at a bar and did I want to come? Nerdy, but I said I’d go. We had dinner at the bar with Brady’s friends and they literally just wanted to watch the voting coverage. I got bored and started bothering people in my phone. I actually didn’t even realize that I sent Nick a picture of my purse, vegan buffalo wings and beer until he responded.

“Looks like you’re having a good night! Can I see your face?”

I happily sent back a serious-face selfie with my red lipstick.

“Taking selfies again?” Brady asked me.

“It’s for my mom,” I fibbed.

Nick took a screenshot of the picture I sent him and then he didn’t even respond. Whatever, dude. Enjoy masturbating to my selfie.

Standard

no one has to work that late on a friday night.

Heidi called me on Monday afternoon. I’d actually given up hope on the job and was focusing my search elsewhere.

“Hi Reese,” she said on the phone. “My apologies, I thought someone had reached out to you last week. We’d like to invite you back in to meet a few more people from the team. Do you have any availability this week?”

I didn’t, but I could make time. I told her I’d come in the following afternoon. I’d just have to cancel a few meetings.

When I walked into work on Tuesday, Brett was waiting by my desk.

“There you are!” he shouted.

I was walking in forty five minutes later than I normally do because I’d been talking to Gabby at reception. We’d decided that we were going to dress up for Halloween and hit the town after work. “Dressing up” would consist of all black with Ariana Grande style bunny ears because we are adults here.

“Sorry, I got caught up. What’s up?” I said, putting my stuff down.

“I wanted to talk to you and see if you’d be interested in a project,” Brett said.

“Okay. Tell me more.” I was sitting now, booting up my laptop. I was half listening, half overwhelmed by the amount of email I knew I had waiting since everyone relies on me for everything.

“We had a ton of installations recently and we need to analyze them for quality. Make sure they are up to standard, on brand, that kind of thing. We also need to document the best ones and get them photographed for the website and social media,” he explained. “I guess the role is kind of like a project manager. I thought of you when we talked about it because of your attention to detail.”

I’d pointed out a typo on the website and now I was known for my “attention to detail.” But I was bored and looking for something to do.

“Okay. That sounds good. When do you want me to start that?”

Brett seemed relieved that I’d said yes and brought his laptop over to show me the docs I’d be using to keep track of all of my work. I wouldn’t get a chance to start on my new project that as I had a list of things I wanted to get done. Plus I’d scheduled my interview for 2:00pm and I didn’t know what time I’d be back.

Just as I was heading out to the interview, Michelle walked past.

“Hi there. You are coming to the meeting at 2:15, aren’t you?” she asked.

There was an optional company update meeting where the execs were going to let us know what was going on and what we had in store. And since it was optional, I figured it was one I could skip in order to go to my interview.

“I have a prior engagement,” I told her.

“What is it? Is it something more important than hearing whatever your exec team has to say?” Michelle asked.

My priority was in a different place so for me, it was. I couldn’t tell her that though.

“If I could reschedule my meeting, I would. It’s with [the software company we use to track sales]. One of their agents is in town and since we are having so many glitches recently, I thought I’d better meet with them,” I lied.

“Well, thank you for doing that. Do let me know if anything important comes from the meeting,” she said.

“Of course. And I’ll have Brett fill me in on the company updates,” I said.

I was glad I’d gotten myself out of that, but felt slightly bad that Michelle thought I was doing something nice/helpful. I walked to the interview and met with Heidi and who I gathered is the second in command, Valerie. Valerie wanted to talk numbers and business, how I’d driven sales and examples of how I’d showed innovation. Heidi looked on like a proud show mom as I answered the questions with ease.

At the end, Valerie said, “If we wanted a professional reference, who would we call?”

I told her I’d email her the contact information once I got back to my office. Why do people even bother calling references anymore? Like, of course your references are going to say amazing things about you otherwise you wouldn’t be using them as a reference.

Anyway, by the time the interview was over, it was 4:30 and I figured I’d head back to the office to do some work for a few hours. It was the least I could do before jumping ship.

I decided to tell Brady about the interview since it seemed like I was in the final stages and I didn’t want to suddenly drop a bomb on him.

“I mean, it sounds like something you’d enjoy doing. I‘d say make sure it’s what you want though so you aren’t job hopping a lot,” Brady said after I told him (at 9:30pm because that’s what time he came home).

Obviously dude. As if I want to be job hopping.

“It’s more in line with what I want to do in the long run. I don’t want to be doing just sales. I think I’m better than that,” I said.

“Is there any opportunity at your current office? Maybe you could work toward a promotion rather than leaving the company all together,” he suggested.

I hadn’t thought about that, but I feel like I’ve given up on my job so much that it’s out of the question. I can’t imagine working hard for a promotion when I’m so not motivated.

No one at the office dressed up for Halloween which is so annoying. Obviously I wasn’t going to dress up for work, but at least a couple people in my old office would come in costume. These people are just so boring. Gabby and I left at 4:30 so we could each run home and put on our black attire and then meet at a bar in FiDi.

When I got home I was surprised to find Brady home. On any given day he doesn’t come home until 8:30-9:30pm. He was still in work clothes and pouring a glass of water in the kitchen.

“Heyyyyyy, what are you doing home?” I asked, half confused, half excited to see him.

“I got off a little earlier,” Brady said and took a drink from his water.

“But why? Is everything okay?” I couldn’t help asking.

“Everything is fine. I came home early,” he said, his voice softening. “I thought we could maybe do something tonight. Grab dinner or drinks. Or cook here and drink wine and wait for trick or treaters.”

My little heart was so excited that he’d come home to hang out with me. “Aw. That is so sweet! I have plans though. I’m meeting up with Gabby in like twenty minutes.”

“Oh.” Brady didn’t even try to hide his disappointment. “Okay.”

I apologized and kissed him and I walked past to go get changed. I came back out after changing and Brady was still in the kitchen, leaning against the counter.

“Hopefully I get home at a decent time and we can still see the trick or treaters,” I said.

Brady looked at me and my outfit (black bodysuit, black skirt and fishnets) and said, “Are you not even going to invite me?”

For a moment, I felt terrible that he felt left out. But then I got defensive.

“Well I didn’t know you’d be home, Brady, so I planned a girl’s night,” I said.

He didn’t say anything and pulled out his phone. His face told me that he couldn’t believe I wasn’t cancelling my plans to hang out with him.

“I’m so sorry that I made plans thinking you wouldn’t be home since you always stay at work until 9pm. I’m so sorry I didn’t drop everything because you decided to come home early,” I said sarcastically.

“I’m not asking you to drop everything. I’m asking to be invited,” he said.

“I’m sorry, but no. I need to make friends without you so I will have someone to hang out with when you’re working for 70 hours out of the week. And if you come I’ll be worried about you the whole time and I don’t want to do that,” I explained.

“Okay, then.” Brady walked out of the kitchen and I heard him asking Tucker if he wanted to go for a walk.

Whatever. I walked out and set out to the bar. Gabby was already there when I arrived and had attracted a guy to the table she was sitting at. She waved me over.

“Hey. Need a refill?” I greeted her, noting that her glass was half empty.

“Why not? This is Kevin, by the way,” she said, gesturing to her friend – a typical fuckboy in his button down and Patagonia. She gave me a discrete look that told me she was excited about him.

I headed to the bar and got two vodka sodas and rejoined them at the table. They were talking about Colorado (they both have ties to Colorado) and I watched with a critical eye to make sure Gabby was presenting herself correctly. I chimed in here and there, but I didn’t have a lot to say as this was not my conversation.

“I’m gonna go grab another beer and I’ll be back. Stay put,” he told Gabby, touching her hand lightly.

“Thoughts?” Gabby said excitedly as soon as he walked away.

“I’m into it. And y’all seem to have a lot to talk about so that’s great,” I said.

Kevin came back and he had a friend with him.

“This is David. Gabby and, what was your name again?” Kevin said.

Ugh, I was being so boring that he thought I needed company. I didn’t, but whatever. I couldn’t sit there watching Gabby and making them uncomfortable, so fine. I’d entertain this loser for a few hours to help a friend out.

An hour later, I was on my fourth vodka and had my phone out showing David pictures of Tucker. He’d told me that his family back home had a dog thirty minutes ago and I’d been telling him about Tucker since.

“I just found a recipe to make him a vegan Thanksgiving pâté. I can send it to you if you’d like,” I said.

David kind of looked like he wanted to take his own life.

“Reese, we are going down the street to a comedy show. Are you coming?” Gabby asked.

“Yeah, I guess. Sure,” I said. I was aware that I should think about getting home to Brady, but the night was still young.

We walked a few blocks to a dark, basement comedy club. Since there was a show going on, we couldn’t talk which I’m sure David was thankful for. After the show, we all headed outside. It was 11:00pm at this point.

“Did you want to grab another drink somewhere?” Kevin asked Gabby.

Gabby was thinking about saying yes, but I cut in.

“She does, but we have a busy day at work tomorrow. Another time perhaps?” I said.

Kevin looked like he was wondering why I was speaking for her and what our busy day possibly consisted of.

“Yeah, maybe another time,” Kevin said. He pulled out his phone to get Gabby’s number.

“Would you like to grab a drink another time?” David asked me.

“No, thank you,” I said, not looking up. I was calling an Uber.

Once the guys walked away, I explained my reasoning to Gabby.

“I know you were having a great time with him, but you have to leave the evening on a high. If you continue drinking you’re going to have sex with him and then everything will be ruined,” I said.

“No, I wouldn’t have,” Gabby said, not even convincing herself.

When I got home, Brady was sitting on the couch with his laptop and Tucker, drinking a beer.

“Hi, trick or treat!” I greeted him.

He raised his eyebrows, but didn’t say anything.

“Don’t you have a treat for me?” I asked, joining them on the couch.

“Sure. You can have the whole bowl of candy there since we didn’t get any trick or treaters,” he said and it sounded sarcastic.

“Aww! The kids could probably sense that you were grumpy and didn’t want to bother you,” I said.

“Yeah, probably.” Brady went back to work on his laptop.

I got up to change and came back out wearing my velour pajama set. I turned on the TV and Brady tried to ignore the fact that I was sitting next to him. A few minutes later, he shut his laptop and got up. Tucker got up with him and they walked out. Rude.

After I heard Brady brush his teeth and get settled, I decided to go confront him.

“I’m so sorry, was I bothering you?” I demanded in the dark. Brady and Tucker were in bed.

“Reese, please. Don’t start this right now,” Brady said.

“What? You obviously have an issue with me because I wanted to do something without you. Sorry I want to create my own life here. Unlike you, I don’t have friends who already live here!”

“I don’t care what you do. If you want to go out with your coworkers or whoever, please do so. But I’ve always included you in all of my plans and tried my best to make sure you don’t feel alone here.”

“I want my own friends! I don’t want to hang out with your friends all the time!” I exclaimed, shocked he didn’t get what I was saying.

“Okay. I’m really tired and I’m going to sleep now,” Brady said.

I climbed into bed and we fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up at the literal asscrack of dawn, happily not hungover. Brady was still sleeping next to me and I wrapped my legs around him. It took him a moment to wake up and realize what was going on and respond. He rubbed my leg for a minute before turning around to face me. He pulled me on top of him and tried to take my top off without unbuttoning it.

“Allow me,” I said since obviously he was having trouble with it.

We proceeded to have sex twice back to back and then Brady suddenly jumped out of bed because it was way past the time for him to start getting ready.

I was still in bed when he came back fully dressed.

“I don’t know what time I’ll be home tonight. And I don’t know if I told you, but I have to go to Connecticut on Saturday.” His cold demeanor was back.

“You know you didn’t tell me, but fine,” I said back.

Once I found out that Brady was working on Saturday, I reached out to Lola and we decided to hang out that day.

On Friday night, I’d made plans in my head for Brady and I to go out and have dinner and a few drinks – nothing crazy since he had to work the next day.

When Brady wasn’t home by 9:30, I poured a glass of wine. I was already dressed thinking he’d be home soon.

At 10:00pm, I was on my third glass of wine and FaceTiming Preston.

At 10:30pm, I was so anxious that Brady was still not home this late on a Friday night, that I needed something stronger and poured a tequila with Red Bull.

Brady finally waltzed in at 10:45pm. I was raging.

“Are you absolutely shitting me right now?” I screamed.

“Whoa. What are you talking about?” he said, confused and not coming close to me.

“Where have you been?” I demanded.

“I’ve been at work. What do you mean? Where else would have I been?”

“You expect me to believe you’ve been at work until almost 11 on a Friday night? Do I really look that stupid?”

Brady still hadn’t moved from the doorway. “You know I work late-”

“Not this late!” I was fuming.

“We can talk about it when you’ve calmed down,” he said, walking past me.

I was so upset that I didn’t even want to go out and do anything anymore. I glared at Brady as he came back from putting his things down and walked into the kitchen.

“Did you already have dinner?” he asked.

“Of course I have. It’s 11:00pm!”

Brady shook his head like I was ridiculous as he started pulling out stuff to make dinner. I felt a little bad and wanted to make food for him, but he could not think what he’d done was okay. There’s just no way your job needs you that late on a Friday night. The story in my head was that he’d gotten off early and hung out with someone else before coming home. And it didn’t help that he opened his laptop at the little bar area while he ate.

“How do you still have work to do if you’ve been at work for literally 16 hours today?” I asked, sipping my drink.

“Prep work for tomorrow,” he said, not looking up.

Whatever, dude. I took my drink and a bag of pretzel chips to the living room with me. A little while later, Brady came and joined me on the couch. I was going to sit there and ignore him as I was still mad at him.

“I’ll for sure be getting off earlier tomorrow,” he told me. “Maybe we could do something in the evening.”

“Yeah, maybe. I’m hanging out with Lola and I don’t know how late that’ll go. Please know that I’m not going to alter my plans to hang out with you when you can’t even call to let me know when you’re going to be home extra late,” I said.

“I know,” Brady said back.

We sat there in silence for a few minutes until Brady grabbed my hand and brought it to his lips. Oh, he wanted to get some. That was fine because I did too.

Lola and I had plans to go to yoga then brunch and then wherever else the day took us. We met outside the yoga studio in our cute Lulelemon and Outdoor Voices gear. I’d gotten a fun printed yoga mat for the occasion.

“Ugh. I’m so hungover. I hope this helps me recover,” she greeted me.

“What’d you do last night?” I asked.

“Me and the boy went to a show. We were out until like an hour ago,” she said.

After yoga, we walked a few blocks to a cute little French restaurant to eat. We ordered avo toast, sausage, fruit and bottomless mimosas.

“Did you quit your stupid job yet?” Lola asked.

“Not yet. Hopefully soon though. I’ve been interviewing with this company and I’m hoping they extend an offer soon,” I told her.

Lola works as a copywriter at an advertising agency. She loves it because she gets to be creative and she says her bosses always love all of her crazy ideas.

After our bottomless time limit was up, we Googled a place nearby for more drinks. While we were there making plans for later, I got a Insta-Snap from Nick. It was a selfie with his tongue out, wearing a Michigan football jersey and a U of M flag behind him. Lola and I were at a sports bar that was playing the game and I saw that Michigan was winning.

I took a video of the bar and said, “Seems like we have all Penn State fans here.”

He sent back another selfie and I showed it to Lola. “Thoughts?”

“He looks like a douchey bro,” she said back.

“He is. I liked him though.”

Nick and I continued talking the rest of the day. About nothing mostly and it was completely innocent. Then he said, “Wanna FaceTime really quick?” And I forgot to reply back to that.

That evening, Brady, Lola and her boyfriend, Kellen, made plans to go out to dinner then hang out at one of Brady’s friend’s apartments in Brooklyn. We had tacos and margaritas for dinner and then headed to the house party. The apartment was right on Water Street with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge (only from outside though because it was a garden unit). It was so fucking nice and I demanded to know why Brady hadn’t found something like it for us.

Lola and I were two of three girls at the apartment which was strange. The guys were sitting around smoking weed out of weird contraptions.

“Let’s see what Marie is up to,” Lola suggested.

She pulled out her phone and texted, “Plans this evening?”

Marie let us know that she had worked late at the brewery and was headed home for the night. And then a few minutes later, she said, “Let’s see a pic of you :-)”

“Okay, we need to get a picture of Brady right now,” Lola instructed.

“I don’t see how that’s going to happen. Brady doesn’t like pictures,” I said.

She rolled her eyes and marched over to him on the couch. “Take a pic with Reese for Instagram.”

Brady smiled at me and gestured for me to join him. I climbed on his lap and Lola snapped a picture of us. It actually turned out well and I did post it on Instagram (sorry, Nick). But we also sent it to Marie.

“You look especially cute,” she said back.

The girl couldn’t even take a hint.

How was everyone else’s weekend? Update me.

Standard

i wore pajamas to a wedding.

Brady invited me to Boston for the weekend. He said it would be nice to get out of the city and that we might find plans, but nothing major.

“Maybe pack something nice for Sunday in case we do anything,” he’d instructed nonchalantly.

I waited until Saturday morning to pack even though we had plans of leaving at 8:30am. I threw a bunch of random shit into my weekender, including a black lacy number that I thought I could throw on as a costume for Saturday night if needed.

We dropped Tucker off with the sitter and then drove 4+ hours to get to our cute, industrial Airbnb near Boston Common. I didn’t know our plan until we got there and Brady informed me that we had a little bit of time to kill then we had a wedding to attend that evening.

“Wait, wedding? Who’s getting married?” I asked.

“My friend, Josh. I told you,” Brady said.

I know that I’m getting old and my memory is fading, but I know for sure that Brady did not tell me about a wedding.

“No you didn’t! I didn’t plan to come for a wedding! I don’t have anything to wear!” I exclaimed.

“It’s okay, it’s not black tie or anything. Just something casual,” Brady assured me.

Not only had I not packed anything suitable to wear to a wedding, I hadn’t washed my hair in five days and I didn’t bring any face makeup with me. I was in no shape to be going to a wedding.

“Aside from the fact that you decided not to tell me that and that is fucking rude, I do not want to go to a wedding today. I don’t have anything to wear, I look disgusting and I’m in not in the mood to socialize,” I said as calmly as I could.

Brady looked at me like I’d better lose the attitude. “I told you that it isn’t a formal wedding. Wear whatever you want. I’d like it if you’d come with me, but if this is how you are going to be then you don’t have to come.”

Do you ever get so frustrated that you want to scream? Brady just didn’t understand. A girl needs warning about this kind of thing. Obviously Brady thought I was being high maintenance and annoying, but he just didn’t get it.

And instead of allowing me to take the spare five hours we had to wash my hair and shop for something to wear, Brady insisted on going to see historical landmarks as if he hadn’t seen them a million times since he’s from the area. Then he wanted to go to this taco place that he loves. I spent the day with anxiety about what the fuck I was going to put on for the wedding.

When we finally got back to the apartment, it was 4:30.

“Let’s try to leave by 5:30. I don’t know how long it’ll take to get there,” Brady said.

“That won’t be enough time to wash my hair! I have to wash it, it smells like spoiled milk!” I said.

He looked at me like I was crazy. I guess it was my own fault for letting myself go a bit, but still. I stormed off. I ended up wearing a leather skirt and black tights. The top I’d packed to go with the skirt was a plunging leopard print bodysuit which didn’t seem appropriate for the wedding. So I decided to wear the top to a set of silk pajamas I’d brought. It was hot pink, but it was kind of cute I guess. It was that or wear a graphic tee since I am super casual these days. I doused my hair in dry shampoo leaving my roots a cute eggshell shade. I slicked it up into a bun.

Brady was right in that the wedding wasn’t your traditional formal situation. The bride was wearing a fascinator and strapless dress with tattoos covering her shoulders and arms. But still, I felt and looked unprepared.

At the after party, a random girl came up to me. Brady was talking to friends and I was hitting up the vegan snack bar.

“Who are you here with?” she asked.

She had dyed white blonde hair, pale skin, huge dark black eyes and hand tattoos a la Rihanna.

“My boyfriend. Why?” I said, immediately defensive.

“Just asking. I’ve never met you,” she said, unfazed. “I’m Lola.”

“Reese,” I said back.

“Who is your boyfriend?” she wanted to know.

“His name is Brady. Do you know him?” I was curious to see if she had any dirt on him.

“Oh, yeah yeah. I was just talking to him since he lives in New York now,” she said.

“With me,” I added, in case she missed that memo.

“Mmmhm. I do too.”

Lola and I continued talking for a bit. She asked about how I’m liking the city and because I hadn’t talked to anyone about it in a few days, I told her how much I’m hating work.

“Quit,” Lola said. “You don’t need that shit. New York has too many opportunities for you to be miserable.”

And I loved her carefree attitude. After chatting for a while, I really needed to go find Brady. Lola said she’d go with me. When we found him, he was with a group of people. Do y’all remember when Brady’s friend named Jenny confronted me and made me cry? I was in a really vulnerable state at the time. She was there and standing in the group. I was pleasantly surprised to see her.

“Hey, I met Lola who I love,” I greeted Brady. “Introduce me to your friends?”

He introduced me to the group, a couple guys and then Jenny. Once he finished, I circled back to Jenny.

“We’ve met, correct?” I said.

If y’all remember last time we saw Jenny, she was wearing a maxi dress and booties. She was wearing the exact same outfit at the wedding. This was like three years ago.

“Yeah, we have,” was all Jenny said back.

I pretended to rack my brain. “Didn’t you verbally assault me at a dinner table once?”

Before Jenny could even think about saying anything back, Brady yanked my shoulder back, catching me off guard.

“Are you fucking crazy?” I demanded.

Do not start,” he said sternly, through clinched teeth.

Sensing he wasn’t joking around, I walked off and Lola followed. Brady came and found me a few minutes later and didn’t mention what had just happened. We danced and drank a little bit, but I think everyone was just weirded out that it was a cash bar, not an open bar. A cash bar feels like it’s discouraging drinking and no one wanted to be the only one trashed.

Luckily, an hour later, someone decided we should go to a bar nearby. Brady chugged down his drink and I turned to Lola, making sure she was coming.

“I hate going out in Boston, but I guess I’ll come,” she said.

“You share my sentiments,” I told her.

A few hours later, Lola and I were tearing up the small dance floor. I was absolutely hammered, but trying to hide it because Lola and I’d had about the same amount to drink and she was two inches shorter and one hundred pounds lighter. She is tiny. It was embarrassing.

We’d talked at the previous bar and she told me about her on/off boyfriend.

“I love him, but I really don’t trust him. I don’t trust anything with a penis honestly. They can’t control them. That’s not a stereotype, that’s science,” she said.

“No, I completely agree with you! You’re absolutely right. I don’t even trust my male dog!” I said. Lola laughed.

At the end of the night when it was time to go home, Brady found me outside smoking a cig with Lola. We’d already exchanged numbers and followed each other on every social network and we hugged goodbye.

“I literally love Loz [pronounced Lowz]. I’m so glad I have another friend in New York now,” I told Brady as we walked back to the apartment.

“Yeah, me too. She’s cool,” he said back.

I grabbed his hand and leaned up to kiss him, but he rudely pulled away from me and said, “You smell like an ashtray.”

The next day, after a big breakfast to cure my hangover, Brady and I went to a brewery for a tasting and a tour. The girl serving us started talking to us and telling us about her life (including moving to Boston with her boyfriend for his job) and she reminded me a lot of myself actually. We use a lot of the same phrases and have some of the same mannerisms and it was kind of weird. When she walked away for a moment, I asked Brady if he noticed and he looked at me like I was crazy. I loved her at the time though. Her name was Marie.

We hung out there for about two hours and learned about all kinds of man issues Marie was having like how her boyfriend’s mother hates her and always sends her messages on Facebook telling her to take pictures and posts down. Can’t relate. Once it was time to go, Brady paid for our experience and left a hefty tip for her on his card.

“Here, I’m going to give you my business card. I’m a manager here and you guys are welcome back anytime. I’ll write down my cell too. Feel free to call me or you can even text me,” she said and handed the card to Brady.

At the time, it didn’t seem that weird because we’d had such a good time with her. But when we got back home and I saw the card on Brady’s nightstand while he was showering, I got absolutely furious.

I snapped a picture of the card and sent it to Lola, who I’d been texting all day, and told her what happened.

“I’ll handle it. Get rid of the card,” she said back. I didn’t know what that meant, but I was happy to know that I had a supporter on my team. I did as I was instructed and ripped the card into teeny, tiny pieces.

An hour later, Lola sent me a string of screenshots from a conversation she’d had with Marie. Lola had texted her pretending to be Brady and Marie eagerly texted back, “Hey! I was hoping I’d hear from you. :-)”

They had a long conversation in which Brady (Lola) hinted at meeting up and hanging out and Marie suggested places in both Boston and New York City for them to meet. I was never mentioned by either of them.

“Can’t trust bitches either,” Lola said.

“You’re so good at this,” I commented, realizing how much she sounded like a cheating man in the texts.

“Experience,” she said.

As of this evening, Brady (Lola) and Marie are still texting.

Standard

it’s boring and you know it.

I complained to Gabby about how annoying my team is. This information got back to our assistant director and she set up a meeting with me to talk about it.

I was excited to meet with her – she kind of reminded me of my old boss, Diana. Gorgeous, older ice queen kinda lady. We set up our date and we met down in the lobby of our building. Michelle came down with her tablet and a kombucha.

We talked about my role and expectations and how I felt about everything. Since she’d already heard how I felt about my team, I reiterated it for her, making sure she knew exactly how I felt. I wasn’t mean at all, I framed it in a way that showed that I want my team to be able to take ownership of their own clients and accounts. I tried to make it seem less about me and more about wanting to develop my team.

“I’ll be honest, I find it odd that a manager of people doesn’t like it when her people come to her for help. You should be glad they are coming to you for guidance. It’s essentially your job,” Michelle said. She’d barely looked up from her tablet at all.

“Really?” I said back, surprised at her reaction.

“Your role is to lead your team and be their number one supporter,” she said.

“I guess I misunderstood my role,” I replied. When I talked to Sarah, the position was all about elevating sales and strategizing, not babysitting.

So after that, I kicked my job search into high gear. I applied for a job I was really excited about. It’s for a conglomerate that works with several companies handling their jewelry departments. Essentially the job is to manage all aspects of product development while also assisting with design and marketing. It’s one of those all encompassing positions and I was totally into it.

I had a brief interview with a recruiter who immediately invited me in for an interview. I claimed to have a doctors appointment to be able to come to work late and scheduled the interview for 9:00 in the morning. I wore navy pants with a blush pink top and a statement necklace. The building was in Times Square in a pretty, colorful office. So my vibe (actually my vibe would be a beautiful white and grey minimalistic fortress full of fresh flowers, but compared to my current job).

The first person I met with was the VP of sales – a tiny brunette with a huge wedding ring.

“I’m Heidi! I’m so glad you’re here! Tell me all about yourself!” she exclaimed before even sitting down.

She was great. We talked for ages about work and life. She even took out her phone show me pictures of her newborn and her banker husband. I could already tell we’d be friends if we worked together.

Two hours later, she asked me if I had time to meet with someone else. I was already making up a faux cyst story to take back to work.

The second lady I met with was Margaret, some bitch who works in design. After the initial introductions, she said, “I see that all of your background is in home furnishings. How would this translate to jewelry?”

Obviously I knew this question was coming and I’d prepared for it. “I worked in product development for years and I gained a ton of transferable skills. I’ve worked with cost and spec sheets while also sourcing and working directly with vendors in production.” All of this had been in the job description.

“Yeah but like, what does it have to do with jewelry?” Margaret asked.

Was she stupid?

“Well, nothing, but they are both consumer goods and if you look at it in the way they are utilized, they are similar,” I said back.

“Hmm.” Margaret looked over my resume, not convinced. “But how can any of your experience resonate with our brand? You don’t have relationships with any suppliers or vendors for jewelry.”

“If you’re looking who has existing relationships, then I’m probably not who you’re looking for. However, I’ve always been resourceful at finding the perfect partners for my company’s needs.” Why was she arguing with me?

Finally, she said, “Okay. We will be in touch.”

I haven’t heard anything back.

One afternoon, Brady texted me saying, “Want to watch the game at a bar after work?”

Of course I said, “Absolutely.”

Brady texted me the name of the bar and then, “Okay if Sydney comes?”

It all made sense. Suddenly he was able to get off work early and suddenly he wanted to hang out at a bar with Sydney. How convenient.

“I guess that’s fine. Slow day at work?” I asked.

“I have a bit of work to do when we get home actually.”

I rolled my eyes. After work, I grabbed Gabby and we Ubered to the bar. I realized I need to make more of an effort to make friends and Gabby is the only person I’ve found who I like so far. When we arrived at the bar, Brady and Sydney were not there yet so we snagged a table and ordered beers. She told me about yet another bad date she’d gone on in which the guy told her she was high maintenance and mean and requested separate checks.

“Why did he call you mean? What did you do?” I asked.

“I literally don’t know! We talked about work and I was telling him about my aspirations and stuff. He just said that out of nowhere. I don’t get it!”

There’s gotta be more to the story/stories so I organized a girl’s night so I can be her wing woman. Obviously I’m amazing at dating and since I like Gabby, I am happy to offer my services and wisdom.

A little while later, Brady and Sydney showed up. Together. Interesting. It was weird to see Sydney in her actual work clothes, not workout clothes. She actually looked kind of cute in her slacks and button up.

“Hey Reese! How have you been?” she greeted me like we are best friends. Before she could respond, she turned to Gabby. “I don’t believe we’ve met? I’m Sydney!”

What the fuck was she so happy about?

After Gabby met everyone, Brady came over to the other side of the table to me. “What’s up? How was your day?”

“If I don’t get a new job soon, I’m going to tie bricks around my ankles and throw myself into the Hudson,” I replied.

“Soon, babe.” Brady is just as tired of me complaining about my job as y’all are. “Another beer?”

“A shot of tequila, please.”

I was annoyed when everyone wanted to start talking about the baseball game. Apparently it was like the World Series or something. Brady and Sydney were going back and forth about all the players and RBIs and fly balls. Even Gabby was getting into it. I hate girls who pretend to be into sports. It’s boring and you know it.

Eventually, I scooted close to Brady and put my hand high on Brady’s thigh. “Are we leaving soon?”

“Just as soon as the game is over,” he assured me.

“So, are you liking the city so far, Reese?” Sydney asked me sweetly.

“It’s fine. How are you liking Brooklyn?” I said back.

It’s like she was dying for me to ask. “You know, I’m really liking it more than I thought. Originally I thought I’d move to DC, but when this opportunity came up-”

I tuned her out and stared at Brady for five minutes until he looked at me. He mouthed, “Soon.”

After the game was over, we all headed outside to go our respective ways.

“What are you guys doing now?” Sydney asked.

“We have to head home now, I still have some work to complete by tomorrow,” Brady said.

Sydney looked disappointed, like she wanted to continue hanging out.

“Let’s get together again soon. I have like two friends in the city,” she said to us.

Yeah, okay. I’ll add something to your calendar.

Nick messaged me on Instagram. Ah, Nick. It felt weird to have him in my DMs.

“You doing okay?” he asked.

So sweet of him to check on me! I wondered if he’d texted me and discovered that I’d blocked him. I didn’t really know what he wanted but I said, “I’m fabulous! How are things with you?”

“Pretty good over here, I can’t complain. I just got back from Michigan for my mom’s birthday.”

And for some reason, we had a five hour long conversation while I was at work. And I was weirded out at how excited I was to talk to him. I turned my ringer on loud so I wouldn’t miss any notifications. We talked mostly about what we’re up to these days – I told Nick how I’m living in New York and my job and stuff. Neither of us mentioned our significant others and I wondered if he was even still with his cute girlfriend. Our conversation was a little bit superficial – we really didn’t talk about much
or dive deep into anything – but I liked talking to him. Dare I say I might have even missed him. I was disappointed when he read my last message (that didn’t require a response) and didn’t respond. I unblocked his number just in case.

Brady and I are going away this weekend and I haven’t even packed so bye.

Standard

a baby is not a hobby.

On Thursday, Brett invited a few of us out for happy hour drinks. I really needed to get home to Tucker (Brady works late, or course), but I also really needed a drink. I said I’d go.

Brett invited four guys from the sales team plus a designer and I invited Gabby. At 5:00pm, we all trekked out of the office to a nearby rooftop bar. Gabby told me about a guy she’d met on Hinge. He sounded great and they’d exchanged some normal flirty text messages. She was feeling super pessimistic about it though and was just waiting for things to go downhill. I really feel like I should be going on these dates with her. I’ve never met someone who goes on so many bad dates and I don’t think it should be this hard in a city full of eligible men.

Gabby went to the restroom and Brett turned to me.

“So do you just drink or do you do other stuff?” he asked.

“What kind of other stuff are you referring to?” I asked innocently.

“Nevermind,” Brett said quickly, realizing that I am not into drugs.

Afterwards, Gabby and I walked outside together to catch our Ubers.

“So how much coke does Brett typically do?” I asked.

“So much! It’s so gross, he always offering it to everyone in the office,” she said.

“Seems unprofessional,” I said aloud and tucked the information in the back of my brain for later.

When I got home, Brady still wasn’t home yet. It’s so irritating. I can totally understand being a workaholic and I’ve even been one at times, but I thought he’d want to spend more time exploring our new city together.

When he finally arrived home, Tucker and I were in the galley kitchen making dinner. I’d looked up an easy ramen recipe on Pinterest that proved to be not the easy. Also, I had to buy 38 ingredients to make it.

“Once you’re more settled into work, are you going to work less hours?” I greeted him when he came and found us in the kitchen.

Brady looked surprised that I’d said that. “I’m not sure. I’m hoping that is the case, of course, but this role does require more hours. I actually have to go to Connecticut on Saturday.”

“Seriously? Didn’t you tell them you don’t work on the weekends?” I said. I’d already planned to go to brunch, décor shopping and an animal shelter for us on Saturday. I’ve decided I want a cat.

“I’m hoping this is a one time thing,” Brady said.

Obviously I was thinking about all the things Brady could potentially be doing instead of working like meeting up with some bimbo for a cute day date at a baseball game or something.

“Should I go to Connecticut with you?” I asked.

“I don’t think that would be very fun for you,” he said slowly.

I suddenly remembered our conversation about having a fresh start in New York. Not trusting him that he was going to work was not a fresh start.

“Okay, fine. Tell them you don’t work weekends though,” I said.

Brady had more bad news at dinner.

“My parents invited us to lunch on Sunday. I told them we’d come, but I wanted to check with you first,” he said.

I literally groaned.

“I agree, I feel the same way. I’ve been avoiding them for the past few weeks,” Brady said.

So I had that to look forward to.

On Saturday, Brady left at the asscrack of dawn to go to work. I slept in until 10:00am then made waffles and fresh fruit for Tucker and myself. I was excited to have the full day to myself to explore. I did everything I’d planned to do with Brady (including brunch), but alone. I actually fell in love with a cat at an adoption agency I stopped in, but it was way more expensive than I’d anticipated. So I’ll need to continue shopping around.

When Brady got home from work, he immediately cracked open a beer.

“What a long day,” he complained.

“How was Connecticut?” I asked.

“It was okay. I’ll probably have to start going once a week or at least once every two weeks,” he said back.

I ignored what he said and pulled out two glasses to make drinks. I don’t know why I thought that moving to New York would suddenly make Brady not work as much. New job, new city, same shit. Over it.

We got dressed and headed out to a cute, colorful bar in Soho. We grabbed seats at the bar and sat there talking about our lives until 2am.

“I guess I thought things would be different here,” I said after my third vodka tonic. “You’re still working a ton, which sucks because now I’m home alone because I have no one to hang out with now.”

“I’m sorry I have to work so much,” Brady said. “I don’t want you to feel lonely at home alone, but I have to work. Is there anything else I can do?”

“I guess not. I just don’t understand how a job could require you to work as much as you do. You’re choosing to do that.”

“I’m still getting settled. I want to be home with you guys more and I’ll try to get off earlier more often. It’s not my intention to be away…”

“I just can’t help feeling uneasy after…things I won’t bring up.” I was thinking of Jessica and Sydney. “Maybe I should get a hobby. Or at least have a baby to hang out with when you’re not around.”

“A baby?” he repeated.

“Yeah. It’s the perfect timing actually. I hate my job so I’ll just quit and become a full time mommy. I’ll have something to do since you’re not home,” I said.

“A baby is not a hobby,” Brady said, but still grabbed me and kissed me anyway. “I do recommend finding a hobby though.”

The next morning I woke up hating myself. I remembered leaving the bar and Brady suggesting we go to a late night bar. I was down. Apparently some of Brady’s friends were there – nerdy cool kids from school. They all had on hipster glasses with mustaches. They were cute. One guy had a big tattoo on his neck and we instantly connected. His name was Zeke.

We stayed and drank at the late night bar until after 4am. Thank God there was a taco shop next door to the bar. I rallied the crew and marched in, ordering twenty four tacos for the five of us. Zeke was telling me wild stories about drugs and threesomes. I love hearing about people’s dirty laundry so I was encouraging him to continue.

I hopped out of bed to sit in the front of the toilet. After a brief puke sesh, Brady still hadn’t moved from the bed.

“Should we get up and get food?” I asked, pushing Brady awake.

“I’m okay. You go ahead,” Brady said, turning over.

I wasn’t about to waste time begging him and instead ran out to get bagels at a place close by. Brady struggled to get out of bed when it was time to meet his parents for lunch. We were meeting them at 2:00pm uptown somewhere and Brady didn’t roll out of bed until 1:30.

“If we are late, your parents are going to assume it is my fault and I’ve been ready for ten minutes,” I complained. It wasn’t entirely true as I was walking around naked with my hair still in a bun.

I ended up throwing on a plain black shift dress, mules and kept my hair in a bun. I realize I like to dress like I’m going to funeral when I see Brady’s parents. Sometimes I am, but usually it just feels like it.

The restaurant was inside a hotel and had cute vegetation everywhere. It was super dark inside and Brady’s parents were already seated. For some reason, when I saw them I got this weird feeling like I’d missed them. Maybe I miss my own parents.

Brady’s mom stood up and hugged me first.

“We are thrilled you are both here,” she said and she leaned over to hug Brady.

Soon after we sat down, I found out that Brady’s dad was recently hospitalized and just released. Remember when the mom was making this huge deal about how the dad was sick? First of all, I completely forgot about that and I honestly thought she was fabricating the whole thing. Then Brady started talking to him about his treatment and what the doctors had told him. Brady wanted specifics – numbers, medical names and terms, recommendations.

After talking about the dad for a while, Brady’s mom turned to me. “Reese, how are you? Have you been able to find work in the city yet?”

“Uh, yes,” I replied, offended. Why would she even know that I was unemployed for two weeks? “I transferred with the company I’ve been with for two and a half years. We just had to work out the details.”

“Okay,” Brady’s mom said. “That’s good news. And how are your parents?”

Ugh. Leave me alone.

“They’re fabulous. They recently purchased a new house and my mom has gotten into gardening so they have a really beautiful garden in the backyard,” I said.

“Huh. I thought they’d split.” Brady’s mom looked at the dad.

“Yeah, we all did,” I shot back. “Sometimes you just need time away from each other.” I looked at Brady because obviously he knows that’s true. He didn’t look at me.

“We don’t need any time away from each other, do we? We spend a lot of time together,” Brady’s mom said. The dad nodded. I rolled my eyes.

Later into the meal, Brady’s mom brought up Hunter and for some reason, my heart started racing. Probably from all the guilt of having sick dreams about him.

“Hunter says he’s having some trouble with Dominique. He’s looking for guidance,” the mom said.

“What kind of trouble?” Brady asked.

“Well, she’s been popping in at work unannounced and following him around to make sure he is where he says he will be,” Brady’s mom explained.

I didn’t see the issue.

“That must be annoying,” Brady said.

I was dying to chime in.

“She is really going to get him into trouble pulling stunts like these,” the dad said.

“I wonder why she’s doing this,” Brady said.

I laughed out loud and it came out sounding like a witch’s cackle. Tis the season! Everyone looked at me.

After lunch, Brady’s mom invited the two of them over to see our place. It obviously wasn’t in any shape for visitors, especially them, so I tried to say no. They came over anyway. Our place was pretty clean, except we’d left our glasses and a huge bottle of vodka out from the night before. I saw Brady’s mom stare at the bottle, but no one acknowledged it and I quickly put it away after everyone walked through the kitchen.

Right before they left, Brady’s mom said to me, “There’s a women’s group at the church you may be interested in. It really is a lot of fun and you could probably learn something from it too.”

“Oh, I bet!” I said back. “Send me the deets and I’ll look into it.”

The following week Brady continued working like a slave. Three out of the five days, he didn’t come home until after I was already in bed. I was going to bed at 9:30 every night because I was exhausted from my everyday commute, but still.

I am absolutely hating work. Everyone in my office acts like complete idiots. I’ve never worked with such imbeciles and I don’t know how to deal. The thing that bothers me most is that no one thinks for themselves and every time they encounter any situation at all, they ask me how to proceed.

They are like, “Reese, this client asked for a cost sheet. I know that’s confidential information, but should I still send it to them?”

Now, instead of giving them the answer, I say, “Do whatever you think you should do,” which probably makes me seem lazy, but I don’t have time to be thinking for myself and everyone else too.

I complained to Brett about it.

“Aw, Reese. They just want to please you, you know?” he said in his loud voice.

I had an interview with a hospitality company for a wine and beverage manager. The job sounded fun on paper (hanging out at wineries and bars, free booze and unlimited socializing opportunities? I’m in), but after the interview, I found out that the job was way more nitty gritty and not something I’d enjoy doing. I took myself out of the running after the interview.

One night, Brady came home with a little blue gift bag. He put his stuff down then went to the bathroom, leaving the gift bag unattended. I turned it over and dumped the contents out to see what it was. Brady’s birthday isn’t for several months so I couldn’t understand why he was getting a gift.

Inside the bag was tissue paper, a nice leather card holder and a gift card to Whole Foods. The note in the gift card said, “I’m not sure what we did before you. Thx for everything. -Andrea and team”

Why in the world did Andrea and her so-called team think it was appropriate to be giving out unsolicited gifts?

I shoved everything back in the bag and then waited for Brady to come out and explain.

“What’s in the bag?” I asked when he came out of the bathroom as if I hadn’t already riffled through the bag and Googled the wallet to see how much the team had spent on him ($60).

“Oh, my team got a gift for me. It was unexpected, but very nice,” Brady said.

I decided not to care. I just can’t. I’d rather focus my energy on finding a new job I love and that is harder than I imagined.

Standard

everyday is a celebration.

The New York recruiter called me on Wednesday to have another phone interview. I was furious and ready to just block her number.

She started in on asking me things and I actually cut her off. “I’m in New York. Do you want me to come by the office?”

“Oh, yes!” she said, sounding excited. “That would be great.”

Because I wasn’t doing anything except repotting some plants I got at IKEA, I told her I’d come that afternoon. I showered and put on a black dress, Alexander Wang booties and a fucking rain jacket because it was so gloomy out. I took the 1 train uptown to the office.

Our NYC office is located in a beautiful skyscraper. I was whisked up to the 40th floor and waltzed into the glass enclosed office. The receptionist was about 19 years old wearing a chic oversized sweater and had long red hair. Little known fact about me: I am obsessed with natural gingers. I think it is gorgeous. If they have the fair skin and freckles to match, I’m dead. It’s so fucking cute.

“Hi, how can I help you?” she asked me.

I let her know that I was there to see the recruiter and she gave me directions to get to recruiters desk. I was a little confused at the open office concept. Everyone’s desks were out in the open and not divided by cubicles or anything. Where was the privacy? How uncouth.

The recruiter was sitting at her desk that had a huge bouquet of flowers on it. She also looked about 19 years old, but very well put together.

“Hi, you must be Reese! Thanks for meeting me,” she said, standing up. She was wearing a chic pink tweed shift dress and white heeled booties.

She pulled up a chair for me to sit next to her at her desk. Before I could even begin the monologue I had planned (in front of my surprise audience), the recruiter, whose name is Sarah, said, “We’d like to offer you the sales manager position. If you are still interested.”

Obviously I was still interested, otherwise I wouldn’t have been there.

I said, “Oh, great!”

“We can pay you the same as what you were making in Chicago,” Sarah went on.

I assumed the sales manager job was a bit lower than my job in Chicago so I wasn’t expecting the same rate of pay. Obviously New York is more expensive though so I assumed that was why. I wasn’t about to question it.

“Okay. I guess I accept,” I said back.

Sarah looked relieved. “I’m so happy. You can start on Monday, can’t you?”

“Sure.”

She grabbed my arm, obviously happy that I had accepted. “Thank goodness. The sales team hasn’t had a leader in so long and things are starting to get bad.” She leaned in close. “There is going to be some fallout. These people have not had any accountability. I’m just warning you.”

Thanks for the heads up.

Back outside, it was beginning to get dark. I checked my phone and saw that Brady had texted me, saying we should meet up for drinks. He’d be getting off in the next hour-hour and a half and I told him I’d meet him at this cute hotel bar not far from home. I love a good hotel bar and I rushed right over even though I’d have to wait a bit for Brady.

I ordered a glass of champs (because everyday is a celebration, right?) and enjoyed my own company at the bar. After I’d downed my first glass of champagne, the bartender who had come over a few times to ask where I was traveling from, etc, slid another glass in front of me.

“Courtesy of the gentleman on the other side of the bar,” he told me.

I glanced over and saw the culprit – a middle aged man with salt and pepper hair and a tie. It’s been so long since someone has ordered a drink for me at the bar that I didn’t even know what to do. Especially since I am in a relationship.

The guy looked up at me and, not wanting to seem like the ungrateful bitch that I am, I raised my glass to cheers him. Whatever. I continued sucking down my free champagne and to my dismay, the kind gentleman got up from his seat and made his way over to me. For fuck’s sake.

“I was just getting ready to leave, but I thought it’d be rude not to come over and say hello first,” he said.

“Oh. Hello,” I said back. You can take the bitch out of Chicago, but…

“Where are you here from?” he asked.

“I live here. I just like to hang out in hotels. I’m actually waiting on my fiancé,” I said. I quickly hid my ringless left hand.

My admirer looked disappointed. “Such a lucky man. Can’t believe he’d leave you waiting this long.”

Excuse me?

“Well, he got called in last minute to do surgery as he’s an oncologist. One of his patients had a nineteen pound tumor and it was obviously an emergency. He will be here soon,” I said, stretching the truth just slightly.

“All right then. Hey, well I hope you enjoy your evening and I hope he shows up soon,” the man said.

I rolled my eyes as he walked away.

By the time my life saving fiancé showed up, the guy was gone. Ugh. I wanted to show off. Clearly I was lying, but at least when Brady showed up, my story would play out better.

Anyway, Brady showed up with his little laptop bag and glasses and Oxford shirt. He’s so fucking cute. His new job is really demanding though and I’m already over it. He’s working in a hospital with all these little pharmacists under him. I can’t imagine him telling people what to do, but it’s so cute. And he is enjoying it which I love for him.

I told him about the meeting and what Sarah had said.

“At least you have a job now. Even if it isn’t exactly what you want, it buys you some time to find what you do want,” Brady said.

I’d been thinking the exact same thing.

The rest of the week I spent sprucing up our new place. We ended up going with a townhouse in Greenwich Village. It is what my vintage dreams are made of. The apartment takes up the entire first floor of a townhouse and has 2 bathrooms, a massive bedroom and an outdoor terrace/garden. They didn’t allow dogs at first, but Brady negotiated and we were allowed to bring Tucker. What kind of asshole would say no to Tucker?

I wanted to go with a vintage luxe vibe. Think brass, marble, faux fur, plants. Very Art Deco. I ordered a bunch of stuff online, but soon discovered how complicated getting large packages delivered in New York is.

Over the weekend, Brady, Tucker and I explored our new neighborhood. We had brunch, bottomless Bloody’s (which was absolutely disgusting), filled our fridge with tons of organic food, went to the park, etc. I was actually exhausted for work on Monday.

I was actually really excited to start work though. My week of leisure was fun, but I really do like working and having a purpose. I strutted in on Monday morning and my girl crush, the ginger named Gabby, helped me get acquainted. She showed me my desk which was smack dab in the middle of the open room. That was going to have to change immediately. I had to get my computers and monitor set up and decorated a bit then right before lunch, I got to attend my first meeting.

I will be working alongside Brett, who I guess is the equivalent of my position in Chicago. He is the epitome of a salesman with his polo shirt and dress pants. He’s around my age, addicted to Red Bull (and probably cocaine) and talks unnecessarily loud. He reminds me of the guys in college who would stand in the middle of a crowd at a party and chug a fifth of vodka for attention. I immediately liked him.

After the meeting, he came over to give me a run down of everything. After we spoke, he said, “Well, rad dude. We’re stoked you’re here.”

On Tuesday, I came in with my homemade green tea latte and egg and avocado sandwich. I’m on a high protein, low fat and dairy diet now. It’s been fun. I think technically I’m supposed to stay away from avocados, but I eat them daily.

“I really love your outfit. You always look great,” Gabby greeted me when I walked in.

Obviously I’d tried hard to look great – I was wearing a printed mock neck dress, mustard colored booties and my new no-nonsense work bag.

“Thanks so much!” I replied and we began talking. I found out that she is a graduate from Parsons who wants to break into the fashion industry which I think is adorable. It’s like the Devil Wears Prada.

We ended up going to Whole Foods together for lunch and getting salads. Gabby told me about all the awful dates she’d been on lately. I thought all the stories about how bad New York men are were fake. I let her know that I’d be a great wing woman (I love to be a wing woman). She’s 25, which is young as I am looking for older friends these days. I’m trying to get my life together.

By Friday, I was ready to kill everyone except my darling, Gabby. Sarah is so annoying and loud and always everywhere I am. You know the people who laugh at literally everything? I can’t think of a more annoying characteristic. My entire team is completely lazy and talk too much and need their hands held for everything. I can’t fucking stand it. I spent the entire day Friday coming up with a huge game plan to get things back on track. I have to wear headphones and listen to music constantly because of our open concept office. Sarah came over and disturbed me to check on how I was doing, and I almost strangled her.

The following weekend, Hunter came to visit. I was not ready to see him again. And I was not prepared. Brady opened his phone and said, “Hunter’s flight just landed,” while we were having drinks at a bar.

“Where?” I asked.

“Here,” Brady said back.

I almost choked and prayed we wouldn’t have to actually see him over the weekend. On Saturday morning, Brady and I woke up naked and hungover in our nearly empty room. Our bedroom is so spacious that our furniture doesn’t fill it. Such a great problem to have!

“Do you want to shower first or do you want me to? I told Hunter we’d meet him for brunch,” Brady said.

Wtf, seriously? I just wanted to lay in bed and hate myself for drinking until 4am. I told Brady to shower first so I could get as much time in the bed. We met Hunter at a restaurant not far from Times Square.

“Heyyyy, Reese,” he greeted me with this super affectionate voice. I hadn’t seen Hunter since our maybe-encounter in which I’d called him “baby” in my sleep and getting caught FaceTiming him with Lexi and Dom.

“Oh, hey. Good to see you,” I said, sounding really cold.

He looked really, really good. Like his facial hair was super tame and trimmed and his hair was back in a neat bun.

“And you!” Maybe it’s my imagination, but Hunter looked at me straight in the eye for several seconds longer than he needed to.

Brunch was fine. They talked about their parents mostly which is crazy boring. I had anxiety worried that Hunter would bring up the FaceTime thing so I didn’t say anything.

Finally, I just needed to talk. “So what brings you to New York this weekend? It’s such a long way for you, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it’s a long way. I’m here for work next week, but I thought I’d come out a few days early. Wanted to see you guys and everything,” Hunter replied, with this really playful and flirtatious smirk.

I looked away, totally grossed out, but not that grossed out by the way he looked at me. I didn’t say anything for the rest of brunch.

That evening, Brady and I had plans of meeting people out, but ended up falling asleep on the couch at 7pm. Brady woke up a little later and jumped in the shower without even waking me up. I woke up when Brady was walking through the house in just a towel.

“Where are you going?” I demanded.

“Out. Are you coming?” he replied.

It was around 11, but that was fine and I got up and got ready. I put on boyfriend jeans, leopard heeled mules and a graphic tee. Because casual.

We Ubered to a bar in East Village where Hunter and a guy Hunter and Brady knows already were. The boys wanted to talk about Donald Trump and all of his scandals the whole night. I prefer not to talk about that man at all.

We all hung out and drank until around 1:30am, when Hunter announced he had to get going.

To me in particular, he said, “Gotta get back to the hotel. Check in with the ball and chain, you know, Reese?” He was smiling really big and seemed to be happy to be going back to his wife.

Wait. What? Why would I know anything about that? Did he think I was Brady’s ball and chain?

“No, I don’t know. You’re never worried about your wife whenever you’re out with us,” I said.

Brady didn’t seem to be listening until I said that.

“What do you mean? I’m always worried about the wife,” Hunter said. He still had that stupid smile on his face.

I didn’t bother saying anything back. I didn’t have anything nice to say anyway. On our way out, Hunter grabbed my shoulders.

“What do you mean, I don’t worry about my wife? I love her, you know that,” he said.

“Are you trying to convince me or yourself?” I asked.

Hunter walked ahead and turned around to smirk and wink at me. What? He is so weird.

I opted not to hang out with Brady and Hunter on Sunday. But then on Sunday night, I proceeded to have a gross dream about meeting Hunter in his hotel room. Have you ever woken up from a dream and just felt dirty? That was me.

Anyway, I have to go. I have a daycare to run (work to do).

Standard