Breaking Bad Habits...and Maybe a Few Hearts


They say it takes 15 days to make or break a habit. Avoiding men because I don’t trust that they will treat my heart with care – well I’ve been doing that for a lot more than 15 days so that’s definitely a habit. And it’s hard to break.

I was riding the elevator up in my office building this morning and met the man of my dreams. I haven’t felt this way about a beautiful stranger since my island fantasy train conductor. This one looked different of course (sigh, they can’t all look like him) but he was delicious all the same. I stepped in and noticed him immediately – not hard since the elevator is the size of well, an elevator. There was one other guy in there, thank goodness or I might have jumped on the man of my dreams like one of those sex-crazed maniac women from an Axe commercial.

I work in one of the FIT college buildings, so it fair to say that this guy was a mere child – maybe 20 or 21. Well, one would hope at least 19. I’m not trying to catch a case over here. He was clean cut yet looked a little mischievous, dressed in colorful cool-boy attire. You know, the gear that college kids are spending all their money on these days – sleek, roomy (not baggy) designer jeans, oddly patterned button-downs and candy-hued yet immaculate limited edition sneakers. So clean, in fact, I was wondering if this boy got carried around on a palanquin like Cleopatra because my boots get scuffed up within five minutes of walking down 27th St.

Anywho, he smiled at me to reveal a pearly set of chompers and then leaned down a bit to his left, where I was so fortunately standing.

“You smell amazing,” he said.

“Thank you,” I turned toward him, smiled half a smile, and lifted my shoulder a bit - coquette style. Actually, thank you to Thierry Mugler for concocting Angel, the ultimate seduction scent, in my humble opinion. You just gotta hand it to the French sometimes.

“Doesn’t she smell amazing?” He asked his friend, who pondered for a moment.

“Yes,” his friend said, “Like a woman should smell.”

Oh ho ho, they were laying it on pretty thick, but I wasn’t fazed. I decided to a drop a line of my own, I was educated and ready. I sensed a slight southern Caribbean twang so I ran with it.

Love the accent. You’re from Grenada, aren’t you?” I asked, actually not sure, but confidence is always more potent than geographical knowledge.

His almond-shaped eyes widened. “St. Vincent, actually, but good ears. Wow.”

Ding! My door to the 8th floor opened, and he was going up to the 9th. He stepped out with me and I giggled.

“Get back in, you can’t come to work with me,” I said.

“Okay,” he smiled, “But –“

“K. Bye.” And I scurried off. Not scared like a mouse, more like a busy cat.

“Have a nice day!” He hollered behind me.

Why all the scurrying? Many reasons. What was the point in sticking around and flirting? He was probably too young, or too something. As I sat at my desk after immediately spilling the beans about dream man (boy) to my cubemate, Genevieve, I silently yearned to run upstairs to the 9th floor and run up and down the halls screaming. “Hot boy? Where are you? LET’S GET MARRIED!”

Ok so that’s a bit dramatic, but I was mad at myself because I’ll probably never see him again. I stopped taking the train I used to take because I moved out of Jersey and I never saw hot island conductor again! Hmm, should I break my island fetish, or my running-away-from-men issue? It was a tough call, but I think I have to say the latter. Lord knows I love all men equally, but the Caribbean ones just make me want to get my groove back, and ain’t nothing wrong with that, Stella.

Now one of the guys I know quite well, that I’ve been semi-seeing since I moved into the city is becoming a disappointing mess – well, I won’t be mean. The situation is a mess. He isn't who I thought he was at all. Could my friend referral system be holding me back? Could I, Rajul the familiar-lover, actually meet a random fella on an elevator and start some type of relationship with him?

I’ll never know until I try. My habit needs to be broken. And I know just the way to break it. Gotta go now, but if you need me - I’ll be up on the 9th floor.