Stories from the Hart: Buyer Blues, Part 2

Buyer Blues by Shannon Hart
Part 2

If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.
Yes, that's what happened. I swear. We were sitting by the fire one night in October after all the Spring Summer shows at Paris Fashion Week, and Vin took my hand and said, "Janie, please don't hate me." At that point, I swear I thought he was going to tell me that he had slept with someone else or something. I wasn't exactly right, but I wasn't too off base either. With my hand still in his, he looked into my eyes and said, "Janie, I think you're great. You're beautiful, smart, hard working, independent... But I think we have different needs." Too dumbstruck to respond, I just sat there, looking like an idiot. Even my mind went completely blank, and I couldn't find a single word to say to him in response. "And as crazy as this sounds," he continued, "You spent so much time of our relationship being away on your trips, that I've spent more time with your sister than with you and I feel like I have more in common with her than I do with you." It was at that very moment that I wanted to smack him with my right shoe, but I managed to hold myself back in fear of getting slapped with an assault charge.

"So what are you saying?" I asked, feeling my blood boil.

"Well, I'm saying I feel like I don't know you anymore. I'm saying I think we should just be friends."

"So you can start seeing my sister instead?" I asked with a scowl.

He didn't answer, probably out of courtesy to spare my feelings – or whatever. Whatever his reasons were, I took his silence as a yes. He asked Amanda out two weeks later and she agreed to go out with him even though I begged her not to do it. I was still in love with him and to see her date him would have been a nightmare. She knew exactly how I felt about him, but she did it anyway and all of a sudden, eleven months later, they announced their engagement at my Dad's 65th birthday party, just after my Dad blew out his candles and told the entire party of thirty that his wish was that I'd stop focusing on my career so much so I could settle down and give him grandkids. Yeah, Amanda had impeccable timing.

I picked up my cell phone and started scrolling for Amanda's name, but then quickly put it back down. I was curious; I wanted to know why she had cold feet. At the same time though, I didn't want to care. Listening to her talk about her impending wedding to Vin was the last thing I wanted. I was still hung up on him and besides, I had enough reminders that I didn't exactly have a love life. It didn't need to be further affirmed. Though, I guessed it would help her if she knew that I was lonely. It would probably be good for her to know that every so often, I regret the choice I made of prioritizing my career over my relationship with Vin. And, while it hurts like hell to admit, maybe Vin was right. Maybe he was better off with her than with me.

Taking a deep breath, I picked up my cell. Her name was on the top of my favorite numbers list.

"Janie, I'm so glad you called," she announced as soon as she picked up. "I don't know what to do..."

"What's wrong? Are you getting cold feet?" I asked straightforwardly.

"Call it whatever you want. I had this huge fight with Vin, all because of this job offer I got from the firm's main branch in New York. I don't know what came over me! I don’t know what came over him!" She sounded so shaken up and I could tell she had been crying.

"Just start from the beginning," I said calmly.

Amanda took a deep breath. "It all started with the company expanding. The firm started opening offices and a few of my friends were promoted. I started asking Vin how he'd feel about me getting a promotion. He didn't take me seriously and kept telling me a career wasn't what I wanted, and when the promotion really was offered, I told him I wanted to take it and he just freaked!"


“Yes, freaked. It was like he suddenly found out I was cheating on him or something. He just completely freaked and said stuff about how I was turning into you and that he felt deceived. He felt like I had been lying to him all this time pretending to not want a career and just want a family, while secretly actually wanting a career just like you.”

“And what did you say?”

“I said there was nothing wrong with wanting both. Why do I have to choose anyway? Why can’t I just do both? Plenty of women do both and they seem fine!”

Are they fine? Could you really have it all? I wasn’t sure. I, for one, didn’t have it all, and I was miserable – that much I knew for sure.

“Sissy, wait a second.” For some odd reason, it felt like it was a good time to use the nickname I used to call her when we were kids. “Think of it from Vin’s point of view. He’s always wanted to have a complete stay-at-home wife type of woman and he thought you were that person. You’ve now suddenly changed and it may not be so easy for him to accept overnight. Just talk to him about it. It’s 2011 now, I’m sure he’ll understand that having a good career doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing family.” I smiled at myself – I felt like I sounded pretty darn wise considering I loathed the fact that he thought Amanda turning into someone like me was the worst thing in the world. I thought I was a pretty OK person, you know. Anyway…

“But I don’t understand. Why doesn’t he want a wife with a career? What’s so wrong with having a career?”

Hmph. I had that same exact question way back then. The only difference now was that I have become slightly more receptive to the idea, now that I’ve done my exhausting globe trotting around the world in light of that so-called career. After having exhausted all my energy and having nothing in my personal life to show for, I’m thinking awfully different now.

“There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just a difference of opinion, I guess. It’s just something he’s always wanted because that’s what he grew up with. His mother never worked a day in his life so that’s the way he was brought up. Some people are just designed that way, Sissy. There’s nothing wrong with that either.” I thought she’d understand. Heck, I thought she’d open her eyes, realize that they could work it all out and hang up and race over to Vin. Boy, was I wrong.

“I can’t believe you’re taking his side! You of all people!” Amanda was suddenly shouting at me, sounding nothing like the sweet lovable little sister she was. She actually sounded… kind of like me. That freaked me out a little bit.

“I’m not really taking his side, I’m merely pointing out that it’s all about perspective. Take it from me, someone who has done the career thing. It’s not all it’s cracked-up to be.”

“I can’t do this. I don’t want to talk to you about this. I’m hanging up.” I heard a click on the other end of the line, and felt a hole punch through my chest.

I shook my head, hoping that would shake off all of the negativity and built up emotions I was feeling. After all, I still needed to get working on those orders. I had less than half an hour to meet the deadline and I was nowhere near finished.
To be continued... 

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