After John’s flat-out, in my face, “NO, I don’t ever see us in a relationship” statement, I was a bit numb. I had to come to grips with the fact that not only did I had a bad picker, but my instincts were off.
You know what having a bad picker means right?
Yep, that was me, the president of the “can’t pick the right guy club”. And my instincts couldn’t have been more skewed if I was looking at the world upside down.
Most of all, I was mad.
Not with John so much as with myself. And all I could think of was how badly I wanted out of Napa. I felt trapped there. I lived alone and worked alone. And, after three years, the only friend I had met moved.
So I scoured the online job search market for Santa Barbara.
I wanted to move to Santa Barbara since first visiting in 2000. My heart was at the beach and since John didn’t seem to want it, I figured the best thing for me was to find my happy place.
Only there weren’t any jobs in my happy place.
Knowing I need to get out of my house and be around people more, I decided to look in Napa for a second job. And, the very first one I found was at a wine tasting room.
I loved it from the very first day. I talked to people … about wine. Right up my alley. But best of all, I met a new friend.
Anya was full of life, so kind and funny and she immediately took me under her wing. She invited me to Sunday dinner at her parent’s home and I could see why she was so lovely.
Her parents were just like her and treated me like family from the beginning. Anya also had a daughter, and it was wonderful hanging out with them all.
She filled the void John had left and I was so grateful for her.
Things were going great at the winery, until something happened.
I was asked to join one of my co-workers for a big wine convention in San Francisco and eagerly accepted. It was arranged that my co-worker, Matt would pick me up from my home and he would drive us to the convention.
Everything was great and I was thoroughly enjoying meeting people and talking wine. But towards the end of the day, I noticed Matt had been partaking in the wine tasting along with the clients.
Loading up the car I was feeling uneasy about him driving and said something. He laughed and informed me after I’d been in the business as long as he had, I’d understand the build-up of tolerance to alcohol.
I was nervous riding home with him because of his drinking, but wasn’t prepared for the conversation in the car.
As we made our way over the Golden Gate Bridge, taking the back way to Napa, Matt quickly and very awkwardly started telling me how turned on he was by me. I tried to steer the conversation away from that topic but he wasn’t having it.
I sat in that car clutching the door handle wondering if I was going to be driven down a side road and raped. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
…to be continued.