The computer stared at me. I typed in his name. I erased his name. I went to his website. I left his website. I typed in his name. I erased his name. I stared at the screen. I typed in his name. I erased his name. I stared out the window.

I text my sponsor.

“Help me check my motives: I’m sending out the invitation for my work’s holiday party. I’m including all the businesses I’ve been working with to become partners. Chef Man’s restaurant is one of those. I don’t want to put him on the list, but I’ve put everyone else on the list. I don’t want the invitation to appear to be an ‘invitation.’ Your thoughts?”

(Chef Man, for those who are just joining my adventure, is the person I dated for almost a year until I discovered he actually lives with his girlfriend of 5 years.  Yeah…. I know.  I had the same reaction).

“So you know what you want to do… what SHOULD you do?” my sponsor replied.

“Include him because my professional job is to market companies like his, and we are featuring his restaurant in some of our materials.”

“Bam, you got it,” she said. “Time to put on your Big Girl panties.”

I put Chef Man in the database. A type. A click. An attachment. Swoosh. He got an invitation to a holiday party, featuring me.

“I think I’m only going to date men outside of the county from now on,” I told my sponsor.

“As if you have that kind of control,” she said.

She’s right — as she usually is. The professional thing to do is include Chef Man’s restaurant. It’s my job to do that. Now, I’m bracing for impact.

What if he shows up? What if he tries to talk to me? What if he brings his girlfriend and she makes a scene and calls me a whore and punches me and I have a black eye and a bloody nose and I’m laying on the floor bleeding in front of my clients and the police show up and it’s the police who have had to come to my house for The Wizard stuff and the officer is really cute and he takes pity on me and he stops the bleeding and he’s 6’2″ and he stares into my eyes and we fall in love and we live happily ever after and we tell our friends the funny story of how we met….

This alcoholic mind of mine, the one that obsesses about everything, the one that is powerless of its thoughts, raced out of control. I’m afraid — not of Chef Man, not of the girlfriend, not of a scene. I’m afraid of myself.

Can I be a professional? Can I work with him just like I would any other client? Can I introduce him and his product to help him network with others? Can I believe in the company even when I don’t care for the person? I guess this is where I get to place principles before personalities. Amazing how that applies in so many situations.

Time to do some shopping for those Big Girl panties.