I am loath to call this a date because it’s not.  In fact, I was not prepared at all for what happened.  It’s clear that BFD and I are no longer dating, and probably haven’t been for a while.  We are in a relationship, so counting tonight as a date is a bit absurd.  And yet . . . I am the idiot who decided to actually record the significant time I spend with him by number.

BFD just flew back in from a weekend with his siblings and their kids, who he took to an amusement park for two days.  He is happy . . . very, very happy.  The little kids crawled into bed with him and fell asleep and he could not believe how impossibly tiny they were.   All of them just love him so much.  He was softer today than he has been.  He wants a family desperately . . . he just cannot figure out how to get there from here.  (He is the obstacle on his path to happiness, and he knows it but does not know how to fix it.)

This was our first time together in public that felt completely domestic and couple-y.  I have never before felt like his wife while with him, but I did at every moment we were together.  It ran smoothly, smoother in fact because we were together.  Then, sort of randomly, we ended up having sex.  I could not be happier with our evening.  It was just enough time together, he was kind and thoughtful, and again, like all of my favorite evenings with him, it felt like a preview of things to come.

I picked him up at the airport in the late afternoon . . . something we’ve become particularly good at doing.  Our timing is spot on and he loves how seamless it is.  He pulls his bag, I pull up, pop the trunk, and we zip off toward his house.  This afternoon, however, he asked me if I wanted to go with him to the mall, which is near the turn for his highway, and maybe the grocery store.  Fine, sure, whatever.  So off we went to run errands.  We’ve never run actual errands before.  We’ve picked things up on our way to dinner or a movie, but incidental things, not actual things.

Our first stop was our favorite high-end department store.  Seriously, the buyers there are awesome and the pricing is fair.  It’s the only department store in which I shop regularly.  Anyway, BFD went in search of his favorite potions and moisturizers and soaps, which they carry.  There was a clerk in the section with another customer.  He began picking things off the very accessible shelves while the clerk helped her customer, then he assembled everything (like 8 bottles of crap) on the counter, and the clerk apologized to her existing customer and went off to ring up BFD’s purchases.  It seemed that she knew him, but she might not have (service people always treat him as though they know him — bankers, waiters, clerks, etc, whether they do or not, since he does drop a lot of money quickly), and she offered travel stuff for him, samples of this and that, and rang up everything.  He was never rude — he was BFDish: polite, a bit jocular, but obviously in a hurry.    (He is always in a hurry.)

I stood to the side and smiled and thanked her for her help as he wandered off quickly.  That’s often my role — he’s demanding and cocksure, and I offer a sometimes wan smile, but I always make eye contact, smile, and thank them for their help as he dashes off to the next thing.  I soften his sharper edges.  The clerk agreed to hold the parcels there while we shopped and then she returned to her original customer and apologized, as though BFD had been somehow rude and demanding of her time.  He hadn’t been.  He would have just as easily carried his things to another clerk, but she wanted to make that sale, obviously, and then she acted as though it were his fault when she returned to her post.

He was not aware of it, but I heard her and it annoyed me.  Especially since when he is actually rude, I call him out on it and he always corrects.  I think we may order his next round direct from the manufacturer, thanks to the clerk.

I was struck, as we wandered out of the store and into the mall proper, by just how small he is.  For a man who takes up so much space in the universe, he is actually very tiny.  We walked into housewares store because he was searching for a colander he had seen and assumed they had it there.  They didn’t.  He was annoyed.  I mentioned that my brother had one of the ones he was admiring and I have the santoku, which he dismissed as a “white person knife.”  What. Ever.

He carries the 1 gen iphone (he owns two) and was considering upgrading to the 3g.  Not the 3gs, just the 3g.  I told him he should get the 3gs because of battery life and the video camera.  He said, why do I need video?  I told him, I am surprised you’ve never asked to record anything.  He said, rather shocked, you mean like pick up a camera while I am doing you …?!!!  I said, knowing you, I am surprised it’s never occured to you.  (For the record, the answer would be “Hell, no.”)   Rather than head to the apple store upstairs, we walked into at&t.  They would not tell him if he qualified for an upgrade because his account has a balance from a bill sent two days ago.  He said, seriously?  You’re not going to tell me if I can buy a new phone since you just mailed me a bill?  “That’s right, sir.”

Terrible service again, at&t.

We wandered into a lower-end department store because he wanted to check out the manufacturing on the jeans he’d ordered.  Again, I was very domestic, listened to his minirant, helped him find size, dressing room, and sales clerk.  With me, BFD gets everything he needs, quickly.  It’s just easier and part of what I enjoy doing for him is making his life easier in the little ways I can. He makes my life easier in the big ways he can.  It works.  It’s a role in which I feel comfortable, managing the domestic side of his life.  He pays zero attention to it, which explains how he can eat so poorly all the time.

From the mall, we headed off to the grocery store.  There are two big, fancy grocery stores in town: Central Market and Whole Foods.  I shop at both, but I far prefer WF.  BFD prefers CM because he thinks it’s somehow less pretentious.  It’s not. At all.  It’s just less stocked and more annoying (like you weigh your produce and put a sticker on the bag yourself.  Annoying.).  And in many cases, more expensive. But, parking is easier and it’s closer than WF from the mall.

Our grocery experience was fun.  He opened the experience by grabbing a big cart while I chose a small one.  He mentioned he’s going on a diet.  I was so bloated from too much sushi that I was actually uncomfortable and echoed his call for dieting.  He started grabbing produce without a thought for why, then we got into an argument in the lettuce aisle.  He grabbed bagged iceberg lettuce instead of a box of baby greens (they last about a week longer in the box), while I told him he was having the nutritional equivalent of water.  “But I like iceberg lettuce!”  Okay, but you’re getting this, too.  He got plenty of fruit, fruit juice, etc. for smoothie making and rejected my comment that frozen is better for smoothies (until we actually made it to frozen and he said, oh you’re right.  I made him repeat it, since it doesn’t happen very often.  In the car later, he reminded me I am wrong 90% of the time so I threatened to pull over so we could fight.)

He insisted I get food throughout so I grabbed basics — carrots, hummus, kefir, blueberries.  He ordered for us from the butcher stuff that is excellent but too expensive for my weekly budget.  I grabbed my favorite feta, which he hates.  All in all it was adorable and he was adorable.  I love the idea of shopping with him, nurturing him, taking care of him.  I now have a better idea of how he eats (poorly).  In fact, he grabbed fast food on the way out of the parking lot, insisting his diet started tomorrow.  I ordered nothing because I was already on mine.

(About the dieting: we’re both thin and obsessed with our weights.  If you think it’s annoying to read, imagine being among our heftier friends.)

We finally made it back to his house with groceries, potions, and luggage.  I was in the kitchen, beginning to unpack our groceries when he walked to the other side of the counter and took off his jeans, which is not unusual.  He does not sit around the house in them. I just looked at him, and he said, leave the groceries, let’s have sex.  Uh, what? I had been feeling particularly unsexy.  My weight is up, I have my period, and I am recovering from my BFD-related infection.  (An infection that has him freaked out and denying responsibility: “That’s disgusting and it doesn’t even make sense.” Yes, breast infections can happen, you dolt.)  Sex was the furthest thing from my mind.  I was expecting to drop him and bolt, so I was not particularly well groomed.  Yeesh.

Still, it had been almost two weeks since we’d had sex thanks to his travel schedule and my vacation with mom, so of course we had sex.  It was more careful (he stayed mostly away from my breasts, which he loves, obviously), but very satisfying.  He just knows how to do what he does and he knows I am game for anything.  We ended up on his table, inadvertantly moving it across the room.

After we hung out for a bit, fed his new wild pet, and finally sorted and put away the groceries.  He needed to get caught up and I needed to work, since I’d taken off the afternoon to be with him, so he gave me, at my request, one of the travel things from his potion bag, though it sort of pained him to do it.

I realized as I drove home (in his car) that our relationship is really more like a 3-4 month deal rather than the 8-9 months it actually is.  Since we have a bit of a long-distance relationship and don’t spend a ton of time together, the whole errand running felt like a huge shift.  I followed up with him via email to say, look, I need to cook for you, now that I know how you eat.

The shift here was: “this is our real life.”  This is how we actually live.  It was purely focused on our domestic world.  We spoke a little business, just to update from last week’s important meeting, but this was a domestic, happy time together and it felt right.  We have some irritations with each other — he thinks I am too anxious a driver, he thinks I can never make a decision and when I do it’s wrong (this is where I offered to pull over so I could kick his ass), and I think he’s a dick, but they are minor irritations.  We are good together, it feels balanced and healthy.  It was nice to be normal and domestic together.

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This morning, I emailed him a source for his colander.  He called a little after 9 am, to say, “shouldn’t you be busy working instead of emailing me about colanders?!!!”  I thought he was serious but he laughed, said he loved them and offered to buy one for me, too.

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