I have so many happy thoughts swirling through my brain, I do not want to sleep.
1. It’s disconcerting to date someone who is so much more attractive than I am.
Like, it’s genuinely weird to look at this man and just think . . . wow. He’s beautiful, and he moves beautifully and when I am with him, I am a little insecure because daaaamn. He’s just stunning.
[As I conveyed this same thought to my friends, all of whom have seen multiple photos of him, all of whom agree he is ridiculously hot, they reminded me I am “beautiful,” but whatever. It is making me insecure.]
2. We made plans for next weekend, which are essentially: he is spending the night here while FM is traveling.
I cannot wait. He suggested coming over tonight “you could drive my car home . . . I’d likely go right to sleep.”
I thought he had meant drive myself home, but he meant come here to spend the night. Instead, I drove his car to his house and we sat on the porch as he debated whether or not to invite me in to introduce me to his friend who is in love with him and who tried . . . again . . . to wreck our evening.
We held hands and talked and then kissed goodnight on his porch, lamenting the fact we couldn’t be more affectionate because of this woman who was inside, waiting for him.
3. Over that woman, I nearly ended things for the second week in a row. But, I realized how much I like him because I did not walk out when he allowed this friend of his, who is staying at his place in his guest loft (!) to derail our second saturday date in a row when she freaked out because he was going out on a date with me. Despite the fact I really wanted to.
He had told her the day before. She had said she was cool with it. And then, 10 minutes beforehand, tears.
So, he was completely emotionally fucked up when he arrived and it took him an hour, many drinks, and a venue change to unwind and be normal. I explained to him that this is how this is going to be for months.
I did say to him: “You should have brought her, she’s on our date anyway” because he was SO upset. He mentioned that he nearly invited her last week (without telling me) and she declined. He said he knew I’d understand, even though it was a date . . . I mean, it’s a date, yeah, it’s a date, I mean, I know we were really comfortable, but it’s a date.
I adore this man.
At the time, however, we were sitting in chairs in this noisy music venue and he’s upset and I am annoyed. He’s spoiled. And this is me saying someone is spoiled. He just looks uncomfortable and this is going really freaking poorly.
I tell him that I know how all this is going to go down and he can’t believe she lied to him. That she said it was okay and she lied. I said, of course she lied. She has feelings for you, of course she lied. This is how this is going to be.
I knew last week that we were done. In fact, I told my friends in the aftermath that we were done. It’s his drama and I do not want to be caught up in it.
He is drinking. I am not. i have a concussion, still, and I am being sensitive to the impact. Literally. He prefers to drink tequila as he is convinced it is the least hung over he can be. He is prone to wicked hangovers. It’s related to some medicine he is on for his brain. Or something. I try not to pay that much attention to what’s wrong with him. He suffers exhaustion. He has some rheumatoidish ailment that’s rather undefined.
He gets a beer and a shot a couple of times and insists I drink club soda with lime over plain water. He’d been drinking champagne earlier — this woman who is staying with him made dinner and dessert.
The whole situation is so weird, and I am aware of the weirdness.
But, we are sitting inside the club and he insists he’s having fun, though I know he’s not.
To back up, he was late.
When he walked in, he greeted me with a kiss, which was nice and unexpected. We watch a great band. We are surrounded by dancers all of a sudden, hipsters partner dancing. I laugh that I’d consider it were my toe not broken. I wouldn’t actually. I don’t dance in clubs. I had been tempted to dance at his house when we’d been listening to music the week before. It felt right. We were listening to jazz, and it felt like we should be dancing.
So, we are watching a band and what was a crowd is suddenly a dancefloor. I am charmed by this, he is still really upset and sad that his friend had lied to him and tried to ruin our evening for the second week in a row, though he’s not yet articulated this to me.
He is tall and lithe next to me. I am feeling very short and very stumpy. I see very attractive young women partner dancing together near us, and I do notice that he’s not paying them attention. I do notice that he is attracting attention in the crowd.
We move back through the crowd and then back towards the bar looking for a place to sit. He is, like my ex boyfriend BFD, perfectly spoiled and comfortable making himself comfortable in other people’s available spaces. I — am more formal. I eventually find chairs for us and we sit and talk.
He tells me about the drama earlier.
I express myself and I am sympathetic. He hates that he feels this way. He hates that for the second week in a row, he is a terrible date.
He really is.
It’s all about his dark mood and I am annoyed.
He mentions she’s not someone he would date or be interested in, and he just does not understand as they have discussed it. Including the fact that he was seeing me — the woman he’d gone out with last Saturday again.
He steps out to grab cigarettes from his car and I am even more annoyed.
Like, I am tempted to tell him upon his return . . . I am going home.
As much as I like him . . . and I do . . . this is two weeks in a row he has been blindsided by something entirely predictable.
We step outside and I am ignoring him as he attends to smoking. We start talking again and I am a little bitchy to him about the fact she *is* on our date and say again, he should have just invited her.
We both know that would be a disaster, but really, would it be worse than him drinking himself into normalcy and my annoyance at his cluelessness.
He is slowly relaxing and his mood change is lightening mine, a little. We decide to get out of here, to go to a French bistro he loves even deeper into his neighborhood. I tell him that I will be needing a ride not home, as I live on the other side of downtown from him, but closer to a cab. “Even I” find paying an extra $10 for a cab annoying, I tell him.
I am really just annoyed overall. He drives to the bistro, we park, and I take caffeinated aspirin powder, which leads to a discussion of party drugs. I admit using over the course of a weekend. He asked how long ago . . . months? I tell him yes, within the past few months. He is a little judgey about it, as he is smoking weed. Sigh. He had been a rather large consumer when he lived elsewhere.
We pull ourselves together and walk into a party-filled garden and then into the bistro and our entire night changes. The music is perfect. The energy is perfect, the crowd is perfect. We find two bar stools at the turn of the bar, and he decides we should split a glass of wine. I don’t need to be drinking, and neither does he. We order a fabulous white and the bartender serves it to us in separate glasses with a generous pour.
I look over as we are settling in and I see one of PR’s friends, who has escorted me to post-show safety. He’s married, but I have always had a minor crush on him. At the moment, he is heavily bearded, which is rather funny. He immediately notices me, leans forward over the bar and grins and waves. I hop down off my stool and wend through the crowd to hug him and he kisses my cheek warmly. He’s waiting for a drink for — I assume — his wife and there is no easy way to introduce him to the Editor.
I walk back over to the Editor and explain who he is — not the friend of an ex-boyfriend part, but the my friends who are in a band part. We start talking music and he is adorable. Our taste is not entirely compatible.
Eventually, he tells me a secret, which explains, in part, why his friend is so upset. At some point, and he did not specify when but presumably while they were on this trip together, he made out with her. He did not have sex with her, and he is not attracted to her, and she is not someone he would date had she been single, but he said the illicitness made it exciting, and barring that . . . not interested. He said, he knows it was terrible, and he shouldn’t have done it, but he feels terribly guilty. I ask if he thinks he is a precipitating factor in the breakup of her marriage. He says no, but he might have inadvertently hastened it.
Honestly, this makes sense to me.
Assuming he’s being truthful, and I have no reason to doubt him . . . no wonder he feels responsible and she is perplexed. She liked him, they made out one night, she leaves her husband, she is rejected.
He steps out to smoke and I am processing all of this.
I am perfectly okay with this information. It also explains why he’s putting up with some of the abuse from her. He feels guilty. With good reason. But also, he didn’t really do a whole lot wrong. As a woman who slept in bed with him while we were incredibly attracted to each other and tipsy, I know he does not quickly fall into bed.
I am sitting at the bar at the corner, so I am looking at him and when he is sitting next to me, our legs are touching and at times he puts his hand on my knee. Eventually, we are holding hands on the bar. As we always are. We interlace our fingers and we are happily enjoying each’s company. He teases me about my accent, which is unusual as we live essentially in the South, he speaks French to the French bartenders, and we are really having a lovely lovely time.
We genuinely like each other and the attraction between us is so very strong.
I had told him earlier that my head injury means that as I tire, I get confused. He reassured me, without prompting, that he would take care of me, and he would be sure I did not get lost or confused. It sounds small, but it meant a lot.
He is getting drunker. In fact, we’d gotten a second glass of wine and he’d gotten a shot of tequila. The bar is closed and we and others linger and linger and linger.
Finally, around 230, we decided to leave. (The Bistro had closed at 2.)
We walk out to the car and he hands me the keys. He asks if I want to drive his car back to my place. He pauses and I assume he means that I would drive myself him home, then myself and we’d brunch the next day. As I am thinking logistical thoughts, he adds, and I’d likely go right to sleep. Cute. Instead, he asks me to drive him to his place, and we’d get a cab for me.
We arrive at his place and he steels himself. That woman, the one in love with him, is inside. We sit on the porch on a cool evening and we talk. I, at some point, we both stand and I massage that part of his back that is always bothering him.
He had the idea when we first arrived that he should introduce us, as I am by now clearly someone in his life he is seeing. He wanted to confront her with me, to make me concrete in her life.
It’s not that we are overwhelmingly serious, but we sort of are. We are seeing each other. It’s lovely and public and open and it makes sense that he should introduce me to his best friend.
But doing it then, in that way, would have been wrong.
I understood the impulse: This is my life. There is an actual person I am seeing, spending time with, kissing, waking up with. I exist in his world and I am real.
All of this feels rather fast.
We had an immediate comfort. He teased me, echoing my words at the music venue that I was extremely comfortable at his place. I was. I fit in his place. He also teased me about canceling on him so many times before our first date. Which I did over and over and over again.
I don’t know why some dates, people, feel easy and others feel hard.
Our dates feel like dates. They don’t feel like life. This does not feel immediately like I have a boyfriend, or immediately tormented. This feels like I am seeing someone. We are making plans. I invited him to a birthday party, which he considered. We made alternate plans for the next night instead. He’s someone I will bring to events with my friends: house parties and concerts and openings, etc.
We have an expectation we will see each other every weekend — so far — and that we will have, even with his friend living with him, one night we will be together.
As we sat outside, he lamented the fact she was not willing to stay elsewhere one night a week during this month she is crashing with him. He wants me with him in his space where he is comfortable.
We sat separately in chairs and held hands until he thought better of it, afraid that such an open outward expression of affection would be too hard on his friend who is clearly struggling with her new reality of being single and alone.
In the run up to our next date, which will happen here, I will be reconfiguring my space, cleaning and disinfecting, and reviewing everything so he can be comfortable here, too. I have a feeling, if I assume we go forward, that he will be here a fair amount. I want him to be happy here. I can see our cooking here, snuggling up to watch movies, to sit by the pool and drink wine, and talk. This is very much a comfortable place geographically. It would make sense we would be here. I live on a park, I have a larger kitchen, I am closer to downtown and the entertainment districts, and he has someone living with him
That’s still such a strange thing as he’s sort of a loner. I can only imagine how hard it is to make that adjustment . . . as I had to. Sometimes, it chafes.
And my place is not fancy, as he likely imagines it. It’s comfortable. It is lived in. It houses a girl and a boy and a sheddy dog. But the location is great and the amenities are good and I think he will enjoy being here with me, especially as FM travels nearly every other weekend.
I can easily envision the Editor in this space, happily curled up with me on the sofa, watching a movie, or drinking a glass of wine as we cook dinner. He fits here and into my life more easily than anyone else I’ve dated since I have been single. He has energy issues and exhaustion and he is notoriously late for everything for which he expects to be indulged . . . and yet . . . I can see him with me at the things I do, indulging my socialite stuff, showing up in a suit or in jeans and a t-shirt at a divey club to see a band I love play. He seems open to experience, without much prompting, in precisely the same way the BFD, LP, the Bon Vivant were not.
Like me, I suspect the inducement “it could be fun” is enough. He joined me at the film event and was an excellent sport, despite my terrible seats. He joined me at my favorite hipster dive venue. I joined him at his favorite secret jazz club. Our preference for Saturday was “where can we see music?” When I drag him to my secret wine bar, he’ll love it. Same with the secret cocktail bar.
He reminds me of the Think Tank Exec in that way: feasting on experience and being open to trying new places and random adventuring. Which is why I miss the TTE and why I think that the Editor and I could be friends regardless of our romantic status. He reminds me a bit of Hot Neighbor, who I still bump into at all the best random parties.
“It could be fun” is sort of a mantra: “sure, I’m in. It could be fun.”
We survived our third date, drawing closer together, rather than further apart. We made real plans for the fourth date, which I hope sincerely will include sex, as it’s been a couple of months since I slept with the Bon Vivant.
I just emailed the Editor the soundtrack to which I am writing today. He responded back within 4 minutes.
I am rather impressed.
We survived date three, which I was convinced I would leave angrily at several points in the first hour, and went on to grow closer. It’s good.
On to preparations for date four this weekend . . .