On Friday afternoon, the reporter helped me grab my luggage and relocate from his tiny flat in his chic, hilly downtown neighborhood to downtown proper: to the software developer’s fancy condo tower with valet parking.
SD’s building is convenient to everything and I’d be here for three days before moving back to the reporter’s neighborhood for two months in a chic, furnished flat, located conveniently only four short blocks from LP’s home.
My Friday afternoon was tight. I needed to shower and grab drinks with a recently separated guy friend (“RSG”) who needed dating advice and from whom I needed career advice and then hit a costume party at C’s restaurant.
RSG is someone I’ve known through my now former roommate FM for a couple of years. He’s someone I like a lot. He’s solid, brilliant, funny, nerdy, and people gravitate to him. The most unlikable thing about him has always been his wife — dour, unpleasant, unattractive in so many ways that her actual physical unattractiveness was the least unattractive thing about her.
I am a socialite — both personally and professionally — and I can deal with people rather well in social settings, but she was always impossible and unpleasant.
When she would travel, which was frequently as she did not work, then RSG would join us at parties and events.
I noticed over the past six or eight months that he’d dropped weight, going from a regular beer drinking kinda pudgy dude to handsome. When I saw them on a Wednesday at FM’s farewell party, I complimented him again on how great he looked and I talked to them both for a while. Well, she stood there looking uncomfortable, as usual, and we talked a little too long, but I didn’t think much about it.
Two days later, i have drinks with FM who tells me RSG has just left his wife. That day. So he was on a bit of a bender.
As one would expect.
I am at a show at a hipster club. It’s a big deal and rock stars from around the city are there to support PR’s band of all things. PR’s bandmates — all equally successful executives — introduce me to a very handsome man, who happens to be the lead singer of one of my favorite local bands. We spend much of the night talking and he’s a little too close and a little too attentive but I am having some great conversation and delighting in the connection.
RSG stumbles in and stumbles over. He assesses the scene between me and the rock star whose hand is on my lower back as he speaks in my ear and concludes this is my guy. RSG leans across, shakes the local rock star’s hand and says “take good care of her, she’s the best.”. It’s actually a really amazing moment, and I am touched.
RSG stumbles back to his friends a few feet away and the local rock star says “weird, I guess he thought we were together…”
Yeah, weird he would have drawn that conclusion.
So I thank the rock star, explain the situation, and then tell RSG later, sure, we’ll grab drinks at some point.
The Editor is randomly there on a date and as weirdly disconnected as ever.
From time to time, RSG messages me to hang out, but my life is secretly falling apart and I push him off as long as I can. Until, finally, sure, why not, let’s grab drinks and talk about our crazy social lives.
I am aware when I go to meet him that he is starting to see a couple of women and I am there in full-on support mode. We talk about our dating styles and I mention how I tend to date a certain type of man in part because I don’t often notice if men like me. In tell him that it often takes an overt move for it to click for me.
We split a burger an app, we each have a couple of drinks and we split the check. I invited him to join me for the party, which is his industry crowd, but my friends. I am a little tipsy as he walks me back to SD’s place.
As he sits on the sofa, I quickly throw on an outfit I’ve not thought that much about, grab an accessory for me and RSG, and head off to the party blocks away.
The party is fun and gets a little crazy and a lot drunken. We are often sitting together, but RSG wanders throughtout, socializing on his own, and I don’t really think much about him or the fact that it’s clear to everyone but me that I am on a date with him.
My radar for such things is off.
C hands me drinks and I am spending a lot of time on the patio sitting next to or with RSG. When he is away from us, my friends say things like “he’s SO cute!” but again he’s my friend so I encourage their flirtations with “I know and such a great guy…”
Eventually, the party starts to wind down at that location and barhopping commences.
As we walk off, we decide to duck into a theme bar. It’s hard to describe. It’s filled with hipsters and adventurous folks. Well, filled on this night is an overstatement. It’s rather empty.
There are costumes. We play dress up. We really do. I am wearing a hat and a coat over my costume from earlier. We had at some point been joined by the reporter and his tattooed, hipster awesome date, also in costume.
We take pictures. A lot of pictures.
RSG heads to the bar and gets an amazing shot of infused vodka for me and it’s delicious. We are sitting next to each other on a sofa and we are having the best time.
He puts his arm around me and says “this is overt.”
I smile at him because now — for the first time — we are on the same page. We like each other.
I am 11 years his senior, which had shocked him at the restaurant where we had dinner. He assumed I was maybe 4 years older. Not 11.
(I do look amazing for my age, but not that amazing.)
It’s a silly thing, but now we are firmly on a date. We hold hands and talk to the reporter and his hipster date and then try to rejoin then birthday festivities at another bar.
By this point, we realize it’s a losing cause and I am drunk. We bail and get pizza and he escorts me back to the Software Developer’s condo where I am housesitting.
He walks me upstairs, hugs me good night, and I kiss him on the cheek.
It’s all very chaste.
I had left my phone behind at the theme bar, but Id texted him first to see if he still had it. We both agrees the next day we had had a wonderful time.