Today is Friday the 13th. Is that significant? It is if you believe it is. Belief is one of life’s strongest, strangest, things. Anyway, there’s a roundabout point to this somewhere. I wanted to tell you the story of how I met Shawty.
This spring I was finally, slowly, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, starting to look about and notice the people around me. Namely men. I’ve never been great at being alone, and I’d been alone for two years. It takes a while apparently to get over a 16 year relationship. Not that I’m over it completely, I still feel the tentacles of the happiness, and of the hurt, and of the plans and dreams and hopes, with the Ex , they just don’t control me quite as much. I was looking around and in fact I was pretty infatuated with a man and as I’m not one to sit by the window embroidering in the hopes that a gentleman will come calling, I orchestrated a couple of meetings, with friends, so we could get to know one another. And that’s what I was busy with.
In the midst of all this, I went out to dinner on a Saturday night, unexpectedly, with some friends. It was one of those typical serendipitous, spontaneous things that often yield interesting results. I had heard of Shawty in a totally tangential manner through work along with his ex girlfriend, whom I had just met and who was the driving force behind the impromptu dinner. The Ex knows him too, in fact, the Ex told me to say hi to him. So we go to dinner at their restaurant (Shawty’s and his ex’s), I’m introduced, I say I’m so and so’s ex wife and he asked me to say hello. That was the breadth and scope of my interaction with him that night.
I would not have been able to pick him out of a lineup even a few hours after meeting him. I literally paid no attention to him whatsoever, aided by the fact that I was having fun at dinner and that his ex girlfriend turned out to be an idiot so I just assumed he was as well by association. (Also he’s 8 years younger than me and she’s 8 years younger than him… so you can understand my complete lack of interest.)
A week later he befriends me on the fulcrum of all social interactions, facebook. I figured it was work related and accepted. When he started writing me I answered to be polite. And then a friend of mine hit me over the head with something heavy and said stop being a moron, this isn’t work, he’s interested.
Because apparently I’m crap at assessing situations.
Long story short he asks me out for a drink, all the while we’re messaging back and forth. I’m not really interested in the drink but my friends all yell at me to get out there and it’ll be good practice and you don’t even remember how to talk to a man!
So obediently I go, and it was lovely. He is intelligent, and interesting, and polite, and has a commanding yet effacing way about him that made him seem very manly to me.
He’s also not my type. He’s wee… he’s about my height, and he’s got very dark hair, nice hair granted, lots of it, and well cut and maintained, but very dark brown, he’s got very dark eyes, all of my exes had light eyes, so it’s unsettling to me to look into his eyes, like endless pools of darkness, he has a beard – I guess that’s a generational thing, most of the men his age seem to have beards nowadays, and we probably wear the same shoe size. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with him, he’s a good looking guy. He’s just the opposite of everything I look for in a man, physically at least. In fact, that first night, he tried to kiss me… he literally wastes no time at all, and I pulled away, not out of some masterplan on how to get the guy, but simply because I was not attracted to him. Not even a little bit.
In fact, the next morning I woke up royally pissed off at the world, at fate, at karma because finally, finally, I meet a man who’s interested in me, who is nice, and well mannered, and well-traveled, and well-spoken, and interesting, and smart, and a gentleman and I don’t like him. Why? Why????
Obviously, my friends said sleep with him anyway, you’ve got to get back on the horse, or clean out the cobwebs and whatnot.
But fate, who may be a bit of a bitch sometimes, is not stupid. He left for a three week-long event in Rome a couple of days after our failure of a date. And in those three weeks we texted every day. Every day. And though texting is not like speaking, I got to know him. I started becoming attached to him, I had the typical dopamine response to the phone pinging that teenagers get. So when he came back I decided to… clear out the cobwebs.
You know how the first time with a new person can be a bit awkward and uncomfortable even though it’s exciting and overwhelming? Yeah, not like that with Shawty. With Shawty it was much more akin to a religious experience, with angels singing and trumpets trumpeting and the heavenly light of whatever deity you believe in bathing us in it’s warm and mystical rays from above.
And that, my friends, is why I’m still here five months later. Because, it turns out, Mr. Perfect, is not quite so perfect, but the flesh is weak and I’m a pansy.
All this started with me talking about belief and there was a point, I believe things will work out fine with Shawty, I believe we’re in it for the medium term (he’s a tad too young for the long term), I believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that we’ll get to where I want to be in this relationship. And belief is half the battle won.
But that’s for the next episode.