So I am wildly, stupidly, embarrassingly in love.
Except it doesn’t feel stupid. And I’m not embarrassed by it.
I wrote about how I felt about turning 25 and how that plan I didn’t know I had was crumbling before me. I thought about all of my options in front of me. I looked at new places to move and thought about getting back into the criminal part of my degree instead of the mental health part. I decided I’d check those online dating profiles again, but I expected to be disappointed.
And I was. For the most part.
I was talking to several men and just enjoying the flirt as I planned to move or do something different, finally. Perhaps I’d go to Georgia. Atlanta is a very dog friendly city. It would be fun to try something new. A few guys asked to meet and I always found an excuse not to. Even when they got very persistent. It just didn’t feel right.
I kept messaging several guys, but one started to stand out. He shouldn’t have… he seemed to be a lot of what I didn’t normally like. He had a shirtless picture, showing off some (fairly impressive) muscle and while I’m a giant fan of muscle, most of the guys who post ab shots turn out to be self-obsessed jerks. He invited me to come join a poker game he was having with some friends… I’m not a huge fan of gambling. He was incredibly attractive, which has been a sign of a player in my experience on dating sites. And he lived an hour away. I should not have been as interested. I didn’t think he should be interested in me.
Then he called me. The sparks were instantaneous. I was cracking up, having the best time talking to this stranger who didn’t feel like a stranger. He made me laugh, and blush, and I felt like I could really talk to him. I hate talking on the phone! But I didn’t want to stop talking to him. He wanted me to meet him for dinner the next night, but I didn’t have the gas money or dinner money. He offered to pay for both, but there was no way I was going to let some stranger do that. What if we bored each other? I didn’t want him to pay that much for an evening he didn’t enjoy. What if he did turn out to be a creep and expected me to have sex with him for the money? Finally we agreed to meet the next week, after I had been paid. We talked a little more and hung up. I couldn’t stop smiling. Jessie commented on how happy I looked.
It wasn’t ten minutes later that this guy was calling me back. “I can’t do this… I can’t wait a week to see someone who has made me laugh this much,” he said. “Let me pay for dinner and your gas and if it works out, you can pay for a movie next week… if it doesn’t, you got a nice dinner and I really don’t mind about the money.”
Normally, I never would have agreed. I’m far more cautious and I just don’t operate that way. But nothing with this guy was going to be normal, as I was discovering. I didn’t want to wait a week to see him either. We agreed to meet the next night and then spent another hour on the phone.
The next night was a fluttering of nerves and excitement. We had the standard awkward greeting in the parking lot where we didn’t know if we should hug or shake hands. (I still get ribbed about that) Dinner was delicious and a lot of fun. He didn’t even mind that my ex’s aunt, who was apparently a waitress there, came over to hug me and tell me how much she missed me. We laughed about how they gave out the bread in brown bags. Dinner ended, but we didn’t want the evening to end with it. No coffee shop was open, so we ended up sitting in the parking lot of a gas station with their coffee until 1130 at night. We finally parted, agreeing that we had to meet up again and soon. He asked what I was doing tomorrow. I laughed, thinking he was joking, but hoping he wasn’t. “Nothing that I know of,” I replied and he smiled. We drove away in opposite directions and it wasn’t even two minutes before one of us was calling the other. We didn’t get off the phone until nearly two that morning.
I saw him again the next night. And the next. And the next.
It was the start of something really amazing.