Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Romance

So I haven't been here as much as I'd expected partly because I found myself a little summer romance. I met a man at a wedding out of town at the beginning of July and found myself fascinated with him. Well it wasn't quite an immediate fascination, but almost. We met at the rehearsal dinner on the Friday night before the Saturday evening wedding. I first assumed he was with the woman he was standing next to when we were introduced and then actually decided that he was gay once I deduced that he was not with her.

My expectations for meeting available men are obviously pretty low. He wears hoop earrings in both ears and leans toward the more sensitive side of masculine which were my false clues. I was missing what was apparently some very obvious flirting from his side though. He later told me that he wanted to kiss me within minutes of meeting me but I was completely unaware of his intentions. The dinner was a bit chaotic but we were both good friends of the groom and as such were heading out afterward for a "bachelor" party for him. It was very mellow and mostly consisted of drinking milkshakes and playing a card game at a cafe (Give me the Brain which I highly recommend for a fun group game.) He invited me to ride with him between venues and we got a chance to talk about the myriad of things we have in common. When we went to take a group picture at the end of the evening Earrings, as we'll call him from here on out, stood next to me and put his arm around me. I was still completely clueless, but looking back at the photo it's clear that he's interested in me. While everyone else looks forward into the camera he's smiling down at the top of my head. After the photo he asked me what I was doing the following day since the wedding wasn't until the evening. I replied that I'd planned to just explore the city a bit and maybe find somewhere pretty to read my book. He suggested we meet for lunch and to watch the world cup match between Spain and Paraguay and I agreed, still completely oblivious to his romantic intentions. My first clue actually came later that night when he sent me a few flirty text messages saying how much he enjoyed meeting me.

The next day we met for lunch/match watching in the restaurant of my hotel. I was unsure about what the sub-context was but I put on my favorite pretty top and decided to just embrace whatever it was. I knew that I liked him quite a bit and we did have an amazing amount in common. Knowing he was a friend of my good friend didn't hurt either. I was waiting at a table in the restaurant (it was completely packed because of the match and I'd grabbed the last table.) When he arrived he gave me a great hug and then stood next to my tall chair for several minutes. Lunch went really well and we watched the match and chatted. When we finished up I suggested that we go for a walk. He agreed and we were headed out the door when my phone rang. It was the groom asking for a favor. He had sent two of our mutual friends out on an errand near my hotel which was near the wedding location. He and most other people involved in the wedding were staying about an hour away. He was wondering if they could use my room to get ready in before the wedding. I of course agreed but there was a small catch. They had already left and were going to be heading my way but they didn't have a cell phone and the groom wasn't sure how long the errand was going to take them. They could be arriving anytime within the next 2-3 hours. They had been to my hotel room the day before to pick me up for the rehearsal and dinner so they knew which room I was in.

So Earrings and I now had a dilemma. We had to wait around my hotel room. Now this is a bit awkward with someone you have known for less than 24 hours but suspect of being romantically interested. I explained the situation and he suggested that we just go hang out in the room. What else could we really do?

Now this was not a large hotel room. It was very nice but the space was just big enough for the bed, a desk, and one chair next to the window. We sat up there and talked, him on the bed and me on the desk chair. I showed him some things on my laptop and we compared notes on the large number of people that we both know. We marveled a bit on how we hadn't met before this and eventually he used one of the oldest and most obvious ploys in the book for getting to touch me and suggested a back rub. I agreed, knowing exactly what it was leading up to and sat in front of him on the bed. He did get a few minutes of good neck and shoulder rubbing in before he leaned over and kissed me. It was a good kiss. He then told me that he'd been wanting to do that since he first met me the night before and we moved promptly into making out like teenagers. Now I knew that at any moment this couple could show up so I didn't let things go on for too long. I got up and went to comb my hair and such and just as I did they arrived. I felt a bit like I had a naughty secret.

We all got ready for the wedding and headed over to it soon after. The location was stunningly beautiful and the groom sent Earrings and I on an emergency errand just before the ceremony began. It was fun running around with him trying to solve a problem. We sat next to each other during the ceremony and were actually seated at the same table for dinner afterward. Well actually it was a picnic blanket which was even more fun. He brought me drinks and acted like my date for the entirety of the wedding evening and then he asked if I wanted to hang out afterward. Now I knew this probably meant that we'd end up back at my hotel room and I wasn't sure how I felt about this. I really liked him but that was moving pretty fast for me. We talked about it a little and decided that since our time together was so short we'd play it by ear. Oh I've forgotten to mention the big challenge in all of this. He lives on the East coast and I'm in Los Angeles. He quickly expressed that though he liked me a lot he wasn't interested in a long distance relationship. I was a little bit disappointed but decided that I wanted to explore whatever this was, even if it was just going to be a short summer fling. He did end up spending the night and we spent the entire next day together. We went to a brunch on a houseboat for the newlyweds, took a nap on a blanket in a park and talked and talked. He drove me to the airport for my evening flight and left me with some wonderful kisses and the promise of staying in touch.

We have stayed in touch and I actually got to spend four more days with him last week. I was visiting my family in upstate NY and he drove up to visit for a few days. We spent two days alone at a place on a lake and two days with friends and my family. We talked again about possibilities for the future but he is quite sure that he can't do long distance and is even questioning his readiness for a relationship at all right now (he's 2 years out of a marriage and 3 years into a PhD so he's feeling a bit off center I think). I have been planning on moving back East in fall 2011 so the possibility seems real to me that we may end up together at some point but for now I'm just filing this away as a wonderful summer experience that has restored my hope in real connections with men. I am going to continue dating and we're going to keep in touch. We will probably see each other New Year's Eve as he's been invited by some other friends to a long running party that I always attend.

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