Lines are open

“Dude, she’s cute!”

I was having dinner with friend, Edith at one of my favorite steak places. I hadn’t seen her in so long and was finally able to coral her into meeting me and catching up. I had just seen numerous pictures of her new squeeze and was starting to show her ones of Lee and I in Savannah and the one she sent today. (more on that later)

“Yeah, she is. But, as far as maturity-wise when it comes to dating she’s like a twenty-year old at Daytona Beach on spring break.” We had a laugh over that. We both agreed that the longer one was in a relationship the less sophisticated they were when it came to dating.

“So you’ve traveled together already?”

Nodding and sipping my beer “Yes, yes and it was great!”

I told her about tennis buddy, living with her ex of 9 years and going to Florida this weekend to see a ‘friend’ she met online.

“That’s no good”.

“I know” taking a gulp of my 420 that time.

I felt a bit of despair again. What if she gets to Florida and really likes this buff woman, they hit it off and…….I couldn’t bring myself to think of the rest.

What does it matter, right? We’re just dating. I’m not ready for a relationship.(I tell myself this to somehow feel better)

Sigh.

Today at work she emailed me and as the page loaded there was a picture of her smiling face taking up my whole computer screen. My heart skipped a beat. There she was looking right at me with his look in her eye that she wanted me. It was to show me the t-shirts they were all wearing that day because they launched a new product. I replied “nice shirt” I wasn’t giving anything away.

“Are you going to the mall to water,”

“I’m already here and done.”

“Oh, well what are you doing now?”

“Um [long pause] I’m meeting someone at [steakhouse]” I was being vague. I wanted her to think I was on a date.

“Ok, I guess I shouldn’t have asked that.”

I changed the subject to the three pairs of pants I got at the gap for $66.

“Well, have fun. Call you later?”

“Um, well…….”

“I will text you and let you know how we did.”

“Ok then, good luck.”

As I drove home tonight I passed the tennis center and saw the lights. I knew she was playing over there. I could have turned in, watched her match and gotten a kiss. But, I didn’t. I just kept driving.

Tomorrow is Thursday. Friday she leaves for Florida. I still can’t believe she’s going. I almost want to stop all communication between now and Monday. But, I would be coming off like I’m really upset over this and, therefore, showing my cards.

So, I’m putting it out to you blog friends. What do you think I should do? How would you handle this? The lines are open.

Winter blahs and breaks

I am in such a funk today. Much of it probably has to do with it raining. When it rains over one day in the wintertime in Atlanta it just drags me down. Spring and summer is a different story but not winter. UGH!

I think I have the winter blahs.

Lee has been doing a full court press of her own the past few days. Ever since we decided to take a break this week she has been texting me more than normal and wanting to talk on the phone. I’m not much of a phone person (probably why I exceed my data plan every month and not my minutes) so this is really annoying difficult for me. I’ve figured out this much about myself. Missing someone is a good thing and too much of them is bad, which, I think is quite opposite for Lee because all I’m getting is ‘miss you’s’.

This morning as I drove to work I received the usual ‘good morning’ text from her. I replied when I got to the office (even Justin Bieber wants us to quit texting in our cars) She wanted to talk and I said I was having a morning and didn’t feel like it. (that was the nicest I could be considering rain, not enough coffee, not being a phone person and not missing her enough to want to talk yet again)

“My tennis match is cancelled tonight. I want to see you.”

Oh, don’t even think you can make a plan with me because yours fell through. I’m not your sloppy seconds, I thought as I typed out – “I thought we were taking a little break this week.” YEAH, because you like me, tennis friend and are going to Florida this weekend to see muscle head (ok, that slipped out but these are my own thoughts) and you don’t know what you want.

“It’s driving me crazy. What abt you?”

When all else fails say “Why?”

“I miss u. I miss our closeness. I miss looking into your eyes. I miss your wonderful kisses. I could go on ;)”

Yeah, well that’s not all you’ll be missing “I think this break is good for us. Plus, we both already had plans” – my plans count, too, whether I have any or not – “and ur going to Florida. A lot going on.” –kid in candy store.

“You are right, very right. Thank you for being you. ;)”

Yeah, the d*ck that I can sometimes be. Whew! Where is that coffee?

the look of love

I sat in my car waiting for 7:05 to roll around. I was meeting Lee for dinner and had planned on being at least five minutes late. At 6:55 I saw her cross the parking lot to go inside, not seeing me parked in the shadows. I decided to let her off the hook and not be late since she was early but I sat there until the clock struck 7:00 anyway. I had on my clinging black shirt, unbuttoned low that showed cleavage as well as jeans that showed ass-ssets. I had on women’s shoes with a higher heel than I normally wear. I had put on mascara that night, blown dry my hair for once and sprayed on the cologne I only wear around people I want to kiss me on the neck (–because they usually do when I have this stuff on). I was bringing out the big guns and hoping by the time I was done with her she would have long forgotten the name of the woman she had a date with the night before.

That previous evening, it was after midnight when I finally fell into bed. I plugged in my phone and lay there. She hadn’t called or texted. That must mean that her date went well. I felt despair and wanted to cry. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up the whole dating façade without getting hurt. I knew it would be a transition for me to go back to the casual dating we did prior to Savannah. Could I do it? I didn’t know. I felt that I had left a piece of my heart with her in Savannah.

I drifted off but woke up at 3:30 and checked my phone. She still hadn’t called or texted. I flipped to my email and sure enough, she had emailed me. I glanced through it and was comforted enough to finally be able to roll over and fall into a real sleep that time. A few hours later my alarm went off and I went into the kitchen to do my morning routine. After getting out of the shower and combing my hair I saw that another email from her had come in as well as two texts.

I put gel in my hair and took a sip of my coffee before reading the second email. It gave me pause. She had written something to the extent that the whole night all she could think about was wishing she were with me and not her ‘date’.

“You’re damn right you wished you were with me.” I thought, taking another sip of coffee. Despite being comforted by her emails and texts operation cat string was still going into play. Plus, I needed some time to get a grip on my feelings a little better.

Later, I finally texted her back answering her “Good morning” with a “Morning” and a “yes went dancing last night” to her question and left it at that. I wasn’t going to give her much.

“Can you talk right now?”

[Me waiting a good 15 minutes before responding]

“No, I have a meeting.”

“Ok, maybe later?”

[No answer from me] Much later after I made her stew all day in silence we talked and firmed up our dinner date for the next evening.

I walked to the side door of the bar and saw her look up at me when I came through the door. We locked eyes and I knew I had her even before I slid into the seat next to hers. It was Savannah all over again.

“You look hot. I’ve missed you so much” She said kissing me.

After our kiss I just smiled at her and thought, “Oh, the power of operation cat string and a little mascara.”

Let the games begin

I was having drinks and dinner with a fellow blog friend last night. Despite each of us batting for the other team there is a similarity or should say parallels in our dating situations. Maybe mine is a little more serious than hers (you might disagree with that, Sarah) but after the events of last weekend with Lee there might be a piece of my heart involved.

[Large, shoulder shrugging sigh]

Lee and I both have discussed dating other people. I told her she should date. Her last relationship was nine years and I certainly don’t want to be the rebound nor does she want to be mine. And, we all know what a disaster my last relationship was and that, yes, Lee is a little soon after that. (the months can be counted on one hand, even) Neither of us want to jump into another relationship so quickly. There is one person that I know Lee is going out with, however, they haven’t kissed…yet. (I will revisit this)

“I don’t care if you see other people. I just don’t want to know about it.”

“Ok, you never want to hear?”

“No, unless you sleep with them. Then, I can decide if I want to keep sleeping with you.”

“Well, that would probably be an automatic no, right?”

[Large, shoulder shrugging sigh –‘probably’ thought to myself]

Last Friday before we went out of town:

“Want to meet somewhere for a drink before you go to Alpharetta?”

“Maybe, depending on where and when. I can do 6ish but have to leave town no later than 7 because the boys are expecting me.”

“Ok, I have to be in the Highlands for dinner by 7.”

[Long pause]

“So, you have a date at 7, I guess.”

“This was the part you didn’t want me to say anything.”

I admit, I stuck my foot right in it. I should have blown it off, been cool. Or even said that I didn’t think I had time to meet after all. (but, then she would have known why)

Later, the subject came up again and she mentioned who it was with and she happened to be someone she had already introduced me to.

“Your tennis friend? Why didn’t you say so?”

“Well, I thought you didn’t want me to say anything.”

“Yeah, well she’s different.”

“How is she different?”

“You just play tennis together.”

“Well, yeah, right now but she said she wanted to kiss me the other night.”

“So, what are you going to do if you keep seeing her and she keeps having kissing expectations?”

“I guess I will kiss her then.”

That’s when my stomach did a little flop (not a flip but a flop) I changed the subject.

Back at the bar with Sarah:

“So, I guess I have to go out with a bunch of other people that I’m not interested in.”

“Just because they’re dating, too?”

“Yes.”

Then, later:

“People always say you don’t have to play games but you do – just a little bit.”

“Yeah, because if you don’t play any games you may come off as a little dependent or overbearing, even.”

“I agree, it doesn’t have to be much. Just an ignored phone call that goes to voicemail or a text answered two hours later.”

Tonight Lee has another date with tennis friend and they just may kiss. I’m putting on my boots and going dancing.

“Sorry I missed your call(s)/text(s)my phone was in the car”

Recap

Lee and I rolled back into town around nine last night. The whole time we had been gone I felt like we were just in this timeless state together. After the first day we started calling it a vacation and it sort of was one. There seemed to be an easy flow to everything we did. Tuesday as we walked along River Street I felt a sudden despair that we were leaving this place. It seemed like she instantly read my mind because she said,

“I don’t want to leave.”

“Me neither but we have until 8:00 tomorrow to get home.”

[Laughing] “Right.”

We wandered in and out of stores and ended up at an Irish pub having one last beer/cider before we left.

“What was the highlight of today?”

We had asked each other that each day we had been gone. I smiled at her and said, “Must you ask?” remembering that morning.

[Smiling] “Aside from that.”

“Ok, well it would have had to been making you breakfast this morning for your birthday.”

She nodded, “Yeah, that was great. This is one of the best birthday’s I’ve had in a very long time.”

We had told each other so many things and laughed so much. It was almost inconceivable that we would both be back at work the next day, sitting at our desks texting each other occasionally and that we wouldn’t see each other until Sunday. Plus, even more inconceivable is that we’re still in the dating other people mode. I don’t even know what that means, really. Like I said previously, I will keep the door open but there will be some mighty large shoes for someone to fill.

Once back, I ran over to Ellen’s to recap the weekend with her. I made plans to have drinks and dinner with friends, I filled my calendar. I climbed into what seemed like my rather large, lonely bed and set the alarm. I hit the snooze with a vengeance this morning and thought that it was a good thing Lee wasn’t with me because I would have not gotten up. I padded into the kitchen and dumped food in the cat bowl. I thumbed my iPhone, checking email while I waited for the milk to froth. [it takes forever and if it wasn’t worth the wait then I’d be done with it] There was an email from Lee saying she didn’t want to wait until Sunday. I smiled, took a sip of coffee and headed for the shower.

This time

This past weekend/week has been a whirlwind. Yesterday was Lee’s birthday and we decided to go out of town and celebrate it. To say it was fantastic would probably be an understatement.
Friday evening I met up with some motorcycle buds to party prior to our update the next day. We had booked hotel rooms outside the perimeter so we could walk to the restaurants nearby. Saturday I got out of the update in just enough time to run home and take a shower before Lee walked in the door. Friends of mine were having a football party and we were invited. Save for my friend, Ellen, no one else has met “the new girl” as they call her. The party was very good, however, I was very tired from the previous evening with my moto buds. The Falcons fell behind even more and someone brought out the shots. I got my second wind, then. I always like to observe the dynamic between someone I’m dating and my friends. Everyone seemed to like her – some even pulled me aside and said, “Yeah, she’s cute. Where did you meet her?” I would just smile and say “I will never tell.” I left her alone a bit to get more drinks and snacks and talk to some other friends across the room. When I was talking to friends, V & C I gazed at her across the room engaged in conversation with my friend, Carla. This was a good sign for me – the girl can take care of herself in a room full of people and she doesn’t need me glued to her side all night. The party started winding up even more despite the Falcon’s loss but we headed for the door. When we said goodbye to the hosts one of them pulled me aside and said, “Yeah, I like your new girl.”

The next day we headed for Savannah where Lee owns a vacation house. This was where we decided to spend her birthday. After we arrived, unloaded the car and we got situated in the house (her turning on the heat, water, etc.) we drove into downtown Savannah and parked. As we walked across Reynolds Square I took her hand and said, “I’m just walking and not going anywhere in particular. Is that alright?”

“Sure, I like just walking.”

I wanted to soak up the scene of the place. I’ve been to Savannah at least once a year since I’ve lived in Georgia (since 2001) and have become quite familiar with the history and knowing my way around. Lee is a previous SCAD graduate so between the two of us one of us always knew something the other didn’t. We headed for the general direction of City Market. We went in a few galleries and then started towards Bay Street. I wanted to grab a local brew from Moon River and talk about where we were going for dinner. That night we ended up at a restaurant that neither of us have ever been to (small Italian place on MLK). The food was excellent and we shared a bottle of Tuscan wine.

The next day we drove out to Tybee Island so I could go for a run. Despite it being 50 degrees and pouring rain I desperately wanted to run along the beach. We stopped at a burger joint on the beach and I took off while she waited inside.

I came back soaked to the bone and cold. The restaurant owner had put out a space heater and I stood in front of that to thaw a little then went to change into warm clothes. After that we headed to popular place on the beach for low country boil and fish tacos. We ended up spending the entire day just on the island driving around, walking on the pier and hanging out. We ended our visit at this hole-in-the-wall pizza place having drinks and waiting for a pizza to go. Looking up I noticed several dollar bills and pictures stapled to the ceiling. I pulled out my wallet and took out a 2 dollar bill that I had been carrying around with me for the past ten years. I signed it and gave it to her.

“What do you want me to do with this?”

“I want you to sign your name next to mine.”

She took the pen from me and did so and gave it back to me. I turned it over and wrote both our names at the top with a plus sign in the middle and smiled at her. She smiled back and took the pen and bill and started writing. Yeah, she wrote some things, I wrote some more things and we just looked at each other smiling even more. At that moment I felt all tingly inside, I got goose bumps all over my body. I stood up on the bar and stapled the bill right above where we were sitting.

“There. This will always be here no matter what.”

“And, no matter what it will always remind us of this time.”

snowed in bliss

This past weekend I had to work. Thankfully, it was a good class and I was able to cut them loose early both days. Saturday night Lee came over and we went around the corner to a pizza place and had drinks and ordered food to take back to my place. She spent the night, bringing  her tennis stuff to play a friend in the neighborhood the next day. Sunday morning I got up at dark-thirty to get ready for work. As I poured coffee I heard her come padding out to the kitchen.

“Sweetheart, what are you doing up?”

“I don’t know I didn’t want you to leave without saying goodbye.”

“First of all, I would never do that and let’s go tuck you back in and I will say goodbye.”

When I got to work I was setting up class and remembered something from the previous night. As I got the class started on their assignment I logged on to the computer and emailed her.

“Did you tell me you loved me in the middle of the night or was it all a dream?” I wrote.

“No, it was real.” She replied.

I sat back from the computer staring at the screen. So, it was real. My heart pounded in my chest and my stomach felt like I’d just gone flying down a rollercoaster. “Wow.” I thought. I knew at that moment I should have been terrified but I felt a tingling calm wash over me.

“That was wonderful. Thank you for saying that, thank you for loving me. How did I get so lucky?” I replied.

“I’m the lucky one.” She replied.

Later that day we spoke on the phone.

“You know – it’s supposed to snow A LOT tonight.”

“Yeah, so?”

“Well, you may need to stay and get snowed in.”

“I think I need to run to the store and get a few things do you want anything?”

“Yes, bread and coffee”

She met me at my house when I came home from work and I hurriedly took a shower so we could go meet some friends of hers to watch the football game before we went over to my friend, Ellen’s for dinner. I saw two kinds of coffee laid out on the counter along with the exact kind of bread I liked. This was a good woman. That night we took off from Ellen’s earlier than we wanted because the snow was coming down. We slid a few times on the way but got to my house without incident.

So, yes, we got snowed in together [for two days, I might add] and it was wonderful!

We watched episodes of Dexter and a movie (which, I fell asleep watching with my head on her chest.) I made chili and cornbread, scrambled eggs every morning and baked chocolate croissants. She helped me change the locks on both doors – which, was so hilarious because I’m not good at these things and she kept taking the door handle out of my hand and saying, “I got this. You just hold the screwdriver. Or “Just get the screw.” And I would say “Oh, you want to screw, why didn’t you say so?”

Yesterday, we took a long walk through the neighborhood. We found a pub close by that was open and walked in. We sat at a high top table across from each other and talked about one of my favorite places, which, happened to be close to her vacation house. We pulled out our phones and tried to bring up an aerial photo of the island. I started taking pictures of her with my phone, telling her to make different faces. I got pictures of her smiling, laughing, frowning (with a smirk) and trying to be seductive (we both had to take a laughing break several times before I could get her half-way to pose). We laughed so much in there. We had a drink and then took off for the next place. The next place was a pizza place that was closed so we moved on to the next.

“How much further, I have to pee.”

“Oh, it’s at least 2 miles.” (it wasn’t really two miles, I was just kidding her)

“What?!!”

“Well, that is, if it’s open.”

“Omg, I’m going to go behind this bush.”

“Ok, but here comes a cop.

“Sigh, ok. Why didn’t you tell me to go at the last place?”

“Oh, well I didn’t know you had to go then.”

We laughed some more and I told stories to take her mind off her full bladder until I made her laugh again and she would tell me to stop or else the snow would be yellow. We got to the next place and went in for a needed bathroom break and beer. By the time we got back to my place we had walked 4-1/2 miles.

Once back I heated up the chili for dinner and asked, “You want something to drink?”

“Yeah, I’ll drink one of those ciders you have in there.”

I pulled out a Magners along with a Heineken and cracked open both the bottles and handed her the cider.

“A toast.”

“Ok.”

I paused and looked at her, “To loving you.”

She smiled, “To loving you.” Clicking her bottle against mine.

Friday night blahs

That whole thing about pacing myself with Lee…..yeah, maybe I should be more vigilant about that. This week has been really busy. Since I’m working this weekend I’ve had to work late a few nights this week.  Last night Lee met me out after work. We had drinks in a popular steak place and then we ended up having a late dinner down the street. Since it was late and we were close to her place we just went there and I ended up staying over.

Needless to say when either of us stay over at the other’s house neither one of us get any much sleep. Not that that’s a bad thing all the time but it is when you have to get up at 5 a.m. the next morning and go to work. Five a.m. was very painful for me this morning. I kept hitting the snooze on my iPhone and shutting off the Blow Monkeys singing “Digging your Scene”. Lee had her iPad plugged in and had it on white noise for me with the rain, crickets and thunder (although, I told her the thunder sounded like gunshots – probably from living in this city for so long). I grabbed her bear and hugged it to my chest and she spooned me. I knew this was a dangerous position for me – one that meant I would drift off immediately. I finally got up around 6 and started grabbing clothes and putting them on. I wanted to get out of the house before devil woman woke up. Apparently, in the middle of the night her roommate/ex had words with her about my being there. (I slept through the whole thing) Yeah, who knows why she was so cool last week, making me coffee but this week Lee is forbidden to bring anyone to the house.

Today I got off work early. It was starting to get cold and it made me dread working in the cold this weekend. I felt all mixed up, really. I was tired but I was also dreamy about Lee. I kept thinking about the previous night and her meeting me, us holding hands and me kissing her on the elevator at the mall. I kept wondering if she was the next one. If she was the new girlfriend. (despite most of my friends saying, yes, she is) It was one of those things that I wanted to pinch myself and ask if it was real. Then, my chest would get tight, my stomach would drop and I would get scared of getting hurt. I don’t want to put it all on the line for this girl, but yet, I have no interest in seeing other people, either. I am trying to remain open to someone else walking into my life that I like just as much or even better but as of now that’s a pretty tall order to fill. Aside from the drama with her roommate she really has no other red flags. She has a very sweet and gentle nature and has been very honest and open about her feelings for me, which we both seem to be on the same page about.

Yes, my emotions have ran the gamut today. Probably because I also quit smoking this week. Meh. It’s sucked, actually but I’m hanging in. After tearing up three whole packs and berating myself for doing it I’ve tried to hold on to that. I want to say it was Monday evening I did that so I’ve made it five whole days. Of course, Lee has no idea of any of this. When I heard her describe how awful her sisters house was because her brother-in-law smoked and how badly she coughed when she was there over Christmas I decided that I needed to kick this thing out the door or else she definitely wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me. I wouldn’t, either.

So, here I am sitting in bed writing this, listening to the wind blow outside wishing I were curled up with Lee, the bear and the iPad white noise with the gunshots instead. I am so pathetic!

Resolutions

So, after a somewhat hectic weekend (working, taking care
of calamity house and attending all the New Years parties) things
are back to normal. I picked Lee up at the airport last Sunday
evening. (It’s hard to believe it’s only been three days since
then.) It was a super great evening and the next morning as I
padded out to her kitchen to make coffee her ex/roommate was there
making it for me. (Seems I have charmed even the devil herself). I
thanked her, taking it gingerly when handed to me wondering if she
had poisoned it. Lee and I saw each other for the next two
evenings, and then I grounded her the next night to get ready for
an interview she had the following day. Last night on the phone she
expressed the desire to come over but I lectured told her I needed
to catch up on some sleep and she needed to focus on her interview
the next day. I could see this thing getting to the point of seeing
each other every night [and, me never getting any sleep again]
always packing and unpacking a bag which gets old very quickly.
Despite liking her very much and wanting to see her, I doubt I
would as much if it got to that point. I think it’s time for me to
take the reins and slow it down a bit. I actually like missing her
somewhat on nights we don’t have a date. Last night a friend of
mine and I ran with a running group near my home. I hadn’t done
that in so long. The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday
evenings and I’m hoping to make that consistent and maybe get in to
a few races. I say all this so easily without seemingly the thought
of how the hale I’m going to do all this. Date, work out, work two
jobs, etc. The run last night was called “The Resolution Run” there
was someone standing at the 1 mile marker with a bag and we were to
pull out a resolution for the new year. As I squinted in the dark
at what the small, orange piece of paper read I made out “Sleep
More” I scoffed thinking “Yeah, that’s not happening anytime soon.”
I will sleep when I die, I guess.