After my dating period, I changed a lot I think.
Learned a lot about myself, my feelings and who I wanted to be for myself.
And I somewhat accidentally found myself meeting someone.
I’d seen him at the park often, he was a good looking guy. And in conversation with my friend J, we were talking about conquests and having an rather light hearted discussion about the struggle of being a young woman, who didn’t want a serious relationship, but was looking for more of a fling situation…. and J brought up this guy. Pointed him and and said to me, that if I wanted a fling, he’d probably be up for it.
I eyed him up and thought well why not. But courage to approach people sober, wasn’t really a strong area for me. So I didn’t give it too much thought right then.
A few weeks later, I was at the park with my tiny daughter in her buggy. I’d been giving a lady a skating lesson, which I regularly did and I saw him again.
At the end of the lesson, we had been talking about how this woman needed to be more confident within herself. She needed to trust her body and trust the process. She was doing so well, but she was so timid.
As she left, I decided to take my own advice, and knowing my daughter was spending the evening with her grandparents who could only see her after work, I took a deep breath and I went up to him and said ‘hey’
He looked over at me and I remember thinking to myself, now or never just DO it!
I asked him if he had plans tonight… and without letting him answer, I asked if he would like to go to the movies that night.
I quite honestly thought I was going to die as it felt like forever before he said he really wasn’t sure of his plans that night, but could he call me later. And like your average 15 year old, I actually wrote my name and number on his arm. With a ballpoint pen. Because that was all I had on me!!!
So well thought out right???
I don’t think I’ve ever left the park that fast. A bit of a laugh now, but I was so convinced that he probably thought I was a complete idiot, that I went home and phoned a friend to go to the movies with me so I didn’t have to go alone.
J was laughing his ass off at me. Somewhat impressed I’d actually spoken to him and hysterical over the arm writing! I was feeling 2 inches tall and so embarrassed.
While we were on the phone, call waiting beeped and I got him to hold on.
I nearly dropped the phone when I realised it was HIM! On the phone! And he was talking to me!
In fact he said, he was pretty free that evening if my offer of a movie still stood.
Shit. J was on the other line. Act casual woman.
So I smiled and told him of course (didn’t want to sound desperate) it was going to be fun. Movies with friends. I gave him my address and the time and told him to pick me up.
Then went back to J and told him what was up. I said a group trip would be less awkward and he rallied the troops.
Date night went well, and we endured the movie and then came back to my place. Where he got to meet the flatmates. And surprisingly got green lighted by the boys.
I was shocked as hell because they hated everyone…. it was the strangest evening.
He kissed me on the cheek goodbye and left… telling me to call him.
I sat on the couch with my flatmates going what just happened? They had less idea than I did….
He phoned me the following day, and we started hanging out. Every day for three weeks I saw him at some point. Usually evenings after work. And the longer we hung out the more confusing things were getting for me.
I was getting attached, but he was aloof…. but he just kept on calling. And coming over.
One night I invited him for dinner when he called me up to see what I was doing. It was my turn to cook, so I offered for him to join us and asked him what he ate.
He only didn’t eat fish, chicken or mushrooms. Seemed easy enough until I realised that my flatmate had gotten out chicken for dinner…. chicken pasta it was. So gourmet right? There wasn’t much I could do really as I didn’t realise C had already tried to help until the meat was defrosted. And we didn’t do food waste so I served it up to him and to his absolute credit he ate a whole plateful. And it wasn’t until the end of the meal and C asked what he thought of it, that he responded quite honestly with that actually he didn’t eat chicken…. cue crickets chirping, my face going beetroot red and my two flatmates promptly falling about laughing. Awkward much?????
So having survived that epic flop – of which I was never able to live down, this man still stuck around.
And I have to admit to you here, that he had been staying the night most nights. But we had yet to have sex. And it wasn’t for lack of trying on my part…. sort of.
I will say that given that he was very hot, very attentive and a load of fun, I wasn’t quite confident enough to go down the completely blunt road of ‘hey I think you’re a bit hot, let’s get jiggy with it’ even though actually that would have been a) effective and b) would have solved a number of issues as I wasn’t sure why I felt so almost…. shy around him.
It wasn’t like he was the first….
But I think the problem was I liked him a little too much. So I was a bit afraid of rejection. He was such a gentleman and he would leave the room when I needed to change or mentioned going to sleep… he would excuse himself to the bathroom conveniently for five minutes. And one night after sneaking out of the room and imploring C to tell me how to get this man to pay me the attention I wanted, he came up with the brilliantly male solution of ‘just get ya tits out’ and he assured me that unless he was gay that would surely work. So I went back into my room and I got brave. I took a deep breath and pulled up my shirt over my head without warning him. And when I looked at him to gauge his response he was looking in the other direction! He was looking away to give me privacy! Aarrghhhh! Could I literally do nothing right?
And yes, my flatmates had an absolute field day with that one!!! They started taking bets on his sexuality…. whether he had a daytime girlfriend too or whether he was just so pretty he was completely stupid.
So around week three, J was starting to get a bit stroppy with me for disappearing on him and not wanting to come hang so I agreed ‘we’ would come along on one of his infamous adventures. And I told him when he turned up that evening as he inevitably did, that we had plans that night.
We went out to the supermarket as J has said pack a picnic. And bought food and drink. And we picked J up and a couple of other friends. He said we were meeting the other ‘up there’ and wouldn’t tell me where we were going but promised it would be fun. Then as we were driving he started chatting away. Inane conversation until he randomly threw in the ‘soooo what’s up with you two. You guys a couple yet?’ To which I wanted to disappear. I looked at him and shut my mouth. Nope not getting into that one here…. he looked at me sideways and I very deliberately looked at the road and not him, and he casually responded with a noncommittal mumbled ‘I dunno’ which shut the conversation down. And we drove about 20 minutes listening to mostly J’s chatter, from town before parking up in a somewhat dark and deserted spot except for a few lonely cars. Which turned out to be our friends. And that became known once we got out and I realised seeing them there waiting for us.
J had torches, and he pointed across to the dark bush and said we were going up there. Such a freaky experience wandering through dense bush, with no idea where you were other than with 10 other friends who clearly seemed to know what the deal was. But this was a new place to me…. we hiked up hills. Climbed a few hundred stairs and then all of a sudden we popped out of the trees and into a huge clearing and a beautiful white stone monument. It was breathtaking. Lit up like Christmas, the whole thing was stone and just glowed with this ethereal light. And looking beyond the monument was a sea of darkness between us and the beautiful twinkling lights of the city beyond us. It was so dark we could see every star in the sky and crystal clear. I was awestruck by this incredible place and J looked at me and told me he knew it was worth the hike wasn’t it? It truly was. And I didn’t even know the significance of the site yet!
So we all sat up there for a few hours. Talking, laughing, eating and drinking. Taking in the sights and the sounds of nature which had replaced the sounds of the city.
But it wasn’t long before J decided to push things again because he had at one point in the evening asked me point blank if we were going out yet or what and I’d told him I had no clue and that he’d stayed for three weeks but we hadn’t even slept together yet. Which he found as hilarious as my flatmates did. It was more than a little irritating that I was such a source of amusement to them all.
So he asked him this time, if we were going out yet? And he grabbed my hand this time and instead of talking to J he looked at me and said ‘I don’t know, are we?’
I felt cornered and I had no idea what he wanted from me, so I went with the non-committal… and I replied with ‘well I don’t know, it’s not like you’ve asked me!’ Thinking that he’d let it go at that if he wasn’t interested.
Instead he looked at me and actually asked me out! I was blindsided. ‘Well, would you like to go out with me?’ Such a simple sentence and one that sent me into a giddy spin…..
I said ‘of course I would!’ (Well duh! I wasn’t going to say no was I?) and that was when he kissed me for the first time.
And while I’d like to say fireworks went off…. I’m not sure J shining a torch at us and whooping like a dementor really qualifies as fireworks. But it made us laugh and wasn’t something I’ll forget, oh, ever!
It’s still the only time a man has ever asked me out. Which you have to admit is a little bit cute…. And he finally admitted in conversations later that night that of course he liked me, he had from the start but he was in fact really shy and because I had so many male friends, he thought he was just one of the boys too so he was too scared to make a move in fear of being rejected. He also admitted that J has given him a bit of a tune up about it that night and told him to man up before I sent him packing which made it my turn to laugh myself silly.
And that was when I realised that we had both been setup in the most epic fashion by one of my best friends….. I don’t know how he knew we would be good together. But I swear the man’s a magician and he somehow knew. And his bait & switch worked. Making me think I was hooking a player. Making him think he was going to get relegated to the loser pile if he didn’t move faster and sending us both in search of each other when neither of us were looking for anything remotely serious.
It’s been almost 20 years since the night he asked me out. We have two children now and while we aren’t the young kids we were, and our journey hasn’t been without it’s struggles and trials, we are here. Still.