Good Knight

I admit it, I gave up.  I found myself blasé about the whole dating thing.  Other than “please trample my face” dude, nothing exciting was happening.  I even agreed on a second date with the “I Win” guy – my first First After from back in November.  I was chatting with a few guys, but nothing exciting and I found myself letting days pass between emails.

And then I got a message. 

Someone on OKCupid had contacted me.  Someone who actually read my profile and noted my MacGyver/duct tape reference and commented on it.  The more we chatted, the more we realized we had in common.  People, places, dreams, laughter.

So we met.

Our first date lasted 6 hours.  We met for lunch and by the time we left the dinner crowd was in full swing.  We talked and laughed through several nearby half-hearted renditions of “Happy Birthday” and countless refills of soda.  I even forgot to go the bathroom – a fact that became relevant the moment I unlocked my door and my bladder went on red alert.

But maybe he was just being kind. 

He assured me this wasn’t the case, and reinforced it by asking me out again, not just for one, but three dates.   A picnic in the park – filled with gentle breezes, teenage shyness, and more laughter.   The next included being there for me as I transported my foster dog to his new home, followed by a quiet and comfortable dinner at my place. 

Each time we met, the time flew by.  Each time we were apart again, it felt like ages since we had seen each other.  We kept marveling at how wibbly wobbly timey wimey the whole thing was.

And then the big event – he invited me to join him for a weekend of heraldry and historical anachronisms – my first SCA event.  We’d be going with a friend, sleeping in dorm-style cabins, and dressing in historical garb.  I was nervous – people I didn’t know, worrying about looking cute in primitive conditions, fearful my snoring would bring the wild beasts to bear down on us in protest.

And then came the snag – his babysitter had gone MIA.  (Did I mention he has kids? He has kids. ) Would I mind if they came along?

I’ll admit it, I panicked.  I love children, but I had long ago accepted that they would most likely not be in the cards for me.  I had chosen people that couldn’t or wouldn’t have them. And now to meet them and so soon. What if they hated me?  What if they didn’t?  I cry at commercials, I take in stray dogs and lodging-challenged friends.  This could break me.

But then I took a deep breath and gave myself a shake.  Better to know than not, right?  It’s not like it was planned, these things happen.  Bye bye, Joey – have fun storming the castle!  So I went, I anachronized, and things went very well.  Better than I could imagine.

We are moving forward – trying not to move too fast.  But it’s hard when things seem so natural.  We’ve both got things to work on, and we know that the past, the present, and the future all have to be dealt with.

But for now?  I’m having a good knight.

The Tale of Bra Boy

He found me on Yahoo.  I was in the process of separating from my husband and moving to Denver, he lived in Colorado Springs.  He assured me it was fairly close by.   We chatted back and forth over several weeks.   

When I first arrived in Denver, I knew no one other than my landlord/roommate and we didn’t seem to click very well. The internet was my lifeline to family and friends, and he was someone who was close by when others were far away.   Maybe it was the high altitude combined with the glass of wine, but I found myself agreeing to a date.  It would be the First After since my separation.

We talked about our date – he would plan it – I just need to come dressed and ready.  I was trying to figure out what to wear – he recommended, among other things, my red bra. I agreed.

When the day came, I dressed carefully – not too dressy, not too casual.  Took extra time to primp and do all those “extras” you only do for a date or a doctor’s visit. His car was in the shop, so I drove 90 minutes to where he lived. When I first arrived, it looked like the courtyard of Melrose Place.  Upon closer inspection, perhaps Melrose Place if it became Section 8 housing.  But I had driven all this way so I persevered and knocked on the door. 

He was shorter than I pictured, disheveled, in a sweatshirt and jeans – a ball cap crammed on his head. 

“I just woke up,” he said. “Give me a second.”

I stood in the doorway and watched as he shuffled through some papers.  Wait, not papers.  Coupons. 

“Which do you prefer?” he asked.  “Chinese buffet or pizza?”

Since the Chinese buffet was evidently 2 for 1, we decided to do that.  If you are going to go first class, better go all the way.  The plans for after dinner were just as carefully thought out – so we ended up going back to his place to watch a DVD.   He pulled up his sweatshirt and asked me to scratch his back.  Hrmm.  Well, I wanted to see how the movie ended, so I did.  I thought maybe it was a move, but he thanked me and pulled his shirt back down.  He didn’t offer to return the favor.  We sat very chastely on his couch and watched William Dafoe act crazy on screen.

When the movie ended, he turned to me and asked. “So can I see your bra?”

I laughed in surprise. “Is that your move?”

I’m 36,” he said.  “I don’t have time for moves.”

“You’re 36,” I countered.  “You better make time.”

I’d love to tell you that I got up and left Section 8 of Melrose Place with my head held high and my dignity intact.  But it was my First After, I’d driven a long way and worked up a lot of nerve to get that far. And I had worn my red bra. But let’s pretend I did.  Deal?  Thanks.

Let’s just say that sometimes the best part of a First After is that you have nowhere to go but up.

Happy New Year!

So yes, I know, I’m a few days late.

My roommate and I spent New Year’s Eve at home, watching the Dick Clark special as they counted down the new year.  Another First After come and gone.

I’m beginning new patterns – found a new group to watch Doctor Who with – have some new weekend traditions in place – spending more time with new friends.

Dating sites are beginning to drain me.  The people I approach are not interested in me, the people who approach me – I’m not interested in. I’ve cancelled several of my paid subscriptions as I can’t afford to find love at these rates.

I’ve never really done well at traditional dating.  I’m not good at picking up on flirting – I get told that men are hitting on me and I have no clue.  Since they never ask me out – I have no idea.  I think it could be interesting working the convention circuit this year, as it will be the first time I’m not taken.  Maybe meeting men at an event where I feel comfortable could result in less rednecks or folks that can’t type in complete sentences.

We shall see.