#5//A NOVEL ABOUT THE YOGI/ENGINEER/CAB DRIVER.
Happy Valentine’s Day kittens! Pictures from my day so far above!
Merlin’s present was fresh tuna for breakfast. He, like, inhaled it and will hopefully let me cuddle with him for an extra five minutes today. Feline bribery. I actually like this holiday more when I’m not in a relationship. I can relish in its cheesiness without any cheesy expectations. It’s my excuse to rock the color red, paint my nails blue (all about balance, right?), do silly things at work (I got my boss a singing student gram), experiment with make-up, eat cake, spoil my cat, and grab drinks with girlfriends. I also think it’s a good day for a great-date-gone-sour recap because we single peeps can only take so much hearts and flowers on Valentine’s Day.
My anti-love story. Enjoy!
Who:#5// THE YOGI/ENGINEER/CAB DRIVER.
Um, yeah, what’s that all about? From the get-go, I didn’t have him pegged, but I’m into mysteries so this only added to his appeal.
How we met: ONLINE.
Blah, blah, blah…on to the fun part!
When: LAST FALL.
Some random Tuesday night in October.
Where: DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON.
Three Needs Bar in downtown Burlington.
Swoonworthy Scale: 10/10!
It’s good. The beginning was so good.
First Impressions: I’M BLUSHING.
So we had actually e-mailed and texted for a while before meeting. His profile wasn’t all that outstanding – like he filled it out, but didn’t care that much about it? – but then he sent me a nice message. I hadn’t replied in days, and my friend Mindi was rereading all of my messages (and shaking her head at my lackluster replies). “He sounds nice. Write him back. NOW.” So I did. Then I set up a date. Then I canceled on him, but he had my number.
He texted me some picture of his cat, but I didn’t respond because I was super busy.
YOGI/ENGINEER/CAB DRIVER: Where did you go?
ME: (F-ck, this guy is going to be annoying.) Busy days. I’m traveling to New Orleans tomorrow.
YOGI/ENGINEER/CAB DRIVER: Oh I thought I was the center of the universe again. Oops.
And I laughed. And then I kept texting him, and on the way back from NOLA he sent me pictures of tomatoes he harvested from his garden, I was like, ‘He’s witty and he grows tomatoes. I HAVE to meet this person.’ I tried to go running with him on Monday – in the rain, no less – but he was busy. The next afternoon, he texted if I was free and I said YES.
As I walked down to meet him, I started to worry that he would have some high-pitched voice or something. All those random thoughts that go through your head before you meet a random stranger on a random weeknight, you know. But when a tall, lean, blonde wearing a sky blue Mountain Hardwear jacket and plaid shirt walked up behind me and said my name in a deep-but-not-too-deep voice, I was like whoa. He had just come from Bikram yoga, his hair was still wet under a leather cap, and he smelled like fresh Dr. Bronner’s soap. He said he knew it had to be me with all that hair. I could only grin in response.
What: I ONLY MEANT TO STAY FOR ONE DRINK…..
I actually didn’t even want to drink – was still detoxing from NOLA and I had just put on a dinner for 50 college kids that night so I was pretty zapped – but I was having so much fun that one drink turned into many drinks. We stayed at the bar for three hours and had three and a half rounds of beer. We would get different ones and share – love a man who shares – of the following: Trapp Oktoberfest, some Porter, Lagunitas IPA, Fiddlehead, and a cider.
He paid for three rounds. I paid for one.
Beginning: NOT AWKWARD.
I was practically drooling at the table five minutes after sitting down, thinking casual dating is SO MUCH FUN!
I kicked off the conversation with the “So, what’s your story?” question. He laughed and told me that would take way more than one date. (My eyes lit up.)
Here’s what I did discover: I learned about his wild years. His family. He has an older sister and grew up with lots of animals. His beer. He’s brewing Hefeweizen in his basement. (I love wheat beers!) His hobbies. He skis. He golfs. He gardens. He does yoga! His relationships. Got out of a four-year relationship this summer —> is this a rebound then?
He liked to quiz me on music playing at the bar. (I looked this up and it’s a Sagittarius thing, I think? I passed 1/3 of them, Thank God I got the Eric Clapton song.) He’s finished a degree at UVM in civil engineering, but is still looking for a job, and took a job randomly at a cab company to stay in town. He has a ton of funny cab stories, and even has cab groupies.
“Yeah, a lot of people tell me that I remind them of Ryan Gosling in Drive. I think it’s the hat?”
At the end of our almost fourth round of drinks, he leans forward with his elbows on the table and tells me, “I’m not trying to be forward, but I really don’t want this to end.”
I agreed, with reservation. “Yeah, me neither, but I really need to go home. And you are still a stranger; therefore, you are NOT coming back to my place on our first date.”
Five minutes later, I invite him to my place for ONE HOUR. Inside I’m like, I can’t believe I’m letting this stranger into my place, but then I thought, what psycho person does Bikram yoga on a regular basis? Or sends me pictures of tomatoes from his garden. He’s fine!
We walk back to my place. It’s a disaster from my weekend away. My suitcase is still not all the way unpacked. Three loads of laundry are drying in my room. Dishes from breakfast and lunch are still dirty. I make him wait outside for ten minutes, while I shove sh*t in closets and cabinets. I just ignore the dishes. I try to pick up Merlin to put him in my bedroom, and he freaks outs and scratches at my chest, so now I’m bleeding.
I let him in and he makes me sit on the couch with a paper towel to stop the bleeding.
I’m on the couch, while he’s on the chair, looking slightly alarmed. I put on some music, and then he checks out my Netflix queue that was on the computer (ABC FAMILY SHOWS =EMBARRASSING), and he’s like, “Let’s watch one episode of Portlandia, then I’ll go. I want to make sure you’re not going to bleed to death over there.”
So, he moves to the couch to watch this episode of Portlandia on my laptop. The bleeding stops – AT LAST – and I sit up. After ten minutes, he pauses it, smiles and says, “Wait, are we at the hand-holding stage yet?”
“Errrr,” I mumble.
He takes my hand anyway.
“Oh, I’m not sleeping you with tonight. That is not happening.”
He laughs, “I just want to hold your hand.”
It feels amazing. I’ve stopped caring a flying f-ck about the Portlandia episode or my scabbed chest. When he turns to say something to me, I totally lean in and run my fingers through his hair (which is sooooo silky and unlike my coarse curls) and kiss him. And he kisses me back. And that lasts until 3:30 a.m., when I have to pry myself away from him on the couch, and push him out the door, telling him that I’m old and have an 8:30 a.m. meeting, which is in three hours.
Post-First Date: A FOLLOW-UP FIVE MINUTES LATER.
He texts me:
You’re not so old to feel young.
Good night, I had so much fun!
Later on he texts me:
And I wanted to kiss you five minutes after I met you.
I LIKE HIM I LIKE HIM I LIKE HIM I LIKE HIM!
That Week: THE UNRAVELING.
It was this intense whirlwind week with him. After a really great first date, we texted all the time, talked on the phone, and spent all of our free time together. We made leek and asparagus quiche, green tomato chutney, salsa verde, apple tarts, apple pies, and scrambled eggs together. We went to yoga classes. We listened to live music. He seemed intelligent, charismatic, and interesting. Maybe a little too mysterious. I can see that there were some RED FLAGS; however, maybe I was starved for attention after a year in rural Japan or maybe I was blind to any warning signs because of our initial chemistry (which was all sorts of awesomeness) or maybe I was trying not to be super judgmental to someone who seemed to have a more alternative life path, but I liked him. I liked him. He was athletic and seemed somewhat spiritual, an excellent cook, had pets, witty. I could go on……..but I’ll stop, because this thing we had came to a scary, screeching halt.
The END: A LESSON.
Sometimes drug and anger issues take time to be discovered. A lesson in love –> take it slow and don’t take any sh*t.
Right Now: MOVING ON!
So I have yet to date anyone new after that bizarre dating blip which really tripped me up – instead focusing my energy on catching up on all things Netflix and getting back into shape after Japan – but I’m getting ready to go drink Prosecco with girlfriends at a fancy French restaurant! This night is young and full of possibility my friends. Santé! XO!