Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.
I write this from a train with my son next to me. I think it’s not a surprise to anyone that I live in the Northern hemisphere. It’s brutally cold where I’m taking him this weekend, and we are going skating and to visit one of my closest friends and her family.
I’m looking forward to relaxing. I didn’t bring my work computer. I’m now the proud owner of a new fancy ski jacket (pink and orange, yet it manages to look rather nice) and snow pants. Did I mention it’s brutally cold? Yesterday the power went out in my house for several hours, so instead of a quick drive to the sporting goods store, it was a few hours of transit and walking and oh yeah, searching for my son’s snowpants which had been lost by my step-father the night before.
Will came home for the weekend but he knew I wasn’t going to adjust my trip with my son. Instead I delayed our departure by one night – I was feeling magnanimous. So at 4pm, freshly showered, I found myself sitting with Will and our son at the pub at the end of his street.
Will is wearing a ring on his ring finger with five characters carved into it – a woman and two girls, and a man and a boy. This obvious show – the ring equivalent of those characters that some people put on the back of their cars to portray their family – is not something the Will I know would ever do. It was a gift from Colleen.
It made me feel a little weird. I bought Will a wedding ring which he never wore. He didn’t want it when we split up so the metal formed part of the right hand ring I had made out of my engagement and wedding rings. And there he was, wearing that ring. Which even I found too cutesy.
At 5pm, having paid for our drinks and food, I hustled back to my place. I had made the mistake of ordering probably the worst pre-date appetizer ever – fried calamari. Deep frying makes me feel gross (although I like it at the time) and full. Not a great combo. I must be pre-menstrual because I’ve been eating like crazy all week.
Because of the power outage and time it took to do the other stuff I needed to do, I still hadn’t packed for the trip. So I hustled, knowing that shortly Tony would arrive and I wanted to be able to focus on him.
I managed to get all but about 10 minutes of stuff done before he arrived. I gave him snacks and water (all he wanted) while I finished up. We didn’t follow through on his plan to “pre-sex”… basically, have sex before we left for dinner so we would have a better chance of getting through dinner and bowling.
We hopped in a taxi and made our way to one of my favourite Greek restaurants. We shared some wine and ate too much and talked and talked and talked. We made friends with our waiter. Seems Tony is like me – he’s friendly and engaging and interested in people.
I told him about my son calling him “one of my boyfriends”. I also told him that a friend was questioning my being exclusive so quickly.
As part of the ensuing conversation, he asked me whether I would normally date multiple people. I told him the truth – that no, not before I met Will. But that I realized with online dating that people all seemed to engage with multiple people. So I was no different. I mentioned I’d experienced all sorts of “douchebaggery” and that talking to friends, and writing, helped me process what I was going through. He didn’t enquire further about the writing.
Then I told him I feel differently about him than I have about anyone else. That he and I seem to have much in common and potential. That I have no issue with being exclusive because I want to be able to focus on him. That I couldn’t feel the way I do about him and also engage with others. And of course, that I don’t have time for anyone but him, anyway.
He reiterated he had no interest in anyone else.
Then I admitted that historically I would be pushing – for more, for answers, as I’ve posted recently. I explained that the pace we were taking was really good for me. That it gave me an opportunity to really get to know him, and also to sort my own shit out – allowing me to be a better partner, ultimately.
He said “whatever it is you are doing, it’s working”. And “I wouldn’t know what to say anyway about what’s next…things are great and I love what we are doing and I’m enjoying the time we have together and gosh, what would be next, moving in together”? Which had us giggling that absolutely not were either of us ready to share our spaces yet.
But note to a few of you – he didn’t say “of course I’m your boyfriend”. And no, I didn’t come out and ask whether he thought of himself that way – what the heck would he say if he didn’t?
We wrapped up dinner at 10pm and made our way to the bowling alley. Which was completely full until 11pm. We looked at each other and decided we had tried, which counted, and we should make our way back to my place. Bowling just wasn’t meant to be.
On our way home we ran into a drunk young guy who called us out for holding hands… he said “oh aren’t you guys so cute”, wished us a Happy Valentine’s Day, and made reference to Tony being my boyfriend.
Of course I made the joke afterwards that there were now two people calling him my boyfriend.
We had sex last night and again this morning. It gets better each time – I think physically and mentally he’s getting more comfortable with me.
So while I received none of the classic Valentine’s Day nonsense gifts, I got something better. A great man who I really like, who likes me back, talking over dinner, holding my hand as we walk down the street, kissing me at every opportunity, and saying good morning in the best way ever, tzaziki breath be damned.