I suck at dating. Several months ago, Rick mentioned that he hates dating. Now Rick and I are dating.
But it’s very, very early in this whole process, and since he just got out of a relationship about six weeks ago, and most of his stuff is actually still in that apartment while he crashes at his parents’ house and sleeps in his nephew’s pirate bed (sometimes with his nephew)… we’re certainly in no hurry.
But in case any of you were worried that I would stop being endearingly neurotic… fear not.
Friday, we had plans to get together after I finished with work. His job is super-busy right now, and he’s new at it; my job requires me to work nights until 10 or 11, and then I have an hour drive home. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of options for us to see each other, and he was heading to New Orleans the next morning to scream his head off at the Super Bowl and get his ass grabbed on Bourbon Street. Because he’s a huge Ravens fan, and when your team goes to the Super Bowl and you can get there… you do. It’s a b’road trip. Or a bro’ad trip. It’s a road trip with a B in front of it to indicate that you’re with your brother.
But I was convinced he was going to cancel Friday’s date. He had spent his whole weekend before this working from home, and he had a lot of work to do all week long after he left the office. I was so convinced he’d cancel, my friend Sam and I had the following text conversation:
Me: We have reached the part of the evening in which you talk me out of being neurotic. Go.
Sam: If he cancels, you’re ok with it and find another activity to do.
Me: Yeah, that’s incorrect.
Sam: Which part?
Me: All of your words just then.
Sam: You’re not okay with it and you don’t have another activity.
Me: There you go.
Sam: Right, but he doesn’t need to know that.
Me: Right, no. But still with the neurosis.
Sam: Goooo sllloooooooowwwww.
Me: This from the guy who wanted us naked by now.
Sam: Well, that’s what I want for you. Mainly becasuse I’m convinced the global economy is dependent on it. Relax. What has he done to cause this freakout?
Me: Nothing, really. He’s going to NOLA Saturday, his job has him swamped, he cancelled Sunday as a result and I just have this feeling he’s going to cancel.
Sam: And if he does, you say ‘hey, I totally understand, been a crazy week all around and you’re skipping town. Snag something fun for me while you’re down there and we’ll catch up when you’re back.’
Me: Right. I’m not asking what I should say. I’m asking you to make me stop thinking it’s going to happen.
Sam: There’s always porn.
Me: Yeah, okay, clearly you’re having trouble focusing.
Sam: You’re in a good place here. You’re still in the ‘less is more’ phase.
Me: You know why I do this? To prepare for the rejection.
Sam: Yeah, stop doing that.
At 8:45pm on Friday, 15 minutes before I was to leave work, Rick texted that he was still working. With a frowny face. Well, now he’ll definitely cancel, I thought. Still, I left at 9 and headed up to where we were set to meet up, my head half-full of fears that I would be standing there at the doorway of the restaurant/bar he’d suggested, stood up, trying to look casually involved with something on my smartphone while I eyed every moving figure in the parking lot, and in would walk my ex-boyfriend Mitch, who loves that place and with whom I was already dreading the possibility of a run-in.
At 9:50, I texted Rick to let him know it was taking me longer to get there than I thought, and I might be a few minutes late.
Him: No problem. I’m just wrapping up here myself.
Oh. Oh! Oh… he’s actually getting ready to leave! To come out! To meet me! He’s not cancelling!
I had been so prepared for the stand-up, so sure he would cancel, that I had worked my way around to being okay with it, and now he’s not cancelling. Well, what a pleasant surprise that shouldn’t be a surprise at all since he had given no indication that he would cancel and I was just going by the voices in my head!
Gah, I hate those guys.
Granted, he was later than me. I was there about 15 minutes before he arrived, but that was okay, and he apologized. And then we split a bottle of wine and had, really, another great time together, and did not run into Mitch. We stayed out much later than he had previously said he’d be willing, continuing our coversation in my car after we were politely asked to absent ourselves from the establishment on account of they were closing. (Yes, a conversation. That’s not a euphamism.. although it was a very flirty conversation that involved hands on knees. Do you remember that feeling? The first time someone you like puts a hand on your knee? I’m a girl, so there’s a strange tickling feeling in my skin and then my stomach does a little flutter. Do guys’ stomachs flutter?)
Naturally, I expected radio silence pursuant to debauchery while he was in New Orleans for the Super Bowl. But no! I heard from him during his layover Saturday, and while he was out partying on Bourbon Street with his brother Saturday night (this was when I learned of the ass-grabbing), and on Super Bowl Morning before he headed out, and again at 3:30am after the game when he was back on Bourbon Street with his brother. And then while he was at the airport waiting for his flight, and then when he landed back home.
You guys. I think this guy likes me.