TO BE CLEAR, this is not a How-to. It’s a “How did that happen??”
It was my younger friend Splendid’s birthday, 8 days after my own birthday, and Splendid was having a party at a bar that I’d never been to before. I’d spent the majority of the day being lazy. Took my time with a shower, crocheted some more of whatever something I was making at the time; trying to decide if I was really going to go or not. I’d also been marathoning Torchwood on Netflix so I really didn’t feel like I had to go anywhere; I have John Barrowman to look at, why would I need to go outside???
Do I go? Do I not go? Do I go? Do I not go? I had this debate with myself for hours. Finally I decided “You don’t get out on Saturday night ever so YOU ARE GOING!” Blew my hair out straight, which I never do, painted my nails (which I do all the time), beat my face with the makeup stuff, put on jeans and a flowy gray top that Pretty bought me two years prior and googled the directions to the bar.
It was hard to find! This tiny pub in a hipster-y area of the town. Seriously, I drove past it 6 times before it dawned on me that the glowing Shamrock with the flag of Ireland posted next to it was the sign for the bar. After sharking for parking, I managed to get inside the teeny place, find Splendid at a large table holding Court with people I had never met before.
The Social Awkwardness was wafting off of me. However, I came out and I was gonna enjoy myself. I stopped scrutinizing myself and remembered that “tonight is about Splendid, you’re not going to get attention anymore anyway, you’re 36 now, be the Grown-Up Single Independent Sassypants you are!” And that’s what I did! I met Spendid’s new beau, and was very pleased with him! I even commented to Splendid “yeah, I want one of those (pointing to him) in an age appropriate model” which earned me giggles and smiles from the group. It was fun! We drank we listened to a dude with a guitar and grungy hair sing inappropriate songs, it was a time!
Suddenly this dude walks in, wearing the silliest hat I’ve ever seen in a bar. Not even joking. It was a knitted ski cap, the kind with moose or deer on it? It had longer side-ear covers that had long ties ending in tassles. And the thing had a faux-hawk. It was absolutely ridiculous. I turned to Splendid and said “There is a lot going on, right there” which naturally, made us both laugh.
Party/Saturday night in full swing, Splendid and I went out to the patio to get some fresh air and have a smoke (I had quit, but still enjoy the occasional) at a large 5 top table by ourselves. Silly Hat walks out with 2 friends in tow just as Splendid and I were getting up to leave. Waving my hands to get the attention Silly Hat, I offered him the table, his face lit up like Christmas! “That’s so nice of you!” he gushed, It’s just what I do so I didn’t really think much of it. He tried to play it off like “Oh do you just want us to hold it for you?” and I laughed and replied “Sure, go ahead and save it for me!”
Little did I know, apparently he was perving on my behind as I was walking away! He claims that he actually went to reach for my butt, but his friend told him “Dude, don’t do it!” and he snapped out of whatever haze he was in.
Back in the bar, I’m oblivious. I feel something behind me so I turn around and THERE IS SILLY HAT standing right behind me! Naturally I great him with a “Hey!!” and then cocked my head to one side, stared up at his hat and said “Are you having a hair mishap today? What’s with that???” He blushed and removed the hat with a quick whoosh of his hand. Revealing the cutest Gavin De Graw-style receding hairline. I quickly replied “Awe, see? That’s nice, you have nice hair!” And dude was tall, 6’2″, leather jacket clad (why didn’t I notice how cute he was before??), bright twinkly eyes, full lips and a smile that revealed half-dimples on both sides of his cheery face. The bar was too loud so I couldn’t even tell you what he said as to why he was wearing it.
Because I had been standing in a little group, one of the pretty girls I’d never met before started talking to him too. I wasn’t about to compete. I wasn’t out that night for that. After a bit I turned and found another group, didn’t really think anything about it.
A while later, Splendid grabbed me again for an “Outside Time” break from the crowd where we found Silly Hat and his two friends still at the table. They waved us over to enjoy the other two seats, then his friends promptly left him to grab more drinks. We started all talking the normal bar talk, what you do for a living, etc. Turned out Silly Hat has the same name of Splendid’s boyfriend tending bar that night! INTERESTING! I tried to be subtle, but I kinda waved my arms about and pointed at Splendid and said “Oh that’s HER BOYFRIEND’S name too!” Not because I wanted Silly Hat for myself, mainly it was to warn him “DUDE, THERE’S A GUY HERE WHO WILL COMPLETELY KICK YOUR ASS IF YOU HIT ON HER!” What can I say? I’m thoughtful that way.
As we talked about work, his whole body changed when he started talking about what he does (I’m omitting it on purpose because I’m still keeping this as anonymous as possible, sorry dudes) and it was amazing. I could tell he was incredibly passionate about his chosen career. (Don’t worry, it’s a good one. Creative but stable.) It was refreshing to see a man speak that way about what he does without being pompous.
He hum’ed and haw’ed and fiddled with his phone, before mumbling something about getting numbers. Splendid took the the cue and sat waaaaaaaaaay back in her chair and started fake texting or FaceBooking on her phone, basically bodily giving him the brush off. He didn’t budge. Instead, he shyly looked up at me. I fake rolled my eyes and said “Oh FINE, I’ll give you my number” and laughed because there was no way that dude was gonna call me!
His friends came back, they wanted to go back to their hotel (they were from out of town apparently) and Silly Hat offered his hand to Splendid and I to shake and go on his merry way. “WE’RE HUGGING PEOPLE! WE’RE HUGGING PEOPLE!” shouted a slightly intoxicated Birthday Splendid. Silly Hat’s smile practically jumped off his face and he raced around the table and threw his arms around me in a HUGE bear hug. I giggled and hugged back, it wasn’t until he pulled away that I knew he’d actually planted a kiss by my right ear. “Awe, that’s sweet, he’s really nice” I thought. I didn’t turn around to see how he hugged Splendid, but they BOTH SWEAR it was a “One arm, one shoulder, pat-pat” hug. So it must be true!
After they all had left, and Splendid and I had been sitting for a while. I realized that I had no idea what time it was! My phone was in my purse at the table in the bar! I haven’t had that happen in a while, have so much fun you forget what time it is? Awesome!
I had a missed call. At 1:11 AM. After the initial shock of “HOLY BIKES IT’S 1 IN THE MORNING!” I blinked rapidly and thought, “Wait…he called??” I texted back “Is this *name redacted*?” and he replied that it was. “What? Are you checking to make sure the number is legit already?? LOL” I sent back. He laughed.
Then I remembered, I’m an old lady and need to go home! I said my goodbyes in the bar and bopped my way back to my house. Not realizing that Silly Hat was texting me to find out if I was still at the bar.
When I got home and saw the messages, I told him that I wasn’t there and that he should go back in, that’s where they have the beer! He asked “Can I call you?”
I raised my eyebrow “…right now?”
And my phone rang.
As we talked, Silly Hat asked questions he’d tried to ask in the bar. One of them was “Are you single? I thought I heard something about a boyfriend back there” OH NO, HE THINKS I’M SPLENDID! “Oh nooo, that’s Splendid, she’s the one who has the boyfriend. He’s one of the bartenders, he’s got the same name as you do. I’m the other one, I’m not Splendid”
“I know precisely who you are, I’m very interested in you”
Blink blink. Blink. I was rendered speechless. Which never happens.
3 hours later, I finally realize, IT’S BEEN THREE HOURS we’ve been on the phone. We’ve established what we want to do as “one of our dates” his words. We get along so well, he’s making me laugh and blush but isn’t being crass about anything.
He’s just as interested in my life as I am in his.
By Monday, we were spending real time together, but hadn’t had sex because I told him WE’RE NOT HAVING SEX ON A FIRST DATE. And he while he viewed it as a challenge, he didn’t rush me. By
We’ve been together ever since. By the following Friday, we both knew. This is Love.
He makes me laugh. He’s incredibly sweet and thoughtful at times. But he’s still a dude. He lets me complain, up to a point, keeps me in check when I need it and yes, I admit, I NEED THAT. We bicker like a little old married couple about nonsense. It always includes the phrases “well, you’re a pillow case” or some whatever we’re bickering about. Neither of us can keep a straight face and we wind up laughing together.
He came with the sweetest little rescue dog ever, The Humane Society called him to rescue her, that’s how great of a guy he is. Now that little Puppy is our “baby”, we’re a little family (I know, gross!!) and I’ve never felt so safe and happy before. Frankly, Puppy has been known to favor me, she loves me best, what can I say!
It’s been so foreign to me. Having the freedom to love a man without fear that he’s going to leave. Being able to laugh like a hyena when he farts in bed, because I think farts are funny NO MATTER WHAT. I always follow his farts with my own because it’s only fair. He calls me a “dork” and I stick my tongue out at him. He can’t kiss my face enough, nor can he stop perving on my behind.
It’s incredible. And I am simultaneously anxious to marry him and am in NO HURRY WHATSOEVER to rush past this marvelous time with him.
He’s my whole heart, my nerdy guy, my Silly Hat, my Boyfriend.