The 27 of 2017: Skipping Ahead
I'm going to jump ahead a bit because right now, it is really the only memories that are taking hold. My memory has been pretty terrible recently. Days prior feel like weeks ago. I still see that summer as a collection of my favourite moments; the rain pouring down that night, the heat building in the kitchen, the many morning lights. But there is always one moment. I'll never forget that moment.
When I first saw Andrew on bumble, I almost didn’t swipe right because he looked “too nice”. I’m not entirely sure what that meant. I had a lot of dates with people who didn’t have a strong personality and I couldn’t handle another date that wine couldn’t even get me through. I guess “too nice” isn’t the right way to explain it. I like to explain it as people looking for a shell. When someone barely knows you and talks about how much they want to hold your hand and treat you well; they would take a shell of any kind. They aren’t looking to get beyond your barriers to know the real you, they will take anyone who is “nice enough”. You could be Susie from down the street or Karen from the grocery store, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are willing to sit in that shell. It’s like when a you talk to someone on tinder or go on a date and he was nice and you’ll give him a second date or keep talking to him for that reason. I’m not looking for someone who is “just nice”. I want someone who has a passion for something so strong that I can feel it in the room when we first meet. I want someone who tests me, is the most annoying, pain in the ass, but makes me feel like there is a very short list of people you can have this depth of connection with. Someone once told me there is this rule called the traffic test. It is as simple as this: you want more traffic on the way home from a date to prolong the time and conversation you have together. That person passed the traffic test and that person was one of the good ones.
I sent Andrew a snapchat and asked if he wanted to go grab pizza in an hour. He sent one back saying some stupid, witty remark that I can't remember but I know it made me groan with a smile plastered on my face. I quickly went into the shower, got myself ready, and headed downtown to the restaurant.
"What does the person you are waiting for look like?” The host said before leaving my table.
“Uh…” I paused. “He has blonde hair. He is tall.” I managed to stagger out.
“What’s his name?” The host responded, seeing my hesitation.
I froze. Shit. I looked down on my phone to see our conversation.
“Andrew” I said quickly as the host smiled. “Sorry, it’s a first date.” I was ready to hide under the table from embarrassment. This night was off to a good start already.
I sat there waiting patiently and full of nerves. As soon as Andrew sat down at the table, he immediately captured my attention. He was full of confidence and seemingly didn’t have a shy bone in his body. And damn, he told the best terrible dad jokes I've ever heard.
That moment didn't happen until the second date. Apart from compelling conversation both nights, Andrew had yet to touch me. Not even a playful arm touch. Nothing. He walked me back to my apartment again that night.
“Well, this is me.” I said. “Thanks again for tonight.”
“Thank you for dinner.” He smiled. “And helping me pick out the suit.”
I looked at Andrew and he kept the space between us. He wasn’t in any hurry to touch me nor was he giving me any sort of look. What was up with this guy? I felt like the plague to him; like some sort of diseased human that he didn’t want to touch. All I could think about was that I was not making the first move if these were all the signals he was giving me. And by signals, I mean the absolutely no interest he was showing. I leaned in to give him a friendly hug. As soon as I parted, I regretted my decision. It seemed like he hesitated before the hug and held my gaze for that extra moment. Maybe that meant something. So, I presented one more opportunity for him to keep him from leaving.
“You looked really good tonight, by the way.”
“You looked nice too.” Andrew said and then he started walking down the hill.
What was with this guy? I didn't understand what was happening but I was annoyed as all hell. I started walking in towards my building with confusion and frustration spread across my face.
I'm far from subtle in life. If I want something, I usually say. But for some reason, I was made to believe that in dating it was all about the subtleties and the rules. He will call, no one calls anymore, text after x number of days so don't message him before that. Don't show too much interest but enough to keep him interested so you don't seem desperate. Maybe he shouldn't meet your friends until x number of dates in. Maybe you should wait to sleep with him until this particular time and not that one. I'm not one for following the rules.
“Andrew.” I yelled hoping he would hear me. His head turned back and he stopped walking. “When are you going to kiss me?”
Andrew, without hesitation, walked back towards me. As he approached me, I could feel my heart pounding. And then, he leaned in and kissed me. In all the most romantic movies, the world around blurs when the two main characters kiss. Sometimes there is the cheesy spinning of the camera and a love song gently develops in the background. I think we all want that spark-flying, breath-taking moment when a love is developing and the sad reality is that most of the time that doesn’t happen. Especially being the type of person who likes to plan out every moment and can imagine any sort of situation, what happens in reality can often come up short of the fantasy strung in my head. And in this unplanned moment, his lips pressed up against mine and everything else blurred.
But that is far from the end to the story. Beginnings can be beautiful and endings often bleak. Regardless, this is one of my favourite memories that I'll hold onto forever.