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Hello, 2013. Hello, Hot French Guy. Nice to Meet Both of You!

January 2, 2013

Months ago, Pickle said to me, “We need to find cute guys to kiss on New Year’s Eve (NYE).”
“OK,” I told her, “I like the sound of that.” As the date approached I didn’t think our prospects were good for midnight kisses since neither of us were dating anyone and no one was showing any interest in us. “It’s not looking good,” I told her.
“What?” she said, “We could find somebody that night!” I didn’t think so but I liked her enthusiasm.

A few nights ago a guy I danced with at the Blue Moon asked for my number. We’ve texted a bit since. I was thinking about asking him what his NYE plans were but decided against it. He asked me if I was interested in getting to know him and I said yes. That would have to do for now. He used the words “get to know me.” It might sound silly but it was really refreshing to have someone actually suggest that we get to know each other. Not just shag as soon as possible. Did I just use the word shag? I have got to stop watching so much British television.

By the night of NYE our plans were pretty low key as were my expectations. I just wanted to laugh and have a little fun. NYE has never been that important to me. Most years I spent the evening at home, watched some television coverage and maybe stayed up until midnight. But this year was my first as an officially single woman. Pickle’s divorce just went through as well. She was looking to celebrate. Her expectations were higher than I realized.

She picked me up around 7pm and we headed to her friend’s house in the country. We laughed at each other and our nasal, deep voices. We were both suffering from lingering head colds, causing our voices to sound like Kathleen Turner, but whiney. We sung along to “We Are Young,” on the way, switching octaves, butchering the tune and scaring our sore throats.

The friend’s house is the purple room house. (See: The Screenplay) I hadn’t been back there since that weekend. We drove up and there were kids running around all over, playing basketball, shooting fireworks and getting into trouble. There was a ping pong table in the garage. I love playing ping pong. I got very excited at the prospect of starting up a game. We went inside, exchanged pleasantries, got wine. I was introduced to lots of people and made conversation. I was proud of myself for being somewhat normally social and maybe even funny. Like a grown-up woman! (See: No, Let Me Tell You About Mansura) Then I played a round of ping pong with the host’s son. Later Pickle and I had a match. Pickle likes to say that you should leave a party on a high note. Sometimes I think that’s her excuse for leaving when she’s bored or not having fun. But it’s still good advice. So we left around 10-ish. Walking to the car I told her, “Well, I got to play ping pong so as far as I’m concerned it’s been a successful evening.”

Next we headed to Breaux Bridge to Cafe Des Amis. The Huval brothers were playing. They looked really funny all crammed onto a little stage with NYE hats on. We got beers and a good friend of Pickle’s walked by. We sat and laughed with her for a while and Pickle and I danced in front of the band. She twirled me around, leading as she always does and getting me to perform moves I don’t know. “Just go with it. I’ll do all the work,” she said as she moved my arms over and around my head and turned me around. Everyone in the small restaurant seemed to be smiling at us. It was fun.

Then we headed to McGee’s Landing. I had never been there before. Wouldn’t have been going there if not for Pickle. That’s one of the great things about hanging out with Pickle. She grew up here, in a musical family. Through her I’ve been exposed to so much I would have never known about or been brave enough to find out about. She seems to know just about everybody in this town. She knows all the good cajun and zydeco bands. She taught me to two-step and waltz and I can hold my own pretty well now. I contra danced for Christ’s sake. Only Pickle could have me contra dancing and actually enjoying it. So often with her I find myself in some hole in wall that I never knew existed, dancing my ass off, laughing and having fun. So last night was just one more example of finding myself in a place I’d never been, listening to great music and dancing.

As soon as we walked over to the dance floor, I spotted two guys and a girl I had seen the day before at CC’s. They were speaking french. The two men were gorgeous. I’m talking H.O.T. I pointed them out to Pickle. She wasn’t surprised I had picked out someone in the crowd. It’s my m.o. (See: Falling in Love with Strangers) I watched them for a while, catching the cuter one’s eye on occasion. Good God Almighty. Then I saw the girl put her arm around the other one. Good. The hot one is free.

Pickle’s dad was there as well as many of the usual crowd of cajun dancers. I danced a few times, all the while keeping an eye on Frenchie, that’s what we’re going to call him. Then I looked over and saw this tall guy with long white hair talking to the French trio and he turned and pointed right at me as he was talking. I looked at him with surprise on my face and made a “what the fuck,” gesture with my arms. I was dancing with someone at the time, so when the song was over I walked up to him and said, “Why were you pointing at me?”
“I was telling that guy he should ask you to dance.”
Oh lord.

The night went on and the two of us kept glancing at each other. Pickle, her Dad, the tall guy and what seemed like the entire crowd laughed at the fact that I was too shy to go up to him and ask him to dance. When the tall guy persisted saying to me, “You’re going to have to go talk to him,” I replied, “What are you, the local match maker?”
“I’m a musician,” he said. “I see this happen all the time. Two people are really into each other. They look at each other all night and neither one makes a move and they leave without even talking.” OK, he had a point there. I do that about once a week.

“Can I get an Abita Amber with courage in it?” I asked Pickle.
“Yeah. It’s called a whiskey shot,” she replied. I was at the bar ordering another beer and he was at the other end. He looked right at me and smiled. Damn. I still couldn’t bring myself to approach him. I asked Mr. Pickle how to say “Kiss me at midnight,” in French. He told me how to say, “Kiss me now,” instead.

Midnight came around. There were noise makers and hugs and champagne. When fireworks started going off over the river we went outside on the deck to watch. The Frenchies were missing it so I was at least bold enough to go back in and tell them to come out.

I stood right next to Mr. Hot Frenchie and still nothing. What is wrong with me?
The live music stopped and was replaced with fun, dancing music.
It was officially 2013 and I had told myself that my New Year’s resolution was going to be to talk to the soulmates I find in every crowd. So, finally, I grabbed a glass of champagne nearby, downed it and went over to him.

“Would you like to dance?” I asked. A Prince song was playing. He said yes without hesitation and we rather awkwardly tried to dance. My God he was cute. We finally gave up on the dancing and just stood there and talked. I asked a lot of questions. He’s been in Lafayette since August. He’s earning his MBA. He’s fucking gorgeous. His english was very good and we talked about Lafayette and its French culture. The other guy he was with is his brother and his girlfriend, visiting. I told him I had seen him at CCs. He said he had seen me downtown.

“You’re really cute,” I said. “It was really hard for me to come and talk to you. I’m really shy,” I confessed.
“Me too,” he said.
While I was talking to him, the tall guy watched us and to my amusement and horror I saw him pick up his phone and take a picture of us. Nice.

Running out of things to say and watching everyone get ready to leave I said finally, “Well, it was nice to meet you.”
And then miracle of miracles, that magic thing that we all want the cute guy to do and so many of them who seem interested don’t do, happened. He asked me for my number. Thank you, Jesus. First and last name. I gave him digits. He texted right away so I would have his. I plugged his name and number into my contacts faster than you can say, “Call me maybe.”

So, as of today, I have my digits out in the world with two cute guys. Based on the experience of the past 18 months, I know that that could mean absolutely nothing. Neither of them might do anything with those magic numbers. Even if they did, I might not like them. It might turn to nothing. But for now, it is something. It’s a little piece of hope to chew on. It’s the thought that a kiss might be in my future. It’s a possibility. It’s the beginning of another story, maybe.

Most of all, last night was more evidence that I can change. I can grow. I can overcome my fears and flaws. It might not seem very important to overcome shyness and be able to talk to a cute guy, but if I can overcome that, I can conquer more serious challenges as well. Boldness on NYE at a bar with a hot, French guy can mean boldness with my career, with my ideas, with my life. I’ll take it.

Pickle and I left and went to the Blue Moon where we found some friends lingering as the band packed up. I laughed and talked with them for a while. Especially one guy who, like so many others, seems interested in me but doesn’t do a damn thing about it. He was at the Christmas caroling party. He told me I had seemed mad at him that night. “No,” I said, “I was having a bit of a night. After I talked to you, it went downhill.” (Again, See: No, Let Me Tell You About Mansura) He made me laugh when he broke into a Scottish accent and didn’t let it go.

Pickle and I followed them across the street and watched them attempt to set off a rather pathetic collection of fireworks. We danced on the porch to Prince and Michael Jackson and then called it a night. Mr. Maybe Interested once again let the night end without taking any further action, just like the tall musician said. No digits for him.

I was basking in my new found boldness and floating on a cloud titled, “Hot. French. Guy. Asked. For. My. Number.” I woke up this morning, still on that cloud. It was a good night and a good beginning to 2013.

So I was a bit surprised and sad when Pickle confessed to me today, “Yeah. I didn’t have much fun last night.” Shit. It doesn’t seem right that I should’ve had such a good time when she didn’t. She seemed to be having fun at the time. I was just along for the ride. She was in control of everything we did. That makes me sad. Maybe it’s all the shit happening in her family. Maybe, like me she’s feeling the fear that can come so often from being alone and single. Maybe it’s the fact that the divorce just went through and instead of feeling like celebrating, the grief is hitting her instead. Maybe it was the head cold that still has a hold on her. I don’t know. I don’t like to see her sad. She’s been my savior. I wrote on her facebook page today, “Thank you for saving my life.” To say that she has done that is not an understatement. I wish I knew how to take the pain from her.

So, it was a banner night for Kitten (that’s me, btw). It’ll be a banner night for Pickle soon enough. She’s an amazing, talented, strong and courageous woman. She’ll be on her own cloud before long. In the meantime, I’m going to hang onto mine before it dissolves into thin air.

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From → Rantings

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