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Untitled. (Kitten Dates)

June 8, 2015

I wanted to title this, “Pumpkin Patch,” but I was afraid he would be able to search for it. This anonymous concept is such a farce. 

He’s a Tinder match. Another Tinder miracle. It’s funny, people often scoff with more than a little disdain when I say I’ve met someone on Tinder. “That’s just for hook-ups, right?” They often say. “It can be,” I answer. I’ve yet to have one hook-up from Tinder. And if that’s what I wanted, I wouldn’t need an app to make it happen.

This one is certainly in no hurry.

Tinder requires quick decisions. When this guy popped up, I could’ve just as easily said no. He’s not my usual type. But I said yes. I don’t know why, exactly. He had a picture from HOLI and I liked his smile.

We matched. He texted.

The conversation flowed easily. He was witty and cute. It was an easy and fun ping-pong of messages. We began talking every day. When he was at a family gathering he texted me a play by play of everything that was happening, after a couple of drinks, he said. Making fun of him, I said, “Ok pumpkin patch, go play with your family.” He was amused at my oft-used term of endearment. Finally he suggested we have coffee. I agreed but then somehow the conversation turned to Pamplona and he said he had never been there. “If only there were someone you was a regular there who might invite you to join them sometime,” I teased. He feigned shock over the escalation from coffee to wine, beginning a running joke between us about taking things too fast, which he was clearly not interested in.

We agreed to meet the following Wednesday but I found myself at Pamplona the Tuesday before. I was stressing over a story I had turned in that wasn’t very good. I needed to rewrite it and I needed to get out of my apartment to think clearly.

That night Liz was out at a speed dating event and I invited her to swing by if it wasn’t too late and she was up for a debrief. I sat at the bar and wrote, relieved that the new words were finding their way from my head to the paper. I was spinning straw into gold.

Chatting with Pumpkin Patch at the same time, I sort of dared him to show up. “If you’re feeling brave and spontaneous, you know where I am.” When I told him Liz was on her way, he confessed that he was too. I was impressed with the gesture. Just as Liz was wrapping up her review of the speed dating candidates, he walked in. I made introductions and he pulled up a stool. It was very awkward and I didn’t feel any connection with him. He wasn’t quite what I imagined. I wondered if would work out.

Liz gave him the opportunity to pick his own nickname, informing him that, of course, he would be written about. He was unfazed and confidently suggested Pumpkin Patch, though he didn’t know what it meant, he said. Ok. That was cute, I thought.

Liz left and we stayed only a few minutes more since the staff was clearly ready to shut down. On the way out, I stumbled on a broom and pan leaning against a post. “Are you ok?” he asked.

“Yes. I’m not drunk. I’m just clumsy.” I said, embarrassed.

He would later describe me as having the grace of a newborn fowl.

We met again on Wednesday as planned. When I arrived there was a rather large gathering of people I knew at one end of the bar. Shit, I thought. We won’t have any privacy. The other end of the bar was empty but it would have been awkward to ignore so many people I knew, including Liz. So, I went over and said hi to everyone. When PP arrived, he came over and I introduced him. The next hour or so was a bit strange. We talked on the side by ourselves and were drawn into the group interaction. He was friendly and funny and fit in easily. I was more attracted to him then the first time and I wanted to get to know him better.

We were eventually left alone again and chatted a bit more. He asked me about my Jerusalem trip. He seemed genuinely interested in me. But, again it was a brief exchange and we hugged lightly as we separated to our cars.

The texting conversation continued, with an increasingly comfortable report. He thought I was funny. Finally, he asked me to dinner the following week. When he was at a rehearsal dinner downtown, he asked if we could have drinks after. I popped into the shower after my walk and went to Pamplona to read and wait for him. (I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love. I’m trying to learn how to write a best selling book. lol)

That night we finally got a chance to really talk. We were settled in, close to each other at the bar. I liked the way he was dressed. He was smart and funny and easy to talk to. He didn’t talk about himself much, but asked me a lot of questions instead. I had definitely warmed to him. I asked him for a ride home, since I had walked over, knowing of course this would lead to an opportunity to kiss him.

He parked at my apartment and I paused awkwardly after saying goodnight, trying to subtly invite a move from him. He somewhat timidly picked up on the cue and put out his arms for hug. As we pulled back he kissed me.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he is a great kisser. Like almost Z-great. I mean nobody can ever be Z, but he was pretty damned good. We kissed for a while until I tore myself away and went upstairs, flustered. I sat on the floor for a second when I closed the door. The boy’s got game, I thought.

Saturday after his friend’s wedding, he wanted to see me again. He picked me up outside of Artmosphere where I had gone to listen to a local, brass funk band who were having a reunion show. He was in a suit. He looked polished and handsome. I got in the car and we went to a weird bar in the middle of town. We sat outside and talked. A strange, drunk. 20-something invited himself to our table and we messed with him for a while. He was telling us all about his wing-man efforts on behalf of a friend inside.

“Do you guys know about Tinder?” he asked in a mid-western accent.

We laughed, our elbows together on the table, looking at him. “No, what’s Tinder?” one of us said.

We played with the little, drunk punk like cats with a mouse until the bar was shutting down.

Around 2am, he drove me home and we kissed again in his car. He was more passionate, holding me close and touching my hair. I have to admit, he gave Z a run for his money, in this regard, at least. When I was going to say goodnight I asked, “One more kiss?”

“Of course,” he said putting his hand behind my head. “You can have lots more kisses if we can find a more comfortable place.”

“Do you want to come upstairs?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

I exposed him to the chaos that is what many have called my “cozy” space. We sat on the old crappy sofa that has admittedly seen quite a few visitors. I wonder which one the sofa liked best?

He kissed me for hours, never seeming to get enough. I untied his tie and unbuttoned his shirt so I could put my arms around his torso. He was just the right size for me. When we pushed up against each other, our bodies fit well. His arms had nice muscles and I liked the way he held me. But still, there was something missing. My body was on board. My mind liked him and wanted to be with him. But my heart was saying….meh. I didn’t get that flutter in my gut that I’ve felt before, that I like to feel. I didn’t dissolve in his eyes or melt at his slightest touch.

But this is what dating is, right? This is what I’m supposed to do? Let somebody in? Give the age-appropriate, available, local a chance?

His cologne was intensely familiar to me. I asked him the name. “Grey Flannel,” he said. I knew it. The first boy I was ever with wore Grey Flannel. Those are not great memories. I was a bit surprised by the lack of viscerally abhorrent response I had to the smell. I guess 30 years is enough time for healing.

When we kissed, my hand behind his head, my lips on his, I found myself wondering if it would be like this with the Parisian. What would kissing him be like? His words were so passionate. Would the reality of his presence match the fantasy? But that’s another story…….

We made out for almost two hours until he finally got up to leave. We stood under the frame of my open door and kissed more, allowing our bodies to press closer. Then he finally said goodnight and went home. It was a fun night. I look forward to seeing him again.

He’s taking me to dinner Tuesday night. Maybe I’ll see his apartment this time.



Meanwhile, In Paris…….



From → Rantings

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