My goodness, I don't even know where to start.
I did not meet the McCain Supporter for drinks on Friday night. I was way tired after a trip to the grocery and liquor stores, and just wanted to crash on the couch.
I got a couple of calls from Hot Med while running those errands, which I waited to return until I was home. "Where are you?" Dude, you said SATURDAY. Today is FRIDAY. "So you not come tonight?" No, I'm not coming tonight. I will be there tomorrow, okay? "Okay, no problem."
So, I did have the tabouli date on Saturday night, and reciprocated by making soup for him at my place on Sunday. So...how did it all go?
Let's talk good things first, I think.
He was wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt, and I have to say...man's got some nice arms. And shoulders. Later in the weekend he pulled his shirt up (we were talking about his body-building) to show me the "8 beers in his belly" (thanks, Sauntering Soul's Hot Brazilian--I love that) and...yeah, the guy's in good shape.
He makes a mean tabouli. I had never had it as the main dish, nor had I eaten it scooped into lettuce leaves instead of using utensils. I would recommend both, though. He's perhaps an even bigger OCD freak about the kitchen than I am. He washed the cutting board between every vegetable and was constantly wiping and cleaning and washing his hands. (Well, he does work in a restaurant--I suppose that's good policy.)
He's very chivalrous--always insisting on opening doors and helping me out of the car, etc. He asked permission before taking my hand on our walk in the Riverparks, and before giving me a short neck massage at my house. Now, I suppose the jury is out on whether that is his natural tendency, or if he's been given a smackdown for being too presumptuous in the past, but still...he was polite.
He gets a big smile on his face every time he looks at me. It's hard not to like that. He tells me repeatedly how beautiful I am. Ditto on that.
He was pretty good about letting my cats (those that deigned to be visible, of course) sit on his lap while we watched TV.
Okay, it's all sounding good, you're thinking. Well...it wasn't ALL good. Let's have a little lesson in how NOT to court me, 'mkay?
Lesson #1: Do NOT under any circumstance mention marriage to me on the second date. I will not think, "wow--this guy really likes me!" I will think, "wow, this guy really wants a wife." Big difference. Particularly do not mention that you would like to take this wife-to-be to Lebanon to meet your mother in the near future. That is way too much too soon. Even after my week-long first date with New Guy, I think I would have been a little freaked out by that. (Or not. Damn you, New Guy! Sigh.) I told him I was not interested in marriage to ANYONE any time soon, and he didn't mention it outright again.
Now, I think it was coincidental that his brother and sister-in-law were at his house when I arrived to pick him up Sunday evening to take him to my house for soup. I think they were there to visit his sister and nephew. (They had brought a basket of hand-decorated Easter eggs.) I hope that is the case, at any rate. 'Cause it was just a bit of an inquisition, and I would hate to think that was set up deliberately. Now, don't get me wrong--they were lovely people. His brother is a contractor, speaks perfect English, his sister-in-law is American, and we all had a lovely chat about theatre, dance, etc. But I would not like to think that I was being deliberately screened for suitability on a third date. Heh. (They were very enthusiastic about coming to see me in a show...which is nice, but leads me to believe they have premature assumptions about where this relationship is going.)
Lesson #2: You will not curry favor with me if you repeatedly suggest that I put my dog outside. Now, I am the first to admit that Pudge is a very large, very clingy, sometimes anxious dog. He bounced from the animal shelter through a couple of foster homes before he ended up with me, and he is...well, needy. He's used to having me to himself, and it takes him a few minutes to get used to the presence of a stranger in the house. He's not aggressive at all, mind you...he mostly sits near me anxiously and keeps his eye on the "intruder" for a while. There will, of course, be some sniffing of the shoes, tail-wagging, etc.--he's a DOG. But if you speak nicely to him, and then sit quietly for a bit, he will relax fairly quickly. The very worst thing to do would be to put him outside by himself. So, if you continue to suggest that I put him outside, you are liable to be shut down with a curt "it's his house, too." Pudge did calm down, and I did put him in the bedroom for a while as we actually ate (see, I can compromise), but...dude. Ask once, then let it go.
Lesson #3: Okay, it's a relatively well-known fact that I am a bit...anal and OCDish about my kitchen. But only MY kitchen. I have no compulsion to wash dishes at anyone else's house. I get a little thrill, actually, when I leave a dirty plate or glass in or near a sink and walk away. It's like a tiny vacation from the compulsion. Heh. Apparently, however, HIS compulsion knows no such bounds. He kept trying to "help." Okay...I'm happy that he knows his way around a kitchen, but this is MY kitchen, and it's TINY; there's barely room for me, and you are IN MY WAY. Please go sit down! He wouldn't, though. It's all very well and good to offer to help when you are a guest in someone's home, but if they decline your offer, take them at your word and leave them alone, for cryin' out loud. I do not need someone taking a soup ladle out of my hand and attempting to wash it. He's lucky that soup ladle was not wielded as a weapon, is what I'm saying.
Tangentially, I also do not need to be told repeatedly that the soup is hot, and to be careful. I KNOW THE SOUP IS HOT. I JUST TOOK IT OFF THE STOVE. I AM 46 YEARS OLD AND I HAVE EATEN HOT SOUP BEFORE. I get tired of that constant admonition even in restaurants, where they're presumably worried about liability--I do not need or want it in my home. Thankyouverymuch.
I told him, and I think he understood, that I am very busy this week, and I won't be able to see him at all. (Rehearsals, Holy Week church services, etc.) We'll see, I suppose.
So...some issues, clearly, in addition to the ongoing communication difficulties. Here's the thing. I'm a very verbal person. Not a chatterbox, by any means, but...I like words. I'm a word nerd. And being a word nerd without access to so many of my words--well, it feels kind of stifling. And I can't be funny without words! Who am I if I'm not funny? (Okay, admittedly, maybe this says more about me than about him.) And I have no problem with the occasional companionable silence...it's nice. But there is a difference between "companionable" silence and awkward "I'm out of things to say" silence, isn't there?
He keeps telling me how much he likes me. He likes my eyes, my hair, my face. I know guys are very visually-stimulated, but...that's not really enough for me. He asks what I like about him, and I don't know what to say. I don't really know you well enough yet to know, I reply. And you don't really know me yet. I don't think that's the answer HE wants, either.
So...I don't know. I haven't made any decisions, one way or the other, but I'm not sure I have the energy for this, frankly.
In the meantime, I am very much looking forward to meeting my "pen-pal" in person. We have exchanged close to 300 emails in the last two months. Clearly, we're both very wordy people. Heh. I know, I know--being almost divorced isn't being divorced. I have no expectations--just a strong curiosity to see if the image I have in my head matches the real him at all.