ITNOWIT #18: Well, he knows.

Operation ITNOWIT #18

  • B’s place
  • Monday 7/23/12
  • not going to keep track of money anymore because I no longer think of it as investing in an experiment.
  • 6:30pm-11:00pm

He called me Sunday to see when I wanted to get together this week. He suggested Monday, and I agreed. We did not speak of the email.

Monday arrived and I got up and got ready for work and decided to take the bus because it was too hot to walk. Standing at the bus stop, I felt my heart pounding. I knew that I was just going to work, but it was that feeling of–Monday is underway and I can’t stop it.

Between work and leaving for B’s I wrote in my journal all the anxiety-ridden thoughts I had. I was pretty sure that by the end of the night we would have kissed, but I couldn’t imagine how it would go. Literally unimaginable.

The hours passed and I was finally outside B’s. I knocked. He opened the door and we exchanged pleasantries. I sat on the couch to remove my shoes and he sat next to me, his body turned toward me. We chatted about his adventures in 1962. (That’s the year he’s picked to follow through news events.)

Finally I said, “So are we going to talk about things?” And it felt just as awkward and silly as it did when I was twelve and thirteen. “Things?” said B, raising his eyebrows and smiling in mock innocence the way he does. And so we talked about the email, with much awkwardness and a little embarrassment, at least on my side. We established that we are, in fact, dating. We talked about how we both listed only ‘new friends’ on our OKC profiles. “Is that just what shy people do?” I asked. B answered, “Well, I wouldn’t want to date somebody who isn’t a friend.”

We inched toward talking about dating and us. B volunteered that he’s only ever seriously dated one person (for two years in college). Then, of course, he said, “And you?” I believe I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. He said, “You can pass.” I answered, “Taking a pass would pretty much be the same as answering.” Long pause. “I’ve never seriously dated anyone.” So yeah. I just told him. Without anything happening between us first. I knew that probably wasn’t the best way to go–that I should fake it and get some making out out of the way first. But I just can’t fake it. I can’t pretend I know what I’m doing. I’m basically the kind of person who just puts it all out there because I haven’t figured out how to do it any other way. He didn’t pry or act like it was a big deal, and he seemed understanding. But I’m pretty sure it changed the direction of the evening. It’s out there now. Can’t take it back.

We talked more about what my interactions with the male species have been, including a brief nod to the two other OKC guys I met. I mentioned my adolescent camp-time romance with J, and he said, “You could have just said you had a boyfriend for three years and not said that you were twelve.” I suppose that’s true. But I didn’t want to him think I’m experienced when I’m not and have to explain later.

He made dinner; we ate. (Baked bread crumb battered veggies, and pasta salad. Different and better than the 4th of July one. ;-)) Oh, he held his hands out to me to help me up off the couch. My automatic reaction to this is, ‘oh that’s okay–it’s easier if I do it myself.’ I always worry that I’ll pull too hard or that I won’t have established my balance in the standing position before my helper lets go. But I quashed my automatic response (he probably noticed that I hesitated), put my hands in his, and stood up and all was well.

Then it was time for Bringing Up Baby. (I love it. He’d never seen it.) I attempted to sit closer to the middle of the couch than usual, and B did too. And yeah, he put is arm across the back of the couch (no he didn’t yawn and stretch first). Eventually he just put his arm around me and ran his fingers up and down my (bare) shoulder. At first I put my head on his shoulder, to let him know that I was good with the contact. But, you know, I don’t watch a whole movie without changing positions. There was that whole twelve-year-old endless wondering of ‘if I move is he going to be offended?’, ‘is he watching the movie or thinking about kissing me?’ Plus it’s July and it’s hot, and I’m the kind of person who’s sweltering and sweaty when it’s 72 degrees. But at the same time, I was feeling his heart beat (pretty fast) and enjoying being close. He has really soft hands, and I don’t remember the last time someone touched me, skin to skin, in a simple affectionate way. Later he moved his arm and we held hands. When intertwined fingers got too sweaty, we left our hands lightly palm to palm, his thumb playing over mine. (And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss. Anyone?)

After the movie finished he turned the projector off and we sat in almost complete darkness and chatted a little. Cue the ‘he’s thinking about kissing me, isn’t he?’ thoughts. But even though I knew it, and I (pretty much, Ithinkso) wanted him to, I. Couldn’t. Do. Anything. Couldn’t move closer or lean in, or encourage him in any other way. I did take my glasses off as soon as the movie was over, but that was it. On the ‘mild anxiety’ to ‘completely terrifying’ continuum of fear, I’m at ‘this is really, really scary.’

That was the end of the evening. He drove me home. He took off his seatbelt when I did, but he didn’t lean toward me, and of course I was still pretty much immobilized by fear. It was really dark, and I think that’s weird. I’d like to be able to see his face–it’s not like I need anything to add to the bumping noses-type worries. I wanted to be able to say, okay, we’ve been dating (for two months!) and we’re adults, just kiss me! But of course I didn’t. If I hadn’t revealed the Big Secret, I don’t think I would have departed unkissed.

Once inside, I sat down and emailed him. I had things I wanted to say that I could only articulate clearly through writing. I explained the basics of my CP again, since the first time was two months ago and was a string of babble. I explained about giving one-armed hugs and always needing to hold onto furniture or the wall to feel steady. I worry about him trying to do something affectionate and knocking me off balance, which he’d probably feel bad about. Anxiety+the realities of CP= a great combination. Then I wrote, ‘When I’m sitting, I’m fine. Then it’s just fear, of which I have plenty.’ Once again, perhaps it’d be best if I learned to keep these things to myself, but I just don’t know how. But I also made sure to write that I enjoyed having his arm around me, so it wasn’t all discouraging. I ended with my point being, ‘You’re going to have to be the initiator, and I’ll try not to fall on my ass.’ Too much information? Too much pressure? Too awkward? We shall see. He hasn’t written back yet.

ps-B often asks rhetorical, teasing type questions, like, “so are you going to write about this in your diary?” And he’s mentioned blogs a couple of times (as in, my having one). I’m sure it’s just paranoia, but I really hope he never finds this. There’s freedom and power in anonymity, and though I try to write in a way that’s respectful of B and anyone else I mention, I really want this to stay anonymous. So if any of you out there know me, don’t tell me.

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7 thoughts on “ITNOWIT #18: Well, he knows.

  1. I think you’re doing great! I’m surprised that the secret’s out- I have a vague line about my history being a series of ‘minor squirmishes, nothing serious’ that usually gets me off the hook. Walrus never asked about my past anyways.
    Explaining about the CP was probably a good move, and owning up to the fear too. If he can work with you on this, then he’s a keeper. He seems really great.
    I’ve never seen ‘Bringing Up Baby’ all the way through- it’s a running gag that I always turn it on and somebody really has to watch something else. I’ve been trying for years!
    If you ever come to Canada, look me up, eh?

    • How could anyone have something else to watch when Bringing Up Baby is on?!

      Thanks for the encouragement. I really did mean to not spill it yet. Sigh. If this were a ‘choose your own adventure’ novel, I’d go back and see what would happen if I hadn’t told him. Probably uncontrollable nervous laughter or throwing up. Sometimes I think I need therapy. But I’m pretty sure the therapist would tell me to kiss him and then charge me $100.

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