Since the early autumn, when Chris had approached me with the idea of being in his SHORT FILM (happy, Kevin?), we had begun trading emails on a regular basis. We'd rap about stuff like movies and music, and awesome dating videos from the 80's. Like this one -
The communication was so regular and easy that, one day, when I noticed I hadn't heard from him in a couple of days, I wondered if something was wrong. The next morning I got an email from him asking, "Did I make things weird with my last email?"
"No..." I wrote back, confused. "Why would your opinion about Top Gun make things weird?"
Turn out, Chris had written me an email a couple days prior, in which he offered to come up to Hayward to take me out on a date. An email which had somehow gotten filtered straight into my spam box. I was not only impressed with the date offer - he was totally down to drive three and half hours north, procure a hotel room for himself, and squire me around a strange town just for the chance to meet up in person - but also with his persistence. Other guys would have assumed that my lack of response was a no and would have given up. I was starting to see, however, that that just wasn't Chris. And I liked that.
So I said yes. Chris' emails and texts could make me laugh out loud, and our conversations were easy...I didn't analyze every single word I wrote, wondering if it was
going to sound like this or make him think that or whatever. I was just
me, and it was easy to be that way because he always responded
positively to it. And it was so fun, our emails - I knew that, no matter what, we were at least going to have a good time getting to know each other better.
Around the same time, I was in the middle of a string of chemistry-drunken dates with Handsome Rugged Outdoorsman Brad. He would come over, one of us would make dinner while the other opened a bottle of wine, and the evening would lead to us sitting in front of a roaring fire, talking for hours while Ray LaMontagne played in the background. It was ridiculous. The only way those date scenarios could have been scripted any better is if he
pulled out a chapbook of poems he had written about me and announced that he had just sold them
to folk singer Greg Brown.
The more I got to know Brad, the more I found that I genuinely enjoyed
his company. He was a charming storyteller, self-assured with a bit of a
swagger, intense yet affable, and had the kind of magnetism where, if
you put the two of us in a room together, someone was probably gonna get
I didn't, though.
For the record.
So there I was, in probably the most perfect situation I could have ever imagined in the entire realm of my dating imagination - two ridiculously great men who wanted to go on actual, grown-up dates so we could actually get to know each other. And I was ready for this shit. I was ready to finally go on dates with super awesome guys and just enjoy it, instead of melting down into a hurricane of anxiety and self-doubt, wondering what the catch was. I was going to go on my date with Chris and enjoy my date with Chris. I was going to go on another date with Brad and enjoy that date with Brad. I wasn't going to worry about sizing them up against each other, or lock myself into a room until I figured out whom I liked more, or analyze every little thing about each guy after each date. I was going to just sit back and enjoy the process, and know that all the work I had done that summer would lead me to the perfect match...and if it was one of these guys, awesome. If it was neither, then awesome (and thank you universe, for the great dates in the meantime).
So the Friday that Chris was coming up for our date finally arrived. Having taken the afternoon off (I know, right? I think a lot of girls will relate to the thing where we know that we're someone flying across the world just for an hour or two of our company, but when it actually happens, when a guy goes seriously out of his way for us, but after being conditioned by a history of lazy suitors and disastrous dates, it's kind of like, "Really? Really, you want to do that? And you're not going to get all 10th Grade Health Class Educational Film on me and tell me that I have to put out now since you paid for my lobster dinner?"), Chris told me that he would be arriving in Hayward fairly early, which I told him would be perfect timing for us to walk over to the Angry Minnow for Angry Hour (yeah. They call it that there). And I was excited. The only thing I was a little worried about was the chemistry. I knew from Chris' Facebook that he was a good-looking guy, but god...how dreadful would it be if he drove all the way up to Hayward and
paid for a hotel room and then we had absolutely no desire to kiss each
other, ever? We didn't have to fall in love with each other at first sight or anything...I just wanted there to be some attraction, yeah?
So sometime that late afternoon, I had just finished getting ready - and I was lookin' goooood, I will say. I won't say that often, but that day? Fuck yes I was! - when I heard someone coming up the steps outside. Taking a deep breath, I waited for the knock, and then like a total dork, I waited three beats before walking over to the door. I swung the door open, found Chris standing on my front stoop, and a voice inside my head said, "Oh, Hello! It's you! What the fuck took you so long?"
<-- Part Two
What's happening here? Take me back to the beginning!