Part I- Lift Off I met a guy--a cute guy--at a Stevie Wonder party. It's a once a year shindig in New York where everyone who's anyone and loves Stevie gets together in a massive warehouse to dance for hours. Every person--male and female– I've ever met at one of these parties has been a great individual. So I meet this guy and we chat. He's got great conversation, only one dimple and a smile just made for dropping panties--and he seems to be wholly unaware of this. His laughter makes me laugh. All good signs.
So we exchange numbers. Our first conversation lasts an hour. We text compulsively. A week or so later our schedules finally calm enough for us to make a lunch date. I realize I'm nervous. Really nervous. This is very very good and very very bad too. It's been years since I've liked anyone other than Mr. Ex. He made me goo goobs of nervous and no one has affected me the same way since--until now. I don't like this feeling. I like to be in control. I debate canceling the date until Penelope, my NY bestest, talks me out of it.
I go on the date. I order salad and can't finish my food because I am just that jittery. I realize that Mr. Great Conversation has the longest eyelashes I've ever seen on a man. They make his eyes beautiful. I could stare at him all day. I sigh outloud and I can feel my face burning. I am blushing. My normally deep-for-a-woman voice is girlish and light. I twirl my hair over dessert. I've got it bad. He asks me a question about my last relationship and it catches me off-guard. I spill half a glass of water down the front of my sweater. (Told you I was nervous.) I am beyond embarrassed. All I can think is: "He is never going to call now." I am being such a girl.
He calls the next day from work. We schedule to meet again on date night (Friday.) We go to my favorite restaurant. It's outdoors, under a tent, candlelit. As we sip our drinks, rain begins to fall, the tap, tap, tap of the water hitting the tent just right. It was like a scene straight out of love jones. I debate inviting him to my house after "just to talk" if only to play out the fairytale romance of it all.
He asks me what my sexual fetishes are. It catches me off guard. I realize that this is only Date 2 and here he is asking me about sex (bad sign), but there is no way I'm ruining the oh-so-romantic moment with my sometimes prudish, Southern Belle tendencies. That and I was halfway through my second coconut martini. Oh, and even though it's just the second date, I have already decided that if this man doesn't say anything stupid, that I will envelop him someday. Likely sooner than later.
"I got this thing for..." I laugh 'cause I can't believe I'm about to confess this to a virtual stranger. "Like chains.... But like necklaces on men," I add quickly. "Not kinky, bondage, tie-me-up type chains."
He sips his wine, studies me, and leans back in his chair (you know that sexy man- sprawl they do). "What is it about chains?" he asks, eye-ing me now, smirking as he waits for my answer. “Sometimes I like to bite em.... Sometimes I like to pull em... It keeps the man close. That's sexy to me."
He smirks. "You have control issues." A statement not a question. I freely admit to him that I do. "But you like to be manhandled too, huh?"
He’s got this habit of catching me off guard. Instead of spilling my drink, I laugh until I am near-tears. I avoid answering the question and he does’t press the issue. He hands me a napkin and just when I think he is going to switch the subject, he tells me he already knows the answer.
He asks for the check, pays the bill. He– a driver– asks how I am getting home. I tell him I'll take the subway. He notes that it's after midnight.
And it all goes downhill from here.