It just occurred to me that I hadn’t written a proper update about how my weekend with Steven was. That is terrible of me. May I be the first to issue a heartfelt mea culpa.
So, in essence, it was…amazing.
Keep in mind, I had spent the week prior to his arrival wound tighter than an 8-day clock. There was so much to do: cleaning, menu planning, cleaning, loads of laundry and more cleaning…which is to say nothing of the personal grooming. I went to get my hooves polished, shaved my legs for the first time in eons, and spent at least one evening practicing the perfect smoky eye.
Going into it, what I dreaded was that the anticipation was going to prove to be entirely out of whack with the reality. And I was mostly correct about that. I mean, the build-up rarely matches the reality, right? But that’s okay.
I mean, here we were, having had one sweet kiss in the early hours of Easter morning, and then not seeing each other for almost a whole month. During that time, we decided to go ahead and try out this whole relationship thing, and told each other that we loved one another. But also in that time, we talked a lot about what it would be like to finally see each other again.
“I doubt you’ll make it out of the parking garage before I just maul you to death,” I’d told him. I mean, I didn’t think it was going to be some kind of 9 1/2 Weeks shit, but I thought it’d be intense.
And…it wasn’t. He called to tell me he was parked outside on the street, and I practically floated downstairs to let him in. Okay, I thought, so he parked on the street. In full view. So if we were going to embrace each other and kiss madly in the street, it was going to, at the very least, gross out every gay boy walking his dog in my neighborhood, giving them yet another reason to say under their breath, “Okay, breeders, we get it.”
I toddled (in too-high gladiator wedges that made my feet look like two hams caught in a fishing net)
out to see him, and found him standing on the sidewalk, cigarette and plastic grocery bag full of clean clothes in one hand, his cell phone in the other. Like an asshole, I waved at him…as if he were standing 50 feet away instead of right there in front of me.
His face acknowledged me, but he was on the phone with his daughter, who had called him to say goodnight. (Awwwww.) He smiled, leaned to very demurely (read: quietly) kiss me and finished up the convo with his kiddos.
Because I am nothing if not awkward, I stood by, rocking back and forth, wondering what in the hell I was supposed to do. Go back inside and give the man some privacy? No – possibly could seem dismissive. Go over to him and rest my head silently on his shoulder? Nah – potentially smothering. Or stand there and pretend to scan the street for any and all interesting activity while he finished his conversation? (I went with the last option.)
My social awkwardness aside,
we still had a great weekend, because I think we were just happy to be together. That’s basically what it’s going to come down to: one weekend a month we get with each other. So we’ve got to make it count…and then communicate like crazy for the other 28 days.
I will interject here that my anxiety is still really, really not good at this point. When we went to the mall to pick out some presents for his kids, I had a full-blown anxiety attack. (Had it been a panic attack, which is much worse, I would have had to just turn around and leave. No question. A chocolate covered Alex Skarsgard could have awaited me, and I would have just had to pass.)
My skin was flushed, my breathing shallow. I was sweaty and clammy and kept balling up my fists. It felt like I was being hunted; that somewhere in that crowd of thousands, there was a sniper and if he found me, I was a goner. That’s literally what it felt like. My adrenaline was pumping. I wanted very much to just cry my eyes out. And Steven noticed.
Vodka was so good for my anxiety…it just wasn’t good for me.
If these attacks only happened once a month or so, I could deal with it. After all, some of that’s just life. You know, shit happens. But when they’re happening twice in one weekend (like they did when I was alone this last weekend) then it becomes a bit more unbearable. You want them to go away. And mostly, I don’t want them creeping up in my brand-new, beautiful relationship and fucking things all to hell.
Anyway: if you aren’t aware, spending a weekend with someone is a really good way to quickly discern what your differences are. As most of you know (or could guess), I sleep like Rip Van Winkle on the weekends; Steven does not. In fact, the Saturday morning he was here, I was awakened at 6 am. “Where’s the coffee?” he wanted to know. I grumbled at him.
(The grumbling? Is a thing of mine. I do it when I’m alone, too – and I do it until around 10 am. This includes workdays. It also includes grumbling at the cats who dare to meow at me for food. I issue this stream of continuous grumblings to let potential predators know not to fuck with me, lest I rip their faces off.)
So by 7:15 that early Saturday morning, I had been deliciously defiled already
and was standing over a stove cooking bacon & eggs for my beloved and me. I was literally so tired I could have cried. And not only does Steven awaken at ungodly hours, he also doesn’t believe in naps. Which is almost a sacrilege to me. I mean, I could lay down on the hood of a hot car in August and find a way to grab some zzzzzs. This bitch can sleep! (Unless someone is snoring next to me. Then all bets are off.)
Other things a weekend together taught me about Steven: he doesn’t like watching DVRd episodes of General Hospital. (Fair enough.) He *does* enjoy watching obscure Neilsen bombs on SpikeTV about how to renovate your 1974 Bronco. And surfing documentaries. And wilderness survivalist shows.
He also likes my cooking (but will not touch a salad, regardless of the delicious dressing I used on it, which can only be purchased at Central Market). He likes foot rubs. He walked down 3 flights of stairs almost every hour so he could take a smoke break. He drinks his coffee black. He thinks nothing of wearing a McLovin t-shirt out & about.
He’ll say “I love you” to me in front of my friends. He and said friend of mine got on like gangbusters when they met, which was a relief. “He’s adorable,” she later told me. (To contrast, she once told me about Paolo: “If you bring that motherfucker anywhere near me again, I will punch him in the throat.”)
I have my newfound sobriety to thank for the fact that I now worry over every little thing (which is still preferable to being too drunk to remember it or even care). But I’ve been positively neurotic when it comes to our differences. Are they dealbreakers? Am I going to drive him crazy? And the most definitive answer I can come up with is, “Eh. We’ll see.”
In that regard, I’m much more zen about shit now than I was 10+ years ago, but I attribute that to age and maturity, not so much sobriety. I certainly hope he doesn’t look over one day and think, “God, this bitch is about to drive me crazy.” Or hell, maybe he thought that when he was here but loves me anyway. There’s no real way to know.
I mean, we’re just so different.
- I’m a Libertarian; he claims to hate politics (but in the true fashion of those who claim to hate politics, spends an inordinate amount of time lambasting establishment Republicans).
- I’m a night owl; he’s a morning person.
- I have no discernable style or persona; he’s like the broken condom baby of a hipster and a lumberjack.
- I refuse to listen to Top 40 music; he probably knows the lyrics to the latest Ke$ha song.
- I’m melodramatic; he’s no-bullshit.
- I can’t even look at a cookie without gaining weight; he eats like a field hand.
- I’m self-conscious; he had no problem telling me I was out of toilet paper in the guest bathroom.
- My dream method of transportation: a Range Rover; his dream method of transportation: a European motorcycle.
- I need constant verbal reassurance; he doesn’t.
- I like snuggling; he gets bored after 15 minutes.
- I’m a nervous Nellie; he’s brazen.
- I could stare at a wall for hours; he needs constant activity.
- I’m terrified of water; he surfs.
- I have no earthly idea what to do with or around kids; he has 2 of them.
- I refuse to eat at McDonald’s; he ate 4 McDonald’s cheeseburgers in a 10 hour period…just this week.
- I am averse to anything involving sunlight; he loves being outside.
But! Hallelujah, we have things in common.
- We’re both sober
- We both like the Dallas Cowboys
- We grew up in the same town
- Our parents are both still married to each other
- We both have good senses of humor
- We both like action movies
- We agree on Christina Hendricks
- We’re both verbally demonstrative about our feelings for the other person
- We both think cheating is bad
- Our favorite collective word is “fuck”
- We both like critters
- We’re both Southern (borderline redneck)
- We make the other one laugh
- We’re both Christians
- We’re both totally in favor of marriage equality
- We both like Big Head Todd and The Monsters
- We both talk about the future without freaking the other one out
- We’re both completely, disgustingly smitten with each other (I think. Well, I am, at least. I’m pretty sure he luffs me.)
What I’m saying is, after Parker, I thought that any differences were sure signs of a certain, impending hell. But I’m not sure that’s the case.
Steven once told me, “I’ll keep you on your toes.” And I believe him. And want him to. So what I’m saying is, I think there’s a difference between “too different to work” and “different enough to keep it interesting.” Because I hope, after it’s all said and done, that we have a mutual respect for each other regarding our differences. And that we can figure out a way to incorporate each other’s preferences and in the end, we both win. That’s my hope anyway.
Or if not, we can just solve everything with sex.