I promised myself I wouldn't use this blog to gab about OMGboys.Consider that promise broken.
Because there's this boy. Whom I've known for years, though only peripherally. He dated a friendly acquaintance from the journalism school for a long time. The only interaction I can really remember from college was a 15-minute conversation between two buildings, between two classes, talking for about 15 minutes. He swears he asked me out once. I beg to differ. But that's neither here nor there.
A couple of months ago, I got a Facebook message saying he'd be in Chicago for New Year's, and he invited me to come out with them while he was here. And I'm 100 percent in favor of potentially awkward situations. So of course I went to meet him and his friends in Andersonville for dinner. And I showed up with bells on and my bitch switch in the up position. We spent the entire night taking horrific cheap shots at each other. Every word out of his mouth invited verbal sniper fire from me, and likewise for him. (But of course, I'm cleverer than him.) The end of the night found him securely in my friend zone; it was great catching up, and he's an attractive guy, but our meeting stirred nothing in me. It did, however, rekindle our online correspondence, which started at Facebook and of course progressed to e-mail, instant message and Twitter as time went by. And as I am wont to do, communication led to flirtation. I can't help myself. (See also: every other disastrous dating situation I've gotten myself into during the past nine months.)
You see where this is going, of course. Fast-forward to this weekend, please. Thursday night, this fellow met me in the West Loop for a Yelp party. We danced to bad '90s music, he met most of my friends, we played in the rain. He drank a lot (it was free). Also, he's occasionally a borderline alcoholic, in the way that most guys in their mid-20s are. We were still horrible to each other — what a third-grade thing to do, kicking the shins of the boy you like. The difference between Thursday night and our previous meeting: sexual tension. And lots of it. By the time he, a Yelp girlfriend and I were back at his friends' apartment, our interaction had devolved into poking and slapping at each other, coupled with him berating me for all my poor dating choices in the recent past. (I get it! OK!) And by the time my girlfriend and I decided we were tired of drinking lukewarm water and watching Private Practice reruns when we could be asleep, he was drunk enough to make a move. He walked us downstairs, conspicuously demanded that my friend wait outside, then grabbed me and kissed me. And I kissed back, partly out of shock and partly because I…can't really resist a makeout. Sue me. But at that point, I didn't feel anything. The next day, he went out boozing for eight hours straight and sent me ludicrous drunken text messages (I stopped counting at 20). I was irked when I woke up but agreed to let him redeem himself. So we met for dinner. And it was…perfect. I made fun of the previous night's antics for most of the evening, but then I got half-drunk and started feeling sleepy. I can't sustain the barbs when my energy flags. So after two mojitos and one incredibly potent white cosmopolitan, we started being…nice to each other. Right around the time when his friends decided they didn't want him in their crowded apartment for the night. Great. Well, I had an air mattress and was determined to use it. We walked back to my apartment and set up his bed. He picked up my guitar and started playing Death Cab songs while I washed my face, and after listening for a while, I offered to play him something without even thinking about it. He jumped into bed and pulled the covers up to his chin like a little boy at bedtime, waiting for a story. I flipped through my paltry songbook and picked out Sheryl Crow's "The First Cut Is the Deepest." The guitar was…atrocious. I'm really not good at it, especially compared to him. But I fearlessly sang my heart out, half-drunk, at 1:30 a.m. I sang for him. Oh dear. The next hour or so, we were like kids at a slumber party, chatting and making stupid jokes through the walls. Every time I was about to drift off, he piped up with some other question or joke, and that got us talking again. He told me I was extraordinary, that I was the kind of person who could really make his life better. That my voice was tremendous. Things that made me pull the comforter over my head and kick the covers around with glee. And suddenly, I found myself wishing he wasn't in the other room. I didn't want sex; I didn't want to make out. I just wanted to take the wall down between us. But I couldn't. I didn't know where it would lead, and that scared me. This morning, we drank orange juice and listened to music until his friend came to pick him up; he kissed me on the cheek and we made plans see each other at the alumni bar for a basketball game before his flight back home.
How do you think this ends? The afternoon was made up of bloody Marys, basketball and flirtation. Our team won, too — I felt like a real fan today, yelling the fight song and clapping along with the rest of the alumni. Slightly buzzed (probably me more than him), snow blowing in our faces, we huddled together on the El platform until the train arrived. Then it hit me that the weekend was over. And that I…am going to miss him. I'll see him again in April around both our birthdays, and even before this weekend had happened, we had planned to spend most of that time together. It is ticketed and locked in. A lot can happen in 48 hours, much less 48 days. My track record with men and the Internet is not exactly stellar. So I'm not sure what lies ahead. But it was an interesting weekend. The aftermath of which involved eating cookies for dinner.
So there's that.