Monday, August 29, 2005

Meet My Man

Since Victoria asked, it's only fair that I answer.

His name is Billy.

He's a lean six feet-four inches tall.

He has longish curly hair and an amazing smile.

His hands are beautiful.

He's 33. And when he came into the bank this week, my coworkers asked if he was younger than me. I think he looks young, but not that young. But he loves that they thought he was my junior.

He has a job that keeps him working for well over ten hours a day.

But, really, he's an artist. An amazing artist.

He's traveled all over the world.

He's incredibly smart, and uses bigger words than I do.

The first time I met him was well over four years ago. We were both working with a local caterer at a wealthy man's party. We shared cigarettes on the back porch of the venue and I instantly cultivated a crush on him. But I was nineteen and engaged. And I never saw him again until early this year.

But before I met him again, I met his ex-girlfriend. I also met his family - his aunt and uncle, specifically - and began to hang out with them on a regular basis. Through a series of stories fed to me by his ex, I began to piece together an unsavory opinion of him without having met him. My questionable informational sources forced me into believing that he was a commitment-phobe, a charmer, an asshole, a tramp.

Our second encounter ever was at one of my favorite bars. Well after closing time, Pollo, Chuck and I remained in the bar with the owner and his two friends. Billy was one of the friends. He leaned over to Pollo and I, extended his hand and introduced himself. I knew who he was without him having to tell me, my impression of him standing in my way of being friendly. I shook his hand, gave my name and promptly turned away. He tells me now that he thought I was a huge bitch.

Months later, I was invited to basketball night at his aunt & uncle's house. Not a basketball player myself, it was more of an excuse to sit around a fully stocked bar with the ladies while the boys ran around on the court. Billy was there. After only a few evenings, his aunt and uncle had the bright idea that we should date. An idea, by the way, that I vehemently protested.

"I don't think so," I said, rolling my eyes. "I'm a relationship girl. He's a slut."

"No he's not. And you guys would be great together," they argued. "And, anyway, it just takes the right girl."

"Please," I'd respond, "do not feed into my girlish notion that 'the right girl' can tame the bad boy. I don't need that fallacy being reinforced."

I went almost out of my way to not talk to him, even though there was no doubt that I was attracted to him. I knew he was full of charm and character, and from the conversations I'd overheard, I could glean that he was intelligent. But the last thing I needed, I reasoned, was to become another victim of his Venus Fly Trap of smooth talk.

This was about him.

I was wrong.

Something happened. He made me laugh. And I mean really laugh. Repeatedly. And we started talking. Tidbits of conversation within larger conversations eventually gave way to exclusive chats between the two of us. All that I'd heard and assumed about him fell away and I began to judge him based on the impression that he made on me, rather than the impression others made on his behalf. I liked the way he kept me on my toes, challenged me, didn't let me win silly bouts of words. I liked the way he really listened, the width of his smile, the depth of his laugh. The crush I'd just toyed with years ago sprouted again.

His aunt and uncle and my friends Nancy and Alex began to talk about an evening where the six of us would all go out. I was elated to find that Billy and I were being pushed together in a situation outside of basketball night. I was even more thrilled when I found out he'd been playing a part in planning the evening. Because it was obvious that I hated being out of the loop, he teased me with the details of the night, telling me that I'd be filled in, but not until three days prior to the actual outing.

But well before the three-day window approached, he got my number from someone and called. The "reason" behind the call was discuss our triple-date. But near the end of our flirtatious conversation, he asked me if I was free for dinner that weekend. Sitting across the dinner table from my dear friend Laura, my eyes lit up and I grinned from ear to ear, trying to keep my voice calm and unaffected. While we agreed on a date, time and place, my excitement was unparalleled.

I furiously shopped for the right outfit.

I had a great time.

And ever since that date, we've been together.

He is actually a gentleman.

He smokes, too. We smoke the same brand.

He calls me "Baby," "Hot Stuff," and "Sexy." Normally, I hate monikers like that. But for some reason, coming from him, they're endearing.

He tells me I deserve to be treated well.

We take coffee to one another at work. He buys cigarettes for me when he thinks I'm running low. He always asks me if I need anything, if I'm hungry, thirsty, hot or cold. If any of those apply, he takes care of it.

I said, long ago, that I am not an affectionate person, but somehow that doesn't apply to him. Sure, we hold hands, but there's more than that: We're in constant contact. We watch movies and fall asleep wrapped around one another. ("Why is it that all I want to do is lay with you and cuddle?" he said in mock disgust other night. "What is wrong with me!?") Our hands are on one another at almost all times. We are that couple that I hated months ago.

He tells me I fascinate him. But it's me who's fascinated.

His family was right. We are a good match.


The Zombieslayer said...

Funny, I posted somewhat positively on that article back then.

Glad it seems to be working out Laurie. Best of luck to you two.

Kristi said...

oh Laurie.........

I have things I want to say, but can't.......

I hope nothing but the best for you

Melanie said...

I am soo happy for you! I love you sweetie and you deserve nothing short of the best...and it sounds like you found it. I miss you, call me asap!!!!

kate said...

Wow, so you guys met back when you were 19? Maybe it is meant to be Laurie. Good luck. :)

Miss_Vicki said...

That's AWESOME. Does he, um, have a brother??? ;)

Jason said...

Sounds great! Like the rest, I'm happy for you. If you have kids I hope you both give up smoking, though. ;-)

victoria said...

thanks for the mention. and yes, the awful "be careful" because i think women always feel the need to say that to other women, bu tmore importantly...HAVE FUN! you know, im sure, that years into a relationship you look back on the beginning and kinda miss it, so live it up.