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Practice Date

One of my favorite things about him is his ready smile. My first conversation with him went like this: he popped up on my IM screen and asked if I wanted to talk. And he smiled. A colon and half a parentheses.

Reading his profile, I found I was safe. I was across the country from him and he was 17. I tend to like older, think Robert Redford, not young Leonardo DiCaprio. Just to be absolutely sure though, I told him what I told everyone online. "Sure, just don't flirt with me or ask me out. "

And we talked. Thru the seasons. We talked about philosophy, problems and silliness. Shared brief glimpses of the soul in trivial conversation. And exchanged smiles and hugs. Online. We talked through out his transition from high school and college. We talked through out my transition from captured submissive in an abusive relationship with someone older - slightly - 33 - to freedom and recapturing true self. Finding all our strange coincidences and connections.

And I moved back to my home state late january before last - to one town away from him. In the months that followed, I continued the growth I'd started in CA since breaking up with my ex, regaining my freedom and independence, my sense of self. He was now -and is - attending Maryland.. And we continued talking. We had started flirted. Which, he is usually against, unless it it leads to something - a relationship. But he found himself flirting with me. I'm fairly shy. But I found I was flirting too. And I would never, if asked, say that I would ask someone out. For the first time. And - I didn't with Mike. I asked him out on a pretend date.

I'd seen pictures of him - he is very, very cute. I would joke about him having girls all over him. And he'd say not that he'd noticed. He's very shy around girls. So I said, well then go out with me on a 'practice date'. And hey, when girls see you with another girl, that's when they really become interested. He didn't of course take me seriously. He'd never asked me out because he thought I'd say no.

He'd captured my heart online, a year back when he said we should go out sometime for ice-cream. Ice-cream! And he kept with one coincidence and shared connection/silliness after another. With uncovering the depth of his sweetness. With how important relationships are to him. His mix of intelligence and silliness. Patience and the ready passion for what he believed in. But he wasn't real. He was words in a little box. His was a smile made of a semi colon and half a parentheses.

So. I met him and he said I looked exactly as he'd imagined me. And he was solid. Tangible. Not just words in a little box, but a gentle voiced guy. Not just a typed smile, but a ready curve of sweet lips. Revealing small, sharp teeth and a pierced tongue. And it reached his eyes. And I knew. I recognized him at first sight. Recognized him as someone I could fall in love with. It remained to be seen whether or not I would allow myself to.

And he found himself falling too.

I'd 'met my match'. :P

We saw a movie and ate and then just like something out of dream, (with a definite touch of amines), we drove to the park as the day neared its end and he pulled out his guitar and played like an ancient bard. Neoclassical he calls it. I imagined I had stepped into some dream of medieval age as we sat in the green sunlight, the fading sun on the lake behind us.

And a few days later we met again and he told me he loved me asked me to be his girlfriend - not a practice one, not in pretend, but for real and I realized that the dream, unlike that first day had not faded.

Like all females, I've had poetry written for me, I've had professions of love and proposals of marriage. But I finally fell. Against all I set out to avoid over all barriers and fortresses despite - life - I slid tumbled fell helplessly into his heart. I fell and he was there to catch me because he had fallen too.

Its over 14 months later now, and we still miss each other when we are apart. Very much in love, we shunned Valentine's Day. A day whose roots have faded into obscurity. And now we are manipulated by the greeting card companies which have grown fat on our utter willingness to be sheep. Meanwhile diamond manufacturers tell us we really don't love our loved ones if we don't say it with diamonds! Do you realize society and media pulls the strings, and we puppets that we are - are romantic - on cue? And yes I like romance - I'm a total romantic - but who wants manipulated romance? Who wants to be bought flowers or given presents by someone who is doing it because he feels he has to? Sometimes because he fears not to? (not that everyone does)

Not to knock Valentine's Day. It is a day set aside for lovers. Named after someone who married lovers in secret at a time when the Emperor Claudius felt that married men make bad soldiers. We just make every day Valentine's. So its not so much shunning as not differentiating it from every other day. And it is two way. I don't expect him to be the only one. To write me poetry, to send me flowers, to create romantic evenings. I think that's an unfair expectation. And I love doing these things. Giving massages, and smooches, 'affectioning'', each touch an expression. Most romantic of all is this guy I can be silly with, can be myself with, who looks into my eyes and holds my gaze. A love which matches my ideals, a guy who is my hero - always saving the day with smooches and silliness. No matter what the day,

We ignore it because we are romantic naturally. He is always holding my hand, and in touch with me, always kissing me and feels hurt if I sleep away from him. He says I love you often and means it. A very left brained guy, he is going to school majoring in computer science and physics - yet he's written me a poem and sweet e-mails. And all on days not marked on a calendar. And it is him who has brought up the subject of the future...family.

So many talk of the excitement of first time, or of the attention you get from dating many. I would always choose Mike over a thousand exciting first times. I choose a thousand daily affections, soft touch in a darkened room, his sweet soft voice when I am feeling alone saying that word every woman wants to hear in her heart of hearts. 'Moo.'

Not many women are comfortable enough with themselves to admit that last.

And not many guys are comfortable enough with such silly stuffs.

Yes, one of my favorite things about him is his smile. And he smiled. A colon and half a parenthesis.

And he smiled. A ready curve of lips. Revealing small sharp teeth and a pierced tongue. And it reached his eyes. And with them he reached for my heart. And I gave it to him. Forever. For as long as he chooses to accept my offering. He returned in kind, stepping out of his little box and into my heart.

I don't know what the future will bring, I only know he smiled. And the rest is history.

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