Ex-BF v. 2.0 is like a bad case of herpes -- he just keeps popping up to irritate me when I least expect it.
If you're my Facebook friend, you've already seen this: Ex-BF v. 2.0 bad mouthing me on his blog.
EDIT: Apparently enough of you have sent him hate mail to where he closed access to the blog. So if you didn't get a chance to read it, just know he called me fat and ugly.
My mother actually alerted me to that post -- I hadn't cared enough to look at his blog in months, so I was blissfully unaware. Apparently, my dad stumbled across it somehow, shared it with my mother, and then the two of them decided I should know what he was writing.
Now, I'm not going to turn this into a Blogosphere Jerry Springer episode with the requisite virtual chair-throwing and hair-pulling. I'm too classy to wade in shit and start slinging it around (you have to be in my inner circle with access to my super secret private blog if you want to read my angry screed on the subject). I will, however, say the following things about that blog post: A) "ran into Ex Katie" translates to "showed up at my apartment unannounced and uninvited," B) "girl in a black dress at a bar" translates to "I was wearing the flannel leopard print pajamas my mom got me for Christmas and was in my glasses with my hair in a bun because it was my off day and I hadn't showered," and C) I'm not going to come right out and say who, but one of the two of us needs remedial English classes (it isn't me).
I've been trying to not let it get to me, but I haven't been very successful. The man dated me for two years and knew exactly what insecurities to zero in on to do the most damage. Not gonna lie -- it hurt. And combined with me slowly learning that, unfortunately, you can't force people to love you, it utterly destroyed the confidence I've been working for months to build.
So when I got an OkCupid e-mail with the subject line,"So, you seem flippin' awesome," it couldn't have been better timed. My weary soul needed a boy to be nice to me.
And a nice boy he truly seemed! The Texas transplant, who I'm going to shorten to "Tex" because, well, that's just an awesome nickname, has only been officially living in D.C. since April, having interned here in past years. He grew up in Dallas, and Texas holds a special place in his heart.
Tex and I e-mailed back and forth briefly before we realized we were both going to be in town over the holiday weekend. I proposed that we meet Sunday night for a drink and asked him if there were a neighborhood he'd like to explore.
"No no, of course not," he responded. "It depends on you, m'lady. I'm a Southern gentleman, after all."
That stressed me out a tiny bit -- when presented with endless options, I can get easily overwhelmed. I'm much more comfortable choosing from a limited list. But the completely adorable nature of that sentence was not lost on me.
In the end, I suggested going to Jaleo in Chinatown so we could sit outside in the warm summer air and sip sangria, which I'd been craving. We agreed to meet at the Chinatown Metro station at 8 p.m. and go from there.
I was kind of in a tizzy getting ready for this thing. Like I said, Ex-BF v. 2.0's blog post was the equivalent of a drive-by shooting, and my self-confidence was the casualty. I fretted over every little bit of my appearance. I ultimately ended up in an emerald green cotton dress with a white camisole underneath (so as to avoid out-of-control cleavage), with my hair being uncharacteristically cooperative for as humid as it was outside.
Moreover, I was uncharacteristically early. I was standing at the top of the Chinatown Metro escalators by 10 'til 8. And while I was put together on the outside, inside I was a fucking mess. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin -- the ugliest girl in D.C. I had half a mind to call Tex and tell him to forget about the whole thing.
But then I spotted Tex wandering around near the Chinatown arch. He was just as cute as his pictures, with smooth olive-toned skin and the kind of curly dark hair that I really go for.
That made me even more nervous! Agghhh! I have been on my fair share of dates with gorgeous men, but in that moment I was SO not in the correct mental state to handle it.
I collected myself then walked over toward him. "Hey," I said hesitantly when he looked in my direction and we made eye contact. I scanned his face for signs of disappointment with me.
"Hey!" Tex said, opening his arms for an embrace.
"OK, yeah, let's hug it out," I said awkwardly... I was so sure he was going to be all, "um, no thank you" that the hug came as a huge shock!
We started talking and walking in the direction of Jaleo... and we didn't stop. Tex and I had instant chemistry, at least on a verbal level. The conversation flowed naturally, starting with how we'd gotten there (he'd cabbed) to how our various days went (mine was fine; he'd had to work) and a brief touch on our jobs. It turns out the reason he moved to town is because he's helping out his uncle with a family business while he waits to hear back from the Air Force or the Marines on whether he's been accepted to start becoming an officer. We'll talk more on that in a minute.
Anyway, my hope was that we'd be able to get a table outside, but Jaleo was crowded, so we settled for a spot standing near the bar. Eventually, two people who were seated on bar stools left, and Tex and I were able to snag their spot.
The conversation continued to flow amazingly well. I know the hour between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. happened because it had to have happened -- time goes by in the same manner no matter where you are. But I was so engrossed in everything Tex had to say that I didn't even notice the sun slowly setting behind us.
Tex and I had a surprising amount in common for people whose lives have such different beginnings -- he was born in India and lived in Saudi Arabia before moving to Texas, and I, of course, was firmly rooted in Ohio. But we both come from really close-knit families, where we have little brothers who are significantly younger than we are and for whom we took an almost parental role in their upbringing. We both love hipster music but hate hipster pretension. Additionally, Tex is decidedly NOT a vegetarian (YAY).
But more than any of that, here's what we really connected on: Tex and I are what I would call "passion-driven" people. For me, it's my writing -- if I don't have access to a computer, or a journal, or SOMETHING, I wither a little inside. And for him, it was his drive to become a service member. He really values the American ideal of "freedom" more than just as a political buzzword -- he's lived in places where it's scarce, and he REALLY appreciates it, enough to fight for it. So although our things are so totally different, we sort of "got" each other.
I should note, also, that he started gently touching me, either my forearm or my knee, when it seemed right to do so during our conversation. "He really likes me!" my insides were trumpeting!
After a while, my body started to betray me -- my 5 a.m. work shifts make me all tuckered out by approximately 9:30, so once the date rolled past the 10 p.m. hour I was jolted back into time awareness by my circadian rhythm telling me I should get a bit of shut-eye. (Actually, this 5 a.m. shift is a blessing because it provides me with the perfect out for a date so that I can leave either when things are awful or when they're going well and I don't want to overdo it.)
Tex walked me back to the Metro. He lives in Foggy Bottom, which necessitated taking the Red Line, and of course all I needed was the Yellow Line back to Crystal City. We said goodbye at the escalator that would take me down to the Yellow/Green Line platform.
"Hey, I had fun!" I said.
"I did too," Tex said.
"Hang out again sometime?" I asked.
"Definitely!" he said.
And once again, he hugged me. I was relieved he didn't go in for a kiss -- given my mental state, I just wasn't ready to take it to that level yet, which is funny for me of all people to say, I know. But Tex of course is a Southern gentleman, so it wasn't an issue.
I rode home on the Metro feeling happy and serene. I kind of needed the date to go well. I smiled as I walked the seven blocks between my stop and my apartment...
BUT WHEN I GOT INSIDE I WENT TO THE BATHROOM TO WASH MY FACE AND GASPED IN HORROR: A long dark smudge of some sort of grit or dirt was smeared across my chin. No word on how long it had been there. Whole date? Part of date? Who the fuck knows!?!?!? I was so engrossed in our conversation I didn't find an excuse to go to the fucking bathroom. And Tex either figured it was a permanent fixture on my face, or he was too much of a polite Southern gentleman to point it out.
WHY!?!??! WHY WAS THAT NECESSARY, ON A PERFECTLY GOOD DATE??? DO THE TRAVESTIES OF MY LIFE NEVER END?!??!?!?!??!
Sigh. I continued washing my face and shook off the moment of mortification. Just then, I heard my phone beep with a text message in the other room. I went to look at it.
It was from Tex: "Just wanted to make sure you made it home alright!"
"Yes, I am safe in my apartment and in my pajamas! I had fun tonight!" I texted back.
"I did too," Tex wrote. "By the way, did I tell you how pretty you looked tonight?"
Well, now you just did, I thought, smiling to myself. And thank you, because it was just what I needed to hear.
Kinda like this one, guys. He was everything I wanted and at just the right time. That's not to dismiss the Yellow Caution Lights: He's youngish -- two years my junior. And if he gets into the Air Force, who knows where he'll get shipped, which would certainly be problematic for anything we might be starting. But I'm willing to take things one day at a time and just see where they lead.