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Have you ever talked to someone and thought, “Okay, this person is special. We get along so well and conversation seems to flow naturally. Let’s throw caution to the wind and see what happens!”
This is the internal dialogue I experienced just a few weeks ago. For me, this sort of reckless abandon, especially for relationships, is very uncharacteristic. Sure, I’ll talk to anyone and meet up for a half an hour coffee date, but throwing all preconceived notions away was something new for me entirely. Such was the case with my newest love interest, James.
He was upfront and blunt and there was nothing I could do to keep him emotionally away with my usual vagueness. He challenged me for bold answers and eventually, I croaked them out. I was surprised by how honest he was and, trying to stay true to my newfound authenticity vow, I did my best to reciprocate.
Constant Snapchats quickly became texts, which somehow morphed into 4-hour long phone calls. I’m one of those people who love to kill time while driving while talking on my Bluetooth. He works away and was happy to oblige. It was like he was in the car beside me, telling me about his childhood and the types of shenanigans he used to get into. We’d never met, but I felt like I knew him. A mutual friend put us in contact with each other. He had asked her if she had any single friends and thankfully, I was the only one she could think of! I’d teasingly asked her the same thing a few months earlier, but wasn’t seriously expecting her to follow through with a decent candidate. She did and picked a guy I normally wouldn’t have given the time of day to.
James and our mutual friend are frackers. Growing up in oil country Canada, I was raised to stay away from riggers and frackers alike, as most girls are. I was taught, “if you want to end up knocked up and basically living alone in a trailer, go for an oil man.” A harsh stereotype, but perpetuated and drilled into my psyche nonetheless. This guy seemed okay though and doesn’t everyone deserve a coffee date? I thought so! We arranged to meet at a small town bakery an equal distance away from our respective cities.
That’s when everything that could go wrong, did. He was late (got stuck behind a long train), the bakery closed early for the day, my contingency plan to go get bubble tea was a bust (they didn’t have the tapioca balls yet). I was a bit shaken, considering this was a small town and we were running out of options. But he was easy to be around and taking a walk in the park is a foolproof bet. We strolled around the perimeter of the manmade lake and chatted about travel. I was pleasantly surprised when he touched the small of my back to move me out of the puddle I was about to walk through. A tingly jolt shot throughout my body with his small touch and I knew I was going to be in trouble.
After our stroll, we decided to warm up with a cup of tea. James surprised me once again when he presented me with my favourite flowers (orchids) in my favourite colour (magenta) outside of the coffee shop. The gift was so thoughtful, I couldn’t help but gush over the flowers and give him a big hug. We ended up talking and driving around so long we missed the movie I planned for us to see. James casually suggested we drive back to his apartment (located over an hour north of the town we were in) and watch a movie there. Against my better judgment, I agreed. The steamy backroad make out had me a bit too fired up for my own good.
No movie would be watched that night. The sex was passionate and inhibited; an unadulterated activity. My mind was dazed and content and I didn’t bother to pay attention to the time. Somehow it was mid-afternoon the next day and we were scrambling to make it in time to the laser tag game our mutual friend and her boyfriend had booked for us.
The rest of the weekend consisted of laser tag, an East Side Mario’s double date supper, a campfire in the mountains, 4 hours at the local swimming pool, racing each other down the highway, lots of smiling and losing track of time. I knew I was completely derailed and that my critical thinking had gone out the window. I guess that’s what happens when you throw caution to the wind. He kept telling me, “this is love, you just have to embrace it.” I knew it was infatuation, but I didn’t correct him.
We said a brief goodbye in a Wal-Mart parking lot and went about our ways. It was the early days and I couldn’t wait to see him again, but knew that it was only the first date and hopefully there would be many more to come.