That Time I Didn’t Fall In Love On A Plane

We talked a lot, starting with more about our jobs and interests.  He mentioned he was taking acting classes, which, after nearly 10 years of dating in LA, shot up a flaming red flag in my brain, but I shrugged it off when he said it was just for fun.  We expanded into the other getting-to-know you topics, from where we were from, how we grew up (both only children), to some tales about our families, studies in college, places we’ve traveled, our thoughts on dogs (both big fans), movies, TV shows, and eventually, we got to dating.

“I hate it.” I admitted.  “I open Bumble, swipe twice and I’m already over it.  It just takes so much to even get to the point you’re in a conversation that’s interesting enough that you make plans with a person.  And then when you actually DO meet, that there’s any sort of chemistry to go on.”

He shared my sentiment and we ended up recounting some of our recent dating experiences.  He explained how he tended to stay in things that he knew weren’t working for too long, I told him about my inability to find someone where attraction and interest was mutual, and that was actually on the same page as me.  We even talked about marriage and kids.

Throughout all this, he’d wordlessly reach over and open the shade over the window whenever there was turbulence so I could see we were still safely up in the air and not plummeting towards earth.  Applying his knowledge of my fear of flying to comfort me in such a subtle way without missing a beat hit me straight in the ovaries and I again asked myself what the fuck was happening.  Look, I wasn’t naive enough, even at this point of fluffy pink brain fog, to think that this was going to be some amazing love story.  But I was thinking that it was pretty cool so far.

Eventually conversation slowed and I grabbed my book, and he nodded in and out of sleep.  He’d wake up every once in awhile to murmur a comment or question to me, so quietly and sleep clogged that I’d have to lean down to hear him.  It was weirdly intimate.  I mean, think about it. Usually the only time you have pillow talk is in a situation where you’re as familiar as you can possibly get with another person, and this felt like pillow talk with a total stranger. It was an incredibly strange feeling.

Are you puking yet?  Don’t worry, I’m almost done with the cute shit.

As we start our descent, there’s more small talk and I wonder how this is gonna end.

On a slight, but important, tangent, this is my first time in NYC navigating transportation by myself.  Yeah yeah, shut up.  This fact prompted my next question.

“Is it hard to actually find and meet up with your Uber from this airport?  Am I better off just catching a cab out of here?”

“We can split one.”

Hmm!…

“Are you on the way to midtown?”

“Sure.”

I have a flash of hesitance – this suspended reality connection in a giant metal tube is now spilling into the real world, whatever that ends up meaning.  I go with it.

I order the Uber (I offered – I’m on a work trip and can expense these things).  When we emerge from the airport and I glance around, my sense of direction missing since birth, he motions for my phone and takes charge of finding our Uber.  He picks up my luggage and I follow him through clusters of people, looking like the human embodiment of the heart eyes emoji.

As we climb in the back seat, I have a thought.  We are sharing a cab together after talking for a 6 hour flight.  Does homeboy think he’s coming back to my hotel with me?

OK, sharing time.  If you’re wondering why I’m mentally raining on the love parade by questioning his motives, I want to make it clear that I’m not a girl on a moral high horse who’s against two adults getting right to business.  That said, I, at my core, am terribly uncomfortable with people I don’t know well enough to be convinced that they aren’t an ax murderer.  Even the hottest guy can potentially have some sinister shit up his sleeve, and years of my mom drilling that into my head and making me watch damsel in distress Lifetime movies have made me err on the side of at least SOME caution.  Moral of the story, I was not taking this dude to my hotel room.  Cue Monica’s “I don’t get down on the first night.”

 

 

Now that that’s out of the way, back to the story.

I made another comment about him being able to get to his final destination after our Uber and I figured that was probably sending a clear enough message.

The ride into midtown was long.  I find out he’s also a musician and when he answers his cell phone, he starts speaking another language.  Keep on adding to the hot but probably a bad idea factor, why don’t you.

Once we pull up to my hotel, he gets out of the car with me, unloads my luggage, puts it on the sidewalk and the Uber takes off.  I give him one of those hug-you-like-I-mean-it hugs and I tell him how amazing it’s been to meet him and how much fun I had with him.  He leans in and kisses me.

It’s this point of the story that you’ll hate me for a second:  I freeze.

I wasn’t opposed to it at all, but I’m also not sure where he’s trying to go with this.  I kiss him, but I end it fast.

“I’m weird.  I take a little bit to warm up to people when I first meet them.  I don’t mean to be…weird.” Yeah, that whole talking thing again. Told you I’m not awesome at it.

We recover quickly and he says he’ll be in the area again the following night after his acting class if I’d like to meet up and hang out.  I tell him I would, take his number and we agree to meet up after I’m done with work and he’s done reciting Shakespeare.  I check into my hotel and promptly call Kim to get her opinion on whether this is, in fact, real life.

As I squeal through the story, estrogen flying all over the walls, she tells me I need to see him again.

“Don’t pussy out, Amanda!”

And I didn’t want to pussy out!  He was hot, incredibly sweet, he put himself out there and still made plans with me when I was kinda weird about it.  It was all too good of a situation NOT to see him again.

I text him so he has my number, and he quickly replies.

“I didn’t mean to startle you earlier… I just wanted to do that.”

I told him it was fine, I was glad he did it, and that I was looking forward to seeing him the next night.  He responds in kind and we plan again to meet up.

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