It occurred to me only as I was driving to meet Mike at the agreed-upon location: Holy crap!! I'm driving to go meet someone I met on the internet!! What was I thinking?!
I am normally a timely person (in fact, I like to show up at least 5 minutes early for everything), but cut my departure time close. As [ill] luck would have it, I was delayed by construction crews, grooved pavement, and unfriendly red traffic lights [sidenote: all good northwesterners know that there are not four seasons here, but three: wet, wetter, & road construction]. I arrived at the destination a few minutes later than expected thinking, dear God, now he's going to think I don't care or that I'm a habitually late person. As if my blood pressure weren't high enough at the moment.
He gave me some CDs to listen to; while we liked many of the same obscure indie bands, he had a few he just knew I would love [in which he was later proven right]. And I knew I'd have to get these back to him eventually, in which the female mind concludes: second date.
[Ow. My arms are still bruised from how I've pinched them.]
[cue first slice of Humble Pie]
But leave I did, and he came back up the following Wednesday, just one week from our initial meeting. He brought me a big, beautiful pot of red mums (see photo in sidebar at the right). We went to a local wine bar, to a local eatery for some great Italian food, and for a drive along the water. This goodbye came with increased difficulty, and I went to bed too late for the third night in a week.
[It is good and advisable to have a spotter nearby when eating this much Humble Pie]
Sunset from the drive along the water [date #3]
So I'm not going to make any declarative statements about the future here, at least not now. But what I may declare definitively is this: here is someone who exceeds my expectations, who sees into me in ways that others often miss, with whom I am entirely unselfconscious, and for whom I have already developed a deep affection.
You know I could go on, but I think my fingers might bleed from that much typing.
I kid you not.
Stay tuned for Part 3 in which I explain how this relationship is teaching me to Carve Out a Path for myself.