In the last post, I forgot to be grateful for something. Isn't that the point? It's easy enough to say that I'm grateful for having met Jake. That's true. I'm pretty happy about this. I'm also grateful that I don't feel crazy and that I'm doing a pretty good job of maintaining some perspective. With that, on with the story....
On Saturday, I called Jake to let him know that we were tentatively planning to go to a bar on Penn Ave in DC. I thought it would be a quick call, but we chatted for a long time, so long in fact that I was standing around in the snow waiting to go down into the metro so I could keep talking to him. Before we got off the phone, Jake asked if were really ok for him to come along. I said I wasn't worried at all about him meeting Heather and I knew that it would be fine. Some doubt crept in, so I asked him if he really wanted to go. He said he'd wanted to see me and it didn't matter what we were doing. That was nice.
When I got home, I called Jake again and we talked for another good long time. I was very tired and couldn't keep up my end of the conversation. He remarked that I was awfully quiet, but didn't seem bothered.
The next day I called and made the arrangements. Heather and I had discussed where to go and settled on a bar in Arlington instead so we could go over to her place if we didn't want to sit in the nasty, loud, smelly sports bar for six or more hours. Since Jake would probably drive, it was a good plan. When I talked to Jake, he asked if I wanted him to drive and I said yes, but only if he didn't mind. He remarked (in words to this effect) that the advantage of the enormous SUV was that it was good for driving in the snow. He then asked if I wanted to have lunch first and I said sure. When he showed up I was a little nervous. Was I supposed to kiss him? Give him a hug? I did neither, just let him in while I finished getting ready. He played with the cat. Then, I was ready and we both played with the cat. I had my coat on and was moving towards the door, but he wasn't, so I sat down and we kept playing with the cat. I suppose it was a little awkward and I asked if he was ready to go. He remarked that I didn't seem to want to go, which was fine with him. I pointed out that I was wearing my coat and I was ready, I just didn't have my shoes on because they were outside the door (drying out). He seemed surprised and laughed and then we left. When we hopped in the car, I felt something on my lap and it was his hand; I turned towards him and he kissed me quickly. I laughed nervously. We didn't have time to go to lunch somewhere else, so we just went to the bar to meet Heather. She managed to save a table for us, but not without having to put up a fight. The place was pretty darn crowded.
We settled in, ordered beers and got something to eat. We watched the game and talked. It was just fine. It took a while for Jake to jump into the conversation, but when he did he had interesting and funny things to say. When he went to the restroom, Heather said, "He's a cutie." I certainly agreed. I asked if she liked him and she said, "Oh yes." Very good.
As the first game was wrapping up, we decided to go over to Heather's place. My limited tolerance for sitting in loud, smoky sports bars was worn out. At the door, we ran into two guys from my summer softball team. The most eligible two. Including the one I had a tiny crush on. I see my former crush and I say, "Hi Jim." It takes him a second to register who I am. When he realizes it's me he is first very surprised and then pleased. He asks why I'm there, I answer to watch the game (duh). I introduce him to Heather and Jake. Then, I realize that Sandy is also there, so I introduce him too. He starts talking to Jake and I continue talking to Jim, who is asking me how I am, how things are going, etc. But, we had to leave, so I cut the conversation short. I was shaking my head. From his reaction, it appeared that Jim actually did have some interest with me. Yet, I could get nowhere with him, despite one or two subtle and at least one not-so-subtle efforts. Oh well. Mostly likely I'm better off. Jake said that he'd learned all about Sandy, where he went to high school just because Jake mentioned that he used to live in Pittsburgh. Heather remarked that being a Steeler's fan was a great leveler. I said Jake had learned more about Sandy in less than a minute than I had after knowing him for two years.
We got to Heather's, settled in and ordered a pizza. Heather sat in the big chair. I sat next to Jake on the couch. Altogether, we had a good time. The game was depressing (sad, sad day for the Steelers), but the conversation was good. Funny, quick, and occasionally puzzling. Later, Heather remarked that she did notice that sometimes Jake said something that didn't quite make sense, but then, with more context she would get it. He's also quite funny, which was clear that evening, but I hadn't really noticed. It was more due to me not getting his sense of humor, his tone, than him not being funny. Maybe he was more comfortable too, which must have helped. So, even though sitting there next to him and not quite touching was very awkward, I liked him better by the end of the night. It was only our third date and Heather was there, so I wasn't going to put my arm around him or lean in, but I sure wanted to. If we'd been alone, I would have, but I always think about how I would feel if I were the single one with the couple and I don't really want to see all that hand holding and arms encircling. Of course, Heather probably would not mind it at all, but it's kind of early for that anyway. I just suffered a bit and hoped Jake didn't think it meant that I didn't like him. He didn't do anything, for which I was grateful. It would have been much, much worse if I'd had to tell him NOT to put his arm around me.
We left around 10. Jake came in and we sat on the couch awkwardly for a bit. I put on some music. The cat walked all around us. Then we kissed and we spent the rest of the time kissing and talking and kidding around. He left around 1:30 am. Still too late. He said he was good at hypnotism. I said I was too. He said, you'll wake up and it will be five and you won't know what happened. When he didn't want to go, but knew he had to, he said I was probably better at hypnotism than he was. It wasn't easy for him to go, but it wasn't that hard either. It is going to get harder, that's for sure. It was good that I didn't have to kick him out--he took responsibility for leaving on his own. It was also good that he wasn't eager to leave.
I like him a lot and I just don't know what to do about the other Jdate guys in the queue. No other dates are actually planned. I don't want to go out with anyone else right now. They all seem very unappealing. And yet...Jake and I are just dating. The whole point of this is to date a lot and not jump quickly into something serious . I need to get to know him. I can't have already made this decision. I need to not limit myself. Yet, my heart says, limit yourself, limit yourself! This is the hard part. I have so already decided.