Last night, I used the Flexcar to fetch Owen at the airport. I knew his flight was delayed but I still arrived early and had to circle around several times and park illegally while I waited for his call letting me know when he landed. (I would have used the 'cell-phone waiting area' but it was all full and parking at National is just silly.)
When he called, I said, "I'm just driving around aimlessly in the vicinity of the airport."
He said, "Oh no! I can just hop on the metro if that's easier."
"No! I'm picking you up. Just wait for me on the curb and I'll come and grab you up." He was standing outside when I drove by so I was saved one more trip on the airport circuit.
He'd asked me to think about where to go to dinner since he would be tired (thus not up to choosing) and very hungry (no food on his 1.5 hour flight, plus delays). I ended up choosing an Irish Pub since that would normally be his preference. I figure, whoever is coming home gets final say--even if they don't actually say.
I was a bit hesitant about our meeting. I didn't know what to expect. When Owen got in the car, he didn't kiss me; he leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. We chatted easily enough on the ride to the restaurant, though. When we got out of the car, he did kiss me and hugged me and seemed happy to see me. He even reached for my hand. I should not have been surprised, since I am the one with the problem, not him.
We sat down and each ordered a beer. I said, "Don't tell the Flexcar people." Actually, I didn't feel it at all. I also said, "You don't need to brace yourself for a serious conversation, I'm not planning on bringing anything up."
"The last thing I want is to ever have that conversation again."
He laughed. He also told me that he hadn't gotten me a present yet. I said, "Really? Even with all that shopping you did?"
"I didn't have time to shop for you. I couldn't shop for you where I was shopping for my family."
I said, "I don't get it. Why not? Wait--you mean you know what you're getting me?"
"Okay. Well, then I'll hold on to your last present and we can exchange gifts when I get back."
"That sounds good."
"But, no matter how long you wait to give it to me, it doesn't count as a birthday present!" I laughed.
He said, "When is your birthday?"
"At the end of February." I saw a distressed look cross his face. "Don't worry, I don't care that much about Valentine's Day."
"Oh, but I do. I like to do something special."
"Really? Well, it's fine with me if you want to do something, but I don't expect it."
"You know, last year, I started dating this girl at the end of January..."
"Oh yeah, I've been there." It's always double pressure for the guys I date because my birthday is just two weeks after V-Day. "What did you do?"
"I made too big a deal about it and I scared her off." I laughed and so did he. And he told me the story in a little more detail.
Later on he said, "Did you get the car for overnight?"
"Yes." I had, just in case. I didn't know if I'd want to spend the night with him--or if he'd want me to--but I left myself the option by reserving the car through the morning.
We got back to his place around 9pm. He did a little unpacking while I watched tv. We went to bed around 10pm, but stayed up late (for him) talking. Neither of us slept that well, probably because we haven't shared a bed for a while.
In the morning, I offered him a ride to the metro and he accepted. When I dropped him off he said, "Talk to you tonight."
After all my doubts of yesterday, I'm not sure what to think. We are always good when we're together and that's still, reassuringly, true. We had a very good time. I could tell that he missed me. I would have missed him more if I hadn't been so busy feeling bad about being ignored. He told me more about his trip and, while he had a fair amount of down time, he was also on the move quite a bit, which made it harder to stay in touch. But we didn't get into that since I'd decided not to open the topic. It is something we'll talk about again, I'm sure, despite my avowals otherwise. Or, maybe we won't. I guess that's up to me.
I feel ok about leaving. I don't particularly expect to hear from him while I'm gone, but I feel comfortable getting in touch with him if I feel like it. I probably won't have tons of chances for that either considering the 100% family circumstances of the first part of the trip in Cali and the one-room loft-style apartment circumstance of the second part of the trip in Seattle.
When I come back, I'll let things play out...not expect too much and set the independence plan in action. Of course, I'll let him know first that I have such a plan, but I didn't feel the need to discuss that the one time we see each other in three weeks.
The ups and downs of this relationship seem a little crazy but I feel better knowing that there is something good here. It's still worth seeing if there's a way to make it work.
Grateful for: another chance.
Drop me a line.