Monday, November 1, 2010

In which we have another version of the class reunion meeting with Ted

I have found an old journal with very detailed notes. I'm glad to see that I have remembered the basics of the Ted story, but there are additional details in my notes.

He had walked me to my car and we were standing there with that wonderful tension you have before you kiss someone for the first time. This tension had been present every time we had seen each other the past few weeks but he had never acted on it. I couldn't stand it anymore and blurted, "Are you going to kiss me or not?"

He said, "I want to kiss you. I've thought about it a lot. But we need to have a conversation first."

"OK, so talk," I said.

"Not here. When we get back home."

Thinking he was going to tell me something like he moved back in with his parents after the divorce and until he completed his residency -- which I already had figured out -- I said "OK" and stepped away from him and toward the car.

And he kissed me. We ended up sitting in the back seat of the car, kissing and talking. I hadn't done that since I was in college. Appropriate that I was back in one of the same parking lots I used to visit with my college boyfriend. We talked until 2:00 a.m. He said, "I've been attracted to you for a long time."

"Oh -- since we first met at that alumni thing last month," I said.

"No. Since we started talking on the phone in August."

"But you hadn't seen me yet," I protested.

He leaned over, caressed my cheek and whispered, "But we had spoken. How could I not be drawn to you?" [Tell me you wouldn't have fallen hard for a line like that.]

He said, "That evening, when we met in the airport, when I saw you walking toward me, you were so beautiful. But you had been so casual in your messages -- 'maybe' you would meet me there!"

"I was playing it cool," I explained.

"Why?" he asked. [Because I didn't trust you and in retrospect, I was right.]

He had already turned my stomach into knots that evening. When I got to the Class of '85 reunion dinner, I saw him standing at the bar. None of my college roommates were going to the dinner and I had no one to sit with. I walked over to him. He looked at me and said -- and this is the first time a man had ever said this to me in my life, "You are gorgeous." Up to then, I had not known what his feelings were about me. We had talked a lot, but had not been out on a date and I didn't know if he was attracted to me. I have lots of men friends who are nothing more than friends; he could easily have been one of those.

He looked into my eyes and said, "You are gorgeous" and I couldn't catch my breath.

"So are you," I whispered, and it was the truth. He was smart, he was articulate, he was passionate. [He was also manipulative and a liar and nothing was ever his fault, but whatever.]

We had spent hours on the phone and I had not gotten bored. I couldn't believe that I had met someone so interesting this late in my life. I had just about given up.

At dinner, we sat together. I didn't know anyone else at the table [except Sam and his wife, but yeah yeah yeah. Primo was there as well but I had not met him yet. Sam probably introduced us but the wedding ring on his finger made him dead to me], but didn't mind talking just to Ted. I took off my glasses and laid them on the table.

"Why don't you wear your glasses?" he asked.

I considered telling him a lie: that they hurt my ears or nose. But I told the truth. "Because I'm vain," I admitted.

He looked at me intently. "You are beautiful with or without your glasses," he said firmly.

Two weeks later, he had the, "I'm hot for you but we can't date" conversation that I have already written about. Do you see why I was confused? Oh it gets worse. I'll tell you all the humiliating details. But ten years later, it is still hard to write about this stuff. Jerk.

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