“Real life hardly ever does it the way you want to tell it later.”
— Alice, in Range of Motion, by Elizabeth Berg
But sometimes it does.
Now I promise my blog is not going to become all “I’m in love” all the time, but you guys, I am, and I had the best weekend of my life this past weekend. We spent most of last weekend together, and many nights last week, just hanging out, running errands, and watching the Olympics, but it was very casual and low key, for various reasons. All of last week, though, he kept telling me how he was planning our first real date for Friday night and that I should dress up (which is code for “Wear the dress that started all of this”), and that he thought I would really love the restaurant he chose, and that he was going to come pick me up and come to the door and everything. He also told me about 10 times that he’d already picked out the shirt he was going to wear and that he thought I’d really like it, but that he wanted to buy new pants. It was so adorable. Saturday, he said, would be more casual, and he told me about the restaurant beforehand and let me pick a movie.
So Friday came and we rode the train home together, but each of us went to our own apartments to get ready. Around 8, he rang my doorbell, and I opened it shyly, and there he was, holding a single red rose (he’d brought me daisies last weekend) and looking so handsome in a white button down shirt with different colored blue stripes and new gray pants. I invited him in and gave him a kiss (or two or three, you know), and we just stood there grinning stupidly at each other (which happens a lot actually; we’re kind of dorks that way). He told me I looked great and we kissed some more and then we drove to the restaurant. As we got out of the car, he said, “We parked a little ways from the restaurant, and for good reason.” And as we walked out of the shadow of a building into the square, he pointed and said, “Full moon.”
As we walked to the restaurant, my heels kept getting stuck in the cobblestones (that’ll teach me), and he kept catching me so I wouldn’t fall. When we got to the restaurant, I didn’t look at the outside of it very closely because I thought I knew what it was, but it turned out I was wrong. When we got to our table and I looked at the menu, I realized he had chosen a Spanish restaurant . . . I can’t really explain the feeling I got, but I knew that he’d chosen it on purpose because he remembered that I had studied in Spain twice and loved it so much, and he wanted to take me to a place that would remind me of it. Have I mentioned that I love him?
He studied the wine list – he’s very into wine and I know nothing, though he’s trying to teach me – and ordered a bottle of Rioja. When the waiter brought the bottle, he did the whole, look at the bottle, nod approval at the waiter, swirl the wine in the glass, smell it, swish it around in his mouth, swallow it, and nod again for the waiter to pour our glasses – I kind of watched him and seeing him do all that made me smile so big. The wine was lovely, and we ordered lots of tapas and ate and talked and drank for what seemed like hours, but was really probably only and hour and a half or so. If I tell you the big thing he said to me over dinner, you’ll think we’re crazy, so I won’t (yet, probably), but that was definitely the best meal of my life.
Afterwards, we walked down to the waterfront. It was a perfect night: full moon, just the right temperature, breezy. We walked along the water, then stopped to watch the planes (or to kiss, but who’s keeping track, really?) and just talk some more. Finally, we headed back to the car, and just before we got there, we stopped to kiss, and the combination of my 4-inch heels on cobblestone, his big feet, the wine, and the sudden stop led to our feet getting tangled and his foot landed on mine and broke the toenail of my big toe pretty far down the nail bed. It hurt like crap, but we kissed anyway, and it was only after I got in the car that I realized I was bleeding. Yikes. He kept apologizing, but I told him not to worry because it’s going to be the funny part of the story of our otherwise perfect first date.
Saturday afternoon, I picked him up and we went to see Pineapple Express. It was the captioned movie last week, and I worried that he would think that was weird, but he says he doesn’t mind at all. The movie was so, so funny. I love Seth Rogen, and James Franco was as good as advertised. We laughed so much, though we don’t need a movie to do that. Then we went to Rustico for beer and pizza, though I had a burger. He had a double chocolate stout (which I didn’t hate), and I had a Hawaiian pale ale of some sort, which was pretty good. We talked about the inanity of the parents of three at a nearby table who’d brought a portable DVD player for the kids (all under 4) to watch while they ate dinner – why bring your kids out if you’re not interested in interacting with them? Get a baby-sitter, for crying out loud. Anyway, we talked about our families and discovered that Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday, and agreed that we don’t have to do Valentine’s Day.
Next, we drove to Gravelly Point, which is a park on the water near the airport. We sat and watched the planes take off, which put this song in my head, and held hands and talked – we can talk forever. Then we walked a ways down the path, quizzing each other on whether we’d leave each other for various outlandish infractions. The verdict: I have to stay with him if he just gets indicted for a felony, but I can leave him if he gets convicted. I can’t remember what he’s allowed to leave me for; prostitution, I think.
Then we came back to my place for chocolate milk (just one of many things that one of us has mentioned to which the other one has said, “I love ___,” eliciting a kiss from the first one – it’s eerie, really) for dessert, then some beer and Olympics watching.
Sunday, we had tentative plans to get a little bit out of town, but we were lazy lazy lazy in the morning, so I just cooked him breakfast – pancakes and bacon – and then dropped him off so he could do stuff around his house, and I did my own errands. Around 5, he picked me up and we went to the wine store and the grocery store, then to his place, where he cooked for me for the first time – a delicious chicken stir fry. He takes such good care of me. We sat on the balcony for a little while, drinking wine and enjoying the night, then came in to watch Mad Men. He indulges my furious girl crush on Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan – he says it means he can cheat on me with her even if she’s not on his List, because I couldn’t possibly blame him. I’m not sure he’s wrong. But when I turned the tables and said I can do the same with George Clooney then, because he LOVES George, he wasn’t so happy. I’d actually rather have Joan.
So there you go. That’s my idea of a perfect weekend. He did such a good job planning Friday and Saturday – Friday especially – and just being with him, doing the things we’d do anyway, but doing them together, is all I ever wanted.
But now I’ve got to plan a weekend for him. Good thing I have about a month til we have a free weekend all to ourselves again.