Being at a loss for words
The Firecracker had a happy hour with her co-workers the other day and invited me to come along.
I was flattered that she wanted me to meet them. The last time anyone introduced me to their coworkers in a social setting was years ago, although I did stop by an office here and there.
Unfortunately, I’d gotten hit with a MASSIVE hike in my monthly real estate taxes, which threw me and alla my plans for a loop.
Honestly, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you how much more I’m paying per month to live in the same damn place I’ve been in for years.
In any case, I’m never late for these kinda things but, because I was juggling a buncha things related to this unexpected new bill, I was 15 minutes late.
Felt awful about that. The Firecracker and her coworkers were all seated in a nearly empty bar when I arrived.
Me: (breathlessly) So sorry I’m late. What’s the topic of discussion besides my tardiness?
Co-Worker1: We were talking about Greece and olives.
Me: (taking a seat) Lovely! Do you remember back when there was that whole pink slime nonsense where people were up-in-arms over putting lye in meat? I told several people that, historically, olives cannot be consumed without soaking them in lye first. They didn’t believe me but thank goodness for Google.
It was all pretty fun after that.
Me: Sorry I have to drink and run. Single parenting and alla that. (reach for my wallet)
Her Boss: (waving his hand) It’s on me, really.
Me: Dammit, I shoulda ordered more expensive stuff.
Because we both had to pick up our kids, and we lived in the same hood, we left together.
Her: (walking outside with me) OMG, you really are good in social settings.
Me: Like I said, you can bring me anywhere, anytime, and cut me loose. I’ll make friends. I have zero social anxiety.
During the happy hour, I felt like the Firecracker was proud that she was sitting there with me. She was legit bragging about me, which was something that’s not happened to me in ages.
In fact, I’ve been a shady secret for so many people for a long time, for reasons that I understand – and I myself often caused.
Gotta say, it was refreshing to be the opposite of a shady secret. She was saying, This is my fella.
On that note, even though we were super early in whatever this thing was/is between us, we chatted about what we were hoping for and doing.
The details of that talk are kinda private and somewhat irrelevant.
But when it comes to dating – at least in modern America – there’re really only three choices:
- Roll the dice and leave someone that’s great to keep searching for your person, who – hopefully – exists.
- Cash out and give up. Thank god for Netflix and the gym.
- Cards down, all in, and hope for the best.
It’s been years since I’ve done number three. And that was all heartbreak and mistakes, by everyone involved.
Which is why I bounced from number 1 and number 2 for alla this time.
But I’ve said for years that I’m looking for something that I can’t put into words.
And I find myself at a loss for words right now.
Me: So, what now, then? Cards down, all in? Or we rolling the dice again?
Her: (shaking head) No. I told you – I wanna keep you.
Me: What about your rotation?
Her: There’s no more rotation. I cut the last guy loose yesterday. Cards down, I’m all in, Logan Lo.
Me: (nodding) I was hoping you’d say that, Firecracker. All in, then. We’re all in.
Location: this afternoon, near Columbia. Day-drinking
Music: I really wanna leave this party so, how ’bout you start it up? (Spotify)
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