04 June 2016

An Abundance of Charm

"Lately I've been writing desperate love songs. 
I mostly sing them to the wall." 
The Band Perry 

I spent the last week and a half hidden away in a cabin on a South Carolina lake, with only my parents and their dog for company. It was in many ways a welcome respite from my regular life, although it was not the original plan for my vacation time. Sadly, several things got in the way of my mother's and my intentions to go to Europe, starting first with the continued hassle of renewing my apartment lease and finishing with my mother taking ill. (She's well now, but she was bed-ridden in terrible pain for days.)

Basically what I'm saying is I got an overdose of "me time" and although I'm now sporting a nice summer glow and have finally learned how to dock the pontoon boat on my own, there were days when I thought the isolation would drive me crazy.

What's new? Mostly people's reactions to my last post. It's an interesting thing to have so many people with the same endgame (my happiness) so strongly disagree. After hearing that I had sought out Mr. Charming's company, many friends expressed intrigue or various shows of support. After all, the move was a bit unlike me, but I was telling the story with a grin on my face so there did not appear to be immediate need for worry. Still, at least one person expressed extreme distaste for my behavior. And my mother is always horrified when I text a boy first, no matter the circumstances. So rest assured that whichever place on the spectrum your opinion on my recent decision-making occupies, I've probably gotten an earful of it from one source or another. 

Mr. Charming? Oh he's doing well. Still firing off more mixed signals than a broken traffic light, but yes, very well indeed.

I'll admit I spent a little time musing over whether I would hear from Charming again. Perhaps we had just had one last romp through the neighborhood and he would vanish off the radar again. (Yes I heard from him briefly the day after the date, but that didn't really mean anything.) 

Well to my surprise I got a text on Memorial Day, just as I was clearing away the dishes from dinner with my parents.

>>>> You in town?

<<<<  'fraid not.

>>>> Too bad, just fired up the grill

Well that was disappointing. I would have enjoyed that had I been home, although his was not the first Memorial Day invitation I turned down because I was out of town. I might not have made it anyway.

I assumed of course that he was inviting a handful of people over, or at least that there would be an alternate waiting to take my place (not that he would tell me that. Just being logical.) so I doubted I would be missed. The next day I asked him how his cookout went, expecting "fun" to be the answer. Instead Captain Mixed Signals sent me this little gem:

>>>> Lonely but yummy
>>>> I had a ton of food to cook but ate it all

I had to laugh. There was nothing else for it. It was straight out of the Playboy handbook and it took me by such surprise that it was comical. "Lonely?" Smooth.

We chatted a few more times while I was in Carolina, mostly instigated by him. Meanwhile, I was rejecting Bumble suitors left and right (Well. Left, anyway.), often for stupid comments about my being a flight attendant. I'm getting weary of men who find me intimidating whether because of my intelligence or because I travel for work. Conversation with Charming was refreshing and humorous.

Finally, Friday afternoon I was heading back home to my beautiful metropolis, thinking of how nice the weather has turned just recently and of the fact that I finally got a couple of deck chairs and a cooler. The balcony patio was beckoning me. On a whim I sent out a group text to anyone who came to mind, inviting them over for chips and salsa and a few beers that night. And yes, Charming made the list.

Humorously, I barely heard back from anyone I invited, with the exception of Mei, who was out celebrating her birthday, and Clive, who was on a work trip. In the end, the only ones who accepted were Mags and Gordon. And Mr. Charming.

Now, let me just say I fully expected him to back out. He had tentatively said that he had a lot to get done that day but might be able to make it a little later. He checked in with me to find out if I'd gotten anyone to come over, and I sort of assumed he would come if no one else had been free, but that he would decline when he found out he'd be meeting my friends, especially when it turned out to be just the one couple.

To my surprise instead he told me he was bringing extra beer.

Could've knocked me over with a feather. Huh. Good thing I had a cute outfit on.

My phone buzzed and I saw that Mags and Gordon were running late. My stomach flipped as I suddenly remembered that those two were fully privy to the details of my weird affair with Mr. Charming, and the last thing I needed was for them to be introduced and have everyone shooting each other knowing (and painfully obvious) looks over the tops of their beer bottles.

<<<< Lol it's cool. Only other person coming is [Mr. Charming]. Yes that one. Please be cool.

My head spun as I sliced limes for the Coronas and poured salsa into a bowl. I could see all of this going any number of ways, most of them ranging from hilariously embarrassing to just generally awful. Brief visions were flickering before my mind's eye of the one time I introduced Mr. Mess to my friends and he became a completely different person, totally humiliating me.

To the general surprise of all of my overly frantic neurons, everyone had a great time. Mags and Gordon liked Mr. Charming. Mr. Charming liked them. We all had a great time laughing and drinking as the sun sank deeper behind the sky-line, before Gordon and Mags finally had to call it a night because Gordon had work the next morning.

Charming stayed, and we chatted well into the night, doing our best to diminish the supply of Coronas from my new cooler. And then all at once he was pulling me out of my chair in this impossibly sexy, confident way so he could kiss me. On the balcony. At night. With music playing in the background. As a matter of fact, now that I'm recapping it, I'm pretty sure that was one of the best kisses of my life.

Damn he's good.

And confusing.

And not behaving like he's supposed to. If I'm going to pigeon-hole you into a box, Mr. Charming, would you kindly not charm my friends, too? They were supposed to tell me that I'm crazy and need to ditch you immediately, not shrug and go "Yeah I get why you like him. He's really easy to get along with."

But Charming is going out of town for his annual vacation, where I strongly suspect that unlike me, his parents will not be the ones keeping him company. I don't expect to hear from him (although at this point I suppose I should expect the unexpected) and I'm going to get back to my determined Bumble-ing, seeking that special someone who will charm the socks off of everyone in my life, kiss me on balconies, and ask for a committed relationship at the appropriate time.

That's not too much to ask, right?

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