A Relationship Grows in Brooklyn
Last Monday I found myself not doing my normal daily grind but instead I took the day off and had what most call a “mental health day.” Tons of things were swirling in my head and I just needed to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather we were experiencing here in New York.
By mid-afternoon that day, I was sitting having a lunch and I received a text message from the Teacher, whom I have been having amazing dates with and the message was asking me if I wanted to attend his house warming party that upcoming Friday. I was excited for a few reasons. One being that since he teaches during the day it was nice that he took the time out of his busy schedule to send me a message and secondly was the fact that he chose me to attend his party. I didn’t even bother waiting one second to respond instead I quickly told him that I would love to come and asked what I could bring.
The rest of the week felt like it was just dragging but the good thing was that I knew we had already had a dinner date planned for that Thursday so we would be seeing each other soon. As Thursday finally arrived it was another warm day in New York and so I suggested we go to Mole on Jane Street. I arrived early and got us a table outside which was perfect. I just love that beginning phase of dating where you just want to look your best and you are actually filled with butterflies just to see that person. He arrived and immediately gave me a kiss and said it was nice to see me again. Swoon.
As we ordered our drinks I couldn’t even wait another minute for I needed to know the guest list of this house warming party. He told me that several of his colleagues from work would be there and than he dropped the bomb on me that his brothers and their wives/girlfriends would be attending as well. In my career of dating I have NEVER met anyone’s family members before. The minute the words left his mouth I felt my chest begin to get warm. He could tell by the way that I reacted that I was in shock but he did calm me down and offered me the opportunity to decline the invitation but I thought I am a grown adult and I can handle this situation.
Yes. We have only been on a few amazing dates and he did meet a few of my friends and got rave reviews. But meeting the family members is quite a different situation. So, I took a big gulp of my margarita, which was cleverly named, Sex in a Mexican Prison, and told him that I would be delighted to go to his party and that I even offered up my services of coming early to his apartment to help him set up to which he was most appreciative. Dinner winded down and we left and as we left I could still feel that warm feeling in my chest and I had no idea what it was about but it didn’t feel right. He kissed me goodbye at the subway station and I told him I would see him tomorrow.
The next morning I had taken the day off from work and was going to run a bunch of errands and get a facial so I would look my best to meet his brothers and friends. However, when I woke up (and I slept rather shitty since I was so nervous about the party) I was covered in hives! My body literally had a physical reaction to meeting his family members. I didn’t even brush my teeth and immediately ran to Duane Reade and picked up some calamine lotion. I put it all over my body and just began to run my errands for the day before I had to get ready to go to Brooklyn where he lives. I tried to get my body to “relax” in order for the hives to go away. As I got ready to head over to Brooklyn eventually the hives had begun to subside.
On the train I had my game face on. I bought him an orchid (my favorite flower) and two bottles of champagne for his house-warming gift. Once I got there he was rather stressed from cooking everything and I couldn’t even help for I am such a disaster in the kitchen. So instead I found myself vacuuming his living room, making his bed and straightening up his bathroom. And finally it happened…the doorbell rang. My heart dropped thinking his brothers would probably be the first to arrive but alas it was just a colleague. And so began my quest to get to know his friends which turns out are all incredibly nice and slightly introverted and so I took this as my opportunity to get to know them and ask them questions while drinking wine, of course.
The party was now in full swing and still no sign of his family and there was just a tiny part of me that was hoping that they had either forgotten or were unable to attend. While I was chatting with his best friend’s wife, I heard the doorbell ring and I just had a feeling it was his brothers. I chose to stay in the kitchen and wait with the wife I was chatting to. She looked at the people coming in and said, “Oh, how sweet, his father showed up as well.” I couldn’t believe my ears, it was one thing to semi-mentally prepare myself to meet his brother’s but the FATHER!!! No sooner that I heard the announcement of the father being in the apartment that the wife that I was talking to noticed that my arm suddenly broke out in hives, so I made a beeline for the bathroom. Inside the bathroom I did my best to calm myself and kept putting cold water on my arm. However, I wasn’t going to let the Teacher off the hook so I opened the bathroom door slightly to see where he was at and luckily he caught my eye and I motioned him to come inside the bathroom. That is where I first hit him in the arm and asked him if he knew all along that his father was coming and he did. So I hit him again and told him that next time I will need A LOT of warning time and that he can’t just spring this on me. After him trying to calm me down, he told me that we needed to get out of the bathroom for people will begin to assume that we are having sex. So I made him go out first. I waited a few minutes and than I made my exit.
I decided that I should probably introduce myself to one of the brothers first and get the ball rolling. Turns out…this meeting the family stuff wasn’t all that bad after all. I than shimmied my way over to the next brother and began my quest to finally head over to the father. The father was sitting down and so I did what I thought was the right thing to do and offer him something to drink or eat and he declined both. Usually I am a pro at conversation but I was stumped. So I sat down next to him and began to ask him questions and that was going splendidly and finally he asked the one question I was hoping to avoid and that was, “How do you know my son?” I don’t think I have ever changed a subject so fast. I shot the Teacher a dirty look because it dawned on me that not only did he not tell me his father was coming but also that his father had no idea who the hell I was. The Teacher came to my rescue and I was off the hook and reaching for the champagne.
The party was beginning to wind down and people were beginning to leave. As the family was getting their coats I made a huge effort to tell them all goodbye and that it was really nice meeting them. The minute the last guest left I decided to stay behind and have a little chat with Mr. Teacher. He already knew what was coming and just said, “Ok. Let me have it.” I didn’t have too much energy to give him a piece of my mind but we did discuss that the next day he would be hanging out with his father and would be telling him who the hell I am. Plus I would be on pins and needles the rest of the weekend to find out exactly what his family thought of me. As we began to clean up from the party it dawned on me that I just met his friends and family and that it was…well…kind of nice. Despite the hives it was a big success for us both.
I offered to go home but he suggested I stay the night. He did tell me that he had a confession and that confession was the fact that he had never had a man stay in his bed or even stay the night for that matter. He also told me that he did not want to have sex because he actually wanted it to be special and when I asked him why he even wanted me at his party knowing that family members were going to be there and all he said to me was, “Because I think you are worth it.” Those words were all I needed to hear that night. As we got ready for bed and I suddenly became nervous. Not because I was staying the night but that because it became quite apparent that something was beginning to develop between us. As we got into bed we became a married couple in the 1950’s where he slept on one side of the bed and I stayed on mine. However, by the time the morning came we were embraced and it was a very nice way to wake up in the morning.
I knew he would be spending the rest of the weekend teaching and spending time with his family so I took that opportunity to spend it with my friends and give them a play by play of what went down. Even though I was having a wonderful time with my friends there was a part of me that wanted to get on the subway and head back to Brooklyn and see him again. He did text throughout the weekend, something that he has told me that he doesn’t do all that often and never has done with a guy he is dating. But by Sunday, we had already confirmed our next date and that was on Monday, where I wanted him to tell me face-to-face what exactly he told his father and what the reviews were from all his friends and family.
Yesterday while at work, I get a text from him asking me to meet him on the corner of 73rd Street and Amsterdam for we would be going this cute little place called, Alice’s Tea Cup. How on earth did this man know my weakness for the color pink, princesses and tea? As I waited for him on the corner, so many thoughts ran through my mind and while they were all positive thoughts, I couldn’t help but constantly hearing the one big red flag and that is his fear of commitment. However, as soon as he saw me, hugged me and gave me a kiss all doubts went out into the wind. You can just tell when someone looks at you a certain way that at that very moment there is no uncertainty and that what is happening might be real.
Once we sat down and ordered I didn’t even want to ask about his day. I wanted to know what his family and friends thought of me. Turns out my reviews were great. In fact they were amazing as he told me. He informed me that I was the first person his dad asked about and said I was very nice and fun and everyone else pretty much had the same reaction about me. Now that I had all the details I was able to relax and enjoy our teatime. Our conversation was going smoothly and the food was delicious but than the “C” word reared its ugly head again and the word “commitment” was back on the table. He was doing his best to explain that he really wants to move forward and is having an amazing time but he does have a fear. Finally I had to tell him to shut up and that everyone has that fear of taking the next step and that how we chose to handle the situation is what will make or break the relationship. He also took the time to confess in a very sweet way that he has deleted all his “past men” and that there is now only one guy in his phone and that is I. In this day and age, I guess when someone tells you they deleted their hookups from their phone it is the equivalent of someone asking you to go steady. It made me smile, we kissed and we left the tea party.
As we got on the subway to head downtown he asked me on the platform if I would stay on the train to 42nd Street. I asked him why on earth would he want me to do that when that is past my apartment. And deep inside I had a hunch as to why he was asking me to do it, but I wanted him to come out of his shell and say it. And so, he kissed me on the forehead and said, “Because I am not ready for the date to end and I want to spend more time with you.” It was music to my ears and I stayed on the train holding his hand, smiling and when we got to 42nd Street he kissed me goodbye and waved to me as the train took off. I got home and began to get ready for bed and right before I turned off the light there was a message from him telling me he had a great time and is looking forward to the weekend.
I woke up this morning and looked at all my books and for some reason my eyes gravitated toward the book by Betty Smith entitled, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and it got me thinking that if a tree can grow in Brooklyn that maybe…just maybe a relationship can grow there as well.
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