I went all out.
I got up early to go grocery shopping. I cleaned up around the house. Did my hair.
I made a mean pot roast (I redeemed myself after the “Not Roast” incident of 2003.). I made a shrimp mango flatbread. I made homemade sangria.
I washed my cloth napkins. Dried them, and placed lovely napkin rings around them.
Fresh flowers adorned my table in a vase.
I looked good. I wore a strappy long flowing turquoise dress that hugged my shape. I was barefoot. No jewelry. Just lip gloss.
Lancelot came to my house probably at 7:25, dinner was scheduled for 7:30. He was armed with a bottle of red wine.
We had great conversation, things were flowing along nicely.
He had seconds. He refilled my glass and would help me fix my plate, much to my disagreement. I would protest that he is my guest and I wanted to fix his plate. He shushed me.
It was a lovely evening and I didn’t want it to end. He helped me clear the table and said that he had to go home.
It was 10 p.m.
I was crushed. I wanted him to stay longer and relax. He said he could not.
He was back to business. He had meetings the next day and business proposals to draw up.
I had a sad pouty face and mentioned that I only saw him once a week, and hoped he’d carved out more time for me, but it is what it is.
He did say he wanted us to do this again, and that next time he’d cook and host.
The funny thing is, when he left, I found myself getting in a funk.
Normally, if I’d made such a meal, worn such a dress I’d have to kick a man out of my house and fight him off of me.
Lancelot graciously took his hug and a kiss on the cheek and departed.
I asked a few of my advisors what to make of the situation. Most said that this is my opportunity to decide if pursuing a relationship with someone so busy is going to make me happy. Will I be satisfied in the future with having to take a back seat.
Some argue he’s working super hard now, so he can chill later. Some argue, with more success, he may have even less time and once again, can I deal?
It was a difficult pill to swallow. Here it is, I’m enjoying the company of and highly respecting someone for their drive and ability to make things happen, but at the same time feeling a bit selfish for wanting more of this person’s time.
One of my friends said, “Well you complained the last time that he was too pushy and too fresh. He’s following your instructions.”
“To the letter, it seems,” I replied.
Maybe that’s an excellent thing. Maybe he respects me and likes me that much, just like I don’t want to make a misstep, he doesn’t want to either.
I do think this is a good opportunity for me to see if that’s the type of role I want to play in a relationship and if it will be enough.
One of my friends said that he may be testing me to see if I act simple when he says he has to take care of business and I have to take a back seat. My reactions to him handling business, may play a role in his interest in me steadily increasing.
During dinner, he told me about how friends and family became his investors and how blessed he was that people believed in him so much. He did not have to take out loans from a bank to start. He talked about how excited he was to be able to write modest checks to his investors and how he would be on track to continue growing.
I could tell that it’s not just his ambition that is motivating him, but he clearly does not want to let all of those people he cares about down. He takes it seriously.
I felt he wasn’t even saying that to brag. I feel that he feels that way deeply and I was further attracted and moved.
So, I asked him. “You seem to have a very clear vision of what you want professionally. But what makes you happy? What makes you happy in your soul?”
He said he just loves being a homebody and hanging out at home with his loved ones, sharing meals and good times. He said he doesn’t need a whole lot, he enjoys traveling, but he’s very simple. He said that even when he becomes wealthy, he’d want to stay in his current home, unless he had kids, and would then want a bigger place. He’d drive the same cars and live the same life.
One of my friends asked me if he was dating anyone other than me. To be honest, I don’t know.
He did mention that he was getting some pressure from his mother to give her grandbabies, and that even his grandmother and aunt have unsuccessfully tried to hook him up or lure him into surprise blind dates.
It seems his approach to love is that if it happens, it will happen and he must have some kind of attraction. The ladies handpicked by his family were nice, but they just weren’t it.
This situation is also another lesson for me in patience. While I think I am patient, I’m not. I do want what I want when I want it and sometimes that hasn’t served me well.
Slowing down this time around, may be exactly what I need. It makes me think of a poem I wrote and shared on this blog a long time ago.
The next time I fall in love, I don’t want to fall madly.
trade in the googly-eyed, flying blind, day-dreaming kind
for the steady, unconditional, responsible, loyal,
here today, still here tomorrow and the day after and after–
happily ever and beyond,
ever-lingering in every doorway, picture frame, under the rug and in between the couch cushions, all over this house;
in the eyes, hearts and DNA of our children and the generations that follow,
kind of love.
Come to our home for Thanksgiving and when he cuts that turkey, our guests will even taste our love in the juices that flavor it.
Because like our love, that bird was cooked painstakingly– not too fast and not too slow at the right temperature. Standing watch, we will tend to this love with unfaltering care–
no detail too small.
I don’t want the fantasy, I don’t want the fairy tale anymore, and surprisingly I’m not sad about that.
I rejoice now, because maturity has allowed me to see,
What we imagine love to be has never been rooted in reality.
Us girls dream of our prince, of that first magical kiss.
Not his dirty drawers on our floor, not yet another note on the fridge door, that says, “Baby I’ll be home late. Don’t wait…
up for me tonight.”
Brotha I don’t want to annoy ya, but I’ve got this paranoia, that one day,
you’ll up and walk away.
Kiss my forehead, smile and stroke my hair out of my face. You don’t even have to say the words, you’ll just simply stay.
Just stay. I’m not perfect.
Just stay. Neither are you.
Just stay, the closest we’ll get to perfection is what we have between us two.
Just stay. Fine, I suck today, but asshole, you suck too.
Stay. No one else can make me laugh the way you do.
Stay. I like the way you kiss me there, and there and especially where,
the sun don’t shine–
except that time
we were on that private beach…
Stay because I know you want to. Stay because I know you want me to want you to.
Stay because there’s nothing else you’d rather do.
Stay because being the dude who stays with me, is just who
were meant to be.
Be with me
Because you just couldn’t know how to be anything else, with anyone else.
I don’t want the fairytale.
It’s perfectly fine we fight.
But after the jabs and tough words are thrown,
we’ll use those same lips