Sometimes the event with a 99% chance of failure actually occurs.
From June 16 through June 22, I spent the most amazing week with my awesome new boyfriend, Richard, who is the guy referred to in the link above.
We met in the blogosphere (thanks Mom) in 2009 and started talking daily about a year ago. Apparently by July 8, 2009 I was really feeling him but was not at all optimistic about the chance we might end up together. I have never been so happy to be wrong.
Rich and I had been doing the online dating thing for several months and the topic of meeting in person had arisen on more than a few occasions. Problem was, he lived in Virginia or whatever. Eventually I make up my mind that I will travel to meet him in person, so I book a trip to his hometown (Greenville, NC) in February 2010.
We grow even closer over the next few months. We talk for hours at a time on a daily basis (both online and on the phone), and we never run out of conversation. We have similar interests and beliefs with just enough differences to spark discussion.
In the week or two previous to the trip, we butted heads more than ever before. I knew, even at the time, that I was feeling stressed out by work and other assorted bullshit. It wasn't Rich at all, it was me. (He is so awesome for not getting angry about this). Still, it planted the seed that maybe this isn't such a good idea after all.
June 16, 2010. My ass needs to be at the airport at 4:30 AM. I am tired, cranky, and freaking out at the idea that something might go wrong at the airport (with a little subtext of "why am I doing this?"). Milwaukee airport for the first leg of the flight to Philadelphia--everything is fine. Philadelphia airport for the second leg of the flight to Charlotte--fucking sucks monkey ass balls.
I land in Philly in concourse F. My flight to Charlotte leaves from concourse A. There's a shuttle bus to concourse A, but I think, I don't need to take the bus, I'll walk. I walk for what seems like 20 miles and go back through security for no particular reason. All the while, pushy east coast people are trying to skip in line. I forget to remove my soda from my carry-on and get a dirty look from the TSA guy. I finally pass security and continue on my journey to concourse A, walking approximately 20 more miles. I made it to the plane about 5 minutes before it's supposed to take off. Walking and security takes about 50 minutes. Rich made this ordeal somewhat tolerable by listening to me bitch on the phone.
Then I get to Charlotte and my flight to Greenville is delayed. Nothing too drastic happens, but this means even more waiting. My nerves are getting fried. I go eat some overpriced airport food and drink a bloody mary and a giant beer. Finally, I feel somewhat normal. I call Rich back and ask him how he's gonna know what gate to meet me at in the Greenville airport. He says he'll figure it out. Grr, another thing to stress about. I get on the plane...
And land. And deplane, not using a jet bridge or whatever those things are called. The Greenville airport looks like a dentist office. I walk towards the (one) gate (in the entire airport)...
And there he is! He's wearing the Brewers shirt I got him and he gives me this cute little wave! OMG! He's a little shorter than I expected, but way way way way way more cuter than he had advertised. All the stress I'd been feeling for weeks disappears completely and I just run and jump on him without a conscious thought. We kiss and go by the rental car counters. Some bs happens with my reservation but I don't even care, I'm just going through the motions and feeling so thrilled to finally be with him. Everything finally felt right.
We ended up in this pimp-ass red 2011 Camry. The second the rental car lady goes outside to pull the car up, it starts thunderstorming and POURING with huge ginormous raindrops. It's crazy! We run through the rain to get in the car and head to where his car is parked. The brakes in the Camry were excellent. Then I park next to his car...
And we just start making out like madmen. We hit a triple because it was like zero to third base in 4.5 seconds (mixed metaphors). Now EVERY factor I had been worried about had been proven not to take place. We head to the hotel for checking in and more making out, and somewhere in that evening we go out to eat and watch a movie at his house and I meet his cat and his mom, and we go to the hotel to chill in the jacuzzi and have sex FINALLY. It's all mixed up in my head because I was so tired and so emotional at the time. It's like a blur.
We have sex in the morning too, starting an awesome trend for the whole trip. He also takes many silly pictures of me and he got me breakfast in bed. We then head to Raleigh to visit the Crabtree Valley Mall and the Lush store.
The Lush store was a lot smaller than I expected. You could tell that its inventory turns over slower than the store here in Milwaukee (Lush Cosmetics Mayfair Mall holla!). Some of the bath bombs were looking a little dusty and faded, and they have tons of Naked kits still. We choose some items, and Rich picks out the Demon in the Dark soap. I liked that because it's a soap I always thought he would like. It's manly and has a cool name. He grabs a Flosty Gritter bubble bar and leaves a pink glittery fingerprint on my boob that lasted most of the day. As we were leaving, I tell the salesgirl I'm giving him a makeover. He was so embarrassed. My bad.
Our next stop is the food court. Dixie Belle Smokehouse catches Rich's eye and we are standing there contemplating the menu when the older black man behind the counter says "QuitfoolingaroundNAWgetafreesampleNAWgrabaspoonNAW!" We quit fooling around, get a spoon and a free sample of their BBQ pork. It was freaking delicious. We end up splitting a rack of ribs, which came with two sides and hushpuppies for $11.99. Pretty damn good deal. I noticed food is inexpensive in general in NC, and cigarettes are downright cheap. Gas is about the same though.
We make a couple more stops, at the candy store and the Hello Kitty store, and then go back 2 da hotel. We have tons of fun with !!!LUSH MAKEOVER MADNESS!!! and just sitting around talking and participating in other activities. We fall asleep a little on the early side because the next day we were headed to Busch Gardens!
That morning we wake up a bit ahead of schedule and make love (it's extra amazing in the morning). For whatever reason this prompts an emotional breakdown in me. All these happy/sad/scared feelings crash together in my mind and I cry. The overall point was that I was thinking about how I didn't want the trip to end and for us to be separated, with a bit of being afraid that I might jank up our relationship somehow like I did my last one. I was also feeling a bit stressed and scared about a situation going on in my neighborhood and I didn't want to go back. Rich is amazingly patient and reassuring with me. He points out that all the problems in my previous relationship were not my fault, and that he wants to be with me and protect me and keep me safe.
The fact that I feel safe with him is one of the most significant factors that makes this relationship different from my last LTR. That guy had/has a drug problem and he stole money from me early on. I forgave him, he paid me back, and he has been in a treatment program that keeps the addiction somewhat under control. Despite that, I realize now that I never trusted him. I felt throughout that relationship that I had to be 100% in control of everything all the time and anything I would have would be on my own with no help. With Rich, I would feel comfortable with (for example) moving into an apartment I couldn't quite afford on my own, with him working and contributing. In my past relationship, I would never move into an apartment where I depended on his part of the rent because I knew "something" would come up and put me in a bind where I would have to sacrifice to cover him. I don't feel like my words are adequately conveying my feelings here. Point is, I feel comfortable enough with Rich to give up some of my sense of control and allow a man to take care of me, not financially but emotionally and physically. This makes me both ecstatically happy and scares the living crap out of me.
Much like that morning, I am done talking about this and I just want to discuss the fun we had at Busch Gardens!
Busch Gardens is in Williamsburg, VA--about a three-hour drive. We get caught in a hellified traffic jam and keep switching lane positions with some girl who has "Baby Coco <3" painted on her windshield.
We hit up all the major rollercoasters that were open, along with a cool motion 4D simulator thing called Curse of DarKastle and a water ride, Escape from Pompeii. On Escape from Pompeii, Rich kisses me on the way down the big drop, which is captured by the ride camera and looks super cute. He bought us two photo keychains and the big portrait. All the rides had a 15-minute wait or less, which was completely awesome!
Towards the end of the day, the heat starts to get to me and I start feeling motion sick and dehydrated and dizzy. We stop by the Gasthaus (I think that's what it was called) in the "Germany" area of the park to get some food and a giant piece of black forest chocolate cake, which I eat all by myself. I feel way the hell better. As we're leaving I notice some teddy bears dressed up as the German-style dancers that perform in the Gasthaus. The girl dancers and teddy bears wear floral wreaths in their hair (or around their ears in the case of the bears). I offhandedly say the bears are cute, and Rich buys me one! That touched me right in the heart, because I was just saying they were cute, not "Buy me a bear!" My bear is named Brunhilda and I've slept with her every night since I got back. It's a poor substitute for waking up next to Rich but it's better than nothing.
We hit up a couple more rides, including a sequel to DarKastle, and then head back to NC. We stop at a Mickey D's in Suffolk, VA where the girl gives me a free soda for no apparent reason. Still, I am ass-tired (my arctic self can't handle the heat, son) and getting cranky. Then Rich gets lost. Not that I blame him, the roads are frickin' confusing! They have Hwy 264 and then Alternate 264. WTF is that? I don't like this 264, so I'm gonna take the alternate? He finds his way to Williamston where most of his extended family lives and he is easily able to get back to Greenville from there, but I still freak out a little. I'm not a fan of dark country roads. We do make it back to the hotel without encountering any serial killers or anything, and I'm too tired to even have sex. That's pretty damn tired!
We make up for it the following day. In addition, we watch some movies (Rich's favorite thing) and lay out in the sun (my favorite thing). That brings me to reason # 7549847292 why I'm in love with him--he shares things he loves with me and participates in things I love too, enabling me to share those things with him.
That night, we dress up to go out to dinner and see a movie. He looks nice in his button-down shirt and tie, while I look like a total hooker with thigh-high stockings and a skirt that barely covers my ass. The movie, Splice, was eh. It kept me entertained, however, and I did not suffer any joocolepsy. We wind up the evening with some conversation, more lovemaking, and the feeling of us growing closer together.
The next morning we go to his church. I'm not a religious person, but I feel honored that he wants to share that part of his life with me, and I have tremendous respect for his faith. He had an ulterior motive that I didn't realize at the time--to show me off. I think I made a good impression with lots of smiles, "nice to meet you," and an occasional hug. The minister's sermon was about the importance of fatherhood (it was Father's Day), and I enjoyed the conservative values he expressed. I also giggled when he mentioned touching your children, because I'm five.
Afterwards we ate lunch at Cracker Barrel along with Rich's mom. Our waitress neglected us a bit, and Rich was making fun of her. It was hilarious. We spent the afternoon watching more movies and doing more suntanning, and the evening watching even more movies and having awesome amazing mind-blowing sex that probably the whole floor could hear me but I didn't care. Our physical chemistry is incredible. It's so amazing how we connect on an emotional, intellectual and physical level. Honestly, I feel so lucky to have found him.
The next day was a bit bittersweet as it was our last full day together. We went to Atlantic Beach, because I wanted to see the ocean. We also visited Fort Macon, a Civil War historical site that was built for war, not for safety. It was pretty cool. But the best part was the beach and the ocean. We played around in the waves and collected tons of seashells. You can sit in the shallow part of the water and a wave will come along and just toss your body around like you're one of those tiny shells. We laughed and giggled and splashed each other and kissed and made out and watched the boats. It was so much fun and the thought occurred to me that if I just stayed in the water the day would never end.
Didn't work, so we headed back to Greenville and the hotel. We're cruising along when I glance over at Rich and I see a little tear streaming down his cheek. All I wanted to do at that point was make sure that he would never be sad again. When we get back he gets more emotional, and I do everything I can to comfort him, which wasn't easy because I was having a lot of the same feelings he was. We end up having some of that emotional comfort sex, which is often the best kind. We then take a shower to get some of the sand off (that shit gets everywhere!), and go out to eat.
We eat at Ming Dynasty, which had really good Chinese food, served by white people, eaten by Asian people. And our goofy asses. We speak in these Japanese stereotype accents, with periodic outbursts of me being worried someone would think we were being racist. At one point, the Asian dude at the next table says in the accent "Some people are on crack cocaine," which I sadly don't hear at the time, but Rich tells me about it. It has now become the king of the many inside jokes generated by this trip.
This dinner, much like the whole trip, had to end. We head back to the hotel and pack, and somehow my suitcase became way more full for the return trip. Then we settle down to watch True Romance and spend our last few hours where we would be together in the same physical space. We make love again (including the best oral I've ever received EVER) and fall asleep watching Heathers.
The next morning, I'm rip-roaring to go, because if I wasn't, I would probably miss my plane, never leave, get fired, and go to jail for stealing a rental car. We enjoy the best part of waking up and then I go downstairs to get a Daily Register. During this time, Rich sneaks Death Bed: The Bed that Eats into my suitcase and makes the sweetest video where he tells me he loves me and that I'm the best girlfriend ever. I only hope I can live up to that because that's what he deserves. We then head to the airport/dentist office and wait. His mom calls me to let me know that she enjoyed meeting me and to ask if Rich took me to the beach and I replied that he had. I was touched that she thought to call.
Finally, the time comes where I have to get in line for security and get on the plane. We kiss a million times and promise to see each other again soon. And I leave.
Just writing this is bringing tears to my eyes because it's a reminder of how happy I am with him, and how grateful I am to have him in my life. We will be together again soon, because he's coming to stay with me in Milwaukee from August 6-29. This will be less like a vacation and more like real life, but I'm sure it will still be tons of fun. I can't wait to fall asleep in his arms.