Thursday, June 16, 2011
Kit's Side of the Story
First of all, I joined OkCupid on a lark a few months ago at a friend's suggestion. Mostly, I just wanted to meet somebody. Anybody. I just wanted to go on a date. You see the ads on tv all the time for eHarmony and Match.com which you have to pay for but I wasn't really getting anywhere with those. OkCupid was free so I decided to give that a try instead. People fill out all these "questions" on their profiles and those were the most fascinating to me so I sat down and answered over 300 questions in the first couple of days. I got a few emails and started some conversations that didn't really go anywhere including one date that was just regrettable.
Then I got Kim's email. She'd formatted it into the Top 5 things she liked about me, which meant she had genuinely read my profile. Also, that she was quirky enough to put it into list format was cute and efficient. Quirky works for me. Hers was by far the most interesting message anyone had sent me. It gave me points of a conversation to reply to thoughtfully and it didn't hurt that she was beautiful in pictures.
God, did it just spiral out of control from there. Over a hundred messages in under three weeks, some of them full two to three page letters. I'd get home every day and check my email just waiting for a reply from her. I was so excited to have a conversation with someone normal. (Well, almost normal. If you know Kim at all, you'll understand that statement!) She was interesting and funny and I couldn't get enough. We had so much in common, even the little things that you wouldn't normally think matter made all the difference in talking to her. She was painfully honest about a lot of things which must've been scary for her but I love someone who's willing to take a chance, take a risk, walk through the minefield, and try new adventures. I loved every minute of it.
She finally sent me her phone number and I sent mine back with just the phrase "baby steps" which is exactly what it was. The perfect way for us to start off because I didn't want to rush anything or scare her off. But the texting happened so easily and was filled with so many smiley faces :-) and :-P and :-D
Alright so we're up to the phone call now. She called and I missed it. I couldn't believe it. What do I do? Do I listen to the honest, heartfelt words that she spent all the courage working up to leaving on my voicemail? Nope. I just called her back. I was somewhat nervous. Truthfully, we'd covered a lot of ground online and on text and some of those letters were deeply personal so it was a little intimidating. Of course, she picked up and was right off the bat disappointed that I had called back instead of listening to the voicemail. We laughed it off but honestly, that phone call was the best thing to happen to me in months. The time just disappeared like a warm breeze. I haven't talked to anyone on the phone for that long since at least the last presidential election. I felt great after that. Comfortable and happy and just overall thrilled. After four hours of hearing her voice, I was hooked. It was like a door opened up that I'd hadn't expected to see open again, at least not soon. I'm almost at a loss for words to describe how lost I got in her and the possibility of her and meeting up and a future together. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Our first date was three days later and I got to the city early so I could be punctual and just wander Manhattan. She called on her way over to coordinate where we were meeting and I stood on the edge of Fifth Avenue looking to see which of these people walking down the street could be her with her bouncy blonde hair as I'd only seen pictures online. At the entryway to Rockefeller Center, I finally spot her thirty yards away or so and I (being the devious little devil that I am) use the falafel cart I'm hiding behind as a shield so she can't see me. I've been playing the "I can see you but you can't see me" game since I was a kid. It brings me great joy to do that to friends. I wouldn't suggest doing that on a first date to anyone though, but I felt comfortable enough to do it with Kim.
I pop out from behind the falafel cart with a "here I am!" and am greeted by the biggest, brightest, sweetest smile; one that could power a subway station with the amount of nervous energy she had. Butterflies fluttering around, so elegant, so cute, so beautiful, the brightest spot in New York City at that very moment. Absolutely amazing. I wasn't thinking about an hour from then or a week from then or a year from then, I just knew that I wanted to be right there with her at that very moment. I had already killed so much time that afternoon just enjoying midtown but my day didn't really start until the minute she hugged me hello. She had said repeatedly (and here is me quoting Kim back to Kim) "It feels like we've already known each other for years." I was instantly comfortable with her. It was just her and me. It was exciting.
Kim's first choice was to take me to the American Girl store which is HUGE fyi - four stories - and showed me off all the dolls she had as a kid, all the dolls other girls had that she was jealous of, and the doll that had my name. Kit is a little sparkplug. I like that. The whole store was like a birthday party on crack. I was knee deep in little girls. Little girls whose dolls could get their hair styled and nails done and buy little outfits for them. Yes, you read that right. Hair and nail styles for their DOLLS! It was cute. It was fascinating. It was kind of scary. I hope never to have to go back until I have little girls of my own. The whole time we were in there, we talked about the things we want our daughters to have growing up because clearly when you meet a girl on a first date, you should always discuss things you want for your future children. Who doesn't discuss what languages / sports / action figures they want their future offspring to have? Yeah, we're weird. I know.
Another highlight for me was dinner at Stecchino. I felt incredibly underdressed. Dinner was awesome because the place was beautiful but also, there was cheese. I was just so excited that we both love cheese and everything was so delicious. It was nice that she got to lead for a bit and I got to lead for a bit and I was holding her hand the whole time. The moment we sat down to dinner I thought "She is so far out of my goddamn league" and "I am in way over my head". I needed a life preserver to get me out of this situation with a beautiful, classy, elegant, educated woman. How am I sitting with this girl right now? She is head and shoulders the most glamourous, lovely lady I have ever been on a date with. I am clearly shooting for the moon here. Even if I don't make it, at least I can say I tried. I really hope she wants to talk to me after this.
Moving on... I love Bryant Park. It's made so much more special now that I've walked through it with Kim. The building I've always wanted to live in is across the way and her family used to have an apartment there. I could stay there with her. This girl, in this place, that's a hell of a thing. Wouldn't that just be the best?
And then there was the kiss...She was so lovely. My mind went blank before we kissed. I have no recollection of any thought at that moment. I turned to her and she had this big smile and these huge eyes and she leaned in to me and it was electric. I had no plans to kiss her on the first date so we didn't rush anything but when she didn't slap me away, I felt like I was on top of the world. There was definitely a Go, Kit, Go theme song playing in my mind just then. I remember the sensation of her lips, arms around me, skin on skin. The best part was taking her hand after and knowing that she'd kissed me back and she was with me. Go me!!!
She was like a sponge absorbing everything I said in Grand Central, giving her the grand tour. I was feeling pretty cocky at the moment. There was a good buzz going on there cause that's home turf for me. The tour of GC includes the Campbell Apartment which is a high-end bar for business suits and ties and although I was completely underdressed, I want to go in there someday. I want to go in with Kim. When she promised me a drink amongst the doctors and the lawyers and the higher-up executive types, I didn't care that I wasn't any of those things, I just had her and I was on top of the world.
The sun is definitely down now which means that once again, the passage of time has completely escaped us. Heading towards Tudor City is a direction simply ingrained in me. I was so excited because it's a place that makes me so happy and I want to share it with Kim. I suddenly want to share everything with Kim. She's freezing and I insist on giving her my coat. That's what a man is supposed to do. A gentleman offers a lady his coat. After a bit of arguing from her (she's rather stubborn), she finally took the jacket.
I knew exactly what I was going to do before we got there. I had a plan. I wanted to surprise her more than anything and I knew just how I was going to do it. If I love that view, I knew she would love that view. I made her close her eyes (at which point I was already smiling) and brought her to the overpass to see the whole city across 42nd St and I had a big, dopey grin on my face the whole time, and when she opened her eyes, it was just magical. She lit up every bit as much standing on the bridge looking down on Manhattan as she did when I kissed her. Kim absolutely lit up as bright as any other lights in the city, she was so excited. I got such a charge out of that. She made every experience more amazing. I was ridiculously lucky to be standing there with her.
We head back to Grand Central with tired feet, sit on a bench, and I put my head on her lap ... and fell asleep. Yes, I know it sounds bad. Who falls asleep on a first date? Kim razzed me about it then (and I suspect she will continue to do so for as long as we are together) but it was just such a peaceful moment. I meant to only close my eyes for a second. Ah well, what I meant doesn't matter. The truth is that I fell asleep and you know what? It was kinda nice.
There is a post-it note I wrote to myself about eight months ago and have kept on my desk ever since. "I just want to lay my head down on someone's lap, have her brush my hair, lift the weight off my shoulders, close my eyes, and fall asleep. Be loved."
That was that moment with Kim. I felt so safe and so loved after seven and a half hours on a date, a few phone calls, and several hundred emails, I knew I was home. It was all I wanted. It was all I'd dreamed about for months. It was perfect.
If we'd never seen each other again, I would've been heartbroken, but that moment would've made it worthwhile. It was then that I realized Kim was the perfect fit. She was everything I'd been looking for. She was the woman who was going to make me happy in the most simple, basic, wonderful way for a very long time.
My advice to you is this: Eight hour first dates are unexpected. Bring a coat just in case. Be punctual. Be willing to do whatever she wants to do. And be prepared for the possibility that this may very well be the last first date you ever go on.