Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Leap Day Miracle
Ummm...sorry. Maybe I should start from the beginning???
This week has really gotten me thinking about my last few dates. This project is coming to a close and I've only got a couple of "cups" left. What could I do to spice things up? (Pardon the play-on-name.) Then it hit me: LEAP DAY.
As I explained in Married, Gay, or Dead yesterday, Leap Day is the one day every four years when - according to British tradition - a woman can propose to a man. But who would I propose to?
After scouring my friends and family for prospects, only ONE person could give me the name and number of a "great single guy" in his thirties. I thought for certain all hope was lost. What if I called this guy and he said no? My brilliant plan of asking out a dozen guys looked bleak at best. I was certain there was no hope for a Leap Day Love in my future.
This morning, I woke up to a message from a dear girlfriend I haven't seen in a while. We're theatre pals from our improv comedy days. She gave me the name and number of a fellow improviser friend with the provision that he's leaving for Paris for a week but would enjoy being asked out before he goes.
Oh great. The memories of the guy who "moved to China" to escape a second date with me have not faded from my memory. I shudder at the thought of another man who might put an ocean or two between us rather than involve himself in a romance. Still, I have no other truly promising options, so I make the call.
One thing you should know about me: I have a weakness for any man named Mike. Those who read this blog two summers ago will recall my extreme disappointment with the first Michael I dated, but I refuse to allow his loser-dom to taint my belief that I am destined to be with a man named Michael. (That's a blog in and of itself.) So when Jess said, "My friend Mike is game for the asking" I knew that I was calling him no matter what!
First of all, I'm exceptionally grateful that Jess had given him a heads-up that I'd be calling. Didn't want to blindside the poor guy! I introduced myself on the phone and his voice quickly picked up into a smile and I felt like he was incredibly glad (if not surprised) to hear from me! I'm guessing it's not every day that a random girl calls and says "Hi, you don't know me but I want to go on a date with you." Actually, if that does happen to you every day, Congrats and please tell me what you know that I don't!
We got into a fun, light-hearted, interesting conversation about his work flying around the world and my work on the book. We chatted about our favorite spots in Europe and how New York would always be home. He made me laugh more times per minute than I could have dreamed and I was instantly at ease with him. Mike felt like an old friend on the phone, not some guy I'd never met.
Life has a funny way of working itself out sometimes. Mike was one of the actors in a play Jess wrote last year that I attended. His humor and charming good looks made him wonderful to watch and it was strangely comforting to know "we've already been in the same room together," as he put it. Makes us feel less like strangers and more like friends who just haven't met yet.
Have you ever experienced a moment so surreal you're not entirely sure you're really in it? Like being in a dream world but you know you're awake? I was driving to Starbucks to write this very blog and had called Mike from the car. My plan was to call, chat, ask him out and get it over with as quickly as possible. Ten minutes max. I arrived at the home office in those ten minutes, parked, and stayed on the phone with him for a half hour longer.
The rain pouring down on my windshield looked like a movie set. It was cold and wet and miserable outside, but in my car, with Mike's voice in my ear, my laughter ricocheting around the seats, I was warm and toasty and completely happy. We giggled like small children about our favorite Disney movies. He can speak French and wear huge boots and stomp around like Gaston for me anyday! He offered to break out the Jack Sparrow vest on our date so we could play pirates which almost had me in a When Harry Met Sally diner moment. The only thing I adore more than Disney princes are Disney pirates!!! He's got the same silly sense of humor that I do and I felt all the nerves melt away as I relaxed into being my ridiculous self with him.
Then it came time to pop the question. The nerves kicked right back in! I knew it was dumb. We'd already been on the phone for thirty minutes. I had no reason in the world to think for a second he'd say no. But I had to say the words. I had to ask him out on a date.
"So, Mike - aka Gaston - aka Captain Jack Sparrow - I was wondering, upon your return from overseas adventures, would you like to go on a date with me?"
"Yes. Hell yes. Let's do it!"
HUGE sigh of relief! He did not hesitate in the least with his enthusiastic response. I felt this crazy smile come over my face. One of those ear to ear grins you only see in cartoons. We made a date for next Tuesday when he gets back from Paris. I'm planning our date (a million ideas pinballing around in my brain) and I'm trying SO hard not to count the minutes between now and then. I've gotten my hopes up before. I've put all my eggs in one basket. I've counted my chickens before they've hatched and I am NOT doing that this time. We are going to take it slow, have a good time, and enjoy the hell out of getting to know each other.
But you can be damn sure I'm kissing him on Tuesday.