I met BF at a bar. Yes, a BAR. At Tonic, no less. Talk about taboo! If you live in NYC, you’ll know that Tonic is not where a girl goes to meet potential boyfriends, never mind “The One.” It’s where a girl goes to get picked up, or when she’s dragged by her girlfrinds who are looking to get picked up and she’s left by herself bored out of her mind and feeling completely out of place (which was what was happening to me that night of nights).
In my years of bar-hopping and girls’ nights out, I’ve learned that you can;t go out with the intension of meeting a guy. They can somehow smell your desperation and then the only ones you’ll attract are the riffraff. Which I guess is why, when I least expected it, and definitely where I least expected it, I met BF.
Our meeting circumstances were a bit different. First of all, I hit on him. He too, was dragged there reluctantly by friends “who needed a drink” and though he had already noticed me, he was not the type to approach random girls. Good thing I took the initiative. Second, he had JUST moved to New York, not yet tainted by the “always looking for the next best thing” culture that has jaded even the most romantic. He seemed genuine and that tickled my fancy. Yes girls, it can happen.
To be honest, though I was mezmerized by his stunning blue eyes, intrigued by his shy awkwardness, and probably beer-goggled by all the Blue Moons and Jack on the Rocks I ordered him to get me, I still did not think of him as a potential boyfriend. He was just starting dental school, and though his friends made fun of him for dropping “the dentist card,” I actually found that to be a turn-off. Sure, he may be a dentist one day, but what are the chances of me still being with a guy I met at Tonic in FOUR YEARS? Also, I hate dentists with a passion. (Another time, another story.)
But for the time being, I saw him as a cute guy I could have fun with. Just to make sure we were on the same page, I even went so far as to tell him on our first official date that I am not a relationship person, never have been, and wasn’t looking to start one anytime soon. I was terrified of being emotionally intimate, and in order to keep my vow of never letting a man hurt me, I’ve always mentally kept them at an arm’s distance from my heart.
He, however, was either not listening, or did not view this as a road block. Without stopping to look both ways, he barged his way into my life and basically said, “Listen, dodo, when you see something good, don’t let your cowardliness and insecurities ruin it for you.” Out loud he said, “I work really hard for what I want and I don’t stop til I get it,” while my inner self snorted at his arrogance and thought, “Welcome to New York! Good luck getting me to settle down.”
Luck he did not need. In the days and weeks to come, his persistence and his sincerity, and his willingness to look the other way when I was typical New York wishy-washy wore me down and I started thinking, “Ok, what is his deal?”
Having only been in New York for a few months, and living off student loans, he didn’t have the same bank account or connections as most of the douchebags guys I was used to dating, but our dates were hands-down the most romantic and thoughtful ones I’ve ever been on. He wooed me, and in the fast-food-relationship world that is New York City, how many girls are lucky enough to experience an old-fashioned courtship?
I started to confide in him, to share with him insecurities, goals, and secrets both good and bad. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was beginning to trust him, or if I was just trying to repel him. Look, I’m not perfect. You better leave now before you figure this out on your own. But you know what? He didn’t run away, and my wall cracked, little by little.
Then, on the night of July 15, 2008, after an amazing dinner at Blue Water Grill, I clutched the 2 overpriced roses he bought of a con street vendor, we walked hand in hand along Pier 1 to view Olafur Eliasson’s waterfalls falling off the Brooklyn Bridge, and I thought to myself, “Heart, what is happening?”
That is the night of Roses and Waterfalls, the night we later coined our anniversary date, and that is the night, for the first time ever, I finally let go and let love creep in.
I’m about a week late posting this, but Happy 2 Year Anniversary, baby.