c'est si bon

I almost blew off our first date. He doesn't know this, but it's true. I almost didn't go, because I was sure he was too young. I had him at ten years my junior, easily. Maybe I didn't look at him closely enough when we met. Maybe I was so self-conscious about being on my goofy knee scooter, feeling too awkward and shy to really take a good look at him, when he handed me his card. I don't know though, because even now when I stare (yes, stare) at him, I still marvel that he'll be thirty-six in a matter of days. He is the most boyish looking guy I've ever had the pleasure to mutually, sheepishly grin at, for minutes at a time.

It's probably the dimple.

There's just the one, hiding to the right of his smile, which itself doesn't hide for more than a few moments before reappearing to light up his face. And my face. And whatever room he's in. (Yep, it's going to be that sort of post. Sorry, you guys.)

Anyway, it almost didn't happen. I almost canceled at the last minute, because after the last unsuccessful foray into younger dudes, I had sworn to myself I wasn't going to go there again, so help me god. And I was 100% convinced he was in that camp - the younger-dude-who-initially-mistakes-Ellie-as-a-younger-chick camp (the number of displaced refugees at this camp truly constitutes a humanitarian disaster).

And the first three minutes of the date were terrible. I was a hot, cranky mess (nothing like being on crutches in a heat wave!). I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable, clumsily hobbling out of the heavy lobby door to where he waited outside for me, smiling sympathetically and looking so intimidatingly polished and hip and cute and fucking tall. As he walked slowly beside me, ticking off boxes on the standard list of first date questions, I sweated and inwardly groused, flustered and annoyed at myself for not having bowed out and stayed at home, off my dumb and useless foot.

But then, as we were mere feet from the bar entrance, he mentioned having been on the French version of a TV show that instantly gave him away as older than I'd previously thought. I stopped dead in my tracks. "Wait, how old are you?" I asked, looking at him in surprise. And when he told me, and I realized Holy shit, he's actually age-appropriate and someone I could take seriously, my level of fluster rose to a catastrophic degree. It was all I could do to limp to a barstool, catch my breath, and take the two minutes he spent inside fetching us drinks to recalibrate my expectations for the evening.

I was a bundle of nerves by the time he returned with cocktails. He was too good-looking, I was too unnerved by my limited physicality and by the shock of being so wrong about his age, and having gone into the date with such a fuck it attitude. Also, it was so goddamn hot. I practically shot my Negroni in an effort to relax a little bit.

We talked and talked and drank and talked, and I unwound enough to open up. I confessed to him how hard on me, emotionally, my accident had been, and that I was scared my foot wouldn't heal correctly. He gave me the broad strokes on his upbringing, his education, his interests. Tipsy, I took a shot at speaking a bit of French with him, but quickly gave up when I misunderstood his pronunciation of Serge Gainsbourg. I eased into the date, unsure of how into me he was.

And then he kissed me.

He did it when I stood up to go to the bathroom. He stood up, too, to hold me steady while I gathered my crutches. And he just went for it. And it was awesome. And he smiled at me with his enormous eyes and something inside of me went warm, and I felt strangely...safe.

And that was sixteen days ago.

And in the sixteen days since, we have been spending time together, in the limited ways and places that we can, since I am still not back to walking.

And it has been great.

He is expressive and open-hearted and emotionally available in a way that I'd cynically and only half-jokingly come to the conclusion wasn't on the menu. He's incredibly sweet and empathetic. He's into self-examination and personal growth, which impresses and inspires me. He's sensual and playful, and I about die when he whispers to me in French. I. Just. About. Die. He's vulnerable and communicative and extremely demonstrative and affectionate. He's been unafraid to let me know that he's into me, and in fact that openness has left me sort of breathless at times, and had the weird effect of blocking me, creatively. Because I don't want to jinx it, and I don't want to taint it, and when I talk about it - and him - I want to do so in a way that does justice to what I'm experiencing, which is this really nice feeling of anticipation and excitement, but also a dash of nervousness, because who wants to get hurt?

No one. No one wants to get hurt.

We have mostly passed our time having meals and drinks downtown, and hanging out in my apartment, listening to music and talking for hours at a stretch. We've had a couple of marathon, spill-over-into-the-next-afternoon type dates. We laugh a lot at silly things, because we seem to have the same cornball sense of humor that occasionally dips into cleverness, but is mostly just us cracking up at some dumb thing we know is dumb but can't help finding funny anyway. A few nights ago he blessed a kiwi before I put it back into the fridge, and we couldn't stay upright, because we found this so hysterical.

We were completely sober.

I went to dinner with he and his (visiting) father a couple nights ago, and making him giggle with comments under my breath was the most fun I've had with a guy in ages. When he played some of his recorded music for me, I was rolling around in the bed, biting the pillow lest I shriek with delight - not just because he is so creative and the songs are so fun, but because I can't help but be secretly ecstatic that I'm dating a singer/songwriter who, if I saw on stage, I'd probably crush on instantly.

Maybe you've noticed I'm into music?

Just a few days ago, I watched him act. That was something I'd sort of subconsciously pushed aside, for various, complicated reasons. But I finally went through and watched some of the short projects he's done, and it made me so, so excited for him, because he is truly talented and so damn watchable, in my opinion. I am excited for him because I think he should be performing, because he is undeniably magnetic and fun to watch.

I told him a few days ago that this post was going to be difficult for me, whenever it finally came. The one where I "announced" or "revealed" or whatever dumb, self-absorbed sounding word I have to put on it because I am a blogger, to say that I'm seeing someone new.

And I explained that since I blog, even though my readership is tiny, connecting to me through social media will necessarily open him up to being in a spotlight of sorts. I explained that my readers are the coolest fucking people ever, but that I cannot control everything and everyone, and there might be some awkwardness or even unwanted attention if he interacts with me in the same spaces that I do with my internet friends. I let him make the decision as to how he wanted to handle it. I expressed particular concern over Instagram, because sometimes I talk about my blog there. But I have a feeling that if things continue as they have been, we're going to press ahead and have fun together on social media, because it's something we both enjoy.

I don't know how, if at all, this will affect my blogging and gramming, though maybe at first it'll make me a bit self-conscious and protective? I guess I'll see.

And now you know what's been happening, here behind the scenes at Elliequent, with me and someone fun and sweet and definitely special.

And it's good.

C'est si bon.