She had to go to a legal conflict resolution session with her ex yesterday because the person leading it couldn’t meet on Monday. When I got to my event, one of the other professors and her female partner left. It was really awkward. I made a joke about it, and they said it was their one-year anniversary, but it was odd. I told them that I would see them in March because they’re organizing cross country skiing. That’s something that I want to learn how to do, and all the classes that I tried to sign up for at the beginning of the month are now full, so I’m really glad that one of the professors with whom I work has organized a trip. The other professors and I hung out for about an hour and she finally texted that she was on her way! By that time, only the woman who is a mentor to me and did my post-doc for me was there, but I’ve known her years and she was a little lit, so she was being super fun when the climber got there.
She looked so tired. I put my arms around her and hugged her tight, but her energy was really low. She came back to be with us and I said, “I’m getting a beer!” I had drunk water for an-hour-and-a-half because of my baggage / experience. My ex who is dying would be loaded all the time.
I flew to Mexico in 2010 for Thanksgiving and she missed me at the airport and all the resorts there have the same name, so with my Spanish that is high school Spanish, I hailed a cab and drove around. Finally the cab driver said, “Do you think that this one is it?” I sat in the lobby. She hadn’t even bothered to give me her mother’s last name. I used the courtesy computer and emailed her and sat in the lobby for an hour (Does anyone reading this entry remember international roaming and being unable to text?). At that point, a woman who I believed to be her sister, and her nephew, and his girlfriend got off the elevator in swimsuits and towels. I ran toward them and introduced myself. If I remember correctly, they said that my ex was at the pool or in a cabana or something, or maybe she’d gone to the room? My ex did apologize, but she was really tipsy. When I flew into Key West for our last trip ever in September of 2011, I finally found her in a pool at a hotel wherein she’d texted me the name because at least that trip was in country. She was topless swimming in a pool and got out eventually when she saw me.
Don’t drink when your date isn’t there yet. Don’t even order a beer or glass of wine. Read the room, and energy. When she got there she had a Moscow Mule, I believe, and later had an Old Fashioned. I can’t drink hard alcohol, so I had two IPAs. I was definitely tipsy. She can hold alcohol way better than I can. I’ve now made a decision. No more solitary drinking. I have had a beer most nights for many, many years. But, I am done. I’ll have two beers with a friend or on a date when my date is drinking. I also will have beers when I cook for friends. It’s time for me to shift some habits and not mute things that are annoying through drinking when I’m home alone with my son. It’s dissociative. So is watching a movie on my phone. No more alone tactics like these.
My mentor puts everyone at ease and is extroverted, reads well dynamics, and the climber started getting acclimated and livened up a ton. The climber is so charming, funny and easy to talk to. She bantered with my mentor and they discussed grading in a post-COVID environment, living and teaching abroad, and also my mentor told stories from her youth and the climber engaged, was laughing and asking her questions, and was so easy and fun. What a contrast from my ex-wife who was so awkward all the time around my colleagues. She wouldn’t even let me have colleagues over for dinner and when my mentor came over after I turned 40 and had dinner with me, she buzzed around the kitchen. My mentor remarked again on how beautiful my ex-wife was. Although true, I don’t miss having to limit any social interactions and worry that when we were around people–particularly those who are educated–she would sometimes fight with me after they left. She’s not like that with her family, or two of her friends from high school, but isn’t comfortable around many people. I can’t believe that I convinced myself it was normal.
My mentor left around 8:30 or so, and the climber said, “Can I join you?” and snuggled up with me in the booth. I said, “I would love to take you out to dinner.” She said, it was probably around nine, “The hour for fine dining has passed.” I cracked up. I asked her about the conflict resolution and she said that there was some limited headway. I was so glad. We talked about how our vacations were going to shake out. She kissed me and I told her it was my lifetime quota for kissing in public. I said, “Quota is the wrong word. It’s that I’ve kissed you in public more than anyone who I have been with combined.” I said a few phrases in Spanish, and she got all fired up. Spanish just has some precision in phrasing that doesn’t translate well in English, so I use them. Check. Going forward will speak in Spanish for at least part of the night every time we’re connecting.
She ate some sweet potato fries, and I was no longer hungry at all. We talked and talked. She explained her impressions of people and not seeing gender in anyone. She talked about three days with her sister and Mom and Dad for Christmas. She talked about her camping plans. This time, she didn’t ask me about dates that I have (I have only one.) and generally seemed more confident about my not wanting exclusive. I did tell her that when I make plans, I would like to pay. I also told her that I want to go caving with her and do some hiking or climbing in the south. I think that we can do that this summer or spring. She is always game for an adventure.
We kissed, and I put my hands all over her arms and also was touching her left thigh. I always wind up touching the tops of her hands. They’re fascinating. I finally got to palm mine with hers. It’s remarkable because mine are so small for my height and hers are huge for hers. We talked about being the shortest and darkest in our families. She touched my right leg once and said, “You have on corduroys too!” We both like the sensory experience of wearing them and petting them. We talked about doing that when we are sitting or in meetings and love the feel of them. I used the word “basic.” She said that illustrates the only age difference. I guess I get it, but I am WYSIWYG. My son calls girls in white Adidas who have a certain look “basic,” so that must have been what the climber was referencing.
She got tired, hit a wall, and I put on my gear and she walked me out. When I put on my reflection straps and helmet, I felt like a dork. I apologized, and she said, “I’m waiting until you get that put away (my lock) and then I’m getting another kiss.” I remembered her her side comb, and said, “I have something for you.” She said that it was from her wedding. Besides her shoes, it was the only thing that she’d removed after the ballet when I was ultimately in a bra and underwear in my bed. I think that she was younger than me when she married the man who she’d ultimately been with for 17-years of her life. I got married to a man at 23, and was a child. I only have our album, and don’t have the garter or anything from my hair or the jewelry. I’m going to thrift my wedding dress from my second wedding over vacation. The climber talked about liking having something fancy from her wedding and I agreed. She looked so beautiful with her hair fixed last week for the ballet. I like her in a beanie, corduroys, and a down jacket too. I just like her.