Previously on 'Thirty, Pt.1:'
The instant my hands grasped that slender frame it was all she wrote. Love? I didn't know. Lust? Definitely. Chemistry? Absolutely.
And now for part 2:
Even after the umpteenth celebratory tequila shot, my synapses were still firing full tilt. As I finally succumbed to fatigue that night, [well, morning] I lay awhile thinking about what I was feeling. It just didn't make any sense - I'd known this girl about a year and a half and we'd pretty much ignored each other the whole time. Then we dance one time and I'm feeling all this? Bullsh*t, I said to self. I laughed it off, blamed it on the alcohol and went to sleep, knowing that I'd be back to the old me when I got up.
I got up, stretched and, bleary-eyed, went to the kitchen to grab a glass of ice-cold water to quiet the drumming in my head. Glass in hand, I stepped out to the porch, hoping the frigid winter air would wake me up. I was sitting out there when she came out to find me, and I suddenly remembered I'd pledged I'd drive her home. Imagine my surprise when the feelings from the night before came flooding back at the very sight of her standing out there, arms around thin jacket, desperately trying to keep warm. And I knew then I liked her.
Now, when I'd made such pledges before, to drive someone home I mean, I'd always kicked myself later. There's nothing worse than having to drive someone you don't give two hoots about. But the moment I remembered I was driving her home, I felt like a freakin' genius, coz all a man usually needs is time, and lots of it. Getting a woman you like to like you is like landing a new job - you gotta put time into it.
And putting time in I did, lots of it. Though it was a 2.5 hour drive to her spot, we met up every weekend. EVERY weekend. At first I didn't know what I was doing. See, I knew I liked her, and I liked to drive, so driving that long just to be with her was no problem for me. All we did was chill [on separate couches even] and watch TV, movies, the Superbowl or walk around. She'd sleep in her room and I'd crash on the couch. She wasn't crazy or jealous, never raised her voice at me even when we disagreed, actually paid for some of our meals, and she could cook. Boy, could she ever! What do you know - I was actually attracted to a good girl for a change. It was so much easier, so much better, so much more stress-free hanging around someone like that, something I'd never before experienced.
A few weeks later, while getting some ice cream at DQ, I put my arm around her waist while we decided on which flavors to get. I hadn't touched her all this time save for the welcome-goodbye hugs, but this time the old feelings came crashing back with a vengeance. Better yet, she didn't pull away so I took my time ordering, if only to prolong the moment. And I knew then I wanted her.
But there was a problem - being with her meant a lot of people wouldn't be happy. There were people who liked her, people who liked me, people close to us, people who'd hate us if we'd gotten together. We both knew this so we resisted getting in too deep. But one day - and this is where I get back to being 30 - that all changed.
It was the day before my 31st birthday. I was talking to her on the phone when I had an epiphany: Getting with her was worth all the problems we'd inevitably face. This was the defining moment, the moment I'd gain everything - or lose everything, but I knew I had to do it. I'd never have said it if I'd been 20-something.
And I did: I asked her to be my girl. I'd never done it before, coz in the past the others had assumed we'd been together just because we'd been hanging out. I'm pretty good at beating around the bush, and I did just that then, but I eventually narrowed it down for her just so we'd be clear about what it is I was saying.
She didn't say anything for a while. It was no longer than maybe 30 seconds, but those were the longest moments of my life. And then she finally said:
"I could so see this coming."
But she didn't say yes or no. Not that night anyway. But the fact of the matter is that I asked her, and that's all that really matters.
And then one night when I went to see her as usual, she left her bedroom door open. I glanced over at the couch - she hadn't laid out the usual comforter for me. Hell yes.
They're right - life really does begin at 30.
Hot joint of the day: Chris Brown's Deuces