Sometimes, looking backwards is a good way to appreciate where you are.
Once upon a time, a Greek god tumbled down off Mount Olympus, hit his head, and decided to ask me out on a date.
What an amazing god-like specimen he was, muscles rippling across a chest so broad that there was room for me to hide my entire frame behind it. And he was so tall, so blessedly, beautifully tall that even in my highest heels the top of my head hardly hit near his shoulders. A lightning white smile and an easy-going, slightly sharp sense of humor was further evidence that some people are simply at the front of the line when it comes to getting it all.
And he was a ginger! It was like all my birthday wishes wrapped up in this long-legged, red-haired package. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to meet him.
The first half of our date went off like a charm. We met at a local brew pub, where he had exactly one half pint of IPA and I had exactly two full pints of black lager. He was witty with just the right touch of snark and self-deprecation without actually saying anything too damaging to his ego. His smile was infectious, heart-stopping, and so photogenically consistent as to be almost a superpower.
So when the evening wound down and he asked me if he could come over “to play board games or give massages” I thought, Why not? I could blame it on the beer, but really, I just liked him. He had me laughing like I had rarely laughed before.
I also thought the grey area between “board games” and “massages” was curiously vast. But whatever. I was all in.
The first sign that perhaps all was not as awesome as it seemed was when Apollo brought in 3 bottles of water from his car and lined them up neatly on my kitchen counter. I asked him if he wanted anything to drink, half-joking, and he quite seriously replied, “Nope, that’s why I brought water. I allow myself just one beer a week, and that’s all. Strict fitness protocols, you know.”
OK. No, I actually don’t know, but OK.
Stranger thing number two was when he asked: “Is that a cat?” I followed the line of his rigidly pointing finger to the white and grey feline lounging on my couch.
“Yes. Yes, that is a cat. Haven’t we talked about my pets, before?” I asked gently, knowing that yes, yes we did. I always ask, because I don’t want to become romantically entangled with someone who has pet allergies. Because the pets will always win.
“Pets. You mean cats?”
“Well, there is a pudgy Cocker Spaniel whining at the back door.”
“That’s a dog.”
“Yes… Cocker Spaniels are dogs.”
“I have slight allergies, but it’s not a big deal.”
I’m thinking, OK? But not really OK.
“However, the animal dander could be an issue.”
The ginger god sat gingerly on the edge of my couch and eyed my uncaring feline.
“Let’s sit outside on the back porch,” I suggested, and he sprang up like a shot.
Outside the weather was warm but not humid. He sipped his bottled water and started cracking jokes and telling childhood stories. I relaxed, again, and tried to push the animal dander issue to the back of my mind. While he told me about wrestling in high school, he reached over and loosely grabbed both of my wrists, his long fingers overlapping. He pulled me gently towards his lap, and I went very willingly. The electricity between us was surprising, and he kissed like a pro.
Suddenly he stopped, pulling back a little. I pulled back, too, struggling not to pant like a dog in heat. I was hot and bothered all over and wondering, Why are we stopping when this is just getting really, really good?
“Your hair,” he said, tilting his divine head to one side with a slight frown creasing his immortal brow.
“My hair?” I squeaked, like an idiot. What the hell is wrong with my hair?
“There’s too much of it. It seems to be everywhere.”
That was it. Three taboos is two too many. I slowly unwrapped myself from around his waist, pushing back my wild mane as I did so. He nodded in approval, perhaps thinking that I was coming back after putting my hair in a suitably restrained ponytail or maybe shaving my entire head bald. Instead, I said,
“I think I need some water.”
Again, he approved—of course he did! And we went back inside, back to the evil Animal Dander Land. He didn’t make it five minutes before he was fidgeting and uncomfortable, unable to bring himself to sit somewhere a creature might have made contact and left invisible cooties. Which, in a house with two cats and a dog, is pretty impossible. Gently, ever so gently, I took his elbow and guided him towards the front door.
“Next time, let’s meet at your place,” I lied, a soft murmur against his herculean forearm as he held tight to his two remaining bottles of water.
“Oh, yes! Yes, that would be much better,” he agreed quickly while surreptitiously trying to adjust the god-like bulge in his shorts.
Mmm, might have been nice to see if he had been first in that line, as well, but perhaps not at the expense of my entire standard of living.
As he smiled that thousand-watt smile of his and I waved him to his car, I shut the door with a surprising sense of relief.
Dodged-a-bullet kind of relief.
Sexy Beast was a wonderful date, but apparently just not the kind I could bring home.
Then again, perhaps Ragnar Lothbrok had the right idea: “Don’t look back; you’re not going that way.” So wherever you are, good luck! And may the road rise to meet you.
Photos used are free from Pixabay and approximate the god described above, whom I have decided not to personally embarrass by including his actual likeness: https://pixabay.com/p-1828542/?no_redirect