After a deliciously casual impromptu Monday night dinner, Tuesday came and went without pomp or circumstance. Then Wednesday arrived and with it my fifth date with Mr. Unicorn.
Earlier in the week, Mr. U shot me an email asking me if I might be up for trivia for our Wednesday night date.
I quickly shot him a reply which stated the following: "Yes trivia. And on that note, I think as we continue to date there is something you should know about me...I. Heart. Trivia. Like a lot. Like a lot a lot. It's scandalous how much I heart trivia. I might even like trivia more than your beard. They may have to duke it out for my attention this evening. How ever will I decide.?"
To which he countered: "I heart trivia too, and never do it. So let's make it happen. I'll be headed to the gym after work then we can meet after? Also, I'm beginning to be a little troubled by your obsession with my beard. Even starting to think you only like me for the beard. What would happen if I shaved it?"
And I answered: "Don't shave it. If you do, I make no promises. And don't worry, I don't like you just for your beard. A lot of it has to do with your biceps too...Now, how am I supposed to get anything done at the office after thinking of those ridiculously jacked arms being rocked at the gym? You tell me..."
He concluded the conversation with: "Easy-You're not. See you Wednesday."
SWOON. Enough said.
On Wednesday, I worked all day in a fog. Nothing seems to get done anymore on days when I'm going to see Mr. U. I'm restless all day long. It's a terrible distraction. Something's gotta give at some point - or I'll be happily coupled up but unhappily unemployed. This is a problem.
I was wearing a black dress, black patterned tights and black high heeled knee-high boots. I wear black a lot I must admit. But I look good in black. And can get away with being slightly more casual at work, when its all donned in a serious, unassuming black. So there you go.
I got out of work and hopped a cab to P street. I arrived at Stoney's a few minutes earlier than our scheduled meeting time. I headed upstairs, where they hold trivia night, and headed straight for the bar to get a cocktail. Let's just say it had been a really long week. And it was only Wednesday. After all, that's what hump day is for right? Mr. U shot me a text that said he was on his way. I asked him what he wanted to drink and he shot back "Bourbon and soda." I absolutely love that that is exactly what I had already ordered - for myself just moments earlier. I ordered another Makers and soda and literally the moment I went to hand over my credit card to the bartender, Mr. U was next to me out of nowhere, pushing my hand out of the way. "I'll put it down," he said casually. "Remember," he said. "Saturday is your day to pay. Not today." (On our last date, I had insisted he must let me plan and pay for a whole date during his birthday week, since his paying for everything was getting out of hand and making me feel guilty. It's not like I'm a starving artist. I'm a lawyer. I'm all for being wined and dined and being a traditionalist and letting a man take care of and provide for me. But still...I'm not a gold digging mooch either.)
By the time we arrived, there were no remaining seats. Stoney's was oober crowded. Mostly with seemingly younger 20-somethings. Perhaps even college students. Grad students. And some hill intern types. Not that we stood out by any means. It just seemed that the other participants had all night to do as they liked, hadn't been working all day and didn't have to schlep to work in the early morning. We on the other hand, had been and had to and didn't have the luxury of complete reckless, drunken abandon. Sigh.
It immediately became apparent to me, that Mr. U was exhausted. He looked like he hadn't slept much the last couple of nights and his conversational participation was sub par his usual enthusiasm. "Tired?" I asked him. "Utterly," he admitted. "But I'm really glad to be here with you." "Me, too," I said. "And don't worry about being lively," I added. "I'm tired too. We can just take it all in quietly and just be together." "Thanks for getting it," he said. "Of course," I said.
This may not seem like a momentous conversation or moment in our relationship. But I would have to disagree. When you can just be with someone, without any expectations or requirements or efforts or conversation or activity and be perfectly content - you've found something special. We didn't need to talk. We didn't need to interact. We just needed to just be with one another.
On the other hand, I'll admit, this was the first time I realized that Mr. Unicorn was, yes, still a unicorn, but also just a man. A man who worked. A man who got tired. A man who couldn't always give his 100% best game. He wasn't perfect. But he was there with me. Doing his darnedest, to muster up the energy to enjoy an evening of trivia with me. Which I appreciated. So we ordered some food to share and leaned against the wall, taking in the revelry of the other patrons. Then the trivia began...
At this point, while I hate to diss Stoney's, a great local watering hole, I cannot help but comment- that Stoney's trivia...is awful. They ask about one question every 25 minutes. And it goes on, and on, and on, and on...until the college students, with no responsibilities in sight, are completely wasted and screaming out profane and humorous responses to the proctor. Round 1. Round 2. Round 3. Round 4. Round 5. Round 6. Round 7. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? It was miserable. And endless. And Mr. U and I grew more and more fatigued with every 25 minute break in questions. And less patient. And less interested. Don't get me wrong, we were cheerful at first. We both have a great sense of geography and local DC knowledge. Mr. U has politics and history down. And I was able to show off my extensive background in literature, obsession with sports and pleasure in pop culture and entertainment. We made a good team. We weren't even close to the best of the bunch. But we were well above the average point scores. And there were only two of us versus dozens of teams of 4 people or more. We'll take it.
The highlight of the trivia experience came when they offered a bonus question with a prize of a free round of drinks for an exact, correct answer. The question: How many dairy cows are there in the entire state of Wisconsin, to the decimal point? To which I said: "I don't know. 5 million?" And Mr. U said: "No. No. More like 100,000." And then I thought, "There's more than that. And did you notice he said 'to the exact decimal point.' Which means there's a decimal point...Let's say...um...1.2 million." "Alright, 1.2. million it is," he agreed.
And wouldn't you know it-the answer was 1.2 million!!! Oh joy! How much fun was that. Forget passing the bar exam, this was exhilarating. Truly. We went nuts when he called our team name as having had the right answer. And that guy leading the trivia couldn't believe we got it either. Neither could the bar filled with people. It. was. awesome. After all friends, its the little things. Is it not? We proudly marched over to the bar and ordered our free drinks. Everything tastes better free. And we. were. ecstatic.
However, even the bonus round beverages couldn't keep us from wanting this trivia night to come to an end. And soon. For realz. Ergo, before it even ended, we skipped out on the final few rounds and headed out. Mr. U's apartment was on the walk between the bar and the metro (my destination to head home) and it was freezing. Besides that, it had been several days and now two dates, since the first night I'd gone home with him and we hadn't had an opportunity for "private time." Which we wanted. Forget being tired. (Some things are just worth rallying for. Just sayin'.)
We got back to Mr. U's apartment and spent some of that special time together. "You know I'll wait," he said. "Of course I'm gonna wait. But I gotta admit it's gonna be hard. Because you are so sexy. And I can't keep my hands off of you." "I know you can't," I said. (Which was an understatement). "But you're just going to have to," I said matter of fact. "Yes, of course," he said.
We decided the temptations were just to tempting and headed back out into the cold and towards the metro. I had a busy Thursday the next day ahead of me and then Friday I was headed out of town to go skiing for the long MLK weekend with my oldest and dearest friends. When Mr. U asked me when he'd see me again, I said I honestly didn't know. "What about Monday night when you get back?" he asked. I said I couldn't promise anything. I was traveling with a whole bunch of people and our group tried to be somewhat scheduled but also somewhat flexible and we'd have to decide as a group whether or not we'd ski Monday morning and what time we'd drive back from the mountains. I told him I'd keep him posted and I'd try to see him as soon as I got back if I could. Otherwise, we'd figure something out soon thereafter. He told me he'd miss me and to have a great time. I told him the same and once against descended the metro escalator.
As I left him this time, I had no doubts. No worries about where we stood or what he thought about me or what would happen with us in the nearest future. We'd been on five wonderful dates. Drinks, dinners, trivia, museums and house parties. Formal and informal. Public and private. One thing was constant throughout our time together - it was easy to be together, we wanted to be together, and something, somewhere, in the back of it all, there was this feeling like we were still on track for something special. We had only been dating for two weeks, but it already felt like two months.
I went home and packed for my vacation, excited to see my friends, content with the total confidence, that when I returned, Mr. U would be there waiting for me.