(1) Mr. U surprised me at work in the middle of the day with flowers. I was extremely surprised. But - I did not like it. I was in the middle of something, insanely busy, caught off guard, running behind schedule, stressed and suffering from intense mouth pain and swelling from a root canal. It just wasn't a good time. Plain and simple. Also, I take work very seriously and my office is high security. Unscheduled visitors are not all that welcome. I got a wide array of responses from readers saying (1) it was okay that I did not appreciate his surprise and kicked him out of the building as soon as humanly possible (2) it depends on the person or situation and its hard to say whether I was in the right or wrong (3) that I'm a complete idiot, don't deserve him and should have been overly excited, gracious, inviting and grateful. All said and done, knowing what I know about him being a workaholic and the type of place he works at, all I can say is that if I showed up at his work place unannounced OR even announced, I think he would completely lose his shit and then lose my number. Seriously. So I don't think the double standard should be allowed here, that I should be okay with him popping into my work place unannounced when he would be mortified if I did the same. Another thing you don't know, is that he won't even meet me for lunch, ever, even though we work two blocks apart! He says he's too stressed and busy at work to EVER do lunch out and just eats at his desk. Talk about someone who takes work seriously...
(3) He promised I hadn't seen the last of surprises.
(5) The hints insisted of the following:
1. It is comfortable2. Requires me to stay with me, well not "requires" but would be a total waste if I didn't
3. It isn't all that great4. It is gay friendly.
5. He might be able to intercept me after work temporarily before he returned to the office for the purpose of the surprise6. It is, in nomenclature, tangentially related to the Adams Family (Presidents, not Creepy TV people).
7. As it relates to us it is single use, though not necessarily single use in general.8. It is still a surprise.
(6) My guesses had including the following:
1. Something having to do with rainbows2. Something having to do with floats or parades
3. Something having to do with underwear or "Long Johns"4. Rainbow underwear
5. Rainbow pajamas6. The zebra striped black lacy thong I'd left at his place the week before
7. Him wearing that thong8. Edible underwear
9. Pillows, candles, bubble bath10. Condoms
11. Some kind of food
At 7 pm on Friday night, I finally left work and set off to meet Mr. U near the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro station. Then we continued on foot for a couple blocks.
And the play was a great distraction. At intermission, Mr. U and I didn't get up to use the restroom or to get a refreshment. We sat in our seats and talked about the first half. "I'm completed riveted," he told me. And it made me glad to hear that he was enjoying it as much as I was. "I love this," I told him sincerely. "You deserve it," he responded. (I assure you, it never gets old hearing that).
When the play was over we made our way to our next site to satisfy our growing appetites. We settled on Hudson Restaurant and Lounge. A loungey-type bar with subtle pink lighting and dark sultry corners, rich small bites such as Truffle Mac N Cheese and to-die-for sangria margaritas. It was the perfect, romantic post-theatre dinner spot for two.
Shortly after we sat down, Mr. U asked me if I had remembered to bring his copy of the play. "Of course I brought it," I told him as I pulled the thin book out of my purse. "Why?" "Let's discuss it," he urged. "I'm sorry, what?" I asked him really unsure of what he meant. "Let's discuss it," he said again. "Anything. Imagery, Metaphors, Things you liked, didn't like. How did the theatre interpret the play? Anything unusual that was different than the pure writing itself? Don't act like you haven't analyzed this whole thing ten times over Miss English Major extraordinaire because I know you have."
I sat there in shock. No doubt my chin dropped, my mind blank. I knew this man was Mr. U and Mr. Perfect to boot, but sometimes I forget. Was he actually wanting to converse about theatre and literature, with the hard copy book on the table, at 10 o'clock on our Friday night date in a pink hued loungey type bar? Yes, yes I think he was. And in the words of Julia Roberts in Steal Magnolias, if we hadn't been in public, I might have done things to that man that would've "frightened fish." Just sayin...
But then it dawned on me. How did he know that I was this much of a dork that nothing would tickle my fancy more than digesting and dissecting Shakespeare on a Friday night? Was I this much of an open book? Or had he been paying this much attention? And then I started to panic. He must have been listening to everything I said and watching my every move. And noticing the books on my shelves and...
I must have taken too long to respond and perhaps even zoned out, because before I could answer, Mr. U reached over and took the book from my hands. He flipped through the pages, stopping briefly on one passage and then another. "Okay," he started inquisitively, "for example, why did you write 'intrinsic worth' on this passage here?" And so it began...
After a mature, intellectual (and sexy as hell) grown-up conversation about the pursuit of truth and gender stereotypes in literature, Mr. U paid the bill, collected our coats and stood up. He reached out his hand and said: "Are you ready for your surprise?" "Yes! Finally!" I responded immediately. "Yes, I am." "Alright, then, well it's just around the corner." Hmmm....
We stepped out into a windy night. I linked my arm in Mr. U's as we walked several blocks. My head turned downwards, chill on my cheeks. Suddenly he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. "We. are. here." he said pausing between each word for affect. "We are??" I thought looking around dumbfounded. We were in the middle of 18th and L street. All I could see were closed businesses (because of the weekend) and bustling bars (because of the weekend). "Are we going to Mackey's?" I asked. "Nooooo," he said. Um, okay....
And then I saw it. "Ooooooooooh," I said aloud as a light bulb switched on in my head. "Oooooooooooh." "I got it." "Yes?" he said mischievously grinning. "Yes!" I said, certain I was correct. It was certainly comfortable. It was single use in our case, but not always. It required me to spend the night with him. It was obviously related to President Adams in name. But...
"But why 'gay friendly,' specifically," I asked him coming out of my own thoughts. "Oh," he answered. "Because it's all over their website. Rainbows and details that they are welcome specifically." "Oh, okay. Makes sense," I said back at him.
Mr. U reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, white envelope and placed it in my hand. "This is yours he said. And this...." (he reached in his pocket for a matching small, white envelope which he kept in his own palm) ...is mine. Shall we?"
"One more thing," I asked him. "Anything," he said. "Why did you say 'it wasn't great?' This is great!" I assured him. "Oh you know," he said. "It's not the greatest surprise of all time. Or fancy or expensive or permanent or a gift. I just thought it would be silly and fun and different. And besides, I wanted to keep expectations low."
"Ooooooooooh, I see. You wanted to keep expectations low did you? Well what did you expect that we would be doing in there anyhow, huh?" I said sarcastically and looking at him bitingly. "Oh well, you know, whatever, anything, nothing, um..." Mr. U doesn't get flustered often but he was in this instance. "Well that's no problem," I said in return. "Just keep in mind that I too, like to keep expectations low. You got it?" I asked him (now with my own mischievous sparkle in my eye). "Duly noted," he answered back. And then we both laughed.
With that, I kissed my boyfriend sincerely and thankfully and followed him through the double glass doors of the entrance to the Quincy Hotel. After all, it was still a surprise. And I like surprises.... honest.