Monday, March 7, 2011

I Like Surprises Honest - Part Four

I solemnly swear to reveal the actual surprise in this post. Honest...

To recap:

(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...

(2) Following my ungrateful, curt response to his surprise show up at the office, we had an honest conversation where I insisted that I did in fact "like surprises, honest." And selfishly encouraged him to surprise me or give me flowers in the future because I now worried I would never get them again based on my first time negative response. I couldn't blame the guy if that did in fact become the case. But you can't blame a girl for trying.

(3) He promised I hadn't seen the last of surprises.

(4) Three days later he said I would get a surprise on the following Friday night. I asked for hints. He emailed me daily hints. I begged him for more hints. I got them.

(5) The hints insisted of the following:

1. It is comfortable
2. 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 great
4. 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 surprise
6. 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 rainbows
2. Something having to do with floats or parades
3. Something having to do with underwear or "Long Johns"
4. Rainbow underwear
5. Rainbow pajamas
6. The zebra striped black lacy thong I'd left at his place the week before
7. Him wearing that thong
8. Edible underwear
9. Pillows, candles, bubble bath
10. Condoms
11. Some kind of food

None of these guesses fit the criteria of all the hints or made any sense. I was completely stumped, and dying to know the answer. I was also understandably excited and thrilled that I had such a creative, wonderful, and thoughtful boyfriend who had made the days without him leading up to our night together so full of one another (though apart) and so fun and special.

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.

Our first stop of the night was the Shakespeare Theatre which was performing Cymbeline, one of Shakespeare's lesser known romantic comedies. Mr. U had lent me a copy of the play a week earlier and asked me to return it that night, since I said I'd finished it. He knows I'm a book nerd. And also a nerd for Shakespeare. I had almost all of Shakespeare's plays on my shelf in my bedroom filled with my own underlinings, notes and highlighting. Mr. U had noted this and thought Cymbeline would be up my alley. It was. He had even encouraged me to underline, take notes and highlight at will. He didn't mind my mark-ups in his copy. This was all starting to make sense now. But still, this wasn't my surprise was it? "Is this my surprise," I asked him confused as to how this would fit with ANY of the hint criteria. "No, this isn't it." Okay, I thought, still completely lost. Still as the show began, I had no choice but to suppress my curiosity, for at least a little while longer...

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).

The second half similarly did not disappoint. Though we found the story line a bit contrived and thrown together at the end (come on William what gives?) we enjoyed the staging, costumes, back-drop and acting. There were many visually and intellectually stimulating scenes. One, where troughs of water surrounding the stage were filled with red dye to symbolize blood by the play's two warring kings. A second scene filled with laughter and folly, involving a fool riding a vespa. And a third, where a young girl actress threw feathers in the air and embodied the wrath of the often angry and jealous God Jupiter. I found more than one moment breathtaking.

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.

29 comments:

berniemacx said...

I like that. Literature nerd meets thoughtful romantic. Creative dating stories to ensue. Keep them coming!

andy said...

I predict he dropped the L Bomb in this hotel.

vvk said...

:-)

Toddy said...

I can't tell you how completely TICKLED I am that my first three comments were from MEN!!! MEN!!! Oh geez, I love you guys. Seriously.

Berniemacx- I don't know man. We've been on some pretty great dates. I feel like I owe this guy a break. hah. Maybe a lifetime of ordering in or me cooking dinner?

Andy - no, no, no Lbomb. Despite the fact that you keep predicting this, I really think ITS way too soon to be saying "I love you." I would've liked to have kept you guys guessing but after Susanlee's comment on my last blog post about me raising her blood pressure I figure I'd just get it all out there. Let's just see if we get through the 6 month mark maybe and then ask me again...

vvk- thank you for your continued readership, commenting and support.

Cheers, T.

suki said...

i had to go look up the hotel as i was hoping it had themed rooms or something. ;)

silverstar said...

T, you already know I loved the post, but I was with you on a 10-part what's the surprise already series :)

First four comments all guys now

Toddy said...

Suki- ah no, just a run of the mill, nothing special DC hotel. But the room was pretty, the king sized bed w enormous pillows heavenly and the thoughtfulness of the whole spiel just unbelievable. No themed rooms required... :-)

Toddy said...

Silverstar- with me? Meaning you approved of the cliff hangers?? Thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed it. -T

silverstar said...

Yes, approve! :) I wrote that in haste to get another guy comment in before first gal [fail!] but meant that if you had dragged out surprise for 10 posts I would have had your back, supported that, been *right there* in supporting that. Four words: You rock. Rock on!
~ C

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Ha, weird. Me and my (now ex) stayed at the Quincy when we were in Washington last summer.

Our room had a kitchen in it. Weird. But nice.

Betsy said...

Aw that does sound great! I never would have guessed it. Hotel staycations are always thoughtful and fun. Something about those big fluffy beds :)

Jolene said...

FINALLY we get the surprise!! I love how creative he was with it, and all of the build up. And grown up conversations totally get me going too...M and I could be deep in conversation about something and then I realize what we are talking about and love that we can do that, just as much as we can joke around about nothing. Such a great dynamic! Happy for you!

Toddy said...

Silverstar - thanks for the support

PleaseDontEatWithYourMouthOpen - Our room DID not have a kitchen. It was big and clean and comfortable and nice. No frills. But very pretty nonetheless.

Betsy and Jolene - glad you guys liked the surprise after all. I was a little worried (as I imagine it was the same fear as Mr U and why he included the "its not that great" clue) was that expectations and anticipation would be so high that the actual reality/answer/surprise wouldn't live up to the hype. But honestly the whole process of hints and guessing and even getting a "surprise" no matter what it was was the whole point.

J said...

Ummm I was totally at that performance of Cymbeline! HOW FUNNY!!!

Love the whole date- super sweet and thoughtful and a GREAT surprise!

So excited about tonight! Whoop whoop

Toddy said...

J - too funny! small friggin world eh? I'm looking forward to tonight too!

-T.

Vittoria said...

i loooooooooooove this surprise. LOVE IT!!! aw mr. u. great effing job!

and you toddy, are forgiven for making me wait ;). now forgive me for the 12 hr wait to comment!

Toddy said...

Yay I'm so glad you liked it! I was worried it might disappoint. Of course you are FORGIVEN.

DefJamDemocrat said...

*sigh* I wrote so much. You can't truly expect to enjoy all of my writings, can you? It grows tiresome to come up with new endings all the time, especially when you write almost all of the timeless romances there are. Also, I can't believe they used red dye. In my day, we would have just killed someone on stage for the theater. You all now are wimps.

That said, I'm glad your romance is going well. I hope that in your case all that's well ends well (sorry, had to throw in some self-promotion there).

-W. Shakespeare

Toddy said...

DefJam or should I say The Bard - thank you for your inciteful and humorous words. Cheers, an admirer.

Sarah said...

I am so freaking glad I finally know what the surprise is!

Also you were an English major but didn't read Cymbeline in college? I'm shocked!

Toddy said...

Sarah - nope, never read Cymbeline. Ulysses, Moby Dick, scores of other Shakespeare sonnets and plays, Chaucer, Plato, Sophocles, Homer, etc. etc. etc. I guess there isn't time for EVERY thing... Cheers, T.

Maura said...

A simple but really great, fun surprise.

C_girl said...

That is freaking adorable. The lit discussion is swoony.

C_girl said...

That is freaking adorable. The lit discussion is swoony.

Toddy said...

Maura- yes exactly simple but fun and great. what more could I ask for?

C-girl - hahahah. it was pretty fun and cool. I don't know whether he did it to make me happy or because he likes that sort of thing too.

IntrigueMe said...

Awe, that was really sweet of him to do!! So nice to have a night at a fancy hotel where you can be pampered and be rid of all of the other distractions of life.

I'm with Andy-- I also predict he dropped the L bomb. DO TELL!

Toddy said...

IntrigueMe- yes as beth says above, a staycation is pretty relaxing and fun! Why? Why not thats why? But as I said to Andy above I believe its far too soon for the L Word. This relationship is very new seriously ADULT territory. We are practical and intellectual. And to be honest he's not very emotional or affectionate. If it werent for the fact that he keeps asking me out and TREATING me so well, I wouldnt think he liked me at all... We shall see I suppose, only time will tell...

Susanlee said...

Squee!! Honestly, I kind of want to say I love you to Mr. U and I don't even know him. Are you made of STONE woman?!

Toddy said...

Susanlee-- of course not my dear -- im not made of stone at all-- but like the moral of the post Im attempting to "keep expectations low..." He's made me no promises. He owes me nothing. Why would I want to get my hopes up? Why would I want to tell him I love him? Especially well before he may feel it or say it if ever? I know many of you are in love with "our love" but remember I live in the real world and my romantic heart could potentially be telling this love story prematurely or wrong.