Last summer, my friend gave me the gift of two feathers for my birthday. These indigenous “answer feathers” are like nature’s magic eight ball. You’re to look at them, feel their energy, think on two things you are choosing between and then choose the feather that speaks to you. Your answer will be clear within a day.
I had a kid-free Saturday, and I’ve gotten so good at curating them to be soul-filling. I wish I could convince my friends who are partnered with kids to do this for themselves more. It’s funny how we think we don’t have the time, because we are always attending to the needs of others, and yet when forced to share the kids by law, BOOM, there’s the time. I began the morning by going to my favourite cafe and took two oat milk lattes and some croissants to my hairdresser’s and we had our usual best time ever. “I was thinking of you and thinking sleek hair,” she said. I told her to go for it, because the last time she did my hair (wild and fuckable), I met Monsieur Magique at the party that changed my destiny.
I bought a reissue of Joni Mitchell’s Blue on vinyl, talked to my mom on the phone while walking to get some sundries, felt the cold winter sunshine on my face. Then I went to visit Gogo of the Witches, to get a pair of gloves I’d left there at her last party. She was in post-coital bliss, having reconnected with an old friend who had turned into a lover the night before, and we had such an awesome connection and discussion as always. I appreciate my big energy, open-hearted romantic friends so much. I ran into her again later and told her she feels like my Saturday elf — with her shockingly red hair and her Rainbow Brite snow suit — that seeing her on one of my free Saturdays almost always guarantees I’m going to have a good weekend. Do you have anyone in your life like that?
Then I went to yoga, where I set my intention to “centre,” because there were rumours of a racist rally in my neighbourhood and I felt that “centre” was the strongest word to dedicate to my community to prevent hate from showing up, while also serving me where I needed to be that busy Saturday (where I had admittedly over-scheduled myself). The rally never happened, so I’m gonna go with “my yoga intention worked,” because I honestly felt some very present vibrations during savasana. Yoga was HARD, a total sweat fest of flow-time, and I needed it to beat my brain into blissful submission, because I had two dates that day. Eek! WTF am I doing?
Monsieur Magique almost always books our next date as we are saying goodbye. When I had flagged that we kept getting drunk and could we have a day date so I could see how I feel about him when sober, he’d enthusiastically said yes to a “playdate” for Sunday of this weekend. But later that night, he’d texted to say he’d had such a fun time with me and might he come over after my dinner guests leave the night before so he could cuddle me in my cold basement bedroom and then start the day together Sunday. Swoon. I knew he’d be working working working, as is his non-dad mode lately due to pressures on his business. So I wasn’t surprised when he texted Saturday morning to explain that unfortunately he’d have to leave at 1pm the next day. He was sincerely apologetic, citing that he knew I’d put some thought into what we might do (I had planned to take him to play a sort of bocce-meets-mini-golf). I told him not to worry, that they were calling for rain and 100 km/hr winds, so I was changing the plan to staying in bed and watching Oscar movies with him. I went to buy new pillows, because MM’s bed is like a goddamn hotel bed, and I wanted that same fluffy feeling. I wanted my first ever man sleeping in my new basement bedroom (!!!) to feel comfortable and cared for.
I listened to an Oprah “Super Soul Conversations” episode on Spiritual Partnerships, while carrying all my stuff to the café where I was supposed to meet Stavros. By the time he arrived, I was good and centred, ready for what might come, knowing full well what I want from a partner. He showed up, dark, playfully brooding as always, a slight smile on his face to see me. We had an intense, intimate conversation, where I was surprised by his honesty and vulnerability. He admitted to being negative and anxious his whole life, a symptom of the way we’d been brought up, which I understood. He explained the breakdown of his marriage to his high school sweetheart, and how much work he’s done on himself to fight his negative thought patterns. He’s medicated for depression, which I respect a lot as my ex never got the medical care he needed for his. Stavros said that he feels a clarity of mind and focus that he never had before, but my red flags were going off big time. I am definitely drawn to him, but can’t help but feel like our timing is off. Like he’s a year behind where I’m at in my journey, and that he is a bit of work still (though he insists he’s not). His natural way is not “sunny.” Is this just another Theo in a better package? Employed steadily, working on himself, aware of his bullshit AND Greek? Honestly, a man that says “therapy” and can speak the language of psychology is pretty hot to me right now.
I told him that I know I want to be someone’s girlfriend eventually, I just don’t know if I can make that decision right now. He responded that he didn’t believe in labels, that the only thing he wants from me is my time. I’ve made it clear that I don’t want to be someone’s sunshine, that I want the sunshine in a man’s heart to greet the sunshine in mine. I can’t be responsible for someone else’s happiness. I tried to help a depressed partner once and it backfired.
Still, Stavros is so damn easy to talk to. Beyond our mother tongue, we share a language of culture, of music and movies. We have a similarly dry sense of humour. I decided I needed to kiss him to see if this was just a friendship. So when he offered to drive me home, I said yes. He put my bags in his car, opened my door for me, and off we went. I told him my funniest stories of working in the film industry (he’s film school grad and had spent some time working at film festivals, on top of his acting experience). I told the story of working on a major Hollywood film and being given the job of watching three hours of porn in the director’s office alone to select a super sexy scene that would ultimately appear in the film. They chose me for the task, because the production manager thought giving the job to my male colleague meant he’d masturbate, so I was the supposedly safer bet. Stavros asked what I did. “Of course I had a wank or three on the director’s couch! It’s not gender-specific! Three HOURS of porn-watching!”
“There’s another way you’re not like any other Greek girl,” he said through impressed laughs. To which I retorted, “I’m not like any girl you’ll ever meet.” A bit cocky of me, I’ll admit.
He managed to get a parking space on my snowy street. “Yay,” I bluffed, “Now you can help me bring my bags to the door!” We went up to my place, not edging past the doorway vestibule (yay for winter boots creating boundaries). “Wow,” he exclaimed looking around at the kid art and the photos and the books, “Your place is so full!” I reminded him that I didn’t start with a blank canvas like he did, that all I had to do was fill in the spaces Theo left when he took his comic books and concert posters. “I hate comic books,” he said, trying to be funny. A red flag. I probed him on why and he back-tracked a bit. We chatted until it got awkward. “Are you gonna kiss me or what?” I asked. “First I’m going to hug you,” he said. And the hug was intimate and wonderful. And then we kissed, a bit formally at first, but then it got hot pretty fast. He held my face with both hands and kissed me passionately. DAMN! I was really hoping for a bad kiss so I could call this already.
“I’m going to let you lead,” he said, putting all his trust in me, making me feel guilt at the duplicitousness of dating two men without telling any of them. It’s my control habit energy showing up — the need to feel like I’m the one who gets to make this decision. Sigh. It feels very unlike me to have secrets at all, though I realize that having two men keeps me distant and mysterious enough that I’m not overly available to either one, creating a desire that wouldn’t exist if I was my usual “dog greeting his owner when he gets home from work” excited and overly loving self.
To be fair, the common thing I hear when talking to others is, “Everyone should assume that everyone is dating everyone, unless you’ve had a conversation otherwise.” I do like this, because then it takes the pressure off. You don’t need to make anything a THING until some time has passed and it organically makes sense to. And yet, when I was out with my coach and biz partner, Rock n’ Roll Cowgirl, the other day, she asked if Monsieur Magique knew about Stavros. When I said no, citing the modern day rule above, she said, “Yeah, but somehow I don’t think he would like it if he knew.” I agree with her. He’s romantic and a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to matters of the heart. If I hadn’t been so surprised by all the similarities between Stavros and myself that I swiped right and messaged, I wouldn’t be in this situation. And I know fully well that beyond the curiosity of it, I did it to protect myself and pace myself from going all in with Monsieur Magique too quickly. So here I am.
“Should I text you less?” He looked a bit hurt when I said yes, it was a bit much, that I wasn’t getting anything done during the day, not paying attention in meetings, due to our constant text banter. “I mean, I could also just not be so responsive,” I said. He touched my collar bone and then we kissed again with such feeling that I was grateful that lazy me hadn’t made her bed that morning. “OK, you have to leave, I have a dinner party to prepare for,” I told him. We made a plan to see a movie on Thursday. I closed the door and said, “Fuuuuuuuck. What now?”
To be continued…