Saturday, January 14, 2012

That Awkward Moment When

In every relationship there comes a point when the newness wears off and most of the fronting a person does- any pretending they might be consciously or unconsciously doing- falls away.  I don't think that people set out to deceive each other.  Quite the opposite.  They want a prospective beau to be able to see the best that is in them, minus the dull, everyday attributes or habits that might detract from the view of one's heart.  To that end, they might (and I admit nothing here) take extra time to shave their legs before that third date.  They might eat less at dinner or just stick to salad and say no to the giant brownie sundae dessert even though previously, that brownie sundae was the whole reason you went to that restaurant and when you turn it down the waitress (who knows you, your name and your sundae-snarfing habits) looks at you accusingly and with a little shock.

The old habits are easy to slip back into and once you have that other person hooked, at some point it's ok to let those shine through.  Little do couples know or realize that this is also the make or break point of a relationship.  If after the third month of dating your boyfriend wakes up, and for the first time puts on heavy metal music and skips making coffee even though he bought the coffee maker just because he knew you were staying the night, this should be a sign to you that a) it's alright to make coffee for yourself and/or b) should figure out that even though heavy metal makes your ears want to curl up inside of your head, this is a fact of his life and you will need to take that into consideration when scoping out the wider spectrum of his maleness.  In my oh-so-recent experience, none of those things have happened. Grey drinks stronger coffee than I do and so far, no obnoxiousness in the mornings.

Knowing how relationships tend to go, we have made an effort to not just put that best foot forward.  If I want a dessert, I order one.  If there is no coffee made, one of us will make it.  Hell, he gave me a coffee maker for Christmas because mine was old and I needed to replace it anyway.  Maybe it's just me but I really like getting appliances for gifts.  I hope he takes me seriously when I ask for power tools for my birthday.  Still, there are some things I have take care about in my presentation of self.  I have really horrible, horrible morning breath.  All human beings with perhaps the exception of the Dalai Lama are thus cursed. I believe this is God's way of controlling the human population.  My breath is particularly fragrant and gagging in the morning and I cannot stand myself.  No exhaling permitted without first brushing my teeth.  So the first thing I do in the morning is jump out of bed and scrape the green moss off of my tongue, gargle a little and get back into bed so that I can pretend that I am some sort of heavenly angel who wakes up with Crest at the edges of her smile.

The other minor problem is that I also dislike all morning breath, though I try to hide this little bit of information.  I also don't particularly like my own coffee breath and get a little self-conscious about it. Grey figured that one out pretty quick.  Besides generously and wordlessly brushing his teeth first thing, he has also taken to keeping Altoids around. Since when he makes the two hour drive to my house he drinks coffee, he also stops and buys another tin of Altoids and pops one in his mouth just before he pulls up.  We didn't discuss this beforehand and it never occurred to me to ask about it because it's just something he does.  I found out because I teased him about the increasing number of mostly full Altoid boxes on his kitchen counter.  From my vantage point - writing on his computer here in Tulsa- I can see six boxes and count that as six times he has thought of my comfort level without me even knowing it.  I tell you what though, he probably has no idea that I can kill spiders just by breathing morning breath on them.  I hope he never figures that one out.

The fact is that I have what some people like to think of as "strange dietary habits".  When my roommate moved in she had a conversation with her mom. Her mom said "Does she cook?"  "No." "She eat anything?" "No."  And then VP told her about how I it must be a White people thing that I use spray butter on my food rather than butter or margarine.  If you have ever used spray butter you know it's not really butter but some vegetable oil and flavoring and sixty other preservatives that make it taste good and which makes your food taste buttery without adding calories.  When I was a kid, I would eat nothing but bread and butter for dinner.  Lots of butter.  I can't do that as an adult but I still like the taste.

I also have days when I don't eat much- maybe 700 calories.  I eat when I'm hungry and I'm not always hungry.  My food choices are more often than not very healthy with lots of fruits, veggies and hummus involved.  But some days I'm not as hungry as others.  However, there are times when I'd eat the spoon if I thought it was edible.  And during those times, I also eat what I want.  In any given month, it all evens out.  At first, I was too nervous to even really eat in front of Grey.  The first time he saw me on a hungry day, I'm sure he didn't quite know what to make of the petite eater he was used to seeing.

There are some things that I have cardinal rules about.  I don't go around making body noises around people and pretty much expect that same courtesy.  It's all cool if you or I or anybody just goes into the other room.  We can pretend nothing happened and that we are always rosy.  There's that rule, and everyone knows that rule.  Anyone who doesn't inherently follow that rule is weeded out within the first three dates (interesting side-note: did you know that the third date is now commonly accepted as the date where you have sex? I'm blaming the economy and the expenses of date night activities).

What I am going to tell you next might make you squeamish.  If you have a weak tummy or if you have any respect for me whatsoever, you might want to skip this next part.

We were in New Braunfels for a friend's wedding.  Grey's friend.  I don't like weddings much and tend to avoid them whenever possible.  But I am in love and will travel to Texas to smile at an entire room full of people I don't know and look pretty.  Because it's important to me that Grey is happy and that's much more powerful than my social anxiety.  We pulled up to the hotel just as the men and women were splitting for the night. Grey and I were graciously invited to go have Mexican food with the guys.  Yes, I inadvertently crashed a bachelor party.  As much as 30 somethings have bachelor parties.  And the food was authentic and good.  The men were kind and included me in their conversations even though I had never met any of them.  So that was nice.

But the next day I asked if Grey might wait at the front desk while I ran up to the hotel room. No, he'd rather just come upstairs with me.

Um, that's a problem.  The hotel room was very nice and the hotel itself is a historic landmark, built in the late 1800s in an art deco style.  They happy couple chose it because their wedding was art deco themed.  But the walls are thin, thin, thin and the bathroom door, when closed, still has daylight showing under the bottom and on the sides.  Nooo, it would be better if he stayed in the lobby.  But no, he did not get the hint so on the way upstairs (I was running at this point as it was just a matter of time before my guts turned inside out) I begged him to just sit in the hallway on a beautiful chaise lounge while I magically peeled the paint off of the walls. I texted him from the bathroom. "No more Mexican food. Ever."  Yes, I knew I'd be in there awhile and took technology with me so I could communicate with the outside world.

The wedding went off with a few hitches and the holiday ended peacefully enough.  Nobody had to evacuate the hotel because of my activities. New Years came and went life has gone back to being blissfully normal.  Well, as normal as you can be if you're me.

I'm not sure if Grey has any strange habits, weird quirks or if when I am not at home he bites the heads off of kittens.  I doubt it. So far our idiosyncrasies seem to match up.  That awkward moment when I took a sip of his favorite kind of coffee and realized that I'd have to dilute it by 50% to make it drinkable was sort of a nice one. Because I drink pretty strong coffee. And it goes pretty well with brownie sundaes.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, the blissful time of a new relationship! It brought back memories of when Tom and I first met. Thanks for the laugh on a Saturday your blog, Mindie!