Stranger Things Have Happened

I tend to avoid discussing current dates that are progressing well, but I'm about to head off to the Dominican Republic for a week! I'll be celebrating my thirtieth birthday there...I'm hoping unlimited quantities of alcohol and a beach will numb the pain of saying goodbye to my twenties.

Just before Christmas, as the shit hit the fan with Marathon Guy, I started talking to a guy Stef has aptly dubbed "Wilderness Man" on POF. Tall, cute, and very outdoorsy (he goes portaging and camping in Algonquin Park during the summer), he immediately caught my attention. Unfortunately, we were both too busy to meet up until after the holidays, but we e-mailed each other on a regular basis.

Back in Toronto, we made plans to meet for drinks at a Yonge St. bar on a Thursday night. I was late leaving work that night, took too long choosing what to wear, and of course, had to wait fifteen minutes for a streetcar. I hate it when guys are late and leave me sitting there alone, so I texted him my apologies and nearly sprinted up the street to the bar.

I glanced around the bar just as Wilderness Man stuck his head out from a booth, smiled huge and stood up. He was...cute! And greying. I'm old enough to date guys who are greying. FML.

He gave me a big hug and as I took off my coat and unwound my scarf, my nervousness decided to express itself in the form of verbal diarrhea. Ugh. I ordered a drink, my heartbeat returned to normal, and we settled into easy conversation. Around ten o'clock, the disco ball began to spin, the big screen descended, and the microphone was handed out for — you guessed it — karaoke. Finding it increasingly difficult to hear each other, and unable to endure a butchered version of Oasis' Wonderwall, we decided to call it a night.

Wilderness Man refused to let me pay for my drinks, held the door open for me, and offered to give me a ride home. Completely against my nature, I felt comfortable enough to accept, and gave him a big hug as he dropped me off in front of my building. He waited until I was inside safely (bonus points), and drove off.

The next morning, Wilderness Man signed on to MSN, and immediately messaged me to chat. To my surprise, he asked me if I wanted to go to a Toronto Maple Leafs game with him the following week. I LOVE going to hockey games, and happily accepted.

The day of the game, I left work early to pretty up, and he picked me up outside my building. We took our seats in the nosebleed section at the Air Canada Centre, and watched the Leafs do what they do best: SUCK. I've never seen such sloppy, uncoordinated hockey...they were booed off the ice at the end, if that tells you anything. Having had fun regardless, Wilderness Man and I ended the night with some pub food near my apartment (he's actually moving into the neighbourhood in a few months, having purchased a new condo right around the corner from me. Could be convenient, haha). As he hadn't let me pay for my Leafs ticket, I covered dinner. We had a good time, and at the end of the night, he kissed me, and I discovered the catch: not a very good kisser. How does a guy get to 32 years of age without decent kissing abilities? I blame the women who came before me, and left me with work to do.

Third date? Bowling! We hit up an old school bowling alley, strapped on some super lame shoes that stunk of Lysol, and trash talked each other. I won the first game, he won the second, and to my chagrin, the third. It was fun and comfortable, and we made each other laugh a lot. Wilderness Man and I followed up bowling with a late dinner, and he kissed me when he dropped me off (marginally better...still a lot of work to do).

I'm very sure that Wilderness Man is a good guy. I have to fight him to pay for anything, he opens all doors for me, and he is not pushy in any way. He's glass half full, which is a nice balance to my glass half empty. I'm not head over heels for him, but I've never been that way; I tend to fall for someone slowly, over time. He has said some things that make me sure that he likes me, and expects me to be around for awhile, ie. he has mentioned me to his friends, has offered to join me for a spinning class when I get back, and maybe I could help him decorate his new condo?

Wilderness Man and I were supposed to have dinner last night, but he got stuck working late and needed to reschedule. He really wants to see me before I leave for vacation, even if it's just for coffee, but I have so many last-minute things to do tonight, I doubt I'll have the time to get together.

I'll admit that I'm scared and apprehensive. After everything I've been through (sadly, I have more stories that will horrify you), I constantly wait for the other shoe to drop. I'm not sure I'm meant to have the happy ending? I also don't feel I can go from zero to hardcore relationship right away...I'm enjoying the solitude, freedom, and lack of someone to answer to. Maybe I'll feel different after my vacation, when I've gotten the drinking/partying out of my system?

Alright kids, I'm off like a prom dress. I promise not to behave, so I have some good stories for you when I return ;)

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