After finally getting my kids settled into their respective colleges I was back at home in my condo, a first-time empty nester, in a new city, alone and starving. Starving, not because I didn’t have money for food, starving because I was literally famished. The fridge was empty and after a long day of making the bed, fluffing the pillows, organizing the clothes and saying goodbye, the last thing I wanted to do was cook and clean up dinner. If my stomach didn’t sound like a Mack truck roaring down the Mass Pike, I would have succumbed to my bed and waived off eating altogether. But it was just before 5pm and I needed sustenance; immediately. And I figured at some point, I needed to venture out into my new surroundings and make friends, so why not start tonight.
I called my friend Stacey to tell her I was going to put on my big girl panties and take myself to the bar, but needed her on standby to chat or text so I wouldn’t feel like a complete loser. She agreed, and off I went.
I walked a block to the local watering hole and found myself a spot at the end of the bar, kind of. There were two good looking, clean cut, guys standing and talking to one another with a single unoccupied seat in front of them. In my best flirty but nervous tone, I asked if I could snag the seat. They were gracious and said it was all mine. They seemed very interested in their own, somewhat quiet, conversation that I assumed they were on a first date. I sat down and pulled my electronic company from my bag; my Kindle and my cell phone.
The guys didn’t seem interested in mingling which was fine by me. I was tired, and did I mention hungry? I reached for my Kindle and turned it on. I had downloaded a few new books ahead of time figuring if I was unsuccessful in engaging in conversation the evening wouldn’t be a failure. Just shy of placing a call to Stacey for reinforcement and company, the well-built, tall, guy behind me signaled to the bartender and then asked me what I would like to drink. I put my phone back in my purse, turned to face the guys and we engaged in “hello my name is.”. As it turns out, they were neighbors and not on a first date, we joke about it to this day.
The bartender placed my drink atop the bar and I turned to say thank you. The only problem, the words got mangled in my throat and barely made a sound as they came out. Holy smokes! I’m in love. Yes, just like that, in love at first sight! One look at this man and my insides melted and my appetite suddenly wasn’t for food, it was for something much better – him, whoever he is.
The bartender was of medium height. He was dressed in typical bartender attire; black trousers and a black polo shirt. And my-oh-my did that top show off his arms. His biceps were heavenly. The muscle was defined and toned and included a perfectly placed tattoo. He filled out the shirt that you just knew there was a flawless barrel chest underneath. I couldn’t help but sneak a peek at his backside when he turned around to grab a bottle off the ledge behind him. It was compact and taut. My eyeballs were popping like an animated Roger Rabbit, I swear the guys could see my internal gushing at this specimen on the opposite side of the zinc bar. I was hopeful that the glare from the vintage brass chandeliers would hide the flush on my cheeks. It was love, okay lust, at first sight. I completely forgot about my Kindle, my cell and my friend Stacey. Introductions were made and the four of us carried on in conversation for the next few hours..
If this was any sign of what Boston was going to be like, I think I am going to like this city.
Over the next several weeks and months, I would periodically pop into the bar for a happy hour drink and to flirt with my bartender. One evening, as I was leaving and he was going on break, he offered to walk me home. It seemed silly to say anything other than yes. And so, he did. As we got to the entrance of my building, he planted the most beautiful, warm, full, amorous kiss on my lips. It lasted for what felt like eternity. I wanted so badly to invite him to my condo, but instead, I pushed myself away and ran into my building.
He texted me to ask why I ran off. How could I tell him I was scared, he was a bartender and bartenders don’t do relationships? Or better said, I don’t do relationships with bartenders, at least not since college. How did I know this, my girlfriends and I had been analyzing and over analyzing the situation from the moment I first met him: (1) I would not see him often, (2) he would be hungover and exhausted a lot, (3) he can’t be smart, he’s a bartender, (4) other woman will constantly flirt with him, (5) he will expertly flirt back, it’s in the job description, and (6) he has mastered the art of small talk and being charming, aka, a “professional” player.
But was he?
I was smitten with this guy. It wasn’t just about his musclebound physique. I got to know him more with each glass of champagne I ordered. I was in lust not only for his body but for the conversation, the banter and the sarcastic wit. I continued my routine of making the occasional visit to the bar and eventually he did venture past the front stoop to my building and crossing the threshold into my condo.
I am a firm believer in love at first sight, rainbows and unicorns.