Monday, June 07, 2004

Cafe chat

After picking up the Sunday paper, I arrive at the cafe a little before 10am. All the two-persons tables were taken except for the ones in full sun. Then, a women got up, and I headed for her table. I moved away her used glasses and started fumbling through my purse debating whether to buy myself a drink before Tim arrived. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice someone had come up to me. I thought it was the waiter coming to take the glasses. As I looked up, Tim lightly tapped my head with his wallet portfolio and said "hello."

It was nice to see him. We haven't talked since Puerto Rico. He definitely grew on me the last couple days of the trip. Last night, I was trying to recall the first time I felt anything particular for him. It's difficult to pinpoint. It was a very gradual thing so my best guess is within the last two or three days of the trip. The other question, of course, is when he began to pay more attention to me. I have tried not to think about my feelings because I didn't know how strong the they were. It could be that I was caught up in the passion of being on a cruise ship in beautiful Caribbean waters. And, it could be that I was feeling a little horny too. ;) So obviously I did not want to indulge myself in too much fantasy.

I definitely recall little things that may have been a sign. The first time we looked at art together, I don't think that was anything. There were times when Ap would do things and we would kind of roll our eyes our shrug our shoulders together. That doesn't seem like anything more than friends. Then there was the time I player dealer for a game of Settlers of Catan. Whenever I handed him cards, it seemed like 90% of the time his hands would brush mine. It was too often to be accidental and yet seems like such an ungrownup way to send signals. When the three of them finished afternoon tea, he did come to hang out with me at the art auction. After our formal dinner, the four of us went around taking pictures. He asked me to take one with him in front of the manta ray statue. On the night of the second formal, we spent a couple hours together just exploring the ship. At the end of the night, when he could have stopped at his floor, he walked with me to my cabin and then went back to his room. He always seemed to walk behind everyone as we explored the streets of San Juan. And on the last day, we walked down with me to catch a taxi. He could have gone back upstairs to hang with Jy and Ap, but instead sat with me for five minutes until the taxi arrived. I gave him a friendly hug goodbye and he commented that if I had a check for him, he'd take me to coffee.

So here we are at the cafe sitting and chatting. We each ordered our own drinks. We only talked about the cruise briefly before the conversation moved to a dozen other things. Can you believe that some 3 and 1/2 hours flew by?!!!

We talked a little about vacation. He said he hasn't finished processing all his pictures but did bring me one photo. It was the one he took of me standing along San Juan with a pink plumeria bloom in my hair. That was very sweet. Tim also informed me that I had put the flower on the potentially incorrect side. At the time of the picture, I had told the group that in Hawaiian tradition, the side a woman wears a flower indicates whether she is single or taken. Apparently, he read up and let me know that to wear a flower behind the left ear indicates that the woman is married, unavailable or otherwise has someone in her heart.

We talked a little about my dating life. I told him about the date I had with the 45-year-old. We debated a little about my concerns over the guy's age. Tim tried to get a feel for my interest level and what other prospects I had coming up. I chose not to mention my GF date. I'm not sure why I did that. The conversation was totally normal, and I didn't expect anything from him other than some pleasant morning conversation.

I flipped it around and asked him what his age limits are. I also qualified that saying in terms of serious dating versus just for fun. He said he wouldn't date anyone younger than 29 or 30. I guess I was a little surprised because men generally have a wide spread. When I asked him why he said it just bothered him dating someone younger than his brother (who is three years younger). I thought that was funny.

Then we talked about the movies for awhile. It doesn't sound like he goes to the movies that often. He'll probably watch "Kill Bill 2" when it comes out on video. Neither of us had seen "Shrek 2" or "Harry Potter." We then moved on to talking about cars. I mentioned how much I enjoyed driving my ex-boyfriend's G35. I think he appreciated that I can drive a stick shift.

The conversation steered several directions. Not until we started talking about his job situation did it stay in one place for awhile. We were talking about exercise when he mentioned something about needing to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes. It sounded kind of odd, so I asked if this is something he's going to be tested on. I thought perhaps it was something related to his volunteer work with search and rescue. Little did I know it was actually in regards to his application for a government job. There had been some mention during one of the hikes that he had applied to the FBI many months ago. I don't know that we ever answered the question about the 1/5 miles, but he told me a lot about the process he's been through thus far. The most interesting thing was the polygraph test he took before we went on vacation. Unfortunately his was inconclusive. For whatever reason he was too calm in his responses, including when they gave him questions meant to confuse or challenge his thinking. It sounds like something he really wants to do, however, the government is very slow and deliberate so it's hard to know what will happen. Tim will probably start applying for a normal job in the meantime because it's really time to end his unemployment.

Somewhere in the middle of our 3+ hour conversation, he abruptly changed the subject for a moment. I have no idea what we were talking about beforehand. I just remember him saying something to the effect, "I have a question for you. Would you like to go see 'Shrek 2'?" I immediately said, "sure." (You know, I hate that word and here I find myself using it.) He mentioned something about finding time between commitments and asked about this Wednesday night. I hesitated, thinking about the fact that I pick up the keys to my new place that day. I told him it probably wasn't the best day because I plan to go over there and clean the place to prepare for moving in. Somehow the conversation digressed into other things for maybe 15-20 minutes. Once that topic ran out of gas, he then asked about Tuesday. He tried to sway me by reminding me that I need a break from my packing, and I agreed to go.

It must have been another hour or so that passed by. I think I once notice him look down at his watch. I have no idea how much time had passed, only that the cafe had become much busier and I kind of felt bad about taking up a table for so long.

The one other conversation thread I remember is talking about religion. Tim just came out and asked me. I told him no but mentioned going to church with my college boyfriend. Even though he went as a boy, Tim stopped once he got to college. I guess it really never became part of his life. He said he was comfortable with his values and morals and felt no additional need for it.

We rarely even touched during our conversation. A couple of times he poked his finger towards me. I think we were definitely listening to each other as we both leaned into each other. I had my hands and arms open across the table. (Not intentionally, I just looked down and noticed at one point.)

I think we could have talked all day. It was good that I was being myself. Thinking back on some of the conversation, I don't know that I would have asked some of the questions. I would have been too self-conscious asking about things like dating if I had felt like there was something going on. It's a habit I need to break because I think holding back is what hurt me in prior relationships. I probably came across as disinterested or unwilling to be open.

Just as the conversation wound down he popped up another question. He asked if we should have dinner beforehand. I was willing. Then he added that he kind of felt bad that I had to pay more than what he originally told me the cruise would cost. Okay, so it sounds like he's paying but not because it's a date? I kind of blew it off, the extra cost is not a big deal to me. Had he not added that comment, I wouldn't be questioning whether this is a date.

I walked with him to his car. We still kept talking. I was very happy as I walked home. He just seems like such a sweet, gentle, and interesting person. I don't know if anything will happen, but I look forward to spending more time with him.

On Sunday evening I tested the situation with several people. Basically I told them I went on a group outing. I now owed this guys some money so we met up. After chatting for awhile, he asked if I wanted to go see a movie. Everyone quickly agreed they felt this is a date. Only T was skeptical. Part of me is still in denial. I don't want to embarrass myself by being wrong. Jy and Tim are friends. Should I ask her about it?

I guess I'll ask Jy about it later. We'll see how he treats me tomorrow. Maybe that will make it clear. Do I like him too much already?

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