Worth the Wait: The End of an Era

It’s been five months since I last wrote about The Handsome Grown Up that you came to know and love this spring. If you don’t feel like reading through the whole story just yet (you will soon, if you haven’t already), we met on this very day many years ago. We flirted, we dated, I worked like hell to fuck it all up, and yet he still stuck around. When last I spoke of The Grown Up, he was driving away from my house as I drunk cried myself to sleep. Make no mistake – I was the one being an idiot. It was the drunkest I ever got in the presence of The Grown Up…and we dated for a long-ass time. He called the next night, after I panicked like a teenage girl for about 12 hours, and all was fine (except for the lost wallet from my fall at the bar).

I’m going to fast-forward a little bit though because dating life is pretty much, you know, normalcy, and I can’t imagine you wanting to sit through all the ins and outs of a relationship from yesteryear…and quite frankly, it’s time we brought this story to an end.

The Grown Up and I dated solidly for many years. We met each other’s families. We traveled a bit. We fell madly in love. He made me laugh more than anyone on the planet, and I was surprised how much time I could spend with him and not want to kill him. After that first date, I never went home, much to the chagrin of his incredibly understanding roommate. He always told me, “Home is where your cheese is” because after our first weekend together, he bought me a bag full of fancy cheese. But he was wrong. Home was where he was. He was everything.

I waited a long time for this. And now it's the End of an era

He is everything.

He is the first page of my book and the last. He captured my heart and never once dropped it. He encourages me to follow every last one of my dreams, no matter how ridiculous. He pushes me to be my better self. He IS my better half, and without him, I wouldn’t be where I am.

So when he asked me to be his bride, the only answer I had for him was, “Yes!”

When he asked me to be his bride...I said yes.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to Make Your Boyfriend Hate You

If you’re new around here, you may want to start The Grown Up Story from the beginning. But you may not, and that’s okay too. This story stands alone.

The Grown Up and I had been dating for approximately a month when I decided to bring him along to a birthday party for a friend of mine, Brad. He was several years my senior-we were celebrating his 30th birthday, and it was kind of a big deal.

My girlfriends and I had spent the previous year hanging out with Brad and his group of friends, drinking, flirting, drinking, drinking, and more drinking. It was a group of hot messes all dealing with their own version of relationship anxiety (each of us were battling our own volatile demons from relationships past), and in order to forget about them, we drank. A lot.

Recipe for disaster - new boyfriend plus bar.

By the time The Grown Up came around, we were all starting to drift to our own spaces and rebuild the worlds that crumbled to bring us together. So I hadn’t actually hung out with this group in a few months. But was anticipating a shit show of a party-one we’d been talking about for a year, and so of course, I RSVPed yes for both The Grown Up and myself.

We arrived for dinner at an upscale bar in the suburbs, where we sat near one of my most lovely, cheerful friends who was SO giddy with excitement to meet The Grown Up. She squee’d and oohed and awwed because he really was smart and wonderful as I had described to her. She told me, as good girlfriends tend to do, I deserved someone this amazing,  and I believed her.

Unfortunately, she would not be joining us for the second half of the evening. And none of my other girlfriends had decided to join us for the epic birthday party to end all birthday parties. So I had a grand total of two actual friends (the birthday boy and his bestie) and several acquaintances to hang out with me and my new boyfriend on a party bus downtown to a bar in Wrigleyville.

Why was I the only one who couldn’t see this was a recipe for disaster?

So we hopped on a party bus, and the Grown Up made quasi friends with some of the guys in the group. If you recall, on our first date he revealed he wasn’t good with people, but it felt like he was doing a pretty damn good job with them from where I was sitting.

When we got to the bar, though, all hell broke loose. There was drinking on the party bus, and then we had a table just off the dance floor reserved for bottle service. For those of you who may not know, bottle service is when they have full bottles of liquor at your table for your group’s consumption. Needless to say, I got pretty fucking drunk. The Grown Up wasn’t a big hard alcohol drinker, so he had a couple of beers, but nothing crazy.

I dragged the poor man on the dance floor and rubbed up on him like a horny college student. We danced with my friends, and some of the girls in the group became my dance floor besties, grinding on each other in a fight to be the sexiest group of girls under the colorful LED lights. We weren’t. The music seemed to get louder, the smoke thickened around us, and the room started spinning. I was there, but I wasn’t.

Eventually, The Grown Up returned to our table. I followed, realizing that I wasn’t being the generous, sweet girlfriend that I wanted to be. He seemed, frustrated, but I didn’t know how to respond. So, I apologized. For what, I don’t even know. Was I apologizing for being drunk? For him not having a good time? For not knowing everyone in our group? For my friends who weren’t entertaining enough for him? I just knew I felt awful. And drunk. And feeling awful and drunk is never a good combination. So  I drank more. I sat down on an elevated booth bench that extended out past the booth and The Grown Up stood in front of me, trying to make conversation over the music. It didn’t work out well.

Somehow, whilst sitting (SITTING) on the booth bench, I managed to fall over. I wish I could tell you how. I really really do. But I couldn’t. And I fell. Off the bench. Onto the floor. Like a complete asshole. I wasn’t even showing off that time. I fell down, and The Grown Up helped me up as I apologized. Again and again. We collected my purse, and the items that had fallen out of it. The Grown Up was growing increasingly frustrated, and we couldn’t just…leave because we had taken a party bus to get there. We were slaves to the party schedule.

We left the dance floor area, and proceeded to sit at a table downstairs, where I continued to apologize profusely for my errors. The Grown Up tried to chat with me, but I could tell that I was irritating him. I thought I was going to start crying right then and there. But I didn’t. I braved through the awkward last 45 minutes with my boyfriend of less than a month and got on the bus. I continued to apologize until the moment I passed out in The Grown Up’s arms on the bus, about 2 minutes into the drive home.

On the drive home, The Grown Up was almost puked on. Someone DID puke, just not on him. Someone almost spilled beer on him. He ended up helping clean the bus a little bit. He gave extra money to the person who organized the party to tip the driver extra. And I slept. Like an asshole. And kept apologizing when I woke up.

We left the bus and The Grown Up drove me home. I was supposed to sleep at his place, but he took me home instead. I panicked. And apologized even MORE.

I was a hot mess. I felt sick to my stomach. I had really fucked things up, this time, I was sure of it. What was I thinking?

The Grown Up told me to go inside and sleep it off, that we’d talk the next day. But I couldn’t understand in my idiot drunken stupor what was going on. Was he breaking up with me? I didn’t know. But I was terrified.

Eventually, I went inside. And cried myself to sleep.

I really hoped he would call the next day.

How do you handle problems when you’re drunk? Have you ever freaked out about your relationship because of something you did or said? What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done while drinking?

Click the image for the final story in the tale of The Grown Up.

I waited a long time for this. And now it's the End of an era

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tonight and the Rest of My Life

As our date was coming to a close, I walked a little closer to The Grown Up, briefly grazing his hand with mine. We made our way from the pub to the car, and I knew I was a little tipsy, but far from drunk. I was giggly. Honestly, I was probably fucking adorable. He HAD to be falling in love with me. How could he not?

Tonight and the rest of my life

The car ride home was the complete opposite of the car ride to the restaurant. We chatted the entire time. I’m pretty sure I did most of the talking, but it seemed so easy…and he appeared to appreciate my ridiculous quirks. He laughed at my bad jokes and cracked a few of his own that I’m sure most people would cringe at. It was the most natural thing in the entire world.

When he pulled into my parents’ driveway around 11:30 pm, I wasn’t ready to get out of the car. I wasn’t ready for this night to end. So I kept talking. And talking. And talking some more.

The Grown Up reached up to my neck and started gently running his fingers through my hair. I lost all control of my heart rate and started thinking, is he going to kiss me?

We kept talking. I moved a bit closer to make kissing me easier. He’s not going to kiss me, is he? Why isn’t he kissing me?

And then he blurted out something that seems so peculiar, and yet completely fitting.

“I’m not good with people,” he confessed. He’s definitely not going to kiss me. What the fuck? He keeps touching me as if he likes me…you know what? Balls out, Chrissy. Balls out.

I was thrown back for just a second before I responded, “That’s okay. Just be good with me.” And then I kissed him. And it was magical. We kept kissing forever. Was it five minutes? An hour? I couldn’t tell you. But do you remember those days? The dating and kissing, and JUST kissing for hours? I loved that. I needed that.

Kissed Him

At some point, we resumed talking, with interspersed kissing. The Grown Up realized how late it was, and asked if I wanted to come home with him. Nevermind we had driven from a bar nearish his house back to my house which was in the opposite direction. Nevermind it was our first date. Nevermind he had to work the next morning. Nevermind every last bit of reason. Because wherever he was going, I was going too.

I confirmed that I would go, but I would NOT be banging him that night. It was just to sleep. And he agreed. I’d like to tell you it’s because I wasn’t that kind of girl. But really, it’s because I didn’t want to be that kind of girl. Not with him. There was something about him. I liked him. A lot. More than one should in the midst of a first date. But that didn’t matter because he liked me too. Well…at least he liked me at 1 o’clock in the morning when I was kissing him with fervent adoration…One could only hope that the feeling would continue through to morning, but only time would tell.

I ran into my house, grabbed a toothbrush and a few other essentials, and returned to the car with eager anticipation. I was going to see where this Grown Up lived. I was going to spend the night snuggled next to him. I was going to kiss him until I fell asleep. And I did all of those things. It was quite lovely. His room was small and just a little messy. But he didn’t share his room with anyone like a previous boyfriend. And he didn’t live with his grandparents like another guy I had dated. He was…a motherfucking grown up. We kissed some more and eventually fell asleep. I don’t entirely know how much sleep I got, but I slept in his arms the whole night…and for once, didn’t hate it. Who WAS this guy?

Someone pinch me, I think I fell in love that night. Of course, with my track record, I couldn’t help but think…how long would it last?

Think back to the last best first date you’ve had…how did it end? Did you scandalously spend the night or chastely make your way home? What are your thoughts on copious amounts of kissing? What’s the most magical kissing experience you’ve had in your adult life?

Read the next episode of The Handsome Grown Up, How to Lose a Guy is 6 Steps

When the guy you've been dating for a week or so seems too good to be true, you start busting out the big guns to see how far he'll let you go. Sometimes relationships are really weird.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Riding in Cars with Boys

I FINALLY. Had. A date. With. The Grown Up.

On Thursday, we scheduled our date for Tuesday, as The Grown Up’s weekend was already booked, and let’s be honest here…I had a date that Saturday night already anyways. But I couldn’t help but swoon about The Grown Up. I went into work the next afternoon, bragging to my bartender girlfriend. “I have a date with The Grown Up!”

Riding in Cars with Boys

“Which one was that?”

“Tall, handsome guy I met when I used to do trivia?”

“The ginger?”

“No, not that one. The really smart guy who I e-mailed back and forth with.”

“The muscle-y, weird guy?”

“No. That was McDreamy.”

“Maybe. Was he here with Jack?”

“No, that was the ginger.”

“Oh. Okay, I have no idea, then.”

This was a common exchange between my friends and I, which is why the nickname system was relatively important if I were going on a date with someone.

I went through a complete rundown of interactions with The Grown Up, from the day we met to the personality test pick up line that got me a date. (There was a lot of stalking and waiting and  desperate chatting in the three months from start to go time. You can catch up by starting with the day we met and work your way back here. I’m nothing if not linear [and I’m totally lying…except for the part where you can read the whole story. That part is true.]).

We didn’t set a plan until the following Monday, when The Grown Up messaged me asking if I preferred Italian or Indian food. Wow! He was picking a nice restaurant! I’ve never been a huge fan of restaurant Italian food, and I’d never had Indian food so either way, it could be the best/worst night. I told him I was adventurous and let’s try something new so he made reservations at an Indian restaurant.

Then he asked if I wanted to meet him there or if he could pick me up in his “pimpin’ ride.”

I almost died right there.

I had dated a car guy in the past, and I was torn. In addition to my stellar dating advice, I had all these dating rules for myself. Not unlike my bar rules.

Chrissy’s Rules of Dating

1. First dates should always be short – coffee, drinks, mini-golf…they should have an easy-out end time.
2. Always ride in your own vehicle so you can escape quickly if you need to. A getaway car is necessary.
3. Let’s not even get into the no date unless he’s actually called me first rule, because we TOTALLY botched this one up. As evident by 3 months of whatever the fuck that was.
4. Don’t date boys who love their car more than you.

And then my curiosity won, as it usually does, and I decided let him pick me up for our first date.

Over the 4 days, I managed to brag to anyone who would listen that I had a date with a grown up. My older cousin told me it sounded like I was going out with my first man.

My dear friend CC swooned with me, when I told her he was picking me up in his pimpin’ ride.

Katie mostly grazed over another date with another boy (she had been dealing with my bullshit for years. It was allowed).

Jonathan commented on how boys just fell into my lap and it just wasn’t that easy for dudes.

But mostly people were excited for me. Worst case scenario was that I would have an awesome story to tell. And since I’m telling you this story…you know SOMETHING happened.

So on the night of our date, I chose the perfect, casual-but-cute outfit. Jeans, a dressy top, and high heels. This was as strategic as it was aesthetic. I was young and thought I’d wear high heels forever. I needed to know he was taller than me in pumps. And let’s be honest, they made me look skinnier. I was ready to go around 6 pm, shortly before he was scheduled to pick me up. I was terribly nervous, and half tempted to pour myself a couple of shots to make it easier.

I refrained from boozing up early for fear of scaring off The Grown Up, so I paced back and forth in my bedroom. When he pulled up, I saw him right away (my bedroom was in the front of the house). Holy shit.

His pimpin’ ride was a tiny. Green. Mini Cooper. A car I absolutely hated. And made fun of. All. The. Time.

My judging game was strong.

I almost didn’t walk outside. But I had given him my real address. And my mom was home. And the LAST thing I wanted was for him to come to the door. And so I stepped outside. And laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. And realized it was probably a good thing it wasn’t a muscle car. At least I wouldn’t need to compete with a large hunk of metal on wheels. As I made my way to the car, he opened the door for me and our date began.

What dating rules have you broken for someone? What’s your least favorite car? What are your dating deal-breakers?

Find out about the date in the next post…

THE BEST DATE EVER

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!