After another incredible, yet over the top, evening with Sam and I was craving some normalcy. I love grand gestures and fun adventures but at the end of the day, I am a girl that was raised on a cattle ranch in Kansas. I want to be in a relationship with someone who has some stability. That was not Sam. My relationship with him was a classic example of; what attracted me to him most was what I ended up not liking about him. Each time I suggested I cook for him or we stay in and order food, he found an excuse to why we should go out and it was always over the top.
Soon he found an excuse for everything. In my heart, I knew where things with Sam went wrong. I was too available, and he was the type of guy that enjoyed the chase, soon he used the “I think we are on different pages,” excuse. Yes, I wanted to get married again, but not next week! I have a bad habit that I must now confess; when I am dating someone I really like, I want to be with them. I know I am an awful person. I make them a priority, and I try to be a good partner by making time and room for them in my life. I know we are all supposed to play the dating game, but I suck at it, like really suck at it.
This was a man who had admitted he had a crush on me for ten years and now that I was in front of him and available I scared him and we were not on the same page. “Scared him?” I don’t even know what that means; it is the dumbest excuse I have ever heard. I don’t want a grown ass man that spooks that easily (but, as I have found out it is a common excuse for men- am I really that scary?). After a few canceled dates, I was done and stopped returning his calls. I thought this would be the end of Sam… but is defiantly was not.
A few days later my friend Derek and I were at lunch, and I was filling him in on all the Sam updates, suddenly my phone rang on cue, it was Jaxton. He wanted to know how I had been and if I wanted to have dinner. YES, abso-fucking-lutly, YES! When I hung up the phone, I had a huge smile on my face. Derek looked at me and laid it out; “you know what your problem with men is?”
“No, but I am super interested that you know, please enlighten me,” I said being my usual smart ass self.
He continued, “You really need to stop this recycling program.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked, being slightly defensive.
“You! You recycle all your men. You need to meet new men! All the men you are dating are men from your past- friends or old boyfriends!” He said with, what I thought was, a total judgmental tone. Ugh, I hated to admit it, but he was right, I had a bad habit.
Wait I thought “Not Andrew, what about Andrew? He was new,” I said with great pride.
“Oh yeah, because that worked out so well. Were you really about to move to Portugal and hang laundry outside, pick fruit from trees and live in a village for the rest of you life? I think not.” He was right again, and just the thought of that being my life sent us both into a hysterical fit of laughter… what WAS I thinking?
I couldn’t help but think that Jaxton was different though. He wasn’t just a recycled guy; he was Jaxton, my Jaxton. We had a very long history; he was my happy place and my comfort zone. Sam and I clearly were not serious, not anywhere near exclusive so why would I say no- oh and I wasn’t even returning his calls so technically we weren’t even still seeing each other, technically I still had a husband. I felt all the technicalities somehow gave me free will to do whatever felt right for me. At that moment, Jaxton felt right.
The night before my dinner with Jaxton, Sam called again, and he finally got up the nerve to be honest with me. Well, that’s not exactly true; I confronted him and made him be honest with me. He gave me the “I think we are in different places right now” speech. I found it funny because when we were in Turks and Caicos his version of the same speech was “We are in the same place, and I want the same things you do.” My, my how a few thousand miles and two weeks can change a man’s mind!
If he were being honest then he would have said, “I am newly single and boatload of cash, so no way do I want to date just one woman.” And if I was honest my place was “I am a bit fragile and want to date a good guy without getting serious right away.”
I decided that if he needed to think that I wanted a serious relationship to make himself feel better about ending it, that was fine by me. If I have learned anything, it is that being in a relationship or even dating someone that has one foot out the door is never going to end on a positive note.
Dinner with Jaxton later that week was everything I expected; romantic, torturous and fun. Half way through dinner we started reminiscing, which I loved and hated at the same time. I had told him I was heading to New York soon for work, and he began talking about the first time he and I were in NY together. He brought up the one memory that I had tried to forget so many times yet was branded clearly into my mind forever.
Many years before I had even met my current nightmare of a husband, Jaxton and I were in New York at the same time, by happenstance. It was the week before Thanksgiving, my favorite time of year in the city. He was there for work, and I was there to see friends.
We decided to meet for dinner, but he needed to make a stop before hand. He was producing the production of a major event, the biggest parade in the country, that airs on Thanksgiving morning and needed to check in on rehearsals. It was like having our own private preview of the show; it was a few nights before the big show and no else was there. I never knew the rehearsed the show late at night- though it makes perfect sense. This was something very few people will ever see, and it was magical. As we stood there, Jaxton overseeing things and me watching the Broadway dancers hit every mark, I wanted to pinch myself, what little girl doesn’t dream of something like this?
Suddenly it started to rain and the next thing I knew we were running through the streets of New York on our way to dinner, ducking in and out of doorways, to avoid getting totally soaked… just a little romantic, right? We had a fantastic dinner, a great bottle of wine, lots of laughs and then decided to meet up with some friends at a nearby bar. It was a perfect New York night, with the exception of one thing; one of us was not “available.”
I was staying at the Waldorf Astoria, and he was staying on the other side of town. We grabbed a cab, the first stop was my hotel and being a gentleman he wanted to walk me inside. The entire lobby was decorated for Christmas; garland on everything that stood still, a giant tree in the lobby covered in glass ornaments, twinkle lights glowing in the dark- it is spectacular, no one does Christmas like New York. As we stood there we both knew, nothing could happen between us. It wasn’t our time. It wasn’t right and he knew I wouldn’t go there. I will admit though, I have never wanted to kiss someone so badly in my life as I did at that moment. Jaxton leaned in and kissed me on the cheek, as he did this I took a deep breath; he smelled like snow, cold, and him. He said good night and started to turn away. I stood at the top of the stairs as walked away, my feet felt like they were in concrete- I willed them to move towards the elevator and it just wouldn’t happen. As he stepped outside he turned and stood on the sidewalk the rain had turned into snow and it was coming down thick, he stood there looking back though the revolving door. It was a moment right out of the sappiest movie you have ever seen… but it was real.
It was one of the most difficult moments of my life. I wanted to scream; I wanted to run after him. I couldn’t move. I could do nothing but stand there with my eyes welling up and tears running down my face. The doorman hailed him a cab, he turned to give me one more look, got in the cab and drove away. It was (and still is) by far one of my favorite memories of us.
Now that I look back I know that was the first moment I realized I was truly in love with Jaxton. And now here we were over eight years later at dinner and just by talking about it took me right back to that moment, it still gave me butterflies. The only good thing was that so many years later, I was still in love but now we were both available and this night would end very differently!