4 Ramblin’ Days

Spending the weekend with a tall, muscular, multilingual, red-haired Adonis.. A charming and funny engineer with a Master’s degree and military background –who has traveled all over the world. Wow, how did I hit the dating jackpot??

I had been prepping all week. Watchin’ the carbs, eating well, staying away from soda to avoid the carbonation bloat.

I worked a graveyard shift and then headed home to sleep for a few hours. He lives an hour and a half drive away and I was going to drive up, stay at his place Thurs night, then we would leave for our campsite the next morning.

I slept for just a few hours and then got up and started packing but I was SO tired… I was just dragging. I felt like I was moving in slow motion trying to pack and finish drying the last load of laundry. sssssslow motion….. I absolutely could not move quickly and I didn’t want to drink coffee and get all nervous and stuff. SO, of course I ended up texting the Ramblin’ Man and pushin’ the time back by an hour. Well, he must be starting to get to know me because he was already expecting that.

Even getting out of the house ONE HOUR later than planned was kinda rough. I had to be really conscious of it and then the damn stuff in the dryer still didn’t get dry in time. I decided to forget all that stuff and pack what I had. Then I jumped in my sexy car and sped off toward The Red Hott Ramblin’ Man.

By the time I got to the Higginbotham I was feelin’ pretty awake. He was warm and chivalrous carrying my bags from the car. The Ramblin’ Man was also oozing with romance last time… making drinks and a gourmet meal. This time was different. We sat out on the lawn with hard lemonade we cracked open and drank from the bottle. We chatted for a while and he kept getting in my personal space, which I love. He’s so affectionate and I really enjoy being physically close. Then he popped some frozen pizza in the oven and we sat down to watch a shoot em up, rah rah military movie. He seems to dig the fact that we have that military background in common. Personally, I feel very tom boyish when he does that to me… It was ok though. Last time we watched Scary Movie 3, which he laughed his ass off to but I thought it was kinda stupid.

He talked about some women he had dated and how he had one gal put him on a “timeline” as he called it… Well, after like the 8th date he decided to have the talk with her. He just told her that was fine with him if she didn’t want to have sex, then they could just be friends but basically if you want to date The Ramblin’ Man you’ve got to cross the sex bridge pretty quick. He also talked about not being in a place where he wanted any kind of commitment at the moment. She cried! Not only did she cry but she started with “why does every guy just want sex from me? How come no one wants a relationship??” (GREAT question but not the appropriate time and place! lol)

Wow, some guys I have decided not to see again have been rude but at least none of them cried!

It was a little weird listening to him talk about other women he was dating and trying to sleep with but I wasn’t terribly jealous. To be honest, I kept thinking about the skittish Mr. Hard Body. I would have much rather been sitting on his saggy floral couch talking about anything. It’s nothing against The Ramblin’ Man… like I said, he’s the prize of the dating lottery but I think maybe Mr. Hard Body may a better fit for me. He has a softer touch and despite the skittishness, seems open to a relationship.  It could also be that I have had a chance to see Mr. Hard Body more since he lives in the same town I do.

I did tell The Ramblin’ Man a little something about Mr. Hard Body. We were talking about Alpha males and Beta males, and I mentioned how Mr. Hard Body hasn’t even tried to kiss me after like a month and a half.

The Ramblin’ Man and I both agree that it was fine that those others weren’t really being physical with us, because we had each other…

It’s odd, even that first night… right from the start I knew he didn’t belong to me. I have no illusions about that. To hear him talk about other women and stuff. I didn’t even really feel jealous. He talked about his ex some… still, I didn’t feel jealous… I just felt like I really cared about him. He’s my friend and he is an amazing man. I want him to be happy, whatever gets him there.

I think he is like me and would really like to have someone close by and with him everyday (in fact, he said that exact thing to me on the last day) but it’s not so easy to find. The impression I get from him is –This will work for now… and not to mention, here is this incredible fascinating person in front of me. I can choose to share time with him and learn and enrich my life… or NOT. I could just choose not to learn anything new or anyone new… and that really isn’t me. I see an opportunity for growth and experience in front of me and generally, I jump in with both feet.

It didn’t take long to get close and start kissing on the couch. The Ramblin’ Man has such a blunt way about him sometimes it makes me laugh. I spent the night in his strong arms, thinking about how much I miss this kind of skin on skin contact and having a man in my bed.

The next day he loaded his truck and mentioned he thought we could split the gas. Wow, I was totally surprised. This is definitely the first time a man has invited me on a trip and expected me to pay for half. I was shocked. The Ramblin’ Man is all about fairness and 50/50 though. I had planned for that financially, just in case.

Ya know, one of the problems with doing that on a trip is that you now have to start keeping score. I HATE that. I don’t want to keep score, damn it! I’d appreciate for a man to say, no I invited you. I’ve got this. Especially in The Ramblin’ Man’s case where we are taking a trip that he does every year and has done with a different woman every year. I’m guessing if I didn’t take him up on his offer, he’d have simply found another lady to go with him. So, if he was going to end up taking the trip anyway… why am I paying for half the gas? I am also wondering if any of those other girls paid half because I’m SURE his most recent ex-girlfriend didn’t.

It kind of felt like a man pulling out a calculator after dinner and figuring out exactly what each person owed and then asking your date for her half. Part of me wants to say “ahh, whatever, it’s only money” but another part of me says… what does this tell me about who he is?

For instance, in a relationship setting where both people are working, I believe that both should contribute to the household bills. I ALSO believe that whoever makes more should contribute more. Now I’m pretty sure he has a lot more bills than I do, but I am also positive that he makes way more money than I do too. Why does a man with an MBA need me to pay half the trip? Is he not the type of man who feels that need to take care of a woman and/or a family or whatever?

I think most likely it was some sort of test. He really felt taken advantage of in his last relationship, and this could have been a test to see if I’d make a stink about it. I didn’t. I just forked over my half, which made the entire weekend feel more plutonic and less romantic but I figured.. eh, it is what it is, and if it helps him heal.. then bring it on.

I was trying to help as he loaded the truck. I was also getting ready and everything. He told me it would be nice to have me “all dolled up” the first day as we visited the wineries but that all bets were off the next couple days since we were camping.

So, I brought a sun dress and some fairly casual open toed sandal type heels. I popped outside to ask him if he would like some help loading the truck before I put on my dress and heals… and he replied “now don’t get all dressed to the nines….” blah blah and some more stuff that made me feel like an idiot. I started to reply “no, it’s just a summer dress….” then I stopped even trying to reply to that bullshit and walked away thinking “I know how to put a fucking outfit together”.

I did change my jewelry and my shoes. I switched to flip-flops and put on some casual jewelry. Although my original outfit would have been fine, he got me all twisted up about the outfit so I changed it. I’m sure he could tell I was not happy.

We hit the first winery which had a tasting room in his garage. Tacky! I had expected it would be a sort of fancy experience with people smelling the wine in this pretentious million dollar home. NOPE, not even close, which was perfectly fine since I’m not the pretentious type anyway.

I discovered at that first winery that I’m not really good at wine tasting… I can’t drink all that wine! I was feelin’ it already after the first winery. I told him I couldn’t keep doing that or I’d be hammered. He seemed a little put off by that. I really made an effort to let him know– I was enjoying the entire experience but I just wasn’t going to be able to try every wine.

The second winery was interesting. I actually bought a bottle of fantastic dessert wine there. (which I drank already –by myself curled up with a book and a glass of wine…hehehe) It was a much nicer place and the gal behind the counter had a terrific personality. The Ramblin’ Man is very good with people too, so he had her personality switched in to the “on” position.

The Ramblin’ Man was also doing a little work. He talked to the owner of the first winery about a job…. then at the second winery, the marketing director came out from the back and picked his brain about their drying up pond. Actually, I think she originally was coming out to flirt with him and then found out he’s an engineer and decided she had something to talk to him about.

I was a little put off that she would do that right in front of me. The Ramblin’ Man later said “well, we weren’t exactly putting out the ‘we’re together’ vibe.” And he’s right. I was trying to give him his space. He’s super sensitive to a lot of stuff right now, and any action the slightest bit possessive will set his hair on fire.

I think I am also still in self-preservation mode. The Ramblin’ man seems to be really trying to get his head straight and I feel like I’m sort of watching him move and mirroring him (like a really annoying mime or something).

The third winery was not much more impressive than the first but the people were fascinating… At the front desk there were two huge elephant tusks that stretched from the counter to the ceiling and a picture of the owner when he was a strapping young man standing over the big game he had shot.

There was also a covered bridge near by. By this time I was picking on The Ramblin’ Man about having used words like “allow” earlier in the day when we were talking about relationships. I was having fun being sassy with him and hoping he wasn’t taking it the wrong way. He seemed to have an “oh brother” attitude about it.

We walked down to the bridge and took some pictures together. He was trying to get me to be silly and said a couple of things like “take off the Terminator sunglasses” and “you have a really stern face.” Yikes… I don’t know, to me, those sound like insults. Just like when he said “you are the hottest white trash girl…” I don’t even know what the rest of that statement was. I stopped listening at “white trash”. It seemed to me to be a veiled insult. It slipped in under the cover of humor.

The thing is, I’m sure my sweet Ramblin’ Man did not intend for them to be insults. Maybe I’m just a little sensitive… or maybe he’s just a tough sum bitch. (well, either way, he is a tough sum bitch

What I do know is that some men strike me that way and some don’t.

He turned it around though… like he always does. He’s so hilarious. As we walked back up toward the car, he sneaked the camera down my shirt and snapped a cleavage picture. I don’t know how he did that so fast and managed to actually get a picture of anything, but he did.

We headed for the campground and got set up just in time to have a glass of wine and then welcome the rain.

While we sat in front of the fire, drank wine and talked, we may have learned more about each other than we have over the last several months of emailing and talking. He finally really let himself tell me about his ex and his emotions.

My theory about ex talk is that I’d MUCH rather talk about what’s actually on someone’s mind than I would have some bullshit chit-chat polite conversation.

Now The Red Hott Ramblin’ Man is very logical. He’s very smart and keeps his emotions in check. Apparently he bottles up his emotions for a time, and then at some point he has “an emotional bubble burst” and he’s flooded with feelings. Well, he had recently had one of those bubbles burst about his ex.

I listened with the same warm feelings I had the entire trip. He’s amazing and I care about him. I wish him nothing but happiness and success. Maybe he and I will fit together as a match, maybe we won’t but it doesn’t change that last statement.

I listened and said what came to mind. In doing this I helped him look at the situation from another angle… maybe from her perspective. It felt a little awkward, like I was steering him back towards her (which would mean I would lose out). The Ramblin’ Man swears it makes no difference and he’s not getting back with his ex but that he doesn’t want to feel so badly about her. I get that.

The Red Hott Ramblin’ Man also talked about his future plans and it sounded to me like a very conventional lifestyle. Conventional doesn’t really appeal to me. I tried normal and it didn’t work for me. I really have no aspirations of being a Senator’s wife. However, the truth is, it really all comes down who I fall in love with. I’d do whatever I could to help my partner chase his dreams.

We headed out again, but there was no hiking or anything… only rain. The Red Hott Ramblin’ Man continued to do a little work and make a few calls here and there. I was very excited for him — to hear that his boss had given him a huge vote of confidence. It was so exciting! He’s been working towards this for a long long time and he’s so smart and driven.

We wandered a bit… and then my anxiety reared its ugly head. See, I have this vitamin deficiency that causes symptoms like anxiety and panic. So, in the middle of our trip I had to stop because the anxiety had upset my stomach and then I had a panic attack after that.

He was good with me. He was comforting and patient, but also didn’t coddle me. He challenged me and encouraged me to get back in the truck with him and head back to the Higginbotham. We were going back a day early but with the rain and all, it seemed appropriate. I enjoyed being back at his home with him as well.

I was a little sad lying in his arms knowing that I’d be going home the next day. We talked about our childhoods and our parents. I wasn’t surprised that his father was so stern. I told him that explained a lot.

He also lost his dog when he was a kid and had to bury the dog himself. (ok, his Dad isn’t just stern, if you ask me… He’s a bastard) So, I have heard The Ramblin’ Man say many times that he’d like to have a dog but he “logic”s himself out of it. He gives all kinds of reasons, but I think what it comes down to is that hurt like hell when he lost his childhood dog and he doesn’t want it to happen again.

He seems quite reserved with his love… He is quite different from me in that way. I give love to so many. That’s what I do in life… I love on my animals and my kids, my friends and co-workers (well most of em anyway). He seems to hold his love in reserve until he decides to give it. When he does, he goes all in.

He has gotten out of the military and driven all the way to Panama to be with the woman he loved. He’s had long distance relationships across the globe for his woman. He’s poured his heart out with no reciprocation and gone in to debt for it…. But he doesn’t pour it out all over. He keeps it in reserve until he decides where to put it.

The Ramblin’ Man hung on to the pictures we took. He gave me a quick peck and said he’d burn me a cd next time I came to visit. He’s just not “there” with me, ya know. His head is off in the clouds. That doesn’t mean he never will be “there”.

I keep expecting him to say “it’s not working” or “I’m going back to my ex” or “I’ve met someone else” but he never does… He keeps planning to see me again.

Even though I’m not the place he has decided to pour out his heart… I figure I will hang in there maybe, and see what happens.

Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 4:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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