Monday, November 05, 2007

I really should learn.... expect the unexpected.

It's been a whole dang week of "unexpected." WARNING: Loooooong post ahead. I have a lot to say.

So, last week, I'm gearing up for this conference. There's a listserv for members of this organization. So, one of the newbies (first-year attendees) sends an email to the entire list, saying he's new and his flight gets in at such-and-such time, he's renting a car, and does anyone else need a ride to the conference hotel? That makes me think about dinner that night, for those arriving early. So, I add a post, saying what time I'm getting in and offering to pick up anyone from the airport, and asking about getting together an "early bird" dinner.

Newbie emails me about dinner. He's from South Carolina, so that's what I'll call him. He asks more about the people, the conference, the group. I've been going for five years and I'm now on the Board of Directors, so I offer to introduce him around. I tell him about last year's excursion into the heart of blues country. He's impressed with my taste in music. He gives me his messenger ID, and we start chatting even more. He tells me how much he enjoys our "banter" and getting to know me. We exchange pictures, for recognition sake. He tells me the most recent pic of me is the youngest-looking one. Nice. And he likes my hair. We say we'll meet up with our laptops and compare music collections. I'm such a geek....

"You know what I really want to do there?" he asks, in IMs.
"Find a place to dance. Like 70s and 80s music." Sounds very good to me.

Pause here for a poll: Anyone see this coming? Show of hands. Mmm-kay....those of you who raised your hand, you're a step ahead of where I was.

As I'm packing Tuesday night, I'm aware that Fella has not called me. He knows I'm leaving town for five days. No call. No text Wednesday morning. I know it's a busy week, though. And he's aware that I'm packing and getting out of town. Maybe he doesn't wish to disturb.....I don't know. I can guess all day and still not know. :::sigh:::

My Wednesday drive goes great, after I decide to change my windshield wipers. It's a beautiful drive, and I hope to post some pics later. I listen to my new favorite song about 84,000 times. It's "Into the Night" by Santana and Chad Kroeger. Lovely Latin beat. It's about a couple dancing all night. There's a line I love: "Spinning in circles, with the moon in our eyes/No room left to move in between you and I." Is that not just an effing turn-on of a line?

Headed into Ogden, everyone is delayed by rush hour traffic. A 30-minute trip becomes an hour-and-a-half. I get to the hotel and the huge group of about twenty people that I put together for dinner is already waiting. I hear a chorus of my name being shouted and hugs all around. What a feel-good moment! Two years ago, most of them did not know my name.

I rush to change clothes, and, if I may say so myself, I look smokin' hot. I love this blouse - deep purple, long length, empire waste, with stretchy gathers that cling to the curves of my well-endowed-ness, with a squared neckline that skirts along the cleavage. Just enough to tease and still be classy. I wear my new, shapely jeans. I pull my hair back loosely, with little curls around my face. It's a good night. And I can think of about half a dozen men in the group who I'm aiming to impress.

By the time everyone shows up for dinner, we have about 40 people in the back room of this microbrewery. Three of the men I'd like to impress are not there, including South Carolina. I called him to warn about the traffic and he was already stuck in it. I hear his southern drawl for the first time. Lovely. I tell him where we are, and he promises to make it.

I get to visit with my LSU pals more. You might remember that job fell through for me there.... Well, they can't stand the lady who got it, but their director is so bad that they say it's nothing short of Hell. My LSU guy-pal introduces me to people as, "This is Blogget. She came this close to being in Hell." The lady-pal from LSU says, "I love you and I wish you were there, but I'm so glad you're not stuck in a mess like we are." Everyone wants to know about Colorado. "Looks like Colorado is agreeing with you," my guy-pal from LSU tells me, smiling.

Soon enough, I look up and there he is. He's taller than I thought he'd be. A few more wrinkles around the eyes. He scans the room, his eyes stop on me, and his face lights up. I smile and wave, as he makes his way to the seat across from me. He sits down, still smiling and we introduce ourselves, although it's not necessary. I introduce him to the others at the table. He just keeps smiling at me, and acting a little nervous. The conversation flows around the big, big table again. He asks me who other people are, and I give him the stories.

When I look up again, I see my former bosses and a coworker (and my co-presenter at the conference -- I adore him!) coming in. They make their way to seats near us, and one former boss does something odd. I mean, this is Captain Germophobia. He never touches anyone. For anything. As he passes my chair, he stops. "It's so good to see you! Wow!" And he's rubbing my shoulders. He actually strokes my arms. WTF?!?! He finally moves along and I look at South Carolina. He winks at me and smiles. He thinks the guy is gay, I find out later.

South Carolina offers me a ride back, instead of walking. He's a little concerned that the group will wonder why I'm climbing into a car with someone they don't know well. Not to worry....we're a big happy group, very welcoming. There's really no "thinking bad" of anyone.

South Carolina, me, and my two LSU friends are standing in the lobby, shooting the breeze, when we look out the glass doors and a tall man is facing us with his arms open wide and an even wider grin on his face. He's a big Celt of a man. We holler his name (those who know him) and LSU lady and I get big hugs. This is our friend from New Jersey. It's about 9:30 and he's hungry. We go right back to the microbrewery, the five of us. South Carolina sits beside me. He's the only one at the table who isn't on the Board. Not bad company for a newbie ;o)

I show New Jersey some pics from my new home in Colorado. He wants to move, and says I'd understand if he sent me pics from Trenton. All too soon, it's last call (the place closes at 10:00!) and New Jersey orders another pint. The little waitress says, "First of all, you still have two in front of you. I can't bring another yet. And are you sure you want a third?" We bust out laughing. The Celt from New Jersey downs one of the pints in about one swallow, hands her the glass, and says, "I'm sure. "

Finally back at the hotel, South Carolina asks if I'm tired or if I still want to listen to some music. I've gone to the trouble of loading ALL of my CDs on my laptop. We are going to listen to it, by golly. We agree to meet at my room.

Lemme ask again: anyone see this coming? You're still a step ahead of me.

I answer the door and he asks if we're going to start a rumor, with him coming to my room. I tell him not to sweat it. We're all grown-ups here. We pick a genre on the laptop -- the 1940s. Music from WW II. The Andrews Sisters kick it off, and we talk about the music of that era. Even sang along. My room has two beds. I sit on one. He stretches out on the other, and listens. He looks at me.

"Did you change your hair from that last picture?" No, I didn't. It's longer, though.
"Is it a different perm or something?" No, this is all mine.
"Really?!" He gets up and stands in front of me, raising his hands to my curls. "May I?"
I nod and remove the clip. Gently, he runs his fingers through my curls, as though savoring them, massaging my scalp. It feels goooood.....

He withdraws and whispers, "Thank you," and sits beside me. He lays down beside where I'm sitting, listening to the music. We talk about the songs. He's tracing my hands with his fingers. It's cold in the room. He curls up close to me, tracing my arms, my back. Pulls me down beside him, to curl against my back. This is all happening very slowly, very gradually. He traces my side, my hip. I shift to a more comfortable spot, but not facing him. He puts his arm over me. My eyes are closed. I feel his beard on my cheek. It tickles and I move, but he moves, too. I feel his breath on my lips. A small movement and we're kissing. Light and soft, then firm and passionately.

Again, it's all very slow. What seems like an eternity later, we're still clothed, but obviously aroused. "I really didn't anticipate this happening," he said. I didn't either, honestly. I planned to be alluring, but not to this degree.

"Should we slow this down?" he asks quietly, his hand having strayed to a more intimate position. I shake my head. We have all of five days there, and the first one is almost over. He goes to his own room in the wee hours, saying he wants to sleep without worrying about waking me with his snoring.

And I've been dying from lack of action lately. Fella has let me know that no forward movement is happening with us for now. And I always play it "safe" in these situations, too. And this guy is from South Carolina, 1840 miles away.

We're scheduled for different activities the next day. I'm visiting BYU's independent study shop and attending my first Board meeting. Which goes swimmingly. I'm pegged for three committees. All day, South Carolina is texting me. "Having fun?" "When will you be back?" Captain Germophobia is sticking close to me. He probably asked about ten times, "So, you like your new job?" "So, you enjoy your new place?" So, I'm thinking, are you regretting letting me go? Haha! It's a good day. Again.

We have a reception Thursday night. South Carolina is waiting for me, dressed very sharp. He looks nice in a suit, sans tie and collar loose. Our entertainment is the Tap Dancing Grannies. What a HOOT!! These old folks are a scream! Oh, to be that spry at 86!

South Carolina is trying to maintain professional decorum in front of our colleagues. As we watch the performance, South Carolina presses his leg hard against mine under the table. He looks like he gets an important message on his phone and texts a reply. My phone vibrates. The important text was for me, to make me laugh.

We all wander down the road to a restaurant for dinner. We pack out the place. Food, drink, and merriment abound! South Carolina, Captain Germophobia, and I end up at a table together. We talk shop. We talk about personnel needs. Captain says, pointing at me, "We need to hire a new you, which is damn near impossible." I glance at South Carolina, who gives me a little grin. He's impressed with the reputation I have here.

We talk music. Lots of music. I confess my episode at TxDLA last year, when I flew home to see Nickelback and flew back to the conference, without missing a session. I realize that Captain is completely into what I'm saying. Wow, that feels a little creepy. I learn how old South Carolina is. He says he saw Elton John in concert in 5th grade, in 1971. He catches the twitch of my brow.

"What? Were you not born then?"
"Oh, I was...."
He looks relieved, until I say, "I was three." He shakes his head and laughs.

South Carolina agrees to do a shot with the group before some of us leave. It's Peppermint Schnapps and Tabasco sauce. Just a whiff of it about puts me out. We hit the streets to walk back. He gets a call. Someone has found a club having 80s night. Hot damn! We'll meet them there. As we pull up to the club, my new favorite song comes on and I lose my mind momentarily, dancing in my seat. He laughs. No room left to move in between you and I. Love it.

In the club, we figure out pretty quickly that something is amiss. I'm about 20 years older than the oldest person there. The songs start out as something we know. "Hey! It's the Eurythmics!"'s not. It's BOOM BOOM chicka chicka waaa waaa BOOM BOOM. Ugh. They hip-hopped the tunes of my high school days....

There's a lot of really dirty dancing going on. He leans to me and yells, "I wonder how many Mormon parents would go nuts seeing their kids doing this?!" I smile, realizing he doesn't know that I have Mormon parents who would be none too pleased at my behavior, either!

He's sipping a beer and we're wandering the crowd, looking for our friends. No where to be seen. As we move through the crowd (which looks a little rough), he's protective of me, keeping me close, making sure he has my hand at all times. We find a spot to watch the dance floor. I'm holding close to his back, and he's moving against me with the music. Then, we decide to go. Our friends were probably too old to be there, too!

By now, it's very late. Our conference sessions start in the morning. Back at the hotel, I go to my room and he goes to his. I start checking my email, and my phone rings. "Can I come down?"

He's there fast. I tell him to pick some music on the laptop. I need to spend 5 minutes in the shower to get the club stink off of me. It's in my hair, and I can't escape it. About the time I finish washing my hair, the lights go out. There's a tiny nightlight, with a soft little glow. I hear him. "Hey, can I join you? I need to rinse off, too." Deal. I've never showered in the dark, but it has it's rewards....

We fell asleep to the Beatles. And we slept together all night. I mean, literally slept. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy sharing my bed with a man, especially one who wants to touch me, be against me, hold me. In the wee hours, he woke and passion took hold. We slept a little more, and he went to his room to prepare for the day, before the others would be up to see him going from my door.

It should be noted at this point that I still hadn't heard a word from Fella.

During Friday's conference, we sat by each other when possible. We didn't go to all the same activities. Disaster struck at lunchtime, though. "I need to go back to my room," he said. Something was wrong. I checked later and something had made him sick. He got a prescription for Phenergan. Have you taken that stuff? Coma in a tiny little pill, I swear.

"Did you take a whole one?" I asked, alarmed. Yes, he had.
"I feel loopy," he said. "But it was such a tiny little pill!" He felt better, but couldn't shake the loopiness. He wanted to go to the 4:30 reception and 5:30 dinner. He said he could make it, in just a few moments.

Many moments passed. He didn't answer his phone. I started to worry. I went to his room. From the hall, I hear snoring. Loud. I knock. More snoring. I knock harder. He makes it to the door. "Hi! What time is it?" 5:00. "No way!" Yes, way. "I'll be right there, I promise. Thank you so much for looking for me! I'd have been pissed to wake up and it's 8:00!"

My room is beside the reception room. My other former boss, the lady boss, is standing there. She asks about South Carolina and I tell her what happened. "So, how long have you known each other?" she asks, fishing. Ah-ha. Someone has noticed. Was it the legs under the table? Being with each other whenever possible? The little looks and winks? I smile and give a vague answer.

He appears. Groggy, but there. Ready to eat something. But he's kinda punchy. Things are way too funny to him. But he's a social butterfly, anyhow, so he's fine. We get on a bus for the ride to the dinner and entertainment for the night. It's wonderful, delicious, fun. We are at a table with my former coworkers and the woman who got the LSU job instead of me. Dang, she's obnoxious and more than a little ignorant of the business she's in. Oh, my poor LSU friends!

My cell phone goes off. It's a call from home. Being a worried mama, I step outside to take it. My son got in a fight. He has a black eye and is saying he just couldn't back down. The phone beeps. They can leave a message. I'll deal with this first. I finally agree to talk about it when I get home. I check the message that came in. It's Fella. Wanting to "touch base" and see how things are going. I call him back. It's been a long week and will be a long weekend. He has a basketball tournament from 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM on Saturday. Double-elimination, so if they lose twice, he can go home earlier. He asks about the conference. Promise to talk Sunday. Drive careful. Bye.

I stand in the cold air for a moment, letting the humming in my head settle. South Carolina. Fella. Son in a fight. South Carolina and I have not talked at all about our personal situations. We're both divorced, with kids. His are grown. We haven't asked. We haven't told. What happens after this? No idea. We don't talk about that either.

So, with both men, I have no clue what's going on.

I hear movement inside. We're leaving. I get my stuff and we head back. South Carolina is feeling bad again. He needs more meds. I'm worried about him. We get back to the hotel, and he's looking a little green. I have to practice my presentation with my co-presenter. We say goodbye in the elevator and I say I'll call when we're finished, but for him to get to bed. Others are around, so we keep it quiet and inconspicuous.

My co-presenter is my former co-worker. We don't need much practicing, but we have lots to talk about what's been happening since I left. He's been about to BUST, wanting to tell me about it all. We also have that law suit in common. We do not want to be subpoenaed. It's a mess. My phone rings at about 11:00. It's old BF's ringer, though, and I don't answer. It proceeds to ring several more times before midnight. My dear old coworker is flabberghasted. That leads to a discussion of bad relationships. I haven't ever had such a great conversation with this co-worker, and he's a good friend. It's nearly 1 AM when he leaves.

I send a text to South Carolina instead of calling. He's bound to be in a Phenergan-induced coma, and he needs to sleep. I text and let him know we're done, but I don't wish to disturb him. See you in the morning.

My presentation is at 8:45 AM on Saturday. Ugh!! I get a text from South Carolina, saying he's at breakfast. I'm setting up. He comes to my presentation. It goes smashingly well. We go to the silent auction, and my momentary insanity takes over and I win everything I bid on! Except for the chocolate basket. I made a deal with a woman to stop bidding on something else and I'd leave the chocolate alone for her. Ah success!!

Saturday afternoon, South Carolina decides to take it easy and watch college football. It's his favorite thing. I promised my former bosses and coworker that I'd play tour guide for them in Salt Lake City. That saved us the $50 for the official tour the conference folks are taking. Besides that, there's a group looking for dancing for the evening and another looking for a good bar. In the dancing group, there's a young guy who seems taken with me. In the bar group, there are two really cool guys - one from North Dakota and the big Celt guy - who have been showing me a lot of attention. They all have my cell number and we'll figure out what's going on later.

I'm in downtown Salt Lake, and my phone goes off. South Carolina is texting to see if I'm having a good time. He calls, too. He's alone, watching football. He's supposed to tell me when he hears what's going on that night. Back to the tour, and we're having a ball. It was a great experience. Even Captain Germophobia liked it. My sweet co-worker watched out for me all day. I kept setting things down and almost leaving them! He'd pick it up and patiently hand it back. Sweet guy (but he has a girlfriend back home).

I get back to the hotel. My old co-workers and bosses are going to sleep, to leave early in the morning. So, we say our goodbyes. Hugs from everyone. Please come see us. We miss you. Thanks for doing the presentation. Captain hugs me tight, though. He holds on to me. "Call me if you need anything, okay?" I say okay, and it just is so different from how he's ever been with me. I think he really does miss me.

The official tour group isn't back yet. South Carolina isn't answering his phone. I try three times over two hours, and I'm getting pissed. WTF?!?! I give up. He's obviously out somewhere and not answering. The official tour gets back and my LSU pals call the big Celt guy. They're at a bar nearby that's having 70s night. Sounds good to me! About that time, my phone rings. It's South Carolina. He's at the same place and is about falling over himself to come pick me up. No, I'll ride with LSU. Thank you.

This is a funny little local watering hole. A bar area, smoky, with a room for a band, and a dance floor. They're playing "Hurt So Good" when I get there (I know -- not 70s, but I didn't point it out). We walk in and everyone is at some tables by the door. There's South Carolina. He turns and sees me, and all pretense of professional decor between us vanishes. He wraps me up in a big hug, keeping an arm around me. Half the table is singing to "Hurt So Good" and I join in. The young fella seems particularly impressed by this. They are all there -- the dancing people and the bar flies. And a good time is being had by all!

There's this one little blonde, though. I don't like her. She's snotty. And she is flirting with South Carolina. She's shooting me glares. She dances with him once. He dances a lot, though, with a couple of different ladies. He's a social butterfly, I tell ya. I dance with young fella and a local guy who asked. A reggae song comes on and South Carolina considers is. "Do you want to try to dance to this?" I say yes. Reggae can work well with a Latin step. So, we hit the dance floor.

I've watched him dance with the others. He's in a world of his own, with the music. There's no sense of distance because he's with his partner, but not really. She can do what she wants. He's into the music. This is the dance I think I'm in for.

He turns to me and takes my hands. We dance together. We're close. He twirls me, then brings me back close. Turns me behind him, and face-to-face again. He twirls me in close, holds both my hands in front of me, so we can move together, my back against his chest. No room left to move in between you and I.

The song ends. "That was good," he says. I agree, I haven't danced in a long time like that, but it was very nice.

He stands near me all evening, singing to me now and again when he knows the song. Funny thing, if he moves away from me and comes back to find another man talking to me, he stands close again. The little blonde is still trying to flirt with him. The band plays ZZ Top's "Tush." He's singing along, and runs a finger up my backside, as I'm leaning on a high table. I turn and smile at him, and he keeps singing.

I look at little blonde. Flirt all you want, little girl, but he's coming home with me tonight.

We're exhausted. We cash out the tab. We leave. He's so tired that I'm not sure he'll come to my room. He says he needs to take a few minutes in his room, and I figure he'll crash. My phone rings. "All right if I come down now?" Yes, of course. "Sure?" Yes.

When he walks in, he makes himself at home. "I'm so wiped out!" he says as he kicks off his shoes. "I might just crash on you." That's okay. I still need to shower, so I head that way. Soon, the lights go out again and he's in the warm water with me. I make it about relaxing him, running the washcloth gently over his skin. He almost falls asleep standing.

We dry off and climb into bed together. It's cozy and warm, and we're asleep very soon.

As daylight breaks, we're awake again. I've learned one of his quirks -- he can't climax in the mornings. But I make sure he gets as close as he can. "Oh my God," he says. "You're very good at that." Something to remember me by.

Later, we check out of the hotel and have lunch before I have to hit the road. We say goodbye as though we'll see each other soon. The kiss is small and undramatic.

What does it all mean? I don't know. Maybe nothing. Maybe nothing more than to let me know I can be attractive to someone other than Fella, who is working on really screwing things up with me.

I don't know why Fella calls sometimes and won't call other times. Tonight, we talked, but he abruptly said, "I'll call you back later," and that was it. No explanation. We all know he won't call. I don't know if I'll put out the effort to call him. I'm weary of this right now. He's taking so much energy, and his attitude hurts me. So, we'll see how it pans out.

I spoke with South Carolina last night, guiding him around downtown Salt Lake via the phone. We traded texts today, as he traveled. Maybe we'll chat again

So, an eventful conference. Not what I expected. And that just might have been a good thing.


The HOR blogger said...

Hey :) I read your post. Crap I can't think of much to say. It doesn't need a lot of saying right? But hey you're right ;) you still got it.

~ellen~ said...

Wow! All I can say is I'm glad you had such a good time. And I'm glad a guy came along, even if only temporarily, who reminded you what it looks like when a guy is really into you.

Sgt said...

Alternate Title:
Blogget Jones Gets Her Groove Back

Driving With the Brakes On said...

OH MY GOSH! That post makes me want to get a divorce, get a job, and attend an out-of-state conference. Okay, well not really get a divorce, but you know what I mean!

You were so deserving of this! It is hard when you put so much work into a relationship and aren't met half-way by the other party. And kuddos to South Carolina for reminding you that you are a smokin' hottie!

Now the question becomes, does what happened in Salt Lake City, stay in Salt Lake City? You so need to contact their tourism board - if that doesn't attract the tourists, nothing will!

Sassy Blondie said...

Damn! What conferences are you attending? I need to register...

Blogget Jones said...

Hor-gal: apparently, I do....I just needed to remember it!

Ellen: Me, too. I don't think he'll ever know the difference he made to me. He's a good guy.

Sgt: Amen to that! That's an excellent title!! Wish I'd thought of it....

Driving: LOL! Yeah, I needed this. I needed to be reminded of what I want it to be like. Fella is the one screwing up....not me. And as for it staying in SLC...I'm going to make a post to that effect in a moment.

Sassy: Haha! You wouldn't think all this would happen with a bunch of distance-ed-computer-geeks, would you?

Pixie said...

I really pleased you visited me so i could come by and read this.
It's a great post, and with just the right amount of sex to make me want more.

fells sounds a bit of a waste of energy, if you don't mind me saying.

Blogget Jones said...

Thanks for visiting Pixie!! I loved reading your blog, too.

...there was a lot of sexy stuff in Ogden....but should I kiss and tell that much? LOL Glad you found it interesting, though!

Fella is proving to be a big drain on my energy. I'm getting worn out. Don't know that I want to continue being drained. So, you're right...and I don't mind you saying!