I engineered meeting her. Is that wrong?
I saw her first on television. That one peak led me astray. I soon found myself stealing more peaks.
Then there was a particular turn of phrase. I was hooked.
I wanted to meet her. And I wanted her to want me. That might sound simple, but it requires planning. I went to work.
First, I had to figure out how to meet. I had two avenues open to me - to use connections with her place of employment; or to use mutual contacts and friends in the arts community. Not knowing her, except for her work, I chose the latter.
The next step was to spend time with those mutual friends. The trick is to not your ulterior motives obvious. It took several get togethers.
You see, friends are always willing to set you up with whom they think would be a great fit. Usually, they think a great fit is someone like their sister (if they like you).
So getting set up through a friend isn't difficult. Getting set up with whom you want through a friend is another matter entirely.
So you might think you can just speak plainly and tell them who you want. Really, that's a bad idea. First, the friend will likely tell you why you shouldn't want that person. Second, they'll remind you of the favour they did you for the rest of your life. Just not worth it.
Instead, I waited for the right opportunity - that opportunity was a discussion of the physical attributes of the opposite sex, started by a member of that very sex. Names were put forward. I put forward TQL's.
There were 4 of us in the conversation. One piped up, "I know her. Yes. Lovely." We were getting close. Still - I didn't want to appear interested - at least in that sense.
The subject turned to me and someone commented how I should date a particular sister of theirs. I insisted I really didn't need or want to be set up. I made some joke about how all I really was ready for at this point was getting into somebody's pants - and that that was a fine thing to set up someone's sister for.
I then made another joke - I said that since everyone is trying to set me up, why don't you set me up with them all - and at the same time. I suggested a dinner party, where this sister and that sister could be invited; where all the girls you want to set me up with could be invited. And then I turned to the member of our group that mattered and said "And you could invite TQL too". Everyone laughed at the joke.
A week later, I was invited to a dinner party. The invitee then added in a deeper quieter voice - "and I have a surprise for you. I'm going to invite TQL too. But don't get your hopes up. I don't know if she's attached."
In spite of my meticulous planning, I admit to not having thought about that. Still, I had my wits about me and pointed out I had been joking and all, and that I certainly wasn't going to be making any kind of move at a dinner party with that particular guest list.
Several days later I received another phone call. "It will be so cozy. Six couples and two singles." I don't suppose you want to know who the other single is?"
"Why would it matter?", was my reply - how could I reply otherwise.
Not missing a beat, the response I got was, "How much should I tell her about you? I think I've touched on all the major points. "
Pretty clever, eh? My friend here had done exactly what I wanted. Master Manipulator I am.
Keeping true to form, I told the host of this future party that something had come up and there was some potential I wouldn't be able to attend. Arm twisting ensued. I was told TQL made it clear she didn't want to be the only unattached person there.
Well, then, duty called. I guess I had to be there.
As far as I can tell TQL was totally prepared for our meeting. She knew what I did for a living, what kind of car I drove, where I went to school, how often I travelled to Europe, why I liked to hang out with dancers, that I took a day trip to Washington D.C. once just to see a painting, where I lived, my past, my sordid past, and, allegedly what "type" of women I liked.
All that was required of me was to act the part.
In retrospect, I too, was totally prepared for our meeting. I had a lust steered in new directions by a sexy turn of phrase. And I had been forewarned that she didn't know the people that would be there as well as I, and that given her profession she'd know people there more through that, than out of friendship. (In other words, I could only stare at her from a distance.)
I spent much time, the day of the party, planning. When should I arrive? Fashionably late of course. But when was that?
Eventually, I chose my fashionably late time, and was one of the first there. TQL was the last.
I remember the first instant that I saw her in person. I remember what she was wearing. On television her style was "chic-street." Not on television it was "sexy chic-street."
At one point I became concerned the evening would pass without so much as a conversation between us. I managed to alleviate this concern by looking at my watch and seeing only 5 minutes had passed since she arrived.
In seriousness now, I think I can safely assume that if she didn't know of my interest when she walked through the door, she certainly knew of it within the first half hour of that evening.
I thought of that turn of phrase as I momentarily fixated on her exquisite lips. But it was, I soon realized, her eyes which made that turn of phrase something special. Expression without words sometimes rules my world.
At some point we had a moment where we were relatively alone. We shared a moment my eyes locked on hers, and she returned the favour, hers on mine. I knew she knew. She could tell that I knew she knew. There was no need to say anything. I wouldn't have to announce my baggage. And if she had baggage it couldn't possibly have mattered to me. Lust turned to desire.
We both knew the moment would soon come to an end. She took the initiative, and decided to speak. "Well......,: she started - "I hear I've made quite an impression on you."