I came home to these messages the other day on my computer:
Jordan: cause every time I see your bubbly face
I get the tingles in a silly place
Jordan: is “silly place” supposed to mean the genitals?
Jordan is an old boyfriend, pretty much the ideal guy. Tall, handsome, athletic, intelligent, funny, caring… Did I mention that he’s gorgeous? I met Jordan two years ago when a mutual friend asked me to join his all-guys club soccer league. They needed one more person for their team and, unable to find a guy, figured that they would stretch the rules and have a girl on the team. Not being timid, I agreed. Plus, they bribed me with promises of beer.
I remember seeing Jordan for the first time, shirt off, sweating in the summer heat. Even after the first few practices I caught myself staring. By the first game I was nervous. I showed up a bit late from work, threw on a sports bra and a tank top in my car, and met the boys on the field. There was immediate arguing about my presence, the other team pouting that we couldn’t have a girl on the team. I pointed out that technically, there were no rules against it. They finally settled on insisting that they play shirts, we play skins. This joke got old quick- just about every team insisted on saying it.
The first game was a blur, I don’t remember if we won or lost. I do remember going to the bar, sweaty and grass-stained with the boys after. Jordan and I retired to one end of the bar, the other guys hooting at us between drinks. We got on the topic of books that we both loved, our mutual love of dogs, and a movie that we both wanted to see. By the time that we stumbled out of the bar we’d made plans to see the movie together.
Of couse Jordan would be the perfect gentleman, picking me up from my house (despite it meaning that he had to go out of his way to get me). And of course he would insist upon paying, upon buying popcorn, upon holding every door we came to open for me. He was so gentleman-ly that I first took it as a ruse to get me to sleep with him. But after the third and fourth dates, after he still didn’t push me to kiss him, after he still high-fived me after one of us scored, I realized that he was actually a good guy.
Three weeks went by, and Jordan and I were spending just about every night together. We’d grab a basketball and shoot around, we’d take his dog, Tan, swimming. And once, when we were throwing sticks for Tan to fetch, he twisted my fingers in his palm, grinning his perfect lips wide. This, I realized, should have been a moment when I swooned. I didn’t.
The following day we had anothe soccer game. The typical joke at the beginning had led our teamate Tim to making us all shirts that read “Skins” on them, our adopted team name. [Sidenote: At the office I was working at that summer, there was one black woman. She and I ended up taking every day and taking our lunches together, and she told me that she wanted to “blackicize” me. Every day she would tell me phrases that she felt I should learn, including one that I ended up using in this particular game after getting mowed over by a 6’4 should-be-linebacker: “He all up in my Kool-aid and he don’t even know the flavor.”] Jordan and I worked perfectly together, him at left wing, me at right. In that last few minutes of the tied game, I had a perfect throw in that set him up at the 18, and he scored. He ran over to me, our usual congratulations. But this time he picked me, and the next thing I know he’s kissing me. Another moment where I should have felt like my chest was melting into my stomach. But again, I didn’t.
Jordan and I ended up dating for two months, and he was perfect in every single sense. But something was constantly nagging me. I remember the night that he figured it out: We were at his father’s restaurant (did I mention that his family was incredibly wealthy as well? And that they gorged me on Italian food at every possible moment?) and he brought up Hunter S. Thompson. My stomach felt as though it were trying to dissolve a lump, and suddenly I’m not there with him in the beautiful restaurant. Instead, I’m with PK. He could tell then that I was not ready, not at all ready to try to move on.
We’ve stayed close, and he eventually moved to Massechusetts for graduate school. Last week I received a call from him on my cell phone. “I’m home for break, what are you doing right now?” I admitted that I hadn’t showered, that I was cleaning my room. “Great, I’ll see you in a few minutes.” He hung up (I swear that I could see his smirk on the other line) before I could protest. True to his word, he showed up a half hour later, arms laden with bags of food from his father’s restaurant. And cannolis!
We spent the next few hour cleaning my house and sprawling out on my bed with my Ipod on. He was holding my hand, with his thumb rubbing the stretched skin between my thumb and forefinger. And then that song came on, and he’s pulling me up to dance. His hands on the small of my back, rocking me against his body. He brushed the hair from in front of my ear and told me “I’ve missed this”. I stopped and looked at him, and he knew again. I’m still not ready.
I’m debating asking him to come as my date to the cocktail party that my girlfriends and I throw every year. He’s yet to meet my friends, mostly because I’ve been hesitant about making things seem to be more than they are. I wish that I were ready for something because, as I’ve said, he’s practically the perfect guy.
Is this a situation where I should be pushing myself to get over it? As Brizzle put it so crudely, “you have to get under someone new to get over someone old.” I don’t think I’d take it that far, but 1. would being with Jordan help me get over PK and, 2. Is that even fair to do to Jordan?