On Friday I had another minor freakout. I spent the morning in an autopsy and after leaving work found out that Pittsburgh Boy hadn’t even left Pittsburgh. “We need to talk,” he said. He went on to say that even though he’s been fairly intense lately with us dating, he thinks we should take it slower, not throw titles around. I’m definitely not a titles type of girl, but my head started flashing back to PK. Four years of moderate dating with no titles thrown around? I couldn’t take that again. I told him that perhaps it would be best for him not to come then, that I didn’t want this just to become some stagnant relationship with no clear lines. Calmly, he told me to think it over for ten minutes and figure out what I wanted. I did want to see him, so I called back and told him to come before rushing back over to a crime scene.

The crime scene was, to say the least, morbid, so I handled it by meeting up for drinks with Gay Rower afterwards. We discussed how I needed to seduce Pittsburgh boy (hadn’t I already done that?) and what the outcome of the weekend would be. Another one of our rowing friends met up with us, and the two of them walked me back to my car. I picked up a cheesesteak and black and white cookies for Pittsburgh Boy, a nice welcome to the city. Over at the hotel I threw on boxers and a movie and opened a bottle of wine.

He got there twenty minutes later and I pounced. It felt so amazing to be back with him, so natural. There have never been any nerves, any uncertainties when we’re together. We took a quick shower and then curled up in bed talking for the night.

In the morning I took him to my hometown, where we had a fantastic brunch and then wandered the main street. He was infatuated with it, and raised his eyebrow repeatedly asking how long the train is to Philadelphia and wondering if they had his field of jobs in the city. We went to the local candy store, with jars upon jars of every candy imaginable, and filled up a bag of jelly beans and gummy worms.

We made a quick stop over at the races- College Roomie was there and things were tense with her, and I wanted to spend as much alone time with the boy as possible. We stopped by my house to grab Willa and I took him to the local park, which had a few miles of easy hiking and a spot for Willa to swim. We held hands through the entire walk and he stopped every so often to pull me closer to him. I really could not help noting how natural everything felt, as if this were our routine that we’d been doing for years.

We stopped by to drop the pup back off and (through devious planning on their part) my parents were there. I hadn’t wanted them to meet so early, wanted to give him and I time to develop before scarring him with my family. He got along well with them, was at ease answering their few questions, both sides teasing me at my insistance on leaving. And then my grandmother showed up. You see, my grandmother had made clear that she wanted to meet the man that I was holed up with for the weekend. The only way that would work out would be to trick me. Pittsburgh Boy handled it well though- while I was a general mess, he calmly talked about golf with my grandmother. I pulled him out of there as quickly as I could, ignoring pleas from my parents to stay for dinner.

Pittsburgh Boy asked to see our local grocery store- they don’t have this chain out in Pittsburgh and it’s actually very impressive. We walked through the rows of artisan breads and homemade desserts and chose a dinner of eggplant roullettes, stuffed shells, and cannolis.

Back at the hotel we settled in for a long bubble bath with glasses of wine- I’m by far not this type of girl but it felt nice to relax and just talk. He ran downstairs after and grabbed even more food from the restaurant- giant pub pretzels, spring rolls, and bruschetta- while I laid our spread out on the bed. I have not felt this relaxed or this happy in a very long time over something as simple as dinner on a hotel bed over intensely serious conversation.

In the morning I felt a pang of sadness knowing that I was getting this attached to someone who probably wouldn’t work out. Writing out directions for him to get home I realized just how impossible all of this is. We’re starting off our relationship long distance, and there’s a pressure for it either to continue like this or for one of us to move. It’s true that I’ve been interviewing for jobs there, but I’ve also been interviewing for jobs in New York and Iraq and Washington. I could never move somewhere for someone else, so at this point I’m just hoping that things work out.

Writing all of this out has really cleared up why he doesn’t want to place titles on us. It makes everything more definitive, makes us feel guilty if we don’t talk for a day or if we go a few weeks without seeing one another. But I know what it is- I’d rather drive the six hours to see him than drive five minutes to the local bar to see anyone else.

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