Friday, March 8, 2013


Mr. Suave is one of my favorite swing dance partners; he is so confident and cool as he dances, and he has taught me a lot and helped me get better.  That's probably the biggest redeeming thing about him, and what keeps me playing nice with him.  When I got ditched by my first date for Valentine's Day, Mr. Suave was quick to agree to take me out; I wanted to go see the new zombie love movie, "Warm Bodies" and he took me.  Despite being stood up at first, my Valentine's Day ended about as good as it could have, given the circumstances, and I was very happy Mr. Suave was there for me.  

The movie, unfortunately, was a bit of a disappointment.  I was really looking forward to a hilarious romantic comedy, but the humor was sporadic and kind of dead pan, and I wasn't laughing my ass off like I had hoped.  The main character, the zombie, couldn't remember his full name, but he was pretty sure it had started with an R, so he was thereby called R for the rest of the movie.  I like it, and I think R is a fitting name for my next character.

R, like Mr. Suave, is a swing dancer.  In fact, R may very well be the tallest swing dancer in the world, at 6'6".  I met R a few years back, too, and remember dancing with him quite a bit.  He also taught me a lot, especially that one weekend at the Biltmore during a Fourth of July swing dance conference.  

We had been in workshop after workshop together.  I should mention that I am strangely attracted to extremely tall, lanky guys, so R is just my speed, if not a little on the short side for my tastes.  I remember being attracted to him at the workshops, but he seemed to have just started a relationship with some other woman, and he never pursued me like I wanted him to.  

Very shortly after my most recent breakup, I had the strangest experience at Kat's Korner.  I was going to meet Mr. Suave there, although I knew he'd be a little late.  I went early, and intended to dance with the guys I've danced with for years.  I hadn't seen R in a long time, so I figured his controlling girlfriend was keeping him away, and didn't expect for him to show up that night of all nights.  There was another guy there, though, that I hadn't seen in a long time.  
Let's call him Mormony.  Mormony had been a wild dancer, and I was sure he'd been kicked out for being too crazy.  But there he was, wearing that goody expression of his.  Mormony had definitely liked me at one point, and was disappointed to find out I was not Mormon like he was.  That was a long time ago, but here he was, dancing again.  I dreaded him asking me to dance, but to my surprise, he made eye contact with me but showed no sign of recognition.  I danced with a few strangers at their requests, but none of the people I usually dance with.  I asked The Engineer to dance; I think he was the first person I met at Kat's over eight years ago, and he didn't seem to recognize me either.  I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone, something very strange was going on.

Then, imagine my surprise when R walked in with a new girl.  I was excited to see him, even if he did have a girl with him.  But when he should have asked me to dance, he didn't.  He passed by me 20 times I think, before I finally got fed up and went to ask him.  "[R], are we going to dance, or what?"  He looked at me a little dumbfounded, but agreed and took me on the dancefloor.  The dance was fine, but at the end, he asked what my name was, as if we were meeting for the first time.  I didn't know what to make of it. 

I was relieved when Mr. Suave walked through the door, and my night improved vastly by dancing a few songs with his strong lead.  By him showing me off, other people asked me to dance, and I ended up having a great night and dancing with every guy I wanted to.  Mr. Suave joked that one of the guys I danced with was Amish, because he was dressed in rather unusual attire for swing dancing.  I was still bothered by R not recognizing me, though.  

Fast forward a month.  I was back at Kat's Korner by myself, and R walked in alone.  Within minutes, he walked directly over to me and said in the sweetest tone, "Hey there, haven't seen you in a while.  Shall we?"  It was so surreal, a sharp contrast from the R of just a month ago.  Now I really didn't know what to make of this whole thing, but as is my usual, I just went with it.  

I've always known R to be a little intimate in his dance technique; he likes to hold girls close, and make it a little awkward, I think because he thinks its funny.  I remember the first time I danced with R, he had my head on his chest and whispered in my ear, "Did we remember to close the garage door?" and then later, "Did we unplug the toaster?"  I was put off by his humor at first, but had since grown to adore it.  

This night was different, somehow, still.  He was holding me very close, too close, I'd say, if I wasn't so nonchalant.  And it wasn't just a dance or two, or three, we probably danced to a double digit number of songs, several back to back.  In swing dance world, that kind of behavior is reserved for couples. 

Something was up.  Mr. Suave showed up, too, and he and I hit the dance floor as usual.  I was teasing him about what some of the girls were saying about him to me, and he teased me about R finally dancing with me more.  When the dance was over, I didn't know who to end my night with; it was a little confusing.  But since I didn't come here with anyone, there was no obligation to say good night to either of them, right?  Well, I bid Mr. Suave good night, he seemed like he was in a hurry anyways.  Then I just kind of waited for a minute, looking at my phone, until R came up to me.  I guess I intended that to happen.  He asked if I wanted to go get a bite to eat or something, and I agreed.  

We went to Applebee's, and his arm was immediately around me like I was his girlfriend.  But unlike Fidgets and other overly aggressive guys, I was comfortable with R being so aggressive.  He sat on the same side of the booth as me, and had his arm around me pretty much the whole night.  He tried to kiss me once or twice, but I dodged it.  We talked a lot and got to know each other; it felt a little forced, as if we had met on a dating site and were trying to determine if we were really as good a match as the website suggested.  

I couldn't take my curiosity any longer, and he was obviously crazy about me so I felt very comfortable asking.  "You and I have danced together for years, but when I was at Kat's about a month ago, you acted like you had never seen me before.  What was that all about?"  R said he was with a new girl at the time and that his mind was soley focused on her; that's why he paid little to no attention to the other girls around him.  Now that he was single, he was available for me.

I've never felt so worshipped in my life.  I kept thinking back about how I had just written in my journal about wanting to be pursued, and laughing in my head about how this was so over the top.  I'm really hesitant, though.  He clearly has some financial issues, doesn't make a lot of money, and doesn't seem to be as ambitious or intelligent as I'd like.  I struggle with whether or not I'm being to judgmental and picky or not.  It seems like if I have high standards, then the only guys I'm interested in dating aren't interested in me.  The ones that very much want to date me feel like "settling", but then again, if being in a relationship is the most important thing to me, is it really settling?  

I let R kiss me good night.  The next day he wanted to see me already, so I told him I wanted to go read at Tempe Marketplace.  It was the most easy-going "date" ever, we just sat on one of the couches, the weather was perfect, his arm around me, and we read for hours.  I feel really comfortable in his arms.  The next time I went to Kat's, it was with him, and he made it pretty clear I was his.  It made an incredible difference in my dancing, too; he really pushed me and I got so much better just in that short time frame with him challenging me.

I can't quite place my finger on it, but there is something a little lifeless or empty about R; he is a little like a walking zombie but I don't know why.  Still, I find that I enjoy being with him when I let my guard down, but most of the time, I am very defensive, not wanting to hurt him and not wanting to get involved with someone I'm not sure I can handle long term.  He feels it, I know, and we've talked about it a little.  He's agreed to be patient with me and to take it slow.  

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