The Not So Southern Gentleman…

gone-with-the-wind-vivien-leigh-clark-everettThe one saving grace, the night of Valentine’s Day, came in the form of a guy named..hmm..let’s go with Matt. We had talked on the phone one night and his sweet southern drawl instantly got my attention. He was orginally from Texas, moved to Richmond to go to school and play football. Apparently he was a little bit of a big deal because after graduating, he ended up playing overseas professionally. He told me he now worked in medical supply sales. As he talked, little mental boxes were getting checked off one by one. I suppose everyone has their own set of boxes, but here’s what some of mine look like:
O Has a job (please GOD no bartenders or waiters)
O Has a college degree
O Somewhat attractive (I have lots of different types so this can change)
O Owns a vehicle (that doesn’t have two wheels and spokes)
O Isn’t an axe murder with an unhealthy interest in mashed up fruit..sometimes served with cinnamon
O ehhh..yea..that’s about it..everything else can be flexible.

Matt sounded adorable on the phone and when he asked to go out on Thursday, I was quick to say yes (but not too quick..don’t wanna look desperate)… There was one slight problem. I already had a date scheduled that night. Thursday was Valentine’s Day and I was supposed to go to the movies with crazypants. I started off the week afraid of not having even one Valentine (not that it really matters..it’s just a stupid day right?..yea..tell that to my stupid girly hormones) and here I was, juggling two. I won’t lie..for a second I allowed myself to feel like a badass. 😉 ok..maybe more like 10 seconds..You need to feel like a badass every once in a while and let yourself soak in that feeling.

I met my southern gentleman downtown at one of my favorite restaurants. He had managed to snag a reservation last minute and I was impressed by his choice. Europa was Richmond’s first tapas restaurant and with an extensive wine list, soft lighting and amazing array of small plates meant to be shared, it was the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. When I walked in and saw a handsome guy with curly brown hair, a great smile and (warning..girly moment ahead…) seriously nice muscles, well I felt like I hit the jackpot. Is it even more girly to say that the fact that our outfits matched gave me a secret thrill? Yeah..I know..shallow as a baby pool, but I will blame it on the atmosphere. Dinner was quite simply perfect. We had constant conversation, joked playfully about which food to order and the air seemed to sizzle between us. You know how sometimes, when you really feel a connection with someone, as you talk to them you start to focus so much on the other person and these looks start to pass between you..these secret “I’m totally into you” looks. Man, these looks were scorching. There were moments when I’d completely lose my train of thought and my words would float away. “I’m sorry” I’d laugh. “What was I saying?” He went on and on about how he had been taught to treat people..and especially women..with respect and care. It sounds silly, but he made me feel like a lady..think Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind..We lingered over wine and creme brulee and I wished I didn’t have my movie date. I didn’t want to stand Brent up though, and it was with great disappointment that I told Matt I needed to head out. He walked me to my car, giving me his arm as we walked across the street to the parking lot and with a gentle tug on my coat to bring me closer, gave me a sweet goodbye kiss. Lord. I was in trouble. He promised to give me a call soon and we had oh so casually mentioned spending time together that Saturday.

You all know how the movie date went…ahem..epic fail..and the whole night I was thinking about Matt.

It is so SO hard to keep excitment from bubbling up when you feel like you have met someone who checks off all your little boxes after meeting so SO many men that don’t. I have this amazing inability to play it cool and unfortunately I am no good at playing the “hard to get” game. And so, when I sent Matt a text the next morning saying, “Good morning sunshine! Hope you have a safe drive down to Raleigh and good luck with everything,” I made the typical silly girl mistake. I acted excited and interested. I could kick myself in the non-game-playing behind. My friend Leigh tried to ease my disappointment by reminding me that I send texts like that all the time to my friends. It is just how I am. I didn’t think twice about the text, but looking back from a guy’s perspective, I suppose I could see how it may have given off a certain vibe. It is increasingly disappointing that I have to stop myself from being excited…worry about responding to a text message too quickly..and try to not be too available for dates. Is this really how this whole thing works? If so, it is exhausting!

In case you are wondering, I never heard from Matt again..sigh..I guess all that talk about knowing how to treat people was a bunch of crap. At least he could have sent me a text saying, “Thanks, but I’m not interested.” That, I would have been fine with.

This led me to wonder: How could it be, that after such a great date, one simple text could ruin any potential relationship? To be honest, this one stung a little, but I have to keep reminding myself, if he was the right guy, he would have called. It is as simple as that. Maybe he wasn’t as much of a gentleman as I thought.

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