The phone rings in the middle of the night
My father yells what you gonna do with your life
Oh daddy dear you know you're still number one
But girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have--
That's how I responded to Lab 1 guy. Then I gave him my phone number, he leaned over and landed a quick peck on my cheek. He got out of the car and ran into the subway station.
I drove home in a bit of a daze. What had just happened? That was really sweet. Totally unexpected. And I was, well, no other word for it, giddy! I could not believe it, this guy, this fun, cute, hilarious guy was there the whole time and I hadn't even noticed. But maybe that's because I wasn't necessarily twiddling my thumbs all summer long. I had been a busy, busy girl.
I got a telephone call about a half an hour after I arrived home. And no, it wasn't Lab 1 guy. He was obviously too cool for that.
A little bit of background here. Remember how I said I had been dating, as in plural dates? The beer factory is actually not a bad place to meet a guy, um, guys. I was having fun that summer, not looking for anything heart-stoppingly serious because I had been through a bit of a wringer with an ex. Was actually even still entangled a little bit in that relationship. At the beginning of the summer, microboy and I had mutually decided to just be friends before we started working together again in the lab. Without any strings, and no boyfriend in sight, playing the field seemed like a really good idea at the time. I didn't limit myself exclusively to the brewery, but that's where the "low-lying fruit" lay, so to speak. I even went out a couple of times with an Arts student (photographer) who was working in the brewhouse.
Back to the phone call. I failed to mention the OTHER player in this interesting scenario. I had a platonic relationship with one of the other guys in the lab - let's call him Sr. Lab guy. He was also friends with microboy. He was also at the restaurant, and had invited us all over to his place after we'd finished up dinner. He was a quiet guy, older (we're talking about 10 years older than me, he was one of the supervisors but not mine), but I had gone to a couple of movies with him and brought him along with me to a picnic that summer. As friends, with a whole bunch of other FRIENDS.
What I didn't realize was that the friendship wasn't entirely platonic from his end. Ouch. Clueless me perhaps? Or maybe just naive. I had no idea, we hadn't even shook hands, hugged, anything that would suggest it was more. We just had interesting conversations, he was a good listener, like an older brother that I didn't have. Heck, he was even trading dating stories with me.
Bet you didn't notice you were reading an episode of "As the Lab Turns" here, now, did you?
So THAT's who was on the phone. And the first thing he said to me was : 'Did Ian ask you out."
I replied, "Actually, he did."
And Sr. Lab guy followed with "So are you going to go out with him?"
Naive me said: "Yes, I think I will." (although finding this a bit strange, as in "Whaaaa...??? Why does he need to know this so earnestly?)
And then a resigned sigh/ weird ironic chuckle from the other end. That's when I got it. I can't remember what I said exactly, something to the effect that I had hoped I wasn't sending vibes that indicated I was interested in being anything more than friends. I felt strange saying it, because this revelation came from left field, and I like to think that I'm sensitive about mixed messages and all that. I hate people who lead others on, and hated to think that that could have been me. I felt like such a twit.
So that was a little unexpected hiccup in my otherwise great shiny magic bubble of an evening. In the end it was fine, as we remained friendly acquaintances in my subsequent couple of stints at the lab. But it was still a bit disconcerting.
Okay, cue the happy music back.
The following day, Lab 1 guy did call me. And this was a very good thing. We made arrangements to go out the following weekend, Labour Day Weekend. He wasn't living in the city any more, but we decided that he'd come into town and pick me up, and we would head down to Harbourfront. Only one of the most romantic places in the city that time of year.
I was so excited. I'd never felt like this before, it was exhilarating and yet so very comfortable. An odd combination, but I can't think of any other way to describe it. It just felt right.
And we hadn't even had our first date yet! Can it get any better?