The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yet another interesting weekend.

Friday night, after finding out some co-workers and I didn't win the Mega Millions lottery, I headed to a bar to celebrate HM's birthday. (You remember her, don't you?) That night, I ended up getting the number of a neighbor of her's, a 5-foot-3 rawk chick who was surprisingly good at salsa dancing.

Saturday, after hearing about God at a young adult's gathering, I went to a wedding reception for my friends who got married in Vegas two weeks ago. Being seated at the head table, I noticed the name on the placecard to my left.

"I told you I'm gonna fix you up with his cousin," the bride told me. "I've been trying for four months. She's such a sweet girl."

As dinner was served, I began my usual small talk. She's a 34-year-old who works with setting up schools and government agencies with computers. She'd been working all day at one district that begins classes tomorrow. She seemed nice enough. Even better, she's brown.

As the evening went on, the bride, V and C (who were invited guests) all egged me on to ask her to dance.

"No, she's too busy with her friend," I'd say, noticing her catching up with another woman.

"No, she's all about her nephew," I'd say, seeing her teaching a dance move to a three-year-old.

After a couple of beers and gin and tonics, I finally worked up the nerve. We ended up dancing to a couple of songs, one salsa, and a cha-cha song. (Don't ask how, but I've learned both dances.) Her family was cheering her on, she seemed a bit embarrassed. The music ended and she returned to her table. I went back to the table where my friends were sitting.

"Ohmigod, you guys! I just asked a girl to dance with me!"

"Go get her a drink," V exhorted.

I went outside to the cash bar. Water for her(she was already buzzed at that point, so I guess I had a little help in her accepting my offer), another gin and tonic for me. Her uncle (whom I met earlier in the night) was standing there enjoying the humidity of an August night in South Texas.

"Get this man a drink," he told the bartender. Apparently, my dance made him a fan.

"She's such a great girl. She's so sweet." I was starting to wonder how deep this all went.

After getting the drinks, I went back inside, delivering my new dance partner her water. She then introduced me to the friend I'd seen her talk to earlier, who ended up being her cousin. (Part of me wonders why I didn't make that connection, Mexican families are usually made up of at least 319 cousins.) As I stood there, talking to the two of them, her uncle came and brought me a chair. At that point, I was wondering what I could do to get other stuff.

A couple of other dances and a few pictures of family (taken by me) finished up the night. Originally, I was going to head to another club for my cousin's girlfriend's 30th birthday party. ("They'll be in the VIP section," my mom told me.) But I ended up meeting up with my new friend and a few family members at another bar.

Some decent conversation was had between me and other people at the bar. (The groom's brother, as well as GBG were there, so at least two familiar faces were around.) During the night, something groundbreaking happened between me and my new friend.

We held hands.

Mind you, I haven't done that since I was hanging around the microbiologist last year, so the fact that a woman would let a stranger hold her hand and run his hand down her back (not too far, V implored me to be a gentleman) is a big thing.

After the bar, she went with me to a Mexican restaurant for the type of food that's only good after midnight. We met up with her sister and brother-in-law, and we talked a bit more. About what, I'm not sure, but I do remember getting a few laughs at my jokes. As we walked out, I hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.

"You have my number, give me a call" was the last thing I heard from her.

Today involved Mass, recruiting for our church's young adults group, and lunch with V and C, along with a gal who I'll call "Little C," C's 13-month-old daughter. Strategy on how I should handle things dominated the conversation.

"You should wait until your third date to kiss her," V suggested.

"I haven't even had a FIRST date; now I have to think about date #3?"

That, and talking with the bride earlier, has started to make me wonder if I can actually pull this off. No pressure, of course; I only have my friend and a lot of family members looking on. I'm starting to think being watched on the dance floor was easier.



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