I’ve been thinking about running a lot recently. Both in the literal sense (I ran my first 10k yesterday and am still a little glow-y that I managed it) and in the figurative sense.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too many episodes of Downton, reading too many cheesy novels, or in a post best-friend wedding mist of love and happiness but it occurs to me that I am a runner. I am rarely, if ever, chased.
Men don’t ask me out on dates. If I’m asked for my number, invariably it’s never called. I’m rarely even approached in bars. Now, it could be a hideous face putting them off or it could simply be that men don’t feel I’m worth the effort – that I don’t have the potential to be anything more that a fleeting acquaintance.
I am always instigating contact. I am always suggesting drinks. I am always making that first move.
And I am always the one left wondering what the hell’s going on.
The Tall Texan is a prime example.
We met in a suitably Texas bar a couple of weeks ago. Think pool tables, two-step dancing, Lone Star beer, and whiskey (note the extra “e”) on tap.
Having just been whirled around the dance floor by a man about 40 years my senior, I got chatting to a group of locals – answering the usual questions (“What’s your name?”, “Sorry? What’s your name?”, “How do you spell that?”, “Is that even English?” etc) and drinking beer.
To the edge of the group, overlooking everything (literally, at 6’5”) was the Tall Texan.
I excused myself to go for a smoke (tsk tsk, I know) and he decides to join me. The next couple of hours were filled with smoking, drinking, talking, laughing, and yes, more than a little flirting.
The Tall Texan had just the right about of bad in him to make him compelling. Over the course of the next week, I’d also learn that there was an overwhelming amount of good in him too – enough to remind me that there are actually decent guys out there. Guys who can be charming, and kind, and thoughtful.
Having left the house at 6pm on Tuesday night, after this chance meeting with the Tall Texan, I got home at 8pm the following evening. Tall Texan and I had spent the whole Wednesday together - eating a much needed hangover breakfast, chilling out, watching films, arguing over various points of history, geography and politics, laughing (and indulging in some other not so family-friendly activities). As I left, he handed me leftover pizza (a girl’s got to eat), some money for the cab (the last of mine having gone on shots the night before) and his number.
It was, once again, up to me to make the first move. An innate inability to be patient is my main problem. A quick text to thank him for pizza (amongst other things) and a hypothetical scenario about a potential late-night call on Saturday – things seemed to be moving in the right direction.
There was sporadic contact over the next few days and, lo and behold, the hypothetical question posed earlier in the week because a little more actual. Sunday was spent much the way of Wednesday, with the Tall Texan buying and cooking me lunch (I was confined to the apartment, seeing as the only clothes I had with me was a rather posh looking bridesmaid’s dress – not ideal attire for nipping down to the 7-11) (plus, don’t get too excited about lunch – tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich isn’t the epitome of gourmet – it did taste damn good though). Comfortable in each other’s company, we spent the day dozing, eating, smoking, attempting to get out of bed, failing, relaxing, all punctuated by mumbled, lazy, hungover conversations. Our parting was fleeting and friendly (although, under the watchful eye of one of his colleagues, it was on the friend side of friendly than I would have liked).
And now I’m back home. 5,000 miles away. The Tall Texan is still on my mind. On paper, the man is pretty it. He’s tall, good looking, a decent age, single, owner of his own company, ex military (he picked up an intriguing bullet hole in his shoulder in Kosovo which excited me a little more than it should) intelligent, sufficiently confident (bordering on cocky), quietly charming. He made me laugh, he challenged me. Obviously, there are huge issues with him too (the least of which being his location). I get the feeling he could be a little on the jealous side. He is a workaholic, and probably prone to enjoying the single life a little too much. I’m not over keen on his tattoos, and, despite it being a plus point, his confidence may cause problems.
Oh, and I’m not convinced he likes me as much as I like him.
Yet again, I’m doing the running. It’s me who sends him that first text in a conversation. Replies I get aren’t exactly verbose. He’s polite, he responds, he sometimes takes the piss. But all he’s doing is replying. In a polite, enabling, dangling me on a string, way.
So what do I want from him? A little more interest. A commitment to stay in touch and see how it goes, see if opportunities arise. I would like just a glimmer of hope that he saw the potential in there being potential something, like I did.
As it is, I’m well aware I’m running after something that doesn’t want to be caught.
I’m tired of doing the running. It’s time to let myself get chased. No matter how long that takes.