The weather in Paris continues to be delightfully mild, if a bit unpredictable. In any given day, the weather can change radically from morning to afternoon, from hour to hour, and even from one arrondissement to another. I've taken to carrying a small pocket umbrella everywhere I go because I never know what to expect when I leave the metro.
Some of the trees are getting a haze of green buds or even small pink or white flowers. Daffodils and crocuses and hyacinths are a big-selling item at every Parisian florist. It's definitely warming up, and it feels great to wear a light-weight jacket instead of a heavy winter coat. My snow boots, which arrived in my boxes just the other day, are clearly going to go unused this season.
There's one more thing in Paris that's warming up. A lot. There was a third date last night.
He continues to impress me as being a very genuine person; in other words, what you see seems to be exactly what you get, and I like that in a person. We seem to have plenty to talk about, and the conversations are getting a little more personal as we discover new things about one another. For instance, we discovered we are both Taureans and our birthdays are only 10 days apart; he's a year older than I am.
I learned more about his work, and he learned a bit more about mine. References were made, on both sides, to past relationships but nothing too deep or revealing yet. It doesn't pay to talk about your past lovers too early on (if at all) when you're just getting to know someone. We did talk about our respective experiences with on-line dating: this is his first such experience, where I think I can safely call myself a "veteran". Being curious, I did ask him what kind of other women he'd been communicating with on-line, mainly because I wanted to know how other women behave in these situations. He said it had been very disappointing, women being very crude or desperate in their emails or profiles, and he had been on the verge of dropping the whole thing. And then, I guess, he saw me. Maybe in comparison I seemed like the most "normal" one? (Ha! Little does he know...)
I did tell him about my blog. I debated about it but wasn't sure he hadn't already discovered it for himself, and if he had I wanted to make sure he wasn't going to be too uncomfortable with the idea that I
might would be writing about my dating experiences, albeit with as much consideration and sensitivity and discretion as possible. I guess I shouldn't have worried: not only had he not known about my blog, but he didn't even know what blogs ARE. He just doesn't spend a lot of time cruising the internet and said he'd only started really using it three years ago for other than work email. And he didn't seem in the least bothered by the idea that I might be writing about our date, and the burn cream. I did make it clear I'd never use his real name, not without his OK.
. . . . . . . .
After dinner we strolled back toward the neighborhood around Palais Royale -- yes, he did hold my hand as we walked -- and he invited me up to see his apartment (but not his etchings) and for a cup of tea. The tea, I had actually brought for him so he could try it -- Aimee recommended this chocolate mint tea from Kusmi and I had just gotten some yesterday afternoon, and brought my new friend a little sample to try for himself.
Going to a man's apartment for ANY reason is a definite step forward in a new relationship. It's a little unnerving, too: what's going to happen? Will he try anything? Will I let him, or even want him to? I wasn't sure what to expect from him, but I did know what to expect from myself, which was that I wasn't anywhere near ready for anything too hot and heavy. I deliberately did NOT shave my legs beforehand as added insurance against possible temptation. I knew I liked him as a person and could easily see a friendship developing, but beyond that I simply wasn't sure if there was any spark, at least for me.
His apartment, a fully furnished rental like mine, was very nicely decorated, felt like a nice space in which to live (with a really nice antique desk) and was very clean; so he likes to keep his living space in good shape, a good sign.
We made the tea (it was good!) and we flipped through a couple of books he has on his home country. He pointed out locations on a map and photos of city skylines and desert sunsets. After a bit I said I should probably get going so I could catch the train before it got too late, and we put our coats on and headed toward the door so he could walk me back to the metro.
. . . . . . . . . .
And then. And then. In the entry hall of his apartment, he asked if he could kiss me goodnight.
At first, it was nice, just nice. Not at all bad -- and believe me, I've had my share of bad kissers (starting with my high school boyfriend who kissed like he was fitting a plunger over the outside of my entire mouth -- ewwwww! Ever seen a wide-mouthed bass? How that guy ever found someone willing to marry him and procreate is beyond me.) This kiss was MUCH nicer than that, but I still wasn't feeling that... you know, that za-za-zhu that you hope for when you're being kissed. You know the feeling: when your knees go weak and your head is spinning and your heart is pounding and you want it to go on and on. I love that kind of kiss, it's one of my all-time favorite things in life. And that's what I was waiting for, hoping for, but was thinking to myself (while still in mid-kiss): "I don't know... maybe it's just not there. What a shame."
And then. And then. Ahhh... something changed. There was some za. And then some more za. And then a little zhu thrown in for good measure, right on that sweet spot on the side of my neck. I could feel my heart pounding; I could even feel his heart pounding. I've waited a long time for a really, really good kiss. NOW things are getting interesting... weak knees, spinning head and all. Skyrockets? Not quite yet, but ladies and gentlemen, we definitely have lift-off.
We have plans for dinner tomorrow night. (And dammitall, wouldn't you know it, I seem to
be getting have gotten a nice juicy cold -- you know the way they seem to sneak up on you and get bad real fast -- and hope I didn't manage to share it with him given that he has to get on a plane to Canada in a few days. I hope I'll feel up to seeing him before he goes because he'll be gone over the weekend.) I'm still not ready for things to get too hot and heavy (in case you were worried about that, Mom) -- I'm kind of liking this taking-things-slow stuff -- but it's nice to know there IS chemistry here after all. Something to look forward to, something to anticipate. Anticipation is part of the fun of being attracted to a new person, once you've established that the attraction is mutual.
I keep smiling a lot today. I wonder why?
So I guess it's time to end a bit of YOUR anticipation: yes, he IS Australian. And I suppose I now need to give him a suitable nickname because I just can't keep saying "he". Therefore, in honor of his homeland, otherwise known as "Oz", I give you: The Wizard. At least until I can come up with something better.
I still went home, of course. It just felt like the right thing to do. But we kissed in the elevator... in the lobby... on the street... and in front of the metro steps. Like someone stranded in the desert who finds an oasis, I was drinking in the experience of physical contact again, and it was delicious. Finally I moved through the metro gate, turned and waved, and was on my way home.
All the while reflecting on the evening... and remembering that as he was walking me back to the metro, The Wizard also kissed... my hand.
No wonder Paris felt warmer last night.