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• 2300 words • 9 min •
Today is Cute Boy and I’s first anniversary! We lasted one year without either of us axe-murdering the other. So… it’s time to take a mini time-travel trip to how me and Cute Boy met. Cute Boy and I started dating in the middle of October 2016. He was actually the first person I went out with during this spate of dating… but starting Polycule off with a giant post of swooning seemed like a bad idea. 😉
Just like with Chris’ episode, Cute Boy was consulted for commentary! I read this out loud to him, and faithfully recorded everything he said in purple text. Although there’s a lot less here than in Chris’, because Cute Boy basically spent this entire post laughing at me.
So, Cute Boy has a very cute girlfriend. [HEE HEE HEE GOOD START.] I was online looking only at girls’ profiles when I saw her, and sent her the world’s worst first message (confirmed by both Cute Boy and Cute Girlfriend). [it was bad…] I peeked at his profile and was basically SWOON HE’S SO CUTE HELP but… but… I just messaged his girlfriend? And, okay. I have done quite a bit of online dating in the poly community (please see: this entire project) and I still don’t understand the protocol for contacting someone’s partner. If you go on a date with a guy and it doesn’t work out, can you message the girl? Can you send messages to two girls who are dating each other, not with an intent to form a triad, but just… to see if either of them would work out with you separately?
I have no idea.
I opted for not contacting him at all, and going back to my corner to sulk about not understanding social rules.
But the next morning, I woke up to a message from him.
And I basically lied my ass off because I didn’t want him to know I’d tried to hit on his girlfriend (which is just RIDICULOUS because I later told him this information, but anyway). [this is such a good foundation of our relationship. I was thoroughly honest to the point of awkward and you just lied your ass off.] I am in no way, shape, or form “smooth.”
That ahahaha is the sound of an awkward loser lying to not seem like an even more awkward loser.
We decided our first date would be on a Sunday morning at like 8 am the following week.
it is a testament to HOW CUTE he is that I have agreed to a date at 8 am on a sunday morning… dear god
— Jaylee James👻Gaven (@thewritingj) October 10, 2016
Since it was so far away, we decided to talk on the phone (which both of us hates??? so you know we were both pretty far gone by this point) [yeah..] and spent a solid evening doing nothing but laying on our beds and rambling about everything under the sun. His phone voice is so cute, I was basically dying of squee. Like, I had to pull the phone away from my face to giggle into a pillow at least a dozen times. [Omg you never told me that. I think we talked for at least four hours…… at least.]
We also moved our date up because neither of us could handle waiting a week. If you followed me on twitter, you might remember the stream of PANIC that led up to my first date with him.
Up to the minute I was walking into the door, I was like. “I’m going to throw up. I’m going to puke in a bush. And then I’m going to run away and never return.” I was TERRIFIED. I have found that the amount of interest I have in the person before meeting them determines how nervous I am. If I’m super casual, don’t really care, could take it or leave it, I’m so chill. If I seriously want it to work out, I’m a sweaty hyperventilating mess.
I sat down at a chair by the door, but I was so anxious I couldn’t do much but stare down at my phone, where I was texting friends a steady stream of
[So what was the worst case scenario you were thinking of???? Like did you think I was gonna walk in, this gross mess of a human, with a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand a giant blunt in the other just like OH HEY I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE OKAY WITH ALL OF THIS.
I think I was mostly afraid I’d be way into you, meet you in person, and not like you at all???
I don’t think there was ever any risk of that.]
So when he came in, I only vaguely registered there was a dude-shaped blob in my periphery [RUDE.] kind of staring at me. [A DUDE-SHAPED BLOB EXCUSE ME!!!] And my automatic response to dudes staring is to AGGRESSIVELY IGNORE to avoid run ins with creeps. It took a solid minute for my brain to go “Oh wait, there might be a specific reason a dude would be staring at you,” [I was actually texting you to let you know I was creeping right behind you] and I looked up, and saw him there, and it wasn’t a magical movie moment by any means, because I was still OMGOMGOMGOMG and didn’t have much room to think of anything except KEEP BREATHING, DON’T THROW UP.
But – I was raised by a woman who could strike up a conversation with anyone, anytime, anyplace. She’d have the entire life story of the checkout girl before our groceries were rung up. I learned the art of small talk and conversation from the baby seat of a shopping cart, and it comes naturally to me. I don’t even know I’m doing it, or remember doing it. I was so nervous and panicked, I know I fluttered around him babbling and getting him in line to order drinks and ordering my drink and probably spilling my drink while trying to put a lid on it, and arranging for a place for us to sit, but I don’t remember any of it. My memories of our date don’t really kick in until we were seated, outside on a patio in still-warm October weather, at a metal table and chairs that SCRAAAAAPED and wobbled and were decidedly uncomfortable, with the sun going down as we talked.
One of my favorite things about Cute Boy is he has an incredibly expressive face, and some of his facial expressions I’ve never seen on anyone else. He was telling me a bunch of stories about his friends from college, this rather unhinged girl he tried to date who kicked him out so she could meet up with her crack dealer, how they found and adopted their cat, and all his alien conspiracy theories. He’d told me before the date that he doesn’t talk much, but he talked so much, and I just stared at him and enjoyed his humor and his silliness and everything. He’s a wonder.
I can’t really remember what I told him. I know he asked me questions and we had a great back and forth, but really the only thing I remember saying was at one point, we were discussing the Bible? For whatever reason. And I got so passionate about varying translations of a verse in John, I stood up in my chair and was kind of towering over him, loudly shouting about how cool it is. And I finally realized he was staring up at me with wide eyes and his lips parted in some sort of amalgamation of terror and awe and I was like. SHIT. Wait to break out your hyper-enthusiasm for incredibly boring nerd topics until the third or fourth date, Gaven, FUCK. I sat down quickly, kind of curled into my chair, mumbling “omg I’m so sorry” and he said, breathlessly (NOT KIDDING. BREATHLESSLY.) “God, you’re gorgeous when you do that.” [I remember that… I remember being kind of dumbstruck because you don’t see people get that passionate like that everyday.]
I was so damn smitten with this boy from day one, you guys.
At another point, he quickly blurted out “I really want to hold your hand but I’m not sure if that’s okay.” And because I express affection through mockery, I was like “what, just like, weirdly hold hands across a big metal patio table?” And he stumbled through a “I don’t know I just want to touch you and I’m not sure if you’d want me to.” I told him it was fine and we did exactly that – awkwardly held hands across a big metal patio table – for like a second, before he pulled away, “Yeah you’re right, okay, that’s a little weird.” [I was all grabby hands already! Just… respectfully grabby hands.]
He slurped up the last remaining drops of his vanilla coffee then set the cup down. “That was disgusting. I hate coffee.”
I blinked at him. “You hate coffee??? Why did you agree to a coffee date if you hate coffee??” and he sputtered out something about not turning down cute girls when they ask you out.
“But they have smoothies???” [I DID NOT SEE SMOOTHIES ON THE MENU.]
We closed the coffee shop down. I wanted to take him to the park but Chris texted me that he left the front door unlocked, and our front door regularly swings open in the wind and the dogs escape. I semi-frantically explained to Cute Boy what was happening, and “I promise I won’t kidnap you, but…” would he ride in my car to my house to lock the door and then go to the park?
I must have been convincing in my promises not to steal him forever (although to be honest, the likelihood of me trying to keep him in a blankie nest in my house forever only increases the longer we’ve been together). We locked up the dogs and drove to the park, where we could hold hands properly as we walked around the little lake. [I told you, right? When you drove me to your house I deliberately tried not to pay attention to the route because I didn’t want you to think I was like NOW I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE.]
We settled on the world’s most uncomfortable plastic bench and he asked if he could put his arm around me, which I wrapped my arms around and hugged as I snuggled back into him. He was so soft, and warm, and his hands were so huge. I was so cozy, kicking my feet and trying not to vibrate off the bench with giddy happiness.
I basically did leap off the bench when he casually mentioned he’s seen the Green Lantern cartoon series, and frantically flailed about how far my Razaya ship feels go.
We watched ducks in the water apparently fighting over who gets to sit on the island in the middle of the lake. And a weird… snake? Creature making V’s in the water as it slithered along the surface. It was absurdly loud there. We couldn’t decide if the loud duck squawking was because they were fighting or fucking.
Either way. Y’know. Romantic.
“I really want to kiss you,” he told me.
I was so shy and biting my lips to prevent the huge smile lighting up my face and making it bright red. I basically just frantically shook my head no and made some kind of hmmnnnnfjgghghfjfj!!!! noise.
“Yeah, I figured… haha.” He awkwardly laughed it off. “I’ve never dated someone who was on the asexual spectrum, and I’m not sure if that’s okay.”
“It’s not because I’m demisexual,” I said. I don’t know what explanation I offered, but it was mostly because I was so starry-eyed, falling-over-myself in like with him and it was only the first date and I wanted something to look forward to and not rush through every good thing at once even though omg he’s so lovely omg calm down, Gaven, chill.
Plus, I didn’t want “this is what you do on a date” kisses, or “I’m excited cause you’re new and cute” kisses. I wanted it to Mean Something™ so when my heart flew straight out of my body and exploded into fireworks when he kissed me, I didn’t have to worry about it being entirely one-sided.
I told him this, the next time we hung out – on my couch for our original 8-am-on-a-Sunday date – because he said, again, that he wanted to kiss me. Shaky and choked up and waiting for him to laugh at me, I told him I didn’t want him to kiss me until he wanted it so badly he couldn’t stand it.
Which, apparently, was about five minutes later. [IT WAS NOT five minutes later. It was the first night. I didn’t just want to kiss you because it was the thing to do. I wanted to kiss you because I was really, thoroughly into you.]
[Also you forgot the part where you didn’t wait for me to finish my sentence and the second I told you I wanted to kiss you again, YOU JUMPED ON ME.]
But our first date ended with no kisses, just lots of cuddles, hugs, and hand-holding. We got in our cars to leave, and both of us immediately picked up our phones. I was waiting for Chris to pick up, watching Cute Boy wave at me with a phone to his ear, giant smile on his face. Pretty sure he was calling his girlfriend too. [Mebbe…]
Date over! O m g he is so sweet and lovely and oh my. We held hands 😳 he was so respectful of boundaries. We cuddled a bit. Omg.
— Jaylee James👻Gaven (@thewritingj) October 12, 2016
“I want to keep him,” I whined to Chris on the phone as I drove home. “Can I keep him??”
Chris’ answer… “It seems like he wants to be kept.”