Friday, September 10, 2004

Stud

Flirting Part 3: Somewhere in this house I have reams and reams of tractor-feed paper printouts of conversations I had with the various participants of the Flirts notes file. How's that for a run-on sentence! Anyway, I thought it would be amusing to scan in a couple examples and post them with my story. Still looking. You will just have to trust me when I say it was all very harmless. PG-13 with maybe an occasional R-rated innuendo. If you wanted to get racier than that, you took your conversation to email. Or if you wanted to get more personal, email was also the way to go. I started emailing with a few of the flirters on a regular basis. One fellow in particular seemed to take a strong liking to me. "The Stud" was sweet, funny and quickly became my favorite guy to flirt with. We took a lot of ribbing from the other flirters as our posts on the board got a tad too prolific and they insisted we switch to email full time. No problem! Oh wait...problem. Every time I changed temp assignments, I lost my email ID/system access and I had to wait for my new group to deem it necessary for me to have intranet access.

Some groups were REALLY anal about it. They saw email and the notes files as a HUGE time waster and did everything in their power to block their people from getting access. Jerks! Lucky for me I was getting quite computer savvy and I could work my way around their attempts to lock me out, IF I had a logon ID and password. I would sometimes steal...er...BORROW my supervisor's ID or any other I could get my hands on. What a little hacker I was. "The Stud" was growing quite attached to me and didn't like my frequent disappearances from the net. He got me an account on the main server in his office. (My friend Harry had a pirate MicroVAX set up in an attic at the Mill where I had a second account. It wasn't as reliable, as Harry had to bring his server down frequently to avoid detection.) Now, as long as I had a terminal, I could sign on and keep in touch. Didn't I tell you he was sweet!? I was so addicted to noting and emailing at this point, I would ask for new assignments if they stuck me some place without a terminal and net access. I finally lucked out and got an assignment in a Hudson, MA building where I actually LIKED the work I was doing, was GOOD at it, and loved thepeople I was working with. Welcome to Fleet Administration!

The "fleet" in the name of the group was the large fleet of company owned vehicles. Various jobs would earn you a free company car of a certain make/model. In fleet, I was parked at my own desk with the BIGGEST telephone I had ever seen in my life. I think I had the ability to put 30 people on hold simultaneously, if I wanted to (and let me tell ya, that was a hard skill to learn; how to cut people off and say "Fleet Administration, please hold...Fleet Administration, please hold..." over and over). That phone RANG all freakin' day long! That was the least fun part of the job. I spent the better part of the day fielding phone calls from field technicians and sales people who had company cars, had accidents, were due for a new car...yadda. I would also send out packets that explained the program, order new cars, fill out accident reports...you name it.

What made the job really fun were my co-workers. Patti and Cindy were a hoot and a half! Anyone remember the lead singer of 'Til Tuesday's original hairdo? The white blond hair with the long spiky poof on top, shaved sides and long braided "tails"? That was Patti's hair. I'd never seen anyone in a professional environment with hair like that before. Cindy's hair was more tame, but she did have pink streaks in it. Patti idolized Lita Ford (she was a hard rock singer/guitarist who had a couple hits in the 80s...good stuff). Cindy's taste ran more to Duran Duran, but they were the best of friends. The best part? These girls were WAY into posting on the notes files and I'd even posted with them before (I recognized their screen names). I had my own terminal, I was among friends, I did a good job for a change...it was perfect! This was my second summer as a temp at Digital and I'd finally found my niche.

"The Stud" and I were emailing each other all day long, I had some new friends to hang out with after work, and it was all so perfect. I was devastated when the time came to say goodbye to everyone and return to college. Patti and the crew promised me they would request me again as soon as I was off for the holiday break. I'd decided to buy a car over that summer and struck a deal with my Dad to commute to school instead of live there. BIG mistake. I was miserable! I missed my friends in the dorm, my old roommate and I were growing apart because I wasn't seeing her as much as I used to, and I was back under the iron-fisted control of my parents (their house, their rules...blah blah blah). My grades slipped, I started skipping classes and drove over to my old office to visit with my friends, drove back to my old high school so I could pick up my pal Kathleen after school and give her a ride home, drove all over the state just killing time and being unhappy.

At the end of the semester, I went back to work in Fleet. I'd signed up for classes for the winter term, but I only went a few times before I just stopped going and went back to work. Things between "The Stud" and I had grown rather intense. I knew his whole life history and he knew mine. We spoken on the phone a few times, but I was really enjoying our deep email correspondence. We exchanged dreams, future plans, erotic short stories...I was madly in love! I couldn't wait to meet this guy, but at the same time, I was terrified. We had only exchanged basic descriptions of each other..."what Hollywood star do you most resemble" and the like (He said Julian Lennon). I had never seen a photo of him, and he had never seen a photo of me. This was back before you could "scan" or send graphics over the net. What if he didn't like me? What if he wasn't attracted to me?? Horrors!

As the winter wore on, I was getting quite adept at pretending to still be in school. I was so dumb! If I had known better, I would have dropped all my classes in that first month and my Dad could have gotten a partial refund on the tuition costs, but I was too chicken to tell my parents that I didn't want to be in school anymore. I just wanted to work and earn enough to move out on my own. That was my goal. Save enough money for first/last/security deposit and MOVE as soon a possible. I felt smothered at home. "The Stud" kept trying to encourage me to come clean with my parents, but he didn't know them. I didn't wantto scarehim away with stories of what they were REALLY like...so I kept that part of my life kind of quiet at first. Then came the really big news.

One of the noters decided to organize a huge party at this big Chinese restaurant/night club in Leominster. MA called Chopsticks. She made the arrangements for April so there would be plenty of time for people to make travel plans and whatnot. It was a really big deal! There were noters coming in from as far away as New Mexico and even a couple of fellows from England! Guess who was driving up from NJ for the party? Yup! "The Stud" was making the drive up so he could meet me and the dozens of other people he was friendly with in the Noter community...but mostly me. I was in a veritable FRENZY of anticipation. I'd packed on a few pounds since starting school and none of my cool clothes fit anymore. I had work clothes and sweats. Not acceptable! I dragged my girlfriend out shopping with me a couple days before the party. My nerves were shot and I felt nauseous pretty much all the time. I still remember vividly the outfit I bought. We went to T.J. Max first and I found this top. It was off-white, off the shoulder with these batwing sleeves (remember those?) rib knit cuffs and rib knit bottom that cinched the top in tight to my waist. There was a huge tiger/panther figure with a jewel eye on the front of the shirt, across the chest. The tiger image was made up of a variety of patches of different animal print fabrics...hard to describe but VERY cool and sexy.

But what to wear on the bottom?? We went from store to store and nothing was matching, fitting or working. I finally found the perfect pair of jeans - a sort of cross between a khaki and an olive color - at the Gap. They fit me like a second skin. Add these cool 4 inch spike heel black leather boots and WOO, I was smokin'! The night of the party, I did my famous Farrah feathered hair-do with some gold glitter streaks, my tri-color eye shadow with black kohl eyeliner, and black honey lip gloss. I never looked better in my life! Well...maybe at my Senior Prom...but I was HOT! More important, I was ready to meet my long time pen-pal and knock him dead.

I knew I would arrive at the party before he did (he had a meeting in NYC that afternoon and he was going to make the 5 hour trek north after the meeting was over). I had time to mingle, meet some of the guys and gals I had been flirting with, get hit on multiple times, have a couple drinks (for courage) and mentally prep myself for my first face-to-face meeting with "The Stud". Oh, I had long since discovered that this fellow was no "stud". He was sweet, sensitive, self-conscious, and very shy. It's funny what courage an online persona can give you. Oh sure, I had a tad more confidence and a pinch more experience, but I was really as shy as he was. I kept rehearsing in my head what I would say to him when he walked through the door. I didn't want to seem too eager and scare him off. I wanted to make a memorable first impression. I wanted to seem cool, mysterious, sexy, slightly unattainable, but yet approachable and highly desirable.

I sat at a large round table chatting with a group of noters I had become particularly friendly with. My back was to the front door of the main dining room (we had dinner first, drinks and dancing were planned for later in the night club). I knew the moment he entered the room because everyone at the table was suddenly silent and looking toward the door. They all knew this was going to be something special to watch. It was no secret how intense our online courtship had gotten. I turned in my chair and saw him. He was speaking to some people he knew near the door and obviously asking them to point me out. I saw a woman lift her arm and point right at me. Our eyes met and time stopped. It felt like hours that we stared at each other across the room. I remained frozen as he suddenly broke out of his trance. His face lit up like a child's on Christmas morning. He was grinning from ear to ear as he rushed across the room toward me. I felt a lump rising in my throat as my inner voice mumbled "don't blow it...don't blow it...don't blow it...don't be over eager...play it cool...be COOL..."

"Hi Becky! I'm John!!" He seemed giddy with happiness! I could hear the excitement in his voice! His face was filled with luminous joy and obvious attraction. My response?

"I know." I replied in a cool monotone with a touch of aloofness. Wait...too much monotone! Too much aloofness! Oh God! What did I just say?!??

His face fell. He looked like I had just kicked an adorable puppy right there in front of him. Oozing rejection from every pore, he replied, "Oh, um, ok. Maybe we'll talk more later." He practically ran away from the table.

CRAP! HOLY FREAKIN CRAP! I whipped around to face the table again and my friend Cindy said, "What just happened??" I just shrugged as I tried to get my emotions under control. I blew it! I just crushed him like a bug!! O H M Y G O D ! ! !

I downed another 7&7 while I tried to formulate a plan to undo the damage I had just done. We all finished dinner and many of us then moved to the night club, while others went home to their families. In the night club there was a bar just as you walked through the door with barstool seating, a large dance floor surrounded by cozy booth seating (those continuous "U" shaped booth seats), and a stage at the far end where a small band was setting up. I spotted John, my stud, in a booth with a small group of people I knew. There was no room in the booth for me, so I sat at the bar and chatted with a guy. When a couple people left the target booth, my friend Kristy waved me over. I sat in the booth at one end and John was across from me. There were several people occupying space between us on the bench seat and I soon joined in on the lively conversation. All the while, John and I kept stealing glances at each other. I knew the other people in the booth were both talking and watching us. Kristy, who was the moderator of our Flirts notesfile, was particularly keen on seeing John and I together. She wanted to take the credit for making a real love match.

Kristy would drop hints and, one by one, people left the booth until finally it was just John and I. We laughed nervously and chatted about this and that, at first. Eventually we just seemed to run out of things to say. We got up and danced for a while, pressed as close together as we could get, and just staring into each other's eyes. We would return to our booth and continue to just stare transfixed at each other. The physical distance between our faces got less and less until we were almost too close to focus on each other's eyes. I kept yelling in my head, "kiss me. KISS ME. KISS MEEEE!!!!" but he seemed content to just continue sitting there memorizing my face.

We'd been in this limbo all evening and I knew the club would be closing at 2 AM. I decided to take matters into my own hands...or LIPS, as it were. I kissed HIM. I got bold and just leaned in and pressed my lips to his for about 3 seconds and backed away to check his reaction. Apparently it was finally the right move to make. He ran his fingers through my hair and gently pulled my head back toward him and kissed me passionately. Oh man, it was electric! I felt myself melting into a puddle as I let my body fall into his. If we were in a car, we would have seriously steamed up the windows! We continued kissing until we heard "LAST CALL!" from the bar. Reluctantly, we made our way outside and sat on the restaurant steps. We kissed there for a while as they locked the restaurant doors behind us. Finally John broke contact and said he REALLY didn't want to go, but he was staying at a friend's house that night and it wasn't fair to keep her up all night waiting.

I thought about suggesting he get a hotel room for the night instead, but realized it was WAY too soon for that. I really did want to take things slow and not screw this up. We kissed some more by my car, then I got in and rolled down my window. We kissed some more through my open car window then very reluctantly said good-bye. I watched to be sure his car started ok, then we both slowly drove out of the lot together. He headed north to a friend's sofa, and I headed south to face my parent's wrath for coming home so late on a "school night".

;-)

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