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10:03 a.m. - 2012-06-29

That's what I used to feel about dates. It's been such a long time that it's hard to remember, but I remember being 20 or 22 and waiting for John to come, John the sweet shy English teacher I seduced one night in the bar across from my house, back when I had suddenly realized that I was an adult and I could do whatever I fucking pleased, and I wanted to do it all just to know that I had.

"We going to your place or mine?" I said, after hours of talking, and drinking, when I was so drunk my ears were ringing and I felt like the whole world was singing.

We went to his. John was 33, recently divorced, and he was brilliant -- had been an adjunct professor at Harvard or Yale, one of the two, but took a job at a tiny college in Vermont because his wife wanted to live there. Then she left him, winging all of the picture of their wedding out a window into the Connecticut River, and John ended up with a bachelor apartment, tons of music and me.

John was my longest relationship before Matt -- John and a French stockbroker who had a tanning bed in his basement, used cocaine and drove too fast. I remember getting ready for both of them, the clothes flung on the bed, careful makeup, perfume, brushing my long, long blonde hair. I knew I was pretty, Barbie Doll pretty, way too thin and proud of it. People used to ask me if I modeled, which fed the anorexia and gave me confidence that I had never had. I got ready drinking shots while I blow-dried my hair. I liked the image of a night on the town, on John's arm, or Bryce's, the reflection we would see in the mirror. I felt old and sophisticated, much older than my peers still in college, John's students.

And then there was the actual event, the man -- man in my house, man in my space, man in my bed, man in my body. I had a visceral reaction to John's cologne the moment he walked in the door and never a good one -- I'd think, "I CANNOT do this again," and then I would go do it. If I got bombed enough I didn't care. In fact, until I quit drinking 4-5 years ago, I'd never had sex sober and didn't think it was possible.

Andi's coming over tonight. I am not going to spend hours trying on clothes, but I probably will check the mirror and see if I look OK in cutoffs and a tank top. She'll be meeting my kids for the first time. They go to bed at eight, and I hope they fall asleep fast.

I don't dread Andi coming. I want her to come. This will be the world's longest afternoon. I like how she smells and I like it when she touches me. I've never experienced that with a romantic interest before -- never.

I do have one fear, though, that is left over from the men. I used to be a serial dater; initially I found people interesting but within about six months I found them annoying and dumb, no matter how hard I tried. John lasted a lot longer than this, maybe 18 months, but I was sick of him at the six-month mark too.

I'm scared that this will happen with Andi, too, or rather that I will do it to her. Right now I think I could fall in love with her. Right now I think my feelings for guys shutting down at a certain point had to do with the physical stuff, because it repulsed me, but what if it has nothing to do with that and I'm just a cold, shallow person? Will the fact that she has no interest in ever taking a college class start to bother me? Will it start to bother me that when she has free time she watches movie on Netflix and when I have free time, I study one of four languages I'm trying to learn or perfect? I study languages instead of watching movie because I love languages and I don't like movies,not because I'm disciplined -- so it it's not like it's a superiority thing, but will I get bored? Will she?

Funny how I worry much more about me getting bored than about her getting sick of me. I suppose the chance are probably 50-50, but I'm made of teflon and I would be disappointed but fine. She is not made of teflon and I don't want to hurt her.

I cannot express how glad I am that the someone showing up at my door tonight isn't a man.



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