Have I mentioned I don’t (and really can’t) lie? The weekend before NRA Guy and I met, he called me at 5 in the morning. I didn’t wake for the call, and it took me a long time to figure out who it was from. NRA Guy and I hadn’t yet spoken on the phone, and he didn’t identify himself in his (rather sweet and apologetic) message. Internet boys typically don’t make it into my cell until they become tangible, so I had to pull out the planner (yes, it’s paper!) and rifle through it to determine it was NRA Guy. After Booty-Call Bob*, I’m inclined to drop any guy who calls at inappropriate hours before we meet. But this call and message indicated that 1.) an insane amount of alcohol had been consumed, 2.) he’s a sweet guy who was thinking about me, and 3.) he didn’t appear to be looking for a late night hookup. I justified that it was really early, not so much late (if the morning news is on, people, it’s definitely earlier than it is late) and didn’t immediately write him off. He called again later to apologize some more and confirm plans for that Tuesday. I told him he got one more chance with the ill-timed phone calls and gave him endless shit for the first.
Anyhow, back to my unwillingness/inability to lie. While we were talking (and as I was getting ready for another date), NRA Guy asked how many guys had taken me out that weekend. (It was just one, Star Wars Boy, but I’d been out with him Friday and was on my way to meet him again.) I first tried the old answer-a-question-with-a-question routine (“Why would you ask a question like that?”), but that only lead to him calling me out on it. So I told him the truth, and thus sparked his sense of adventure through competition, it seems. His competitive nature coupled with this bit of knowledge has worked out nicely for me so far.
I broke one of my own rules (they’re really more like guidelines, anyway) and let NRA guy pick me up at my place for our first date. I’ve questioned my sanity on this decision, particularly since it was with NRA Guy. As the moniker might indicate, he’s a gun guy. I knew this before I agreed to go out with him. I knew he has a veritable arsenal in his apartment, which includes such star performers as an AK-47 and an M16. Yet, despite this knowledge, I still gave him directions to my townhouse. Ill-advised? Certainly. No one ever said I have the best judgment.
Anyhow, despite all odds (a demanding boss, rush hour traffic, and the like), NRA Guy showed up on time, scoring immediate points in my book. (Yes, I know I’m sometimes late. That doesn’t mean I can’t put marks in the loss/gain category for similar behavior. After all, I’m not judging me. I’m sure these guys keep their own tallies for that.) We joked and chatted comfortably en route to the restaurant (he’d suggested three places and let me make the final choice).
Despite being born and raised very much a Yankee boy, he behaved very much like the ideal Southern gentleman, opening doors for me, helping me with my coat, etc. I must say, it felt nice to be treated like a lady. Unfortunately, he tends to make jokes slighting women, which also made me think of Southern guys (but not the idealized gentlemen, more like your average redneck Joe). All these jokes were followed quickly with disclaimers, which became a bit tedious. He asked about his competition during the meal, but I told him he really didn’t want to know. He agreed, and we moved on.
Our next several dates consisted of me meeting him at his house for dinner. He cooked me several meals, always making sure to ask me out again before I left.
-- Before I get into the other positives, I’m going to throw out the negs right here even though it kind of breaks the flow of this post. I can’t have you all thinking this boy is completely wonderful and I’m deeply in love or something ridiculous like that. So, here goes:
He’s a bit pouty. This is generally something he does to be endearing, and I’m sure it’s worked for him before (for instance, with his mother), but I find it to be a bit of a turn-off. He often asks if or assumes that I’m mad. At least he’s aware of the possibility, but he’s much too hyper-sensitive about this. I’m guessing he’s had some really hard-to-please girlfriends in the past who kept him in the doghouse all the time. Since I really don’t think I’m that unreasonable, this habit somewhat annoys and slightly offends me (annoys because I’m constantly having to reassure him that I’m not mad; offends because I’m not the other girls and don’t want to be lumped in with them). He’s a Republican (although we haven’t really talked politics more than me asking pointblank why he identifies Red). I suppose the big one is that he’s constantly talking about the future. It’s somewhat thrilling, but it’s also intimidating and honestly more than a bit frightening to me, Belle-the-Commitment-Phobe.--
When it comes to the good, lots of little things stand out with NRA Guy. When he takes me to my car, he makes sure I’m safely in and it starts okay before he drives away. He actually opens doors for me. He’s extremely complimentary and tells me how much he enjoys spending time with me. He wants to make sure I’m comfortable at all times. He asks about my day and shows what appears to be genuine interest in my response. He wants me to meet his friends.
When I told him I wanted to go camping but it was too cold, he took it upon himself to give me what I wanted. I walked into his apartment Friday night to find a candlelight dinner (I was incredibly impressed, I must say). After we ate, he took me to his spare bedroom, where he’d set up a big tent and brought in greenery to make it feel more like the outdoors. We spent the night drinking wine, playing cards, talking and cuddling in our own little private campground.
Sometime during the night, he asked me if I would consider exclusivity, but I let him conclude it was too soon. It had only been a couple weeks and a handful of dates, after all. Oh, and I was going to meet Star Wars Boy the next afternoon. Before I arrived at NRA Guy’s house that night, I was leaning toward SWB. Then I got romanced and sweet-talked and just generally given a good many of the things that would make a softer girl swoon, and, suddenly, NRA Guy was back in the game and swiftly approaching the lead. SWB was going to have to step it up if he wanted to compete.
The morning after our camp-in, NRA Guy made me breakfast, not complaining once about his throbbing headache until after he presented my omelet. I felt bad that he was feeling bad, but I had little time to dawdle if I wanted to get to SWB’s place on time. I hated to do it, but I had to eat and run. It didn’t make anything better that NRA Guy knew I was going to meet someone else and had been trying to convince me since the night before to blow this other guy off. But I pressed onward.
I left NRA Guy’s house with a new dilemma: How was I going to inform SWB he wasn’t the only one in the running and get him to step up the game without seeming like an utter bitch or a total tramp?
* I recently called Booty-Call Bob by mistake and left him a long apologetic voicemail for being late. He shares the same (real) name with a guy I was supposed to meet that day, and I hadn’t deleted BCB’s number from my cell. I got a confused text message in response and explained (much) later that I meant to call someone else. He hasn’t bothered me since.