So I am no longer strip mining my coterie of bad dates for blogging material. Now I'm dating my new guy Steve, it has its incredible pleasures of course...and a few pitfalls. Okay so I no longer have these bad dates to add to my collection for my books and aforementioned blog posts. Now come the inevitable questions about Where Is This Going?
Up until Sunday, Steve has been great. Funny, charming and the smartest guy I ever met. He's also, I discovered on Sunday, a complete loon.
See, I have carefully managed my Insecure Relationship Monster from the outset. I have been burned at the romance stake a time or two, so I have been good about not letting that green-eyed thing do more than raise its head every now and again when something approaching an alarm bell goes off. I feed it (I've found Hawaiian candy bead cookies a huge help here, though my waistline would disagree with that) and then on Sunday in the middle of an author chat, Steve IM'd me.
Steve: Hi. I sent you an IM earlier. Why didn't you respond?
I stared at the screen. AJ: I didn't see a message, hon. Sorry.
Steve: You keep popping on and off. You don't stay on long enough to chat. What's going on?
You lunatic! AJ: I am in the middle of an author chat with Midnight Seductions Authors. I am not actually using my AOL account. I'm using the group digest. I just signed back on to check on my contest entries.
Long silence ensued.
Steve: Oh, well...didn't mean to be a nuisance.
AJ: You're not being a nuisance. Actually, you are. I just posted a trivia question: What's your prison bitch name. Can't wait to see what some of the readers get! One of them got Famous Anus. Is that funny, or what?
Steve: Well, call me if and when you have time.
And then he disappeared.
Half an hour later, he called as if nothing had happened and I was still bristling from the unspoken accusations, the neediness, the uncertainty of unchaining the Insecure Relationship Monster - his, not mine. I took a break from the chat and tried to explain to him how it all worked and suggested he join the room and see for himself.
"I'd love to see what your prison bitch name is," I told him.
"You really posted that as a trivia question? On a romance chat?" He seemed shocked.
"Sure. I also posted what's your pimp name and fairy name..."
He interrupted me. "You didn't tell me your prison bitch name."
"Mine was Three Dollar Bill."
He laughed. "Oh, so you're queer? Like a Three Dollar Bill?"
"Guess I am."
I could feel him smiling. This was the Steve I was used to.
"Are you eating?" I asked him.
"Yeah. I broke out the ice cream when I thought you'd lost interest in me."
"Put that down and meet me for coffee."
"You got time, AJ?"
"Yeah, I've got time."
And you gotta have time and a whole lotta feeling for a guy who comes over with two cups of coffee, leashes your dog and suggests you bring water for her because you're driving up the coast for dinner.
"I just finished reading your book Phantom Lover and I got to thinking. You obviously love Duke Kahanamoku [the father of surfing] and I know there's a Duke's restaurant in Malibu."
"Yeah. It's my obsession." When I am not broke.
"Well, they have a patio so I figured we can sit outside with the dog. If we leave right now, we'll catch the sunset over dinner."
Okay, I bit my tongue to resist screaming, I love you!
And as the sun sank slowly along the west as the saying goes, two Insecure Relationship Monsters relaxed just a little and enjoyed a sunset cocktail or two, knowing they were in pretty safe hands.