Shortly after that date was jolly guy’s birthday.  Now we had been together all but three weeks or so even though I felt like I had known him for a while.  I thought I should get him something but the go between gift is very hard to decipher. You don’t want to seem thoughtless, but you also don’t want it to appear you are desperate and thinking of him constantly.  So I had to find something somewhere between Lottery tickets and a wedding band.  I am usually very good at the gift giving.  A) cause I love it and 2) cause planning the details is what I love.  I think about what that person means to me, think about what they said their likes are, their dislikes, what they value, what means something.  I try to listen to gain clues all the time as to what would make someone smile.  It really is the best part of giving a gift.  To see their face and know that they know you went to the trouble to really think about them and give them something that isn’t another shirt or watch or tie.  So he loved coffee. Pumpkin Spice, Half Calf, Mocha something or other, you name it he really loves it.  I think more cause he seemed to have a sweet tooth and it was more like desert than a wake me up beverage.  So I had him over for dinner after work the day or so before his actual birthday I can’t remember and gave him a bag with a bow on it.  He seemed  timid and was I’m sure hoping that I wouldn’t end up “boiling his bunny” if you know what I mean.  He opened the bag and their were a few assorted Keurig K cups packages in there and he said thank you and gave me a kiss and that was that.  Nothing dramatic, nothing all that fancy, just a little something, Thanksgiving was quickly approaching and he mentioned to me that night that he was having a party for his friends and wanted me to come.  To your house?  With all your friends?  At a Friendsgiving?  I was instantly intimidated.  I knew I would be on display.  I would be introduced to them one by one as they formed their opinion of me.  Comparing me to the last and wondering if I’d stick around long enough for them to get to know me.  I had only remembered the very large man and very short man from my brief encounter at the bar and met the one couple who was seemingly really nice.  “Sure” I said, that sounds great.  Sounded great but inside I was panicking.  What if they hated me?  What if I was transparent and they could see all my flaws?  What if they talked him out of being with me when it just started to get good.  I mean, we did meet online, what if he really is a serial killer and they don’t even know?  I got myself dressed that day and it took me forever to find something to wear.  I didn’t feel comfortable, I didn’t like my hair and I was sweating.  Like for real.  I got in the car and headed up to his house and parked about a block away.  There were cars lining the street, all on his pretend driveway, all down the dirt mound.  I was having an inner dialogue with myself telling myself “You got this”  I walked up to the door with dessert and wine in hand and rang the bell.  I could hear people and laughter and as I walked in and up the stairs I was greeted with the largest smiles, open arms, hugs and Happy Thanksgiving.  It was not the scene I had anticipated at all.  These people were warm and welcoming and I instantly felt at ease.  He introduced me one by one as I thought he would and giggled a lot.  Almost shy with a huge joyful laugh each time he said “This is her”  I shook hands and made small talk and there were a few interview questions when I found myself in the kitchen with him helping him make the gravy.  He was pouring and I was whisking and he was giggling and in walks a woman who seemed very comfortable around him.  She maneuvered effortlessly around his kitchen as if she had been there before.  She made jokes at his expense and tried to get me on the band wagon of ex’s and then I realized I was now standing at the stove; him, me and his ex-wife.  WHAT?!

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