Going the Distance

So I guess I have to talk about Brian now. Yes, that is his real name.

Let’s back up to a few months ago. Nina tells me, “Stets, I have a great guy for you. He’s cute, he’s funny, I love him.” She shows me a picture of this friend of hers, Brandon. I look at it and say, sure, he’s cute.

So she sets it up for us to meet. She acts like he doesn’t know that we’re being set up, but it’s SO obvious when I meet him that we both know we’re being set up. It’s very casual, thank God, we’re in a group of people. But Brandon and I are just not connecting. (Fast forward to now, I fucking love Brandon, he’s the best…. as a friend.)

A couple of weeks ago (May 21 to be exact), I randomly text Nina to ask how she’s doing. We haven’t really talked or hung out in a while, so I check in about her new job. She ends up calling me and we start making plans to hang out that night. I end up totally bailing on her, even though it was my idea to go out. I’m just not feeling it tonight. “What are you doing tomorrow then?” I have nothing tomorrow. Let’s definitely hang out. “OK, my friend Brian is going to be in Santa Monica, I want you to meet him. He’s amazing. You’re going to love him.”

Yea, I’ve heard that before, Nina. I pretty much write her off with introducing me to guys. So I have very low expectations. She also sets it up like this, “You might not be completely into him when you first meet him, but by the end of the night, you’re going to fall in love with him.”

Biggest eye roll ever.

So now it’s Friday. Nina and I head to Brick for dinner. My friend meets us and we’re all sitting together. A bunch of my co-workers/friends are walking by and sitting with us periodically. I’m distracted (to say the least) when Brian and his friend Kevin arrive. Nina yells at me from the front door that I’m being rude. Jesus, I didn’t even know they were here.

I get up out of the booth and walk over. Shake hands and say hello to Brian and Kevin. You know that thing you feel when you meet someone you really like? Yea, I don’t feel anything. In fact, I’m thinking, God, Nina, do you know me at all? Brian is so not my type (types don’t even exist, I don’t know what I’m talking about).

It’s a brief exchange before I run back to the booth or to the bar or to talk to someone else I know. My friend that’s here is also putting his arm around me. There is absolutely NOTHING between us, we’re not even that close, but I guess for Brian, he doesn’t know what the deal is. (He tells me at a later date that he and Kevin actually almost decided to leave at this point.)

We all sit in the booth. I wish I could remember the things Brian was saying. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t drunk. But either way, every time I said anything to him, he’d say something to make me laugh.

I’m definitely all over the place that night, but I’m also trying to go out of my way to check in with Brian. And I swear, every time I do, I’m laughing and becoming more and more comfortable around him. I don’t think it’s until we’re at the next bar and the two of us are standing together (ordering a drink I definitely don’t need), that I realize, OMG, I think I really like him! It quickly becomes a joke that “this is never going to work.” He tells me he lives in Studio City. Studio City??? I can’t do long distance. This is never going to work. I ask him how old he is. He must think I’m younger, because he cringes when he says… 32. How old are you?? I ham it up pretty good. Wow. 32. You are really old. I’m… 30. “You’re 30?? Man. Those two years really make a difference. This is never going to work.”

Somehow, I hit him in the face, twice, because that’s something I would do. I don’t even know why I remember that, except that he was so cute (you can start to be grossed out right around now).

Nina is beyond excited that we’re hitting it off. I’m looking at her like, I can’t believe you just did this. When she asks me how it’s going and if I like him, I’m just like, uh, yea. I really do.

We end up going back to Brick after it closes for one last unnecessary drink. Brian sits at the bar and I immediately sit down next to him, now just wanting to talk to him and know more.

We have to leave, and walk outside for Brian and Kevin to wait for their uber. I’m sitting with Nina and a very drunk Rocco.  Brian sits down a little ways away. I have to get up and go sit next to him. “I want to take you out to dinner.” OK!

When their uber arrives moments later, I can’t believe how much I don’t want him to leave. I actually say, “Don’t leave!”

Like, who does that?? He hugs me and starts to walk away. Hugs Nina goodbye, then I hug Kevin. Then Brian comes back to hug me again. God, he’s so cute!

Nina, what did you do??

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