Monday, December 05, 2005

So, who's your friend?

Normally I maintain a pretty distinct separation between my private and public lives. I'm not quick to introduce people I date to friends or family, and when I do it's a pretty big step for me. That separation extends to this blog as well - I don't really post much about dating or relationships, since, well, it's private stuff, and you guys probably don't want to read about it anyway! Things that may seem important to me are almost certainly boring and mundane to outside observers - so normally I'll spare you all that.

However, a few posts ago, I alluded to a crazy good distracting situation in my dating life. So I'm going to make an exception here, because the situation is a little unique and more than a little exciting.

So. Not quite 5 years ago, I dated a woman very briefly. Her name was Kat. We had met online (can't remember whether I contacted her, or vice versa) and I thought she was really quite incredible. Super cute, beautiful smile, well-traveled, liberal, athletic, intelligent, outdoorsy. Pretty much the total package, as far as I was concerned!

The complication: The timing was all wrong. I had been recently dumped (and was still smarting a little from that experience). For her part, she wasn't interested in dating anyone seriously. She was a free spirit who tended to move around a lot, had every intention of remaining single, and had carefully constructed dating "rules" to ensure she wouldn't get too attached to anyone.

So, we talked on the phone a bunch, and had a few great dates before her "rules" kicked in. I challenged her on her rules, fought, and lost. I was pretty bummed out.

Soon thereafter, she moved north of the cities to help one of her siblings with a new baby. We saw one another on two subsequent occasions a few months later, as friends, before falling out of touch.

... several years pass ...

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I receive a charming yet very brief email from a woman on You guessed it - it was Kat. Funny thing was, while she said I seemed familiar, she didn't recognize me. I didn't have a shaved head when we had first met years ago, so I suppose it's not too surprising that she didn't recognize me. But even so, I still give her a hard time about that :-)

We exchanged a few coy (and suggestive) emails, she immediately realized who I was (OK, I gave her a few hints, although she claims she didn't need them), we reconnected over the phone (it was amazing how many little details we remembered about one another!) and made plans for a date the following weekend.

Things moved pretty quickly - very quickly. Even though we hadn't talked for several years, there was an uncanny depth of familiarity. It was really something. That date found us (literally) talking all night and deciding to see each other exclusively. Pretty crazy - one day we hadn't seen each other for years, the next, we're clearing our social calendars for one another.

But as exciting as this was, there were some rocky moments. Kat had had a dating epiphany and tossed her dating rules out the window some time ago, but I failed to fully appreciate that it was still a Huge Step for her to date only one person. I said some things that betrayed a sense of hesitancy on my part (after all, I had been hurt by her before). Thankfully, she gave me the benefit of the doubt, and I think we've made it though that.

We spent most of this past weekend together, and had an incredibly fun time. Hung out at the Como Observatory Sat afternoon (effectively a fancy greenhouse with tons of ferns, moss, exotic plants and flowers, etc), took in a production of David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries" at Bryant Lake Bowl (double date w/my friend Doug). Sunday morning, Kat woke us up before sunrise for a walk down by Lake Calhoun, then headed down to REI for a little shopping later in the day.

So, dear readers, that's a little background on Kat and I (and for the record, she's still the total package and then some!) No doubt you'll be seeing her name mentioned around these parts in the future.