during a layover on my way home thursday, i got a message from Di about heading out to the maryland wine festival saturday, now that she was back. turns out she was at the ASR meeting in CO while i was in monterey. “oh, aren’t we the super jet-setting pair! of course i’ll go get some wine with you guys!” the next day, i mentioned to my guy of last week (for some reason, i haven’t come up with his snappy moniker…any ideas? mr.taking-it-slow?) that we were going, and since it was only Di & Steve and not the full gauntlet, invited him along.
apparently, i’ve brought the spectacular west-coast weather back home with me: it’s been peaking out around 70, and bottoming out in the 50s, sunny & bright all day, so things were perfect for strolling around wine tents. in years previous, your entry got you a logo-ed tasting glass and 20 tiny coupons good for one taste each. this year, they wisely did away with the coupons, and just set everyone loose upon the wineries. honestly, i think i imbibed less than i did with the coupons; perhaps i didn’t feel the need to “get my money’s worth” as much this way. the consensus was that while improvements are being made in the situation, MD just still isn’t cab country. i’m voting that they all just toss in the towel on robust mediterranean-style wines, and declare this area to be alsace II. the craft fair surrounding the wine tents also yielded a few really nice things in the lovely pieces of a silver-worker. he had a large fossil shark’s tooth with a bit of smoky quartz, and when i asked if he had similar things in other colors, he proceeded to dump out his entire collection of teeth for me to pick from to be wire-wrapped with a particularly nice shade of sky-blue calcite.
our guy hit it off great w/Di & co (she gave him the thumbs-up on areas including ‘nice guy’ and ‘funny’), and chuckled in the car on the way home that “getting in good with her girlfriends is always a magic key of strategies & tactics.” while he was telling a college tale of helping out an awkward guy friend’s dating by giving him stepwise directions (i.e. first date do this, 3rd date do that, make your move at just this point, etc), he noticed my raised eyebrow. “oh, no. the timeline for you is totally different.” at one point the conversation turned to budget-free design of dream houses, and it turns out that the rooms that are critical for me are the blank ones for him, and vice-versa. somehow it wasn’t odd at all to be theoretically blending futures on the 3rd date, neither stressing out over perceived over-intimacy or getting clingy to go buy wedding rings asap.
after swinging by his place to pick up ‘hot fuzz’ and the korean/sushi joint near my office for some dinner, it was back to my house for movie & couch time. the movie was hilarious, the plum wine he brought along was a bit heavy, and he makes an a+ cushion/backrest. between bouts of stories, aquarium-watching, and massaging my wrists & hands (we’ve got to get him together with Justin over this pressure point thingy, they’d totally be super-buddies), we ended up lingering on the couch until 4 something in the morning. while i’m still not about to throw him to the floor, the goodbye kissing did indeed pass the ignition test. fireworks, not so much. but i can certainly deal with a whole lot of comfortable.