Monday, July 5, 2010


In 23 days, I'm jetting across the country to meet up with a man I randomly met in Sacramento last month.

Yes, it is pure craziness.

No, I do not know what the hell I am doing.

Yes, I am freaking out.

No, I don't know about the long-term potential.

Yes, I am terribly excited.

So, the scoop. Here it is:

Chris and I met four weeks ago on a Friday night, downtown. I was with a girlfriend; he was with a couple (a guy and a girl).

I didn't plan on going to the pub that he was in with his friends. My friend and I were headed to the Mix to dance. We only ended up in the pub to kill time.

I didn't plan to sit across from him. I wanted to stay at the bar. My friend pulled me to where Chris and his friends were because she wanted to sit, rather than stand.

I didn't plan on locking eyes with Chris. I didn't plan on catching him looking at me, and stealing glances at him.

I didn't plan for my girlfriend to whip out her camera, hand it to him and say, "Please, will you take our picture?"

I didn't plan for him to start talking with us and for his friends to jump in.

I didn't plan for his friends to go back to their hotel room and for Chris to join us at the Mix.

I didn't plan on sitting with him for hours and talking about everything.

And I especially didn't plan to become totally captivated with a great guy who lives in 'effing Florida!

Chris is 42. He's a high school principal in Sarasota. He grew up in the Bay Area. He received his first degree at Sac State, then went on to just finish his PhD this week. He plays in a popular Florida indie rock band. He's divorced. He laughs when he talks and he is warm and engaging. He exudes kindness. He loves his family. He's solid.

I think.

I spent several fleeting hours with him but I knew I wanted more.

Apparently, he did too, because the next day his text said: "You are amazing. Can I see you again?"

Problem was, he was headed out of town to a memorial service and then would be flying back to Florida immediately.

We've kept in touch over the past month, mainly via text and email. He defends his dissertation on Wednesday. His family is flying in to celebrate. His band is playing a big gig. He is busy.

He called me last week, though, and we talked non-stop. At the end of the conversation, he asked if we could get together this summer. My only time without Ben is at the end of July, right in the middle of the time when he has a commitment with the high school. He offered to come here, but for once, I have the more flexible schedule.

So, I am going there. He made the arrangements this weekend. Four nights at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota.

I googled the Rtiz.


He has to work part of the time so I'll have to entertain myself at the beach/pool club.


He emailed me tonight to find out what I like to eat, what I like to drink, what music I like.

He said he would take care of everything, all the details, so that I could have fun and relax.

I am reminding myself to exhale.

I am also under no grand illusion that this could have a story book ending. Knowing me, the ending will be something like a long, tearful plane ride home. With a layover in Denver, where I cry my eyes out in the bathroom.

Or as my best friend said, "You'll start crying two days in when you realize how terrific this guy is and how logistically impossible it all is."

Of course she's right.

But I have to go.

I have to.

I never know what the right answers are, in terms of dating. And as far-fetched as this trip is, in some ways, it's comforting.

I have a place to stay, in his hometown. He has work to do, so I don't have to be on 'high alert' the whole time. The hotel and the beach are totally conducive to distraction-free, 'getting to know you' kind of activities. We can swim and have fruity cocktails. He can show me Sarasota. I can bring my computer, a stack of books and my MP3 player.

So, it's the big countdown.

I'm trying to use this time to prepare emotionally for any outcome. It's the only way that I can go in with a clear heart. And no expectations.

Expect to maybe have even more fun with the sweet guy who loves what he does and who has a soft way about him; a way that drew me in from the moment I sat down on the bar stool.

It's a long way to Florida. It's a long way to go meet someone I've known for all of a few hours. It's a long shot.

I know.