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  • Writer's pictureelise

Chapter 26 - Indeed he made it happen...

Indeed he made it happen. In the dead heat of summer he got on a plane from beautiful Miami and headed to Philadelphia.

In organized, type A fashion, I created a list of all my favorite things to do in the city, and I was determined to show him as many of those things as possible. I wasn’t sure if this would be his first of many visits or his only visit, so I wanted to make sure I did my best to show him a fabulous time. My ulterior motive was that by showing him how fun Philly is, he would begin to fall in love with the city of brotherly love. At least, that was my hope.

I didn’t have as detailed of an itinerary as he had for our Chicago trip, but I did have a pretty good handle on the weekend.

The plan for Friday was to pick him up at the airport, head home to freshen up, grab some tacos from Spruce Street Park, then ride the ferry to New Jersey, as the sun set over the Delaware river. Then we would snuggle on our blanket and enjoy a romantic date listening to country music on the lawn as the summer night faded away. After the concert we would ride the ferry back to Philadelphia, possibly hit up a hot spot lounge/bar for a nightcap and then head home.

Friday night turned into the perfect example an ‘Instagram vs. Reality post.' I was pretty clear on how I wanted the night to go, but this is what actually happened:

I picked him up from the airport, he was cuter than ever. There he was, not a hair out of place, a perfectly pressed polo, clean shaven and that smile, OMG, that perfectly imperfect smile. It was actually surreal to see him standing there waiting for me. The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen was standing on the sidewalk with the cutest little duffel bag, waiting for me. I was about 5-10 minutes late, due to some last minute cleaning and prep, but he’s so easy going, it was no big deal.

As I pull up to the airport, his smile broadens, then mine follows, and soon we are mirroring each others smiles and excitement. He has so much energy as he jumps in the car and says, ‘Que Linda,’ and kisses me. Uh - he’s so handsome. He tells me that I smell good, and I remind him that we both know why I smell so good.

I live pretty close to the airport and have done the drive to and from at least a hundred times, but for some odd reason, today of all days, I lose my train of thought and I take the wrong exit. This mistake was pretty costly, as we were already cutting it close to concert time. We get stuck in extremely heavy traffic and I’m so mad at myself. I’m thinking of the chain of problems this is going to cause, late getting home, miss dinner, miss the ferry, late to the concert, who knows if we’ll even make it?

As we sit in the traffic nightmare, the clouds turn dark and Los Angeles flashbacks of the 405 start replaying in my head. I feel stuck and helpless and I'm getting more and more frustrated. He is so lighthearted. He is so carefree. He is so go with the flow. He reminds me to relax and that it’s really no big deal. I realize that it’s not a big deal and he’s right; I was simply putting a lot of pressure on myself to make the trip perfect just as he had done for Chicago. Perfectionism, just like my imagination…one of my biggest blessings, and simultaneously one of my biggest challenges.

As we are pulling into my driveway, the skies open up and it begins to pour. Our seats for the concert are outside, in fact the entire evening I planned is outside. I recommend that we scratch the whole date and start over. He says, let’s let the rain pass and see what happens.

We decide to risk it and head to the concert. We improvise, and instead of bringing just a blanket, we bring a blanket and, wait for it…puppy pee pads. Yes, that’s right, we pack puppy pee pads to put under our blanket since the ground will now be soaking wet and we have to sit on it. Little did I know that these pee pads were foreshadowing what would soon happen.

We jump in a Lyft, head to the river and notice that the ferry is leaving. Although, that’s the one I planned to be on, it’s fine because now we can grab a bite. I take him over to an adorable food truck park by the river which is normally bustling with people, energy and upbeat music. Today, it’s soaking wet, grey, empty and almost downright somber. We grab two tacos and have our choice of any wet seat in the place, when normally it’s standing room only.

The ferry arrives and we get on. The ferry ride I imagined was bright and cheerful. The sun is setting and it’s reflecting on the river. Music is playing and people are laughing and smiling on the upper deck. This time however, the ferry experience was quite different. It was half full and most people sat on the bottom deck trying to protect themselves from the persistent raindrops, and salvage what dry clothing they still had.

As we arrive at the venue the rain has stopped, and the sun begins to shine, (thank goodness) but the ground is soaking wet. We look at our options and all of them seem pretty muddy and subpar, but we have our puppy pads, so we’ll be able to make do. We start setting up our blanket and he notices something. He’s kicking what I think is dirt out of the way, to make our seats more comfy. Then he takes a closer look.

Me: ‘What are you doing,’

Him: ‘There’s shit right here.’

Me: ‘WHAT? There can’t be!’

Him: ‘I know shit and THIS is shit.’

Me: ‘Like what kind of shit?’

Him: He walks around, He inspects. He sees some geese flying and points - ‘That kind of shit.’

Me: ‘OMG, we are going to be sitting in goose shit!?’ Guano!!!???

Him: ‘Yep’

Wet goose shit was not on the itinerary. Man, he’s a good sport.

We kick the shit to the side, lay down our puppy pads, then our blanket, as we impress our lawn neighbors with our forward thinking.

The concert opener comes on stage - HE . IS . AWFUL. I mean the WORST. It was a mix between poor comedy, beatboxing, magic and I don’t know what. We were at a country music concert, what was this? Who was this…and why are we being subjected to this, all while sitting in wet goose shit?

We look at each other and start laughing. Time for drinks!

The main act comes on stage. They are ok. Nothing like concerts I’ve been to in the past at this venue. Perhaps, it was the rain, the wet ground, the goose shit, the misstep on my timing, I’m not sure, but it was awful.

We finish our drinks and decide to head out early. No reason to sit here when we have an entire fabulous city to explore, sans goose shit.

Since we were choosing to leave the venue early, the ferry wasn’t running yet. I recommend that we call an Uber. We do. We wait THIRTY minutes for the Uber to cancel on us as we wait and walk the streets of Camden, NJ, not the place you want to be at night, when you’re not a local.

Finally we manage to grab a cab just as we see droves of people heading out of the venue. The cab driver asks where we want to go, and I say, just take us over the river back to Philly and we’ll figure it out on the way.

We get over the river and I have the driver drop us off in a fun part of town so we can at least hit up one cool speakeasy before heading home and pretending none of this actually happened.

I suggest we jump out at the corner. Just as we exit the cab and begin to walk to the speakeasy, we are cut off by cops chasing and arresting a man. I look at Guapo and he looks at me. ‘I swear this is the first time any of this has ever happened in front of me on a simple Friday night out.’ I try to explain that this is not normal Philly and that we have just had a stroke of bad luck. We decide we’ve pushed it enough for one night and we jump in a Lyft (I’m over Uber and cabs at this point) and head home.

The rest of the weekend is a bit more low key. I take him around to see the different historical sites, we walk along the river path, we eat in a few cool spots and I take him to one of my favorite rooftops where we look out over the city, and gain some perspective. The beauty of hanging out with Guapo is that in the moment everything is always perfect, even sitting in wet goose shit has its way of feeling perfect, yet there is always the underlying, ‘how are we going to make this work?’ looming below the surface.

I can’t say it doesn’t scare me. I’ve always said, there are worse things in life than two successful people who love their jobs, homes, and current lives, but that still doesn’t ease the underlying anxiety of what are we going to do and how are we going to make this work? So for now, I just look into his kind eyes, and smile when he smiles, and enjoy the sensation of my heart beating against his as we hug.

In between all of the running around, we were able to spend some time at my house. One of the mornings, as I was making breakfast, I noticed him doing a walk-thru of sorts. I’m proud of my place, it’s in great shape, less than ten years old and freshly painted. It’s decorated in a way that feels relevant, modern and inviting, plus I did a deep clean prior to his arrival so I knew he wasn't finding dust bunnies. He starts to ask me questions, like: ‘Are these the original faucets? Do you realize that those pictures are slightly off center and if you moved the table this way, you could have more space?’ ‘Mmm, yeah, a task rabbit hung those, and yes, it bothers me, but I just deal with it’, I say.

‘Do you know how to work this complicated thermostat?’ ‘Mmmm, not really,’ I say. ‘I see you have some shelving on the floor in the bathroom, would you like for me to hang it? And this light fixture, is that for the hallway?' He asks nonchalantly.

OMG - wait, is this for real? I’m literally about to burst with like five conflicting emotions all at once. OMG, yes to all of it. No, I can’t have you working on your vacay. WOW, it would be amazing to have these things done. That’s just not right. My goodness it would be sexy to see him in action. I can’t…Pause…'Can I really give you my honey-do list,' I ask? He laughs.

Does this mean he’s my actual honey? I wonder? I hope.

Before I even finish scrambling the eggs, he has artwork properly hung in my dining area, the table moved, the hallway light hung, measurements for new kitchen and bathroom faucets and pencil marks on my bathroom walls for the shelves he would hang post-breakfast.

I . AM . DEAD . Who is this Superman and how lucky am I?

Did the perfect man just get…more perfect?

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