“How-do, ma’am,” said the cowboy reclining under my Christmas tree. Amusement sparkled in his baby-blue eyes and a slow, intoxicating grin lit up his face.
“Name’s Jeff. Right pleased to meet you,” he added, with a wink and tip of his Stetson.
I toppled, whole-hog and USDA Prime-time in luuuv!
At last. I thought. A long-term relationship. One to last past the second date.
Jeff and I met on Zoosk.com approximately a week before Thanksgiving. In fact, our earliest conversation goes back to November 21. It started with the usual “wink, wink” but,within a week or two, progressed into chats, marathon phone calls (the first lasting three hours), more chats, and texts in-between. The more we shared, the further I fell, as we discussed places we wanted to explore.
“We should meet to decide whether we are two people who can hold hands and go places,” he said.
So, we planned to meet in person on December 7, but the ice storm that immobilized our communities, shut down schools and businesses for two days, and delayed my final exams held us back.
Okay, whatev, I thought, as I slammed out papers with a manic gleam in my eyes and a bottle of Merlot at my side. End-of-semester duties threatened to wrestle me to the ground. Meanwhile, Jeff slipped on “black” ice. But that didn’t stop us from talking on the phone twice a day and chatting and texting in between.
That week was the longest one ever.
Finally, on midnight, Friday, December 13, I was a kid, again, waiting for Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve. On Saturday, the 14th, I changed clothes three times, deciding on a red turtleneck sweater, blue jeans, and, of course, my red boots. I had barely reached the bottom step of my staircase when I heard a soft thump outside. Sort of like a red pick-up truck door opening and closing.
I was suddenly sixteen years old, again, waiting for my date to appear at my door. When I heard the knock, I peered through the peep-hole to glimpse the man I had dreamed about for almost three weeks. At my request, Jeff wore the hat and red vest from one of his profile photos. If his pictures were hot, they were only lukewarm against the smoking majesty of the man himself.
“Hey, Mr.Dillon,” I purred, leaning into his shoulder.
“Well, hello, Miss Kitty!” he said, grinning, as he stepped inside my house. After taking a long, thirsty look at each other, we exchanged hugs.
“Ready to go, babe?” he asked, when we pulled away from each other.
“Well, I don’t know about you,” I said, “but I’m starving. What say we stop at the Waffle House on 360? Stefani won’t be at her salon until 10:30 a.m., anyway.
The next stop he had insisted on: my hair appointment.
Okay, I thought,if this doesn’t drive the ol’ boy away, we were meant to be together.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Jeff enjoyed watching my stylist cover my scalp with bright-red goo. In fact, he enjoyed the whole experience.
“Just think of the stories we’ll tell our kids and grand-kids,” he said, laughing from beneath the hair-dryer in Stefani’s salon.
Soon, my “beautification” process — of my hair and eyebrows — was done. After I paid and hugged Stefani, Jeff and I headed out to the Will Rogers’ Coliseum Cutting-Horse Event vendor show. After exploring the vendors’ exhibits, I introduced him to Angelo’s Barbecue, a Fort Worth tradition, where we shared a chopped beef sandwich, chips, and conversation.
“What now?” he asked.
In the next hour, he found himself being escorted through the middle of downtown Fort Worth’s Fort Worth’s Sundance Square by the likes of me.
“Well, ready for Silver Fox?” I asked.
At five-thirty p.m., we arrived at the Silver Fox Steakhouse. Colin Kelly, proprietor of Silver Fox Steakhouse in Fort Worth, my “other” son and best friend and best man in my son, Terry Johnson’s, wedding. Same as with other times, Colin’s staff made sure Jeff and I were treated right, with fresh, hot bread, a bottle of Malbec, prime rib cooked to order, mashed potatoes, and a relish tray of fresh,sliced tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and fresh green onions.
With our bellies full of beef, Jeff and I finished off the night at Stagecoach Ballroom, dancing as though we were custom-made for each other. And, quite possibly , we were.
If our first night together was perfect, our second day together was phenomenal.
For more, stay tuned for Part II of “Man On Board”.
Ladies, I’ve met the man of my dreams. Tell me about yours.