Several of us were sitting at the table by the far wall of the restaurant. The place was jam-packed and apparently that was normal for a Saturday evening. I was enjoying the company at my table: old and new friends from high school and my man, sitting across from me because, as he told our friend, "I like to look into her eyes."
One end of our table was flanked by the band - a blues band who threw in some Tom Petty and Beatles music for good measure. The other end of our table, closest to me, was another party of three: two twenty-ish girls and a gay guy.
When the song was right, my group would burst into animated mouthing of the words and sing to each other over our margaritas. Soon, I discovered I was being serenaded by the two twenty-ish girls.
Gentleman Jack smiled, not surprised. "See. You don't even have to try and people want you."
I left for a few minutes for a restroom break. Upon return to our table, I was grabbed by the arm by one of the young women at the next table.
"What's your name? Please come dance with us. And maybe you could come back to our apartment complex and swim in our pool?!"
I introduced myself and declined the invitation to swim. Although a spin on the dance floor always sounds fun...
Taking my place across from my man, I could see that he was deep in a consuming conversation with our mutual friend. I looked to her and inquired with my eyes the subject of this intense discussion.
She smiled sweetly. "It's YOU, T. You're his favorite subject!"
Another time during the weekend, Gentleman Jack and I were in our own intense discussion after a miscommunication.
He was upset after I'd misjudged something that he'd said about an hour earlier. I was distraught. I was sad that the weekend had been wonderful up to that point. I was irritated that my mind overthinks and reacts to things based purely on past triggers and fears.
He talks loudly when he is upset. I don't like this.
As I was trying to explain, again, what my perception was, he interrupted me.
I stammered out the words, "Please let me finish what I was saying...."
He stopped, looked at me and smiled.
"Yes ma'am! I LOVE that. Own that baby! OWN IT!"
I was confused.
"T! You just stopped me from interrupting you. You get so timid when we're dealing with issues and now, look at you. You just told me that you had something important to say. And you know what? I'm listening. And do you know why? Because baby, I LOVE YOU and I respect what you have to say!"
I burst into tears and fell into his arms. I don't recall anyone ever saying that to me before.
I felt ignored and overlooked most of my childhood. I felt ignored in my marriage. I have spent my teen and adult life trying to get attention.
I have ingrained attention-seeking tactics into my personality, after years of practice. However, in the year that Gentleman Jack has been in my life, I have noticed that I've pulled back on much of that behavior.
Now I just glow when my man is near me.
The glow still attracts attention but I find that I no longer seek it like I used to. That attention doesn't even begin to match the attention of my man.
I never knew... never in my wildest dreams... that someone could look at me, love me, notice me, make me want to shine more, listen to me, brag about me, take loads of photos of me, make me his favorite subject...
I never knew that could be found in one person and that I would fall in love with him.
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.