The Southern Gentleman had called to wish me a Merry Christmas while I was enjoying Christmas dinner at Edina’s. That evening I did not get home until after 11 PM, which was midnight at his home; thus too late to call him back.
I slept in a bit on Friday but was sure to call The Southern Gentleman. His voice sounded a bit frazzled as he told me that he was in line to check in and he’d call me shortly. I went about completing the final touches around the house. With anxious energy still coursing through me, I took the pups on a walk.
Of course, The Southern Gentleman called when he arrived at DFW and I was just completing our walk. We spoke briefly as his connection time was short. He sent me a text stating his flight was delayed 15 minutes. I was relieved because the few extra minutes would ensure my timely arrival at the airport.
Typically, I am running late for airport pick ups, so I was especially proud of myself for arriving on time. In fact, I had to wait a bit; the excitement building until I saw him exiting through security. The Southern Gentleman was a man on a mission headed toward baggage claim so he did not see me at the side of the security. I tapped him on the shoulder as he began his decent down the stairs. He whipped around, grabbed me in the middle of the stairway and put his arms around me. A big hug, but no kiss. We sprinted out of the airport to the parking garage, happily chatting away. At the entrance of the parking garage I noticed something at my feet, stopping before I stepped on it. A small enameled turtle broach. As I picked up that turtle, little did I know it would serve as the metaphor for this trip.
Catch up commenced immediately. It felt more like we were picking up after he’d been on a two week business trip and not the reality that his last visit was 9 months ago. It is simply the leaving part of this equation where I do not excel.
At home, the pups went wild the moment they saw him. Both hounds were dancing and jumping around with their typical over-the-top enthusiasm. My big girl did not leave his side the entire time; the little one was constantly cozying up to him on the couch.
I commenced to making cocktails and The Southern Gentleman emptied his bags proudly taking out a wrapped Christmas present. Green paper neatly wrapped complete with a bow and card. Seeing as he was all about gift time, I retrieved his presents as well. He was so much fun in gift mode as he shook and felt each present trying to guess what each item was. Of course he was dead on with the golf balls, however, he was stumped on the remaining items. I was quite pleased that he did in fact like the pocket watch I selected for him. I opened mine gift which was a bag of m&ms and a beautiful olive green pashmina.
Before we knew it, it was 7 PM and time to head to a birthday happy hour. We arrived to a room full of people and luckily Edina kept empty seats by her so we did a quick shuffle in as I felt all eyes were on me as we walked in. I felt very self conscious, so I ran to say hello to the birthday boy, who immediately inquired, “who’s the boy?” I hadn’t thought that far in advance, mumbling something about male friend while running directly for the arms of Coco. Worlds colliding are not my strong point.
Back in the safety of Edina’s portion of the table, cocktails were ordered and I grew calmer. Edina asked to see my new ring, so I put my hand out to show her. I had to laugh as one of the guys at the end of the table happily chimes in “Congratulations!” and another gal immediate corrected him stating the ring was not in fact an engagement ring because it is was on the wrong finger, on the wrong hand.
Eventually the festivities were to move next door, to the strip club. Our dear Southern Gentleman puts his foot down firmly stating that we are not going. Clearly no amount of peer pressure was going to persuade him either. Edina and a few of the other girls were going to skip the strip portion with us as The Southern Gentleman proudly told the birthday boy that he and his harem of women were headed elsewhere. The birthday boy would have none of that – the interloper swooping in and stealing his women, especially Edina. The birthday boy eventually got his way and the girls went with him to the strip club; TSG and me heading off in another direction.