Dating Diaries: He Was Just Another Guy Who Was Fascinated By My Feet – Jess’ story

Jess is a “grown woman” who owns a boutique and lives alone. She has been described as “adventurous, kind, generous, deep and eccentric.” Jess travels extensively and likes attending her writers’ group and performing spoken-word poetry and standup comedy. She says “My dates usually involve food and wine, and some form of entertainment, like theatre, music or visiting an art gallery.” While Jess describes her taste in men as non-traditional, she says “I still enjoy traditional values and traditional dates.” She likes men who are empathetic, confident, talented, artistic and who have “a razor-edged wit.” She says, “My spirit is free.”

I met Christopher at an event I attended with some friends. His tall, dark-haired good looks impressed me. While I was enjoying the drink he bought me, he told me he was interested in seeing me again. I was planning to attend another party the following Saturday, and he suggested we go together. Since we had both arrived at the event with other people, we exchanged cell numbers and left separately. We firmed up our plans several days later by phone.

I asked Christopher to meet me at my shop. He was almost two hours late. I found myself, for the first time in a long time, missing being in a serious relationship. I was most recently in two long-term relationships, back to back. Being alone can be painful. Waiting for a man to arrive for a date is stressful; “late” usually means “not showing up.” However, Christopher redeemed himself by calling, not texting, to apologize, and when he finally arrived he brought a gift: a bottle of red wine, my drink of choice. I have to say, I was thrilled. Christopher wore all black, and had an almost electric energy. He was intense. After asking him to uncork a different bottle that I had on hand, we toasted each other and the date. I saved his bottle of inferior red for later.

I thought of Christopher the way I thought of a lot of men I like: as a wild animal. Unpredictable. Both of my serious exes were just like Christopher: good-looking, rule-breaking, womanizing.

I was getting really hungry, so I insisted we go to dinner at a Japanese restaurant on the way to the party. I also thought I should feel Christopher out a bit more before going out with him for the night. I knew there would be food at the party, but I was giving him a “test” of a kind. I also didn’t want to show up ravenously hungry.

The conversation at dinner was fine. I didn’t have to pump Christopher for information, which was nice. He confessed to being a bad boyfriend in the past. Not good. However, he did suggest that I might be able to teach him a thing or two. Maybe. I noticed that while I was eating and drinking, Christopher was leaving the table a lot to talk on the phone, but he also used his phone right in front of me without apology. As dinner progressed, his energy went from “intense” to “frenetic.” As if the phone wasn’t bad enough, just as I was about to eat a piece of sashimi, Christopher put his shoes up on the banquette where I was sitting. I didn’t hesitate to ask him to move his feet. His behaviour was so confusing, like he wanted to go out with me, but wasn’t acting like it at all.

We went to the party, where he demonstrated more of the same behaviour, like flopping casually all over the furniture despite the looks I was giving him. I asked him repeatedly to get us more drinks in order to get him away from my friends, but I noticed him trying to talk to several other women at the bar. One woman who I sort of know approached me and intimated that she knew Christopher, and suggested that he might not be worth my time. It was so embarrassing for me, and I knew I had to get us out of there. I have to admit I also wanted him all to myself, despite his manners. I got a taxi and took him back to my place, where we polished off the bottle of wine he’d brought, and then ended up passing out on the sofa.

I woke up in the late-morning sunshine, still fully dressed, but somehow without my high-heeled boots on. I was greeted with the sight of Christopher holding one of my boots, and looked down to see him smiling and staring at my foot. I had the sense that he wanted something more, and understood in an instant: Christopher didn’t want me, he only wanted my feet.

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