I can’t even believe I am about to type out this story, and it does made me giddy happy in hindsight.
I had a Peloton class on Valentines Day, then plans for brunch with the girls to follow. A normal Friday for me.
As we were waiting for our class to start, the previous class lets out. People hang around waiting to get photos with the instructors and a handsome, very tall man just happened to be standing in front of me. My friend and I noticed him at the same time because he looked like he may have just died in the class because his face was so red! My friend made a funny comment and we began chatting.
Every single hair in my body stood at attention. I was immediately attracted to this man. His appearance, his smile, his voice, the way his eyes lit up when we engaged him. Bang. Hard and fast immediate attraction.
I don’t know when that’s happened to me last. My x husband in 1991 maybe? Sure, it happens on a date when I have seen a photo, spoken to the person and then I’m excited to meet them – and it only gets better in person. But this was in the wild – entirely unfamiliar to me. At first I didn’t even know what I was feeling, I just knew I wanted to talk to this guy, even after my friend walked away. Slowly I realized he was feeling the same. But why wasn’t he asking for my name? I got distracted when he stepped away for his photo and our class was called in. That was that.
Until after the class, when we were at brunch, and my friend asked what happened. She saw the sparks flying. I was sad to admit nothing happened and bummed he didn’t ask for my name. I had looked for a ring and he was wearing none, so it registered he was potentially single, but it all happened so quickly and when they call you into class, you have to go.
We tried to figure out a way we could determine who he was. Our Peloton community for the tread isn’t that big yet and it might not be that hard to determine who he was. The ladies gave me some suggestions, but I wasn’t seeing how I could contact him through Peloton other than following him on the leaderboard. I knew he was from out of town in any case and was leaving early the next morning to visit his son in college.
As it turned out, one friend left something back at the studio and we needed to return to retrieve it. As she looked for her item, I logged in to the studio class at the studio (so you can see who was in the class IN the studio) to see if I could identify him. I’m sure privacy issues apply, but if you don’t want to be found, your screen name shouldn’t be as obvious as your real name! His leaderboard name was his real name and location, so I knew, by location (his was unusual) that it was him. I followed him immediately. I had to assume he would know it was me by my photo.
My friends, and the studio team, were super stoked – finding a Peloton man in the wild was exciting! But, we had no idea if he was single or not. As we headed home, one friend did some google searching for me and he came right up. All his story checked out, but it appeared he was married. As soon as I got home I found him on Facebook and was able to see his profile because we shared a common Peloton group. Bingo. I could now contact him.
As I was sitting there stalking, I saw he followed me back on the leaderboard. Talk about a little rush of adrenaline! It opened the way for what I did next.
I stepped way, way, way out of my comfort zone and took a chance. All the while wondering how I would feel if a man stalked me like this. I literally couldn’t help myself. I needed to know who this man was.
I sent him a FB message. I was blunt and straightforward. “Hi John. ok ,sorry if this is stalkerish….we met this morning at the tread studio….you just made me laugh so I looked up your LB name and then FB popped right up from the Peloton page. Not sure if you are single or married, I noticed you didn’t have a ring on, so don’t want to over step…Madeline”
His reply, within minutes: So good. Text me (phone #)
So, I did.
Here were the first few text:
M: Hey it’s M. I am a complete Pelo-stalker!
J: You don’t even know what I was thinking this AM. I was completely attracted to you.
M: Was? Over it already?!
J: Still do. OMG. I was trying to look for a ring but couldn’t figure it out. Where are you now?
M: I’m home. So, no wife or girlfriend then?
J: No. I can’t believe you left. Why didn’t you take a picture with me?
M: I don’t live in Idaho. You didn’t even ask my name.
J: I felt so awkward with your friend there. Where are you from?
M: I can’t believe I just Pelo-stalked you. I have crossed the crazy line.
J: I love it. I think its great. What are you doing tonight?
So, as you can guess, we made a date for the evening. He chose the place and it was perfect. He text me the rest of the afternoon, entirely engaged. Kept asking me where I was if I didn’t respond quickly enough and showing a lot of excitement to meet me. He expressed that he was dying to meet me and he was beyond attracted. It was endearing and not crass. I was singing and dancing when I was getting ready. I hadn’t been this excited for a date in a long while.
He gave me his full name and LinkedIN (not knowing we had already done all the ground work!) We chatted back and forth while I got ready to go back into the city to meet him.
I had to break a dinner date with a local girlfriend. I see her all the time and the plans were loose, but I haven’t heard back from her since I text her so I suppose she is mad at me. I had to follow this through. The energy I felt with him was incredible for such an instant.
He had a business meeting at 4pm and asked me to arrive by 4;45pm. I was a bit early at 4:50pm and I could see he was still in discussions. It was awkward, but I walked over to tap him on the shoulder and he asked if I could give him a few minutes. It was an unfortunate start that took off some of the shine, and I don’t know who felt worse about it – him or I. I waited at the bar and ordered myself a wine. He came to get me perhaps 10-15 minutes later and apologized and gave me a huge bear hug. Akwardness gone.
We spent about 4 hours sitting in one place talking. We laughed easily, we talked about many things, and we were both engaged. However, I didn’t feel the same intense pull from him that I felt in the studio. I felt the same, just didn’t feel it in return. He wasn’t doing or saying anything contrary, its just what I felt. I learned a lot about him that would make him less than an ideal match for me, the biggest difference being that he lives in South Dakota! He is basically a highly educated, well-bred, well-spoken, affluent redneck! He spoke about his cattle like one would speak about a lover and I hate animals. He spoke abut the flat, starkness of the land and the peace of sitting looking over his working farm and I like cities and hustle and bustle. He wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and I wear Louboutins and all black urban clothing. He is diabetic and doesn’t drink while you all know how I love my wine. He is separated and not yet divorced but they live apart for 1.5 years. Are these red flags or are this just differences? In the past, these would all be red flags for me.
He lives too far away. South Dakota doesn’t even qualify as a place I want to visit, where is South Dakota?!
Cowboy hats in the city? Yes, its sexy. Once. (but, OMG he was HOT in his hat and it brought me all the way back to Bobby wearing his cowboy hat!)
Animals? Oh hell no. I’m scared to death of all of them.
Hunting? A double hell no to dead animals.
Diabetic? I don’t know if I can handle the limitations.
Being at peace with the land? Boring. Bring me the city lights.
Chewing Tobacco? Now I understand why your teeth are brown (and I, unfortunately, blurted that one out)
Yes, I’m sill confused. I’m still drawn to him and its not a sexual thing. I just want to be close to him and know more about him. (KDaddy – you see, I’m trying broad new horizons here!)
Time rolls by and he mentioned he needs to leave to walk his neighbors dog. What? Wait. Your neighbors dog in SD? Nope, he has an apartment in the city.
Ahhh, maybe not such a redneck after all. I go through this with him to find he’s here abut every 2 weeks for work. Sometimes longer. His family is local (as is the x), his son is in VA in college, and the daughter in SD in college. His son will be working in the city come this summer, so he intends to be here quite often. He is absolutely a redneck at heart, there is no doubt of it. But, he has a very broad high level role that takes him traveling all over the nation and world. This is the most interesting dichotomy I have come across in a man. Im fascinated while wondering what the hell is drawing me to this man!
He tells me he doesn’t want the date to end and it caught me by surprise. I genuinely didn’t know. That is rare. I can usually pick up quickly if a man is attracted to me (beyond physically). I was caught off guard and told him so – he seemed surprised that I didn’t know how attracted he was because he hadn’t stopped staring at me all night.
Honestly, I was baffled. He never made above to touch me. Yes, he was looking at me all night, but staring? I didn’t feel that way. He never, not even once, crossed any lines beyond friendly. I really just felt like we had a super lovely time but no indication he was interested in seeing me again post the date until the moment he asked me not to leave him.
He hesitated and finally asked if I could come back to his apartment, then paused, and admitted he knew that was wrong but he didn’t know what else to do and he really had to walk this dog. The neighbor had started texting him more frequently in the past hour as he hadn’t replied to her with a photo of the dog. I suggested we just find a bar close to his apartment and park me there, he could walk the dog and come back to me. So thats what we did.
When we got in the uber I was very surprised how he leaned over to pull me in for a deep kiss. Oh my. Such a good kiss. And such a surprise.
We drop him at his apartment and then I head to the next bar. And here’s where I made an error in judgement. I drank too much. I was done at the first bar, three glasses off wine over the course of 4 hours was plenty. I didn’t need another glass, but because I had to sit and wait for him, I ordered another. Then when he arrived, yet another. The last one tipped me over to uninhibited. I became sexual.
We were joking about something and I picked up on innuendo and said “blah blah you can’t jerk-off like that” and he nearly died of shock. He asked me if I literally just said “jerk-off” in everyday conversation. I took it a step further and asked what other words I shouldn’t be using in everyday conversation and eventually we got around to something like “Fuck me harder, John.” I thought he was going to die on the spot and I couldn’t stop laughing. The error in judgement wasn’t that I didn’t get us both hysterical laughing, or that he thought I was crass….wasn’t that at all….but he had been so respectful all night and something inside of me needed more validation than the words at the first bar that he was absolutely attracted. It wasn’t enough for my ego that he didn’t want the night to end. I had to push it in a direction I knew I was more in control of the outcome. I am so angry I allowed this to happen, and didn’t really understand until hindsight why I let it go that way.
Now the poor man was turned on. I don’t think he knew how to handle me. I know he was fascinated and in that moment he reminded me of Tony. When we kissed goodnight, I could feel just how turned on he was.
But then, something. Something else unwelcome. I felt like I made a mistake as I got into the car. I don’t know what or why but its just the feeling I got.
I text him when I was in my own car on the way home, to thank him. I got back a few one word answers until I finally said “did something go sideways at the end? Did I say something to freak you out?”
I was pretty sure he fell asleep at that point so I didn’t see the reply until I woke the next morning. “Sorry, fell asleep. All good”
I waited til about midday to reply when I hadn’t heard more from him. Asking him if landed safely as he was traveling to his sons college. No reply. All day.
Now I’m sure I’ve done something wrong. I sent another text later in the evening. I’m so angry at myself for being unable to let things go. I am unsure how I even feel abut this man so why am I pursuing?
Why? Because I had to know why he went from texts all day Friday, words that indicated he was interested in more, and then – nothing all day Saturday.
He did reply to my second text, briefly. And the next change went like this:
J: Sorry. Just got done with the game now. Just a crazy day. Heading to dinner now.
M: ok. Your’e sure? If something did change, you just need to ell me what’s up.
J: Just a long day getting here with delays etc. Heading to eat now.
M: ok, maybe we can chat later if you’re up to it.
J: yes! Sounds good.
J: Still out catching up with my son.
M: Thanks for letting me know. I’m headed to bed myself. Text me tmrw?
J: Yes. So tired. I’m up past 9:30pm two nights in a row!
(the next morning)
J: Morning. Headed to services then bowling then airport, busy day!!!
M: Good morning! Enjoy church and bowling. Text me when you’re settled in airport.
The best I can infer is that he is interested and got the message he had fallen down in communication with me. I had my little foot stomp I suppose and I’m over it. If he continues to communicate, great. If not, I’m still glad I pursued the energy and had a date with him – we did have fun. I didn’t sleep with him, or even go to his apartment. At least some boundaries stayed intact for once!
This is going to be difficult if it move forward, thats clear. But, I am hoping gives me the opportunity to meet him again when he is back a week from now. The communication would need to sustain in the meantime, of course, so let’s see how it goes.
Also, a little more FB stalking in my anger phase leads me to believe there is quite a bit more to his separation story than he shared. He had a LOT of very positive posts about his wife right until 1.5 years ago, so I wonder how it all fell apart. Yes, he gave me a version of the story for a first date, but I’m curious to know why she wanted a divorce when he was clearly in love with her (according to FB posts and you always know how true those are! lol)
More to come? We shall see.