Monday, September 15, 2014

Visiting Ann: A cock block and a party pt 3

**I recently returned from spending ten fantastic days with Ann St Vincent.  These posts about the visit aren’t going to be in any specific order, there is too much to write on too many topics.  So, don’t look at these like one long story, they are more like post cards or snap shots from a fantastic trip.**
When I ran out of excuses to hang out in the kitchen Ireluctantly moved into the crowds at the party to socialize.  I’ve never been a big fan of large parties, they’re not really my thing.  But… Ann wanted me to meet her friends, I wanted to make a good impression, so I sucked it up and stepped out.
Honestly, this party was kind of a risky thing for me.  Ann knew how little I liked parties, large groups of people, she had originally planned a small get together but it kept growing.  There were all these people she wanted me to meet and it just made sense to do as much of the meeting as possible all at once.  We only had ten days, neither of us wanted to have a dozen meet-n-greets scattered throughout our time together.  But I don’t like parties.  It became something of a joke between the two of us.  Out of all the things we did have scheduled, meeting her ex, the threesome, meeting her parents, the party was the only thing that made me nervous.
Fortunately, Ann has awesome friends.  Ann is almost a decade older than me, most of her guests were older than me, I’m pretty sure I was the youngest person at the party.  It could have easily been awkward but somehow it wasn’t.  Everyone was really nice, friendly, and the conversations were easy.
The party was in full swing, the alcohol was flowing, everyone was having a good time.  There was a pretty wide variety of people there, from guys in slick suits, to jeans and sweaters.  Some guests she met through work, others used to work for her but didn’t anymore.  Katharine owned her own business and was quite successful, Ann met her through charity work.  Her brother was there, he was cool.  Ann’s former yoga instructor came too.
One of the things that impressed me was that all the guests had very nice things to say about Ann.  I mean, it was her party, they were her friends, so they were all people she liked.  But what I liked was that even talking amongst themselves they gushed about how great she is.  About what a great boss she is.
At one point, one of the other guests asked the crowded room who works for Ann’s company.  Almost everyone raised their hands.
The follow up question was how many of the guests had worked for Ann, either currently or previously.  Again, almost everyone raised their hands.
There was a middle aged guy in a nice suit.  He was impeccably dressed,  though he’d loosened his tie and the top button of his shirt was undone.  Had it been during working hours, he wouldn’t have looked out of place on the cover of Forbes or a similar magazine.  He worked for Ann?
All of these guests, all of these friends, worked for Ann?  All these people who had such nice things to say about her, they worked for her?Some were still working for her directly, others had worked on previous projects for her, still others were independent contractors who had been brought in under her.  These middle aged guys, confident and successful, in nice suits, they worked for Ann?
The first guest, Dom, who was probably close to my dad’s age… worked for my girlfriend?  I have to say I laughed a little at that, inside my head of course.  It wasn’t anything against him, or the any of the others, I liked them all, but it further cemented the fact that even though Ann doesn’t act like a big deal, she is one.
There was a very amused thread running through my head at this point.  What the heck do these people think of me?  Their high level, executive boss was dating a younger guy with a shaved head and tattoos. I had to smile and wonder.
And I was so impressed with Ann, her friends.  There was no awkwardness, they were all obviously comfortable and cared for each other.  This wasn’t a work party, this was a gathering of friends.  There weren’t any politics being played, they all genuinely liked each other.
Seeing all of that added another layer to my love for Ann.  She was totally gracious and caring toward all these people.  And she chose her friends well, they were all great.  While many of them expressed interest in me, my story with Ann, asked questions, I never felt awkward or like I was being interrogated.  It was fun, we all got along well and conversation was easy. Which was a nice change of pace for me since I’m not the kind of guy who relishes being at crowded social events.
Toward the middle of the party, Katharine pulled me to the side.  She wanted to know more about the guy that her friend had fallen for.
katharine s
Katharine had been drinking and was getting a bit tipsy.  The drunker she got, the more she talked.  The more she talked, the more she relaxed, the more of her I got to see.
Ann had been a little worried that I wouldn’t get along with Katharine, she shouldn’t have been concerned.  Sure, Katharine had a few rough edges, but it was obvious, to me at least, that she was actually a really caring woman.  She loved Ann and just wanted to make sure that I was good for her, that I treated her right, that I appreciated her.
Later, to Ann, I described Katharine as a candied gummy bear.  Hard on the outside, gooey on the inside.  I meant it as a compliment, that she might come off as abrasive but her heart was definitely in the right place.
I genuinely liked Katharine.
While we were talking I could tell that Katharine was hurting.  A few recent events had been hard on her.  Here was this tough woman, confident, outgoing… and yet I wanted to give her a hug and tell her that everything would be okay.
I suppose I have a soft spot for hard cases with a heart of gold. But then, I probably have more in common with them than I admit to myself.
Katharine wanted to make sure that I treated Ann the right way.  She described Ann and herself as strong, confident, successful, independent women that really, deep down, needed to be loved and nurtured.  They needed to be able to be soft.  They needed to be cared for, spoiled, and adored.
Fortunately, that’s what I do.
I told that to Katharine.  She actually teared up a bit when I told her that I had been cooking Ann breakfast every morning.
Katharine asked if I had any brothers.
Sorry, four sisters.
After chatting for a while Ann walked up to us.
Katharine, with one arm around each of our shoulders, asked us what the future held -That is, if Ann still liked me by the time I left. There were four days until I was leaving, what if Ann got tired of me before then?
I smiled at Katharine, totally confident, and told her I wasn’t worried about Ann getting tired of me.  At all.
Katharine chuckled and looked at Ann.
“He’s quiet… but cocky.”
We all laughed at that.
Katharine had to leave a little early, so she missed out on the Fireball shots I did with Ann’s yoga instructor a while later.
The party went on for another couple hours.  People gradually filtered out.  It was almost midnight by the time all the guests left.
The pile of empty of alcohol bottles was impressive.  It had been a good time.
Ann and I put a few things in the fridge and wrapped the rest to deal with in the morning.
Alone, finally.
It was late, but that wasn’t going to slow us down. We’d been interrupted that morning by the Skype call with her son, then were shopping, cooking, and didn’t have time before the party to mess around.   It had been almost 24 hours.  Unacceptable.  We were both buzzed and naked and finally had opportunity, of course we had sex.  We even pulled out one of Ann’s toys for some extra fun.  We didn’t get to sleep until after two.
A cock-blocked morning, shopping, cooking together, meeting many of her friends, and late night sex, it’d been a busy but fun day. But then, when you’re with someone you love, every day is a good one.

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