Hooo, boy. I’ve totally not kept up my end of the bargain here, folks.
I’d originally promised that I’d catalog the vast history of “Lance and Jeff” waaaay back several months ago, and only got in two measly posts. (One about how we met, and the other about coming out to my parents.) I’d tell y’all the story of our first date, but it’s beyond tame–puritanical, even!
So we’ll move on: I pretty much moved in after the second date.
There were some selfish reasons for this. Since I’d known next to nothing about Philadelphia (including its murder rate–yowza!) before moving here for grad school, I had decided to live in the University of Pennsylvania’s grad dorms, which turned out to be the same construction that the Soviet Union used for its workcamp housing. Go figure!
Anyway, it was not a great place to live. It was about a 150-square foot space, shared bathroom, no stove, etc. etc. The convenience of location certainly did not trump its total lack of basic first-world amenities.
Of course, when Lance comes along and has a full-sized kitchen, how could I say no?
We were hanging out almost every night after our first date, initially under the presumption of watching “Heroes” together (back when that was a thing that people enjoyed). This facade quickly fell away not just because this was season 2 of “Heroes,” which was terrible and hard to justify watching (even with Kristen Bell), but because we kinda enjoyed just being in each other’s company.
That’s not to say that there weren’t any totally nonsensical, arbitrary rules. I had some internal rule where I had to sleep in my grad housing room at least 1-2 times a week to somehow justify the expense (eventually, though, I just stopped sleeping there altogether…yes, I was that annoying significant other who sleeps over all the time but doesn’t pay any of the bills). I didn’t move any clothes in to Lance’s apartment, either, except a pair of pajamas, so my gulag prison room was more of a walk-in closet than a living space.
I lived this “in-between” status for seven-ish months, and it rarely seemed like a big deal. To be honest, I never even thought about it all that much, that maybe it was weird that we, basically overnight, fused at the hip and spent nearly every waking, non-work hour together. There was no gradual build-up to a full-fledged relationship. We were basically married on the second date.
The only, ONLY time I even considered that we’d moved too fast was actually around what you’d consider that second date. We’d met not long after my birthday, which I’d spent–SOB STORY–more or less alone since I’d only moved to Philly two weeks before I turned 22.
Lance could not abide such devastation; I’m sure he would’ve traveled back in time if possible. Instead, after knowing each other for only a few days, Lance presented me with a birthday gift.
“Um, thanks?” I said, secretly panicking in my mind. Oh MAN, this weirdo is totally buying me gifts already? Didn’t we meet, like, on Saturday? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??
I opened the gift: it was a Spider-Man t-shirt from Urban Outfitters. So, not an inexpensive gift.
Maybe I should’ve bailed. Maybe it was a little intense at first, or at least that’s how I thought I should feel.
But I didn’t. Such a pure act of big-heartedness could’ve been the warning signs of a total warped psycho, but something made me stay (it must’ve been that hot piece of ass.) I guess I believed in his well-natured intentions.
That, and from the beginning, there were no presumptions, no putting on airs or doing the delicate courtship dance where everything you say is heavily edited and gesture is meticulously choreographed. I thought I should be nervous about such affection, so fast, but the ease in which we revealed our true selves to each other could not be taken for granted.
I’ve gotta give him credit: Lance’s additional years granted him the clarity I didn’t have quite at first. He knew this was it, he and I…or at least, he was getting desperate enough to hook a man to try just about anything, and I was a big sucker.
I’d like to believe the former. It was the first–and not the last, by far–time that Lance was right.