I met a person irl. I’ve never done that before, really. He’s a dog dad and we met at the dog park. S doesn’t care for the dog park, but we go a lot anyway because I like to meet new dogs. And I’ve actually met many of my human friends in the city in this way. The best people are crazy dog parents.
Dog Dad and I both work from home (him just on occasion) and both live on the border of the same huge park. So many mornings he and his pup will be sunbathing when S and I head across the park for morning coffee. When we see him, we’ll stop to chat for a half hour or so. It’s always been flirty and I’ve had a crush from the get go. He’s maybe a decade older than me and has this great salt and pepper thing starting to happen.
We have a very similar sense of humor; sardonic but not in an overwhelming way. Just in a trying-to-get-through-the-day sort of way. We’d connected over similar mental health issues – a product of a slightly self deprecating sense of humor in us both. Finally, a few weeks ago, he asked for my number. But still, because we hadn’t met on an app where the intention was explicit, I felt unsure of his feelings.
We did have one quasi coffee date and lounge in the park during which I’m pretty sure he took a picture of me. I was outside the coffee shot with his pup while he ordered and he stealthily snapped a pic of she (his pup) and I. When I looked up he tucked his phone away and quickly turned around. I did not call him out on it, instead choosing to believe he just couldn’t help it cause I looked so pretty.
Dog Dad is an artist and I expressed interest in seeing his studio space sometime. We made plans for a private tour and it turned into an absolutely dreamy date. He works out of a collective art warehouse in a hip part of town with another dozen artists. Everything from writers to painters and print makers. The space was painted all white with a front facing gallery area and then a back space with multiples loft spaces, none of which seemed up to fire code to me, but displayed insight into some very interesting minds.
Eventually we ended up in his rather large and private space. The walls were covered in his art and things he loved or what inspired him. What a gift to see this carefully curated space. I must have spent a half an hour wandering around, asking about this picture or that print. In both the interest of anonymity and the fact that my words won’t be able to accurately present his world, I won’t try to describe it. But I will say, I was quite taken. Both by the art itself, which was just exactly my style and humor and speed and also by him letting me into this place.
It was very clear to me that although he has had girlfriends, he is not ultimately the kind of person that takes just any woman to this place or tries to use this part of himself to woo anyone around him. As he’d show me things, he’d kind of look to me to see how I was reacting. And honestly, I loved it all so much, I felt completely charmed. What he puts into his work is some of the insecurities in his person and I relate to that. It’s what I do here, in fact.
Moving through space with him is a pleasure. He opens doors and is very aware of me in space so I never felt awkward or out of place. It’s the kind of awareness that speaks to a man’s maturity, in my opinion.
After the tour we went to dinner down the street. We talked about our families and where we’d been as adults. I told him about Spouse, which had not come up before. He didn’t seem phased by the idea, especially once I explained the circumstances a bit more. I did not, however, get into non monogamy. I said something like “dating since the split has been wild” and he laughed it off and said “we can get into that another day”. Perfect. I’ve never had to have that conversation with a new interest and I’m not really sure how it will go.
I was shocked at how many things he remembered that I’d mentioned to him in the last few months of chatting in the park. And he told me a few funny things he said he doesn’t normally admit. It was easy and simple and real, and we were both clearly eager to learn more and more about one another. Eventually we walked back to the art space and got caught in the rain on the way back. I seriously considered stopping and kissing him, but it felt like this was his planned date and I wanted to be the guest as he designed it.
Once back inside, I sat on a white bench and he got his phone out to take a picture of me sitting there. It had been a night of many of those moments where you look at one another, lock eyes and smile. The kind of wordless flirting that makes you feel really young again. He asked if I minded being photographed and I said “it would be cuter if I pretended to be demure and not like my picture taken, but yes, I love it, go ahead”. He seemed to like that and took a few, which I didn’t ask to see. Confidence and all that. I know I photograph well and although no one likes an unflattering photo, I try not to let vanity lead me entirely.
Eventually he came over and touched me for the first time. It’s strange, when I see him in the park, I’ve often had the urge to give him a hug but was never sure I could/should. So when he hugged me, it felt like a long time coming. Then there was a pull back and a really magnetic first kiss. Tingles down my spine and all that. Then it began to get a bit more hot and heavy, his hands running down my back and barely grazing my ass. He kissed my neck in this way that nearly made me fall over. I held on tight and eventually he pulled one of my legs up around him as we kissed. I would have fucked him right then and there. Truly.
But things wrapped up and we drove home. During the drive he made the joke that this was an above average Wednesday night and next Wednesday was likely not to live up to it. I told him the only thing that could make it a 10/10 kind of night for me is if I could get him to “sing like nobody’s listening”. He did not sing. But we both laughed very hard at this, having the same affinity for mocking “live, laugh, love” culture.
I invited him in because I love sex and wanted to keep being around him and I have no self restraint or ability to pace things appropriately. He declined and said something like “I am not going to come in but I want to but I won’t”. lol. I’m glad he didn’t come in. He did leave me with another kiss and by telling me he likes my smile and my laugh and “a lot of other things too but I’m not good at compliments”. lol. I think he’s pretty good at compliments. I wandered in on a bit of a cloud.
In the morning he sent me the photo he took with the caption “mornin’ – pretty picture for ya”. I know that as a former photographer he can’t help but want to take photos.. but I’m also choosing to believe that he really liked the moment of me sitting there in his studio, smiling at him. So much so that he wanted to capture it and have it. I posted it on my instagram and it is quite literally the most “liked” thing I’ve ever posted.
Clearly, I am smitten by this darling man. The Dog Dad from the park.