Dating a Double O

Vesper James BondI think I might be dating 007. Bryan owns:

5 houses,

4 guns,

3 passports,

2 vehicles

and has taken at least 1 FBI training course.

And we just booked tickets together to get our sailing certifications in the Caribbean. If I disappear, it wasn’t the Bermuda Triangle. It was Bond. Bryan Bond.

Authentically Aurora

P.S. In all seriousness, I wouldn’t go on this trip if I didn’t trust him implicitly. And my parents will have all of my travel documentation and itinerary, just in case. And my Special Forces older brother could take a Double O any day. So booyah.

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A Meeting of Minds

Keep Calm and DateI’ve spent nearly 20 hours with Bryan in the last week. And I don’t even know how it happened.

On Wednesday, he took me out for tapas. On Thursday, we met at a grocery store, and I cooked him scallops in a lemon butter sauce with fresh green beans. And on Saturday at 9am, he drove us to a downtown pub that hosts watch parties for Chelsea FC, his favorite football club from his time in London.

When I’m with Bryan, time flies by, and I am never ready for the day to end. We don’t really have sparks or intense chemistry like I do with Flynn, but we share a comfortable companionship. I enjoy doing life with Bryan.

When I cooked dinner for him on Thursday, it was my first time to see his house. It’s a three story house in a ritzy part of town. No surprise. One of his neighbors owns three BMWs. The other has an Audi and a Porsche. You know… no big deal.

Bryan gave me the tour, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he is in the process of building a gazebo on his rooftop porch. He didn’t strike me as the kind of guy to work with his hands, but it is pleasing to me that he does – and that he enjoys it so immensely. There is something very attractive about a man who works with his hands.

Later in the evening that Thursday, in telling me about his travels (and explaining the stories behind the various cultural relics decorating his home), Bryan made reference to being happy to be back in his own bed. “What color is the comforter on your bed?” I asked offhand, trying to envision the room as I often do when people are telling a story.

He looked at me with a puzzled expression. “Don’t you know?” Well, he’d given me a tour, but I hadn’t noticed.

“If you did know, what color would it be?” he asked me.

I thought for a moment. “…blue?”

He smiled warmly at me. Affectionately. Pleased. “Yes.”

“Why are you looking at me like you know something I don’t?”

Bryan explained. “I recently read about hypnosis theories. Apparently your subconscious is constantly picking up on more than you realize in your focused, conscious thoughts. One of the tricks of hypnosis is to ask your subject things like, ‘If you did know…’ or ‘If you had to guess…’. That causes the subconscious to activate those memories you didn’t even realize you had. Your subconscious provides your conscious with the answer.”

These are the kinds of conversations we have all the time. We talk about logic puzzles and brain chemistry and psychology. It’s interesting. Intriguing. Entertaining. Like I said before, when I’m with Bryan, time flies by, and I enjoy doing life with him. But I want – no, I need – more than just a meeting of minds. My heart needs lighthearted playfulness. I need someone who can be silly and who makes me laugh.

Bryan says I still have walls up – or rather (in his words), a curtain. He claims that I peek over the top of the curtain so I can see everything that’s going on, but I never part the curtain for anyone else to see in. He says that I project the image of myself that I want others to see. And that image isn’t false, but it’s only a part of the whole.

Bryan also says he is determined to break through the barrier. Leave it to Bryan to be perceptive enough to recognize my shielding… and to be compassionate enough to genuinely want to know me – all of me.

More than anything, I want to be known. Fully known and fully loved, despite being fully known. But I know that if I part the curtain, Bryan won’t like what he sees, and then he’ll reject me, like so many have done before.

I told him as much. His response? “How do you know I won’t like what I see? You haven’t given me the opportunity to make that determination.”

“Everyone else has rejected me when they’ve seen in.”

“And, based on what you know of me, am I like everyone else?”

No.

But… better to keep the curtain up for now.

Authentically Aurora

Coldfinger: Ice Cream in the Aston

Goldfinger AstonBryan likes to surprise me, so I had no idea where we were going when he picked me up in his Aston Martin on Sunday afternoon.

He was wearing a lavender pinstripe dress shirt, and I was still in my knee-length church dress, so I had visions of a 1950s soda shoppe experience when we pulled into the parking lot of an ice cream parlour. But Bryan told me that we were getting our ice cream to go, so we selected our flavors and got back into the car.

Bryan held both cones while I climbed in and fastened my seat belt. “Where are we headed?” I asked, eyeing my chocolate peppermint ice cream as he handed both cones back to me so that he could drive.

“I thought we’d go to a nearby park. Walk. Talk. Eat ice cream.” He turned to look at me and grinned from the driver’s seat.

I smiled back; then looked down as his sweet-cream-with-raspberries ice cream started to trickle its way down my right hand. I hesitated; then asked, “How do you feel about me licking your ice cream to keep it from dripping on your leather seats?”

He shrugged. “That’s okay by me. The park’s pretty close, so we should be there in just a few minutes.”

Melting ConeBut we didn’t have a few minutes. At first, I made sure the ice cream dripped onto my bare legs rather than his leather seats. I was glad I was in a short dress (skin is easier to clean than fabric). But there was no helping it. Eventually ice cream started running down the sides of my legs onto his Aston Martin seats.

I apologized. He apologized. I felt badly about getting sticky ice cream on his fancy seats; he felt badly about getting sticky ice cream all over my bare legs. But after a minute or two, I stopped apologizing and started giggling as my James Bond hurtled his way down back roads, trying to get us to the park before there was no more ice cream left in either cone.

And as I started giggling, he started chuckling. Soon we were both laughing uproariously as ice cream melted all over the place. When we got to the park, Bryan grabbed a gym towel from the trunk, opened the door for me, and took both sticky, melting cones so I could escape the runny mess and towel off.

We stood together beside Bryan’s car – his Aston Martin – laughing as we leaned over the grass and tried to eat what remained of our ice cream without letting the droplets land on our feet. I’m sure we looked like a couple of school kids as we dipped our various appendages into a park fountain to wash off, and continued on the rest of our walk, sticky but happy.

Authentically Aurora

Stability or Adventure

Aston MartinLast night, Bryan left his pickup truck at home and picked me up in his Aston Martin instead. Apparently his third vehicle is a motorcycle. I haven’t seen that one yet.

I’m still trying to figure Bryan out.

He is a 36-year-old electrical engineer who is getting ready to retire. He has spent the last decade traveling the world as an engineering consultant and project manager. He’s lived in London, Paris, Nigeria, South Korea, Qatar, Iran and multiple states across the US. The result? He speaks four languages, is worldly wise, and has had a lucrative enough career to retire before age 40.

Bryan sees every emotion that flashes across my face. He doesn’t think I’m stoic. When I told him that I am often perceived as having a stoic persona, he actually laughed out loud. I had to remind him that not everyone is as perceptive as he is.

In his retirement, Bryan plans to write memoirs of his international adventures, publish a photo book, do long-term mission work in Haiti and work on his golf game. Like me, Bryan gets bored easily, so he is always looking for his next adventure. It sounds like he’s never in the same place for long, which makes him a very interesting date and conversation partner, but perhaps not such a great husband or father of my children.

I still haven’t decided if I’m romantically interested in Bryan. He’s a good looking guy. He’s physically fit (just finished a Triathlon) and wealthy (retiring before age 40). We met at church, and he’s a godly man with strong family values and good work/life balance despite being so wildly successful in his career. He’s brilliant and perceptive and interesting and adventurous.

He ended his last text to me with Bisou, which is French for kiss. It is “a warmer, more playful, and more familiar version of bise. It can refer to a kiss on the cheek or on the lips, so may be used when talking to lovers and platonic friends.”

Stability or AdventureI think I need to ask myself two key questions:

  1. Is our attraction purely intellectual, or is there more to it than that?
  2. Do I want stability or adventure?

Authentically Aurora