After Sean and I cleared the air about his friend Michelle (guys are such effective communicators!), we agreed to meet the following weekend.
I also noticed around that time that his match.com profile was absent.
It was good to know there wouldn't be any confusion like what had ensued the previous week.
Since he had driven to Virginia to meet me, I drove up to his turf in Maryland this time.
The directions were easy enough, but my stomach sank as I turned into his neighborhood. A large, brick gateway guarded the entrance, pronouncing the town's name.
Great, I thought. This is one of those snotty, rich communities. I was relieved, at least, when the address turned out to be for a town home.
Sean greeted me outside and we went in to chat. The "f" word quickly made a huge and frequent appearance: family. I met one of his younger brothers, saw pictures of his other brother and sister, and soonafter my arrival, his mother came home. Yep. Dinner with mom on the second date.
In retrospect I'm sure this is creeping some people out. Now that I'm telling the story it does seem rushed and strange. But coming from a relationship where the jerk would run into friends in public and not even introduce me (I never "formally" met his family in our 11 months together), it was refreshing. It was an anti-red flag: I knew he wouldn't be so careless as to cheat if I was meeting key people in his life so early on.
Another anti-red flag was one I'd heard of since childhood, but never before paid heed to. You ladies know the one:
"Watch how he treats his mother, because that's how he's going to treat you!"
I'll be the first to admit that teenage Bekah thought that was rubbish. Then again, teenage Bekah was a teenager, and how many teenagers appreciate their parents appropriately?
Back to the point. The anti-red flag. It was clear he LOVED his mom. I'd never dated a guy and seen this type of interaction. It was, again, refreshing.
His mom at the time worked overnight and was quickly off. To bed or to work, I don't remember.
We flipped on the TV and watched Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. I had wanted to see the film before, but hardly paid attention to it then (and still haven't to this day. whoops!). I was too busy studying Sean and his home.
Sean must have noticed me looking around. He told me to keep looking. Eventually he got me to look into an unassuming Tupperware container that I had paid no mind to. Inside was his first gift to me - one he bought while in Michigan:
|It's currently hanging in our living room.|
A local merchant had taken leaves, dipped them in copper, and sold them from the simple to the designed. Sean proved he had been listening: he had chosen the leaf that looked the most like Precious Moments (I used to collect), and that appeared to have the least purple tint (the color I hate).
Aside from family, the "f" word was also firsts: first family meeting, first time in his home, first gift, and as I left to go home, our first kiss: a light peck on the lips to end the night.
Come back for more next week!
[update: part 6 here]