Philly Matt

(Not that) Happy Birthday to me!

March-April 2006

Philly Matt was heading to Qatar with the Air Force Reserves in five weeks so I tried to focus on the positive. He was a great guy, and I wanted to make our relationship work. But, when we saw each other in early March, our problems resurfaced yet again.

I was looking for assurances that Matt and I wouldn't have to stay in the long-distance mode upon his return from the Gulf, but he didn't feel comfortable committing to that. He also was frustrated with his dwindling hours of work on the base, and that understandably affected his mood and his income.

I didn't know what would happen once he left for Qatar, but I decided to ride things out. I knew how I felt about him and how he made me feel when things were good. Wasn't that enough for now?

I tried to be as supportive as I could be in the present and also began thinking of ways to make his deployment easier. I downloaded Skype on my computer, and bought cards to send him after he went overseas. (My favorite card said, "The love I feel for you is in my heart. The distance between us is just geography." I thought that summed it up perfectly!) I imagined us on Skype and AIM for hours and started to view his departure as a way for him to feel better about himself professionally and for us to reconnect emotionally.

And then…things went from so-so to worse. Three weeks before he was scheduled to leave for Qatar, he got a call from the base commander and learned that Reservists from Pennsylvania were not being deployed…at all!

Philly Matt didn't know what he was going to do professionally. The base at which he worked was closing. He wasn't heading to Qatar. And, the big pay-out that the Air Force told him was coming from his deployment wasn't! That's not a fun position for anyone to be in!

My glass is always half-full so I talked about the benefits of him staying in the States. (He could be closer to his kids and to me, he could now look for a full-time job, and he didn't have to deal with being in the desert for 3-12 months.) Sometimes, Philly Matt would play along with that, but other times, he wouldn't. I tried to get him excited about the fact that now we could spend our birthdays together. (We were born three days apart in early April.) I wouldn't say he was necessarily thrilled about it, but he did come down to DC so we could celebrate together.

Matt got into town on the evening of his birthday. I greeted him at Union Station with a balloon, and ushered him off to Filomena for dinner. I was friends with the chef, and he took great care of us.

When we got back to my place, I gave Philly Matt his present: the first season of Lost on DVD; a t-shirt from French Connection; and a mushy card. I didn't want to do too much and make him feel uncomfortable, but I also wanted to do enough to make him feel special. Mission accomplished!

On the day before my birthday, Philly Matt joined my friends and me for lunch and games at Dave and Buster's (one of my guilty pleasures). The next day was my actual birthday. When Matt and I woke up, we had sex. Being in bed with him was always good, but when we were done, I felt a bit confused. I kept waiting for some acknowledgment of my birthday. A card. Singing me "Happy Birthday!" A little gift. Breakfast in bed. Flowers. Something!

But, something never came. When we arrived at Union Station, we waited in line for his train to board. As we kissed goodbye, he said,

"Happy Birthday!"

I guess that was something?!? But, that couldn't be it, could it? As I drove home from the train station, I got it in my head that he had left me a card or present at the house as a surprise. When I arrived at my condo, though, it didn't take me long to realize that there wasn't any surprise.

Philly Matt had come down to DC so that we could spend our birthdays together, which was what I had wanted. Well, partly. I had also hoped that he would make some effort to show me that he cared.

I spent my birthday afternoon, bonding with a box of Kleenex and wondering if I needed more than this. Was this relationship worth fighting for?

It’s always sunny with Philly Matt

June 2005

I left NYC a day early to stop off in Philadelphia to go out with Philly Matt. We hadn't seen each other since my Girls' Weekend in Philadelphia in late April. I got off the train and took the escalator up to the main level of the station. There Matt was…looking as fine as ever in his jean jacket and French Connection t-shirt. We gave each other a long, close hug, and I sighed to myself. It felt good to (finally) choose a nice guy!

Philly Matt had less than 24 hours to plan our date, but he still put some thought into it. We drove off to a restaurant in Olde City. There was a fireplace inside with a lot of warm wood and European beers on tap. The restaurant was casual, but romantic. We grabbed a drink at the bar, while we waited for a table. He turned to me and said,

"It's already 8. I'm happy to bring you back to the station after dinner so you can get a train back to DC tonight. But, on the chance that you wanted to stay over, I reserved a room for you at the Westin. I don't mean to be presumptuous, and I'm happy to go home tonight or sleep on the couch in the hotel room. I just wanted to spend as much time with you as I could, and I didn't want to worry about you on the train at midnight."

I looked at him and smiled, "That was really thoughtful, Matt. I would love to stay over. I'm sure the couch will work, too."

In less than an hour, Philly Matt had exhibited several qualities that I wasn't used to seeing in the guy that I was dating. (Thoughtful and communicative guys might be the norm for some girls, but not me.) I could tell that I was ready for a nicer guy because his comments and actions didn't scare me off in the slightest.

Matt sat at the bar for over an hour, talking about his children, my job and how we met. When we finally got to a table, I realized that I hadn't stopped smiling since he picked me up from the station. Philly Matt made me laugh and feel safe all at the same time.

I could tell that I liked him when I showed him my dorky side. He excused himself to go to the bathroom, and I took one of my business cards out of my purse and wrote a little note on the back about how fine he was. When he returned to our table, he saw the card on his chair, read it and laughed out loud.

After dinner, we went over to Club 27 where we met. We danced a bit. And, then, that part of me that can over-think relationships with men kicked into gear. For over two years, my world revolved around Basketball Boy. Even when I was seeing other guys, I just viewed them as temporary companionship and would drop everything for Basketball Boy. Now, I was looking at Philly Matt and only thinking about him. Did he have boyfriend potential?

We didn't stay long at the club since it was packed. We headed back to the Westin, and I set some ground rules: I didn't want to do anything south of the border. If he was okay with that, I was fine with him sleeping in the bed with me.

Philly Matt wasn't just fine with that, but he thought that it was smart to take things slow and get to know each other. Wow! Now, that was refreshing!

Our time together in the hotel room reminded me of the second night that we spent together in April. His mouth was so warm. His tongue was engaging and passionate without being sloppy. When he kissed me, I felt weak in the knees – no matter whether we were standing up or lying down.

In the morning, we woke up and just picked up where we left off. We made out for over an hour like we were in high school. At noon, he realized that he didn't know when checkout time was. He picked up the phone and called the front desk.

"Yes, I was wondering what time checkout is? [Pause.] Noon, huh? [Pause.] As in, right now? [Pause. He laughs.] Well, would it be possible to have a later checkout? [Pause.] Thank you!"

We had another two hours. Oh, in case you're wondering how we spent that time, we used 15 minutes to get ready and the rest of the time to kiss each other some more. I know that we had brunch afterward, but couldn't tell you where or what we talked about. I just remember boarding the train that afternoon to DC and thinking that I would be spending much more time in Philadelphia. *Sigh*

There’s something about Philly Matt

April 2005

Our second evening in Philadelphia found us at dining at Tangerine and grabbing drinks at Lucy's. I wanted to go to Club 27 to see Philly Matt again, but I deferred to the Birthday Girl, Nizzle, as to her wishes for the evening. (I could always pop into the club to give Matt my number on our way to the next bar, right?)

As the clock hit 1:00am, we finally headed over to Club 27. The security manager at the door recognized us, and within a few minutes, Philly Matt was at the door. He hugged us all hello and escorted us upstairs. There was the usual dancing and drinking, and by the time the club closed, my friends were three Drunky Brewsters!

The plan was for my group to grab drinks or pizza with Philly Matt and his friend, Grant, after they were done with work. When the club cleared out, all of us relaxed in one of the front rooms.

"I need to go home," Nizzle moaned, as she slumped down on the couch. Since the Birthday Girl had hit the wall, AP and Grant helped carry her the two blocks to her apartment.

While Barla talked with a club employee, Philly Matt and I sat in the corner, holding hands. He put his other hand on my face and turned my head toward him, planting the sweetest, softest kiss on my lips. (There were 15 other people in the room at the time and I had absolutely no idea what they were doing or saying.) When our mouths parted a few minutes later, I had a huge smile on my face and leaned back to rest my head on Matt's chest.

It was past 3am by the time the boys got paid. Barla and AP were craving pizza, but the closest place that was open at that hour was on the South Side of town. As we walked to Philly Matt's SUV, the girls chanted, "Pizza, pizza."

Five minutes later, there was something else on their minds, as the chants turned to "Pee pee, pee pee." Matt and Grant were true gentlemen, despite the fact that my friends acted like the girl version of Beavis and Butt-head. We arrived at the pizza place to find several guys taking off their jackets (no clue why) and shoving each other.

"Somebody's gonna get shot!" Barla exclaimed, as Matt ushered us quietly inside the pizzeria before anyone heard us.

Once inside, the girls were understandably disappointed that there were no public bathrooms inside. (Seriously! What kind of neighborhood is this?) They both wanted some pepperoni pizza, but a huge sign above the counter said:

Plain Pizza Only!

(Again…what kind of place is this?)

I tried my best to calmly explain to my friends that there was no pepperoni, until one of my girls screamed,

"Who do I have to blow to get some pepperoni around here?"

You could've heard a pin drop in that pizzeria, even though it was packed with patrons. One employee even stopped what he was doing to raise his hand. (Can't blame a guy for trying.) Matt kept us focused, though, moving us forward through the line to order our plain slices.

We downed the pizza in the car on the ride back to the hotel. When we got back to our room, the guys each took one of the chairs and I sat on the bed closest to them. Even though there was another bed, my friends proceeded to jump on me and pet my boobs. I laughed at their antics since it was hysterical, but I also tried to keep getting to know the guys. (Matt was incredibly nice, handsome and a great kisser. I wanted to know more!)

"How old are you guys?" I asked. Matt replied that he was 36, and Grant that he was 35.

"PIG!!! COCK!!!" AP exclaimed.

The guys just stared at her, as I tried to translate,

"What my inebriated Asian friend is trying to say is, 'How interesting Grant that you were born in the Year of the Pig, and you, Matt, were born in the Year of the Rooster! Chinese astrology is fascinating!'"

The guys and I continued talking as AP and Barla started to fall asleep. It turned out that Matt has two children.

"How old are they?" I inquired.

"6 and 10," he replied.

The girls awoke, and one of them screamed, "You have 10 kids???"

I clarified the situation for them and they closed their eyes again. (Note that they were still sleeping on top of my boobs at the time.)

The girls finally passed out for good, as I walked Matt and Grant to the elevator bay. Grant said goodbye to me, and I thanked him for taking such good care of my girls. He told Matt that he would meet him downstairs, which I later learned was code for "I'll talk to you tomorrow."

When Grant got in an elevator, Philly Matt kissed me again. For over two hours, we stood in the elevator bay, making out like we were in high school. Our kisses got more and more passionate, as he grabbed under my sweater and I put my hands between his jeans and briefes. You know those kisses that make a guy hard and a girl wet? This was one of those. On a scale of 1 to 10, his kisses were an 11!

Matt and I only came up for air when we heard the elevator stop or someone rolling their suitcase down the hall. We finally said goodbye at 6:30am(!), exchanging numbers and one last kiss.

I fell asleep with a smile on my face. That smile got bigger as I received a text from Philly Matt several hours later on the ride home:

It was wonderful spending time with you this weekend. I hope to see you soon, and I'll call you during the week.

I still loved Baseball Boy and was thrilled that he was moving back to DC, but there was something about Philly Matt. Hmm…

* I have worked with rape victims and don't intend this to be insensitive to the horrifying pain and sadness that they have endured. I merely mention this to support both how drunk my friends were and how cool Philly Matt is.

Next Posts: From a high to the lowest of lows with Baseball Boy.

City of Brotherly Love

2005

For the last weekend in April, my friends and I headed to Philly to join our girl, Nizzle, for her birthday. The plan was for eight of the guys and girls from our group to spend the weekend up in Philadelphia with the Birthday Girl, but work and health stuff brought the number down to three girls (me, Barla and AP). I obviously don't wish ankle sprains, merger negotiations, and the flu on my friends, but this Girls' Weekend was one of my favorite getaways ever. You know those times when you laugh so hard that your stomach hurts. Well, that happened the entire weekend.

We arrived in Philly long after the sun had set. After checking into our hotel in Olde City, we barhopped for a bit until we decided that we wanted to dance. As we walked down an alley toward a club, I saw a fine black man outside and said to my girls, "Talk about the City of Brotherly Love!"

We headed inside Club 27. Even though the music was good, there was barely anyone there. We weren't sure if we should stay, but we figured that we would get a table and have at least one round.

Nizzle had quite a few shots in her by this point and jumped up on the seat to start dancing. It was her birthday weekend, though. Who were we to stop her?

The handsome black man from outside approached our table and said,

"Hi ladies. Welcome to Club 27. Are you having a good time tonight?"

"Yes! Definitely!" Barla replied.

We all talked for a few minutes and learned that his name was Matt. Philly Matt worked at Club 27 on Thursdays and Saturdays when the club was packed and the upstairs was opened up for dancing.

"I'll give you a tour later if you'd like. Tonight's not the best night to come here for dancing, but some more people will show up in an hour or so," Philly Matt explained. "Have you been here before?"

"No. It's our friend's birthday so we came up from DC to celebrate with her," I replied as I pointed to Nizzle.

"Oh, Happy Birthday! Well if it's your birthday, then let me by you all a round of shots! I'll be right back with some buttery nipples," he kindly offered.

I tried to stop him to tell him that I don't drink and order a soda in lieu of a shot, but he was already off to the bar. I followed him in the hopes of saving his money and the club's alcohol supply.

"Hey! I just wanted to let you know that I don't drink, but I hope that you'll do my shot for me since I would hate for a buttery nipple to go to waste," I informed him, as I put my arms around him from behind and rubbed his nipples over his shirt until they became hard.

(Yes, folks, I had met this man less than 10 minutes ago and I was already rubbing his nipples! This is still something that Philly Matt and I joke about to this day. He said that he knew from that moment that he had "a live one on his hands!")

The drinks continued to flow, and our groups merged on the dance floor. Because the place wasn't that packed, we had a lot of the floor all to ourselves. There were a lot of moments when my girlfriends' heads were between my boobs, legs were in the air, and booties were getting slapped. We had a blast!

Before the club closed for the night, Philly Matt gave us the grand tour. As he was talking, I couldn't stop staring at his smile. It could light up a room! He also had an amazing body. I wasn't looking to meet a guy in Philly (especially since Basketball Boy was moving back to DC in June), but I couldn't deny that I was attracted to Matt.

After seeing the upstairs dance floor with a platform overhead, Nizzle decided to add Club 27 to her official Birthday Party itinerary the following night. As we walked out of the club, Philly Matt and I gave each other a big hug and I kissed him on the cheek.

"I'll see you tomorrow."

"I'm counting on it," he replied.

My Sex Sabbatical

Their mouths open, as they try not to have their jaws drop right in front of me. I see their eyes getting wider. There are long, awkward pauses in the conversation. And, then, inevitably my friends will say, "Really? Seriously?" Yes, I tell them. I am on a sex sabbatical. And, I couldn't be happier.

I've alluded to taking a break from serious and sexual relationships in an earlier post. When I ended things with Lawyer Boy last November, I didn't want to repeat my usual pattern of rushing into a relationship or getting back with an ex-boyfriend. Both responses were classic, albeit temporary, ways of trying to make myself feel better at the time. And, in the end, my feelings and the need to process moving on from someone I loved couldn't be ignored.

In November, I told myself that I wouldn't have sex for three months. When February hit, I thought it would be "Go Time," and that I could just get back on that proverbial horse. But, spending time with my ex, Philly Matt, on The Skip Trip with my friends showed me that I wasn't ready for that yet…even when the sex would have been as nice, easy and comfortable as slipping on a pair of Cole Haan loafers.

So, three months turned to six. Shortly, after that, I learned that Lawyer Boy and his wife, Darby, were expecting. Darby's pregnancy isn't about me (obviously), but I did need a few weeks to process my feelings about it. Once I knew her due date, I told myself that it was time to exhale and move on…for good. Of course, there are things I miss about Lawyer Boy, but their rocky marriage is just that…theirs!

In the spring, I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. There's a quote from page 149 that resonated with me that I'd like to share with you all:

People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.

But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can't let this one go…[his] purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of that marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so a new light could get in, make you so desperate, and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it's over.

***

When I was in a relationship with Lawyer Boy, I wouldn't say that I was desperate or out of control. I also don't think that he was my soul mate, but we had an extremely intense connection. I've learned more about myself from being with him and then moving on and really taking the time to grieve the loss than I have from any other relationship. (In that sense, the quote from Gilbert's book really spoke to me.) And, now, I find myself happier than I've ever been! I admit that I'm surprised about that, but it makes me smile.

So, how does this all relate to my sex sabbatical? Well, I've been looking at how I've used sex or guys over the years. I've had a hell of a lot of fun and wouldn't change my past if I could. And, I don't want to change the fact that I'm a very sexual person. That's innately part of my make-up. But, I'm at a point where I'm so content with my life that I don't want to add a serious and/or sexual relationship to the mix if it's not worth it. Correction, really worth it.

I've started dating someone recently. We're still getting to know each other, but I like him enough that I don't want to jinx anything by blogging about him. Some of my close friends have asked me how the sex is with him and are shocked that I haven't slept with him yet…and don't plan on doing so anytime soon.

When I have sex next, it's going to mean something. If I just want to get off, I can do that myself. I don't need a man for anything in my life (see: my Single and Proud of It post), and I'm not bringing a guy into my world unless there's added value.

I saw a blurb on TV about Steve Harvey and his relationship book. He described sex as "the prize" for the man and thought that a woman should wait at least 90 days before having sex with a guy. He reasoned that if it takes you 90 days to get health insurance at a new job, then should there be any less of a probationary period for sex?

Three months seems a bit extreme, but I get Harvey's point. When I'm ready to have sex again, I will. And, I won't be blogging about it after it happens — well, at least not for a while ;). As I told my favorite sportscaster last night on the phone, "City Girl is growing up."