Great on paper

Summer 2009

JAG Man sightings during the month of June made for some interesting dog walks around my neighborhood. JAG Man always warranted a look back and a smile from me. (There are those girls who never show interest or flirt with a guy before he shows interest in them. But, that "playing coy" thing has – thankfully — never been my style.)

JAG Man's suits and shirts looked as though they were custom-made. His color palette proved that a real man can wear lavender and pink. And, his face and body were also easy on the eyes. Imagine a man who is 6'1" with a soccer player body and a dark black complexion.

JAG Man never was outside sans papers and a red pen in his hand. I would have put money on the fact that he was a lawyer working for one of the firms near my condo.

There was only one thing that I found strange regarding my initial impression of JAG Man. He never smiled back at me. He wasn't wearing a wedding band, and he didn't pique my fairly accurate gaydar. Maybe he had a girlfriend? Or he wasn't attracted to white women? Or he only approached women dressed professionally? I was a tad perplexed since I'm used to at least getting some reaction from a guy when I smile at him. (I'm not writing that to be arrogant, but at 5'10" with long red hair and very fair skin, I don't exactly blend in a crowd.)

In late June, I was walking my dog and saw JAG Man at the end of the block. I smiled at him per usual, and he nodded with closed lips. In comparison to our previous interactions, that seemed like progress! A few minutes later, he walked toward me and stopped right in front of me. Then, he reached for his phone and abruptly turned around. Man, this guy was one step forward and one step back! Later that evening, I saw JAG Man walking with a woman. I couldn't tell if they were together or not, but I decided to err on the side of caution that she might be his girlfriend.

I hadn't seen JAG Man for a couple of weeks when I ran into him again on July 16th. He was outside of his office building, editing a document. I found it odd that he was still wearing his suit, shirt and tie at 6:30pm, especially considering that it was 90 degrees with 80% humidity. As my dog was sniffing the newly planted mulch, I caught JAG Man's eye as he looked up and said,

"I give you credit for keeping your jacket on in this weather."

"Well," he replied, "I hadn't even thought about taking it off since I'm going back into the office in a few minutes."

A few minutes turned into almost an hour, as we stood outside of his office and talked. I realized within short order that JAG Man was more shy than aloof. Early on in the conversation, he brought up the fact that he had wanted to approach me before, but was always in a rush. He even talked about the night that he almost came up to me. Apparently, he had wanted to say hello to me, but was distracted waiting for his friend (not girlfriend!) from college.

The more we talked, the more it became very obvious that we had a lot in common. We both:

*Had lived overseas as teenagers and loved languages;
*Were lawyers and went back to school for our master's degrees;
*Were active with charities;
*Valued our faith;
*Rooted for the NY Giants despite the fact that we both had resided in DC since the mid-1990s. (NFC East rivalries are hardcore.)

JAG Man was only two years older than me, but he was so professionally accomplished that you would have thought he was in his 50s. He was regularly interviewed on television news shows, served on nonprofit boards and legal committees, and was the national president of his fraternity's alumni chapter. There is good on paper, and there is great on paper. He was clearly the latter!

"It was wonderful to talk with you. I hope that we can do it again soon. Please e-mail me when you get back upstairs," JAG Man told me as his handed me his card.

I took his card, and we hugged goodbye. I walked back inside my building with a little extra spring in my step and a huge smile on my face. I wanted to e-mail him right away, but I figured that I would exhibit some restraint…and wait two hours ;).

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