Love at first sight? Not really… there was, I have to be honest, a little bit of lust. But most certainly not love.
It took a few weeks before I realized it wasn’t just my head that was in this… my heart was too. When did that happen, I asked myself? Now that I look back … I’m pretty sure it happened the moment he laughed.
Wow, even now, my heart skips a beat when I see his face mid-laugh. You should hear it, too. Sometimes it’s a sarcastic laugh … as much as those annoy me (because I’m usually the object of his sarcasm), I believe I would miss them if they weren’t there. Other times, it’s a lead-up laugh before it’s a laugh … these usually happen when he’s on the phone, more than likely with a guy on the other end … these lead-up laughs end up in a high pitched (rather surprising) laugh, which end with a “Sh*t, mayne!” But my favorite, is his laugh. The laugh that is truly from the depths of his belly … the ones he cannot control … the ones that make his face light up like a Christmas tree. These get me. Always. I can be so mad at him, so annoyed, so angry … but when he laughs, I want to punch him, because they always get me.
If it wasn’t when he laughed … then it must have been when I realized that this guy, in actual fact, was more than the arrogance I thought he was … he was a goober! Not the kind of goober that is forced, or the one that makes you feel awkward because they’re really awkward with being a goober and then it’s just, well, awkward. It’s the kind of goober that happens when you least expect it. The perfect moment goober. The “why do you have to be a goober when I’m mad at you, because now our conversation is completely pointless” kind of goober. The kind of goober who leaves me in hysterics in the middle of a phone call, because he is marching like a Nazi around the living room. The kind of goober who insists on tickling you while giggling (or cackling) like a possessed chicken when you’re clearly busy with something else. The kind of goober who dances like a banshee in front of the television during one of my shows, not his. The kind of goober you know that only you can appreciate.
Along with the mushy, romantic stuff … there was his unavoidable “swagger.” It got my attention when he walked into Francesca’s Collections on the first day I saw him, and great goodness, it still gets my attention now. Struttin’ down the stairs with his fresh kicks, fitted hat and smooth surfer style … filling the room with the scent of Chanel Bleu … acting like everything is normal, but meanwhile … Yeah! I get it, I’ve said too much already.
There is also the serious Coach side. The man who challenges young tennis players to be the best, and win Championships back-to-back. The accomplished. The wise. The “good at what he does” and simply “gets things done” side. This was something unexpected, but learned soon after our meeting. I learn later on, that this was his “dream come true” side. But that was only later … so it couldn’t be that.
Aaaah! The face for every picture. Clearly, “perturbed” by something … it must be documented once a camera is in his face. Funny thing is, when this face happens because he is seriously disgusted or shocked by someone else’s misfortune. No matter how serious the matter, or even how disgusting, this face always makes me giggle. I know it wasn’t this face that changed my heart’s mind … this was a face I could only appreciate over time.
The phone conversation face … I can’t get mad at him while on the phone at the dinner table. It’s just impossible. So many varying expressions come while watching him talk on the phone. Serious. Mad. Upset. Shocked. (the lead-up laugh mentioned above). The eye rolls when he clearly wants to get off the phone, but can’t. The pull the phone away from ear and hold in the air while pointing with the other to the phone in the air, and turning his lip up in disgust. (ha ha, I love those.) Seriously, can’t get mad at it. But, it really couldn’t be that either … the first time I witnessed him talk on the phone was when he was getting yelled at by a tennis parent gone fool (that’s a conversation for another time).
The Goober also arises from time to time during a phone conversation — those are just for me, not the talker on the other end. These are important to me, they make me feel like I’m not left out while he’s on the phone, they make me feel like he’s still thinking about me when he’s doing other things. I don’t know if he realizes how much I appreciate that.
There’s that laugh again. Maybe it was the laugh that convinced my heart?
If it wasn’t the laugh … then I give up.