"You're a wonderful person."
It was an odd salutation to offer the hottest man I've talked to in months, but it was a perfect way to wrap up a wonderful evening full of fun, flattery and depth.
The evening got a late start - I had another party to go to in another part of town - so I finally arived to the neighborhood that is home to my South of the Ohio River Bedroom at around 10:30 pm.
Bluegrass Brit and I got to the street party on Monroe and found a hundred people and a cover band on a small, surprisingly well lit stage. Rusty, The Devine Ms. M, G, Zooey, Bluegrass Brit - everyone was there (well, except for Jos, but he is an enigmatic, elusive man, so we don't worry when he's not there), with more than enough beer and smiles to go around for everyone.
I sipped on my chardonnay, trying to catch up to the revelry that had commenced at 5 pm, and chatted with some of Zooey's friends. She reacquainted me with two guys who I met last time we all had rip roaring time in the town once called home by the Mob.
As we exchanged pleasantries, I got a bit of a vibe from one of these two gentlemen - it was more than a sense of something friendly. We were enjoying each other's company, flirting, when the crowd decided to head back to the Jug House. The Guy turned my direction and pulled at an imaginary rope around my waist, saying he wanted to make sure I wasn't too far behind.
We went in for a few cold drinks and a few songs on the juke box and Zooey sweetly insisted I sing along to some of the more karaoke-esque selections on rotation - Janis, Johnny and Cher. The Guy didn't even try to conceal his interest, staring into my eyes and remarking that I looked far younger than my age - I couldn't help but agree that he wore his 45 very well, looking more like 38, what with his tight physique, tanned skin and spiky-gelled 'do.
We all walked back to Zooey's house to sit on the back patio while enjoying some wine and smokes. The Guy gave me a clever tour of all the flora featured on the tiny, postage stamp patio and then wormed his way onto a seat right next to mine under the big, expansive umbrella.
He said my eyes sparkled.
He said I was beautiful.
He said I was brilliant.
I must admit, my Bullshit Meter spiked on occasion while I enjoyed all the flattery, but I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be showered with compliments by a handsome, witty man. I am still walking around with a little swagger.
We talked about life, determination and overcoming adversity and shared a mutual admiration for similar personal philosophies.
Then we walked under the arbor, the last two people to leave the patio and we turned to say goodbye. That's when I offered my truly cheesy and instantly regrettable, "You're a wonderful person."
I don't know how things will be next time I see The Guy. I am sure we will be friendly and polite and otherwise congenial, but I can't say for certain whether the connection will be there again.
To be honest, the whole evening restored some much needed confidence in the 'ol gal.
I guess there's something about a steamy, summer night and the starlight that has a way of encouraging romance.