The One Time I Asked Someone To Go Back To My Place
“You had him.”
I rolled my eyes. I most definitely did not have him, and Donna’s belief in me was just as blind as everyone else’s up to that point. We were eating breakfast on the Eastside, and I was relaying a story about how I asked someone to go back to my place a few weeks prior. Donna listened on edge while eating brioche toast and offered her advice.
“You want to know how I got guys to hook-up with me in New York?”
“How did you get guys to hook-up with you in New York?”
“I walked up to them at the bar and said, “What are you doing at 4 am?” and that was it. It worked every time.”
“Donna, that is nothing like the move I made. And, there’s no way that works.”
Donna put her toast down, leaned forward and whispered, “Every. Time.”
My story of every time started a few months earlier. I was standing in the kitchen at work, and a co-worker inserted himself into a conversation I was having with someone else. I looked over. That’s weird. I don’t know you. You’re not even standing that close to us. That was a serious leap to join this conversation and seemed like something someone does when they’re looking for an in.
He was looking for an in.
Over the next few weeks, he started hitting me up while we were at the office and we ran into each other on the way to get coffee in the mornings. He was smart and kind and sometimes funny. He was attractive. I mean, really attractive. I mean, every time his name came up someone in the room said, "He's SO attractive," attractive. He was cool, wore Ramones t-shirts and surfed on the weekends.
He was also seven years younger than me.
I found this out before I started weighing my options for hook-up potential and for some reason going for someone that was basically playing on junior varsity didn't throw me. I didn't normally go for younger men, but it was a new time in life, and I needed to change things up. We got along. YOLO.
I guess Junior Varsity didn't care either. We ended up getting tickets to a garage punk show one weekend and met up for drinks in Hollywood beforehand. The whole time we were out, I couldn’t get over the fact that he was tall with blonde hair and brown eyes. Confession: I love men with blonde hair and brown eyes. They’re so rare though. Where are all those Zack Morris babes at? Stop hanging out with A.C. Slater at The Max and get in my life/bed.
JV and I stayed out until , and I debated whether or not I should ask him to get in my Uber before the end of the night. There is one very important note I need to make here: I’ve never asked someone to go back to my place. Asking someone to go back to my place has never been my strong suit because I’m in no way smooth. If someone has been over it’s because 1) they were already over or 2) they invited themselves. I wasn't sure what move to make, and at the end of the night, we went our separate ways in separate Ubers.
A few of my co-workers noticed me talking to JV the next week at work. They suggested I make a move at a party our office was throwing a few weeks later and told me what line to use with no question it would work. I had every question but didn’t have time to find answers because I was too busy checking all the text messages I got from my now hype team giving me a play-by-play of my interactions with JV. OMG. You’re both talking to each other. You’re both still talking to each other. You’re both STILL talking to each other and totally into it.
At the party, one of my friends pulled me onto the dance floor, and JV joined in. We danced, and when I left the party, JV walked me out and hugged me goodbye. A few times I think. The details get a little fuzzy because there was an open bar and one of the waitstaff had given me bottle service when I walked in. As we said our goodbyes, I asked JV what he was doing after the party. I can’t for the life of me remember what he said, but I ended the conversation with this:
If you want to hang out later, let me know.
And this is where things get good. I mean, really good. I mean, I can’t tell you because I’m saving it for the book I’m writing good. If I told you what happened next, I’d have to tell you that I didn't leave the party for another two hours and that a beer bottle got broken on the ground after a speech about the importance of love. I can't tell you what happened next, but I can tell you this: the line worked. It worked but technically didn’t work. JV didn’t end up coming over because the truth is he wasn't down. And I wasn't down either.
I woke up the next day and got in my head. What was I doing? This was a person I worked with, and if it wasn’t mutual, it could end badly. The fact that our age difference was so alarming only made it worse. What had I gotten myself into?
Over the weekend I couldn't get away from it. Calls, texts, Facetime, you name it: everyone wanted to know the details from Friday night. I told people what happened and that I wasn’t sure what to do next. I hadn't talked to JV that weekend and had no idea what to expect when we got back to work.
The office was dead quiet as I made my way to my desk on Monday morning to face reality. No one made eye contact with each other. The great thing about open bars at office parties is that they guaranteed you and everyone else in attendance will say something stupid to their co-workers. Although it wasn't stupid to ask JV to hang out, the thought that I wasn’t alone put me at ease. I settled into my desk and looked straight at my computer to start work for the day. Maybe I wouldn’t run into JV until that afternoon which would buy me some time to figure out a plan.
I looked up to see JV waving at me on his way to a meeting. Our eyes locked. Fuck. He was never on this side of the office, and I didn't know where to look. I couldn't get out of the gridlock and unenthusiastically raised my hand to wave.
Then, he winked at me. WINKED at me.
I’d spent 48 hours thinking I crossed too many lines by asking him to go back to my place and he winks at me. What was I supposed to do? Be cool about it? How? I didn’t even want to be in this situation. The only situation I wanted to be in was one that ended in a tryst or ride or die, and here we were, winking.
With one simple eye gesture, the ball was in my court. My friends sat me down that weekend and told me what my next move should be. For over an hour a group of ten people sat in my small studio apartment and said, “Kimberly, he’s into you. You're into him too. You have to go for it because he won't.” My friends were right, but I was too busy looking over the edge to jump.
Later that week I sat at my desk and noticed JV in the kitchen. While I looked over at him, I debated what to do in the grand scheme of things. My track record with men wasn’t exactly proven, and the thought of going for it again didn’t put me at ease. Maybe if I closed my eyes, it would go away. Nope, it was still in the kitchen getting coffee and digging through a box of donuts someone brought to the office for their boss's birthday. My co-workers could see it in my face. They hit me up.
What's happening with you and JV?
You gotta get in there.
I don't know if I texted "I can't," but those words weighed heavy on me like a knot in my chest. I was sick of losing but couldn’t get away from being defeated. This "I can't" had nothing to do with JV and everything to do with the ledge I was stuck on, the ledge that I couldn't seem to jump off of. When was I going to leap? I’d been standing up there for 30 years. Where was the woman that said YOLO at the beginning of this? The one that without question can take the leap and throw herself into a situation? The one that is fearless?
I wasn’t concerned with JV anymore. I was concerned with the same story my life continued to tell. Maybe Donna and everyone else’s belief in me wasn’t blind. Maybe she and my friends believed what I didn’t: that I had it.
While I was busy standing on a ledge, JV got with one of his girls on the side. Men that are cool always have girls on the side, and that’s something you have to know going in. He was with some girl that didn't even live in the same city. I didn't do much digging past that because it isn't my business, but because of the internet, we all always make it our business. I'm sorry to report that she’s pretty. I'm not sorry to report that this experience with JV has motivated me to do this: the next time you meet a tall, blonde-haired, brown-eyed man that's on the market you better text me. Don't hesitate for one second. Ask him what he’s doing at 4 am, tell him not to move and I'll be right there.