December 13th-19th, 2012
There were 5 days between me buying a plane ticket for Adam to arrive in Utah for Christmas and him actually arriving, and there was a lot for me to do in preparation for his arrival. I needed to alert all people and locations that I’d be having a plus one with me, because he’d be coming to a holiday dinner at my sister’s house, and he’d be seen at my spa Align, both as a guest and a provider, so I needed to have those conversations. Another detail to take care of was that Adam had casually mentioned that he didn’t have any winter clothing with him in Costa Rica, because he usually went to Chicago in the winter to see his family, so he had winter clothes there. And his board shorts, t shirt and flip flops weren’t going to cut it for a week in the Utah winter, so away I went to find clothes for him from a few different sources.
First, I turned to my friend Justin, who I met in 2011 on Match.com. We’d briefly dated but soon found we enjoyed each other more as being just friends, so we stuck with that. And since he was roughly Adam’s clothing and shoe size, asking him was a great place to start. Justin was happy to help, so I borrowed a coat, some shoes, a sweatshirt and a hat, and he brought the box of clothes over to my house the evening before Adam arrived. I also stopped by Express for Men and the sale rack at Macy’s in downtown Salt Lake City, where I got Adam a winter jacket, some flannel shirts, jeans and some cozy looking sweatpants. Without blinking an eye I spent almost $300 to assure Adam was warm enough, and I noticed that spending that money on Adam felt fun and not stressful at all. It felt along the same lines as when I bought his plane ticket; like it was an investment I was making and not an expense.
I had my house cleaned the day I went to pick Adam up and stocked up on a few of my favorite pre-made snacks and drinks from Whole Foods, because I didn’t cook, and didn’t want to give off the impression that I knew a lot about navigating the kitchen. I dressed my massage table up nicely and looked around at how nice my treatment room and whole house looked. And because it was my second living room, I had a shelf for some clothes, so I cleared off 2 shelves for Adam, so he could settle in and make himself comfortable. My house in Salt Lake City was a cozy duplex in a cute neighborhood called 9th and 9th and it had a shotgun layout, which meant you walked into my front living room, then into my massage room, through a hallway that had my washer/dryer on the right and my bathroom on the left, and then you were in my kitchen, which I’d painted lime green. Straight off the kitchen there was one more room that served as my bedroom, and I’d painted it a beautiful grey/blue on 3 walls, and the 4th wall I’d painted in chalkboard paint, so it had inspirational quotes all over it, reminding myself of the life and mindset I wanted to have more regularly. My bedroom had a little door out to a backyard that I didn’t use in the winter time. It just had a concrete slab with my grill, so I just stored my bike and pink scooter back there with a tarp over it. A member of my staff at the spa lived on the other side of the duplex, so it felt like home. This was the most ready I’d ever felt in all aspects of my life for anything. I got a blow out on my hair from my friend Nikki, told Zona dog Adam was coming and even cleaned and vacuumed my car. I’d also carefully picked out a few outfits to rotate between over the course of the next few days and kept them all on the top of my stacks of clothes, hopefully not giving away that I’d given too much thought to my clothing choices. It was time, so I headed to the airport in Salt Lake City with a bag of winter clothes to pick up Adam and dress him, and I was so nervous I barely noticed that I arrived about 30 minutes before his flight even touched down. I parked in short term parking, cracked the windows of my car so that Zona dog could enjoy the cool breeze, listened to some music for a few minutes and breathed, and then slowly went inside to wait.
I left the bag of clothes for him to change into in the car because I didn’t want to be carrying a big bag when I first saw him, so there I was in the Delta terminal baggage claim empty handed and trying to sit patiently in a chair against the wall and wait, but I was too nervous. So I paced back and forth in front of where people came out from their flight and kept visiting the bathroom because I pee a lot when I’m nervous. I finally saw the indication on the flight monitor that he’d touched down, and I watched a large herd of people walk quickly out of the sliding doors of the terminal and into the baggage claim, and my eyes kept scanning each one looking for Adam, but I didn’t see him. The flow of people slowed down and he still wasn’t there, so I began to get nervous he’d missed his flight, but had no way to tell me since he didn’t have a U.S. phone. It felt like we were back to old times where I just had to wait and trust our last communication the night before that he’d show up. And then, after it felt like there was no one else trickling out from the terminal, there he was, walking slowly and thoughtfully towards me in his board shorts, flannel shirt and flip flops. He lit up when he saw me and greeted me with wide open arms and a sweet kiss. Adam attracted attention to himself because no one else was dressed like it was summer time, and we stayed in an embrace for what felt like 10 minutes. Even though I knew he was coming and I’d booked his ticket, I was still shocked Adam was actually here by my side again, and it was the most natural feeling in the world. Adam the healer from Costa Rica was now here in Utah as my guest for the next week; so what now? He’d say do nothing and just be here now. Ok, I’d do my best.
Adam didn’t have any luggage, so we went straight from the baggage claim up to the covered garage where Zona dog was waiting patiently in the car for us. I drove a black Subaru Impreza Sport, and you could clearly see which car was mine because it was not only sparkling clean, but it also had my spa logo along the side and custom red rims around the wheels that matched the logo. Zona dog saw us coming and I could tell she was taking Adam in, and when he opened the car door to meet her, she came to him instantly, and let him caress her, which I loved. We opened the bag of clothing I’d brought, and he put on a sweatshirt, pants, socks, shoes, and a hat, and got into the passenger seat of my car now looking completely different than the shirtless hippie I’d met almost 2 weeks ago.
December 19-23, 2012
Upon Adam’s arrival I was a little over 2 weeks into my sabbatical from work, and what started as a quiet self inquisitive hiatus to go seeking me, became a very public, “Harriet’s got who in town? And she’s doing what?” It was fun and a little intimidating, especially since I’d just spent Thanksgiving in Ohio with one man, but was now spending Christmas with another; but I wasn’t apologizing because it was exactly what I wanted. I knew I was breaking an unspoken relationship law with how long you have to wait before getting into a new relationship, but I couldn’t help it, it was just how things were moving.
But what I loved most about having Adam in town was that he knew what I was up against having him there; the opinions of others could be fierce, so he did what any healer would do and quietly leaned in and upped his healing game. He offered to do free healing sessions on anyone from my spa team who stepped up, and he also said yes to offering his services to spa guests, so we sent out an email blast letting guests know he’d be available for appointments, and between my staff and spa guests, we watched Adam’s schedule begin to fill up, and this was a first for everyone, to be offering healing sessions at the spa, from my romantic interest. It was a bold move to offer his services to others, and even bolder to let my entire spa email list know he’s in town, but I felt good about it and so did he. Because if I was going to do this thing with Adam; whatever “this” was, I’d need my team behind me, so when I saw my spa director Calli book with him, it made me so happy. She wanted to like and trust him, and the best way to get to know him was to do a healing session.
Calli had an impactful healing session with Adam; she’d been working through the sudden death of her dog a few months prior, and was struggling. But after her healing session, that night she had a vivid dream with her dog Chaz, where she was able to love on her and say goodbye, and she said she woke up with a new peace that she hadn’t felt in months, that she attributed to the healing session. We got similar positive feedback from other staff and spa guests, and I watched as Adam kept affecting people and softening them with just his presence. It felt like Adam was a member of the team and not a visitor from a foreign country feeling things out and I could tell he’d gotten the clear approval from my Align staff. At one point, I remember healing one of my staff say, “if you don’t pursue this thing with Adam, we’ll all quit; he’s THAT great for you.” And hearing that validation from others what I was already feeling, felt wonderful.
A few days into his Utah visit, Adam had successfully met some of my friends in Salt Lake, friends in my yoga community, and had integrated himself peacefully into my spa community, but it was now time for him to meet my family for dinner.. My sister invited us over for a Christmas dinner a few days before the actual Christmas day, and it would be with my mom, my brother and his wife and my brother in law and nephew, so he’d be getting a lot of introductions in one night. My younger brother were in town from Spokane, Washington, and he is an attorney and she was in vet school. We arrived to my sister’s house before anyone else and got a glass of wine, and when my brother & his wife arrived, Adam greeted them with a warm hug, which I could tell made both of them a little uncomfortable because my family are not big huggers.
I thought the night went smoothly and I observed Adam having light hearted conversations with everyone, including my brother, who I could tell was a little on edge being around Adam. What was that about I wondered? I had no idea. At the dinner table, Adam slid my chair closer to his so that we could sit closer and he kept touching my arm or shoulder and kissing me on the cheek, which were not huge acts of affection, but to a family that is not affectionate, I could tell his G rated public display of affection was making everyone a little uncomfortable, but he didn’t seem to care, and he still showed me love. My family did their best to get to know Adam and understand how and why he’d gone to a top rated school like Duke University, which showed he was very intelligent, but yet he only worked in a surf shop that sold crystals and he didn’t have a credit card. Adam as a whole didn’t make much sense to them, but from what I saw, they were friendly and inviting to him.
We were leaving for Chicago early the next day to be with Adam’s family, and we still had to drop Zona dog at my mom’s house for her sleepover and drive back down the canyon and pack, so we said our goodbyes to my family and I watched and smiled as everyone awkwardly hugged, not knowing when or if they’d see Adam again, and we left. And I realized that for the amount of anxiety I’d worked myself into regarding this meet n greet, it had gone far better than I expected. My family knew that I often had dramatic entrances and exits of men into my life, so this was no different, but I could tell they didn’t know if they should get their hopes up for me, because this guy lived in Costa Rica and was quite a bit younger than me, so it was a lot for them to take in. Or maybe it was a lot for me to take in and I was projecting, who knows. We drove back down to my house in Salt Lake and Adam shared how much he enjoyed my family and how much he was enjoying himself in general, especially since we’d be seeing his family the next day. When we got home we both packed clothes into 1 bag, got everything mostly ready, and went to sleep.
The next morning before we left for the airport I saw I’d missed a call from my dad, which was odd, because he seldom initiates contact. I hadn’t had a chance to fill him in on all the details of what was unfolding in my life yet, but this was as good a time as any, so I prepared myself and returned his call and he answered on the first ring, “hey, so I talked to Jay last night and he said you’re in a new relationship.”
“Hi dad, yes I am, and his name is Adam and he’s amazing.”
“Yeah, Jay told me about him.”
“I’m curious dad, what did Jay say?” Here I was about to get a second hand interpretation of my brother’s impression of Adam, which was going to be interesting I could tell already.
“Well Harriet, I don’t know what to say, because Jay told me that Adam lives in Costa Rica, and that he moved there to smoke pot after dropping out of Duke and that while at dinner at Katherine’s, he smoked pot in front of Andrew (my 7 year old nephew).”
Listening to my dad recount the false words from my brother, I could feel the anger sizzling up in my chest. I could barely understand what my dad even saying to me right now because it was so far from the truth about Adam.
“Excuse me dad? Is that what Jay told you?”
“Well none of that is true, except that he lives in Costa Rica, so I’m going to call Jay and call you back.” And I hung up on my dad and immediately dialed my brother’s number to find out what what the hell was going on with my brother to make him lie like this.
My brother answered on the first ring.
“Ummm, Jay, why did you tell dad a bunch of lies about Adam? He graduated from Duke, and he moved to Costa Rica for a teaching job he got after Duke, and sure he may smoke pot, but he doesn’t sell it and he didn’t do anything in front of anyone last night. What the hell is wrong with you?”
Mockingly, Jay responded that Adam’s answer to how he got to Costa Rica seemed a little shady to him, and that he saw Adam and I walk over to the corner of my sister’s living room and bent down at one point, and it looked like we were lighting up.
I stopped him there because I couldn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth. Here my brother was an attorney, and this is how he treats his interpretation of the truth?
“Jay, if Adam’s journey of how he got to Costa Rica was unclear to you, you should have asked, and as for why we bent down in a corner in my sister’s living room, it was so that I could show him the pictures on the bottom shelf, which had a lot of our family and friends. I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish with these lies, but please call dad and tell him that you just completely fabricated the truth. Goodbye.” And I hung up. Shortly after I called my dad back to verify that Jay had indeed called to correct his story, and my dad just laughed saying he did, but he wasn’t at all concerned that his son, the attorney, had just told a bold faced lie about my...boyfriend? I still wasn’t even sure what I was calling Adam, but regardless, I was pissed at how my dad had just been introduced to Adam, but Adam just rolled his eyes and smiled. I called my sister to tell her what had happened, and she listened and apologized for my brother’s behavior. But when I asked her what she thought of Adam, she paused a little longer than usual and said, “Harriet, Adam is such a nice guy; but I just don’t think he makes enough money to support the kind of lifestyle you’re used to.” And with that, I got off the phone with my head spinning.
I knew everyone was going to have their own opinion of what I was doing with Adam, and I knew not all those opinions were going to be light and positive, but I didn’t expect such drama and assumptions from my family, so I did my best to let it go and not be bugged. I was happy to be leaving Utah for a few days, so I could really begin to digest all that was unfolding, because it was a lot to take in. And as we boarded the plane for Chicago, Adam assured me everything would be fine and things with his family would be far more smooth. And away we went to find out.
More to come soon...