I have written about my friend’s first child, personal reminders regarding my faith, and wonderful movies. I have shared plenty of pictures of beautiful women and enjoyed having a platform here to work through personal issues or to entertain in my own little way. I have been running this blog for 9 years, and have had a lot of great posts that I can look back on fondly. Today, though, I have the pleasure of writing what is most likely my favorite I’ve yet published, and it holds such a place for one simple reason:
I’ve met someone :).
Not as in “I’ve met someone and I hope something comes of it” or “I’ve met someone and we had a great date,” but rather “I’ve met someone and she’s my girlfriend and we smooch and stuff.” For many in the world, that would simply be a nice bit of news, but for your friendly neighborhood Mark Mushakian, it’s a revolutionary thing. The number of women I’ve taken out on dates can be counted on one hand, 3 is my record for dates with a single person, and the only relationship I’ve ever had was for 4 months with a friend in which we just kinda fell into something comfortable with each other for the moment. I’m 34 years old, and my romantic experiences thus far have been extremely minimal; I’d never even kissed a woman.
Until this weekend, at least…
Let’s rewind ourselves a bit. I’ll do my best to be concise ;). I play trivia once a week at a pub in Vista. It’s here where I met a new group of friends, and this is also how I met this new girl. Through a series of life-is-interesting-that-way events, she joined our group, and she and I started to get to know each other. She’s the only other similarly-Christian-faithed person in this group, in that her beliefs define her moral choices, she is a working part of her church, and she studies her Bible. Because of this, and the fact that she’s so darn cute, things started to spark a bit between the two of us. Due to certain things that I won’t go into here, though, I was slightly hesitant in making a full pursuit as I didn’t want to feel as if I was taking advantage of a situation. I barely knew the gal, and didn’t yet know how strong she actually is, so I was simply trying to feel things out to be certain that everything was really okay to proceed. But then she wrapped her hands around my arm as we walked and I was done for :).
Still, though.. we’re not quite at that point of the story, yet. Ya know? Forget conciseness! I’ve met someone special; this deserves a darn novelization! So, to begin with, she and I started chatting through Facebook Messenger, to further extend our connection apart from just seeing each other with the group events. After she specifically mentioned going to church and being a Christian (I knew from hearsay) one Monday afternoon, she invited me to her young adult’s Bible study group that evening. It was the first time we’d spent time together one-on-one, and when we went for frozen yogurt afterwards (we actually aimed for gelatos from Rita’s, but they were closed), I realized just how lovely she is and how easy she is to talk with. But it wasn’t time, I thought. She invited me to join her at La Jolla Cove beach the next weekend, and we had a wonderful time watching sea lions play on the beach with us, strolling around the La Jolla downtown village, and just getting to know each other more. We each took a photograph with a curious statue and later made a friendly wager: I would post the picture of her, she would post the picture of me, we’d use the same description and post at the same moment, and whoever attained more “likes” within 24 hours would be the winner — and would get to adorn the other in an outfit selected from a vintage/thrift store we found. As you can see from the images below, it’s an absolute sham that I somehow lost… she is obviously more adorable than I am:
(Her profile is private, but below is the shot she used…)
Taking a brief interlude from our tale to address the topic of pictures, while I am well-known around these parts for adding images of cute babes to my blog posts (because I like cute babes), the cute babe at the top of THIS post is actually now my girlfriend. Hah, yeah… I get to say that now. Getting ahead of myself again. Let’s continue…
On that beach-trip evening, she and I ended up stopping off at The Yellow Deli in Vista, her favorite place, and after our meal we took a stroll around the area. She was a little cold, so I put my arm around her as we walked. She’s a little shorter than I am, a little smaller, and she fits right in so perfectly… but I did have a little trouble keeping the right rhythm to make it comfortable for some reason. After I brought my hand down from her shoulder and placing it in my pocket, she reached out and wrapped her hands around my arm — and THAT I could definitely handle :). We spent the rest of our night together walking, hands on arm and head on shoulder, and talking about everything and anything.
I saw her again for our weekly trivia game that Wednesday, and when the weekend came around it was time for us to act on our little Instagram wager. We didn’t end up finding an outfit for me to wear, but we had plenty of fun perusing a Halloween store, spending time together wandering around Encinitas, and then playing trivia and watching a movie with our group. After that weekend, though, I knew.
I was going to ask her out.
There was no real question as to whether or not she was interested in me, and I’d learned enough about her that I felt the for-her-sake cautious hesitation I’d had while going into this wasn’t warranted, so I was ready to go for it. As I sat in my car after dropping her off on a Monday evening after church group, I knew that the time had come. The next time I was going to see her would be for Wednesday trivia night, so that was to be my moment. Wednesday rolled around, and it was a brilliant night! Our team won first place, and that was just the victorious sort of mood I wanted to go into this with :). The group walked over to get some ice cream after the game, but as I was gazing at her by my side, one of our friends said, “Hey, we should all go swing dancing this Friday!” I smiled, while internally I yelled, “Noooooo!” You see, we had group plans for Saturday and Sunday, church was Monday night, my girl helps lead youth group Tuesdays, and Wednesday we have trivia. So, Friday was going to be our date night, but with this new group plan on the table, I was going to have to wait a whole week to take this girl out. Of course, nobody around new of my plans or internal screaming, so we all verbally signed up for a night of swing dancing together and that was that. I wasn’t deterred in my asking her out, though, that’s for darn sure :).
When I picked her up for trivia that day, I told her that I had something to ask her, but to remind me about it later. Really smooth, I tell ya ;). So smooth, in fact, that when I hugged her goodnight after trivia, I had to say “You forgot to remind me.” I pulled back and as I started to tell her that I’d really enjoyed spending time with her and all of that jazz, I saw her face light up with a smile of realization. She was backlit by a very strong outdoor house light, but it didn’t matter — that smile beamed like the sun popping up in the middle of night. Upon seeing that, I didn’t take long to get to asking her out on a proper date, and she gave me an emphatic “yes!” mixed with a “finally!” response, as well. So, we had to wait a whole week to have our actual date, but we spent most of the days in-between together… with the group and at trivia, but together none-the-less.
Which brings us to date night, September 30. During our beach visit to La Jolla, we came across this nice little Italian restaurant that she mentioned would be nice to visit some day. So, take a wild guess as to where I brought her for our fist date :). It was a surprise, but by the time we got to the area, she had an inkling, and then I walked us right up to that restaurant and she gave my arm an extra squeeze. Acquavite is the name of the joint, and I highly recommend it! The meal was absolutely delicious, not too pricey, and for being a “fancy eatin’ place” it was wonderfully cozy and not stuffy. We echoed our prior visit to the area by again getting gelato and strolling the town, though our relationship was noticeably different. I gave her my coat, she held onto my arm, and we discussed what was next for us. The question of a second date wasn’t even a question that had to be asked, but with how much time we’d been spending together, we were already at the point of not thinking in terms of date numbers. Later on, we ended up parking by the beach and snuggling up together in the back seat of my car (nothing scandalous, I promise you that), and I tell ya, kids… I could’ve fallen asleep and died right there. She played softly with my hand as we sat there together, leaned her head back on my chest. I had never been so comfortable in all of my life than I was that night. I wanted to kiss her, but we were never in the right spot or position for it to not be awkward. I’d never kissed anyone before, but even I knew that much ;).
By the time I dropped her off, I was ready to boldly go where no Mark Mushakian had gone before — to Smoochville. We hugged after she said “Goodnight,” but she held it and we just stood there holding each other. As she pulled back, I kept my hand on her hip. She said that she really liked how my eyes looked in the nighttime light, and hugged me again. I held her hand as we parted and she giggled and again said, “Goodnight.” Signal noted, and I said goodnight as well with a jokingly dramatic pulling away from each other with our hands the last to lose contact. As I told her later, in no way at ALL did I feel bummed about not getting to kiss her, because I was walking on air after that date.
As she and I have grown closer, it’s been a very curious experience for me in terms of other women. I have spent my entire life interested in the opposite sex. Everywhere I go, I notice women… both in terms of aesthetic appreciation and as potential partners. Thirty-four years of experience doesn’t just die overnight, and I can honestly say that it’s been a somewhat strange transition. Not a bad one, but strange. Coincidentally, the final queued image of The Random Beauty auto-posted the day after our first date, and I have had no interest in continuing on with it. I don’t feel as if I HAVE to, but it’s that I want to. I slowly started unsubscribing in chunks from various cute-babe pages on Reddit, and I found that I was sometimes reminding myself when a woman walked by outside at work or I pulled up next to a potentially attractive lady at a stop light… reminding myself that I wasn’t looking anymore. Most of my interest in these visual pursuits is dying off naturally, since I now have someone who fills that spot (and then some!), but some of it has definitely been an effort. More so, it’s just been the readjustment of habits that are simply still there because, as I said above… 34 years.
We had our “second” date a few days after our first, this past Monday — a much simpler affair of a beach day and relaxed dinner. At the beach we really ended up talking about some personal things… she shared, and I shared, and we were physically cozier than ever before. The following morning she sent me a message to inform me that she’d woken up that morning really wanting to kiss me. So, that was all the permission I needed :). My friend Korkie drove down with me to trivia this past Wednesday, so I sure as heck wasn’t going to kiss my girl then with KB awkwardly sitting in the car watching us (Kork-blocked was the term we came up with for that [love ya, Korkie, it’s okay!]). My gal had invited me to see a production of Romeo & Juliet at her college on Friday, though, and I knew that was our opportunity. Not that I was in a rush, really. I really like her, she really likes me, and not once did I feel like I had to do this just to get it over with (as is evident by the fact that I hadn’t kissed anyone for 34 years), but by golly… I just really WANTED to kiss her. Kiss the living heck outta her :).
I’ll admit to you what I admitted to her — I did everything I could to prepare my best for kissing her. I currently have a beard for a Halloween costume, so I used conditioner in my mustache to soften it and combed it the best I could. I looked up “how to kiss” articles online, like a dorky teenager, just to give myself the best shot at being my best this first time out. This is who I am, and I’m okay with it ;).
This Friday, one week after our first date, we went to see our play. It was actually a really fun show, and I enjoyed how accessible they made the usually-indiscernible Shakespeare. When I’d picked her up for our first date, I was blown away by how beautiful she looked. On Friday, I was blown away by how darn sexy she looked ;). I was checking her out all night, I tell ya. Having her cuddle up with me for most of the play wasn’t so bad, either. She and I ended up at Denny’s after the show, because I was darn hungry and she was semi-hungry, and then I took her home. I parked up a ways from her house, and we hugged goodnight outside of my car. With a bright light spotlighting us for the whole neighborhood to see, though, that wasn’t the spot. I was nervous. I wasn’t scared of rejection or failure, it was simply the nerves of the complete unknown. All of the advice and research couldn’t really prepare me for how to kiss a woman, and I knew that. We stopped just to the side of her house and hugged again. My friend Nick later asked me if I had “a move” or a line that I offered, and my first answer was that I simply didn’t let go :). I held her waist, her lovely slim little waist, and I looked at her. She had to adjust her hair or scratch her knee or something, so I DID let go. And we paused for a moment. I laughed, looked down the street, and said “Sorry, I’ve never done this.” She said, “It’s okay.” I looked back at her again, saw this beautiful sexy woman standing there gazing at me, and said, “But you’re not saying goodnight, this time.” She coyly returned a, “Nope.” I took a deep breath, said “well” and leaned in.
It’s a curious time for this, seeing as its October, but suddenly fireworks were bursting in the sky. One of her neighbors must’ve been watching a romantic movie and slipped on the volume button, because the swelling of music filled the air.
Yep, must’ve been that :).
I had always expected my first kiss to be simple — a light peck, perhaps. I’m not one to kiss and tell, except that I’m about to do exactly that, but this wasn’t a light peck. We kissed slowly, sweetly, and more than once. Time vanished, the world disappeared, and we floated above the ground. I was sincerely surprised at just how natural it all was. I didn’t have a single logical thought about the process or technique or even “OMG this is happening.” It was pure instinct. She’s a fantastic partner, too — patient, gentle, inviting. We stood there together, blissfully, and I half-asked-half-told her, “So, you’re my girlfriend?” “Yes.” I joked, “Wait, am I your boyfriend??” She laughed, “Yes.” “Wanna tell the world?” She smiled and nodded, “Yes.” And we kissed again.
As soon as I got into my car, I went onto Facebook as I told her I would and did something I’ve never done before. I changed my relationship status. It was just after midnight, so our kiss and the Facebook-official declaration all technically happened this Saturday, the 8th. I like that day :). For the next two days, over 90 Likes and Loves came pouring in on the social media platform, and she and I continued to spend time together. And kissed more. We have definitely kissed a lot more. This kissing thing, I like it. Another!
Last night, after spending the day together, we parked in front of her house and sat talking for a long time. I have had a lot of “a-ha” moments of understanding over the last month, and even that much more so in the last few days… moments in which I finally understood something that my friends in relationships had told me over the years. I was finally there, myself, experiencing these things. The latest revelation came as she and I sat there, touching and holding each other, her head buried in my shoulder and mine resting on hers — and I didn’t want to leave. Like lovesick teenagers, perhaps named Romeo and Juliet, it was a struggle to part ourselves. I’m 34 years old, darn it, but feeling so intertwined with this woman already… I wanted nothing more than to stay in that space forever. I couldn’t, I didn’t, but parting is such sweet sorrow :).
And that’s my tale. I met someone, she really likes me, I really like her, we kissed, and she’s my girlfriend. It’s entirely surreal for me, and I really am just enjoying every moment of it as it happens — no over-dramatic projections or expectations. She’s sexy and cute and fun and smart and interesting. She loves my arms and thinks I’m hot and plays with my hair and likes how I write. I’m exceptionally pleased to know her and to have her in my life, and I wanted to be sure as heck that I wrote a long, lovely post about it to share just a fraction of how I feel.
So, as my Facebook status now reads, Mark Mushakian is in a relationship with Sydney Thiessa… and he’s very darn happy about that :).