A few days ago, I found myself grinning stupidly to myself as I walked the now-familiar foresty path back to my temporary home from the Tribunal - and I was grinning stupidly to myself because of this amazing Dutch guy who somehow managed to reduce me to a 16-year-old schoolgirl, giggling and blushing in his presence. I was thinking about talking to him on the phone; we talk every day, a few times a day, and always when I embark on my 15/20-minute walk home. I was thinking about how he said he'd call me anyway even though he'd just had a business meeting and he was in a restaurant with his business partner; and thinking about how he stepped away from his social obligations to talk to me for a few minutes made me grin stupidly to myself.
I think it is true that, if I wanted to compare, he is the best boyfriend that I ever had. It is not simply about the way he treats me like a queen, his syrupy sweetness which melted my cold icy heart a week after we met, and how I really enjoy being spoiled by him. It goes deeper than that. I am completely myself around him; I don't hold back at all. He has seen my retarded side (i.e. my antics with my cow) and he thinks it's adorable; he has been on the receiving end of my bad moods and my curt replies and he was patient with me and never once lost his temper; he has had the misfortune of listening to me complain about, inter alia, the utterly unreasonable slowness and lack of punctuality of Tram 1, how much I hate that I have to read about solicitors' accounts rules and taxation for the QLTS, and the perenially shitty Dutch weather, and he's never complained that I complain too much. Further to that: we talk about everything - what we did on a given day, what we're doing for a given meal, why I hate Rafael Nadal, his escapades and shenanigans when he was younger, what I want (or think I want) to do with my life, what he wants to do with his, the 10 million projects that he's working on which I sometimes can't keep track of...and everything that bothers us about our past relationships and complicated problems that we are likely to face going forward. Simply put: we communicate like pros. That is how good our communication is. And I love that we connect emotionally and intellectually.
I've always thought that a guy who doesn't have a university degree would be a deal-breaker, but he's shown me that a university degree merely raises a rebuttable presumption of intelligence (it's also true the other way around). I was only 90% convinced when I told him the first time that I didn't care that he didn't go to university. When I told him the same thing today - "I don't care that you don't have a degree" - I meant it 100%. He knows things. He reads the news. We talk about things and I don't think that his opinions are stupid; quite the opposite. He is enterprising and smart and he knows how to get things done. Even better: he gets things done. I am envious of his life; he has a good comfortable income and he works whatever he wants to, whenever he wants. Sometimes I feel somewhat inadequate next to him because he's established himself in the years that I have spent stumbling along a route that I begrudingly did not get off from, eventually finding myself jobless for half a year and then working for free in the Netherlands. He is the opposite. He created his own luck; he went for his opportunities; and he's got it made. I don't think I've told him this but I really respect him for that.
And of course, the physical attraction is virtually unstoppable. I have not grown tired of checking him out, especially when he's walking in front of me or at the bar in a restaurant getting the cheque. I love the way my head rests snugly against his chest when he hugs me. I love the medium-blue of his eyes. I love his dimples, I love his gorgeous smile, I love the way his whole face lights up when he laughs. I love the way his arms look when he rolls up his sleeves; I love the bigness of his hands. I love that my neck begins to hurt after kissing him standing up for more than 5 minutes, and after looking up at him to talk to him when we are standing close to each other. I love the way my cheek rubs against his shoulder when I lean into him while we walk hand-in-hand around Centrum. I love his physical strength, the way he lifts me off the ground with one arm, even the way he picks me up against my will and spins me around. I love the fullness of his lips. I love the way his ass looks when it is free from social conventions regarding garments, including undergarments.
Still can't believe that he's my boyfriend. He is just so amazing.
These days, I have been quite nostalgic for the first few times that we met. I think back to our first date and how excited I was just to be meeting someone new...and my utter surprise at how much I enjoyed talking to him over a suitably delicious dinner in the second-tallest building of The Hague. I chose my outfit with considerable care; I wore a new shirt dress from Oasis with skin-coloured tights with the black PVC biker jacket from Oasis and ankle boots. I was super late without meaning to be (Hadyu asked me some questions about the judgment we were working on, and because it was Hadyu, the discussion took a lot longer than I anticipated) and I made him wait for at least 20 minutes.
What struck me then, and still strikes me now, is how I saw him, a total stranger for all intents and purposes, and just started talking to him like I'd known him already. There was no awkwardness and it set the right tone for the rest of the evening. He was interesting: he told me about his travels, about his time in Singapore and his experiences with Singlish (and even managed to impress me by saying a few Singlish words and phrases - obviously a keeper), about his country and its peculiarities. Inevitably, I noticed that he was cute; I noticed what a nice smile he had. While noticing these things, I blanked out while he talked and had to make things up to pretend that I was listening instead of thinking about how cute he was. And then there was that moment when he got up to go to the toilet and I glanced at his retreating back and definitely noted the hotness of what I saw.
He was a complete gentleman from the start. He gave me the seat facing the window for the view (it wasn't his fault that the weather was normal, i.e. rainy and shitty, that night and the glass was completely fogged up). More tellingly, after I went to the toilet, I got back to the table and discovered that he'd already paid. I didn't even get the chance to go through the charade of getting out my wallet.
And then there was the train station. The harsh bright lights in the train station. Den Haag Holland Spoor. We walked out of the building in the mild drizzle, side by side, close to each other, hands almost touching. And then they were interlocked. And then he was buying his train ticket, and when he was done he was looking at me in a manner that did not mask that he wanted to kiss me. I felt self-conscious about my alcohol face in the harsh bright lights but oh, I really wanted him to kiss me.
Objectively, it wasn't the greatest first kiss. I was nervous, I was shy, and so I couldn't stop laughing. He said that he kissed my teeth a few times but I conveniently don't remember that. All I knew was that he was really tall; he was really cute; and I hated that the lights were so bright because I was convinced that I looked terrible.
Thankfully, he didn't think so. Thankfully, he wasn't put off by the incessant giggling. On the train, he texted me, "Really liked talking to you tonight; you're cute and smart. We should meet up again when you find the time."*
(*Sorry, I had to fix the punctuation. :p)
We met up again, and again, and again. And now I am absolutely, insanely, head over heels in love. Nothing makes me happier in my life right now than him. And I am so thankful that he's in my life.