When Warren Met Gwen
An on-line match leads to an in-person meeting
“So…” she began hesitantly, trying to be bold while avoiding eye contact. “Are you a moaner or a screamer?”
Caught off guard, he responded with a quizzical, “Sorry… what now?”
“In bed, I mean,” she clarified bashfully between gritted teeth. “Are you a moaner or a screamer?” she reiterated.
“Oh,” he uttered, pausing to think. “I guess I’m neither of those things,” he said with a nervous chuckle. Then he gathered himself, looked her squarely in the eyes and said with confidence, “but you’ll know I’m there.”
“Dear Jesus,” she moaned, looking down at the table.
Gwen and Warren were both in their forties and on their very first date with each other. Having met on-line, this was was their first in-person meeting. They sat on raised stools across from one another at a secluded table at a local drinking establishment. They tipped their glasses towards one another in cheers as they softly guffawed, each of them testing the waters in their efforts to break the ice and find a natural segue in the conversation.
But now Gwen was speechless.
Warren puffed out his chest in mock victory, having stepped up to face the challenge put forth by Gwen. She had been trying to make him flustered with her flirty and suggestive question; and he had rather charmingly turned the tables on her. One point for Team Warren, he thought to himself.
“It’s been unseasonably warm for this time of year, eh?” offered Gwen, in an attempt to gain control of the dialogue and perhaps explain the redness in her face and neck.
“Yes, but it’s kind of nice. I don’t like the cold,” he agreed. “But tell me something,” and he paused for dramatic effect. “Which one are you?”
“I’m sorry, what?” she asked confusedly.
“Well, fair is fair,” he explained. “I told you that I’m neither a moaner nor a screamer, but since you asked me, it’s only fair that I ask you in return. So which is it?”
“Oh…” she blurted. “Listen, I was just making conversation… it’s not like I need to know… I was, you know, just curious and couldn’t think of anything else to say… and I just thought, well, I mean, you look like a moaner and I just wondered if… like… the floor might open up and swallow me whole right now. Christ.”
He smiled. “No, really. I don’t want to put you on the spot. Well, no more than you did with me. So which is it? I’m curious too. And since you brought it up…”
“Ugh,” she uttered. “Obviously I’m a moaner, Warren,” she said dejectedly, rolling her eyes and clenching her fists. “This is so embarrassing. But I’ll tell you something,” she said as she tried to regain her composure. “I think you’d really like it. And I mean, really REALLY.”
And with that, she took another sip of her drink, set down the glass, and grinned satisfactorily from ear to ear, as if to say “check mate.”
“Good to know,” he said, swallowing hard in an effort to restore some moisture to his mouth. “Well, I sleep naked.”
“Good lord,” she moaned as she looked down at the table once again. “Lucky bed sheets,” she offered as follow up.
“I don’t know about that,” he answered. “I also do the laundry, so…”
She grimaced. “I don’t know where to go with that,” she said in reply.
“Yeah,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck. “I don’t know either. Look,” he sighed, “I’m new at this. If this is supposed to be dirty talk, we’re going to need to set up some ground rules or some boundaries or at least some expectations or something.”
“That’s seems fair,” she reasoned. “But just for clarity, I was trying to be titillating and a little bit shocking. You made it mildly disgusting by mentioning your laundry. I mean, really? You went from hot to kinda gross very quickly.”
“Ok, ok, fine,” he reluctantly agreed. “But I’m not going to lie. I got you with my first answer and I’m going to be smiling about that one for days to come. ‘You’ll know I’m there.’ That’s a classic! Gotta be! I’m pretty proud of myself.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh, you got me there. Nicely done. I’ve got to hand it to you. But from here on in, you’re going to have to work for it,” and she gave him a sheepish grin.
“Oh lord,” he moaned, as he looked in her eyes and shook his head. “Nice. Very nice.”
“And by the way,” she offered, “I sleep in a camisole and fancy panties.”
“The panties your mother laid out for you?” Warren blurted immediately. He was smiling as he said it, as though he was being clever.
Gwen bristled and sat up straight, glaring at Warren. With a crinkle between her eyebrows and piercing her lips, she growled, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
“So much,” he said without thinking. “But seriously, you never heard that before? It’s a line from a Seinfeld episode, I swear! As soon as you said ‘panties”, that’s where my mind went.”
“Seinfeld?!” she exclaimed. “I mention my panties and your mind goes to a 90s sitcom?”
“Sorry,” he said, wringing his hands. “I meant for it to be funny, not weird. But I see how you might take it that way. My bad.”
“Jesus,” she sighed, settling back into her relaxed posture. “That threw me for a loop. Took an unexpected twist.”
“I said I was sorry,” he said again, trying to lighten the mood with a laugh. “Tell me more about these panties… that you choose of your own accord, I assume.”
She smiled. “Well there really isn’t much to tell. There’s not much to them…”
“Nice,” he said exhaling. He nodded in agreement as though she asked a question.
They looked at one another without words. She ran her finger up and down the side of her glass. His gaze went back and forth from her hand to her face.
“I don’t know what else to say right now,” he confessed. “You?”
“I’m not sure either,” she acknowledged. “You wanna go?”
“Not yet,” he responded. “But maybe let me ask you something…”
“Sure, go ahead,” she encouraged.
“What is it that you’re looking for, exactly? Like… what are you expecting from this?” as he waved his hand between the two of them.
“I’m not sure yet. I think I’m just figuring it out,” she replied honestly.
“Ok,” he offered. “Because I guess… if you’re just looking for a roll in the hay, I suppose I could be That Guy. But you’re a pretty, smart, and fun kind of person. You can probably find someone for that express purpose anywhere.”
“Go on,” she said, interested in where he might be headed.
“I’m not saying I’m old-fashioned. Far from it. I guess I don’t know what I am exactly. I just don’t want to cheapen anything or misrepresent myself either. If you’re interested in something more than just that, I think I’d rather be This Guy instead. I don’t want to be just anybody.”
“I see,” she said, breaking eye contact with Warren and now focussing on the glasses between them.
“So that’s pretty much it. I’m game for just about anything, but I’m not exactly looking for a one and done, if you catch my drift,” he offered for the sake of clarification. “And you?”
“I don’t know what I want exactly,” she offered truthfully. “But I guess I’m open to see where the road might take me. Are you good with that?”
“I could be,” he said after a moment’s reflection.
“Cool,” she said looking him in the eyes again.
“Cool,” he said in return. “Wanna get out of here and maybe go for a walk?”
“Sure,” she said, smiling and grabbing her purse. “Maybe we can walk and talk about the review we’re going to leave on MoanersandScreamers.com”
He exhaled with a hearty laugh. “Yes, sounds like a plan.”
And with that, they held hands and exited the bar. They may not have known precisely which way to head, but they shared a willingness to put one foot in front of the other until they could figure it out.
With their clothes on.
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About the Creator
Ms. Carroll is a 40-something year-old veteran public servant and mother of three adult children. She and her partner Hal live in Amherst NS with a sweet, anxiety-ridden rescue dog. Shelley loves running, red wine, and laughter.
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