Will you accept this... moment?
Today I slept in. The only things I really had on the agenda were a previously-scheduled tour of Studio B (where Elvis recorded so many of his songs!) and the Happy Hour that my Bachelorette crush would be at in the evening. I had brought some bags of nesbits dog treats with me to give to him – I mean, his dog – and brought them with me as I headed out the door for the day.
The tour was pretty awesome. Like I mentioned, I don’t know a ton about music but our guide was ridiculously pumped about sharing his knowledge with us. It is so, so nice to see someone who loves their job so much. I love when you can see in the way a person’s eyes light up when they’re talking – you can see that they are just doing what they are meant to do in that moment.
After the tour and some exploring (and eating BBQ) in the 12South neighborhood, I headed the Happy Hour with my bag of treats and handwritten cards from Nessa to my crush’s dog. It wasn’t until I got dropped off at the bar that I started thinking, “Deanna, are you freaking crazy? What are you doing?” I don’t typically run through how things will play out, but as I reached for the door handle, I was kind of wishing I did for this whole experience.
I think I probably repeated some mantra like, “You are enough” to get me in the door. I spotted him wearing a white t-shirt, back towards me, sitting at the bar talking with those seated to right and left of him. I took a quick inventory of the space - there were three separate rooms: one full bar area where my crush was seated, another where groups of girls sat around round high bar tables drinking and likely waiting to speak to him too, and a second bar area. I strolled through to the bathroom to look in the mirror and give myself another little pep talk, “You’re here. It’s not a big deal. Just do what you came to do.” I walked back out to the second bar to get a glass of liquid courage as a little supplement to my pep talk. There was a guy at the bar who started talking to me as I was deciding which beer to order. I remember feeling so grateful, at that moment, for Southern hospitality. I took a seat and started chatting with him to the point that I had to remind myself why it was I came.
I excused myself briefly and with bag of dog treats in hand, walked over to where Wells (my reality TV star crush) was standing. He was animated and telling a story to a group of three girls sitting at one of those high bar tables. I stood, waiting for a pause, ever so awkwardly. As soon as I hear a break, I jump in, “I don’t mean to interrupt, but I brought these for Carl.” I hear a girl at the table ask her friend, “Who’s Carl?” as Wells introduces himself to me and we shake hands. I let him know that I make the dog treats and he says he’ll be over to talk to me more in a little bit. I turn to walk back, proud of myself for what I realize is not exactly a good reason to be proud of myself.
I walk back to my bar stool and continue talking with the guy I had met earlier. He has also just recently ended a long-term relationship and we sat, sharing our stories and talking about where we have lived and worked and where we hope to go from here. It really amazes me how easy it is to connect to another person. It’s fascinating that there are so many people in this country and in this world that we have the potential to relate to, learn from, and grow from by just being in the same place at the same time. I think back to all of these subway rides I took commuting in NYC – how many missed opportunities there must have been to meet a friend or a partner. It’s overwhelming when I start thinking that way though, all Sliding Doors.
Anyway, back at the bar – he does ask me why I actually came to this bar at this moment and he does confirm I’m a little nuts for traveling to this Happy Hour with dog treats to meet someone from a reality TV show. But he continues to talk to me, so I guess I’m not that nuts?!
Wells eventually comes over to us and now it’s his turn to apologize for interrupting. It’s both surreal, yet completely normal, as I talk to this person who I have watched twice a week for months on a TV screen. Wells asks about the treats and we talk about a lot of different things briefly. I wonder how crazy this must be for him – he said yes to this reality TV show and all of a sudden, thousands of people know who he is and how he took so long to have a first kiss with JoJo. With social media, people must feel like they know him so well and yet, there’s no way he could know all of his thousands of followers. It must just be a little nuts for him to think about that (along with anyone else who gets fame in a short amount of time) and for so many people to have photos with him. Speaking of, that’s how we left it – the guy at the bar agreed to take our photo and Wells even pulled out a bag of nesbits for the photo. Very sweet.
Shortly after, as I’m closing up my tab for one beer, I realized that the guy at the bar and I could probably keep talking for a while longer. I had planned to go to dinner at City House, which I didn’t do the night prior since I did the whole BBQ followed by Broadway thing. He agrees to come along and we walk outside to meet a Lyft. As we were waiting, he looks at me and I know what is coming. It’s a look that I haven’t seen in a really long time. I know I could stop it from happening, but at the same time, it feels like it’s just the right moment. Our lips touch and it feels nice and strange at the same time. I look up at him and say, “This is so weird.” And he agrees, because he too hasn’t kissed someone new since his breakup.
We have dinner and decide to head to Broadway for some live music. I continue to be in awe of the talent I hear and see bar after bar, up and down Broadway. I also continue to be in awe of time – how the length of a relationship can affect the time it might take for you to heal enough to connect with someone else and how the time you know you have with someone can affect how quickly you might accept something, like a kiss for example. As the night and our time together is coming to an end, he says to me, “I needed this.” I realize, in that moment, that I feel the same exact way and say, “I needed this too.”
I wasn’t expecting my day to turn out this way. I was expecting to learn some great information and be in a place where musical history was made on the Studio B Tour and I was expecting to meet a super cute guy from a reality TV show that could potentially be a nesbits dog treats customer one day. But today, whether or not I ever see or speak to that guy I met at the bar again, was a significant day for me in moving forward and recognizing that the lips I’ve been kissing for the past six years are no longer for me, and that I can connect with someone else. As much as I don’t think I’m ready or don’t want to be ready, I also need to trust myself in these moments and accept the experiences and connections that are seemingly serendipitous.
Like I’ve written before, people come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I have to believe this random, chance meeting was for a reason.
“We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”
“All you really need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
~ Joseph Campbell
About the photo: A little shot of the card delivered along with the treat bags for Wells' dog, Carl, from Nessa. I thought it was a good image to illustrate accepting a rose... a kiss... or a moment.