The Ten


Women don't typically care about looks. We're not wired to go crazy for a pretty face and a six-pack...even though we might appreciate the view. My sister and I have discussed it, and she told me, "Only once or twice in my life have I seen a man so sexy, I started fantasizing about ripping his clothes off right then and there."

In a surprising trick of fate, that once-in-a-light year man picked me up in a restaurant, while I was dining alone last Friday at my local sushi bar (East Coast Boy having gone to Europe and left me at loose ends for two full weeks). I was completely immersed in a James Patterson novel and a spicy tuna roll when I registered a pleasantly deep voice coming from somewhere over to my right. I looked around, realized that the voice was in fact talking to me, located its owner, and did a (subtle I hope) double take. A “Ten”--that mythical creature who merits a perfect score on the looks scale, who’s drop-dead beautiful without tipping over into girlishly pretty or Hollywood cheesy —was asking a question about my James Patterson book. He was completely ignoring his entire table of drunken dude friends in order to talk to me.

His initial question turned into a full conversation. One by one, his, yuppie-ish companions paid their tab and went outside, loudly discussing their plans to hit the beach bars. He let them go. The waitress brought my check, and I paid without looking at it. Finally it was just him at the table, and me, standing awkwardly, wishing an entire restaurant staff wasn’t eavesdropping on my conversation.

He told me he had to catch up with his friend down at the Pier bars, and offhandedly asked if I was going to be out and about later. I told him probably not. Without missing a beat, he scribbled his number down and handed it to me, saying I should call him if I changed my mind. I smiled and demurred.

“Well, you should call me anyway,” he said. He smiled, and I noticed his dimples, his even white teeth, the way his eyes crinkled up at the corners… and I just lost my reason.
I grinned like a fool all the way back to my house. I didn’t call him that night, but the next morning, I texted him. He got back to me immediately. After a few back-and-forth messages, he called me and asked me to lunch. Which then led to a long walk on the pier, followed by a Cold Stone Creamery stop. Then, when I started making noises about needing to catch up on work, he walked me home, gave me a hug goodbye, and ambled away.

I didn’t really exactly need to work. I was just a bit conflicted. Well, more than a bit. I’ve been seeing East Coast Boy ever since that first memorable date when we had the encounter with the teenage girls, followed by the skinny dipping. He’s been fun and nice and great in many ways. We have similar interests, and similar backgrounds. But I shot down the idea of an “exclusive” relationship when he brought it up on our third day together (too soon), and he hasn’t brought it up since. I’m pretty sure that he was relieved that I didn’t go for it in the beginning. In fact, I think he’s not in any place to be exclusive with me, since he’s almost certainly still seeing someone on the East Coast. That person might even be in Europe with him right now.

I don’t know the situation, because I don’t feel it’s my place to ask. What I do know is that the Ten is here, now, and that he’s interested. Maybe he’s not the brightest bulb—maybe he’s not ambitious and successful and sophisticated in the way I usually like. But he is endearingly, disarmingly boyish and straightforward. He’s even, so help me, SWEET. Not at all what I would expect. And very laid-back but still confident, because you just know that any woman this guy has ever wanted, he’s just had to crook his finger to get.

Sure enough, when he called the next day and invited me to come see a movie, I said yes. And I’ve been seeing him ever since. East Coast Boy will be back very soon, and this may cause a problem. Because the more I get to know The Ten, the more I realize: physically, at least, this guy lives up to all my fantasies. And like I said before, it makes me lose my reason. Who knows when I’ll get it back?