Being new to this whole dating thing, I'm filled with a mix of trepidation and bemusement as I watch my relationship with Lunchboy progress according to a series of steps that are small and huge all at the same time. Being put on speed dial. Leaving toiletries at his house. Meeting the friends. Exchanging house keys. It's like a board game, but I'm talking Jumanji, not Candyland. With each gesture, each step, another door opens inward and we roll the dice to see how well we do with being at this new level of involvement in each other's lives. So far, so good. I keep having to take deep breaths in order to not freak out at how natural the whole thing feels. Yesterday I somehow managed to Superglue my fingers together while he was working around the condo and I was cleaning in the kitchen, and he didn't laugh at me. Even though I felt like an idiot, he didn't make me feel like I was idiotic. Instead, he stood at the sink with me and read the directions on the package so we could figure out how to get the stuff off. Yes, he was laughing while he did it, but then so was I. How can you not laugh when you feel like Joey on Friends (except Joey would have Superglued his hand to his face). But it made me realize that i feel safe with him. With Glenn, everything was a battle. With Lunchboy, everything seems to flow smoothly.
Still, the keys are a big deal to both of us. Toiletries can be abandoned or stuffed in a bag and taken home. Speed dial can be erased. Friends will take your side no matter what. But giving keys implies trust and, like that trust, keys are hard to give back. The last time someone gave me keys to their apartment, it meant a lot but I still didn't feel welcome in their house or in their life. This is different. This morning he left at 5:30 to catch his flight and I stayed to let the electrician in, because there's some cross-wiring with the condo upstairs. This morning his kitties, who are afraid of almost everyone, stayed asleep on my feet after he left for the airport, and they let me comfort them after the electricians tromped around the house.
This is real. And it's good.