After feeling cooped up at home (working hard, but not sure how to “take breaks”), I was in serious need (whether I’d admit it publicly or not) to get out on the town, meet new people, have some laughs, and make new memories. Enter an email invitation from Meetup for The Salt Lake City Mixer for young, single professionals- I had my spark of inspiration. Here was my chance to dress up, find my inner girly-girl (she does still exist) and see what kind of fun the night could hold. The event was held at a local coffee shop in downtown SLC, in the upstairs loft area. It featured plenty of comfy, lounge sitting, ambiance of candles, specialty lighting, and music. I didn’t hold too many expectations of the evening- I was going simply to have fun (and okay, meet some new guys for further proof there is still a good mix out there, but, shhhhhh). I’ve spent the last week, contemplating the type of man I’d like to find someday, the traits I’m looking for. I saved this list on my iPhone and shared with my girlfriends and mom, all of whom agreed profusely that I’d selected great things to watch for.
This was such a great excuse to unwrap one of my going-out dresses that were beginning to collect dust, grab a pair of great heels, and get dolled up. If not for anyone else, but myself solely- because I can. I had made plans previously to meet two of my cousins and a few of their best friends for a girl’s night out for sushi at a local place, as well, and we shared a few spicy tuna and mango rolls before I dashed out the door. I met my good friend, Jennifer, in the parking lot once I arrived and we exchanged nervous laughter. I was so happy that I didn’t have to go alone- I’m still a ball of stress when it comes to new social situations. We walked in together, met the event organizer and wrote out our name tags. Looking around the lower level, I was met with all ranges of different people, which I was thrilled about. Mid-to-late twenty and thirty-somethings, chatting up new people, enjoying cocktails, and finger foods, laughing and having a great time. I was able to relax a little and we wandered our way through the crowd, saying hello to everyone we passed. Jennifer and I grabbed some coffee and a small fruit plate before roaming upstairs.
There were couches and chairs placed about the area, which was surrounded by open windows, overlooking the glowing lights from downtown Salt Lake City. Candles were lit, the top 50 billboard was playing on the stereo and people were eagerly mingling, exchanging small talk about where they worked, their future aspirations, and more importantly, their names. We found a comfy spot on the edge of a sectional and introduced ourselves to the others. Surprisingly enough, we had people from all over the world who had recently (within the last 4 years) move to Salt Lake City with their new jobs there- some from Australia, a few from the UK, a couple from central South Korea. Clearly, Mixers take all kinds, and I was thrilled about the diversity in the room. Of course, you had a few of us, born and raised in parts of Utah and looking to make new friends.
The night progressed and Jen and I made our way around to different groups of strangers, making new introductions and connections. A new guy, I’ll call him G, (name withdrawn. I want to keep this anonymous) sat down about 20 minutes later and began talking to us. Come to find out, he was fairly new to Utah and had moved with his family from Rome. He had lived in Poland, Italy, and he was a recent transplant to the country. He was here, at the University of Utah, completing his PhD in Medical Engineering (um, holy smokes, Batman. The dude’s a genius). He’s got an incredibly busy schedule, but still finds time to spend with friends, loves reading, hiking, movies, going dancing, and grabbing a drink. The time flew by… 4 hours later, we were still talking and laughing like we had known each other for years. I was awe-struck with the cool past he’s had, growing up in Italy and we discussed the culture differences between Utah and Rome- there were tons. He inquired about my profession as a personal trainer and at-home Beachbody Coach and wondered about P90X. I told him, aptly, that it was essentially 90 days of bootcamp hell. He laughed. The conversation lingered to subjects on religion and how I grew up strictly LDS. He was raised catholic and because of his questioning mind, became more and more adamant about questioning theory and authority. Since high school, he’s been atheist, but not a bible-bashing kind- he’s happily and respectfully paving his own path in life. I loved that. The last thing I want is someone, ramming their thoughts and beliefs down my throat, begging me to feel the same way. He was witty and quick to make me laugh, but so humble and down to earth- so very respectful, just like I imagine most foreign men are.
11pm was quickly approaching and he mentioned that he was hungry and asked if we’d like to join him for some late-night dessert or something at a local downtown bakery. It was a cheat meal day for me and I had run 6 miles for half marathon training yesterday morning. We happily obliged and I told him I was a crazed fan of cheesecake. We rode in his car- a BMW; more proof to me that he was a mature, financially independent individual. I’m not crazy about the type of car, per se, just the fact that he’s classy and can hold his own. He can afford nice things in life because he works his ass to have those things, which is perfection. G rolled out of the parking lot and we made our way through the drizzling rainstorm to a nearby cafe/bakery and pulled in, got out, and roamed inside. It was a lot busier than I suspected it would be, let alone actually open. Clearly, there’s a whole world of late-night night-life that I’m missing out on, and good cheesecake. He had me choose between a vanilla caramel slice or chocolate hazelnut and I chose the latter. He paid for it; Jen and another party-goer (an Asian business man, who enjoyed the red wine a bit too much) joined us in the cafe and ordered their lattes. I grabbed two forks and found us a nice table for us all to sit at for a while. Between another 30 minutes of culture talks, sports, my obsession with running and fitness, we shared the dessert and laughed with our new friends. I thought momentarily of the fun evening I’d have missed out on if I’d let my fears get the best of me and stayed back home. Sex and the City on DVD is a blast, but this was just what I needed. Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda could wait another night or two. Besides, I was out living my own episode. Single, loving life, and in the City.
We cleared out of there by midnight and dropped off the Asian man near his downtown condo, and drove back to the coffeehouse parking lot. Jennifer and I said our goodbyes to G and all agreed we’d be in touch soon for hiking trips, movies, dinners out, and enjoying life with new company. We exchanged phone numbers and I jumped in my car. Blushing all the way back home doesn’t quite cover it. I arrive home 20 minutes later, thoughts spiraling through my mind that G had fit nearly every single attribute on my list. My cell phone buzzes and a new text from him comes in, thanking Jen and I for an awesome evening and that he was excited to hang out soon. 1pm and I’m finally in bed, but far too high on life to fall asleep. By 2pm, I finally do.
Old Fat Amy wouldn’t have had this much fun with new people. OFA wouldn’t have even had the guts to put on a little black dress and shine for other people. OFA would definitely still be at home, asleep on the couch after another SATC marathon. OFA wasn’t living; she was merely surviving.
For a night, I felt like Cinderella. I’m thankful for great friends who push me into new situations and are always there to help me be my very best self. I don’t know where G and I are heading- I’m too happy to get caught up in the details. I’ll forever be cautious, but I’m having such an amazing time being myself. I guess the fact that I’m showing myself love and care enough to be out there… that’s when the magic happens. I’m in no rush- I want this feeling to last forever. No pressure from either side. I want to forever be myself and the right people will naturally come to be in my life.
Snow has been falling all morning long in big, fluffy flakes and he’s been on my mind just the same. We texted a little bit this morning- he wondered if I was planning on getting in my training run today. It’s a little too cold, even for me out there, but I’ll have a blast watching the gorgeous weather from my window and enjoy a few magazines today. A few messages back and forth and G asks to see me for drinks and dancing this coming Friday night.
This night is sparkling.
This night is sparkling, don’t you let it go
I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home
I’ll spend forever wondering if you knew…