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It's not very often I am left speechless. I, in fact, make a life off of the fact that I am never speechless. This post, however, might be hands down one of the wildest adventures of my life. I genuinely only thought things like this happened in super cheesy romantic comedies ... but oh no, this was just my Saturday night - Monday.
Here's the song that goes with the post ...
Picture it. Comic Con ... two weeks ago. I was at the Machinma party waiting for @meowmistidawn and co. to come back from their adventures. I was there early by myself so I was just excited to have a place to sit down and a cold beer in my hand to unwind from the activities. See, I am not the biggest fan of conventions. Yes it is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING to meet more of you, but the crowds COMPLETELY freak me out. (Read more here)
Either way, I was sitting and over in the corner of my eye I see this man and woman standing together. The guy then walks right up to me introducing himself.
Hi, I say adjusting my dress thinking I'm meeting a reader of the site.
I just had to to meet you, he says.
Thanks for reading, I quickly reply back It really really means a lot to me.
He looks puzzled.
My website. Wait, are you not a reader of it, or social media buddy? I'm confused.
No, he said. I just saw you sitting here and I needed to meet you.
I start laughing. Way to be "one of those" Friel. Keep humble you bumble.
Well hi, I reply back. I'm Jen.
Hi, he says, I'm Antonio. (Names changed to protect the guilty)
Are you enjoying your comic con, I ask.
Yes, I'm just here with my friend who is a producer - but the parties have been fun. What about you?
Great! I said, except I can barely speak above a whisper since I've already lost my voice.
I then excuse myself to go up to the bar as he goes back to talk to his friend for a minute.
When I come back, he walks back over.
I need to know you. I need to talk to you, he says kneeling at my feet.
Sure, I say back. What would you like to know?
What do you do?
I'm a lifecaster. I started my own website almost 3 years ago. It's about nerds so the con is obvi mecca. What do you do?
I'm a lawyer.
Is it your passion, I ask?
I've been doing it so long, he replies back, but yes I enjoy it tremendously.
More of my friends then start to show up, so Antonio backed off a bit letting everyone come up and say hi.
Then a few minutes later we moved to the other side of the room to cop a squat on the couch.
I look around and don't see him.
That was one of the strangest interactions I've ever had with someone, I thought. He was so direct, it was powerful.
About 10 minutes later his friend approaches sitting down next to me. We strike up a chat but she indicates that they are leaving.
Antonio then gets on his knees again and says, I want to see you again. I NEED to see you again.
Impressed with his radical honesty I give him my number.
Here, let me call you.
I really would like to take you out next Saturday night on an official date.
If you want to take me out, I replied back, you have my number. My work here is done.
He smiles getting up from his knees and leaves with his friend.
I turn to my roomie (who was sitting next to me on the couch) and say that was one of the most interesting interactions I think I've ever had. He was so demanding and forceful ... yet his eyes were incredibly sweet and kind. Very fucking weird.
We then kick it for a bit longer and head back to Melodie's house (where we were staying) and leave the con in the morning.
I was unbelievably exhausted from the weekend's events, so when we arrived back I passed out on the couch. An hour into my nap I hear my text message indicator go off.
I look down .... it is Antonio.
Do you write about dates? he asks.
Oh shit, I think laughing - this isn't going to end well.
I type back ...
Dating is a part of what I document, yes, but it is also a lot more than that. (I then went into my entire spiel)
It is popular, he said. I've been talking to people about you all morning and everyone knows you.
Yes, I said, because you are on my turf. IT'S FREAKING COMIC CON!!!!
I'm very private, he says. I don't think this is going to work.
Having just dealt with the Finance Guy a few months back - this was the last thing I needed to hear. I get it, I get it, I thought. Hence why I am still single.
I didn't say anything back to him, but a few days later I get a text back saying that he wants to see me again.
Saturday, Katana, he said.
Done! 8pm I reply back.
Saturday comes around, and at 8 on the dot I see a town car pull up in front of our apartment.
Julie! Julie, I say. Come look, I think my date picked me up in a town car.
Holy shit, she says coming out of the bathroom still in a towel.
It had less to do with the financial component and more to do with the strategic planning. I like to drink, and if I'm going out with someone and they go toe to toe with me drinking there is no way in HELL I am going to get in the car with them. This means that a guy is usually cut off after two drinks; the fact that he was smart enough to plan all of this ahead was a MASSIVE turn on.
I walk down to the car and he hugs me introducing me to his driver.
Hello, I reply back trying to walk around the car to shake his hand.
I then get in the car and Antonio grabs my hand staring at me.
You're quite pretty, he said. You were wearing the hat so I couldn't see you really ... but wow. You're model pretty.
Thank you, I say. The hat is called a spirithood and it is one of my favorite things ever.
The driver then turns up the radio and I start seat dancing.
I love love love this song, I reply back.
He laughs saying, I thought you would. It's pop - you seem to be into pop.
Oh absolutely, I reply back.
We then get to Katana and enjoy a drink before our dinner.
I've never been here, I reply.
How have you never been here? Isn't this like THE place to take a date?
I date a lot, but I don't normally let guys take me to dinner. It's WAY too much of a time commitment on my end. I have to know I'm going to be into someone to want to spend that kind of time or energy on them.
He smiles as we are seated.
(Dudes the sushi at Katana is HANDS DOWN the best that I've ever had. Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!)
Conversation at dinner flows freely, but at around 10 I ask if we can go to the next location.
It was my roommate's birthday this week and she has a party. Do you mind if we stop off there?
Sure, he says back.
I was a little nervous about bringing a "date" to her party since knowing so many people can DEFINITELY be overwhelming for a guy - but I figured, if not now ... when? Might as well just see how he does.
We get to the party and I start introducing him to everyone. He seems to handle it pretty well, but I made sure to keep my eye on him to not make him feel left out with everyone.
He grabs me another drink as I sit down.
How's it going everyone asks?
It's great!! He's super smart and super easy to talk to. I feel really comfortable around him.
Antonio then hands me my drink as he sits down next to me.
I joked with the driver tonight that I wanted to take you to Vegas.
Alrite, I say back not even batting an eye.
Wait, you would let me put you on a plane?
Why not? I say back. I just need to stop home and grab my Macbook - but I can work from anywhere. (Special thanks to ReaniMac for the Macbook!! Story on how small of a tech world it is in a later post.)
If we go back to your place I want you to only grab your computer, he said. Nothing else.
Alrite, I say back.
He then calls the driver back and gets on his phone arranging the flight.
We pull up to my apartment and I run upstairs grabbing only my CES bag, my macbook, and an iphone charger.
YAY ADVENTURE, I think.
<tangent> Normally, btw, I would ABSOLUTELY not recommend anyone doing something like this unless they have friends, or family in the area. You never know if a guy could honestly be kidnapping you - however, after couch surfing for exactly 1 year I literally have friends all over. I've BEEN stuck in Vegas before and not only managed to get transportation back, but a ride to and from with a place to stay. I know a TON of people in Vegas so should anything go awry I would have been fine. Emphasis on the "I" as "he" would not have been fine if he tried anything funny. </tangent>
I then get back in the car and he tells me that we have 8 hours until the flight.
Let's go to my house in Venice. We can keep drinking and chatting.
We then pull up to this MASSIVELY stunning house a few blocks away from the beach.
You live ... here? I ask.
Kind of, he says. I don't have a "true" residence, but when I am in LA this is where I live. I've had the home for quite some time.
I look back at him thinking, who the fuck is this guy? He very honestly wasn't trying to "buy" me unlike the guy from a few months ago. This is just genuinely his life and absolutely NONE of this felt out of the ordinary to him.
We then opened up a bottle of champagne as he showed me all of the art work in his house.
(You can judge a guy by his taste in art, and wow wow wow did he have awesome taste.)
See this table, he pointed to. It's made of metal. Women kept dancing on it and every time I would come home to a collapsed table so instead I had the artist make it indestructible.
He said the entire thing so casually I almost spit out my champagne.
Wait, you would come home to collapsed tables from girls dancing on them??
Yes, I can't say I was a fan - but it happened.
Again, so casual, so matter of fact ... I couldn't stop laughing. Wow, you lead a very charmed life, I say still chuckling.
We have a few more hours, he said. Why don't you take the master bedroom and I'll sleep in the guest room.
That'd be wonderful, I say.
I then take out my charger and set my alarm for 6:30 am giving us plenty of time to get to the airport.
Within seconds of my head hitting the pillow I passed out. Having grown up near the ocean (we had a summer/ weekend condo in Maine) the SECOND I am around ocean air I am INSTANTLY calm and out like a light.
My alarm then goes off a few hours later, and I wake up Antonio.
Are you ready, I say knocking on his door?
He smiles, saying yes! I'm not even bringing clothes either. We'll just buy everything there.
I laugh thinking how RIDICULOUS this all seemed to me.
This stuff only happens in movies, I thought. I can't believe this is currently my reality.
Every move Antonio made was so strategic. He's good ... DAMN GOOD ... at courtship. He was extremely attentive without being overwhelming, and the sense of adventure that my personality responds to so much was UNBELIEVABLY elated for the experience.
We then head over to the airport stopping off at Starbucks first before boarding the plane.
I'll have a venti non fat caramel macchiato, I say.
Is that your drink, he asks?
Yep! I say. Depends on the weather if I get it iced or not - but it's my super duper fav.
He smiles handing me back the change which I put in my backpack.
We then get to Vegas and head over to the Hard Rock.
We can go to their pool party they have today. Does that work for you?
Of course, I say laughing. I think everything is going to "work for me" at this point. We're IN FREAKING VEGAS!!!!!
We then pull up to the Hard Rock, and go up to the front desk.
Two rooms, he says. Adjoining if you have them.
I look over at him and smile. He automatically didn't assume that we were going to get a room together. That's extremely respectful.
Again, well played.
Thank you for the second room, I say.
Oh please, all women need their space - especially someone like you.
I smile as he hands me the room key.
Now, let's get some clothing.
We then head over to the Hard Rock hotel store and pick out bathing suits. I also grab a beach cover up, sandals, and hat not wanting to burn.
I then go into the restroom to change.
This is one of the wildest things I've ever done, I thought. Who just goes to Vegas without any clothing and says, meh - we'll figure it out when we get there. Who is this guy? And why do I feel so comfortable around him?
We then head over to the Rehab party at the Hard Rock. Dudes, not only do they literally pat you down before you get in worse than the TSA ... but holy hell that place was PACKED!!!!
We fortunately managed to grab a seat in the shade close enough to the pool so I could dip my feet in.
As I laid there basking in the environment I then realized how much I needed this trip.
I had a really rough week, I said to Antonio. I'm extremely grateful for this experience.
He smiles saying, no more thank yous until we are done.
Deal! I say.
I then excuse myself to the restroom as Antonio goes over and buys us some drinks.
While standing in line for the restroom (which was surprisingly short considering how many people were in the pool. QUIT PEEING IN THE WATER PEOPLE!!!), I see a girl pretending to do a field sobriety test.
She's making everyone in line laugh as I just sort of stare off into space.
As she walks out she stops me and says, "I would turn gay to have sex with you. You're really beautiful."
I absolutely BURST out in laughter. Well played, Vegas. Well ... played ...
She then leaves and a few minutes later I follow heading back to our spot by the pool.
As I walk over, I see Antonio talking to a security guard.
He then points over to me. I stare back not really thinking of anything.
Antonio then approaches.
I just had a very strange life experience, I said. This woman in the restroom just stopped me to tell me that she'd turn gay to have sex with me. Oh Vegas! I say laughing.
He then turns and says, you won't believe what that security guard just said to me.
What? I say.
He said people were inquiring if we were together.
What does that mean? I ask.
He wanted to sell me drugs and women. He said people were asking what our status was.
Does this happen to you often, I reply back.
No, but I could tell that there were a lot of working girls here. It's one thing to check out a girl at the pool, it's another to see them checking you out right back. The women here are paying very close attention to us.
That makes sense though considering how much we just got checked for bringing anything in. (They LITERALLY stop short of a strip search.) This is prolly part of their business model - keep drugs out, but have security and attendants sell it to you at a higher premium. It makes sense, I say.
Antonio smiles and shortly later we decide to head upstairs not wanting to die from the heat.
I then quickly had to get on two phone calls for meetings that I had to cancel. Everyone was laughing when I told them I was in Vegas.
Only you Jen ... only you.
Even for me though, this is pretty freaking wild!!
We then head out to an extremely nice steak dinner over at the Wynn. MMMMMMM the oysters were the bomb diggity pershnickerty.
You're very regal, he says over dinner. You carry yourself like a queen. Your parents raised you very well.
I smile saying thank you, but secretly laugh to myself thinking that had nothing to do with my parents and everything to being a Domme. See, allowing slaves to literally worship you is not easy for a girl (especially one with feelings of residual shame). I have 5 slaves currently, and while being a Domme came INCREDIBLY naturally to me - allowing a man to bask in your glory is a foreign feeling. I'm used to being EXTREMELY independent and always doing things on my own barely letting men get close to me. To now project this confidence, and this "queen like" stature was a tremendous sign of growth.
YAY FOR BEING A DOMME!!! I knew this would come in handy one day!!!!
We then walked the strip bouncing around to a bunch of bars. Somewhere around midnight we ended up at Caesars.
Let's head back, I said. I'm quite tired from this day.
Sure, he said. I'm having a lot of fun with you.
Thank you, I say with a smile. Me too!!
We then walk out to the front and the taxi line was SO FREAKING LONG.
Without even blinking, Antonio shouts to the limo drivers, "I have $25. Who wants to take us to the Hard Rock?"
Immediately a stretch limo driver waves his hand and just like that we had a ride back without having to wait in line.
I can't even articulate how sexy it was that he was so on point. Normally when it comes to dating I'm the one that has to figure things out so for a guy to take so much of the lead and be SO FREAKING EFFICIENT in the process was SUCH a turn on.
We then head back to our rooms, and Antonio kisses me good night for the evening.
And not like the 8th grade making out, end of the world type kiss ... this was sweet. Completely innocent, and a perfect ending to the day.
I wake up sometime around 9 the next morning and I laugh that this is my life. How am I in Vegas right now in this massive suite all to myself with a gorgeous guy on the other side of that door that is treating me with so much respect and dignity.
<tangenet> See, women think that men give them their value when it is in fact the opposite. A woman decides how she presents herself to a man and the man then responds by the signals she is sending out. I couldn't be bought by Antonio, and he knew that. Yes, I accepted this adventure, but I ABSOLUTELY wasn't going to just sleep with him because of it. I am at a different stage in my life right now and seeking more. The way he was treating me was directly in line with what I was projecting. </tangent>
A few minutes into being awake I hear a knock at the adjoining door.
Antonio approaches laughing questioning the etiquette of "the other side of the door." Do I just knock and enter?
Here, he says, handing me a cup of coffee in bed.
As quickly as he entered he left. Take your time waking up, I've asked for a later check out time giving us enough time to collect ourselves.
I then took look at the coffee cup in complete shock.
Did my date really just bring me coffee in bed?
I take a sip.
HOLY SHIT!! It's a caramel macchiato!! He remembered my order!!
I smile as I continue to sip.
I'm not at ALL a morning person. If I'm just waking up you have to give me at least an hour to putz around and collect myself before ever talking to me.
The fact that he picked up on that intuitively surprised me.
This is a first, I thought.
After a little bit, we then both got ourselves together and headed over to see the sharks at the Mandalay Bay. I'm SUPER passionate about photography so getting to snap pics of the majestic creatures made me really happy.
We then toured all through the casinos making it all the way down into Caesars by late afternoon. The conversation flowed so freely with him, and between the sights and sounds - everything was so consuming.
Let's sit and grab a drink, said Antonio.
We then found an open bar at Caesars and continued talking.
I'd really like to see you again, he said.
I'd like to see you again too, I replied.
Can I ask you something though since you seem to be radically honest?
Shoot, he said.
Am I an ice queen?
Yeah, guys that I've dated have told me over and over that on our first date I seem so shut off and cold. I was curious if energetically you picked up on that at all.
He laughs saying see that pilar over there? That is you. You are steel and you are a pilar. Guys can come by and knock on you to see if anyone is home, but you are in control and you are very focused on your business and what you are doing with it. I don't even have conversations with women like the ones I've been having with you. You're very smart, and men are just lucky if you allow them to amuse you.
I almost teared up when he said that because it was so eloquently put and so honest; Antonio's eyes could never tell a lie.
I really appreciate that, I reply back. I don't mean to be this way, I've been doing so much personal work in the last year.
It shows, he calmly replied.
We then grabbed some dinner at the airport and headed back home to LA.
I don't want to leave, I said as he grabbed two cabs.
He hugged me handing me a wad of cash. Don't be stingy with the driver, he said. I'll call you later.
AAAANNNNNNDDD just like that the best date of my life ended. I'm not even sure what to think, feel, or anything right now. Everything about that date was so effortless and so appeasing to my personality. I know obviously any guy can read up on me and figure that out - but everything with him was so organic and natural. He's already UBER successful and women are just as intimidated of his status as men are of my popularity.
Maybe this could work I thought on the cab ride back. MAAAAYYYBBBBEEEEEEEEE