The first time I met Ian, his smile felt like an award. His approving look validated the changes I'd made in recent months: going from life-long blonde to bright red hair (daring,!), twenty pound weight loss (so hard), sassy, come-on confidence (fake but well executed). My three inch heels were as comfortable as steel traps, but I wobbled my way into Ian's heart in them. Well, maybe not his heart. I'm not sure he had one.
At that night's conference dinner, there was a buffet of women for him to choose from: A size zero brunette in red satin. A statuesque blonde who'd recently summited Kilamanjaro. A cute redhead with a big butt. Any of them seemed a more viable choice for a dashing foreigner like Ian, but he found something special in me. I'd been working hard on myself. I was owed this.
Our initial conversation was intelligent but perfunctory. Half of our brains weren't listening; too busy sizing each other up. Apropos of nothing, Ian, in his smooth British accent tells me he forgot his reading glasses in his room. Let's keep talking he says. Just come down to my room with me for a minute.
Red* Flag* Stupid* Danger* DON'T* GO*
As the floors dropped from 16 to 10 to 7 I thought "He'll try to kiss me" There was that kind of energy between us. I had recently turned 38. He was at least twelve years older. But he was tall and good looking. And that accent...
In his room were bedroom slippers, and papers strewn about. A Tom Clancy novel was opened on the nightstand with a pair of reading glasses on top. Ian pocketed them. Then he did kiss me, pulling me toward him. The kiss lasted a long time. Too long. No magic. Zero I just wanted him to stop. Maybe I just need more time to warm up to him sexually?
Finally Ian removed his lips from mine and ran his fingers through his graying hair. "Let's fuck" he said casually.
The vulgarity was an instant turn off.. it may as well have been a multi-syllabic fart. All I could think to do is look at him and ask why.
"Why not?" he said. "I've been watching you since the beginning of the conference.. And I like to fuck. Don't you?"
"Not after knowing someone for less than half an hour, no. "
Should I want to have sex with a stranger? My friend Sue would have happily already been on top of him. Am I boring? Not hot?
Instinct overrides my self doubt.. "I'm leaving."
In one deft, animal kingdom moment Ian grabs my arm and pushes me into the bed. He smothers me in a long kiss that makes me feel like I have a paper bag over my head. My struggling turns him on. I can feel his weapon, hard as steel, against my thigh.
I inform Ian that this is not consensual and to get off me. He doesnt. I scream a hysterical " Get off me! " while elbowing him in the face.. It ends with him grumbling "Then why did you come to my room?"
Good question. Terrible question.
Six years later and 30 pounds heavier, I'm at another conference. A co-worker excitedly informs me that she was just talking to a man who asked about me. She brings him over. It's Ian. I'm planning my quick escape, but Ian is quicker. He was just on his way to the bar he mumbled. Excuse him. This said after a quick disapproving perusal of my larger body.
Minutes later, Ian is chatting up a cute younger woman.. I don't know what he's saying to her, but she seems enthralled. So enthralled that yes, of course she'll stop off at his room with him to get his glasses.
An hour later, alone in my room, eating a room service hot fudge sundae, I wonder if I should have warned the young woman. Too late now. I dip the long spoon deep into the parfait glass. "Hi", I communicate to her telepathically. "I'm your future self."
"I hope you like ice cream."