I have this habit of building things up in my head, and I'm pretty sure most girls do too. If I can make an assumption about my gender here I'd say that most girls build up their relationships with boys--many prior to their first date are picking out those elusive wedding colors (who knew there was such a thing?) and naming babies. Now I don't do that (though I have been known to do that for my friend's relationships--sorry Switter, you know how excitable I get) but I do tend to build up other things: outfits, trips, jobs (have yet to sit at a cafe with Boy and Girl eating pain au chocolate, wearing berets and speaking perfect French--hey, I never said it was a realistic buildup) and even blog posts. When they don't turn out as I desired I suffer from varying degrees of disappointment. I'm happy to report though that more often than not, the reality supersedes the imagined.
Anyway, after a day of traipsing around Athens I was hot, bored and alone--three things I don't like to be. I decided to make my way to the beach to soak up some of the last Grecian rays and clean the pounds of dust that had accumulated on my legs and feet. I got off the metro and was instantly disappointed to see no beach. I walked over a bridge and was still land-locked. I was a bit sad because on my map it looked like the beach was there but I persevered and hopped on a tram to get another perspective of the city. I sort of zoned out (and attempted to avoid the couple to my right displaying more than a little public affection) but at one stop I noticed the sparkle of the sea once more. I hopped out (little did I know that more beautiful and populous beaches awaited me further down the tram line) and headed to the shore. I perched upon a rock and was enjoying the sunshine when I saw him.
Now perhaps I had spent too much time at the Acropolis that morning but I could have sworn that he was Adonis. He walked into the water and I seriously could not avert my eyes. He swam around and soon started swimming to his right, which was closer to me. I didn't mind as I got a better view of this incredible specimen. He stopped swimming when he was in front of me (but still a few feet into the water) and motioned for me to come join him. I nearly did the Molly Ringwald 16 Candles turn around to see if he was motioning to anyone else but since I was sitting with my back against a rock wall I figured it was for me. I tried to be cool and motion that I didn't have my suit so he came closer and closer. "What is it you are called?" he asked. "Jill, and you?" "Steve." (No offense to Steve's out there but that wasn't the name I had been hoping for.) "Steve isn't very Greek." "No, I am Portuguese."
Steve came out of the water (be still my heart) and we chatted. When he asked how long I had to stay something in my gut told me to say I had to leave in an hour (thank you gut reactions!). His English was poor so we communicated via Fr-English. Half French half English which made for a very interesting conversation. He asked me to come sit with him, and let me tell you that's when the real trouble started. We chatted about jobs and where we lived (there are many kilometers between Portugal and America he was sad to note) which was fine until he asked the dreaded, "Are you marriage?" And when I responded no he said we should be married. But we could wait to make babies, "just be company" for now. "We're happy together, we go to an island and live. Alone. I just like you." How generous. Then he tried to start holding my hand. If any of you know me trying to hold my hand is as painful for me as trying to set it on fire. I might even prefer the fire. Public displays of affection are rarely warranted or welcomed and even a man as attractive as Steve wasn't going to get away with it. (He did tell me that he came over to talk to me because of my smile and my nice "these," points to his legs. Okay, you can compliment my legs beautiful man.)
Still he started to get on my nerves (to the point that when he'd turn around I would make faces behind his back much like a bratty 13 year old girl) and I was pretty grateful that I told him I had to leave at 6:15. I was, however, nervous that I would run into him in the streets of Athens (that's the kind of thing that would happen to me) as I told him my flight left that night--he did try to tell me that we could go to the airport and push my flight back to the next day but I politely declined. I spent the first part of my evening at the airport nervous that he'd show up proclaiming his love, but alas it would seem Steve had moved on.
I did, however, manage to get a picture of this beautiful man:
Too bad he was so annoying!