|Sister Roma and columnist Pollo Del Mar attended opening night of A Sordid Affair, an intimate evening with award-winning playwright, film director and producer Del Shores and the cast of Sordid Lives: The Series, including actress Ann Walker (pictured),
Notorious Sainted Glamazon About Town
I absolutely, positively did not intend to fall in loveâ€¦but I did.
When I met Dancer several months ago, there was nothing to indicate romance between us was in the cards. Yes, from the very first moment I knew he was adorable, incredibly sweet and a great conversationalist. I was flattered by how he instantly included me in his plans. Heâ€™s a fantastic kisser. The way he would constantly entwine his pinky finger with mine, even as my hand rested on the gearshift of my car, felt so natural.
Still, the fact remained he was in town for only a short while with the touring Broadway musical In the Heights. Though we seemed to hit it off from the very start, common sense said it would be a casual fling at best while the Tony-winning production played San Franciscoâ€™s Curran Theatre. With that in mind, Dancer and I set out to have fun and enjoy whatever time we might have together.
Soon, though, it started to feel like something more. The ease of our interactions, the connection in our touch, the way we syncedâ€¦everything told me there was something unique, perhaps even incredibly special, about what was developing between us. By the time his tour packed up two weeks later, we couldnâ€™t ignore that genuine emotions had started to surface.
So at his suggestion, Dancer and I decided to continue dating when he landed in Los Angeles a few weeks later. It was a scary prospect for us both â€“ complete with the lingering question, â€śAnd what about after Los Angeles?â€ť â€“ but I felt confident we could cross that bridge when we reached itâ€¦together. Nothing is quite as frightening when you face it with another person, Iâ€™ve come to understand, so I decided to have faith and give it â€“ to give us â€” a chance.
The next several weeks were magical. During repeated trips back and forth to L.A., Dancer and I explored Hollywood, hit the trendiest nightclubs with the most fabulous friends and celebrities, laughed, lived, celebrated and grew together. Our time proved to be everything I could have ever hoped it would be â€“ and significantly more.
It was 4th of July when something I had secretly known for a while became obvious to others. Partying in the North Hollywood home of departing In the Heights lead Sabrina Sloan, I recall gazing across the crowded dining room, watching Dancer joke with friends. Apparently my attentiveness caught the eye of his castmate Jenny, who pulled me back to reality with her keen observation.
â€śI know that look,â€ť she said, beaming at me, â€śYouâ€™re in love!â€ť
It was true, I knew, and there was no point in denying it. Still, there was no need to admit it either.
After all, Dancer and I, at that time, had only been dating scarcely more than a month. Though I unquestionably felt he was at my side for this emotional journey, I know all-too-well how differently people process, come to terms with and accept â€śI love you.â€ť
Few of us want to be in that vulnerable place of being the first to admit our feelings to another, thusly giving that person a degree of power and control over our emotions. Itâ€™s a terrifying place to find oneself, and certainly not someplace I wind up routinely! Hell, it took a quarter-century before I uttered those words for the first time to a boyfriend, and Iâ€™ve used them only sparingly since.
Though I was certain of my feelings for Dancer, the last thing I wanted was for our relationship to become uncomfortable or strained in the all-too-real event he was unable or unready to reciprocate verbally on such a grand scale. Even moreso, I was paralyzed by fear of repeating extremely painful patterns of past relationships.
Being in love, Iâ€™ve read and come to believe, is placing your feelings in the hands of another person and trusting he or she will do nothing to hurt those. Since I still couldnâ€™t yet muster that trust in Dancer, I kept quiet in words while letting my actions speak for themselves.
When I returned to L.A. two weeks later, though, I was finally ready to say what my heart had felt all along. Things were progressing at a rapid clip, with Dancer talking enthusiastically about introducing me to his sister when In the Heights landed in San Diego the following week. To me, meeting his family was a clear indicator the time was right; there was no longer a reason to hide what seemed obvious to even the most casual observers.
On my drive down from San Francisco that week, which marked the showâ€™s last at the Pantages Theatre and two-months with Dancer, my mind twisted back and forth, questioning exactly how and when to say those three little words. Once my mind was set on telling him what I felt, I wanted only for that moment to be as special as our relationship.
At first I considered telling him one night while lying in bed togetherâ€¦but I chickened out. The next day, walking on Santa Monica Boardwalk, seemed ideal â€” but my gut told me to stay silent. Later that afternoon, I decided to take a different tactic.
Rather than blurting out my feelings, as we headed for a hiking trail overlooking the canyons surrounding the city, I opted to address the question we had asked ourselves weeks before: â€śWhat about after Los Angeles?â€ť With only days before the tour headed farther south, it certainly appeared an appropriate time to revisit the subject.
â€śCan we talk about what weâ€™re doing next?â€ť I asked, the sun pouring into the convertible. â€śWe only have a few more days left here.â€ť
While I meant specifically when and how we planned to meet in San Diego, he had something else altogether in mind.
â€śIâ€™ve been meaning to talk to you about that,â€ť Dancer said. He didnâ€™t look at me as he spoke, though his pinky was still entwined with mine on the gearshift. He continued somewhat quietly. â€śIâ€¦ I donâ€™t think we should see each other any more.â€ť
He might has well have punched me in the chest. My hand started to shake as knots instantly formed in my stomach. I could barely breathe. Then, as tears welled up in my eyes, my mind went on autopilot. â€śAre you sure?â€ť I asked.
â€śIâ€™m sure,â€ť he said. With little left to say, we returned to the car. I drove to his apartment and silently packed my bags. He cried, I think, while I tried to remain stony.
Finally, as I hugged Dancer good-bye, I broke down. In those last moments, just before closing the door on what we had, I finally told him exactly how I felt. It all came out in a rush. There was no shame in it, no worry about how he might respond, because I had nothing left to lose.
â€śI never meant to fall in love with you,â€ť I confessed, â€śBut I did.â€ť
Of course, the biggest problem with falling in love â€“ especially when you donâ€™t plan to â€” is you can sometimes get your heart broken. I absolutely, positively did not intend for that to happen either.
But it did.
Follow â€śThe Glamazonâ€ť at Facebook.com/PolloDelMar or Twitter.com/TheGlamazonPDM. email at Pollo_DelMar@Yahoo.com.