I pulled into the West Village shopping and dining district at 7 pm on the dot, thanks to our joint shower. Not to mention, we conserved water, and I don’t think my boobs had ever been cleaner.
I’d showered with other guys before and it was usually pretty awkward. Either one of us would be freezing while the other hogged the water, or we’d be grasping at the shower curtain to keep our balance while we traded places.
I even took a bubble bath with Will once. I thought it would be fun, but the bubbles were out of control and they piled so high I couldn’t even tell he was in the tub with me. Every time I tried to wipe the suds from my face, I just ended up adding another layer. I’d never wanted to fight an inanimate air-filled object worse than I wanted to that night.
But for once I had a big garden tub, wide enough for us both to fit under the falling water. I forgot to grab the manly body and shampoo I’d bought him from the drawer in my bedroom, so I lathered him up with Dove Cream Oil Body Wash and he washed his hair with Herbal Essence Tousle Me Softly shampoo. Sexy.
So he smelled like a girl but he looked like a man in his freshly pressed jeans and polo shirt (yes, he even irons his jeans). He stared out the window as I drove toward the parking garage.
“Wow, this is like my first taste of an American shopping center,” he said, his eyes glued to the storefronts.
I wasn’t exactly sure what was so enthralling about an “American shopping center,” but I couldn’t wait until he had his first bite of Tex-Mex. I parked and we walked toward Mi Cocina, my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, partly because I used to work there but mostly because just one of their Mambo Taxi margaritas could put you on your ass.
We sat at a booth next to the window and waited for Shanna and Ronnie. Cayden squeezed my knee under the table and leaned in to kiss me. I could tell people were looking at us and thinking, Oh great, it’s one of those weird couples who sit on the same side of the table on a date.
Just then a waiter came up to our table and said something to Cayden in Spanish. Cayden looked at me. I looked at the waiter. Then back at Cayden and shrugged. Yes, I’m half Cuban, but my once-fluent Spanish skills plummeted once I left for college. The waiter repeated his question to Cayden, still in Spanish. We both stared at him. I thought I heard the word for “drink,” but before I could translate the waiter switched to English. We ordered waters while we waited for the rest of our party.
“He thought I was Mexican!” Cayden said, amused.
“Yeah, I told you I had no idea what you were when I first met you. But now that we’re in Texas, I guess you’re Mexican! So get used to it, Paco.”
I saw Shanna round the corner with Ronnie just behind her.
“Shanna!” I yelled as I jumped up to embrace her in a hug. I always felt like an Amazon woman when I hugged little Shanna.
Cayden stood up behind me, waiting to introduce himself. The second Shanna saw him she let go of me and ducked around me to greet Cayden.
“Oh my God. The famous Cayden! I’ve heard so much about you!” I heard her say behind me as I hugged Ronnie.
“I’ve heard just as much about you. So good to finally meet you!”
“Hey man, how’s it going?” Ronnie said as he shook Cayden’s hand.
Once the introductions were squared away, Ronnie slid in the booth across from Cayden and Shanna slid in across from me.
“So, what do you think of Texas?” Ronnie asked while Shanna leaned in, watching his mouth as if what he was about to say might come with subtitles.
“Well, it’s big! And you really do need a car to get anywhere, don’t you?” Cayden answered.
Shanna looked at me for translation. His accent took a lot of getting used to. But before long we were all drinking and chatting and enjoying delicious Tex Mex.
“So how is it living together?” Cayden asked. Shanna and Ronnie had been living together for all of two months, so it’s safe to say they’re in their adjustment phase.
“Well,” Ronnie said. “I have to get dressed in the hallway by the front door because that’s where my ‘closet’ is.”
“Babe! I totally gave away like four bags of clothes! I downsized! We just need a bigger closet!”
I put my hand on Cayden’s knee under the table and he put his on top of mine. I could tell we were thinking the same thing: I can’t wait for our adjustment period.
“Well, living with a boy is so much different than living with a girl, that’s for sure,” Shanna said. “Like, there are rules I never thought I’d have to voice. I thought they were just understood.”
“Like what?” I asked, thoroughly amused.
“Like, he comes in the bathroom and pees while I’m brushing my teeth!” She turned to Ronnie. “You can’t pee while my toothbrush is in my mouth! I’ll gag!”
“Well, I didn’t know there was a rule about that. It’s not like I’m peeing on your toothbrush.”
It was like a sitcom. In fact, it was almost like Rules of Engagement because Jen and Adam just moved in together and are also in the midst of their adjustment phase. It was nice being able to watch the real-life sitcom with Cayden.
I stopped to wonder what kind of weird habits Cayden had. Did he clip his toenails at the kitchen table? Did he drink milk straight from the carton? Did he drink milk with pizza? (That always made me gag as a kid, watching people sip milk with their pizza in the cafeteria.)
Just as we hoped, Ronnie and Cayden hit it off. While they were talking about business or travel or sports or whatever guys talk about, Shanna and I had a conversation of our own.
“Ah, he’s adorable!” she said across the table to me. That’s one of the good things about men: They can’t multitask, so as long as they were busy talk to each other, Shanna and I could be planning our future kids with them without them even noticing. Not that that’s what we were doing.
“Yeah, I think he’s pretty cute. I think I might keep him.”
“He fits in the plan!” Shanna said with a huge smile on her face.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Shanna and I made a plan in high school that we’d marry men who would become best friends and then we’d travel together and rent a vacation home together on the beach. Oh, and Shanna and I would be pregnant at the same time so we could do maternity yoga together so we could be cute pregnant woman. Gross, I know.
“Yes, he’s definitely plan worthy! So we need to plan a couples’ trip!” I’d always wanted to go on a couples’ trip. Somewhere tropical where Shanna and I could go get facials while the boys played a round of golf or whatever it is boys do while they’re on vacation. We could enjoy dinner and a bottle of wine together at a table by the beach…
We finished our dinner and our drinks, and poor Cayden was struggling to keep his eyes open. It was 4 am his time, so I couldn’t blame him.
“Well, I need to go tuck this kid into bed,” I said before I flagged down our waiter to ask for the check.
“What’s on the agenda for tomorrow?” Shanna asked.
“Tomorrow, Cayden gets to meet the family.”
“Good luck, man!," Ronnie said. "Can we come!?”