Dater X: The Password
Call me Kanye: I nearly had a meltdown over the Grammys.
No, not because of my years-long feud with T.Swift; rather, I was in The Bartender’s city, and very much looking forward to some of the performances. We went out to dinner, with plans to be home in time for the start of the show, and while he was not nearly as excited about Adele (go figure) as I was, he offered to set me up with a CBS streaming account so that I could watch the show while he enjoyed a Bob’s Burgers Netflix-a-thon. (Neither of us has cable.)
Naturally, CBS had other plans.
When we got home from watching the pre-awards red carpet show at the bar over dinner, The Bartender posted up at his computer to get the live stream set up for me. After several attempts, he couldn’t seem to get the account to activate despite inputting his credit card information several times; I suggested that he try mine, instead, in case that made any difference.
It did not.
After several more attempts, he apologized and suggested that I plan to watch the highlights the following day. I wasn’t quite ready to quit, so he retired to the bedroom and I plopped down in front of the computer to do battle with CBS.
An hour later, I was no closer to watching the Grammys, and most of the performances that I had hoped to see had already happened. Frustrated but resigned, I joined The Bartender in bed and watched some cartoons before we went to sleep.
The next day, both of us had emails waiting for us from CBS, congratulating us on setting up our new accounts! Annoyed, I immediately wrote to ask them to delete mine, but The Bartender mused that he might keep it, since we had also used a streaming service to watch the end of the Super Bowl a few weeks before. I didn’t think much more of it except to pull up Adele’s performance on YouTube, and a few days later, I returned to my city.
Which is when The Bartender got an email from CBS confirming his payment information. On my card.
The Bartender texted me and apologized; I told him it wasn’t his fault and offered to just cancel the damned thing myself. To log in, I needed his info, and without missing a beat, he texted me his email and password.
Just like that.
To give you a frame of reference, I get a little squidgy when my mother passes too close behind me while I’m typing my password in to buy movie tickets on Fandango. After one too many close calls involving my hard-earned money and online identity theft, I treat my passwords like I treat my snatch: that shit is private. And here was The Bartender, just handing me his without a second thought.
That’s when I realized exactly how much we have to trust one another.
The idea had occurred to me, dimly, near Valentine’s Day, when friends posted memes that teased, “If he calls on 2/13 or 2/15, you are the side piece.” I’ve never placed a lot of importance on holidays like that, but it was really nice to spend it with The Bartender this year, turning the Hallmark Holiday into a days-long celebration of his birthday and Valentine’s Day. A few days later, as we finished a lavish dinner at a favorite restaurant of mine that we had discussed splitting, he pulled out his credit card and shooed the server away, smiling shyly and explaining that he wanted to do something nice for me for Valentine’s Day. It was totally unnecessary and totally sweet. So while I don’t exactly have fears that I am “the side piece,” old habits do die hard. It has been tough to shake some lingering curiosity about what his life is like when I’m not around.
Credit a lengthy list of less-than-faithful exes, but when you come to expect to be cheated on, it’s hard not to inflict the sins of boyfriends past onto the present, no matter how unfair.
But then I stepped back and examined the evidence. We’ve been spending every weekend together. He calls me every day when he gets out of work, just to chat and check in and keep us feeling close. Often, my morning starts with a silly text; other days, my afternoon is enlivened by a playful photo of something he knew would amuse me. When big events, like birthdays, come and go, we spend them together. And the relief of knowing that he trusts me – and that I can trust him – makes our whole relationship feel unexpectedly light and, increasingly, strong. He gave me his password to cancel the CBS subscription. I gave him keys to my apartment. And somewhere in between, we have given each other something to believe in. Something worth trusting.
Until next week,
Dater X 3.0