Single Mama Bear and The Centaur

by Molly Undercover on August 20, 2017

He showed me his and I showed him mine. . . 

Nicknames, that is. When you’re trying to help your besties (or blog readers) keep date-people stories straight without the benefit of faces, nicknames help. A couple of weeks ago, ‘Wild Animal Man’ aka, ‘The Centaur’ and I had a funny exchange. It was endearing and revealing to learn what he calls me and to see his reaction to my secret name for him.

Background: When it comes to communicating verbally about matters of the heart, The Centaur is not great. For example, he’s never, ever, said many of the usual sweet nothings to me, such as “I like you a lot” or “I think you’re attractive/pretty.” We just don’t really talk along these lines. This may seem like a bad thing—but bear with me! That quality certainly keeps my walls up, which is kinda just the way I want it right now. And he has other lovely qualities: he’s extremely fetching, he’s wild and passionate for life, and he’s great with his dog. 

I arrived at a music festival  knowing I’d see him there. I was looking cute in a woodsy-hippie kind of way  (lace-up sandals and and a thrift store bohemian dress). He looked gorgeous. He is very tall, with broad shoulders and sinewy limbs. Chocolate chip eyes, olive complexion, a mess of dark, long wild hair all over the place. Untamed, sexy. I always get a little flustered when I see him and do weird stuff like spilling beer all over him, having awkward first dates with other men while sitting next to The Centaur the whole time, tripping over my feet like an idiot or accidentally sending him texts about himself meant for my besties. It almost seems like there is something about the Centaur that’s meant to get me SO flustered that I eventually give up, stop overthinking, and stop trying to control my reality. It’s part of the brilliance that besides his physical attractiveness appeals to me about him. This time, I saw him just as I was rubbing handwash all over my hands with a grossed-out face after leaving the Porta Potty. Very cute indeed. 

I flirted. He introduced me to his friends. I didn’t think a lot of it. A little later, he came over to my blanket. Was he gazing at me? That’s the only way I know how to describe the goofy look on his usually distant face. His head was back, and he was half-grinning and looking at me as if he’d never seen me before in his life. Later, I went up to the front of the crowd to enjoy the last band. He popped up beside me and we had fun like we’d never had before. Dancing together, goofing off with his friends and loving the music. As the band took a break he leaned into me. He’s so tall. He has to stoop to talk closely to me. Swoon. The rest of the scene faded out and I was visually, olfactorily and physically fixated on his undomesticated presence and let him pull me close. He said something to me along the lines of “My friend wanted to know who I was flirting with and I was like ‘Oh, that’s just Mama Bear’ and she was like, ‘THAT’S Mama Bear? But, she’s really beautiful!’ and I was like. . . ‘DUH!’”

Did a grown man just use ‘DUH’ in an attempt to compliment my beauty?

:::::Cool story, bro:::: But also, his friends have had a nickname for me? Meaning he talks about me when we’re apart? My head spun a little with surprise and delight at this unusual, for him, self-revelation and the awkward attempt at a compliment. 

As a moniker, I LOVE ‘Mama Bear’! I like it so much I almost want to trade out the name Molly Undercover for it! It’s cute, and also fierce. When ‘Wild Animal Man’ moves on, as I’m sure he will sooner or later, I’ve decided I get to keep this nickname. And I love it. Thanks, hairy and huge Wild Animal Man. 

A little background on how my nicknames for him evolved: ‘The Centaur’ was coined by a mutual friend one night, after this undomesticated man-person had stomped around at a party in only cowboy boots and sparkly spandex. It was quite a sight. The nickname just fit his oversized, beautiful presence. ‘Wild Animal Man’ came from another friend who exclaimed that he was a wild animal when I recounted to her how  he’d curled up one weeknight right on my front porch and fell asleep, snoring like an bear, feet sticking eighteen inches off the porch furniture.

As the rest of the festival crowd seemed to fade away from our fleeting, intimate, bubble of mutual adoration, I revealed to him what I call him to my friends too. He paused a moment. And then, I could swear I saw his chest puff just a little, he rocked back on his heels, and nodded. “I like it,” he said with a grin as the band started to play and we began to dance again. Maybe he likes being seen, named, recognized as much as I do.

Centaur and Mama Bear soon went back to the no-talk situation.

The brief expansion of our verbal exchanges ended there.  But we danced, listened to music and partied with friends in the woods. I had such a good time, and I will never forget the night, even long after the Wild Animal is gone, which he surely will be some day. How totally just right for my newly single Mama Bear self!

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