"Hi, this is Matt," said the message on Eric's phone, once we had used my phone to locate it. (It was under his desk.) "I was calling to talk to Jenny about the rice and beans meat substitute she made for tacos Sunday. There's a potluck I'm going to tomorrow. If you can, give me a call in the next hour or so, so I can go pick up ingredients."
I was extremely flattered. We had tacos for the not-a-shower, and I had made a Spanish rice with black beans in it that a couple people had praised (and that I like a lot; I had the last for lunch today), and Matt had said something about having a taco with that instead of meat, which I thought was quite the compliment.
It was two hours after he'd called and my mouth was full of homemade chocolate ice cream (excellent, except next time we'll definitely skip the chocolate chips--or maybe substitute with fudge), so it was a few minutes later that I called back. Matt is Eric's sister's husband, so he's my future brother-in-law squared, I think. Anyway, I got his voicemail, and said, "This is Jenny, sorry for calling back so late, we couldn't find Eric's phone. You've probably found something else for the potluck, but if not, give me a call, we'll be up for a couple of hours, my number is XXX-XXXX."
When I hung up Eric was giving me this I-love-you-for-this-thing-you're-doing look he gives me sometimes. I demanded an accounting. He said, "I like that you were flattered, and I like that you were willing to call him back."
I had come in a couple of hours ago from putting up rabbit fence around my garden because the kids in the backyard abutting ours were making me self-conscious, so my shyness was probably higher-placed in his mind than usual. I said, "Yeah, my last few jobs have been teaching me to keep the shy on the inside. Which is where it wants to be, really."