Impulse Control

Author on Playa Lagartillo, CR
connecting with sun and sea

Question regarding impulse control: do I need it, or am I just paying attention to my ‘inner voice’? Do share your thoughts in a comment!

A few weeks ago, I dined at a Purgatory restaurant known for its creative cocktails with a fellow I’ve known for a few years but have seen only a few times, and not since the COVID-19 pandemic’s denouement. Eighteen hours later, he’d made plans to join me for my first week at a rustic hacienda on a Pacific beach in Costa Rica. It didn’t strike me as an impulsive gesture until I mentioned it to a friend, who burst into laughter at the news.

“I feel volume two of your memoir brewing,” she commented, chortling.

We first met when Lowe’s sent him to install a garage door opener. It was a warm October day. He was attractive, with curly black hair and blue eyes, and far more intelligent and engaging than the hapless hillbillies or even competent Midwesterners that usually arrive to accomplish household tasks. In a way, the stereotypical hot handyman who is SO MUCH MORE than his job description. Would I follow the narrative? I inquired about why he chose this line of work and he explained that he began installation work while a geology major at the local university and uninspired by other career options, continued the work he enjoyed. He was easy to talk to, engaging, and…loved Paris.

We went on several dates and inched toward closeness. One time, he prepared a picnic and showed me his favorite places in the woods. We may have met another two times; we liked and were attracted to one another, but the stars hadn’t aligned, and I was mostly in Europe. But that was OK. Although we hardly knew one another, our sporadic texts continued (mainly, I guessed, during gaps in his dating life).

I returned to Purgatory in Fall 2021 and reached out for help with a home lighting problem. He cheerily suggested a time to stop by but since the problem fixed itself, I let him know he was off the hook. His answer: “life is good, hope it is for you as well.” He sent a ‘happy birthday’ text in February 2022, inquiring if I were in Purgatory. “Yup, since August,” I responded. He replied with a heart emoji. We didn’t meet before I left for Europe in June 2022.

When a friend was searching for a property manager recently, I reached out to my geologist friend for advice and suggested getting together to catch up and he suggested dinner. I had planned to take the bus so that I could drink worry free, even if I had use of a borrowed car at the time and could Uber (that’s a verb now, right?) home if necessary. But when he texted me that he might be late for our 6:30 reservation, I suggested that were it easier and he were coming from home (he often sits in his hot tub after work), he could pick me up enroute. I wondered, without a lot of anxiety, if this set up expectations on his part.

We had a lovely, early, evening and I invited him in when he dropped me off. He told me about renovation plans at his Michigan beach house, and I told him about my upcoming travels. We shared photos, and he sighed, enviously, expressing the wish that he could get away for just a little while. So, I invited him to join me.

“Really?” he responded incredulously.

“Yes, of course,” I assured. “You’re not the first person I invited, but the friends I did can’t or won’t for various reasons. I’m happy alone but would also be happy having a kindred spirit along.”

He went home around 11, and before I went to bed—shortly after midnight—I sent my itinerary in case he was serious: the first three weeks at a Pacific coast beach, then three days in the mountains, then back to Purgatory. By the time I checked messages the next morning around 8, he’d already sent a text: what were my flight and travel times? By lunchtime he confirmed his participation. It was the fastest I’d ever arranged a trip with someone, much less someone I didn’t know particularly well.

Apparently, my judgement has vastly improved since the fiasco related in my 21 November 2022 blogpost, “Never Again.” As he departed in a taxi after his weeklong visit, I felt glad for his company. It alleviated the travel anxiety described in my 20 January 2023 blogpost and was enjoyable and relaxing. I wasn’t happy to see him go, but I wasn’t sad, either. That little voice inside that whispered freedom! wouldn’t allow it!

By michellefacos

I am a multi-lingual art historian, consultant (art, travel, writing), editor, entrepreneur, lecturer, and writer who has lived along the shores of the Baltic, the Mediterranean, and Lake Erie, in New York and in Paris, and in the forests of Quebec and Sweden. While I’ve lived a semi-nomadic existence for the past few decades, I’m inching toward a life anchored in Europe.


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