Monday, October 20, 2014

Telling the kiddos

I was all good after Thursday, and it was time to bring my kiddos into it. I have a family of seven that I'm an Auntie for (well, the oldest just puts up with me, but the rest--5 girls and a boy--we'll, we're pretty close). I take them on dates, and they let me crash at their place after church, get them addicted to TV shows, show them old movie musicals, make smoked gouda mac & cheese, have dance parties, and sit with them at church so I'm not all by my lonesome. I adore them, and I am pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

Any way, I had told them a little bit on the previous Sunday (little T was the gasping eight-year-old), and now I figured I should tell a little more. So I crashed after work. And then I blushed a lot. I told them all the little stories that preceded this post. And they ate it up. 

"Do you love him?!?" Over-eager, incorrigible M gushed, clasping her fingers sweetly under her chin and batting her eyelashes. 

"No," I said, very honestly at the time. "I love you, and H, and P," I continued, as people's heads started popping up all over the room and from around doorways, "and T, and R, and L, and your Mom, but I don't know him well enough yet. It's too early. It's barely been. . . okay, so today it's been a month--exactly."

"Well, I think he loves you!" She declared with the confidence of eleven, "I think he knew right away. You're just going to have to figure it out. You have a boyfriend!"

Side note: Yes, it is our birthday today. So, Happy Birthday to someone who has brought me a lot of happiness, and yes, love, this year--and, hopefully, for this next one, too. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Just because I can.

We had plans for the Apex Jazz Festival and a singles dance in Durham that Saturday, but no plans during the week. By Thursday, I was anxious--really anxious. So after I finished all the things I had on my to-do list errand-wise (and I was in Morrisville), I made a decision.

"If I decided I just wanted a hug and showed up at your front door, would you have time to do something?"

"Yes."

"I'm not kidding."

"I believe you."

So at 8ish, I made it to Kinston. We met yet again, at the Walmart. As he pulled up, and I got a hug, everything just calmed down for me. I could breathe. That anxious feeling all went away. Oddly enough

I knew I could only stay until 10/10:30 at the latest.

We thought about hitting the county fair, but as I have been to the McLean County 4-H fair so very often, we opted for stargazing in the park.

The next day, all the anxiety that had been building in my chest stayed away. My sister laughs at me; but he calms me down, and I really like that.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Going Public

The week before our adventure in Carrboro, we had talked about going public on Facebook--but he put the actual timing in my hands. Which was good for control-freak me, but also a little anxiety inducing.

As he left that Saturday night (well, Sunday morning), I asked myself a question, "What are you waiting for?"

My crazy brain replied, "I'm not sure."

So, I changed my status on Facebook.

And Facebook exploded. 139 likes? People I hadn't heard from in years commented or liked my post.

Near the end of Sacrament meeting the next day, I got a text from my 18-year-old (boy) former seminary student, "I hear you got a new man!"

Awkward, hysterical laughter escaped from me in the middle of the last speaker's talk.

Another text came from a different friend, "U got a boyfriend." I could hear her singsongy tone.

As I read it, an eight-year-old next to me gasped. And I realized that my secret may have to come out to the lovely family that has adopted me as an Auntie. 11-year-old M was going to be ecstatic. And H was going to believe that he truly had a link to Santa.

It was funny to watch how people reacted online and in real life.

I had dinner at my visiting teacher's house that night, and as I was leaving she was like, "So anything new I should know about?"

And my visiting teaching companion was like, "Have you seen Facebook today?"

"What? You can't leave after saying that!"

We did a quick little update, with a promise from me for more info later.

All-in-all, N and I agreed, our favorite comment was the Countess DeWinters' "What in the world are you thinking, getting yourself into relationships with boys at 4am???" Both of us giggled for a while after reading that one.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Passing a test...

So, I really had a hard time that week. I had decided not to freak out too much, but that wasn't super easy for me.

One of my music friends was having a CD release party in Carrboro that Saturday, and I decided to see how it went bringing N. There were supposed to be fire-breathers, belly dancers, and a bunch of bands--so a fun time, right?

When we got to the Station (a little after 8), the teacups had yet to go on, and were only setting up.

"So, we should go to dinner?" I asked.

"Oh yeah, go to dinner," John said.

I then dragged him to the Spotted Dog, telling him stories about my time living in Carrboro--eating at the bar after the temple (they still served food after 10), and the spinnin' dip which they have discontinued (a crime). I also pointed out it has the best calamari in the triangle. The best. He'd never had calamari.

"You guys are so cute," the hostess remarked after apologizing for our wait.

"What?" I asked, startled.

"It's just fun to see people in love. You're just so into each other; you don't care as long as you're together."

We both just smiled at each other. And I'm pretty sure I blushed a little. . . or a lot.

After making him try some calamari, we headed back over to the bar. The guys still had time to go, but we ended up talking to John's wife, Beth, and a bunch of the other members of the band--or friends of the band.

N did a good job mingling with these odd ducks in a place that some Mormon boys would maybe struggle with. It actually was really nice to introduce him to this area of my life that I've rarely shared with many others. It was important that he appreciate it, too.

He did great. The only time I was a little worried came about 1/2 an hour before the band went on. They were setting up, and the hippy drum circle in the parking lot next to the stage was going to town. . . And then the poll dancers started. In the Weaver Street Market parking lot, there were scantily clad, teeny-tiny ladies, doing gymnastic feats. . . in front of the family-friendly crowd.

"Do they know there are four six-year-olds sitting five feet away?" He asked.

"I'm not sure. I kind of want to know where their parent's are."

We both spent a lot of time not-looking, and I was blushing profusely. "Please don't tell your Mom I took you to see poll-dancing," I begged. And he grinned like a toddler caught in the cookie jar and just started laughing.

"You're a bad influence, huh?"

I pretty much wanted to melt through the floor. But as the music started, I knew that we were going to be okay. We danced in our seats, cheered for the band, and made little comments about the show and the crazy people around us.

He even made it to the encore band. . . where shortly after he fell asleep on my shoulder while I talked to Beth. He still had to drive the two hours home, so I woke him up and steered him out.

As we said goodbye he said, "You freaked out this week, huh?"

"Yeah," I sheepishly answered, but then became extremely serious, "If you're not feeling this, I need you to just tell me--rip the bandaid off."

"I will," he said, taking some stuff to his car. He then came back to kiss me, "I'm still here."

Friday, October 10, 2014

Freaking out

So my really big freak out came the Monday after a weekend in Kinston. Everything went well. His ward loved me, and I had fun, but for some reason I couldn't put my finger on, I was done.

I talked myself out of the whole relationship by noon on Monday with my Cousin A. And then later that night with B. But some reason I decided I needed to talk with K about it.

"You're being super nitpicky, T," She said.

I was affronted--no I wasn't!

"I love my husband, deeply, truly love him, and after a weekend alone with him, I'm ready for us both to go to work. It's the reality of relationships. You can't write him off that quickly."

Yeah, she had a point. I met with my therapist shortly after.

"I think it says a lot when you start to over-think. I think that is a pretty big clue."

Part of me wanted to ask, "What's the clue?" But I realized that was also slightly self-delusional.

So, turns out when I get a little too into it and emotionally invested, I run. I strap on my running shoes and get ready to scram.

We weren't doing a date night that week (which also lead to part of my freak out--"what do you mean you don't want to see me more than once this week?!?"), but we had set up to meet on Saturday for a friend's CD release party. I decided to see what happened. And to give it a little bit more time.

Looking back on it now--I'm really glad I did.

Dancing in Kinston. . .

The Thursday before I thought, "this is weird, my relationship status [on Facebook] may change after this weekend." But I didn't realize how well the weekend would go, and how much I would freak out the day after.

I made it by 1pm on Saturday, and we hung out at his house--talked to his Stepdad a little and just wandered around the house talking. Then we left a little early to go to dinner before a Kinston Stake Singles Dance (in New Bern). I struggled a little because I didn't feel like we were connecting over dinner, but after during a trip to the New Bern Waterfront, I was back to being comfortable. In fact, I was a little sorry to be headed to the dance (mostly because we were not going to act like we weren't there together, but we were going to keep it on the down low). 

Actually, the dance was a delight. He has a ton of single friends in the area, and they all were lovely to me. And I made him dance with all the other girls. The last three dances (before I met N), I had not been asked once to dance during a slow song. I was more than happy to point out the girls to him who had yet to dance. 

"You dance beautifully together," one of the little older ladies decided to tell us. Which kept me smiling the rest of the dance. And though there were definitely more girls than guys--the ladies and I had a wonderful time dancing with the gentlemen who were there.

Our friend Eddie showed up partway through the dance.

"Have you kissed him?" I thought he asked.

I'm pretty sure I went many parts pale and red at the same time, "What?"

"Have you kissed him?" Now I was getting really annoyed--what business is it of his if I'm kissing people?

"I'm sorry?"

"Are you staying in Kinston?" he asked one more time.

The relief I felt was palpable, "Yes! Yes, I'm staying in Kinston," I assured, kind of dying that I reacted so oddly.

Later Eddie was even more amusing, "Are you coming to church tomorrow?"

"Yes?"

"Are you singing for us?"

"If you sit next to me at church during the hymns, yes."

"No, you should sing--we need to work that out."

"Um, because they really want a perfect stranger showing up to sing during your church service?"

"Oh, no. They would love it--we need to work that out."

"I think I'm okay, thanks."

N and I drove the 45 minutes back to Kinston--me singing along to music while he slept in the passenger seat. And I could tell I was slightly annoyed he didn't stay awake to keep me awake (I have a Prius and I like to drive--so I drove), but it was around midnight so he had a good excuse.

As he said goodnight to me at the door to the guestroom, he joked, "I could come tuck you in."

I laughed, "I'm pretty sure that could get dicey."

The next day I awoke to find that his mom (who is a nurse and had worked all day the day before and was back at work by the time I got up) had made us bacon and made sure breakfast was all set to go (and had made everything for lunch/dinner later) because she is amazing. As I heated up our breakfast, I streamed some music. September in the Rain came up on the playlist, and as it is one of my favorites; and it was drizzling outside, and September had just started--it felt perfect.

I didn't realize it at the moment but I was a little nervous to go to his ward. It is funny how it came across--I clung to his hand and didn't say a word as we were walking in. Just smiled at people. Though it was nice to sit with someone's arm around you at church.

I loved watching the organist at their ward watch everything going on in the room while modulating by heart from hymn to hymn--sometimes with very interesting meters happening as she did it. She has to be the most informed person in their congregation.

It was fast and testimony meeting--I had totally forgotten. But it also meant that I got to hear Nate's testimony--and the testimonies of his Young Men. It was moving and reassuring; and I really was grateful for his love of his Heavenly Father and his faith in Christ.

After the women behind us was like, "N, who is your lovely friend?"

I laughed. Sadly, he was pulled out of Sunday School for a YMs meeting, and I was left alone to participate in front of his ward. Sadly, I didn't find him until after the rest of the meetings, but by then I had made a good impression on his RS President and a bunch of other people in the ward. Although I could still tell I was nervous. We did happen to snap a picture at the end of the meetings.

We headed back to his house, to heat up the dinner his mother cooked the night before while we were at the dance. I enjoyed sneaking kisses behind his dad's back and dancing in the kitchen while I sang September in the Rain to him. But pretty soon it was time for me to go, and I couldn't read him. It had been a great weekend, and I wasn't sure if we could get better. Something seemed a little final about it, and I couldn't decide what that meant--or what I thought it meant.

So the next day, I freaked out, but turns out that dancing in Kinston itself was a delight. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Getting Caught in the rain and a new tradition

Smithfield again.

Though it had only been since Monday since we saw each other, I was really happy to meet him again in Smithfield. We had decided to just do something easy--Mexican and sitting on the same side of the booth.

It was raining when I got there, and we ended up having to run for the restaurant. And then sat and teased each other about being good while sneaking kisses and playing footsie and eating yummy food.

I think the picture says it all.

My favorite moment though was right before I left, he asked, "How soon can you come on Saturday? Is noon too early?"

And I laughed and said, "Sure--noon could work."


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