Monday, November 10, 2014

Catching you up

Things that have happened since our Two Month Anniversary (Oct. 19):
Funny pictures from M
Third weird fortune

  • A few cute little bugs drew some funny pictures.
  • We went out for Chinese--again. 
  • Bonfire in Wilson--where random friends snapped surreptitious pictures of us and we snuggled under a blanket
  • He surprised me by showing up at a Doctor Who brunch (and watched 4 episodes despite not being a super-fan, while I fan-girled with one of my former seminary students)
  • He came and stayed for conference--we even watched the Priesthood session and did a puzzle
  • We had brunch with the family in my ward that has pretty much adopted me. Four-year-old H's prayer: "Thank you that we love Jesus...Thank you that Sister Ruch and her boyfriend could come..."
  • An 11-year-old snapped a quick picture from behind--though her Mom got one facing forward which I have yet to see.
  • I went to Kinston for the Weekend.
  • We did a session at the Raleigh Temple
  • Lots of dancing at the Kinston Harvest Ball
  • I karaoked Midnight Train to Georgia, while N and his Mom and Dad were the pips. 
  • Met his ward again. 
  • His teachers (teenage boys from 14-16) voted on our relationship and next steps
  • For his birthday (and mine) I got us UNC Football tickets, and we watched a tight game kissing when we scored, and snuggling the TarHeels to a win. 
  • M snapping pictures
  • A Sunday that didn't quit--Stake Conference, Stake Singles Lunch, NCSSM Choir & Orchestra Concert, and a little Birthday get together.
Not asleep during the Priesthood Session--really. . . 
That gets you to October 19. More to come. . .

Our Conference Puzzle
Ready for the Havest Ball--mostly so he can sing Lady in Red while we dance. . . 
Go Heels!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jazz Interrupted, Meeting B, and Dancing at the Hill

The way I am writing this seems like all I do is date, and that is not true. I had been going to the temple a lot the last few weeks, because that Saturday I was teaching a class on "Getting more out of your temple experience." I was also seeing other friends, getting my car worked on, planning events for work--it wasn't all going on in vacuum.

To my complete annoyance, my check-engine light had gone on that morning on the way to Women's day. I was extra annoyed because a little over a week before, I had shelled out too much money for repairs on my lovely Mint Julep. And it had been making this really loud noise from the front passenger side when you went faster than 50 mph, and now the light was on.

Frustrated and annoyed (because I was supposed to be having fun, happy times later that afternoon), and probably hangry because I hadn't grabbed anything to eat before rushing off to teach/help Vanna B's presentation on Design Within Reach, I made my way to the dealer.

We were supposed to meet at 2 for the Apex Jazz Festival. I had tickets and everything. It was 1:30, and I was still at the dealer after getting there at 12. I text N, apologizing profusely and asking if he's okay just coming to the house.

Of course he is because he's awesome. I, on the other hand, am a panicked freak, as my car breaking down is one of my pressure cooker buttons. The $1000 price tag also makes a girl indentured to four hospitals take a deep breath and want to cry. A lot.

We decide to wait and see what my warranty covers, and I head home, trying not to cry too much before N shows up at my door. A long hug on my doorstep actually reduces my need for tears immensely, and I can breathe a little more.

We decide to skip the Jazz Festival this year, but as we had made plans for him to meet my sis, we headed toward Raleigh. It felt weird that I knew all of his family but his sister (and in-laws)--and I felt a little like I did know his sister because my seminary kids the last year were Science and Mathers and she, too was a SMather--but he knew none of mine.

Plus, Ice cream would make me feel better--and Goodberry's is next to B's place. It's amazing what a shared concrete in a booth snuggling and laughing together will do for a bad day. Almost completely erase it. As I write this, I could feel all the same anxiety I felt building and building and building, and then the minute N arrived, deflating and disappearing on the wind. It's amazing to me that he can do that--it has to be some kind of superpower.

Anyway, a few blocks away, a kiss for luck, and we make our way toward's B's stoop, just as she comes around the corner. He squeezes my hand, as I think he can tell I'm a little nervous.

B's S is an introvert (yeah, yeah, dude, get in line), and less talkative than B, normally. N is very quiet, too, though if he needs to he can pull it out. I don't love being "on" all the time, and B is usually the outgoing charismatic one.

B was completely silenced by the sight of me holding hands with someone. She couldn't stop staring. S and I made conversation. N joined in, but stayed pretty quiet. And I watched my sister stare and stare and stare.

Now I will fully admit that at the height of my dating days, I was in Utah, and she was in IL, so she hasn't really seen this, but still. She could. not. stop. staring.

"Am I making you uncomfortable?" I asked, pulling my hand away for a second.

Her eyes finally actually look at me, confused, "No? What? No."

S was a dream (proving his #dreamboat nickname apt), and kept the conversation going. N was taking in B's Architectural Digest-worthy home, and eating up all the color and patterns (it's one of those things he does every where we go--it reminds me of B, actually).

All-in-all, it was a nice visit, and I think was enjoyed by all parties.

Next we were off to dinner and dancing.

Cuddling together on the same side of the booth has become our thing. And it as it was us and another couple, I'm sure the wait staff were thrilled.

I introduced him to Crab Rangoon, and we got the second of our odd fortunes. Again, I'm the one on the bottom.

And finally off to a Dance in Durham. We when arrived, they were teaching some dance, and I was not about to go for that. I've learned to dance thanks, we're all over 30, you do not have to teach us how to dance.

We snuck into the primary room and danced to songs from my phone for a little bit. Then we made it to the game room for dominoes until he finally played actual music. The dance was supposed to start at 8. We did not hear music until 9:30.

It was kind of awful--the DJ kept wanting to teach line dances (it is especially annoying when the 10 minute song has what you are supposed to do in it--no one should ever teach the cupid shuffle or the cha-cha slide--dumber than a box of rocks).

But it was fun to introduce N to Al and NC.

It was especially funny when my lovely friend NC stepped up and grabbed me for the first slow song. I flashed an apologetic smile, and danced away.

"Wait," NC said, "Is that your boyfriend?"

"Yes," I laughed.

"I can give you back," he replied.

"No. He's gotta speak up faster. Plus, it's good for him to have a little competition," I grinned.

As I had watched him dance with girl after girl at the last dance, I was pretty sure it was okay to let him watch me dance with someone else. Though it was also fun later when the ladies in my stake started complimenting our dancing together.

Despite the questionable DJ, we danced the night away, because we can almost always dance together. And we then made it back to our little lakeside for a slow dance or two. . . and then home again, home again, jiggety jig. Yeah, I was (and am) pretty sure I could get used to dancing with him a lot more.

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'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?"


"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?"


"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."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Labor Day Adventures

So, I had finally told a couple people about it the week previous. The Monday when I was wayyyy over thinking things. Though that was always going to be a problem of mine. But knowing his mom knew, made me feel a little bad that mine didn't.

On Sunday, I realized that I had a window on Monday (Labor Day) in which I could slip a trip to Smithfield into my schedule. B and I had brunch plans. Beth and I had dinner plans. Both were farther side of Raleigh adjacent. Yes, I could justify a trip to Smithfield.

We had talked about tracking down the Neuse Riverwalk, but Labor Day loomed extremely warm. 99 degrees is not my friend, but I was going to give it a try--until, somehow, my flip-flop broke--completely. And not just any pair, the perfect semi-nice pair that you can use to dress down a maxi dress but also works with jeans and a t-shirt.

I usually keep an extra pair in the car--or at least my gym shoes. But I had unpacked my gym bag to use for Saturday's Super Saturday activity, and had not gotten my work-out shoes back into the bag. I do keep a roll of packing tape in my car, and I tried to tape the shoes. We were going to still have to run to the Walmart and look for a quick replacement (as most places don't carry a women's 12).

He was very calm and sweet, and I, as per usual, was freaking out. Yes, I could just take off the shoes and go, but I couldn't do it. You don't know what is on the floor?!? It was awful. I was Quasimodo, dragging my left foot along the ground to keep my taped-with-packing-tape-but-totally-coming-apart flip-flops, and a cute guy holding my hand. I kept muttering, "Sorry, babe, a little slower," under my breath, and dying of humiliation.

Of course the shoe department was completely across the store in the very far back left. It takes forever to get back there, and I really am just internally cringing the whole time. There are three pairs of flip-flops left that will even work. One looks like the worst male sandals ever made. One, I'm pretty sure is made of melted plastic toys, and it would have cut into my feet. The last one is the color of Pepto Bismol, and an inch thick of foam on the bottom.

I rip off the tag, pull off the plastic thing holding it all together; throw the broken shoes into my purse, and slide the shoes on. As slow as I was going before, I power-walk to the front, dragging poor N in my wake.

I flash the tag, show my shoes, pay the $4.58 for the truly appalling shoes, and march for the front door, when N stops me.

"Hey," he says--waiting for me to look at him. When I finally make eye contact because I'm so embarrassed, he continues, "Hey, it's okay. I'm not embarrassed--you shouldn't be. We're great."

And I sigh and take a deep breath, and I feel less like someone dying internally. Hey, it is only date five--I'm not ready to give a bad impression yet. Anyway, with it being ridiculously hot outside and new not super-comfy shoes, we decide to drive the Riverwalk.

We make the first stop, and as we finally could just relax, N leans in for some dessert--but breaks it off, when we realize from about 20 feet away there is a little girl staring intently into the car. Both of us start laughing uproariously, and I am a little annoyed that I show off how embarrassed I am much easier than he does--stupid pale genetics. Read: I am bright red.

The next stop seems like it would be better, so we drive a little more until we're ensconced on the banks of the river, chatting, holding hands, scrolling through our various playlists, and watching the river. Oddly enough, as he leans in for some more dessert, the little girl and her family ride by on their bikes, and we start laughing again.

We saw each other from 2 until 5:30ish, and then I run to Beth's for some more girl time. Hours later (9pm), Beth goes to give me a hug--then she comes back at me again, and I pull back with a "Huh?" look.

"Oh, oh, oh, some snuggling has been going on here!" she accuses with a grin.

"Wha--?" I respond.

"Because you smell like you--but you also smell like cologne."

Again, I'm bright red--like you-can-see-it-from-space red.

"Mmm-hmm," she laughs at me and heads into her house.

To be continued. . . 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Meeting the family (this may be going faster than I am comfortable with). . .

That Friday we had decided to meet up in our usual spot (Smithfield--near Carolina Pottery) and go out--a movie or something. I looked into movies on Saturday. Smithfield has two theaters, and on a week night they only show movies at 5 or 7 (or something around there). As I barely get there around 6:30 due to traffic, it may be stretch to hit a movie. 

Then Sunday, I got a text. 

"I have to chaperone a Super Saturday next week--want to come?" he asked.
"Well, we'd have to be good, Bible space instead of Book of Mormon," I teased--we had danced a lot. 

"No, it's at a local water park."

"Because you want to see me in a swimsuit and sneak kisses on the lazy river?" 

All of the sudden, I froze. Did I really just type that? I'm being a little audacious. And, I'm not sure if I wouldn't be wayyyyy too self-conscious in a bathing suit. Also, what does it mean that he wants me to chaperone with him? I mean, if my seminary kids met a date, they would freak out--and I would get the third degree. Does this mean he is a lot more serious that I was thinking he was? What does it mean? What are his motives? 

At this point, I realize I have gone off the neurotic deep end, and all of my life vests are a little busy lately. B isn't answering; M has family stuff; E and her kids are getting put to bed; Beth and her kiddos, also busy. 

To the rescue comes 17-year-old J, coming to my house to watch Doctor Who that night (day after premiere night), but I really cannot share with a teenage, former-seminary-student (who's still in high school), no matter how mature she is, can I? 

Oh, no, I can. I can let myself get all crazy insane with Miss J. And funny enough, she had some great points to make--though her, "Do you want to just vent, or do you want me to contribute ideas?" made me laugh. She helped calm me down, a little. 

And my therapist on Tuesday helped calm me down a little more. Though, honestly, I had decided that it was all too ridiculous, and if I wasn't feeling it on Thursday, it was all over. Seriously, that is what I had decided. Again, it has been a really long time since I had done this, and I am really, really bad at it. 

Thursday was wonderful. Only a few people in the theater, arm rest up between us, snuggling through the whole movie, laughing at the same jokes, sneaking dessert in the boring parts. It felt nice and romantic and slightly foreign. I hadn't felt so calm in a long time. 

And I had a little to learn about men vs. women. 

"So, are you going to come on Saturday?" he asked.

"Yeah, I guess, get me the details, and I'll come."

"The details are meet at the Walmart in Kinston at 4:30."

Yeah, to me details are more. . . detailed? So, Kinston at 4:30--his hometown.

A few details since I figure I just stated I like them: 
  • Good dancer
  • Actual steady job
  • Serves well in his YMs calling
  • Artistic--reminds me of B in some ways
  • Let's me use my big vocabulary and knows what I'm saying--doesn't just fake knowing
  • Born and Raised Eastern NC
  • Carolina fan
  • Wide taste in music (love of 80s and 90s hair bands would endear him to Air)
  • Isn't a foodie, but I made B a gourmand, so there could be some hope there. 
  • Lives with his Mom and Step-dad
  • Served a mission in South Africa
  • Slightly shorter than I, just a bit
  • Quiet--like whoa quiet--like Howard Larsen quiet
Saturday it was bright, sunny, and not too warm. Turns out I was going to have to actually do this, and then I wasn't. Only one kid showed, and the other chaperone, was like, "Take your girl out." 

So, we went to the park. We walked in the woods; he tried to explain frisbee golf to me (I still don't get it--okay, maybe it is that I don't care to?); we sat on a blanket and people-watched. I learned I could be quiet, too. I didn't have to fill the silence. Okay, I filled a little of it with more music, and we talked my eclectic tastes in music and the fact that, he, too, likes a lot of music. Turns out we both just liked talking or not-talking, and we took it all in for a few hours. 

In high school, I was a Chinese food addict, and turns out, he really likes it, too. So we went to our first trip for Chinese, and started a tradition of getting bizarre fortunes (mine was the bottom one). 

And then, "So, do you want to meet my mom?"

Well, I am in his town, he lives with his parents, so. . . yes? "Sure."

And I proceed to follow him out of town to his home. . . to meet his mom (and step-dad). It's really dark, and we're getting farther and farther into the country. Twisting and turning deeper and deeper into nowhere North Carolina, I start to think, He could be taking me out here to ax murder me, and I am following him there.

Turning right into a sweet little house on a large amount of land, I sighed a little in trepidation, and also that it didn't look like the home of a serial killer (I watch too many suspenseful tv shows--I may need something lighter). He opened my door, held my hand, and I marched nervously into a warm, lovely home. 

We got there at 9:38. I met his step-dad first, and they both mentioned that he was quiet. Then I met his mom. While the boys (her husband and son) sat there, she and I got on like a house on fire. 

"I bet you were a little worried when it took forever to get out here," she laughed.

"I did worry a little that he could ax murder me, and no one would know," I admitted.

"I told him I needed more time to clean up, so he took you the long way."

We talked and talked about anything and everything. The guys really didn't say much at all, and I kept looking to see if they were watching The Devil Wears Prada showing in the corner on the TV, and was flabbergasted to note that neither one was watching the movie (which is what my Dad would be doing), but they were engaged in the conversation. 

I found out she knew oddly a lot about me--that N and I have the same birthday, that I like to sing, that I taught seminary, and I looked over at him and realized that it was possible I was judging this thing all wrong. That perhaps we weren't just having fun, and that he may be actually serious about dating me, and maybe I needed to rethink some things. 

Our last odd piece of the conversation was about his brother--well, his younger half-brother. Turns out I knew him--we'd been in the same ward. Wait, N and JA were brothers? You're kidding? How did we miss this connection? 

Just like that, it was 12:38am (and I still had 2 hours to drive home).

When I finally got home, I sent a text, "It's funny, I noticed you were friends with JA on Facebook, but all that just helped with the 'probably not an ax murderer' verdict. I should have been more observant."

More to come. . . 

Friday, September 26, 2014

More dancing, i.e. what happened next. . .

I had friended N on Facebook, and a week went by and I had shrugged it off. I had given a guy my number in June, and nothing. And a different guy had asked for mine, also nothing.

But I had a goal for myself after Seminary was over this year--Five dates before the end of the year. I had joined a few dating sites and was trying to get out more. No dice.

But, finally, I had my first date lined up. It was more with a friend, but he was a good guy, so I expected he would pay when we went to the movies (and I could count it as a date). The day of the first of my projected 5, N sent me a Facebook message. As we lived 2 hours apart, I said that if he picked a place halfway between, I'd meet him. After some negotiation we ended up with Tuesday as the day for our first date (August 19).

That Sunday, I texted Eddie, "If I go out with N, he's not going to ax murder me, right?"

During Primary, I got a text back. "N is excited about dinner on Tuesday. And he thought that last text was hilarious."

Yeah, decided never to text Eddie regarding relationship info again.

Tuesday rolled around. I found some restaurants in the area (Smithfield is really tiny--and they have 2 movie theaters that only show movies at 5 and 7 during the week--but that is a different story), but pretty much left it up to him.

I went to greet him with a kiss on the cheek. And he turned his head and planted one on me, which left me completely gobsmacked.

"Um, dessert comes after dinner," was the only response I could think of.

"But I really like dessert," was his response, "and life is short."

I'm pretty sure I blushed, and then told him that he had to buy me dinner first.

We went to a generic steakhouse in Smithfield, and I internally freaked out over everything:

  • Um, this cute guy I just met kissed me! 
  • Holding hands already?
  • I need to help the waitress set down water--how do I do that while still holding hands
  • How do I make room with the huge menus, the waters, and now the bread??? With only one hand? What is this craziness?!?
Needless to say, it's probably been a decade since I actually dated-dated anyone--hanging out doesn't count--and I am woefully out of practice. So dinner; used-DVD/CD store; and then some dessert. It actually went well. 

Then, "There is a game night on Friday. Are you going?"

"Maybe," I played coy.


"Okay, fine, I'll be there."

But I freaked out on Thursday, and I sent him a message--no PDA or canoodling at a singles activity. We'd only been out once, and I wasn't ready to be "un-single" in anyone's eyes.

He called me before the activity. He was running late. So? I thought, playing it cool even to myself.

I tried to join in on the game night, but felt super awkward--it's been a long time since I did the singles scene. There was Karaoke, but after going through every song, I was so not in the mood for any of them. I finally got a group playing Settlers of Cattan, and I decided that I could make it work.

Partway through N arrived, and though I said, "Hi!" I didn't say a ton, and continued on with my game. Though I noticed he was just standing leaning against the wall watching my game, and I suggested he pull up a chair. He said, "No, that's okay."

I knew I was relatively charming, and I decided to show off a little. So, I sang a little Proud Mary and knew that I had blown it out of the water. Someone told me to sing again, but I gave up the mic and started to sing along with some of the other singers.

A little bit later, he sang Lady in Red pretty much to me. It was kind of crazy as I had thrown a bash for our ward a couple years ago, and that was the one song I really wanted to dance to, and to have him sing it to me was fantastic and a little scary. I couldn't make protracted eye contact though--it was too much.

At the end of the evening (and the final, horrific end to the game--worst I've ever played), the group decided on an after party at I-Hop. I had been there for three hours and mingled, and they wanted me to continue to be "on?" No, thank you.

"I should really go check in on my sister," I quibbled, giving him the eye, "Walk me to my car. . . "

The minute we made it outside, we were holding hands. On the way to my car, he gave me a look.

"I'm kind of sad you have to leave," he mourned.

"Oh, I don't have to go anywhere," I shrugged, "I just couldn't stay for another few hours."

He made it to my car before he went for dessert.

"Where should we go?" I asked, feeling very self conscious.

"Your place?" My place? I thought--that is an hour farther away from your house (which is 2 hours from Durham).

"Ok," I said, knowing full well my roommate was home. She was, and I got to drag him off to a little lake that just a week earlier I was telling a friend seemed like a romantic place to go for a walk.

We walked; we sat; we chatted; and, sweetly, we danced. We turned some music on my phone, and slow danced on the shores of a little lake in Durham until 1:30 in the morning. He sang a few of the songs to me, but I could tell he liked it especially when I sang to him. It was cheesy and romantic and pretty perfect.

to be continued in Meeting the family (or, this may be going faster than I am comfortable with). . .

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Something new. . . The first meeting.

It's been forever since I posted, and I figured, it was about time to tell the few of you who still read this about something new going on in my life. Plus then my sister will stop yelling at me to "Write it in your journal," as this, for all intents and purposes, has been my journal for a while. If you cannot infer that I am a horrible journal writer lately from that, then you don't pay attention to my blog, and are probably not reading this.

Any way, I was hanging at my friend E's house with her kids on a Sunday afternoon, when the youngest, a precocious 4-year-old (H) asked me, "What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?"

Being silly, and though happily ensconced in my singledom, I jokingly replied, "A boyfriend."

"Then," H declared, "Santa will bring you a boyfriend!"

M's eyes lit up, and like a mad chef, she started listing things that he were musts in a boyfriend recipe for me (we'd been on a Once Upon a Time kick lately, and she knew I had a TV crush on Hook):

  • He needs to make or like to eat good food--preferably both.
  • He needs to like to watch movies.
  • He needs to read his scriptures.
  • He needs to like to read.
Yeah--it was an extensive list. 

Almost a week later (August 9), I went to a singles' dance. I wanted to go to said dance, because my friend Beth said she was going to come, and we had danced up a storm this past summer--and had fun no matter the circumstances (read: awkward singles' conferences). But Beth had just landed a new job, which meant a new move, and I was left on my lonesome. So not happy about it, I walked in, determined to leave at the slightest provocation. And then scolding myself for being so anti-social. I had come because for two years all I did was lesson plan for teenagers at 6 in the morning, and it was time to have more friends and more fun. 

I walked in, chose a table, and gauged the crowd. People seemed to know each other, and no one seemed to know me. It was a Blast from the Past dance and people were dressed in various costumes (including one woman in a full steampunk outfit, which doesn't quite blast to any past, but whatever, nitpicking). One girl kindly recognized me from a previous conference (because I helped her figure out the temple schedule), and I tentatively joined her group. 

An enthusiastic dancer in a Thundercats T-shirt singled me out. A few times. He randomly knew my friend Eddie, and I had to laugh because Eddie and I had randomly talked about Mr. Thundercats before (He had contemplated going with us--Beth, Eddie, and I--to the DC singles conference in June). And when I was not about to dance to the Macarena, he kept hold of my hand as we walked back to the table. But I was not about to come off the market, so I encouraged him to hit the dance floor again, while I chatted with others. 

Each time he danced with me, he would look me in the eye, and my defenses were on massive alert. And I couldn't meet his eyes, it was too intimate--too something. And he held me close, and as a fat girl, it made me very uncomfortable. Turns out, although there are days I think I am fine with my size (and that it will be my size forever due to my crazy health issues), I was less than comfortable (or believing) that a guy would be okay with it.

I kept dancing. I would notice when he would dance with other girls, and be a little annoyed. But I was not ready to take any steps toward someone when I just started attending singles activities! That would be ridiculous. When I was done with the evening, I snuck out. I felt bad though, for not saying, "Bye!" 

Don't worry, later, I found him on Facebook. I noticed he was friends with my friend J*, and so I thought, "okay, he is probably not an ax murderer^." 

"Are you the guy who danced up a storm at the Singles' Dance in Apex tonight?"

"If you're the cutie I had a wonderful time dancing with, yes."

to be continued. . . .

*there is another story there. 
^here, too. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Halloween follow up--at least it's not Half-Halloween. . .yet.

I know it's been forever--but I figured I'd finally publish this. . .

A playlist of fun stuff.

This year so far, I sang a beautiful acapella version of Joseph Smith's First Prayer, a vampy rendition of Poor Unfortunately Souls (from the Little Mermaid), and sang back-up with my friend's band in a bar on Valentine's (I also sang two as lead--Bewitched bothered and bewildered and Sunday kind of Love. The cute doorman said I did a good job--so must have. Enjoy!

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