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. 

Site Meter