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
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. . .