The Nameless Chronicles


The Others

I am very active at my place of worship.  I spend a lot of time there, my best friends are people who I see there or met there, and much of my life is based on my faith.  I learn, I sing, I teach, I lead, I serve, I am blessed, I fellowship – all of these things make for a very active church life.  I consider my church family as close and dear to me as my own birth family.  It wasn’t always like this, and I’m grateful to have found a community where I feel comfortable, challenged, and useful.

After a summer break of working with the College/Career ministry, we picked it back up with a new leader.  I’ve known this guy for a while.  I’ll call him Mr. Evangelist.  I knew him back in college and did some ministry with him, but more recently, he found his way back into my life by working at my mother’s company.  She invited him to a dinner with me and two of my best friends who lead the youth group.  At the time, Mom assured me that she wasn’t trying to set me up, and I believed her.  I don’t mind making new friends, but I had no interest in him romantically, so I didn’t want him to be “led on” in any way.

He and my friend’s husband became fast friends and began spending time with each other.  He was invited to speak at our church to the youth group several times.  He has a very dramatic salvation story and relates to young people well.  But that’s a lot of what he does.  People want him to come share with their youth because he can talk about the gangs and drugs and violence and then how Jesus saved him out of that, but that’s all they really want him for.  My friend’s hubs shared with him about a ministry need to high school graduates and so, Mr. Evangelist decided to switch to our church and help lead this ministry.

It hasn’t affected me much, having him around, but he’s single, I’m “single” and people will talk.  My friend’s hubs has said many times that he would like Mr Evangelist and I to get together, and I’ve assured him that I’m not interested.  With him now being at my church, the intensity of the encouragement has increased.  I know that he is looking for a wife, and I’m a good target.  But, he doesn’t really know me, at all.  I can see in his eyes that he is interested and is trying to woo me, but I also can see that he’s got another “me” he’s interested in.  The future me, the ideal me, the wife perfect for an evangelist.  At one point, I did think about it, but I just don’t have anything in me to compel me to him.

And now I have Mr. Rockies, whose plane will be taking off in one day to come and see me, and we will likely make things official.  I have told him about Mr. Evangelist, and how I think he feels about me and definitely how I feel about him.  I don’t want him to be surprised to find out that I’m being pursued by someone and I don’t want him to feel insecure in me.  I’m looking forward to him coming and it being in the open that I am actually involved with someone.

That said, I feel bad for Mr. Evangelist.  I haven’t given him any encouragement, but I haven’t been able to discourage him other than by trying to avoid him and be distant and formal in conversation.  I hope he doesn’t hurt his heart.

Also, Mr. Engineer texted me that he was visiting one of the Asian countries I lived in for an extended time, for work and would I be willing to give him some pointers.  I said sure and he offered to buy me dinner.  He has been dating a girl who was also at the friend’s wedding we attended.  They got together soon after he and I decided we would just be friends, and I wasn’t sure if it would be awkward.  I was glad when he said she was coming too, and we had a very nice dinner, lots of laughs, and hardly any awkward moments.  They are great for each other and I didn’t feel anything romantic/nostalgic/regretful towards him.  It was a nice time.  I’m glad that there are instances when you can still be friends with someone after a dating attempt.

So, as mentioned above, Mr. Rockies will soon be visiting me and we will spend some time in my hometown before heading east for a friend’s wedding.  I’m super-excited and nervous and excited and…agh, everything!  I will definitely post an update on event after the fact.  Hopefully he will be more than just “Mr. Rockies” to me then.


The Family

My mother informed me last night that of my three sisters, she’s least pleased with me right now.  This is a relatively new position for me to be in. My eldest sister is usually the one in trouble with mom.  My middle sister is almost always right smack in the middle, where’s she’s used to being.  And I’m usually the one on top.  So why the change?

Well, I decided to finally tell Mom about Mr. Rockies.  Given that he is planning on visiting me the second weekend of October, I figured she ought to know.  He’s staying at my friends’ house, since they have a spare room, and I’d like the input of my friend’s husband since guys often notice things about other guys that gals don’t.  We’ve got a good radar system, as women, but guys just see each other differently.  My mom also has a vacation planned that weekend, so since she wouldn’t be here, I figured she ought to at least know about him.

I resolved not to tell Mom until absolutely necessary, and I’m not really sure that it was absolutely necessary to tell her at that point. Maybe now would be the right time.  Too late now.  I’m the baby, by about 10 years.  I’ve dated, but nothing very serious.  Since I met Mr. Rockies online, that makes it all the more awkward and tense.  Over the last few months, though, she has mentioned that it really isn’t all that strange to meet someone online and start a relationship with them.  I’m beginning to realize that she meant for someone else besides me.

I live with mom right now, not altogether willingly, but she lets me stay there while I get my school debt whittled down without many other expenses.  The socio-emotional situation of having two grown women in the same house, both with strong wills and independent spirits (I am my mother’s daughter), makes for an explosive way of living at times.  Right now the temperature is below tepid – more below freezing.  Think “boiling water thrown in the air and turning instantly to snow” cold.  We just don’t talk about it.

Mr. Rockies sympathizes.  He’s equally, maybe more-so, worried about sharing with his family about me.  I debated asking if he’d be willing to chat with my mom, Skype with her, but then I thought better of it.  The next day, he offered to do just that.  My heart melted a little.  He’s such a good guy.  I told Mom and she said ominously, “If I talk with him, YOU won’t be there.”

The crux of the issue is not so much that he’s coming to visit, nor that I met him online.  The big issue, I totally understand, is that after he is here for a couple of days, we’re going to drive to the near-East coast for a friend of his’ wedding.  A 10 hour drive, which will be done in my car, with me behind the wheel, through the beautiful northeast, excites me.  Regardless of how Mr. Rockies and I feel about each other after the couple of days he’s on my turf, I’m looking forward to the trip with him.  We’re staying at a friend’s parent’s house while there and plan to have a great time.  I’m really looking forward to it.

I completely understand my mom’s and my sisters’ nervousness, but I’m not being unwise about this.  If I don’t feel comfortable with him throughout the first couple of days, then I’ll nix the roadtrip.  I’m also planning to talk with this parent we’re staying with and I’m getting all the addresses of the places we’ll be to leave with family/friends.  Right now, though, all the drama is on my family’s side.  Soon, it will be on his side as well.  Hopefully, my family will have time to relax a bit and get comfortable with the idea before we have to deal with the other side.  Goodness know what will go on.  Oh, and I still have to tell my dad.  Oi!


One Month

With surprise, I realized that I have hit a one-month mark with Mr Rockies.  Might not seem like a big deal to some of you, but in the context and with my track record, I’m very pleased.  I’m also pleased because we are pacing ourselves.  We’ve been talking with each other for almost 2 months, but only one month with the intention of really getting to know each other to maybe become something official.  Sometimes I feel like it’s so high school when I put it that way, but we’re trying to build a friendship and not just a relationship.  Not to mention that school and other commitments have brought him into my time zone, but nearly just as far away as if he were still back on Mountain Time.

We’re starting to get beyond the “starry-eyed” phase and into the reality of who each other is.  I can’t say that there is too much I’ve come to know about him to make me leery.  We aren’t so starved to talk to each other that we are ignoring sleep (ok, well, maybe we still WANT to talk and have to convince the other to get some rest instead).  And just when I start to think, “There’s no way that he’s really thinking about me today,” I get an email or text, or a picture of some goofy thing that he saw to let me know that I am in his thoughts – probably more than he lets on.

We have a sort of unwritten rule that we do not talk about our future together beyond when we’re going to be able to meet up.  Since we are in a rather ambiguous phase of our relationship – one that seems to hinge on the first time that we meet – it’s not healthy for either of our hearts to share our thoughts and plans together just yet.  Not only that, but, as a woman, I am guarding my mind from attempting to read into things that may not be there.  I can sense that Mr. Rockies is guarding his words and thoughts as well, but sometimes both of us will slip up and mention something.  It can be as small as one preferring to drive in certain conditions and the other preferring the opposite and how that is a nice balance.  It’s also been as major as him discussing his plans upon graduating and wanting to change locations – Philadelphia, California, or even to my own little corner of the mid-west.

While the thought excites me, and has been evidence that he is researching my area more and more, we still have not met in person and this is the fulcrum upon which both of us are still holding back.


Talking on the Phone

I’m not sure if I wrote about the one random guy I met on the Christian site, who I wished I had spoken with him on the phone first before agreeing to meet up with him.  In text form, he was funny, smart and seemed to agree with me on certain things that I was expecting to witness when meeting in person.  I would not have met him if we had spoken, audibly, on the phone because his voice was ridiculous, he required ample time to come back with a witty remark and he had no idea what I was talking about when I got super-excited about seeing the new Star Trek.  I was more of a nerd than he was, but he was the epitome of awkward.

I can tell you happily, that I will not have to worry about that with Mr. Rockies. 🙂  He asked me on Thursday if he could call me the following night and I said, “By all means, yes.”  So, we talked.  My sister has terrible cell-phone reception and therefore Skype was not working for us.  We couldn’t video chat, so we had to revert to the ol’ landline.  But nevertheless, we spoke on the phone, collectively, for 5 hours.  5 HOURS!  I was pretty shocked to realize that when we finally said good night and he was off to watch a recommended favorite movie.  He loved it, by the way – a guy who enjoys chickie movies (within reason)…still surprises me when I think about it.

The next day he called me without asking if he could, and it was a sweet call.  I’m trying very hard, and I think I’m doing very well, at keeping the reins on my heart this time around.  He’s really great, but we’ve only been talking for a short time, really.  So, I’m not letting myself get too attached until we can video chat or meet.  I’m hoping he thinks the same.


Equal Disclosure

So, Mr. Rockies and I had a nice long talk last night.  We haven’t yet graduated to talking on the phone or doing any video chatting.  It’s odd for me that we have said we want to work towards being more than friends, and yet he hasn’t tried to contact me on the phone.  I had to remind myself that it’s ok and not to feel slighted.  As I familiarize myself with his schedule of contact (I feel like such a girl), I can pretty much count on him shooting me a good-sized email in the afternoon and then we can touch-base on Skype somewhere in the evening.  Trust me, I totally know that he’s doing a good job of staying in touch and that it’s my girlie, probably insecure, part of me that wants to think something is wrong.

When getting to know someone, it’s hard to gauge how much information you disclose and at what time.  I decided I would just follow his lead.  I am the kind of person who has a ton of questions and want to know as much information as possible if I’m interested in something.  And the more information I have, the better able I am to come to a decision of what I want to do.  This drives my bff crazy because she’s way more emotion-driven, where I’m way more thought-driven.  We have clashed over various things from such a difference, but that’s for another blog.

So, I have to balance my insatiable desire for information and my understanding that I really don’t want to tell everything about myself right away, therefore it’s ok that he may not want to tell everything about himself right away.

Naturally in the conversation, we talked about our families and our general relationships with them.  We also talked about our churches and just a little bit about what our ministries have been in the past and what they are now.  We talked about spiritual gifts, and though I did share mine, he didn’t know what his was.  And then I brought up love languages and he didn’t share his so I didn’t share mine.  Instead, we shared what our friends’ languages are.

I feel like I’m going into foreign waters – a river where I don’t know the twists and turns, where the shallows and the deeps are – and though right now, I very much want to know all of it in one shot, the current only runs at one speed and I’m at its mercy.  So, I’m submitting myself to the joy of the journey.


And I’m Back!

What’s really funny about this post is that I was talking with a friend who reads this blog and he asked if I was going to write any new entries.  I told him that it’s hard to write in a dating experience blog when I’m not dating.  It’s been almost a year since my last date, and I’ve felt pretty happy about it.  I’m enjoying singleness, most definitely!

The irony is that I rejoined that Christian dating site, mostly out of curiosity, just for a month.  I may also have been bored.  Regardless, I’ve met some really fun people on there.  The guy I mentioned in the previous post is a new friend from there.  I don’t think we’re going to move beyond the friend mark, which is cool.  He’s really fun to chat with and I would consider him a good friend, but he’s not moving in the same direction as me – wanting to serve in full-time ministry.

But I have met others, most obviously just making the friend mark, which is one reason why I enjoy that site.  But then, one guy and I began exchanging emails, fairly regular and fairly hefty ones.  I’m not sure what I would like to call him yet…but I should have something soon.  We had met in the chat and I noticed that we had a ton in common – he’s of Asian heritage, and I have a ton of experience with Asians; we have the same sense of humour, similar talents and interests – he even dislikes Google, but has given in to what he calls unavoidable exposure.  But we joke about it being one of the ten horns of the devil in the end times (not 100% serious about it though…just out of humor).  We both have hilarious cross-cultural/language faux-pas stories and similar drives for our lives.

So, yesterday afternoon, I hadn’t heard from him all day, and it was my birthday.  I was feeling just a tinge dejected.  He was on Skype and didn’t even IM me to wish me happy birthday.  And then, I got an email from him, with one of the corniest birthday greetings and a link to an even cornier animated birthday song video.  I didn’t even finish reading the email and just about died laughing.

And then I went on to the rest of the email and was a little surprised and pretty pleased – he said that his birthday gift was that he wanted to be more than friends and wanted to know what I thought.  So I sent him a message, first of laughter for the video and then a big “yeah!”  But I told him that I wasn’t ready to definitely be more than friends, but I really wanted to get to know him more to that end.  He lives pretty far away (I’m in the mid-west and he’s in the Rockies), so we’re planning on taking things slow, but I’m fairly excited about the prospect.

I think that’s what I’ll call him, Mr. Rockies.  That’s great. 🙂


Almost 27

The problem with being single at almost 27 is that I am more readily meeting great men who are divorced already or have a child.  I would never have thought that I would ever have to debate getting involved with a divorced man or even a father, but it’s happening more and more.  I’m talking with one such man who fits both categories.  It makes me sad in one regard, but then I remember how much change God can have in a person’s life and I think, “I should be able to extend just as much mercy and grace to him as God has.”

What’s frustrating to me is that I have never been inclined toward motherhood.  And yet, this guy could be perfectly compatible with me except that he has a young daughter.  And yet again, I may not have to.  Regardless, it’s something that God has been laying on my heart to think about.

I had a conviction a while ago that if God told me to, I should be willing to adopt a child.  I think adoption is one of the most beautiful things on earth, and though I don’t think I am equipped to be a mother, I think there is a huge amount of grace when you are an adoptive parent.  But what is the difference between adopting a random child and marrying someone with a child already?  As I look more closely, I can’t see much of a difference.  The only thing would be that the child is blood-related to one parent and not the other, which might make things difficult, or might not.  But really, having a child from any source is a toss-up.

Any thoughts on this?  At this point, I’m not considering anything seriously, just brainstorming and preparing my heart for a possibility that had before been disregarded.  I’d appreciate input.


Eliminating Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, and Dida from Your Life | GreekPhysique on Xanga

I really liked this blog entry today from The Greek.  I usually appreciate his take on relationships and dating…emphasis on the “usually”. 🙂

The quote at the end is something that I think should stick in the back of our minds as women.  Men don’t usually pursue a friendship unless they want to and think they can make it more than friendship.  Emphasis again on the “usually”.  I currently have a guy pursuing me as a friend and having this thought in the back of my mind and knowing that I don’t think of him as anything more than a friend makes me hesitant to give into a friendship with him.  Plus, he’s someone we have to frequently do business with here at work.  I talk to him on the phone at least 5 times a day (work-related!)  But then again, he could be the one odd guy who really is only interested in a friendship.  Could be.  But probably not.  The one thing I regrettably learned from “He’s Just Not That Into You” is that most guys are not the exception, they’re usually the rule.  Emphasis on “most” and “usually”, again.

 

Eliminating Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, and Dida from Your Life | GreekPhysique on Xanga.


Pick-Up Lines and Carriage Rides

One of my favorite pick-up lines was from a guy in college.  I was enjoying a lunch in the cafeteria when he came up and said, “I got in a wreck last night. Wanna come see my car?”  I couldn’t say no to something like that, now could I? I was impressed to find that he had indeed been in an accident, but it was followed up with a request for a first date.

I love first dates.

We met up at the college, so he wouldn’t have to drive so far to my place (or see where I live) and then headed down to the nearby major city on the river.  This was during my “There’s nothing to do in this nearby major city on the river” phase, but he managed to find something fun for us to do.  I can’t remember where we ate, it might have been a typical Sat night restaurant like Fridays or Applebees.  It was the after that was pretty fun.  We parked under one of the hotels downtown and went for a walk.  I enjoy being right downtown – especially in the lead-up to Christmas.  Everything is decorated, lights are everywhere, even the fountain square seems to be lit up, especially with the ice-skating rink.  He asked if I wanted to skate, but I blamed my ankles for not being able to handle it and narrowly avoided a super-embarrassing evening. 

Next, he surprised me with a ride in one of the many horse carriages that went around the downtown area.  I’ve always been a little leery of them, what with their whole uber-romantic cliché vibe around them, but it was a nice gesture and it had been ages since I had ridden in a carriage (Mackinaw Island…so much fun).  As we got in, the woman driving the carriage hands my date a blanket and says, “You’re not going to propose to her, are you? I like to know these things ahead of time.”  To which, I blush profusely and he replies, “Well, if I was, I wouldn’t now!”

After our ride and laughing about the awkwardness of the driver, we head over to a cafe that he frequents.  I was grateful for something warm to drink after riding in the carriage and riding in his car that had been in the accident (the heat didn’t work so well).  On our drive back, he decides that he can confide in me and give me some of his deepest, and darkest, secrets.  I’m not sure what leads people to do this sort of thing, but it happens to me all the time: whether on a date (first date), the check-out line of the grocery store, waiting room at the car shop, etc.

He proceeds to tell me and sob about how his brother’s friend had molested him when he was a young child.  I had no idea how to respond.  I listened carefully and gave as much supportive encouragement as I could.  What was really eerie to me was that this was not the first confession of this sort to be made to me, within the three months prior.  I had actually had two very close friends tell me something similar, and it was shocking each time.

I don’t think he knew what to do with himself after that date because the fizzle happened on both sides.  We never went out again and he left the college within the next year.


Knee-Jerk Reactions

I came to the realization a day or two ago, that I’m in this all for myself.  It’s an ugly thing to realize about oneself, but I don’t think I’m unique in this self-discovery.  I really enjoy going out on blind dates, and I enjoy having a guy start to like me (for the most part).  But, my track record of serial blind/first-dating has to point to something.  Am I just a one-hit wonder?  Or is there something inside me that’s dictating this condition.  I’m content to be single, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t investigate why I am such.

I thought I’d take a bold and glaring look at my knee-jerk reactions when it comes to relationships.  Here are some of my tendencies, and yes, I understand they are ugly.

  1. I see every single guy as a “possible mate.”
  2. Only when a guy is engaged/married does my brain automatically put him in a “keep your distance” box.
  3. When I meet a new guy, immediately after putting him in one of the two categories above, I will search for the reasons why a relationship would not work.

Every guy a possible mate

I’m chalking the first one up to my grandma.  Ever since I was a child I would hear her say, “Every date a possible mate.”  Somehow, my brain went even further, whether through reading books or talking to others about their experiences, and lumped all single males in that category.  Yes, I’ve even thought about some gay men – I’m not going to get into this, but I believe that our sexuality is a choice – and guys dating other girls.  For most of high school and college, this was the prevailing reaction in my heart and it led to years of heartache.  Thanks to Jane Austen (and other “propriety” authoresses), I developed this attitude of sitting back and pining for the one I loved.  When they either moved on or loudly declared their lack of feelings for me, I was devastated (as reflected in this blog with some other stories).  But, I became resilient and developed point #3, which I’ll expound on in a moment.

Married? Get out of my way

My parents divorced when I was thigh-high because my father had an affair.  I grew up with the devastation that this caused and vowed never to be a part of it again.  God teaches through Scripture the sanctity of marriage and I thoroughly respect it.  However, I’ve sometimes alienated my married guy friends to a point of disregard.  I need to find the balance there, and it’s a little hard for me to see.  I’m working on this one.

This won’t work out at all

With Mr. Rough, I hate to admit, a part of my heart died that I didn’t think was possible.  I had poured so much hope, against my better judgment, into that relationship and the possibility of it that the last little bit of hope in my heart crumbled up and was blown away.  I know that God can repair it, but it will take time and right now this is my reality.  I have given up.  And it reflects in the development and strengthening of my third reaction.  I’ve had this thought floating around in my heart for a few years now, but it suddenly found the sustenance it needed in the aftermath of Mr. Rough to grow and fight its way to the forefront.  I am so afraid to be disappointed.  I’m so afraid that I will disappoint.  It’s better for me to push away and ignore than to let myself get any closer and risk that hurt again.  So whether the excuse is mine or his, I will find a reason why a relationship would be a bad idea.  This is both a trigger and a defense – a preemptive strike, if you will.

And despite the faulty thinking that I know is in there, I think it’s a good thing for me to keep my distance right now.  My heart is too fragile and cracked to handle anything extra.  I feel broken inside and broken edges cause pain, both for the one holding them and those trying to touch them.  Nope, until I’m healed a bit more, I need to keep romantic thoughts away.  Friends?  Yes, that’s necessary for healing, but I will have to fight with thoughts of being more than friends.


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