The Nameless Chronicles

The Second First Date

You seldom get a chance to do something over in life. I’d venture to say that you never get a “re-do,” but in this case, I have had the rare opportunity for just that: a second “first” date with a guy five years later. The circumstances were a little odd though – reconnecting through Facebook, nearly a week after my grandmother had passed away and the day of her funeral. I don’t think it was inconsiderate to make such a plan on the day of her funeral. She was always asking me if I had met anyone and I’m sure she’d have been excited to know that I was meeting up with a guy who was so promising.

We met up at an almost-mid-point city and went to the artsy First Friday event. We were both fairly surprised at how much was going on since this almost-mid-point city has a reputation for being on its last leg – it’s the dog you think is about to die each time it coughs. But there was a great turn out and the casual atmosphere and so many things to talk about made for a nice “first” date.

And then we spent the next week texting each other. That night, we actually decided that we should meet up again and soon. Within a week, he came and picked me up at my office and we drove down into the big city on the river, saw an Omnimax movie about the historic passenger train through the Canadian Rocky Mountains (absolutely beautiful!) and then downtown to grab some grub. In the center of town, there’s an ice skating rink set up and horse-drawn carriages going by and a beautiful Christmas tree with masses of lights hanging from the branches. I love it. And then we headed back home. An early night, I wasn’t sure if we should sit in his car and chat, or if he needed to get back home, or what was expected. (I don’t get 2nd dates so very often)

We had talked about him having broken up with a girl recently (which I found out to be June) and him still being a bit hurt by it. He’s playing it safe. Enjoying getting out and spending time with someone other than her and his family, but not sure yet if he’s ready. I’ve been in this position before, of sorts, with Mr. Rough, if you remember. In that case, I was daft to keep waiting for him. In this case, I think it’s reasonable to let him have some time to decide. We only really know what we put on Facebook about each other, and while we tend to be pretty honest people, we do leave a lot off our walls. After talking about the circumstance of the break-up a little more, I decided that I would give him until the first of February to make a decision. If he doesn’t by then, it will be my time to ask him what he’s thinking. I think that putting two months into a relationship with a guy is enough time for both of us to decide if it’s what we want, but I don’t want to be the one to make that declaration. I’ve been clear with him that I like him and that I’m waiting on his lead – boy, is that hard!

When we got back to my office, I noticed that a light had been left on. I said goodbye to him, ran inside and shut it off. When I came back out, he was still waiting there. I knocked on his window and told him he was a good guy and thanks for waiting. You don’t find guys like that very often – at least ones who are still single. What in the world was that girl thinking in giving him up? Perhaps what I was thinking 5 years ago?


Flashback and Facebook

It is amazing how much our lives are affected by Facebook.  Just a few weeks after Mr. Rockies and I stopped talking (sadly, even though the thought was we could remain friends), I began to receive more comments on my Facebook posts from a certain gentleman I hadn’t really heard from in years. I began commenting back and then we began FB chatting and one thing led to another and we’re engaged! Hah, just kidding!!

Back story:

We’ll call him Mr. Wisley, after the gentleman caller of Jane Austen from the movie Becoming Jane, because he seems to have been a shy flower taking time to bloom. I know, corny…I’ll abstain from further corny comments, if at all possible.

I’ve been at my place of worship for just about 15 years now. As such, I’ve become very close to the people there.  B is not really one of those people, but as unmarried women were dwindling in our circle by the time of her engagement, it’s no surprise that she asked me and my best friend to be bridesmaids. I was very surprised at the time, but as I further reflected on it, it seems logical and logic is what rules my brain and heart, so that’s that.  So as we spent time together and she was all afluster with the joy of romantic bliss, she offered to set me up with a long-time family friend, Mr. Wisley.

I have never really been one to turn down a blind date, so I said “yes.” He came and picked me up at my work, we went to a seafood restaurant, chatted and then he dropped me off. Beyond that, I can’t remember anything else. To the best of our knowledge, that was 5 years ago. Maybe we both just needed to grow up a bit. I know I did. As I think about it, I’m sure the fault was mine. I have had some pretty dumb expectations about who I would date. Yeah, I would go out on a blind date with a random guy, but if he didn’t pass muster by the end of it, there was little hope for him.

But as we’ve been talking and getting to know each other better, I’m finding out that there really isn’t much that would have kept me from wanting to date this guy again…except that he’s a year younger than me. Big whoop, at this point. We’re both closing in on 30 now and I’ve lost my drive to be picky on that point.

Amidst our chatting, my grandma was admitted to the hospital and then taken to hospice and then she died. I wasn’t super-close to my grandma, but it was/is still hard and being in the immediate area, I was very busy with family things. I began to think that he would shy away from asking me to go out with him out of respect for my situation, so I decided just to be open and quite a bit more forward than I normally would.  He was very much interested in going out…again…and we even decided on the evening after my grandmother’s funeral. Trust me, she would have been overjoyed for me to go on a date and I know she’s in a better place, so there’s limited mourning.

I’ll post more about our “first” date after a bit, but suffice to say, I’m hoping he sticks around for a while. 🙂

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!

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.

The Bait and Switch

It is amazing the differences between him and Mr. Engineer. Where Mr. Engineer was reserved and unexpressive, Mr. Rough is open and passionate.

(For more click the title)

Eye Contact

I maintain that eye contact, as long as it’s not creepy and accompanied with villianous eyebrows and smirks, is super-attractive and refreshing.

(Click on title to read more)

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