Thursday, November 17, 2011

the end of the beginning of the story

i left the concert a year ago tonight with a bit of a new perspective on steve. you see, sometimes it takes being forced into a new situation with a person to change your perspective, to wipe away your initial judgements. 

the evening had started with a group of people at a restaurant very near my home.  let me tell you, there's nothing quite as awkward as going on a non-date in the presence of a group of people who know that the boy is interested in you and are analyzing your every move in attempt to figure out what's going on inside of your head in regards to the boy.  after dinner, steve and i walked from one end of the loop to the other.  it was raining and i had mistakenly chosen to wear heels which meant it was extra slippery.  when he offered his arm to keep me from falling, i was begrudgingly impressed. I worried about what using his arm communicated to him, but knew that i needed it to get down the street safely.

let me just pause here for a moment and point out what a great example this is of our need for community.  we need others more than we are ever really aware of or even willing to admit.  i have most definitely been a victim of my own stubbornness in the past; trying to do things on my own sometimes to my detriment.  we were created to do life in community.  ever since i acknowledged that and allowed people to be my community on a much deeper level, my life has not only been easier, but filled with deep contentment.  i was already working on this before i met steve, but having him in my life has made me grow so much more in this area.

back to the story.  with his arm, i did make it to the pageant safely.  we found a place to stand near the back with our friends, the rowton's, for the opening act, but then moved to the front with our friends, the burke's (they were not yet my friends at this point), for the main act.  in between the two bands, steve and i talked a little.  it was mostly just friendly get-to-know-you-chat, but he said two things during the course of this that made me go, "hmm."  what he said shall remain between the two of us, but i will tell you that it showed his tender side and gave me a glimpse of the fact that he probably understood me more than i ever thought he would.  by the time he dropped me off at my house that evening, i thought that we could be friends.  but only friends as i was still convinced that i would never date him.

that was a year ago tonight.

the rest of the significant part of the beginning of steve and my love story really happens in december.  the brief overview is that we started texting and then g-chatting while at work.  there was an occasional email and we started including each other in group activities.  my birthday happened in early december.  i had invited him but then spent the entire evening a little disappointed that he had strategically sat next me through most of the night.  for reasons i will not detail, it turned out to be a good thing that he was with me.  after this, i started to look forward to talking to him.  one friday (december 17), when thinking about my plans for the evening, i found myself really wanting to hang out with him.  so we made plans for a late movie.  i spent most of the evening wondering if he was going to try to hold my hand and contemplating what my reaction would be.  at one point, i caught him staring at me.  and then again later.  about the third time i noticed him staring, i expressed my uncomfortability with this in a sarcastic statement and put my hand up to block my face for minute.  he seized the moment, and in one swift move, i was holding his hand.  i liked it, until the movie was over and then remembered that i only wanted to be friends with him and that friends don't hold hands like that.  that very sentence was what i used in my freak out over the phone with him the following day.  his response?  i think we aren't just friends any more and you need to accept that.  those were not his exact words, but that was his point.

the following week, we met for a walk in the park which then turned into a long conversation in his car in the parking lot.  (and by conversation, i really do mean conversation).  the following night, we were both to be at a rehearsal at church.  i still did not want people to know that we were holding hands, but i wanted to hold his hand.  he had gotten to church before me so i called him and asked if he would come out to my car. he did and we held hands in secret before going in to rehearsal.  i know how ridiculous this sounds, but it really was nice to just have him and whatever was going on between us all to ourselves for a little bit.  over an intense weekend of christmas services at church, we would steal glances, sneak texts, and talk with our eyes.  and then people started to notice...

so that's the least the very very beginning of it.  we decided to call the movie our first date. so our anniversary really isn't until december 17,  but i can't help recalling the events of this week.  i mean, they have significantly changed my life.  and this time, this change, is good.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

when first he called

if you are just joining us, you will probably want to read the last two posts.

even though nothing significant happened a year ago yesterday, you should know that our dear friend nate cybertron was prepping me for whatt would happen a year ago today.  the first text from him seemed so innocent: "what are you doing wednesday night?"  my response, "nothing, you want to hang out?" was returned with, "you'll have to see and wait." (yes, he really wrote see and wait, not wait and see)

more confused, i bombarded him with texts that really got me no more answers which then prompted me to bug him more over the course of the next couple of days.  it wasn't until two days later that i had a clue; this time the message read "you will be receiving a call this evening.  make sure you answer."

he was right.  at 7:09 pm, the phone rang, and of course, i screened it.

in what i now affectionately call his radio voice, steve said he had an extra ticket to a concert that a bunch of people were going to and that he thought i might like to use it.  after hearing the message, i had no idea what to do.  at this point, i still wanted very little to do with him.  i most definitely did not want him to think this was a date nor did i want him to think that it would lead to more hanging out.  i did what any woman in my situation would do: i called another woman.  only the woman i called upon was my wise older friend lauri.  after a long discussion, she recommended that i go with steve.  she help me to see that i could make it clear that it wasn't a date, i wouldn't owe him anything after the fact, and that i'd get a free concert out of it.

so i called the boy back and we made plans for our non-date.  and i went...thinking that i would probably never hand out with him again.

obviously, i was wrong.

oh yeah, the extra ticket steve happened to have?  i found out months later that he didn't have an extra ticket, but had purchased it when he decided to ask me...hoping that i would go...

Monday, November 14, 2011

the story behind the story

so the story continues.....slowly.

although this is the anniversary of the beginning of our story, nothing significant happened on this day.  in light of this, i thought it would be appropriate to share the back story as it makes the whole thing even better.  therefore, i give you...

the prequel, in two parts

the part that involves steve

nearly three years ago, i started attending a new church.  i met a friendly guy there named matt who helped me to connect to a bigger network of people my age.  one evening matt had invited me over to his house for a birthday party for some guy i had never met (yes, it's steve).  when i arrived there, matt informed that the plan had changed and that we were going bowling instead.  that night is somewhat foggy, but i do remember it being somewhat strange.  i had crashed a stranger's birthday party.  i also remember not being particularly fond of the birthday boy nor his best friend.  and as i sometimes have a tendency to do, i stuck with my first impression, basically avoiding interactions with steve and his bff when i could.

the part that doesn't involve steve

i had spent the summer in california.  as i prepared to return home, i couldn't shake the nagging feeling that there was something big coming my way.  before i left california one of my friends told me that she felt like God had something fruit just ahead for me.  i ended up getting a full time job that i was really excited about and was surprised when the feeling didn't go away.  i had put my online dating adventures on hold for the summer and decided to start back up again a couple of months after my return.  as usual, i had a few one time dates that turned into nothing typically followed by a small crush on some random boy at church.  when november began, i was in deep in conversation with an online boy. conversation turned into good date.  good date turned into great second date.  great second date turned into big disaster.  i laid in bed after big disaster, crying, and literally talking out loud to God. why can't i just meet someone from the same church, with the same core beliefs.  that just wants to love on children who may not even be our own.  who will love me exactly as i am, but never let me live in complacency. i think i'm done.  i'm just done.  

i was not only done looking for the various desired characteristics in a man.  i was done looking for the sheer basics.  and really, i was just done looking.

and then one week later...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

the lie you've all been waiting for

kids, it is never good to tell a lie.  (imagine that in a ted mosby voice.  okay, okay, i admit, i've been watching too much of "how i met your mother".)  seriously though, lies, more often than not end in hurt, mistrust, and trouble.  but today, i'm not talking about those kind of lies.  i'm talking about the one lie that actually ended with one of the best things that ever happened to me. 

i've mentioned this lie before: here.  it was not my lie, but my friend nate's, er...uh...i mean cybertron (nate's has always wanted to have a robotic pseudo name to "protect the identity of the innocent".)

anyway back to the lie....

it was a year ago today. i was photographer extraordinaire in the kids area at our church for two services.  during a lull in my photo taking, i found myself hanging out in the boardroom with several of the musicians; three of them noteworthy:  alex (who was fairly distracted. he ended up proposing to his girlfriend later that evening. happy one year of your engagement alex and megan!), steve (some random guy that i never really paid attention to), and nate/cybertron (my friend who i talked to and hung out with regularly).  this was just an innocent time wasting session of no significance, but it was how the evening started nonetheless.

it was the very end of the evening that is of note. i was in conversation with a church intern when random guy steve, on his way out of the building, did the awkward hand in the middle of the back rub goodbye.  what made it awkward was that we were not friends; we weren't really even friendly.  and when one person does the awkward touch thing when two people of the opposite sex aren't even friendly, the other's mind starts to wonder. and what does one do when the mind starts to wonder?  of course, revert back to the ways of junior high and ask friends to give you the scoop.  and so, i called upon nate/cybertron.

my intentions really were to find out if steve was indeed exhibiting an interest in me, and if he were, to figure out how to squelch it as i did not reciprocate.  nate/cybertron answered my questions in what i believe to be an honest way: but little did i know, he was feeding steve total lies. 

"she thinks you're cute."  "you should ask her out."  and other assorted statements that i never even alluded to saying let alone actually said. 

did i think he was cute?  no.
did i want him to ask me out?  absolutely not. 
do i now want to spend the rest of my life with him?
i couldn't imagine spending it with anyone else. 

but i how i got there is whole other story.  and it starts with a phone call, involves a couple of people, a walk in the park, a movie, and of all things, ends (or begins) with another phone call.  

stay tuned.....

"cybertron" (hey just trying to protect the innocent)