Monday, January 14, 2013

Fifteen Years Ago- Part Four: Decisions, Decisions

(Part one of this tale can be found here.)

Fifteen years (and one month) ago- Saturday, Dec 13, 1997

She finally had a peace in her heart about the decision she made, but knew that there was no guarantee that her plan would succeed or that her feelings were reciprocated. It had been quite a whirlwind of a week and she was glad to finally lay everything on the table and, hopefully, end up with one boyfriend instead of two (or worse, zero). Even though playing the part of a hussy had been fun for a while, she thought it best to leave that lifestyle to the professionals, like that girl in Titanic who showed her boobies for the whole world to see. *shudder*

She sat in her car after work, took a deep breath and prayed. Now, to talk to the guy and pray he wouldn’t reject her once he knew the whole story.

She truly couldn’t believe what a week she had lived. Two guys seeking her attentions on the same day turned into a game of dating pinball that left her wondering which one would ultimately win out. Would it be the guy she had been crushing on for months, who seemed to be head over heels in love with her, so in love, in fact, that he could talk of nothing else but how amazingly awesome, beautiful, wonderful, and amazing she was? Or, was it the guy she had just met at a chance encounter at the Baptist Student Union CafĂ© just one week ago who was smart, funny, slightly geeky, and could talk about a variety of topics, not just how amazingly awesome she was?

Week in Review:

Sunday, Dec 7, 1997

After responding to Mister R’s email the night before, he called her the next day and they spent three hours talking about various things, including their shared thoughts and values in regards to their faith and relationships. After the conversation, she was left thinking, “Mr. W….who?”

Monday, Dec 8, 1997

She worked that day with Mr. W. who lamented the fact that he tried for hours to give her a call the previous day, but, this being 1997 and her parents living in 1897 and not having a second phone line, he kept getting a busy signal. She, falling under his spell once again and not wanting to start off a relationship on the wrong foot, promptly told him the truth: her…uhhh….dad…had been talking on the phone all night.

He called later that night and they spent hours talking about how awesome she was. It was a very ego-boosting conversation, but she did wonder what his favorite color was, other than the deep, pensive brown of her eyes. After the end of the conversation, she was left thinking, “Mister R….who?”

Tuesday, Dec 9, 1997

She ran into Mister R. at the BSU who being very technology minded said, “Have you thought about getting a second phone line? Or how about a cell phone?” since he had been trying to call her for hours the previous night and kept getting a busy signal. She, falling under his spell once again and not wanting to start off the relationship with a lie, promptly laughed and changed the subject. He suggested she come over after work the next day so he could help her study for her calculus final. Even though she was a math whiz and had an A+ in calculus (it was basically a review of what she had already aced in high school), she agreed to come over. It was cute the way he thought he could help her. She’d bash him over the head with her utter brilliance soon enough.

Wednesday, Dec 10, 1997

She was a little apprehensive to see Mr. W. at work that day since she knew he wasn’t scheduled to come in and since she knew she was going to go across the street to spend time with Mister R right after work. He, of course, was sooo happy to see her and came over to see if she wanted to go out with him on her lunch break. She could never say no to free food, so she agreed. Mister R. didn’t have to know about this since she wasn’t going to meet him for a few hours, anyway. But, she made sure to suggest she and Mr. W. go out the back way, just in case.

Their lunch (burgers at the fine dining establishment known as McDonalds) was filled with laughter about work and even more talk about how wonderful and amazing she was. She found he wasn’t of the same faith as she, but he had been to her church a few times and was interested in knowing more. Hmmm….well, that made things a little more interesting.

After lunch, she became a little more apprehensive when Mr. W. didn’t leave work and was blatantly just hanging around to once again spend time with her when she finished her shift. Why oh why did Mister R. have to live right across the dang street? And, more importantly, why oh why did she have to be so gosh darned irresistible?? It had to be the shoes- who could resist the Chucks?

Once her shift was over, she hastily told Mr. W. that she had to meet someone to study, but she had a great time and would talk to him soon, then she awkwardly returned the hug he gave her (she really needed to practice this whole “hugging” thing), and then dashed to her car, drove the 10 yards across the street, parked behind a parked car and ducked down in her seat, wishing she had a Funny Nose and Glasses and hoping Mr. W. wouldn’t see her as he finally left the work parking lot.

Once she saw his car leaving the driveway, and giving him a few minutes to drive a safe distance down the road, she, as nonchalantly as she could, popped back up in her seat and smoothed her hair back in her messy ponytail, making sure “scratchy” was showing his good side. She knocked on the door and was shortly greeted by a beaming Mister R. and hoped beyond hope he wouldn’t ask, “Who were you hiding from?” She hadn’t known him long, but she knew he was the type to call people out on things rather than let them think they were being sneaky.

They spent a little while talking about school and how easy calculus was when he suggested they go see a movie together- Alien Resurrection seemed really good and he’d wanted to see it for some time. He liked sci-fi, though not the silly stuff like Flubber or anything…so, would she like to come? She quickly agreed and suggested they get dinner together afterwards. He told her he had a Bible study that evening, but one of the gals from the BSU was going to be cooking a Chinese meal for a bunch of people here, at his place, so she was more than welcome to stay for that and then he’d meet back up with her when his Bible study was over.

Though she didn’t know the people that would be there that evening, and she was a little bummed they wouldn’t get to spend the whole evening together, she was dually impressed that he not only liked sci-fi, but that he also, more importantly, put God first- even before a budding relationship with her. So, she agreed to the plan.

While watching the movie, she didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cower in self-consciousness when he pointed at the grotesque monster on screen and said, “Hey look- you’re in the movie!” Considering her entire family did the same thing, usually whenever there was a large ape on screen, she knew her sister, at least, would approve of this guy.

He meant the one on the left. The really pretty one.

They soon went back to his place where he introduced her to “the guys” and then left to his Bible Study. The people were nice, the food was good, and she only got a little nervous when the questions came around to her and Mister R’s “relationship.” She told them the truth- they had just met and were just friends and were just hanging out. Though she wasn’t sure what to make of the knowing-glances that passed around the room.

It wasn’t long before he returned, happy to see her getting along with his friends. They talked for a while before she had to head to her friend’s house, where she was staying the night. He walked her to her car, which was still stealthily hiding behind his roommate’s car, and still they talked. The conversation dwindled down and there was an awkwardness as she wondered if he was going to kiss her or if she should kiss him or if she should get in the car quickly before her digestive tract decided to ruin her life and let go that ball of nervous gas that had been building all evening.

Eventually, he opened the car door for her and gave her a hug. She returned the hug, not as awkwardly as she had the first time. She was getting better at this game.

She couldn’t wait to talk to her friend and get her opinion on the two guys. They chatted throughout the night, going over the day’s events, going over the entire week, and creating a pros and cons list of each guy in hopes of making a wise decision between the two. She liked them both and knew that Mr. W, at least, really liked her back and he was going to be a doctor, just like she was, but the conversations with Mister R. were more diverse and interesting and he was really smart and a Christian, but she didn’t know exactly how he felt about her (because, despite all her brains, she truly was slow sometimes).

Her friend, who had much more experience in the dating game, told her there was no need to rush a decision. Keep dating them both since she liked them both and had fun with both. Two boyfriends were better than one, after all. And, in her case, two were better than none.

However, she knew she couldn’t string them on forever. It hadn’t even been a week yet and she was already stressing over how to hide from one guy while going out with the other. She didn’t have much money and knew that a Funny Nose and Glasses, while a brilliant disguise, most likely didn’t come cheap. Not only that but, though she was young and very inexperienced, she knew she didn’t want to waste her time dating someone with whom she felt she had no future. She also felt terrible leading on a guy since she didn’t want to waste his time, either. Dating, to her, meant you are looking to see if this person has the potential to be your future spouse. She truly had no desire to “just date” someone that she knew she’d never marry. Her choice between these two guys, in her overly dramatic and neurotic mind, could very well affect her entire future and so she took her decision very seriously.

So she did what she did whenever she was stressed and worried about something. She prayed about it.

Thursday, Dec 11, 1997

After getting ready for school, she used her friend’s computer to check her email. She received an email from Mister R. and, after reading it 500 times, she finally knew what her decision had to be.

Even though she knew he was interested in her, he hadn’t been as gushing as Mr. W. had been about how he felt about her. (Then again, Mr. W. gushed so much about her, she had no clue how he felt about anything else. As amazingly awesome as she was, she was a little bored with that topic of conversation.) After this email, she finally knew.

After acknowledging the awkwardness of the non-kiss (he truly didn't pull any punches, did he?), he told her that he really liked her (or as he put it: not just "like", but "like like!") and then he said something that blew her away. He told her that he felt they had an opportunity to build a strong foundation to a relationship and wanted to do something to honor God and wanted to know if she felt the same way. It was like pieces of a puzzle falling together when she realized he looked at relationships the same way she did; this was the answer to her prayers of the previous evening.

Her faith was very important to her and, at the top of the list of “Qualities of My Future Husband” was that he also shared her faith, quickly followed by being older and taller than her with light hair and blue or green eyes (she wasn’t picky). Mister R. fit all of the categories. Mr. W. did not.

Friday Dec 12, 1997

School and work dominated this day. She successfully avoided Mr. W. and was praying about how to finally end her week as a Playa. She knew she had game. She just didn’t like playing the game.

Saturday Dec 13, 1997

So there she was- sitting in her car after work. She knew what she had to do and went to Mister R’s place, hoping and praying she wasn't going to make a fool of herself. She took a deep breath and laid out the entire tale- from getting the call from her mom at the BSU, to going on a lunch date with Mr. W. and then turning around and going to a movie with Mister R that evening, to how she felt about relationships and how she made her decision. She told him that, unless they made their relationship “official” there was really no reason she couldn’t continue to go out with Mr. W. just to see where things led….sooo…….?

She had never been so bold and nervous in her life. She had so little experience in the whole dating game and didn’t realize that not everybody thought the same way she did and that most guys Mister R’s age would probably laugh in her face and then run straight for the hills, calling 911 about the crazy stalker lady that was trying to tie him down after knowing him just one week.

However, instead of laughing and running, Mister R had the biggest smile she’d seen yet and said, “Wow. I’m so glad you chose me!” And then he gave her a hug.


Her brother had another basketball game that day. So, exactly one week after taking Mr. W. to meet her family at a basketball game, she asked Mister R. to go with her, this time to introduce her family to her new, official, boyfriend.

She was happy to see her entire family there- including her mom- and was happy to see how comfortable he was with them all. Her little sister even seemed to like him, which was a good sign. She once again made a joke at her little sister’s expense and Mister R, instead of admonishing her to be nicer to the poor, little girl, pointed at the wee thing and gave a huge, Nelson-esque, “HA-HA!”

And with that, her little sister knew he was a keeper.

So, Mr. W. turned out to be Mr. Wrong and Mister R. turned out to be Mister Right….or at least Mister Right Now. However, only time would tell if he would eventually turn out to be her one, true Mister. They had only known each other a week, after all. Could one week really turn into a lifetime? Only time would tell….