Well, I think it's time for another dating life update. I'm not
sure if these would make more or less sense if I did them more
frequently. On the one hand, I don't particularly want the tone of my
site to be too "OMG, she, like, totally looked at me!". On the other
hand, it is pretty important to me and some people still care about
it. So you know what? It's my site, I'm going to write what I want. Of
course, I'll have to remove this one from the facebook feed.
Especially considering that the person I'm going to be talking about
the most definitely sees my facebook updates.
Well, S was fun while she lasted. We went on
several dates during her Christmas break. She was pretty cool to talk
to, even though (maybe partially because) she spent a lot of time
talking about her really crazy family background. It was always
somewhat awkward physically, though - we never seemed to touch each
other. I don't know if that was me or her. At any rate, I kept asking
her out until she told me that she just wanted to be friends. And I
was fine with being friends with her, but I pointed out that she never
even called me - it was always me asking her out. I said that if she
ever wanted to hang out, feel free to give me a call and we could do
something. That was... oh... just over a month ago now. Ladies, I'm
sorry, but if you're going to pull the friend card you have to, well,
actually be a friend.
I actually first met A about a year ago. She's in Abe's
old ward (no, I don't even pretend to protect my roommate's identity).
She was at some party that I went to with Abe. At the time, she was
kind of flirty and so I asked her out. I guess that by the time I
called her, she had hooked up with another guy in her ward. I actually
forgot about all of this and wasn't even sure if I'd actually gotten
around to calling her before - there were a couple other girls from
that timeframe that I met through Abe that also turned me down, so she
didn't really stand out a whole lot at the time.
Fast forward about a year to about a month ago. I went with Abe up
to a fireside in Lynnwood that was combined with the University Wards
and the Halls Lake Ward (Abe's old ward). We were hanging out talking
afterward, and Abe went over to chat with a few girls that he knew
from the area. I joined him and he awkwardly reintroduced us
(something along the lines of "You remember Jo-Pete, don't you?"). The
group of us ended up chatting for another hour or so. We ended the
evening with me walking her to her car on the other side of the
building and said that I'd see her later. She seemed agreeable with
that. Meanwhile, Abe and her friend had been plotting and suggested
that we all go on a double date.
I got A's information through Abe and her friend H.
I officially asked her out for the following Friday, and Abe ended up
backing out. I think we went ice skating. Afterward, we went to a
movie. She was exactly forward enough but not too overbearing - it was
fun to cuddle with her during that first movie. We plotted to get Abe
and H to double with us the next evening.
I'm not sure if I can count the number of times I've seen her in
the past month. I don't really think it matters. The cool part is that
we don't always do the same thing every time - it's so easy to get
stuck in a pattern of dinner and a movie every single date. There have
been plenty of movies in the past month, but they've usually been at
the end of an otherwise eventful evening - basically an excuse to
cuddle together and acknowledge that neither one wanted to end the
evening yet. But we went to the roller rink, we went ice skating a
couple times, we went to activities with her friends. A couple
weekends ago, she came down to Seattle and I had the most amazing day
with her. We went to the underground tour, then we walked along the
waterfront for a bit. We were watching a ferry load and so we decided
to take one across to Bainbridge Island. We made it just in time. She
was absolutely freezing on the deck of the ferry, but we took in the
sunset and the city skyline. On Bainbridge, we found a restaurant there that had the
absolutely most amazing fish and chips. Last weekend it was the butterfly exhibit at the
Pacific Science Center.
I knew from the beginning that she had just gotten out of a long relationship and wasn't really ready for another commitment yet. She needed to be alone and focus on herself instead of getting caught up in a boyfriend. I was fine with that because it seemed like her version of "alone" and my version of "together" weren't really too far apart. Seeing a girl a couple evenings a week is definitely statistically significant for me.
It turns out that her version of alone and my version of together is not a very stable arrangement. I kept leaning toward more together and she kept leaning toward more alone. It was hard on her because I think part of her did want to be together and so she was worried about sending mixed signals or leading me on. It was hard on me because part of me acknowledged her need to be alone and I cared about her too much to not respect that. She was clear that I was only a friend right now, I was clear that I was interested in more whenever she was ready.
Last weekend was an amazing emotional roller coaster ride. Friday night there was a singles activity and dance that we both went to. We didn't go together, so there was automatically a certain amount of awkwardness around how I should act around her. The activity was a dessert auction - guys brought dessert, girls bid on it using fake money, and whichever guy brought the dessert the girl won was the girl's dinner date for the evening. We both ended up with people that we weren't the least bit interested in. I tried to focus on my date so that she wouldn't have a horrible evening, but as the dinner went on, it became apparent that she was as uninteresting as she was unattractive. A kept coming over to talk and I gradually paid more attention to her.
Then the dance started. I already knew that A is flirty. And I knew that we didn't come together so I had no reason to expect her to dance with me the whole time. I've had a love-hate relationship with dances for a long time - I love social dancing, I hate the "dancing" that typifies pop music. But seeing her paying more attention to other guys set off irrational feelings. I tried to ignore it, I tried dancing swing and cha cha with other girls, I tried walking around outside. But she looked amazing that night and I was clearly not the only guy interested in her. It was too much for me to handle - I was jealous.
She came out and talked with me for a bit and I let her know that I was going home. I couldn't talk about the way I was feeling then because I knew that I couldn't ask her to stop. She emphasized that she really didn't want to hurt me, I told her that I would be okay. She gave me a kiss on the cheek, I told her that I'd see her the next day - we already had plans for when she got off work. Instead of driving home, I drove to Auburn. I sat on the porch of the house I've been trying to buy and I wrote her an email that I'm still not sure if she's read yet. Then I drove up to her house. I had bought a rose earlier in the evening because I planned on giving it to her the next day, but I decided that I would leave it on her car. Her car wasn't at her house, so I figured she must be spending the night at a friend's house. I drove over there, left the rose on her windshield, and got back in the car to drive home. As I was pulling out, another car pulled in - it was her and one of the guys from the dance.
We still went to the butterfly exhibit on Saturday. She gave me a little valentine teddy bear. I think that may be the first time anybody other than my mother has given me anything on Valentine's Day. I went ahead and gave her the earrings I had bought online. I didn't give her the matching ring. I'll save that for another day - a ring seemed like a bit too much all things considered. After wandering around Seattle Center, we came home and watched Just Friends (obviously her choice). The next night when I talked to her on the phone, she asked if I could be her Seattle Buddy.
Last night, I took her swing dancing at Century Ballroom. I definitely like swing night there much better than salsa night (that was another disastrous evening) - everybody is more friendly and there's a lot more room on the dance floor. A was getting frustrated because she couldn't do all the fancy moves that other people in the room were doing. At one point she told me that it must be because I'm not a good lead. I can't remember the last time that somebody told me I was a bad lead for east coast swing. I was mostly frustrated because I didn't know what she wanted from me - I tried to slow things down and bring it to the basics, she got mad because we weren't doing anything fun. I tried to throw in new steps and she got mad because I was doing things she didn't know how to do. I tried to step her through each move and she got mad because she didn't like the rock step. At this point, it was pretty clear that she was going to be irritated with me no matter what I did. So we went to get something to eat instead. Maybe we'll try again with a group that doesn't know how to dance so that she isn't comparing herself to people who have danced for a decade or more.
She still has a lot to work out - her life is full of all kinds of drama and I don't really want to add to the drama. She reminds me a _lot_ of Amanda. Perhaps that's what draws me to her - she revives feelings that I haven't felt since high school. All the good feelings about having a girl so fun and crazy actually cuddle up with me and make me feel like the king of the world. Are they worth the bad feelings of knowing that I'm not really the king of her world? They were in high school when I was alone and had nobody else. I guess some things don't change even ten years later. I could probably handle a friend who sometimes wants to cuddle but still wants to date other guys if I had another girl to occupy my thoughts when she wasn't in my arms. Either way, I really don't want to lose her friendship because she's the first girl I've met in years that I feel can really understand me and the contradictions that have been built into my life.