I’ve been crazy busy living life, but when I told a client in my chair this story the other day, she said, “You should write a blog.” I told her, I do write a blog (you know, in the loose sense of the word, I should have said I sometimes write a blog).
Right before Christmas, I met a man. What makes this remarkable is that I had just made a statement, the day before, that I was done for awhile. Benched. I felt a bit creeped out by men in general and needed a break.
And then I met this guy. I was at an event at church, one of the happy hours for the 30’s group. I was actually there to avoid being home because of a (before mentioned) creepy man situation (but that’s another story for another time), even though I was benched. Anyway, we ended up having a 30 to 45 minute conversation, which is rare in that setting, and had a ton of things in common. He was handsome (my friends came to call him The Bod), was soft spoken, and super kind. Because of the fact that I was “done,” I was just totally being my authentic, unfettered self. I wasn’t trying to impress him. It came up that I was a widow (because I was benched, my guard wasn’t up), and in a totally non-weird way, he asked about the story and I told it. He was compassionate. At the end of the conversation he told me to find him on Facebook, and mutual friends overheard that, and had been observing our long talk, and got excited. This meeting had potential.
I found him on Facebook, and we exchanged messages over Christmas, but nothing substantial.
After New Years, a friend of mine had a birthday and a big group of my friends, including the Bod, went out to celebrate. We had a lot to drink, closed the bar down, went to get food afterward, and then he kissed me in my car. I was shocked. Other women had been throwing themselves at him all night. I had actually been having an internal dialogue with myself all night: Don’t fall for this guy, Noel. Church guys are weird. They can be such pussies. He’ll never make a move. You don’t want to be part of the harem. So when he actually did make a move, I was shocked! In a good way. My internal dialogue changed to: Oh, it’s on.
And then the next day I saw him and it was like he was giving me the Heisman (as in, the body language that the trophy shows). We finally had a conversation a week later, where I totally gave him an out: We had been drinking a lot. We don’t really know each other. Blah Blah Blah. But, he assured me that he had felt a connection, that he had meant to kiss me, but that he wanted to take things slow, base a relationship on friendship. He wanted to get to know me. Internal dialogue: Well, I don’t typically do slow, but that hasn’t been working for me lately. Sure. I could try slow.
After a couple of weeks of more awkwardness, with just enough hint of connection to keep me guessing, I sent an email. I kindly told him that he’s not the type that I normally date, so if this is slow, I can be patient, but if he’s not interested, well, basically, could he help a sister out and just let me know? He responded saying that he wanted to talk about it in person, and could we get together the following week because he was out of town? “Sure,” I said.
But then he didn’t follow up, either via email or in person when I ran into him twice that week. So, I felt mildly disappointed, both in the fact that he clearly wasn’t interested and also in the fact that he was, after all that, exactly what I had been warning myself against the whole night before we kissed. But, whatever.
The problem is, we’re part of the same friend group. So, a couple of weeks later, after seeing him a few times and not talking to him, he asked me if we could grab coffee or a drink. Internal Dialogue: Do we seriously need to get together now, a month after I emailed you, for you to tell me you’re not interested? I think I got it, buddy. But, I agreed. Why not? I’m pretty sure that I can’t remember what I ever saw in him, but, I’m pretty good at giving lots of chances. Plus, because we run in the same gang, I’d like for him to be able to make eye contact with me.
My friends all told me not to worry anyway. “What kind of asshole wants to get together after you’ve clearly moved on to tell you that he’s not interested?”
Oh, my friends, the Bod is that kind of asshole. We met for coffee, and I waited an hour for him to beat around the bush, to hint at the idea that he’s not interested. I had to say, “Um, could we just circle back to the fact that you aren’t going to date anyone at the church that we go to, ‘cuz I feel like that was for me.” After him stuttering through an explanation, and finally being somewhat direct, I told him he owed me an aplogy. “You wanted to sit down and talk about this now? It’s been two months since you kissed me. You think it’s okay to just string someone along like that?” He stuttered another explanation, no apology, and told me that he was “spooked” by my direct communication style. And by the fact that I’m a widow.
Mmokay then. I’m actually proud of the fact that I’m a direct communicator. And the widow thing? That I can’t change. I didn’t kill my husband. It’s completely unfair. It’s not my fault. Really, in the whole above scenario, I can’t really think where I went wrong.
But now, even a couple of weeks later, I’m still furious. Before we sat down, I had felt a bit of rejection, but it was no big deal. I had already moved on. And then he dropped the widow thing on me. I’m not someone who struggles with confidence. Ever. To a degree that it is probably actually not healthy, it probably borders on arrogance. But, sheesh. Every date that I’ve been on since my husband died, this is an issue, (well, except for that minute that I was dating the guy that I’ve known my whole life). Internal Dialogue: No one will want you. Ever.
And that just sucks.
I'm trying to tell myself that it's not true.
And, I keep reminding myself that I don’t even know this man. That my first impressions were that he was just so kind. That’s not the picture of him that he ended up showing me, but I believe that he has to be bigger than the small (asshole) piece of him that he showed me.
But still. F#ck him.