Summer Lovin’


Karen suggested that I should blog about dating. Because she knows. I’ve been leaning on her a lot lately. But I’m not writing this for her. I’m writing for me. 🙂

Thanks, Karen.

 

You know, I completely understand why people stick around in shitty relationships. Why it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to stay in love with him, even though he’s sleeping around. Why it doesn’t seem so terrible that she’s controlling. Why you might stay with him even though he hit your kid. Why one E.R. visit never seems quite as bad as everyone else makes it out to be. Why she went back to him after he choked her and slit her throat.

When I was volunteering with Victim Services, the constant thing was this question of why victims stay in shitty and abusive relationships, but I totally understand it.

 

I dated someone this summer. Yeah, we’re not even halfway through with the summer, but I’d like to file this relationship away as if it’s a summer romance that happened a long time ago.

 

My Person works with the blind. Has a kid. Is stable in life. Smart. Funny. Recently rescued a puppy.

I liked that I beat My Person at Scrabble by about 200 points every time we played. I liked that we texted throughout the day. That we held hands all the time. Lounged on the couch together while watching tv.

I liked the relationship-y things that we did.

I felt like in this particular relationship, I was making a good choice. I haven’t really had a relationship before. Most of you know that. I’ve dated a lot, but haven’t really done the long-term thing.

So I decided I need to give it a try.

And you know, My Person seemed like a pretty decent one to try with… right up until My Person broke up with me because I wasn’t ready for an overnight in Phoenix.

I know, right?

It blew my mind, because that’s the sort of thing that only happens on 90s television. 90s tv was always trying to help us be better people. Teaching us not to do drugs. Not to have an eating disorder. Not to date anyone who would pressure us to have sex.

I miss 90s tv.

My Person discarded me because I didn’t provide a pleasure My Person felt entitled to have.

When I was initially invited to go to Phoenix, it was to the tune of, “No pressure… open invitation.”

Then, when I said no, it was a week of not-so-subtle hinting and teasing and even some outright pressuring me to go.

Then, when it became clear I really meant no, My Person broke up with me. Over text.

Then texted me the next day to apologize.

Then texted me the day after that to see if I would like to get coffee to talk and to see if we can still be friends.

 

I get that we were only together for a month…

But it meant something to me…

People so often act nonchalant about stuff like this… like it’s no big deal and we should all be able to emotionally handle the one-month breakup oh-so-very easily.

Just for the record, it’s not easy.

It’s never easy to deal with someone discarding you.

That’s why rejection in dating feels so terrible.

Even if I ignore all of the hopes and plans for the future that never came to fruition… that day I requested off of work, because we were going to spend it together… the plans to see this or that movie, do this or that activity together…

All of those things have to be grieved, but even if I ignore everything else that hurts in breakups… there’s still, always, that terrible, terrible truth that someone else shat all over my identity.

 

Sure, sometimes breakups are logistics or geography… timing or incompatibility… but mostly they are a commentary on the person being dumped.

 

Not worth the effort unless there’s sex.

 

That was the commentary on Kate.

 

And you know what is the craziest thing ever?

I want My Person back.

Not really… but sometimes, in the stupid part of my heart that wants to go back and re-have what we had.

 

I’ve watched most of the women in my life stay in shitty relationships. I’ve also watched a complete stranger want to go back to him after he shot her son, choked her, beat the hell out of her, slit her throat, and cut off the tips of her fingers.

 

Because there is something about the way a romance impacts identity… validates identity… destroys identity… builds up… magnifies… reveals… reflects… identity.

 

That’s why DV victims can’t leave him. Identity.

 

I was proud of the choices I made in my summer fling with My Person. I did a truly spectacular job setting boundaries and paying attention to what was really going on in the relationship and why.

On day one, I was aware enough to suspect that My Person wasn’t used to hearing no. I was careful. Payed attention.

I also had a lot of fun. I allowed myself to really try. To be vulnerable. To hope. To have secrets within and about this relationship. To kiss.

Prior to this relationship, it had been more than ten years since I’d kissed anyone.

This is totally a side-beef that I have, but not kissing is one of those things that I think married people don’t get. They can’t. Some of them probably don’t have a ton of sex, but it’s impossible to explain to a married Christian how painful it is to try to “kiss dating goodbye” Joshua Harris style. And, okay, not all Christians do the no kissing thing, and I honestly wasn’t even trying not to kiss… but the Christian dating world is a bleak, bleak place. There was nobody I even wanted to kiss, nor would they have been on-board for a kis on or before the one-month mark.

And yes, I admit it, My Person is not a Christian. Had my person been a Christian, we would have talked a lot about marriage and baby-making and predestination… but we definitely wouldn’t have kissed.

 

Side-beef rant ended.

 

Yes, the correct question right now is how all of this fits into my faith. I don’t have a good answer for you. My beliefs about Who God is and how to read the Bible and what God expects from me have changed a lot. However, I’m not having a crisis of faith. As has been my habit since I was 17, God and I talk nearly every day. I read my Bible. Journal. Listen. Ask Him questions. He’s teaching me things… but I haven’t got it figured out just yet.

 

I will say I think I’ve learned that it takes a remarkable sense of self-worth to do the relationship thing well. Were I the type of girl who doesn’t see any value in herself, I would have gone to Phoenix and I would still be with My Person.

I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to consider others more important than myself. That’s what Jesus would do, right? That’s what the Bible legit tells us we should be doing… Phillippians 2:3. And you can qualify that ish all you want with talk about appropriate boundaries or how Paul was only telling us to be that way within the church… but Paul didn’t qualify it that way, nor do I think he meant us to only take on a humble posture like that with other Christians. And had I considered My Person more important than myself, it would have been disastrous.

 

On that note… I have a date with a New Person this weekend. New Person seems nice. Is interested in theology. Doesn’t drink. Doesn’t like texting. The rest will have to be discovered over time. Here’s to hoping New Person and I do better than a 90s tv breakup… over text message (which I understand didn’t exist in the 90s).

🙂

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The End of My Self


*Yes, I’m aware that the word is myself… by I really mean it to be more like my self… with self as the noun, and my as possessive. You also have a self… that’s what I’m writing about today.

I remember sitting with the Johnsons, and one or both of them pointed out that I don’t do a very good job of needing, and, perhaps that’s one of the reasons I gravitate toward singleness. They tried to explain the difference between needing someone to live… and just needing someone. Just because the heart keeps beating once someone is gone and that person lives on… that doesn’t mean the need for that lost person has lessened. I get that… and I think I got it in a very intellectual capacity then. However, I also had an intellectual understanding of my misunderstanding of “need.”

I tucked that thought away and brought it out every so often, never quite feeling that “need” for someone, but always knowing that I was missing something.

I’ve had plenty of opportunities to date. I don’t regret any of the relationships that never happened, because none of those guys were right for me and I wasn’t ready anyways… and, while I used to have the luxury of believing myself to be unattractive and unlovable, God has worked on me and shown me that I no longer have to try at femininity… I’ve actually changed enough that most people don’t even see the softball in me anymore. They think I’m just a nice, sweet girl, and when I try to put together a dodge ball team at work, they say things like, “I’ll only play if you get some athletic people on the team.” I mean, what am I… a delicate flower or something? 😉 I don’t even feel upset that they can’t see division 1 scholarship offers for how well I throw a ball.

But, if we’re real about things, I have to admit that there have been two major obstacles between me and men:

1. I didn’t understand needing a man.

2. I was, and am, terrified of needing a man.

Softball Katie, you see, had never come to the end of herself, really. She could always run one more mile, read one more book, find one more solution to a problem, buy a house or a car for herself, etc… She was just doing her thing and enjoying it.

That changed about 3 years ago, when I started reaching the end of myself/my self.

I can’t say that I needed someone to provide me with food, $, or even emotional support. I was fine. And, in being real about it, I’ve never understood the question: “Are you okay?” because everything is always fine, and I’m always okay. At mile 16, when my calves are cramping and I’m literally struggling to walk, I’m okay. When I’m sobbing alone, I’m okay. I’m not saying I’m splendid, but I have always had a knowledge that it’s going to be what it’s going to be, and the best way to make it through things is to know, with all confidence, that it’s okay.

However, coming to the end of myself felt an awful lot like needing someone.

And it felt like not being okay… even though I knew I was okay.

It was a deep longing… for someone to take care of _________ every now and then. Maybe food, or $, or emotional support… not because I couldn’t provide those things for myself, but more because the pains were heavy… and I just wanted to not be dealing with them independently. I wanted and needed someone to do something that I always do for myself… maybe something as simple as driving when I didn’t want to drive, or microwaving dinner, or putting a hand on my shoulder while I was crying. And I can’t even say that it’s a loneliness, although it is sort of that… it’s honestly that sense of needing that I didn’t understand while the Johnsons were explaining it to me.

During lunch at work a few days ago, everyone was talking about ordering a pizza on our early release day next week, and they asked me if I wanted in. I joked about having a fear of commitment, but I thanked them for asking… and Lawrence laughed and said, “You do have a fear of commitment.”

Everyone looked at me oddly, because it was one of those rare glimpses you get into a person you’ve known for a long time without actually knowing. And I never talk about dating with them. I never talk about anything personal with them, so I think they think I don’t date… or maybe they think I sleep around, but keep it quiet. Lawrence obviously knows me slightly better and thinks my singleness is my fault… this isn’t the first time he’s spoken of my singleness with blame and almost disdain in his voice… like I’m not like everyone else, which means there’s something wrong with me.

But I’ve been trying to learn a lesson in regards to sameness. As we try to push all of our students to be college and career ready, by making them all like one another, I’m frustrated with this factory mentality of quality control, as if people are like Starbucks drinks, and should all come out tasting exactly the same regardless of where and when and how we encounter them. I love buying Starbucks in other countries, but the reason for that is because everything else is and should be different…

In Peru, the kids were so different from American kids. They had a visible and wondrous knowledge that they weren’t the center of anything. The landscapes were different. The air was different… which is why I love traveling. I love that feeling I get when I exit an airport in Mongolia, and see people who look different, speaking a different language. People who eat a lot of goats, and drink fermented horse milk. People who use different bathrooms and love ping pong the way Americans love television.

In the midst of all the differences, Starbucks, however, is exactly the same, which is cool, but only because it’s the only thing that’s the same.

In the states, we decided long ago that different was inherently unequal… and that inequality was evil.

But I think God treats us with inequality… and I think it’s okay.

I could sit around envying all of my friends who found love when they were 20. I could be angry with God for giving them something He didn’t give me… even when they made more obvious and frequent mistakes than I made or when they were immature in this way or that…

But, no matter how many judgment-filled comments my friends have for my choices about love or friendship or whatever… I wasn’t ready. I just wasn’t. And maybe I still am not ready. I’m not ready to run 26.2 miles, but that doesn’t mean I never will be ready or that I’m not working towards it. I have exactly one friend who is working towards 26.2 at the same time I am. And she’s already run it before. Twice. And she may drop out any day. Which is all okay, because she isn’t me, and shouldn’t live her life exactly as I live mine. I’d love to have her there for the run, but I won’t judge her if she does something different.

I’ve been reading a book called THE COOL IMPOSSIBLE, which is about running, and it reaffirms my belief that it’s so important for each person to run her own race, because each of us is inherently different.

“The hardest thing for a person to do is to run as he or she normally does when she knows there’s someone watching,” (Orton 22).

A girl must run at her own pace. She must overcome the obstacles on her path… which may be very different from the obstacles on another person’s path. She must wear the shoes that work best for her. She must listen to music, or sermons, or nothing… depending on what that day and that moment call for. And, while it’s nice to run races with others, it isn’t an insult when we hit a fork in the road and go off in different directions. A great runner can balk a run that should be “easy” and a novice can inexplicably own a really difficult run. Because inequality is built into our experience here on Earth.

It took me a long time to reach the end of myself… probably mostly because I didn’t want to believe there was an end to my self. Unfortunately, that meant that it took me a long time to see the value in having someone next to me… to help me keep going past the end of myself. It took me a long time to see the value in risking heartache. And none of that means that I’m going to find the guy tomorrow, but maybe it means that I’ll be a little slower to throw relationships away before they even get going. Maybe it means I finally want marriage… when I’ve never really wanted it before.

The Good Fight


Years ago, I was listening to a Matt Chandler sermon (I don’t remember which one) and he talked about how important it is to have people of all ages in the church. Young folks, he said, have a frantic urgency in their hearts, of which they’re powerless to rid themselves, but older folks have survived a few messes, so they have a calmness in the midst of chaos, because they’ve weathered chaos before.

I thought that was interesting, because I’ve never thought of myself as the frantic type, even though I’m still young. Then, I recently caught myself feeling frantic and urgent about something silly, and I was like, Okay, Matt Chandler, maybe you were right.

Recently, I’ve had my first sort of shocking experience where someone for whom I care deeply and I admire willfully chose disobedience. It’s not that I’ve never seen anyone do that before, but I’ve never seen someone of the highest caliber do it.

I think part of what Matt Chandler referred to in his sermon was that thing where older folks have seen people come and go. They’ve watched good men fall. They’ve read their Bibles enough times to feel less frantic when crap goes down, because crap is always going down in the Bible and in real life. Surviving 25, 30, 40 years in Christ teaches a person how to weather tragedies and chaos of which a younger person can’t even conceive.

For probably the past 6 months or so, I’ve felt far more tempted than I’ve ever felt before. There’s a man who I really want, and I’m fairly certain he’s not a Christian. This is a strange sort of temptation for me because I’m not as confident as I usually am that I have what it takes to do the right thing. I’ve been a good girl so far, you know, not encouraging this man, but I could see myself justifying a relationship with him so easily – he’s so much better than _______ Christian dude because he’s more moral, intelligent, passionate, kind, fascinating, etc… – even though I know it’s wrong.

I know this is terrible, but most Christian men who are at or around my age are disappointing. They always seem a little too much like my students – young, naive, goofy, inexperienced, ignorant, simple, etc… I wish I didn’t think that, but I do. They don’t seem like fully-formed people with thoughts in their brains. They seem like the end of 1984 when Winston “loved Big Brother. The end.” That’s a cool line at the end of a dystopian novel, but it’s not so cool when indoctrination is stamped all over a real person’s identity. I recognize that there’s an arrogance embedded in those thoughts, and I promise I try to combat it. Yet, I haven’t met an unmarried Christian man in a long time who seemed like a thinking, feeling human being – one who I could ever consider for more than one coffee date.

At first, I was pretty disappointed in myself for even wanting the man I currently want. It felt like wanting him is this enormous crisis of faith. However, as I’ve endured for a bit, I’ve started to feel less and less like I’m in crisis… less like a mistake with this man would be the end of my relationship with God, and more like whatever happens, I need God and know that I need Him (and He knows that I need Him). That probably sounds like I’m allowing myself too much grace, but I assure you I’m not. I’m just thinking about God’s relationship to those who belong to Him.

I do belong to Him.
I’m not some fraud who’s been faking it for years. I am not now trying to get away from Him. I do wish I He’d just let me have this man, without it impacting my relationship with Him in any significant way, but I’m still in obedience regardless of my desires.

I think some of the urgency of youth is the fear that one choice can change a whole life. One choice can ravish a person’s identity, family and other relationships, security, etc… but older folks have more of a sense of stability in those things, I think, and in God’s love for them.

I’m so angry at that boy for not fighting harder. I’m angry at him for not listening when people who love him tell him the truth.

In fact, I’m angry at the other people in my life who had similar fights to fight, and they also gave in. I wish they would’ve fought harder and longer. I wish I could say that I watched them struggle for 6 months, making the right choice for as long as they could before they gave in. I wish I could say that they fought admirably… but what I’m forced to say is that people give in so easily.

I don’t know if I’ve got enough fight in me to make it another six months. I really want this man, and I don’t understand why God still has me alone, because I really don’t feel made to be alone.

But I do feel made to be His daughter. And I know that even when God doesn’t provide the way out that I want, He does always provide a way out. I also know that He’s the sort of God who has truly shown steadfast lovingkindness to His people throughout history. If I am inadequate for this fight, He will continue to show me lovingkindness – though I suspect being inadequate for the fight isn’t the defining factor in my win/loss record. I suspect that, “God will fight for me, and I need only be silent,” (Ex: 14:14). I suspect that those people at whom I’m so brokenhearted because they accepted defeat… they weren’t any less adequate than the folks who add another ‘W’ to their records. I just suspect that winning/losing is more about knowing I AM, and recognizing that any victory is His. My role in the fight, when I don’t have any fight in me, can be  limited to silence, without jeopardizing the victory even in the slightest.

“Thank God I’m Not the One”


In Phoenix this weekend, I enjoyed getting to be a part of an authentic Johnson bday celebration of great magnitude. It made me smile to see whipped cream on people’s faces and three generations of Johnson trying to dance. I was a little on the outside (my own doing) because the Johnson sense of family is rather foreign to me, so I often don’t know how to participate without feeling super self-conscious. Regardless, it was a joy and an honor to be included.

In the evenings, Dave, Lisa and I quieted down and watched TV, but, true to form, my Phoenix parents didn’t let me leave without giving me much to think about.

That boy has been rather a heavy thought to me for the past few weeks. Mostly, I’ve been preparing my heart and mind to move on from him.

I find it difficult to move on from anyone ever because it seems like just a breath away from the not-able-to-bring-myself-to talk-with-you or the you-don’t-live-up-to-our-standards that were both said and done to me. I don’t want to abandon him. I don’t want to dismiss or give up on him. So I kept theologizing myself into being the gospel to him.

Which, I think, is good and right in some ways.

If we have a chance to love the unlovable or grant unmerited grace, I believe we should usually do it. That’s a part of being an image bearer, intended to reflect the Almighty. It’s a chance to show someone who has never known God what He is like.

However, there’s a fine line between the necessary endeavor of constantly becoming more and more conformed to the image of the Son (Romans 8:29) and trying to be the Son in someone’s life.

I don’t know if I’ve crossed that line or not, but I do know that not moving on now would be a willful step over that line. In prayer, I’ve been convicted that he belongs to God and not to me.

I’ve tried to be a friend to him. I’ve done everything I could think of to help, to rebuke, to encourage, to correct, to love, to point back to the Father, and none of it has worked, and thus I hand him over to the Creator, knowing that he wasn’t ever truly mine.

The idea of not being able to save another is intellectually easy enough. It’s painfully obvious that I’m hardly capable of making right choices on a good day, and it’s even more obvious that I’m generally sinful and therefore inadequate to save myself, much less to make substitutionary atonement for another.

And yet, the intellect isn’t always what guides us.

My heart would rescue him if I could. My heart would give anything – short of nothing – to see him thrive. My heart seeks his good, often at great cost to itself.

So, though I’d love for it to be right to continue that seeking – for God to command me to chase after that boy – I have been given no such command and I will leave it up to the Lord, Who holds that boy in the palm of His hands.

And I leave you with some lyrics. I’ve been into a band called The Afters, of late, and one of their songs seems pretty appropriate here, for its message and because that boy is the one who taught me to close my eyes and enjoy music.

“Thank God I’m Not The One”

How could You walk when You went down that dusty street
How could You speak when all your friends checked out
How could You love after the great betrayal
How could You reach out when they nailed You down
[Chorus:]
True as true can be
That’s what they say You are to me when I’m so fake
Does Your heart ache
If I had been the one I would not have been that strong
If I had been the one, yeah, I’d have been long gone
How could You hang on with Your mama crying
How could You keep on breathing in and out
How could You watch while Your whole world was dying
Did it all happen cause we let You down[Repeat Chorus]

And all the things we think of as eternal would come undone
All I have to say when I’m praying
Is “Thank God I’m not the One”

Clearly, UNARGUABLY, Not My Fault


After not drinking the bad coffee in Atlanta, I boarded my 4 ish hour flight back to Tucson.

I had not shaved my left leg for more than a week; I had not showered that evening; I had not slept that evening; I was not wearing make-up; I was wearing workout pants that probably smelled like sweat, because I had not washed them for more than a week; I sat down, put my headphones on, willed that “Eff off” onto my forehead (you know, the one from Hitch that my friends claim I lack) and I LITERALLY prayed that God would seat me next to a frumpy, middle-aged woman who was too caught up reading The Fault in Our Stars to even think about talking to me.

Instead, the person who took the seat next to me was a 33-year-old aviator who was born in Jamaica, currently living in Milwaukee, but making his first trip to Tucson to try to figure out his impending move here for work. It was evidently going to be his job to fix our airport and help it grow an extra terminal.

He was nice and undaunted by the “Eff off” and Annie Lennox screaming through my headphones. He kept talking to me even though I kept trying not to talk to him. He also laughed at me and tried to explain that airplanes are super safe, because I sometimes grip the armrest violently when a plane I’m on makes one of those unexpected, roller coaster drops that gets my stomach.

Eventually, he asked me if I’d show him around Tucson that evening because he only had 24 hours to make up his mind. I sort of lied, telling him I was going to spend time with friends, which was true ish, because I did spend time with them, but had plenty of daylight left after getting lunch with Lauren and the kiddos.

Then, he asked for my phone number.

I told him that I wasn’t comfortable giving it out.

He said that he understood.

Like an hour later, just as we were landing, he asked if he’d be able to see me again.

I said no.

He looked sad, so I told him that I’ve recently been less careful than I ought to be.

He said he was sorry.

He waited a few minutes, then told me that he really just wanted friends, and I’d described my friends in a way that made him feel like he could connect with them. He was concerned about making the move to Tucson without knowing anyone… which could’ve been a creeper tactic, but I also felt for him.

So I gave him my email address.

He offered me a heartfelt thank you.

And it is not my fault!

NOT MY FAULT! NOT MY FAULT!

I don’t know why men are into me lately, but it’s not because of anything I’m doing, so don’t blame me. I could not have made myself less appealing or less approachable before that flight.

Top Ten Reasons I Reject Date #2


There’s been much speculation as to why I don’t go on a lot of second dates. Often, there’s psychoanalysis about my internal struggles and character flaws…  my fears. It’s glaringly obvious that I’m the one putting on the brakes, which makes it seem like I’m ultra-appealing and ultra-picky. However, I’d like to submit to the interwebs that the truth is most people who are doing online dating are weirdos or just a little too awkward.

Thus, I give you a list. Here’s my reasoning for rejecting date #2.

10. Talking about my online pictures –  Okay, so being complimented once is nice. “You have nice pictures.” 🙂 Being complimented twelve times is weird. “Are those your real pictures?” “I have to ask, is that really what you look like?” “Those are gorgeous pictures.” “You’re really pretty.” “Thank you for being pretty.” “You are as pretty as your pictures.”

9. Not getting enthusiastic or happy about anything – It’s really difficult to be happy, but the happiness is impossible to achieve when attached to a chronically unhappy person. Smiling is important. Genuine amusement is important. Passion for ANYTHING is important.

8. Living with mommy – I can’t avoid picturing him sitting on the couch, watching tv, drinking a beer while I do his laundry… not my cup o’ tea.

7. Not having a job – Enough said.

6.Touch – A guy who gets weird about a hug is a real turn-off. Side hug is fine, but it should be a confident one, rather than scared-shitless. Fear of hugging me usually suggests a fear of women in general and me in particular, which is disappointing and unattractive. I don’t have cooties and I will not get pregnant from a hug. It’s okay.

5. Fear of trying new things – A man who won’t go to a new restaurant or a new part of town probably isn’t for me. When a guy is like this, it makes me feel like I have to take care of him, which is not what I want on a first date. More than anything, I want to meet a guy who can take care of me. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t take care of him later in the relationship… I would hope he’d let me do that, but on the first date, I should feel like he’s in control of the situation. I should feel like he’s able to walk beside me, rather than behind me… using me as a shield from a danger that may or may not exist.

4. I think I have a 100% rejection rate on guys who ask me why I’m single. First of all, the way they ask is often with reverence, which is a bit too far. Tell me I look nice, but don’t act like I’m Helen of Troy… because I’m really not and it seems like forced flattery. Second, if I knew why I’m single, wouldn’t I do something about it and no longer be single?

3.  Phone – A man who checks his phone more than once or twice is a HUGE turnoff. Once or twice may even need some explanation, like, “My sister is pregnant, so I need to stay available if she goes into labor.” Checking a phone during a first date suggests that there are more important things to pay attention to than the person in front of you – not good to communicate to a prospective spouse.

2. Touch – I will absolutely reject a guy who touches too enthusiastically. If this is our first date and we don’t know each other, he gets a hug at the beginning and a hug at the end. There may be a few other acceptable touch barrier crossings, but they are few and far between.

1. Phone – It’s probably silly for this to be number 1, but it’s the one that happens most frequently. I have a dumb phone, and there’s nothing a guy can or should do about it until after we’re in a relationship. The first date is not the time to try to bring my technology up to date. Also, maybe there’s a reason I don’t yet have a SmartPhone, so maybe a guy should not try to change me before he even knows what I am and why.

Life Without an Umbrella


* Note to Dave: You may not want to read this one. 😉

I don’t know what the hell is going on in my life. The floodgate of men has been open/the Kraken was released, and the men just keep on coming.

So… there was one guy who I was pretty seriously considering, but then the visit led me to believe that he’s got some growing in independence before he’ll be ready for a lady like me. Also, the umbrella thing was funny, and I now intend to use it as a life metaphor.

Me: I shouldn’t have done my hair. It looks like it’s going to rain.

Boy: Are you going to bring an umbrella?

Me: I don’t own an umbrella.

Boy: Do you want me to get mine out of my car.

Me: If you want to…

Boy: …

So, the not having an umbrella is partly that I like getting rained on sometimes and partly that umbrellas seem impractical to me in monsoons. The water comes sideways, which makes the umbrella useless.

The umbrella thing happened, I told the boy we weren’t destined for love, and he went home.

___________________________

Then, I went to Starbucks and all Hell broke loose.

I think there must be an astrological shift that sending men my way because I swear nothing like this happened to me prior to this summer.

I get my table and my drink. I face myself away from everyone and towards the window and the storm outside.

Man approaches and asks me to watch his drum while he goes to the bathroom.

He comes back, takes his drum and sits down. I read.

I stand up to see if SBucks has any free songs I can download, and man asks me what I’m reading.

“Basic Christianity by John Stott.”

“Are you new to Christianity?” he asks.

“No. Just trying to return to the basics.”

“I’m Christopher.”

“Katie”

We talk for a bit.

He comes over to my table.

He proceeds to touch my hands.

Then my knee.

Then my hair.

Now, okay. I should be more prepared after Scott got all handsy to yell STRANGER DANGER! and get out of there, but I cannot explain to you the sense of panic that occurs when a man I don’t know enters my dance space (Think Patrick Swayze). I cannot think. I want him to go away, but it doesn’t seem in my realm of control/power to get him to go away.

Then, he’s evidently feeling that my not yelling at him for touching me means that I want him, so he says, “I’m going to kiss you.” He puts his hand on my neck and my gut reaction kicks in and I’m like, “NO!” and I hit his hand away.

He doesn’t take it that well. He doesn’t understand why I don’t trust him. He thinks we should go dancing.

“No.”

“Why not? You need to learn to let your shields down.”

Red Alert!!!! Shields up!

“Because I don’t know you.”

“What would we have to do for you to feel like you know me?”

“I’d have to see you in multiple contexts.”

“Like what?”

“Like interacting with people other than me.”

“Like who?”

“Your friends… My friends… anyone but me.”

“Ok. When can I hang out with your friends?”

“Monday night two weeks from today.”

“Why so far into the future?”

“I’m going out of town.” And I hope you will get distracted and forget to show up.

Then I gave him the address of some of my friends. – Yeah I should’ve given him a false address. But who knew I actually needed an umbrella because there are men falling from the sky? I haven’t even lost any weight or beautified myself recently. I just bought the biggest pair of jeans I’ve worn in like 5 years.

What the Hell?