Friday, July 31, 2009

Meeting the Parents

I met HP's parents very early on in our relationship. In fact, it was part of our first date. But then he also met my grandpa and some surrogate parents of mine that same date. The third time he and I were able to get together he met my parents and siblings and I was able to spend time with his parents, siblings, aunt, and nieces and nephews (they were having a family reunion).

So I've spent time with them. I know them. I'm friends with his siblings on Facebook. His mom and I have emailed a bit. His mom and my mom have called each other and talked about us too.

And yet, I'm nervous about seeing his parents again in a few weeks. The last time I saw them they were just his parents. This time they'll be my future in-laws. That's big. And I'm finding myself wondering what I should get his mom as a gift for when I see her this time. What would be appropriate? I know this shouldn't be anything big since we have already met and spent a full day together (at the family reunion), but my brain isn't quite comprehending that.

Meeting the parents of the person you are dating is always an interesting thing. Since college, it's only happened two other times for me.

The first time, oddly, was after he and I had already broken up. I was neighbors with his brother and sister-in-law and friends with them. So when they were getting ready to move I went over to help watch their kids while they packed their truck and cleaned. His parents were there to help as well and I went to dinner with the family afterwards. That was a weird one.

The second time, I actually knew his mom before I knew him. It was ALWAYS awkward with her because I could never tell if she liked me or despised me at that moment. She would change how she felt about me so randomly. I was either a good influence on her son or I was dragging him down to hell. It was always shaky ground and thin ice with her. If things had worked between him and I, I would've been one of those with mother-in-law horror stories, I'm sure of it. His siblings generally looked down on me, or at least sideways, as well.

But HP's parents like me. His siblings and I get along. He actually says I talk to them more than he does (and it's true). It is a very real possibility that I'll have great in-laws. And other than one small wrinkle that should be ironing itself out already, I imagine HP will be able to say the same thing.

So why am I still worried about them liking me when I see them in a few weeks?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I think I'm In, "In" being code for "relationship possibility". I think I'm In with Campbell, who I do believe I've blogged about previously--the man who spontaneously held my hand and is someone I trust and like quite a bit.

Tonight he asked via text message what I was doing (continuing a conversation we started in the morning) and when I said I had no plans, he said "why don't you come over?" Of course I did, after changing my shirt and putting on some mascara. I got to spend about three hours with him and a couple of his siblings and a little dog who is my new best friend. It just felt so natural.

One of the reasons I think I'm In is that while we were in his room (door open, lights on, lol) and I was sitting on the floor next to his desk, he reached to my bare feet with his bare feet and discovered I was ticklish. Shortly after that, he just slid his foot under mine and we sat like that, foot-to-foot, for a few minutes. For some reason, that's a sign of familiarity and lack of fear to me. Maybe it comes from dating Wesley a few years ago, who would watch movies with me while sitting on the floor between my knees and holding my feet in his hands--it felt safe and comforting. Maybe it's because I'm a little self-conscious about my feet and having someone touch them makes me feel better about my freakishly long toes. In any case, having Campbell feel comfortable enough to touch feet with me meant something. It's probably weird, but I appreciated it. :)

Because I pay attention to this kind of thing, especially when someone I'm attracted to does anything, there are lots of reasons I think I'm In: he touched my leg to make a point while I was standing and he was sitting. He enthuastically showed me some of his favorite things. He made a point to introduce me to his brothers. He showed me pictures of his adorable niece. He let me play with the rings on his desk and asked me, when I told him what size they were (I know the ring sizes of all my fingers and I like guessing right with other people's rings), what my ring size was--if I were younger or we were actually dating, I'd have gotten all flustered about that and assumed things. He commented on my thin fingers. He called me "sweetheart" and "hot stuff" when he walked me to my car. He lent me a book and a movie he thought I would like. He showed me his church ties. He made me laugh.

It felt like I'd always been there. There's just something about being with him that feels so right, so much like home that I get emotional thinking about it. I'm not sure if that's because my engagement ended so badly and I am searching for someone who is better than Raymond in every way, or if it's because with so many weddings happening around me this year that I've got Wedding Brain, or if it's because marrying a good man is one of my top priorities. I remember one night, shortly after the hand-holding, sitting in bed after my prayers and wondering if I was good enough to want that feeling forever, if I could possibly even hope for something that felt that right, and then bursting into tears because I wasn't sure if it was just too much to ask. I'm still not sure--part of me thinks that I should be grateful for the good life I already have and be content with that, and part of me thinks that I AM worth it, and that I should keep hoping and praying no matter what happens.

I really don't know what's going to happen from here, but it feels like a first step. If nothing else, I have a good friend I can count on to be there for me....and who will always offer to go after anyone who hurts me. Bless him.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A perfect example of eternal love

Two years ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with brain cancer. She had three children and had just given birth to her fourth. There were times she couldn't remember the new baby. Surgery and medication worked for a while, and while she never got completely better, she was able to have time with her family and children.

But then the treatments stopped working. And then they just took it one day at a time knowing what was coming.

She and her husband were junior high sweet hearts. His devotion to her is inspirational. I watched them and I hope I never have to put my husband through that. And I pray that I can find a love like theirs.

A month or so ago I heard Alan Jackson's "Sissy's Song" on the radio and couldn't stop the tears. This friend of mine was very young. She is a daughter, wife, and mother. And to my mortal eyes, this makes absolutely no sense.

But there is a heaven waiting. Her suffering has an end. Her family will be eternal. In the mean time I know she'll be looking down on them and hoping they don't worry about her any more.

She died today at one in the afternoon. She will be greatly missed. And her legacy and example will continue in the hearts of countless people, mine included.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I don't understand hate. It has to be one of the most illogical things in the world. And yet there are times where we all have to deal with it. For the last two years I have been hated. What makes it even more illogical is that I did not really meet the person who hates me until several months after she started hating me.

C is obsessed with HP. She has basically stalked him for several years now. Any girl that he has shown interest in she has become friends with and either convinced them that he was moving too fast or that he wasn't good enough. Someone actually admitted to me that she was afraid to talk to HP for fear of what C would do to her.

The first conversation I ever had with her she basically threatened me. And during our second conversation a month later she tried to point out what she thought were his oddities and faults as well as tried to get me to dish to her what I knew of him. What she didn't realize where that those "oddities" and "faults" were some of the things I found attractive in him and shared myself. Because HP had told me about her by then, I didn't tell her anything I knew.

Because I wouldn't give in to her tactics, she hated me more. She flat out ignored my existence. Having a conversation with her present was laughably awkward as she would freely converse with anyone else present, but would basically turn her back on me and not acknowledge me, even if the other person was talking to me. There was tension there from her, and it all came to a head towards the end of last year when she finally acknowledged me enough to disrupt a church class to yell at me and storm out and slam the door. After the class she told me to never talk to her again and I have had no problem with that as I had never really talked to her to begin with. At that point she admitted that she had hated me because of HP before but by then it wasn't because of that, but she wouldn't say why she hated me so.

By the beginning of this year I had even less involvement with her, and it worked well. The less she sees of me the less agitated she gets, it seems. And I don't want to purposefully upset her. But I'm also not going to let her dictate my life for her comfort.

The way she acts, she feels like the whole world is against her and is attacking her, and so her strategy is to attack first. And in this way she feels she's making other people miserable, but what is really happening is she's making her own life miserable and making her impossible to get close to. But explaining that to her gets you nowhere. She insists on seeing the world through her warped lenses.

And her hate just isn't going away. At the beginning of this year she told HP that she doesn't hate me, but if he were to marry me she'd hold a grudge against me for the rest of her life. I'm not entirely sure what the difference between hate and a life long grudge is, but apparently she sees one. And two weeks ago, on finding out that HP and I were engaged, she actually had the nerve to tell him that our marriage will only last five years before he'll discover how mean I am and divorce me.

Very little she does upsets me. I know she's not dealing with a full deck and so I try to give her some leeway, but this crossed the line for me. How dare she!

Fortunately, HP also sees how crazy she is. He's tried to cut her off several times. He's tried telling her how her actions are perceived by others and that she's only hurting her self. But she can't see it. In her mind she's hurting everyone else, me especially. Her actions, the rumors she starts about me, are supposedly tearing me down and building her up. It is probably very frustrating to her that I'm still enjoying my life and progressing.

This crossed the line for HP too though, and he could see how upset it made me. He's told me that if she ever starts saying things like that again that he's going to tell her that if she can't be civil towards him or his wife, then the conversation is over.

Of course it would ultimately be easiest if she realized what her hate was doing to her, that it was eating her and making her beautiful features ugly. But it doesn't look like that will happen any time soon. So I'll continue to give her the room I can, but I'm not going to let her dictate what I do with my life and how I choose to love.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A favorite date

I get angsty here a lot. You've probably noticed that. That may be my role here though. Roxie is our girl in a healthy relationship with its normal ups and downs. Trixie doesn't really date much, which is a tragedy because she's phenomenal. And then I date around, get attention here and there, go on dates by definition (and every so often an actual date), and it never goes anywhere.

So of course I'm angsty.

Time for a change of pace. This is the story of one of my favorite dates.

To set the stage: I had just finished my freshman year at college. My boyfriend and I had been together for almost a year and were very much in love, but he was preparing to leave for an LDS mission for two years. All of our dates at this point were special and important, because we knew things were going to change forever very soon. We'd known each other for five years by this time, since we'd been in the same home ward since my family had moved in when I was 14. Another man in our ward owned a company that just about every young man in our ward worked for him at some point as a teenager. My boyfriend and his best friends were no exception.

These boys, all of their own accord, decided to host a semi-formal dance in their boss' warehouse. Each of them invited their dates, then spent the next couple of weeks cleaning the warehouse, decorating, putting together a mix CD or two (this was pre-iPod after all), and planning the whole thing. I couldn't wait.

The evening arrived. I wore a dress his mother had helped my mother make back when I was 16 for Junior Prom, which he had actually asked me to. Sadly, he asked me two hours later than the Sophomore I actually went with. He had seen the dress, but I'd never worn it for him. He wore a very sharp suit.

The boys picked up their dates and we went back to someone's parents' house for pictures. (I wonder where those are.) Then, we went out for a delicious dinner at a Mexican restaurant. There was a good group dynamic and we were all getting along very well.

Then it was time for our dance. Four boys in their late teens had done the decorating and it was perfect. The music they'd put together was lovely with a great mix of everything. We had some group numbers and switched partners for slow songs once in a while. They even brought a couple of board games when we were all ready for a break. It really was wonderful.

My least favorite moment: We had chaperones at the dance. I thought this was silly, but most of our group, in fact everyone but my boyfriend and I, had just graduated high school and the chaperones were a couple of their parents. So it made sense. Still, it annoyed me since I'd just been away from home for a year and hadn't had a chaperone it at least that long, plus they were far too close to

My absolute favorite moment: Part of the decorations were that the boys had splatter painted the floor. Except for one spot. My boyfriend had painted a giant pink heart, big enough for the two of us to stand in with room to spare. Inside the heart were the words "Boyfriend + Jinxie", and there was probably an arrow through it. Cliche? Sure, but have you seen such a heart painted on a floor before? I didn't think so. When our song came on, he led me to our spot, and we danced, cheek to cheek. It's possible he even sang the words in my ear, and I know he told me he loved me. We most certainly kissed at the end of the song. Soon enough, I truly did not care that anyone else was in the room. It. Was. Perfect.

The whole night was just magical. It was perfect for us and our relationship, both fun and romantic. That relationship was the first real relationship either of us had been in, and he was just a natural at knowing how to treat me right. We wrote each other for his entire mission (though I had dated others while he was away), and we rekindled almost immediately upon his return home. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be, and he's since married a very lucky woman. I'm happy for them, even though he is the one who got away. With dates like this, how could he not be?

Feeling brave

Two weeks ago, for probably the third time ever, a guy I'd just met (through mutual friends) got my phone number. You know what I mean. When its not because you're carpooling together somewhere later or just incidental. Where it's clear that they want your phone number so that I can spend time with just you. I was thrilled.

And then, story of my life, I haven't heard from him since.

So, today, feeling brave and knowing I have nothing to lose, I sent a message to his roommate asking if he knows why this guy has never called me. (Unfortunately, his roommate once inspired this post, but oh well.)

Next week, I'll ask the man who wanted to give up everything to date me why he chickened out, though I'll probably be more diplomatic about it.

A little social experiment of mine, I suppose. In both these cases, I know it wasn't me and I'm fairly positive neither of them died, so there should be a reason and I have a right to know what it is.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Well, isn't that just perfect?

I met a guy last week. We flirted all evening. Spent the majority of the 4th of July together (well, with a group, but I was there at his invitation). Went out again earlier this evening.

He's funny, tall, cute, gets my geeky references, and was complimentary of me AND my profession. We've had a lot of fun this past week.

He's moving away on Thursday and I'll probably never see him again.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Am I doing enough?

Later this year, I will be reaching a rather important career milestone. Naturally, I'm thrilled. In a not so surprising move, my father has offered to throw me a celebratory party.

On one condition.

That the guests at said party be comprised of mostly singles so that I can interact with single males who are impressed, rather than intimidated, by a woman who has reached this milestone.

I reassured him that it shouldn't be a problem, since most of my friends are singles rather than marrieds anyway.

But then I got to thinking. What's my dad saying? Is he saying that most of the men I know are boneheads who don't appreciate a woman of my caliber? Well, that's probably true.

It could be me though. I get the feeling that my dad doesn't think I'm doing enough to meet and, subsequently, date someone. However, I'd like to think I'm at least heading the right direction there. (On the personal front, I try to take care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, though I'm sure there is always something more I could be doing. We're talking socially here.)

I go to church every Sunday and attend a singles' ward (congregation), filled with men my age and, ideally, with the same fundamental beliefs and goals. I attend various church activities at least once or twice a week, if not more. I attend and sometimes throw other social functions, large and small.

Not only do I attend, I willingly get involved. I fulfill my church responsibility, which is one that allows me to get to know other people. In church, I sit somewhere new every week, which allows me to interact with new people all the time. I talk to people and try to be cordial, warm, and charming. I invite people to do things and every so often it's just one guy I invite out, which essentially means it's a date. I get out of my comfort zone. Often. I don't hug the corners and showers and dash out of various obligations as fast as possible.

If I'm not dating anyone, it's not for lack of trying. I just wonder if my dad sees it that way.