January 4, 2011

The Gold Medal

Just for fun...

My someone.

It's not just silly imitation when I say he "had me at 'hello'", because he really did...hook, line, and sinker.

And he didn't know it.  He didn't even really know I existed, if you must know.

I had already met him once before - at a school function.  He was the new teacher at my sisters private school.  And boy was he the cat's meow.  But he didn't really get to soak up that first meeting - because it was back to school night and he was busy.

Then I had seen him around and about when I would show up to pick her up, etc.  Always kind of trying to shamelessly catch his eye.  What?  A girl can hope, right?!

So when my someone showed up at the same place as me unexpectedly a couple months later, which led to introductions and how-do-you-do's, I really tried to use my feminine mind ju-ju to send those waves that say "Hello, I love you...marry me?"  Ok, not really.  Well, sort of. 

Things went well.  He seemed...interested.  Well enough that a week later I called him up.  Yes.  I did.  21st Century and all that stuff.  Called him up and asked him out for coffee.

Honestly?  He didn't remember who I was.


Which hit me in a sort of ego-shattering/this is all in my head kind of way.  The shame!  But after a little memory jogging, he seemed to recall, sort-of, and agreed that he could meet me a couple of days later.

I pinned zero hope on this date.  Other than the fact that he did eventually remember who was babbling incoherently on the phone about who she was and how he knew her and would he meet for coffee.

Now there are all these little details I am going to intentionally leave out - because for crying out loud, we don't have all day.  Do we?  Ok, we don't.  So let me skip to the part that really gets us both in the gut - even eleven years later.

We did meet for coffee.  And it was a magical night.  Magical.  And I kissed him, (GASP) for the record.  And it was romantic and lovely and ooooooooooooh aaaaaaaaaaaaahh.  A perfect first date.

Yes, my someone was wonderful.  He was .  He was amazing.  Handsome.  Charming.  The dimple on his cheek.  (Oh, don't get me started on that dimple...still slays me a decade later)  Just tall and funny and yum.

There was only one weensy problem.  My someone was, admittedly, not accustomed to dating anyone seriously.  At that stage in his life, he had just been dating casually and focusing on his career in teaching.

Now, I don't mind telling you that this presented a huge problem for me - because he was my someone.  And even if he hadn't figured that part out - he was the one.  He was.

Things were going well.  Too well.

And then it happened.  One night he announced rather suddenly that he needed to talk to me.    Though he thought very "highly" of me, and had a great time with me...he felt we were better suited as "friends".  He felt he had important things pertaining to his career and church involvement that he needed to work on and that dating someone with any degree of seriousness took his attention away from that.  But something in his words seemed off.  Rehearsed.  And from that I took hope.  Because this was just the usual way in which he moved on.

I was calm on the outside, but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't a little panicked on the inside.  Not because I needed a relationship...but because I knew he was the one.  I knew.  People are you with me?  I knew.

So I let the week go by and out of the blue, he called me up and asked me to dinner.  You know, as "friends" or whatever.  And let's just all focus on the fact that this man had for all intents broken up with me the previous week.  But you see...hope.

And so I agreed.  And I played it very, very cool (pats self on back) if I do say so myself.  Yes, girls.  I didn't even flinch when he said how pretty I looked, or casually held my hand at the table. (swoon!)  I tried very hard to stay  focused on the task.  Had to avoid looking at the dimple altogether.  The task being: prove to him that I was the one too.  By being removed and casual (trails off)...I don't know, it seemed to make sense at the time.  I knew I couldn't keep it up.  He was much too charming for that.

I knew I had to have my own "talk" with him - because casually dating someone who had given me the proverbial "dump" only a handful of days before would not do.  Especially when I felt so deep in my gut that he could be so much more to me.

So I let a few days pass and decided to have him over for a chat.  Of sorts.  Skeptical, he agreed.  And he was at my door, right on time.

I sat him down on the couch and told him I needed to talk to him about something that was bothering me.  He looked perplexed.

And this is what I told him.  And it should go down in the folklore of our family (she says with pounding fist) because it's the GLUE.  It's THE moment.  It really is...

Let it be known that on the inside I was shaking.  I wanted to throw up.  I was playing poker now, and I was going all in and praying it worked.  On the outside, I was calm.  Cool.  Collected.  Confident.

I told him that I really liked him.  That he was a wonderful guy and that after dating him for a few months, I could see that he had a lot of potential to be someone very special to me.  That I thought with our personalities, we could be a dynamic couple.  Yes, I went there. 

And then I went and did it.  I proclaimed as boldly and beautifully and smoothly as I could...

"I don't know how many good girls you've passed by...maybe even let go of...but I'm not going to be one of them.  I'm the Gold Medal.  I'm the TOP of the Food Chain.  You've arrivedThis is it.  And you seem like a great guy - but I'm not playing anymore.  I'm too old for this and I'm too young for this.  You either commit to moving this forward or you leave here and never, ever call me again.  I don't need any more friends.  I have plenty of great friends.  The position for friend has been filled.  We are now interviewing for husband."

Deep breath.

My cheeks were flushed.  I was dry in the mouth.  But I got it all out with confidence.  And I looked him dead in the eye while I said every word.

Maybe you're laughing, because frankly - I still do sometimes.  I don't know what in the world came over me to say those things to him.  I truly don't.  Because quite honestly, I certainly didn't believe all of those things at the time.

But something happened.  Right then.  And I couldn't put my finger on it at all.  But he was different.

And he'll tell you today that it was the single moment when he knew he was in love with me.  The pivotal change in his heart when he went from being on the fence about this new girl in his life, to being moved with love for me and for the possibility of "us".

He looked at me with a perplexed expression.  "Do I have to decide right now?"

"Yes.  I'm afraid so.  You're almost thirty years old.  You should be able to tell me if you want to move this forward or not".

"So I have to make up my mind now?  Ok.  Let me make sure I understand.  Either I leave here and never call you again or I have a girlfriend. I'm in a relationship and we're full steam ahead."

"Yes.  That's right."

And friends?  I envisioned him standing up.  Apologizing.  Telling me again what a nice girl I was.  How he wished things could be different or saying "it's not you, it's me..."  That he wished we could be friends.  I saw him walking out the door and out of my life, and my heart beat like the sound of cymbals crashing all around and I was sure he could hear every one of them.  I was gambling with my someone.  And it felt reckless and nuts...and so right.

He smiled.  And that gorgeous dimple popped up and slayed me all over again.  He looked me in the eyes and I thought my heart would melt.

And he spoke...

"Well then...I guess I've got a girlfriend..."

From that moment forward,  we were and have never, never been apart.

And true to his words, he gave more than 110% to loving me.  He put everything he was and had into us and still does.  So much that his love for me overwhelmed me.  I never expected my someone to be...to love me...I don't know the words...to devote themselves so wholly to me the way he did from that moment on.  It humbled me and still so often does.

And truly, he got so much more than a girlfriend with those words...

We both did.


Valerie said...

Oh, this is so sweet. He won the lottery with you.

You are such an amazing woman who stands up for what she believes in and whomsoever is the lucky recipient of that devotion and love is blessed many times indeed.

Inspiring to witness in words and in person.

Love V

RamblingMother said...

That is a great family story. Your kids will love that story as part of your family history as they get older.

Anne said...

Just had to delurk to say, that was awesome! Love your blog!!!

Tracey said...

What a beautiful story! and what a lovely, lovely picture! :)

Single PAP said...

oh man, that's great. i should have said those words to a couple of men along the way but didn't and look where i am. sigh. what a great, great story!

Ashley said...

Aww, what a sweet story! Loving what you said to him to make him choose! You go girl!

Anna said...

Love this!! I never knew the story. Loved your gutsy-lay-it-on-the-table style!!

Briana's Mom said...

What a story! You were one brave girl!

Ann C - Jan2010 travgrp said...

OMG!!! You should be a columnist or a book author or a radio personality. If all of us would just step out on the limb for that make it or break moment, instead of just beating around the bush...I just love it. I needed a good laugh and that definitely was it...tonight is Emmaleigh's 1st sleepover....6 years and never once has she slelpt away from home...away from us...Not excited...(me, I mean!)...Ann

Unknown said...

Wow, what an amazing story!! I agree with Ann - you should write a book! WOW...

Jenny Diedrich said...

wow, i am not a romantic and love stories don't make me teary but this one did it! simply beautiful.