Friday, August 31, 2012


Last Saturday, Andrew and I went up to Magna to experience the Magna Arts Festival that takes place on Magna Main Street. Local vendors set up booths up and down the street to sell their wares. While it wasn't exactly the most thrilling festival, it was still fun to wander up and down the street and to show Andrew a little bit of what I grew up with.

Earlier last week, I had looked up a list of activities that were going on during the festival. There would be live bands playing all day, and to my slight dismay, I recognized the names of the first two bands. My ex plays in both of them. Magna Main isn't exactly big, and the prospect of coming face-to-face with my ex after over five years was borderline terrifying. I knew I was over that whole relationship and had been for a while, but knowing that I could possibly talk to the man who wreaked such havoc on my emotional well being for so long was freaking me out a little bit. My main solace was in knowing that if I did end up talking to my ex, I would have my current (and amazing) boyfriend by my side. The boyfriend who is absolutely everything that my ex never was. I wouldn't have to face it alone.

As we were wandering on Saturday, I could hear the music. I could hear the bass. And I was instantly reminded of how many times I had watched Mike perform in gigs. It was a little distracting to be constantly aware of just how close I was to seeing him. Andrew and I wandered down that way after the gig had ended, but when we got close enough to see the stage and the people setting up, Andrew steered me away. I had warned him of the situation, and I don't think he wanted to see Mike any more than I did. Either that or he just sensed my nerves.

But as Andrew and I headed in the opposite direction, my parents caught up to us, and my mom was determined to say hello to Mike. As she marched toward the stage, I held back for a second. And then I realized that I was okay. There was no reason not to talk to Mike. So I stood with Andrew as my mom hailed Mike. He came over. We said hello. We chatted for maybe five minutes.

It was weird.

But not because I suddenly felt a flood of emotions. Not because I was fighting to keep myself under control in the presence of the man who embodies all things that made me terrified of relationships for so long. It was weird because of how little I actually did feel. I looked at Mike, and obviously I recognized him. I recognized the scar on his finger because I was with him when he got it. I understood when he told me his fingers were bleeding from playing bass because I had seen it happen countless times before. I remembered a lot of the things we had done together. I even thought about how I used to feel about him, both the love and the anger. But . . . none of it mattered. He really had become just some guy that I knew a long time ago. (He was also talking like a responsible adult—he's been married for four years and holds a management position. That is definitely not the Mike I knew.)

As I walked away from this situation that I had contemplated for a long time (because every time I went home, I wondered if I would run into him), I thought about just how much I've grown since Mike was a part of my life. I thought about my life right now and how far I've come. I am a college graduate. I have a steady, full-time job in my field of study. I am completely independent, and I take care of myself. I have an amazingly wonderful boyfriend who treats me far, far better than I ever thought a man could be capable of treating a woman. And I am happier now than I think I have ever been.

I didn't realize it, but in going so long without so much as speaking to Mike left me without a full sense of closure. Now that we've crossed paths, I can effectively set aside everything that may have still been lingering. I've seen him face-to-face, and he holds absolutely nothing for me. Nothing. Everything that matters to me is in the here and now, and the past has nothing to do with it except that it led me here. Do you have any idea how wonderful that feels?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Newfound Annoyance

Before I was dating someone, my least favorite questions were, "Are you dating someone?" and "Why not?"

Now that I am dating someone, my least favorite questions are, "Are you engaged yet?" and "When are you getting married?"

It hasn't even been three months, folks. For the love of Pete, let us take things at our own pace.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seven Days

I just realized today that the Mumford & Sons concert is in a mere week.

This video leads me to believe that it will be epic.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I will not freak out.

This is a post I wrote back in May, around the time that Andrew first made a move to date me. I find it kind of funny to read now. Anything in brackets [] is my current-day commentary. (Yes, I am aware that I am a dork.)

It truly is incredible how quickly things can change. One thing can change and throw your whole life into turmoil. Okay, so turmoil is a bit dramatic, but it's kind of true.

Here's the low down: A week ago, life was normal. The only minor anomaly was that there was this guy who maybe seemed like he was sort of interested. I will call this boy The Photog. [Bahaha, I love the attempt at anonymity. And the fact that I felt the need to shorten "photographer."] We had been talking about watching a movie or something. It started out as a group thing, and then it somehow managed to get whittled down to a one-on-one thing. But I didn't think too much of it, because pretty much every time I think, "Hey, this guy is flirting a little bit," absolutely nothing happens. Nothing. Ever. That's how lucky I am with the guys.

The day that we were supposed to watch the movie came and went. Stuff came up, and I couldn't do it that night, so we rescheduled. But in the course of rescheduling, I somehow ended up getting invited to go to a barbecue at his friend's house. Alarm bells started clanging right away. Why alarm bells, you ask? Why wasn't I just excited that a cute boy (for he is pretty cute) liked hanging out with me enough that he wanted to take me to a social event? Here's why: It was far too close to a date. It meant something more than simply hanging out. And as soon as that happens, I start freaking out.

The barbecue was . . . interesting. It wasn't a date. He didn't open my doors. He barely even talked. There were so many long pauses. [I have since come to realize that Andrew isn't a major talker. He talks, but he doesn't always feel the need to talk. We still have long pauses. But they're not awkward.] Not to mention that I ended up knowing the guys that were throwing the barbecue, which was a little awkward. [Andrew now lives with those guys and I see them all the time. It is no longer awkward.] It was an all-around weird night that ended with watching the originally planned movie, after which The Photog didn't even walk me home. His roommates watched the movie with us, which made the whole thing just a little odder. As was the theme for the night. [I have since found out that Andrew wanted to make a move that night. From what I gather, he was a mite frustrated with his roommates for not taking a hint.]

I went home mostly just feeling confused. I had no idea what the crap had just happened, mostly. So I wrote it off as a weird night that made for a really good story, and tried not to think about it anymore.

The next night, a few of us went to the hot tub. I didn't invite The Photog. I invited a girlfriend who invited The Photog's roommate, and wouldn't you know it, The Photog joined us. He promptly sat next to me. And there were other things that made me wonder some more about his intentions, which kind of confused me even more because the whole previous night hadn't seemed like a ton of fun. The Photog was again less than chatty all night, and I decided he wasn't really interested. Confusion eliminated.

Until he texted me the next day (Friday) to ask me out for Saturday. Cue louder warning bells and more freaking out. You mean all those little things I noticed and probably blew out of proportion were real? I wasn't making stuff up? He was now asking me on a legitimate date? WHAT THE CRAP. I was so nervous. Here's a fraction of what was going through my mind: Do I like The Photog? Do I want to go out with him? Do I want to date him? Do I want to marry him? Do I want to have his little Photog babies?! [Gotta love having a girl brain. Except no, no you don't. It sucks.] Never mind the fact that it was our first date. Never mind the fact that I had been complaining to my roommates for months about how I just wanted to be asked on a date. By a cute guy. That I could potentially like back. Never mind that everything I said I wanted was actually coming about. I was beginning the freak-out in earnest.

Saturday night came. And the date went well. All those things The Photog didn't do on our non-date were things that he did do on our legit-date. And then some. He was a gentleman; conversation flowed; he complimented me; I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I even left my hand available for hand-holding during the movie, though he didn't take the opportunity. [Andrew told me that he didn't make a move simply because it was our first date. Apparently making a move before going on a date at all is kosher, but making a move on a first date is frowned upon.] I invited him to come in and hang out after the date, though he couldn't. He gave me a really good hug.

And I sort of, kind of, maybe a little bit, started to like him.

I didn't see The Photog on Sunday. He had gone to Moab to use his mad photo-taking skills on the eclipse. So I spent the day filling in all my girlfriends on what was going down. Then on Monday I did my best not to think about him. Not to want him to text me. And eventually, I flat-out forgot about it because I got busy at work. And then, when I wasn't even thinking about whether I would get a text from him, I checked my phone. And I had a text from him. Telling me about his Moab trip. It made my stomach leap into my throat, which then made me feel like a total idiot. [And distracted me so badly that I tried to walk out of Walmart without paying for any of the things in my cart.]

I hung out with him and a bunch of other people on Monday night. I was a little bit awkward, like I sometimes am when I am interested in someone or I think they might be interested in me. I didn't talk to him as much as I should have, or sit as close to him during the movie as I should have. He left, and I wondered what kind of impression I had given. Would he text me again? Would he ask me out again?

This morning, I check Facebook. I have a message. From The Photog. Asking me if I want to go to his place to watch a movie. (Movies are apparently the way to go right now.) We set a time. He offers to buy shakes at Sonic. I accept. It's a pseudo-date. My brain starts thinking about how he could hold my hand tonight. Or cuddle with me. Either of those are real, legitimate possibilities. The Photog is interested—I can't really deny that. And I'm getting interested back. This is something that could happen. It could progress. Getting into a real relationship for the first time in five years is a real, tangible possibility.

I will not freak out. I will not freak out. I will not freak out.

I am so totally freaking out.

*UPDATE* Tuesday night. The Photog and I go to Sonic and get shakes. We bring them back to his place and turn on Harper's Island (because what's a little romance without some serial killers?). [I still legitimately love that we first held hands while watching Harper's Island. It makes me happy inside.] We watch two episodes, arms completely touching, legs resting against each other depending on how I shift my feet on the coffee table. My hand is completely available, and all I can think is, "Photog! Take my hand, dangit!" I even see him look at my hand. Multiple times. [He has since made fun of himself for how long it took him to psych himself up.] He knows what to do—he just has to get up the courage. Then, halfway through episode three, he does. He takes my hand. And it's adorable. He rubs my thumb with his thumb. He lets go and shifts hand positions so that my arm rests on top of his arm and he can rub my arm with his opposite hand. He plays with my fingers and watches our hands together. I can't help but smile. [This is such a detailed story. But it was all so new that everything was burned into my memory.]

Episode three ends, and we disengage so he can start episode four. It starts, and I decide to snuggle in and put my head on his shoulder. As we shift, he lets go of my hand and wraps his arm around me instead. I nestle into the crook of his arm, my hand resting on his chest. He strokes my hand. He smells good.

Episode four ends, and I sit up because I really need to go home and go to sleep. He walks me home. At my door, I go in for the hug, and he kisses me on the cheek. He gives me a squeeze, and as we pull out of the hug, we look at each other, and he goes in for the kiss. I kiss him back. It's short and sweet, and he pulls away before I'm quite ready for him to. My hand slides down his arm, and we hold hands for a second as I say, "I'll see you later." He smiles a very self-satisfied smile [he looked so proud of himself], says "See you," and walks away.

I get a text 10 minutes later: "Good night ;)"

My five-year drought is officially over.

I am so totally freaking out.

Three days later, we were officially a couple. I know it's a little campy to post something like this, and I'm sorry for the length, but I ran across the draft today, and I thought it was kind of funny to remember just how nerve racking this was for me. You will all be happy to know that I am no longer freaking out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Will Wait

Listen to this song, friends. Don't ask questions. Just listen.

Ah, Mumford & Sons, how I love thee. There are a mere 15 days until I see them live, and 48 days until their new album Babel is released. This girl is a happy girl.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Amazing much?

Remember how in my last post I said that Andrew was making me a second birthday present? Well, he finished it. I was doubly excited to see him yesterday because I hadn't seen him on Monday (because he was working on my present) and because I would finally get to see this mystery gift.

It's a journal. That Andrew bound with his own hands. Just for me. That in and of itself is a ridiculously thoughtful gift, what with how much I love journals. But you see that cover? It's a Beatles record. "Hey Jude," to be exact. And the back cover? It's "Abbey Road." They are actual Beatles records that Andrew cut down for the cover. That may seem like blasphemy to some (and I would usually be in that camp), but this is so bloody cool that I just can't bring myself to be sad about it.

So this is the kind of thing that Andrew does for me. He is so good to me, and I just can't help but brag about him. Because he deserves it. I don't know how I got to be so lucky.