I have a boyfriend. Gosh, that’s a weird thing to say. Almost but not quite as weird as the idea that I am someone’s girlfriend (Lisa pointed that one out). It’s just so different! And unexpected! And crazy and wonderful and EMOTIONAL (In the best of ways).
So here’s the story.
Sometime in the Past:
There is a thing my church does called the Fall Ball. It is put on by the marvelous Karen and is a wonderful night of dressing up and English Country Dancing. Such fun. I’ve been doing it for quite a few years now (Like, lost count number of years). A few weeks before this event, I am at her house for lunch and she tells me she might have a young man for me to meet. He’s her son’s brother-in-law, and is coming up from Texas to attend the Ball. I politely say that’s nice, and mentally did’t hold much stock in it. Set ups have not historically been very effective in my life. A random stranger up for a few days was not someone I envisioned sweeping me off my feet. Perhaps I forgot the fact that the Karen and family actually know me and might know the type of person I could get on with well. Perhaps I’d just become a bit cynical after finding not a single man who could hold my interest after a few times of talking to him.
Friday; the 3rd of November
Friday before the dance was dance practice for the trainers (which I have been privileged to be a part of for a few years now). He was there, (Alex is his name, I should probably stop playing the pronoun game and just introduce him) and we were introduced, but we didn’t have any time to talk what with actually trying to remember the dances. I don’t think we even really got to dance together much. But afterwords Karen walks up to me, and we have this exchange:
Her: “What are you up to tonight?”
Me: “Oh, from the sounds of it Christian and I and a few others are going out country swing dancing.”
Her: “That sounds fun! You know, I’m boring, and my husband is boring, and Kayla [her daughter, and mentioned in many former posts] is studying, and I have this young man visiting with nothing to do. Would you take him with you?”
Oh, oh I see how this is going. Now I was expecting an introduction, I was not expecting heavy match making. But why not? A large group was going dancing so it wouldn’t even be that awkward no matter what he turned out to be like, right?
Alex actually ended up not driving over with us, but the party all met at the bar. And we started talking. And I quickly realized that this guy and I actually had a lot in common. He knows literature, and is a deep thinker who has formed opinions on things and likes discussing them. And before I even knew what happened we were those two people sitting on the side lost in our own conversation while everyone else did their own thing.
And there was dancing too, obviously. I danced with Christian some, because we always have a lot of fun doing that. Alex didn’t really know how to country swing dance, but between the few women in our group we were able to show him the basics and he picked them up really quick. Not that Alex doesn’t know how to dance. He knows a bunch of different styles. He told me he knew how to Two-Step. During one of our conversations (because even with the dance breaks we came back to the two of us just shouting over the bar noise) I asked him to teach me.
At this point I imagine Christian’s head twitching over to watch us. He told me he heard, and that’s the moment he realized I was interested in this guy. I certainly don’t ask other men to dance if it’s not Christian or a close friend I know won’t take it weird. Alex didn’t know me well enough to pick up on such clues, but from then on it wasn’t exactly a secret between friends and family.
We eventually did call it a night, and thus ended day one of knowing Alex.
Saturday; the 4th of November
Early the next morning was when the dance trainers taught the dances to the ball attendees. So there’s this dance called The Grand March. It’s basically a giant promenade that’s follow-the-leader. And it’s also the only dance you might actually have time to talk to someone. Not a crazy big deal, but really nice if you get it with someone you want to really talk to. So it’s pleasant when you get who you’re dancing with sorted out the morning of instead of that night. Christian told me Alex was going to reserve it with me. Dang, Christian is always right about such things. Alex did. I would come to find out Alex actually turned down an offer by some other girl prior to asking me on the gamble I’d say yes to him. So adorable.
A group of us grabbed lunch after that. Alex was one of the first people there, and Lisa got there after that so she ended up sitting next to him. No problem, I could sit on the other side of her and still be a part of this conversation. Lisa leaned over to me at this point with a note typed up on her phone, asking if we needed to find an excuse to get up so we could accidentally switch seats (Oh yes, by now friends were in on this whole deal). I laughed at her and told her that would be way too obvious and crazy. Though we realized we should wash our hands before eating at that point, as we had danced with who knows how many people. So we come back to the table and she ACTUALLY FREAKING DOES IT. I’m left to awkwardly squeeze past her and sit between them. Oh gosh, it was a bit awkward. But I did get to talk to him, so her scheming ways payed off. (He ended up sending her a message a few days later thanking her for being such a good wing man.)
So anyway, the night of the dance is upon us. I’m dressed in a black dress with a white ruffle running down the side; hair down and curled. I quickly find my group of peeps and we work at reserving some dances with each other. Alex asks if I’d like to do the final Posties Jig with him (which happens to be the BEST DANCE EVER), and makes some comment about how that probably fills his limit of two dances with a girl (A general guideline at the ball to keep people mixing and dancing with a bunch of people) I quickly correct him and tell him no one counts The Grand March, and he can therefore ask me for another if he likes. He does, but somehow fails to take that as an obvious sign I’m interested in him. Sest la vie. We have a delightful time during the Grand March. It’s a great people watching dance, and we had fun talking and commenting on all the people we saw.
During the intermission, when recorded music is played and some people rest and some dance whatever they so choose in the center of the floor, Alex came over and asked if I would like to learn how to waltz (and inadvertently interrupted me talking about him with Liza and Elizabeth). I of course said yes. He’s a fantastic waltzer, even if he was dealing with someone who didn’t know the steps. We were interrupted in the middle of our dance by Lewis and Britta purposefully waltzing into us and disrupting our footsteps. We proceeded to get into a discussion with this couple over who was the better waltzer (I think that’s how it went? It’s all a bit fuzzy now), and before I knew it Alex was dancing with Lewis and Britta and I laughed from the sidelines. It was a wonderfully hysterical moment.
The exact details of most of the night are a blur of fun times. I don’t remember many particular details (Though I do remember Hannah and I sitting on the floor near the end of the night and her giving me advice on potential long distance relationships. I wasn’t sure it was going to lead to that by any means as of yet, but everyone else had a bit more insight, apparently). There was an after party where a group of us just hung out and talked, but I think we were so tired by then that Alex and I didn’t get in much conversation. That was okay, we had plenty of time tomorrow.
Sunday; the 5th of November
We went to church, and thankfully he sat with Kayla’s family so I had the excuse of running up to give her a hug after church to be close enough to start a conversation with him. We talked generalities for a few minutes, at which point I realized I had to get going soon because I had to go to work for part of the day. He asks if he can talk to me for a second, and then says something along the beautiful lines of “I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know you these past few days, and it would be remiss of me not to ask you for your number.” REMISS! Oh gosh, that vocabulary though. Instantly melted my heart. I did not at all hang on those words for most of the day (lies, I did). He tells me now he lost words after that and cut the conversation short. I didn’t notice. We exchanged phone numbers.
We saw each other that afternoon, since Elizabeth and her hubby were looking at a house and wanted a few people’s opinion on it. It was a delightful house, but did not offer any space for a conversation. Kayla, however, is a schemer (the real moral of this story is all my friends are schemers and in no way subtle). She realized something must be done to get Alex and I to spend some quality time together. She suggests a movie night at her house, to which I drag Liza because I had actually had plans to chill with Liza at my own place, and she was awesome and allowed my interest in this young gent to rearrange all that.
So I get to Kayla’s house at about 6 O’Clock, and we all just hang out in the kitchen and talk. And then before I know it Kayla and Liza have disappeared, and it’s just Alex and I. We got to talk for a solid two hours, I bet, with some minimal interruption from peeps walking into the kitchen who weren’t in on the fact Alex and I were being left alone on purpose. He said that if we had time after the movie he’d like to take me to coffee. I said I’d like that. He was trying to be polite and not interrupt movie plans by just leaving the others, not realizing any movie plans were just a facade for my friend’s match making. We ended up not having time for coffee, and do finally watch the movie. We all snuggled down on the couch, and he fell asleep leaning on me. He never woke up to say goodbye. I was sad, but shrugged it off since my feelings hadn’t quite sunk in yet anyway and I had no idea where he was with his either.
That’s technically the last time I have seen Alex. Dang it, that’s so hard to believe.
Liza and I walked out to our cars and we talked a bit about how the night went. Kayla watched with jealousy from the kitchen window, wanting to be in on the conversation, but it was cold outside and only lasted a minute anyway.
Monday; the 6th of November
I texted Alex that morning, wishing him safe travels home. We texted a bit throughout the day. That evening Kayla and Liza came over to join Kathy and I for some girl talk. I was at this point at a full on crush. I was emotional and happy and excited and utterly beyond knowing what to do with any of that. I snuggled down against my girls on a pile of blankets on the floor and hid my face in my hoodie from sheer shyness at feeling all of that at once and tried to just not go crazy from it all. It was wonderful. Kayla filled me in on Alex’s side of things, since they talked some, enough for me to get a clear picture that this young man might really like me too.
Alex sent me a text, saying he’d like to read a book with me. We talked about potential topics and ended up deciding to read a book called Learning to Love the Psalms by W. Robert Godfrey. He said he’ll send me a copy. I politely mentioned that I can buy one off Amazon and he really didn’t have to go to all that trouble. He insisted.
Throughout the Following Month
Here was a month that sped by. I was busy with life and no doubt he was too, but we managed to talk at least a little every day (And sometimes a lot). Texts turned to phone calls, and eventually to video chats (I had suggested video chatting during our first study of the Psalms, as a way to be able to manage flipping from various books at one time, and because I really wanted to see him). I almost regretted that suggestion because I spent most of the first time doing so trying to hide the fact I was smiling like an idiot from sheer happiness.
I quickly found out a lot about this young man. I found out that he was very considerate (he wanted very much not to distract me with texting when I was spending time with family; he wanted me to prioritize the people I was with. I distinctly remember him that first week mentioning that his self imposed rules were very hard to follow because he wanted to talk to me. Awww) I found in him a very deep thinker, but someone who still had an amazing sense of humor and could make me laugh hysterically. I found a man solidly grounded in his faith in Christ, who loved his family, who was loyal and caring and… well, everything. Everything I can say I ever wanted in a man.
He informed me at some point that Kayla’s family had invited him out for Christmas to go to their cabin, so he planed on being in Montana for that. My invitation to join in on the cabin adventures came a little while later (My friends scheming again). We now had a time when we knew we would see each other again.
He asked me out on a FaceTime date, but wouldn’t tell me the details.
Friday; the 1st of December
Date night. My goodness, I was nervous. I don’t know why, I had video chatted and talked with him before. But this was different. This was a DATE.
I got home from work and there was a box on my front step from him, with a giant warning not to open it until instructed to do so. So I set it on my bed and enjoyed the sheer mystery of everything while getting ready. I let my hair down and figured out what to wear and just tried to kill time before 6:30 when he was going to call me.
6:30 comes, and he tells me I can open the mystery box. Inside is a bottle of Pomegranate Italian Soda, some candles (each individually packaged in little boxes decorated with owls), and some matches, and another thing which I shall get to in a sec. I lit the candles, and at about that time there is a knock on my door. At the door was Kayla, dressed in a charming waitress uniform, with food from Ciao Mambo’s (Only the best Italian restaurant in Billings). There’s garlic bread and some amazing linguine with a white mushroom sauce on it (I presume alfredo?) and bacon. Also tiramisu, one of my absolute favorite desserts.
At this point my internet decides it doesn’t want to work, and I spend 5 minutes troubleshooting that. It would decide to die right then.
I did eventually get my technical difficulties under control, and Alex and I talked while we ate, and just had so much fun enjoying each other’s company. At this point he gets to the last item in the package, a burlap sack full of Legos. He tells me that he has stolen the instructions and any identifying marks from the Lego set, and if I am willing he’ll walk me through building whatever the heck it actually is. Let me tell you, this activity was much more difficult that I thought it’d be, but also amazingly fun. We got it figured out, and it ended up being the skyline of Venice.
All in all we talked for 5 hours that night, and if it hadn’t been way super late we’d have probably talked for more.
Sunday; the 3rd of December
We have at this point succumbed to outright flirting. That evening Alex asks if he can call me. He “accidentally” FaceTimed me instead. He admitted not ten minutes later it was no accident. He wanted to talk face to face. And he said that the two of us together is something he wanted to pursue, except he said something adorably quaint like “going steady” because he’s from Texas. I told him it would be weird for me to be in a relationship with a man who’s never even met my Dad, and Alex was amazing enough to offer to give Dad a call. I warned Dad it was coming, and they talked on Monday. Dad wasn’t going to grill him, he just wanted a conversation to see who in the world had so easily found his way into my affections. I knew he wouldn’t have any problem with things becoming official
Alex called me that night. And we started our relationship. And just like that I’m dating an amazing guy who seems so beyond anything I’ve ever thought realistically possible. It’s hard to imagine. It just all happened so so fast and yet never felt rushed or wrong.
Here’s to waiting for Christmas when I actually get to see my boyfriend (It’s taken me several days to write this post… I am still not over the fact I have an amazing boyfriend. I’m like a giddy schoolgirl over here).