Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Nausea-Inducing Post...

It don’t get any better than this.

Sorry – I am still being the annoying friend who makes you want to throw up in your mouth a little. Perhaps when I tell you why, you will understand and forgive me a little bit – and in the meantime, grab your saltines and gingerale, because I think this makes a pretty cute story:

First, the back story: I’ve been dating. I haven’t really blogged about it much, if at all, because really – not many of the dates were worth my time to write about or your time to read about. There was the guy who still lived with his mother, did multi-level marketing, and said “Me likey [this]” or “Me no likey [that]” about everything. There was the guy with gray teeth who called his shiny, jacked-up 2010 Ford truck his “piece” and actually thinks Iggy's has good food. And the guy who apparently did not realize that napkins are generally placed on a table with the intent that they be *used,* and are not merely placed there strictly for decor.

But there were a few I liked: The guy who owned his own business, supplying bathroom fixtures to hotels and condominiums. The systems engineer for a defense contractor. The EMT. The artist.

For a time, I was actually pretty smitten with the business owner. Remember the butterflies post? I had butterflies with him. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was clue that things were unbalanced - and thus, not right - with him...and it turned out to be the case as he promised (via text and e-mail) to call for four days straight, then went out of town on a business trip *without* keeping said promises, then promptly dropped off the face of the earth after that. Haven’t heard from him since. Don’t miss him.

And it was somewhere around this time that I first read the butterflies article (see previous post), and I realized that what I was feeling for the business owner, wasn’t what I was supposed to be feeling when I found “The One,” anyway. I didn’t want to acknowledge that at the time, necessarily, but it was such a revolutionary thought – that idea that butterflies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be – that it hung with me, still, and I continue to keep coming back to that idea.

I was also supposed to go out with the artist a week or so before Kirk came to town. The artist texted me a couple of hours before we were to actually meet for the first time, and he told me he was sick and throwing up, and he’d explain later. Turns out he'd had a massive hernia rupture, and had to have emergency surgery, and he ended up being in the hospital for the next week! It seems things happen for a reason, though – I never did actually meet up with him.

Because I met Kirk.

And let me tell you: he absolutely *is* worth writing about.

He's awesome.

We have talked on the phone almost every night this week for at least two hours, each time, and we text back and forth several times each day. One of the things I love the most is that, every time we talk, I laugh. And not just polite little chuckles or whatever - but great, big, belly laughs. And, he just...gets me. We have soooo much in common, it's spooky. And being such a “word girl” at heart, I love that he is not shy at all about giving me words - telling me things to make me laugh, things he thinks I’ll think are interesting, the things he likes about me: he thinks it's cool that I'm smart, he's amazed at how I can write, he likes my values, etc. And he does it in ways that seem honest and real and sincere, and not smarmy and calculated or whatever. And I know that he is smart enough that if he were just out for a piece, he would have picked one geographically closer to him - HA!

I may have been smitten with the business owner. But the difference between that, and what I feel now, truly is what the piece about the butterflies described. I had butterflies before. I don't have butterflies with Kirk. Don't get me wrong - I get all tingly in various places when Kirk kisses me and stuff, for sure! - but when I think of being with him, of talking to him, of depending on him, of having a future with him, etc. - it all feels very....solid. Calm. Certain. Right. And I have *never* felt that with anyone - anyone! - before. Not even the ex.

Speaking of which – I was talking to a friend today and told her, essentially, what I just wrote, above. And she asked me, “Don’t you just want to call [the ex] and rub his nose in it that you found someone that makes you feel that way when he never could or would?” And I thought about it for only a half a minute, before I said, “There’s a part of me that would like to tell [the ex] that I finally met someone who actually makes me feel like he never did, except that (and this sounds *cray-zee*) I care for Kirk too much to use him just to take a dig at [the ex]. I could honestly not care less what [the ex] thinks or knows. It's enough for me that Kirk is in my life, period.”

Now, I know some of you are going to say, “Wait!! It has only been 13 days!” or whatever, but I honestly feel like it could be 13 months or 13 years, and it wouldn't matter. I have tried to put on the brakes and be "logical" and talk myself out of it, etc., etc., and tell myself it's just the honeymoon phase or I'm just infatuated or whatever, but there is a little voice in my head that is saying, "Girl, you know yourself better than that. That's not what this is, and you know it." And it is a very calm voice, too. Like, "Tell yourself that if you want to, if it makes you feel better, but at the end of the day, you know that this is it. That this was meant to be." Which is also strange - because the little voice inside my head is usually going all, "No! No! He wears a pinky ring!!" or, "Are you kidding me? He spends more time on his hair in the morning than you do!" or, "You only think you like him - eventually that thing on his nose is going to start bugging you," and I have to tell myself, "Oh, just give it a chance! You can learn to live with a pinky ring!" or whatever.

And that brings me to the latest: yesterday, the defense contractor systems engineer asked me out for this Saturday. I have just totally lost interest in all other guys – even the ones I used to kinda like and think "Mmmm, maybe there's a possibility's worth another date to see....," so I didn't really want to go. But on the other hand, it would be stupid of me to just sit around and pine for Kirk all the time if Kirk intended to go out with other women (I can see how you can be emotionally involved with someone long-distance, but could still want someone close at hand to be an occasional date or a buddy or companionship, whatever....).

So anyway, I said to Kirk, "I have kind of an awkward question to ask, and I'm not sure how to word it. I like things to be spelled out, defined, put in their boxes, so to speak. I've been asked out by someone I've dated a few times before, and I don't know what to say. I don't really want to go out with him – because of you. But if you're going to date other people, it would be foolish of me to say no and just sit home while you're dating - so what are your thoughts on us, on what we are to each other and the status of whatever we have between us?"

He basically said it was up to me - I could/should do what I wanted to do. And I said I knew that, but I really wanted his input, too, since I cared about how he felt about it. He said, "Well, you know, if you want to go on buddy dates or whatever, by all means, go ahead! I'd be OK with that."

"No, he likes me likes me - this wouldn't be a buddy date, at all!" I said. There was kind of a pause. “What would you do, if it were you?”

Finally, Kirk said, "Well, would *I* date? Am I going to date? No. I wouldn't. I couldn't feel about someone the way I feel about you, and go out with someone else. I've never cheated on anyone in my life and I'm not about to start now. So no, I'd have a hard time with that. But if you want to date or go out with other guys or whatever, I can respect your decision - but it doesn't mean *I'm* going to date."

So I said, "That's all I needed to know. I'll tell him 'no,' then."

He was so cute. "Whew!!” Kirk said. “That's a relief! When you first started this line of questioning, I thought you were just going to tell me, 'Hey, I'm going out with this guy and I hope you're OK with it,' and I just got this big knot in my stomach!"

But wait – he gets cuter, as if that were possible:

After he said that, I told him I cared about him too much to just go out and do that to him without talking to him about it first, which is why I wanted to have this conversation, awkward as it was, in the first place. And he said, "I've been thinking this for days, and I wasn't going to say it yet, but to hell with it - I'm just going to come out and say it: I love you. I love everything about you. Talking to you is the best part of my day, and every little thing I learn about you is just something more to love." A girl just couldn’t ask for a better first declaration, I swear.

I keep saying this, and I can't think of any better way to describe it: it just feels so "right." Very centered. Very secure, stable, solid, and real, in a very calm, knowing, sure kind of way. And I *truly* have never felt this way ever before.

So of course I told him I loved him back - because IT'S TRUE! - and then he told me this: when he got off the plane in Phoenix after getting back from Utah, his mom picked him and his brother up from the airport. They were getting in the car, and his mom asked, "How was your trip?" His brother said, "Really good!" and Kirk said, "I think I found the girl I'm supposed to marry." His mom said, "What?!?!" And he said, "In 40 plus years have I said that before?" and she just said, "Nope!" and smiled....and then Kirk says to me, "Oh, God!! I can't believe I just told you that!! How sappy am I?" And we laughed - I said, "Pretty sappy - but I love it!"

And I do. And I love him, too. And I know, I know, you want to go throw up now. Sorry.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sorry, I Can't Help It!! and The Butterfly Effect

Everyone has had those friends who, on occasion, are so disgustingly, sweetly, swoony and smitten that they just make you want to vomit, right? Well, I am apologizing in advance because, right now, I am that friend. I even make myself want to throw up a little.

See, I was crushing on Kirk pretty bad (see last post), I admit. But then, something happened that made it kinda go from a crush to...I don't know. A seriously major crush? A super-bad case of extreme like? I don't want to throw that other L-word around too lightly so I'm not going there yet, but...I'll just quit trying to explain it and tell you how I got there, instead:

Last week, the neighbors that live in my old house while The Ex and Mrs. Ex ("Cupcake") are in Iraq invited me to a "pants party" (it's like a Tupperware or jewelry or anything else party, only for clothes...) being held in, of course, my old house. I have been over there a couple of times before, and it hasn't really bothered me too much. But last night was the first time I've been in there in three months or so. Technically, I still own half of it - on paper, at least, and will until The Ex pays my equity out, which he is supposed to do by 12/31/09. And of course, all the furniture, etc., I had to give him as part of the divorce was in there, same but - different, and they'd painted and stuff before they left, etc. And not only had they just re-painted, which was to be expected, really, but some projects that I had wanted to do and was always told it was too much money or whatever, were, *of course,* now done. Which, I have to admit, kind of torqued me.

So, it was just one of those times where the whole craptasticness of divorce just snuck up on me - not so much missing him or my life then, because truly, I feel so much better/happier now I can't believe I lived for so long being only half as alive as I feel now. But more because I'd poured so much of myself into what had been my “dream house,” and now it wasn't mine anymore, and being confronted with the dishonesty and disrespect from someone you spent 20 years of your life with, all over again, etc.. So anyway, I came home feeling really wimpy and booby.

So I sent Kirk a text, and I just said, "Are you busy?" And he texts me back a few minutes later and says, "No, waht's up?" and I reply, "Can I vent/boob to you for a few minutes?" And he says back, "Sure." I am thinking as I am texting him this big, long, three-part text of the story I basically just wrote, above, about the house, that this will be a real test, of sorts - I am either going to totally scare him away, or overwhelm him, or he is going to think I am loony, *OR* he is going to be so sweet about it, I am going to fall head over any event, no matter how he reacts, it is going to tell me *alot* about him. So I am sitting there, texting the last of my big story, and the tears are just leaking out of my eyes because it just really shook me up (I absolutely HATE how those things sneak up on you – you go months and months and months thinking you are doing soooo good and then BAM!!).

Anyway, not 3 seconds later, my phone rings, and it's Kirk. I immediately start seriously crying because I was surprised and happy he called, and sad still because of the stupid house thing, and he just says, "I knew from the end of the second part of your text that this story wasn't going to be one of those with a happy ending, and that it deserved a phone call and not just a text back. I'm so sorry you have had to go through all this....what an asshole-ish thing for him to do. Granted, that’s not a real word and I just made that one up, but I can't think of a better one to describe him or what he’s done, and I just had to call you and try to get a laugh or a giggle out of you..." etc., etc. Anyway, he managed to not only say *all* the right things, but we ended up talking on the phone for three hours!! And then, when we *finally* hung up, he sent me a text that said, "I could talk to you for days. I hope this helped a little bit. You've sure made my last few days a lot brighter. Goodnight!" How stinkin' sweet is that?

Then, the next day, he sent me a picture of a piece of paper on which he wrote, “KO likes JL (a lot!) :)” How cute is that?

I recently read an article that talked about how many people think that the way they'll "know" when they've met their soul mate or whatever is that they'll get those butterflies in the stomach, and that you even have to have butterflies in the stomach when you meet "the one" or it's not "real," or whatever. This particular article talked about one woman, in particular, and how she always thought she should have "butterflies" when she met "the one." However, she just ended up having a string of one disappointing relationship after another.

She eventually decided to stop dating for awhile and was seeing a counselor for a variety of other reasons and in the course of her counseling, she mentioned this "butterfly" effect and how she thought she'd just "know" when she met "the one." Her counselor told her that what she was calling "butterflies" was really that these guys she had been seeing were making her feel uncomfortable/unbalanced, and she was mistaking that sort of "uncertainty" she was feeling in their presence for "butterflies."

So she took a while to digest this idea, and in the meantime struck up a friendship with a guy she met at her local coffee shop. She mentioned a book she needed for a project she was working on at work, and he brought her that book the next day. She mentioned feeling bad about something, and he surprised her with flowers. They never went out on a "date," per se, but one day, after about three months of being together and counting on him and him being there for her, etc., found that she *was* attracted to him and that she felt something even BETTER than butterflies: she felt security.

So I don’t know, exactly, what to call what I feel with Kirk: extreme like, swoony, smitten, or yeah, even security. There is, of course, the obstacle of living in two different states, but I honestly feel when something is right, its right, and you can find a way to make it work, if you’re committed enough. And I think I am. Now you'll have to excuse me - I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The *BEST* Weekend...And Keep Your Fingers Crossed

I had soooo much fun last weekend! Primarily because I went to a BBQ/party thrown by an old school friend for another old school friend who moved to Arizona right after we graduated from high school, and who had only been back once since.

It didn't start out that great. I had stayed out too late on Friday, so I slept in on Saturday and didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted to, and was kind of behind the power curve all day. So, by the time I got to the grocery store, the liquor store, made the salad to take to the BBQ, got cleaned up, and got over there, I was running late and was more than just a little rattled, y'know? I really wished I would've had someone to go with, but I just had to show up by myself and walk in alone....

But anyway, when I got there, it was like when Norm walked into Cheers and everyone turned and said, "Norm!" I walked in and was immediately swamped. Everyone was like, "Joi Lin!" "I'm so glad you came!" "Hey, buddy!" "Can I have a hug?" "What are you drinkin'?" "Come sit over here in the shade!"

And it was awesome.

I haven't laughed that hard in soooo long - I mean, everyone was just BS'ing and telling stories and teasing each other and stuff, but it was just really cool.

And the best part was, I reconnected with someone from high school who, back in the day, I wouldn't have even thought twice about. I've known him since sixth grade, and never thought of him romantically before, ever - we just ran in different circles. He was always kind of a smart aleck, and I think I was a little bit intimidated by him. But guess what? After 23 years, you grow up some.

Anyway, he is *wicked* funny and really smart (he was actually in all the honors classes, etc., with me up through junior high, then he started partying and went that way, and I continued on the honors track....) and yet, way laid back and chill about politics, religion, etc. He's into music, which I like, and he can SPELL, which - I don't know why, but - I just think is hot, and he just had me in stitches all night. And then later, when I went inside to use the restroom, I came out and he was there, he said, "Can I kiss you?" I thought, "What the hell? Why not?" 'Cause there were some sparks there, and I was wondering.... So I said, "Sure!"

So he did, and it was awesome. Like, perfect from the very first moment. And he's like, the best kisser I can remember having kissed in a really long time. And I kind of think he must look at me and still see the drill team queen or something because he has that kind of adoration...I don't know. I just think it's pretty darn groovy. I am all about smart men who can make me laugh and are willing to adore me, at least on occasion, y'know?

The one down side to all this is that - yup, you guessed it - he was the guest of honor, who now lives in Phoenix. Leave it to me to fall for the one guy it would be most difficult to have any sort of lasting relationship with! But, he asked me if we could hang out together some on Sunday since he had to fly back home to Phoenix on Monday, and I said sure. I ended up going to Boston's to watch some football and have a few beers with him and his brother and a friend of ours from HS.

Now bear with me while I explain this: Phoenix guy is named Kirk, and his brother (who also lives in Phoenix) is Eric, and they grew up living next door to Sean, who is the same age as Kirk and me, and Sean's younger brother, Chad. Chad lives in Layton now, and is married to Lisa, but Sean just got a job here and had to relocate so for the moment, is living with Chad and Lisa. And then, when Kirk and Eric came to town, they stayed with Sean at Chad and Lisa's place.

Eric and our HS friend left Boston's before Kirk and I did. We stayed a little longer and just talked, and then I took Kirk back to Chad and Lisa's. Kirk walked in first and I followed about three steps behind him (I was just making sure the screen door didn't slam shut behind me...).

Chad and Lisa's house is kind of an open-plan layout so that there is a short entry hall, then a dining room straight ahead, with a kitchen on the right and a great room on the left. Kirk walks down the entry hall and emerges into the kitchen, where Lisa is making dinner. Chad, Eric, and Sean are watching TV in the great room - they can see me, still in the entry hall, but Lisa (and the kitchen) are out of sight. So, Lisa sees Kirk, but not me, and says to him (teasing, of course) first thing, "So, did you get laid?"

Of course, Eric, Chad, and Sean bust up laughing 'cause they can see me and know I heard her and know that she doesn't know I heard, and I couldn't help it - I cracked up, too. And Kirk - who is really quick on his feet - says, "Geez, Lisa, I might have had a chance, but I think you just ruined it for me - why don't you ask her?" And then he pulls me forward so Lisa can see me. Ohmigod - I thought she was going to pass out. She was just mortified!! It was heee-larious, though. I couldn't stop laughing.

Anyway, I had a really good time. Kirk and I just really clicked, right from the first. He kind of reminds me of that bad boy on the outside, good man on the inside, kind of thing, if that makes sense. It's just too bad he lives in Phoenix - but when he left he said he was already planning his return trip, because he definitely had a reason to come back. So I am kind of cautiously optimistic about this one...but the living in two different states is a pretty big hurdle. I guess we'll just have to see what, if anything, comes of it.... Keep your fingers crossed. Or say a prayer. Or sacrifice a chicken - whatever you think works best, in these sorts of situations.