I have a story that I don’t even begin to know how to tell.
I forgot to tell a lot about last weekend. I’ll quickly debrief. On Saturday, a large group of us went to see Titanic: The Musical. It was … hmmm, how to say it … awful. I won’t describe it, but suffice to say you should not go see it if you ever have the chance. Half of our group left at intermission, and by midway through the second act it was only me and The Boy. We decided to stay and watch the rest, although I ended up asking to leave five minutes before it ended – sure, I knew it was almost over, but I had just had enough of the screaming people rolling off the tilting stage. By that point, it was 11:00 at night and well past the point where I could get home safely by myself. So, being an incredible gentleman, he walked me all the way home. We took public transportation part of the way, but he ended up walking me over a mile very much out of his way to my apartment, and then all the way back home in the dark. It was midnight when he dropped me off. We had talked all the way home, laughing and very much having fun.
At this point I knew I had to do something if he wasn’t going to. Earlier in the night we had talked about Inception, that new movie that came out this weekend, and how much we both wanted to see it. So as he turned around and walked away I called out after him. “We should go see Inception next weekend,” I said. He emphatically agreed, and I was very pleased.
I was pleased with this for a number of reasons—first, he agreed. That had to say something. But secondly and more importantly, I had left it up to him to define how we were going to go. My wording had clearly left it open to “we” being him and me—a date. But it had also given him room to gracefully decline by inviting our group of friends. I only hoped and prayed he would get that.
I saw him Tuesday night at Bible study, and though we spent half an hour afterwards talking on the couch—all slouched down and no more than a foot apart, practically touching and obviously flirting – he didn’t bring up the movie at all. Not even to invite the group, which he clearly could have done. “A couple of us were thinking about seeing Inception on Saturday,” he could have said, “and anyone is welcome to come.” So simple. We do it all the time in this group. But he didn’t.
So, of course, I got home and my friends besieged me. “He didn’t say anything??” they cried. “What could this mean? Well, of course you have to ask him.”
I disagreed wholeheartedly. I didn’t have to do anything. Of course I wasn’t completely thrilled with our current limbo situation, but it was probably better than the horrible rejection I feared and fully expected. As always, however, my friends prevailed. So I texted him.
(Texted him. I am fully aware of how awful that is. But I didn’t have the guts to stand up to peer pressure. Damn peer pressure.)
It went something like this: “So. You know how we talked about seeing Inception this weekend? You were thinking just the two of us, right?”
Reading it now, I cringe. I knew it was bad then, but that is bad. It sounds threatening, almost. But it was done, and I waited nauseously for his answer.
It came at 7:30 the next morning. (Did I mention he’s an early riser? He had undoubtedly been up two hours or more before he sent that text.) I could just recite it for you, but I’ll break it down.
1. He apologized for the delay. What a sweetie. I totally would have had to wait that long to compose an answer to a text like that.
2. He laughed: “Haha.” This is weird because he never types emotions into his electronic communications. I am one to type/text everything exactly as I say it, with plenty of smiley faces and haha’s and various onomatopoeia conveying exactly my tone. He does not do this. Ever. So this four-letter non-word coming from him is something of a mystery to me.
3. He said that he hadn’t been sure either. So, clearly, he had been thinking about it.
4. And this is my favorite (read: the worst) sentence: “I’d like to go just the two of us as friends, if you want.” What does that mean? Is it, if it’s okay with you I would really like to go by ourselves but I don’t want to give you the pressure of a date? Is it, I’m not really sure how I feel about you and I’d like to get to know you better? Is it, if you really want to go by ourselves I guess I’m okay with that but let me be clear that we’re going as friends? I seriously have no idea.
5. He asked which day would work best for me and told me he’d text me with show times. So he immediately took charge, which I like, but which also confuses me a little. Like, vagueness vagueness vagueness aaaaand SCHEDULING.
In the past three days, I have switched back and forth and back again countless times between being satisfied and being devastated and being hopeful. I have no idea what to take from this. Every time I think I have it figured out, another possible explanation seems more plausible than my current theory.
But the real point is this: I’m being picked up for a friend-date (I know, I’ve never heard of that either…) at 8:00 on Saturday night. My current plan is to go with the flow, treat him like my friend until he says otherwise, see how it goes, laugh to myself the whole time at the ridiculousness of it all, and reassess afterwards. Oh, and definitely, DEFINITELY not “talk about it.” If he wants to talks about “us”, he can bring it up.
But … what am I going to wear?