I ‘liked’ Joey’s comment on Facebook and went about my day, but a mutual friend, who had been a blog reader, wasn’t ready for the conversation to be over. Within minutes of the boy posting, Morris chimed in on the conversation:
Was it a marriage license? Get a room, you two!
Then, he sent me about 100 private messages on Twitter, saying things like, “I think Joey’s pick up line that you ignored the other day was fantastic. I text him a high-five,” and, ” How do I make this Fina/Joey love connection happen? Last time I played matchmaker they were married in a year,” before I shot him down and told him I didn’t think we could have a healthy, normal relationship.
Mike and I connected when we figured out our preferences in humor were fairly common. We were snarky and dry, dark and immature. After he started reading my blog, that sort of solidified our friendship. I’d known him for the entirety of my life, really (early elementary years). He knew my secrets and weaknesses, so it wasn’t surprising when he called me out on my ‘healthy, normal relationship’ comment. And with one simple sentence, he put me in my place:
I think if you were looking for the way to a healthy, normal relationship….you already took a wrong turn somewhere. No offense.
Harsh, but somebody was going to have to tell me I was doing things wrong and steer me in an appropriate direction. Although I felt a bit insulted by his statement, I also knew how painfully true it was. He wasn’t commenting on my relationship with Mike (he wasn’t that insensitive) but rather the choices I’d made with James. And at that exact moment, my entire world turned. Lines of communication were opened, by me, when the universe perfectly aligned itself for a solid first conversation:
Michael had just called me the night before, explaining I’d shown up in his dream, too. So, although I wasn’t interested in going down that road with Micheal (He knew. I told him.), I used it as a good starting point for a conversation with Joey. I told him I’d gotten another call about another dream, and he casually called me a ‘dream girl.’
While I could document the next month via quotes from our conversations, I’m just going to tell you about them:
We became less awkward as we talked more and, eventually, he asked me to hang out a couple of times. Every time he asked, I was frozen by fear. Every time he asked, I fought a battle with myself over whether or not I was ready to ‘hang out,’ let alone date. He wasn’t asking for anything terribly difficult to give, just a few hours, yet I couldn’t take the next step. But, the thing that truly struck me more than anything, was that he never seemed put off by this, never batted an eye to my negativity or fear. He was patient. He was kind. He played the best hand he could’ve played with the complicated cards he was dealt. Finally, after a month of exchanging emails and learning about one another, we exchanged numbers, texts, and calls. And, on a night when I felt brave, I threw him a proverbial bone:
He’d asked me to come to his house (after finally telling him I wasn’t ready for public displays of dating) to meet his dogs (we all know I love my puppies).
For the first time in all of our conversations, I simply said, “yes.”