Dearest Rachel –
This weekend is going to be considerably quieter than the last few. After two weeks in a row, the girls won’t be coming over tonight (or next Friday, for that matter, if I recall correctly). It’s how scheduling goes, and that’s fine. I can’t expect them to be here every single week, as nice as that would be.
So that leaves me at complete liberty today. Even more so, since Logan will be coming over, and therefore Daniel will be occupied. So theoretically, I could go anywhere, and do anything, today and/or this evening.
But will I?
You know the answer to that; don’t be silly. Of course not.
One of the remarkable things about meeting people online for the purpose of meeting people is that, while everyone is looking to make some sort of connection, it’s still surprisingly difficult to coordinate any sort of meet-up. They’re free when you aren’t, and vice versa.
Indeed, that being said, it comes as a bit of a shock to have to acknowledge that the scheduling conflict is my fault more often than not. Half of my weeknights are automatically spoken for due to one commitment or another right off the bat: Sparks on Monday, Bible study on Wednesday, and dinner with the folks on Thursday. Add to that the 50/50 chance of having the girls over on Friday and meeting with the gang online for gaming on Sunday, and that’s the better part of my week. Even the weekends are more occupied than not; half the time, I’ve got an assignment in the booth, and of course, there’s a men’s Bible study on Saturday mornings, when you and I used to take time together.
This leads to a disheartening conclusion; as much as I want to find someone who is equally concerned about their spiritual life, anyone I might find like that will already have a church home of their own, just like me, and who’s to be pulled away from which for the sake of an earthly relationship? I’d almost be better off finding someone who’s a ‘seeker’ rather than someone who’s committed in their Christian walk already.
Yeah, no. I came of age in the day when the phrase ‘missionary dating’ was just coming into vogue, and it was quite clear even then that such an activity rarely ends well.
The strange thing is, when I explained my scheduling situation to her, Ruby actually reacted positively: “I like your schedules and how you plan everything and I’ll be so happy to be part of your life because I think we’ll get along very well and great.” Now, there are a lot of ways to describe me, I shouldn’t wonder, but ‘planning everything’ is not one that immediately comes to my mind. Granted, I tend to try and make an effort to be spontaneous – I’m not a fan of having a ‘usual’ at a restaurant, for instance (although I understood your rationale in some cases – but that’s a story or two for another time) – because I don’t like the idea of being predictable. I’ve also discovered (and had it driven home to me over the past year) that making plans is little more than a guarantee that they won’t happen the way you want them to. So no, I don’t consider myself the organized type, nor do I want to be. It’s more that I’m just a creature of habit above anything else.
Still, given her apparent enthusiasm, I thought it would be a reasonable opening to ask to meet her at some time this week. Since this conversation was taking place on Tuesday (my other free day), I assumed that dropping everything to meet that night wasn’t possible… but how about Friday? Surely, that would be enough time to clear her schedule and make arrangements at some neutral spot between us.
Sadly, it was not to be. She’d already made plans, it seems to visit her siblings out in Phoenix, and her flight was on Friday.
While this seems like a perfectly reasonable situation (after all, travel kind of requires a certain level of pre-planning; I’ve discovered that trying to just call up a travel agent and say ‘hey, I want to go somewhere’ doesn’t mean you can head out to the airport after getting off the phone. We may live in an age of instant gratification, but some things just can’t be gratified that instantly), this triggered a certain level of déjà vu in me. You’ll recall the debacle between me and Naruko, and how that fell apart; well, it all started to come down when we first began talking about the fact that she lived in Skokie, and how I hadn’t been there since my grandparents had been living there back in the early eighties. Somewhere along the line, I suggested meeting up at a restaurant between our homes (I considered that Japanese one we’d just discovered; you know, the one that serves a first-rate okonomiyaki), and while she claimed to have no objections to that, it was at that point that she let me know that she was on assignment halfway around the world, and wouldn’t be back until… well, the last I heard from her, she was still allegedly stuck in Cambodia as of the end of last month.
Needless to say, even though this seems like a perfectly innocent situation, I’m getting flashbacks of that previous fiasco.
Now, I haven’t talked to the girls since this little development, but when I showed the conversations I’d had with Ruby (and a handful of photos – they were curious when I was taking pictures last Friday as to why I was doing so), they all seemed to be in agreement with Daniel about her – namely, that she is somehow bad news for me. In all honesty, I’m not entirely convinced about her (and even when she’s not visiting relatives, Orland Hills is rather a hike from the northwest suburbs), but I can’t find it in myself to dismiss her out of hand. We haven’t so much as met yet; let’s do that first before concluding that there’s no chemistry between us.
Besides, I can understand Daniel being less than enthusiastic about some woman taking my attention from him (not that we converse all that much when we’re together – it’s hard to tell sometimes whether the silences between us are truly companionable, like they used to be among all three of us, or just awkward), but I’m confused about the girls’ reaction toward her. It’s not like they’re jealous of her or anything, so what’s the problem? Let a face-to-face determine things before passing judgement, I say. Or, if they have any better alternatives I should look into, hey, I’m all ears.
But either way, that’s not going to happen for a while yet. So, I’m left to my own devices for another Friday night. Wish you could join me in the man cave or some such.
Anyway, keep an eye out for me, honey, and wish me luck. I’m going to need it.