Friday, June 1, 2018

"How can you read this? There's no pictures!"

(I would give you bonus points for naming the quote, but as I'm pretty sure most of you will know what it's from, that hardly seems like much of a game.)

My dear readers,

Your request to not take so long with my next Installment did not go unheeded.  However, I really am so frightfully busy, that... well, I'm going to give you the "short and sweet" version instead.  That is, if you can get through the whole thing, without any pictures. ;)

So, picking up more or less where I left off...

Our friendship, at least for me, accelerated at an alarming pace.  He was a true kindred spirit-- a quality I had never before discovered in the male species, outside of those in my own family.  He was kind, gentlemanly, had a sense of humor very much like my own, and his tallness was (no pun intended) definitely growing on me.  Above all, I was struck by his intelligence.  We communicated 3/4 of the time through an online medium, and he actually knew how to write.  In fact, he sometimes used words that I had to look up in the dictionary.  (If that isn't an attractive quality, I don't know what is.)

Before I quite realized it, he was one of my very closest friends, and I began to care very deeply about his life.  More deeply than I was willing to admit to myself.  After all, I was not looking for a boyfriend, and a romantic relationship between us seemed very imprudent considering our positions in life at the time.  And anyway... surely he wasn't interested in me like that.  

Like it or not, as time went on, I started wishing terribly that he WOULD be interested in me like that.  Because I was beginning to experience something that I had never before experienced in my life: unrequited affection. Yes, I was very, very fond of him.  That I loved him, I would not allow to enter my vocabulary, because I knew that for me, really being in love would be a one-time thing... and I had no indication that he would ever return my feelings.

Well... little indication. Some of the things he would say to me did seem awfully... fond.  That he cared for me, I had no doubt.  But in what way... that is what I didn't know.  I got so many mixed messages from him.  One day I would feel particularly beloved by him, and the next I would get the impression that I was just misreading everything, and he was really just being nice to me like he is to everyone.  And goodness knows, I didn't want to act like I was chasing him.  I would never be satisfied unless he felt for me as I felt for him completely of his own accord, without any prodding from me.

Most of those up-and-down feelings took place while he was about four hours away in his first semester in post-dual-credit college.  I saw him twice during that time-- once on my birthday, when I was very surprised to see him go out of his way to join me for a the day trip I had been planning, and once during Thanksgiving break when he came over to my house-- for the first time without a group of friends-- and we watched Shop Around the Corner and hung out with my family.

Then came December.  I thought the past several months had been an emotional roller coaster, but little did I know I hadn't gotten on the real roller coaster until now.  I entered a place of extreme confusion as to where his affection lay.  Circumstantial evidence persuaded me that it could not-- could not possibly!-- be with me.  But then, just after this emotion-freezing information, he was dropping some of the hugest hints and asking the most suspicious questions I had ever encountered. 

Finally I was, to be honest, just plain fed up with the whole thing.  In the midst of a cryptic conversation over Facebook messenger on the night of December 18th (leading into the next morning), I decided I had had enough.  He was not going to wiggle his way out of the conversation this time.  I was just going to ask him about his feelings for me and have done with it, risking the friendship that I had come to hold so dear.

After still more cryptic-ness, the truth was revealed: we had been in love with each other for some time, neither of us admitting it to the other, or even ourselves-- particularly him, who was so entirely convinced that he shouldn't have feelings for me that he had never accepted the fact that he did.  Until that night.

Then came the struggle of what should be done about it.  Should we date? Court?  Both? Neither?  If neither, then what?  How were we to behave to each other? 

I won't go into the details of all that, but we started "officially" dating on January 24th of 2017, upon which occasion he took me to Panda Express for lunch and then to my favorite, adorable tearoom/cafe for tea and gelato.  (This only served to confirm the excellent choice I had made in deciding to go out with him. ;))

We used this period as a time to get to know each other on a romantic level better and see how that played out.  We weren't keeping it a secret, but we didn't make our relationship public on Facebook just yet.  There was no pressure, and no rush.

But it soon became very clear that we were serious about each other-- too serious to downplay anything.  So one evening in April he presented me with a beautiful locket, with pictures of us inside and a romantic inscription on the back, and asked me to court me quite officially and openly.  

A year after our first confessing feelings for each other-- a year full of both joy and suffering as we went through life's challenges-- on Christmas Eve of 2017, Caleb took me for a walk on the path near my neighborhood.  When we reached this little bridge, which I have always thought quite romantic, I saw that it had been decorated with a gorgeous Christmas bow.  On further inspection, I saw that there were rose petals sprinkled across the bridge, mixed with the snow that was currently falling.  (Not suspicious at all, amirite?)

Then, as we stood on the bridge, Caleb asked if he could be my husband.  It was all perfect.  What he said, the significance of the day, the fact that it was snowing (!!!!), the ring... and of course, I joyfully accepted.

Now I am looking forward to that fast-approaching day when I am forever united with the sweetest, most romantic, dearest and best man in the world.  

The above (at least, most of it) was written for our wedding website.

Guys, I'm getting married.


The wedding is June 16th. (A mere two weeks and one day!!!!)  And yes, of course that is the big event I am planning this summer-- did you all really think I didn't know I was hinting? ;)

Now, a couple of things.

  1. This doesn't necessarily mean I'm not going to continue my bookish installments.  I might just.  I flatter myself, we do have an amazingly bookish love story in many respects that I would love to write out dramatically. ;)  Let me know if this interests you.
  2. For now, instead, I am going to do a Q&A post!  I know many of you will have questions popping up in your head.  Just comment below, and I'll get to them in the next post. :)  They can be about anything related... details about Caleb, specifics on our story, the wedding, what it feels like to be in love*, etc., etc.  Whatever you want.  Bombard me!  It will be much easier to write in a timely fashion when I know exactly what you are wanting to hear.
For now, I'm outta here! "Things to do, things to do..."

*Disclaimer: That was a tease.  Extremely open-ended questions such as that one may actually need to be skipped over for now. ;)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Getting to Know You: Installment the Second

Click here for part one

Despite all your *ahem* not-so-subtle hints ;) about not taking forever to return with Part Two, I'm afraid I have been truly unable to find the time until now.  I have been very busy not only working a full-time job, but planning a large event for this summer-- which, if you knew what it was, may result in my being forgiven these delays.

However, without further ado... Installment the Second.


After checking Facebook numerous times to see if he had answered (or even seen) my message, and getting nothing, I just went to bed like a normal person and slept.  Then I got up the next morning, and like a normal person, the possibility of him having answered me was not my very first thought.  I just saw a message when I checked Facebook over breakfast.  Then my attention was immediately captured and I clicked eagerly on the bolded message, sent at 1:33 AM. 

Sweet, thanks! I'll definitely give it a listen! Also, John Williams' score from War Horse might interest you a bit. The music is gorgeous and accompanies what I believe is a spectacular film. You might also check out the soundtrack from Downton Abbey. Although I've never actually watched the show, the main suite is definitely a gem. :)
 And yes, I am still up at 1:30am doing homework.
Casual... but pretty well-worded.  The guy could actually write.  The message did not ask direct questions so that I needed to reply, but was composed in a style that could easily encourage more conversation.

So I waited two days and then answered.

Haha... just kidding.  I answered that morning.
Ahh yes!  I've actually been meaning to watch War Horse for quite some time, although I'll admit it's not because of interest in either war or horses, but rather British Period Drama which is kind of My Thing. :P  But I should definitely investigate the soundtrack. 
Yes, Downton Abbey has gorgeous music. And costumes, and scenery, and EXCELLENT actors.  It's too bad I don't like the actual series, hahaha. I've tried a little of it and heard a lot about it and know a lot of people who love it but personally I wouldn't recommend it at all. Anyway. I think the same composer wrote the music for Little Dorrit, which is a BBC miniseries based on a Charles Dickens novel, and that has wonderful music too, and some of it reminds me of the Downton themes. You can't just get that soundtrack, though. You'd have to watch the series. (Which, for the most part, I WOULD recommend.)
 ...heh, sorry, got off on period drama there. Shutting up.

Haaa about the homework. Fuuuun. So what are you majoring in? Something math-and-sciences related, I would imagine...

Oh great, what have I done?? I thought to myself.  Probably just scared him off forever. 

But... I was pleasantly surprised when he answered me less than a half hour later.

I'll have to let my sister know about Little Dorrit. She's really into British period shows, styles, etc., etc..  I enjoy that period as well, although I almost never watch the shows (I always seem to be busy with homework, work, and every other boring thing).Anyways, my plan (as of now) is to major in biochemistry so as to continue on to either medical or dental school. I'm still undecided between the two, and am hoping that an undergraduate degree in a very science/health oriented field will guide my decision.And how about you?! I assume you are taking some courses currently when you mentioned the accursed word "homework". Whatever you're doing, I'm sure it's much cooler than my nerd-ness.

"He is STUDYIN' to be a DOCTAH!?!?!"
-Basically Amy's response when I showed her the message. :P

I answered that evening, and although I won't bore you with every single thing that we said to each other, but to sum it up:
  • We exchanged 13 more messages before the day was over
  • I decided I must meet this sister of his
  • I tried to talk him into watching Little Dorrit as homework motivation
  • I talked about my college pursuits (which were, at the time, working on my Office Specialist certificate-- which I felt very lame about compared to his lofty goals)
  • He informed me that he had listened to the Tuck Everlasting soundtrack and thought it "superb"
  • He showed a knowledge of Anne of Green Gables-- and said he did not recommend the third movie if you are faithful to the books.
I was basically like, is this guy for real?! He's so COOL! Like, not cool cool, but... ya know... 

The conversation continued further over the next several days. I discovered many interesting tidbits, and found out that he could make me laugh in very few words.  Example:

  • Also, although I find psychology an interesting study, PSYCH 101 was a load of rubbish (Freud's an idiot).

(To this day, I sometimes just quote the "Freud's an idiot" thing.) 

We continued talking of Anne of Green Gables and school things.  I finally got it straightened out that he was technically still in high school, about to graduate, but had been taking dual credit classes in college for the past two years.  He mentioned working, I asked him where, and related to the conversation, I said "So how old are you, 18?"

Yeah, I'm 18 and finishing up my "Senior Year" (it's in quotes because by no means has my high school education been a traditional one). I'm also working as a Photo Tech at Walgreens. I basically describe my job as one where I'm not only responsible for photo orders, but just about every task that no one else wants to do.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on the fact that college should be a time to focus on your specialty, not on every subject that no one cares about. I mean, why don't all high schools just require those courses so that people can have a clearer direction after graduating?! Just more proof our education system in America FAILS!

Anyways, sorry for ranting.

Little did he know how much I enjoyed his ranting, especially when it was so much like MY ranting. 

Then I said this thing:

I must say, I’m rather pleased that you’re 18.  Since I’m 3 years older than you, I’m rather hoping that means we can be friends without anything being Awkward.  Because the truth is, you seem like quite an interesting lad, and I shouldn’t be sorry to know you better.  However (as you can probably tell), I am not at all accustomed to making friends with guys.  I know very few within even 5 years my own age, but hypothetically I think it would be nice to, if we actually had any common ground (which is rare enough as it is :P).  But, I’m not interested in getting to know guys in the way that MOST girls my age would be. Haaa.

It’s probably shockingly candid for me to be saying these things, but I prefer to *not* beat around the bush whenever possible. :P  I do hope I’m not coming across as too weird, though.

Yeah... to me, the meaning of this was pretty clear: "I don't want you to think I'm chasing after you like one's typical boyfriend-catcher, but I am very interested in being friends with you at this time."  But to him, it came across as: "I could never be interested in you in a romantic way because you are too young for me." 

Which is not what I said or meant... because, the truth was, I couldn't promise myself I wouldn't be interested in him in a romantic way, even though I was trying not to.  At the same time, I kind of wanted to test the waters and make sure he was not a wife-hunter. :P

His response, however, did not give any cause for alarm.

I must say it seems we have much in common, and I'm completely with you as far as friendships go. So, yes. I fully agree. As a wise man once said, "It's only awkward if you make it awkward." Also, I appreciate those who DON'T beat around the bush! It's much easier for me (an introverted, Christian kid who cares much more for calculus than the ridiculous obsessions of most of today's youth) to hear things as they are so I know if we're on the same page. And indeed, it seems we are.

Sooo... we're good, right?
Of course right.
And that most certainly was NOT a pang, however minuscule it may be, of disappointment that I felt when I found it so well-stated that he had no romantic interest in me.

Excellent. I am glad to hear it. :) Haha, "a wise man once said" is always so ambiguous.  You can't remember who said it?  You do remember but you don't want to say? It was your dad? You just made it up? :P (I don't really mean 'you' personally, just as an example of In General.)  Anyway, for future reference, don't be alarmed if I still act awkward in "real life" because after internet-chatting with someone I tend to do that until I get used to being around them in person. (Yup, I speak from experience.)  Speaking of which, will you be at ECD tomorrow?

Because, you know, if I acted awkward, it would have absolutely nothing to do with developing soft feelings for him or anything like that.  The idea!

Our conversation continued as easily as if I had known him for years.  (He didn't even seem to mind all my wordiness!)  I discovered that he used to live right down the street from the library where I was working-- not only that, but he used to volunteer there!  This kind of gave me warm fuzzies and I wished he still lived down the street and came to my library frequently. 

I also learned that he disliked football. He considered it "an utter waste of time which can instead be employed playing music, enjoying the outdoors, reading/studying, cooking, exercising (like, non-damaging exercise!!!), dancing, playing chess, listening to soundtracks, eating ice cream, drawing random stick figures (which is about all I can draw), and just about anything else."

To this day, I'm not sure he knows what an impression that made on me.  FINALLY.  I had met a guy with a real brain. 

Although he didn't answer my message about ECD before ECD happened, he was indeed there. (I thought he likely would be, as it is held at his family's church building.)  He wasn't there at first, and I was trying to tell myself not to feel so disappointed, because it was just silly! But then he showed up a little after the half-way break.  I pretending to ignore that warm feeling that happened again when our eyes met across the room.  (It's so dramatic to say stuff about eyes meeting across the room. hahaha....)

When we finally got the chance to talk, the conversation went on swimmingly.  At one point he asked me if I liked the 1940's.  I said yes, and he was like, "I thought you might!" and proceeded to speak enthusiastically about the fashions and culture and movies and music of the time.  He asked me if I ever listened to much music from that time era, and I was like, no, not that much... and he suggested I look into Bing Crosby.

I was exceedingly pleased.  He was so interesting to talk to!  I said in an email to Amy later that evening: "Like, he's so INTERESTING and the fact that he's male makes that even more interesting.  I mean, we have more than enough in common so that if he was a girl I would be interested in being his (er, her) friend.  So it's not like my standards are set lower because he's a boy.  HAHAHAHA.

When I got home from dance, I messaged him on Facebook: 

Next time we chat we should sit down. You're too far above my line of vision.  Hahaha. ;P
It was rather a struggle.  It felt as if I either had to tilt my head in a most awkward way, look off into the distance (which would probably give the appearance of ignoring him), or stare directly at his chest.

I also got a chance to talk to his sister, Lilly.  "So you're the one who likes a bunch of stuff I do!" I said.  She seemed a little confused, so I said I'd been talking to her brother.  "Oh, right!" she said.  "I remember Caleb telling me about some person named Melody!" 

Random Amy email narrative insert: 
"Verrah interesting, btw, that he was talking to his sister about youuuuuu. :P"

I also learned she preferred P&P95 and Emma 2009 over P&P05 and Emma 1996 (the blonde one), so I highly approved of her taste. ;) 

After the real-life meeting, we had this online exchange:

him: I completely relate to your point on awkwardness though (I don't, however, find you awkward in the least). You know how one occasionally finds those people with whom you can just easily carry a conversation?
me: I'm glad you didn't find me awkward. That means I succeeded in not coming across as awkward which is my GOAL IN LIFE.  (...kidding.  Sort of. :P) No, the truth is, I don't *always* feel awkward and there are certain people with whom it is much easier to be oneself, and I believe you may turn out to be one of them. :)
him: That is quite a life goal! You seem to be succeeding at it so far! Also, feel free to be yourself around me: no judgements made here! (We have so much in common anyway, so it would be like judging myself) ;)
I tried very hard to tell myself that the resulting warm fuzzies were strictly of the friendshippy sort.  As was the jolt of excitement every time I saw a new message pop up.  After all, I had fuzzies and jolts when I was first getting to know Amy and finding that we had so much in common.  It was totally the same.... right? 

(Hint: wrong.)

To be continued...
...although not as you may expect.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

I have been watching Pride and Prejudice...

I've been watching/half watching/listening to P&P with my dad, whilst sewing, and this meme idea popped into my head and I knew it had to be made a thing.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

To Be Fond of Dancing: Installment the First

Two years ago on February 14th, I posted a controversial description of my "love life."  I say "controversial" because some people cheered me on, while others thought I just needed to not.

The short synopsis of that post would be "I'm probably never going to get married, I'm not even sure I would want to because guys as a whole are duds, and even if that weren't the case, I have such a high standard to be met that it will just never happen.  But that's OKAY people should just stop thinking marriage is the most important thing in life!"

Well, I still don't disagree with the post as a whole.  I still think that gentlemen are extremely rare.  I think that one should never, ever get married to a person because they're afraid a better option will never come along.  However, I do believe true love actually exists.

I just braced myself for the probability that it would never happen to me.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

NEW POLL: A Completely Hypothetical Question

Now, friends.  I have a hypothetical situation for you. 

Suppose one of your old blogging buddies (who hardly writes on her blog anymore because she's insanely busy and all that nonsense) fell in love.  She didn't write about it at first because she wasn't even sure of it herself.  Then because she wasn't sure if the other person returned her feelings.  Then she was, but it wasn't commonly known.  Then she just didn't know where to start, even though her heart was bursting to tell everyone the beautiful love story.  Then, she simply couldn't find the time

And then... she didn't know how to tell it.

Would you rather hear the story...

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