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.

"But when a young lady is to be an heroine...something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way." 
-Northanger Abbey

Due to my last post and poll, I know you all are fully prepared for what I am about to say.  And I had the flatteringly popular response that my readers desired a long account of my love story, in installments.  So that is what I will try to do-- mainly because it's hard for me to do something between a short overview and long and detailed.  However, this post is going to be more detailed than the ones will be in the future, because I tend to detail things MORE when there wasn't as much going on. ;)

It was November 11, 2015, before I even wrote the blog post referenced above.  I wasn't doing much of anything when I saw that I had a new friend request on Facebook.  I eagerly clicked on it, because friend requests are probably the most interesting notifications on that particular social media platform.  "Caleb H-----," it said.  My thoughts were more or less as follows:
Who's this?
A BOY?  
Boys don't usually friend me.  Huh, interesting.  
His name looks kind of familiar. Do I know him?

I proceeded to click on his profile.

Mutual friends from ECD-- OHHHH RIGHT!  That's where I know him!  I think it's his family's church that we use for dance practice.  He's been at ECD for a long time, and I'm pretty sure he's asked me to dance at almost all of the balls.*(1) Also, he is wearing a Gilbert cap in his profile picture. That's cool.

Hey... so... what if... I mean, I thought it was impossible that there could be a guy I've always known but never noticed like happens in books, but--

At this point I stopped myself.

Melody.  Do not be ridiculous.  You are not a silly girl who scouts out random people as possible boyfriends. We are above that. Now let us proceed sensibly.  Look, see, he looks on the younger side anyways.  And he likes things like Lord of the Rings and random PG-13 movies which I probably wouldn't approve of.  And music... Owl City?? Meh.

But... at the same time... he also liked Cinderella (2015), My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday, Sound of Music, It's a Wonderful Life, various Pixar films, classical music, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra...

I couldn't help it.  The seed of admiration was planted.  He was... a guy... who actually sounded like someone who would be interesting to talk to.  That concept alone was a little mind-blowing.

So, I decided to scroll through his page.  Sadly, there weren't all that many posts... but enough so that I was getting a bit more intrigued by the moment.
Interest in attending a Piano Guys event.
Asking for recommendations on cello teachers.
More Piano Guys...

And then, I saw THIS post:

For those soundtrack enthusiasts out there...
I recently listened to the War Horse soundtrack, and was very impressed. John Williams rarely disappoints, and this is no exception. Another I have greatly enjoyed of late is the Cinderella score by Patrick Doyle. Some great symphony pieces in there. Also, Michael Giacchino's Jurassic World was surprisingly well done. Not only does he include the original theme (by John Williams), but he incorporates some excellent themes of his own as well.
I'm always on the look out for other great scores. Any recommendations? 
Okay.  He was DEFINITELY interesting.  Coincidentally, I had been listening to the Cinderella soundtrack over and over and over at the time of reading this post.   Now, I put the question to you: Do you think I decided to keep scrolling or comment?

Well, here's your answer.

Melody M---- Haha, my obligatory scroll through a new FB friend's page... I have to say I got excited when I read the bit about the Cinderella soundtrack because I have been LOVING that. If you like Patrick Doyle, check out the Sense & Sensibility soundtrack! It's great.
Of course, I more or less expected this to go ignored.  To my surprise, a mere 2 minutes later, I got a notification.

Caleb H----- Thanks for the recommendation! My sister has shown me a few songs from that score, and they don't disappoint! 
So, of course, I just left it there. (Ha.  Ha. No.)
Melody M---- I particularly recommend My Father's Favourite, Willoughby, Miss Grey (those are the two dance songs) and Throw the Coins. 
Caleb H---- If you're a fan of Patrick Doyle, you may want to check out James Newton Howard's Maleficent soundtrack. Although I don't like it quite as much as Cinderella, it does have a few gems. 
Melody M---- Haha, I wouldn't have thought of listening to that on my own since I don't like the looks of that movie, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like the music so I might have to give it a try. Thanks!
Caleb H--- The movie's...interesting, but the score is alright.
This was recalled by him later as "you basically said you didn't want to listen to it because you didn't approve of the movie," which was not actually accurate, and I did listen to it.  (It wasn't that great though. Don't tell Caleb. ...oh wait he's going to read this.) 

On my side, I was like "So far literally the only thing I can hold against him is the fact that he said 'alright,' and that is commonly accepted so I can't blame him too much."

(Yes.  I am a nerd. And for the record, he doesn't spell it like that anymore.)

Then... that was it.  I kinda wanted to talk to him more, but I didn't want to be awkward.  So I just scrolled more through his page (discovering, to my amusement, an old post from a few years back where he mentioned having a "crush" on Audrey Hepburn), told Amy all about it, and then moved on with life.

In the back of my mind, I thought that the next time I saw him in person, I would try to talk to him.  That was a very brave decision for me to make, given my track record.  But the thing is... and I know this might sound cheesy... only a couple months before this, prompted by a discussion I had with someone, I began to wish that I could have a guy as a friend.  It seemed like it might be fun, if I could actually meet one who was interesting.  And so I prayed about it.  I asked the Lord if He could bring a young man into my life, not as a romantic interest, but as a friend.  And not "just" a friend.  A real, genuine friend.

But I'm also a little cynical.  Things never happen when you want them to, after all. 

Fast-forward to the next time I saw him.  It was January, and I went to one of the dance practices for the first time in ages.  I was auditing a Bible Institute class at the time which took up every Thursday night, but this one time I decided to go to dance and leave at the half break, and then get to class just about on time.  

I must admit a tiny bit of foolish excitement when I first saw him.  But wow, he WAS young.  Like, even more so than I had imagined.  Oh well.  I'd be less in danger that way, right?  Because I didn't want to develop romantic feelings for anyone right then. It would be most inconvenient.  

He didn't ask me to dance, but I ended up dancing with him a little when he was in my group of four.  (If you're clueless about how ECD works, I'm sorry.  Just roll with it.)  I smiled at him kinda shyly, and he acted cordial in return, and seemed to possess a glint of recognition.  But perhaps I was imagining it.  (Hint: I was.) 

During the last dance before I was about to leave, I looked over toward the back of the room where I had put my purse and coat.  There was a young man with very noticeably red hair sitting there, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Immediately I felt an internal facepalm.  THAT was Caleb.  The guy I had seen earlier was his younger brother.  Wow.....

Of course, he had to arrive just as I needed to leave, so I wouldn't get to talk to him.  But... my stuff was sitting right next to him.  So I almost had to talk to him. 

Despite the two months that had passed between our becoming friends on Facebook and this moment, I decided to adopt a familiar tone, because I didn't know what else to do. 

"Is that your dinner?" I asked as I approached. 

He nodded.  "I just got here from school, so, ya know, it was fast." 

"Well," I said, picking up my coat, "now that YOU'RE here, I'm going to leave." 

"Oh! I see how it is!" he joked back.  (I felt immediately relieved because as it had come out of my mouth, that manner of joke had seemed a little risky.) 

"I'm kidding, I have to get to class," I explained.  "Well, bye."  I really was in a hurry. 

"See you later!" 

Will I? I wondered.  I felt sort of happy but also kinda nervous because I'd just talked to a boy.  (Yes, I was pathetic.  Shhhhh.) 

Fast-forward another two months.  It was March 20th, and this post popped up on Facebook and reminded me of Caleb's existence, and of the possibility that I might get to dance with him at the Victorian Ball in six days.
A storage shed is to be built in the shape of a box with a square base. It is to have a volume of 343 cubic feet. The concrete for the base costs $7 per square foot, the material for the roof costs $2 per square foot, and the material for the sides costs $4.50 per square foot. Find the dimensions of the most economical shed.
Length of one side of the shed's base = 7ft
The height of the shed = 7ft
Proof that calculus is relevant.
Friends, let me tell you.  Caleb is a math nerd.  This is the thing that, early on, made me think I would never be interesting to him. For my part, I couldn't hold it against him.  At least it was a brainy hobby, not watching sports. (Ahem.)

But I couldn't resist the whole Higher math is TOO useful in everyday life! argument, so I said:
*Relevant if you're trying to build a shed. 
He didn't respond to this, but just liked the comment, so I guessed he wasn't offended.

Then, a mutual friend of ours commented.

Elizabeth _____ Math is pretty amazing and relevant! I use algebra, geometry, and trig all the time in sewing. 
Caleb H------ THANK YOU!!! I have made it my life goal to prove higher math's relevancy to my family.
Elizabeth _____ Math is all throughout nature so technically God made mathematics. 
Melody M---- I have never once used Algebra in sewing and if I did, it was so basic that it could basically just be called consumer math. 
Elizabeth ____ Eh, I guess it does tend toward consumer math. 

Yeah, I'm a little obnoxious.  I was pretty sure Caleb would hate me.  But I wasn't going to hide who I really was.  Hahahaha.

Turns out, he didn't hate me.  Saturday night came, with the usual excitement of a ball.  I must admit, I was searching for him, waiting for his arrival, as ridiculous as it made me feel.  I finally caught a glimpse of him just before the Grand March started, and wished that he could have asked me to dance for the beginning of the ball, which, with my Jane Austen reading background, always seemed special.  But I scolded myself.  Why WOULD he ask me to dance the first dance? How silly.

"To be fond of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love." -P&P

However, he did eventually ask me to dance, and at the time I would have tried to argue that the warm feeling of excitement filling me had nothing to do with any impending romantic fancy, but fortunately nobody asked.

I accepted his kind offer, and he extended his hand to lead me out to the dance floor. I took it, noticing that he appeared to be very flushed, and I didn't think he had been a moment ago. 

My goodness, he's so TALL! I thought to myself.  He was definitely a full head and part of a shoulder above short little 5'3" me.   Tall and redheaded... man, it must be hard for him to get lost in a crowd. 

"So, have you listened to any new good soundtracks lately?" he asked casually as we took our places. 

The warm feeling continued.  He remembered I had been the one to talk to him about soundtracks, even though it had been over four months ago and he had tons of Facebook friends. 

I could think of no good response. "No... not since Cinderella.  How about you?"


The dance commenced, and I didn't say much because I cannot talk and do well at the dance simultaneously, and goodness knows I didn't want to make a fool of myself.  However, when we got to the end of the line and waited for the next part to begin, I ventured to talk a little.  I said something dumb about wishing there was water for the people standing at the end of the line, and then proceeded to ask him about his school.  I learned that, although he was going to college (which I'd seen on Facebook), he was technically still in his senior year of high school, and was taking classes as dual credit.  I don't remember exactly how this conversation went, except that he seemed very intelligent. 

At the end of the dance, as he led me back to the side, he said that if I ever needed help figuring out the dimensions for a shed to let him know.  I giggled and proceeded to talk about how what I would more likely want help with is a the design of a tiny house, and started explaining what that was.  I said that if I ever build one, he will be the first to know, so I could enlist his help.  

We parted cordially and I felt very pleased with how things had gone, except that it seemed a little like I was flirting, and I didn't like that at all.  Somehow, something about him just made me want to engage in a little teasing banter.

"If I am a wild Beast I cannot help it; it is not my own fault." -Jane's letters

The ball ended with little to no more communication, but I didn't expect any. I did maintain a small hope that he might ask me to dance the last waltz... but he gave his mother this honor.  It was adorable, but I couldn't help a twinge of disappointment. (I've never had a gentleman ask me to waltz.)

I was left with a feeling of... discontentment in leaving things as they were.  I wanted to... talk to him more.  I wanted to begin a friendship.  But I kept debating it with myself.  Would it be too forward?  Would he get the wrong idea?  Would I be too awkward to attempt such a thing?  How could I make it seem casual?  I mean, it WAS casual... right?

Naturally, I discussed the dilemma with Amy, until I settled on a conclusion of how to go about it.  So at 10:29 pm on the day after the ball, I sent the following message to Caleb through Facebook Messenger:

  • So I thought harder about your soundtrack question and it reminded me of one-- I recently watched Tuck Everlasting which was not too impressive as a movie (although I really liked some of the clothes at the beginning :P), but I did notice the soundtrack was very nice. I looked it up at the library, but had no success and then forgot all about it... but I have now found it on YouTube! I know what I'll be listening to while I study for the next few days, haha.

And then... I waited with the proverbial "bated breath." 

*to be continued*

(1)Referring to the Victorian and Regency balls I have attended.  "Almost all of them" was not quite accurate; it was more like three or four.


Abby said...

Ahh this is so good! I can't wait for the next chapter in your real life story. :)

Prototype_SR04 said...

Aaaaah! So good! I can't wait to hear how this progresses! Please don't wait TOO long to update us!

Naomi Pitts said...


I like this and I hope part two comes soon :-)

Gabby A. said...

HOORAY!!! I was getting worried you had forgotten about it. YAY! :D

I love reading stories like this! It's so interesting. :)
And oh, I go to balls like that! (And we do the Grand March too. :)) They're such fun! (And oh, it is always so awkward when someone is sitting WHERE YOUR STUFF IS. I never know what to do. :P)

Oh, he likes Lord of the Rings and the Piano Guys and Owl City?! He sounds like a pretty cool guy. ;D

And that type of math sum (the shed one) sounds a lot like what I've had to do for maths recently. >.< I loathe maths. (Methinks I should get that mug.)

Oh, you're only 5'3"?! Now I feel better. :D I'm about 5'4" and wondered if there were any other short girls out there, haha. :P (Everyone is so taaall.)

*waits with the proverbial "bated breath" for the next installment*

Miss Woodhouse said...

Ohh! Don't keep me in such suspense!! ;)

I can't wait to read more!! Caleb sounds so sweet, and I'm dying to see how it all unfolds!!

P.S. The part where you mistaked his younger brother for him cracked me up XD

Emma said...

Oh Melody!!! That is so sweet! But please, dear, do not keep us waiting too long, holding our breath may cause fainting spells!


Miss Dashwood said...

I'll defend Melody's honor in the recognizing thing and point out that Caleb's younger brother looks a LOT like him. Except not redheaded. haha.

I already know all this story but I'm enjoying reading it nonetheless. ;)

Rae said...

AaaaAAAAhhhHH!!! This is seriously so good. I was fascinated the whole time and it's like A MODERN JANE AUSTEN STORY (Facebook, and all, just yes). MELODY THIS IS SO EXCITINGGGG!!!
(I cannot wait for more.)

Charlie said...

I have no idea why I am reading a stranger's love story on the internet when I should actually be writing a term paper on Jane Austen (which is how I came across your blog) :D -- but this is so cute and so relatable! Well, not that I have found a gentleman so far, but this reminded me so much of myself and my thoughts when I get to know a guy. I should definitley go back to working on my term paper but I'll continue reading instead :D.

Would you rather hear the story...

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