When I last left you, I was on my way to see Natasha. It was great. Jen made a fine short documentary and I highly recommend seeing it if you get a chance. I hope she continues her filmmaking along with the sociology graduate work. Jen--you can do it all!
Pele and I met in time to see the film. Unfortunately, Tim had to work late and wasn't able to meet us until afterwards. Jen, Pele, Tim and I went out to dinner. I was nervous. I have this problem when my new guys meet my friends. I worry that they won't like him, that he will say something stupid, that he will reflect poorly on me. Pele told me later that she was nervous too, not because she'd heard so much about Tim, but because she was worried if he would like her, if she would say something stupid and if she would reflect well on me as my friend. Oh, silly Pele. This was not a test to see if Tim approves of my friends. Oh no. If he doesn't like you, JenA or anyone else, then I can easily say goodbye to him. The "test" was to see how he handled himself around you.
He did well. He put his foot in it at least once and when the three of us warned him off, he apologized and regrouped. I've noticed this behavior before--he'll make a very broad joke or exaggeration and when I say, "Um, ok, that's offensive" he'll back off, apologize and get back to a more even tone. I think it may just be his nerves. And who can blame him? I was terribly nervous; he might have been too.
He was rather touchy-feely, as he has been every time we've gone out. I knew this would be a problem for me in front of my friends. I don't mind making a total spectacle of myself in front of strangers, but I'm self-conscious in front of my friends because I don't want them to feel uncomfortable. Still, there was some hugging, a quick kiss and a little hand holding. I'd meant to tell him that I wouldn't be as affectionate in front of my friends, giving him a little warning so he wouldn't think I was rejecting him, but I didn't get around to it. I was too busy worrying that he might be going back to his wife or deciding that he didn't want to be my boyfriend to warn him.
Later, he mentioned it and said he said he understood that I might not be comfortable with that around my friends. All right, good for you Tim--for never taking things personally that have nothing to do with you.
After dinner, Pele went home, and JenA, Tim and I went back to my place. That was a bit of a scene too, as Tim attempted to put his head in my lap (denied!) and generally drove JenA out of the apartment. Oh, the guilt. She went out to catch some more of the film festival at 10:30pm and reassured me later that she was fine and happy to have seen more movies. But, she felt that Tim wanted her to leave, so she left. Sigh. I didn't want her to leave. I didn't know how to handle that incredibly awkward situation.
Tim spent the night and we had our usual fun banter thing going on and the boyfriend topic came up again. He said, "I have to tell you, I'm not sure how I feel about that."
"Your comment made me think..." [The comment was a joke, which he initiated, that involved me uttering the words "te amo" as though someone were saying them to me and Tim thinking I was saying them to him. Projection much? Good Lord, does he think I have no sense at all?]
"It was a joke! Geez."
"I know it was a joke, but I've been thinking about this a lot. I'm not sure I can make that commitment...to be your boyfriend. I'm afraid...it's stupid to say it. But I guess I'm afraid of commitment."
I took it in, not liking it, but not feeling terribly upset either. "I'm not sure what you have in mind. Mostly, if we're going to sleep together, I don't want you having sex with other women. I don't care if you say you're my boyfriend."
There was more talk in this vein and I was shockingly understanding, but also very confused. Nothing whatsoever was decided, though we made tentative plans for Sunday.
He left early in the morning because he had to work this weekend.
I talked to JenA until she left at 9:30am and took my sweet time getting ready for camping with Pele. She didn't come get me until after 2pm.
I sent Tim this text message at 1:30pm, "Sure you can't go camping? Still haven't left yet." He responded, "I'd love to, but i'm still at work. I also have to meet with a plumber and meet with my tenants, homework...i really enjoyed last night!"
After Pele and I were on the road, he called me. We had a normal, cute conversation, quite a bit of which was about Army uniforms. I told him I would call him on Sunday when we got back to DC.
When we got off the phone, I said, "Quack, quack."
Pele said, "What?"
"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck....What's going on here? He's acting exactly like he's my boyfriend. If I didn't know better, I'd swear he was my boyfriend."
Pele said, "He wants to be your boyfriend, but without the commitment."
"I can understand why he'd be afraid of commitment. It makes sense. But he sucks. It's not fair to me."
"You don't have to do it, but it's ok to give him time to figure this out. It is good that he told you how he was feeling."
"I'm not sure how I feel. I was really unhappy this morning. But I'm also sleep deprived. I couldn't get comfortable with him in the bed last night. I may feel better when I'm rested, but I'm not happy. Yet, I'm still going through the motions. I think I still like him."
"You don't have to decide anything right now. He is a good guy and if he stops treating you well, you will put an end to it."
"You think so?"
"You? Oh yes, I know you will."
Pele and I have this camping thing down. We set up the tent in record time with zero cross feelings. We walked to the beach, then went out to dinner. We slept relatively well and spent the next day shopping outlets and enjoying the sun at Rehoboth beach.
When I got home on Sunday, I called Tim and left him a message. He called back around 9:00pm, after he got home from work, and invited me over to hang out while he did his laundry (romantic!). I didn't say no, but I didn't say yes, as I was tired and didn't want to leave the house. Instead, we talked on the phone for an hour and a half. Topics included: Sinter Klaas, Jewish High Holidays (Happy New Year!), Chargers football, Episcopal priests, graduate school grading practices, dangling prepositions, and much, much more. We made plans for Monday night (tonight).
I was surprised that he talked to me for so long, wanted me to come over, was eager to make plans for Monday, is planning future events with me (Chargers vs. Steelers), and was checking on when I leave for Seattle and how long I'll be gone (Oct. 14-23). All things that a boyfriend would do. Pele wasn't surprised and she thinks I'm crazy (just a little). I'd probably be surprised at getting this much attention even if he were "officially" my boyfriend. The problem is, if he keeps acting like he's my boyfriend, then I'm going to think he's my boyfriend. And then...and then what? I have no idea.
Ah, isn't it nice to have clueless, confused me back again?
A lot depends on how I feel when I see him tonight. Our phone conversation was good and left me much more cheerful than I'd been before I talked to him. It's still early days of the relationship and there is no burning need to define everything (not that I wouldn't like to). It's annoying that he started with the relationship talk and then backed off, but at least he's telling me how he feels and not just skirting along the surface.
I'm going with this thing until I'm not happy anymore. As long as I'm having fun and he's treating me well, I'll stick in there. But if he wants to lock me up while he sees other people, I'm out. Here I go...cool, calm and collected. Heh.
Grateful for: a good night's sleep.