A War of Minds

I am a writer by nature. It’s what I do. I tend to communicate better in text than in words, perhaps because text is an arena in which I can properly edit myself where in real life the words just go … they just go and go, and the things I say flow outward like water from a broken spout.

I find myself, this late at night, considering the validity of three schools of thought. As those who regularly read this irregularly written blog know, my life the last few months has been rather all over the place. Last month, I finally managed to get out of Alabama and return to the place (and people) I love in Virginia. I have a basement room, I have a job that covers the bills, I’m now fully Catholic, I’m involved in a few ways with my church of choice, and I’m living a life … sort of.

I still find myself missing what I once had, which was that one blissful week in November with Abbey. For the first time in modern recollection (IE, something that happened after 2000) I was with a girl. Sure, it wasn’t intimate (at least on the level that the word “intimate” implies) but it was great. It was a feeling, a set of feelings, that absolutely were mind-blowing.

I realize that seems to overvalue it, but the feelings brought forth are missed. I miss them, I miss what it was, and I can’t help but feel it was addicting in a way … which, as I biologically understand it, isn’t far from the truth. A bond, brief as it was, was established between myself and Abbey. But that bond was broken and now I’m over 700 miles away and I’m done. We’re done.

I now turn my attention to a girl I’ve had my eye on since late last July, a girl who is part of my church of choice and an integral one at that. She is the only girl I have ever baked a cheesecake for (for her birthday) and she’s quite the person. Kind, creative, compassionate, sarcastic, intelligent, pretty, and fleet of foot (I seem to like dancers … I have no idea why).

I had plans to ask this girl out back during my last tour in VA but I didn’t have a job, a place to live, and I wasn’t Catholic. I now have all three of those things and, originally, the plan was to ask her out once I returned to VA. Like, immediately. I was going to triumphantly return, be hailed a conquering hero (“You survived exile in Alabama!”), win the hand of the fair maiden, and ride off into the sunset.

My priest talked me out of that idea over dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. Because that’s my life. He suggested waiting three weeks and I’ve waited four weeks. Last week I had opportunities to ask her out for coffee, but passed on them because I’m a coward. I’ve been thinking about this for nearly eight months and the pent up anxiety just froze me last week. That and other things led to a “wait and see” approach, which caused a massive face-palming of nearly everyone in my head.

However, this past Saturday, I got the chance to spend a significant chunk of the day with her (and others, rare the occasions we spend time alone) and gained SIGNIFICANT insight into her thought processes on relationships and things. This insight came at a trickle at first (around 9PM) and then turned into a creek (around 11PM) and then went into a full on flood (around 12AM).

She confirmed what my best friend had said earlier in the week, basic things which you’d think by now I’d have figured out … but she confirmed them, near verbatim (and with a healthy dose of highly amusing profanity, which felt like I was getting past the “Good Catholic Girl” veneer and getting to the real shit, but I digress).

 

The Basic Rules

1. The guy needs to make the first move: ASK THE GIRL OUT.

2. Planned and thought out things are GOOD.

3. Dating for at least a year is really necessary to make a decently informed decision about marrying someone.

4. Religion, family, and money are the three things that need to be discussed before any long-term commitments are made.

 

This was spilled out after a Saturday where we (and her best friend, a good dude) spent five hours building sets (for a church play we’re all involved in), then a few more hours watching a movie and hanging out, then a few hours after that with just the three of us (her, her best friend and myself) talking amongst ourselves.

I got let in, for the first time and it was glorious. Not only was it glorious, but it was highly informative. Not only did she let me in, but her best friend also threw out some nuggets about them both as I sat, listened, and offered some small thoughts. I learned far more about them than they me (which, I admit, seems duplicitous), but he gave credence to the “study and observe” method … because that’s the method he used with his one and only girlfriend, which he’s been dating for nine months and spent four months getting to know as her friend.

And here is where my I am of three minds of this thing.

 

1. Ask her out ASAP.

There can be no doubt that I’ve waited long enough. Her words confirmed that she’d like guys to make the first move and ask, hell or highwater. We have chemistry, we are both lovers of sarcasm and the arts; we’re nerds, different types but nerdy all the same. We have fun. I’ve waited nearly eight months at this point, I’ve done my diligence, it’s a time for action.

2. Research. Wait. Act later.

But her best friend did months of research as his girlfriend’s friend first and, despite how long I’ve thought about this, I lack in actual groundwork. I have a little over two months of actual groundwork in this and she still refers to me as “the new guy” from time to time, and that has to mean she still thinks of me in that way in her mind, at least on some level. Her schedule for the next two months is going to be packed and I can wait; it’s not like I haven’t already and it would be the more considerate thing to do, I believe.

3. Ditch the idea altogether.

She is incredibly busy, though, and her life is likely to remain in as busy a state — if not a busier one — as it goes on. I’m not exactly some winning catch as I lack money, my family is over 700 miles away (and relations with them are okay but no better than that), and I’m a fresh-faced convert to Catholicism … I have little history in the faith, in the area, and with her. This could absolutely be a time when we’re just destined to be friends, nothing more, and that’s it. Plus, it’s not like I know what I’m doing on a date anyway.

 

Those three schools of thought are currently at war and, as one can expect, it’s rather exhausting. I’m torn on my motivations … do I want to be her friend? Yes. Do I want to be close to a girl and have those feelings I had before again? Yes. Can I take a no as well as a yes? Maybe. Is this one of the worst ideas I can have? Possibly. Am I worthy of her? I don’t know.

All this swirls in my head, but one phrase, above all else, lords over my thoughts.

“Just do it already, you stupid son of a bitch.”

I’m not sure who’s saying it, me or one of my characters (I have a new set I’m working on and this feels like the doctor, maybe the pilot). But it’s my call. It’s my theme. It’s my belief.

This needs to be done. I declare here, now, that I’m going with option one. I’m going to ask her (after practice on Tuesday afternoon) and stop being a coward, own up to my feelings and get over this malaise of inaction. I don’t know what she’ll say, I expect a negative answer, but I’d rather know now than wait.

I want to ask, so I will. Whatever happens next should prove to be interesting.

Thanks for reading, folks. God Bless.

 

One thought on “A War of Minds

  1. Yep; I would also go with Option #1.

    If it doesn’t work out, then it’ll automatically turn into Option #3.

    As for Option #2, she’s a girl, not a lab specimen. If I had known my husband was studying me for months before dating, I’d’ve been creeped out. Being friends first is fine and it’s lovely. But the four months (or whatever) deal is not necessarily charming. It’s inertia. I am not saying that everything has to happen immediately or that there is no value to friendship. Not at all! But there is slow and steady, and then there is glacial.

    Besides, you’re allowed to learn things about people while you’re dating them. It doesn’t all have to be understood and known beforehand. In fact, it’s kind of neat to learn things about your (as we say in Yiddish) geliebte. While they are your geliebte, and not before.

    Go forth and ask! 🙂

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