After inviting The Owl over to have a stay-at-home date of dinner and a movie, The Owl was full of amazing bacon-y goodness and beer, and we started making out. A lot. Between lip locking we kept trying to get to know each other a little better. I found out his favorite TV shows, and favorite types of movies. He was made aware of my obsession with cartoon movies and my uncanny ability to cry in every TV show or movie where someone either (1) dies, (2) gets married, or (3) achieves their dream.
At one point I made a joke about cradle robbing (due to our 2 or 3 year age gap) and he pointed out that he tends to date older girls anyway. Date. You guys…he said DATE. We were dating! I was just about to tell him that I tend to date older guys when I realized he wasn’t done telling me about his experience with older girls.
This is when he told me his ex girlfriend of 2 years had died.
What do you even say to that?
What was I supposed to say?
What the HELL was I supposed to do?
I did the only thing I could think to do at the time… say “that sucks. I’m sorry that happened,” and then continue to make out. I had no idea what else to do. In hindsight, I realize he was probably trying to open up to me and my level of uncomfortable made it impossible for him to do so. I just never know what to say. And I am terrible at asking questions. Even the wrong ones… so I just don’t do it. We went back to making out and drinking.
He spent the night and we continued make out and continue our streak of amazing cuddle skills.
The next day, while I was at work, I got a really long text. I don’t still have it, but I remember the gist:
Basically he wanted to elaborate on the whole situation. His on-again off-again girlfriend and best friend of two years died suddenly, just a few months earlier. He wasn’t over the pain of it completely (obviously, who would be?) and wanted me to know/understand in case he broke down at some point or cried uncontrollably at me in the future. He also wanted to give me the chance to decide if this is something I was interested in dealing with. He liked me, and wanted to date me, but understood if I wasn’t comfortable with the situation.
This is when I think (though you would have to ask him for sure) I said the exact right thing completely on accident. I told him that if I was really appreciative of his sharing and his honesty. I told him that it wasn’t a problem for me unless it was a problem for him. And, I said that if it became a problem for him, to just let me know and we’d go from there.
I mean, exact right thing, right??
So we continued to date. We went out on dates. We would talk all day throughout the weeks when he was out of town for work or I was gone in Chicago for a reunion or whatnot. We hung out on the couch watching TV and movies. We spent at least 2-3 days together every week when we were both in town, and tried to get a few hours in on the weeks we were both traveling. It wasn’t easy, but it was working. And I was falling. Hard.
It was right about this time, when things were going really well, and I was about to go to Vegas for my birthday, when my life plans started to really fall into place and we began discussing the other elephant in the room…or other atomic bomb….or whatever we’re calling big issues that could/would alter our relationship path.
Would the possibility of moving across the country be met with a sense of adventure and can-do attitude? Or would it start a series of small and then increasingly larger fights that would ultimately end in our dating demise? More on this later…