I had been going to Family Home Evenings with the singles ward for about a month. I felt like it was time to get out of my comfort zone and make some “single friends.” Well, the feeling was more like “good things are going to happen, soon, and you need to be ready. You need to be at the right place.” But I didn’t want to believe that. I was happy being single. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was eager to date, but not ready to feel anything too serious for anyone else, just yet. And then in early September, there was a fireside for young adults. I hadn’t been to one since before I got married (my ex was sooo not into that thing, and it was easier to not go than to deal with it. And I kept saying “it’s just a fireside, right?”), and decided that this would be a good step to remedy that. Besides, I was supposed to be putting myself out there, right? I walked there and arrived before the building was unlocked, and when they came to unlock it (right before it started. I was afraid I’d missed it somehow…) they were shocked, because someone had actually arrived before them. And THEN they were shocked because someone else showed up. Said it doubled their numbers on attendance! But we ended up having about 10 of us show up. I sat in the middle of the middle row. I was the first one there and that was the best seat. Then a friend of mine sat down in the same row, and then more people sat in front of us. At the last minute, this kid I didn’t know but my friend did, came in and sat down next to him. I don’t remember if my friend introduced us or not… probably. But I didn’t pay attention, he was just some kid in singles ward, and I was only lookin’ for friends. Anyway, It was an AMAZING fireside. The message really hit home. It was all about marriage and treating women with respect, and that women deserve respect, and then Elder Scott cried a little when he talked about his wife, and it was just oh so perfect! He interviewed a happily married couple, and it was a reminder to me that not only was my first marriage no where near as full of love and respect as it should have been, but that there really was an opportunity for happiness. I remember thinking it was ironic because if I were still married, I wouldn’t have had the strength to go to the fireside by myself, and there was NO way my ex would hear the message. And here I am, sitting here single, soaking up everything that was said. And loving the peace and truth I felt. And then it was over, and I had so much to think about.
As I began to walk home, in my own little world, this white pickup truck pulls over and the guy who sat next to my friend asked me if he could give me a ride. You know, because that whole fireside was on respecting women and such (come to find out, Ranger’s just that kind of guy. But there was no way I’d have gotten in his truck had I not just seen him at the fireside, and even then, if the message hadn’t said “women, let them show you respect”). So he gave me a ride. And I cant explain it. The way he looked at me… I could tell he liked me already! I had mixed emotions about that… First of all, I didn’t want to like anyone, secondly this was a little too intense for me, thirdly, I admit I was flattered. When he dropped me off, I asked what the activity was for the next Family Home Evening. He said flag football, and I said ugh. Well, I guess I’ll go and just socialize. And he said “oh yeah, I’ll go too.” Like, he’d be watching to see if I would be there. Like he’d be there BECAUSE I’d be there. Which scared me and flattered me all at the same time.
Ironically, I had convinced my cousin to come with me to the next activity (you know, showing up with a guy to look like you’re not as single as you really are…), so he gave me a ride and we went to play flag football. Well, I’m not really athletic, and there was a little confusion so that 3 girls (me included) ended up not playing. We were all okay with it, and said we’d be the sideline. Worked for us! So I sat and talked to them the whole time, and Ranger and my cousin and a lot of other people played Flag Football. When it was all over, my cousin came back to where I was, and Ranger came up next to me, too. I confess it was a little awkward. So awkward that I introduced my cousin as “my cousin” when I’d “neglected” to introduce him that way to anyone else… It stayed awkward enough that my cousin decided he didn’t want to stay right there and went to go get my daughter from the swings where she was playing with some other kids. Ranger and I really didn’t talk much that night. First of all, everyone else was coming up to him and asking if he was okay. Apparently, he’d played tough, quite the macho teammate. They all sounded shocked and impressed (I asked my cousin about it later and he said, yeah, he did take some hits… and then look over to see if I’d noticed. I didn’t, because I wasn’t paying one bit of attention. I was busy talking to the other “sideline” girls). And also because it was sort of awkward. But he said “well, I guess since your cousin’s here, you wont need a ride home?” and I said, nope, I’ve got that covered. And he said “well, let me give you my # so you can call if you need any more rides.” And I said “oh, thanks!” and also gave him my #. I’m serious, it was so cute and so awkward at how uncomfortable he was! And then we left, he walked me to my cousin’s Jeep and opened my door so I could get in. I’ve never been escorted to another guy’s truck before! That was a little weird, but cute, too. Anyway, then I got in the car and my cousin and I joked because it was sooo obvious that this guy wanted to ask me out, and he just didn’t get to it. He even threatened to get out and tell Ranger that I was waiting for him to ask me on a date!
Well, as impatient as I am, and as much as I hate awkward situations, I blazed ahead, and on Wednesday I asked what he was doing. He said “I don’t know, why” and I said because I cant make up my mind if I’m going to go play volleyball or if I’m going to institute. Just wondered if you were going to either of them, and then I’d ask for a ride” (So forward of me! What can I say?). He said, “yeah, I’ll give you a ride.” And I said “to which one,” and he replied, “whichever one you want.” And THAT, folks, was our first date. Institute. Exciting, hu? A friend of mine was watching B, and I’d asked if she could watch her a little longer, so when Ranger asked after institute if I needed to get back right away or if we could go get a “pop” or something (I love “mountain” language. -.- ), I said we could go do something. Well, we ended up going to Idaho Falls for a soda. All the way to IF. And then we talked and walked around. And it was so weird, because I’m normally a standoffish, don’t touch me, I wont touch you kind of girl. Old scars still there, I guess. But with him, it was so easy to flirt and talk and I even touched his arm! Without thinking about it. And then thought to myself “why did I just do that? That’s totally not like me. And I’m sure it sent the wrong message. I’m sooo not wanting to get serious. And that was serious.”
To be continued…