My Whirlwind Romance part IV – “Are you gonna kiss me or not”

Someone pointed out to me the other day that I had left quite a few holes in my story. The truth is I just haven’t written. Pregnancy has taken so much out of me. I thought I was the most prepared person on the planet for having a baby, somehow I missed the memo about how hard pregnancy is. How tired it makes you and how much you eat! It’s been the most amazing adventure of my life. But here I am finally adding another chapter from my African romance,

My Whirlwind Romance Part IV

Since our first date Joseph and I had been talking to each other every day. One day about a week after our first date we were chatting on Facebook and he told me he loved me. I was kind of freaking out because when he said it, it was so different from the other random guys that would throw that term out at me on a daily bases. I knew he meant it and it scared me.

So…I taught him the meaning of “take a chill pill” and explained that he needed to do that in regards to me. I explained that Love is a pretty big word with deep meaning. He agreed and told me if I needed to talk he was ready to listen. I didn’t know what to do with his calm reassuring demeanor. He wasn’t put off by me at all and he wasn’t pushy just confidant and direct in his feelings. It scared me.

That weekend I went with him to have lunch with some of his good friends. Since things seemed to be moving so fast I was actively trying to discover his faults so when I got a minute alone with his friend’s wife as we were cooking lunch I asked her how well she knew Joseph.

She explained she had known him since he was about 11 and that he had been the one to baptize her. Everything she had to say about him was good. “Be real with me,” I told her, “I need to know what I’m getting myself into. What’s he like when he is angry?”

“Honestly I have never seen him angry before. He really is just what you see.”

That was pretty much the same response I had gotten from everyone else. I didn’t know whether to be frustrated that I wasn’t getting any dirt on him or happy that he seemed to be as wonderful as I thought he was.

That day he took me to his apartment; we sat on the couch and talked. It was interesting to see his personal touch in his apartment. I felt at home with him and comfortable in his living space.  We agreed that week that we would date only each other and we would move forward with this relationship.

The next day he came to Lugazi to speak in our branch. He sat up front and looked so formal and official it was hard to believe that was MY Joseph sitting up there, laughing and talking with my branch president. They started the meeting and announced that President Ssempala would be presiding at the meeting. “President Ssempala”, it fit the man in the suit. I was a little startled to realize that the President Ssempala they were referring to was MY BOYFRIEND! People who preside at church are old men, not handsome kind men who smiled at me the way he did. I watched him wondering when and how this had happened. He looked up at me and winked. I blushed knowing that I probably wasn’t the only one in the congregation to notice.

"President Ssempala"

“President Ssempala”

As he was speaking his eyes caught mine several times and each time a huge smile would break out on his face. It gave me butterflies.

My Joseph

My Joseph

After church we went back to my apartment and watched The Last of the Mohicans.

The movie ended and we sat cuddled up on the makeshift couch. His arms tightened around me. “I love you,” he whispered to me again.

This time instead of asking him to take a chill pill I decided to take a different approach. “I know you do,” I said “Just tell me why? Every day people here claim they love me. I know you are different, but I just want you to tell me why it should mean more coming from you. I want to know why you love me.”

“I’m glad you asked”, he said, “I made a list”

He then started talking in great detail about various character traits that he had seen in me; he talked about how he had noticed them in me and why they were important to him. He reminded me of things that I had told him and experiences that we had together that had increased his feelings for me. Just as I was starting to feel a little insecure that maybe he only loved me for my ‘Sweet spirit” he told me that he thought I was beautiful and that he had put my picture as the wallpaper on his phone.

When he had said all he wanted to say, I was quiet for a few minutes, thinking of how I should respond. In all honesty I felt the same way about him and could have given him just as long of a list. I could have told him how my soul had longed for someone who would be as sure of his love for me and as confident in his desire to move forward as he was. I could have told him how I trusted him, how I could see the goodness in his heart and the proof of it in his actions. I could have told him how his optimism and continual smile brightened my day and made me feel so much more capable myself. I could have told him that I loved him. Finally I knew how to answer. “So are you going to kiss me now or are you going to leave me hanging all night…”

He didn’t leave me hanging.

This awful photo had to be included since it was taken just minutes after our first kiss.

This awful photo had to be included since it was actually taken (from skype) on that day.

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Celibacy in the Suburbs

While the rest of the world produces and watches tv shows like sex and the city, I sit in Provo, UT. living celibacy in the suburbs. I’m not complaining…not really. But if I’m honest I am a little tired of being single. One of my single friends was asked by her students if she was a nun since she wasn’t married. She simply informed them that she was not a nun..its just that when it came to guys…she had none.

Welcome to my life. Celibacy in the suburbs. I hope I’m not anything like Carrie, and I know my roommates don’t really resemble, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda but just for the fun of it I’m going to use their names instead of ours.

My episode would be called…

“The Last Kiss”

I have this theory about last kisses. There is no such thing. When you break up with someone and you think, I just want one last kiss. It never ends up that way. The minute the kiss is over you are thinking wait…just one more, one more, and one more. It never ends! That is why I have this theory that when you break up with someone you should just make a clean break and walk away. No strings attached.  No last kiss, no meeting up to talk and absolutely under no circumstances try to remain friends.

Mr. Big called me last night. Samantha and I were having a relaxing evening doing glitter toes in the basement when my phone rang. My special ring tone “Are you going to kiss me or not” alerted us both that it was Big calling. Samantha looked at me with that all-knowing look and said “You know you shouldnt answer that.”

But I did and as I walked up the stairs her words bounced off the walls behind me. “You need to make better choices!” Don’t we all.

Meanwhile across the country Charlotte was dealing with a break up of her own. Or not dealing with it depending on how you like to look at it. She and Trey had decided months ago that until certain issues were resolved they were better off on their own. But then after a few weeks Charlotte started to wonder if they would ever get back together and she wanted just one last kiss.

Having lunch one day at Zupas we had discussed the pros…well pretty much just the cons of the last kiss. The only pro is that it feels good for a minute. I shared with her the sage advice I had learned about last kisses from my own experiences with Big. “It will feel good for a minute and then you have to go through those first weeks without him all over again” I told her. “and before you know it a year has gone by and all you have are a handful of last kisses.” She agreed that it was not a good idea to have her last kiss. We both made a pact that no matter how much we thought it would help and feel good in that moment there would be no “last kiss”

But as so many of us do Charlotte found that she just had to learn from her own experience. She had her “last kiss” and the next thing she knew the last was just the first of many. She and Trey were right back where they had started, with their issues still not resolved.

After answering Big’s phone call we decided we needed to get together just to talk. I don’t want to hate him. I love him too much for that. Our relationship was special…is special in its own unique, often awful sort of way. So we needed this talk, I needed to see him, I needed to establish that while I know that marriage to Big is not a good idea as a person he still means a lot to  me. We decided that we would see each other more often, but in less intimate settings and we would try to work on our friendship. Which meant that there could be no kissing, none of that relationship stuff that makes things complicated. We talked, and we agreed. It was good to see him again. It was good to feel like I was finally moving on. Which led to the inevitable last kiss. The last kiss that I know is not a good idea, the one that just leaves you wanting one more, the one I thought would be the exception.

I deserve more than Big is willing to give me. I see the excitement and love and joy on people’s faces as they kneel across an alter and start a journey that will change their lives forever. I want that. I want a real relationship. I am tired of last kisses. Ironically, they never seem to last.