I had to cancel our original date after my uncle died, and when I told him that I hoped we could just postpone our meet up instead of scratching it altogether, I was worried he wouldn’t believe me. I figured he probably thought I was just uninterested and looking for an excuse to bow out, so I prepared for things to fall apart before they really even had a chance to get started.
Thankfully, for once, I was wrong.
There’s something really, spectacularly different about this guy.
When it snowed the week before last, he text me every day to tell me to be safe on my drive to work. If he happened to start his own shift at his place of employment before I started mine, he’d give me a weather/road conditions update so I knew what to expect on my commute.
When I drove out to Kansas, he asked me to text him once I checked in to my motel so he knew I’d arrived safely.
On the morning of my uncle’s funeral, he sent me a text that said, “Remember, it’s a celebration of life in a weird way, at least that’s how we treated it for my grandmother, and it made it better for us.”
As soon as I let him know I was back within the confines of the Colorado state line, he asked when he could finally take me out because he was still really, really interested.
Suddenly, I was super nervous.
I gained upwards of 8 lbs. this week, and even though I know a lot of that was due to water retention, the fact that I’m pushing 250 again after just one week of “bad” eating scares me… and it also made me really, really nervous to meet this kid who seemed so nice and so—miraculously—taken with me.
I’ve encountered some “bad fish” over the years—guys who’ve said things like “You’d be really pretty… if only you weren’t so fat.” or “You have a beautiful face.” or, maybe even worse than that, there were those guys who didn’t say anything at all, but, instead, just treated me “accordingly” … meaning they “dated” me but never, ever took me out in public… The implication being, of course, that they didn’t want to be seen out and about with a fat girl on their arm—because that was only OK in the privacy of their own homes.
This morning I spent two hours inside my closet. I tried on dresses and jeans and tshirts and leggings and three different pairs of shoes.
I brushed my hair, leaving it down—sweet, simple, and normal, just like me… and then I got frustrated and tried putting it up… and then I took it down again… and then I slipped my hairbrush and hair clip into my purse just incase I decided it actually did look better up after all.
I texted my “inner circle” of girlfriends: Alison, Heather (my Weight Watchers partner in crime), and Katelyn (my best friend from high school who relocated to Reno a couple of years back).
All of them gave me advice, each approach a little different, all valuable in their own, unique ways… Yet among those differences, they each did, surprisingly, have one thing to say that was exactly the same all the way across the board: just be yourself.
It was at this point I realized I needed to have a little heart-to-heart chat with myself.
Before I walked out the door, unsure of my hair and outfit and everything else… I forced myself to take a deep breath. In trying to “find my center,” I acknowledged that my stress over my outfit and my hair all really boiled down to one thing: I wanted to “look thin.” I didn’t want to be labeled as “the fat girl” again. I didn’t want this guy’s interest in me to disappear when he realized I’m not a finished product just yet—that I’m still a work in progress, and my weight is something I still have issues with.
Then I got super real with myself; I said, you can’t hide the fact that you’re still 240 lbs.—there’s no dress or pair of jeans in the world that’s going to change that. He’s either going to like you, or he’s not… And if he doesn’t, that’s OK. It’s not the end of the world. He gets what he gets, because I am what I am… and there’s nothing wrong with what I am.
He was so sweet and so nice.
He didn’t even give me the once over (or at least not a noticeable one, not when I was looking), and he didn’t make one single, solitary comment about the outfit I stressed over for two hours—which I was really, really thankful for.
We sat in the corner of this quaint little Italian coffee shop for over three hours and lost track of time. We talked about lots of things—anything and everything really. He didn’t make me feel weird or self conscious. When he asked about my job he didn’t ask about my weight loss or the specifics of that part of my life. And when I told him I was working towards my Master’s degree, he just gave me a smile and said Wow… He didn’t seem intimidated by it, and the voice of my ex-boyfriend that often plays on loop in my head saying “Men don’t like smart women” quieted for the moment.
When I asked him what his mother said about me to get him to agree to this, he laughed. “She said, ‘I think you’ll love this girl’… and she also said you had awesome hair.” At this point he took a quick glance at the messy mop on top of my head that had caused me so much stress this morning, and then said, “And you do!” I smiled so big my cheeks started to hurt.
I will admit—there were parts of the afternoon that left me wondering if we had the chemistry needed for a romantic relationship or if we’d simply be better suited as friends, but at no point in time did I ever shy away from the idea of wanting this guy in my life—in whatever capacity he might be best suited.
He’s the boy next door—the guy your parents hope and pray you’ll bring home one day. He holds doors and pulls out chairs, he remembers to say please and thank you, he looks you in the eye when you’re speaking… And when he gets flustered, he blushes!
He asked to see me again for a second date, and I said yes.
We’re going out on Tuesday after he gets off work. I think we’re going bowling or mini golfing—something fun.
I don’t know where this is going to go—if it even goes anywhere at all… But I guarantee you I won’t be spending another two hours inside my closet on Tuesday. 🙂