Katherine in Kiss Me Kate was on to something when she sang her diatribe, “I Hate Men!”  Not that men haven’t the right to hate women, because they do, but I truly believe that women are crazy whilst men are unfathomably insufferable!  And the worst part is, I feel bad for them.

You see, I’m in a terrible muck.  There’s this guy (go figure).  He swept me off my proverbial feet the first time I talked to him–I had to sit down I was so shocked at his charm and intelligent banter.  But it wasn’t much of anything because I was an employee of the call center he was contacting.  For the two years following, it was occasional moments of laughter and fun when he called in.

Then things changed this summer.  We got in contact outside five-minute phone calls at my place of work in a completely legal manner.  We began to truly get to know each other, rather than the business phone calls that contained a couple sentences of harmless flirting.  Things were still good, I thought.  He’s a good guy, a nice friend.  I like talking to him.

Then we didn’t talk for two months.  It’s like starting all over again, now that we are talking once more.  I’m totally shocked that he seems to really have missed me while we didn’t talk (has he heard of a phone?).  I missed him, too, but not at the same level.  With his behavior today, I get the feeling I’ve been missing something this entire time.  I get the feeling that I’ve been unintentionally leading this poor man on since this summer.  And I feel rotten to the core about it.  I’m not that kind of person, but evidently the “harmless” flirting that I engaged in when he initiated was a little bit less than harmless.  I could be reading this wrong.  Or I could be reading this way too right.  And if that’s the case–we’re borked.

He’s not made this an easy relationship to maintain.  The infrequent phone calls, overshare of personal information, the attitude that he needs to educate me about the world and what’s in it–these are all reasons that made it easy not to miss him as much as I might have.  But as hard as he’s made it on me, how hard have I made it on him?  I need to know.

And to make things so much better, there is muck here, too–not just on the telephone line.  I’m kind of older for my congregation (the half-dozen kids who are older than me have me beat by 3-8 years, but there’s only a half dozen of them).  In fact, there’s me and those half dozen, then the thirty who are twenty one and under.  If I have any intention of having a love life at all (which might be a bad idea, considering the muck clogging the telephone line), I can only date one of those half dozen people.  I’ve learned from past experience that dating younger men is like holding onto a firework while it explodes: not good.  Of these half dozen, one is a girl who is dating one of the other older kids.  Another boy in that group is dating my roommate.  The next one is nearly engaged to a girl out-of-state, I’m very excited for them, they’re adorable.  The other girl is sweet, but awkward (and I don’t go for girls anyway), so that leaves one, and only one eligible person for me to date in my congregation.

Good thing I like him enough to want to go on a date with him!  But that’s just the point, I don’t want this to become a desperation situation, though I know that I really like his personality and sense of humor.  And freckles.  Those were the first things I noticed.  The muck comes when I point out that every single female in my congregation (and a couple not so single ones) wishes she was dating this guy.  Dating should not be about gaggles of girls forcing their company on men, no more than should it be packs of boys forcing their company on women in a desperate bid to make them choose!  Dating should be about who the parties want.

Some people seem to think I’m not aggressive enough here, others that I’m fine.  It’s all mucky.  I don’t know what to do.  The phone buddy frightens me and the church guy blithely ignores all the girls in general.  Meanwhile, I go mad.  I’m sure I’ll learn something from it.  They’re good men, both.  I just need to figure it out.  I’ll be a lot happier when I do.

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