What do a priest, a gas man, and a cop over the age of thirty have in common? They are the only potential dates I seem to be offered in this sad, sweet little town I now live in. (Okay, maybe the cop is only 28 but since the priest was around 40, I think my point stands.)
The accounts of the priest and gas man are especially comical. Summaries are necessary.
The priest was a regular at the Chick. Although (hopefully) he was not a Catholic priest, he did frequently wear the black 'clerics' and white collar. What a way to pick up girls... which is exactly what he tried to do when he pulled Katherine aside one night and asked her if he could ask me out. Ahh! This whole mess was just that- a mess, but it has to be one of my fondest memories of Katherine to date. I can still vividly see Katherine running back to the office where I hid, flushed and breathless, because she didn't know what to say to get ride of this suitor (??) and felt somewhat guilty at the thought of lying to a priest. But when he wouldn't be swayed (and I directly quote, "I'm going to go home, pray about it, and come back tomorrow") she was left with no other option than to lie and tell the poor man that I was in fact seeing someone. (But don't you worry, Jay's businessman concerns were unnecessary and my rejection did not cause us to lose the priest, Jeff's, business and he still visits us often. Chick-fil-A sandwich, large fruit cup, diet lemonade, and lemon pie anyone??)
The gas man is a slightly creepier tale. I waited until the middle of November to decide I needed to set up the heat in my apartment. Honestly I just hadn't gotten that cold- I had my trusty space heater and the neighbors heat rising through my floor boards to thank. But when it became apparent that winter was right around the corner, thoughts of last year's crazy snow started haunting me and I decided it was time. So I set up an appointment with the gas man. Since I do in fact have a full time job and am unable to just sit at home and twiddle my thumbs until it's my turn, I had to give the gas company my phone number so they could give me a call to let me know when they were on their way. 8am Thursday morning, my phone rang. The gas man came, turned on my gas, and left. I thought that was the end of that. I was wrong. Later that day I was at work when I received a text message from a number that looked vaguely familiar. The text asked me if I had found someone to light my pilot light (it is against their policy to light it themselves- stupid I know, isn't that your job?). I politely told him I would get it taken care of. He then told me he didn't want me to get cold. Uhh...?? I finally told him I would call my landlord right then and he left it at that. But that was not the last I heard from him. Later that night I got another message that read, "ok, it's killing me... how old are you?" Um.. What?! I told him I was 22 thinking surely that would allay his interests. But no- he proceeded to ask me then if I had a "limit." (You should know that I do actually... 7 years! Haha!) I told him this and then asked how old he was (I'd seen the man and I wasn't blind... he was WAY older than 29)- his answer: 35. Yuck.
Old(er) men, I'm not interested. Sorry.
Thankfully the priest and I have avoided one another's company in the store and I didn't hear from the gas man after that evening (a fact I'm especially thankful for since he not only had my number, but knew where I lived!!).
This Thanksgiving, it was truly incredible how many times I was asked if I'd met anyone "special." One of my aunts even said, "you should go on a blind date," since that is how she met my uncle. Um.. last time I checked you had to be set up on one of those. I mean I'm game if someone would like to arrange that! No?? Oh... okay. I guess once you graduate college the next big milestone is finding a man. HA! (Okay I just made myself laugh out loud on that one!)
I found myself a little squeamish the other day when facebook graciously informed me that the 84th person I graduated high school with had gotten engaged/married (okay that may be a slight exaggeration... but only slight!).
What the heck, man?! Since when are people my age ready to be husbands and wives? And yet something in me right now longs greatly for that exact thing! We all want to be known and loved.
I want to be known and loved.
I want someone to know every single bit of me and only love me more for it.
I don't tell you these stories and these feelings to elicit pity... no, not at all. In fact, I hope you laugh as hard as I did while all of this unfolded. As much as I desire 'true love,' I also know the truth that I'm not ready. God made me for himself first and until I am completely and totally his, he will not give me the one he made for me. And after the choices I've made and the paths I've walked over the years, I trust him a lot more than I trust myself! The sweetest part is that he is on my side! I believe that God made marriage so that we might know his love here on earth through that person. He isn't keeping anything good from me; he is just waiting for his own timing to give it to me the way he designed. Because his design is perfect.
"There will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears
and love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears
get over your hill and see what you find there
with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."
-'After the Storm,' Mumford & Sons
"Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."
Song of Solomon 8:4
There will come a time. And I will wait.