Thursday, February 11, 2010

the umbrella.

In honor of the holiday I love the least, this week I’m sharing some of my own relationship mishaps (relationship is a term to be used, in this case, very loosely). If nothing else, these stories remind me: Thank goodness I married Jordan.


When I look back on my very brief dating history, it is clear to me that I never had a type. Nerd, football player, baseball player, quiet, outgoing, glasses, no glasses, artistic, musical… There is no method to my madness. Which is probably why I married Jordan. He is all of the above. (Insert “awww” here.)

But back to yet another dating disaster.

My senior year, I had decided: no dating. Phil didn’t count, because, as you well know, Phil never took me out on a real date. And, guess what?

Turns out that not dating isn’t a problem when you’re not being asked out on dates. So I spent my senior year hanging out with my best friend and acquiring enough college credits to help alleviate some of those dreaded student loans that were headed my way.

That’s when I met B.J.*

B.J. was the son of my favorite teacher in high school, the teacher who had changed my life. Which means any relationship with B.J. was doomed from the start. Too much familial involvement.

B.J. was also one year younger than me and a lot more sensitive. Another bad sign.

I’ve always had guy friends, and B.J. was one of them. He and I hung out after school while I helped his mom grade papers. He gave me Christmas gifts and always remembered my birthday. I asked him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. (I went to a Southern Baptist school, so “dance” here should be interpreted “get-together.”)

When I graduated, B.J. painted me a beautiful picture of a barn (which I threw away in a fit of immaturity**) and signed a sweet note in a journal. A note that, looking back, should have made me nervous as it was filled with sweet nothings and poetic dreams. But I am nothing if not ridiculously naive.

B.J. came to my family’s graduation party and proceeded to call me every day for the next two weeks.

I have mellowed out in my old age, but at 18, a call every day was enough to make any girl run for the hills. I was a nervous wreck. I’d never been paid so much attention by a male peer, and I hated it.

One rainy afternoon after I came home from work, B.J. called to ask me to join him and some friends for a movie. I finally agreed, and he said he’d come pick me up. When he arrived with his friends, I discovered that I had been manipulated.

This was a double date.

It is a well-known fact that double dates are statistically more awkward than regular dates. The odds were not in B.J.'s favor.

I piled into the car with B.J. and his two friends. We talked about college and summer plans (turns out I was the oldest one in the car) and despite being forced into a backseat with someone who was potentially in love with me, the ride was fairly pleasant. Before I knew it, we were at the theatre.

We walked in, and I noticed quickly that B.J.’s friends were already dating. Like, seriously and affectionately dating. B.J. had noticed too and was feeling a little pressured. I saw his guitar-playing fingers reach for mine and before I even knew what was happening, I grabbed my umbrella from my purse and put it in the hand closest to B.J.’s. I did this umbrella maneuver our entire walk through the theatre, switching hands whenever B.J. went in for the kill. It was a successful solution.

By the time we sat down, I was exhausted. B.J. and his friends had chosen The Day After Tomorrow as our date movie (who were these people?), and I was counting on Jake Gyllenhaal to help make this evening worth my while.

And he did. Both my eyes were solidly focused on Jake, until... What was that? I started to notice a peculiar glare off the screen. Where was that coming from? It’s dark in a movie theatre, for crying out loud!

Oh. Wait.

The glare was coming off of B.J.’s glasses as he tried to stare romantically into my soul.

I willed the movie over and tried desperately to ignore the heavy breathing to my right.

The day after tomorrow could not come soon enough.

*Names changed to protect the semi-innocent.

** Remember in Gilmore Girls when Rory breaks up with Dean and throws all his stuff in a box for Lorelei to take to the trash? And then Lorelei doesn’t throw it away because she knows Rory will regret it? I wish I’d kept a box of all of my silly things, not to hold onto the past, but to remember these funny stories by. I wish Lorelei had saved my box of dating memories.

{This post inspired by this hilarious lady.}


chet said...

LOLing at work:
"I willed the movie over and tried desperately to ignore the heavy breathing to my right."

Evan Olsen said...

Haha!! this is fantastic! Horribly awkward stories but written in a great way. I loved the line "Oh. Wait.

The glare was coming off of B.J.’s glasses as he tried to stare romantically into my soul."

Can just feel the sarcasm. :D

Jordan Jones said... Maybe I'll get some glasses soon and you can relive some of this stuff all over again. :)

Lindsey said...

Okay. You are hilarious. I miss you so much!!!

And I totally agree - double dates are so much more awkward than regular ones! In eighth grade I had a similar experience, except he actually got a hold of my hand, and I spent the entire movie with my hand being swallowed by his big sweaty palm.

I'm glad you are so skilled in discrete rejection maneuvers.

p.s. please write a book. I would LOVE to read it.