Monday, July 18, 2011

My True Love Story

I answered your comments in the comments section from last week... and a picture of Ali Bigh will be coming soon. :) It's great hearing from you guys!

Three Steps To a Healthy Break-Up, Day 1000ish

In the few short months since Ryan and I broke up, I have become aware of certain guidelines that I must follow to persevere in my new environment.
Step 1. Flirt with other people.
Step 2. Hang out with and flirt with other people.
Step 3. Go on an official date, like in… a school dance, with someone else.
Coming… right… up…
In the case of Ryan and I’s agreed upon amiable break-up I’ve included the following instructions.
Step 1. Flirt with the ex-boyfriend.
Step 2. Find that even though there is a terrible uncertainty between you now, there is also an easier feeling between you and the two combined can add an extra dash of a thrill whenever you encounter each other.
Checkity, check, check.
Step 3. Continue the good feelings now that you’re both going on an official date, like a school dance, with someone else.
Coming…. right…. up…?
Sadie Hawkins. Girl’s Choice. Probably a good thing considering that all of the boys that could possibly have any intention of asking me out are not idiots and can totally tell that I’m not over Ryan. But who do I ask?
1. There has to be the illusion that I could fall for this new guy.
That’s right. Call me evil if you must, but Ryan is going to be at that dance with some other girl and I’m not going with a random friend of mine that Ryan knows very well is no kind of threat.
1a. He has to be attractive.
1b. He has to be confident.
1c. He has to be mysterious.

“You guys,” I say to my friends at a pow-wow in the hallway at school, “I have the perfect candidate for my date to Sadie Hawkins!”
They respond with the appropriate, surprised and excited inquiries.
“Yeah,” I say. “There are rumors all over the school. He’s moving here, staying with relatives for the school year.”
I have become very familiar with the expressions that I’m seeing on my friends’ faces. They’re expressions that would be stunned at the lunacy of the idea, but then they also know me well, so they aren’t entirely stunned.
“Soooo… you’re planning on asking out a boy that doesn’t even live here yet?” Kristin asks.
Steps to prepare for a first date with non-Ryan.
Step 1. Meticulous planning.
“He’ll be here in time for Sadie Hawkins. I talked to his cousin.”
“Did you also ask if he’s got a criminal record?”
“Or if he has head lice?”
“Or if he wears his pants pulled up over his belly-button?”
Refer to criteria number 1c. Mystery achieved.
“Yes, yes, I have all of the details I need. He’s cute, athletic, and confident.”
“Wow,” Kristy says, “This is such a good step for you Amie! You’ll be over Ryan before you know it.”
An airy affirmation escapes from my lungs. “Mmhmmm.”
Step 2. Be more convincing than that.
“That’s right. I will darn well be over him soon. Really, really soon.”
Good try. Now change the subject to…
Step 3. The date has to be super fun and action packed. No romance, just action. Not that kind of action. The kind where you’re moving too fast to think. Not that kind of moving fast. I’m talking about some kind of death defying sport or something.
“You guys, we have to do something huge for our date. Something monumental!”
“Lori says her older sister is thinking about taking us rappelling. Do you guys know what that is? They put a harness on you and you lower yourself down from a- I’m not kidding you- a cliff. It’s just you, a rope, a rocky cliff, and the possibility of you plummeting to your death,” says Tiff.
“It’s perfect,” I say.
A rope and a harness? That’s the easy way. I already rappelled down a cliff that day on my front porch, when Ryan and I broke up.
Skip a couple dozen more talks just like that one between my friends and I, and about 3 week’s time and the date is planned, the non-Ryan candidate has officially moved in and agreed to go to the dance with me. Four-wheelers are loaded onto trailers, ropes and harnesses are transported to a dark and gaping hole in the desert floor, where we will lower ourselves into a spectacular cave. Matching shirts have been purchased and I follow my rules and guidelines religiously.
Steps to a successful first, after-break-up, date.
Step 1. Do not compare your date to Ryan. Absolutely no comparisons whatsoever. Period. The end.
1a. That means don’t think about how you went four-wheeling with Ryan on your very first date and now you’re four-wheeling with someone else.
1b. That also means that when you’re sitting on the back of the four-wheeler and you’re going fast over sandy hills and well, you have to hold on somewhere, don’t think about how foreign it is to have your arms around a waist that isn’t Ryan’s waist.
1c-z. Oh my gosh, he’s so different from Ryan. This is so weird.
Step 2. Be interested in your date and be engaged in the experience. There now, see how mature you can be?
Step 3. At the dance, when you are in the same vicinity as Ryan and his hideously impressive, and sickeningly threatening date, do not… under any circumstances… look at him. Instead, operate under the assumption that he is, at all times, looking at you.
3a. Smile constantly. Not the kind where your cheeks hurt, you clown, nobody’s going to believe that. Keep it demure. That’s better.
3b. Subtly touch your date, a hand on his elbow for example, as often as you can. Tell yourself that you are not doing this to make Ryan jealous, but because it’s good for you to acclimate yourself to the feel of someone new.
3c. Attempt to steer the conversation away from the topic of Ryan, even though your date has added up comments from the rest of the group with the well-worded information you’ve given him, knows about Ryan, and finds it amusing to tease you about him. Fend off good natured teasing with denial. Lie if necessary.
I open my eyes on Sunday morning. It wasn’t a dream. I survived my first date, post Ryan. I get ready for church. It’s the one sure place I know I’ll see him. Out there- at school, at the parties, at the dances I never know if he’ll be there or if we’ll talk, but just as it was on that first week, when I was the new girl at church, I know he’ll be there in the chapel, stealing glances at me, and waiting to catch me in the hallway and say something that will make me laugh.
The chapel indeed brings many of those stolen glances from him, even prolonged ones with curiosity behind his striking blue eyes. He saunters up to me after the meeting.
“Did you have fun last night?” he asks.
“I did,” I say, implementing the well practiced smile from step 3a. I don’t return the friendly question.
He cocks his head to one side, thinking. I glance around and step aside a little as the congregation shuffles by us.
Finally Ryan leans in a little closer as if there’s a conspiracy between us and says, “I’m only going to ask you one thing. Would you have had more fun with me?”
I act properly disgusted at his nerve, but I’m tingling with the thrill of him needing to ask. It makes me brave enough to say, “Would you have had more fun with me?”
“I asked you first.”
I shake my head, masking vulnerability behind propriety. “No. Uh uh. I’m not answering that question.”
“Okay,” he says, stopping my rant with a careful brush of his hand on my arm. He pauses with the intent of getting my full attention and when I’m looking into his eyes, says, “Yeah, I would’ve had more fun with you.”
I feel my protective walls disappear like they’re made of flour in the wind. I try to play it cool, but my demeanor brightens just like the sunshine lights a room even when the blinds are closed. I allow just one corner of my mouth to lift and reveal one of my deep dimples.
I shrug my shoulders, attempting to down play the tangible emotion surrounding my response. “I would’ve had more fun with you too,” I say.
He smiles that charming, boyish grin, nods once and then, true to his word that he was only going to ask one question, he turns and walks away.
Oh yeah. I will darn well be over Ryan soon. Really, really soon. Mmhmmm.


Nisa said...

These make such great blog posts, but you should really write it into a novel and sell it. Seriously!

Amy said...

Haha! Love it! I would have loved to have someone that into me!!