Our First Date

On our first date, Seth took me to a hole-in-the-wall cafe featuring southern comfort food, and I internally raised my eyebrows at his choice. During the drive from my apartment he’d been talking out loud, trying to decide between the southern cafe and a steak restaurant down the street. I definitely would have gone with the steak restaurant for a first date, but ultimately I decided I liked that he chose a restaurant that suited him.

CrackerBarrelInteriorAlways a gentleman, Seth opened the restaurant door for me, and as I took in the decor, I realized this diner was Seth through and through. Following the hostess, I slid into the booth she indicated, taking in the antlers and farming antiques lining the walls. It reminded me of dinners at Cracker Barrel during family road trips when I was a young girl.

The small town country decor inspired me to order a chicken fried steak, and it was the best steak I’ve ever had. Granted, I’d only ever had chicken fried steak once before, but it absolutely melted in my mouth. Seth tried a bite (and then another) and teased me that I was going to be spoiled from ever appreciating chicken fried steak again.

Cookie_Ice_Cream_SandwichAfter dinner, Seth took me across town to try his favorite dessert – cookie ice cream sandwiches. We ended up splitting one because they were huge. Seth smiled at me across the table, and I giggled as melting vanilla ice cream dripped down my fingers.

When he finished his half of the ice cream sandwich, Seth went to wash up. Upon his return, he announced, “The men’s restroom door has a sign on it that says, ‘Use women’. But I’m not going to do that.” I rolled my eyes at his joke, and he gave me a rakish grin in response.

We walked around outside for a while, enjoying the night air, and on the drive home, Seth reached over to take my hand. My stomach flip-flopped, and I marveled at the fact that such a simple gesture could mean so much to me. My hands had been in my lap and not on the arm rest, so he’d really had to go for it. And he did.

His thumb stroked mine, and he glanced over at me as he drove, seeming to take me in. He tucked my hair behind my ear, sending shivers down my spine. But at the end of the evening, he didn’t kiss me goodnight. And I was immensely glad. 

I was surprised at myself for being pleased by the lack of goodnight kiss, so I mentally explored my reaction. I decided that I wanted him to kiss me, but I also had come to hope that Seth really was every bit the kind, honorable gentleman he seemed to be. So I was glad he continued to show himself to be a slow, steady, respectful man of character.

Seth hugged me goodnight, asking if I had anyone to take me to the airport for my business trip in the morning. Ashley had offered – wonderful friend that she is – but I told Seth what I’d told her. “I was planning on parking at the airport and expensing it. The company is willing to pay for parking.”

“What if I wanted to take you to the airport? Would that be okay?” He wanted to be the last to see me and the first to welcome me home. My heart melted.

“Yes,” I said with a smile, “That would be okay.”

“Great!” He smiled back. “Why don’t we go to church together in the morning; then we can stop by your apartment to get your luggage, and I can take you straight to the airport from there?”

I don’t usually look forward to business travel, but a morning of fellowship followed by a drive to the airport with Seth? This man had definitely given me something to look forward to!

Authentically Aurora

I Forgot My Pants

pants phoneBryan and I have started attending bible study together on Monday nights after work. I drive directly to his place from the office; then we carpool to the house where we meet with our group. In an effort to avoid spending 18 straight hours in my business clothes, this week I brought a pair of jeans to change into from my dress slacks.

Bryan’s garage has a touch pad for entry, so he encouraged me to let myself in and change clothes if I got to his place before he did. He arrived just five minutes after me, so we left shortly thereafter for our group’s discussion of Galatians.

I really like the group of people we meet with. First of all, they always have awesome food (this week, it was a delicious fruit, meat and cheese platter). But more than that, everyone in the group is insightful, kind, mature, and creates an atmosphere that is a safe space for open discussion. I think I’m the only one there in my 20s – everyone else is in their 30s – but it suits me.

At the end of the evening this week, Bryan drove us back to his place, and we started walking down the block to where my car was parked. But halfway there, I stopped suddenly.

“Oh! I forgot my pants upstairs!”

I turned around to walk back to his house and heard him chuckling. I glanced behind me, and he winked at me.

“If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that…” he began.

“…I hope you’d be a poor man,” I finished for him.

“…I’d have a dollar,” he completed his sentence, grinning at me.

And this is why I keep him around. This man is a gem.

Authentically Aurora

Sir Scintillation and his Quick-witted Quips

couple-laughingI wish quick-witted humor made me laugh out loud. For one thing, my abs could use the work out, but more than that, I hold clever humor in such high esteem that it seems like it deserves the visible appreciation of throw-your-head-back kind of laughter. But as much intellectual appreciation as I may have for a clever turn of phrase, by its very nature all it ever elicits externally is a quiet chuckle.

Bryan and I went on another date earlier this week. We have been seeing each other for about two months now, but as of yet, we are still testing the waters and not putting any labels on our relationship. Since Bryan is a gentleman and always drives, he had never seen the inside of my car. After some playful teasing about what the state of my car’s interior must be, I offered to drive us to pick up dinner for our night in.

I keep my bible on my passenger seat, so as Bryan climbed into my car, I slid the book to the floor. Bryan immediately quipped, “I’m not comfortable with a sword at my feet.” I grinned instantly, catching his reference to Ephesians 6 – the bible is the “sword of the Spirit”.

I tweaked my eyebrow at him with a sideways smile as I picked up the bible and moved it to the backseat. His response was immediate, “Jesus should never take a backseat.” Ugh! I groaned with a grin, rolled my eyes and put my car in drive.

During our delicious Cuban dinner, Bryan made a few more witty comments, all of which made me smile but none of which made me laugh.

Near the end of our evening together, he commented, “You never laugh at my jokes.”

My eyes widened in surprise. Had I hurt his feelings?

“I think your jokes are hilarious, but they’re not exactly laugh out loud kind of jokes.”

I thought for a moment, realizing that I don’t hear Bryan laugh often; then continued, “You actually don’t laugh out loud much yourself, do you?”

“I laugh out loud on the inside,” he told me with an adorably somber face.

A tried to hide my smile. “Me, too,” I said, and I kissed him gently on the cheek.

Authentically Aurora

A Gentleman’s Heartbreak

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 11.12.08 PMTonight’s post isn’t going to be my usual sardonic style. It is going to be a more subdued, sad post, because sad is how I feel. Tonight I broke the heart of a perfectly wonderful man, and I feel terrible.

It was our second time out, and on both dates, John not only made dinner reservations but also presented me with a bouquet of fresh flowers. I cannot remember the last time someone brought me flowers. My ex-fiance would occasionally have them delivered to my office for Valentine’s Day or my birthday, but he never hand carried flowers to deliver in person for no other reason than to let me know that I was cherished.

John dressed well and opened my door for me consistently. He told me that I was stunningly beautiful and wonderfully intelligent. Both nights after dinner, he had an activity planned for us. Tonight we went to a painting-and-wine venue, and he had the forethought to bring a cooler in his trunk, stocked with drinks for us to enjoy while we painted. He did everything right. He was a sweet, kind, thoughtful, considerate gentleman, but we had no personality chemistry.

Conversation was stilted at dinner on both dates. We had difficulty finding topics to discuss, and when I would ask him a question about himself, I found myself bored or disinterested by his answers. John was also a bit socially awkward. When he got excited about something, he would pump his fists in the air and yell loudly enough for other diners to look over at our booth, remaining oblivious to the impact of his outburst. He also tried to speak in broken Spanish to any waiter or waitress who appeared foreign (our Korean waitress looked offended).  He was incredibly well-intentioned, but I felt uncomfortable being with John. In fact, if I’m honest, I was embarrassed to be with him, which sounds awful, but it’s the truth. John treated me like a queen, and I appreciated that more than he probably realizes – it was so refreshing to be treated with dignity and care! – but I cannot marry a man whose behavior regularly makes me want to crawl under the table in embarrassment.

So at the end of the evening when John asked me if I would like to go out on a third date, I told him that I thought he was a wonderful man but that I did not feel like we had romantic chemistry. He was shocked and crushed. He told me in a heartbroken voice, “I really thought I was going to get a third date.” When his face fell, it made my heart ache to see such a sweet man in so much emotional pain, especially since I knew it was caused by me. I tried to encourage him, telling him all of the things I appreciated about him and how much he had to offer the right girl, but it was clear that he had already invested a lot of his heart in the relationship, even just two dates in, which is probably part of why I felt so adored.

Although John may have some things to learn in regards to emotional intelligence, many other men could learn a lot from John about the power of truly investing in a relationship and loving their partner well.

Authentically Aurora

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