Snakes on a Plain

Indiana Jones snakes“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” 

After our walk in the park, Seth left again for his cattle ranch out in the country. We were apart for another week, but Seth called me every other day to catch up. I looked forward to his evening texts: “Want to chat?”

One afternoon he sent me two photos – a “Before” and an “After”. They were images of a rattlesnake he found in his woodcarving shed. Seth normally kills snakes with a shovel, he told me, but he shot this one because of how it was positioned on some old boards in the shed. No wonder he was so calm when we crossed a four-foot snake during our walk together. Indiana Jones has got nothing on my man.

Late one evening during our time apart, Seth called to ask about my day. I started telling him about choir rehearsal and dinner with Ashley, but there was a loud noise in the background on his end that was both distracting and keeping me from being able to hear what he said in response.

“What are you doing over there?” I called into the phone, projecting over a thunderous metallic sound. The noise immediately stopped.

“Oh, sorry,” Seth’s voice came clearly over the line. “I was sharpening my ax.”

“Um, what?” Sharpening your ax? 

I visualized Seth’s nonchalant shrug as he explained himself, “Yeah, I have to cut down some mesquite trees in the middle of a field tomorrow. I use a chain saw for most of them, but there are some I figure would be better taken down with an ax, so I want to make sure it’s sharp.”

I’ve dated athletes, musicians, engineers, photographers and doctors of various heights, weights, ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses, but before now, I never could have said that I have dated a genuine cowboy. He doesn’t just drive the truck and listen to country music. His pearl snaps aren’t made at Hollister. Seth is the real deal, and he has the callouses to prove it.

The first day of April, I answered my phone to hear Seth’s low drawl in my ear. Even across the miles, I could hear the smile in his voice and the weight of his words as he acknowledged for us both the significance of this day. “Happy Q2, Aurora.”

And I smiled back. “Happy Q2.” 🙂

Authentically Aurora

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Fools in Love – Part I

man with girly drink“Wise men say, ‘Only fools rush in.'” -Elvis Presley

My first and only date with K.A. was painful. He spent the entirety of our two-hour dinner complaining about his coworkers. He is a somewhat effeminate history teacher who speaks with a whine to his voice, even when he is not endlessly bad-mouthing his coworkers.

K.A. was not just disgruntled about his work situation; he was a downright bitter person – and not in a fun, acerbic, Grumpy Cat kind of way. He actually fantasized to me about his plans for revenge on one of the other history teachers, calling her an unkind name. As if listening to his ranting wasn’t painful enough, he didn’t ask me more than two questions about myself the entire night. Clearly he was looking more for a venting partner than a romantic date.

He’d taken me to a pub where they served beer and not wine, so although I’m not much of a drinker, I ordered a cherry beer, deciding to try something new (and perhaps dull the pain)! K.A. asked to try it, and he liked it so much that, when our waitress came back, he asked for a cherry beer of his own.

Some men can pull off drinking cherry beer. Maximus Decimus Meridius could pull off drinking cherry beer. Indiana Jones could pull off drinking cherry beer. Paul Bunyan could pull off drinking cherry beer (not that he would). But whining, effeminate K.A.? On a first date, no less? Not a great choice, bro.

Obviously K.A. did not get a second date. But that didn’t keep him from trying. A couple of weeks after our disastrous first date, he sent me a text: “We should go out again for cherry beer.”

First of all, don’t ask a girl out on a date over text message, especially after two weeks of radio silence. Secondly, don’t draw attention to the fact that you ordered a cherry beer for yourself on the first date.

I turned him down again, but he tried again the following week, sending me three late-night text messages: “Wish u were here out dancing… I could use a cute girl like you… Maybe you should come over here.” He sent a fourth text the following morning apologizing; then said: “I want to try taking you out. Will you agree???”

I worded my reply carefully: “Thanks for being bold and asking outright, but I honestly don’t think we are a fit romantically. You have a lot to offer a girl, but I don’t believe I am the right girl for you.”

Instead of accepting my repeated rejection of him, he sent a text back: “Oh I disagree.”

“Whole heatedly,” he added; then corrected, “Heartedly* …heatedly as well.”

I cringed. So awkward! “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested.”

His response came swiftly: “Whatever. Thought it would be fun. Have a nice life.”

Classy. That’s a great way to make me regret my decision. 

He’s probably drowning his sorrows in cherry beer. And sadly, that’s probably the only hint of honey he’s going to get in this lifetime unless he changes his sour attitude.

Authentically Aurora