Boy it sure is hard to write 31 blog posts when one’s internet is terribly unreliable. I have still been trying to write every day, I’ve just been unable to post. This has been quite the exercise in patience! I really want to thank all the fellow 31 dayers for reading and commenting, it’s been really encouraging.
I’m behind on reading myself, so I think I will use November to READ. So, if any of you feel that your readership has gone down, don’t worry – I’ll be visiting a lot next month.
Onto the memories!
I’ve really done a number on my ankle this time around. And in the middle of the run of a show! What’s worse, it is my right foot, so driving is going to be impossible. I need to find someone in the cast or crew who can chauffeur me.
After asking around, I find that The Smurf lives the closest to me, so I ask if he would be okay driving me around. I apologize profusely for any inconvenience this may be, but he is a nice guy and agrees to help me out.
We make several Driving Miss Daisy jokes during the course of the show. After a few days of being driven around, I’m feeling less awkward with the situation and am enjoying getting to know The Smurf. He is nerdy, intelligent, and he is also a Christian, which is sometimes hard to find in the theatrical world. We have lots of nice conversations during our mini road trips.
I don’t trust people very easily, and I’m in a very difficult place trying to combat my depression. Something about this new friend is very calming. He seems able to sense when I’m down and either stays silent or gives me an encouraging word.
We also begin a tradition – there is a stretch toward the end of the show when neither of us have anything to do. Since we are working for an outdoor theatre, we use this time to lay in the grass stage right in ear shot of the show. We take this time to chat about how things are going with the show, or talk about our mental states, or simply and quietly stare at the stars. It’s nice to have a new friend.
I’m now in the rehearsal process for my second show with this new company. I am getting the hang of outdoor theatre, and I’m really starting to feel like part of the group. The Nerd (my new name for The Smurf) is in the show as well. The show is Twelfth Night, one of my favorite Shakespeare shows. A shipwreck, disguises, twins, mistaken identity, unrequited love, practical jokes – it’s a fun play. The Nerd will be playing the role of Malvolio, and he is hilarious.
My ankle is somewhat healed, so I don’t need him to drive me around this time. We have become close, however, and I have started visiting his church. I am in a weird place both emotionally and spiritually – I don’t have a church home at the moment. The churches I have been a member of in the past were all lovely churches, but I never quite felt that they were ultimately where God was leading me.
The Nerd’s church is much more liturgical than I am used to (I was basically raised in a Southern Baptist environment) – but something about the liturgy calls to me. I’m asking lots of questions, and starting to feel like maybe this church is where God wants me to be. It doesn’t hurt that I have a good friend welcoming me and answering my questions.
We are all at the theatre waiting around for rehearsal to start, when The Nerd comes over to me and tells me he wants to talk to me for a moment. We step over to the side out of earshot of our friends.
“So, everyone is gossiping about us a lot lately.”
This is true. It seems that the theatre loves gossip (not a shock) and that if two people of the opposite sex seem to be getting close, automatically the group decides to become matchmakers. Actually, the same is true for two people of the same sex. The theatre loves a good romance. Or at the very least a good showmance. It seems they’ve noticed how close The Nerd and I have become, and that has led to lots of talking.
Quite a few of them have made comments to me. My reaction is usually a simple – “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And, that is somewhat true. I like The Nerd. He’s a lot of fun. I will admit that I am attracted to him. This doesn’t necessarily mean we need to jump into a relationship. I don’t think I’d mind if we did, but I’m not one to “jump” into anything.
He goes on to tell me that he is not interested in a relationship right now. He feels that he isn’t in a place to be ready for that. I reply, jokingly, that it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to be in a relationship with him, but that I don’t feel that I’m ready for that either. And that is the end of the conversation.
Sure, it was somewhat awkward, but I am relieved. There were several times in my life that I was in “undefined” relationships. I would basically be dating a guy, but he would neither commit nor tell me to buzz off. I basically felt like some sort of “in-between” girlfriend until he found someone else who was better than me. None of these guys ever had a conversation like this with me. I was so happy that The Nerd did. It made me feel like he respected me and our friendship.
The Nerd is absolutely my best friend. I hate talking on the phone, but I can talk to him for hours. He understands me in a way no one else can. We have similar thoughts and beliefs about life. And, quite frankly, he’s so much fun.
It is spring of 2011. I have been with the outdoor company for a year, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I am currently running tech for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, which is a terribly funny show in which three guys set out to perform all of Shakespeare’s plays. The Nerd is in the cast, and he and the other two guys are rocking it.
There is a bit in the show where The Nerd’s character is trying to escape, because he does not want to cover a particular show. His “escape” is the beginning of the intermission. Part of the bit is him running up to the tech booth and threatening to kill me. It’s fun and plays really well.
He’s funny in that he apologizes to me each night for the threat. So sweet.
One night after rehearsal, we’re chatting and he is walking with me back to my car. I’ve just helped lock up, so we are the last two in the parking lot.
“If this were a date,” he says, “This would be the part t when I would kiss you goodnight.”
This is somewhat out of the blue, as recently we had another talk about how important our friendship is, and how he still believes we should remain friends.
“That’s true…” I say.
He asks if he can. I say that it would probably be an act that puts our relationship in a box, but I tell him he can kiss me.
And boy does he! I don’t think I have ever been kissed that passionately. I can tell this is something he has wanted for a long time.
He then promptly starts panicking and pacing, mumbling about how he hopes that it was okay. I think he’s worried that he’s messed up our friendship. I assure him that everything is fine, and he pop kisses me again quickly, then decides that we shouldn’t do that again for a while.
A week later, we are having a prayer session in the grass on some property belonging to the church, and he mentions that “one day” he’ll give me a “real” kiss. And then, he does.
Just a couple short months later, in July, The Nerd takes me back to the property for us to pray together again. I take my shoes off, as I usually do, and start to sit down.
“Wait.” he tells me.
He then drops to his knee, takes out a ring box, opens it (upside down, by the way), and asks, “¿Quieres casarte conmigo?” (Will you marry me?)
I am so excited. Up until that moment, I have never felt so much happiness all at once.
“¡Sí!” I exclaim. We then start kissing, and he almost forgets to put the ring on my finger. I have to ask him for “the pretty.”
We then lay down in the grass in bliss, crying uncontrollably with happiness.