Saturday, April 18, 2015

How I Found My Unicorn

This is the second part of my post from my previous blog and it simply must accompany the post before it.  Without further ado, I give you the "conclusion post" if you will.  I call it, "A Story About A Unicorn."

In my last post, I did a lot of talking about animals:  I touched on horses, donkeys, and finally, the ever-elusive unicorn.  I'd like to delve a little deeper into this topic, and so today, I bring you a story about a unicorn.

Let's start from the very beginning.  As you all know, I was rocked by a series of changes in my life several months ago that had me feeling like life was completely spiraling out of control.  For those of you who actually know me, or I guess everyone who reads this blog, you know that I am a control freak to beat all control freaks most of the time.  Clearly, this was a major problem.

Very soon after the first change in my life, I was approached by someone who I considered to be a friend.  While we probably were more like acquaintances in regards to how well we knew each other, we got along  well and I had come to adore his wife in the few times that I'd met her.  This friend informed me that he had a friend I needed to meet.  Well, as nice as that gesture was, and as much as I sincerely appreciated it, I was clearly not in that frame of mind.  Moving on....

After time passed, and I was ribbed by pretty much everyone to "get back in the saddle" and get out there, I started dating. I'd been out of the game for more than six years.  The last time I had been on a first date, I was nineteen years old, and I was a completely different person.  Enter some of the strongest fear and most active nerves I'd ever experienced.

I had first dates with some great horses, and even some second and third dates.  I had first dates with a couple donkeys and, needless to say, they didn't go anywhere.  I was starting to get the hang of this dating adventure, but that was also coupled with the thoughts of, "I can't believe I have to do this all over again."  It was weird answering the same questions over and over again when you were used to being with someone who already knew all the answers. 

This dating thing was work, I tell you!  Not only was it emotionally draining, but I found that my regular routine for my life suffered because I was running out of time to do things. It was exhausting and to be honest, more than once, I wondered how people serially date in this day and age.

I don't take this part of my life for granted though, because I really believe I needed to experience that fear and that nervousness about not knowing what was going to happen.  The control freak in me needed a reality check, and I'm pretty sure this counted.  I needed to know that people plan and God laughs, and that if I don't know exactly where I'm going or what activities are going to be done, or what outfit is appropriate, or if I will be liked, I'm not going to die.  I actually will be able to still exist in the world and breathe just like I did before.  Dating like that really opened my eyes to a lot about life, people, relationships, and most importantly...myself.

So, I know you're probably thinking, "This is grand and all but I only read this post because I like unicorns, and so far you've failed to mention any."  Well, remember that friend I was talking about earlier who had someone I just needed to meet?  Throughout this dating I was doing, he popped back up and suggested multiple times that we make this meeting happen, and after stalling and stalling - finally, I decided to jump.  The dating of other people gave me the tiniest bit of confidence to put myself back out there.

We decided to have a double date/blind date.  My friend, his wife, and this friend I needed to meet would meet me at a restaurant and we'd have dinner, and then we'd go play mini golf to give us plenty of time to talk.  This was the first blind date of my life.  All I knew was this guy's first name, and that he couldn't have a facebook because of his job.  I was also told that we should meet during the week because it was better for his work schedule.  I honestly thought I was going to throw up or have a heart attack.  I wasn't sure which, but in my eyes, neither was favorable.

I tried on at least 12 outfits the night before and finally settled on a simple black dress that could be dressed up or down.  I accessorized with silver jewelry and flip flops (because I had no idea if he would be tall or not, and a girl has to consider these things). I got in the car that night and panic immediately ensued. I literally thought my heart would beat out of my chest or that I would pass out - I don't know what I was worried about.  Who wouldn't be interested in a girl that passes out as soon as she sees you?  I know, right?

I had fleeting thoughts of the blind date horror stories I'd been told by my friends and colleagues as I walked into the restaurant.  I opened the door, and there they were - and HELLO, HE WAS GORGEOUS!  Then, he smiled, and he was even more gorgeous, and I really thought passing out might happen at any moment.  He had a strong handshake, and we were seated soon after.  The boys sat across from the girls, and I hid my shaking hands in my lap. {Sidenote: Why did no one tell me how scary this was?!?!}

As an ice breaker, I said, "So here's what I know:  Your name is Ross and you can't have facebook because of your job.  What's your last name and what do you do?" He laughed and answered my questions, and I was extremely pleasantly surprised to learn that he had a real grownup job with social media policies! (Much better than the part-time college student or bartender I had in mind, not that there's necessarily anything wrong with either of those).

As the date went on, stories were told, questions were asked and answered, mini golf was played, and laughs were had by all.  I could not believe how easy this had come to be, and I was so excited!  Needless to say, I think my friend was right - I needed to meet Ross.  I needed to meet a good man who knew how to treat a lady - how to respect her, how to make her smile, and especially, how to make her feel like she was different than anyone else.

I can't say that the journey from the first date was easy for Ross - it took me quite a while to really open up to the thought of being monogamous again.  I'd been burned and I wasn't sure it was really worth it.  To put it mildly, he'd had more time to become open to the idea than I had, and even though I didn't really realize it, some part of me tried to push him away multiple times because, let's face it - I was scared to death.

Despite all the opportunities he probably should have thought that I was more trouble than I was worth, Ross never cut and run.  He continued to treat me the way he believed a lady should be treated - opening every single door every single time, taking me out to dinner, surprising me with flowers (he genuinely is a flower-delivering ninja), etc. An example of the level of thoughtfulness he showed me that is as fresh in my mind today as it was when it happened:  he planned a picnic beside a small waterfall and had made chicken salad sandwiches.  Because he wasn't sure if I'd like the way he'd made the chicken salad (he'd picked up on my particular nature regarding food), he had prepared a second sandwich for me (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich fixed just the way I do it) as a backup.  Let's all say it together now, "Awwwww!"  He even had bought the battery-operated tealight candles from Michael's so he could treat me to a candlelit meal!

Due to my fears, I still had walls up and kept a cautious distance, and while he chided me about it, he never pushed me in any way.  He just continued behaviors like I just shared with you.  I thought there was some magic time frame that had to go by before I could move on.  I never expected to meet someone so great so quickly. Would my friends that had known me as part of the last coupling accept someone else in that role? Everything was an excuse, and finally, with a little help from close friends, it dawned on me that I was being ridiculous.

Here's the giant life-changing discovery:  If I had a daughter, I would tell her to wait for a man that treated her just like I was being treated.  If I felt that strongly about it, why would I pass up the opportunity to have a man like that?  Why didn't I deserve the same thing?

Guess what?  I do deserve the same thing.  Every girl deserves to be treated this way, and God in Heaven, I hope each and every one of you find it!  It's amazing what it can do for your state of mind to be blissfully happy.  The next logical step for me was to follow the sage advice of one of my coworkers: "Girl, lock him down and lock him down NOW!" That's what I did and I'm ecstatic to report that things have been smooth sailing ever since.  I'm not saying it's cotton candy and snow cones every single minute, but it's pretty doggone awesome!

Bottom line, ladies:  Wait for a man to treat you the way you deserve to be treated.  Respect yourself enough to know what that actually means. You are a daughter of the King, after all!  And by golly, when you do find him, be open to receiving such a gift from God!

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