Sunday, April 1, 2012

You had me at football

You know how sometimes you have a situation, and you can either be romantic or realistic? There's no overlap; it's one or the other.

For the first few years of my dating life, I looked at things romantically. We'll call that time period B.C. -- before catastrophe. Since emerging from that catastrophic relationship very much scathed, I did a 180. Had I written "Romeo and Juliet," Juliet would have woken up in the tomb, saw her dead paramour, thought back on how clingy and effeminate he was, thought about how unfortunately this had all turned out and left. That is what realistic people do. They deal with facts and get on with their lives.

This all leads me to now.

A few weeks ago, I went to a friend's ward for church. I knew a lot of the people in this ward, so it was perfectly normal for me to be there. After meetings were over, I sat in the lobby waiting for my friend to finish a meeting. Another friend came over and we started talking. A couple of minutes in, some guy came up and started talking to my friend. First it was church business, so I waited, well, not patiently, but quiet. Then he started talking about something else about which I cared nothing. I was annoyed.

He then introduced himself to me and we went through the typicalities of social interaction. Still nothing.

Then he said the f-word.

Ten minutes of mostly friendly arguing later, the friend I was talking to was gone; I had no idea when he'd left. The friend I was waiting for was waiting for me. We'd moved from football teams to conference championships to styles of play.

After leaving, I pointedly suggested my friend suggest to him that he should call me. I'd mentioned law school before football took over entirely, so I needed her to give him not only my number but also the recent change in my availability.

Interestingly, his availability also changed recently. He was recently accepted to school elsewhere. Bad news for me, good news for my mostly unbroken chain of finding men right before they leave.

Fortunately, it didn't matter. The odds of running into him again weren't great. Until tonight, when I walked into my friend's house for game night and discovered him sitting at the kitchen table.

Now I'm sitting here wondering if it's time to be romantic or realistic.

Realistically, he is moving across the country in four months. Even if I first felt this way and then were somehow capable of getting him to ask me out, get to know each other, fall in love with me and marry me in that time frame, a) I wouldn't want to, and b) I'm having a mini-panic attack just typing those words. And if there is already no future, then any potential relationship is doomed from the get-go and thus not worth the effort.

Romantically, he's the first available man I've met in a long time who hasn't bored me. He made me laugh. I actually want to get to know him better, which, given how not interested in people I can be, is a big deal. I want to make an effort. Less probable relationships have worked.

I know the right answer is to be realistic. But there's a little part of me I almost never let out who's jumping up and down, screaming shrilly that let's just jump and see what happens. (You see why I don't let her talk. What does she think is going to happen when we jump? That romance will trump gravity? If Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks can't do it, I ain't gonna.)

I need a third option. Romality. Wherein I am a reasonable and rational human being instead of a weathervane.

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