You Picked Me

You got me. Searched the sand and climbed the tree and brought me back down. – “You Picked Me,” A Fine Frenzy

I don’t know that I subscribe to the belief that the thing you need or want comes to you when you least expect it or aren’t looking for it or whatever. I believe you have to put yourself in a position for things to happen to you or opportunities present themselves. I also believe that other people’s choices have much more of an impact on our lives than we are willing to admit. However, in the case of Marie Harrison, I had resigned myself to a different life when she found me. It was a holiday weekend, I was sitting by the pool and relaying to my best friend my decisions concerning The Sister. I knew she didn’t want to be with me, but I also knew that even just talking to her and sitting next to her made me feel better. So I made the decision to friend zone myself, get rid of any expectations of a deeper relationship, and take what I could get. Not the most productive plan, but I at least had something to look forward to. Then came a message from a girl I would never have anticipated.

I had deleted all of my online dating profiles, but on one particular site I apparently forgot to deactivate my account also. Sitting by the pool looking at my phone, I get an email that says I have a new message. I open the email, which shows me the first few sentences of the message. It read: “Wanna know the best thing about your profile? Your smile is infectious.” I was incredibly intrigued. I’m sure most of you know this, but the typical opening line of any online dating message is “Hey.” The occasional “Hey there.” Give me a break… So a well thought out opening line caught my attention. However, I was secure in my recent decision to live in The Sister’s friend zone, and not interested in getting hurt again by unrealistic expectations. So I let the message sit. For three days. Until I couldn’t take the suspense any more.

I logged back into that particular dating site and read the message. It was incredible. She was well spoken, cracked jokes, complimented me the right amount, asked questions, and ended by saying she would be interested in getting to know me. I was impressed. I looked over her profile, and there was very little that I didn’t like. She was one year older than me, didn’t have children, didn’t WANT any, had a great job, loved to travel, and her pictures were fairly attractive. To be honest, I was surprised she was interested in getting to know me.

I sat on it for another day before I finally messaged her back, thanking her for her message and commenting how her thoughts on my smile made me laugh as most people know me by my resting bitch face. She said she couldn’t see it. We continued chatting that week as I read her profile over and over. One of the statements she makes in it is that a drawn out online courtship generally serves no purpose; you know within about 90 seconds of meeting someone in person if you’ll be able to get along with them or not. This line of thinking worried me, as I generally look great on paper and hold much better conversations online than I do in person. But one of the lines on her profile read “grab the bull by the horns and lets meet.” So a week after receiving her message I took a deep breath, swallowed my fear and asked her to dinner. She agreed.

We met for sushi three days later. I was incredibly nervous. She seemed somewhat indifferent. She would tell me later that she assumed we would get through dinner, have a decent time, and that would be the end of it. But then she saw me standing outside the door to the restaurant, and as she sat in her car looking at me thought there might be more to this after all. As she walked toward me she smiled. I smiled back, then immediately looked away. So did she. She told me her real name, which she had concealed because it is so recognizable. We went in, had a great meal, and great conversation. Topics ran the gamut- what our jobs entailed, how we came out to our family, the annoying parts of online dating. It seemed to flow easily. As we walked out to the parking lot she asked if I would be interested in doing this again, to which I quickly replied “of course!” Again, no game… She texted me later that night, and I texted her the next morning. There was hope. I consistently doubted the hope, but it was there.

On my way to our second date five days later, I had convinced myself she wasn’t interested. I’m not sure if it was just me overthinking, or how her replies had become more hands off, but deep down I knew she only agreed to meet again because she had brought it up originally and didn’t want to look dumb. I was wrong. I got to the restaurant (more sushi) with a bottle of wine she told me she had never tried, and she, in turn, handed me a Star Trek: The Next Generation figurine she bought for me at the nerd shop where her niece works. I was floored. A huge smile came across my face, and I finally relaxed. She liked me. I knew it.

The two of us a perfect fit. You’re all mine, all mine.

We ate sushi, played a board game, watched Dr. Pimple Popper on YouTube. It was the weirdest and best second date I’ve ever had. And I realized this girl could be the real deal. As the days went on I realized how great she was. How well we could go together. How much I enjoyed spending time with her. And I knew I needed to not screw this thing up.

I’m so pissed that I did.

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