Posts Tagged ‘Dating’
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m going to go ahead and tell you that the date with Russ was almost over before it even began. I had a fashion crisis going through my closet, which is highly unusual for me. Nothing seemed to fit or fit right, and the maternity clothes that I knew would fit made me look pregnant (something I didn’t want Russ to figure out on his own – I wanted to tell him first). After my fashion meltdown, that did involve me in a puddle on the ground crying, I found a lovely nondescript charcoal gray dress to wear. It was loose in all the right places and yet I still felt good in it, so I was able to pull myself together. In fact by the time Russ got there I was feeling pretty good about myself.
Russ was wearing a navy blue suit, he looked so handsome that it took my breath away. His eyes were sparkling and his smile was so bright when he looked at me, that I blushed. I was touched when he offered me his arm and escorted me to the car, opening my door for me and everything! (I couldn’t help but think how pleased my parents would be at those gestures.)
“I hope you’re hungry,” Russ said as he slid behind the steering wheel.
“I could eat,” I said smiling at him, but I silently prayed that he wasn’t planning on taking me out for sushi.
Russ and I talked the whole way to the restaurant, in fact I was so engrossed in the conversation that I didn’t notice where we were going, so when I realized we were in front of one of the nicest restaurants in town (well definitely the one with the nicest view) I was surprised and excited! I had been there several times with my family but never on a date before.
Nancy’s Restaurant on the Bay had a reputation for wonderful food, excellent service, and a beautiful setting and for Valentine’s day they pulled out all the stops. As Russ and I walked in the door, I was handed a red rose, which I guess could’ve seemed cheesy but somehow it added to the magic. Ever, the gentlman, Russ seated me at the bar and after we ordered drinks (a diet coke for him and a ginger ale for me to try to make sure my stomach behaved itself) he went to check on our reservations.
I was sitting at the bar, marveling that I had never seen Nancy’s so crowded before when I heard a voice call out to me.
“Joy, I knew that was you,” a tall lanky man said as he patted me on the back.
I recognized his face as someone that worked with Rob, but I couldn’t remember his name. I smiled at him, while I looked past him for some sign that Russ was coming back. I didn’t want Russ to think I was trying to pick up some random guy on our date.
“Joy, I just wanted you to know that Rob told me about your situation and the decision that you guys made, and I want you to know that I’m really impressed,” them man said which immediately focused my attention back on him.
I felt like a glass of ice water had just been poured down my back, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” I asked.
“Rob told us about the baby and the adoption and everything, and I think it’s really admirable what you guys have decided.”
Everything seemed to start spinning, isn’t this exactly one of the things Rob and I agreed that he was not going to do? Isn’t this exactly the reason why?
“I, um” I couldn’t think of anything to say, and I felt my face flush and my eyes dangerously close to filling up with tears. Then to add to my stress I saw Russ looking at me, smiling while he made his way across the room towards me.
Rob’s friend saw where I was looking and still completely oblivious to the shock and upset that he caused he smiled at me, “well I can see that you have plans for dinner, I just wanted to tell you how great I think what you’re doing is,” and with that he disappeared into the throng of people waiting for their tables.
“Everything Russ okay?” Russ said as he took his seat next to mine.
“Absolutely,” I said, trying to sound more confident than I felt, “that was a friend on my ex-boyfriends.”
“Ah,” Russ said and he smiled reassuringly at me, and for the time being that friendly reassuring smile seemed to make everything else fade away.
Russ had the best laugh, it lit up his whole face and brightened his eyes. I found myself trying to think of the funniest stories I had just to see the way his eyes lit up when he laughed. I told him about the guys I worked with, he said I sounded like a proud Mother Hen, which made me blush.
It was a wonderful date, and Nancy’s lived up to it’s reputation. The food was amazing, we split the crab cake appetizer, I had a fish with artichokes and balsamic vinegar and Russ had steak. The server was silently attentive, always sliding in to refill glasses but never intruding on conversation. The conversation was great, we talked and laughed, the stars twinkled over the view of the bay, and everything seemed perfect and then it hit.
The check had been paid, we were sitting there talking, when I started to feel green around the gills. I guess I really hadn’t eaten anything as acidic as the Balsamic Vinegar that had been on the fish, and my stomach was not impressed.
“Oh please, no, not here,” I silently prayed.
The lull in our conversation brought Russ to his feet, “shall we go?”
“Yes,” I said, smiling tentatively, still praying inwardly that I was not going to be sick.
As we were driving back to my apartment, I was still praying and still fighting against the waves of nausea. If I could just make it inside my own apartment to be sick in the privacy of my own bathroom, everything would be okay.
“Hey, let’s get ice cream,” Russ said excitedly, turning into the Circle K where we met.
“Sure,” I said trying to smile brightly at him, I wondered if I looked as green as I felt, silently, inwardly praying not to be sick and ruin this date.
We ventured into Circle K, where he got a drumstick and I got an orange sherbet push-up pop. He was grinning like a kid as he started his drumstick while we drove on to my apartment. We talked a little but he was preoccupied with his ice cream and I was preoccupied trying to keep from being sick.
Ever the gentleman, Russ walked me to the door, he was saying all the right things to assure me that this had been a good date, indicating he would like to see me again soon. I smiled and told him how nice that would be, and then after unlocking my door, I turned and gave him a big hug and I dashed inside.
I just barely made it to the bathroom, where I was sick, sick like I hadn’t been since early on in my pregnancy. Clearly fish and Balsamic vinegar were not a good mix for me while I was pregnant. I had just brushed my teeth, splashed some cold water on my face, and come back into the living room. I was trying to decide how badly I had mucked up the end of the date, and while I was standing there I heard a surprising noise outside my door.
“Um, Joy,” a voice said, followed by a soft knock.
I opened the door and there was Russ, covered in ice cream that had leaked out from the bottom of his drumstick. There were so many thoughts running through my head that I couldn’t get a handle on them, I opened the door invited him in and then I burst into tears.
“Joy, what’s wrong?” Russ said, looking alarmed.
I went into the kitchen and grabbed him some paper towels and tried to get ahold of myself. Russ followed right behind me, still looking alarmed but looking like he felt helpless covered in ice cream.
“Russ, there’s something I have to tell you,” I said and the words came out in a rush, “I’m pregnant, and maybe I should’ve told you alraedy, but I liked you so much and I didn’t want to ruin everything but now you took me out on this wonderful date, and I ruined it by getting sick and leaving you on the front porch covered in ice cream. I’m so sorry.”
The words all ran together and at the end, the tears were sliding down my face, and Russ walked over to my sink where he dropped the drumstick, he wiped his hands clean, and then he gave me a hug. We stood there for a long moment, me crying and him holding me in his tight grasp. I couldn’t believe how could it felt just to be hugged. I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I had been hugged.
“Not a great time to start dating?” he asked.
“Probably not,” I agreed.
“But maybe a good time for new friends?”
“That would be nice,” I agreed, and with that our date, and any thoughts of dating while I was pregnant were over.
While Russ didn’t run screaming from my apartment, a few minutes later, I was curled up in bed thinking that for now dating was just not for me. However, I was at peace with my decision. I filed it under “lessons learned” and at least I had a new friend and Russ had not run screaming from the apartment. That was something.
I know that I’ve gone back and forth on this, but my situation with Russ is no longer just a hypothetical situation – he asked me out (for Valentine’s Day no less) and I said yes. It didn’t happen completely out of the blue, he called me a few times and we talked on the phone like high schoolers! We talked about everything, our families, our hopes and dreams for the future, everything but the one thing I’m wondering if I should’ve brought up – the baby. I love talking to him and the more I talk to him the more I like him.
I’ve been full of doubt and concerns about this situation. Sometimes it seems unfair that while I am pregnant and my life is all about the baby, Rob has moved on with his love life, shouldn’t I get the same opportunity? Should the baby really keep me from going out on a date with this man that is funny, kind and caring – he’s educated, gainfully employed, and seems to have so many of the traits that I’m looking for in a life partner.
Ever my own worst enemy, I can’t help but look down the road and play “what if” which makes everything seem to take on new importance. What if we really hit it off, when do I tell him about the baby? What if we fall in love and he wants to keep BOTH of us, would I let that affect my adoption plan? What if I tell him about the baby and he runs screaming in the other direction – am I really ready to deal with that? I keep telling myself that all of this playing “what if” is really borrowing trouble from tomorrow, especially since those were all things that might never come to pass, but then in the back of my mind “what if” would whisper again. I know I’m being silly, I know that a new and handsome man is not really going to change anything in my life, let alone my adoption plan, but still my brain shifts through all the options. It’s my greatest strength and weakness all at the same time.
Beth and John have purchased plane tickets to come visit in a month! Her email bringing this news to me also brought about a minor panic attack on my part, what if they reject me? What if they meet me (and presumably Rob) and decide that they wouldn’t want any child that came from the two of us. My panic attack lead me to sit down and with tear filled eyes write a big email to Beth laying out any and all potential problems that this baby could’ve inherited from Rob and me. I started with the normal things like our cat allergies, but I delved into the more serious problems. My struggles with school which lead to being diagnosed with Dyslexia and Rob “allegedly” having ADD, the alcoholism that Rob’s family brings to the table. I shook every genetic skeleton I could think of out of the closet and laid them out on the table for Beth’s inspection.
The email I got back brought even more tears. Beth treated each of my confessions seriously, she did not just send me back a dismissive letter assuring me that they just wanted a baby and would love it. She told me that John doesn’t drink because alcoholism is prominent in his family and that they would make sure that the baby grew up as John did, knowing the dangers of alcohol. She treated each concern seriously and laid out a plan of attack for how she thought she would handle that situation if it happened, and after each fear had been addressed then she assured me that they already loved the baby and that nothing so trite as dyslexia or ADD would make them not love the baby.
Her email brought tears to my eyes but it also brought me peace of mind. My fears had been addressed and assuaged. Beth and John would love the baby, if it wasn’t pink and perfect forever – it was theirs and for them, that was more than enough.
You know that feeling, when you’re working on a puzzle and the pieces all start falling into place? That’s how life feels for me lately. Everything is happily clicking along. I had another doctor’s appointment and everything is right on track for where it should be. Work just feels better now that I know where Cathy is coming from and I know that ultimately I have her support in any decision I make. I’ve still been in contact with the greyhound adoption group here, I’m still gathering information. New relationships are getting stronger than they ever were before.
Beth and I have been emailing each almost daily and the more we talk the more I feel confident in the bond developing between us. I have to admit that the scary thing about this “semi-open” adoption is that once the baby is in their arms and the paperwork is signed, there is nothing to stop the adoptive parents from never contacting me again. I had a small nagging fear that once they have the baby, they’ll forget about me and before long the pictures would stop, but the more I communicate with Beth – the less likely that seems. I feel like she understands that I love the baby and she doesn’t seem to be intimidated by that love at all.
Another new relationship that seems to be getting more confusing instead of less, is my relationship with Russ. He asked for my phone number yesterday and I think he’s going to ask me out. I really like this guy, he seems funny and kind. I admit that I feel a little extra affection for me that he could meet me at a time in my life when I am putting on weight and sometimes when I see him I’ve been green around the gills and it doesn’t seem to phase him at all. However, I go back and forth on the issue – should I even be dating in my current state? I’m just not sure. I am sure that when he asked for my phone number so that he could “call me sometime” that it made me feel likely a giggly school girl.
The only negative thing I have to report is that after the Internet fiasco, I went to have sushi with some of the guys from work. I thought that as long as I stayed away from the raw stuff I would be okay. (“Morning” sickness seemed so far away lately!) I had a harmless little California roll and ended up in the bathroom, unable to keep it down. The guys looked stricken and promised no more sushi until after the baby, but it was my fault as much as it was theirs. Frankly if the worst thing that’s happened in the last week is that I discovered that I can’t eat any sushi (and frankly won’t even set foot in a sushi joint!) until after the baby – that’s hardly worth mentioning.
The man who bought me my hot chocolate, his name was Russ and he is a flight student in the Navy. I know this now because I saw him in Circle K, and I smiled and said hello and thanked him for his generous gift. We talked for a few minutes and then we both had to head off to our perspective jobs. Russ makes me feel conflicted. He is handsome and generous, someone that in another time and a place I would love to go on a date with and I would be hopeful that a relationship would form, but can you date while you’re pregnant? I’m not sure, but as he hasn’t asked me out yet, I suppose that’s putting the cart before the horse.
With Rob back in town, Mary and I setup a phone call between us and Beth and John. I wanted to do it while he was still out of town, but he surprised me and said that he would like to be there. In an effort to show that I was willing to be accommodating I drove out to his house on the day of the call and they called us there.
It was a strange feeling, that feeling that this house that had been OUR house, was not mine anymore. It seemed a little surreal to be there as a visitor, but I was excited to talk to Beth and John so when the phone rang on schedule at 6:00 I could hardly keep myself from answering the phone like a breathless teenager.
“Hello?” I said, and for a split second I was filled with terror, what if this was Emily?
“Hello, is this Joy?” a woman’s voice said from the other end.
“Yes, yes it is!” I said excitedly.
“This is Beth,” the voice said.
“And John,” a male voice chimed in.
“This is Rob, the birthfather, I’m here too.” Rob said from the phone in the bedroom.
It is very hard for me to explain the connection that I felt to Beth and John from that very first phone call, but I felt an immediate connection. I felt a current of excitement between the three of us immediately. Beth and John started to ask questions about how I was feeling, what my likes and dislikes were now that I was pregnant. I told them about my recent cravings for Crab Rangoon, how during the really ferocious bouts of “morning” sickness my coworkers were bringing me french fries since they seemed to stay down better. I got a sense that Beth and John were happy that I had people in my corner. I told them about feeling the baby, and I could tell they were as excited as I was! I asked about what they do for a living, what preparations they had made, and without me asking they told me about the journey that brought them to adoption.
Rob stayed quiet during the first excited exchanges and then he cleared his throat and said “I have some questions I would like to ask.”
Hmmm, this was news to me.
“What religion are you people?” Rob said.
“We’re Catholic,” John said.
“I guess that’s okay, I wouldn’t want to give my baby to a Satanist or anything” He said.
Nervous laughter erupted from me, and I could tell it sounded off, but frankly, this was as unexpected to me as it probably was to Beth and John.
“I’m Mormon, so Religion is very important to me.” Rob announced.
In truth, Rob was raised Seventh Day Adventist and in college became LDS when he met his wife, well now ex-wife. He was a non-practicing LDS, early on in our relationship I had helped him burn his garments and other things that he was not allowed to wear because of his current Church status. I was a Christian Mutt, raised Episcopal, went to a Catholic School, and attending a Methodist Church – never during the course of our relationship was religion ever an issue – I was shocked to hear it was an issue today.
Rob asked more questions about their educational backgrounds, their relationship, and their family medical history. At this point the Rob was asking questions and John was answering them and I felt like a tub of cold water had been thrown on me. I knew about their education backgrounds and their relationship, all of the questions that Rob asked were in their profile. I also though asking about their medical histories was kind of funny because that was really something we brought to the table more than the adoptive parents.
Finally, Rob seemed out of questions and there was a pause.
“Would you like to exchange email addresses?” Beth asked softly.
“No thanks, have a good evening,” Rob said and hung up.
“I would!” I said at the same time, and then repeated it after Rob hung up, “I would really like that Beth.”
So we exchanged email addresses and said our good-byes. I hung up the phone feeling happy and hopeful.
I left Rob’s house that night a few minutes later. I had nothing to say about his interrogation, because I tried to remind myself that what we needed to feel confident in our decision was different and as long as he felt comfortable and at ease with our decision, it should ultimately make the whole process easier on all parties involved and who was I to say what should be important to him in this process?