There is something amazing about the feeling of cool sheets on warm muscles. After a long day of slogging away at whatever millstone I am currently tied to – folding into a downy heaven of soothing fluff just couldn’t get any better. I roll over staring at my Christmas tree’s glow on the wall (which is still up by the way) and pull the covers up to my chin in bliss. In sweet and unabashed joy I recount the day’s events. They were all successful and satisfying. When I run out of simple topics to think about…
he crosses my mind.
And inevitably, the phone dings with a message.
I check the alert notification and yes, of course…
Why Hello. I was just thinking about not thinking about you.
It’s almost midnight and despite my best efforts to relax into my fluffy lump of tranquility;
He’s there. Four times.
God either has a twisted sense of humor, or the devil is trying to make me batty. I’m leaning towards the later of the two. A sudden complication has been steadily arising in my days back in Nashville. A strange and new one I am not exactly sure how to handle.
Sitting on my couch two nights ago with my roommate, LA, I stared in wonder at the realization that I’ve hit the age where being friends with a man is impossible. Apparently, as LA tells me, I am a few years too late to this party already, and it’s about time I showed up.
“You’re 26. It’s kind of amazing you’ve made it this long. There are no more close and easy friendship with guys. It isn’t smart. And it isn’t safe. We’re not in college anymore, you know.” She says with certainty.
I look at her wide-eyed like she has just told me the most shocking joke imaginable. My brain will… not… process… this…. And all I can eek out is a pathetically whispered,
“When did I get so old?”
“I don’t know. But I’m right there with you.”
It’s gotten complicated. Quickly and without warning this thing has swung into my life like an unwanted auntie who stops by to spend the weekend with me. And then it turns into two, and then three, then fifty-three. She then takes up residence in the basement, and starts hoarding cats.
It’s messy. It’s weird. And I don’t like it.
I stare at my phone in disbelief. It’s midnight. Why are you texting me?
So I rattle loose from my covers, put on some pants and I take the phone to LA in the next room. She has become my little red headed social decoder ring. “Does this mean something?” I say pointing to the screen and reading it aloud.
She shakes her head at the floor. “Oh – texting late at night… usually means something. Not always but usually.”
Instantly, I’ve gone from a college educated, world traveled emissary of the resurrected Jesus Christ into a puddle of gooey confusion you will probably have to scrape off someone’s shoe tomorrow. I just don’t know how to navigate these things.
“LA, I need wisdom – I need a dictionary for this. Do you think I could Google this moment?”
“I’m not sure Google is going to be helpful in this situation.” She flashes her signature smile and chuckles to herself.
Four years ago, when I was last in Nashville, I couldn’t get a date to save my life. I could have danced naked in the middle of a dinner party and no one would have noticed. And I don’t blame them – because I was a mess. A hot damn mess. And nobody wants to date a mess.
But now – all of the sudden – with my deliciously uncomplicated life and heart everything has started to become decidedly complicated. As if some imaginary line has been drawn in the sands of time where going to lunch or coffee with an old friend of the opposite gender suddenly carries certain…. connotations. It has certain implications to others and yourself and your dear man friend.
It’s not a coffee date… it’s a date date.
It’s not a show… it’s a date.
It’s not lunch or dinner or breakfast or brunch or linner or church or whatever… it’s a date.
GOD HELP ME GOOGLE! HELP!
I think I’m growing up.
And I’m not so sure I’m ready for this.
“Breathe Stacey. Breathe.” L.A. says to steady me. I lean into the door jamb and pout.
I shuffle back to my room and crawl into my bed. It’s less fluffy now. It’s less cool and sweet and wonderful and lovely.
“You see this is exactly why I didn’t want to get a phone.” I grumble to God.
“Don’t worry dear one. I’ve got you covered.” He replies with a wink.
So I pull my 1500 count bed sheets over my head and pretend it is 30 minutes ago. If God’s got me covered – then I know I am safe… for now. And it’s that thought I’ll take to bed with me tonight.