I went to a movie recently with a buddy of mine named Carl. I'm honestly not sure why we ever go see movies together, because we have extremely different taste. We usually agree on what movie to see but if I love it he loathes it, and visa versa, except for the occasional movie that we both hate.
Of course the theatre was packed because of the holidays, and he was all stressed about getting good seats and beating the crowd. Me? I typically could care less. Unless its a very significant film I've been anxiously awaiting, then that's all part of the fun. Flying by the seat of your pants; 'will they have tickets? Will there be an obnoxious group of teenagers in front that I have to throw popcorn at? If we get kicked out, what will we do tonight?' You know, stuff like that. Carl on the other hand acts like a grumpy old man the majority of the time.
So I had already been out that night hanging with friends and he asked if he could tag along to the movie. "Of course! The more the merrier". Well I'll back up for a second and fill you in on some history: 99% of the time Carl acts like he is in love with me. He's sweet, polite, and kind of shy and we always have the best time together. Whenever we watch movies he observes my face to see how I'll react instead of paying attention to the movie. Same with tv. Or he'll poke me and try and distract me, which never works because I get so into it. Well this movie wasn't much different. Only he started out that way, and then just quit all together. I never go to movies with friends and just sit there the whole time, quiet. I like to know what they're thinking! Discuss the plot, characters, etc. So I started bugging him as much as I could, the whole time trying to be cute and flirty, which rarely works well for me.
The movie ended and surprise, surprise, he hated it and I loved it. So a few days went by without hearing from him so I texted him when I got off work and asked him if he wanted to hang out, chill at his house and watch a movie or something. So I met up with him and we drove around town aimlessly. It was fun though; just talking and listening to the radio. He said he wanted to look around Best Buy so that was the first stop. After that he asked if we could just walk around the shopping center. It was arctic but I agreed, and after some time had passed we made our way into Borders: one of my absolute favorite stores on earth. I perused the cooking section, history, poetry, and of course-the classics, while he stepped away to make a phone call.
"So," Carl said, "I left my electric toothbrush at my parents house. Do you mind going on a little adventure with me to pick it up?" "Sure."
His parents live an hour away. And I later found out that several of his closest guy friends have never even met them before. So you can imagine that I would be a) very confused b) nervous, and c) trying very hard not to read into it. And electric toothbrush? Really? Lame excuse.
We started the long drive and once we made it into his hometown he said he wanted to take the back way so he could show it to me. "It's my favorite drive." Not reading into it.
He pointed out his elementary school, childhood best friends house, etc on the way there. I'll admit, I like Carl, and I was quite enjoying this little peek into his life. Like I said, he's shy, so getting any personal information out of him is typically near impossible.
Pulling up to his folks beautiful country home, my nerves were out of control, but I tried not to let it show. The house was beautiful and quaint, and his mother was absolutely lovely. Friendly, kind, and probably one of the funniest people ever. As I was looking at her I kept thinking, "She looks so familiar. Who does she look like?" It hit me all at once: Me. Still......not...reading into it.
After we had watched tv and chatted for a while Carl gave me a tour of the house, told me the stories behind the pictures on the walls, and introduced his family pets to me. His mom kept telling me stories about him growing up, showing me baby pictures, mentioning what a great man he is...OK, so I was reading into it. But come on! I'm a woman! It was all just too much to sweep under the rug and say "None of this is significant. We're just friends. He really was in desperate need of that electric toothbrush."
So when we were getting ready to head out, his mom gave me a big hug telling me to come back any time, and waved at us as we pulled out of the drive way. Another moment of honesty: I totally felt like the fiance or something, meeting the mom for the first time. It was so weird! I mean, I liked it, but Carl and I had never talked about liking each other. So we finished the ride home, listening to big band music with him sharing personal life experiences about his family, and childhood and so on. What a great night.
A week went by without a word from him. I had texted him once without a response, so needless to say, I was very confused. But whenever I would talk to any of my girlfriends about it they would say "Oh he's so in love with you. He's just shy. He's putting himself out there waiting for you to make the move." Or, "He took you to me his mother?!" And other similar responses, that only confirmed what I ultimately believed.
After taking polls and asking peoples advice, everyone said to just ask him. In these kinds of situations my fear of rejection runs deep, not that it's an easy task for anyone. But with all my friends backing me up, I felt confident that this time would be different.
I waited for the right opportunity to ask him in person, but it never came (and no that was not just me wimping out) so I finally decided a text would be the best way to ask. I hate the idea of having that conversation over texting, but I thought it might take the most pressure off of him since he is so shy.
His answer: No.
I was thoroughly disappointed and embarrassed. How could that be?! All the signs were there. All my girlfriends agreed.
So now, things are sufficiently awkward I would say. I haven't heard from him since and when I ran it by a mutual guy friend of ours he said "Well I could have told you that." Ouch.
I know that I shouldn't let that keep me down, and discourage me from trying again if the opportunity presents itself with someone else. But I'm not going to lie, I have zero desire to EVER put myself out there again. Am I the only one?