I said I would back off. And I did. I said nothing for 2 weeks. Then the weather was nice.
I texted him. I wanted to let him know there were no hard feelings. That I wasn’t mad about the situation. It was simple, “Hope you aren’t working too hard and get to enjoy this amazing weather.” Truly, over 60 degrees in November is a big deal for Cleveland. Last year we had snow in October. I’m taking full advantage before its too cold.
He responded. And asked how I was. I wasn’t trying to start a conversation, so I just said “good”. Which was effective in ending the communication. I was intent to let him initiate conversation moving forward….. except his stupid jacket was still at my house. And it was driving me crazy. Like a scab you keep picking at and it never fully heals. I needed it out of my house in order to not be tempted. To have full closure. To be able to fully back off.
I texted him about the jacket. He reiterated that yes he really did want it. I suggested meeting up the next day, and he agreed in the most annoying way possible, “Don’t see why not”. Dude. Ok. So when my cousin texted me the next day inviting me over for dinner, pizza and wine night, I said yes. I said yes because she is a person I value, and friends come first. I told Rural that something came up. I should have just not said anything waiting for him to make a solid plan for that evening, but I’m too nice, and I knew he wouldn’t.
Tuesday (election day), I had to get out of the house. I needed a distraction. I decided to run some errands. Before I left the house I put the jacket in the car, thinking that I could text him to meet for a drink, and it he were to respond and say yes, then I have the jacket to return.
The plan was to return the jacket, and then go home. Monday, had I dropped off the jacket, I would have been able to stick to the plan. I was annoyed with his response, and annoyed at the jacket and life. Monday, feeling a tad evil I intended to leave him with the jacket and wanting me.
Tuesday, that plan didn’t work. He told me he voted for Hillary.
(Carpenter=Rural, and nice to know my friends know me so well. Ha!)
He was surprised when I said that I voted for her too. Said he thought I was more conservative. That I gave off a 1950’s house wife vibe. I explained that being feminist and also liking to cook and bake is not mutually exclusive. I do those things because I genuinely enjoy doing them. I said the term “bleeding heart liberal” could be used to describe me. That I have a lot of socialist views. I think I caught him a little off guard. I stay home with my kids not because that’s a woman’s place, but because I had the privilege of a situation that allowed me to take care of my children during these preschool formative years. I’m not against using day care. I have used it even as a stay at home mom, again this was a privilege. I found myself in the situation, like many other woman, where my job would not pay me enough to be able to send two kids to day care full time. I made that career sacrifice because financially it didn’t make sense.
What I noticed was Rural making judgements about me based on my hobbies, my house, and my job as a stay at home mom. He had a narrative in his head, that wasn’t even close to the truth. He had done this regarding projecting the attitudes of other women regarding dating onto me as well. But to be fair, in getting to know people often I let the other person talk, and I observe. I hold back opinions. At one point I clarified reasoning behind my decorating style to him, and he made a comment that I didn’t volunteer that information, he had to get it out of me. Which, true, but also art of the conversation? There have been times that I say something, and he says why didn’t you say so, but I go back to why didn’t you ask?
We were finishing up our drinks and he said he would invite me back to his, but his house is really messy. I said something like “are you trying to come home with me?” he quickly answers, “yes, I am”. Which I thought was a bit bold. He wants to see me, wants to weasel his way into an invite back to mine, but can’t be bothered to text me? Ok. Anyway, he told me if not that’s fine, to think about it.
Next, he walked me to my car in the rain. And I was all about the standing in the rain and kissing, but he said, let’s make-out in your car. Um, my car that has food wrappers every where and water bottles, and kids clothes and papers and half-used tissues? Uh ok, wimp. Can’t deal with a little bit of rain.
I allowed him to come back to my house. I figured this may be the last time I see him, as I know I can’t keep making any effort. Then I allowed him to spend the night. I didn’t want to kick him out to drive home when he was obviously so tired. I really am too nice sometimes. Me: You don’t snore do you? Him: No of course not. But if I do just make me go sleep on the couch. He said, I’d put my arm around you, but then you’d just get too hot. He immediately falls asleep and starts snoring. Uh…. Not my favorite. New rule, no snoring. Unless you’re sick, then there is an exception. And if you are sick, then stay home.
So, he leaves in the morning. After coffee, of course. But it felt oddly peaceful. Like, I was at peace with it if this is how it ends.
Rural says stupid things, as evident in the blogging of our interactions, but he is also a nice guy who I think means well. From what I experienced in person, he is respectful, thoughtful, and genuine. He has no interest in putting effort into a relationship because he wants to build his business. This is what he says. I think, he thinks if he makes an effort at a relationship at this time, he will wonder if he could have done more for his business.
I can’t help but to wonder what he will miss out on with this singular focus. If he can’t figure out how to find a balance between his work, and his desire to find love and have a family. A desire he mentioned several times. Not directed to me, but that those are things he wants in life.