One of the luxuries of being a teacher is having a two week Christmas break. Since I have begun teaching, at least a portion of my break has always been spent up North where I grew up. Most visits up North would consist of spending some quality time with my grandma. This year would be different after her passing in August. I had no desire to travel up to the cold state of Ohio for Christmas, but knew that staying home for two weeks straight would not give me anything to look forward to. After my grandmother’s passing, my mom and I were talking and we decided it would be fun to take a cruise the week of Christmas. This would give my parents and I something to look forward to and would save me from the sadness of going “home” to Ohio and not being able to see my grandma and paint her nails one more time.
So as Mom does best, she began planning our vacation and entered into a search for cruises online. Dad went along with our plans, as he does best, and our cruise was set. We were excited.
My best friend jokingly said that I should do a date on the cruise and I laughed.
And then later, another friend who would be “home” for Christmas asked if we would get to see each other. I told him we would not be making the annual trip North and that instead we were heading South to the Bahamas on a cruise! He texted back and said “You doing a date on the boat?” My reply was, “Haha, I don’t think so…”
And that was truth. I really didn’t think so. I don’t just get dates because they come out of thin air. I can’t just walk on a cruise ship and ask who wanted to take me out on a date. It takes a bit more than the snap of my fingers or a wrinkle of my nose. I had to join eharmony to get these 30 dates, remember?!
But it happened. My friends must have foreseen the future, because my date 19 was with a guy on the cruise ship. Here is the story and we will call him Jack because his first name really did start with a “J” and because what girl doesn’t wish to walk on a cruise ship and get swept off her feet by a guy like Jack Dawson on Titanic.
As nice as it would be to fall in love with someone that looks like Leonardo Dicaprio, I am very thankful our situation was not the same as the beloved love story of Titanic. No icebergs to be found in the Bahamas and we all safely walked off the ship five days later.
We began our cruise on a Monday and by Tuesday we discovered an area of the ship called “Serenity.” It was an area with no loud music or limbo contests, padded chairs and two hot tubs. You even had to be 21 years or older to enter. That was our kind of vacation. So Tuesday late afternoon, my mom and I were relaxing in the hot tub, when after awhile I left to go shower for dinner. My mom stayed in the hot tub and I think my dad was probably napping on one of the padded chairs. After I left, Jack and a girl entered the hot tub and my mom struck up a conversation with them, learning that they were brother and sister on a cruise without any other family members. They had been on several cruises before and neither one was dating anyone, so why not enjoy a cruise as siblings? They in turn asked her what made her decide to take a cruise over Christmas. My mom went on to explain that this was our first cruise and the reason we decided to come. She told them that she was here with her husband and daughter and then somehow my 30 dates got brought up. I think the transition happened when my mom explained that I went into a deep sadness after my grandma’s funeral and that eventually a month later I got a crazy idea to do 30 dates before I turned 30. These dates gave me something to look forward to and focus on other than my sadness. As she was explaining more about the process and the blog and even Mr. KJWTS to Jack and his sister, Jack mentioned that if I needed a date 19, to let him know. But then he added, “Or is she too out of my league?” My mom laughed and said, “Not out of your league, just way older than you.” Jack was about to turn 24. Eventually the conversation ended and Jack told my mom he would look for us at dinner.
When my mom returned to our room she told me the story about meeting Jack and his sister and I felt honored that he wanted to go out on a date with me, especially with not meeting me first. The first thought I had was, “Now that would be a good blog post!” However, without cell phone usage and over 2,000 people on board, I didn’t think it was very likely we would see him again. And I was right, we didn’t see him at dinner that night.
I pretty much forgot about it until the next night. My mom and I ventured back to the “Serenity” deck to see how crowded the hot tubs were. During our journey, we accidentally walked into a room where live Karaoke was taking place. We walked in, realized our mistake and immediately walked back out. Soon after, Jack came running out and said, “I saw you guys walk in and I need to meet the famous daughter!” I was a bit confused and so was my mom at first, but she soon recognized that this was the same guy from the hot tub and she introduced me and then called my dad over to introduce him as well. He told me that he heard all about my 30 dates goal and then said, “So you are on date 19?” I nodded and smiled, thinking he was cuter than I expected and he continued on. “Well if you need a date 19, let me know,” he said. I told him that I would love for him to be my date 19. He then turned to my dad and said, “Is it okay if I take your daughter out on a date?” My dad laughed and told him that he was the first date to ask him that question. Jack seemed pretty smooth and confident and I was impressed. We set our date for Friday at 12:30. I asked him where we should meet and he suggested that he could pick me up at our room. I gave him our room number and date 19 was set. As he turned to leave my mom told him, “You are a very mature 24 year old.” He laughed, said thank you, and returned to the Karaoke room.
When Friday arrived, it was still warm enough to wear a sleeveless dress. I was excited about that because for some reason it is more fun going out on date in a dress. I pulled on my boots and waited for the knock on our cabin door.
A few minutes after 12:30, Jack came to pick me up and we set off to the restaurant for lunch. As I walked towards the elevators, he suggested we take the stairs. Even though it was about 5 or 6 stories up, I wasn’t going to disagree. We finally reached the dining room of the ship’s restaurant and I was hot from our mini workout. I picked up my menu to fan myself a bit and told Jack that it was hot in here. He agreed with me immediately and said he thought he was just hot because he was nervous. That was cute. I smiled and told him it really was hot in there.
After we ordered, he brought up the topic of my 30 dates. As he asked me a few questions about it, I thanked him for being willing to be my date 19. He told me that he figured he had nothing to lose and that it would provide some fun for the both of us. I agreed and he said, “It is not like I actually thought I had a chance with you anyway.” He went on to explain that he knew I was way out of his league and that I could probably get any guy in my own age range, I didn’t need to go down to his. Jack was quite the smooth talker ladies and gentleman (there has to be a few guys that read this blog, right?!).
During our lunch conversation, he asked me what kinds of qualities I was looking for in a man. My answer was that first and foremost he needed to have a strong faith and that from there the other qualities that I was seeking would probably line up. He asked me if it needed to be a certain faith and I nodded and went on to explain that I was looking for someone who lived for Jesus, who loved Him with his whole heart and that didn’t just live their life for their own pleasure. I went on to explain that I was looking for someone who had similar values and morals as myself. Jack asked me, “What if you found someone that had similar values and morals, lived their life for others, but didn’t necessarily claim that it was all for Jesus, would you date them?” I paused for a second, knowing full well that those who do not share the same faith as myself can look to Christians as judgmental and stuck up. That was the very last thing I wanted Jack to think about me. I smiled at him and shook my head. “No I wouldn’t,” I answered softly yet boldly. He began asking me questions about how I felt about certain controversial topics that Christians are known to stand against. I told him that I am aware that not everyone has the same beliefs that I do. I live my life based on what the Word of God says. I went on to explain that I understood that not everyone did that, so I could not judge others that lived their life different from mine. If they didn’t choose to live by the Bible, I couldn’t expect them to make the same choices and decisions that I did in life. I told him that I thought what I believed was the truth, or else I wouldn’t believe it, but that not everyone believed the Bible to be true and I understood that. I tried to explain to him that is why I needed to date someone compatible to me regarding my faith because if not, I believed we would clash in future decisions regarding our relationship. He nodded and told me that made perfect sense to him. Was I trying to get him to believe what I believed? No. It was not the time for that. I felt the Lord guiding me to show him that not all “Christians” are judgmental and get every chance they can to discuss what they are against. I don’t want to live my life letting everyone know what I am against. I want to show them what I am FOR. And I am FOR Jesus. I was just led to show him Christ’s love, even though Jack didn’t believe in Him. I later found out he was Jewish but not really practicing. He said he saw something beautiful in me and that he could tell from the minute he met me. He went on to explain that it was more than just my outside looks. I silently thanked Jesus right then and there for shining through me. I felt extremely blessed to be surrounded by the light of the Holy Spirit.
We were the last ones in the dining area for lunch and I suggested that we should probably go. As we got up to leave, he suggested we go to the deck below and sit at the bar awhile to continue talking. I agreed, actually happy that he still wanted to spend time with me even after all my “Jesus talk.”
At the bar, he ordered a drink for me stating that he needed to actually buy me something on this date, since the food is all inclusive, but the drinks were not. I gladly accepted and thought that was considerate of him. We talked about his job and that he lives in New York and he told me that I should come visit him sometime. He spent the next 5 minutes explaining where he would take me in the City if I ever ended up visiting him.
Towards the end of our date, he brought up Mr. KJWTS. My mom had mentioned him prior in the hot tub when they first met. He asked me if Mr. KJWTS had the qualities I was looking for. I told him that I thought so, but sometimes it still takes time to see if we are compatible. I told him we were on our 6th date. Jack shook his head and smiled and told me he was jealous but that was good for Mr. KJWTS. My heart melted a little. I enjoyed being around Jack and I told him that. I told him that he was very sweet, mature and confident and that I liked that. He told me that he has never met such a smart, beautiful, down to Earth woman before that made him change the way he thought about things. I told him I wish I could write that quote down for my blog, because that was the kindest thing he could have said to me. “It’s not like I am changing my beliefs,” he said, “You just have made me consider others a bit more.” I understood what he was saying.
Soon after, he said that he had to go meet up with his sister. He asked if I wanted to meet up with him later that night around 10pm. I told him I would and we parted ways.
I walked back to the room, thanking God for my date 19. My dad and I took a walk and I realized I didn’t have a 19 in my picture. So we went searching and found this.
I knew this was going to be a good blog post and I was already excited to write it. I thought it was great that I found the lifeboat with a number 19 on it, but thought it was even greater that we never had to use those boats. Again, thankful this was not the Titanic. Although I did have a new found craving to watch that movie again.
Later that evening, I changed into jeans, a nice top, and some new fancy earrings that my mom bought for me on the ship. I went to dinner with my parents and then came back to the room to freshen up my make-up and set off to meet Jack back at the bar at 10:00 on the dot. I didn’t see him when I arrived and walked around for a bit. After awhile, I sat down near the bar and waited. 10 minutes later, I did another round (of walking, not shots, mind you) and sat in a different spot closer to the bar. Then finally, after another 10 minutes went by, I decided he wasn’t going to show up. I waited around 5 more minutes to be safe and then went back to my room. I told my parents he didn’t show up and started getting ready for bed. I couldn’t really blame the guy. I just figured he probably met someone way more fun than me, who actually did rounds of shots 😉 My dad told me that I didn’t seem too disappointed and I told him I wasn’t. I got into bed but had a hard time falling asleep. As I tossed and turned, I wasn’t thinking about Jack and how he stood me up. Instead, I was thinking that in the morning I could finally turn on my phone and text Mr. KJWTS because we would be back at port.
The next morning, as we were leaving the ship to return to our car, Jack texted me. I forgot to mention that he had asked for my number on our date, but I didn’t have his. I was thinking I would never hear from him again. His text said:
“I’m sorry about last night. I ended up falling asleep on accident at 8pm and slept the rest of the night. I hope that you weren’t waiting for me too long. It was great meeting you. I’m glad we got to go on that date.”
I texted him back right away and told him that it was not a problem and that I was also glad we met and that I was very thankful he wanted to have lunch with me. I told him to have safe trip back to New York.
Yes, he stood me up. Who knows if he really did fall asleep or not. It doesn’t matter what happened, because he gave me this blog post to write about. So who can be mad about that?!?
11 dates and counting down. Until this weekend when I write about my 7th date with Mr. KJWTS that will be taking place this week.