Last Christmas there was a video that went viral of a sweet little boy opening up an avocado for one of his presents. Maybe you have seen it too. This year, over Thanksgiving, I saw it re-surface as we are now back in the season of Christmas. And when I watched it again, a flood of thoughts entered my mind. Here is the link to it on youtube, in case you haven’t seen it yet: An Avocado Christmas Present
Watching that video fills me with a smile and makes me want a little boy just like that one day. Although I will probably have to do a bit of training first in order to have a child that grateful. Because unfortunately, you will not find any videos of me like that. Shamefully, it makes me remember the Christmas when I was three years old. I walked downstairs Christmas morning and found a purple electric motorcycle that actually moved when you pressed on the petal.
I saw it near the Christmas tree and turned back to my parents and said, “I didn’t ask for that?!”
As you can see I look less than enthused.
Now to my defense, I don’t think I really knew what it was or how much fun I would eventually have riding on it and I was not, then, nor am I now, a morning person. A few years later, we started the tradition of opening our presents Christmas night instead of early in the morning, so that might have helped my gratefulness.
So with these thoughts, I started a new blog post over Thanksgiving and then stopped after I wrote only the title. This is actually a weekly occurrence for me. Almost every weekend, I desire to write and then I squash that desire down. It’s because for right now anyway, my stories about dating are not new and they are beginning to sound a bit redundant. Actually I haven’t been on a date for over two months. So my weekends are beginning to look like what they did prior to when my 30 dates began in 2014.
But I still have some dates to write about that took place back in September, when each weekend was filled with at least one date. So my attempt at interweaving re-living what happened in September and my current reality has me typing a sentence on this blog post and then eventually shutting my laptop computer and taking a nap instead. Because both re-living my dates as well as my current situation lacks excitement. And to be painfully honest, leaves me often times filled with sadness.
So why would I want to write in the midst of sadness? Especially when the sadness keeps turning to guilt for being sad. And especially because this sadness has lingered for about ten months now. I have my ups and downs, but I can’t pretend I am happy when I am not. So typing out that I still experience sadness almost every weekend makes me feel vulnerable and annoyed that I must not be doing something right to lift it.
So at a risk of sounding redundant, vulnerable and sad all at once, here is a story from early September.
Over the summer, Mr. Successful and I were first matched on Match.com. I don’t fully remember where that led, maybe one of us stopped responding to each other’s emails but it didn’t lead to a date. Then when I joined Bumble, Mr. Successful and I were matched again. Not really remembering why communication ended on Match, I messaged him on the Bumble app (women have to make the first initial contact).
After messaging a bit back and forth he asked if I wanted to grab coffee or lunch the following Saturday. I always appreciate when men are quick to set up an actual date instead of messaging for weeks on an app, that usually ends up tapering off into silence after a few rounds of the usual questions. So right away, I was impressed with this guy.
That morning he messaged me and we agreed on meeting for lunch at Panera. I arrived first and sat outside waiting for him. As soon as I saw him walking towards me I was a little bit surprised at how much I found him attractive. He was tall with dark hair and a killer smile. Since this was back in September, I don’t quite remember our first introductions (that is what I get for waiting three months to blog about it), but I do remember getting in line and ordering and him paying for our food.
As I filled up my water cup, a nice lady stopped me and complimented me on my shoes. We talked for a minute longer and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mr. Successful watching us and smiling. When I arrived at the table that he picked out for us, he told me they were pretty cool shoes.
So I have to include a picture, just in case someone is wondering what kind of shoes would make the guy with the killer smile compliment me. This is a picture from Instagram that I posted a few years back. On our date, I actually wore cut off jean shorts (in case that matters).
When a man compliments a woman on her shoes, he earns a few points right then and there. Lunch went well and was an excellent mix of each one of us doing the talking versus the questioning an even amount of time.
This is a side note, but lately one of my “go to” questions has been asking men what they find attractive in a woman on a date and most of the time, one of their responses is someone who knows how to ask good questions. I think asking questions shows interest.
Which is why I said our lunch seemed to be going well. The reason for Mr. Successful’s name is because during my time of questioning I found out that he played college baseball as well as in the minor leagues. I am sure he told me what team, but I forgot. He then later went on to become a golf professional (actually I may have the story wrong – maybe he just played golf for fun or maybe now he just plays for fun..). Anyway, I do know that he spent the last decade working his way up at a company where he now sits pretty comfortably, which is his reason for now wanting to settle down and have a family.
The reason I might have some of those details wrong is because as impressive as all of that is, I didn’t really care. Okay, so that sounds harsh, what I mean is…I did care on one hand because I was interested in getting to know him, but on the other hand, I just couldn’t stop wondering where the Lord fit into his life. And don’t get me wrong, when he was sharing, he did so in a very humble way and so I was not turned off by his arrogance. I actually wasn’t turned off at all, I just wasn’t “turned on” if you will.
Somewhere during lunch, our conversation turned towards dating and how these dating apps kinda cheapens dating in a way. It is great for meeting people, but Mr. Successful went on to explain that too many women are dating more than one men at a time because of it. I didn’t actually know how to respond to that, since at the time I was going on a date with a different man every weekend. So I tried and explained to him where I was coming from and he said he didn’t find anything wrong with that. What he meant was women were basically in a relationship with more then one men at a time or sleeping around (and I assume the same could go for some men as well). I assured him he didn’t have to worry about that with me. He laughed and at the end of our lunch, he asked if he could have my number. We had only been messaging on the app and therefore had not exchanged phone numbers yet. Again, I liked that. Many times guys ask for my number pretty quickly on the app, but for some reason, I prefer meeting first. However, I understand the pros and cons to both situations.
I gave him my number and he thanked me and said that maybe next time we could do dinner instead. I agreed and he walked me out to my car. I drove away smiling and selfishly thought it would be fun to go out with him again since he was so good-looking and great at carrying a conversation. But deep down, I knew we didn’t share the same passions and goals in life and figured it wouldn’t go anywhere beyond a few dates.
I got home that afternoon and checked my phone and saw another message pop up on the Bumble app from a guy that I had connected with the weekend prior. He is a college baseball coach and lives over an hour away from me, but his message explained that he would be driving through Columbia on the way back from recruiting and inquired about us grabbing a drink together.
Before responding, I texted both my parents and said, “So what are the rules about going out on two different dates with two different men on the same day?”
My dad said, “there are no rules, go for it!” and my mom said, “Go have fun!”
I messaged Baseball Coach back and asked him where he wanted to meet. He answered with, “anywhere with an ice cold beer.” I started looking for places around me and after I found one, I sent him an address along with a message asking him if it was okay if I got a soda (…a pop…for my northern readers…) instead of a beer. He responded with, “you can get whatever you want.”
Baseball Coach had obviously played baseball in college as well and as I sat and talked with him, I felt like I was talking to Mr. Successful 14 years prior. Mr. Successful was nine years older than me, while Baseball Coach was five years younger than me. I could tell the maturity difference and while I had to be the one to keep the conversation going, I still enjoyed my time with him. Just like Mr. Successful, Baseball Coach was good-looking, tall, with dark hair and a great smile. But the way the conversation seemed to go, he didn’t seem as interested in getting to know me. Maybe it was the maturity difference and his lack of questions or maybe he just wasn’t interested. But I kept the conversation going nonetheless, thinking this might be a shorter date than normal. I asked him a lot about his family and his current job as a coach and every once and while he would ask a return question.
After about an hour and a half, longer than I anticipated, I knew I couldn’t keep the conversation going for much longer without a change in scenery or some food in front of us. I asked him if he was hungry, since it was approaching dinner time. He told me that he had actually gotten food right before meeting me, so he was good. He asked if I was hungry and I really wasn’t. So after both realizing we weren’t going to dinner, Baseball Coach said that he should be going anyway. The head coach of the team had been calling, wanting an update about his afternoon recruiting.
We said our goodbyes and he mentioned that maybe we could get together again sometime. I think I agreed and then walked out to my car and waved goodbye.
When I returned home, a new number with a text popped up on my phone that said, “Thank you for a great time at lunch and I hope you have a great rest of your weekend!”
I knew it was Mr. Successful, but as a joke, I responded like this, “Hey, now who is this again…I am sorry?”
Within literally two seconds, I sent another text and said, “Just Kidding Mr. Successful (I used his real name of course), I knew it was you and thank you. And the same to you!”
He didn’t respond that day nor any other day after that. It’s like he knew I went on a date with someone else that same day.
I am not sure of the reason behind his lack of response. Maybe he didn’t think my joke was funny or maybe he really didn’t think I was joking and he thought my second text was my save. Or maybe he never really intended on asking me out again in the first place.
If I felt that we would have had some sort of future, I would have probably texted him and asked as well as clarified that I was indeed joking. But I didn’t really care to do so.
I also never head from Baseball Coach either.
And again, I didn’t care.
And I say that with all honesty. I know, again, it sounds kinda harsh. But it’s true.
So the reason I face sadness is not because these guys don’t ever ask me out again. I don’t ever feel rejected by them. I just know we don’t connect and I know we are not right for one another. So I usually am left with a sense of peace.
I just get sad that I spend my weekends either on dates with the wrong people or at home by myself. Those are usually my two options.
Lately I have realized why my sadness turns into guilt. And it is because sometimes sadness comes with some misconstrued thoughts that I need to learn to throw out the window.
Sometimes I think that being sad is a sin and I am doing something wrong because of it. But when I look up sadness in the Bible, I don’t read that. Instead I read verses like in Psalm 34.
Verses 17- 20 say this, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”
For example, yes, I am sad, but…
-I still have a peace and a contentment that stems from the fact that God has me in this place for a reason.
-I have not forgotten my many blessings that I have received throughout the years and even currently this year.
-I have not forgotten my self-worth that comes from our Heavenly Father.
-I have not forgotten how much I am loved by Jesus as well as my awesome parents.
-I still know that God’s plans are so much better than anything I could imagine for myself.
-I am not wasting these years of singleness nor waiting to start truly living when God brings me a husband.
So maybe this is just still a time of healing and sadness for me from my breakup in March. I get a little annoyed with myself that after all of this time, I still dwell on that, even when I know it was for the best. But people reassure me that healing from breakups don’t fit into a nice, neat, time table. It doesn’t mean I am doing anything wrong and it doesn’t mean I should be doing anything more. It just must be my time to weep. And thankfully I do believe it is just for a time. As in Ecclesiastes it tells us there is a time for everything.
A Time for Everything: Ecclesiastes 3
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
So in this time of weeping and mourning (that sounds like such a severe word, but it’s sometimes fitting), I will still proclaim that God is good.
Because I really do believe the common phrase that…
God is good. ALL the time. And ALL the time. God is good.
I can picture the day in my future, when I finally do get engaged. And I picture people telling me, “See…God is so good.” But I want to proclaim that now. Now in my time of sadness. God is good now. I may be waiting on my man of God to come propose to me, but I am not waiting on God’s goodness. That is here. At this very moment.
I will continue to wait for my time of laughter and dancing and in my waiting I will say thank you.
I will come home from a date with a man who is not meant to be my husband. And I will say thanks for that opportunity.
I will spend another Saturday with my parents who love me so very much and build into me. And I will say thanks for them.
I will spend another Sunday alone and in the quiet of my house relaxing and doing one of the things I love to do – writing these blog posts. And I will say thanks for this gift.
And on the days that I want to retreat back to my three year old self and say,
“But I didn’t ask for this?!”
I will remember that sweet little boy and instead whisper, “It’s an avocado…thanks.”