|this is THE actual game of horseshoes we played. and you better believe that's my horseshoe around the spike thing.|
The couple of days leading up to the date flew by. I had Lauren's wedding to attend, and I was working for my uncle again while not at EFY. I was excited at the prospect of actually going on a date with Alex, but not overly excited. To me, it felt like the most natural thing in the world. It was like both of us had been on separate tracks, we met in the middle a couple years ago, bounced apart, and then gradually slid together again on a sturdier, more comfortable track.
Originally for the week I had off from EFY, Alex and I had been planning a camping trip with our whole group of friends. But a week before, Alex found out that he actually had to work that weekend, so the camping trip wouldn't be happening. I was sad, because it really was my only opportunity to go camping all summer, and I love camping. Also, it was disappointing because it would have been fun to be on a trip with Alex. But, I let that dream go. When Alex called me to ask me on a date, he told me that it was to make up for camping falling through, and that it would be a surprise. Here is what I wrote for my dating blog after the fact:
"So, Alex asked me on a date for last Thursday, and I said yes! (duh!) The whole thing was a big surprise. All I knew what that I should wear normal clothes, and not eat before hand. So, he came and picked me up, and we went to Winger's for dinner! WINGERS! (it's cool.) And then we drove to his house. HIS HOUSE! (I was surprised.) And he said, "Don't be worried," (I wasn't. I was just surprised.) "I promise it's not weird." So we walked into his backyard and I stumbled upon a campsite! A CAMPSITE! That's right folks, Alex had set up a tent and a fire pit and camp chairs and even a horse shoe game! A HORSE SHOE GAME! (I had previously told him that one of my favorite camping trips involved horse shoes.) I was dying. How wonderful! How creative! How thoughtful! So, I beat him in horse shoes, naturally. We made s'mores, and Alex tried to get me to put a match out with my mouth... which I was much too terrified to do. But he could do it, and that was fun. And then we went inside the tent. Not like that, guys. We went in and what to my wondering eyes did I behold? A COUCH AND A FLAT SCREEN TV. Yep, you read that right. So we watched a movie, with a sleeping bag as a blanket, and it was just about one of the best dates I have had in a while."
The date is still my favorite of all the dates we have been on. There was just something about it... the way he had planned it down to every little detail, with the horseshoes game. And the way he took the time to shove a flat screen TV into a tent. The way he sat all the way across the couch from me during the movie and no moves were pulled at all.... Ha!
The thing was, I didn't want him to pull any moves. It was as though everything in me was telling me that this was the way things were supposed to happen. I have never felt more calm, relaxed, or comforted in any relationship. I knew that Alex and I, though we did like each other, had a few more hills to climb where it came to rebuilding what we had had before. But, I also knew that it would happen. I just knew it, intrinsically, that everything was going to work out, and that being patient was going to be the easiest thing I have ever done.
Alex drove me home, and we had our first real hug since he'd been back on his mission. And that was when I knew, this Alex was NOT the same Alex from before, not even close. And I was for sure going to stick around and see what was coming next.
p.s. sharing your fiance with work and school is NOT my favorite... where is the patient calm Madeline from the summer? oh yeah, getting married.