29 May 2011

Can't Have Your Smartypants Cake and Eat It Too...

I have to admit, the reason I’ve been so “down in the dumps” the last month or so is all because of Smartypants.  Long story short, I’ve finally learned what was meant when your middle school English teacher tried to teach you about the Tragic Comedy.

Seriously, every time I think about it, which admittedly is WAY more than I wish I did, I’m either twisting my stomach in knots of sadness and frustration, or laughing and chuckling to myself.  Some times the irony of the situation is just too much for me.  So here’s the long story long version.

Smartypants and I actually met via the internet, which is still kind of weird to me, I honestly never thought I’d “meet” anyone on the internet, I still laugh at people who do.  Anyway, we initially started talking, oh, about six months after Hannah left.  At first it was just a text message or an email here and there, it went on like that for about another four or five months, when we finally met for the first time.  Meeting someone you met online, in real-life for the first time is definitely an interesting experience.  We met up at The Gateway, and I knew I’d like her right away when I recognized her as we were both burning some extra pre-movie time at Barnes and Noble.  I kinda kept my head down, since I’m pretty sure she didn’t notice me.  We met up at the movie theater and had a really good time.

Between then and now Smartypants had really made significant progress in (for me) a short amount of time.  Even now Smartypants have only gotten together six times or so.  Even still, I would number Smartypants as the third woman I have genuinely liked, along with Liz and Hannah.

Unfortunately, my lack of skill in “leading with my heart” became my undoing.  I ended up weighing the strengths and weaknesses of Smartypants and Hannah against each other.  Surprisingly, considering my respective history with each, it was tight, and by tight I mean dead even.  It was ridiculous, I couldn't really argue either way and in the end I might as well have just tossed a coin to decide for me.  So I made a decision, and I can honestly say I still don't know if I chose wisely.  It pretty much came down to my long history with Hannah, which admittedly could mean absolutely nothing in the end, versus whether I thought I could avoid the feeling of "what might have been" with Hannah while dating Smartypants.

In the end I sided with Hannah, mostly sighting the fact that if Smartypants and I would have only been "dating" for a couple months(more like a matter of weeks, technically) before Hannah got home, that I couldn't create enough distance with Smartypants from Hannah in that time.  I also knew that trying to juggle both would be out of the question, I can't do that ethically.  The unfortunate thing is that I've still been experiencing the what-might-have-beens towards Smartypants.  Logically that's ridiculous, I tell myself, "Self, you only hung out with Smartypants six times, and only a couple of those would be considered dates, get a grip man!"  But it doesn't help, I guess some things stick with you.

I guess the ironic, ridiculous part about this whole mess, the thing that makes me laugh like a crazy man, is that I would never met Smartypants had Hannah not gone on a mission, there would have literally been no way we would have ever crossed paths.  Then, Hannah being on a mission is also, really, the only reason Smartypants and I can’t be together at this time.  It’s sad, but it’s so frustratingly ironic that I literally chuckle to myself.

Another irony is this conversation I had with my co-worker, Brian, months ago.  I honestly did not believe that was a situation I was going to have to deal with, and I almost made it through!  What are the odds that in five-and-a-half years since high school I meet two girls I really want to date, then I meet a third in the really the least ideal six month period possible.  I feel like I got too cocky about my ability to control my own fate, and so fate responded with "Take this sucka!"

I know this is going to be something I'll struggle deeply with until Hannah gets home.  Right now I just try to remind myself that I made a choice, and right or wrong in the end I'll have to roll with the punches, fate is a funny thing, who knows what will happen in the future.  Not me.

27 May 2011

Episode VI: Return of a Missionary

In the beginning of June Tyson got home from his mission.  Tyson had been a friend of a mutual friend of both Hannah and I, and he had always had a things for her.  I had never really noticed this "thing" because I hadn't been interested in Hannah enough in the old days to really care if he did or not.

It didn't take Tyson and I long to realize we were rivals here, even if I was just "hanging out" with Hannah at this point.  Hannah, Tyson, and I got together and did things a few times through out the summer as a group of three, which sometimes was probably pretty awkward.  I was just "hanging out" with Hannah until the end of July, when I realized that Hannah would be leaving again in less then a month for school.  

I really needed the time to hang out, I was still pretty hung up on my relatively recent dumping by Liz to get normal emotionally, and to realize that Hannah was superior to Liz.  It was around this point that I realized I was going to have to find a way fend Tyson off.

At the beginning of August Hannah, Tyson, and I went on an awesome camping trip with our other mutual friend, David.  It's still one of my favorite vacations I've taken, we went to my favorite little camping spot in South Central Utah that pretty much no one knows about(on a tangent I've always said I would go and live in this canyon in a post-apocalyptic situation because of the available vegetation, water supply, and especially it's seclusion.  It's something you have to be prepared for!).  I would say this trip was also one of the more major battle between Tyson and I, and an example of my weakness ending up being a strength.

Being fresh off his mission Tyson was focused on getting the girl.  Tyson was on Hannah's hip the entire trip, from the drive down to the drive back.  I on the other-hand relinquish control to my inner-child on adventures like this.  I was spending my time, exploring, experimenting, etc.  Surprisingly enough this worked in my favor, over the course of the trip Hannah started to feel smothered by Tyson, while simultaneously being mesmerized by my child-like wonderment.

The competition following the trip, after I had committed to pursuing Hannah, was a one-sided one.  Not because I was all that much superior to Tyson, but because of something I learned from running.  You run your own race.  In distance running you have a specific pace, and you have to stick with it, if you try to keep up with someone else you're going to burn out.  I guess this is my strategy for girls.  It's slow and drawn out, but I run my race, and I let Tyson burn himself out trying to keep pace.

As August came to a close, and Hannah was packing her things, and after three-and-a-half months of "hanging out", I knew it was time to end this competition between Tyson and I, so I started planning my final move.  Hannah's birthday was a day or two after she moved up to school, so she felt really bummed that she'd be off at school for it.  I told her I'd help her move her things up and I would take her out on a "date" for her birthday when we finished and she accepted.

Tyson, however, was going to fight to the last.  He also offered to help Hannah move her things up, and since another car would mean she wouldn't have to make another trip in a couple weeks she accepted.  When we were all finished moving and unloading and I was getting psyched for the first "real date" I realized Tyson was not leaving...

As it was getting late, unimaginably late considering the drive back home I had, Tyson mentioned that since it was so late he was going to spend the night in town at his uncle's place rather than drive back so late at night.  This was bit of a speed bump in my plan, especially since he had waited it out to block our date.  I started to get the feeling that Tyson knew what I was trying to do with this trip up, and when he offered to treat us all to dinner at his Uncle's restaurant for Hannah's birthday, I knew I was going to have to get crafty to slip past him.   Since Hannah couldn't exactly say, "Thanks for driving my stuff up her for two hours, now leave", but I was determined to end it this week.

Suddenly, my next moves were clear.  Hannah offered me her floor for the night so I didn't have to make the treacherous drive home at two in the morning.  I accepted, and after Tyson left I told her we'd just have to find some other time to have our "date", knowing full well my plan for the next day.  

I spent a while laying on Hannah's floor, wide awake, realizing how close she was, both literally and metaphorically, I knew what I wanted and I steeled myself for the execution of my scheme the following day.

We all got together for an early lunch at the local Pita Pit before we were heading back home and leaving Hannah at school.  We said our goodbyes got in our cars, and drove off...

About five minutes into the drive, and after I had let Tyson gain some distance ahead of me, I pulled into the parking lot of a Wendy's just outside of town and called Hannah.  I told her how I was bummed I couldn't take her out on the promised birthday date the night before.  Then she apologized and explained how she felt she couldn't just give Tyson the boot after he had helped.  At this point my plan was in full effect.  I asked her if she'd be willing to let me take her out tonight instead, that I'd "turn around and come back", but that I'd have to leave early because I had work early the next morning.

She accepted and I took her out on our first official date after almost 4 months of hanging out a few times a week.  The one hiccup in my plan was that I had originally planned to go for the first kiss after this date.(Two things: Yes I did "plan" a kiss in, I'm a wuss about any such intimate moves and really need the time to build up my courage. And yes I had planned to go for the first kiss after the first date, lame, but my version of "hanging out" is easily considered a form dating by most, including me).

I decided that it wouldn't be proper for the first kiss to be immediately followed by a, "Well, see you later." I've tried that before, that's the fast-track to having the first kiss be your last.  So I had to postpone that part of the plan.  At least until next weekend...

21 May 2011

Too Easy

Sometimes I think I went too easy on myself with my New Year's Resolutions.  We're only 5 months into the year and I've pretty much achieved all of my goals.

Get a job with PCMC or UUHC - Check

Transfer to the University of Utah - Done; finally got the letter approving my transfer today

75% Church attendance on Sundays I don't work - On Pace

Get back in to the Amateur Baseball League - Check

I still need to move on/near to campus, and finish Fall Semester with a CGPA > 3.9, but with any luck Eric and I are moving into our own place in July and, well, university is one of my strengths.

I've been pretty mopey the last couple weeks but I think I just needed to get that out of my system.  The last week at work and the week ending with my acceptance letter(which I wasn't really worried about, it just took FOREVER), baseball, and finally sunshine has made the final push out of this slump pretty easy.  This rest of my year should be all down hill from here, new movies to see almost every week, Hannah coming home in two months, back to school in the fall.  Easy-sleazy.

Maybe I didn't set the bar high enough for myself this year, but it was what I needed.  If the last year of my life was a rebuilding year then I'd say this is a year I needed to build up momentum.  No better way to do that than to earn some quality wins.

20 May 2011

Kindred Spirits

Whatever they are I need one. Bad.

Today for my first day off I want to see Cave of Forgotten Dreams.  I really liked it, but I'm into Biological Anthropology.

This movie is a documentary about the Chauvet caves in southern France, it mostly focused on the cave art but, from what I've learned about them, they're pretty much the anthropological mother-lode.  Anyway the movie talks about the cave paintings which are the oldest known examples of human art in the world, dated to about 32,000 years ago(so much for that whole, "The earth is only 6,000 years old" thing, huh?)  This movie was pretty obviously an indie documentary, it wasn't the most well put together thing I've ever seen, but considering the French Government only let them film for an hour it was pretty amazing.

Did I mention it was in 3-D?  Now, I'm not a 3-D enthusiast, but in this case I was impressed.  These caves did not have flat walls, so the paintings are not on flat surfaces, so having the depth of 3-D made it really cool.  Towards the end it really tried to get your brain moving.  Provoking questions like at what point did we develop from being just Homo Sapiens and actually becoming Human; and what kinds of lives did our ancestors, like the ancestors of our entire species, actually live.  I dunno, I'm still mulling it all over in my brain.

Then, when the credits began to roll I realized I made a motion like I was going to begin discussing what we just saw with the person next to me.  Then I remembered I was the only one in the theater, and that the movie started late because the projectionist didn't realize anyone was in there.  I hadn't even tried to invite anyone to go with me, I haven't invited anyone to come to many movies with me for a long time.  I think I just end up disappointed when I enjoy a movie and the person I'm with doesn't, or if I want to discuss the movie and the person I'm with doesn't.  I need to find a kindred spirit.  Or at least someone who pretends to be interested in my interests.

18 May 2011

Episode V: The Friend-Zone Strikes Back

After moving back home Hannah and I started texting a lot.  We have a lot of the same interests in activities, and consequently similar plans for what we like to get out of the Summer months.  Because of this Hannah and I ended up spending a lot of time together that Summer, probably at least three days a week, and we plenty of adventures.

We did a wide variety of things Jazz games, Bee's games, hikes.  I still remember the first thing Hannah and I ever did alone together was a few days after we moved her back when we went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.  We created "Adventure Days" where we would pick something we wanted to do and spend the entire Saturday, from early morning to late night, doing that thing and other related things.  For example one Adventure Day involved visiting just about every museum of history in Salt Lake.  Another involved going to the Chalk Art Festival at the Gateway and spending the whole day wandering the mall, including trying out Discovery Gateway and the Clark Planetarium.

We pretty much spent the whole Summer as "Just Friends", and it wasn't until the end of July that it dawned on me that she would be moving back to school in a little less than a month, and that I would be over an hour and a half away, and on top of all of that I realized just how much I really liked Hannah.

This sudden realization kind of jolted my brain out of the "Friend Zone".  This is usually the point I blow things.  I start scheming and trying to account for so many contingencies raises my stress level a few notches.  I can't remember how it came up, but I think the only thing that kept me from stressing this potential relationship into oblivion was when Hannah's older brother told me that he though that Hannah and I should date because we made a good couple, and that Hannah's parents agreed.

For me, having a girl's family like me is a big deal, honestly I don't think I could seriously date a girl who's family didn't like me, so this conversation went a very long way to calm my nerves.

However, there was a certain Returned Missionary that got home around this mid-summer point which would ensure that my challenge of breaking the friend-zone threshold would still be a tricky one...

17 May 2011

My Own Worst Enemy

I have quite a few issues, and any I wasn't aware of before have been brought to my attention recently.  Usually my issues, like hyper-competitiveness, defiance, pride, and over-rationalization work together in a weird way to end up being some of my greatest strengths.

Other times they seem to conspire against me and tie my hands, I'm bound by them, regardless of what I really want.

I've really just decided that at this point, with only two months left, I just have to actually wait for Hannah.  No matter how much I may want to date it's just really not fair to the other party that I may or may not drop everything when Hannah get's home.

It's really like an unfair amount of realism.  I got to the point where I had to ask myself, "Would I choose to date me right now?"  The honest answer was no, especially if they have other options.  With so little time left I can't honestly give anyone 100% and it wouldn't be fair to pretend like I could right now.  It's my Kobayashi Maru, either way I choose I'd end up in a "what might have been" situation.  I've created a scenario where all I can really do is wait and see, and hope that by waiting and seeing I haven't painted myself into a corner.

Really it bums me out.  I've pretty much been down for the last three or four weeks since I made that realization.  I've spent a lot of time thinking, I feel like I can always find a solution where everybody wins, but here I just have to suck it up and deal with it.  I have to just wait, play it all by ear and in a couple months I be free of this self-created prison and I can do what I want without wondering what-if.

16 May 2011

Episode IV: A New Old Friend

It's been about seven years since Hannah and I first met.  It still makes me laugh to tell people who ask that Hannah and I met because she was my high school girlfriend's friend.  I love the silly looks and instant judgement that comes with it until I tell them that we didn't start dating for four years after I broke up with ashley.  Hannah actually told me a while after we were dating that she had actually talked to ashley and asked if it was alright with her if she dated me.  I told Hannah that I really didn't think that was necessary, especially since ashley is one of only 2 people I have ever genuinely disliked(read Hated) in my entire life, but I think that speaks a lot to Hannah's character.

So, ashley and I hung out a few times with Hannah and some other friends while we were dating, most of whom liked me.  In fact I gained a friend out of the whole ashley debacle, Kristal, I won her in the divorce you could say haha.  Really that friend is the only reason Hannah and I ever started dating.  After the break up with ashley, Kristal and I would still hang out from time to time a few of the times we would hang out with Hannah as well.

Way back then I remember thinking Hannah was attractive, even if she did wear entirely too much eye makeup.  Later I would find out that Hannah thought I was pretty attractive at this point also, but I was seriously screwed up after dating ashley.

(Quick Tangent:  I've been asked about ashley and what happened there, however I will not give her the credit of a blog post.  Suffice it to say the thing I took from that relationship was my knowledge of everything I DO NOT want in a significant other. End Tangent)

Over the next couple years I kind of forgot about Hannah, I had gone up to school, so had everyone else.  I started dating Liz at this point also.  The next time I saw Hannah was went I went down to take Kristal to dinner for her birthday in December.  Kristal and Hannah were roommates now, so when we went back to play Apples to Apples, I saw Hannah again.  I remember still finding her attractive, but she still wore SO MUCH eye makeup, plus I was still happily with Liz at this point.

I didn't really think about or hear from Kristal or Hannah again until the following Summer when I got a random text from Hannah that she was hosting a fire in her backyard and I was invited.  (I was still dating Liz at this time, but even though in the dorms she one flight of stairs above me, when we moved to our respective homes for the summer we were about 45mins-1hr apart.)  So I went and it was fun, Hannah, Krystal and I stayed and talked until after 3am, but then I really didn't see either of them again the rest of that summer.

Fast forward:  School started again.  Liz dumped me two days before my birthday and started dating her current husband a week later.  I moped around for the following five months of school...

Now it's early May, I was helping Kristal move her junk back home for the Summer.  Kristal and Hannah were roommates again this year so I really ended up helping both of them move back home.  I remember being attracted to Hannah again here, and now she was wearing considerably less eye makeup.  Packing up the cars went pretty quick so we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening hanging out around town before the trek home...

This marked the beginning of a relationship, and probably the favorite summer of my life to this point...

11 May 2011

A man in scrubs

I think there's definitely something about a man in scrubs.  I'd have to say, about every other shift on the unit I get a patient trying to hook me up with their daughter/niece/grand-daughter.  It's kind of funny, I never really know what to say to that.  How do you respond?

I know I'm also in my element at work, I feel more confident on the unit than I do off of it, which is weird, but I love it.

It's not just getting offer to be set up either.  I get hit on a considerable amount at work too.  It's always hard for me to be serious about it though, usually at work my strange sense of humor is in overdrive.  So when those daughters/nieces/grand-daughters are hitting on me I drift off and imagine what it'd be like showing up to their house shaking their mother's/father's/aunt's/uncle's/grandpa's/grandma's hand and saying "Hey, remember when I cleaned up your poop/urine/vomit?"

Put's a bit of a dampener on things on that front, mostly I last until I can leave the room to start laughing to myself, I'm pretty sure my co-workers think I'm slightly psychotic with all that random chuckling.

Speaking of co-workers, I've realized that work should be an ideal place for me to find dates.  I mean, most of these girls are somewhat like me, slightly nerdy, a little smart, a bit ambitious, plus ponytails are pretty much the go-to hairstyle for work and we all know of my weakness for them.  Really, you just have to get beyond the androgyny that scrubs tend to create with girls(I know, so unfair...) and you're all set.

07 May 2011

Concerning Hannah

I've gotten several e-mails and questions regarding what's going on with Hannah, whether I'm still waiting, and what the plan is when she gets home.  Since I realize I haven't really mentioned her much recently, here goes...

  • How much longer until Hannah comes home?
Hannah is in the last area of her mission most like likely, since there are only about 2 more transfers until she gets home.  The countdown on the top of the page is still mostly accurate.

  • Do you and Hannah still write each other?
We still write, just a lot less.  We had been writing every week for two-thirds of her mission but we've dropped to only writing on weeks we get a letter, which thanks to USPS international mail, customs and Canadian Post usually means we're getting 1-2 letters a month.

  • Are you still waiting for Hannah?
I don't know if I'm still waiting, or ever have been.  I always said I'd keep an open mind about dating other people, and I've been on several dates when I've found ladies I've been interested in dating.

  • What is the plan when Hannah gets home?
When Hannah gets home she'd like to "just be friends", which if you've ever seen When Harry Met Sally you all know to be impossible.  Though she says we'll see if something more develops again.

  • What does "see if anything develops" mean?  
I don't know either.  It would seem that if things worked out well before, that we parted on good terms, and that no other significant person is in the mix, that getting back together is almost inevitable.

  • Is this a real blog or are you just being an idiot?
It's most definitely real.  I've changed most specific facts, names dates, places, time frames, mostly by very small amounts just to throw people I know off the trail.  But yes, this story is accurate +/- a couple weeks.

  • Are you and Hannah going to get married?
I suppose it's possible.  Waiting for a missionary doesn't necessarily mean you're getting married, it's something I wish I could tell all the people here, especially the 18 year old girls who've been waiting 20 days and are already whining.  Good luck with life.

  • How are you going to get Hannah back?
Nothing?  As forward thinking as I try to be I've had to accept that you can't really control what other people do or think, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.  That's why, as I have for the last 16 months I'm playing a reactive game, I'm on defense.  There's nothing I can do now, and there's nothing I can plan to do 2 months from now.  So we'll wait and see.

  • Do you have any advice on waiting for my boyfriend/girlfriend?
Step 1.  Stop calling them that, they're missionaries, they're now asexual beings.  Step 2.  Get a life, thinking and crying about missionaries will only make the next 18 or 24 months seems even longer.  Step 3.  Get ready for it not to work out.  That's a long amount of time, people grow up and change, odds are one of you is going to decide you've changed too much to keep going.  Step 4.  Don't wait.  I'm not angry, or jilted, or bitter, I'm being honest.  Let me break it down rationally.  You wait and it doesn't work:  You're going to be pissed and cry that you "wasted" your last couple years waiting when you could have been dating other people.  You wait and it works out:  Congratulations.  Now you're both romantically and socially awkward.  You didn't really grow at all in that sense, because you didn't practice your dating skill set, like flirting, dating etc.  So now you're both stunted, which probably means you're perfect for each other, but at the same time, neither of you knows any better.

  • What will happen to this blog once Hannah is home?
I haven't decided yet.  It may just end because it will have served it's purpose buy giving me a place to vent so that I don't look whiney in real-life.  I guess I could always change the title of the blog and keep writing about my thoughts and feelings.  Finally I know "some" readers think this will morph into a marriage blog for Hannah and I.  I assure you the latter is not the case, first because I don't plan to marry anyone for years to come, and last I refuse to allow my future spouse to write a marriage blog, I will not bow to that cliche.

02 May 2011


Oh man, I am hurting.  Putting my shoes on was a challenge.  I think every major muscle group is sore to some extent.  I'm doing a lot of moaning and groaning this morning.

But it feels good!  Sure, pitching 6 innings after taking a year and a half off probably was over doing it, but it felt too good.  This pain is a good pain because I know what it came from.  I have missed you baseball field.  I've missed you pitcher's mound.  Pitching really feeds my ego.  In baseball there is no game clock or timer.  In baseball the standard units of time are the pitch, the strike, the out.  In baseball the pitchers are gods, they determine the pace of the game.  However, with power comes responsibility, and at the end of the game it's the pitcher who gets credited with the win or the loss.

Some other feel good moments from Saturday:  I got to play first base.  A lot of people are surprised by my skills over on that corner, they forget that I didn't pitch at all until high school.  I love playing defense, I love making the play.  When I was young I'd spend hours throwing a racquetball against our brick wall as hard as I could and trying to field it.  Defense has always been my strength on the diamond.  All of the rest of my baseball experience is over at first.  Another thing, I hit.  I actually hit.  I haven't faced live pitching in five years but I still got a hit!  Two of them! Two line drives up the middle! and I drove in some runs!  2-for-4 with 2 RBIs is a good day no matter which position you play.

I really needed this.  Baseball has been a staple in my life since Tee Ball at five years old.  It's part of me.  Plus I've been getting pretty down recently, but baseball always reminds me, there are things you can control, and there are things you can't.  There are nine guys on the field, nine guys in the lineup, and you can only control one of them, everything else... you just have to shake off.