31 July 2011


Hannah's homecoming at church was today.

It went really well!  At least as well as could be expected.  After I was able to sleep and calm my nerves after the Wednesday reunion my head was cleared and I was able to start reassessing my plans and strategies.

My problem, I'll admit, was getting my hopes up at the possibility of a swift re-acclimation, to the point that I told myself that is what I needed.  Since the meeting proved that would not be the case I've been focusing the last few days on shifting gears, digging in* and preparing for a long drawn out process.(*I was going to make a really nerdy comparison to the WWI, but decided to save you all the long, metaphorical tangent.)

This is not a situation that will be solved with words, but actions.  We're planning to get together again once this week for an activity.  My immediate goal is to prove to her that I'm not only interested in resuming a relationship, I still need to separate my feelings for pre-mission Hannah from post- and decide if that is what I want anyway.  I can't adequately do that unless we spend some more time together.  Until such conclusions can be made I figure, Hannah and I were friends long before she was my girlfriend.

Here's to always having a Plan: B (and C... and D...)

28 July 2011

...and the counter resets...

It's been one full week since Hannah got back.  Here's your update:

I got a call Saturday morning around 11am.  I can't describe how happy I was to see her number pop up on my phone so soon.  I mean she literally called me less than three hours after getting set apart.  That's a good sign, right?  Unfortunately this phone call has become a source of great confusion for me.  While she called me right away the phone call that followed lasted only two minutes and nineteen minutes, according to my phone, until she said she needed to go.  Mixed signals.  Important enough to call me right away, but not enough to warrant time for a conversation.  Later that day we texted a couple of times to set up a time to meet up.  Wednesday was decided upon.  That was that.

The next time we had contact was Monday.  Pioneer day here in Utah.  It was afternoon and we exchanged a few text messages about holiday plans.  I'll admit I was secretly hoping we could bump up the day of our meeting by a couple days.  Unfortunately Monday was a day of disappointment as I found out Hannah had already done a few of the things we had talked about doing together when she got back.

Finally Wednesday came around.  I don't know what emotion I would say that I was feeling.  I was excited to see Hannah.  I had hope that being face-to-face would make things better.  I was confused about the events and actions of the previous few days.  We met up at one of my favorite little food joints for lunch so we could eat and talk.  I have to say the tempo was set right off that bat.  I went in for the hug I had waited so long for, and was met with the side-lean hug.

We ate, we talked.  It's incredible hard to talk to a returned missionary who's like this.  I spent most of the time desperately trying to feel out for common ground.  We were together and talked for about two and a half hours.  It was difficult for me, there she was sitting across from me, cute as ever, the girl I've know for years.  I was so happy to be back there, I'm sure most of the time I had this idiotic smile on my face as my memories of us did battle with the stark reality I was surrounded with.  Her outward appearance was where everything stopped being familiar.

The experience kind of reminded me of all those movies where someone has amnesia, or otherwise can't remember their life or recent events, when another character, usually the romantic interest, is trying to trigger their memory and return them to normal.  It's a difficult situation, while all of my memories of us together were preserved over time, hers were overwritten. The final blow of the afternoon was struck when, after a short silence Hannah asks:

"What do you expect from me now that I'm back?  I really don't want a relationship."

I didn't really know how to react.  I knew that she felt this way, and I was willing and able to go along with it, but it was this moment that I felt there was little chance of being friends like before, as we had discussed.  Any move I initiated towards friendship would be viewed as an attempt at a relationship.  The reason I had been kept at arms length since she got home was made clear with this simple question.

The Quandary: The problem I have now is what my next move is.  I feel I have two, equally poor choices.  
1. Keep trying to find chances to get together and spend time together.  While this is the choice I want to make, I also know that this action could be viewed as trying to force her hand, or pressuring her into something she doesn't want now.  
2. I give her a wide berth, I let her dictate when we get together, or even speak.  I really don't like this option because first it can make it look like I don't care to see her or talk to her.  Second it could look as if I'm bothered by her saying she's not interested in being in a relationship, and that I'm a douche for running away because of that. Or third, I'm unsure how much she really wants to see me, I get the distinct feeling that if I don't contact her that we won't be in contact at all.

Following my answer to her question she almost immediately called the meeting to a close.  Now I'm left wondering what my next move is.  I want to spend time with Hannah, but at times I feel that will be counter-productive.  I guess I'll have to find some kind of middle ground.  I'll see her at her official homecoming on Sunday.  I'll keep an eye out for an opportunity to tell her how I really feel about all of this, then maybe wait a couple weeks to initiate contact with her again.

23 July 2011

Allow me to paint a picture for you...

You're running your first Ironman.  You've completed the 2.4-mile swim.  You've survived a 112-mile bike ride.  You've run for 26 miles.  You've done all of these things in the blistering Summer sun.  It's unnatural, humans shouldn't be doing this to themselves.  You've a quarter mile left, you can see the finish line that you've labored for hours to reach.  You push yourself further still, harder, you have no energy, you run on pure will.  You reach the finish line, arms raised in victory, you feel ready to collapse.  Tears, Exhaustion.  Then at once all you can hear is a very clear voice that states: "You've gotta keep going."

21 July 2011

My Friends Call Me Whiskers

Hannah flies in tomorrow night.  I'll be at work so there will be no airport reunion, though ever since September 11th ruined everything airport reunions aren't what they used to be.

As this time has drawn nearer I've been asked more and more often if I am excited to have her coming home so soon.  Well I don't feel excited.  That's not entirely true.  I am excited, I'm excited for that one good big hug that I'm probably entitled to.  I'm excited because I don't know if I've had a quality hug since Hannah left.  I've gotten a few hugs since, but I'm not sure if any of them felt like more than the semi-awkward friend-hug, probably no thanks to my goal of breaking my aversion to early physical expressions of affection.

No, not excited, Curious.  I'm curious about a great many things.  I left the ball of First Contact (Heheheee) in her court, I told Hannah that I respected her space and would love to see her again when she was ready.  So first, I'm curious about when I will get my call.  I'm curious how much of the Hannah I knew, my Hannah, remains.  I half expect to meet someone I recognize, but don't actually know.  I curious to see how quickly we find common ground again.  When I spoke to her on the phone things still felt so natural, like we'd been apart for a week and had a few things to catch up on, but it's been almost seven months since then.  Finally I'm curious about what my reaction might be.  Over the last month or two I've been planning and plotting so much, I know my strategy and tactics, but so many conclusions have been based on assumptions, assumptions like the fact that we'll have anything in common, or that Hannah won't spend all the time we're together trying to better convert me to the church.

I guess I'm curious rather than excited because I have no idea what will happen, I don't even know when I'll see her, it may not be until her homecoming talk in church.  I'm curious rather than excited because I have no control, no matter how much time I've spent planning a strategy I have to react to Hannah.  All I can do now is wait.  The next time you hear from me I'll be reporting on the reunion!  Peace out, yo!


I love to look at the stars and go stargazing.  Now I know stargazing is code for various activities, but I seriously just like looking up at the stars.  Growing up I always wanted to be an astronaut, I still have that boyhood fantasy, though it will never be realized since the retirement of the space shuttle this last week.  I swear, I know every constellation in the northern hemisphere, I know all of the stories and myths behind them, I can even pick out all of the various visible planets.  

I can't help but marvel at the vastness of space and wonder what else is out there.  It really puts
 any of the "drama" in your life into perspective when you think about how insignificant you are from a galactic point of view:

 The Sun is ONE PIXEL in that last picture!

I've been stressing a lot this week about Hannah coming back home on Friday.  My vacation with Bangs was great, but I think while it made the days we were gone go quickly, the days since we've been back have seemed an eternity.  So much restlessness and it seems like such a big deal, but in the grand scheme of things... it's really not.  The Sun will still come up tomorrow morning, there will still be oxygen to breath.

On a lighter(and, I think, more humorous) note:

So tonight while BangsMcCoy and I were sitting around waiting to see if her home teachers would show up, Bangs asked if I thought she should try out a dating site.  I told her she should definitely fill out a free eHarmony profile, mostly because in the experience I had with it it was interesting to see the kind of people it aligns you with.  Well, after about the 20 minutes of personality profile questions she submits her answers so she can see a few of her matches.  Her first batch brings up a set of six guys within 60 miles that she's "compatible" with, when who's profile is fourth from the top? Yup, it's mine!  I laughed and laughed.  And tried to make the rest of the night super awkward.  I'm still kind of laughing about it right now.

17 July 2011

The Plains

Yup, I spent the weekend in Vegas with BangsMcCoy.  I really, really needed to get away, I've been feeling burned out working so much this Summer.  I was due for a vacation, don't believe me?  Thanks to my stat obsessed baseball player side I can tell you that in the last 14 months I have spent all but one night sleeping in my own bed, and it's been almost exactly 23 months since I left the state of Utah.

It was really nice to do absolutely nothing for three days and two nights.  Usually when I Vacation I like to explore, see the sights, etc. but I've been to Vegas so many times, whether it was for baseball, just passing through, or actually vacationing there there isn't really anything to see.  

I did get my much needed seafood buffet in, it's pretty much a must anytime I go to to Vegas or Mesquite. 

I gambled some, I always take a certain amount to play with(that I count on losing) and play until it's either doubled or gone.  

I may have gotten a tan, I said I did absolutely nothing, which included spending at least 30% of my time in the city at the hotel pool.  I hope it sticks because I think I'm exponentially more attractive with a little bit of sun.

I slept normal hours and got caught up it's been about 3 months since I was up so many consecutive days and asleep so many consecutive nights.

I got accosted by some bums in an IHOP parking lot.  It just wouldn't be Vegas if I wasn't stopped by some old guy giving me some story about how he has diabetes and hasn't "had Insulin in over a month."  Considering he was still living, and not passed out seizing somewhere I figured he didn't really need Insulin, that combined with the fact that I recognized some tell-tale signs of opiate use, and even more so the fact that I rarely carry cash other than my emergency $20 bill.  I had to apologize that I couldn't help him.

I got a Tarot Card reading.  I've always been interested in Tarot and how it works.  It's mentioned in so many movies and TV shows that I wanted to see what it was like.  Want to know what I was told?
  • December will be a big month for me, I hope this is true, there could be something really big happening in my life in mid-December but I'll wait to say what until it's more likely.
  • I have a male figure/person/presence watching over me.  BangsMcCoy and I agreed this could be BioDad.
  • My love-life is good the way it is now.  Confusing.  It's good in that I am currently single at this moment?  Or that waiting for Hannah is a good idea?
  • I will be a leader over people.  This stuck out in my mind because she mentioned it two different and distinct times during my reading.  I'll admit I am a good leader when I step up and lead, but most of the time I'm happy to defer leadership to people with more knowledge, experience, or desire to lead, until they do something dumb.  Maybe I'll fulfill the middle school vote of being "Most Likely to become President"?
The lady giving the reading was pretty cool.  She didn't put on some mystical show, she just flipped over the cards and spoke very matter-of-factly.  It was kind of eerie.

The road-trip itself was pretty fun.  It was nice to learn some more about Bangs, we both had a good time.  The trip definitely helped make a few of my last several days waiting for Hannah enjoyable, as well as making them pass quickly.

Less than a week to go!

12 July 2011

Ugly Duckling Syndrome.

At work they've started making all the relatively new people work off-shifts.  This means if you work the night shift they're going to make you work a couple day shifts per month.  Apparently they want everyone able to work any shift well, just in case.  In the last few weeks I've worked with Kyndra a few times.  Kyndra is a really cure girl, and she's funny, which is always a plus.  Kyndra and I flirt, a lot, at work.  I know she's into me.

One problem.  Kyndra is the girl all the guys want.  Now those of you who know me are probably thinking, "But Chris, you're sooooo full of yourself, are you not up to the challenge?"  No I'm not.  Call it one of the lessons that came out of my relationship with Liz.  I'm not a jealous person at all, but I am competitive like no other.  The problem when I try to date the girl all the guys want is that, even though she already picked me, I still feel like I have to compete just as hard to maintain that decision.  

It's like in distance running.  It's hard at the beginning to see everyone burst out of the starting block, you want more than anything to keep with the pack, but if you try you begin running their race and before you know it you're burned out and winded.  You have to run your own race.

I'll admit, my inability to run my own race stems from having low self-esteem.  I know, "WHAT?!?!"  It's Ugly Duckling Syndrome.  That's a Shallow Hal reference that no one ever seems to get, allow me to explain.  Ugly Duckling Syndrome occurs when someone takes time, say until late in the high school years, to transform from their awkward, ugly, baby-fat, pre-teen appearance into their mature, beautiful form, but still have the personality of that ugly kid.  I won't say I was ever UGLY, mine was more a Social strain of Ugly Duckling Syndrome.

In Middle School I was an outcast, big time.  I was known as a huge nerd/geek and I felt like crap.  Honestly, I hated myself and who I was.  When high school rolled around I ended up attending a school that my middle school didn't feed into.  I knew no one, so I was free to re-invent myself.  In high school I was definitely known as more of a jock, but in my mind I was still that geeky, awkward, 13-year-old outcast from middle school.  I still am.

Hannah was much the same way.  She's always been beautiful, but she was always outshone by her friends blatant attention grabbing techniques, so she was always in the background and accepted that role.  Obviously she doesn't fit based on my small battle in The Story: Episode VI with Tyson.

I guess I need to date girls with Ugly Duckling Syndrome so that I don't have any flare-ups of my own UDS. 

09 July 2011

You Said It!

I got some good responses from my last post I mostly liked the ones Trip Hazard and Madi because they agreed I'm going to do the right thing.  I mean, I AM going to her homecoming, I've already RSVP'd to the event on Facebook, I can't go back on that.

We had a long discussion about a common point in each of you comments at work last night.  Women are ridiculous and make no sense.  Now when I was growing up is was just my mother, my older sister, and I for a few years so I'm more familiar with women than most.  I witnessed my mom date, I witnessed my older sister date, I wouldn't be a true people watcher if I hadn't paid attention.  I'm very perceptive, I think I know all the incredibly subtle hints women give, but it still drives me crazy.  Why?  Women are not consistent.

I guess the most obvious example is when women say "I'm fine."  I swear 80% of the time "I'm fine." really means, "You screwed up, and I'm upset, and I want to see if you'll figure that out and apologize/make it up to me!!!!!!).  The other 20% of the time it means "I'm fine."  It's probably more than 80/20, someone should really do a statistical study on that.  Anyway, there's no way to "play it safe" when it comes to women, because you never really know when they're being serious and when they want you to solve their little brain puzzle.

I'm pretty sure Hannah and I talked about this and we cut a deal.  I would be open with my "feelings" if I could accept what she said she was/wanted as fact.  It has worked out pretty well, of course it's a hard habit for her to break, but I don't cave either.  There have been one or two time she said she was "Fine" when she was obviously bothered by something.  Of course me being the annoying(and probably slightly manipulative) person I am went out of my way to act normal, content, and happy until she finally admitted she was bothered and that I was ridiculous for pretending that I really didn't know that.  I guess that's just one of many things that women have to put up with me.

Hopefully this clears up why I'm going to give her "some space."  That's what she said, and I'm "assuming" that's what she means.  Plus I'll see her at the homecoming a week after she gets home, and since I'm considerably more irresistible now than I was at her farewell all should be well.

06 July 2011

Now it's your turn!

So Hannah will be back in the Salt Lake Valley in two weeks and two days.  I decided that it would be best for her to come to me in her own time.  I'm not going to push contact or communication, she knows how to reach me, so she can.  When I was telling BangsMcCoy this last night, however, she indicated this was the wrong choice.  It's possible that this is one of those instances where guys and girls just don't see situations in the same light.  

Personally I feel I'm making the best choice, Hannah has indicated in letters that she wants to rediscover herself when she gets home, and I think that's a good idea.  In my male brain my planned tactic seems to facilitate her wish.

Now it's your turn!  I want to hear from you.  I know you're out there and reading.  How would you want it handled if you were in Hannah's position?  How do you think I should handle the situation?