Monday, May 11, 2009

Playing Cards Part 2

While I was away at college, G was back home attending community college and working at the library.  We talked all the time.  For that matter his mother and I talked all the time too, since sometimes when I would call his house he wasn't home, so she and I would chit chat.  Is it any surprise that these days she and I can sit on the phone and talk for over an hour and it's enjoyable?  Like I said, G is the best hand I've ever had, and it's not just because he's so great, I won with a full house when I won with him!

I joined a sorority and got busy with homecoming floats and going out to drink with friends.  And Garret was my constant friend.  No matter what time of day, if I needed to talk he was there to listen.  This meant the boy would leave his cell phone on and wake up to talk to me at 3 a.m. when I called, drunk, whiny, and hurtful.  I say hurtful because I would call and tell him about making out with this guy or that guy.  I was still a virgin, and I think at the time he was grateful that making out was the worst of it.  But it cut him, and he would get exasperated with me, beg me to just quit going out all the time, to stop making out with a bunch of boys.  Occasionally he would mention it to his sister, but never mentioned it bothered him because to quote Garret, he "never wanted her to know how badly he wanted" me.  Which is amusing since everyone knew, his mother knew, his sister knew, they just kept mum.

Then we slowly stopped talking.  It became awkward and we let the friendship slip away to the occasional chatting when I would run to the library back home.  I would walk in and notice G out of the corner of my eye at the desk, but pretend I hadn't, trying to decide if I wanted to talk to him or not.  But apparently those were the best days for him there.  A co-worker of his whom we both knew told my mother when it was announced we were getting married that she always knew he had a thing for me, because when I would walk in his face would light up and his eyes would follow me around the library.  So much for him thinking he was doing good hiding it!

Eventually I began playing a bad hand.  One of those hands in poker where you should just fold, quit trying to fool yourself... holding out the hope that the cards on the table will make it a better hand.  I was dating this jerk of a guy who I later can see I was trying to save, but he didn't want saving.  One night, having come back from the bar I called Garret.  I told him I was sad we weren't friends any longer, that we should hang out sometime.  I don't know what happened that night, but we ended up making plans for me to come home the next day and go see a movie.  I even wrote it in my refrigerator so I wouldn't forget.  Imagine my surprise the next day when the previous night's decisions were mildly fuzzy (from the drinking, but also because it was dawn by the time we quit talking and I was damn tired) and I was on the phone with my mother telling her I was on my way home.  When I explained why and said that I didn't really want to come home, she said I had to or it would make me suck.  Eh. So I went home and caught a movie with Garret, only I couldn't stop talking about the jerk.  I was doing it because I didn't want G to get any ideas.  

I should mention that ever since Garret and I went to prom my family was constantly trying to convince me to marry him.  Constantly.  Every time my grandmama and I got together she would tell me how Garret was the guy who would give me the moon on a silver platter, who would do anything for me.  She would always ask why I wouldn't give him a shot and for years I would just say because we're just friends, that's it.  That last year before we began dating I finally told her it was because I wasn't attracted to Garret, he wasn't my type and to drop it.  And I went off on my mother in Applebee's (where she had begun telling the manager we knew all about G and how he was in the military and blah blah blabbity blah) stating that no, I was never going to marry him and that I wished after almost 4 years she would just get over it.  Now, they like to laugh.  Now, nearly every time I am on the phone with my grandmama she says, "I picked a good one didn't I?" She likes reminding me she saw my husband for the great man he is before I did!

But moving on, this is taking a bit longer than I had planned.  My last year at college could have ruined G and I.  I knew he was joining the Air Force but was shocked when he left that summer.  I began dating what could possibly be called the absolute worst hand so far in the game of my life.  Let's just say I didn't know someone else was holding the exact same cards as me.  Cards are tricky that way.  Ann, my MIL, e-mailed me an update on G saying that he was having some tests run, but they think he would be alright.  I freaked the hell out!  Turns out G had some issues at basic training where his legs would swell up, a lot, and they never did figure out why.  Finally, G was allowed to write letters home, and I was one of the lucky recipients.  I remember carrying it from my apartment to my late afternoon Special Education For Elem. Ed. class, waiting to read it until I sat down.  I was so proud of him for doing the one thing he had been wanting to do for years.  He had joined the military, and whether I had originally thought he was a moron for wanting to or not, I was insanely proud.  

That's when we began talking again, once he got his phone back after basic training.  I would write him.  And he was a hold over because of the medical things, so we talked on the phone a lot.  He got majorly depressed being there, and I was the light for him, the one who he looked forward to talking to.  Then came the phone call that looking back jump started us.  He told me he was going out on a date that week.  That he had asked a girl out, who ironically had the same name as me spelled differently, but that he hadn't known until asking her out because they all used last names.  I think God was laughing hysterically with tears rolling down His face at his little joke.  I went absolutely parental on G.  See, G was still a virgin ( I sadly was not, so I might have been a tad bit hypocritical).  I asked if he was planning on sleeping with her, because I wasn't stupid, I knew people got a little stir crazy when away at basic training.  He said that the other guys thought he should, but that no, he probably wouldn't.  I went off on him about how he was a freaking virgin and that he was not, I repeat not, going to have sex with someone he barely knew much less cared about.  I even hit a low point and told him that if he did I was telling his mother.  I know, not my shining moment.  G says that that conversation made him wonder what was going through my head to get me so upset, but he had convinced himself he was over me, so he pushed that thought away.

It took me seeing/hearing about G with another girl to get me worked up, but I still didn't want to date him.  But we began talking often on the phone.  There were times I would let it roll to voicemail when I saw it was him because I was beginning to worry I was going to lead him on again.  Then I finally folded on the bad hand, and it was time for my friends wedding.  E and D had been best friends.  It took a while for E to see what a great guy D was, he was in love with her the entire time.  They've been married for 3 years now and have an adorable 2 year old.  I was driving back from picking out an outfit for their wedding when it hit me hard as a semi.  This whole time I had been praying for God to show me the guy He had made for me, and I always got the response he's already here.  I mistakenly always thought it was the guy I was with.  But I was blind, and then I finally could see.  It was Garret.  The one constant good thing in my life.  But knowing and doing something about it are a bit different.

I waited until after the wedding.  I talked to E about it.  And finally I texted Garret some cryptic message, and eventually asked if he wanted to give it a shot when he came home from tech school.  You would think that's where the real story ends, that we got together and eventually got married.  But that phone call was only the beginning.  It's hard to have enough trust that you are holding a winning hand, and I almost folded. 

1 comment:

  1. Damn you are good! I thought it was leading up to the end.......but no. I REALLY want the next bit now!!