Don't judge me.
I had to go there because I was meeting some old mission companions for dinner. But also, I like throwing peanut shells on the floor.
Don't judge me about this part either:
I was feeling really sorry for myself because I'm 33 and practically the last one standing single from ye old west virginia charleston mission. After a recent string of less than stellar dating stories, my usual can-do attitude was waning in the face of dinner with my mormon-culturally-deemed-more-successful friends - one pregnant with 6th child and the other newly married with 6 month old. So I was driving to the American Fork Texas Roadhouse whining to God about a) eating at the TR b) driving to AF c) alone. alone. alone. I said a few things and asked that the spirit could help me be grateful for what I have instead of dwelling on what I lack. Whatever. The usual.
After we ordered an artery clogging onion dipped in oil and garnished with more oil, a different server came over to our table bearing three desserts. "You have the wrong table," we chimed in unison. The server, shaking his head in defeat, said, "no. it's the right table." Theories flew...was it J's friends at the table behind us? Was it one of the married girls' husbands? Longshot: Maybe it was the cute guy with the two kids at the table across from us who had made eye contact with me several times? I didn't see a ring, but we single ladies knwo that doesn't mean squat. More theorizing and observation and eventually, the server came back and said: "these desserts are from the gentleman in the booth back there. He just wanted to make sure that you had a great evening." to which J screamed and slapped me, "SHE'S SINGLE!". The waiter...errr, I mean server, then handed me a piece of paper - with the name Ethan and a phone number scrawled on it.
ARE YOU KIDDING????? Since when does something like this happen to me? There was no battle of wits, no exchange of cultural knowledge, no proving that I am smart and funny and a good housekeeper or whatever else I seem to think men like...He just thought I was pretty enough to hit on. me. ninnybeth.
And that, my friends, is how God answers whiney prayers occassionally. The story doesn't end with flourishing romance. Ethan, it turns out, is a nice guy but we have almost nearly possibly nothing in common except for proximity and a willingness to put ourselves on the line. It probably won't even lead to a first date. But God bless him for doing something. For taking a chance and being confident. In the narrative of my understanding of myself and making sense of a distorted vision of how others perceive me, this story will weave itself into my knowing and become part of that new fabric. Maybe it will sound overly dramatic to anyone but me, but these moments are healing and revelatory.