Saturday, July 2, 2011

Our Love Story—Unmet Expectations

Rob asked me if he could take me out to a nice dinner, which would be our first time actually going somewhere that required spending money on a date together. Much to my surprise he suggested taking me to the Olive Garden which he knew was my all time favorite restaurant.

After classes ended I went back to my room and spent a little more time than normal getting ready. I only owned one skirt at the time, so the decision about what to wear came pretty easily. I even wore a little bit of make up and took my hair out of a pony tail.

I felt a little bit silly because I clearly had taken more time on my appearance than normal. I wasn’t trying to be showy or flashy, but I wanted to look nice. Unfortunately, because I didn’t take the time to do that very often, it was very obvious when I did. And because of that I started off the evening feeling quite unsure of myself.

Rob and I had a tentative meeting time planned, but he ended up having a student government meeting that went extremely long due to a shake up in the following years elected leadership.

So I sat in my dorm room waiting for him to call. Our planned meeting time came and went and as I waited and waited and waited. I felt silly being all dressed up and I had butterflies in my stomach about what felt like our first real date. And to be honest, I was annoyed that it was way past the time we were supposed to go out and he still hadn’t called. 

For the first time ever I found myself slightly irritated toward Rob. That slight irritation turned into fairly significant irritation once I finally got a call from him. He told me his meeting ran late and asked me to meet him in the parking lot of my dorm.

I don’t know why I had been expecting anything different, but somehow I had imagined him coming inside to pick me up. Maybe with some flowers even?

I assumed that since our relationship was growing so serious so quickly, and because he had invited to me to go on vacation with him to meet his family that maybe we were past the secretive stage.

Him coming into the lounge all dressed up and walking out with me all dressed up, certainly would have made our relationship official. But instead, I walked through the lounge out to his car all dressed up all by myself.

And when I got to his car he didn’t even get out and open the door for me, which I was a strange phenomenon I was now accustomed to. Not only were there not any flowers, but Rob wasn’t dressed up at all (making me feel really awkward now) and he was clearly extremely distracted.

I felt deflated and on the verge of tears. Nothing about this moment was turning out to be what I had built it up to be in my mind. Stupid Hollywood—why did you leave such unrealistic expectations in my head?

Rob apologized for being incredibly late and explained to me that he didn’t have time to go home and change. Then he spent the next hour and a half recounting the details of this crazy student government meeting that resulted in him going from being Vice-President to President on next years student government.

Over dinner I found it difficult to look him in the face. We had spent so much time out walking together that usually we avoided those awkward face to face moments. But here we were, at a secluded table, just a few feet from one another with nothing else to do but look at each other or our food.

I chose mostly to look at my food.

Honestly I was trying not to let my irritation and disappointment show. And I was trying not to cry. I assume that Rob had made a comment about my looking nice, but honestly, if he did, I don’t remember it. Whatever his reaction was to the way I was dressed wasn’t enough to justify the fact that I was all dressed up, and way out of my comfort zone, trying to look nice for someone whose mind was clearly somewhere else. I just wanted to crawl in a hole.

As the evening progressed and I learned more about the significant events that had just transpired in his life, I felt really small for being so wrapped up in my own unrealistic expectations that I had become so irritated with him.

Here he was, spending a very significant portion of his monthly grocery budget on a date with me, sharing his thoughts and feelings and the significant events happening in his life with me, and I was bummed that he hadn’t brought me flowers or picked me up inside.

Talk about shallow.

After dinner ended I felt some of the awkwardness subside. I no longer had to sit a few feet away from him across a table and I put a jacket on which was enough to make me feel less self conscience about what I was wearing.

Since I was in dress shoes and a skirt we opted not to go walking around outside, but chose instead to walk around the mall which was just across the street from the Olive Garden.

At some point during our conversation as we were walking through different stores I had mentioned wanting a new dress. After all, I had approximately one nice outfit—the one I was currently wearing—and I was running into more and more situations where I needed to dress up now that I was attending Corban.

In fact, we have a Doves and Eagles event that I need to dress up for in the very near future. And Rob will be there. I can’t wear this same outfit a few days from now. Uggh, I wish money grew on trees. Maybe my roommate will let me borrow something?

Now as we were walking around the mall I found myself irritated again. I was irritated that I didn’t have nicer clothes, or more money to buy clothes. I was irritated that I had a body that made it so hard to find nice clothes that fit well. I was irritated that I was working my tail off just to afford tuition and my roommate would come home with bags and bags of new (really nice) clothes every other day, purchased by her dad without her having to work (as if my lot in life were somehow her fault!).

Maybe I just need to go back to my dorm room, take a long hot shower and eat some chocolate? My mood was a pretty clear indication that either 1.) Everybody and everything was conspiring to be exceptionally irritating to me today. Or, 2.) I needed to go home and not resurface for the next 5-7 days because clearly I was experiencing a hormonal firestorm that was waging war on my emotional stability.

At the time I was convinced it was option #1, looking back it seems safe to say it was option #2.

We ended our date that night on a good note. I’m pretty sure Rob was too distracted to even notice my irritability.

Rob dropped me off back at my dorm, in the parking lot of course. I came inside and took a long hot shower, scrubbed the make up off of my face and threw my hair back up in a pony tail where it belonged. I snuggled into my pajama pants, ate some chocolate, took some Tylenol and talked about my date with my roommate (who suddenly wasn’t so irritating!). And all seemed right with the world again.   

Click on the "Our Love Story" tag at the top of the page to see other love story posts, or to start from the beginning.

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