And now, 5 weeks after our first date - I am so smitten with this guy.
One of the most amazing and humbling things that we have admitted to each other is that had it been up to us: we wouldn’t be dating. Neither of us would have chosen the other. As is demonstrated by the fact that I tried to set Duane up with other girls is evidence of the fact that I thought he was a nice guy - just not for me. And there are no hard feelings, because he admitted that he thought I was nice too, but he would never have imagined dating me.
We agree and give thanks and full credit to God who had a different plan. After we got back from whitewater rafting I got a text from his cousin-in-law, my good friend Kim, who asked how rafting was. A couple exchanges and I asked if I could come for a visit sometime in the next few weeks - I had a book to return to a man in their congregation and I’d had it for 6 weeks already and wanted to return it. I was surprised when she said “sure, how about this weekend?”. Kim and I are both pretty busy people, plus she now has a husband to consider when making plans, so when the opportunity presented itself and we were both free: I jumped on it.
Little did I know what chain reaction of events that would set off. I borrowed a book in July, went on a rafting trip in August and went to church in St. Thomas in September. Evidently, Duane took my visit to his church as a signal that I was interested in him. He figured that the fact that I showed up at his church so soon after rafting (6 days later), must have meant that I was interested. It’s not that he has a huge ego - I was certainly sending him signals at rafting that I would be open to getting to know him better. But I will stand by this statement: my intention when visiting the St. Thomas Free Reformed Church (ST FRC) that weekend was not to visit Duane.
Duane’s cousin (side note: he has a really big family) Nicole saw my car in the church parking lot and wondered why I was in town, after all there hadn’t been a young adults event and normally we would be hanging out if there was. The poor girl, walks in and sees me standing next to Duane. I had planned to meet Tim & Kim (cousin and cousin-in-law to Duane) at church and spend the day with them, but they weren’t there yet. So there’s Nicole, seeing her friend and cousin talking to each other, knowing they just went on a camping trip and thinking “I’m away for two weeks and they’re dating? How’d I miss this?”. It’s funny to look back and hear the perspectives from everyone else - I really confused a lot of people, unintentionally of course!
Kim and Tim showed up, we sat down, enjoyed the service and I talked with friends after church, and of course - returned the book to “uncle” Art. I know a lot of people at ST FRC and I had been there before, so it wasn’t weird at all that I came for a visit.
After church I went to Tim & Kim’s house and Kim and I sat on the deck, catching up and enjoying some down time. I really treasure Kim as a friend and now that she lives in Shedden I don’t get to see her as often. While we sat there we had the following conversation:
me: Kim, can I ask you a bit of a girly question?
Kim: of course, what’s that?
me: (raised eyebrows)
Kim: what about Duane?
me: well, what do you think about him...you know, as a potential?
and then Kim launched into “singing praises of Duane” mode and told me every single thing she could think of that make him everything I’ve fallen in love with:
He loves God. He loves kids. He adores his nieces and nephews. He serves. He works hard. He is a leader and wants to grow as a leader. He is committed. He is kind. He is sweet. He has a house and a good job, he can provide...and she just went on.
And I sat there, stunned. And thought: “why the heck am I trying to pass this guy off onto other girls? I’ve been a fool!”
I didn’t really know what to say, so I sat there stunned. Then Tim came out onto the deck and it was time to have lunch. For the next couple of hours we chatted and I couldn’t get Duane out of my mind. When we got ready to leave for the afternoon church service, Tim and Kim invited me to come back for dinner. We decided we would invite a few people over and all I could think of was “how do I suggest inviting Duane, without making it obvious?”. Well, Kim already planned to invite him, but just to tease me suggested “well, we should invite Kara and Nicole and maybe Jenny & Dietrich” and then I said “well, maybe we could, you know, invite some guys...you know, for Tim’s benefit?”. She just smiled. She knew I was falling for Duane and she was having fun witnessing it.
After church we invited some of the young adults over, but only a few could make it: Nicole, a guy I’d never met before and Duane. That was okay with me.
We had a great night of playing Cranium and when Nicole got up to go to the bathroom, I stole her seat - the one next to Duane. She told me later that she figured something must be up, but she wasn’t sure, since when I drove her back home I more or less dispelled any notion of me liking Duane. I just wasn’t sure. I think my answer to her question “do you like Duane?” was something along the lines of “well, I’d say yes if he were to ask me out for coffee”.
Duane didn’t ask me out for coffee and the next two weeks dragged. I didn’t talk to him and I wondered if maybe it was all in my head and he probably wouldn’t be interested anyway.
(to be continued)