Hello again, dear readers. Thanks for coming back to read more of this harrowing love story. We left off with Jimmy not speaking to me after I started dating another guy. Can you blame him? In my defense, though it had been a couple of months of pleasant phone conversations but no progress in the date department. I thought it was the old "He's just not that into you" philosophy, but Jimmy later explained this slow start was because he didn't have his license and was embarrassed to ask his friends to take him to pick up his date. Jimmy's mom actually confirmed this years later, telling me that all of sudden Jimmy was really anxious to get his license the winter of that grade 12 year and she couldn't figure out why, as he had been perfectly happy to have his friends and siblings chauffeur him around up to that point.
Regardless, let's get back to this exciting tale. You've waited long enough. So, it looked like things were doomed. I was dating another guy and Jimmy was mad. Sadly, my relationship with this other guy didn't last long, as he soon came to realize I had entered into the whole affair more because I didn't want to say no than because I couldn't live without him. So after about two weeks, that fizzled too, and now I had two guys mad at me.
The rest of the school year passed with very little interaction between James and I. There was one run in at a party during which I initiated an awkward conversation centered around chap stick that went nowhere fast. But once summer hit, I was feeling crazy again and worked up the courage to call Jimmy to invite him to my 16th birthday party (which my parents had foolishly agreed to host - they really didn't realize that word would spread and they'd have 100 or so high schoolers in their back yard, many of whom I didn't know). Jimmy was surprisingly receptive, however he didn't know if he could make it because he had a lacrosse game in a city about three hours away, but said he'd try to make it back for the party. He did not, however make it to the party. He also did not call me for the rest of the summer. His friends did make it to the party though, and I think it was a key factor in their forgiving me for having betrayed their friend. Phewf, weight lifted!
After a couple of weeks of brooding over the fact that Jimmy had not come to the party, nor had he called to explain why, or if he ever wanted to speak to me again, I gave up. By the end of the summer I had a new suitor, another guy that I thought just wanted to be friends. I had learned my lesson and was making it clear I didn't want to move beyond friend territory, but this guy was persistent. He kept up his pursuit into the fall, and I was actually on the phone with him one night when the other line rang. I put him on hold and answered the other line only to hear Jimmy's by now unfamiliar voice. It turns out the two guys were out at the same place at the same time, and Jimmy had caught wind of this other guy's interest in me. You see, it is just like a romantic comedy - jealousy works it's magic again! I went back to the guy on hold and told him I had to go, and he finally realized I was serious about the just friends thing. I didn't hear from him anymore.
Meanwhile, Jimmy and I were talking on the phone regularly once again. This time though, the offer to go on a date came after only about a week! Jimmy had finally earned his license and was going to pick me up for a real date! I spent a looong time getting ready for the date, and then I waited. And waited. And then the phone rang. It was Jimmy, telling me he had to cancel because his mom had to stay late at work and he couldn't use the car. I later learned this was a total lie. He confessed at a much later date that he was actually playing an intense series of NHL on the Play Station with his brother. I brought this fact up during my speech at our wedding, hoping to inspire some shame, but no. This was the reaction between the two brothers, caught on film to be remembered forever.
At the time, I took what I thought was a legitimate excuse at face value, and tried to be understanding. We did end up having our first date within another week, after some fishing on my part. We were talking on the phone (always on the phone!) and I kept saying that I could really go for an ice cream. After I subtly dropped the ice cream hint 10 times or more, Jimmy picked up on it and said he could come pick me up and take me out for the ice cream I so desperately needed. So mere minutes later he was at my door and we were on our way for ice cream. It was a little awkward, as once we got to Dairy Queen, I suggested we go through the drive through rather than sit inside, and then Jimmy didn't even order anything! So, there we were in the car, me with my ice cream, he with nothing, and no real way to continue the date. Somehow we came up with the idea to drive around while I ate my ice cream, which led to another awkward situation in which Jimmy had to stop fast for a light and threw his arm up across my chest to help "hold me back" in my seat. So overall, a total success.
After several more awkward dates, including one where Jimmy accidentally ran a red light and received a hefty ticket, and another where he brought me home late for curfew because I had neglected to tell him what my curfew was until about ten minutes before said curfew, he made it official and asked me to be his girlfriend. Ta da! We enjoyed five months with less and less awkward dates, and then Jimmy announced his plans to move to Vancouver for five months to play lacrosse. Ugh! But we made it through, long distance style, as we did every spring and summer after that for the next five years. Thankfully, Jimmy can stay home and play lacrosse now, but that was the slow and difficult start to our relationship that has helped make it the solid institution it is today. If you were able to read this far, you deserve an award, but I don't have one for you. Sorry! You could go and have a glass of wine knowing that I can't but really wish I could. Then we'll be even Steven.