Friday, February 25, 2011

It happened one night at the Texas Roadhouse...

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.


Hey, It's Ansley said...

As a 37 year old single girl who hardly ever dates but just had 2 guys asking me out, I would say this is just the right level of dramatic, healing, and revelatory. We can be smart and kind and beautiful but sometimes we need some outside approval (which kinda sucks) to remind us how amazing we are. Glad you were reminded because you are one of the most amazing people I know.

JonJon said...

You and your adorable new pixie cut are irresistable.

Geoffwah said...

I just did a tapdance of my heart.

Robyn said...

oh my gosh! I LOVE this story. Thank you so much for posting it- I TOTALLY needed to hear this right now. Please tell Ethan thank you from me. I am so sick of guys not doing anything.
You're beautiful and amazing and I'm glad that he could see that and that he actually ACTED on it. :)

Marianne & Clayton said...

Seriously! That is pure awesome. I wish more guys did stuff like that. Men acting like men. Go Ethan and go KaRyn for this super-fun story.

And I used to mock the TR until I had those da*# rolls with that infernal cinnamon butter.

Regirlfriend said...

I was looking for ways to defend the rolls. And myself for liking them. And the fact that TR is a nice, low common denominator that allows for better turnouts. But Marianne took care of most of it. You big stud, Annie.

Ninny, I'd hit on you. The last time I saw a man do that, it was a guy at a table WITH ME, sending a side of CORN to some girl.

The cinnamon butter really is infernal.

If you need your sensibilities repaired, however, let's eat somewhere hip and obscure in SLC. For added hipster effect, we can walk there from my apartment.

Love you.

Marie said...

Not at all overly dramatic (or if it is, we are both drama queens). I've had a similar experience lately after eons of nada and have been trying to articulate this very thing to said male (as an expression of gratitude and also an encouragement for his future wooing of other females). You said it well. How can older single men be made to understand that risking of their pride is kinda sorta crucial to attracting females, by making them feel risk-worthy? Or is the problem that the bar of physical beauty has been raised so high that we "normal" girls really are no longer risk-worthy by most 30-something waning-libido bachelor standards? At any rate, it's really lovely when a lone male bucks the trend, thus altering Reality As We Know It. It really does change the fabric of your self-perception. I'm getting a little teary thinking about it.

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