This weekend I was in another city for a friend’s wedding. I was having a great long weekend up until one morning when I woke up and a thought came to me – I’ll tell you a little bit more backstory first before I share the thought with you.
After posting my last entry I received a message from Karate Kid asking when I was flying out. I said that my flight was Thursday night. His reply was a concise: “Okay. Have fun.” I thought that this was a bit cold, so replied “Night” and then rolled over and went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning he’d sent this message soon after mine:
“I was going to see if you wanted to come for Friday drinks/foods with my workmates but you will be in XXXX….. “
This message made me so happy! This was one of the major-minor milestones that I didn’t even think to include in my silent contract. He’s been in the same job for maybe 8 years, so meeting these people would be significant to him.
I wrote back as soon as I read his message with a genuine: “I would have loved to if I was in town, thank you“. This was such a good sign.
He replied: “Haha all good. Well don’t get into too much trouble. I’ll see you when you come back. O…. send me a photo when you catch the bouquet….”
It could be a pride thing, or maybe a symptom of undiagnosed commitment phobia, but I’ve never attempted to catch a bouquet in my life. I’ll stand to the back of the room until some old lady pushes me to join the other single women. I’ll then begrudgingly go and stand at the back of the group of excited unmarried women so that there’s a human barricade between me and the bouquet. Though it’s never happened before, if the bouquet were to fly in my direction I’d likely step out of it’s path so that someone else could catch it. If people asked why I moved away from the bouquet I would then say that I thought that we were playing Hot Potato.
Even from a young age I refused to believe that whoever was the lady to catch it would be the next to marry – it just didn’t make sense. And, if you do catch it and then you don’t get married in the next year or two, how would you feel? I’d feel really disappointed. If I caught it and Karate Kid knew, would he think that I was desperately waiting to get married to him? Is that what he was implying? Slightly offended by his message I replied:
“Hahaha I stand at the back for the bouquet. Hope you have a nice weekend too. See you when I’m back xo” I tried to keep it friendly as he does have a cheeky sense of humour and may have wanted me to catch it….and this is where the thought that I mention came in.
I stayed with a girlfriend for the start of the wedding weekend. I shared with her my news about dating Karate Kid and how I was optimistic about where it was headed. We exchanged some dating war stories and then went about enjoying our weekends. At some point during my hours of sleep on the first night away, my subconscious mind decided to remind me about something that Karate Kid had said just last week. My selective amnesia was starting to wear off…something that I had decided to dismiss and sweep under the rug was now exposed.
What Karate Kid said to me, without any prompting mind you, was: “I don’t believe in marriage”.
*Freeze, slow motion and internal fading echo – I don’t believe in marriage…..I don’t believe in marriage…..*
This was some time last week we were walking out of my kitchen. All I remember was feeling confused and irritated. After a pause to process what was being said, I defensively rebutted “I believe it’s symbolic”. I can’t even remember what we were doing, perhaps making food for the boardgames session last weekend? but all I remember is that I didn’t have the time nor patience to explore this statement with him. Baffled, I decided to ignore it and more on.
So, Dear Diary. On my first night away, Brain decided to remind me of this bizarre and unprovoked statement that Karate Kid felt compelled to declare. I found it hard to comprehend as he’d asked me in the past if I was religious because he wanted to get married in a fancy cathedral or church some day. For this whole time I’d been under the impression that he wanted marriage….I mean, he had said that he wanted to settle down at some point and have children….but, I guess he didn’t stipulate marriage….was this a slow moving disaster waiting to happen? How could he be so selfish to be prepared to take my time and deny me of something I find important? Did he really mean it? or was he just testing me? What possessed him to blurt it out randomly?
Whatever the answer was, all I knew is that I felt like being back at square one again. It was like falling from the clouds and landing splat on Earth. I had even sent what I now read as an embarrassingly corny text message to a close friend that said:
“I woke up this morning with this good feeling inside. It’s like faith that things are going well with KK. Like we have connected on another level and we are side by side with more strength. It’s such a wonderful feeling. I trust that more is going to come and that it’s all beautiful and what I have been waiting for : )”
…..the same morning I sent to a different girlfriend:
“Yeah, it feels good with KK. I think he’s a good egg. I have faith that it’ll all work out nicely and am excied with teh idea of getting to know him intimately 🙂 I think we could love each other and it’d be unconditional. Takes time to get there , but worth the journey.”
So, that was my moment of bliss before Brain had to go and ruin it all by reminding me of Karate Kid’s deal-breaking statement that I was conveniently ignoring. Just reading what I wrote feels so foreign and wrong now. He’s back to being more like a stranger that I don’t understand. Why would you send such mixed messages to someone? Why would you waste a woman’s time? Why would he be so selfish and hold on to me even though I kept trying to end it if he didn’t have honest intentions? I knew that my next moves would have to be well thought out and planned as breaking up with Karate Kid had proved practically impossible on multiple past occasions. Maybe I’d have to move cities….Could it be that he was just testing me to see how I’d react and that it was all a bluff? it was a pretty cruel thing to do. All it did was create more doubt. I didn’t want to have another confronting conversation where I had to defend my own honour again. There was no time to analyse the situation as I had wedding festivities to enjoy.
When I arrived at the wedding I felt as single as ever. When old friends asked me if I was seeing anyone I said no. There was a man that made eye contact with me twice at the start of the reception. I knew what the look meant and I was not interested in getting to know him. I looked away and then hissed at my friend “Pssst xxxxx, there’s a guy looking at me and I don’t want to talk to him. I’m sure he’s going to come over. Give me your engagement ring to wear!“. I’m sure her ring was expensive as she wasn’t going to part with it…that, or she thought that I was joking – I wasn’t.
I did my best to avoid eye contact with this unshaven, cap-wearing, overconfident, unwelcome stranger. He didn’t come over to us for at least the first hour (maybe until liquid courage had kicked in). I was at a table with three of my friends when I excused myself to the bathroom. On my return he was there! making my friends laugh! I cautiously approached the table and tried to avoid eye contact with him whilst appearing to be polite (it was as hard as it sounds). I kept very quiet and observed the situation without looking at him or laughing at his jokes. After a few minutes his cleanly shaven twin brother and mother came to our table….
Now Dear Diary, I have no idea if they are just usually extroverted, unforgivably honest and boastful, but meeting them was an unforgettable experience. They domineered the conversation and we learned so much about their family. It was a coordinated group effort. Here’s some of what there was to learn:
- The guy in the cap had surprised his family and the groom by flying to the wedding that morning, unannounced.
- The guy in the cap was an Actor and had recently started his own production company. He also dabbles in comedy.
- The twin brother and mother shared with us a commercial that the guy in the cap had been in. I had seen it on YouTube a few times.
- I learned about what they all did for a living
- The twin brother must have been studying engineering and was preparing for living in confined quarters by living in the family cubby house….yes, that’s exactly right, he sleeps in the cubby house by choice. Apparently, it’s insulated and can fit a large bed inside.
The guy in the cap eventually asked me what my name was and reached over the table to shake my hand. He then told me his name was “Dxxxx…..with a big D” and walked away to get another drink. I was repulsed by this innuendo and wished for him not to come back.
The twin brother and mother kept the entertainment going for a bit longer and then they excused themselves to go an smoke a cigarette. Their phrasing was that they jokingly had leprosy and needed to stand in the smoker’s corner. They all shared the same family humour. After they left to go and smoke, I whispered to my friend who didn’t give me the ring the first time “Pssst xxxx. You know the guy that I mentioned that was looking at me and I asked for your ring? that was him! you should have given me your ring!” I think that my friend thought that he was harmless and entertaining – she was correct, but still, just because I identify as single doesn’t mean that I’m desperate.
The guy in the cap kept coming back and so did his twin brother and mother. I kept very guarded and listened to the conversation without really contributing. It got to a point where they all turned to each other and said that we had been so quiet that they didn’t realise that we hadn’t been speaking much. So the twin brother and the guy in the cap decided to play ‘Good cop, bad cop’ and ask us questions. They were very animated and after asking each question somehow the conversation would end up being about them and they’d talk for another 10 minutes before realising that we were their silent audience, yet again. They’d then blame us and say that we were doing it on purpose and then fire off another question.
Soon, the wedding speeches started. We got up from our table and congregated near the microphone. The Bride had asked me months ago to lead an impromptu dance choreography when a particular song came on. It was going to be soon after the first dance. I did get a little nervous leading up to the choreography as I didn’t know if people would follow it and what would be an appropriate level of difficulty for the moves.
Whilst I was bobbing around on the dance floor waiting for the song to come on the twin brother came up to talk with me (couldn’t he see that I was busy dancing?). He asked me if I went to the hen’s night – no – Why? – I was at a pre-paid dance congress (having my heart ripped out by Karate Kid and in hindsight would have preferred to have been a the hen’s – but he didn’t need to know that). He got excited by this information and said that I needed to show him my dance moves. Without missing a beat, I smiled and said ‘Give me a second‘ before pushing past him and standing at the front of the dance floor. The choreography song had just started and it was time to make these people dance!
The group dance was a success and a lot of people joined in. The twin brother and the guy in the cap also got really involved. For the rest of the night I was no longer a passive guest. Everyone knew who I was and wanted to connect. I spent the rest of the night dancing to the music and trying to keep away from the guy in the cap and the twin brother. At one point the twin found me near the bar and struck up conversation. I was really confused as to if he was being a wing man for his brother or if he was single (I’m sure that he had mentioned having a girlfriend earlier in the night…but was that just so that I’d put my defenses down?). I managed to extract myself from that situation and make it back to the dance floor.
After a couple of hours the friends that I came with were getting tired. The party was still going strong and the twins were break dancing on the dance floor…I’ll admit that I’ve always been a fan of break dancing. Anyway, pulling off the Cinderella Act was going to prove difficult as it was an intimate wedding and the dance floor was next to the exit which had an exposed 20 meter path….I did try my best all the same.
When saying goodbye to the Bride and Groom the twin brother came up to ask why I was going and said that I should go out clubbing with them….no, thank you. Anastasia needs her beauty sleep. He then said that I should add him on Facey – excuse me? why would I do that? I’m sure my facial expression said it all. My friends and I made our way to the exit and I almost got out without saying goodbye to the guy in the cap, but he casually caught us and made eye contact with me and sincerely said “It was nice to meet you”.
My friend thought it was funny that he and his family were giving us so much attention that evening. She thought that they were trying to impress me. It could just be who they are normally. Anyway, they lived in different cities to me and it meant that I’d likely never have to see them again…apart from in commercials.
Oh! good news! I didn’t catch the bouquet 🙂