I don't think that I mentioned in the Prequel that Twin Lakes is a Christian ministry of First Presbyterian Church that has young campers during the summer and hosts different groups during the year. Working as a host, which both David and I did, requires one weekend a month to "host" a group by welcoming them, helping them be comfortable, setting up bonfires, working the ropes courses (high and low), and helping with and cleaning up after meals. It is a magical and wonderful place for campers and staff alike. David worked there for years during summer camp before he became a host. He was pretty well-known over there.
That November 3rd morning probably around 8am, it was a little slow and I was sitting on the porch swing of the front office. I was chatting with one of the guests, just shooting the breeze. This guy walked up with the staff shirt on. What I remember was that he had a grim look about him. He had a 5 o'clock shadow and his lips were thinset and seemed rather reserved. I was in cheerful staff mode and asked him if he was David and shook his hand. He was friendly. He checked-in and returned to the porch and sat with me and the other male guest. We all chatted for awhile. I don't remember much of what we talked about. It came up that he was one of 11. We talked about Irish music, Fenians, and the Celtic Fest. Then, we set about separately to take care of some tasks that needed doing. Once again, there was a lull and I sat on the front porch again. It was November but a Mississippi November where it felt like spring. It was a gorgeous day and I was enjoying the mild temperatures. David drove by the office, saw me, and then backed up and parked the golfcart. He came to sit with me again. I started to wonder then if he was maybe interested but I didn't think too hard about it. I remained casual rather than becoming weird (which I have done in the past--see the post about wonderwoman and charlies angels). We talked some more. Then it was time to help with lunch. We headed that way and continued our conversations in between working and getting the glasses and ice out and prepping the tables. He seemed to me to be a little more eager to work hard. He also seemed a little nervous. Again, I noted it but didn't obsess over it. It isn't like I thought anything would come of it. After serving lunch, the staff all sat together on the dining room porch to eat. David and I talked most of the time. The part of the conversation that I do remember from that time was me saying in response to how many nieces and nephews he had that I would never be an aunt because I was an only child. He said, quite prophetically, that I might marry someone with a lot of nieces and nephews and then I could be aunt. Indeed, David. Indeed. (P.S. I love being an aunt to so many precious kids!)
I was only working through early afternoon on that day. I ran into David at the front office (where the porch swing was) and told him it was nice meeting him and hopefully we could work again together. I turned and walked inside to check-out.
He was surprised and said, "You're leaving?"
"Yeah, I'm only working a half-day today." Then came a very awkward few moments between us.
David said, "Well, hey, would you be interested in going to see the Boundstreet band at Fenian's when they play thursday after next?"
I remember turning to face him with an internal smile on my face. The inward smile was about me realizing that this boy was interested. However, given my history with boys who weren't clear, I had my guard up. Was he wanting to hang out with a bunch of friends of his and invite me along as a chum? Was he asking me for a date? If he were asking me for a date, wouldn't he ask for my number? It wasn't clear. Obviously, at that point I wasn't acquainted with David's Hogueness. What I mean by Hogueness was that there are a lot of vague phrases that some of the Hogues use to fill in spots for real words or opinions, such as "Y'know". I've heard sentences like, "I'm not sure, y'know, about that, y'know." The stronger the negative emotion, the less clear some Hogues are. It is kinda funny. Anyway, I digress. I started to feel David out to figure out what exactly he was asking me. "Did you want me to meet you there?" This question was to figure out if this was date.
His reply did not clear things up. "I can pick you up, if you want."
IF I WANT? Well, now was he trying to be friendly by offering to pick me up but originally wasn't planning to? Or was he planning to pick me up in the first place?
I said, "Well, I live all the way in Clinton, and you are in Belhaven (right next to Fenian's). You don't want to drive all that way. I can meet you." I think that I offered this because I didn't want someone to go out of their way for me because it may put them out. I supposed my inconveniencing him would turn him off.
"I don't mind." he says.
"I would feel bad with you coming all that way."
At this point, David confides later that he wasn't sure if I was interested in a date or not by those questions that I was asking. So, my confusion and his confusion led to that fateful awkward moment.
I wasn't getting anywhere with feeling him out. I wondered if he was going to ask for my number. If this was a serious invitation he would need my number, right? I was already feeling sufficiently awkward and vulnerable. I don't remember how he got my number but he did eventually ask for it but I may have said, "Do you need my number?" I'm not sure. I think what happened that my husband who is slow speak was taking a long time to ask for the number. Me, who is too quick to speak, and whose brain just works superfast, beat him to the punch. Later on in our relationship, I learned that David's silence was not always hesitation but him constructing his words carefully. I just had to learn patience to wait for those words.
I got in the car on my way home and thought, "Huh. How about that? I think I was asked on a date."
CJ Mahaney’s Christmas Book List 2017
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