We all need some measure of unwarranted grace

I’m still writing my other year-end reflection and my resolutions post, but I’ll get those up later this week.

Man, I don’t know how to write this but I’m going to try I guess.

Crush Girl and I went somewhere together by ourselves. She mentioned a movie she was hoping to see, and I mentioned that I was going to see it too, probably later, after a few other things on my list.

She messaged me later the same day, asking if I wanted to join her and a couple of her friends to see it. Holy moly. Two things went through my brain on endless repeat at a hundred miles per hour: Oh my gosh what is this and what does it mean? and oh geez I can’t afford a movie this week my budget is super tight until payday!

So bad was my cash situation that I was going to have to take my coin jar to a Coinstar (note to self: use that rhyme in a rap someday) just to cover the movie. Crush Girl asked me how much movies cost nowadays (she commented last fall on how expensive they are) and I said this one was going to be $10 at theater A (it was cheap movie night there) and $6 at theater B (it was cheaper movie night there), but $6 only if she signed up for the free club thing.

She tried to convince her friends to change plans and go to theater B, but they were set on theater A, I guess, so they were going there. She asked me if I wanted to go to theater B. I said sure, but I was equally happy to see it at theater A. I was lying of course, lying through my lying teeth.

Lying through my lying messaging fingers, actually, but the point is I very purposely gave her a chance not to be stuck alone with me and she didn’t take it.

I met her at theater B. I’d been sending Jocelyn the play-by-play as these events unfolded, so while I normally might have been a mess, I was pretty calm by the time I was in line at the box office. I wasn’t going to worry about oh my gosh what is this and what does it mean, and I had enough cash to handle $6 (I’m telling you; things were this tight), so I was just going to go along with it and be nice.

I can be nice, contrary to popular opinion.

She asked me if I had a seating preference, which of course I do, but people were already there, so I said, “I do, but someone’s there, so let’s sit wherever you want to sit.” She chose a typical seat, near the middle, not too far back. I slid in next to her and dropped the armrest on my left. She dropped the armrest on her right, and neither of us dropped the armrest in the middle.

This may not sound like a big deal, but the only person I haven’t dropped the middle armrest for is R. I usually don’t even sit next to Penny or Grace if we’re in a movie together.

I have to say I was a leeeeeettle uncomfy being able only to put my left arm on an armrest, so I sat mostly with my arms crossed throughout the film. This may have seemed a little standoffish, but given the circumstances and the friendzoning, I wasn’t taking chances on being misread.

I just realized that sitting with my arms crossed was in fact taking a chance on being misread, but given the many ways I might have been misread, it’s better to err on safety’s side.

Anyway.

She’s not a movie talker (thank you Jesus) but she did lean over and whisper a couple of questions during the film, which I was happy to answer (incorrectly, it turns out), and those are my two favorite moments of 2020. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve been a great audience; it was a great year. Bring on 2021.

We chatted after the movie for a few minutes and I walked her to her car, which we discovered was parked a few stalls away from mine and as she drove off, I got Jocelyn caught up via Google hangouts. Jocelyn is super super super super super super super busy with super important stuff (like, life-or-death stuff) so I knew she wasn’t going to get back to me. I just needed to type to someone oh my gosh what is this and what does it mean?

Couldn’t just get into my car and drive home after that. I paced the parking garage a few times and watched a few airplanes fly out of HNL.

I kind of knew how they felt.

One Reply to “We all need some measure of unwarranted grace”

  1. Oh. My. God. I am pulling my hair out.

    I don’t know if she, in her mind, really has you in the friend zone, or…if neither one of you realizes that you are both dating.

    Anyway, did you send her some follow-up / buddy texts? Like…
    “Make it home safely?”
    “That was fun–have a happy day tomorrow! [insert funny meme]”
    “I liked your friends. What did they think of the movie?”
    “Hey, wanna take a sack lunch to [insert where] for lunch on [insert day in the immediate future]?”
    “Let’s check out the (free) lei workshop at International Market Place on Feb 2.”

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