Monday, September 16, 2013

H O M E is wherever I'm with you : part three


never thought i'd live to see the day
when everybody's words got in the way
|| everybody talks - neon trees || 

So August went on. 
Before we left for Florida I had announced that I would be hosting a vlog answering some FAQ's of my blog readers {at this time you may all virtually stone me in the streets because I'm a horrible blogger and never followed through with this. Boo self, boo.}

On the 18th, a little over a week after we got back from Florida, I posted a reminder...and a few days later...this happened:
 

Really? REALLY?! You don't talk to me at all when we're in person and then you leave comments like this on a post that my non-photography-related-friends are NOT supposed to care about?! 
Yep. I kinda thought he must be weird. But funny. And unpredictable. Maybe ditzy? Or naive? Or was it quirkiness? WHAT WAS WITH HIM?!

Google+ was hopping and buzzing like a block party on Labor Day. It really was the place to be. We all exchanged witticisms like kids trading packed lunches at school. For the most part, life never really skipped a beat after Florida. After I settled down about the ridiculous vlog thing, I didn't dwell on him not talking to me when we had seen each other. He just blended back into the intriguingly pleasant watercolor of my in-real-life acquaintances/online buddies on this conservative little social media shindig I had found myself in. All of my circle's posts were like one-ups to see who could start the funniest, longest, most random conversation...or so it seemed. Every single one had me rolling and crying {with laughter...um...I wasn't depressed...} and so daily amusement was never hard to come by.
Trevor posted things frequently and, somehow or another; off-topic, outrageously funny threads always got started beneath his random picture or short status. I commented always...joining in the fun that everyone was having. We all posted gifs, quoted movies or songs or our imaginations, and "1+"ed our little hearts out. However, one picture in particular that he posted was about to change the game up a little bit.
Him, as a child, with another child. He asked us all to guess who it was. We all knew, of course, he must be the one in the red shirt. Which was correct. We all told him he looked adorable. Which was also correct. The facts were established and the post sat silent for a few days. And then...he commented the very thought I had been having since he posted the picture,
"I've been trying to think of an adequate comment for this picture...... And I can't." 
Just so! I wanted so badly to toss out a brilliant line like a master at poker throws out the "sure to win" card he's been saving. It was my way. I could tell that my new friends thought I was funny. And I wanted to always be funny, and insightful, and interesting to them. It stems from a natural urge to please others, stemming further from a silent fear that others think, have thought, or will think I'm lame. But no matter how hard I tried to pull the rabbit out of the hat, I couldn't think of anything. 
So...I commented my despair. And, he thought it was funny that I couldn't think of anything humorous to say. :)
And then! He thought of something to say...


I walked away from it all like I normally did...another back and forth that had caused a good bit of laughter that did the heart good. Nothing more. For the time being of course.

On August 27th I was home alone editing pictures. I was in a t-shirt and pajama shorts. Not toootally grungy but certainly not dolled up in the least. A chat came up. It was Trevor...of course. His sporadically common chats had continued though I didn't read much into them. He seemed indifferent but friendly. He literally seemed to just want to chat. Shoot the breeze. Ask what's up. Have something to do for five minutes before heading off or stopping in the middle of a conversation. He didn't seem to be seeking me out. He wasn't toying with my emotions. I wasn't really having any. I supposed no harm done. This chat referred to his vlog questions.
"When am I every going to get my questions answered?"
I smirked and began to quip back but then something hit me.
I was alone.
I felt funny chatting without my parents home. I didn't prefer it and neither did they. In fact...it was something I didn't do. But now in the sudden nervousness that came over me in that moment I didn't want to just shut him up or abruptly tell him bye or ignore him altogether. So I decided to be normal, cool, not worried, and friendly with no hidden agendas or motives.
Somehow it got mentioned that our friend Colin had been trying to plan a big G+ Hangout...its like Skype except up to nine people can do it at once. It sounded fun but none of us had ever really attempted it.
Trevor said he hadn't ever been able to get it to work right for him in fact. Maybe it was his browser, he said. I told him I used Chrome but I had never done a hangout to know if it was anymore compatible than Safari. Then, all at once, I was staring at an invite to hangout. Before I even had time to think, or catch my breath...or finger through my hair and access whether my makeup was smeared {or if I even had any on!} I accepted like the crazy woman that I am and in seconds I was face to face with Trevor Ruby.
It felt so strange and awkward and fun...ny. He was wearing a Wonder Bread t-shirt. I liked it. I commented on it. We laughed nervously and stiffly. He asked me what was shining behind me. It was a pane of glass on a curio cabinet. There seemed to be a small unspoken mutual effort to avoid painful silences...and little to no eye contact on my part because for some reason this was just making me jumpy. It couldn't have lasted a second more than 5 minutes when he laughed, waved bye, and shut it off. It was obvious that it was awkward...but fun. My heart was pounding a million miles an hour. I felt like I had just let a guy come over to my house while my parents were out. WEIRD! Ok...not cool. That wouldn't ever happen.
He was typing....
"I should've done something fun like a house tour or something! 
Then he sent another invite! OH NO!
Thankfully it fell through...his browser acted up again and I was able to gracefully and politely bow out and admit that I needed to get back to editing pictures. I quickly signed off and tried to take deep breaths. Why did that feel so funny/scary/breath-taking/nerve-racking/strange? It was that stupid emotion that even when you don't like a guy, talking to them can make you feel like you're ready to melt or pass out or both.
Truth be told, I was past him being ugly. He was officially attractive to some degree in my book...not superbly so as everyone said, but he wasn't ugly to me anymore. Mostly because during the Olympics my mother mentioned him looking like Ryan Lochte. I didn't see it at first but once I did, the slight resemblance catapulted Trevor into the "good-looking guy camp."
Later when I told my mom about the hangout I said, "You know I haaate talking on the phone and I have sworn that it will not be my means of choice to communicate with my man when I'm in a relationship. But the video chat thing...I could do that! Video chatting with Trevor made me realize how fun it would be to do that when I'm in love with someone....you know...not him, just...my man. Whoever he's going to be."
I told Rachel. She thought it was hilarious at first and then....a word of caution. She rebuked/challenged me to a certain extent because she felt like maybe I had allowed myself to get too friendly too fast with these guys I didn't know in person very well. She thought maybe, if I didn't want Trevor to keep popping up, I should try a little more of the cold shoulder than I was. Others were....talking.
"Talking?" I asked.
Yes. Talking. Asking. About you and Trevor. Whether you like each other. Cause of your back and forth comments on G+. Especially because y'all were exchanging Christian pick-up lines on that picture of him as a little boy. Everyone noticed that and thought it might....mean something. It seemed very pointed. She informed me.
"But I comment that way to everyone! He posts more often so it might seem like I interact with him more but, honestly, my activity on their posts matches my feelings...equal towards all my new guy friends." I countered back.
I saw her point. I took the criticism to heart and felt like I must be making quite a disgrace of myself for several people to have mentioned it. I asked my parents and they seemed to agree with me that my witty comments were equally distributed. But somehow...talk had still arisen. Somehow 1+1 equaled 2 and everyone got the impression that me and Trevor liked each other!
I didn't like him! I was sure of it. I did not like Trevor! Not at all! She believed me but suggested I tread further with great caution. For awhile I considered stopping all interaction with him to get everyone to quiet down about the whole ridiculous notion. Maybe just "1+" things for awhile and don't comment...especially witty things...and maybe just ignore chats or be as vague or blah as possible. I set out and tried to do better. I didn't scale back my comments to non-existent. It wasn't me. I had to still be me. Yes, I didn't know these people all that well but I was fond of them! And you can only get closer to people through interaction. Even if online. I trusted my parents to keep me accountable and I moved forward seeking to be more mindful of my words and actions.
At the beginning of September our family went to stay with our friends from church, the Newbolds, so I could take their family pictures and the mom, Katy's, maternity pictures.
That evening as I was looking over the pictures on my laptop and as the adults talked, I got an invite to join a big hangout. Amanda, Michael, Colin, Taylor, and  Trevor. I went into the other room and accepted the invitation.
And...IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!
I was completely hooked on this hangout thing. And these Missouri people...they just got awesomer and awesomer for me.
The Newbold boys kept coming in being loud and goofy {like the little boys that they are ;)} in front of my friends. Michael, Colin, and Taylor had a blast on that regard. But Trevor was getting a headache so he left the hangout. I felt slightly sad to see him go but the fun continued well after he left...so much so that he was scarcely missed.
That night as I was getting ready for bed, alone in their schoolroom that I was to sleep in, I was checking things online before shutting the computer off for the night and Trevor started chatting with me asking if the kids were in bed. We ended up chatting a long time...until around midnight or later. It was a slightly deeper conversation than we had ever had. Nothing flirty...all general. Just long. We both eventually surrendered cause we were so tired. It felt odd, once again, talking to a guy in such an unfamiliar setting...so late and that long. It was an abnormal situation since I wasn't at home.
 I didn't really feel nervous...or uncomfortable...or excited...or anything. It was just kind of...different, that's all.
On the night of the 11th Mama and I were up late, about to go to bed when I got an invite to a hangout. A bunch of people were online so I knew it was going to be big. Mama said I could join it for a little bit to say hi, and bye, and goodnight. Once I joined I waved vigorously and examined all the faces in boxes at the bottom of the screen to see who was present. Then it hit me.
Here I was in the midst of a big group of guys...ONLY!
Jase, Michael, Colin, Austin, and Trevor!
For all of you girls that have close guy friends and this doesn't seem shocking to you at all....well, I've lived that life before. My elementary school days were quite boy filled. All my best friends were of the male-ish type and I always felt much more comfortable around them. But in years since, having joined a completely new group of friends and adopting an overly strict mindset on this issue, I had somehow grown a bit scared, deep down, of guys. That is why I think, in some ways, I tried to become so familiar so quickly with the Missouri fellows...I wanted so badly to try and release myself from this cage I had put myself in. Praise the Lord, He brought me out of that {what I feel is} sinful fear little by little but...back to the story...here and now, facing a screen with five guys staring back at me....I wanted to run and hide. Note the confusion/terror in my face:

But they were all excited to see me and they wanted to talk to and about me nearly the entire time. Austin and I had never met so introductions were in order. Then they had a little conversation amongst themselves as if I wasn't there about whether or not I could be legitimately classified as cool. Austin was wanting to know.
Michael heartily pleaded the case in favor of my coolness and I laughed at the hilarity of what they were saying. Trevor, though he was actually the one who had started the hangout, ended up laying down and yawning and we could only see his arm the majority of the time. Which the other guys insisted he did on purpose just to show off how much bigger his arm was compared to theirs.
I laughed and laughed. It was like they were either being especially silly to get my attention or they didn't really acknowledge my presence....maybe this was just a glimpse into the real life interaction between guys.
Fascinating creatures, they are. Mind boggling and difficult to wrap a girlish mind around but...nice...I think.
At one point Michael tried out the YouTube feature where everyone could watch the same video at the same time. The one he chose to share was quite terrifying and strange and frankly it horrified me...some documentary of something or other. My face apparently clearly displayed my horrification because Michael started exclaiming, "Guys! I hope y'all are watching Allix's facial expressions rather than the video! Because the former is the more entertaining of the two by far!"
To be quite honest...I smiled proudly that I was the center of attention.
Then Trevor mumbled, "I wasn't watching either one."
If I would've been the two year old me on a playground I would've stuck my tongue out at that boy! Pride, once again you struck this heart of mine! :P

Because, no matter how much or how fast I was warming up to them, we were still practically strangers; it was still considered odd by a few of the girls that me and these Missouri guys that I had only briefly met in person were already so comfortable. I was devastated and overwhelmed and bewildered half the time because I could hardly decide if I was handling things and behaving right or not. I was constantly worried that I was being talked about...suspected of being "too friendly" with them. And I felt like, even though questioning had died down, people still thought something was between Trevor and I especially.

But I felt like it would be foolish and unnecessary for me to avoid my guy friends. If they chatted with me, I chatted back. I talked to them just as I imagined I would talk to them in person. I grew better at it...more natural, less stiff. Which, in turn, made it feel less and less like something that could be interpreted as flirting. I finally felt like I was coming to a happy medium and treating them purely as dear brothers in Christ and friends...instead of just potential spouses.
The chats were enjoyable, relaxed, general conversation between "just friends."I genuinely felt pure friendship love towards all of them and I began to really look forward to conversations with any of the guys. They were all equal in my eyes and heart.
Except....Trevor still talked to me significantly more than any of the others. And at the beginning of October he started using the Messenger on the G+ app to talk to me. I didn't really get what it was at first but eventually I realized it was basically texting. Immediate access to each other through our iPhones. Because of the convenience, that became slightly more frequent than our roughly twice a week chats had been. He now sent messages 3 or more times a week in addition to chatting. So by the end of the week we had usually had a handful of short chit-chatty conversations.

So, he in particular was becoming an established part of my every week....but that didn't really mean anything to me........
did it?

to be continued.

12 comments:

  1. this is so exciting, hiliarious, wonderful, and awesome !

    <3

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  2. Ah!!! Another wait! Girl, you're good at leaving us all on a cliff hanger. Also. Lovelovelove reading these. Hurry with part 4 please?! :D

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  3. ahh! this is such a goofy and lovely story. :) More pleasee! :D

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  4. i need moreeee. this is adorable really. and that picture of Trevor when he was a kid is cuter than life.

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  5. Ahhhh. This makes me SMMMMMIIIIILE. Seriously can't wait for more!

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  6. Eek! Enjoyed reading this SO MUCH, but you're killing me girl with ANOTHER wait...I mean come on, why can't it just be all in one post? I'm terrible at waiting. :( :D

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  7. I'm really enjoying following your story! I love your writing, especially the cliff-hangers at the end. :D

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. making me lolfr! Can't wait for the next part! You write amazingly by the way....
    ~Elina
    www.ordinarydelight.blogspot.com

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Hey!! You're commenting!! You are so nice :) Thanks for making my day. :D