So Mr. Beatles and I were back together, just in time for my mom to visit for Mother's Week.
My mom and I have always been really close. I could, and would, tell her everything. But that had changed a little bit since I started school. A lot of it was just due to the fact that we no longer shared a house -- or a state, for that matter. We simply weren't able to talk as much as before, which meant that when we did talk, there was so much to catch up on that we didn't have time for all the details.
While all of that was true, there was more to it when it came to Mr. Beatles. I knew that my mom didn't think we should get back together. We had prayed and knew we were supposed to break up -- why would we go against that? Our reasoning was that we had broken up. Maybe now was the time for us. Mr. Beatles realized a lot of things during those months -- he thought he was ready.
So I was pretty nervous about my mom coming. And honestly, it was awkward at first. But she and I had a great talk the first night she was there and we really cleared the air. The next night Mr. Beatles cooked dinner for us and we all had a good talk. We all felt a lot better about things.
Mom left at the end of the week. Just hours after she left, Mr. Beatles and I shared our first kiss. It was a big deal for me. To this point, Superman had been the only boy I kissed. And I was in LOVE when I kissed him. I promised myself that I would only kiss guys I was in love with. Within a week of that, we were talking long-term commitments, summer plans, whether or not we would need housing contracts for the fall term, etc.
Yeah. It moved pretty fast. It was like once he decided what he wanted, he saw no reason to wait.
It's interesting, because I'm going back through my journals as I chronicle all this. (And I do mean ALL of this. Sorry it's such a long story!!) As we were starting to get back together, I wrote that I wanted to be good friends with the potential of getting back together. Within two weeks, we were officially together. Then I wrote that I was okay with being more serious, as long as we took it slowly. But within a week, were talking about being married by Christmas.
I mention in my journal that my best friend got engaged one month after her first date with the guy. (Hi, Kelli! Love you!) I wrote, "We will NOT move that fast. We will continue to talk a lot about it, I'm sure, but we don't plan to marry over the summer." Just.....keep that in mind.
I knew it was fast then, but looking back, I'm SHOCKED at how fast it all was. In one month, we went from being broken up to deciding to get married over Thanksgiving. A week after that decision, we drove with some friends to his sister's house in northern Idaho so I could meet his parents. It went pretty well. His mom loved me. (Of course -- the moms always love me!) His dad was pretty quiet. To this day, I don't know what he really thought of me and my relationship with his son.
A week after that trip, we set a date to go ring shopping. When I told my mom that, she was........not thrilled. To say the least. She knew that I still had lingering questions about my relationship with Superman, and there was another guy from home that I had wanted to date before he left on his mission. (I'll call him Dorito.) He was home now -- both he and Superman would be there over the summer. She thought it was great that I felt so sure about Mr. Beatles, but didn't I want to be really sure? If we were meant to last, we'd last through the summer. She just didn't want me to have any regrets. Neither did I. At the very least, I needed closure to mine and Superman's relationship.
What Mom said made a lot of sense. Everything had been moving so fast.....did we really need to be engaged by the end of the semester? If it was right, it was going to be right after the summer, too.
So Mr. Beatles and I had a talk. I told him all that my mom and I had discussed. I told him that I needed to date(ish) Superman and Dorito for me.
My journal says that I told him my heart knew it was him, but my mind didn't know for sure. (In reality, my heart wanted it to be him so bad that I was willing to lie to myself.)
But as soon as I said all that, I regretted it. There was an instant change in him. His arm had been around me, and he slowly took it off my shoulder and scooted away just the slightest bit. He said that until I knew 100% -- heart and mind -- maybe we shouldn't talk about marriage. I felt so confused. I wasn't breaking up with him. I didn't want to date other guys to see if there was anything better or because I was dissatisfied with him. I wanted to date the other guys to cement my relationship with Mr. Beatles. I did not want to have ANY regrets or unfinished business.
But he didn't see it that way. He was really hurt by what I had said. After a few minutes he said, "I am here to support you. If you feel you need to see how things go with them.....No matter how much I don't like it, how much it hurts.....whatever you need to do." The right words were there, but the attitude definitely was not. He did not have a supportive attitude. I was just sick.
So instead of sticking to what I had decided, I caved. I loved him. I really did. I decided, and told him, that I didn't need to date the other guys. I was ready to pick out a ring.
By the next day, I had convinced myself that the moment Mr. Beatles took his arm off my shoulder and I felt so confused was "really" the Spirit telling me that being with Mr. Beatles was right. (Does that make sense? I mean, I know it doesn't actually make sense, but do you follow what I'm saying?) I knew I needed to have a definite "moment" where I "knew" the man I was to marry, and I picked that as my moment.
(For the record, this is really difficult to write. I haven't really trudged through all these memories since they occured. And it's hard to see how foolish I was about everything. All I can say is that I really loved the guy, and wanted so badly for it to be right that I lied to myself for way too long.)
We went ring shopping a few days later, though we still weren't sure when we wanted to make it official -- the end of the semester, or the end of the summer. Either we'd be "practically" engaged, or officially engaged. We went back and forth on it for over a week. My mom had a gut feeling that we should wait. She wasn't still encouraging me to date, but just thought we should wait to make it official. And I knew that I was supposed to listen to my parents when it came to my marriage decision. But I wanted the ring! I wanted to be engaged! I loved him! I wanted to plan a wedding! I was ready for marriage!
We fasted and prayed about it, and decided to buy a ring and make it official before the summer. Honestly, the ring was gorgeous. It was white gold, with a "floating" brilliant round diamond. I loved that ring. It looked bad on my pudgy fingers because it had a thick band, but I loved the ring so much I didn't care. (A very apt metaphor for our relationship, now that I think about it!) I paid for about half the ring because Mr. Beatles had already quit his job to go home for the summer. The ring shop wouldn't finance a guy without a job.
So we had the ring. From Rexburg, we headed to the Seattle area, where Mr. Beatles was from. We were going to spend a week there with his family. Then he was going to drive to Kentucky to spend the summer with his brother and his family, and drop me off in Kansas on the way.
A day or so after we arrived at Mr. Beatles home, he called my dad to ask for my hand in marriage. My dad acquiecsed to his request. Two days later, Mr. Beatles proposed. It was sweet and romantic-ish, but not a surprise. Nothing was a surprise. I knew what the ring looked like. I knew when he was going to do it. I knew how he was going to do it. It was good to have it be official, but.....I mean, I didn't even call my mom or my best friend and gush about it all. I left my parents a message saying it was official. Can you believe that? What a horrible daughter!!! How anticlimatic can getting engaged be?!
A week later, we were in Kansas. Mr. Beatles was just going to stay for a few days, then head to Kentucky. It wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be. I knew my parents, my mom in particular, were not thrilled about the events of the past weeks. But they were so welcoming that it really eased my mind.
After a few days, he was off to his brother's house. We called each other every night as soon as our free minutes kicked in, and we'd talk for 2-3 hours at a time.
---Have I mentioned that this is all really difficult to think about? I've blocked a lot of this out of my mind with good reason. I'm reading my journals to remember details, but I didn't write all the details. I didn't write about all the little things that should've been indicators.
I briefly mentioned him saying that I had a flirty personality. I don't disagree with that. I'm a teaser, and I always have been. I also get along with people well and don't like anyone to feel excluded. But I'm not an overly flirtatious trampy kind of gal. Just friendly. Because of all that,though, there were two different guys Mr. Beatles thought I had crushes on. Which I didn't. Not only was I completely "in like" with him at the time, but the guys were not the kind I wanted to date. We were friends, but just that.
Then once when we were playing ultimate frisbee, I guess I was too friendly with one of Mr. Beatles' friends. Meaning, I joked around with him and slapped him high fives every time he scored a goal. But Mr. Beatles thought it was inappropriate and probably sending the guy the wrong signals. Seriously? Alright, I'll work on that......
Another time I was working on a final project with my science partners. They both happened to be guys who were not unattractive, but also were not RM's. Meaning, there's no way I'd even THINK about dating them. Naturally. Anyway, we were in the library finishing our project. Mr. Beatles had some work to do in the library, too, so he was there. At one point we had to move to a different room. One of my partners was walking in front of me, and I noticed something falling out of his backpack. I said his name quietly (we were in the library), but he didn't stop or turn around. So I pulled on his bag to get him to stop. He stopped, I put whatever it was back into his bag, zipped it all the way, and we continued on. Innocent enough, right?
Apparently not. Mr. Beatles was sitting 30 feet away at the computer, and saw the whole thing. It was obvious to him that I was flirting with the guy.
I assured him that I had absolutely NO feelings toward the guy. I was simply trying to keep something from falling out of his backpack. But maybe I needed to be more aware of how I acted around other guys....
So........we were finally apart for the summer. We talked for hours each night. But I had things to do! I was working, my best friend was getting married, and I had all kinds of friends from home that I wanted to catch up with.
One night, my best friend Kelli and I were headed to Institute. It was on the other side of town -- a good 20 minute drive. Two of our close friends were going as well we decided to ride together. These two friends just happened to be boys. But Kelli and I were ENGAGED. And the boys were friends we had known for all of high school. Not only did we have COMPLETELY platonic relationships with them, but they were weeks away from leaving for their missions. Just to be clear, there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING between any of us.
After Institute, they came back to my house. Kelli's sister Nikki was there, too. Seeing as how it was after 9:00 when my free minutes started, I went right down to my room and called Mr. Beatles. It was actually closer to 10, and he asked what I had been up to -- why was I calling later than normal? I explained to him that I had gone to Institute with my friends.
He was NOT happy. In his mind, I had essentially gone on a double date. (WHAT?!) No matter how much I explained the COMPLETELY PLATONIC nature of my friendship with those guys, he couldn't believe what I had done. When he found out I was planning to go bowling with a big group the next night, he totally flipped. Would I be doing something like that if we were married? Um, HELLO. If we were married, HE'D BE COMING WITH ME. He said that engagement was like practice for marriage, and you should behave the same way when you're engaged as you will when you're married. I figured he had a point, and I should be more careful about what I do and who I do it with.
A few days later, I needed a ride home from work. I called my mom to let her know I was done with my shift, then called Mr. Beatles. It was after 9, and I knew it was what he wanted. A few minutes later, Mom showed up and Dorito was with her. (He had been at my house talking to my mom when I called.) I told Mr. Beatles my mom was there and I'd call him when I got home.
Dorito and I had been able to hang out a few times since I'd been home. He's just a really fun guy. We started talking with my mom on the way home about all kinds of things, then kept talking for another 20 minutes or so once we got to my house. After he was gone, I called Mr. Beatles back.
He immediately wanted to know what had taken me so long to call back. I told him that Dorito had been there and we'd just been talking to my mom. Of course he blew a gasket. It was insane.
But by the end of every conversation, he had me convinced that I truly was in the wrong. My actions combined with my "flirtatous personality" weren't appropriate. I began to be a lot more reserved in all my interactions with the opposite sex.
The people around me could see that I was not in a healthy relationship. But anytime someone would talk to me about it, (usually my mom), it would just drive me closer to Mr. Beatles. I am a fiercely loyal person. If I perceive any kind of attack on someone I love, I immediately get defensive and put up walls and draw closer to the person "under attack."
I essentially began to isolate myself from my friends and family. My family thought I shouldn't marry Mr. Beatles, so obviously I didn't want to spend much time with them. If I spent time with my friends and even one male was present, I was being unfaithful. If I spent time with my friends, even just girls, after 9 PM, I was cutting in on time I should've spent talking to Mr. Beatles. I drew farther and farther away from everyone I loved, and drew closer to Mr. Manipulative, er, Mr. Beatles.
I was changing who I was. My closest relationships were crumbling. I knew that things weren't the way they should be, but who could I talk to? Not my mom, because she wanted us to fail. (In my mind.) I couldn't talk to my best friend, because she didn't want me to marry him, either. I didn't even feel like I could pray about it because deep down, I knew I was lying to myself. So obviously Heavenly Father wasn't going to help me "fix it" because it wasn't right. I obviously couldn't talk to Mr. Beatles about it. And even when I tried, I came away from the conversations feeling guilty and very persuaded by everything he said.
Even now as I read my journal, things that are supposed to be MY words, I recognize his words. Things he said that I tried to convince myself were true. (Honestly, it makes me really mad that so much of his voice, and not mine, is in MY journal.) He would say things about how hard it was to be apart, or how he loved me more than his entire family, or he wasn't complete without me, and I'd write it in my journal like I felt the same way. Even now, 6 years after the fact, I can clearly identify lines that he said over the phone and I decided that I felt, or should've felt, the same way. "We've both had hurt feelings and we really REALLY miss each other. We haven't been happy. We've been more irritable and on edge. We both feel so much a part of one another -- we aren't ourselves without the other there." (These were all "my" reasons for our "arguments.")
The real reason we had been arguing was because Superman was coming home from his mission, and I told Mr. Beatles that I was probably going to call a little late because I was going to be at the airport.
Stay tuned for part #57, Superman Returns.