I know I said I wasn’t going to go to the theatre last night, but I did anyway.
And the funny thing is that exactly what I was afraid would happen, happened.
I felt something.
Let me backtrack. I wrote my post yesterday about not wanting to go to the theatre because I have spent the last month creating distance between myself and everyone else. My counselor said it was because I didn’t want my decision (to tell the Ex I wanted to start the divorce process) to be affected by anyone else. I wanted to make it in a vacuum. So, knowing that girl #1 was going to be at the theatre, I was hesitant to go. I had finally reached the point where she wasn’t on my mind all the time. I wasn’t feeling much pressure to pursue her or anything. Things were…comfortable. So by deciding not to go to the theatre, I was allowing myself to continue being comfortable.
After writing that post, I just felt more and more stupid for making such a big deal out of it. It was just going to the theatre. Kiddo would enjoy it. It would give me a chance to be social. I wanted to go see the show, I wanted to go see my friends. So in a moment of insanity, I purchased tickets. Boom. Done. No backing out now.
From that moment forward, I began spiraling back into uncertainty, anxiety, and excitement. How would I react when I saw girl #1 again? What would I say? What would I do? What should I wear? So many questions. I got home from work and spent about an hour getting ready. The perfect jeans. The perfect shirt and vest combination. The perfect shoes and my hair had to be just so and on and on. I felt good. I looked good. Then I had to get through that last twenty or thirty minutes of standing around and waiting to leave so as to not arrive too early. I had time to make kiddo look good too. We left, we arrived at the perfect time, we entered the lobby. The first people we saw: girl #1’s parents.
They are very friendly. We acknowledged each other. We made small talk. The whole time, I’m wondering whether or not they know how I feel about their daughter. Whether or not they approve of their daughter going out with someone who is separated. Whether or not they approve of their daughter going out with someone who has a child. They give off no indication of disliking me…I’m slowly getting more comfortable. More friends arrive. The door to the theatre opens. We find our seats. More friends arrive. THANK GOD, other humans that I can be myself around! I spend the rest of the time leading up to the show talking, laughing. It feels good.
The lights dim. Girl #1 walks out onto the stage.
Does she see us? Of course. Does kiddo wave like an idiot and get a smile in response? Yes. I’m trying not to make weird faces, trying to keep it all in, keep the feels from breaking through.
The show was lovely. Very entertaining. Word gets around during the intermission that the cast and crew are taking a trip to a local restaurant after the show…I am not one to crash a party, but hints at invitations are made. Kiddo is begging me to go. Her friends are begging me. By the end of the show, I cracked and said we could stop by. We are in the lobby again…greeting friends, shaking hands, taking pictures. But there…there across the crowd, surrounded by people, is girl #1. And as I circle the room I am bumping into people, not knowing which way to turn, where to look, what to say, I am just out of control with anxiety and doubt and fear. But after my conversations with my counselor, I know that I have to act on what I am feeling somehow. I have to have courage. I can’t keep doing this to myself. As I circle the room looking to see where kiddo went, I find myself drifting toward girl #1. Suddenly I am walking toward her, our eyes meet, we say hello. I know I have to do this. I am going to go in for the hug.
So does she. Our arms bump into each other.
What results is one of those weird one-armed hugs, and I think I may have patted her on the back like a complete fucking lunatic. I tell her the show was great, she did an amazing job. Smile. Walk away.
I retreat to one of the few places in the room where there aren’t many people, and fortunately someone else I know finds me and we talk for a little while, which occupies my time and prevents me from just standing there holding up a wall.
I drive kiddo and one of her friends over to the restaurant. There are literally a bazillion people there. Both of the local theatres decided to visit on the same night. There are kids everywhere. There are not enough seats. I will be damned if I wind up sitting somewhere looking like a weirdo. I hang tight with the people I know and I take a seat with them. Girl #1 arrives and takes a seat at the same table.
And then, things were surprisingly normal. It was loud but we all had good conversation, shared some food and drinks, it was just a pleasant outing. Kiddo didn’t do much embarrassing stuff. After about two hours I found an appropriate time to leave. Goodbyes. Out the door. A successful trip, I think. It felt good. Aside from the one-armed hug, I don’t think I screwed up too bad.
Went to sleep just before 1 a.m., woke up just after 7 a.m. Proceeded to over-analyze everything that happened last night, and think way too much about what I should do next.
I want to tell girl #1 how I feel about her so badly, but I am so afraid of putting her in that position. In the position of having to potentially date someone who is separated (but proceeding with the divorce process, finally) and has a child. In the position of possibly needing to tell me “no”. I am just so afraid of being rejected but at this point the hurt of uncertainty may actually be exceeding the hurt I would experience from rejection. I have a visit with my counselor again this week, and I think this is going to come up.