That night so many weeks before, that wonderful night when Matt came to dinner, the night that our conversation turned from formal and quick to a bit slower and more personal, twas the very same night I had declared in my heart and mind that I would marry Matt and that declaration had boldly escaped my lips. That night I learned that he had only had one previous relationship and coincidentally, she and I shared a name. THAT night, I learned that He took just as seriously as I, the commitment and responsibilities of being an adopted namesake to the King. That pivotal night I got a glimpse into my own future.
Now, though I knew I wanted to marry him, and even had told my mom so on a whim...I certainly didn't want to tell HIM we were going to get married. I didn't want to take the reins on this relationship. I wanted things to be 'right' and in order TO be right, I had to let him do the leading. Knowing and hiding that secret in my heart was enough for me.
I was happy to go along for the ride, now that I knew that I had found the Mr. Right-for-me I had been waiting for. It was the WONDERING if there WAS someone right for me that did me in, and the wondering WHEN I would meet this mystery man that stressed me out. But now?!? Now I had found him and I just needed to convince him he felt the same way about me! :-)
I don't know if that night had been more revealing to him or not, but I do know that after that night, our relationship had changed. It was a bit more natural to talk to one another. We could look at each other more freely. His face and voice had become very familiar to me, I drank in his scent and sometimes, on a good day, could even conjure up a fragrant memory of that delicious smell during the week. Our visits with one another were not AS awkward as before and we didn't feel awkward about wanting to spend time together either.
But, just as before, I didn't know if we had moved into a 'friend stage' or a 'potential relationship' stage. WHATEVER it all meant, I had no clue. I didn't know WHERE I stood as far as Matt was concerned-but I was ENJOYING whatever place we were presently. Whether we were just friends or that I might actually have a chance catching his eye was debatable-but hanging out with him wasn't. It was fun. It was worthwhile. It was REAL. And it made my heart skip a beat every single time.
One particular Sunday, after service, he invited me to go with him to a horse show down the road that Holly (his twin's fiance) was in. Somehow (and I have no clue how) I wound up with several of Mom's foster kids. So here I was with him and a double stroller at a horse show that required silence during the rides. NOT good. Somehow, being the gracious man that he is, he forgave me of that transgression and didn't decide right then and there to avoid me like the plague. I would've if I were him...
The kids got so cranky I said a bit flustered "Well, it's been fun but I really have to get going." and he walked me to the car. It was muddy and for the record-a double stroller with two cranky kids doesn't push very well over the bumps and bulges of a grassy, mud and tracked up pasture. It was not a pretty sight. I still hang my head in shame over that day. But, putting aside all mortification, that excursion held one miraculously wonderful moment that was in all certainty, a gift straight from heaven.
While Matt was casually and coolly walking me to my car, I was heaving this big bulky baby bus through the jungles and swamps of Owego-my heels sinking in the mud with every step and me, cursing this situation over and over again. Suddenly he started acting funny, as though his intentions to be casual were not working out when he awkwardly said to me "Hey. By the way. I got you something. Sometime, maybe, you could come back to my place to get it?"
Ummmmm. WHAT?!? I remembered telling him that I liked circus peanuts and he laughed at me. I thought for sure he had gotten me a bag of circus peanuts, as an inside joke sort of thing. It was a few days before I ended up getting out to 'his place', and those few days were TORTUROUS. I wanted, no, NEEDED to know what he had got me. WHAT was it??!? Just silly circus peanuts?! Why couldn't he just bring it to me? Ugh. My mind hadn't exercised hypothetical's so much in its entire existence! And yes-my mind had even wandered to an engagement ring for a moment.
Eventually the day came and I went. Being the responsible and respectable man that he was, he invited Holly along as a chaperone. Matt was a good boy-mature and responsible and prudish and respectable. He wanted to make sure that 'appearances' were upheld. We walked through the trailer (my first time there) and I saw how a bachelor lives. It was so sparse with hardly a lick of furniture. The only furniture it DID have was HIDEOUS (ugh-make me vomit right now just thinking about it) green fake-leather couch. And a bed. And a computer. Furniture was lacking, decorating was non-existent. So this is what a bachelor lives like.
After we had made our way through the kitchen and living room, then computer room; he walked me into the 'spare bedroom' and there, in the middle of the room, was a lovely white antique ladies vanity. Whoa. THAT is odd. A bachelor has a VANITY?! It was gorgeous-and FEMININE. WHAT THE HECK?!?!
He certainly is...odd.
I was trying to piece it all together when I heard him quietly say, "It's for you."