In this age of Palm Pilots and Blackberries, I still rely on my trusty Day Runner. I’ve had it for years, ever since my first “real” job, and I stay organized better with old-fashioned hand-written scrawl on calendar pages than I ever would with electronic reminders.
I grabbed my Day Runner today to jot down a new phone number, and as I flipped through the directory pages, I came across a small yellow Post-It under the “G”s. On it was scratched “Gary” and his cell phone number, and I smiled.
Over two years ago, Gary and I worked for the same company. Our paths rarely crossed. He worked outside as a technician, and I was an indoor pencil pusher, content to spend my day in the air conditioning. I knew of him; I knew there was a very tall technician who could draw a crowd like no other, cracking jokes, making everyone smile and laugh.
One day, Gary shuffled up to my desk, nonchalant and deliberately bored looking, and told me a group of co-workers were going out to eat, if I wanted to come, but no biggie if I didn’t want to go. He handed me the Post-It with his phone number and left before I could answer.
I panicked. Fresh out of a horrible car wreck of a relationship, I stuck the Post It inside my Day Runner but swore to never call that phone number! I was officially done with men, love, relationships, the whole enchalada.
And I didn’t go. Gary didn’t say anything to me the day after my no-show dinner, and I didn’t bring it up. He said hello and joked with me in passing as if nothing had happened.
Then, maybe or week or two later, another one of the technicians came to my office and told me the gang was going to meet for dinner again that evening, if I wanted to go. I drove home arguing with myself if I would go meet them or not, wrestling from one decision to another, firmly making up my mind only to shift gears and decide the opposite.
Until I finally decided that my past shouldn’t barricade my path to my future. I dug out my Day Runner, flipped to that Post-It under the “G”s, and called Gary to see if they were still there. They were.
He and I shared a table, laughed a lot, and fell into an easy friendship. I didn’t know details, but I knew he was separated, knew he loved his kids, knew he was about as ready for a new relationship as I was….which was not much.
We circled each other tentatively as our relationship grew, both of us moving forward, backing off, getting scared and wanting more, all at the same crazy time, trying to sort out what on earth to do with each other. I’m glad we started as friends. I’m glad that foundation was built before we attempted to add anything onto it. We learned to trust each other, lean on each other, and from that grew our love.
Seeing that little Post-It in my Day Runner today made me want to be with him right now, to hug him tight and remind him how grateful I am that he is in my life. Our love is not easy, and it hasn’t been from the beginning, with both of us protecting torn, bleeding hearts. Learning to trust each other with those hearts was no small feat.
I’m glad we took that chance.
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of.” ~ Blaise Pascal
“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston