Life is still pretty crazy, but hopefully it'll be getting a lot less crazy soon.
I spent a good chunk of last week trying to get my house in order so I could get it appraised. It is still not totally in order and still not appraised.
s showed up Thursday night. I left her at home for a bit while I went out to grab a quick take out dinner for consumption at home. Stopped into a 7-11 for a drink and came very close to doing something amazingly stupid (i.e. stopping a beer run) but thoughts of a gorgeous girl waiting at home for me and my brother's warning against engaging in heroics over something so trivial (i.e. $20 in beer is not worth risking your life over) stopped me. It was trippy though. I could have actually stopped the guy from running out of the store and I very nearly attempted to do that, but in the split second between tripping him/blocking his way out and staying put, I weighed the pros and cons and decided that 7-11 could afford to lose the beer a lot more than I could afford to lose my life/health. It was reassuring to know that I could actually make split second decisions like that while under stress. Granted my pride took a small hit when I decided not to be the "hero", but, you know, it was a beer run. Got home, de-stressed, stayed up with s for a while then called it a night.
Friday morning I had to go in to work for a few hours so I left s asleep in bed under her usual mountain of blankets. I had a rough day at the jobsite I went to, but in the end it turned out ok, just really frustrating. What made it infinitely more bearable though was getting a message from my girl informing me that she was awake and asking when I'd be home. I finished what I was doing and I set a new land speed record getting home. Hung out at home enjoying the company and then got ready to go out with my sister T. She took us out to lunch and to White Sands National Monument and we got to enjoy walking around the dunes at sunset.
We got home and had dinner at the Japanese Kitchen (excellent teppanyaki). T's husband joined us towards the end of the dinner and we hung out chatting with them for a while. Eventually though we came home and relaxed for a while before calling it a night.
Saturday was game day and we got up to watch the OU/A&M game. We headed out to a local restaurant/bar in the 2nd quarter and brother R and his family joined us before the end of the game. We actually ended up spending quite a while out there and we even ran into some of my brother's friends while we were out there. This happened to be the first time I got to introduce her to someone as my girlfriend (yeah I know silly thing to make note of, but it felt nice being able to say it).
After the game, we came home to veg a bit before heading out to a local country western bar for some dancing (and more importantly some dance lessons for me ;). Sister T and her husband met us there, but dancing didn't work out as well as we had hoped for because the lessons were seriously lacking and disorganized so we ended up going to get food and when we came back one of the bartenders was a total asshole to s so that put a damper on the evening (he was a fat slob who was very friendly when she first went up to the bar but changed his attitude when he saw that she was with me). We ended up coming home soon after and ended up talking for a while over Taco Cabana food and leftovers from the night before. Eventually we called it a night. Despite the fat bartender's shenanigans I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else that night. It's strange to realize that I care about someone enough that even the uncomfortable or bad situations are pretty much ok just because she's there with me. Strange but very very very cool.
Sunday was the big surprise day.
I'd originally gotten this idea a while back and I finally got a chance to pull it off (sort of). I was planning on sending s off in the usual sad "another great weekend coming to a close" mode and then follow her up to the gate with a boarding pass of my own on her flight and go back to Abilene with her. I did some serious tweaking of my budget (it's still sore) and I managed to get things sorted out so that I could go with her but in my efforts to convince her that there was no big surprise coming up she got the idea that I didn't want to visit her and that was bad. So I ended up fessing up about the surprise (much to her surprise ;) and she had time to get things in order back home before she left (it was actually a good thing that I told her ahead of time). So, Sunday afternoon I parked in the long term parking area and with a backpack of my own, I joined my girl on her flight back East.
After my usual problems at the security checkpoint (which I exacerbated by forgetting to take my laptop out of my bag) we finally made it to the gate area and grabbed a quick bite to eat before we got onto the plane. The first flight was uneventful, but the second flight had a bit of excitement before boarding when we learned that a passenger was still on board and was refusing to get off the plane (why someone would refuse to get off of a plane going to Lubbock of all places is beyond me). That got resolved quickly enough though and we made it onto the plane and out to Lubbock. From there we had a our first road trip as we made our way to Abilene. The delay put a slight wrinkle in our plans and we missed the first 15 minutes or the drive-in movie we were going to watch (I hadn't been to a drive-in for years and I really enjoyed this trip). Fortunately, we had picked The Fog because it was silly and bad and perfect drive-in fodder so we spent the remainder of the movie, eating fries and Making Fun of People Doing Stupid Things in Horror Movies (tm).
After the movie we went to her place and I got to meet her furry kids and hang out for a bit before we called it a night. That night was a bit awkward because the furry kids (of the canine persuasion) were used to sleeping in a certain way and my presence threw everyone off. My furry kids (those that sleep in bed with us) are cats and cats are a lot easier to work around, IMO. Anyways I ended up cold a lot of the night and she ended up being kept awake by someone's snoring due to an awkward (and cold ;) position. That was a bit frustrating/tiring for both of us, but we survived and I'd still rather do that than sleep alone.
Monday morning, I followed her to school and I hid out in the library with a book and my MP3 player while she got educated. After her classes were over we found each other again and she introduced me to one of her good friends. After some small talk we had lunch at a local Abilene teppanyaki restaurant, Fuji (yeah we really like those places). A quick stop to Blockbuster to peruse their 1/2-off pre-viewed movie sale and we found ourselves back at her place to veg a bit. Eventually though I had to drag us out to acquire some caffeine due to a major headache (I'd been caffeine-less for a couple of days and my head made me painfully aware of this fact). Once caffeine was acquired, we stopped at the local putt-putt and played a few rounds of mini-golf.
Funny as it may sound, I had a wonderful time just running around the course teasing each other over bad and lucky shots and being together. After mini-golf, my headache wasn't completely gone so I got some more caffeine and we went bowling (if you think we're wild ones now, just wait). There was a tournament going that evening so we only got to play two games, but it was fun and since I didn't fall, or cause any damage with a stray bowling ball (two things I've done in the past), I considered it a great experience :-p.
After bowling we really went nuts and we went to play BINGO, yes that's right, bingo.
Not surprisingly we were the youngest people there and it took us a while to figure out what the heck was going on (and we were only able to do so when some nice old ladies took pity on us and gave us the quick low down on what "real" bingo is all about). Even though I had joked that I wanted to go for the pure amusement value of being able to tell people I went to Abilene to play bingo, we quickly discovered that it was actually a fun thing to do. It was only $8 for about an hour of entertainment, but it was better than some movies I've been to and there is the possibility of winning one of the jackpots (between $200-$750 depending on the game played). We only had enough cash on us to play in the first batch of games (about 10 different games), but it was a lot more fun than I had expected and I suspect we'll try it again someday.
After bingo it was back home for Monday Night Football, and pizza for dinner. I met her roommates, we goofed around and since the furry kids were at the vet that night the sleeping arrangements were a lot easier to sort out and neither of us had any major problems (I wasn't cold and no one kept her up by snoring).
Sadly, Tuesday was mainly a day of saying bye. We had our second road trip back to Lubbock and this was probably the hardest "see you soon" I'd ever had to do. It's great to know that our relationship is growing and developing so naturally, but every time I have to leave her at an airport is tough. There were some flight problems so my flight was delayed and we got to spend an extra hour snuggling in the car and wishing that time would stop, but eventually I had to go and get on a plane and leave the best girl in the world and face the real world back here again.
However I didn't get to face it as quickly as I'd expected because my connecting flight was delayed in Dallas for almost 3 hours. It totally screwed up my plans to go to class and my movie date night with s, but I did finally make it home to start figuring out what I had to deal with now that I was back in the world that I'd ignored for three days.
So now, here I am, cold and a bit lonely but ultimately content because I know that I've somehow found a girl that makes me happy without doing anything more than looking at me and smiling and loving me for me. She doesn't expect me to be a super-hero, or a bowling prodigy or even a bingo master, she just likes being with me. It's just so cool to be able to enjoy my time with her without worrying about what comes next. I think the future looks good for us, but for now the present is so much fun and it just feels right that I can leave the future to take care of itself.
She makes me really really happy. I just hope I do the same for her.
Anyways, back to work.