Sunday, January 01, 2006

My Life as a Spectator in a Romantic Drama--part four

As time progressed, he became more serious, but was increasingly afraid due to the rapidly approaching summer months when they would be six hours apart. It is very hard to get to know someone over that distance despite the modern technologies that create our “Global Community”. There really is nothing like sitting down and talking with someone face to face. Then there was the added difficulty of theology. To most people, religious particularities are ignored, and wrongly so. Sarah and Daniel were right to evaluate the differences in their upbringing and beliefs. This is where they ran into a little snag. They had opposing beliefs on the issue of predestination versus free will. I will not bore or confuse you with the details of this, suffice to say that they both found it disturbing, especially Daniel. He knew that to raise a family well, there had to be a unity that surpasses Christian brotherhood and he was unsure if a unity could be reached on this issue that truly affects many areas of belief. So he set out on a mission. He set out on this mission, not unlike that of the knights of old, with all the fervor he possessed. She too, had a similar mission. They had to figure out what they actually believed. This is an enormous task to most, and even a larger one with a time constraint and emotional disturbances such as they had. So I chatted with them both. Every day I saw one or the other of them and we discussed the importance and relevance and issues involved in this doctrine of the mind and heart. I mostly felt like I could not help them. They had to weigh the information themselves, and despite how heavy both options seemed, choose which understanding they were to live under. Then they had to choose if that burden was one that they could bear together.

Despite the difficulty, he did go have a chat with her father where Daniel was supposedly going to ask him to date his daughter. Sarah sort of conned him into it. That didn’t really happen—maybe he was scared, maybe he was still just unsure—maybe who knows… I certainly don’t. But at least things had jumped out of the Jane and Bingley stages.

All of this was in process when Daniel left for the summer, promising to write to Sarah and maybe call her a few times. Imagine my surprise at this when (knowing as I did, that Daniel hated to write) I learned this. I was astounded and it only increased my respect for him and the realization of how much her really was pursuing Sarah, or so I thought if somewhat confusedly. I was, once again, envious of the attentions Sarah received. I didn’t want Daniel’s attention, just attention. It is a typical girl thing as I said, to want attention; or maybe it is typical human… So he left.

He left on a Friday; by Sunday he had left a message on her answering machine. Monday they talked. I guess the poor guy was going through the grand inquisition over this girl that he had suddenly become interested in. Remember, they had only known each other for a couple of months. Now, as evidenced by his pattern of calling the following Sunday, he was planning on calling once a week. This was going to drive poor Sarah to distraction and she told him so. I really don’t think Daniel had any clue about the way a girl thinks. In many ways he was trying to “be friends” with Sarah but “friends” of the opposite sex don’t write (not that she has gotten more than one postcard) and definitely don’t call and most extremely definitely don’t go have chats with the girl’s father. To a girl this is not “friendship”. This is COURTSHIP. Despite the lack of appropriate DTR and Sarah’s feeling of “floating” as she put it, neither seems willing to attack the confusion. Although, he may not have realized that there was confusion. It really could be a difficulty because it seemed obvious, at least to Sarah, that her attachment to him was really far greater than his was for her. It makes me wonder if this is common—the girl being more attached first. Girls naturally dwell in a relationship of any sort more. Girls are relationally and emotionally minded most of the time.

The result of the whole phone-calling debacle is that he was probably going to call twice a week. I pitied his phone bill—but he wasn't a penniless little boy; he could afford it if anyone could. He had also promised to visit. I thought she would probably make him. There is the quote, “Wrath hath no fury like a woman scorned”, but I think even more dangerous could be the woman with a deeply attached infatuation for a genuinely great guy.

I mentioned we had passed out of the Jane and Bingley stage. We seemed to be in some sort of stage from Sense and Sensibility. Sarah is Marianne and I am Eleanor. She has feelings that range and fly—but I am practical and sensible. I am always out for solid advice that requires action, not merely emotional dumping. Although, I have done the same dumping in the past I am sure.

--To Be Continued... Sorry, this is longer than I thought it was. And I am not sure if it really has much of a point in the end. I wrote it over a long period of time a while back (when all this was happening) and have revised it some on and off. I hope it at least makes you think, or smile, or something.


mreddie said...

They were right in desiring to have a harmony in their beliefs before going into the "big M", or even taking their relationship any further than it has already gone - if either of them is sure how far that is - that's confusing. :) You were right in not giving the kind of advice that they might blame you for later.

Everyone wants someone to care for them - common to woman or man - young or old, so you are perfectly normal in that.

It has always been confusing to me about "friends" and "more than friends" - one reason for this is that my favorite wife and I have been married more than 42 years and I haven't dealt with that in a long time. But my courtship of her continues and will until I assume ambient temperature.

You are right about girls usually being more relationally and emotionally minded - and then guys are usually kind of goober-headed about relationships.

It sounds like you are trying to soften the blow for the ending - it's OK, just tell it like it is. :) ec

thebeloved said...

I know I am at least mostly normal and I have watched enough people to be able to tell some of the basics. Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement.