our love Story {asking me out}.

our love storyClick here for all the posts in this series. Recap from last time: I was now on relationship #3 in all the time (a year and a half) I'd known "Mr. Sloan" but he was always there in the background... I was still working at the same parish where I'd first met (or not met) Anthony Sloan. He was still teaching there. I'd see him and he'd still take my breath away (literally) with how attractive he was. And yet almost every time I'd see him, I was dating someone else. During relationship #3 of this I've-known-of-Anthony-but-I'm-not-dating-him saga, the school held their annual fundraising gala. Its super fancy, but the staff usually get in because someone else pays for us, so I decided to go...with my date. I love getting dressed up, and a fancy meal on top of that for free? Sign me up! So we went (my date and I), and we sat in the lobby area when lo and behold, Mr. Sloan showed up. With a date. I snickered to myself when my date asked me what made me laugh. I told him that the guy who had just walked past was on the same dating site (my date at the time and I met through the same dating site I'd seen Mr. Sloan on) and we were a really high match, but then he disappeared from the site. To recap that: I told my date that I'd seen Mr. Sloan on the dating site and that we were an excellent match. I told my date that I was happy that Mr. Sloan was dating someone, but inside I was ridiculously bummed. We went into the gala for dinner when Mr. Sloan came over to our table...and ignored me. Needless to say I was even more bummed. Here before me (note: not the guy sitting next to me) was this man who I'd been attracted to and YET AGAIN he was ignoring me. To this day he doesn't even remember ignoring me that night. He left and one of my co-workers explained to me that Mr. Sloan's date was his sister. MY HEART REJOICED, Y'ALL! I still had a chance! Oh, wait...I had a date. A few weeks later, my relationship ended. I was a little saddened when he told me that he just couldn't see himself marrying me, but when I was honest with myself, I couldn't see myself marrying him either. A few days after the break up, I rejoined the same dating site and much to my surprise - and complete, utter, unending joy - Mr. Sloan was back on the site. I checked to make sure it was actually him (he'd changed his username), looked through everything once to see that, yes, we were still a 99% match, and left it at that (hooray for self-restraint!). I went to a wedding that weekend for one of my old roommates. I knew the bride and groom, but no one else. I sat at a table with people my age and we all started making small talk. When I told the couple next to me where I worked, they asked if I knew Anthony. It turns out he'd set them up and they were getting married that fall. Before I knew it every single person at this table was talking about Anthony, how incredible he is, what a wonderful man he was...on and on and on. Oh, and his sister was at the wedding too. In a room full of people I didn't know, Anthony was somehow in the middle of it (metaphorically speaking), but this time I was finally single. I went home that night excited, but trying to contain myself. I logged on to the dating site to find that Anthony had looked at my profile. My heart stopped. I distinctly remember praying that night, "God. You know Anthony. He's been around for a year and a half. Always there, always the wrong timing. I can't shake this undeniable attraction to him, but he always seems just beyond my reach. Either make something come of this or make him GO AWAY, once and for all." I wasn't wishing for his death, just a clear resolution to this 'thing' that was driving me nuts. It was nearly time for my book to come out, so I decided to invite a few coworkers - including Anthony - to the release party I was throwing. I figured that if I invited coworkers it wouldn't be that obvious and wouldn't seem like I was trying to stalk him/pursue him/be clingy/etc. I got to work and decided to just walk over to the school building to put the invite in the teachers' mailboxes. I walked outside and guess who had crossing guard duty that day? Mr. Sloan. We'd flirted there a number of times, including one time he'd tell you that he saved me from an oncoming car (not true - I was just jaywalking and setting a bad example for the kids). I stood at the corner and waited for him to tell me it was safe to cross because that was part of our ongoing bit (for which the kids in my youth group teased me relentlessly - middle schoolers, y'all.). I started in the cross walk, handed him the invite and muttered something as I tried to hide the fact that my heart was pounding through my chest. I got to the school, distributed the rest of the invites and was just about to leave when he walked through the door. I still remember he had a striped blue and red tie on that day with a beige shirt and his glasses. I was smitten. He smiled at me and walked on. A few hours later (it turns out he had teacher meetings after school), I got a call on my phone from a number I didn't know. I answered, though I rarely answer calls from numbers I don't know. He said it was Anthony and I hesitated. The kids always called him Mr. Sloan as did everyone else at work, so I knew of no Anthony. He stuttered and said, "Anthony Sloan" and I think I literally jumped up out of my office chair. I ran and closed my office door as he told me that he got my invitation and wanted to let me know he'd be coming (he called my mom, who was handling the RSVPs, and thought I'd hired a professional answering service) and that he wanted to know if I was free to get together some time. We set a date for that Saturday evening and he told me he'd call me (actually CALL!) to give me more details later that week. This was a mere four days after my desperate prayer to God. I hung up the phone and, with my office door still closed, did a happy, bounce-y dance around my office for a solid five minutes before I called my mom. She told me about his call to RSVP and how he thought he'd talk to me, but she gave him my "personal number" anyway and asked me if that was the cute teacher I'd been yammering on and on about. To say the least, I was ecstatic and couldn't wait until Saturday. {First date details and...much more next week. I promise to cover more ground or this series may go on forever!}
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