After such a tremendous first date, with hearts thumping and brains buzzing with excitement, our hero and heroine could not help to plan a next adventure. They had to wait. A week. The tailor is also an Assistant Scout Master. His troop had summer camp that following week in the sticks of North Carolina. He packed up his gear, including his cell phone, for those brief interludes when he could reach a service area and text out his adventures to the lady. Thus the week passed, with the librarian sighing and giggling with her phone like an infatuated school girl. They hatched plans for another date the following Saturday, when the tailor would return from the wilds.
For this date (and I won’t outline every date, unless you want more), we headed out to lunch, then to the North Carolina Museum of Art, and closed the evening with a homemade dinner at Anna’s place. The dress theme was 1950’s retro, as you can see below. Funnily, there was a Lolita meet up at the museum that day. Their group gushed about how cute we were and took pictures. The most memorable part of the museum visit, for me, was when Drew took us aside to sit in front of a large 17th century painting of the Virgin Mary. It was a moment of kinship and of blessing.
For dinner, I made my old standby – lentil soup, which well nigh everyone likes, along with homemade whole wheat bread. Drew jumped in to help peel & chop the veggies. He marveled at how I just knew how to cook without a recipe. The old adage goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. He told me several months later that he knew that night I was ‘the one’. Ladies, if you want my lentil soup recipe for a date night, just ask!
As for my knowing whether this vegan, Catholic, historical tailor was also the one I had hoped & prayed for, that took a few months for me to figure out. On that second date night, I told Drew that I was excited to be with him and truly happy to spend time with him, however, I was like a nervous woodland creature. Because of my past, I was very, very cautious. I had to take time to build trust. No sudden movements. No loud noises. Lots of treats. I also had the Theotokos watching out for me, so, there could have been the heavenly, “No!” at any moment.
Drew, to his immense credit, knew exactly what to do to achieve this ‘life time merit badge’. He calmed my fears that we would go slowly and just enjoy getting to know each other. Since that day, he called me his ‘trash panda’ or raccoon, which is rather true. I like snack and can get myself into mischief.
About two weeks later, Drew asked if he could visit my Church. My parish is like a large, boisterous Italian family. I said, “You are brave!” He jumped in with both feet. After the second liturgy, he was helping wash dishes from coffee hour. He began reading books, listening to podcasts, and asking my priest questions. We spent time discussing the similarities and contrasts between the Catholic and Orthodox faiths. My parish family accepted him with open arms. Every day that passed, I could see that my prayers were being answered with a ‘YES’!