Archive for May, 2005

As much fun as it was to watch the varied responses of people to my tattoo (shock, skepticism, congratulations), it has been even more interesting to see the responses to my plea for advice concerning the situation with Hanna that I sent to a select list of friends, family, and mentors. Some responses contained only condolences, while others ventured to offer some general principles that might guide me forward. Of the replies that offered advice, some leaned more towards moving on, while the others leaned more towards pursuing Hanna.

Although many good points were made in each of the replies, it is this last point that has me thinking tonight. Much of what was first suggested to me coincided with my perhaps “gentlemanly” instinct to let Hanna go and let any continuation of the relationship hinge on her turning back to me. My previous entry on this subject reflected this attitude—either move on or wait for her to return. But now, a new option is being suggested to me: the perhaps “chivalrous” course of action of stepping out in pursuit of the lady’s heart.

Very interesting indeed… I will be praying hard tonight.

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My Tattoo

Okay, I didn’t really get a tattoo. It’s only a temporary airbrush tattoo that I got at Grant’s Farm on Saturday.

I bet at least some of you were pretty freaked out, though! :-D

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On April 16th & 17th, Hanna came to visit me. Regarding the visit, she wrote:

I arrived on Saturday around 12:30. Steve bought mayonnaise for our chicken salad (even though he usually uses Miracle Whip) because he knows that I prefer it. After lunch, we drove over to the seminary where I had a tour of the library and some of the other grounds. Then we sat on a blanket on the lawn, enjoying the weather and following up on some email conversations that had been left unfinished.

Dinner was a surprise guest potluck organized through Steve’s church. Steve and I played a game of “speed” chess (which slowed down near the end) after we arrived. Steve won. After the game, we ended up splitting up and talking with different sets of folks. I was happy to be myself and not to need to be Steve’s shadow the entire evening.

I had to finish my Spanish assignment after dinner, and then Steve drove me over to the home of a couple in his small group where I was to spend the evening. As it was after 10:00, the couple went to bed after showing me around, but Steve stayed around and we talked a bit more.

The church service was nice, but I liked Sunday school better. One of the speakers was talking about red flags to look for (personal things) when there are cultural barriers. These were specifically discussed pertaining to cross-cultural missions, but many of the ideas fit for relationships in general. For example, it will be harder to communicate as expected when you are tired. Also, things will be more frustrating when you are not in a teachable moment. There were nine things all together.

The afternoon and evening were spent in Steve’s apartment and neighborhood. We ate lunch (sandwiches), did dishes (from the night before and lunch), looked at books on Steve’s bookshelves, watched an episode of the Tick, made origami irises, took a walk in the neighborhood, made dinner, and ate dinner. Good times. I took a nap before making the drive home.

Last Wednesday Hanna came to St. Louis again to see me and her friends Lynette and Patrick. However, while the previous visit had been very positive—even perhaps the best visit we’ve had—this visit ended quite poorly. As we sat on my couch shortly after her arrival, Hanna broke the news to me that she doesn’t think that she is the woman for me.

Ultimately, it seems that she couldn’t come to love me for who I am. Despite all the values, theological beliefs, and interests we have in common, she kept wanting me to be more outgoing, more active in sports, more musical, and more spontaneous. She expected me to be someone that I am not. That I didn’t meet her expectations, led to doubts. I tried to reassure her. I tried to convince her to be more open to who I was, and to re-evaluate her expectations. However, her expectations remained, and her doubts won out.

The full impact of Hanna breaking up with me didn’t sink in until the next day. The shock stunned my emotions. I didn’t know how to react. Furthermore, by time Hanna left, it was time for me to go to bed, and then I had to go to work the next day. Work was difficult. I was distracted thinking about what had happened the night before, so I couldn’t focus on much of anything. After trudging through the day and despite some hesitation, I met Hanna and her friends Lynette and Patrick at Fitz’s as she had asked me to the night before. I wasn’t sure how to relate to Hanna, but I enjoyed meeting Lynette and Patrick, at least.

Afterwards, when Hanna and I were left alone in the parking lot, I gave her a second chance. I asked her, “Are you sure this is what you want?” Her decision remained the same. As I got in my car and drove back to my apartment, that’s when it hit me that it was over. Collapsing on the floor of my bedroom, I wept. It was simultaneously horrible and freeing. The pain of the loss I felt was unspeakable, but at the same time it felt good to finally release my emotions.

In a stroke of good timing, my Mom and Grandmother were scheduled to visit this weekend. It was nice to have them here to keep me busy and to keep my mind off of Hanna. However, after their departure, the sadness returned—albeit not as bad. I miss Hanna. I miss getting her morning emails where she checks in with her friends and lets us know what she is doing that day. I miss calling her at night to talk. I miss her touch. I miss her voice. I miss her laugh. I miss her warm personality. I miss her eyes and her smile. I even miss her penetrating questions. There’s no question that part of me wants her back.

And yet I can’t sit in relationship limbo forever. Hanna may someday want to return to me having realized all that she’s given up over so little. Or she may conclude that the things she didn’t find in me are too important to her to give up. Until I hear otherwise, I guess I have to assume the latter. And so part of me wants to move on, put this all behind me, and find someone new.

If Hanna called me today and told me that she wanted to resume our courtship, would I agree to get back together? I think it would depend on whether there had been any change in her. If her expectations had changed so that she could accept me for who I am, then I would gladly begin courting her again. However, if she came back with the same expectations as before, then I hope I would have the fortitude to say no.

I do hope and pray that she will change her expectations, and I leave it in God’s hands.

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Gee… I wonder what could have possibly happened around the beginning of this year that would cause my cell phone use to skyrocket?

Cell Phone Usage Graph

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Hanna & Steve

Some highlights of my Easter with Hanna and her family.

  • Getting a tour of “Grant Place”—Hanna’s house.
  • “Helping” Hanna with her Spanish homework.
  • The extremely positive response of Hanna’s mom to the flowers that I brought with me at Suzanne’s suggestion.
  • Playing Catchphrase with Hanna’s family while she was at choir practice.
  • Hanna and I going to a local recreation center where we walked and jogged on the indoor track. Hanna got me to jog an entire mile!
  • Watching The Scarlet Pimpernel—Hanna’s favorite movie.
  • Going out to dinner with John and Ellise at the Weber Grill, and introducing them to Hanna.
  • Hanna’s adorable nephew Josiah.
  • Going to church with Hanna three times.
  • The Easter cantata that Hanna sang in.
  • Getting to talk shop with the church librarian.
  • Making Shrinky-Dinks.
  • A delicious Easter lunch/dinner.
  • Hanna giving me a tour of her office, and having lunch with her friend Bethany.
  • Cuddling up with Hanna on several occasions.
  • Praying with Hanna.

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