And So On

Reed and I got the email situation worked out. He ended up finding my email from Thursday in his junk folder on Monday. My email did in fact get resent as promised, but it got resent right to the trash. Thanks, U.S. Navy. Good thing I sent him a follow-up email on Sunday. I happened to check my spam folder on Monday and found a couple of error messages from weeks ago that had bounced back from his email address.  I guess that explains why there was at least one email I sent previously that it seemed like he didn’t read. Apparently the internet connection in the middle of the ocean is quite precarious. Or the Navy server hates me. One or the other.

It has been more of the same. Our exact itinerary is still up in the air, but he is throwing out a lot of ideas and appears to be looking forward to my visit as much as I am, which is good to know. He is not on the carrier for too much longer, so he will be back in Japan for a short while before my arrival. I suppose he will have more time to narrow everything down then.

One thing about him is that he likes to cook and he is pretty confident when it comes to his culinary skills. I was hoping that I’d get to experience a Chef Reed original at some point during my stay, and we both decided that my first night would be optimal since I’ll likely be tired from traveling. So on night one he’s going to cook for me and we’ll likely just hang out at his house. Sounds perfect to me. (As long as there’s wine.)

So far he has to work during one day of my stay. He assured me I’d be fine to hang out at his house while he’s gone, unless I really wanted to get out and about and in that case he would school me on the train system. I don’t imagine I will feel the need to do any exploring on my own. I don’t have the greatest sense of direction, so adding a foreign country and language on top of everything would likely equal a recipe for disaster.

We’re coming up on about a week and a half to go, and the passage of time is excruciatingly slow. Yet I know it’ll be here suddenly, I’ll likely have the time of my life, and then it’ll be time to go suddenly. And then life will slow down again.

I’m not sure what to expect, but I feel like whatever it is will be worth it. I like him. I like him a lot. I can’t think of one time in my past that a guy has held my attention like this, for this long, without having met in person. Probably because this is a situation that normally wouldn’t hold my interest for long, if even at all. The fact that this started off with us knowing we were a sizeable distance from each other (even when he was in the United States), and without having any firm plans to meet (until recently), but yet were still both drawn to talking to each other…there’s something organic about that that I like. How seamless it was, the evolution from him being some random Tinder stranger to the point where his texts and emails started making me smile. Happened before I even knew it. This guy that I’ve never even met.

Is meeting a necessary element of a romance? Everyone’s idea of love is different. You have couples that meet online and eventually end up committing to each other and engaging in serious relationships without having ever met. If it works for them, more power to them, I guess, but words and pictures aren’t a person. A person is a 3-dimensional autonomous being.

For me, attraction is not just words or physical appearance, but the sum of those factors plus a host of intangible/subconscious factors that we don’t really fully understand. “Chemistry,” we tend to call it. Attraction is not just looking at a man and thinking he is cute. Thinking someone is cute is thinking someone is cute; attraction is a pull. I have been attracted to men who I don’t even think are necessarily good looking, and have been completely uninspired or unstimulated by men that I do think are good looking. Attraction is a cauldron of many different factors that I personally think can really only be properly gauged in person. Otherwise you are attracted to someone based on incomplete information, and are thus filling in the blanks yourself and probably making someone into more of an ideal than they really are. I don’t see the point of having a relationship in that state.

We always think of attraction in the sense of positives, however attraction is also an implicit acceptance of things about a person that you don’t necessarily care for or don’t necessarily meet an ideal. I notice sometimes that in missing a person, whether it’s romantic or not, I miss the things that actually get on my nerves along with everything else. A person’s negative traits are best assessed in person because it’s easy to hide shortcomings over a phone, and thus I think getting a sense of a person’s whole self – positives and negatives and everything in between – can only be truly explored with in-person interaction.

I think I’ve received enough information about Reed at this point to say without about 88.7% reliability that I will be attracted to him in person. Anything could happen, but I think all will go just swimmingly. But there’s only one way to tell.

I’m slightly nervous that I’m going to be essentially shacking up with him for 5 nights right off the bat. He’s going to see me “without makeup.” Meaning: with penciled eyebrows, concealer under my eyes, and a hint of blush. As if I’m really going to go bare-faced around him. Ha! It’s so cute when men think you really aren’t wearing any makeup whatsoever. I had a coworker this afternoon pull me up and tell me how good my face looks completely natural.

In other news…my foot is at about 90%. I tried it out in the gym for the first time yesterday morning and managed to get some squats and leg presses in successfully, although I didn’t feel quite up to resuming my normal treadmill intervals yet, so I just did a hilly walk. Reed mentioned something about a “Hash Run” if we can fit it in. I’d never heard of it before he mentioned it, but it apparently has something to do with running and drinking. I don’t know if my foot will quite be up to it, but I guess as long as there’s alcohol at the end of the road, I can try to fight the good fight.

On a completely unrelated note…I find myself wanting to create. Specifically, to draw. I’ve always had artistic capabilities that are above average and have drawn in the past, but I haven’t actually done so years. I scrapbook every once in a while, but that’s been about it for a while. But I was in Michael’s the other night and I was feeling inspired. I wanted to buy everything in the store. I love arts and crafts. But maybe it’s just PMS. Whatever.

Ready to Roll

I woke up yesterday morning on my friend Carly’s couch in that groggy drunken haze situated at the tail end of inebriation and right on the cusp of a hangover. I went out for happy hour after work on Friday with intentions of blowing off some serious steam, and a night of drunkenness ensued with Carly, who is my regular partner in crime in these matters. Apparently at some point in my travels I gave my phone number to someone I don’t even remember, and I only know this because of some texts we exchanged later in the night where he was trying to get me to come to another bar to meet him. I don’t even remember meeting him or who he is or anything about him. I had a LOT of steam to blow off which means a lot of alcohol was had.

Despite the mild hangover, my day was instantly brightened when I checked my email and discovered a reply from Reed – FINALLY! – at about 3 a.m. I’m not sure where he is exactly or what time zone he is in, but I’m assuming we are probably not in the same one. He explained that the internet on the ship can cause delays on his end, and said that he hopes his silence hadn’t confused me. I thought that was a thoughtful thing to say.

He said he lives near Tokyo, but was thinking about visiting another city that appears to be almost 250 miles away from Tokyo. So it’s pretty much settled in my mind…as soon as he lets me know exactly where I should be flying to, I’m going to hop on a website and book myself a $1,200 flight to travel a little over 6,000 miles to a foreign country to meet a guy from Tinder in person for the first time. A idea that on face value seems utterly ludicrous and maybe even desperate. Probably even slightly insane.

There are plenty of men in the United States, in my own state, in my own zip code, that I could meet. Plenty that would want to meet me. Plenty that I have met. I certainly have no problem garnering male attention whether it’s in a bar or on Tinder or through any other medium. And yet, here I am…still single. Perpetually. So clearly that’s not working out for me too well.

I like Reed. I like the way he looks and I like talking to him. And I know he is who he says he is. We seem to have established some type of preliminary connection, but without having met in person, it’s uncertain just how strong or real that connection is. Unfortunately, it just so happens that he lives 6,000 miles away, and even then his availability over the next several months will be limited. He said he’d be back in Japan in October and then “maybe” December. So I’m gathering that he has some more deployments coming up after this one. So really, next month is the only opportunity I’ll have to meet him until he gets reassigned back to the states in the early part of next year. And even with that, he still doesn’t know where he will be going yet. So many unknowns…

This is one of those things that, just by the sheer nature of its ridiculousness, will turn out either amazingly well or disastrously bad. There’s just no middle ground here, with the amount of expense and effort I’m going to put into embarking on such a risky venture.

On a side note, through some extensive Facebook stalking of Reed on the low over the past several weeks, I discovered that he and the cheating bastard are friends on there. As to how well they know each other or whether they talk in real life or not, I have no idea. But I am certainly glad I never told Reed that story, and I definitely don’t intend to now. Not any time soon, anyway.

Leap of Faith

I like a boy. That I’ve never even met. And I’m strongly considering taking a gigantic leap and flying to the other side of the world in a month or so to meet him. So I’m probably a huge fool, but so be it. My life is in total disarray right now due to horrific personal decisions I made and the various repercussions that are continuing to pile up on top of each other, so right now I’m pretty much willing to do just about anything to take my mind off of how disastrous my world is right now.

Once again, Tinder has struck. “Reed” and I matched there on August 15th. I thought he was super cute and was hoping we would match when I swiped right on him, but after a few days when we hadn’t I figured he had seen me and passed up. So I was obscenely excited that Saturday night when I got a match notification followed by a message and it was him.

We fell into instant conversation that night and really haven’t stopped since.

Only, history is repeating itself in certain ways. Once again, it’s a Navy pilot. As such, I made sure this time to pointedly ask if he was married. Negative. I asked what he was looking for on Tinder and he said he’d like to go out locally and possibly continue something one he’s further. All well and good, except once again, he’s all over the place and we crossed paths on Tinder due to a fleeting proximity but it turned out he was actually 2,000 miles away from me. And that’s close compared to where he is actually stationed for the time being. He happened to be back in the states for training, but his home base is in Japan. Yikes. However he will be permanently back in the states in a few months. Not so yikes.

It didn’t take us long to eventually exchange numbers and from there we texted on the daily for 2 weeks. I lost quite a bit of sleep, in the wake of our time difference, staying up into the wee hours of the morning to be able to talk to him after he was done with his training and work duties for the day, but it was worth it. I liked hearing about what he had learned and all the fun he had and just shooting the breeze and picking his brain. Reed is handsome, which helps matters, but most importantly, he’s also VERY, VERY intelligent. He does fly jets for a living, which kind of lends itself to that fact already, but even over and above that I just get a really cerebral vibe from him. Almost to a geeky extent. But I don’t mind that at all. He went to an awesome school and majored in things that have nothing to do with piloting so in a way he’s like a jack of all trades and I admire that about him. I like a man who is smarter than me.

The best part is that we remained in MUTUAL contact. Meaning, I’d wait him out sometimes to see if he’d initiate conversation with me and sometimes it’d be super late in the my day and I’d start to get discouraged thinking I wasn’t going to hear from him, but then all of a sudden there he was sending me a text. Maybe that’s slightly childish, but I sometimes like to test things to make sure I’m not the only one making the effort to keep in touch. And I definitely wasn’t.

A week or so after we started texting, we arranged for a phone call and ended up talking for almost an hour. He sounded the way I had imagined he would sound, and the conversation flowed pretty effortlessly. He had expressed some reservations earlier that week about not being a big phone person because he’s not a good talker. I did get the impression from texting that he’s more on the reserved/shy side of things, but we didn’t have any problems on the phone.

Last week encompassed his last few days of training, and then in the middle of the week he flew to another base and his father flew in to meet him and they got to hang out for a few days before he headed out to sea on an aircraft carrier for an undisclosed amount of time (understandably). I was worried that he’d be too busy with his dad to talk to me, or that, as “real life” reared its ugly head, we’d fall out of touch, but we didn’t. From my experience with the douchebag pilot from the last entry, I was halfway expecting that once Reed flew “elsewhere,” something would change or I’d find out he’s married or otherwise attached or something like that, but nothing changed. Even throughout his various adventures with his dad, he still maintained contact and was responsive to me.

The icing on the cake was when he gave me his email address to reach him on the carrier – unprompted. We had conversed in the past about staying in touch through email while he was out to sea and he was amenable to it, but I hadn’t brought it up since. So that was very reassuring…I would hope/assume he’s not handing out his official email address like candy to random girls, so it was a very good sign that he was serious about staying in touch with me. Even if I’m just some broad he’s never met.

The last text I received from him was on Sunday night. In a previous text he told me he’d be back in Japan in early October and I asked if that was an invite. He didn’t respond immediately and I ended up falling asleep, but when I woke up in the morning I saw he had texted me back to answer affirmatively on the invite and then asked when I’m thinking to come. I replied back several times over the course of Monday but never got a response. I didn’t get the feeling that he was suddenly just blowing me off, so I figured he was probably on the carrier at that point. On Tuesday morning I tried my luck with the email address he gave me. He answered later that night and confirmed that he was on the carrier getting into the swing of things and then asked how I was.

I told him a bit about my adventures at a baseball game I went to that night, then asked him what city in Japan a girl would be heading to if she were hypothetically planning an impromptu trip in early October.

And there we still stand. I have yet to receive a reply. So maybe he’s just terribly busy or maybe he wasn’t really serious. And maybe I’m an idiot for considering flying to another country to meet a guy for the first time. Alone, at that. A couple of my friends seem to think so. And I probably am. But I honestly can’t think of many reasons NOT to do it. Worst case scenario: we don’t hit it off. But still, I’m in Japan. A destination I’ve always wanted to go to. Best case scenario: we hit it off. And I’m still in Japan. A destination I’ve always wanted to go to. And I get to hang out with a guy I like.