It’s Thursday. I’m not in Mexico. And I’m not going to be in Mexico.
I’ve gotten tagged in some Facebook photos already. My friends made it just fine while I am snowed in eating grilled cheese sandwiches and drinking lots of tea.
Someone commented about how impressed they are with how well I’m handing my cancelled vacation, and I think there’s nothing to be impressed with. Honestly, I’m not that upset.
I’m sad, of course, not to be with my friends as they sit on the beach and laugh and soak up the sunshine. I’m sad to miss out on the memories that they’re making, and I’m sad to not be a part of the stories that will be told about the trip years down the road. I’m sad to miss out on the laughing and the sharing and the time together. Because I’m only now realizing how hard those moments are to come by in adulthood, and I know the moments in Mexico would have been the good ones, the ones that are cherished in deep heart places forever.
My dad reminded me, though, that there are things going on in my life now that weren’t going on when I made plans for this trip with my friends. He said it with a kind of wink, his subtle dad-way of acknowledging the guy I’m dating without actually having to talk about it.
And this week is Valentine’s, and this year is different.
“Different” is probably an understatement.
Perhaps the world’s worst dater, I am constantly surprised by this man I’m seeing now – by his kindness, and his consistency, and his want to know me better. I am surprised by how much I like having him around, by how empowered I feel by his support, by how not scary this whole dating him thing is.
So when I walked into his apartment last night, a surprise Valentine’s dinner all prepared, I was taken aback. And I’m pretty sure it took me a solid ten minutes to come up with words other than “thank you.”
Who needs flowers when you have a man who’ll make you meatloaf?
A year ago having my trip cancelled would have floored me. It would have put me in a bad mood for days, and no one would have wanted to be around me because I would have had only snarky responses to anything that was said. I would have spent the week wallowing, thinking of nothing else except the good time I was missing out on and bemoaning how bad things only happen to me. A year ago I would have wanted to be anywhere other than home.
But…things are different now and no one is more surprised than I am.
I will miss my friends, and I hope they have a wonderful time in Mexico. But, it’s okay with me that I’m not there this time.
My plane ticket will be reimbursed. I have a Valentine for the first time ever. I am snowed in with my friend and her family. Next week, I’ll drive to Delaware to visit with Danielle. And I’ll hang out with the BFF and the neph-in-love, and with Amy and the niece-in-love. I’ll have Bible study, and dinner with my parents, and things will continue in the same rhythm of home that I have only recently started to truly enjoy.
And maybe that is what’s most different. I’m not in such a rush to be anywhere another than home.