Another story time, whoo hoo! Only because I feel there is wisdom in my breakup. That’s right, I’m talking about my Glasgow relationship.
Again, we’ll call him Tom.
He and I met in a little coffee shop/study space for postgrad students at the University of Glasgow. I got there early enough to find a table (as there was never enough seating there) and was reading some class material, sipping on a hot cocoa when a man approached my table. He had his backpack over his shoulder and his wallet in his hand. “Sorry, do you mind if I sit? There’s no more free tables.” Being the polite person I am, I allowed him to sit at my table and I continued reading. His coffee came, he took out his own reading materials, and…
“Excuse me. What do you use for your iPad?” See, I had this app on my iPad called Noteshelf that let me take notes and highlight the reading material, saves it, bookmarks it, everything. Best thing for a postgrad student who has to read a shit-ton. Anyway, he continues, “I have an iPad, and I would love not having to print papers or lug my brick of a computer.” And that’s how we started talking.
His name is [Tom], from [redacted], and he’s studying [a science of some form]. Two hours later, I need to head to class. And he asks to meet me again at the postgrad coffee shop two days from now. I say yes, and fumble to my class.
Two days later, I get there early, get a table, and Tom comes in. How exciting! Look, Ma, I’m making friends! He sits at my table; “How do you manage to get a table?” I get here early enough. “You must sleep here, then. Every time I come here, there’s no table.” And we’re back to chatting. Two hours later, it’s time for me to head to class again. As I’m leaving, he asks for my phone number.
Now, at this point, I’m hesitant. My number? And what do you plan to do with my number, sir? But, I give it to him. Another friend in my phone book…right? Before I think too much, I go to class.
He texts that weekend. We meet up again, I leave, he texts, we meet up, I leave, he texts, and the circle continues. Until one fateful day, a couple of weeks later: “Can I take you out some time? O a date?” Another hesitation. I have a bad history with dates. I’m traumatized by some I’ve been on. Also, I’m here for my education! But, Tom’s so easy to talk to, and I know we’d have a good time, so I said yes.
That Friday, he takes me to a ramen restaurant, where they were showing Spirited Away on the big screen. And it was a great date. We talked. We had ramen. We strolled around the Duke in city centre. And it was so nice. He listened when I was talking, he laughed at my jokes, he commented on how smart I was. By the time we parted ways on the subway, we agreed to a second date.
Now, my friends and family are probably screaming at me right now, “Why didn’t you tell us?!” Because I didn’t want to. For several reasons. One: my hesitations caused me to pause when it came to announcing anything. Something intuitively told me not to tell anyone about Tom, a baby bear warning, I know. But I also didn’t sense a danger which is why I continued. Two: sorry, but relationship/dating announcing is kind of annoying. I couldn’t talk to anyone I know without them badgering me with questions about the date and about Tom. Hey, in class we talked about that play you did- “yeah, cool, so when are you and Tom going out again? Has he texted you?” And forget a real relationship; then everyone would be asking about potential marriage. And three: he asked me not to tell. On our second date, he brought up becoming a couple. He liked me and wanted to continue dating, however, his family would only support him while at school if he focused on his studies and stayed away from distracting things like relationships. His family was strict. And an added bonus with keeping our relationship on the down low was the American presidential election. He’s not American (wasn’t Scottish either) and his family had strong opinions about Americans. Which I am.
The point is, we kept our dating quiet because he and I would’ve gotten an earful if we made it public.
We were happy to agree with each other, and after that second date we were a couple.
This seemed so nice! How, you wonder, does it go absolutely tits-up?
Well, you get to wait.
That’s right! We got a cliffhanger! Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon…