As we neared the end of September, Jason’s birthday was coming up. He was turning 22. I had been working on a card for him, using my Photoshopping and Illustrator-ing? talents, and maybe also a crafty approach as well. It wasn’t anything special, but I was excited to give the handmade card to him.
We weren’t official or exclusive or whatever term you’d like to use to define what we were. We joked that when/if we were ready to move forward that there would be a middle school note that would make it official, we’d circle yes or no.
His birthday came and there was a youth event that night at the Weibels’ home that night. I helped out. With the youth. Maybe this was Jason’s plan all along. Scoundrel. Making me like him so I would help him with the Lord’s word. He should be ashamed of himself.
We had a great time with the kids and other helpers, and at the end of the night, he drove me back to my dorm, like so many other evenings that September. We listened to Paul McCartney in his car, like we did many other times that month to and from my dorm room and his house. His new Chaos and Creation in the Backyard album was out and we loved it.
Earlier that night he had handed me a folded, sealed envelope. It just said “Allison” on the front. “That’s to be opened later, ” he said. So we said goodnight and that we’d see each other in church the next day.
I walked into my lobby and spotted my roomy Carly. We sat on the couches and I opened the envelope that seemed to be burning a hole in my jacket pocket from pure curiosity.
It had a border of tiny clip art hearts that he had all colored in by hand with red marker, was neatly typed up and read:
“Will you be my girlfriend, not just my ‘date buddy’? Check the best one (only one, please).
__I can’t decide right now cause I have a debilitating disease.”
Included was a one dollar bill and the words “Allow the dollar to influence your vote.”
I thought this was the funniest thing ever but I couldn’t be rash and pull out my No.2 pencil quite yet. No, I needed time. Lots of time to think and really weigh the pros and cons. Maybe I should sleep on it. I mean there were four options to choose from. And he did give me a dollar. ( Which I still have in the pages of my journal from that time.) Likely it was probably the dollar I gave him back from the movie theater flop, but it was quirky and I found it cute.
While we’re talking about the word “cute”- girls, never call your guys or something they do “cute”. They hate that. It’s not something they want to be, nor do they want other men hearing that they were “cute” to you.
So, as I wondered what people would think, and how that didn’t matter, I continued to really think about what I wanted and what deeper thing might be going on. I thought again, “leap of faith”…so about 10 minutes into my deep thinking I checked “YES”. I mean I didn’t want to rush it and just think about it for 5 minutes…
I also added a check on the “I can’t decide right now cause I have a debilitating disease” option and erased it so he could still see it just to be funny. Well, I thought it was funny. I sealed up the envelope and pondered the right time to give it to him. No matter how I thought to give him the note, I saw an awkward outcome. I didn’t sleep that well and as morning came, I got ready for church and tried to calm my nerves. I got to church and still had no idea how I was going to approach this. I couldn’t just ignore him, he’d think that I obviously checked “NO”. I place the envelope in my purse and focused on finding my mom to sit with her. The service got started and someone announced “I’d like you all to take a couple minutes and find someone that you don’t know and say hello!” Meet and greet. Perfect.
I made a B-line towards Jason, who was standing in the back, folded envelope in tow. I held out my hand, “Hi! I’m Allison Lawrentz! Here you go- it’s nice to meet you!” and placed the note in his hand. I heard his signature laugh as I didn’t give him time to really say anything to me and walked straight back to home base. (My seat next to my mom.) Deep breath. It’s done, you’ve sealed your fate, Allison. No looking back. No, I didn’t want to look back. Because he was still standing back there. And it’d be awkward.