Battle.

Only time will tell if we’re all just cynics on the run – if we’re all just cynics come undone.” – Hudson Taylor

Had a super lovely weekend that was busy as fuck.

Where to begin? … How bout…

…here.

Had a followup date with the photographer, who said of our Tuesday night coffee date that it was “really special to meet a genuine person who is entirely and unapologetically themselves,” and of course I ate that shit up because it sounded like something from the mooovviess but people don’t talk like that in real life (except. you know. maybe me). So we agree on Tuesday to go to the Art Institute on Saturday. I have no recollection of ever being there in my 30 years, and he’s all about art, so I figured it’d be easier to go with someone who knew what they were actually talking about (and I was right, thank you me).

He picked me up at 10 and we drove down. On the way, I realized that in all my getting-ready-prep I forgot to put deodorant on. I spent 45 fucking minutes shaving my legs (and still wore jeans) but… like, the two-second step of armpit pretty-smell restoration? Couldn’t handle it, apparently.

And because we’re two dates in but I’m at a two-year comfortability level with this guy, I’m just like, “Hey, PSA. I forgot to do this.”

It was handled remarkably well, because we moved past it like it was NOTHING. We talk a little about sports; I’m a casual observer but generally enjoy, his heartstrings move for the Chicago Bears and he appreciates soccer. He tells me a little about different teams in Europe before pausing and says, “Do you care about this at all?” I say, “Well. I’m listening. But we’re not at the point in this yet when I don’t care enough to listen to what you say.” He seems to enjoy this.

We get there, and he’s a little grumbly because there’s a line, but I’m like, whatevs, it’s Saturday and it’s Chicago, and people. Luckily, it moved quickly. We first go down to the photography exhibit, where there isn’t too much on the wall. I think it’s funny, like “Photographs? Oh no. Not today”.

We move through architectural blueprints (apparently Chicago is an architectural hub?), and into an exhibition of mini doll houses. I tell him that I never had a doll house, and he wonders if we’ll be here forever. I tell him that we will be here the appropriate amount of time, and he says, “Oh, good,” and walks out of the room before re-entering three seconds later.

“Appropriate amount of time, right?” he shrugs.

We eventually make our way upstairs, where he shows me American Folk Art, which he explains as, “… you know your weird uncle that makes art? This is that exhibition.” And it was TOTALLY WEIRD, but it smelled like books, so it worked for me.

Then we go through the works of all the famous painters – he’s building up to modernism, which is what I requested I wanted to know more about. What this means is that we run back and forth between rooms as he’s trying to illustrate points. I’m wearing heeled boots, so everyone around us is enjoying my clickity-clacking, I’m sure.

(… For the record, I now feel that if you’re going to go to the Art Institute, this is the only way you should do it.)

He’s so good and thorough about explaining everything, I tell him he’d do well as a teacher. We spend some time focusing on Monet, whom I only know of because of Clueless. That’s right, me. Making connections between genuine art and a 1995 teen movie that changed my life forever.

We finally get to the modern wing and he’s like, “I really wish you could close your eyes before we go in, to really understand the progression,” and because I’m like, TOTAL MOVIE MOMENT I close my eyes and hold out my hand and am all TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER…

… and then he says, “No, that really won’t work. You’ll run into people with your eyes closed.”

Short film, I guess?

Regardless, it is kind of breathtaking. It’s light. It’s airy. It’s contrast at its finest.

We watch a video featuring M83’s “We Own The Sky” where things are just being pummeled by cinder blocks. We see an exhibit where tweets are fed on thermal register paper (I tweeted to it, while never forgetting that big brother is watching you, ALWAYS. … It was cool).

Not too long after, we get food, the first 15 minutes of which is spent by me trying to update my Facebook status in such a way that is funny and entertaining to the masses. He’s pretty cool about it. We then set off back to my house (I have plans to see “Jersey Boys” with the fam later that evening, and I’m not sure if my brother’s coming by to get ready or not). We’re driving through downtown Chicago and he’s running through all the accents he knows how to do, which I find hilarious. We also discuss “How I Met Your Mother” and “Inspector Gadget”. We acknowledge that we’re pretty comfortable around each other, and I say, because I’m compelled to say awkward things, something about how it’s kind of hard for me not to communicate every day, but that I’m working on it. We agree to just let things happen as they may.

Somehow that leads to me saying that not only will I text him later (“I’m sure you will,” he says) but that I might even try to do his newfangled phone thing. I think I was supposed to say something like the opposite of that.

So, later, I text him and say that it was great and that I hope we can do something again soon but that he can set that up (I chose the first location; I figured it was only fair) – and also wish him well on his Netflixing and sleeping endeavors for the evening. I then go to see the aforementioned musical, which was pretty great.

I admit I’m a little disappointed when I don’t get a text back acknowledging that I still exist, but I know myself well enough to know that in matters of boys and liking and curiosity, I’m also not too far off from a 1-year-old if you hide an object under a blanket (“BUT WHERE DID IT GO? IS IT EVER COMING BACK?!?!?”).

So then, the next morning, I’m like, “Okay. Phone calls!” to which he doesn’t answer and I end up leaving a cringe-inducing awkward voicemail which should really prove why I shouldn’t be allowed to do phone calls.

I spend the day with my bestie, traveling to way-the-fuck-away suburbs and back again, all the while worrying about what I said, and what I did, and what I did not do. It’s a neverending chorus in my head (“AMANDA. YOU MUST. CALM. DOWN. YOU MUST. CALM. DOWN. Who loves you, pretty baby? NOBODY”).

And like, really. The world is not ending. I know this. I’m busy; he’s busy, he’s got superdad responsibilities, I’ve got… nothing of equal importance…

Unless you count the blog. The blog is like my child.

We agreed to take it slow. Brain just doesn’t know what slow means because she’s all frenzied over someone who seems to be a decent human being. But she’s a bright one. She’ll catch on, eventually. And realistically, if he was supergluing himself to my life, I’d question the fuck out of it.

As Radiohead once warbled, “Everything in its right place.”

Have a good night, everyone. Be kind to yourselves.

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