Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Love Story Part 3: When did I learn how to flirt?

Soon after I met Frank, I began having informal dinner parties at my new apartment. I invited just a few acquaintances at a time. As the new girl in DC, I found it a great way to strengthen budding friendships.

Hostessing at one of my parties that summer
Frank’s turn for dinner came on August 29, 2011 (as my Google calendar helpfully reminds me). The dinner took a turn for the serious when some guests began discussing marriage, love and faithfulness—heavy topics for people I barely knew! I tried to keep out of the conversation, but I couldn’t help noticing what Frank was saying—and that I agreed with every word.

I specifically remember him saying, “My parents taught me that marriage is forever. My dad said that even if you wake up one morning and don’t feel in love with the person lying next to you, you don’t leave, because of the vows you took and the commitment you made. That’s what I believe.” I was impressed. What kind of 21-year-old guy says stuff like that? I thought.

It was obvious that Frank had good moral formation; he was just a good, straight-up guy who someday wanted to be a great husband. I could see that already. Even though I wasn’t interested in him, I began to admire him. Fatal, of course, because once you start admiring a man it’s an easy jump to crushing on him.

That dinner is also notable for another key plot point. Frank brought me a generous hostess gift that night: a giant bottle of Bombay Sapphire, in honor of our shared love for gin and tonics.

Remember the Bombay Sapphire. It will be important later.

A week after the dinner party, my twin sister Lillian was coming to visit me. Hurray! I wanted to throw a party in honor of the occasion. Since most of my new DC friends had never met her, I decided to host a “Meet the Twin Party” on Friday night. Some of my new guy friends had a rooftop patio on their apartment building, so they offered it as a location for the party.

It turned out to be quite the party. A bunch of our old friends from the ISI program were living in DC now, and they turned out in full force to see Lillian. Lots of Notre Dame alumni also showed up, along with random acquaintances I’d made throughout the summer. There was plenty of beer and chips and dip and people making new friends.

I was really hoping Frank could come, since he was my “new best friend” after all. I thought of him as a close friend already and I wanted him to meet my sister. But he had to stay late at work so he texted me that he couldn’t make it.

Um, no. I would have none of that. I unleashed a series of super-persuasive borderline threatening texts, mostly saying, “You have to come. You may never get the chance to meet my twin sister again!!!”

Finally he agreed to stop by “for a little while.” When he showed up, I knew he didn’t know most of the people there, so I thought I would magnanimously take him under my wing and make introductions. But I didn’t get very far before we were in the middle of one of our heated joke-arguments, talking just to each other (and shamelessly flirting). Frank ended up staying at the party for hours, and I don’t think he talked to anyone but me.

I had to go home to do some work after that (my first job out of college required working from home until the wee hours on Friday nights … boooo. So glad that’s over). Frank was quite curious what my “Friday night job” was and I made up some lame excuse so he wouldn’t know I had to actually work. Lillian stayed at the party with my roommate while I headed home.

At home I did my work, gnashed my teeth, cursed my fate, etc. Finally Lillian and my roommate got home! My roommate went to bed and Lillian and I stayed up to talk.

Like any good sister, her first question was, “So who was that guy you were talking to all night?”

“Who, Frank? Oh, he’s just a friend.” (Famous last words…)

Lillian shook her head.

“Then when did you learn how to flirt?”

She knew better than anyone that, generally speaking, I couldn’t flirt my way out of a paper bag.

Wait … that was flirting? The arguing-laughing-teasing thing I had going on with Frank?

Huh. Who knew?

I denied having any interest in Frank again, but Lillian was convinced.

“Even if you don’t like him, he definitely likes you,” she said. “It’s so obvious!”

I was surprised to find that I hoped she was right. But even if she was right, would I want to date him?

So we did what any 21st-century girl would do and decided to Facebook-stalk him.

There we were at 1 in the morning, looking through Frank’s Facebook pictures and profile info. Not creepy at all, right? ;) We were impressed with everything from his music taste to profile quotes. Lillian gave me the run-down:

“Theresa, he likes Edith Piaf and Johnny Cash. Um, perfect man? And he likes It’s a Wonderful Life. That’s your favorite movie! How can you not want to date him??”

I had never looked through Frank’s Facebook before, and I had to admit the case was compelling. He did seem perfect on paper. And as I looked through his photos, I also thought he was really darn cute.

But considering I’d only known the guy for a month, I thought this was a little hasty. Besides, I hadn’t told Lillian about that whole discernment thing, which was holding me back from taking any of this seriously.

Finally I agreed with Lillian that he did seem great, and that I would probably say yes to a date if he asked me on one. I didn’t want to jump into things too fast, but Lillian had opened my heart a tiny bit to the idea of dating him. I was still trying to think of him as “just a friend,” but I thought he was worth getting to know better.

Little did I suspect that before long, this guy I was barely interested in would find a way to accidentally break my heart.


  1. Ah, this just gets better and better!! I love reading it. ♥

  2. What Clare said. ;) Looking forward to the next part!!

    1. Thanks, Iris! So glad you're enjoying it! And I'm working on the next part right now. :)

  3. Ahhhhh, this does get better and better. :) I can't wait to the next part!

  4. Awww, this is adorable! And the learning to flirt part is too sweet. I often feel like that - like I just do not know how to flirt and am so clueless..but hopefully when the right guy comes along, it'll just come naturally like it did for you with Frank. :)

  5. Aw, love this!!! You might just have to give me a sneak run-down and tell me the next part when we meet up tomorrow for dinner! ;)

  6. Your grandchildren are going to LOVE reading this one day! Can't wait for the next installment!

  7. This is SO cute Tess!!!!


    1. Thanks, Kate! I'd love to read your love story with the Knight too!

    2. If only I had more time Tess!!! Someday....;)


  8. Just realized this is 11 parts... there's no stopping nowwwww! :)

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