This is part twenty-eight of the Homey and Me Love Story.
After a day of texting, being on the phone, and realizing that I just had the best Valentine’s Day of my life–even though I was snowed into my house, with two kids, and with a dude I liked on the other side of the country; after all of that–I realized that I might just be in love.
Okay…you probably know it, too. But you have to understand: I had never met Homey yet! I hadn’t seen him in person. I hadn’t touched him, smelled him, anything! I had only talked to him and listened to him…for hours and hours…yet I was in love. Could this be???
It was an interesting situation. Being in love–with a dude–but he wasn’t really there. In some ways, I questioned myself…In an email that Homey wrote to me, he said: “And I just keep pinching myself to remind me that you are real.” This hit the nail on the head. I responded:
“We SHARE A BRAIN! Last night, when I was talking to you about being a little confused, but not, I think that this is EXACTLY what I meant. I’ll be at home, or at work, or in the car, or on the treadmill running to Wolfmother, and I’ll think “I need to tell Homey ________.” And we’ll talk, write, text, and have fun with all of our jokes and awesomeness. (I feel so bad for like 5,999,999,998 people right now), and I’m just obsessed with YOU. Then, I’ll find myself alone for a minute, and think to myself, “Is this even real?…PLEASE LET HOMEY REALLY EXIST!!!!!!!!” (me to Homey – February 15, 2007)
But those feelings of confusion/frustration would vanish when I said a prayer or when my thoughts were interrupted by a text or phone call from Homey. He was real. How was this possible? I didn’t do anything to be blessed like this!
But there was a benefit to the long-distance madness:
“And the thing I’ve learned–even before knowing you, but you confirm it, is that real is MORE than physical closeness (disclaimer: I LOVE physical closeness and hate long-distance relationships.) You can be with someone and see/interact with that person every day–yet you may not know the reality of that person. A ‘real’ relationship requires work on two sides. It requires TWO people playing for keeps. It requires a little bit of vulnerability, a lot of forgiveness, and LOADS OF GREAT JOKES…So, what I’m saying is–in some ways, this feels more real than anything I’ve ever experienced, even though I haven’t touched you. It’s just what I need.” – (Me to Homey – February 15, 2007).
All of these feelings, combined with lack of sleep (thanks to nightly marathon conversations with Homey) culminated in a DTR for the ages.
“You know…this is crazy,” Homey said to me, as we were trying to hang up, and doing all the kinds of mushy annoying things that people do when they’re in that drug-like stupor of new love.
“I know. But crazy in a good way.” I replied, half asleep, half giddy.
“There are so many things I want to tell you, but I have to wait until I see you in person.”
“What? You can’t wait that long. You won’t be here until March. That’s like three weeks away!”
“I know, but there are just some things that I can’t say to someone I haven’t even physically met yet.”
“I know exactly what you mean.” And I did, or at least I thought I did because I was feeling the same way. How do you tell someone that you love them when you haven’t even met them? I continued, “If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, and I’m figuring that you are since we share a brain, then I think that we should think up a code for now.”
“Then we can say what we want to say without saying it.”
“Yeah…I get you.”
“So…now say it. Just bleep out whatever it is you won’t say to me in person.”
“Well I can’t just say it now, there’s too much pressure. I can’t just say it on command.”
“Why the bleep not?” I asked, laughing at myself. (There is a lot of laughing at myself when I’m on the phone past midnight.)
“Oh…Catania. I think I bleep you.”
“Yeah, Homey, I knew that you were going to say it. I do, too…I don’t bleep me, I think that I bleep you, too.”
“This is strange. Can we possibly be in bleep this quickly, so far away?”
“I guess so. It’s bleeping awesome to be in bleep with someone I met on the internet.”
“Deciding to call it Bleep makes me bleep you even more.”
And somehow, I did it. I didn’t do it on purpose. Again, I blame the late nights for such a loss of inhibition, but I was laughing, and happy, and shouted, “I know! I bleepin’ love you!”
On my part there was silence. On Homey’s part, he was just laughing and laughing.
“Woops!” I exclaimed. “I broke our code. It was an accident, I promise!”
“I thought we were going to wait until we at least met.”
“Well, I guess that’s what it is now…I promise I didn’t say it on purpose. I meant to bleep it out. I meant to bleepin’ bleep you, but this is so bleeping confusing!”
“Oh…I love you Catania. It’s crazy to say it, but I’m madly in love with you.”
And that’s how the profession of love began, between two crazy people, 2300 miles apart, that had never met.
(Note: I don’t suggest this for everyone. In fact, I don’t suggest anything specific for anyone when it comes to dating or finding love. There is only one thing that I suggest: that you follow the Spirit. After everything with Rusty, I knew that I would naturally have “trust” issues with others. Yet, I found solace in the following scripture:
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” – Moroni 10:5
If you are familiar at all with the Book of Mormon, you probably recognize this as part of Moroni’s Promise. Sometimes I love thinking of verse five independently and remembering that the Holy Ghost will tell us the truth of everything. He doesn’t only testify of God, Jesus Christ, or Spiritual matters. But if we seek the Lord in prayer, and ask Him about anything in our lives, we will know the truth of what we should do through the power of the Holy Ghost. It’s pretty amazing…The point being: I didn’t need to worry about trusting anyone–I could simply trust God. So, when you’re doing anything of any kind of importance, seek the Spirit, it will tell you the truth of all things. It will help you to know all that you should do…And I can see that meeting Homey in the way that I did, while unconventional, was exactly what I needed. The Lord knew this about me, and throughout the entire courtship I prayed and sought the Spirit.
I told Homey I bleepin’ loved him on February 16th. Don’t take the time to figure out how (little) much time had passed between our first email and now saying I bleep you because it was an embarrassingly short amount of time. It was so Mormon of us!!!
In addition to openly admitting our love to one another, we also had a confirmed date to finally meet! He’d be flying to Pennsylvania on March 9th.
Because of the sharp increase in mushiness and declarations of love (which would make anyone barf all over the place, but I love thinking about this time in my life, really I do), I was on cloud nine. Most of the time. Except for when I wasn’t. Because the thing is, I started to realize that this might be for real, and I didn’t really know what that meant.
Homey would be coming to PA, and I wanted to see him. I wanted him to be real. But I also knew it would be a moment of truth. When I met him, either everything with him would come crashing down, or the life in PA, as I knew it, would be crashing down, and I’d be itching to move to Mesa. It was kind of scary. It would have been really scary if I wasn’t actually in love.
So…in one of the rare moments when I had some sense I found a list of “interview” questions that people who are seriously courting one another should discuss. These were the nitty-gritty questions like “Who will balance the checkbook?” “How do you feel about debt?” “How often would you want to be intimate?”…you know…the kinds of questions no one thinks about while they’re in love, but then become the center of strife during the first year of marriage. Because I had been divorced, and because I was a child of divorced parents, I knew that there was no way I would get into another marriage unless I was as sure as I could be about everything. It seemed counterintuitive to be considering Homey as marriage-able material, but since we were declaring love, I knew that I needed to think about it. And since we were doing so much emailing, I found email to be the perfect medium for these interview questions.
So…pretty soon our emails got even more involved–we were still discussing subjects like buffalo wings
“Yeah, So I’m walking back in from lunch, and I got totally jealous of this conversation that these two construction workers were having–about Buffalo Wings. I have decided that I should definitely discuss Buffalo Wings WAY more often. (I should also eat them more often). What are your feelings about Buffalo Wings, by the way?)” – Catania to Homey, 5 March 2007
and we had added in paragraphs and paragraphs of super-duper-sappy-cheese-o-matic-mush:
“You know how much I love you? So much that I CALL YOU ON THE PHONE AND I’M SO EXCITED WHEN YOU CALL ME THAT I ACTUALLY PICK UP!” – Homey to Catania, March 6, 2007
and then there were paragraphs of “How do you feel about movies/vacations–are these luxuries or necessities?”:
“In general, I’d like to be able to have fun with money. However, I don’t want life to get out of hand. Basically, what I’m saying is: I want to live within my means. I’d rather live in a smaller more modest house, and be able to go on nicer vacations. I also want to be sure all financial obligations are met before I do fun things–ie: I want to have a food storage and be financially prepared. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go in debt for a vacation…” – Me to Homey, March 7, 2007
Although that last excerpt might not have been all that exciting for you to read, it was great to know what Homey’s expectations were and I was also happy to know that he knew my expectations. In fact, we had “rules” on these questions. I would ask him before hand, and we’d both answer in emails–before we saw the other person’s answer, just so we weren’t in any way influenced by one another. Knowing how Homey felt about these various subjects helped me feel more secure on the path that we were taking so very quickly.
“Well, Bishop, he’s coming out here to meet me.”
“Really?” My bishop asked, both incredulous and excited.
“Yeah. It will be my first time meeting him.”
“Wow, how do you feel about it?”
“I’m really excited. We’ve been writing and talking, and we’ve gotten to know each other really well.”
“So, when will he be here?”
“Where is he staying?”
“He’s got a hotel room at the Sheraton in Exton.”
“Tell him to cancel the reservation.”
“Um…okay,” the Bishop could sense my confusion as I said this.
“He can stay at my place,” the Bishop explained.
“Okay.” I said, as I began to understand what he was getting at.
“It will be better for both of you. If this is getting serious, then you don’t need the temptation. And if this guy isn’t what he seems to be, then you won’t be put into a dangerous position.”
“That’s true,” I stated.
“Just tell him to cancel his hotel reservation. Look at it this way. If he’s a good guy, then this solution will be an answer to his prayers. If he gets upset by the idea, then he’s a creep, and you can tell him to just cancel the entire trip.”
“Alright,” I said, finally.
In a way I was grateful for the offer that the Bishop made. I knew that if Homey was staying at my Bishop’s house, then there would not be as much of a temptation to do anything that would break my covenants or commitment to chastity before marriage. I also was a little afraid. What if Homey was a creep? What if he would insist on staying in a hotel? Would I have the strength to tell him to cancel the whole thing?
I didn’t need to worry.
“So…I was talking to my bishop, and He told me to tell you to cancel your reservations at the Sheraton.”
“You can stay at his place instead. Which actually happens to be closer to my house, anyway.”
“Are you serious? I can? Is he sure that it won’t be a problem for me to stay there?”
“Yes. He insists.” A serious downplay of what the Bishop actually said!
“Catania, this is honestly an answer to my prayers.” I leapt when I heard Homey say that. I hadn’t mentioned to him the details of my meeting with the bishop. But with Homey’s response, I was once again reassured that Homey was the right dude for me.
In fact, I was pretty sure that Homey was the right dude for me for eternity. Now, I just needed to meet him.