"it's just a little crush"...or is it?

(I should warn you…this is a long, drawn-out post. Perhaps too long. As I’ve written this, I’ve wondered if it’s really necessary to provide the back story, or if this explanation is even worth sharing. But a good question was asked, and I felt it deserved a good answer. Which requires details. I’ve tried to abridge as much as possible, because the unabridged version would be a novella but also because some details are mine to hold close to the vest. Regardless, happy reading.)

Last week, after my griping that I had developed a bit of a crush on my groomsman partner at my friend’s wedding, Amity asked what was wrong with having a crush. Generally, I have no problem with crushes…they’re fun and harmless, even amusing at times. My concern is really having a crush on this guy in particular, whom we’ll call Cute Groomsman. Allow me to explain why.

Previously, Cute Groomsman was nothing more than the good-looking cousin/close friend of my friend’s boyfriend-now-husband. Then during our girls' weekend last April, the idea of some match-making came up. Initially, I chalked it up to girls being silly…until my friend told her guy at the end of the weekend and he latched onto the joke – showing me photos of Cute Groomsman and continuing the girls’ running commentary on his outstanding qualities. Whatever. I figured that, once the weekend was over, all would be forgotten.

Then came my friends’ annual Fourth of July cookout last summer…an awesome event that brings together their two different groups of friends. Which meant that Cute Groomsman was invited. Which was fine. The joke was over with, so me meeting him would be like meeting anyone else there, right? Wrong. As I was helping my friend and her guy set the tables for the cookout, he slyly mentions that Cute Groomsman will be there, in a tone of voice that plainly indicated that he (my friend’s guy) hasn’t forgotten about the conversation from April. Great.

Thankfully, there was no drama or nonsense. So once the cookout ends, I’m thinking that the joke will surely be done now…only to have my friend mention this idea to her mother-in-law. Who is great. But if she has any faults, it’s that she does not forget things, and she’s persistent. Because a year later, every time I visit Wilmington, this idea of me and Cute Groomsman comes up. Seriously. When my friend’s mother-in-law found out I’d been in Florida for a week, she was shocked and disappointed that I hadn’t called Cute Groomsman (who lives there).

Now after listening for the past year and a half to all the sly but casual remarks about Cute Groomsman, I was more than a little nervous when my friend told me he and I would be paired together for the wedding. Because enough people are in on this joke by now that I was definitely worried someone would say the wrong thing at the wrong time…that someone would let the joke slip, and he and I would find ourselves in a state of awkwardness for the rest of the weekend. Not what I wanted to deal with.

The wedding weekend arrives. Cute Groomsman and I talked and hung out a bit at the rehearsal and dinner on Friday night, and I realized that, had my friend, her guy and others not been praising his virtues for the past year and a half, I’d still have found him attractive. Because the things they’ve said about him seem true. He’s good-looking, polite, funny, intelligent, etc. Then came Saturday. We started chatting during the post-ceremony photo session, continued our small talk on the trolley to the reception, and joked around during the wedding party’s entrance and the bride and groom’s first dance. Basically, just having fun at this point. As the reception went on, though, there was more conversation and definitely flirting. Lots of flirting. There was even a proposal (which I accepted, of course!). And though we were both drinking and joking, it seemed just a little more than casual. Towards the end of the evening, while Cute Groomsman and I were talking with my friend’s mother-in-law (yes, that mother-in-law!), he starts talking to her about me…showing her the pictures we’ve taken together during the reception, complimenting me…and all I can think is, “please stop telling her!” Because the last thing she needs is more encouragement.

So Sunday morning, I’m talking with my friend (the newly-wed bride)…we’re reflecting on the day before, laughing and joking, when I tell her my funny story of being proposed to be Cute Groomsman and of me accepting…completely forgetting that she’s going to relay this story with all the others to her new husband, who will announce later that morning in the hotel lobby (in front of family and friends, but thankfully no Cute Groomsman), “congratulations, I hear you’re engaged.” It was all downhill from there! Between the groom, the aforementioned mother-in-law, the groom’s brother and yes, my friend the bride, the rest of the day felt like it had been declared “tease Sleepeybear mercilessly about Cute Groomsman” day. By the time I left the groom’s parents’ house that afternoon, these crazy people had me and Cute Groomsman married and living happily ever after.

All of this nonsense is why I don’t want to have a crush on Cute Groomsman. Because I know me. I know that a guy like Cute Groomsman makes me weak in the knees even without the glowing adoration of mutual friends…that I easily see way too much in way too little…that my imagination can work overtime when it comes to romantic possibilities…and worse, that I often overreact when I sense any sign of mutual interest. Most of all, I know that combining those weaknesses with all this joking is a disastrous combination. Because it’s pretty much guaranteed that I will see this guy again at other events my friends host…and I don’t want to be that girl he avoids in the future because I’ve said or done something silly.

This is why I don’t want to have a crush on Cute Groomsman. Unfortunately, what I don’t want is exactly what I’m getting. Sigh.

Where I am: Pennsylvania (for five more days!)


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