Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beauty & the Beast: Silence of the Lamb (Chapter 7)

KIM UPDATE: The spinal tap injection went MUCH better this time around. No headaches and Kim is slowly recovering from Round 4. That said, the treatment is beginning to take a toll on her body. She is feeling faint at times along with fatigue and nausea. We are supposed to go in this Thursday for a PET scan to see if the cancer has been wiped out. Big day for us! Thanks for praying!
If you're joining in late - see prior chapters of the "epic" pursuit of my wife HERE

So after waiting for what seemed to be an eternity (or at least 30 seconds) I begin to wonder….is she still alive? I see her breath fogging up the passenger side window. Yes, she’s still breathing. Okay, this is a good sign. With her eyes still fixed outside she finally responds to my “Will you pray for me?” with a perfunctory….
I am suddenly overcome with an inexplicable sensation that can only be explained as joy down in my heart. Deep, deep down in my heart. J-O-Y down in my heart. Deep, deep down in my heart. But then something happens…she begins to cry. Not a wail. Not a wimper. Just a subtle tear followed by a slight sniffle. My first instinct was to nod and smile, “Tears of joy, Rico. Tears. Of. Joy.”

But when she finally looked forward I could make out her face…and she didn’t look happy. Why was she crying? I was confused. Was it something I said?

There are few situations in life that makes a guy more uncomfortable than being in the presence of a girl that is crying. I personally can only think of a few:

• Dancing like a drunken elephant in front of friends and family.
• Letting one go in an elevator – only to have the doors open with people you know walking in. 
• Getting a face full of pepper spray for asking someone a simple question.
• Going #2 in a public restroom (or Grainger Library...for example) and suddenly realizing you are sitting in the women’s bathroom

Not that I have any experiential knowledge in any of the aforementioned. She didn’t say much on the way home. It was pretty quiet in the car and frankly a bit uncomfortable. I dropped her off at her dorm and said good-bye but things just didn’t seem right. What happened? This was not how I envisioned things playing out—to be honest, I thought it would go more like this:

Me: …will you pray for me?
Kim: O Chomeo, Chomeo! Wherefore art thou Chomeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Shimulet.
Me: “Ummm....maybe! [nervous laugh] So….is that a yes?”
Kim: “Yes! Yes!! A thousand times Yes!!!
Me: “Sweet! Let’s go to Hot Wok and celebrate!”

But alas, this is not how it went. My roommate, Scott, was waiting for me at home, eager to find out what happened…and I really don’t have much to say. I felt like I had done it. I confessed my love. I revealed my heart. I bared my soul. I spilled the beans. It was my moment of truth and I waited to see if she would eat my beans…and smile, a beautiful smile. Or eat my beans…and flatulate, a nasty flatus (click the link - that is a word). I felt like I got neither. I felt like I got a beautiful fart. You know…one that sounds like a Mozart concerto sans the odor.What the heck?

We now entered into this supremely awkward phase in our relationship. It’s strange. You work so hard, pray so fervently, and wait so long to get to this point and when you’re finally there – you realize you’re clueless on what you are supposed to do. Once you have entered the praying phase what do you do as a couple?
Do you talk?
Do you watch movies?
Do you fast?
Do you talk about movies really fast?
What do you do?

No one has really explained to me what this time was for. Probably because most of the guys telling me “this is the way you do it” were as clueless as I was. (their singleness should have been a hint) And so began our “courtship”…in the most liberal sense of the word. Although I asked her to "pray about" having a relationship with me - she now says in her mind she had actually only agreed to "pray about praying" about it. Try figuring that one out boys!

During this time most of our dates would encompass going to the library to “study”. I put this in quotes because “studying” mostly meant opening a textbook to read and occasionally looking upward for an awkward glance – in which your eyes would briefly meet and then immediately go back to the same page you had been staring at for the last 3 hours. Most of these times were strategically planned and located so that we would not be seen by anyone of the 600 people on campus that we knew – as if this process needed any more stress. So during our initial talk – I expressed hope that by the time I graduated in May we would both have a clearer understanding of where the Lord wanted this relationship to go. But things didn’t seem right – or natural. I think she felt like she didn’t know me well enough to make that type of a decision. It was either that – or she was intimidated by my rugged good looks. Whatever it was, I could sense that she was uncomfortable through those entire three months. This was not what I envisioned. I thought courtship was supposed to be filled with “candle-light romance”. Instead it felt more like “super-tight underpants”. You know what I mean? Really uncomfortable – and when you try to make a move – it only gets more tight and constricting. Not that I still have those Batman underoos. And if I did…what’s it to you? Pharisees.

So our “courtship” or “prayer time” or "praying about praying about it time" was winding to a close. Three months had passed and it was now May and I was nearing my graduation and she was growing in consternation. My whole family was coming into town to see me get my diploma (they wanted visual proof). It was time for us to come to a decision and “meet the parents”. Was she ready to move forward? Was she not? What was to become of us?

For single men:
  • Don’t assume that every time a girl cries – it’s because she’s madly in love with you.
  • Know exactly what to do when a girl cries. That said, if anyone knows what to do - tell me. I’m still clueless.
  • Don’t ask girls to “pray” for you unless you’re pretty dang sure she is the one. Emphasis on the “dang”.
For single women:
  • Let your “yes be yes and your no be no”. Please no “beautiful flati” – it confuses everyone. (what is the plural form of "flatus"?)
  • Try not to cry in front of men – I know it’s a defense mechanism but really…. it frightens us. 
  • If a guy asks you to "pray about it" - don't come back with "I'll pray about praying about it." That's just confusing and guys are simple (i.e. dumb). 


  1. Peter, if you do not move this story along a little more rapidly, you are going to have to answer toone upset former 2nd Grade teacher!!! We obviously know the eventual outcome....but you are dragging this outwaaay too looong! I know, I know....give them just a bite and they keep coming back s a great philosophy, BUT...I'm getting a little tired of rushing to my computer each morning for the next chapter of Beauty and the Beast, only to find just a snippet. Amidst all of your trials and tribulations, please have a little consideration for your elderly cardio readers! LOL!!! That said, I am so glad this round of chemo has been a bit easier on Kim. Praying daily for her and for you all.

  2. Praying big things for this Thursday! With hope in God, Sangjinator & Julie