Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stories of Jeff Excell - Feelings Day

It was as we were cruising the streets of Cedar City looking for the perfect sledding hill where Jeff proclaimed I didn't like to express my feelings.

"What?!?" I said, shocked he already knew me so well.
"Yeah. I never know what you're thinking. Tell my your feelings." He continued.
"Umm...well what do you want to know my feelings about?" I countered, scrambling to figure out exactly what he was looking for.

Because if he was simply wondering my feelings on sledding, I could really screw things up by babbling about how much I already loved him and how he had the best head of hair I'd ever seen and how I thought he was such a gentleman.

My dating world was suddenly turned upside down. I had always thought my ability to conceal my true feelings was one of my assets. I was never the blubbering girl crying at the movies. Or ever. I didn't cry. I didn't express myself. I was the bottle-everything-up-and-give-the-silent-treatment-until-I-forgot-why-I-was-upset type. My taboo topics were love and anger. If I felt the need to speak on either topic, I just went running and ran until I no longer felt the need to speak. It was my no-fail regimen. Until Jeff Excell came along and dared to try to get a glimpse of what goes on inside my brain.

As I was gathering my thoughts, Jeff had noticed the song that was playing on the radio - Don't Wait by Dashboard Confessional.

"Sarah, this song is perfect for what I'm trying to tell you! It says, 'lay your armor down.' Sometimes it seems like you have a wall up, but I just want to know what you're thinking. Listen to the song and lay your armor down. How about we make today 'feelings day.' We can ask each other anything today and we have to be totally honest."

That sounded like a good enough idea that would at least prevent me from having to guess at which feelings he wanted me to be spewing off.

We pulled up to the perfect hill. We joined the elementary school aged kids in New Year's sledding fun. We only went down a couple of times before we toppled off our sleds and rested at the bottom of the hill. Talking about our feelings.

Our feelings started light. Just like a game of truth or dare that evolves to only talking about your truths. Our truths were mostly about why past relationships failed and generic attributes we looked for in our future spouses. The peaceful, snowy hillside was the perfect setting to allow the depths of our souls to be spilled.

After an hour of quizzing each other in the snowy setting, I had to get back home because one of my friends was meeting up with me that evening. We made our way back to my apartment.

Just as I was getting out of Jeff's truck, he gently grabbed my arm to pull me back in.

"Wait," he said, "I want to know what your feelings are about me."

We had made it through our sledding adventure carefully discussing every feeling we had except our feelings about each other. But here it was. And I had to talk first.

" you?" I made it sound like a question in case I ended up needing to backtrack. I continued, "I have a lot of fun with you. You're one of the greatest guys I've ever met. have really great hair." There. It was all on the table. I took a deep, nervous breath as I asked him his feelings on me.

"I like you, too. There's something different about you. [Insert cute things he liked about me here.]"

We sat and soaked up that our feelings were mutual. Then Jeff piped up, "So, I want to like, hold your hand, or kiss you, but I feel like it would be weird."

I was not about to have my first handhold/kiss with Mr. Feelings with the preface that he thought it would be weird. And I was not about to give him the satisfaction of being the one to make the first move. No way. I'm an old-fashioned girl. The boy does the chasing. And the first kissing.

I reached for the car door as I said, "It would be weird today. But another day it wouldn't be weird." He walked me to my door and we hugged. Another perfect, kissless date with Jeff Excell.


Kim said...

My favorite part was the second to last paragraph where you call him Mr. Feelings. I also love that you called him Jeff Excell a couple of times because you used to use both names whenever you would talk about him. It was funny and cute then and it's fun and cute when you use it now as you remember back to then.

Another great essay!

Rebecca said...

How do you FEEL knowing you have never told me these stories?!

jlthomas said...

I love these stories, they're like a cute mini chick flick. Thanks Sarah!