Chapter 21A – Anniversary

I’ve admitted it, there you go.

It’s very hard to please me with good gifts because what I want is actually the hard stuff: I want you to really care and to show that both in words and action.

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017.

 

Day – Does it Matter? Love stops time.

 

It’s our one-year anniversary and he’s promised to call a little later.

Anna is looking out the window of the cottage she adores so much. The sun appeared from behind the heavy clouds just now, as if to celebrate their special occasion. Its rays are resting over the cleanest of snows. And when you live in Finland, you value each second of sunshine, isn’t it so?

 

Some friends were here with Anna over the weekend, but had to go back to work in Helsinki. For Annita, this is Spring break from school, 9 days off for ‘hiihtoloma’.

Since Mr. Boyfriend and I can’t be together today, that’s how I’ve planned it: I want to be alone!

Alone. To feel. To reflect. She needs to reminisce, in order to continue writing this book she’s recently begun.

 


 

Omar and Anna chatted on Messenger earlier. He’s been reviewing her first drafts and has some constructive criticism.

“Anna, there in Chapter 2 where you say you like practical gifts. I’m not quite buying it. Nobody’s that pragmatic. Come on!

“Gifts make one feel seen… It’s about feeling valued and important to others at the end of the day. But OK, the socks are nice. Romantic.

“Amiga, why don’t you take advantage of the fact that you’re anonymous? Be fully honest with yourself, tell the reader everything. You’re an Alias, it’s a diary. It’s safe to pour your heart out. And we’re curious.” 🙂

 

The next few days are going to be her first holidays alone.

Ever.

Anna had been afraid to be here like this, in such secluded surroundings. The pitch-black darkness of night. Well, she’s been locking all doors, even though you don’t really need to do that in the middle of the forest in this country.

Mostly, she had been afraid of feeling lonely out here without him – every corner of the place bursting with memories.

So far so good.

Always face your fears! Don’t run away from them. And… solitude and loneliness are different things!

This is solitude.

And what a wondrous place this is.


 

Back to work then, Chapter 2, where did it end?

Ah, here it is… Eggs, Light Coke, Diesel, Lindt. She is reading over her Ray Ban glasses.

Socks. Yes!! Socks… Someday I’ll share my life closely with somebody again (but it will have to be someone as special as me), and we’ll give each other good socks for every birthday and every Christmas. One pair each. And sometimes on a normal day too, just to be romantic. ❤️‍😍”

I’m changing the verb tense. There. This sounds better: “And we’re wearing them all.”

 


 

I like that part, it’s sincere, hopeful, simple and romantic – like me. Hope Mr. Boyfriend takes the hint. Haha.

 

OK Anna, challenge of the day: be honest with yourself. Think of this whole situation. The whole mess. Dreams, frustrations, the longing. Everything you and he shared in a year.

She leans back on the couch and is suddenly in far-away-heartland. For a loooong time. When she comes back to here and now, Anna is ready to type away…

 

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 428 – but love does stop time!

 

 

Chapter 12 – Tinder Dates #2-5

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Monday, 18 January 2016.

 

Days 29

 

Very Handsome Sami is a sight to behold. An older psychiatrist, that surely means he’s to be trusted, right?

Anna invites him over to her place for evening tea. It’s a spontaneous invitation. She’s not used to so much alone time and someone to talk to feels like a good idea.

He’s kind and well-mannered and they converse serenely about an array of different topics.

He says he thinks she’s beautiful, but also that he’s shy and doesn’t really know how to do relationships.

No sparks are flying. Yet, it feels interesting, though very, very strange to be serving tea alone to a new acquaintance at her place, with no one to answer to about it, for the very first time in her life.

No one who will even ask! Or know, unless I tell.

They hug lightly as they say good-bye at her door. They don’t kiss and will never see each other again.

 


 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016.

 

Day 30

 

Aaro is a very fit psychologist/ masseur / ballroom dancer. By the look in one of the pictures, he must be really good at his dancing. Wow. A great smile with professional body language.

On the chat, he says he’s won prizes and really adores it all. 👍👍

They meet late in the evening – in a park – after an animated phone call. He looks excited, but has come straight from dance class and is smelling of old sweat in his bright green and pink skiing outfit.

OMG. Old sweat impregnated in the flashy fabric.

As they talk, he bends and stretches in all possible ways. Anna starts feeling very sad.

He asks her about her recent separation and she starts crying. He switches on his psychologist mode and gives her good advice, while taking the liberty of rubbing her shoulders.

He thinks she’s crying over her separation, but honestly?

She’s crying because she’s so disappointed at the date and is starting to feel lonely, longing for companionship with chemistry!

It’s been a month and a half since I separated from Mr. Ex… Gosh! Will it be hard to find a man I’ll be attracted to and have a boyfriend again??

Back home, she writes to thank him for the free appointment(s) before they say goodbye and unmatch. And hopes he’ll find himself a great dance partner.

 


 

Friday, 22 January 2016.

 

Days 33

 

This one doesn’t speak English, so they are online, chatting in Finnish.

After the Aaro experience, she’s been thinking… So she tries to convince Tapio that people should give each other some clear feedback after dates, so they could improve themselves. He finds her whole idea of ratings hilarious.

He plays volleyball, Anna’s favorite sport, so she decides to give him a chance – despite the fact they’ll have to speak Finnish.

He wants a proper date. Would she like a picnic and a walk in the freezing February weather or a restaurant meal, he wonders. She chooses the dinner.

They meet in front of Tennispalatsi and walk down to the Nepalese restaurant by the Central Railway Station.

Oh! He’s nicely dressed! Charming!

With a ¾ black woolen overcoat that looks quite new, jeans and a casual shirt – Anna thinks it’s very sweet when guys put in the effort to do things nicely and give a good first impression!👍🥇 🤸‍

Why is that too much to ask?

They chat in Finnish as they walk to the restaurant.

By the time they sit to eat, however, she has already realized that there’ll be no chemistry between them, so she decides to order just a salad (more about that later – it’s a dating protocol she’s developing).

 

He’s having a full course meal, which takes forever to eat, and inwardly, she’s getting very impatient.

Gosh, this was a mistake! It’s so draining to try to date in Finnish and much less exciting.

I’m super bored!

So, she excuses herself to go powder her nose and there she texts Timo, another Tinder guy she’s been chatting with. 🤥

Timo told her earlier that he was going to be at the Finnkino cinema nearby tonight, so after asking him if his movie was any good, she suggests they meet up for a drink in an hour.

Yeah, sure, I could have a drink! 😀

 

Back at their table, nice Tapio wants to pay and won’t take no for an answer. She feels bad. 🤦‍

Then, he insists on walking her back to her bike, parked by Tennispalatsi in the upper part of Kamppi.

After they hug good-bye, he doesn’t release her, but instead kisses her mouth, to her great surprise!

He asks if she still wants to hang out some more, and she lies that she’s feeling a bit tired.

“Bye-bye. Let’s chat later and thank you very much for the date!”

Anna waits and then carefully cycles back down to Casa Largo, near the Railway Station. She doesn’t want to hurt Tapio’s feelings, but there was just no attraction and she doesn’t know how to tell someone that, on the spot.

Hmm, another Google research coming up!

 

The next day, when Tapio cutely asks for his feedback, she messages him:

+ You were really sweet

+ Well dressed

+ Walked me back to my bike like a true gentleman

+ Gave me a proper date (my first dinner date ever) and even insisted on paying for it (thank you!)

 

– You don’t like to speak English

– I get tired speaking Finnish in my free time

– I don’t feel we have enough things in common

 

He thanks her, amused.

Wow. You really are a teacher!! 😂

 

They never unmatch on the app and mention that perhaps they’ll end up playing volleyball together, one day.

 


 

A few minutes later.

 

Timo is waiting for Anna on the second floor of Casa Largo. Anna is feeling a bit naughty.

He’s having tea at the bar, as she sits next to him. It is his tea-total month, he explains.

He works for the Parliament and his English is amazing. Timo’s just a little taller than Anna, probably around 1,68 or so. But personality-wise he’s a big man, lively, making her laugh a lot.

After half an hour of talking, it occurs to her that is she’s having a good time.

His eyes shine like a little boy’s as he talks in this fast and furious pace about events, museums, galleries, festive parties and all the people and places he knows around the center of Helsinki. He seems passionate about his work, friends, art, kids, traveling!

He tells her about an art history course he’s taking at the Atheneum. He likes traveling abroad, but says that in Finland anywhere outside the city center feels too far for him.

Anna, on the other hand, loves the Finnish countryside and tries hard to stay away from organized events, concerts and fixed programs. This won’t work!

 

He says he knows for a fact that he never ever wants to get married again, because he loves being a bachelor. Hmm. He seems to have had a great time, too, and they say good night with a surprisingly warm, firm hug outside the restaurant, agreeing to see each other again sometime soon.

Back at home, she realizes she’s feeling very thirsty.

Ha! He didn’t even ask if I wanted to go get my own tea.

He texts her on and off, not really asking Anna anything about her life. He just sends her pics of his events, expositions and trips. He’s friendly – but she finds this kind of interaction really strange.

I interact, but he’s not trying to get to know me better at all! It’s one-sided.

A few weeks later, he writes.

We should meet up, Anna!

By then it is too late. Drumrolls! Anna’s got a massive, heart-warming crush on Tinder Date #16. 😍

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 29-33 since moving out. What now?