Chapter 76 – The Day After

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

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Monday, 22 February 2016.

 

A Little Dark Cloud?

 

Anna and Christian’s first date and night together turned out to be surprisingly special. So much so that she spent the morning smiling – and writing about it in her diary. Now, he is back at his hotel for work and Anna is taking a nap.

 

13:52   I’m wondering if there are any games that you have that I know… and to which you can’t make up arbitrary rules!! 😊

14:28   Hi Chris.

Hey. Sorry I gave you a late night.

It was fun!

For me, too.

14:32   Yes, let’s go play more games and watch a movie? I’ll beat you!

In the games…

Haha. Only because you don’t tell me the rules. Where is James Bond? Cute dog. Cute owner.

Lots of good things happening. Have made my business calls.

Getting a tattoo later.

Funny guy!

 

Anna approves of Christian and feels that there is some potential in this man…

She is on holiday – the sun is shining so bright! And ahhh to be free for the first time in my life! Ready for some loving and some action. Some TLC.

Nonetheless… why has life gotta have lows too, huh?  Do you know when a little dark cloud comes out all of a sudden and overshadows your perfect sunshine?

After writing in her diary, she is feeling a little intrigued by something she read about Christian, as she googled him a little earlier. Hmmm. Anna, be smart!

Well, at least I’m going to have a good week.

Minimum. 

His part is his job. To prove himself worthy of my trust and interest. But, what’s the hurry?  Sometimes frogs become princes… We shall see.

Ops! What if a prince can turn out to be a frog, too??

His choice entirely!

 

At 4:30, Anna visits her sister and then goes to meet Christian at his hotel reception, as planned. This time the feverish Englishman is there. Sweet.

A nice kiss on the cheek and he says, “Hi pretty one! How was your day? How are you doing? I would have found your home this time. Believe me!”

“Well, I did not want to take the risk of you being two hours late. Again. Haha.”

“Oh, those things never happen twice with me. Don’t worry…

“Anna, I want to take you on a proper date tonight. My turn to treat you. Where do you want to go? Choose your venue!”

“Oh! That’s nice, Christian. Hey… why don’t we make it practical tonight? We are planning on watching a movie and playing a game later, aren’t we? So, instead of going to the city center, let’s have a pizza near my home? Then you can come and give the nurse here a proper visit, Mr. Englishman With A Bad Cold!”

“Sounds like a plan to me. Let’s do that.” he smiles with warm eyes.

 

They walk down towards Ruoholahti without holding hands. He is looking nice, smartly dressed, and she is showing him places and sharing little stories about the neighborhood as they walk to Pizzeria Daka by the canal. The place is not fancy at all, but the pizza there is delicious, in Anna’s opinion.

They sit opposite each other. She doesn’t really like the style of his blazer – hmm, it makes him look older – but she does like him…

“Anna, how has your day been? Tell me all about it.”

“Oh, good. Saw my sister, took a nap, wrote a little…”

“Wrote? To your other Tinder matches, huh?”

“No. This week is all yours. Haha. Maybe! Hmmm… Just in my diary.”

 

Anna is a little serious, more quiet than usual. She’s thinking. A lot.

 

“I had a great time yesterday, Anna. Thank you for a wonderful dinner.”

“Oh, me too. Thanks for the champagne, Christian! Nice to finally meet you.” she smiles.

“You are so thoughtful. I hadn’t realized you had that serious side. It looks like you’re plotting!”

“No! everything is OK. I’m just thinking.”

“About what? Would you tell me?”

“Ah, not yet. Someday. Just some things… Never mind. I’ll tell you later.”

“Phew. Good. You are giving me The Look!”

“Yes, I am. But for now, you’ll just have to wonder what it means.” she laughs, feeling more relaxed.

And he is nodding really quickly. Awww.

 

“Chris, I love your nodding! Has anyone told you how cute you are when you nod fast?”

“My nodding!?”

“Yes. Have none of your girlfriends told you that?”

“No. That’s hilarious! Must be a Finnish thing.”

“Yeah. It’s adorable! Crazy ladies didn’t tell you.”

“You are the first… Anna, when I like someone, I nod.” he looks at her affectionately.

 

During dinner yesterday, Anna had asked him how many serious relationships he had had. He’d gotten married around the age of forty, after all, and then separated three years later, so she wanted to check – lightly – about him possibly being an eternal bachelor.

“Btw, I counted today. I have had 14 girlfriends.”

“14?? That’s a lot!!”

“Well, I had about twenty years for that… Working in the Karoo desert for fourteen… It wasn’t easy to find a wife there. Guess I was just waiting for the right person… Until I grew tired of the whole place. Tired of waiting. I missed Germany! All my friends had families and kids. I went on many dates, met a nice person and proposed after six weeks. Crazy! Everything happened so fast.” He comments on the story he’s told her before.  “The rest is history. But I’ve never had a shy girlfriend. All crazy!”

“What about me? Am I shy? Am I crazy?” Anna wants to know.

“You are not shy at all! Crazy…? Hmmm. I am leaning. You do have a wild side.”

“Yes, but I am shy at first. Reserved. But not about being honest. I love honesty… Honesty with love…! Still, it’s good to be the more quiet one for a change. I get to be thoughtful!” She teases him.  “I get to plot!”

“Hope you’re not plotting your escape!?”

“No……” She’s laughing now.

“Do guys normally dominate the conversation, Anna? I like to listen. Then be silly. Then serious later.”

“Most guys I know are more quiet than me.”

“Am I quiet? I’m a bit sick. Scared to talk with my girlie voice!!”

“Haha. Don’t worry. It’s funny. Besides, I like playing nurse.”

“And I like to hear you talk.”

Score!

Anna believes a guy should always listen to the woman a little more than talk himself. I want them to see my heart!

“I’m glad that you like to listen, Chris. And happy you make me laugh.”

“Well… I haven’t really made you laugh yet! Laugh until you cry. Best medicine!”

“But you are the one in need of some of that, don’t you see?”

“Yes, Ms. Nurse.”

 

It wasn’t easy to lose a husband after twenty years. I like this guy so much already. What if I lose him, too? I don’t deserve that. Can I take more heartbreak already??

She gets more talkative now. They keep chatting and laughing as they have the pizza. Her mood is finally on the rise again.

“Did you like the drawing I made of you, Anna? Are you going to keep it on the wall?”

“Yes, of course! It’s so cool. Can we draw some more tonight, Chris? Please?”

“OK.”

“I think I’m gonna draw on your back. More fun! You’re being a good distraction, Christian. I need that! And lots of hugs. Lots more.”

“Yes, you need more. I agree. Are you going to tattoo my back? You can draw the Brazilian flag there – with your nails!”

“We shall see what I come up with. Shall we go? Lots to do. The games are waiting, the movie, the tattoo.”

“Definitely. Let’s go, Anna.” As he waits for the payment to go through, he puts his arm around her shoulders and kisses her head.

 

Now they are walking like that, his arm around her shoulders. Awww.

My God! This feels so nice! I’ve missed this! A lot. Just wanted to meet a warm, confident man. She thinks with her heart melting a little. Healing a little. Can this be? Can life be this sweet?? Really? I’m feeling very glad again right now.

 

“Anna, I liked the pizza, but tomorrow I’m going to take you on a proper date. This place was way too simple. Where do you want to go?”

They stop and kiss affectionately, while good expectations for the night float in the cold wintry air around the canal.

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Any red flags? Maybe not. Besides, I’m not perfect either. And healing feels soooo good!! Oh, let me heal fully. Let me just dive all the way in!

 

 

Chapter 70 – Tinder Date #16, Part Three

 

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

 

D-WTF!?

 

Exhilarated Anna smiles. She’s got a positive gut feeling about their encounter tonight. I’m single again…

No.

Let me rephrase that: I’m single and hot and full of energy and life. Cute! Fun. Playful. Kind.

Single and ready to mingle – she giggles – with a big heart…

 

…And my date is here. Yay, yay, yay!!

 

20:49   OK. Almost ready. Will give you a call soon. 😊

 

Gonna meet charming prince Christian any minute now. Yahoo! (Hmm. Hope he’s not too much of a frog).

Game on?

The Love Game. One can’t win if one doesn’t dare play. Try, Anna, try! Risk it.

Game on!!

 

Anna is standing outside Christian’s hotel, and her body is singing… 🎼 I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it – I’m about to lose control and I think I like it… 🎶

Yay!!

She literally can’t wait to see him anymore. Big smile, bubbly heart and many bouncy butterflies flying in her stomach. Hopefully in his, too. They’re flying everywhere. Out of control. Haha. YOLO, yeah! That’s what I’m talking about, babe.

They’ve agreed to meet around 20:30.

She looks at her watch and…

...21:15? Seriously?! Where is this man?? I thought Englishmen were punctual.

Interesting…?! Hmmm.

 

21:20   Hey there, I’m outside your hotel with my son’s dog. James Bond also wants to meet you. 😊 Are you almost ready?

 

It’s getting a little cold in the drizzling rain for little 007 – but no reply from Christian. What’s going on?

 

 

21:37   I’m so sorry. I got lost!!! I’m at Oluthuone Kaisla.

 

WTF?? I thought he was dying to meet me! What is he doing in a bar instead???

 

21:38   Weren’t you at the hotel?

I got lost.

I’m in front of the Radisson Blu Royal. Is this your hotel? I was going to pick you up from here, wasn’t that what we planned?

I’m so tired and ill. I’ll get a taxi.

 

Oh! He’s feeling ill? Oh.

We’re gonna lose each other if he starts moving around.

 

A taxi. Where to?

 

He doesn’t have my address. And I’m not at home.

 

Can you pick me up, please? So sorry! Everyone I asked pointed me towards the wrong hotel.

I can come to the bar – but if I come there, will you be there?

I’m not moving. I’m lost. I’ll be waiting for you here. Please! And, sorry again. ☹️

 

Anna walks a km down to Kaisla and waits by the door on Vilhonkatu. She can’t go in with the dog, so she tries calling him.

Line busy.

??

She starts feeling suspicious. Almost irritated. Not quite, but almost. Sigh. I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt. He can probably explain this.

 

22:03   Are you at the bar? I’m outside Kaisla now, with 007. Can’t see you from here.

 

He calls her and says he’s coming outside in a minute.

But still nothing.

This is too weird! Eurgh!?!?!?!!!

Is he even where he says he is???

 

About five minutes go by before Anna asks some people who are coming out of the establishment if there possibly is another entrance to the bar. “Yes, there is,” they answer with a friendly smile.

Ahhh. That explains it. Phew.

Well… maybe!

 

She walks James Bond round the block to Kaisaniemenkatu. She spots a tall man standing by the tram stop with a suitcase and his back towards her. Feeling feisty now.

Is he even who he says he is?? Be brave, now.

Jack Chi 007 – good doggie – will sniff him and scare him off if he’s a bad guy!!

She approaches him and says, “Hi, Christian?” with a careful smile.

He turns slowly.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. D-WTF – it really happened like this, folks!

I’m So Excited lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

 

Chapter 69 – Tinder Date #16, Part Two

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

 

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

 

D-Evening

 

Anna’s spring break has started well.  🎼 I got out of bed on the right side, and I’m having a wonderful day. 🎶  Remember?

This is her first holiday week ever as a single adult woman, with no care in the world for eight more days. I’m gonna enjoy this as much as I can!

Anna is feeling happy and Christian surely plays a part in that.

Still can’t believe that crazy selfie he sent me, though.

Anna had insisted for days he send her a picture with a smile, teeth showing. She wanted to make sure Christian had teeth, what else? A nice smile is such a turn on, after all!

So, tonight she’s finally going to meet that very, very short, chubby, sixty-five-year-old jolly grandpa with a pink complexion, a forced smile and eyes wide open. Like one of Snow White’s little darlings. Bald, with a few long hairs sticking up his head against the backlight.

Not at all like in his other pics. Haha.

Clueless selfie. He’s such a guy!

Endearing. Some clueless guys are simply endearing.

 

Ding!

15:00   On my way. 😊 But I forgot to bring my scarf. Delayed flight. Will send you a message once I’m onboard. 😊

Yay! Looking forward to seeing you. Have a safe flight! 😊 About the cold, don’t worry, I’ll bring you one of my mom’s gift-project scarves.

Great. Thanks so much! 😊 What’s the best way to get the hotel?

 

She sends him detailed directions. Ha! It’s pretty straightforward. Isn’t he supposed to be a world traveller?! And Helsinki is so tiny!

 

15:50   Can always get lost. 😊 Can you leave a trail of breadcrumbs?

15:58   Funny guy! I’ll leave you a trail of smiles. If you get lost, text me and I’ll come and save you.

16:20   Will do. Just put me in your bicycle basket. 😊 Boarding soon. Take a power nap!

Of course I will!  😊

 

D-evening has now come and Anna’s ready to mingle. Yay!

She wanted to wear a skirt, but since it is 0°C outside, she’s chosen black slacks and a blue jeans shirt. Hold-ups underneath. High-heeled leather Army-style Vagabond boots on her feet, and to warm her up, a new navy Didriksson’s parka, her favorite scarf and matching gloves (she doesn’t like wearing hats – no).

Loose hair and a happy smile.

She is looking good and feeling awesome!

 

19:20   The eagle has landed. And can’t find his luggage!

 

Anna is just waiting around. Getting restless. I can’t wait any longer!! Can you?

20:10   Found my suitcase! And… I’m in Helsinki!!!! Heading for hotel. Will call you when I am there. 😊 Really, really nice to be back. And can’t wait to see you.

Tervetuloa! Xx 😊😊

 

Ohhh! I’m too excited to wait around the house.

She walks to Mr. Ex’s place, wishes the teens a good holiday – with big hugs – and borrows the dog for the walk up to the hotel.

 

There has been lots of subtle teasing from both lately. And from his side “cough, cough and splutter,” too.

A funny man…

…With a cold!

Where does he find the motivation to get up from bed and catch a flight? Haha – I did ask him if he wanted to postpone his trip, but no.

So, playing nurse on a date, am I?

 

20:15   I’m wearing my snow boots. Don’t want to break more bones!

Better safe than sorry. I’m wearing casual. Let’s match?

Yes! Don’t wear heels. 😊 Slippery out there.

 

Anna and James Bond take brisk steps through the Kolmiopuisto park, towards Kamppi. Cute doggie! It’s drizzling and dark, but who cares??

Soon, soon, soon!

Yes!

Christian has put in so much effort so far – like guys who know what they are doing in the dating game. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying his attention. She smiles, with a positive gut feeling about their encounter tonight.

I’m a single woman now – and my date is here.

Yay, yay, yay!!

 

20:49   OK. Almost ready. Will give you a call soon. 😊

 

Game on!!

She’s standing outside his hotel and can’t wait to see him…

Literally she looks at her watch 21:15? Seriously? Where is this guy??

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. D-Evening

(The snow is falling gracefully here in Tampere as I write this chapter, looking out the windows at the beautiful scenery of my parents’ backyard).

 

 

Chapter 45 – The First Gift

 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016.

 

Day 52

 

10:01   Morning!! 😊 Just reading your messages. I see some selfies up there! 😊 Very frosty here. Hope you slept well. Any dreams?
It’s a nice tattoo on your neck. Discreet. And sexy.

10:11   Hi Christian…

 

Oh, the back-and-forth interaction. The imagined person. The unveiling of a mystery. The gradual getting-to-know. The peek into the other’s soul, into their hopes and dreams. The warmness and the flirting — that’s the main thing for now. No hurry.

Anna’s at recess at school, daydreaming for just a moment.

 

10:12   Hello! Was listening to your music. Just having breakfast. Have a good morning. Hope you don’t get hit by any flying objects!!

 

She told him yesterday about a 9th grader who threw a really hard snow ball in the back of her head on Monday. From afar. She got furious and told the pupil that next time she’ll have to call the police. Eurgh. Driving home feeling dizzy had been so hard.

11:12   Haha. Thanks!

11:15   I was halfway through when you popped up. Will keep chatting. 😊

Please do. Make me smile – like always! I was just chatting to a pupil who’s really nice. He lent me his spare phone when I broke my mobile last week. Remember I’ve lost all your previous messages? Wish I could retrieve them. They were so sweet!

Well, in need of new ones.

11:16   I bet you have lots of good kids there. I’m not a fan of the one who chucked the ice ball at your head though!! I was hit when I was at school and it almost knocked me out! You’ve just made me remember that. 😊

And you keep breaking your phones. You must be quite strong. All those hours at the gym. 😊

11:20  Right. Talk to you later. Have a lovely day.

Btw, I booked my flights finally. Will arrive in Helsinki on Sunday the 21st at 1830. So are you free on Monday?

 

Anna looks at the spare phone again — OMG, OMG! He really is coming to Finland. As promised.


11:25   Sorry. Finished my lesson now. I was showing some pupils your website.

Seriously??? You are? So cool!!

Happy your ticket has been booked. Maybe I’ll even have dinner with you on Sunday?

That would be nice. 😊

Great. You run now and I’ll catch you later. If I write, just read when you can.

So, about being strong – yes, a little. I like lifting weights. 250 abs per time. But there’s a long way to go. Ah, and talking about sports, I miss running when it’s been raining non-stop.

Lunch now. Fish and salad.

11:27   Bon apetit! Impressive gym work there!

 

13.38   Hello! How was your morning? I popped out for a river walk. A few work calls and almost lunchtime here. Played your music along the way. Loved it. 😊 Very sunny today. But also frosty. My favourite weather. I should have taken a pic.

14:30   😊☺️ Yes, you should have. I love sunshine, especially in cold days. Happy you liked the music.

I’m going to the hairdresser’s. You have an hour to give me your opinion. Either keeping this medium-dark blond. Or some light brown with vivid colors. Have had many hair colors. Even black.

 

Anna sends him three pictures of her with three different hair colors. She chooses good photos – of course. Gotta make an impression…

 

14:35   Hmmm. Tricky. All look good!! Are you natural blonde?

Thanks! I was as a child. Light brown now. But no preference?

Hmmm. I think your hair looks great already! You and your daughter could be sisters! I like your colour as it is. 😊

 

That Sofia Vergara/Megan Fox daughter of mine and me? Sisters! Hahahaha. I wish.

 

16:09   Oh, my daughter is much much more beautiful! And on the inside, as well. Heart of gold, that girl. And very sharp brain!

Thanks for the opinion. My son loves the brown and my daughter the blond. So I vary. Keeping the dark blond for now. ☺️

16.19   Good decision. It’s a nice colour.

I dyed my hair once in my life. Jet black. I looked like Dracula so tried to dye it back. Then it turned into a copper colour!! So I had to shave it off. Never again. Well….there’s no point now anyway. 😊

16.23   Your story is funny!! And the way you felt each time. I’ve had similar hair experiences. Hahaha.

I was going to ask where you would like to go for dinner. If you are free of course.

16.26   Tonight? 😊

Not sure where I am staying yet but will be central.
Haha. Sunday. Next Sunday that is. 😊

16.29   Thought you were suddenly here to surprise me tonight.

That would be fun.

Yes. Sure it’s too late?
I would love to have dinner with you on the 21st.
Vapiano closes at 11 p.m.

Vapiano sounds great. You are not working the next day, is that right? Just concerned if you have to get up at 0550!

16.47   No, not working the next day. Yay!
But you’ll be tired from the trip.

It’s not a long journey. Plus, the next morning I will sleep in.

 

Hey, today I’ve been working on a new AI engine that should definitely be called A.N.N.A….R.I.T.V.A. 

A=Articulate, N=Natty, N=Nightly, A=Alluring 😊

R=Rapid (brain), I=Impassioned, T=Talented, V=Valiant, A=Amazing

 

My God. How sweet is that!! S2

 

16:52   Was going to put a T=Tattoo. But you don’t have enough T’s in your name. Are you sure it’s not RITTVA?

17.06  Awww.

My turn.

C arinhoso
H andsome
R apt
I ngenious
S urprisingly sweet
T ea for you?
I maginable
A musing
N aked in the sauna?

Maybe that’s you!

17:07   Hahaha!! That made me laugh! 😊

I knew it! But it’s unfair. My two names together have more letters than yours!
Still, I wanted to express how I appreciate your personality and good manners. Did try making you laugh, too.

17:10   You covered all the bases. 😊
Looking forward to seeing you very soon. I must have walked past that restaurant a million times. Not sure I’ve been in.

It’s simple and good. 9 p.m?

17.13   Perfect.

Loved the acrostic you made of my name. ☺️

17:15   Yours was better.

 

Anna’s just leaving the hairdresser’s.

Christian is always so nice!

On the other hand…………

 

…if there’s one thing I’ve learned already…

…it is that if I like my Tinder match’s voice, there’s a bigger chance of liking them in person. The opposite is also true………😬

 

17.19   Would you like to give me a call? In a few minutes?

17:20   Standby.

 

The phone rings. Christian’s calling her on WhatsApp. She answers.

Fingers crossed.

“Hello, how are you doing there?” he says with a voice and a native accent that sounds like a mixture of Hugh Grant’s and Simon Cowell’s.

 

Oh    My   God!!! Beautiful. 

She gets goosebumps all over her body as the sides of her lips turn up and she blushes a little.

They discuss her English – he says it’s perfect. Much better than he expected.

These Englishmen!

Oh, stop it – you’re making me blush!

They chat about his job in Finland, his years in South Africa.

 

About why Tinder. “It gets lonely,” is his answer.

Finally meeting… “You really are coming to Finland. As promised!”

“I always do what I promise.”

It’s a very, very pleasant call, and Anna just adores his voice. And his way of interacting with her. Why does it always feels perfect with him?

He feels so present in the here and now. 

 

17.42   Sorry. My son called. Always nice to talk to him, of course, but not nice to have our first phone call interrupted.

17:46   No problem. I thought it was all my work messages coming through. Will talk again soon. Nice to hear your beautiful voice.

Thank you. I feel the same way.

17:47   You haven’t sent me you new hairdo.

I will try a selfie at home. 😊 Have to walk there now.

I’m going to go for the African Karoo desert look.

 

Phew! That’s great. When Christian sent Anna a pic of him in South Africa, she thought he looked very handsome. Tall, in shape – thankfully not too fit – and with a beautiful friendly smile. Almost bald, hair trimmed short. Casual and elegant.

Later, he sent he a pic which was taken in a recent business meeting in Finland. He had longer bald hair, and that didn’t look very nice, tbh. That day, she hadn’t wasted any time, but told him the African haircut suited him much, much better. “It gives you a younger, more modern look.”

 

17:49   Cool. I liked it!! Modern.

But no sun tan. 😑

Well, not yet.

I had a nice tan for over 20 years. But I guess bad for skin.

17.50   If I could travel, we could both get a tan in Spain in ten days. 😊

Well….that can be arranged v easily.

In Finland, we just freeze the skin so it won’t get old. Ever. Haha. I wish. Hey, who knows? Maybe we’ll just go crazy and hop on a plane to Spain.

It’s not far. Where I live(d) was 22 degrees today.

Or then a cottage and the hole in the ice. Warm and nice. 😊

17:22   I love that!!!! Both extremes. Fireplace. Sunshine.

Me too.

You have no idea how much I love fires. 😊 🔥

17.56  I love a dark cottage with the glow and noise and smell from the fireplace. The silent forest outside. The privacy.

If you are trying to make me move to Finland….. it’s working!!

And I love hooks, too!!! You’re addicted to fires and my teens say I am addicted to hooks. More about that later.

17:57   Hooks?

Yes, I’m crazy about hooks.

For clothes? Or fishing??

For mostly everything. Got one as a surprise gift from my daughter last Xmas. I got so happy and emotional that I cried. She started laughing and filmed me smiling and crying – holding the hook. Hilarious.

17.59   Hahaha. A hook!?

I’ll send you a pic soon.

Interested about your hooks.

18:00   Basic stuff. Not hooking myself up in spears and ceilings and such, like some lunatics. So, you have nothing to fear.

18:01   Haha. Very good. Phew.

 

I’m walking past Bulevardi and send him a pic of the icy church yard.

bulevardi

 

18:02   Are you close to cathedral?

Near Esplanadi. So not that far from the cathedral.

It looks familiar. I have walked a lot across Helsinki. Hope it snows soon.

Hope for a nice fire, at least.

Where can we light a fire?

We’ll have to google that because outside is no fun in the rain right now.

 

Back home, Anna sends him the requested selfie of her new hair.

18:24   Very nice! Looks great.

18:45   Thanks! 😘

 

21.20   Hello. 😘 Just a quick one. Hope you’re finding the time to relax over there and enjoying your new hairdo. What do your kids think? I’m sure they love it. Going for my Karoo cut next week.

21.24   Sounds great! I’m going to sew something with my sewing machine now.
What are you up to over there?

21.37   What are you creating tonight?

Just a practical sheet system for the sofa bed.

Oh. Very good. I’d like to see that. Did you take classes for that? Or are you just a natural??

Only in elementary school. I’m no good. Just improvise.

I think you are very modest.

No. In Finland people are really good at these things. I just learn the basics of everything and like to do a bit when needed.

21:41   That’s still impressive. Just about to eat so speak to you soon. Don’t forget to send the finished product! Please. 😊

Haha. Talk to you soon. Good night. ☺️

 

You never know, but who knows, who knows?

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 52 of life can actually be good.

 

 

Chapter 12 – Tinder Dates #2-5

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

 

Monday, 18 January 2016.

 

Days 29

 

Handsome Sami seems respectable. 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 even 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-pink skiing outfit.

OMG, what?? Seriously!?

As they talk, he bends and stretches in all possible ways. Anna is flabbergasted and 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.

It’s been a month and a half since I separated from Mr. Ex… Gosh! Will it be this 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 have to chat in Finnish.

After the Aaro experience, she’s been thinking, and tells Tapio she’s that people should give each other some clear feedback after dates, so they could improve themselves. apparently, 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!

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!👍🥇 🤸‍ 🏆

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 whole system she’s unknowingly developing).

 

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

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

So, as awful as it feels, 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 steals a little gentlemanly kiss on the 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.

You really are a teacher!! 😂

 

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

 


 

Still Friday.

 

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, very fun, making her laugh a lot.

After half an hour of lively talk, it occurs to her that is she’s having a great 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 to be passionate about his work, friends, art, his teens, traveling, etc.

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. What?

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. She thinks he’s friendly – but finds this kind of interaction really strange.

He’s not trying to get to know me better at all!

A few weeks later, he writes.

We should meet up, Anna!

 

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

© 2017 rf

 

 

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

 

Introduction – Ready for a New Start?

Enjoy! This is where the story begins.

 

 Wednesday, 23 December 2015.

 

Day 3

 

It’s a school holiday morning just before Christmas in wintry, dark, freezing Finland, and the wind is blowing hard and relentless in Helsinki. Anna is alone – her new home finally ready, inside out, after a couple of months of shopping for furniture and household gadgets.

The new stuff is from Ikea, K-rauta, Kodin Ykkönen, Verkkokauppa and Masku, and the handpicked second-hand objects are from antique shops, as well as tori.fi. As she looks around, Anna feels satisfied with the Kenwood kitchen appliances and the PAX wardrobe with its shiny white doors.

The moving process has taken lots of the usual pragmatic creativity and focus, hard work, screws and nails, boxes, closet space, hooks, and above all the help of two-three friends. How would she have managed without them?

Gratefully, she realizes that now that everything has fallen into place, she’s feeling happy – strangely enough…

You see, Anna has just moved out of her ex-husband’s home, six days after their twentieth anniversary. Sure, they’d spent the last two years discussing a possible divorce, so it hadn’t come as a total shock, really. (The first time they discussed the idea had been eight years earlier).

Oh! So many attempts to adapt, improve and change followed. Good times, too.

Then, when he recently made up his mind to go through with the divorce, she hadn’t been able to avoid an exhausting ten days of sudden tears in the shower, the car drive to work, and eurgh… even in the middle of a lesson once, in front of her pupils!

All the investment of time, affection, energy, forgiveness, faith and patience – had it all been for nothing in the end? What a waste of time those marriage years feel like now!!

 

The first night all alone at her new place had felt like a nightmare. Until the next morning, when her childhood friend Tom, a Brazilian living in America since he was ten, called to check up on her. An experienced divorcé, he had lots of empathy and quite a few good tips to offer. After his call, the world felt a little brighter, as was usually the case.

Today she is listening to a YouTube link Tom has sent her. It’s a lecture on love, sex and dating by Andy Stanley, who provokes the listener with the challenge “Are you the person the person you’re looking for is looking for?”

Andy believes that after a breakup, people should take a year off dating and spend it on becoming a better person instead. That way, one will later be able to both expect and welcome into their life a better partner.

Hmm, wow, brilliant, Anna thinks to herself, I’m gonna try and do just that!

 

Her teens Kristiina and Joey are spending the first days with their dad, before they come to stay for a week on Christmas Eve.

Mr. Ex helped her with the move, financially and otherwise. Besides agreeing with all of her suggestions, almost demands. For example, that the teens live every other week with a parent, so both will get to hang out with them and keep a close bond.

Who wouldn’t want that privilege, right?

They are actually going to have their first Christmas party as a separated couple together, hoping to make the new beginning a little less tough on the teens.

 

You see, although the day comes when there are no options left but to face the music, dealing with the marriage-turned-bad with truth and courage, it’s still important to think of the kids and make the whole mess as easy as humanly possible for them, she believes.

There once was a tough period during which I felt I was becoming a bitter wife. But… Sigh. What now??

Hmmm.

I know. I know!!

 

Life has given me tons of lemons, but just you wait, Mr. Ex!

Wait and see how much lemonade I’m about to make! I’ll let you have a taste of it first. Or drown in it for all I care…

 

Anna rides that stupid emotional roller coaster.

Oops!

No…

This is turning bitter – and bitter is most certainly not the taste I’m after now. No, no.

Long, long sigh.

OK. Then what?

Think, Anna, think.

No.

Feel it in your gut!

She looks deep into her soul where she has a very nice vision.

 

Instead of bitter………… My first ingredient:

Lots of sugar for my future Mr. One and Only. — Anna smiles now, satisfied.

I am actually very sweet. Very loving! — she protests silently Humpf.

If you really, really know me, you can’t help but feel it.

 

For the most Anna’s emotions have been positive – at least during the long days she’s been super busy organizing her new place. You see, she loves hard work and easily dives fully into it.

Now, sitting down on the brand new couch, she’s thinking that she’s had enough negativity, enough tears. She’s simply had enough. She just desires a new beginning. Anna does not want to end up alone and unhappy.

Is that even realistic??

 

What the reader may not yet fully understand is that Anna simply cannot deal with too many sour emotions right now. That would be exceedingly overwhelming. She’d have a break down, poor thing.

No, she must be brave. She needs to go to work, earn a living, pay her bills. The teens need her! She just has to survive this hurricane with dignity and joy – and not too many tears. Yes, that’s it. One must have goals!

 

It is thus that, in that spirit of fortitude, she decides.

You know what?

I’ve been a cheerful person, strong and forgiving even in the midst of life’s many problems. I’m not going to go bad now!

A bitter forty-year-old divorced woman?

Hell, no!!

After all, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Yay!

Lemonade, with just the right amount of sweetness.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 3 since moving out of her ex-husband’s home. New beginnings!
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