Kissing Toads V

White_lipped_tree_frog_cairns_jan_8_2006“People do incredible things for love,
particularly for unrequited love.”

Daniel Radcliffe

To carry on from my previous frog posts, do you have a theme song for your life?  I hope it’s happy.  As my tale of toads continues, here’s another favourite by Joni Mitchell, in keeping with this story’s recurring theme of unrequited love.  Here we go again.

1 Frog, 2 Frog,
Red Frog, New Frog

Years ago, I tried living in a small town.  Soon after, I was contemplating returning to the big city when a friend told a local architect about my work creating sustainable economic development projects. The architect specialized in designing environmentally sustainable buildings so he asked me to explore collaborating with him in some capacity. He invited me and a professor to join in a brain storming session, to figure out how we might work together. At the session, introductions were made. The professor explained that he was newly divorced and newly arrived from overseas. The session generated multiple ideas plus a few follow-up meetings. We had several discussions but hadn’t come up with a joint project when the Christmas break brought things to a halt.

Over the holidays, I left town to visit relatives but returned on New Year’s eve. To continue the conversation, I called to see when we might hold the next meeting. The architect advised that he would be tied up for the next few weeks but the professor reported that his Christmas had been quiet and he’d like to get out of the house. Since it was New Year’s eve, I suggested we chat over dinner. He said this was a great idea so I did a last minute search for dinner reservations.

When I called my favorite restaurants, everything was booked, so I started dialing listings in the telephone book. With a bit of effort, I found availability at a restaurant I’d never been to before. They explained that I would need to buy tickets for their New Year’s party in order to have dinner. Since this was the only option, I reserved two tickets.

When my associate and I arrived at the restaurant, I was startled to find the guests were seated at picnic benches covered in checkered tablecloths, children were running around the room, and a jumble of noisy conversations filled the air. The picnic benches circled a large dance floor and a band was setting up. This was hardly the place for a business meeting and I thought, “What was I thinking?” I turned to the professor and said, “I’m sorry. This isn’t what I expected. Perhaps we can just eat and run?” He said, “This is fine.”

The dinner turned out to be lovely but soon after, the dance floor got busy and I was kicking myself because I hadn’t thought things through in advance. My intention had been to talk business so I said to the professor, “Would you like to leave?” He hesitated and said, “Well, we’re here now.  What do you think?”  I barely knew the man but since it had been my idea to get together on New Year’s Eve, and he was new in town, I planted a smile on my face and said, “It’s New Years’ so let’s have fun!”

We danced once or twice then sat down and continued chatting. At one point, I suggested we work on a business proposal but cautioned that I was considering moving back to the city.  He contemplated this for a moment then responded with, “I’ll follow you wherever you go.”  I joked, “That sounds more like a marriage proposal than a business proposal!” He said, “It is!”  I was lost for words and still don’t remember the conversation that followed, but I probably cut the evening short.

A few days later, when I returned to work, my mind was spinning.  I recalled past relationships and the number of marriage proposals I’d received over the years. Except for one guy who’d asked me to marry him every day for a year, (he’d felt that statistics were on his side and I’d eventually break-down and marry him,) there hadn’t been a lot of marriage proposals.  I wondered if I should seriously consider this one?  I barely knew the man but my mind began to rationalize irrational thoughts.  Hadn’t arranged marriages between strangers worked out well?  Certainly, I enjoyed adventure, plus I believed in taking risks.  Maybe this would be exciting, …a massive leap of faith, ….a roller coaster ride, …a never ending bungee jump?

One day, while sitting on the fence, avoiding the telephone, an email arrived from the professor.  Over dinner, I’d mentioned how much I enjoyed painting watercolours.  In the email, he expressed a desire to commission a painting of an attached photograph.  I clicked on the attachment and was confronted with an enlarged photograph of a massive green frog entitled, “White Lipped Frog!”  Immediately, I forwarded the email to friend who was familiar with my tragic tail of toads and asked, “Do you think it’s a sign?”  She responded with, “Affirmative!  That”s one big ugly sign.  RUN!”

After an awkward telephone conversation, I politely explained,”Thank you but NO” and never saw the professor again.  However, I trust that he eventually found the right partner.

When we pay attention, divine guidance is always available,
…although some signs are more obvious than others.

Previous posts:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

Written by Elizabeth Rose, Author, Diamond Lantern