The week before that first spring rodeo in Mississippi I decided that Otey was going to get to know me better. I decided if we could just talk about some non-business stuff, he would fall head over heals for me just as I had fallen for him. When he called that Monday just to check and make sure his team’s entries had made it I turned on the “charm”. What? The “Charm”? I tried to force myself to talk about something other than rodeo business but I just couldn’t. I laughed and joked, but that was nothing new. I laughed and joked with everyone. MY GOSH WHY WAS I SUCH A DORK? Why didn’t I just say what I was thinking. Why couldn’t I just tell Otey McCloy that I was the one for him?
I drove all night on Wednesday to Starkville, Mississippi so I could be there to go to work on Thursday when the rodeo started. On the drive down I talked to my friend Ashley on the phone. I told Ashley EVERYTHING. I told her that I knew it was more than a crush. I told her how I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I told her that I so DESPERATELY wanted him to notice me… NOTICE ME. That phone conversation with Ashley made it real for me. I had admitted out loud, that I was ready to put myself out there. I was ready to let Otey know how I felt. She assured me that he probably was in to me too, but just nervous about the work situation. I told her that this weekend was it. When I left Starkville, Mississippi on Saturday night, I was either going to know Otey McCloy liked me, or I was going to erase him from my radar. He would go back to being “Otey the rodeo coach that I work with” and quit being “Otey the dreamboat I want to have babies with”.
The rodeo went on all weekend. It was pretty uneventful. I tried my best to make my self available. Making sure to not look too busy when Otey was around. Always leaving the door open for him to talk to me. And what happened?
He didn’t talk to me anymore than he talked to the security guard at the door. There you have it. That’s my answer. He’s not interested, and I have to get over this warm and fuzzy feeling.
Saturday night after the final performance I was hanging around waiting for the last few contestants to pick up their prize money and DREADING the nine hour drive back to Indiana. I knew that Otey, Cody, and Waylon (you don’t know Waylon yet) were all staying in Starkville that night and driving over to a near by ProRodeo to compete on Sunday before heading back to Missouri. Cody strolled in as I was packing up my office stuff and started to chat with me. After some meaningless chatter… Otey walked in (my heart seriously just skipped a beat… I mean in real life… like right now in 2009 as I am writing this remembering the wave of emotions that I felt) wearing a ballcap. ***I’ve never seen him in a ballcap. He’s even hotter in a ballcap. Is that possible? Could he get any hotter than I thought he was yesterday? But who cares, I already know he isn’t in to me. Who cares. This weekend was my answer. He isn’t interested.***
Cody, Waylon, and Otey began having thier own conversation that I was simply a witness to as I was packing up my stuff.
Otey: “You ready to go back to the room?”
Cody: “I don’t know, I”m kind of hungry.”
Waylon: “Me too.”
Otey: “Okay, you want to go and get something to eat?”
Cody: “Yeah. That sounds good.”
OH MY GOSH!!! I LIED!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ASK ME TO GO!!! COME ON CODY… COME THROUGH FOR ME BUDDY….. PPPHHHHLLLEEASSSSE ASK ME TO GO. I LIED… I’M NOT OVER HIM…. I WANT TO HAVE HIS BABIES… PHHHLLLEEAAASSEE READ MY MIND CODY…
Cody: “You want to go Kathy?”
YYEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FINALLY THE DOOR IS OPEN!!! I’M GOING TO EAT WITH OTEY MCCLOY (and two other people) BUT WHO CARES!!! OTEY WILL BE THERE AND SO WILL I!!!
Kathy: “Well, I have a really long drive tonight… but I guess I could go for just a little bit”.
Oh my gosh I was cool. I was DYING inside. Like I died three times in thirty seconds… but man was I cool.
I had already carried several loads out to my truck so when the last person picked up their prize money we all headed out to our vehicles to go eat. The three of them in Waylon’s car, and me in my truck. I was secretly walking slowly praying Otey would offer to ride with me. Surely if he was interested, now would be the perfect opportunity…
but he didn’t.
I climbed in my truck (alone) and followed them the couple of miles back to their motel. They had to check on someone else and it made since to leave my truck there and we’d all ride together to the restaurant. I called Ashley (it was like eleven o’clock) and screamed in the phone…
“I’M GOING OUT TO EAT WITH OTEY MCCLOY!!!!”
Ashley: “Yeah! I’m so excited that he asked you!”
Kathy: “Oh. Well…. technically Cody asked me to go… BUT WE WILL ALL BE AT THE SAME TABLE!!!!”
Dork. I know.
At the hotel I quickly parked my truck and jumped in with them. Otey and I were both in the back seat. He was scooted all the way over against one door, and I was against the other. We were like two 5th graders who were just sure that the opposite sex had cooties.
The four of us ate dinner and visited at Applebees. Otey didn’t talk much, and I tired really hard not to talk much. I was affraid he would think I was too loud… or too happy… or too fat… or too skinny… or too blonde… or why was I such a dork around him? I NEVER censored myself, but I just so desperately wanted to make him warm and fuzzy inside. Warm and fuzzy like just the mention of his name made me.
We drove back to the motel where my truck was parked (again on opposite sides of the backseat) and I hopped out and unlocked my truck. I said my goodbyes to the three of them and we all joked about them joining me at the beach (that was were I was headed in just a couple of days).
I drove away with a new confidence. Otey was a real person. He ate. He laughed. He had friends.
There was hope… he could fall in love with me like I knew I was falling in love with him.
Falling in love with someone that I hardly knew.
Falling in love with someone that five months earlier I had never laid eyes on.
Falling in love withsomeone that I wouldn’t see again for nearly a month.
I drove all the way to Indiana that night on cloud nine. Why? I don’t know. Nothing had changed. I still didn’t know if he was interested, but I knew one thing… he was soon going to know that I was.
I needed a plan…
I needed a plan that would allow him to get to know me…
I needed a plan that would work, and that night I came up with one.
to be continued (very soon)…