Shannon is blonde, like hyper-blonde as she is Nordic in her heritage. She moved from Sweden to Thailand three weeks before I settled into my apartment. She works in Thailand’s sustainable energy sector, about which I know nothing. She understands nothing about personal injury law. We keep our professional lives and our private life entirely separate.

She’s annoyed that I haven’t brought her to the country house to meet my parents but one sleepover per week does not yet warrant meeting the family. Further, my parents have some serious reservations about my bringing home a white woman, a lesson I learned over and over growing up outside of Seattle.

Our relationship is fairly limited to daily texting and one sleepover per week. It’s enough for me. I’m waiting for her to realize or admit it’s not enough for her. I don’t know what I’ll do then.

It’s more of an expectation that a concern.

That said, Shannon has some positive attributes: she’s well-read, she’s easy to be around, she doesn’t leave messes behind her, she doesn’t ignore messes ahead of her, and she has a lovely singing voice.

We met at a coffee bar near The Commons. The morning after each sleepover now, we go there for strawberry waffles. I don’t like tradition, but I do like consistency. The difference is notable.

She thinks she’ll stay in Thailand forever, she has an entire social life here. She tells me that she spent years in Alabama cleaning carpets and was itching for something new and different. She goes to every wedding alone because I won’t go with her. I spend each of these evenings wondering why I didn’t go with her and hoping she’s not talking to other people.

It’s a challenge to be both aloof and clingy.