I'm as surprised as you are to find us back here, loyal reader. I well & truly thought PANDORA was part of The Secret Base's past, not its future: Wayback Machine.
The long & short of it is that PANDORA is not just back but back with a vengeance, having achieved greater success while in mothballs than the project ever did when it was in full swing back in '12-'14. Allow me to introduce you to my girlfriend, Miss Mozart. Yes, my girlfriend. (That is a point of considerable insistence in our discussions.) How on earth did this happen? If we're to figure out where we're going, we should probably remember where we've already been.
The Wayback Machine Tour of Miss Mozart
Online Dating: 5 September 2012
A Bad Date: 9 September 2012
After the Date: 13 September 2012
Hints Not Taken: 30 September 2012
Still Be Friends: 5 October 2012
Reconnecting: Summer 2016
After reconnecting last summer shortly before Miss Mozart moved to the Bay Area for a job in the tech industry, we stayed in sporadic touch. Over the last few months, Miss Mozart & I have been exchanging e-mails & telephone calls, our e-mails mostly centered on helping her better understand the Catholic Faith & our 'phone calls light banter with my humor on prominent display. Somewhere along the line, Miss Mozart fell in love with me. I do not mean to be a braggart, but what I thought was just friendship was revealed on the other end of the conversation to be something else entirely.
I tried to tell Miss Mozart that I wasn't available, but she wouldn't have any of it. I told her about my discernment of the priesthood, of lifelong clerical celibacy, & she cried, devastated at the seeming rejection, & professed her belief that we are supposed to be together. I sought the counsel of Brother & Mrs. Nacho, my closest church friends: Wouldn't it be unfair of me to date Miss Mozart while at the same time planning to reapply with the diocese to study for the priesthood next spring? Wouldn't that be essentially dishonest, to embark upon a romance while always having one foot out the door? They agreed with Miss Mozart, that because I have not yet been admitted to the seminary, I shouldn't limit my options. I was staggered by this response. I thought the logic of my position was self-evident. If we date, if we foster an even deeper attachment, & I still end up attending the seminary & being ordained to the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek in the fullness of God's Own time, won't she be all the more devastated? In prayer, to be best of my ability to discern His will, the LORD is telling me to be a priest. Miss Mozart says that in prayer she asks the LORD to show me that she & I are supposed to be together.
So, in essence we've decided to play with fire. Yes, I genuinely like Miss Mozart, but I am also afraid for her, afraid that her heart will be burned badly if—when I enter the seminary. But, you know what? She's a big girl. She can make her own decisions & she'll have to live with the consequences of those decisions. I've told her that I still want to enter the seminary, but she wants to proceed anyway. So, here we are. I have a girlfriend, a girlfriend I'm lucky to have, a girlfriend who lives in California, though she hopes to move back to Michigan in the late summer/early fall. (Yes, my girlfriend lives in the Golden State while I live in the Wolverine State. It would almost be more plausible if I claimed to have the proverbial Canadian girlfriend, especially since the majority of the population of the Great White North lives closer to sacred Michigan than does Miss Mozart.)
There we have it. Project PANDORA is back in full effect. No one is more surprised by that fact than yours truly.
Let us recall the timeless meditations of Bruce Campbell on experience: Old Spice-link.