Thursday, December 11, 2008

the date that almost wasn't (part 2)

Continued

"Would you like to go out to the movies with me tomorrow?"

Let me just say right here that anyone who gets asked this question, this directly, should probably say yes. Here I had spent years "hanging out" and "getting together" and "doing something together" and hardly ever being asked out, seriously asked out, with a request to participate in a specific activity. (Upon rereading this may sound like I was hardly ever asked out, and while there may be some truth to that, what I meant was that I was rarely asked out so directly. Boys in that neck of the woods are all about the round-about ask.) And this boy, this person so completely different from me that it was almost unbelievable, had asked me out in the most direct way possible. Had I not be wishing and hoping and planning and dreaming already, I still would have had a hard time saying no. And yet…

"Yes. Can we talk about this tomorrow?"

The trouble was that I kind of already had plans. I already knew that my Saturday was going to be busy but I didn't want to tell him no.

"Would you be willing to come with me to take the participants to the airport in the morning? We can talk about it then."
"Sure. What time?"
"5 a.m."
"So, in about five hours?"
"That's right."

So, I picked him up bright and early the next morning and he rode in the van with me to the airport and back (which was very helpful because, you know, no one else in the van spoke English.) On our way back from the airport we started to talk about our plans for the day and for that evening. Somebody asked about dinner and a movie that night, and then, because we were already together, why didn't we just stop somewhere and get breakfast?

Of course I spouted off my schedule. I had to finish up some work at the office. Then I had promised one of my employees that I would help her at the ballet auditions we were holding that afternoon. And then I had volunteered to cover a shift at the temple until 8pm, but it would probably end early because they always let us out early. Oh, and my sister was going to have a baby aaaaaannnnyy moment and when she did I needed to be available to rush right up to her house to tend the other kids. So, sadly, I wasn't going to be able to go to breakfast. Or lunch. Maybe the dinner and movie though, you know, if the temple shift ended early and my sister didn't have a baby. I tried to laugh off the awkwardness.

"I have a hard time saying no to people," I said.
"Except to me. You don't seem to have a hard timing saying no to me."
"Oh. Well, I'll call you as soon as I get out of the temple and let you know my plans. It should be around 6 p.m."

Unfortunately, 6 p.m. came and went. And then 7 p.m. Wouldn't you know that it was one of those nights when the temple was busy and no one was leaving early? When 8 p.m. finally arrived I rushed out of the temple and checked my voicemail messages. Somebody had called and was wondering why I hadn't called him and when I would be available. And my sister had called because she was on her way to the hospital to have a baby. Uh oh. I called Somebody and apologized that I hadn't been able to call sooner and also broke the news that I would need to leave right away for Ogden to be with my sister.

"That's fine. Could you drop me off at my friend's house in Salt Lake City?"
"Sure."

The ride up to Salt Lake was quiet and slightly tense (at least for me). When we arrived at his friend's house he hopped out of the car, tossed a "Drive safe. Bye." in my direction, and started to walk away. "Oh, well, I'll call you when I get there to let you know I made it safe." "Sure." I continued my drive through what had become a slightly serious snow-storm and arrived safely at my sister's house an hour later. I called Somebody to let him know I was safe. "Okay. Thanks. Bye." The end—he hung up.

Even though it was closing in on midnight I couldn't fall asleep. I was bothered by Somebody's cool attitude and remarkably concerned that I had blown the opportunity to see him again. His work assignment was over and there was no obligation for him to call me or see me again. I was upset at myself for not deciding earlier in the day to make sure that our date actually happened. I'm not a very regular journal writer, but that night I felt the need to write down what I was feeling. I found a blank blue index card in my purse and wrote the following:

"Dream on Friday night, Feb 17. He was standing a little way away from me—facing away from me. His arms were down by his side. I walked up to him and with my left hand took his right hand. He turned to me and smiled and said, "I have been waiting for you." That was the whole dream. My feelings are kind of where the story is. While I was walking towards him I was afraid. But as soon as I touched him I was calm. And by taking his hand I was making a choice—I was choosing him. And he had just been waiting for me to be ready and to make the decision to reach for him. Interesting."

I went on, on that note card, to write about what I would have changed that day if I had the chance. How I would have made sure that he knew I wanted to go out with him. How I would have found a moment (and a spot with cell phone reception) in the temple and been sneaky about calling him to let him know I was going to be delayed. How I would have said something in the car—apologized more—and asked about his plans to return to Provo. And then I wrote:

"I have no explanation for why this matters so much to me. I hardly know this person. I have no reason to believe that this relationship will amount to anything. But it does matter. And I can't stop thinking about the dream and about how all my fears melted away when I decided that he was the right choice. And so I wonder if maybe he is the right choice. What if I just threw away my one chance to make this a relationship that matters?"

Dramatic much? And yet, it really did matter to me.

The next morning I took my nieces and nephews to meet their new sister. I had just happened to put in pigtails that morning (who am I kidding—that is pretty much my fall-back hair style) and my sister took a few photos. So I sent him my favorite photo--who could resist those pigtails? And I wrote, "If you want to try again for the movie you can call me."

And then I waited. And waited. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my two-year-old niece about how I was waiting for this guy to email me or call me and I just didn't know if he was going to and I was kind of worried that I had blown my chance. She just stared blankly and sucked her thumb. It was a deep and moving conversation.

Of course, he did eventually call. And we ended up rescheduling our date for the next day.

The actual First Date: When I was on my way to pick him up he called and said he was at the grocery store down the street and asked me to pick him up there. I went down to get him and he came out with a bouquet of tulips. (When I reminded him about this fact—the store and the flowers—he said he didn't remember either of those things. Convenient. He does, however, remember this next part.) He then said that he wanted to go for dinner at his "most favorite restaurant ever," which turned out to be KFC. After a lovely and deep-fried dinner, we said a movie and then parted ways. It was, perhaps, one of the least exciting dates ever and would have probably been relegated to the "I went on this date this one time, but I don't really remember the details. Or that guy's name." bin if the continuation of the story hadn't been so spectacular.

So, there you have it—pages and pages of story leading up to one paragraph about the actual date. This is one of those stories where everything important is in the journey and not the destination.

And so our first date almost wasn't. Luckily, both of us saw something, and then felt something, and then knew something with absolute certainly and the date that almost wasn't has become that date that will be. April 24, 2009. I'm pregnant. Our baby boy will join us on or around April 24, and I can't tell you how happy I am that I'll have a friend there.

24 comments:

Stephanie said...

I LOVED the second installment of how you guys ended up together. Congratulations on the pregnancy! Maybe I missed an earlier announcement on your blog or maybe this is the first time you said something. Anyway, I'm really excited for you guys!

Janssen said...

YAY!!!! Congratulations!!

There are not enough exclamation points to express how thrilled I am for you both. Your little boy is a lucky guy.

Jess said...

I loved reading this as I had no idea of how you two began (except that it was through work). I'm so incredibly excited that you are having a baby!!! Congratulations x a million.

chloe said...

First of all...I'm sorry I'm a crappy friend and didn't respond to the text yesterday. Yeah, I also forgot Sarah's b-day. It's been a rough week.

Second...CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so excited for this newest addition. I may need to come see him on my way to New York this summer.

Allison said...

Thank-you for continuing the story - I loved it! Do you promise the picture you'll post at the end of April will look like the one posted here - pigtails? - but including a dark-hair, dark-eyed baby, and a proud Somebody?

Alison said...

I'm a total lurker and YAAAAY

Megan said...

What a great way to announce your little man's arrival on you blog. I was wondering when you were going to spill the beans!

Doug and Sharon said...

Congrats!!! You son will be so lucky to have you for a mom. I am glad you found Somebody...isn't it wonderful to find your perfect match. :)

Madelyn said...

YESSSS!

Miss L said...

And of course I burst into tears at the end of the story. Because I'm just that way about things like this. :) Again, squeeeeeeee! I'm so excited for you. :)

Adrienne said...

OH BOY!!
I know I frighten you with my gushings, but I AM SO EXCITED. K, pick the weekend for your shower, kid. We are so on!!
And I love your love story. The real question is, how could Somebody resist your dimples? They should be illegal.

peter fallow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jodi said...

Also a total lurker from Janssen's blog but too excited for you to not say congrats!

Karla said...

"said a movie" ? I had never heard about that dream. What a fun story! Congratulations!

Daisie said...

I love PART 2! I am so glad to hear your's and somebody's "story"! I can't wait to see how cute your little guy is going to be!!!

Stacy said...

Congratulations! Congratulations!

Mari said...

Congratulations! I'm glad I read to the end of your post to get your wonderful news : )

Chandler Family said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooo Excited!!!
Yippee Skippy!

Ginet said...

It's a boy?! Yea, I've been waiting to hear what you were having! Hooray for boys!

hawks said...

Beautifully written! Beautiful story.

Eddie and Amber said...

That is such exciting news. I'm not one to comment on facebook and I just saw your status...so I jumped on over to the blog. We are so excited for you too. I hope you start feeling better soon. And how exciting a boy!

Elaine Bridges said...

ow! We are all so excited for you! We can't believe that you didn't send an email! Joanne told Vince and he forgot to pass the great news along. Please give Sungti a hug for me and tell him congratulations. let us know the names you are considering. We miss you! Elaine

Deyce and Garrick said...

Jen,
I loved reading your story, and CONGRATULATIONS on your very exciting news! - Deyce

sarah said...

I'm really late commenting on this post especially since I've known for a while that you were expecting, but I love your story! Love it. So much that I just about cried reading it. I'm so not crying. I'm not. Gosh.There's something in my eye, ok?