I’ve thought about this long and hard. Should I tell the next part of the story myself or should I farm it out? I decided, after much consideration, to farm it out to the other half of the equation. So, without further ado, here is my husband, jaklumen, with the next chapter.
As Cimmorene mentioned, by this time, we were attending the church dances for our young single adult congregations in Yakima and Ellensburg together. Normally, I didn’t subscribe to the old-school rules of mixers and dances– I didn’t usually pair off with anyone specific. Even when I did, that seemed to be the unspoken rule ever since I started attending at 14 years of age (and the stake dances for teens 14-18 were EVERY Saturday at that time). When I took a date to a stake dance, she ignored me the entire night. Even when I went with some friends in my erstwhile summer home in Spokane, I was still sticking to that rule (much to the chagrin of the young lady that was my date).
I think we differ a little bit on the memory of specific events– I seem to remember that she had gotten her acceptance letter to Central Washington University (CWU) just right about when I was moving out of a room with a family and into… well, it wasn’t exactly a four-plex, but it was a two-floor studio apartment that had four bedrooms at each corner of each floor, and a common area with a kitchen.
Anyways, with her acceptance letter to CWU, that meant she was moving into town. As she said, we liked spending time together, and although she said she was being friendly, I still got the impression she wanted a little bit of physical affection. On an earlier night sitting and talking at the transit bus bench, she took my arm and put it around her. But I was okay with that. We were good friends, and she more or less had given me some physical space. I felt warm and cozy, actually, which was a big relief for me. I’m quite serious; “head over heels” and fireworks analogies in my relationships usually meant a wild chaotic ride with harm at the end. Our friendship and budding relationship felt more like a small, controlled campfire to me: warm, comfortable, and not out of control. Better yet, I figured I’d hit the jackpot in regards to a woman: she loved role-playing games, comic books, and everything our generation generally said was supposed to be for nerdy boys. Better even still (as I’d come to find out), she was not a stuffy, uptight lady: I mean that when my mother chastised me for all sorts of things that she said would drive women away– oh, I showed her.
I knew that things were starting to get serious, so when the announcement came in our congregation that she needed some help moving, I realized that I needed to make a good impression and volunteer. Strangely, though– there was only about one person from her congregation, and absolutely NONE from mine. Now, my congregation had already been buzzing (I hate to say it, but some Mormons can’t control their gossiping) about our connection– but they buzzed EVER louder when she showed up to the Institute building just before the move, to look for employment. Apparently, everyone could see at this point that our connection was inevitably obvious.
Of course, the move itself brought new revelations. It was obvious to me that she was girlfriend material, but I hadn’t thought of marriage yet. But while I helped move books, boxes, and a bed, a little voice inside me said: “She’s the one.” My first thought (unfortunately) was ‘oh crap’. I wasn’t 100% comfortable with all the details– I come from an uptight, perfectionistic family that was anal-retentive about housekeeping (and I was even more anal-retentive than most all of them for a time), and it was brutally obvious that she and much of her family was comparatively slobby and untidy. (I said ‘untidy’, not ‘dirty’. There IS a difference.) But despite my misgivings, I figured I needed to start bringing my A-game on.
Once she was all moved in to her apartment, I figured I should show her around the town and such, and I figured going out to lunch would be a good start. I think this is what she considered our first real date– especially as it didn’t end for a while. After lunch and looking around the town, I wanted to keep talking with her, and keep company, so I said, “Well, how ’bout we go to dinner as well?”
I will save the next part of the story for later, although it’s got some great parts: no, I didn’t introduce her to my parents right away– I introduced her to my paternal grandmother and my aunt and uncle (my father’s younger brother)! Hmmm… why do you think I would do that? Stay with us, dear readers!
Question time: Have you ever known that someone was “the one” shortly after you met them? If so, what did you do? If not, what would you do if you did? When did you start thinking your SO might be “the one?”