Friday, September 07, 2007

How I Met My Husband ...

The story of Michael and me is ... well, not the most simple one out there. So expect lots of asides (if you've read my bloggings before, you'll totally know that this is not anything out of the norm. ^_^).

The short version of how I met Michael can be summed up, through my friend T.
But life isn't ever quite that simple to effectively sum up ANYTHING in just one word, phrase, or sentence. So ... here goes:

I'll start with my friend T. She and I have been friends since my Mom and I moved back from Seattle (the summer after 5th grade). Now, during our senior year of high school (at different high schools. We attended the same ward/congregation, though), her folks moved up north. She stayed with a friend of the family until summertime. I followed in the fall ... my college dorm wasn't terribly far (maybe a 45-minute drive) from her folks' new place.

I wasn't terribly fond of the singles ward at my college. It wasn't as friendly as my home ward ... and, to be blunt, there weren't many boys. And the promising-looking ones (face it, I am shallow like that) were either taken or wouldn't ever give me a second glance.

So, with T's gently prodding, I started attending church in the next town down. These wards (there were two at the time) had a totally different flavor. I didn't feel so apart, it felt less like a meat market (There were BOYS. LOTS OF BOYS. I like boys.) ... It just felt so much more ... RIGHT to be there. So, I was "technically" inactive in the ward I SHOULD have been attending (since, in our church, you attend according to where you live), even though I went to church every single week.

At one activity, there was a dinner-date auction. The girls got to bid on dinners that the boys made ... but you didn't know who made the dinner. T had her heart set on a pair of lunchboxes (a dinner-date for two girls and two boys), and thanks to our dear friend Brooke (who's hilarious and darling and I adore her!) we won the bidding. And that's the start of how I started dating A.
MIND YOU, we were not boyfriend/girlfriend. But it was nice to have someone who liked me, even though he told me that "You're cute, but we're not going to work out." And we cuddled, which was nice. I like feeling wanted.
BUT, after a few months ... let's see, he and I saw each other from the day after Thanksgiving 1999 until the next February, I think? And we were still friends and I hung out at his apartment (he had wonderful roommates, who I still correspond with now) ... so a lot of people didn't know that we weren't seeing each other like that anymore.

BUT, T, BJ, and I had planned a triple-date to the beach. Just for fun and to get out. Now, I had invited A's younger brother, M ... but he had to cancel (since his mom didn't want him to go. And neither M nor A called me. I had to get the info from one of A's roommates. *sigh* BJ's date cancelled. T had invited Michael ... so it became a "polygamy date," as we jokingly refer to dates where one gender outnumbers the other.

WAIT! I've gotten ahead of myself. I did mention that most people in the University wards (where T and A and I and most of our friends attended church) didn't know that A and I weren't seeing each other anymore. Well, while Michael was there, before we were taking off for the beach, I was on the phone with either A or one of his roommates, getting the news that M wasn't going to make it. I wasn't heartbroken ... but I did fume a little (okay, if you know me, you know that I'm a tad bit dramatic), and I said, "I'm SO glad that I'm not dating him anymore!" Besides that, Michael thought that A and I were still dating.

AND BEFORE THAT ... T's cousin had a party. A "Mormon kegger" as we like to jokingly refer to it. We had a keg, oh yes. Of ROOT BEER. And, at that point, A and I were sorta mostly dating. I remember meeting Michael ... as in, someone pointed him out as they were introducing the room. I recall thinking, "He's cute. But I'm dating A. Oh well." (NOTE: this party is important for another story in Michael and my history. One that I wasn't aware of until we got married. Which made me more certain that ever that he is, indeed, about the perfectest match I could have.)

Shortly after the "kegger," T had told my that she liked Michael (and she was more than fine when he and I started dating. I asked. Her crushes were often short-lived. Which proved lucky, indeed, for me in this case.) because he had long, curly eyelashes. So, before I knew him (except for knowing who he was), after Sacrament meeting [it's kinda like Communion, but we have members of the ward giving talks instead of just our ecclesiastical leader ...], I went up to him, looked at his eyelashes and said, "T's right! You do have pretty eyelashes!" And he blushed. And I felt AWFUL, since I blushed easily, too. (Some of my high school friends would see who could make my ears turn purple from blushing first. Like a sad, sad contest.)

NOW, looping back through the stories, back to the polygamy date. So, when you have three girls and one boy, what do you think happens?
Yes, we all flirted with Michael. It was a fun day at the coast. Michael was more familiar with the area, having lived here longer, so he got to be the navigator. T drove, and BJ called shotgun. So I got to sit next to Michael. And I "let" him read my magazines with me. I'd turn to a page in Seventeen and ask him what he thought of the clothes. And he actually played along. Which was cool. And I started to crush on him.
So, I had to ask my failsafe question. The question that MUST be answered before I can let my heart go ... "Do you like cats?"
(And then I worried. What if he were allergic? I already knew that my Ginger was a good judge of character. [Long Story] And my first boyfriend had once asked if i were to choose between him and Ginger, who would it be? Answer: Ginger. I've known her longer. [And I was SOOO right.] Or what if Michael HATED cats? Or thought they were fun to shoot at??? What if he were a sociopathic cat-hater???)

And he answered, "I can tolerate them. My family has a cat."
And I breathed a sigh of relief. If he can tolerate cats, then this crush was okay to enjoy.

And then we played at the coast and Michael gave BJ the Heimlich maneuver (known in certain circles as the "Heimlich remover") when a tense moment occured in a game of "Fluffy Bunnies" (HINT: Don't laugh with 7+ marshmallows in your mouth. Okay?), and we got back at the end of the day.

As we were unloading T's van, I had grabbed the last of the stuff in the car. My arms were loaded. And Michael came out and asked if there was anything that he could take. So I, being a little vain about how much I can carry -- I'm tough!!, flippantly replied, "How about my heart?"
And he countered, "I thought I already had that."

And there, dear readers, I fell for that man. Yes, it was cheesy. But I like me some cheese.

That was the day before my 19th birthday. He asked me out for a date four days later. Six months and a day after our first date, we were engaged. And five months after that, we got married.

Life is good.

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