Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh, I ask for no more than two shoes on the floor next to mine (Love Story Part 3)

Courtship and Engagement

We knew very quickly we wanted to see where this was going. Within the next week, we were calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend and soon we were seeing each other everyday. We’ve actually lost track of when the last day we haven’t seen each other was.

That’s a benefit of both people being 28 and doing their own thing already.  We knew what we wanted, what we were looking for, and we enjoyed each other’s company. So we didn’t see a reason not to keep doing things that we liked with the person we suddenly found ourselves liking to be around.

And those things have been great fun! Mini-road trips! Pirate festivals! Civil War reenactments! Game nights! Indoor camping! (I still have the stars hanging from my ceiling.)

Note: The camping was not overnight!  (Mom, I know you’re reading this.)

Soon, we were doing all our normal errands and things together too. We work out together. Grocery shop (I cook, he cleans). Watching Jeopardy. Maybe that makes us sound old, but we enjoy it. And I usually win.


In July, Blake’s sister, Holly came to visit and stayed with me. Later that month, we headed home to Utah and Arizona together to get to know each other’s families and it was really just the perfect trip.

The 4th of July was a really good holiday, and Amanda was great about letting Holly stay with her.  On the 3rd the three of us hung out together until Amanda had to leave for class.  Holly and I were staying in DC, so we walked her to the metro.  Once Amanda was out of earshot, the first thing Holly said to me was, “that girl is so in love with you.”  I knew that if I had Holly on my side then the rest of the family was a lock, and with Holly enthusiastically saying how much she liked her, I was feeling good about things.  The trip home confirmed it.  Amanda’s pretty awesome, and the family loved her.

Once we knew our families approved, since my family loved Blake as much as I did and because he asked Dad and Dad said yes, we had a decision to make.

On September 5th, a Wednesday, Blake asked me to come with him to school so I could I help him get a reader card for the Library of Congress in the afternoon. My suspicions were raised, as Blake is quite a capable young man, but I’ll never turn down a trip to the LOC, my favorite building in the DC metro area.

Of course I could have gotten the card myself.  But I figured she wouldn’t say no and that at this point any unexpected trip to cool places would be seen with suspicion, so I came up with the excuse that I would want to study there some night when she was in class for the sheer novelty of saying that I studied there during law school.  By the way, I’m TOTALLY doing that anyway, because seriously...duh.

After class (I studied in the law library) and lunch, we got the reader card in the Madison building and headed over to the Jefferson building, the gorgeous, touristy one.. After looking around for a few minutes, we looked over the main reading room and then came out onto a landing over the a balcony overlooking the Great Hall. He hugged me, told me how much I meant to him, then pulled out the panda shaped ring box I'd authorized my sister to give him and asked "Will you marry me?"

"Yes! Yes I will!"

Then there was more hugging and kissing before he put the ring he'd picked out on my finger. 

It's perfect. He's perfect. And we're so excited!

My second choice was going to be either down by the Potomac or on Signer’s Island.  But, the LoC seemed like the obvious choice, with the added benefit of there being a much reduced chance of accidently kneeling in duck poop, so I went with it.  I didn’t think about it at the time, but in hindsight, I’m glad I picked a place with good air  conditioning.  I was a bit nervous. . .

The big day is December 18th! We can’t wait!

Here’s how you can tell I like her: I’m happy to go to Utah in winter.  That’s love.

Yes it is. I love you, Blake.

:D  I love you too!

Part 1 Part 2

Do You Love Me? (Do Ya Love Me?) (Love Story Part 2)

Our First Date

That Friday, after important discussions like licorice preference and dream travel destinations, Blake asked if I would like to see The Hunger Games the next day...

I was quite bold about this.  I believe I said “I’m going to go to see Hunger Games tomorrow, want to come along?”  I then left to get food from McDonalds.

Knowing I liked this guy and having been on several outings with other young men that were planned, paired off, and paid off but still somehow not clearly a date, I asked. “I would love to, but out of curiosity. Is this a date?”

Waiting between the drive-thru order box and the pick-up window is not the time or place that one would expect to make life altering decisions.  Yet, moments before I was to pick up my McDoubles, here comes the Facebook notification with that message.  The pressure was on: if I say yes, would that be too sudden?  If I said no, would she think I wasn’t interested?  Where is my food?  It was a moment of decision making, and when that moment arrives, you’ve got to do what you gotta do.

Fortunately, he said that he normally doesn’t ask girls out for the first time via Facebook, but that yes, as he had asked me and was planning to pay, it was a date, if I wouldn’t mind. I most certainly did not. We finally exchanged numbers and made our plans.

The afternoon of Saturday, May 5th, I arrived at his house (I was coming from a bridal shower and he lived closer to the theater anyway) and we were on our way! Turns out The Hunger Games is better when you don’t have a raging headache like I had the first time and a cute boy is holding your hand.

Speaking of licorice, our first and primary disagreement remains that I like black licorice and she does not.  On that first date she brought a tub of Trader Joe’s black licorice, the first time I’d had a girl bring a gift on the first date.  I was quite amused.  As for the handholding, that’s another thing I never do on first dates.  But it seemed like a good idea at the time, so with all the smoothness of a 9th grader I coyly examined her ring mid movie, then just didn’t let go afterward.

It was definitely a good idea. We were peckish after the film, so he took me to the restaurant of my choice - Bilbo Baggins in Old Town Alexandria - and I got to witness his first ever parallel parking in a personal vehicle. He did great, and I was even able to crawl over to his side to get out because he parked right next to a tree.

As silly as this might sound, parallel parking a school bus isn’t as hard as you might think, and I found myself wishing I had my bus mirrors during that whole uncomfortable ordeal.  I’m not sure if a girl has ever dumped a date because of their inability to parallel park, but I wasn’t keen on being the first.

Dinner was delicious, the company delightful, and conversation easy. It was definitely the beginning of a wonderful thing!

Not our first date, but not too long after
Part 1 Part 3

At Last, My Love Has Arrived (Love Story Part 1)


Let me introduce a new main character around these parts. This is Blake.

Hi everybody!

Handsome, no?

We met like every good Mormon couple, in our single’s ward. Actually, we met twice. On the same day. April 29th, to be exact.

We first met before church. Unfortunately, I was highly distracted since I’d found out earlier that week about being laid off and I was supposed to direct the music in our Sacrament meeting. So, when a friend introduced me to a young man who had just been accepted to American University for a JD/MPP program, I pretty much just said hi and hurried off.

I was also on my way to take care of other things. So I made a mental note about the girl with purple hair and a checkered dress (it was plaid - Amanda), which like most introductions, was promptly poorly sorted.

The second time we met was during the third hour, which was a joint Priesthood/Relief Society meeting. I saw only one open seat, so I asked the young man next to it if I could sit with him, complimented him on his tie, clueless that I’d already seen it just a couple hours before, and then tuned into the meeting. We made the occasional snarky comment and exchanged names before I hurried home to do a school project due that week.

It should be noted that there were only two seats making up the row, with me sitting in one of them.  When I saw her headed over I remembered meeting her but couldn’t remember her name, and so I started making conversation since I figured she remembered meeting me and I didn’t want to look silly having already forgotten. I had no idea she didn’t have a clue who I was, otherwise I would probably have just sat there.

Later that day, I was looking up this young man on Facebook and suddenly realized he was the same one I met at the beginning of the day. And while I was still on his page, the friend request he sent popped up in my feed. I accepted, apologized for my spaciness, and we began an almost nonstop week long Facebook message marathon as we started to get to know each other.

While trolling her facebook page I realized that she liked Firefly, a tv show I also liked.  I thought it might be awkward to friend her and then never talk to her again, only to have the friendship quietly dissolved months later when one of us was cleaning out their friends list and couldn’t recall having met the other.  So, I sent a simple message along the lines of “Nice to meet a fellow Browncoat”, not realizing that I had inadvertently sung the love song of nerd-dom.

It worked. This was someone I definitely wanted to have around.

Part 2 Part 3