Monday, January 10, 2011
This past weekend was one of my favorite days of all the year. It is a perfect start to the year because it reminds me of that fateful first date that I had with my husband. And despite the crazy socks I wore, he asked me out for a second date. Each year I love to reminisce and celebrate our first date on the first Friday of the year—I even wear crazy socks.
And for fun, you get to reminisce with me.
But before the first date, it all started with a compliment.
It's a good thing my husband is a stylish dresser—it gave me a way to find excuses to first talk to him. Here's the thing. I believe in complimenting people (of course sincere ones). I think it's a great way to break the ice, put a smile on someone's face, start a conversation, get someone's attention. Well, with my husband I was the first one to initiate conversation and I did so with a compliment.
I wasn't particularly "interested" in him at the time, but I did acknowledge to myself that he was someone I wanted to know and be friends with. He had just started coming to the church I was attending (it’s called the Singles Ward.) He was fresh home from a two year mission, and I had noticed him as a new face--which was rare in our Singles Ward. He had spoken in sacrament and I was impressed. (Those who know my husband, know what a good speaker he is.) So, at a soon after Family Home Evening for the Singles Ward (it was "Game Night"), I saw him there (at the time I didn't know his name yet). Different tables were set up with various board games. I played one with my usual friends and noticed him at another table playing with some friends he had already made. (As I write this I realize how ironic that my husband was at that FHE because I know he truly dislikes playing board games, I guess he didn't know what the activity was going to be.)
Anyway, I finished playing whatever game I was playing and glanced over to see him get up from his table, finished as well, and head into the hall/foyer. I thought at that time would be a perfect time to get some water from the drinking fountain that was in that hall. Sure enough, he was getting a drink too! I casually waited. He finished his drink, turned around and we made eye contact. He was wearing a light blue "Cubavera" shirt. I smiled and said, "I like your shirt." (It did look very nice on him, I still love it when he wears it). He replied, "Thanks,” and then told me his name. He put his hand out for a shake. "I'm Amber," I said and shook his hand. Then I took a drink. The details beyond that are fuzzy, but I believe we made casual chitchat, along with one of my other guy friends for maybe a minute and then went our separate ways. But, from that moment on, we knew who each other were and the spark of friendship began. However, I proceeded to be a bit “difficult”. I played queen of hard to get.
A Sunday or so later I was sitting next to one of his guy friends and he sat next to me. I noticed his full name on his scriptures and thought it was quite a nice sounding name. The next Sunday he found an excuse to call me and compliment me on a message I shared with the congregation—he had gotten my number from a mutual friend. (To this day he promises he really did like what I shared and is able to remember what I said.) A few weeks later he called to invite me with a group of people to do some kind of activity—I politely declined. A week or so after that, at a friend’s wedding a bunch of us singles ward people attended, he was there and invited me to go swing dancing afterward with the group he'd come with—I politely declined.
AND THEN, this nice guy who kept "casually inviting" me to these activities, and calling me once in a while, shows up at church with a GIRLFRIEND! (Some tall, skinny brunette). I remember the moment after the sacrament meeting, when everyone gets up and starts socializing, and I looked over at him from across the pews with this mystery girl beside him and we locked eyes, and shared a look. I'm sure my look was one of "Well, well, well, isn't it interesting that you've been showing interest in me and now some girly is with you!" I thought to myself, good thing I wasn't responding to this playboy. His look back was classic; I swear it was a bit apologetic, yet also, a bit of "Well, what can I say." I discovered SHE was visiting from Arizona. Months later, after we had started dating, I learned he broke up with her later that day. Needless to say she ended her visit early. Anyhoo, a week or so later, he called to invite me with a group of friends over to his house for a Christmas Tree decorating party. I told him I'd be there....I didn't show up.
But, my sweet, sweet, confident, persistent husband did not give up. At the ward Christmas party, he pulled me aside and asked if I'd set some time later in the evening for him so he could give me something. Finally as I was walking out of our Bishop's house at the end of the party, I remembered he wanted to give me something. He said he'd meet me by my car. Just thinking about it now melts my heart again, just as it started to that night (to say the least I had built a protective wall around my heart and feelings.)
He had made me a Christmas ornament with my name on it and also gave me a gourmet chocolate Santa. It was precious, and my heart softened towards him. So, I decided to join him and others for an after party hang out at a friends house. But, instead of going inside to watch the movie, we sat out front in his truck to talk and listen to U2 (he played his favorite songs for me.) My husband likes to say that I was still a bit of a brat to him and referred to the songs as "Ok, I guess." Luckily, he still hadn't given up on me.
more to come…
-Margaret D. Nadauld