Friday, October 26, 2007

Victoria


People frequently ask Victoria and me how we met. So for those of you who haven't heard the story, the following is a selection from my personal history that I started writing in 2000.

"Whenever people ask us how we met our standard response is for Victoria to look over at me and pause... Then I say something to the effect of “She has had a crush on me since she was 9 and she finally caught me.” Which is true but that sounds a little too one sided.

Victoria, her mother and step-father joined the church in 1979. Jim was called to work with the Cub Scouts in the Ward and I was assigned as the Den Chief over that Den. Den meetings were at Jim’s house. I was only 12 years old at the time and I was very interested in Jim’s HO gauge train set. It took up an entire room. Jim soon began to trust me enough to babysit Victoria’s older brother Denny. Denny was older than me and bigger than me, But he was Autistic. My instructions as a sitter were to “Stay away from my daughter and if Denny has a fit let him beat on you while Victoria calls for help.” Jim would frequently sign my checks as Combat Pay. I can’t remember ever even seeing Denny and after a while I told Jim to stop paying me just to come over to his house and play with his trains.

The first couple times I “Denny-sat” I didn’t even know that Victoria was home. She usually stayed in her room. After a while she started hanging out with me. I think it started shortly after a ceiling fan was pulled down, Maybe she felt like she had to baby-sit me. ( I’ll let her tell you the ceiling fan story. It’s rather embarrassing and she’ll be much more colorful than I would be.) Well anyway, soon Victoria and I would talk, play monopoly, and fight over the remote control. We became good friends. I was rather naive at the time and had no idea that she had a crush on me.

When we were both old enough to go to the church dances Victoria and I used to dance together a lot. Everyone else that I hung out with saw the dances as places to get phone numbers for future dates. Victoria went to dances to dance. I know it sounds like a novel idea but she actually danced at dances. She danced to every single song until the dance was over. She was a lot of fun. If a fun song came on I could always count on her dancing with me.

A friend of my dad’s gave me some tickets to go see the Atlanta Theater do Great Expectations. I wasn’t really into the dating scene yet and I was nervous about calling anyone. My parents were insistent that I go out on a date. I called one girl and was rejected immediately. My parents suggested another girl, they looked up her number, and her parents said no. My very first date was starting off in the worst possible way. I then tried to talk my folks into using the tickets instead of me. My mom’s response was to try to set me up with yet another girl. I decided to call Victoria. After I called and asked her she stepped away from the phone and I could hear her talking with her mother. I was sure that she was going to come back and reject me again. When she came back and said “sure” I felt even worse than if she had said no. Now I actually had to go on this date. I don’t remember if I even said anything to her at all that night. I was so afraid that I was going to do something wrong. I don’t think we went out to eat. I don’t think I held the door for her. I don’t think I walked her to the door when it was over. My parents had never taught me how to date, so I did everything wrong. That is probably why to this day Victoria claims that it was not a date it was just two friends going to a play. I wish I had known that it wasn’t a date at the time. I’d have probably been more relaxed and we’d have both had a better time.

After my mission Victoria was one of the first people to come and visit me. I was severely jet lagged but she stuck with me and told me everything that had happened in the last two years. She introduced my to all of her new friend that she had met at Young Adult dances. I was quickly accepted into her little clique.

A few months later I broke off a relationship with another girl when I realized that she was just not at all the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I was feeling kinda bummed about life and Victoria called me to remind me that there was a dance that night. I went. She was teasing me because I was not exactly the life of the party. I told her to lay off ‘cuz I’d had a bad week. Victoria brought me out in the hall and we just talked. We walked around the building and I showed her the font that I was baptized in. She told me about her plans to go on a mission. How could I have been so blind? Every girl I had dated up to that point did not measure up. One was Jewish and not the least bit interested in converting, one was completely morally bankrupt, one was shallow, and the few others are not worth noting. Here she was right in front of me my whole life and I didn’t even see her until now. She’s beautiful, she has a twisted sense of humor, she loves camping and the outdoors, she wants to be married in the Temple, and now she’s being sensitive and compassionate. And best of all “she likes me”.

From that day on we spent every possible moment with each other. She’d drive to see me at work for just a 30 minute lunch. I’d come home from school and stop by to see her at 10:00 or later. Sometimes we’d fall asleep on the couch and I’d get up and go to work from her house. I can’t believe that either of our parents allowed that. One night in December we ditched out of a Young Adult activity and went to Stone Mountain at midnight. It was raining and the Park was closed so I talked her into climbing over the fence and climbing the mountain anyway. It was a full moon so there was plenty of light, but Victoria’s eyes are bad at night and the rock trail was slippery so she held my hand tight the whole way up and back down. Never before in my life had anyone trusted me as much as she had that night. After our little trespass we went to the Krispy Kreme and got donuts and hot chocolate. I don’t know when I got her home but it was well into the next morning.

I proposed to her a couple of months later in my apartment after I had cooked her a nice dinner. It wasn’t that fancy. In retrospect I wish that I had had the Blue Angels skywrite “Will You Marry Me?” over her house, but I was still rather akward and scared.

We just celebrated our Tenth Anniversary. We pawned the kids of to all of the Grandparents for a long weekend and we ran down to a cozy little Bed and Breakfast in Charleston. We signed up for a walking tour of the town but we were the only ones who showed up so we had a 4 hour private guided tour of all the homes in Charleston. Later on we took a ferry out to Fort Sumter. I will always have fond memories of this trip."


Our eighteenth anniversary is coming up soon. I'm trying to plan a little get-away for the two of us. Not a day goes past that I do not reflect on the joy that she has brought into my life. I need to do a better job of telling her and showing her how much I love her.

"There is no remedy for love but to love more."
Thoreau

2 comments:

  1. My cheeks are a bit warm right now! I love you, too! The ceiling fan story...don't get my mom and Jim started!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's so sweet. You two have got to be the best match for each other that I've ever seen.

    ReplyDelete