Henry and I participated in a dating panel for the youth (ages 12-17) at our church tonight. We were definitely the youngest couple there (both in age and in terms of the length of our marriage), and I have no idea how we were picked (though we were called "the cutest couple in the ward" once before...thanks Nadine!). But seriously, I hope no one was disappointed after hearing our answers.
With all of the rehashing of my dating experiences tonight, I realized I haven't written much about the beginnings for me and Henry. I alluded to our first date and wrote about the proposal, but I haven't really told the story of how we met. Plus I have some unusual, if you will, dating memories that are lingering in my brain that I would like to share.
So here it goes...I'm going to pose questions as if someone were actually asking me...
How did you meet Henry?
The short answer: He showed up unannounced on my doorstep. The long answer: It was the year 2004, August to be specific. Henry had just returned from his two-year mission for our church, and our mutual friend William (who is now our brother-in-law...'nother story) invited Henry to a Bible studyish group (FHE to the LDS folks) that was held on Monday nights at my apartment. Henry likes to be early, so he was the first one to arrive rather consistently and a friendship developed.
Was it "love at first sight?"
Nope. I was in a long-distance, pretty serious relationship at the time, so I didn't think of Henry in a romantic way until about six months after I broke up with the other guy. We were friends for a little over a year before we started dating. He didn't have a car, so I'd give him rides here and there before we started dating.
What changed for you?
Kind of interesting...so between the time I got out of the serious, long-distance relationship and when I started dating Henry, I dated quite a few guys. I was 19/20 years old. I decided I was done with serious dating for a while, and I wanted to have fun and get to know a lot of people. I went on multiple dates with two guys, one who I was attracted to and one who was just fun to hang out with as friends. I let the latter guy know I didn't see any potential for a romantic relationship with him, but the former "relationship" was kind of a "yes, we should date/no, we shouldn't/yes, we should/oh wait, no we shouldn't" situation. The final "no, we shouldn't" was a teensy bit hard because there was chemistry there, but ya know, that's certainly not all that matters. What seemed like the very day after this "break-up" (using these terms loosely because we were never boyfriend/girlfriend), this guy texted me. All it said was "I think you should date Henry." First I thought, "the nerve!" Then I also recalled how on another date (maybe the only one I went on with this particular guy), Henry came up in the conversation, and we pretty much talked about his coolness. Pretty soon I was thinking, "hmmm...maybe he's on to something..." After that, I realized that maybe Henry was interested in me already (and maybe the other guy picked up on this, and that's why he sent the text. If I ever talk to that particular person again, I will definitely ask him why he decided to tell me that and thank him!).
What did you do for your first date?
We went on a double date with our wonderful friends Dave & Serena. We saw a play at St. Edward's University about Cesar Chavez's life. Random activity (Dave was a professor at St. Ed's so he got the tickets for free or discounted at least), but that didn't matter so much because it still gave us a chance to really talk to each other and spend time together (both one-on-one and with our good friends). We went back to Henry and Dave's apartment (they were roommates) and ate ice cream after the play. Our first date felt different from other first dates because I already had a crush on Henry. I was excited and nervous.
How long did you date before you were engaged?
18 months to the day.
How long from first date to wedding day?
21 months to the day. 7+7+7=21. That's how I chose the date of our wedding.
That's all I've got for tonight. Any other questions?