Widgets Magazine

Feb 18, 2011

Falling in Love: Courtship

We are going to skip this week's Friday Freebie to continue the courtship story in honor of Valentine's Day.  Please come back next week for another free activity.  

I would love to be able to say that we both immediately knew we were right for each other and we got married and lived happily ever after.  Unfortunately it was much more complicated than that.  I was only 17 and even though I thought I was all grown up, I was self-centered and selfish.  I was still a senior in high school for at least half my waking hours.  I wanted to participate in high school activities like the prom, but most importantly, I still wanted to chase boys and have fun!  I really wasn’t ready at that point for a serious relationship and given my split personality (college co-ed vs. high school senior) it was easy to live a dual life.  I was also getting an incredible amount of pressure from home to not get serious with anyone.  My parents were excited about my 4-year scholarship to BYU and they were afraid that getting married might jeopardize that opportunity.  The thing we didn't realize then was that there seemed to be a force, like a strong magnet, pulling us together and no matter how hard we tried to break those bonds, we were unable to separate.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in Grease
My lab assistant accused me of mind games and he was probably right.  In my mind it was all a game and the seriousness of the possible outcome didn’t really occur to me at first.  I was so flaky it's a wonder we ever got married!  Like one time when I was angry with him for some silly little thing, I immediately went home and called another guy and invited him to pref.  Shortly after that I went on a high school trip to Washington DC and spent the week chasing and then running from a boy from South Carolina (Stalker!  He didn’t give up quickly…he wrote to me for months and I don’t believe I ever even held his hand!)  After I was back from my trip I would often go out with another guy and then call my sweet and incredibly smart Lab Assistant to help me with my homework.  Each time I broke his heart he got so frustrated that he took all the broken glass in the lab and threw it into the recycling bin with such force that it shattered into tiny pieces.  

None of my high school friends even knew I was seeing someone until my lab assistant and I showed up together at the New Year’s Eve dance.  Then they gave me a lot of crap because he had a less-than-missionary style haircut.  I was a bit embarrassed by that and the next day he immediately cut his hair.  I should have known then that he would do anything for me, but it took much longer for that fact to sink in.  He gave me some wonderful gifts, a large stuffed teddy bear for Christmas, a heart-shaped crystal necklace for Valentine’s Day, and green M&Ms for St. Patrick’s Day.  He never neglected an occasion to show me how he felt.

That winter was very cold and the snow hung around for weeks without a ray of sunshine.  One night we were parked in front of my house.  We had been sitting in the car for a long time and the windows were pretty fogged up.  The snow was also piling up on the windshield, but we were talking and laughing, totally oblivious to the storm.  That’s when my dad showed up. 

Stock photo WCBS2
My parents were negative about any guy I went out with more than once, but did I ever mention that my dad was extremely unhappy about this developing romance with a college boy?  Even after I turned 18 in January, he thought I was way too young for the amount of time we were spending together.  Anyway, that night he wrenched open the door and the snow fell in little piles onto the seat of the car.  “What are you two doing in here?” he demanded.  Before either one of us could answer, he yelled, “Get out!  Don’t you know the power lines are down?”  We quickly climbed from the car and into the deep snow.  The power lines were sparking right above the car.  The snow was so heavy that they couldn’t take the weight.  It wasn’t long before the emergency vehicles arrived, but by then we were safely inside the house, drying out and warming up. 

Several days later we were once again sitting in the car when my lab assistant put his head in his hands and told me he didn’t know what he was going to do.  Concerned, I snuggled closer, “Why?” I questioned.  “Because I can’t live with you and I can’t imagine life without you.”  I was stunned and didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything.  Then he continued, “I think I’m in love with you.”  Now I have heard this line from guys before; the first time was when I was in 7th grade, but he seemed serious.  “Why do you think that?” I asked.  “Because even with all of these people trying to tear us apart, we seem to be stuck together,” he said.  I was surprised and scared about what that could mean to our future.  “Why don’t you think about it for a while?” I suggested.  “Maybe you’ll want to take it back.”  I hadn’t really thought about how I felt at that particular moment and I was certainly not ready to confess my undying love just then.  He shook his head.  It took me a couple of weeks to realize that my feelings were the same.  Tune in tomorrow for the proposal.

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