Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gopher, Orange, Exchange, Simulate & Prove -- My Very Own Love Story

Thank you, Georgia. This was fun.

Gopher. It all started because I delivered the message, directly after the sacrament, in church. Essentially this: "I like you. Do you like me?" (Non-essentially it contained a lot more words in and around and between, because, like I could say THAT, much less practically anything else, in just seven words??!!) But really, long before that, I was trying to wire a cable while sending messages---and watching for signs of reception on the other end. It was a little gutsy---being that I was 17, still in high school, and he was 24. Here were some of my messaging techniques, my little love letter feelers that I hoped would land in his mailbox:

*LOCATION: happening to be in just the right place at just that right time
*INVITES ("If you ever want to go running with me, you're more than welcome." Or biking. Or hiking. I also asked him if he wanted to read Tuesdays with Morrie with me, to which he answered yes. We spent nights reading that together.)
*GIFTS (These were essentially so hopefully he'd figure it out that I thought about him when we weren't together, and that I was interested. Hello! My favorite was when I left him some sprigs of forsythia in his bedroom to cheer him when he walked in. One time I left him a plant with a scripture marker/pen tucked in under the green shoots.)
*CONVERSATION (This has always been one of my favorite things, and I'd take the opportunity to strike up conversation that would end up lasting for hours. We talked about everything, and as I'm trying to think of anything specific right now, I remember (for some reason) a conversation that we had
on women/motherhood vs. the priesthood and really liking what he had to say about it.
*Etc. (You know, the usual things.)

It's kind of embarrassing, but I just remember thinking that if he got to know me, I knew he'd like me. Guess I was feeling confident. I just kept hoping that maybe this signaling would work.

In the end, let me just tell you, he got IT.

O is for Orange.
After he got the message (and sent one of his own back), we worked on harvesting this something orange---something:

--sweet like our picnic while listening to the bell concert, dancing to a favorite song in the canyon, a strawberry banana concrete at Nielsen's Frozen Custard, twirling on the temple lawn and in the middle of 5th West, and sitting on the edge of Lake Powell in the moonlight talking

--fresh like the brisk night hikes we took up Rock Canyon, the flowers he left in my room, biking in mud on Squaw Peak, cold water fights with the hose, and never getting enough (the way something just gets better and better and never gets old)

--juicy like the fruity popsicles we loved, like the HUGE hamburgers that Scott would concoct with all sorts of spices and tons of flavor and grill, sweet love notes, nice kisses and hugs

--warm like the way he held me one night at 106th South in Sandy when I was having a particularly hard reckoning with the fact my parents were splitting, the simplicity and utter cuteness of the gift of a children's book that he knew that I love, a gray Vans sweatshirt, and the wonderful times spent laughing

--and delicious like the peace of time together that brings a sense of security, moments of testimony, and that lovely feeling of knowing that you are to someone else what no one else is, that you are the essence of their dreams

There were many night drives up the canyon or elsewhere where we peeled oranges and enjoyed them slice by slice. To this day, I cannot see an orange and not think of him. All the while, we were in the middle of this color, that hinging between day and night, when the sun is brilliantly winking his eye across the sky. We were at dusk, approaching the close of a blazing summer.


He left in the fall for a 2 year season of back and forth conversation while he served a mission for the church. It was a time of growth and change for both of us, but I still get sentimental when I think about the anxiousness of waiting for those letters in the mailbox (virtual or otherwise). To this day, I still love to look at our four binders of letters and pick up snippets of what life was like and what was going on. I think writing provides a unique way for you to get to know someone---and to get to know yourself. In truth, I think it left things engraved on our hearts---I know it did on mine.

Simulate. In time, or all along, it came to resemble truth, a resonation between us that I couldn't ignore and couldn't let go of. It was like an echo of what I'd imagined to be real, and it came bouncing back to me again and again. I am one of those people that has an extremely hard time with decisions, and this one was HUGE. I think I knew in my heart what I felt, but I still needed to prove it to myself by running all of the above through my head. It's true that sometimes the farthest distance you ever have to travel is the distance between your head and your heart. The rest is history. We got married, but we're still building, still seeking those blueprints for resonance between us.

To Jessica & Casee (and anyone else who wants to play), here are your words: green, infrastructure, grasp, delve, and motherlode. Do with them what you like---it doesn't have to be a story.

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