Friday, March 30, 2007

I'd give you the stars from the bruised evening sky

When people ask me how I knew my wife was the right one for me, I tell them, "There wasn't a doubt in my mind. I knew I couldn't do any better than her."

People have told me, "You always find the right person when you aren't looking for them." I think that is crap. Especially for guys, because girls very rarely seek guys out or make the first move. Boys play a game where most of them just want to sleep with girls as quickly as they can. It's a simple game with nothing very surprising.

But girls can get manipulative. I went out to ice cream with some co-workers on break one night and a girl was telling us how she was interested in a guy but that she couldn't tell if he was interest back. The guy she liked invited her to watch him play in a softball game and she wanted another guy from our group of coworkers to go to the game with her (like a date) to get a rise out of the softball player and see if that would light a fire under him to reveal his feelings to her.

I told her, "What you just described is exactly why guys think girls are evil. There has to be a better way to find out if the guy likes you without messing with his head." She didn't really respond. She just changed the subject and asked, "What do you think I should wear? Something dressy or something casual?"

To which I answered, "If you are trying to get a guys attention, just go with some cleavage." One coworker acted appalled that I would say such a thing but the girl turned on him, "You don't like my cleavage?" and then the guy stammered over his words and just wished he hadn't opened his mouth at all.

Don't underestimate people's ability to take everything in the worst possible way.

My wife was a little disappointed in my last post. That I made it sound like she doesn't listen. That I liked some little girl when I had a perfectly wonderful girl at home, and so on. But that isn't what I was getting at.

The main point was that I want my wife and I to hold on to what we had before we felt an obligation to stay together. I want us to remember how we enjoyed being together when either of us had time in a day or energy for our own purposes.

It's funny because it was not love at first sight for us. We saw eachother quite a bit before we ever sat down and had a conversation. We both dropped out of college about the same time and started working at the same place. In job training, she was "the pretty girl" in the class. All of the guys flocked around. I didn't recognize her and I actually made a vow to myself that I would have absolutely NOTHING to do with her, because I didn't want to be one of the lame, stupid guys fighting for her attention.

Funny enough, she came and started talking to me when I was sitting alone in the break room. She reminded me that we already knew eachother and things took off from there. I started hanging out with her and her friends during work and at lunch. I hung out with them for New Years Eve.

Anytime I liked something about her, it scared me. Probably because I was a scrounge who lived to wear cut-off Dockers from secondhand stores and plain white t-shirts (all year long) and her last job had been as head-cashier at Nordstrom's and she looked like a Nordstrom's girl.

It worried me that she owned more Talking Heads CD's than I did and it worried me that I couldn't stop smiling when this cute little girl would sing along to songs like "Bombtrack" by Rage Against the Machine or "Whatcha Want" by The Beastie Boys. And she goofed around with me a lot. She let me get away with being the ass that I am and somewhat encouraged it. People like to think she is some kind of pris but she didn't hesitate to act silly or play the fool. I had assumed she was probably snobby and stuck on herself but she was actually really cool.

People usually seem happy, especially when you first meet them. But after a while the exterior cracks and their more serious side comes out and makes them seem like a different person. The REAL them. But with my wife, what you see is what you get. She has a cute personality. It's not an act. It doesn't go away. She doesn't have to ACT cute. She just does it naturally.

And she's nice. Even though I get to feeling like I'm always last on her list, the truth is that she ALWAYS puts herself last. She goes out of her way to take care of people. Everyone. Even strangers. Even when people bug her. She's just nice. It doesn't change, even when she's frazzled from dealing with the kids, even when we fight. It makes me mad because sometimes we'll be arguing and I will be angry and then she'll unintentionally say something that makes me crack up laughing. It makes me mad when I WANT to stay angry but she starts to make me laugh instead. She has that power over me.

When we first started hanging out, the only time we could spend together was from midnight until whenever we had to get up in the morning. In Logan, Utah... where there is nothing to do after midnight. So we used to drive down to Hyrum and walk up and down the snowy main street and hang out by the big army tank in the dark dead of winter. She would begrudgingly wear my big green army coat. Or we would just stare out at the dark frozen Hyrum reservoir. But it was fun.

One night, I told her I wanted to go on an adventure. So she started driving us out of the valley in her little Jetta. It was the middle of the night and it was snowing. We started heading up into the treacherous Sardine Canyon and the snow came down, thicker and thicker. But she just kept driving. I just stared at her wondering how far she would venture into the snow storm. When it was clear she planned to go all the way, I finally said, "This snow is pretty bad. We should probably just turn back." But it meant a lot to me that she was going to do it. I wasn't her boyfriend or anything.

The day I realized I was truly smitten with her, I told my friend Sam about it. He said, "You need to go to her house tonight and start making out with her like crazy." I said, "I don't think I can just do that." Sam said, "Of course you can't. I couldn't either. You and me are nice guys and we never get the girls. But all the assholes out there do whatever they want and they always get the girls. So just do what the assholes would do and make out with her." I told him I couldn't and he got mad and said, "What are you going to do then? You have to do something." I thought about it for a minute and the best I could come up with was, "I guess I'll call her and tell her how I feel." Sam didn't like that, "NO! Don't do that!" I said, "I don't know what else to do."

So I called her at work and I pretty much told her straight out. She said, "Yeah. All of my friends have been telling me that you have a huge crush on me." I said, "Well they don't know what they're talking about because I just found out today and, as soon as I found out, I called you to tell you."

It made her uncomfortable. Oh well. It's to be expected around me, I guess. I figured if she didn't like me back she would just try to keep her distance and I would let her have it. But she kept coming around to say hello so I went with it.

We called out sick from work and she brought me down to Salt Lake to meet her family. I took her to California to meet my family. A couple months later we quit our jobs together. We went down to Zion's National Park for her birthday and hiked the narrows.

Even after we got married, had a baby and had been together for a few years, it still felt like we had just met. I kept worrying that she would suddenly remember that I was the scroungeball from the crappy call center and realize she was too good for me and that would be the end of it.

But here we are. And I don't want her to forget that it's fun to walk up and down a deserted snowy main street with me in the dead of night. If prom was the best thing I could come up with, then I would ask her to go. But I didn't even go to my own prom in high school.

Sorry for the long story. I didn't want you to get the wrong idea from that last post.


Native Minnow said...

Of all the posts that your wife should have read, this is the one that she needs to read. If only I can be so lucky as you to find a girl like that someday.

Alpha said...

I have heard that is why it's important to keep pictures of you and your spouse from the period of when you fell in love...
It reminds you daily of why you fell in remember things. It's cute to remember, even though you are glad you are at where you are at in life...

your mother said...

Sometimes love just grows....