Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our Story, Part I

So, a few of my friends have been on this "How We Met/How We Dated" blogging bandwagon the last few months, and I've loved reading them, but somehow it makes me a little squeamish to think about telling our story--and I think that its mostly just that, that its "ours".  For my kids' sake, I should probably record it more cohesively than my disjointed 18-year-old girl journal entries.  I thought it might be fun to share some of the story, since our 10th anniversary is rapidly approaching.

We met in the Fall of 2002 when we were both going to school at BYU-Hawaii, on Oahu's north shore.  For the first half of my first semester in the dorms, I had been living with an outspoken, bright, hilarious 20-year-old girl from American Samoa, and--still being painfully shy--I had spent most of my social time with friends of hers on and off campus.  In other words, I was always surrounded by Samoans and it was great fun.  Something I figured out really quickly was that I related pretty well to most of the Samoan girls I knew.  Nearly as quickly, I discovered that, though I enjoyed going out on a date with Samoan guys, for myriad reasons I had no interest in seriously dating a Samoan guy.  Since at the time I had precisely zero interest in serious dating, the arrangement seemed pretty much perfect.  Everyone thought I was a quiet, adorable, tiny blonde that they could (and did) literally throw around.  Hanging out with Polynesians was good for my self-esteem (except for the time they took me bodyboarding at Pipeline and I almost died--but that's a story for another day).

Just before midterms, Inna ended up leaving school and moving out, mostly over financial aid issues, so long story short, I got a new roommate:  April.  She was awesome.  Several years older than me, sweet, outgoing.  She was an education major, her parents were teachers, and we just clicked instantly.  Our biggest challenge living together was ever getting any homework done when we were in the same room because we enjoyed each other's company and conversation so much.  April had a large group of friends she did most things with, who quickly became my friends as well (I had spent a little time with most of them a few times throughout the semester), and the first night after April moved in is a whole other, fantastic story I'll have to write sometime (I like to call it it the Matter of Mitch and the Clicking Tape Recorder).  I'm getting off track.

So one night in mid-October, "the pack" (as I referred to this fun group of friends) was headed down to the beach to play games, and who doesn't love the beach at night? (Especially in Hawaii, where at midnight I was still comfortable in my athletic shorts and light hoodie).  That night, I met "the Dougs".  April and several of our other friends were in a program called "Young Ambassadors", where  they received an academic scholarship and in return they did campus tours and high school college fairs and the like, and Doug Clark and Doug White were in that program with them, and had come along that night to play games.  I don't remember everything we did, but I do remember playing Murder (in the dark on the beach--so fun), and getting the distinct impression that Doug White was a very goofy guy with some serious things in the back of his mind, and that Doug Clark was a fairly serious guy who could be really goofy. They were both several weeks shy of their 26th birthdays, and thus a fair amount older (in relative, college-age terms) than most of the rest of the group. I quickly became close friends with both of them.

That night, on our way back to campus, I started chatting with Doug Clark, Fei, and another young man.  The boy we were talking with was very, very bright (he was in college at 16, after all), but, perhaps because I was raised by my father and so my perception of what "smart" was was a bit skewed, I didn't think his being young and bright was any reason to indulge his arrogance, particularly in areas where his knowledge was not as extensive or accurate as he thought it was.  So I debated him vigorously (and unfortunately made little effort to conceal my impatience with his demeanor).  Doug saw this contrast to the quiet, easy-going girl he'd seen the rest of the night and it intrigued him. He later told me that initially he thought I was cute and was attracted to what he perceived as my mild, kind temperament, but was impressed to see that I could also, quite confidently, hold my own intellectually (he was involved in that conversation, too, and though I wasn't impatient and annoyed with him, I didn't shy away from engaging or even debating him any more than I did the other young man).

A couple of days later, I went to a Sunday afternoon musical fireside in Doug's ward that several of my friends were singing in, and afterward we chatted for quite a while (he later told me that the only reason he'd even gone to the fireside was in hopes of seeing me again).   It became very apparent during our conversation over dinner with our friends that night that we had a lot in common in regards to our interests and sense of humor.  The guys walked us back to our hale, and Doug and I were still in the middle of our conversation (and guys were not allowed in the dorm), so we stayed outside for about 15 minutes longer than everyone else.  When I got to my room, April and Cynthia were sitting on April's bed with impish grins and asked, "So what happened?"  Utterly clueless (I was 18, and by intention had not done a lot of dating) I responded, somewhat confused, "We finished our conversation?"  Cynthia asked excitedly, "Did he ask you out?!"  I said he hadn't, honestly dumbstruck by the thought that he could've, and sort of relieved that he hadn't. I explained that I enjoyed his company, but that he was 26, Mormon and a returned missionary "I'm sure that boy's looking for a wife!" I told her.  Not interested.  He was a friend, and I was happy to leave it that way.

And that's what we did.  For about another 6 weeks.

1 comment:

Becky said...

You know, I feel quite proud to be a part of the "pack." I think I recall the night of games on the beach... vaguely. But, it wasn't as poiniant an evening for me as it obviously was for you.
I was totally oblivious to the fact that Doug Clark liked you in the beginning because I hung out a lot more with Doug White. So, I knew more about what was going on with initial Doug... not the other Doug, your Doug. Hence why you where "The Others" The other Doug and the other Becky.
This is exciting to read what happened from your perspective because even though I was around, I was not privy to the courtship.